The November meeting, which was an open meeting, was very well attended with several new faces, at least one of whom is joining as a member next year.
The business element of the meeting included an update following the outing to Lincoln WI Evensong at The Cathedral, where several members had enjoyed a joyous evening of song amongst the wonderful atmosphere of the Cathedral. The October W.I meeting had been a social event held at Washinborough Bowling Alley, where it was reported a fiercely, but good humoured competition took place with Val McCracken emerging as individual highest scorer. Members then got together to discuss their victories, or defeats, over a meal.
It was also reported that several members and their husbands attended the Branston Boozy Brains Quiz and although their team did not win, put up a gallant effort and did not come last!
It was announced that we would be putting in an exhibit for the Christmas Wreath Competition being held on the 28th November at St. Andrews Church, which along with Ann Jones, several members would be helping to produce.
Members were thanked for all their time and effort in making contributions towards the Nocton W.I Christmas Fair, taking place on the 28th November in the village hall. A wide variety of items, including, jams, preserves, cakes, Christmas tree ornaments, and small stocking filler gifts would be on sale.
Our Programme Secretary circulated a list of possible speakers for next year, for members to indicate their preferences. The list was extensive and 2016 proves to be another good one for speakers and outings.
After refreshments, our speaker for the evening was Ann Barnes, who we were told was such a popular speaker she had been booked since February. She gave a very interesting talk and demonstration on easy and different ways of making Christmas wreaths, for both indoor and outdoor use, together with ideas for table decorations and centrepieces. She worked with a variety of materials, including oasis, which she informed us all had been modified to only require soaking for a matter of seconds before ready to use, in relation to the overnight soaking they used to require. She then simply pinned foliage from trees she found in her garden into the oasis and decorated with berries or small Christmas baubles. She also demonstrated with Polystyrene wreaths which she wrapped wool around and stuck simply made felt flowers onto them. She used wreath templates onto which she placed wired cones, again adding berries or baubles for added decoration. She offered a wide variety of materials to use including hessian and even tree bark, both of which she informed us was available on a roll. A good tip she advised when making wreaths was to simply push a length of wire through the top of the wreath and make a butterfly knot at the end to stop it slipping back and then do the same with the other end of the wire, thus making a horse shoe hook, which she said would enable the wreath to sit tighter against the wall or door than if hanging from a ribbon.
She then gave us some quick present ideas, including a poinsettia wrapped up in colourful tissue and sitting on top of a piece of oasis in a pretty carrier bag. Chocolates in colourful wrappers, sitting in a goblet or a bowl. Pine cones mixed with Christmas baubles placed in a large ceramic bowl with a candle in the middle. Coffee beans, clover or cinnamon placed in a decorative glass with a sprig of holly made a lovely aromatic gift.
Another useful tip was taking an orange, slicing it, putting them on kitchen roll in a microwave on full power for 2 mins, taking them out putting back in the microwave on clean kitchen roll and watching them until they start to turn brown, at which point you take them out and allow to cool. The orange aroma they give off will last for weeks.
Ann assured us that none of the ideas took a lot of effort or expertise and she gave us all the inspiration to go home and try at least one of her ideas.
Julie gave the vote of thanks.
Competition, which was making a cracker was won by Julie 1st, Maria 2nd and MaryAnn 3rd.
The December meeting would be open to friends and family. Members were asked to bring a plate of savoury or sweet items and there would be wine and celebration cake, left over from our Garden Party. A beetle drive would be the form of entertainment and members were asked to bring along a wrapped gift to the value of £5 for the Secret Santa. They were reminded that if they were bringing along their partners to also bring a gift suitable for a male, to avoid any man receiving a bottle of bubble bath! The competition would be a table decoration.