A wee take over

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On this glorious sunny day on the island we announce that Crafts & Company has been taken over by a collective of 7 ladies – the magnificent 7.

Coral and I founded the company almost a year ago and in that time it has developed wings and taken flight.  We ran workshops, crafting for charity campaigns, a craft club and a successful online shop.  In the past couple of months things have changed dramatically.  Coral is having a house built and it has all happened very quickly which is fabulous for her but it has meant she has very little time for the company.  The company had grown far too large for Fiona to manage alone.  Rather than let it fold we asked if anyone would like to help and 5 lovely ladies stepped forward.  Coral and I make up the 7.   Fiona is also consolidating a love long passion for textiles from across the globe and through history with a small venture called Earth Threads – more news on this in time.

The new collective means that Crafts and Company came move forward as a community project with a small commercial wing.  Seven people really spreads the load and makes much more possible.  This website has been gifted to the collective as has the web shop so you will see new work from new members coming soon.  It is an exciting time as we step forward as a collective and there are already some exciting plans in the pipeline.  Keep up with all our news on our facebook page.

Wishing the collective every success in all that the do.

Fiona and Coral.  xx

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New Art Trail

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Crafts & Company is delighted to be part of the new Arran Art Trail.  Follow their progress on their FACEBOOK page.  19 artists and galleries have come together to create a wander round the island in search of art.  Although we have a studio it is really our online business that is listed.  However, we do plan to open the studio for special events including the annual Arran Open Studio weekend in August.   For this weekend we are putting together an exhibition of art involving found and upcycled objects.  It promises to raise some fundamental questions about how we treat waste in the 21st century.

Crafts & Company is busy right now out on location around the island with a photographer who is capturing images of our brand new collection which we hope to launch online in the next couple of weeks.  A sneak preview of some of the products –

  

  

  

  

More very soon xx

Knitting charity campaign

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Now people we are getting very good at this.  With successful crafting for charity campaigns under our belts for Little Dresses for Africa, Mind, Ayrshire Hospice and RNLI we turn attention to knitting.  I ran this campaign a few years ago with great success and then we only had 6 knitters.  Imagine what we can do with more knitters.

children-like-this-need-your-careThe Knit A Square is a hugely successful charity based in South Africa.  It supports AIDS orphans who may well be ill themselves.  We knit squares and send them to the local ladies in South Africa, who make them up into blankets for the children.  There are other items on their site now for more experienced knitters.  I am a very basic knitter but even I can churn out squares.  The instructions for the squares are HERE.  If you would like to join in but are more of a crochet crafter the instructions are HERE.

Provisionally, we are running this campaign until the end of May.  If you live on the island we can collect any knitting you do and if you live off island you can send your donations direct to South Africa or to us and we will post on for you.

Have I got a target?  You bet I have.  Am I telling you?  No, because there will be a massive eye rolling thingy going on.  Let’s just say that it is extremely ambitious and, at Crafts & Company, we need all the help we can get.  If you would like to help just comment below or message us and we will add you to a distribution list.  This email distribution list is just being set up and it is for anyone who would like to craft for charity.

Happy knitting everyone.

Fiona

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Crafts & Company

‘Ivy can become a green halo….’

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We are thrilled to be sharing with you an interview by Lesley from Woodend Designs.  Lesley is our Guest Maker.  We have recently listed a small collection of her jewellery in our online shop.  Pop across and have a wee LOOK!  

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  1. Why Woodend Design? What does the name mean to you?

I live in a gloriously unique wooden house, designed and built, over many years, by my husband. He always states that it took so long because it was constantly evolving, as recycled materials became available….its where all the wood ended up, so Woodend !

I consider myself multi-crafted, working across many medias. I am a pencil artist, illustrator, jewellery maker, gardener and collector of all natural things that one day I will have a use for. So, Designs is a nice umbrella term, allowing me to create without limits.

  1. Tell us about where you get your inspiration from to create.

I am inspired by just about anything, anything can set me off . Ivy can become a green halo around the head of a graveyard Angel, a limited pallet drawing. A dried, twisted honeysuckle branch, becomes a Titanium Quartz tipped Fairy Wand. The beach yields so many treasures, the workshop is groaning with them! From driftwood , quartz pebbles and sea glass to tissue thin shells. I suppose I am inspired by Nature in its many forms, and become excited by just how and what I can create with it all.

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  1. Talk to us about gemstones. Why do they inspire you and where do you start when making a new piece?

Gemstones, pebbles, boulders, however a stone is in Nature, astounds and delights me. I am in awe of wave sculpted rocks, they ache with age and stability. Water tumbled pebbles smoothed and polished, tantalize. Precious gem stones, crystalline, opaque or dancing with light fascinate me. I love stones ! I have them laid out along my work bench, lit from above. To start a new piece I stand and stare, lift and hold, stroke and shine against the light to catch the heart  of the stone. Sometimes it is colour that leads the choice, sometimes shape. I walk up and down, trying other stones for compatibility, choosing ones that enhance and support the main stone. That is the necklace begun.

 

 

  1. Do you have a favourite gemstone? If so which one is it and why?

I do not know if I have a favourite stone. I believe that stones have unique energies, each one pulsing with its own vibration. Some days one speaks to you more than others. I all ways have a chunk of Rose Quartz and Amethyst crystal in my hand bag though !

  1. Where would you like to take your jewellery making next?

I like challenges. If I get an idea I will keep going until I have mastered it, learning along the way. I sometimes use vintage necklaces, recycling the beads into something new. A recent find, a necklace of carved bone beads influenced me to create a new range of tribal / Shaman type pieces….great fun. I think I will look at bracelets next.

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  1. We are interested in the ‘connections’ you make between the different media you work within. What inspires you to work across different media and do you see any connections?

Maybe the connections are natural forms, although figures, fantasy worlds and magic are all in there. The colour richness of stones evoke an era of opulence and beauty, the drawings an escape into a world of what if and maybe. Dried flowers and herbs, a moment of Summer.

I have to work on different fronts,  create in a myriad of ways, shift from one discipline to another, because I am easily bored and I hate repetition.

Thank you so much Lesley.  xx

New Year, new craft?

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New Year, new craft?

Happy New Year to you all.  

14591703_690851727731228_175480820530343252_n2017 promises to be a fabulous year of community crafting as the crafting revolution continues to grow.  At Crafts & Company we want to continue to do our bit and so we are adding more workshops to the programme, continuing our Craft Club and launching a brand new range of Craft Kits.  We are also opening up our popular Craft Club to people who do not live on the island through our Virtual Craft Club.  Full details of this option are available HERE but, in essence, it is a chance for non-islanders to join us in our monthly wee ‘make’ and share their results and chat about their own project on our facebook page.  You do not need to be a member of facebook to join the club as you will receive a monthly newsletter into your inbox which will keep you up to date with all our news and offer creative links to explore.  Pop across to our Virtual Craft Club page and see what you think?  You might even decide to get together with a few friends to have a creative tea party and we will provide everyone with a Crafts & Company club pack.

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Our brand new range of Craft Kits will be available soon in our online shop, meantime we have add some small and inexpensive handmade items by ourselves if you are looking for a wee gift early in the this new year.

Speak soon,

Coral & Fiona

Crafts & Company.  xx

The gift of crafting

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The gift of crafting

13887080_299646530388261_6058946904157419138_nWe have emerged from our respective dark rooms and are well into planning and development for the coming year.  We have learnt so much since we sprang into life in May of 2106 and now feel ready to make some big changes.  Our dual focuses of feeding the crafting revolution and crafting for charity remain intact but we have new ideas within them.  We have seen, through almost every activity we have engaged in, how much crafting aids wellbeing and so we are making a commitment to that through both our workshops and our new product range.  Coming together to craft has been the best thing we have done so you can expect to see more of that.  This will not be restricted to just the island as we are developing virtual ways of connecting to ensure as many people as possible are given the chance to join in our creative makes.

We were invited to join our island Music Matters Christmas sing a long as Coral and I had sewn the bags for their brand new ipod shuffles.  Members of this group either live with dementia or care for someone who does.  We had a fabulous time and realised just how important supporting groups like this is – this will roll forward into 2017.

Our biggest challenge has been storage as we have products we take to craft events and also sell through our online shop.  With new products in development we need to have a wee clear out so we are having a bit of a sale online – HERE.

img_8498Over the next few months we will be rolling out a workshop programme focused on crafting for wellbing as well as continuing our very popular Craft Club.  On April 16th we will be hosting a day of activities and information sharing for crafting and wellbeing practitioners based on and off the island.  If you would like to find out more just complete the form below and we will add you to the distribution list.  It promises to be a day that will boost our own individual sense of wellbeing and set up opportunities going forward.  WATCH THIS SPACE!

We do not want to roll into the New Year without wishing you all a truly fabulous 2017.  Keep crafting people.

Warmest regards

Coral & Fiona

Crafts & Company.  xx

 

A dark room beckons…..

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A dark room beckons…..

I am going to lie down in a dark room and drink gin.  I am going to lie down in a dark room and drink amaretto.

christmas-workshop-4These are the words from both us as we stagger to the end of our Christmas markets and workshops.  We have one more market tomorrow and. of course, our online shop is still open but we feel we are almost done.  We have worked so hard but it has been so rewarding.  Our wee family of crafters is growing all the time and at our recent Christmas Crafts Day we raised £80 for the RNLI.

 

 

There is much to look forward to in 2017 and much planning already in place.  The focus is to link the crafting world with the wellbeing world believing that they are connected in lots of meaningful ways.  We are currently planning a workshop programme that will reflect that as well as new products to encourage this connection.  We hope to offer a slow stitching project, run a virtual sharing hub and offer a whole day of crafts and wellbeing activities on Easter Sunday.  We would love to hear from anyone on or off island who would like to get involved.  You may already work in this area and we would love to promote what you do.  You may want to join the virtual sharing hub where we can swap ideas and projects.  You may live on the island and want to be on the Crafts & Company distribution lists so that you can keep up with latest plans for our workshop programme and our special day.  We have a form at the end of this post – just fill it in with your message and we will be in touch as soon as we emerge from our dark rooms.

img_8509Today was a perfect example of craft meeting wellbeing at our Craft Club where we learnt about Kantha embroidery and used the technique as surface design on our felt Christmas robin make.  The group feel silent for periods as we focused on the embroidery and all agreed that the repetitive nature of the activity was very relaxing.

Our online shop will stay open right through Christmas but the last posting day for arrival in time for Christmas is Monday 19th December – remember we live on a Scottish island and the ferries don’t sail in bad weather.

May we just take this opportunity to thank everyone who has helped make the first 6 months of Crafts & Company so much fun and so rewarding.  We both wish you and your families the very best Christmas and a truly wonderful 2017.

Warmest wishes

Fiona & Coral

Crafts & Company