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

Thursday, 25 August 2016

Tantalising Textiles 2017

Following the survey of our customers in our newsletter recently, we have decided to bring our Tantalising Textiles competition forward a little earlier in the year and change the format. The exhibition will be held in Gallery 50 at Craft Arena from Tuesday 14th February until Friday 31st March.

We are dividing the competition into two sections; one with a theme which this year is Perspective and another open section in which you can submit work on a theme of your choice. Some things stay the same; there will be a £5 entrance fee for each piece of work you enter, with no limit on the number submitted. Customers of Craft Arena will be asked to vote for their favourite piece, and the winner (or winners, depending on how many entries we receive) will receive a Craft Arena Gift Voucher with another voucher going to the winner of our voters draw. The Application Form and entrance fee must be submitted by Tuesday 31st January 2017 although your work does not have to be with us until Saturday 12th February 2017.

The theme Perspective can be interpreted in any way. Here is the definition from the dictionary:
  • a way of regarding situations, facts, etc., and judging their relative importance
  • the proper or accurate point of view or the ability to see it
  • the theory or art of suggesting three dimensions on a two-dimensional surface, in order to recreate the appearance and spatial relationships that objects or a scent in recession present to the eye
  • the appearance of objects, buildings etc., relative to each other, as determined by their distance from the viewer, or the effects of this distance on their appearance
  • a view over some distance in space or time; vista; prospect
  • a picture showing perspective
So, you could submit a piece of work depicting a building, scene or object; for example a view from your window, a landscape scene, a street scene, a still life composition in a figurative or abstract form.
These are just a few ideas to help you, but remember you can take the theme in any direction you wish. Full terms and conditions, with more information, are on the entry form which you can find on our website
I'm really looking forward to seeing what you come up with. 

The previous winners of Tantalising Textiles


Thursday, 2 June 2016

Tantalising Textiles 2016 Exhibition

I thought you may like to see the submissions for this year's Tantalising Textiles competition. We have 5 entries from three people which are all stunning!

Read more about the criteria for entry

Tantalising Textiles 2016

A Month of Lace: An Inch Each Day
Freestyle bobbin lace by
Christine Gibson
Sunrise over Sidmouth
Freestyle bobbin lace by
Christine Gibson
Fragililty and Solitude
Freestyle bobbin lace by
Christine Gibson
Reflections of Life
Freestyle lace by

Linda Legrand
River of Reflections
Laminated stitch work
Anne Crowther

We are conducting a survey to help us structure next year's competition. You can help us by completing the survey which you can find here