Merry Christmas Everyone!

15590532_801755396630822_4452059722404154427_n

Gosh, I’ve gotten a little behind with writing up my Stories From the Studio over the past few weeks – it has been so busy here that I’ve barely had time to sit down at my desk!! The pictures on the left of this page will give you a little peek of what we’ve been up to!

Our Tree Decoration Auction ended on Wednesday night, and raised over £90 for the RSPCA Chesterfield and North Derbyshire Branch. The auction saw the crafty contributions made by our lovely customers for our bright purple tree at the Crooked Spire Festival of Christmas Trees back in November auctioned off to the highest bidders. Thank you to everyone who either created a decoration or placed a bid!

After such a busy December, Karen and I are taking a little break over the Christmas and New Year period for some much needed rest and relaxation, but we’ll be open on Christmas Eve from 10am – 11.30am, and on Wednesday 28th January from 10am-12.30pm and from 6.30pm – 9pm where we’ll also be running Woolly Wednesday as usual! Otherwise, the studio will be closed until 10am on Tuesday 3rd January when we’ll return to our usual opening hours.

We’ve got just two party slots left in January – 3pm on Saturday 7th January and 10am on Saturday 28th January – February is also beginning to fill up so please Contact Us to reserve a slot if your little one would like a crafty party in 2017!

Don’t forget we don’t just do children’s activities – we’ve got lots of crafty courses and workshops for adults starting in January, including beginners courses in crochet, sewing and knitting, as well as more advanced courses in these skills, or maybe you’d like to try your hand at something a bit different – perhaps Art Felting or creating a Needle Felted Woodland?

All that’s left for me to do is wish you all MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY & HEALTHY 2017 – whatever you’re up to over the festive period, I hope you have a wonderful time.

See you in the new year! xxx

25th November – Stories from the Studio

20161122_205142

Many apologies for only being able to do a blog each fortnight at the moment, it’s just so busy, busy, busy here! If you’ve seen Karen or I in the past week or so, you’ll have almost certainly heard us exclaim that we can’t believe where this year has gone. Seriously, how is it December next week??

The studio has been busy over the past few days – our dressmaking, pattern cutting and crochet courses are all well underway, and we’ve also had our felted elf, reversible square skirt and needle felting flower workshops as well as running a BRAND NEW Joining Granny Squares crochet course!

20161122_210326-1 img_1272-1 img_1479

We’ve also been out and about a lot – we were at the Christmas Lights Switch On celebrations in Sheffield and Chesterfield on Sunday, attended the BabyLuv baby shower event on Friday, and have even found time to put up not one but two trees at the Festival of Christmas Trees in St Mary’s Church (the Crooked Spire) – the bright purple StraightCurves tree is adorned with crafty creations, all of which have been made by our lovely learners, and the other is a Jumping Clay tree!

Gosh, that lot makes me feel tired just typing it – but I’d better save my energy, this evening we’re in FOUR places at the same time!! Come along and see us at:
Hady Primary School Christmas Fair
St Peter’s and St Paul’s School Christmas Fair
Brookfield School Christmas Market
Dronfield Hilltop Sports and Social Club Christmas Market

This Sunday, it’s the penultimate Chesterfield Artisan Market of the year – we’ll be entertaining the kids with Jumping Clay mini makes and FREE colouring in, and then next Friday looks to be just as crazy as this week with events at Eckington Camms, Westfield Infants School, and Holmehall Primary!

Most importantly, it’s our annual FESTIVE FAIR & STUDIO OPEN DAY on Saturday 3rd December! Pop in and see us between 10.30am and 2.30pm for a cuppa, mince pie and a nosy around the building – you can even partake in a festive mini-make or two!

I hope to see lots of you over the next few weeks!

11th November – Stories from the Studio

Needle Felted Decorations

I know it’s only mid-November, but Christmas preparations are in full swing at StraightCurves!

Whilst I’m very against putting decorations up before 1st December, those of you who have met me will know that I am all for being prepared and – especially if you’re planning to make any of your gifts or decorations – it’s never too early to start making!

We’ve got loads of Festive Workshops on at StraightCurves – including these uber-cute Needle Felted Penguins and a Festive Mosaics workshop on 29th November (HURRY if you want to join this, as there’s only 1 space left on each of the daytime and evening sessions!)

Next weekend is one of the busiest in the StraightCurves year as we achieve the impossible and are in two places at the same time on Sunday 20th November!

10615410_477393979066967_1502720084947130690_n 1455165_477393932400305_5126480415382708019_n

We’ll be in the Sheffield Winter Gardens all day as part of the Sheffield Lights Switch On Celebrations, AND we’ll be doing Jumping Clay Mini Makes on the Chesterfield Christmas Market as the town switches on its festive illuminations! We’re also planning to attend lots of School Christmas Fairs over the next few weeks so if you see us out and about make sure you come and say hello! It’s always lovely to see familiar faces – and of course meet lots of lovely new people too!

 

Tutor Blog: Getting The London Look!

london-1-liz-kate-pope

Liz and Kate Pope are a Chesterfield-based illustration team who happen to be twins! They teach our fabulous Collage workshops where you can create either a framed piece or some cards. Their next workshop is on Tuesday 15th November – a perfect opportunity to make some Christmas Cards!!

We’ve had a busy few months in the studio working on illustrating a few adult colouring books, so it’s been all about tricky, detailed line work lately! One of the projects we’ve illustrated was for a General Knowledge Crossword Book, so we’ve been researching all sorts of topics… from the Alps to Korean Currency, we even had to brush up on our knowledge of Chess! Honestly, we’ll be great at pub quizzes now!

It was a nice change last week to be working on some brand new pieces for a lovely gallery! It’s always nice when we are contacted from somewhere further afield to exhibit our work, and this time it is The Robins Nest Gallery in the little picturesque village of Wargrave on the River Thames.

Picking up on its location, we thought it would be our perfect opportunity to create some nice big pieces based on London! We love taking in the sights down there – especially at Christmas time – in fact Kate will be spending the weekend there soon so she’s sure to return with an Xmas Bauble (or two) from Liberty’s – a place we can never resist, well can you blame us?!

These new pieces were inspired by London Landmarks, and use our trademark mix of collage, paint,  and mixed media – building up layers of paint, collage, line work and more paint! We like to look at the buildings as if they are patterns and shapes to create almost a patchwork within a piece.

Next on our list are St Ives and Padstow pieces! We have also been challenged to create our versions of Dubai & New York – best get painting!

28th October – Stories from the Studio

img_0168

Gosh this week has just flown by and it’s Friday once again!

Karen had loads of fun at Bakewell Wool Gathering at the weekend, and then visited the ladies of Holme Hall Ladies Group on Monday and made Jumping Clay Sheep and Ladybirds!

14720379_766414196831609_7792241157761365312_n  14670880_768677963271899_4386105742836319291_n

We’ve been super-busy with all of our Half Term activities at the studio this week, but the fun wasn’t just for the kids – we had lots of grown ups getting crafty in the studio with a Needle Felted Hare workshop on Tuesday and our Spooky Party for Grown Ups last night!

Surprisingly (or not!!) we ran over with the Spooky Party last night (we were just having too much fun!!), but it’s meant that I’m very tired today so I think I’ll leave the pictures to do the talking this week as I’m not sure my sentences are making sense!!!

img_0168  img_0769

The next two weeks will be busy at the studio as the kids go back to school and our range of courses start back up again – there are one or two spaces still up for grabs if you fancy joining us – I’m excited to meet lots of lovely new customers, as well as seeing some familiar faces too!

Finally, I’ll just remind you that it’s the Chesterfield Artisan Market on Sunday – Karen and Natalie will be there from 10am until 4pm making Jumping Clay Pumpkin & Black Cat magnets!

img_0523

Tutor Blog: Mosaic Madness & Festive Fairs

fabplaces

Lis Greensmith is the lovely lady behind Lily Mosaics. She runs all of the Mosaic Workshops at StraightCurves and we also stock some of her DIY Kit range. In the first of our Tutor Blog series, she tells us about her crazy Christmas preparations:

Well it’s the mad season here at the Lily Mosaics’ studio in Nuthall! As well as my workshops, I’m trying to get new Christmas stock to all my stockists, and physically make stock for my 6 Christmas fairs which start in two weeks’ time. Panic, me?! Ha ha.

I’ve bribed enlisted the help of my two sisters who are coming to help me on the DIY Kit assembly line, and we’re aiming to put around 200 kits together! Lily Mosaics currently has 19 designs in the DIY kit range, and so I need at least 10 of each design making up ready to sell, plus in this last week alone I have sent out 3 orders – one for 18 kits, another for 20, and a big one to Denman College in Oxfordshire for 28! Who needs sleep?!

My Son started at Uni a few weeks ago and mentioned that he wanted to come home this weekend… Fabulous news of course, but his bed is ceiling high with stock and boxes at the moment, so he may well have to sleep on the sofa. Poor boy! Lily Mosaics’ stock has literally taken over his bedroom, the dining room, the conservatory, the ensuite shower cubicle (we have another, please don’t worry!!), the garage, the attic – oh and I’ve hidden yet more stock behind the sofa in the lounge (don’t tell the husband).  So you see, it really is a little bit crazy here at Lily Mosaics HQ!

xmastrees  fabstall2013-1   fabplaces

So, as I say, my fairs start in less than two weeks’ time. November kicks off with the Handmade Christmas Fair inside the stunning Southwell Minster on Saturday 5th November. That is THE most beautiful candle-lit setting and when the Minster choir starts singing it really is Heaven. The following weekend (12th & 13th November) is the 2-day Fabulous Places Christmas Market at the Roundhouse in Derby which involves setting up my stall at 6am on the Saturday morning and then selling til 6pm, eek!  The Roundhouse is another stunning venue, of huge architectural interest, and I love doing the events there. I then have Christmas fairs at the Derby High School on the 19th November and the Walled Garden in Beeston on Sunday 20th.  The 26th and 27th November sees me at the Kelham Hall Christmas Fair in Newark, and then my final event, and the one I am actually organising with a friend, is the Christmas Artisan Market at Strelley Hall on December the 3rd and 4th.  We have the most yummy local food producers selling their wares – artisan breads, cheese, fudge, wines, locally produced beers – and of course many stalls will be displaying the talents of local artists and designer/makers (like myself)!  The mulled wine and mince pies will be flowing…

I hope I survive the season.  And I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas (yes, the dreaded “C” word in October – well I’ve been planning for it since July, so think yourself lucky, haha!).

Here’s to a very happy and healthy Christmas for all of us!

Lis xx

21st October – Stories from the Studio

Bento Bag Learner Work

Ah, the end of the first half term of this school year is here! It doesn’t seem two minutes since it was “back to school” time in September, yet here we are almost knocking on November’s door!!

We’ve got lots of fun planned in October half term, but spaces are filling up quickly – at time of writing our Spooky School only has one place left! We’re not just running activities for children either – Carol has a Needle Felted Owl / Hare workshop on Tuesday and is making Wet Felted Pumpkins on Saturday – and don’t forget our Spooky Party for Big Kids on Thursday evening!!

Bento Bag Learner Work Mastering Zips Learner Work

The Sewing Studio has seen an awful lot of action this week – as well as Sew Saturday, we had the final session of our five-week beginner’s pattern cutting course, some 1-to-1 overlocker tuition, and not one but TWO brand new sewing workshops – on Tuesday it was Mastering Zips where three lovely ladies learned how to insert three different types of zip, and on Thursday four learners mixed origami and sewing to create some beautiful Reversible Bento Bags!

Finally, it’s Bakewell Wool Gathering this weekend – we’re so excited to be going (though there’s always so many pretty things on offer, I’m not sure our bank balances will be quite so happy afterwards!!!). If you’re going along too, then do come and see us – we’ll be making sheep magnets with Jumping Clay!

Sheep Magnets at BWG

14th October – Stories from the Studio

img_4533-a76ef047d8d24c03823acdf41c4ee7c8

Hello everyone! Welcome to the first of what (should be!) a weekly update of everything that we’ve been up to in the StraightCurves studios this week!

As half term approaches, many of our courses have started to come to an end. It’s always sad when this happens, but it’s so exciting to see how far our lovely learners have come and we look forward to seeing lots of you again soon! These are a few of the fantastic dresses created on our Beginners’ Dressmaking Course

photo-1-63 photo-1-59

On Tuesday, Karen took a trip out to see Darley Dale WI and make Halloween models with Jumping Clay – it was such a fun evening and our tweets about it even got us a mention from Gogglebox star Rev Kate Bottley!!

And then, whilst our Woolly Wednesday-ers knitted, crocheted and chatted downstairs, the ladies of Chesterfield NWR visited the studio and rustled up some fabulous Rag Rug Flowers!

img_4533-a76ef047d8d24c03823acdf41c4ee7c8 Darley Dale WI

We had a BRAND NEW workshop in our Sewing Room on Thursday morning – three lovely ladies joined Great British Sewing Bee semi-finalist Tracey Symonds to create some beautiful evening bags – it was great to see how they went in different directions, with one blingy, one buttony and one set-to-impress at the Captain’s table on a forthcoming cruise!

14691961_761238970682465_8734102648750751961_o image-08-10-2016-at-12-01

Which brings me nicely to the fact that it’s Sew Saturday tomorrow! Tracey will once again be in the StraightCurves studios all day offering advice at her “Sew Surgery” – so whether it’s a pesky project causing you problems, or a snagged stitch that you need to fix, Tracey will be on hand to help you out!

2016 Retail Awards – We Won!!

Retail-Awards-Winners-2016

Ohmygoodness, Ohmygoodness, Oh. My. Goodness. We won! WE WON!!!

We are officially Chesterfield’s Leisure Retailer of the Year 2016!

I’m so excited, and so, so proud of all the StraightCurves team for all the hard work they put in to making us what we are. But most of all, thank you to you. Yes YOU. Our lovely customers, many of whom we are able to now call our friends. Thank you. Without you, StraightCurves would not be what it is. It’s as simple as that.

You make coming to work fun for us, and we hope you enjoy visiting as much as we enjoy having you around!