Secret Garden comes to an end

Now the Secret is out…

“I am sure that you are all with me on saying a BIG Thank you to “The E Team”. Faye, Heather, Lesley and Moira have provided amazing support and I could not have done this without them. Thank you ladies.ūüćłūüćłūüćłūüćłfor all of you and your favourite waiters.” –¬†Helen

It goes without saying that ¬†I don’t think any of the team could have survived the CAL if it hadn’t been for the encouragement of dear ole Johnny and the support from the handsome Jason, who did try and join the group. Unfortunately we didn’t let him in because he hadn’t ¬†bought the pattern.


As someone who asked many questions, thank you all for your patience….even if you are answering the same question for the 4,375,987 time ūüôā. All of you (Helen included,) did a great job, many many thanks ūüôā – Moira






Do you feel like you may not be experienced enough to make the Secret Garden? Here are some words of encouragement from those who have finished.

The most used bit of advice

I’d only been crocheting a year when I started this. Explanations are step by step. Read it really carefully stitch by stitch and you’ll be fine. You’ll learn loads and have such a sense of satisfaction when done. I found it more fiddly than difficult, easy stitches just in peculiar combinations. Honest. Good luck and have fun xx – Holly

Steph Anne

Not difficult, very time consuming but the result is amazing! Read the pattern carefully, count every single stitch and don’t be afraid to ask for help! 14 weeks, a couple of headaches, a letter to the tail fairy, offerings to the tail goddess and a few voodoo dolls and voila…. this little piece of art is done!!! Thank you Helen Free for this beauty, it’s been an incredible journey!! Cannot wait for Space Odyssey! Helen Free…. it’s Fall yet!- Rosanna


You ‘can’ achieve it. I’ve been crocheting for less than a year and completed it. It’s amazing. Follow all the advice above and ask for help if you need it. Best of luck and enjoy the learning journey x – Anne


I’m officially finished. My one bee I’ve made looked horrible, so I’ve cheated. Good luck to everyone on this beautiful journey and best wishes to all those done. This was a wonderful project. – D’Juana


Finished. Thank you, Helen for a delightful ride. Now I have some beading commissions to do before my next CAL. – Sandy


Slowly, slowly my garden starts to blossom ¬†ūüė䬆– Mary


Related Links

Secret Garden CAL – Block 1

Secret Garden CAL РBlock 1 Round-up 

Secret Garden CAL – Block 2

Secret Garden CAL – Feedback Time

Secret Garden supporting Lupus UK

Rainbow Valley is supporting Lupus UK
Rainbow Valley is supporting Lupus UK

Tuesday Hangout – Canvas-Stencil-Gilding


with Sy from Happy Accident Studios

canvas notebook
Sy’s canvas notebook

This week Sy is introducing the method of using multi medium materials to decorate the front cover of a canvas notebook. This will ¬†be the focus of one of our Girl’s Night In events later in the year, so do keep an eye out on our calendar and Facebook page.

Watch the process in the video below. Sy takes you through every step of the way.

Do you enjoy the Tuesday hangouts with Sy of Happy Accident Studios?¬†— Watch live at with unravel_unwind


Tuesday Hangout with Sy – papercraft flowers

Papercraft Flowers Tutorial

with Sy from Happy Accident Studios

Sy goes live every Tuesday afternoon over on Twitch  to bring you papercraft tutorials and more. This week we are sharing her two-part video stream. We hope you enjoy them and if you want more content like this please do let us know.

Funding workshops with Gayle Wallace


18 April & 2 May 7pm to 9pm £40

If you’re are perplexed by Proposals or baffled by bids, then this is 2 part workshop is for you!

This is subject 1 of a unique series of workshops designed for anyone who needs to get better at writing bids for funding or producing proposals for contract commissions.

Get tickets here


16 & 30 May 7pm to 9pm £40

If you feel overwhelmed by managing several projects at one time and at times it feels like you just get all the plates spinning nicely, only to find that one has unexpectedly dropped!

If you find it hard to know if you have captured, planned and managed all the potential risks in any project and lack confidence in having covered all the bases? Then this should have you project managing like a pro!

This unique two-part workshop will help you to effectively manage your work (no matter how many projects you have going at a time and furthermore, you will be able to quantify the value you have added to any initiative you are managing!

Get tickets here



13 & 27 June 7pm to 9pm £40

How do you know whether what you do is of value? Can you demonstrate the impact of your work? Do you know how to develop and improve your performance? Why does this matter?

Either as an organisation, relying on bidding for funds, or as a business, you are always, ‘only as good as your last job!’ Learning how to monitor what you do and evaluate how well it has gone are invaluable tools for increasing your likelihood of being successful in applying for grants from funding bodies or winning future contract commissions.

Run over two sessions this workshop will provide you with a sound understanding of the principles of monitoring, that will give you the key resources to gather the information that evidences your value.

You will learn how to evaluate your work in a way that is both meaningful to your professional development and service delivery but also demonstrates your ability to improve.

Get tickets here


Drawing on over 30 years of writing successful bids, providing grant funding for organisations, managing multi-layered projects from a £7,000,000.00 budget as well as successfully and continually writing work proposals for contracts with the Department of Health, Greater London Authority, Department of work and pensions, several Local Authorities, Estate Action, New Deal for communities, Sure Start Programmes, Single regeneration Bids Well Communities, Charities and many more. Gayle Wallace will give you a complete array of tools that you can use to either secure contracts as a business person or greatly improve your chances of successfully applying for funding to voluntary, statutory and charitable sector funders.


G.W Training & Consultancy Ltd is a consultancy and training organisation, delivering high-quality services across a range of areas. The director Gayle Wallace has over 30 years of experience in providing Project management, research, impact assessment, training and facilitation for the Public, Private and voluntary sector. ¬†Key to every aspect of G.W Training & Consultancy Ltd’s work is the level of personal and professional development offered to individuals and organisations ensuring that they are more empowered to fully take on new challenges and opportunities.

The director Gayle Wallace – also founded the Women Who Want Change personal empowerment programme 17 years ago and is passionate about the personal and professional development of women. Gayle is additionally the director of the company named after the programme Women Who Want Change Ltd.

Further information can be found at &

Secret Garden supporting Lupus UK

Helen’s Secret Garden Prize Draw

Rainbow Valley Crochet Secret Garden CAL
Rainbow Valley Crochet
Secret Garden CAL

This blanket is a unique design by Helen Free using Stylecraft Special DK for a Crochet Along.  There are six blocks, each made in the four different colour ways giving a total of 24 blocks.  The finished size is about 140cm x 95cm.

There is no minimum donation.  For every £5 you donate, you will receive one entry into the prize draw.  Please make sure you leave your full name and email address to enter.

The draw will be held on April 28th when the Crochet Along is over.  The winner will be published on  Facebook and notified by email.


We fund medical research to help find a cure for Lupus

LUPUS UK is the only National Charity which supports people with the immune system illness Lupus. We have a number of groups throughout the UK and support over 5,000 members through these groups. We also provide funding for medical research into this life threatening and debilitating illness

Secret Garden CAL – Feedback Time

Delightful Dragonflies & Wondrous Words


Continue reading “Secret Garden CAL – Feedback Time”

Create your dreams & goals in 2017



The 2017 Create Your Shining Year Biz & Life workbooks and brand spankin’ new weekly planner are incredible & useful tools to help you plan out & make happen your most incredible year in life or business (or both!).

Over the last seven years, thousands of women have used these goals workbooks with the most amazing results. It’s the best planning tool available to help you make your year your most exceptional yet! Used by entrepreneurs, artists, mamas, creatives, coaches, teachers and women of all ages, the Creating Your Shining Year workbooks + daily planner are filled with powerful worksheets to help you create your amazing new year.

Unravel & Unwind North Kent Group


Meeting in Rochester, Kent, the Unravel & Unwind workbook group is a friendly and flexible group of like-minded women from a variety of backgrounds. We enjoy setting goals with each other and hold each one of us accountable when working towards our goals, no matter how big or small. We have discussion sessions based around some of the topics found within the workbooks and other subjects that fit into the holistic mind-sets of improving and empowering our lives. Below is a flexible guideline for the year and we are open to suggestions, ideas and speakers. So if there is something in particular you would like to see in our schedule then please drop us an email ( We also try to fit some craft sessions into our meetings and we hope that the weather stays good in the summer as we would like to have a picnic meet up too.

You can purchase physical and digital workbooks here and you can also join the mastermind biz/life academy here. The academy has over 100+ courses created by Leonie Dawson over the years which you will have access to, only if you join the academy. In addition you will be able to join the academy Facebook mastermind group along with thousands of others. I have found this group very helpful and insightful over the past 12 months and have learned so much more with regards to being an entrepreneur and a Mum.

Continue reading “Create your dreams & goals in 2017”

Discovering Papercrafts

Discover Papercraft!

With Happy Accident Studios

Cardmaking has been around for a long time, but if you feel you’re a bit late to the party, there’s no such thing! Discover Papercraft is designed to help you even if you have never made a single card before. If you’re acquainted with the basic skills of papercraft, but would like to do something a little different, we’ve got that too. There’s a little something for everyone!


In November and December, we started out from scratchРthe absolute basics. We covered the use of a paper trimmer, matting and layering, and basic card layout ideas. 

Continue reading “Discovering Papercrafts”

Can Draw? Will Draw!

Can Draw? Will Draw! – Goes through my mind regularly…


So how about you? And what can we do to help you?

Did you know that we run 3 regular art classes in Medway, Kent every week? And we have just added 3 more stand alone classes over 3 months too.

Want to know more? Keep reading

Continue reading “Can Draw? Will Draw!”