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, 24 July 2011

Handmade Monday & A Weekend Off (Almost!)

Good morning everyone - another week crossed off the calendar and therefore another chance to visit Handmade Monday and see what everyone has been busying themselves with this past week.   Do make sure you go and check the links on Wendy's Blog.

As I mentioned in my last post, this weekend was a rare thing - a whole weekend without fairs.   This only happens a couple of times a year apart from the 'down' time just after Christmas and the early part of the year before the fairs season starts.

Saturday was Hubby's birthday and we decided to let the train take the strain and head up to London with family and partake in one of the fabulous burgers at the original Hard Rock Cafe (celebrating its 40th Anniversary this year).   Arriving at Charing Cross station, we walked to Covent Garden and had a stroll around the market stalls there (I was one of those annoying customers who didn't buy anything!!), enjoyed one of the famous street performers and then walked the 'short' (ha ha!) distance to the restaurant.   Amazing how places are much further than you think and I think it is safe to say that we were all very hot and very knackered by the time we finally caught glimpse of that famous logo and sign outside the restaurant looking as welcome as an oasis in the middle of a desert!
A welcome sight at the end of
one hell of a long walk!

Then came the big test - a one and a half hour wait for a table was ahead of us!  Do we wait?  We were all getting pretty hungry and desperately needed to sit down.   Fortunately a check with the nice lady on the door about the range of their 'pagers' (these are really amazing and flash and vibrate to tell you when your table is ready!) told us that the pub around the corner was within range and therefore a stool and a pint was in order to wait it out.

A party of guys arrived celebrating a birthday complete with their colourful floral lei garlands around their necks and hats (lots of fun was ahead I am sure as the day/night progressed!)  unfortunately, I never did get chance to find out why two of them arrived with a fresh crusty loaf of bread which ended up being torn in half and taken with them to their next stop...

Our pager eventually flashed and vibrated to tell us that our table was ready and we sat surrounded by the memorabilia and sounds of the wonderful musical talents of today and yesterday.  If you haven't been, it is well worth a visit - the prices are a little high but more than made up for in quantity (I couldn't finish mine!) and thanks to my letting slip that it was hubby's birthday, the whole restaurant was encouraged to join in a chorus of 'Happy Birthday' as he was given an ice cream dessert complete with a single candle to blow out and make a wish.

The one down side of this restaurant (if you can call it a downside) is that the food is so good you tend to overeat and we all suffered, I can tell you, from 'mega-fullitis' that feeling that you are about to explode at any moment.   Just the thought of food was enough to make us all cringe and we all ended up going to bed pretty early to try to sleep it off!

Ghost with Pumpkin - Available now
You will be pleased to know that this week hasn't all been about over indulgence - some crafting has been taking place too.   I have a couple of orders to complete so these have taken precedence but fortunately are almost ready to be posted out.   I have also been looking at the 'Glow in the Dark' range that I have and decided that these paints definitely lend themselves to ghosts and ghoulies ready for Halloween so have a couple of new designs in progress of ghosts, witches, bats and general spooky things with glow in the dark elements to them  (no photos of the new designs yet - sorry, but here is an existing one of a ghost and pumpkin to keep you going until I have them!)     Hopefully these will prove to be popular although the glow properties are pretty much impossible to show at a fair as you need almost complete darkness to see properly.

I have also outlined a few of my most popular Christmas designs to try to get ahead for the festive season (which if the beginning of the year is anything to go by will be upon us waaay too soon!)

Hope you have had a good week and able to enjoy some sunny weather in the next few days, especially if you now have the kids at home for the holidays.  I haven't had the whole weekend off and today was back at work trying to create lots of new stock both of new designs or existing, popular ones to build up my stock ready for some big shows coming up in the next month & hope to show you the ghosts and ghoulies in my next post...


  1. Lovely to hear you managed a weekend off :) I think Covent Garden is my most favourite place in London :)

  2. Lucky you going to Hard Rock cafe-sounds like a great day out.Love the ghost and pumpkin,it looks quite cute to me!

  3. OMG Halloween and Christmas talk eeek - I haven't had my summer holiday yet lol

  4. I love the Hard Rock Cafe but agree humongous portions but good fun and a tourist sight in it's own right. Been an age since visiting Covent Garden can feel the pull. Halloween forgot about that now I have got to get my thinking cap on, love the pumpkin

  5. Sounds like a brilliant day out! You have to make the most of these days off - they're few and far between x

  6. Wow. Hard Rock Cafe would seems def. worth a visit. I am looking for 'memorable' things to do with OH for the next couple of years or so and that sounds just the job. Your new bits will be great for Halloween.

  7. Thanks everyone. Carol - the Hard Rock Cafe is fab but don't go there for a quiet romantic meal!

    The music is played very loud so gentle conversation is a no-no but that all adds to the atmosphere...

    Ali x

  8. Anne - Imagination Beads25 July 2011 at 11:23

    It's years since I've been to the Hard Rock Cafe, but it was a very memorable experience. I love the sound of your glow in the dark Halloween crafts.

  9. Sounds a great day Ali - the HRC is brilliant. Hadn't realised it had reached such a grand age.


  10. Glad to hear you had such a lovely weekend - I love Hard Rock Cafe too! Although I am not into halloween I love the colour of that pumpkin!

  11. Mega-fullitis is not good but the road to get there sounds great.
    Covent Garden is great, Hubby and I have been known of a week-end to get up and on the road at some ungodly hour just so we can have breakfast in CG.
    I agree Ali, it's NOT a short walk. :o)
    Love the idea of glow in the dark items.

    Jan x

  12. Glad you enjoyed yourselves. You must have felt quite smug walking around the CG stalls. Great idea for Halloween

  13. Walking around the stalls was strange as we now look at things like the size of the table, signs used, etc rather than what is really being sold! Comments between hubby & I were more along the 'thats a bit of a dead corner' rather than 'what lovely pieces being sold there'!

    Lots of people but I didn't see much money changing hands (and I was paying specific attention!)

  14. Thankyou so much for your kind words on my blog re Bagpuss. Much appreciated.
    What a lovely post this has been to read. Your glow in the dark crafts sound good and a great idea for Halloween. It's our 40th in a few weeks time.Hubby said "Thats silver isn't it?" Don't think I'm going to be getting a ruby anytime soon!!! Hugs Mrs A.


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