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

Thursday, 23 September 2010

The end of Summer?

The nights are drawing in and it is feeling chilly at chez Ali's Craft Studio lately - does this mean it is the end of Summer?  I can't quite bring myself to admit it and whack the heating on but I guess it won't be long....

Last weekend we suffered from that most hated of weather for an outdoor craft fair scenario - no, not rain - wind!!  Lots of wind.  It is a nightmare - your gazebo feels like it is about to take off any minute and setting up/breaking down takes forever!

So, I have just about come to terms with the darker nights and having to put on more layers and thermal socks but please, just a small plea to the weather Gods - chill out of the wind front please!   Fortunately there aren't that many more outdoor shows left (apart from the wind-tunnel that is Bromley High Street!!)  

However, with this cooler weather, it doesn't feel quite so odd to be making so many Christmas decorations!   Yes, some people are really prepared and buy for Christmas before Christmas Eve!  People are buying not only for decorating their own homes for the festive season but also for presents.   Buying early means that you avoid the crowds but also spread the cost so I guess it is a great idea if you can be that organised!

If recent fairs are anything to go by, Halloween is definitely becoming a time when people in the UK are thinking of adding some decoration to their homes too - it has always been popular in the US but us Brits do seem to be joining in the fun - and why not!!

So, if you can't bear the thought of scooping out a big pumpkin with a spoon, let me take the hard work out of it for you - simply decorate with these Halloween designs.  They won't start smelling after a couple of days and you can use them for many years to come!

For more details on the fairs coming up and if you are looking for some inexpensive yet unique presents just pop along to the website: http://www.studiocrafts.net/

Now, I must remember to go and get some 'Trick or Treat' sweeties before everywhere sells out!

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Hello, allow me to introduce myself...

Well, I thought perhaps I should as I have been so rubbish at blogging!  

As anyone who knows me will testify, timekeeping is a skill I am sadly lacking as I always underestimate how long everything is going to take.   So, after recovering from the shock of realising when I actually last posted, I have come to the conclusion that I have most definitely been abducted by aliens who have stolen a lot of time from me!  

However, I take comfort in the fact that I must be a nice guest to have on planet Zog as it happens frequently - like every morning before setting off for a craft fair when half an hour is definitely stolen between getting up and leaving at the time we planned to!

Say Hello to my time-stealing friend from the planet Zog!
I just don't know where the time goes.... one minute I am sitting on the stall in a field complaining about the heat and the next I am digging out my fleecy boots anticipating winter and Christmas!

I have to admit that I am a real sucker for all things Christmassy - from Santa and his reindeer (don't even think of trying to tell me he doesn't exist, buster!) and listening out for sleigh-bells late at night on Christmas Eve to decorating the tree and putting on those really cheesy Christmas compilation CDs which drive my hubby completely insane!

 OK, so we are only just into September so why am I talking about Christmas?   Well, currently laying out in my craft studio drying are numerous designs featuring snowmen, Santas, penguins in Christmas hats and Christmas candles.   Now I know how the big retail shops feel (apart from the copious amounts of cash flooding into the bank....) preparing and showcasing Christmas-themed items in readiness for shoppers.    And yes, before you ask, people really do buy Christmas decorations this early - I actually sold my first Christmas designs in April this year!  Some people are just way too organised....

Now, I have a plan to try to have a more handmade Christmas this year - from handmade presents to table decorations.   Please note, that the operative word in this sentence is plan.  To start with, I haven't yet thought of any suitable things to make as presents which are not going to cost 10x more than a shop-bought item due to the raw materials having to be purchased in advance and I also have no idea when these delights are actually going to be created.  So, all good intentions and all that, I am not holding my breath on this one!

Anyway, it isn't Christmas yet, it is our 9th Wedding Anniversary at the end of this month so hopefully we will be able to have a short break to celebrate and recharge the batteries.  

Then  we are into October and there is Halloween when I feel we have to have the 'Trick or Treat' sweeties in my pumpkin-shaped bag by the door even though we probably won't see any little ghouls, witches or monsters at our door - I am not one to take chances and hubby & I are pretty good at making sure they don't go to waste....

Witch designs have been proving popular over the last few shows so maybe people are starting to decorate for Halloween as well as Christmas.

And no, if you are wondering, I won't be scooping out the inside of a large pumpkin and carving a face into it - last time I tried it looked like some tragic farming accident and whilst the smell of a candle burning inside was lovely to start with, it very quickly turned into something very unpleasant indeed!   So I will stick to my pumpkin bag filled with sweeties for the steady stream (ahem) of trick or treaters beating a path to our door on 'All Hallows Eve' and my cuter pumpkin and cat peelable decorations on the window.  Much less mess and no smell at all....

If you are free this weekend, why not come down to see us at the Laughton Country Show near Lewes in East Sussex.  The stall will be featuring a multi-occasion display from general everyday designs right through to Halloween and Christmas!

Hope to see you there and I promise I will try to blog again a few times before Christmas!