We were delighted by the response to our Aurifil Event last weekend. It was great to see the reaction to these threads both from those who had not used them before and people who were more familiar with them. The winner of the raffle was Helena Sutherland-Harper, and I know she is delighted to receive her prize.
I had some good news this week; my new Brother ScanNCut DX is on it's way! I will be able to supply it on a special order basis, so if you are interested, let me know. You can read more about the DX here. I'm hoping it will be here by the weekend so that I can experiment with using it in conjunction with the Lumiere XP1 which we will have up and running for the whole weekend.
This Saturday is Small Business Saturday, when independent businesses across the country celebrate their unique selling points. You can find out more here. The event is supported by American Express, and you may have seen their TV adverts for their Shop Small campaign. Anyone with an Amex card spending over £10 in participating shops, will receive a £5 refund on their card at each small business they visit. There is more information about Shop Small here.
For the first time since we opened nearly 12 years ago, we will be closing over Christmas and the New Year. Ray and I will actually be going on holiday together for a change! We will be closed between 24th December and 6th January - full hours are below. Our apologies in advance if you are desperate for supplies over this period, but we will be back and raring to go with our sale on 8th January.
We hope to see you in the Studio soon!
Denise and Ray
Christmas Charity Event
Our Christmas Charity Event this year is on Saturday 15th December. There will be mince pies, cake, a Tombola, cake, refreshments, cake, mulled wine, cake and possibly even cake - all on sale to raise money for St. Luke's Hospice. Festivities start at 10.30 and continue until 4pm.
Knitting Club of the Year
Let's Knit magazine are holding their first Knitting Club of the Year competition. If you would like to nominate Craft Arena's Yarn Forward knitting and crochet group, you can visit the their website here to cast your vote. You will be able to download a free blanket pattern for your trouble, and should we win, there will be £500 worth of knitting (and crochet) goodies to share out.
The Workshop exhibition 2018
Workshop Exhibition 2019
February gives you all the chance to show everyone the work you have made, or been inspired to make, at Craft Arena's workshops. Whether it is hand or machine embroidery, print, mixed media or anything else, we would love to see what you have been up to. Even if you haven't finished your work, we would love to show 'work in progress' as this highlights the processes involved. The application form will be available shortly.
Sunflowers - The winner of Tantalising Textiles 2018
Our popular Tantalising Textiles exhibition next year will be held in the Alchemy Gallery at Craft Arena in April 2019 The entry fee for each entry is £5 and you can submit as many entries as you wish.
The competition will be divided into two sections; one with the theme of Symmetry and another open section in which you can submit work on a theme of your choice. As in previous years, customers of Craft Arena will be asked to vote for their favourite piece, and the winner (or winners, depending on the number of entries) will receive a Craft Arena Gift Voucher, with another voucher going to the winner of our voters draw. We will again be supporting St Luke's Hospice who will receive a proportion of the money raised by the fees.
Learn how to knit colourwork gloves and socks, and discover a colourful cornucopia of animals, flowers, lettering and playful contemporary motifs, with Lumi Karmitsa's clear, easy to follow instructions. Who said knitting had to be boring?
With fascinating designs, irresistible colours, and a genuine passion for handcrafting shining through every page, this collection of mittens and socks is a dream come true! Discover a colourful cornucopia of animals, flowers, lettering and playful contemporary motifs, all made in bright and easy-to-work yarns. Knitters on the lookout for fierce colourwork knitting needn't look further!
Improper Cross Stitch
I've ordered just one of these to see what it is like, but I've a feeling it may be popular!
Profane, funny, and smart, Haley Pierson-Cox's Improper Cross-Stitch invites the modern crafter to bring personality and humour to their cross stitch projects. From a fully designed 'Damn it feels good to be a crafter' to the beautiful Art Deco inspired designs, Haley's patterns are fresh, lively and just what the crafter ordered. In this book, she'll introduce readers to the joys of stitching the naughty, the profane, the irreverent, and the just plain awesome. First, she starts with a basic lesson in cross-stitch technique, no previous experience required. Then, once readers know their way around an embroidery hoop and a skein of floss, the books moves on to the designs - 35 in total, ranging from hip, to nerdy, to ironically domestic - where Haley encourages crafters to embrace their inner snark with gleeful abandon.
PLEASE BE AWARE SOME PROJECTS IN THIS BOOK MAY CAUSE OFFENCE.
Giant Knitting & Crochet
I've been asked more and more for giant knitting needles, and have now got Knit Pro Birch Jumbo needles in stock. Available in sizes 25mm, 30mm and 35mm they are perfect for super chunky yarn. We have Jumbo Crochet hooks too!
And if you need a bit of inspiration, we have the perfect book to get you going - Knitting with Giant Needles is perfect if you have a spare couple of hours or are a weekend knitter, with quick success and beautiful results. You can choose from 35 gorgeous, inspirational projects to fill your weekends, from scarves and shoulder bags to cushions and blankets. You can even choose from variations of the projects to ensure you get your perfect crafty creation, ideal for creating individual accessories or gifts. Whether you are an experienced knitter or just starting out, step-by-step knitting pictures show basic techniques, making knitting easy for everyone.
Yarn Forward Christmas Celebration
Our monthly Knitting and Crochet group goes from strength to strength, and on Wednesday 12th December we will be holding our Christmas meeting. There will be mince pies, mulled wine and other festive fayre, so book here to join us and get in the party mood. Bring in your Christmas knits to show us and there is bound to be help on hand if you are having any challenges with your current project.
We only have a few spaces left for exhibitions in the Alchemy Gallery in 2019 and are already taking bookings for 2020 and 2021. If you would like more information, please contact us.
A Stitch in Time - Minerva Textile Group
From Saturday 1st December, the Minerva Textile Group will be displaying their latest work. Denise Gannon, Wendy Mansfield, Sandy Draper and Vicky Kimbell have been inspired by history for this exhibition, from Mediaeval to more recent times. The exhibition runs until the end of January 2019. Please see above for our Christmas and New Year opening times.
February 2019: Rowan 40th Anniversary Exhibition
March 2019: Craft Arena Workshop Exhibition
April 2019: Tantalising Textiles
Machine Embroidery Group
Sunday 2nd December 2018 10.30am - 1.00pm
This is a popular series of informal monthly sessions to help you get the most from your embroidery machine. We cover a different machine embroidery technique each month, and this month will be discussing monogramming and will also have the fabulous Brother Lumiere XP1 and new Brother software to show you.
Join Celia on her first workshop at Craft Arena when she will be showing you how to construct an armature for a figure which will then be finished with Powertex. The class will be adaptable, so if you wish to leave the wings to one side and make a more down to earth figure you can.
Sunday 9th December 10.30am - 12.00pm 1.30 - 3.30 pm
Not sure how to use your mixed media supplies? Confused between different pastes and mediums? In this special workshop, Denise will demonstrate as many different types of mixed media as she can cram in. You will go away with mini samples which you can develop further at home or maybe they will be miniature works of art in their own right! Stay for the morning, afternoon or all day – the choice is yours.
THERE ARE THREE PLACES LEFT ON THIS WORKSHOP AM THERE ARE FIVE PLACES LEFT ON THIS WORKSHOP PM
Suitable for both beginners and those who wish to refresh their skills, Wendy will show you how to use simple flower shapes appliquéd onto silk and embellished with couched threads. There will be a choice of flowers for you to stitch.
Marion will be showing you how to use fine wool thread with traditional embroidery stitches to create a beautiful crewel work design. This class is suitable both for beginners and those who would like to expand their needlework skills.
Please make a note of these workshop dates in your diary. Booking will be available once details have been finalised. Contact us for more details
We are busy preparing our 2019 workshop programme. Sessions will include:
Textured Landscape with Alex Waylett - Thurs/Fri 23rd/24th May,
Miniature Rag Book with Alex Waylett - Friday 7th June
Stumpwork with Wendy Saturday 9th March
Silk Painting with Jannetta Saturday 30th March
Canvaswork with Marion Saturday 6th April
Alysn Midgelow-Marsden 16th/17th November 2019
Plus lots more!!!
The latest Brother special offers are on our Brother blog page. They include the fabulous Lumiere XP1 sewing and embroidery machine which is £10,999 and comes with FREE PE Design 11 worth £999. See this fabulous machine at Craft Arena on 1st and 2nd December. This wonderful machine will be on show at Craft Arena this weekend, so do come along and take a look.
The Luminaire Innov-is XP1 is the new ultimate in luxury sewing experience. Packed with cutting-edge technology found nowhere else, it frees you to realise your sewing, quilting and embroidering dreams.
Features include: • Revolutionary built-in projector • X-Large embroidery area: 272 x 408 mm (10.7" x 16") • Super long arm 13.1" (332 mm) workspace • Hyper wide-view camera • Camera detecting buttonhole function • Over 1,100 built in embroidery designs • 192 exclusive Disney designs and 10 Disney decorative stitches • My Design Centre
Ring me on 01268 523780 if you would like any more information. Don't forget you get a full introduction to help you choose the right machine for you plus free training with all machines over £200. Contact us to book a demonstration or for more information.
The Babylock Ovation is a combined overlock and coverlock machine which comes with a unique jet-air threading and thread delivery system, and sets new standards for combined overlock and coverlock machines.
140mm wide throat space
Variable speed control
LED sewing light
3mm and 6mm cover stitch
Automatic thread delivery system
Stitch width adjustment
The Ovation is on offer until the end of December for £2248, a saving of £400!
I have an Ovation on display in the studio, so if you would like to see it put through its paces, call me on 01268 523780 to book a demonstration.