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

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Potter & Pooh Exhibition

A Celebration of Beatrix Potter and Winnie the Pooh

To celebrate the 150th anniversary of the birth of Beatrix Potter, and also the 90th anniversary of the publishing of Winnie the Pooh Craft Arena is holding an exhibition in July 2016.
If you would like to be part of this exhibition, you can submit work that has already been completed, or it can be new. Your work may have been shown elsewhere, can be any size and constructed in any media. You may submit work of your own design or made from kits, although this must be stated on the application form which is now available. Your work will need to be with us by Thursday 30th June and the exhibition will run from Saturday 2nd to Sunday 31st July. This is an open exhibition, which is free to enter, and everyone is welcome to submit their work.
The application form, which must be included with your work, is available online, in the studio or via email. If you need any more information, please contact us. I look forward to seeing your work.
One tablespoon to be taken at bedtime...