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!

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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…

Talk like a Pirate Day – 19th September

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Ah me hearties, at Crafty Monkey we love the theme of Pirates and Princesses so when we found out that 19th September is talk like a pirate day, our timbers were certainly shivered!

We always have in stock a range of pirate pottery pieces to paint, which range from skulls to parrots to actual pirates, arrrrr matey, or you could pick a mug or a plate and paint a pirate theme onto it! We can always arrange for a pirate and princess themed party. Or if build a bear is your thing then you could treat your build a bear to a pirate outfits!

Also coincidentally,  I will be hosting a Birthday party soon which will be pirate themed so pin the eye patch on the pirate, walk the plank, pass the booty among other piratey games with the winners being able to take a dip in the treasure chest.  In order to get into the spirit I will certainly be brushing up my pirate accent (currently my pirate accent is somewhere in the middle of a farmers accent and an Irish accent!) and I’ve found a great little pirate talk translator tool which I will be making the most of!Pirate Plate

So why not release the inner pirate in you and what better excuse than on talk like a pirate day aye!

For more information on talk like a pirate day visit their website.

Twit Twoo!

Owls for some reason always remind me of Autumn time, as well of course of being wise old things, so are relevant this time of year as new school years have just started and we are heading into Autumn.

At Crafty Monkey we have a large range of owl related pottery. There really are some lovely pieces in the way of ornaments, plant pot holders and cookie jars. If you haven’t seen them you’ll have to pop in as they are very popular and we know you will fall in love with them as much as we did.

Before and after our owl pottery has been painted and fired.

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

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

Pottery painting, fun for everyone!

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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