Tag Archives: isle of Arran

Summer update

Standard

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.

 

 

Advertisements

A dark room beckons…..

Standard
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

The hand of friendship

Standard
The hand of friendship

IMG_7231We are thrilled with the way Crafts & Company has taken off since launching in July.  In a few short months we have created a range of unique craft kits, packs and experience boxes to sell at craft events and online.  Our biggest sellers so far are our Arran Keepsake Kit and our Make your own vintage fabric owl shelf sitter kits.  We have opened our online shop with Folksy and we are enjoying being part of that creative group.  This is our commercial side of the business and we have lots more ideas ready to put into practice.  We are currently working on our Christmas range which we will be selling online and at local events on the island.  This range includes –

Make your own Kindle cover

Decorate your own willow wreath

Make your own beaded angels

Make your own Christmas stocking bunting

Make your own fruit hanging

Make your own Christmas cards

Along with the kits we will have Christmas packs and experience boxes packed with beautiful resources handpicked by us.

IMG_7513The other side of the business deals with the other word in our title – ‘company.’  From the start we have been keen to put something back into the industry that have supported both of us for most of our working lives.  To that end we immediately began networking with other crafters, community groups and charities.  The focus of this work is our workshop programme and the intention is to be as creative as possible and to establish helpful relationships along the way.  Our first workshop was a huge success as we worked alongside a group of talented ladies to turn pillowcases into dresses for the charity Little Dresses for Africa.  This work has continued well beyond the workshop and an original target of 20 has been long replaced as we close in on our new target of 100 dresses.  We could not be more pleased or grateful to everyone who has helped with this project.

mindOur next workshop is for the charity Mind where we will be gathering people together once more this time to decorate mirrors using mixed media techniques.  This is a fundraising events so it is ticketed and the price of your ticket (£10.00) includes all materials and refreshments with the majority of this money going to the charity topped up with all proceeds from a raffle and a Christmas stocking filler gift sale.

14359146_321183274901253_4885052766955757345_nOur Christmas Crafts Day will be our biggest event so far and takes place on the 6th December at Whiting Bay lesser hall.  A day of creativity has three workshops to include willow wreath decorating, painting techniques on mdf decorations and Christmas table flower arrangement.  15% of our fees will go the RNLI plus all proceeds from our Christmas stocking filler gift sale, raffle and bake sale.  This day will also provide some revenue to propel us into 2017 and all our workshop plans to come.

Planning is already underway for the creative partnership early in the new year which is with the charity The Backpack Project which provides useful backpacks filled with essential items for children in Africa.  We are contributing individually decorated pencil cases for the back packs.

This project is being run through our brand new craft club that begins on the 15th November at The Shore, Whiting Bay.  This relatively new food business is providing a café environment for our club and we are pleased to be working with another local business.  More information on our craft club can be found on our events page on our Facebook page.

Just this week we have squeezed another wee charity ‘make’ into our schedule working with Ayrshire Hospice.  A group of us will be making a selection of crafts to donate to the hospice for their Christmas sale events and shops. We hope to develop a more long term relationship with the hospice in the new year.  What was so lovely about this new partnership was that we were able to ask for help from some of the people who have already helped with previous projects and they were very willing to support this.  This illustrates that a fledgling craft community has already been established.  We don’t want to confine this just to the island as we have already had support from people off island in our projects so far.

In addition to working with community groups and charities we also attended an event called Aspire at the island High School.  The focus of this event was to bring employers, education providers and young people together to consider a new forum which would open up opportunities for young people on the island.  At Craft & Company we are keen to offer work experience to any young people that are interested in working in the craft industry or even running events.  More on this as the project rolls forward.

IMG_7382It is clear from this post just how busy we have been in a relatively short period of time.  In January 2017 we are launching a new project that aims to bring crafters and wellbeing practitioners together.  We firmly believe that engaging in craft contributes to a stronger sense of wellbeing and we are hoping that the culmination of this project will be a crafting and wellbeing Fayre so that locals and visitors can see just what expertise exists on the island.  There will be much more on this project in subsequent posts.

January also sees our very first Guest Maker join us for a period of three months.  Guest Makers will contribute to our online shop with their own listings and we will be profiling what they do through our website and social networks.  We are very excited to introduce our first Guest Maker very soon….watch this space.

If you would like to keep up with all our developments just ‘like’ our facebook page or complete the form below and we will put you on our contacts list.  If you would like to join our events just message us and we can tell you more information.

In 2017 we will be looking for retail outlets to take our products and new venues to run workshops in so if you are interested in any of these options just message us and we will get back to you asap.

May we please take this opportunity to thank all of the people who have been involved with Crafts & Company since we sprang into life in the summer.  Every single contribution is so valued.  Thank you so much.

Keep crafting people.

Coral & Fiona xx