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?

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Personalised Signature Wedding Plate

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Weddings are one of the biggest days of your life and while the bride and groom are desperate to hang onto and cherish every moment they all too often speed on by and are over in a flash! Luckily, modern technology helps us record our special days with the use of cameras and videos but there is also the tradition of the guest book where guests can record little messages which you can later go back and read helping you to relive the wedding.

While traditional guest books are still proving popular, brides to be are continuously searching for something a bit different at their wedding to make it extra special. There are several different ideas to replace the perhaps outdated guest book which perhaps gets put in a cupboard to gather dust and never to be read again.

One contemporary solution to a guest book is a personalised signature wedding plate or a dish that will take pride of place on your wall at home for all to view. You will probably find it will become a talking point. It will provide you with a constant reminder of your happy day and of all your friends and relatives who helped make the day so special.

Pesonalised signature wedding plates are very popular and add a novel touch to your day. You can get a bespoke design of your choice hand painted onto any size plate or choose from designs which can be personalised to you including the colour theme of your wedding.

If you don’t fancy a plate on your wall then a big bowl on your dining table makes a great centrepiece, or perhaps a wine cooler. There’s a whole choice of pottery items that can be practical as well as decorative.

Once the plate has been painted it will be glazed and fired in time for the big day. On the day guests can sign and write messages on it for you with a special ceramic pen. It will certainly make a great talking point!

If you are a traditionalist and wish to stick to a guest book then you could still have a plate hand painted and personalised to commemorate your day. These also make great gifts so if a friend or relative is getting married and you want something unique, personal and different then consider commissioning a plate.

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Hand painted pottery is also a great idea for special personalised gifts for the wedding party such as gifts for bridesmaid or gifts for the best man, parents etc. We have a range of different pottery shapes from trinket boxes to wine goblets – something for everyone.

Feel free to get in touch if you want a chat about what we can do for your wedding.

Thank Teacher with a Personalised End of Year Gift

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It may not feel like Summer is upon us with the current weather conditions, but I am sure many teachers and school children can feel the end of the school year fast approaching with both looking forward to a much needed break and all the fun that can come with the school Summer holidays.

For most primary school children the end of the school year can mean change and saying goodbye to special teachers or perhaps even saying goodbye to their school as they move to another school.

What seems to be a growing trend is for children to give their teacher a small gift at the end of term as a token of their appreciation for the last year. You can always tell when something is getting more popular with the emergence of more and more specialised gifts for this purpose being stocked in more and more shops.

If you are thinking of a gift for your child’s teacher then the only real way to ensure the gift your child gives is unique and thought out is for the child to make the gift themselves.  A handmade gift that is unique and personalised is likely to be valued by the teacher as the child has spent time creating it. There’s nothing quite like getting a gift that someone has put time and thought into. Of course, by giving something that is unique you know that Teacher will only receive the one rather than 30 from the entire class.

A piece of handpainted pottery makes a good solution and you are also killing several birds with one stone too as you are also treating your child to the Crafty Monkey experience while also keeping them entertained. We have already seen several children come in and paint a gift for their teacher or commissioned us to paint something personalised and we have many items to choose from, egg cups, coasters, bowls, mugs, plates, plant pots you name it, we pretty much have it.

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Decopatch is another craft activity we offer which would also be good for making a teachers gift. We have some lovely trinket boxes that look fab with our bright and funky decopatch paper on.

If you haven’t been in to see us, please do and take a look at our wide selection of pieces just waiting to be personalised. We can’t wait to see what your child will create and I am sure you can’t either!

Oh and don’t forget that from painting to glazing and firing the process takes approximately one week so please don’t leave it too late for painting your pottery (if you are running late though do get in touch as we do offer a speedy service for an extra fee).  If you are commissioning a piece we generally need as much notice as possible.  Decopatch however can be taken away the same day once it has dried.

We would love to hear what special gifts your child has given to their teachers so please feel free to share.

 

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