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, 18 September 2011

Boring? I think so...

You may be sad (or possibly thrilled) to hear that this is going to be a short (and therefore probably a pretty boring) blog post today...

Due to 'unforseen circumstances' this weekend ended up being without me being at a fair so I am in 'mega create' mode.   With orders to finish and some big fairs coming up the extra time is actually quite helpful as I am not only trying to make up lots of my existing designs but also make some new designs ready for Christmas so that customers who come to see me year after year have some new things to choose from.

So whilst I have been really busy, I actually don't have much finished to show for my efforts - infact yesterday was one of those really frustrating days where I was busy all day but didn't seem to get anywhere!

However, after too many missed 'Handmade Mondays' recently, I wanted to make sure that I joined in and after lots of head scratching and thinking about what I could share, I suddenly remembered my post a few weeks ago about the customer who ordered a specific tortoise design in memory of a beloved pet who passed away unexpectedly at an early age.   So, as promised (albeit a little late!) here is the finished design which I am thrilled to say the customer was really happy with...

I love the fact that handmade not only means that an item is created with love but it is also so personal.   The yellow dot on the head was a unique mark on their much-missed pet and only a handmade item could possibly include this small but special feature which was one of the things they said made him stand out and told them that this little chap was to be the new member of their family.

If you want to read some more exciting tales of crafters and their creations - head on over to Handmade Monday - you won't be disappointed!

So with my humblest apologies for such a boring post... I'm off to see if I can break the world record for the most new items created in a week!!

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Lock, Stock and Scraping the Bottom of the Barrel! (OK, not really but it sounded good!!)

Hi Folks

I'm almost out of the
oh-so-popular Butterfly Sets!
Yes, I know...  I said I would blog more and I have been very lax!   However, I have a good excuse...   Last weekend was absolutely manic and now my stock is ridiculously low on many of my 'bread and butter' items.   So I have been frantically making up new stuff but with a stack of orders to complete too, there are only so many hours in the day to get everything finished!

Last weekend was different in that hubby couldn't work with me on Sunday due to commitments in his own work so my Mum was really kind and travelled all the way from Yorkshire to come and help for the weekend (I knew it was likely to be a busy show and there is no way I can do this type of show on my own!)   I am so grateful that she did this (thanks Mum xx) and after going up to London on Thursday to meet her train we had a lovely lunch (waaay too much food!) before heading home.

It was great to see Mum and have some help with packaging up the 100 or so new things I had been manically making during the week before (it would have taken me forever on my own) and her help was invaluable on Sunday when hubby was absent.   As anyone who has done a show will know, customers don't spread themselves out over the day - they all decide to come at once so you can be sitting around talking to no-one for ages then suddenly you can't cope with the number of people who have appeared!

So, I am now working on more planes (yep, just when I thought I had finished... six more were ordered last weekend!  Don't get me wrong, I am thrilled but my eyes had only just started recovering from the last lot!)  and building up my stock with both the most popular designs which have fallen very low and, of course, Christmas designs - it may seem like a long way away but for me, the season has already started and with some big shows coming up I should see a lot of Christmas designs heading to new homes.

So, for now I will say cheerio and head off into the studio to my planes, Santas, snowmen and other festive goodies.  Is is just me who wants to put Christmas films on the telly and play my crimbo CDs to get into the right mood??  I guess playing Christmas carols at this time of year would be bad luck so better not tempt fate!

Have a great weekend everyone & happy crafting!

Monday, 5 September 2011

M.I.A?? I'm Back...

Good morning blogging family

Yes I am still on this planet after being missing in action for a couple of weeks (although a quick look at the date of my last blog post shows that it has infact been almost a month - eek!)

I would love to say that I have been travelling the globe on a relaxing Summer holiday but if I did, I would be lying - August is quite simply a chaotic month for me with some of the bigger shows all in a row.

From steam shows to airshows, we have seen lots of different types of transportation over the past month and met some wonderful people (many of whom were suitable blackened by soot after working on their beautifully maintained old steam engines).

Fortunately the weather gods have been reasonably kind and Shoreham Airshow this year did not see a repeat of the terrible cloudy, windy, wet conditions which put the kaibosh on all the flying in 2010.   Sadly, for the second year we missed out on the opportunity to see the wonderful Vulcan as it was grounded with a fuel leak but the rest of the show went ahead as planned and a last minute replacement flight was added to fill the void left by the Vulcan.  The organisers of this show really do a sterling job and the craft tent at the show (organised by the wonderful Woodland Crafts) is always a fun place to be.

The Vulcan - absent on the day but still present as a peelable decoration!
So, my month has been filled with fulfilling orders of more planes than I care to remember - it took a full 2 weeks to complete them due to all the fine detail required and to say that I now feel 'all planed out' is an understatement!

I am also now introducing Christmas designs onto the stall as some of the locations of fairs won't be visited again this year so I have been trying to make up some more Christmas stock (not the easiest of tasks when you are melting under the summer sun!)

This next weekend sees us at the Laughton Country Show, nr Ringmer, East Sussex and designs like the ever-popular Nativity Panel will be there to ease people into the Festive spirit (albeit a little early but the way this year is flying by...)

I have also been working on an idea for 2011 to help out all my customers who spend ages trying to decide on a gift for a friend or family member (always difficult to put yourself in someone else's shoes) and will do a separate blog about this shortly...

Hope you have all had a great month - I promise not to be away for so long in future and will be having a good look around all the blogs I have missed in the next few days.

To see what some amazing crafters have been up to this week, do head on over to Handmade Monday and get the opportunity to visit some terrific blogs.