Travelling Companions

How are the summer holidays going for you so far? Personally, we’ve been having a great time!

It’s been a busy one so far and our diary is looking a lot like the fun isn’t going to die down anytime soon. We’ve seen many familiar faces over the past few weeks and some of our local younger visitors have been coming to see us on a weekly basis! We must be doing something right!

However, this year, we’ve seen a big increase in children from far and wide as they’ve been brought along by aunts, uncles, grandparents and family friends as part of their visit to St Neots. From Norwich to New Zealand, we’ve made lots of new little friends! Some of these children look forward to collecting their painted pottery next time they see their loved ones, but many of them have been making things that they can take away on the same day. Our Build a Bear range is ideal for little travellers as they can make a little companion to pop into their suitcases and snuggle up with at night times…they can even have their own changes of clothes if desired!P1060848

Alternatively, our squishy, shiny putty – Foam Clay is another mobile option as the pieces will touch dry quite quickly meaning that the children can create until their hearts’ content and and take their items with them to admire forevermore. done (75)

If you’d like to bring a visitor along to create a memory, give us a call on 01480219222…and remember, pottery painting isn’t just for kids! Grown-ups love it too!

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Christmas is coming!

christmas is coming..

Christmas is upon us once again and our studio is swaying under the bulk of baubles once again. Each year, we think we’ve ordered enough baubles in to see us through the festive period but each year sees an increase in their popularity and we end up placing emergency orders for supplies! Last year this happened twice- the first time being at the start of October as we’d exhausted our stock of a couple of hundred!

As ever, our specialty hand print robins and trees and footprint Rudolphs remained the most popular design for our baubles and the demand rose for our famous ‘mistletoes’ plates and we produced several every day.

Amid the bauble and plate chaos- many other festive pieces found their way into our kiln, including standing snowmen, dancing reindeer and funky tree ornaments.

If you’re thinking of coming along and creating Christmas bits, get in as soon as possible! Call us on 01480219222!

Time to re-group

Time to regroup

 

It’s a well-known thing that women are the more organised of the sexes, right? I’m sure we’ve all heard the joke about the nativity…

 What would have happened if it had been three wise women instead of three wise men who visited Jesus?

They would have asked directions, arrived on time, helped deliver the baby, cleaned the stable, made a casserole and brought practical gifts.

Perhaps that’s why, at Crafty Monkey we are inundated with bookings from groups of mums who are getting their Christmas gifts organised en masse.

These wise ladies know that if they book in with us as a group of six or more, they not only save on the studio fee, but they get to get a catch up with the other mums and sort all their Christmas gifts out in one fell swoop!

And we love having groups of mums and babies in as the studio fills up with laughter and love and makes us feel ultra-Christmassy!!!

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If you want to get those little hand and footprints turned into robins and reindeers

 for the grandparents’ Christmas plates- or make a mark on some extra special baubles to treasure forever- round up your ladies and call us to get booked in!

And despite our little joke- dads are also welcome…

 

Check out our website for ideas of what you can make. 

 

Food for Thought.

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 Have you ever come across a little fussy eater? It may be your own child or a friend or family member’s little one- but we all know the type! They are stubborn to the hilt and will often ‘not like’ food that they’ve never tried, simply because they don’t like the look of it!

Luckily, here at Crafty Monkey, we have the perfect solution to those dinner time blues- why not make them a funny face plate to add a little excitement to their difficult meal times?

The idea is that you paint facial features in whichever way you like, to make a face on the plate. The child can then embellish the features as they wish with their dinner. They can make hair from spaghetti, eyebrows from broccoli and even make the face spotty with peas! Endless fun at the dinner table!

We can’t guarantee that the risk of food ending up on the floor, the walls and on top of your head will be totally eliminated- but it’s certainly worth a try!

Let ’em Loose!

let em loose

It goes without saying that we see a lot of little artists here in Crafty Monkey. As soon as a child is able to hold a paintbrush, they are able to make their own pottery creations and that’s what many of them do.

Sometimes they are painting things for their own bedrooms, other times they are making gifts for grandparents or other relatives and it’s wonderful watching them put their heart and soul into their work (or sometimes slapping a few strokes of one colour on and then wondering off) and then admiring their work. They are always delighted when they collect their pieces a week later and they see the transformation as their item is all shiny and bright!

With this in mind, we’d like to extend our favourite piece of advice to you as parents…please let them create with as little assistance as possible! There have been many occasions where we have watched as mum or dad will paint over their white bits or tidy up parts that they think look untidy. It’s so refreshing for us when the children are allowed to create whatever they wish and really put their own personal mark on it; especially when making gifts. Think about it for a moment- when granny receives her plate which will be proudly displayed in the kitchen- does she want to see a work of art that her thirty year old daughter has painstakingly tidied up and painted over to perfection or would she prefer to own the pink and purple musings of her three year old granddaughter which she’s filled with her own character?

If you think that you will be tempted to interfere with your child’s creations- there’s a couple of ways you can deal with this. You can either paint a separate piece each (if you think they will get bored easily, get them a small pocket money piece to start with) or you can share one larger piece and let the child have their own designated section.

We hope to see you soon with your little budding artist in tow!

 

Bring your Teddy to Work/School Day! 2nd October

 

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Today is ‘Bring Your Teddy Bear to Work and School Day’! We love this idea, after all- who doesn’t love to have their most reliable friend by their side during the day?

Many of you will have already adopted a bear from Crafty Monkey after making your own at a party or just for fun- but if not, pop over to put some love into creating your own little friend to take away with you.

What many children love best about their Build a Bear friends is that they can dress them up in adorable little outfits from our massive range! Transform your hippo into a cheerleader or get your turtle into his cowboy gear and get out and about so they can strutt their stuff in their new togs!

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Why not drop by and see all our animals for yourself? They’re all desperate for new homes and somebody to cuddle up to…which one will be lucky enough to be adopted by you?

Goodbye Sunshine… Hello Baubles!

Baubles

Well, what an amazing summer break we’ve had…or let me re-phrase that to ‘What an amazing summer, erm…time we’ve had!’

The monkeys in the studio have had very little in the way of ‘break’ time as many of you who have been in recently will have seen! We’re not complaining though, we like to be busy as it stops us from eating sweeties and complaining that we’re bored (does that sound familiar, mums?)

So now that the summer holidays are coming to a close and our kiln has cooked its fair share of ice cream cones and cup-cakes (pottery ones, not real ones, that would have been messy), we shall be getting a well-earned rest as the children go back to school…albeit for about two days until the inevitable Christmas rush starts!

Yes, I can hear your collective sighs as I type this, but I’m afraid it’s true- Christmas at Crafty Monkey starts early as folk clamber to get their little ones’ hand prints on baubles and mugs painted up for Grandad’s Christmas present. Christmas of 2014 surprised us by creeping up as the leaves had barely fallen off the trees, but this year, some baubles have crept into the kiln already…while we’re all still smelling of after-sun!

The old saying that ‘Christmas comes earlier every year’, really does seem to ring true here in the studio as the popularity of handmade pottery gifts rises and rises. So, with that in mind, if you visit us again soon and notice that our shelves are lined with jolly looking Santa plates and snowman cups before you’ve even put your barbeque back in the garage; please don’t be alarmed!

Please remember that although it is often fine to pop in on a whim at quieter periods, the run up to Christmas does get incredibly busy and we hate to have to ask people to either wait or return if there’s no free space. With that in mind, please call us in advance to book in- even if it’s just a few hours before you intend to come and we will do our best to accommodate you. Call Crafty Monkey 01480 219222