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.

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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.

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!

Back to School

That school holiday seemed to whizz by. It only seemed like yesterday that the whole six weeks of summer fun was here and now the children are back to school. For some of our younger customers it was their first day at school or first day at secondary school so a big event and it was lovely seeing seeing Josh, walk past my house all dressed up for his first ever day at Crosshall school.

If you didn’t get a chance to bring your children in over the holidays then there’s always after school or Saturdays now the weather will be shifting to autumn mode, not that the summer mode was fully functional this year!!!

We have just recently updated our stock so we have an even bigger range to choose from. Most excitingly and by demand, we now stock the Dr Who branded range which has delighted many of you. We have both Tardis and Darleks to paint and both of which come with their own set of stickers to decorate afterwards.

We have also had lots of requests for owls so we listened and we now have a lovely range. Why not reward your children for being good this holiday, or encourage them in the back to school process by bringing them in to paint a pen pot that is all ready for those new stationery supplies to pop on their desk at home ready for the homework.

But at the end of the day who really needs an excuse to come in to Crafty Monkey to paint something? Just come along for the fun and enjoyment of it, a lovely way to spend quality time now the kids are back at school. And then it’s Christmas but best keep the ‘C’ word quiet just for now!

Why not show off your Left Handed skills

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Today is the day where those of us who are in the ‘left handed minority’ get to have a bit of fun with our right handed friends and family members!

The idea behind ‘International Left Handers Day’ is that right handed folk are asked to spend the day going about their daily tasks using their left hand to perform every action that they would usually use their right hand to carry out; such as cutting with scissors, peeling vegetables or using a mouse with their PC. By the end of the day, the ‘right handed majority’ will have encountered all kinds of inconveniences and difficulties as a left hander, which in turn brings the realisation of how difficult it can be for their left handed friends as they go through life having to adapt to tools and equipment designed for use with the opposite hand!

We’re definitely up for joining in at Crafty Monkey, so we’re going to have a go at painting a design on a plate with our left hands (let’s hope it’s not one of your commissioned pieces 😉 )

We’re all for inclusion at Crafty Monkey, so for those of you reading this that happen to be a left hander- fear not, as you will find that life is made easy for you in our studio. We are fully equipped to accommodate your needs with a selection of left handed paint brushes and left handed bottles of paint…we even stock left handed stuffing for when you Build a Bear…

Happy Left Handers Day!

Decoupage- Another Crafty Activity!

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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