‘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

Christmas is on the horizon

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Christmas is on the horizon

We feel we have been working towards Christmas forever and then we remember we are only just over 6 months old!  This Christmas we really want to bring a wee bit of the handmade into as many lives as possible.  Whether you like to buy handmade gifts or buy a kit to make a gift we hope we can help.  Our online shop is very new and is building all the time.  We have tried to make all our items affordable and tempting in equal measure.

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At Crafts & Company we have also been busy preparing for a whole run of Christmas markets on the island.  Santa Sparkle at the end of November kicked off the season and I am not sure we will take breath until our last one just over a week before the big day.

We are constantly mindful of working with other creative people so we are running our first Christmas Crafts Day with profits to the RNLI.  Creating with other people while drinking tea and eating cake could easily become our strap line.  This will be our third charity craft workshop and in this one we will be painting Christmas decorations (including a gorgeous sleigh), decorating willow wreaths and then creating our Christmas table flowers.  I wonder how much tea will be drunk that day?

 

img_8299Last month we launched our brand new Craft Club which will meet every month to share project ideas, update on charity campaigns, have a go at a wee make and eat cake.  In November we began a hoop art and the time flew by.  We are looking forward to seeing people’s finished pieces.  In our December meeting we are making felt Christmas robin hangings.  We are also opening up our club to people off island from the beginning of 2017.  This will allow us to send out our wee kits and create a wider membership.  So many people have expressed an interest in our crafting for charity work that we thought we would extend our club.  All members are entitled to a discount card for products, free goodie bags and access to our monthly newsletter.  Registration is just £2.50 and then £6 per month and you can pay via paypal so the process of joining is really easy.  If you would like to join you can register now and pay after Christmas.  Just complete the contact form below.

 

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So it has been a very busy time at Crafts & Company and we have a lot more in the pipeline.  From January we begin our Guest Maker programme with their work appearing on our web shop.  Our first maker has already listed her luxury colouring book as we all agreed that this would make a lovely Christmas present.  From January you will see a different side to Lesley’s creativity and we can’t wait to share this with you.  From the turn of the year we are also beginning a product commissioning process and we have had an early meeting with a talented designer so watch that space as well.  Our charity work will continue with support for the Backpack project where we will be decorating pencil cases with craft club members to be included in the backpacks that go out to the children in Malawi.  We are also hoping to take this charity campaign out on the road to deliver this workshop to other community groups who want to support this worthy charity.  Do contact us if you would be interested in helping.

The other things in the pipeline are mere grains of thought but as soon as we have had our development day in early January we will be able to share.  The fundamental message we hope we are communicating is that there are lots of ways to work with us and we would love to hear from you any time.  

Warmest regards to everyone,

Coral & Fiona

Crafts & Company

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First Craft Club

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img_8294We had it in our minds to offer a craft club from the beginning of our project and today it took flight.  We welcomed our first takers for craft club and, after a short introduction, we were quickly making a hoop art while drinking coffee, eating cake and chatting.  A lot of successful multitasking!

The aim of craft club is to provide a monthly opportunity for people who love to craft and new crafters to come together to make something while swapping tips.  We even have a stash swap basket which allows us to swap unwanted materials for wanted ones.  Our craft club members are very important to us and so we offer them a monthly newsletter, advance notice on new workshops and discount on our kits and packs.  The idea is to establish a crafting community where everyone feels welcome and valued.  We will be able to share our charity projects and give everyone the chance to help in any way they would like to.

img_8299So, today was a great success and we are all looking forward to our Christmas one on 13th December back at the Shore, Whiting Bay.

We have lots and lots of things planned including a virtual version of the above.  Watch this space and thank you so much to everyone who came today.  It was truly lovely to see you.

Coral & Fiona

Crafts & Company.  xx

First Guest Maker announced

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Since Crafts & Company came to life both Coral and I have wanted to work with other creative people in different ways.  Our Guest Maker is a programme by which a maker joins us for approximately three months and we work creativity with them as well as introducing their products through our online shop.

lesley-front-coverWe are delighted to announced that our first guest maker is Lesley Van Bogerijen from Woodend Designs.  Lesley is also based on Arran and is very much part of our wonderful island community.  Lesley is a true creative able to work across a range of media.  It is her jewellery that we will be focusing on in the New Year.  However, this year she has dipped her toe in the world of colouring books and with considerable success.  Lesley is a wonderful artist and her colouring book is inspired by the birds that she sees on the island.

Lesley’s wonderful garden studio is far more than a shed so ‘shed envy’ does not come close.  However, I know how blessed she feels to have such a space that looks out onto a garden rich with wildlife.  This colouring book gives us all an insight into her world and that of the birds that became her subjects.

This is what Lesley has to say about her creative background and her own experience of colouring books.

‘I have drawn pictures for as long as I can remember. My Grandmother bought me crayons, paper and colouring books, mainly to keep me sitting quietly while she ‘got on ‘. I was fussy about the books, I liked the pictures to be realistic and a little challenging. The paper was important also – I didn’t like rough thin paper because my pencil would go through it!  So, my colouring book is full of lovely detailed drawings,printed on quality paper with vellum sheets between each picture, to protect your artwork. The type of colouring book I could only dream of, long ago. That’s why I drew it.’

nut-birdThis is a true luxury colouring book that knocks all the others off the shelves.  The quality of the illustrations coupled with the quality of the book itself make it a must have purchase.  Pop over to our online shop to find out more.  With Christmas on the horizon this would make an ideal present and it even comes gift boxed.

We know Lesley will have wonderful success with her colouring book and we look forward to sharing her jewellery with you early in 2017.

Fiona

Crafts & Company xx