Welcome to the blog for Ali's Craft Studio by Alison Lloyd. I am a crafter of peelable stained glass designs & handpainted keyrings and I look forward to sharing with you my news direct from Kent (the Garden of England)

Make sure you visit the shop at www.studiocrafts.net to purchase your own handmade decorations to bring fun and colour into every corner of your home

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Spring Joy and looking forward to next weekend...

What a beautiful day it was yesterday!   I had my stall in Bromley Market and it was glorious, sunny and warm!

The shoppers were out and the mood was noticibly lifted by the sunshine and, unusually for Bromley High Street, the winds were light - just enough to ease the heat and give a pleasant feel to the day.

This morning is very different - we have rain (albeit with a fresh and pleasant 'just rained' smell in the air and a warm temperature) which is ideal for all the thousands running in today's London Marathon but I would be less than impressed if yesterday had been the same...

It was wonderful to see quite a few of my customers who I haven't seen for a while and lots of new ones.  One of the great joys of craft fairs and markets is being able to have lots of interaction with my customers, old and new, and yesterday was no exception.   I had a great stall position and set up at the beginning of the High Street (hopefully it will become my regular spot!!) - the only down side being that it is opposite the fish van.  Now I am sure you think this is a down side because of smell or something similar but you're wrong!  My problem is that I LOVE fish and spent all day craving a big bag of unpeeled prawns!!  I decided that it wouldn't be advisable for me or my stall to be stinking of fish all day so resisted!

Next weekend is a Bank Holiday and on Sunday and Monday I will be at the Spring Garden & Leisure show run by The South of England Agricultural Society at The South of England Showground, Ardingly (our stall is inside the Norfolk Pavilion where you will find lots of wonderful craft stalls as well as the English Garden Roadshow).  

Open from 9am to 5pm daily, there are hundreds of stalls and attractions for all the family from crafts, home, leisure and horticultural stalls, animal competitions including one of the largest Alpaca & Llama competitions in Europe and an open dog show which is a qualifier for Crufts.  I am very excited about this as I love Alpacas and Llamas - our stall is by a window near where the Alpaca and Llama display is so if I can see them from the stall, oh I will be in seventh heaven!!  (OK maybe that may be asking too much but I can hope!!)

The Sussex & Surrey Air Ambulance are giving visitors the opportunity to look around an operational helicopter and mini operating theatre and throughout the show musical entertainment will be provided by the Petworth Town Band and Kausary Peruvian Band.   All in all, a great day out for all the family!

Hope you all had a great day yesterday and managed to enjoy the Spring sunshine.   I hope this is the start of some terrific weather - it does make a difference to everyone's mood, including mine and long may it continue....

Saturday, 17 April 2010

My Half Birthday!

Tomorrow is my birthday but unfortunately my husband has to work so we decided to celebrate today - and I have named it my 'half' birthday!

Today has been truly glorious - bright sunshine all day and hardly any wind so it has felt warm in the sun (still cool in the shade so not Summer yet!)

The day started with an early lunch at the Duddleswell Tea Rooms - an absolutely wonderful cafe in the middle of Ashdown Forest in the heart of 'Pooh Country' (that's Winnie the Pooh for all those who are not in the know).  A must have is their homemade cheese and onion quiche!  The only problem being that it is so wonderful I never have anything else when we go there.  A pot of real tea completed the meal - real tea leaves and real taste!

Then it was on to Worthing on the south coast to enjoy a day at the seaside.  First thing to do is get an icecream - well if you are my husband, that is always the first thing to do!  He bought the icecream and I ate a little bit of it (starting with the chocolate flake, of course!!)

Playing the 2p games in the Amusement arcades has become a real favourite -  there is nothing like reliving your childhood and having cheap fun!   I have come home with two rubber duck keyrings, one pool ball keyring and a Piglet notebook.  Soooo much fun!  (Top Tip - remember to take baby wipes to wipe your hands - the coins make your hands absolutely filthy!)

Then to round everything off, it was fish and chips for tea at a great restaurant just off the seafront - we are now absolutely stuffed!  

A wonderful day, terrific weather and great food (plus not forgetting the 2p amusements!). 

Now that is what I call a great 'half birthday'.

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Very Happy Bunny....

I am pretty much recovered now from the weekend at Lancing College - it usually takes a couple of good night's sleep before I start to feel fully human again - but now it is on to the next.

One thing I am soooo pleased about is that my 'Peas in a Pod' Diddy Design sold out at the show! I am thrilled as I love these little guys all huddled together in their pod and at just £2 they won't break the bank!!  Don't panic if you love them as much as I do - I am busy making more so they are still available!

We're so happy that you like us!

The show wasn't as busy as previously which was a shame but we had a pretty good weekend nevertheless.   Lancing College is a working school and the fairs take place during school holidays so the layout is really interesting.  A couple of large halls have the normal set up with tables both on the wall edges and in the centre of the room but off the first of these rooms are numerous small 'classrooms' which can hold two or three stalls each.

Stall at Lancing College
My stall has always been in one of these classrooms which is usually fun but visitor-wise it does go from one extreme to the other - there are either lots of people bustling around the room or it is completely empty! (I guess people still get scared walking into a room with no other visitors in it!).   I have been busy making up some orders I took at the show for personalised designs and a couple of doggies in specific colours so these should be in the post before the end of the week.

A bit of a rarity for me is that I don't have any shows this coming weekend! It is my birthday on Sunday so hubby and I are going to be doing some celebrating over the weekend (celebrating both my birthday and the rare time off!) Can't wait - it should be really fun. I just hope the weather stays as nice as it has been these past couple of days (an extra degree or two wouldn't go amiss!)

Have a great week everyone!

Thursday, 8 April 2010

At Lancing College this weekend

Just a quick post today to remind everyone that you can see us this coming weekend at the wonderful Lancing College - one of those venues that simply takes your breath away every time you see it!

After a busy weekend at Fort Purbrook, there are lots of designs which sold out so I am trying to ensure that all my popular images are remade in time for the weekend which is held at one of our favourite venues to be at.

Best of all, it is a 'Maker Only' fair, which means that all the fantastic products for sale have been handmade and you can meet the terrific designers and makers selling their wares (including myself and Phil, of course!!)

As last weekend, this show is organised by Woodland Crafts - Paul and Wendy really do understand what makes a great craft fair!  The show is open from 10.30am to 4.30pm on both Saturday 10th April and Sunday 11th April.
Better get back to painting otherwise nothing will be dry in time!!   Hope to see you at the weekend.  (If you like a good craft fair, do try to come along - I am sure you won't be disappointed!)

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Back from a busy weekend at Fort Purbrook

OK I know, I have been so bad at keeping my blog postings up to date but I have a really good excuse...

This past weekend, we had a stall at the Easter Fair at Fort Purbrook, Hampshire and I am sure I don't need to tell you how tiring a three-day stint can be!

Despite some pretty touchy weather forecasts, we were really very lucky - it remained dry apart from a brief spell on Saturday afternoon.   It was very windy so unfortunately, the temperature remained low - lots of layers of clothing required!

But, the visitors came out and it was wonderful to see lots of customers from last year who wanted to buy more decorations (a terrific boost to us crafters to know that someone likes what you make so much, they come back and buy more from you!)   So today, I am a very tired but happy bunny!

A Happy Bunny peelable decoration... (available in my shop!!)

Next weekend we are heading to Shoreham to Lancing College for the makers-only fair organised again by the wonderful Woodland Crafts.   Really looking forward to it (but have lots of stock to make up after quite a few sell-outs this weekend).

If you are in the area.... please come along and say hello - it would be great to see you!  More details, opening times, etc are on my website - www.studiocrafts.net/events.html

Thanks for reading... back to creating.....