National Gingerbread Decorating Day!

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It’s not a well-known national celebration, but we think it’s one that’s worth embracing because at Crafty Monkey, we’re friends of the Gingerbread Man!

Yes, today is National Gingerbread Decorating Day and we’re up for participating with our offerings of hanging Gingerbread decorations and cute Gingerbread plates! These particular items are so very popular amongst our painters that they don’t get shoved into a dusty cupboard at the end of December- we love to celebrate the cheeky little chappies all year round!

If you fancy trying your hand at painting a Gingerbread plate for your festive table or a mini version for your Christmas Tree, then come along and we’ll show you how!

Remember that booking is essential during the Christmas period as our studio is permanently full of festive painters making gifts and keepsakes in time for Christmas.

See you soon!

Penguin mania & Frozen Frenzy!

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This year, we’ve noticed a massive growing trend in our customers’ love for creating with penguins! If the children aren’t making a grab for the penguin teddies when they come to Build a Bear, then they’re pulling our pottery penguin items such as bowls, mugs, money boxes and ornaments from the shelves to paint or decorate with the ever popular Foam Clay.

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And speaking of inhabitants of chilly climes, it can’t go unmentioned that the fantastic film, ‘Frozen’ is still very much an ongoing theme in Crafty Monkey. Plenty of children have tried their hand at painting their favourite ‘Frozen’ characters onto mugs and plates and we have done several commissions, including an Elsa plate as special gifts for children. Some of our younger customers have even turned up wearing their beautiful Anna and Elsa frocks (don’t worry- they wore aprons!)

Book your table at Crafty Monkey to try your hand at painting some chilly treats as soon as possible…we don’t want you to be left out in the cold…

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?

You Can be as Dotty as Us!

You may or may not know (probably not!) that today is International Dot Day. You’ll probably be thinking that there’s not much that you can do to acknowledge such a peculiar celebration, but you’d be wrong because at Crafty Monkey, we’re dotty every day!

Popping dots on pottery makes for an excellent way to embellish your piece and can be a wonderful finishing touch to personalised hand and foot prints.P1040975.JPGP1050655

Or it’s possible to decorate your entire piece with dots to form patterns and pictures (also known as Pointillism). image(1)dot

Getting dotty on pottery couldn’t be easier! All you need to do is find a paintbrush with a nice round end (as in, the opposite end to the brush part!), dip the end in pottery paint and press it onto the pottery surface. Voila! Quick, easy and super effective!

Why not pop along to give it a try?

Goodbye Sunshine… Hello Baubles!

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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

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!

 

The Rainforest at Crafty Monkey!

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Thankfully, our studio did not undertake a transformation into a real rainforest…that would have been a disaster for our precious art equipment! But rather, our studio was full of the sunny faces of a group of local school children eager to show us their excellent ‘rainforest’ themed ideas!

The children from years 2 and 3 had been learning about rainforests at school and their latest mission was to paint a creature from the rainforest using a range of art techniques. Their teachers were wise enough to know that the Crafty Monkey team would be the right people to nurture the children’s creative minds! And the pottery painting commenced!

Clutching the designs that they had lovingly created at school, each child was given a plain, square tile. Their aim was to transfer their beautiful pictures of colourful rainforest creatures to pottery…and the end results were amazing!

The children used sponging techniques to start their pieces, creating a lovely mottled effect to reflect the weird and wonderful background scene of the tropical rainforest. They considered the colours that make up a typical scene and took small pieces of sponge to dab away to create their gorgeous green and yellow scenery. They then listened carefully and learned about different brush techniques and how to work with the special pottery paint to bring their animals to life in glorious technicolor!

The children really enjoyed their pottery painting experience and took new skills (and maybe a new hobby) away with them. In the mean time, they’ve been waiting patiently to see their finished articles while the Crafty Monkeys were bustling away to get them glazed and fired.

They produced some fantastic pieces of pottery and we’re sure that when they see them, they will be amazed at how their masterpieces have turned out! We were!

Crafty Monkey love working with schools on projects whether they come to us or we go to them. We also work with PTA’s as we have some great fundraising ideas so get in touch if you would like to find out more!

Call Crafty Monkey on 01480 219222