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

Back to School

That school holiday seemed to whizz by. It only seemed like yesterday that the whole six weeks of summer fun was here and now the children are back to school. For some of our younger customers it was their first day at school or first day at secondary school so a big event and it was lovely seeing seeing Josh, walk past my house all dressed up for his first ever day at Crosshall school.

If you didn’t get a chance to bring your children in over the holidays then there’s always after school or Saturdays now the weather will be shifting to autumn mode, not that the summer mode was fully functional this year!!!

We have just recently updated our stock so we have an even bigger range to choose from. Most excitingly and by demand, we now stock the Dr Who branded range which has delighted many of you. We have both Tardis and Darleks to paint and both of which come with their own set of stickers to decorate afterwards.

We have also had lots of requests for owls so we listened and we now have a lovely range. Why not reward your children for being good this holiday, or encourage them in the back to school process by bringing them in to paint a pen pot that is all ready for those new stationery supplies to pop on their desk at home ready for the homework.

But at the end of the day who really needs an excuse to come in to Crafty Monkey to paint something? Just come along for the fun and enjoyment of it, a lovely way to spend quality time now the kids are back at school. And then it’s Christmas but best keep the ‘C’ word quiet just for now!

Decoupage- Another Crafty Activity!

Decoupage

Have you ever tried your hand at decoupage? If not, then it’s time to get down to Crafty Monkey and give it a whirl!

Decoupage is a lovely craft activity that couldn’t be easier to do, but the end results always look stunning.

Simply choose the item that you want to decorate (such as a wooden heart shaped box), select our special decoupage paper from a range of brightly coloured patterns and get sticking! As you cover your item, you’ll see what a beautiful effect you have created. The final stage is to apply a layer of lacquer to give your new piece a lovely varnished finish. And voila! You’ll have created something for your mantelpiece or a gift for someone you love.

With the summer holidays imminent and a whole lot of daytimes to fill, it’s the perfect craft activity to try out. And like pottery painting, it’s something that grown ups and children both love to do!

A word of warning though- you may just get addicted! Just in case that should happen, we’ve got it covered as we have recently introduced ‘Decoupage take out kits’ to our shelves.

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Pop along to the studio and choose from a selection of papers, lacquers and of course items to decorate! We have some gorgeous bits and pieces for you to choose from, including picture frames, mini drawers, little bird houses and giant letters of the alphabet. We also stock Decopatch papers.

Give us a call at Crafty Monkeys to get sticking! 01480 219222

Schools out for summer…

I’ve concluded that, after many years of thinking about the speed at which the time has passed- it’s simply how quickly a year does fly by and we need to learn to embrace it…

So, with that in mind; it may seem like you and your little ones were sitting in Crafty Monkey adorned in shorts and sun hats, painting all manner of holiday themed pottery…and now it’s time to start all over again!

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The end of the school term often brings with it, the beginning of parents tearing their hair out looking for things to fill the long summer days with. Most of you will know by now that at Crafty Monkey, we are saviours of sanity! Last summer, we saw many of our customers returning week after week to have a go at the different crafts on offer to their offspring (and many mums joined in too!). If your children have pottery painted until the cows come home, then why not ask them to try their hand at foam clay or decoupage? And of course, the infamous Build a Bear is not to be sniffed at as a summer holiday children pleaser!

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Do remember to give us a call to book your place in the studio- even if it’s on the same day that you intend to come, as the studio can get busy during the summer holidays.

If you’re reading this and thinking that your children have already filled up your house with beautifully painted princesses and dinosaurs, then you can always be a bit clever and super- organised…it’s never too early to get the kids to sit and make the family’s Christmas presents!

 

Happy 6th Birthday to us!!!

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We can’t quite believe that it’s our 6th birthday and we’re feeling ever so grown up!

In terms of birthday gifts, we’re fairly low maintenance. We don’t require new bikes or musical princess castles. We don’t even want a cake*. All we want is to see the happy smiley faces of our lovely customers who continue to visit and support Crafty Monkey. Without you lot, we obviously wouldn’t be here celebrating our 6th birthday and we’re sending you lots of love (even though it’s our birthday and it should be the other way round, but we’re selfless like that!)

Big thanks to you all…please come by and say hello and wish us many happy returns of the day!

Love from all of the Crafty Monkeys XXX

*This is a fib- we do want cake. Please bring us cake…