Food for Thought.

BeFunkyCollagedd

 

 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!

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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!

 

The Colours of Summer.

The colour of Colour

Well, we’re somewhere in between spring and summer, but somebody really ought to try telling the weather that! Most of us have still got the heating on in the evenings and the factor 30 hasn’t yet been pulled out of the cabinet.

It’s entirely possible that the wonderful outdoorsy inspired pieces that have been painted recently are reflective of the fact that our customers are desperate to enjoy the delights of our green and pleasant land once again.

 Some wonderful pieces of artwork have been produced at Crafty Monkey, including beautiful sunsets, rolling fields and little feathered friends on branches. For those that don’t want to create their own scene- we have plenty of tiles and coasters that are already painted with an outline (so it’s a bit like colouring in with paint!) so people can create floral masterpieces or sunny beach scenes without having to craft their own outlines!

While there’s plenty to bring the outdoors in- we also offer the reverse! We have plant pots, gnomes and birdhouses. All crying out to be embellished with lashings of love and set out into the wild!

If it’s still cold and windy when you read this- why not come along and visit us and we’ll do our best to bring a little sunshine into your life!

Socks for Father’s Day…Again?

Socks for Father’s Day…Again?

Everyone who’s ever had a brother, dad, grandad, boyfriend or husband will know the difficulties we face when trying to find a perfect gift for a man. Unlike ladies, who are generally happy with all sorts of items that look or smell nice; our male counterparts tend not to appreciate the same vast array of pretty bits and pieces. So how do you go about attempting to conjure up an idea which reaches beyond something more original than socks for the tenth year running?

Fear not as this is where Crafty Monkey dons its superhero mask and cape and swoops in to save the day!  Not only do we have the good grace to stock some ‘manly’ bits of pottery such as beer tankards, king sized mugs and footballs cups- we have a whole bunch of plain pottery which is crying out to be personalised especially for daddy! 

Over the last few years, we’ve helped all manner of little ones and mums create a gift for daddy. You’d be surprised what you can do with a hand and footprint! If dad has a favourite hobby/sport/food- we can pretty much incorporate your little one’s print into some relevant work of art on a plate, plaque or whatever takes your fancy. You may have already seen our ‘Daddy’s Little Cookie Monster’ plate which proved very popular last Father’s Day!

Pop in or give us a ring for a chat and we’ll help you create the perfect gift for a daddy that deserves it!

Its a Spring Thing…

spring time

I’m sure that we monkeys in the studio aren’t the only ones who have had a right old grumble about the harsh winter weather. There really have been some bitterly cold days and the winter seems to have lasted a terribly long time this year!

So, I’m sure you’ll join us in welcoming the arrival of spring time and embracing warmer days and bluer skies (maybe…)

At Crafty Monkey, we are more than ready to dash some colour into the new season as our shelves are lined with pieces of pottery that are perfect for celebrating the springtime! Last year, many of you snapped up figurines from our cute garden creatures range and our kiln was packed full of butterflies, bumble bees, ladybirds, snails and frogs (we left them an air hole), so with that in mind we’ve made sure that we have stocked up on plenty of larger than life critters! The arrival of Clay Foam last year meant that these little chaps were ultra-popular as children made a grab for the items that they could squish and squash lots of bright colours onto and take home the very same day.

But as these little garden creatures tend to cause a bit of chaos on the shelves when the shop closes each night, we have the bosses of the garden on the shelf above them, keeping a watchful eye; namely the gnomes! Last year we had a group of four sisters here who created a family of gnomes for their mum and dad’s wedding anniversary by painting a gnome each- a big Mr and Mrs Gnome and two little ones. Their folks were so pleased with the colourful additions to their garden that they came along to see what Crafty Monkey was all about for themselves and painted a pair of plant pots. They even had a go at decorating them with fingerprint creatures after we showed them how easy it was to create them.

Whatever spring related creative idea you may have, give us a call or pop by to find out what we have in stock as we have virtually everything you could want to give as a gift or to decorate your home or garden- from spring chicks to blooms on sticks, the goodies are piled high.

We look forward to seeing you in the new season…if only to duck out of the rain for a while…