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!

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.

frozen plate

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.

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?

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.

Teddy Bears Day – 9th September

The 9th of September is Teddy Bears Day, did you know that? We didn’t until we saw it on the internet. How exciting! We are a bit late in knowing about it this year but hopefully next year we will remember and maybe our bears could have a party!

Where did the Teddy Bear come from? We did a google search and found out the following:

During the early 1900s, President Theodore Roosevelt was in office as President of the United States. He was a hunter. While hunting in Mississippi in 1902, he refused to shoot a small bear. The Washington Post picked up on this story, and made a cartoon of the event. Toy store owners, Morris and Rose Michtom, wrote to President Roosevelt for permission to call their stuffed animals “Teddy Bears”. Teddy bears became wildly popular. Their company went on to become the Ideal Toy Company, one of the largest toy companies in the world. (source)

Important Notice: Teddy Bear Day is NOT an official holiday. Your teddy bear does not get the day off. He still has to do his job and be loveable and cuddlesome.

What we would love to know is who has Built a Bear at Crafty Monkey. We would love you to share a picture of Charlie, our Crafty Monkey to our Facebook page so we can see what they are up to!

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