Have you ever wandered around antique fairs, flea markets and car boot sales thinking: That's nice! It would come up beautifully if I gave it a lick of paint? I do. Frequently. Ever since I discovered some very old Annie Sloan books on furniture painting techniques a while back, I've been completely hooked. Now we just need a bigger house to accommodate my creations. Workshops are a fantastic way to treat someone who, like me, has a particular leaning towards a certain type of skill or hobby. Mine will always be crafts although I have been known to try new things. My aunt once gave me a one-day crash course in cookery at the Leiths Cookery School in London which was, to say the least, terrifying but left me with my sanity intact and a few tips and tricks under my belt that I use to this day.
West Egg Interiors is an online boutique store which specialises in sourcing and restoring vintage furniture and decorative home wares. Each piece a one off, this shop is a treasure chest of deeply desirable stuff to complement your house and they also provide one-day courses where you can go along and learn about decorative techniques yourself. Furniture Painting Workshops £115.00 last for one fabulous fun-filled day and you can learn all sorts of useful painting, distressing and waxing techniques to give you the confidence to go let rip on an upcycled masterpiece of your own. The courses are designed for beginners and based near Colchester in Essex. If this is a bit out of your way, then doubtless there are others that a Google search will turn up for you, but I like this one because I particularly like West Egg's shop and philosophy. A workshop makes an unforgettable gift but, if it's too tempting to give away, do what I've done in the past; take a mate and agree pay for each other to go as a mutual birthday present. These things are always so much more fun in company anyway.