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

Monday, 30 April 2012

Handmade Monday & a new letter to the Weather Gods!

You know how you think something has been fully understood and we are all singing from the same hymn sheet then it all falls apart... well that seems to be what is happening now! So, I feel the time has come to readdress those weather gods! (Hold onto your hats folks!)

Dear Weather Gods

Urm, hello!! Where do I start here? Really, you're having a laugh aren't you?? Can I just point out that the phrase 'April showers' is not an instruction nor does it mean that the whole of April needs rain! I've decided that you are bored up there and decided to pick some seasons out of the hat on the first of each month and throw it into the mix... So, Summer in March might have been a nice, unexpected treat but that doesn't mean Winter in April is a good idea!!

Surely you can't think that heavy rain complete with gale force winds all weekend only to be followed by California-esque skies, glorious sunshine and gentle breeze today would be acceptable!!

So, for the THIRD time, lets run through the deal... I'll spell it out nice and simply for you...

The week has seven days - You can have five of them! Yes, FIVE!! Count them... Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday AND Friday - they're yours (I might beg Monday back a few times when there is a Bank Holiday but hey, there aren't many of those so surely you won't mind... Think of them as nice days off for you...) Right, where were we.... oh yes, Five days are yours... that leaves two - Saturday and Sunday, that's all, just 48 hours - they are mine! So that means the rain, snow, wind, hail, lightening, fog and any other grotty weather plans you might have tucked up your sleeve can quite simply get lost - have a lie in, have the weekend off and relax a little (no - relax a lot!!) Really, you don't need to work so hard - you'll hurt yourselves! Just brush away the clouds send down the sun & sign off!

Once again, I urge you to consult my list of fairs so you can plan ahead - schedule that sunshine in advance, I'm making life so easy for you but you need to do your bit too!

So, we are nearly at the end of April so lets not dwell on the fact that you basically tried to drown my birthday month - I'm not one to hold grudges but you really are testing me now.... May is coming - time to make amends and get back to normal temperatures, nice sunny days - doesn't have to be tropically hot, we can save that until the Summer months (remember them??!) and a little bit of rain during YOUR DAYS so that the flowers down get thirsty.  Everyone would be happy again!

Now, I've tried to be nice but if you don't play along, I might have to send the boys round... don't say I haven't warned you!!  Please don't make me have to write to you again unless it is to thank you for sticking to the agreement this time!!

Slightly grumpy, very waterlogged lady who doesn't want to have to get aggressive!!

See previous letters to the Weather Gods here & here
Braving the weather at The Hop Farm Country Food & Craft Show
I'm sure you won't be surprised after reading the above that my weekend show at The Hop Farm in Kent turned into a wet & windy disaster!  The weather forecasts for the weekend were not looking promising but we decided to go anyway as rain doesn't always keep people away. Sadly the wind was determined to cause problems and whilst we did manage to remain upright, there were a few gazebos which were blown over and damaged by the strong gusts which came along especially in the afternoon on Saturday.

Needless to say the visitor numbers were much lower than this great show deserved (we were actually quite impressed that anyone ventured out of their nice warm homes!) and as a result the sales were not good at all.

Due to the added threat of more persistent rain and gale force winds on Sunday, the decision was taken on Saturday afternoon that we would be unlikely to return for the second day on Sunday.  Unfortunately, a dangerous gazebo and damaged stock were simply not worth the risk.  I did find the organiser to let her know that was our plan (I would never simply not turn up!) and to her credit she did advise us that our pitch would still be available should the morning weather not be as bad as forecast.

I was very sad to hear that not all the stallholders were as understanding as to why the show wasn't very well attended! Surely blaming an organiser for the weather is bordering on the ridiculous!! She was as devastated as we were and whilst there were things that could and should have been done better (such as the location of the additional craft tents behind our stall location & adding signage to show they were there)  However, despite the horrendous conditions, the events arena in front of our location was busy all day with some wonderful displays featuring gun dogs, tractors, horses, birds of prey and an incredible side saddle horse riding team (not all at the same time, obviously!!)

So in summary, a superb event was killed by unseasonally awful weather (cast your minds back to the Royal Wedding last year & what a glorious day that was!!) but we will definitely be back & lets hope the weather gods have got their act together by then!!

Next weekend I am in Bromley Market - oh I don't even want to think about what the wind will be like then - and have a full diary of shows coming up, not all of which will be outdoors so if you missed being able to see me this last weekend, please try to come along to an upcoming event!  I look forward to seeing you all soon!

Loving the new option for your peelable decorations!
One other thing I am really excited about is that for all the people who have previously asked about whether the designs I sell can be used on walls & doors... the answer is now YES!!  I have developed a method of creating any design on a special carrier which contains an ultra-removable adhesive backing. This means that you can decorate your walls or doors, no matter what the surface is and yet still remove them again without causing damage.  There is a nominal charge to cover the special materials I have to purchase to do this but this opens up a whole range of possibilities and these can also be used on windows and mirrors as usual.  The only difference is that the back feels sticky.   I am in the process of adding the option for you to purchase any design as a wall/door sticker to my website but if you come across one without the 'conversion option' choice, please get in touch & I can add this for you (it is taking some time to manually amend all 500+ products currently listed on my website!)

I'll add some photos soon of some sample designs I have up in my studio so watch this space...  The possibilities are now endless!

And yes, it is Monday which means I'm back in the great company of all the wonderful crafters who are joining in with Handmade Monday over at 1st Unique Gifts - do go and enjoy what everyone has been getting up to this week!