Make a Gift Day!

 

family bauble plate

Today is National Make a Gift Day and coincidentally it also happens to be one of our busiest days of the year!

We’ve had a very busy Christmas period as those of you who have been in over the last few months will know! Fingerprint Christmas Bauble

As usual, baubles have been our best sellers with hundreds of hand printed festive beauties having passed through our hard working kiln in the last four weeks alone.

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But we’ve also seen some other wonderful creations, including mince pie plates, Santa mugs and snow man tea pots. The loveliest thing for us is knowing that around 90% of the painted pottery leaving our studio is on its way to surprise a lucky recipient as a Christmas gift! There are many lucky mums and dads, grandparents, aunts, uncles and friends out there that are about to become owners of super cute baubles where tiny foot prints have been turned into reindeer or plates featuring a Christmas tree made from little hand prints. P1030713.JPG

If you’re stuck for something special for a loved one- then there’s still time to make something at Crafty Monkey and have it ready in time for Christmas day.

 

Booking is essential at this time of year, so don’t forget to call us on 01480219222 to reserve yourself a table.

The countdown to Christmas begins!

Well today is the start of advent, how will you start counting down the days? We can’t believe that December is actually here. We have been talking about Christmas since September when the Christmas stock arrived and now we are panicking that there really aren’t many days left. Arghhhhh

Have you done all your Christmas shopping yet? Fret not if you haven’t even started. Crafty Monkey is open Monday to Friday from 10am until 5pm and Saturday 9.30am-5.30pm where you can come and purchase a gift voucher, make a bear, buy bear outfits, make silver print jewellery or paint pottery. There really is something for everyone.

2013-11-20 18.10.20.jpgMums, why not book in for the little one and we can take an impression of their hand and foot print and you can take a leaflet home to pass to Dad or the Grandparents who can give us a call to order your special jewellery piece. Easy peasy for them and you get a perfect present too!2013-11-15 19.54.46.jpg

We are open on a Thursday evening until 9pm (by appointment) for adults only to come and paint in a relaxing atmostphere. We have mellow and calm tunes on the stereo and there are no kiddies so you can come along, chill out and get away from the hustle and bustle of the Christmas craziness and paint something either for you or as a present. Our Christmas range isn’t just for kids you know, after all you do need a nice dish for your peanuts don’t you! We sell hot drinks to keep you warm from the winter chill or you could always bring a tipple with you and your pals for a little Christmas get together. Perfect we say!

See you soon!

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!

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

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.

decoupage

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

Personalised Pottery!

Personalise pottery

Why not commission our Crafty Monkey resident artists to create plates or other pottery for special occasions such as Weddings, Special Birthdays (18th, 21st, 30th, 40th, 60th, 80th), Christenings, Anniversaries (Silver, Ruby, Gold), New Born, Graduations, Teacher gift, Valentine’s or just a message of love & friendship. A gift like this will last forever in the hearts of your loved ones.

We are able to personalise just about any piece of pottery you see in our studio – from the smallest tea cup to the largest platter. Whether you want to choose specific colours and designs for a bespoke decorative piece, or you want a unique gift with name and date of birth or any special greeting painted on -we are able to meet your needs.

Great gift for your Teachers!

teacher plate

The end of the school term may seem like a long way in the distance, but before you know it, the summer holidays will be upon us (yay!) and you’ll be thinking about all the wonderful activities that you can get involved with at Crafty Monkey! But have you decided what you’re going to give to your child’s teacher as a ‘thank you’ gift?

If not, then there’s no time like the present to put on your creative thinking caps. Teachers spend their lives getting hands on and creative with your children, so now it’s time to give something back and there really is no better place to start than Crafty Monkey.

We can pretty much guarantee that you’ll find something for every kind of teacher here. We have items starting at £4 with no studio fee which proove popular, we have tea sets for the tea lover, latte cups for the coffee lover, cake stands for the cake lover and trinket pots for the… er…trinket lover! As most of you will know, our studio is bursting at the seams with a huge range of pottery and your creative gift doesn’t necessarily need to painted- remember that you can also decoupage your way into fashioning something lovely for teacher to display!teacher

Or perhaps you want to do a collective gift from all the teachers pupils

– we’ve done lots of great plates, vases and plant pots where the children put a fingerprint on and their name, the fingerprints can be made into all sorts of things – a favourite is where a garden scene is created with fingerprints and inscribed onto the piece is ‘Thanks for helping us grow and bloom!

We can help you with ideas if you pop in and see us at the studio, but we know that many of you and your children create fantastic things independently. From the elaborate masterpiece, to the downright barmy- we’ve seen it all at Crafty Monkey! However, our personal favourite teacher gift from last year has to be a dog bowl painted by a little boy for his canine loving teacher, on which he had inscribed the words ‘Teacher’s Pet’. Full marks to that pupil for inventiveness!

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

Round up the Mums for Fathers Day!

Did you know that if you come along to Crafty Monkey in a group of at least six mums and tots, you’ll all get a free studio fee? Lots of people take advantage of this offer and we’ve had many NCT groups and gatherings of friends who all have children and want to come and get Crafty together while saving money.

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There are two occasions in the year when this offer is especially popular to get making special gifts– Father’s Day and Christmas. If you don’t fancy tackling the Christmas list just yet, then why not come along and make something lovely for the daddies? And don’t forget to make a giant mug or a beer tankard for the grandads (especially if it’s their first Father’s Day as a grandparent!)

There’s loads to choose from and we’re experts at getting those clenched fists and wriggly little toes onto pottery! If you have slightly older children- they may want to paint Daddy a mug or a plate all by themselves.

If you want to take advantage of this great offer then round up your pals. agree a date and then give us a call to book your group in on 01480219222

For Daddy, With Love…

We’ve had some utterly scrummy Father’s Day gifts through the kiln over the last few weeks and they just keep on coming as every daddy loves a home made gift from their little ones!

One design that has been popular this year is our ‘Cookie Monster’ plate pictured below. They’re ever so easy to make in a few easy steps , and we can even do all of the work for you if you don’t fancy trying your hand at painting the biscuits (but this is quite easy and we can show you how). It’s amazing what you can do with a simple blue hand print! There are all sorts of things that you can turn hand and foot prints into and we can help you with ideas or you can browse at images on line and come armed with inspiration!P1060593.jpg

Some of the older children who wanted to paint their own pieces for dad have made some lovely items and beer tankards and over-sized mugs have been especially popular this year!

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There’s still plenty of time to book in and make something in time for Father’s Day, so call us if you want to make an appointment or have a chat about ideas on 01480 219222.