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

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

A reminder - Just one day left...

March 31st is looming on the horizon which means that there is only one day left for you to get involved in my blog giveaway...

It is easy (and painless) to enter - just click on the giveaway logo on the right of this page to join in and see the details.


Can I come home with you?
You could be the winner and proud owner of a handmade peelable decoration of your choice so don't delay, enter today!!  I will be making the draw and announcing the winner on Friday 1st April - you'd be a fool to miss out
April...1st... fool... geddit!!ROTFL
Oh, the corny lines just get worse and worse!!  Ahem, I'll get my coat...

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Handmade Monday #9

Well its that time of the week again - courtesy of Wendy at 1st Unique Gifts, there are another batch of great crafters sharing their 'Handmade Monday' blog posts.    Yes, I know I am writing this on Sunday but I decided to get in early for a change...   I have a busy time ahead with some big fairs coming up - including the wonderful venue of Lancing College in a couple of weeks.

Today I have been at a monthly one day fair at Hempstead Valley Shopping Centre in Gillingham, Kent and was pleasantly surprised by the number of people after a particularly disappointing time at the same venue a month ago.  It is such a hit & miss game this!!  Of course, not everyone was buying but it always makes for a happier day when there are people around - any venue feels very big and lonely without the buzz of people.

Our location in the centre is under a glass roof so we definitely had a sympathetic affinity to all those little seedlings and saplings currently sweating their little roots off in greenhouses up and down the land!

I was pleased to find that my new designs were popular today (guess I have more to make this week) and a couple of them have been ordered in different colours for a truly bespoke design


Tea Roses


Maine Coon Cat


One thing I really love about making everything from scratch is that you don't limit your customer's imaginations or force them to settle for something which is 'almost' what they are looking for.

So if you are looking for that special gift either for a friend, loved one or yourself, you can order a design in your own choice of colours at anytime by visiting the online shop at  Ali's Craft Studio    The new designs are still to be added to the site but if you would like anything featured in my blog posts and can't find it currently online, please do not hesitate to contact me directly
The sun was out and with the start of British Summer Time there was a happier feeling all around (despite losing an hours sleep this morning - when the usual stupid o'clock turned into are-you-kidding-me o'clock!!)


PJs
Bed is calling now so I'm off to try to recoup that missing hour of beauty sleep from this morning (believe me I need it!!)
Falling Asleep
Night All!

Monday, 21 March 2011

Handmade Monday

Well, here we are - Monday again!  Wow this week has flown by!! 

This week has been really busy with a large order to work on as well as lots of new stock and designs to get together before my craft fair season really starts with a vengeance next week!

So, this week has been dominated by animals which are always really popular.  A few of my favourites from this week are:
Siamese Cats

Bassett Hound

Horse and Foal
I have another week to get as many new peelable decorations made so I can't see the workload letting up anytime soon.   Not only do I have to finish making these, I also have to photograph, package, measure up and put all these on the website too.  (A crafter's work is never done...)

Make sure that you check out all the other great crafters taking part in Handmade Monday over at 1st Unique Gifts - they are a very talented bunch of people with some truly wonderful work!!

P.S. Have you entered my blog giveaway yet?   Click on the button on the right to see the details....

Thursday, 17 March 2011

My First Blog Giveaway!

I would like to start by saying
to all my wonderful followers!

As promised, I have decided to do a giveaway to celebrate reaching 100 followers.   There are lots of blogs out there with many more but for me it is a milestone and for that I am really grateful!

So, I really wanted to celebrate this and share the love....
 
Peelable Window Decoration - Angel with Heart
Sharing the love...
Having never done a giveaway before, I wondered what the best way to go about it is.   With over 430 designs currently on my website, it is too difficult to choose one to give as a prize (way too much scope to get it wrong!) so I decided the best thing is to let you choose what you would like to win (sort of....)
I have realised that not everyone will know what it is I make so here is a quick synopsis...  I create decorations which look like stained glass but they are actually peelable, static clings (also known as suncatchers) which need no glue to attach.  Use on windows, mirrors, tiles or any shiny surface!   They are completely removable and reusable and don't leave any sticky residues behind.    Perfect for temporarily or permanently decorating any area of your home, they can brighten up even the dullest of days. 
So, I would like to send someone one of my handmade peelable stained glass window clings (although don't forget that they don't have to be used on windows - try them on your mirrors!!) the details are as follows:
  • Firstly, you'll need to visit my website: Ali's Craft Studio where you will find lots of different categories of handmade peelable window decorations, you just need to have a look through them and decide on your favourite!
  • Become a follower of this blog (if you aren't already) then add a comment here to let me know your chosen category and/or design to be in with a chance to win - be as specific as you like!!
  • If you have your own blog, add a post about either this giveaway or my window clings in general including a link to my website to gain an extra entry.  (But don't forget to send me the link to your post!)
  • There are no limits to the number of additional entries you can have so blog & tweet away!!  (just make sure you contact me with the link for each post and remember they must be published before the deadline)
  • The closing date for entry is 31st March 2011 and I will then add everyone's name into a draw and pick a winner at random (using the super high-tech 'picking the name out of the hat' method!)
I hope I've remembered everything but if you notice something I have forgotten or there is any confusion with the above, please let me know, after all this is my first time!!

I wish I could send everyone a thank you gift however practicalities take over (as well as finances!!) but I really hope you all find the time to enter.  I am happy for you to let me know if there are any designs you would like to see in future too!

And as it is also Saint Patrick's Day today, may the luck of the Irish be upon you!!

St. Patty's Popping Pot
GOOD LUCK!!

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Woo Hoo!!! 100 Followers AND 50 posts!

What a great day - I have reached 100 followers (thank you everyone) and made 50 posts.  Who knew when I started this blog that so many of you would find it interesting enough to give up your own precious time to actually read it!

I am working on a giveaway to celebrate and will be posting details about this shortly - I hope you all enter.  This is just a really short post to say thank you to everyone who is joining me on this journey and for all the wonderful comments.  It is great to know that I'm really not just talking to myself....  (well, not any more than I usually do!)

I am still a long way behind many of the great bloggers out there but I am still going to be celebrating... (so there!!)



Sunday, 13 March 2011

Thank you for my gift & Handmade Monday

A while ago, I entered a giveaway on a great blog - 1st Unique Gifts - and was so lucky to win one of Wendy's lovely handpainted plaques which she very kindly personalised for me - Thank you Wendy, I love it!

I am still trying to find the best location for me to place this, not only where I can see it but also where the cats don't think it is a play thing for them!

With my followers nearing 100, I am looking to do a blog giveaway of my own - I just have to sort out the details and I will post this soon (once I reach 100, of course!)

Wendy also has a weekly blog entitled 'Handmade Monday' and as this is week seven, I thought it was about time I joined in...

So, what have I been up to this week???

I really have been building up a whole load of new designs - lots of new dogs, which are always popular, as well as the classic florals and fun ones too.  Unfortunately, most of these are still in 'drying' or 'outline' stage so there aren't photos yet.  However I do have two new designs to share (OK, so these haven't strictly been developed this week but it's my first time so I am cheating a little and merging seven weeks into one!)

Firstly are a couple of classic 'centrepieces' which would be perfect for a door or large window:


I thought I would also show the other two new colour options for the popular 'Butterfly Swag' showcased on here in the 'Rainbow' and 'Pink/Purple' options a few posts ago:

Blue/Green
 
Yellow/Gold
And finally, the latest in the 'Diddy Design' family.  How cute is he????


So, that was my week(s) so far.   I have lots of finishing off and photographing to do before the mammoth task begins to get all the new things on the website too!  Guess I am going to be busy for a while yet....

Do check out all the other great handmade crafters taking part in this week's Handmade Monday on Wendy's blog - 1st Unique Gifts and of course, if you or anyone you know would like a handmade window decoration, do visit my website - Ali's Craft Studio

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Standoff at Kitty Corale...

This morning was coooold - heavy frost on the ground and no signs of the end of Winter any time soon (isn't it the official start of Spring at the end of this month??) 

However, due to permanent fur coat wearing, kitty cats do not feel the cold in the same way as I do so were they happy to stay in the super warm house?  Of course not!

"Let me sit in the shade - this fur coat is hot stuff!"
Well, today they had to think twice - a large, brutish-looking black and white cat from the neighbourhood decided that their garden looked kind of cosy!   Cue the standoff at Kitty Corale!  (Photo above shows a cat 'on guard duty')

Is is a bird, is it a plane?
No, its SUPERMUMMY!
The noise that comes out of a cat who feels under threat is quite amazing - something between a dog and a drill!   Misty (female cat) sensibly left her brother to defend their territory and a mega-staring contest began.  Neither looked like backing down so before things got any worse, Supermummy (me) stepped in and sent B&W moggy packing (poor thing - it probably only wanted to be friendly and say Hello!) 

Blinky (male cat) felt very proud of himself as he obviously felt that he was backing me up and was the sole reason that moggy thought twice and has proceeded to strut his stuff all morning up and down the living room (note, he is now quite happy to have the door closed!) up until the point that he felt that the space under the bed was at risk and retreated to 'protect' it. (hmmm!)

I love how animals have such great personalities and I know that I am not alone amongst animal owners that the cats and I have some great conversations!   Apologies to everyone who doesn't own or maybe even like animals - well done for getting this far through what must be a really boring post!!  (Give yourself a biscuit)

As I write this, Hubby is on his way home so that I can return an engraving tool I purchased from Hobbycraft's online shop which worked for around 5 minutes then broke completely.  (Any excuse for a trip to a craft store!) 

I have thinking about creating some engraved versions of my Kanji Keyrings and after a bit of practice (especially with the lettering!) I was just getting the hang of it when the equipment died. 

Now I am not sure whether to replace it or see it as a sign that I should abandon the idea for a while.   I have to admit that I was already struggling to work out how to photograph and display the engraved keyrings as the detail doesn't show up as much as the painted ones as seen here.

Anyway, that was my day - how was yours?

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Time is Marching on...

Ha Ha - geddit Marching on!!   Can you believe that it is March already??

I have to admit that I am kind of glad to see the back of February.   I don't do many fairs and shows at this time of year and both the ones I have attended in the last month have not been good as far as sales go.   I do still enjoy being out and about and speaking to customers but it is a very long day when the buyers just aren't there.  Fortunately, online sales have been better and I still get a real thrill and do a happy dance when a new order arrives.  I hope this thrill never goes away!

So, goodbye February and Hello March!   Again, I am not busy on the fairs front this month with just the two booked but am certainly not twiddling my thumbs.   I have been developing some new design and colour ideas including these which are a new twist on three already popular designs:

 


Yep, they all glow in the dark!   They are so much fun and great for kids rooms.  I have been slightly obsessed (or is it sad!?) with taking them into a dark room to get them to light up so I can only imagine how great they will be for the younger members of the family when the lights go out at night.

They glow for approximately one hour and then 'recharge' themselves during the next exposure to light.   All can be found in the new 'Glow in the Dark' shop section at Ali's Craft Studio.  I hope to add to the range in the future so if there is anything you would like to see in the glow in the dark series, please let me know.

I have also had some wonderful feedback regarding the new Butterfly Spray featured in the last post.  I am pleased to say that this is now available online and currently in four different colour options (Rainbow and Pink/Purple shown below).  I can make these in any colour combination required - great to introduce your favourite colours into a room.


So, for all you butterfly lovers out there - these are a lovely addition to your home decor and look equally beautiful on windows and mirrors.

The quieter months at the beginning of the year are ideal for me to build up plenty of stock ready for the Spring.

Not that it feels very spring-like at the moment - it is really cold today, the cats are indoors (and they are wearing fur coats so what hope do I have?)    Perhaps the weather gods have been caught out by how quickly time is zipping by too...  I have been resisting putting the heating on during the day but may have to succumb to the lure of the thermostat today - I just can't get warm today and feel a little silly putting a coat and scarf on in the house!

So, time is flying by and with some big shows looming on the horizon, I must fly too - happy crafting and keep warm folks!!