Friday, 16 June 2017

Nearly there....

Dean and the boys from Barleylands have finished most of the internal work in Studio 51, so now it's down to Ray to lay the carpet tiles and then we can start to move everything across from 48 and 49.

From the door looking towards my workstation

The view from where the counter will be

The shop area

The workshop area
It will still be a few weeks before everything is completely finished, but we have a deadline of 14th July as our official opening will be that weekend - it WILL all be done by then!


Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Getting on...

The work on our new studio is beginning to come together. All the internal walls have now been removed and the holes filled. Chris and Dean have been working very hard over the last few days and everything should be completed very soon.

This is the view of what will be the workshop area, looking down to where the sinks will be.

This shows the retail area from where the counter and till will be, looking towards where my workstation will be.

A similar view, but from the door.

From my workstation to the door, this will be where most of my stock will be. The door (covered in black plastic at the moment) is the way through to the Sewing Machine room in Studio 50 and on through to the new gallery.

Ray and I did a bit of shopping in Ikea on Monday, but we will probably need a couple more trips to get everything (including a new parcel shelf for the car, but that's another story!). On a project like this, nothing is set in stone, and the plans are continually evolving. I was going to have a coffee station in the sewing machine studio, but that seems to be growing into a second kitchen! I've ordered the new carpet tiles to replace the grotty red carpet and they should be arriving later this week - another job for Ray!

Our opening celebrations will be on Saturday and Sunday 15th and 16th July - we are currently arranging the programme, so look out for more news soon.


Tuesday, 30 May 2017

And so it begins....

Things are finally starting to happen! The door between Studio 50 and 51 will be made later this week, which means that we are starting to pack things up ready to move and also to protect things from the dust which, from past experience, I know will get everywhere.

Don't forget that we are staying open througout the process, so do drop by to see how we are getting on. 

It does mean that Gallery 50 is now out of commission, as we are using that for temporary storage. It will all go into Studio 48 soon though, so that the door can be done, but not before our last workshop on Thursday which is being run by Alex Waylett. After that it will be all go. I've been busy ordering fixtures and fittings for the new areas in the last few days - it's scary how the costs mount up so quickly, but all within budget so far!

Next on the shopping list are more kitchen cabinets and a trip to Ikea for display units! I also have to choose new floor tiles.


Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Yarn Shop Day 2017

On the 6th May 2017, the fourth annual Yarn Shop Day will take place in craft stores across the country, and Craft Arena is just one of the many shops that is excited to be involved. The event has been organised by UK leading magazines Let's Knit and Let's Get Crafting in a bid to celebrate Britain's much-loved independent wool shops.

At Craft Arena we are making it Yarn Shop Weekend and making the most of it by having wooly fun on both Saturday and Sunday. We are hosting a number of events for those who crochet and/or knit and have special offers, give-aways, a tombola and charity Knit-a-Thon. There will also be a special Rowan display and we will be featuring our range of knitting and crochet books.

On Saturday we will be holding crochet classes for beginners and intermediate learners. These have proved very popular and have filled up really quickly. We are raising money for St Luke's Hospice in Basildon with a tombola which has lots of yarn related prizes on offer and runs over both days. 

Kaffe Fassett Knit a long
Debbie Bliss Knit a long
We have free patterns to give away for Debbie Bliss and Kaffe Fassett knit-a-longs as well as a number of other freebies. There will be a display of Rowan garments and yarn, knitting and crochet books. We are also holding a tombola in aid of St. Luke's Hospice, which will include lots of knitting and crochet related goodies, with tickets available all weekend.
We are holding a charity event in aid of St. Luke's Hospice over the weekend. Come along and knit a row, or as many rows as you wish, of our scarf for just 10p a row. All monies raised will be donated to St. Luke's.

There is also our charity Knit-a-Thon; everyone is welcome to come along and knit (or crochet) as many rows as they wish for a donation of 10p per row. All donations will also go to St. Luke's Hospice.

Do come along and join us to support both St. Luke's Hospice and Yarn Shop Day.


Thursday, 13 April 2017

Studio 51 Update - 13th April 2017

A few more pictures of Studio 51 before we start work. I'm still not sure when work will begin, but I'm still expecting to have everything done by the beginning of June. Watch this space for more news! We will also be telling you more on our Facebook page and in our Newsletter - you can subcribe to receive your weekly news fix from Craft Arena by clicking the blue Subscribe button on our website.

Looking towards the door. The counter will be in the corner

These walls will be removed, revealing the kintchen/workshop area

This will be the kitchen area

Another view down the shop towards the door. This will be the shop area.

Friday, 31 March 2017

New Studio Update - 31st March 2017

We are now in the planning stages of the expansion. Lots to do including deciding where everything is going to go, working out finances and considering what new shop fittings are needed.

Yesterday we had access for a while to do some preparatory measuring and take a few photos. As you can see there is a lot to do - thankfully Barleylands will be doing much of the work.

This view is from the door, looking to where I'm planning my workstation will be

This is the area which will be the shop, with the counter in the corner

This will be the workshop area. It currently has changing rooms and a separate kitchen, but all these walls will be removed.

We are hoping to have full access towards the end of April, which will give us a month to prepare everything for our opening at the beginning of June!

More updates soon.


Thursday, 16 March 2017

Craft Arena 10th Anniversary Celebration

We will be celebrating the 10th anniversary of Craft Arena arriving at Barleylands in a very special way - by extending! We hope to have our official opening on 1st June 2017 and will be posting pictures of our progress here and on our Facebook page as it happens.

This is the first picture of Studio 51 as it is at the moment, and shows where the counter and door through to Studio 50 will be. The walls are currently covered in white display boards which will be removed soon.

I'll be letting go of Studio 48, which was our original studio when we opened in 2007 - it will be a bit sad to let it go, but exciting at the same time.

More soon.


Thursday, 16 February 2017

Tantalising Textiles Entries 2017

We've had terrific entries for our Tantalising Textiles competition this year. You can see a sneek peak from some them below - you will have to visit the exhibition in Gallery 50 to see them all!

They will be on display until Friday 31st March, so don't miss the chance to vote for your favourite and get the chance to win a Craft Arena gift voucher. The winning entry will also receive a voucher and we will also be donating some of the entry fees to St. Luke's Hospice in Basildon.

The winner will be announced on Sunday 2nd April on our Craft Arena Facebook page.

Up in the Air - Stella Cockard

Fizz - Sue Shaper

Flower Power - Anne Crowther

Through Coloured Lenses - Sue Shaper

Rolling Sea - Sheena Booth

Scrap Happy - Sheena Booth

Tree Silhouette - Margaret Salt

Light at the end of the Tunnel - Linda Legrand