Saturday, 6 September 2014

Faith, Hope and Freedom - Pammy's Journey

I have been biding my time, waiting to tell my story! So one day I decided to read it out loud, to my eldest Son and biggest critic, Stephen. Once I finished he simply sighed and said; "Mother what are you waiting for"? "Why have you not shared your story with the world and why on earth have you stopped writing"!  I was quite taken back, I had not expected that response, thinking my Son would tear my story to shreds, telling me I should give up writing but as I just mentioned the opposite was true.

So throwing all caution to the wind and knowing my Son as I do, I thought I better get this sorted or there would be trouble to pay. So here goes an insight into Pammy's Journey of Faith, Hope and Freedom.

I suppose I should start by confessing I am not as brave as I would like to be, or indeed out of sheer respect should be, and I am ashamed to say that on occasion, whilst not out rightly denying the existence of God, I have not always had the courage when questioned “Are you a religious person,” just like Peter, I faltered and mumbled about spiritualism and belief in some power. Hastening to add I am not a religious fanatic, and church is not my favourite place.  May my God forgive me, and try to understand my fear of rejection and more importantly safe.

I have tried to fit in with this era’s apathy towards God, and have tried to disguise the way, that I feel and indeed know to be true, that He still exists, and only He knows why He, still cares.  So as recompense for my sin, I PUBLICALLY DECLARE MY BEILIEF IN GOD, and add that, without His good grace, I would be long dead.

I know what you are thinking, “I wish I hadn’t started to read this story, its not for me.” you are wrong it is for you, just you, and millions like you.  If you take the time to read on you will discover a person, an ordinary person, who still doesn’t know what they are doing or why, someone who without help was lost, frightened and alone, a female, with a females strength, emotions, and poverty, this not being the least aspect to deal with, moreover the worst. A battle was about to commence, a battle with my soul, a battle with the world, and a battle for survival so the least you can do is read on, it may help you one day, and if it helps one person then I can rest, because it has to be said.

I have often wondered whether it was my fault, that my marriages did not work, was it something I did, or did they just tire of me, was I too ambitious, did I expect too much of them, was it that they could not keep up with me, or was I too horrible to them, the old saying the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, keeps ringing in my head, and I have more or less come to the conclusion, that I could not, nor would not, make a slave out of myself, to please the male.

I blame my mother for this as I was influenced  by her and her alone when it came to how to behave towards men, one did not succumb to their every desire. I think now looking back that she meant in the bedroom, I thought she meant in the kitchen, because the bedroom unlike her, I was very happy in, so I didn’t bother to trick them into believing they could not live without me nutrition wise.  Anyway I believed in my sexuality, more fool me and I have to say whilst sex can be mind blowing for us all, encouraging us to believe that such intimacy can only be achieved between us and our current partner, it’s best to think again , and realise the world is full of people looking for sex, only the cook can see to the stomach in his or her own kitchen.

It matters not, any more, and whilst I need to mention the abuse, the constant criticism, resulting in a total lack of self esteem, I will keep it as brief as possible the sun is shining outside, and God is in his heaven and I am at peace, mind you that is after 15 years of isolation, celibacy, and a struggle, you may ask what triggered it all, when I can forgive mistreatment for myself, what I could not nor never will endure is the abuse of my children, and believe me you must not either.

I often felt uncomfortable in my second marriage, he was after all only their stepfather, his attitude to my children was annoying, he nagged my daughter against my wishes, she retaliated strongly, my daughter was the only one still at home, my two sons had long since left home and both had their own lives, one in college and the other in the RAF.  There was constant friction in the home, the fact that she was a teenage girl with tantrums, did not help. I blamed this difficult age and allowed this to temper my resolve and I conveniently convinced myself that all would turn out well.  That was before my eldest son came home for his holidays from college, and announced quite the thing that he had discovered many things there, but mainly that he was gay. I hoped it was a phase and he would grow out of it, but of course it wasn’t, this added to the nightmare for me.

I could describe in detail what followed I am convinced my partner was homophobic, I already knew he was a racist bigot,  but I think to give an overall view is sufficient, you can imagine the rows, name calling etc, every day. I was told to get out of his house, then when I started to pack, begged to stay and he never meant it, the problem was we had really loved one another in the beginning, and I believed our love would see us through, but he didn’t feel the same way anymore.
I actually stayed for several years, putting up with the rows, trying to make a good home for us all, and some of the time we were fine.

After one nasty row where my husband confined me to our bedroom screaming abuse at me, he threatened me, yelling "that once it became known about my filthy gay son, people locally would throw stones through our windows and call us all names". I realise now that actually these were his fears, not mine. I was desperate, how could I convince this bigot that times had changed, and although all our local people, would not wish this for their own child, they would have compassion rather than hatred.

I decided to do one brave thing, so with fear clutching at my heart, I went on the train to London, to appear in a television programme all about the parents of gay children and how they coped, I would announce to the world I have a gay son, because I am not afraid of that. My gay son is beautiful, he is intelligent, and has won award after award for his horticultural skills, he is handsome, strong, drug free, doesn’t even smoke, but best of all he loves me truly.
So I went on the early morning show, I was terrified, funny thing so was my daughter waiting patiently for the programme to begin, she told me when I returned home of her fear for me, “ It was awful just waiting for you to come on I felt so nervous for you I started shaking I hope you do not have to do this too often” “ so do I “ I replied.

There is a love between family that can never be broken and I thank God for this. I myself was as I said terrified, I was looked after very well, spent the night in a posh hotel with a lovely meal, all paid for as a guest on the show, I can remember thinking gosh with all this attention, perhaps they are expecting more from me than I thought, I didn’t sleep much, but I really felt fear when the head of the Women’s Institute ended up sitting opposite me for breakfast at the studio, oh dear I had always admired these women, whatever was this lovely lady going to say, on the show, I felt convinced that they would be anti gay, what she actually said was that countrywide they all felt that all love was sacred. I was so relieved they will never know just how much, I was then able to have the courage to defend my son and denounce any form of discrimination.

This quietened my partner down considerably, all I received was praise from the local people for my courage appearing on national television, many of them knowing my partner knew exactly why I had done this, and encouraged me to stay strong. I felt much better for a long time and a little harmony descended on our home.

Of course it wasn’t to last, after many wearisome nagging sessions, I started to feel quite shattered by it all and one evening after another blazing row. I went for a bath and with warm water round me, sobbed and cried out loud to God and asked Him” Why have you done this to me, presented me, of so little courage a gay son and a bigot for a husband, I cannot go on this is too much to bear I love my son” after a moment a silence seemed to descend and a voice came all round me “I love mine, and they crucified Him, I know your suffering, fear no more.” Peace descended on me, I felt different calm, detached so much so that when my partner came back drunk as usual hurling abuse. I simply got up and escaped through the bathroom window and went in my car to the bottom of the road out of sight, and slept there.

God had spoken to me, I was privileged and I would fear no more.

The very next day I went to my mother’s house, picking up the local newspaper on my way, Why have you got a paper “she asked  “Because I have had enough and I am going to find somewhere else to live” I replied and this is where my story really begins.  When I opened and read down the ads column there it was, my new home, my breath seemed to stop and time stood still, I recalled the time that I had taken part in a business course, for some time I had been working on my arts and crafts and found that I was particularly drawn to egg crafting this is different to painting eggs it’s the ancient art of carving eggshells into beautiful ornaments, similar in design to the famous Faberge Eggs.
I had some success with these and was finding out the best way to market them, besides whilst I was making these I could ignore all the tension at home.  The lecture wasn’t really relevant to me that day and my mind wandered I found myself staring at a stone cottage outside the window, “You are going to live in a chapel made of stone“, the voice that often spoke to me chose then to tell me, I jumped and tried to carry on as normal in the lecture.

I pondered on this afterwards but could not come up with any answers then, and then some months later I was in a car up north with my children, my eldest son was driving, my younger son his wife and baby were in the back, we just happened to drive past a church for sale, “look there’s a chapel for sale, maybe we could buy it, lets go back and have a look” I said “Whatever is the matter with you mother” my son said “ it’s a church” “I know, lets go and look” “Are you seriously suggesting we should buy a church to live in and where pray are we going to sleep in the pews” they all roared with laughter and I had to admit put like that it did sound strange, “But I’ve been told I am to live in one, and it will be made of stone” my exasperated gay son in his usual flamboyant  way replied “You get weirder every day I thought I was supposed to be the weird one, just forget about it” more roars of laughter emanated from the back seat.  “Well you’ll see one day , I will live in a chapel, and it will be made of stone you will eat these words“.
I smiled at the memory of that day when mothers voice snapped me back into the present, “ What are you smiling at,” she asked kindly staring at my face.  “I’ve found it, my new home, its here right here where God told me it would be only yesterday, while I was in the college.” “ You are all right aren’t you darling I have been very worried about you lately, you seem so thin,” Why don’t people say what they mean, what is it about the truth we are all so afraid of.

I now look after a special needs person in fact several, I spend my time teaching them to paint, Kath is my main student, I spend the most of my time with, who is supposed to have communication difficulties, but often comes straight out when presented with something new or strange and say's “are you cuckoo,”? Perhaps mum should have just come out and said it.  But she didn’t, she just supported me as always with a few sideways glances, I didn’t find out till much later just how worried for me she was.  I am going to ring about this place” I said, I was so excited I went straight to the phone, and was told to contact the owner and given the number, so again I phoned, I was told very matter of fact to go and view it, the key was under a stone by the door.

I don’t believe this, I’ve been told to go and see it, just like that” I said “Oh good I really fancy going for a drive” mum replied, well it’s not possible I’m afraid” I said gloomily, there’s no petrol in the car, and I’ve no money” “ well that’s not stopping us, here’s the money, let’s go what have you got to lose” dear mum always there, “Nothing I replied Nothing at all”  So off we went, the hasty instructions I had been given, didn’t explain the facts that we would be travelling along country roads climbing higher and higher, round bends, through woods, and would seem like the end of the world, sheer isolation.

I could feel my heart sink the further we went into the countryside, mum went very quiet, I thought we would never find it, then suddenly there it was, not quite what I imagined it didn’t look like stone, or a chapel for that matter, just like a long cream house with two long windows, on the one end, the other end looked like a cottage, it was empty, so we precariously approached the door looking for a key, it was under a stone just as we had been told, so we went in.

We were greeted with a lovely little cottage with a large recessed brick fireplace complete with wood burning stove, there were many original features and in some ways looked as if it definitely could use some tender loving care, the kitchen only consisted of a large sink, and was very small. There were two bedrooms upstairs and a good bathroom, basic but clean, I could feel myself falling in love with it. I could tell that mum loved it also.

We went back downstairs, there was another door this was locked but the key was in the door, I opened it and in I went, I was met by a huge room, with four windows where the light streamed through, the chapel, or rather former chapel, my breath seemed to still, and a very natural reverence descended upon me, I am and always will be a holy place, was all I could hear in my mind like a voice within my heart, an empty room spoke to me, and what’s more I listened and respected it at once without question.

Mum again broke the silence “ I don’t believe this, what are you going to do, if it was me I think I would light a candle and say the Lord’s prayer,” believe it or not there was a candle discarded close by, and that’s exactly what I did, I lit it and went around the room, saying the lords prayer, it seemed the right thing  to do, before I dared to put in my request for my god to take pity on me and allow me to come and reside with Him for the rest of my days.

I hope you like my journey and how I came to live in a cottage that joins a community Chapel, the trials and tribulations that have etched out our journey are also a great read and I would love to share them with you! If you like to read more about how life at the Chapel developed then please leave a comment below and share this with your friends, this will inspire me to continue writing as well as introducing more people to read my adventure.

Thanks for taking the time to read x much love Pammy!

Saturday, 2 August 2014

Take a stroll amongst Fields of Poppies, with Pammy's textured canvas paintings all day workshop.

Inviting you on a journey to share her love of nature and gardening Pammy often finds new ways to help you really experience her paintings first hand. 

Pammy's All Day Workshop Sunday August 17th at 10.30-4.30 call Pammy on 01686 640722 to book.

Pammy's latest large colourful canvas paintings have the added dimension of touch, texture and a collage feel about them.

The rough textured surface and raised flower petals in this poppy field painting enables you to not only feel your painting but also to view it as a multi-dimensional work of art.

During Pammy's workshop you will learn first hand how to create raised textured Poppy fields for yourselves. A chance to develop a new artistic skill the idyllic, peaceful surroundings that the Chapel provides.

Join Pammy on our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter 

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Learn to Paint with Pammy - Painting Classes for All Ages.

Art's and Craft's are fast becoming one of our nations favourite pastimes, with artists and crafters looking for new opportunities to promote their talents both online and in stores, there are plenty of chances to get involved in demonstrations.

Chapel Crafts community project is taking this trend one step further and offering you the opportunity to meet new friends and have fun whilst learning a new skill or hobby for yourself.

We have several themed workshops and painting classes planned for the next few months and since we are regularly meeting new crafters who are keen to get involved there will be lot's more workshops to follow.

Here are the dates and times for events occurring in the next few weeks and we hope you will join in!

Painting Classes and Workshops
September 2013 Ongoing

Learn to paint with Pammy  
An introduction to Watercolours and Acrylics
Every Wednesday 7-9pm

Paint with Pammy 
Acrylics Painting Class
Every Thursday Afternoon 2-4pm

MDF Painting Class
hosted by Lyn from Dragon Woods
Every Friday 7-9pm

Saturday Painting Classes and Workshops 
Saturday afternoons we have put together several workshops, demos and events
Every Saturday 2-4pm  Children's Club / Adults Classes / Craft Fairs and Workshops (call to confirm).

Chapel Crafts Art Club
Love to paint, here's a chance to put everything you have learnt into practise. Our popular Sunday painting club is open to adults and teenagers.
Last Sunday of every month 2-4pm

Thanks to the success of our workshops Chapel Crafts will be running additional free workshops and classes every month. Check out the link below for monthly demonstrations, paid and free classes.

Want to join our Free Art in August workshops?

You can sign up here and register for our newsletter below. Subscribe to our monthly news

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

BIg Craft Event - Crafters Workshops

Here's your chance to learn from some real experts! Ever wanted to try a new hobby or craft but not sure where to start or the cost of all the materials put you off?

By joining our fun and lively Christmas Craft Fair and Workshops, Not only do you get the chance to see crafters at work but also you can try a workshop for yourself!

Your chance to try your hand at making Halloween or Christmas crafts and gifts for yourself. Face painter, photographer, printer, jewellery, beads, glasswork and woodwork, their is something for everyone to enjoy.

Making your own crafts from home can help save you money and gives you a chance to spend quality time with your family. Christmas crafts are a also great way to decorate your home and gift your friends with something unique and handmade.

Chapel Crafts have invited a community of local crafters, who cannot wait to share their talents with you, perhaps you'd like to make a table centre, create some decorations for your tree, even have a go at making some handmade christmas ornaments, gifts or cards this year.

Get craft businesses like this will be showing off their talents, during our Big Craft Weekend, with follow up classes and evening workshops during the festive season.

Dragon WOODS LTD are Celebrating Local Arts and Crafts at Chapel Crafts Saturday 26th of October!! Please remember to share and visit Dragon Woods Facebook page below: ♥
Welcome to Dragon Woods Ltd, A very small family run business who's aim is to supply high quality 18mm MDF blank shapes for the Crafters amongst you, so please browse our stock photos'. All items can be purchased from us direct or if your local or visiting Mid Wales, then you can find our local stoc...
Arts & entertainment: 1,074 like this.
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Wireworks are Celebrating Local Arts and Crafts at Chapel Crafts Saturday 26th of October!! Please remember to share and visit Wireworks Facebook page below: ♥
We create Bespoke, Unique and Individual pieces that will make the perfect gift for any occasion. Commissions can be discussed. If you're looking for the unusual gift for someone, please don't hesitate to contact Wireworks
Gift shop: 612 like this.
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Thrilled that L A ink Printing studio will be joining us for our Christmas Craft fair and Crafters Workshops on sat 26th of October♥

Not only will you get a chance to order business cards and...See more
Whether you need a bespoke poster or framed gift, a business card or personal stationary, wedding invitations or an unusual sized photograph printed, whatever your printing needs whether it be small or A3 I can help you.
Printing service: 63 like this.
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Thrilled to announce that Tammy Weaver from TMS Events, Venue Decorators will be joining us for our All Day Crafters Event Chapel Crafts this Saturday 26th of October.
TMS Events is a one stop wedding shop offering everything from planning to venue decoration. This page showcases some of our venue decoration services.
Wedding planner: 801 like this.
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Rabel Glass Designs are Celebrating Local Arts and Crafts at Chapel Crafts Saturday 26th of October!! Please remember to share and visit Rabel Glass Facebook page below: ♥
This is a selection of the glass that i have done so far. This glass has been cast, one form of casting is done with a sand resin mould, then spun in a large centrifuge, and the other form of casting is done by pouring the molten glass into graphite slabs. My inspiaration comes from my surroundings...
Arts & entertainment: 132 like this.
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Looking forward to Mairi joining us on Saturday for Chapel Crafts Big Craft Event! Show some community spirit and head over to Mairi's page ♥
Photographer: 251 like this.
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Proudly welcoming Lynette from Sew 'n Thread to our Big Craft Event on Saturday :) Show some crafters love and spare a like ♥
For as long as I can remember I have had a passion for fabrics and lace and ribbons and beads, well anything pretty I can use in sewing and crafting!
Community: 1,493 like this.
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Excited that Doodle Doodle will be displaying some lovely ceramics and gift ideas during our Big Craft Event on Saturday ♥ Please check out their page and let them know we sent you x
Paint your own ceramics, hand & foot imprints and commissions
Local Business: 93 like this.
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Not the crafty type! No worries our crafters will be displaying a large selection of their own handmade crafts and you will have the opportunity to buy direct from the crafters themselves.

Big Thank you to Miss Daisy Chains for their gift wrapped hamper! Donated as part of our Big Craft Raffle prizes for Saturday Show some FB ♥ and check out their exciting range of goodies and gift ideas.
Artisan Crafts
Food/Beverages: 200 like this.
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Interested in joining us? Why not give us a call or check out our social media pages and active blog to give you an idea of the facilities on offer.

Your sure of a warm Christmas welcome, in fact we'd love to see you all year round and with our range of workshops, painting classes, craft workshops and guest speakers, there are a whole host of reasons why you should connect with Chapel Crafts Community Projects.

Chapel Crafts


Berriew, SY21 8PP

01686 640722

Chapel Crafts proudly supporting arts and crafts in the community

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

A Year Foraging for Mushrooms - A Fungi Foray

 Longer days and warmer winds bring forth life, leaves unfurling, seeds emerging, magically appearing overnight. Following a dormancy like no other, ready to face the challenges of another growing season.  Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Combing the elements has always been mother nature's fortay, her plentiful basket is brimming with nutritious fruit and vegetables, a foragers harvest ripe for the picking. Hunter gathers whilst giving thanks, are well aware of the abundance of wild edible plants, fungi, fruit and berries that appear as if my magic, adding deep splashes of colour to our green and pleasant land.

Wary of such a diverse food source is a wise caution we have all been provided, deadly poisons and toxins wrapped in a harmless looking fungi can kill, that is where the mushroom professionals are ahead of their game and can offer us an insight into the largely undiscovered world of Mycology.

The Autumnal transformation is awarded the humble mushroom alone as autumn takes it's hold on the changing countryside. A rich food source for wildlife and those who foray, in a challenge to be the first to discover this early morning, below ground fruiting delicacy. Many fungi exist on a massive network that weaves a web under our feet, relying on the perfect weather conditions to fruit and break surface.

As Autumn grips the region, rustic hues appear across our beloved landscape and preparations are made for the Winter months ahead. Naturally drawn to giving thanks for a bountiful harvest, we re-joyce to reside in such a rich, fertile land, where nature and agriculture exist in a festival of symbiotic harmony.

As we gather our livestock and crops in an attempt to protect them from the approaching cold winds and frozen rain, nature has yet another offering that is largely misunderstood. Beneath our feet there is a stirring , a movement of earth as life breaks the crust of rain softened ground.

Worldwide over four million species of fungi exist, three thousand of which occur throughout the British Isles, of which 48 provide fruiting bodies that are deemed edible or safe to eat and somewhat nutritious. Micro-climates exist all over the world to sustain our underground fungus kingdom that of late is more closely related to animals rather than plants. In fact such a diverse classification afford the fungi it's own kingdom, often hidden out of sight, yet essential to life itself. 

Consider the humble mushroom as a recycling factory, in tune with it's environment, working to purify it's surroundings whilst creating a relationship with it's host. Rooting wood can be attributed to provided many mushrooms a home, as the matter decay's the fungi grows either directly on it's host or the result of debris enriching the soil. 

Study of fungi, mushrooms and all it's genus is vast, with new species discovered regularly,  specialists spend their lives researching and applying the art of mycology to their surroundings, often traveling the test out their skills on varying habitats and climates.

Mushroom's can offer an insight to a undiscovered world, for some an interest that can grow in to an appreciation of the environment and it's ecological development. If your interested in learning more about mushrooms and unsure where to begin, then research an introduction to the World of Mushrooms near you. 

Stephen is a mycology fanatic and mushroom expert, with 25 years horticultural plantmanship, and invites you to share in his passion for fungi during an autumn foray.

Foraging for Free Mushrooms - An introduction to Wild Mushrooms in Mid Wales - hosted by Chapel Crafts, Berriew, Community Organisation 

A two hour identification and discussion about hunting for edible forest and field Mushrooms hosted by professional horticulturalist, international Mushroom fanatic and experienced plant expert Stephen Pryce-Lea. 

Followed by Free (optional) two hour Hunting for Mushroom's guided walk/tour! Location to be confirmed *Max 15 people per group Saturday Morning's end of through October.

**Please note this is an opportunity to see and identify edible fungi and Mushroom species growing in the wild and whilst their may be picking involved it is not guaranteed.

To check availibilty and confirm additional dates and times please call Chapel Crafts. 01686 640722 or check out our website links below.