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!

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!

 

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!

 

Anna Brim makes a Father’s Day mug at Crafty Monkey

Let me introduce Anna Brim who has written a guest blog below of her experience of painting a mug for Father’s Day at Crafty Monkey.  Anna is always looking of ways to live an Eco friendly life, you may want to read her ‘Our Eco Journey‘ Blog.

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I am very mindful at the moment of the importance of shopping locally, supporting independent traders, buying something unique, something that is not mass produced and that everyone has (this really hit home to me when I was shopping in Italy at a well known home furnishing store, that they had exactly the same products as back home in Blighty. Homes all over Europe could be furnished with exactly the same stuff, aghhhh!). It was with this in mind and with Father’s Day fast approaching that I started to rack the brain as to what to get for our Dad’s. Now the Mum’s are fairly easy to buy for but the Dad’s…not so much! In their 60s, not wanting just “stuff”, having most things they need and want it starts to rule out quite a lot of options.

OK so the list so far to cover for Father’s Day present:

  • Not mass produced
  • Handmade where possible
  • Unique
  • Locally sourced
  • Not just “stuff”
  • Something useful and not just clutter

What to get? Where to go?

Of course Crafty Monkey covers all of these points and what’s more, it is an activity for me to do so not only is it a present for Dad but also a lovely leisure activity for me to enjoy knowing that I have created something with love to pass on.

I decided to paint a mug. He loves tea and of course uses mugs. He loves his Morgan cars so I thought what a nice gift a personalised hand painted mug would be, with the all important Morgan logo design on the front and a bit of text so everyone else in the household knows whose cup this is so hands off!

So I started with my white mug. No scratch that, I in fact started by searching the internet for the Morgan logo, downloaded it and printed it out to the size that I wanted. I then took my mug, and laid carbon paper over the top and traced my design onto the mug. I’m sorry, I had to do this, there was no way that I could paint it free hand. It may be seen by some as cheating but not to me. I knew it would look better that way.

Once the design was on, I then began to paint. Blimey it was intricate. Of course you need three coats of the paint so it will be really bold and some where around coat two I wondered why on Earth I had chosen such an intricate design and I am sure I, at times, forgot where I was at! I painted the mug at the Thursday night adults session which was really nice and relaxing so intricacy and fine lines were not a problem.

After I painted the design, I used the end of a rounded brush, dipped in paint to create nice dots all over the mug. I just thought this finished it off a bit nicer than leaving it plain white. I also used the black writer pen to write “Dad’s Mug” on the side.

I can’t wait to see the glazed result.

I really enjoyed painting the mug and I know he will like it, not just for what it is but for the appreciation of the time and thoughtfulness that went into its creation. It is not just another mug bought from a supermarket and I am sure the tea will taste all the much nicer for it.

Anna Brim of Aloha Photography