Lots has been happening with Crafts & Company as the summer season gets underway. Tuesday 20th June was our second Arran Crafts Fayre. Wall to wall sunshine that day meant we were a little quiet but it was still a lovely day. The hall looked spectacular with all the handmade goodies for sale. Many of the stallholders spent their time crafting and this was much appreciated by our visitors. People don’t always understand the work that goes into producing something handmade so this was our chance to share our creative processes. Children were attracted to our ‘make and take workshop’ as they used stamps to decorate and personalise a fabric pencil case. All this activity required regular refreshing from the very wonderful tearoom run by the talented Cheryl.
Crafts Club in July was a wee bit special as we made dreamcatchers. We offer a different craft each month and Linda taught us about the cultural implications of dreamcatchers before showing us all how to make them. Every dreamcartcher was different as people discovered how to make them personal. It was a very therapeutic session and much enjoyed. In August (15th) we are decorating our glassware with straw silk papers and this promises to be a lovely wee pause in what is a very busy time for our collective. All are most welcome at club. Just bring your glassware to decorate and we will provide the rest and refreshments. Cost is just £6.
July sees us completing our Knit-a-Square campaign and a rather large parcel will be sent to the orphans in South Africa. We will update you on a numbers etc after the end of July. Squares are coming in all the time and we are so grateful for the support.
We are right in the middle of planning our next charity crafting project and this one is our most ambitious yet. We aim to set up an email distribution list for anyone who would like to become involved in our charity projects – just complete the form below if you would like to be added. We can’t say anything more about our next one just yet but hope to announce all on our facebook page by the beginning of August.
During the summer we have been supporting our very own island Duke of Edinburgh group. Their expedition costs can be prohibitive so we want to do our bit to help. We have been busy making felt animals and beaded bracelets to sell at our fayres. If you would like to make a felted animal decoration the kits are £1.50 and we are grateful for all donations of completed animals to sell. All profits go to the Duke of Edinburgh and so far we have raised just over £60. More information on that as the summer progresses.
Making connections has been an ongoing theme for our wee collective. Two of our members are taking part in Arran Open Studios from 11th-14th August. Fiona & Coral are putting together a wee exhibition that shows how to work creatively with waste by using a range of upcycling skills. There is also a chance for visitors to have a go themselves at producing a work of art from waste. We are delighted to announce that Fiona has made a national final for one of her ‘waste art pieces’. It is an online exhibition with EcoCreate and her piece is the blue bowl on the right hand side of the first row. Prizes are announced on the 1st August and we wish her all the best. Crafts & Company is also a member of the Arran Art Trail and this offers us further publicity options. We want to make as many connections with crafting groups and organisations on and off the island. We have set up a new page for local craft groups to be able to share their information and events so if anyone is a member of a group do get in touch. If you are a member of an off island group do let us know what you do as we are always looking for partners especially for our charity campaigns.
Crafts & Company are working on a new structure that has seeped over from the US. Craft Clinics and Craft Laboratories are proving very popular in the US and we love the idea. Craft Clinics are drop in events where people can learn new skills. Craft Laboratories are also drop in events but this time the emphasis is on experimentation. Crafts & Company are going to adopt this model going forward to put in place a workshop programme that allows for new skills to be gained and experimentation to be enjoyed.
We begin with our very first Craft Clinic and Coffee Morning on Tuesday 26th September in Whiting Bay hall. A range of craft skills will be available to include free motion machine embroidery, working with wire in jewellery making and paper quilling in paper crafts. One more is yet to be confirmed. These four skills will be offered by experienced tutors and you can drop in and have a go at one or more of the clinics. More information will be published on our facebook page and on our events page on this site.
We will be following this up with a Craft Laboratory involving experimentation with painting on different surfaces. We hope to put together a whole winter programme of Craft Clinics and Laboratories giving us all even more opportunities to learn new skills and play with creative ideas.
So, there is lots happening in Crafts & Company and we will update you all here regularly. We have a very lively facebook page for those of you on facebook. At just half way through the year we are going really well and crafting is very much alive and kicking on the Isle of Arran.
Best wishes to you all,
Marion, Linda, Coral, Paula, Liz. Morag & Fiona
Crafts & Company.