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

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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!

 

Crafty Monkey fun with the Grandparents

“Nobody can do for little children what grandparents do. Grandparents sort of sprinkle stardust over the lives of little children.”

Alex Haley

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Here at Crafty Monkey we see lots of children coming in to paint Granny or Grandad something special for birthdays and Christmas etc but we also get Grandparents who treat their grandchildren to some Crafty Monkey fun.

We have had lots of great comments from grandparents about how much they themselves have enjoyed the experience and how it’s a great place for them to spend quality and relaxed time with their cherished ones.  Some grandparents join in the fun and paint an item themselves while others enjoy watching their grandchild or grandchildren create their masterpieces.  I am sure they also enjoy the joy and contentment on their grandchildren’s faces.

With the Summer holidays fast approaching, we have had an increase in Grandparents why not let the Grandparents bring your child to Crafty Monkey for a few hours. Not only will the children and Grandparents enjoy spending the quality time together but it gives you a bit of a break too! It’s hard to know what to do with the grandchildren sometimes, especially if they are an energetic bunch and your mobility isn’t as you would like it to be. Here at Crafty Monkey it can be a relaxing and calming activity whatever the weather and children and the young at heart can have fun creating something together. Here at Crafty Monkey we clear up the mess and Grandparents can hand them back at the end of the exciting day all tired and ready for bed. Win win situation all round!

To book in with us us at Crafty Monkey call- 01480 219222

Pottery painting, fun for everyone!

fun for everyone

Whether you want to create a unique gift for someone special, have a party to remember for kids of all ages, or something a little more grown up for a stag or hen party, then pottery painting is the fun and creative way to mark an occasion. Perhaps you want something fun to do with the kids at the weekend or in the school holidays – there’s nothing to inspire creativity and artistic passion in a youngster like getting hands-on and making something which they can use at home to remind them of the fun they have had.

It’s a great way to encourage kids to get their hands dirty and appreciate what they can do with their talent and kids love being able to paint something different and choose their own design for a piece of original artwork.Maybe you’d like to create a family treat to give to a loved one? How about a hand painted plate or bowl with a contribution from everyone in the family, whether that’s a personalized message or a tiny hand print. It’s definitely a great way to commemorate a special occasion and create a piece of original art work which is sure to provide years of pleasure and provide wonderful memories for everyone involved.

So why not let loose and try some pottery painting – it’s a great way free the inner child in anyone and an opportunity to add a fantastically unique piece of crockery to your collection. You can paint a pattern, write something special or just go crazy and create something which reminds you of how fun it is to express yourself artistically.

To book with us at Crafty Monkey call-01480 219222

Spring brings new life

 

Lots going on at Crafty Monkey at the moment, not only is it Easter Holidays – Yipee!  (We love a busy studio and seeing all our lovely customers and meeting new one’s) – but we have a couple of fabulous new members on the team who have been picking up the ropes and have brought with them buckets full of creative and arty talents! We do have other new developments too – we have finally pulled our fingers out and started an Etsy shop, it’s early days and we’ve only added a few things at the moment but we’ll be adding new things all the time so please do visit again.  Also we will shortly be introducing a whole new line of items – I can’t tell you just yet what they are but we have been getting crafty and creative and are pretty excited so watch this space!

We’ve also been freshening up a few of our social media headers – well at the moment we’ve just done the Facebook Page one, let us know what you think!

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But that’s not all, we are finally, after so many of you have requested it, going to bring back art and craft workshops for kids and also for adults so keep your eyes peeled for these. The workshops will cover all sorts of arts and crafts.  Probably the best way to find out about these is to like us on Facebook and subscribe to our mailing list (look to your top right and you should see the subscribe box to pop your email into). If you have any ideas of workshops you would like us to put on then please do not hesitate to let us know.

Right, we better head off as lots to do but will be in touch with exciting new developments soon so stay tuned!

 

Easter Chick Craft Project

Easter chick craft project

Easter is nearly upon us and here at Crafty Monkey, we are putting together our kids Easter workshops schedule and thought we would share one with you that you can do at home with your children!
Now, I’m sure you know eggs are a very special symbol of Easter so, to keep all your child’s eggs safe, we thought what better than to get them to make their own Easter chick where they can store all their yummy yummy chocolate eggs?
Below are a set of instructions on how to make a cute Easter chick! We hope you and your child enjoys this project and wish you a Happy Easter!

What you need: 

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What you need:

A flowerpot
Yellow,orange and black acrylic paint
A pack of multi-coloured feathers
PVA glue
Orange shredded paper
Paintbrushes
Scissors
Yummy choclate eggs!

Instructions:

1. First, paint your flowerpot a nice bright yellow! Apply two coats and let the paint dry.

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2. Cut a small triangle out of the orange paper/foam. Using PVA glue, stick this onto your flowerpot. This is your chick’s beak! If you don’t have orange paper or foam then you can paint an orange triangle for a beak onto the flowerpot instead.

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2. Cut a small triangle out of the orange paper/foam. Using PVA glue, stick this onto your flowerpot. This is your chick’s beak! If you don’t have orange paper or foam then you can paint an orange triangle for a beak onto the flowerpot instead.

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2. Cut a small triangle out of the orange paper/foam. Using PVA glue, stick this onto your flowerpot. This is your chick’s beak! If you don’t have orange paper or foam then you can paint an orange triangle for a beak onto the flowerpot instead.

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4. Now, on the yellow paper/foam, draw two wings. Cut these out and using PVA glue, stick on lots of feathers; they can be any colour you want. I chose yellow and orange!

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5. Once the wings have dried, carefully stick them onto the back of your chick flowerpot. Nearly done!

6. If you want to add more feathers to the chick, this is the time to do it! Make sure that all the glue is dry before carrying on. We have placed feathers in the top of the pot.

7. Take the shredded paper, and pop it inside the chick, to make a comfy bed for all your delicious Easter treats!

8. Put all the yummy chocolate eggs inside your chick and they will be kept safe!

chick pro