Blog address - http://www.ashteadcardmaking.
My name is Claire and, together with fellow crafter Michelle, I run two monthly card clubs - one in Ashtead and the other in Tadworth, Surrey.
Michelle and I are both working mums with children of similar ages. We began running the Ashtead club soon after my daughter’s fourth birthday party where Michelle discovered my crafty habits! I had planned a crafty clothes-peg activity for the children using the Sizzix doll cut-outs. Michelle recognised them immediately and we discovered we had a shared interest in crafting and cardmaking. Some months later the idea for a card club was born over a glass of wine (or two!) We have recently celebrated our 6th birthday in Ashtead and some of our members have been with us all the time since that first ever workshop. We took over our second club in Tadworth about four years ago.
So what do we get up to? Well we run 12 monthly workshops a year at each venue, as well as two or three all day workshops per year in Ashtead. We focus mainly on card making techniques, but at our all-day workshops we explore other techniques that take a bit more time, like glass and silk-painting, altered art, Christmas gift making and jewellery techniques etc.
We are currently knee deep in glitter, gems and all manner of things bling getting ready for Christmas. In the next few weeks we have a Christmas ‘speedcrafting’ workshop planned, as well as an all-day Christmas gift workshop where the focus is on making gifts like notelet sets, calendars and desk organisers. We also plan to make table decorations and wreaths.
Our members are always up for a crafty challenge and we run two main competitions per year - one in Summer and one at Christmas - with crafty prizes up for grabs.
Our current Christmas competition for members is to “Create a Christmas decoration using a household object”. This challenge was inspired by one of our members creating a glittered toilet roll tube snowflake decoration for a demo at one of our upcoming workshops. We discovered that most of us have made a toilet roll tube decoration at some point in our crafting careers! Mine was a blue painted toilet roll tube with foil snowflakes stuck on the side that still comes out every Christmas and hangs on Mum’s tree! It must have been one of my earliest crafting ventures, made at the age of three with my Granny. So we decided there and then that we would get nostalgic and revive some of our early recycling/crafting experiences with our latest competition. In fact Jill it may well have been one of our members who arrived at your blog by searching for “toilet roll crafts”! (see Jill’s entry 14th Oct on this blog!)
Our Summer competitions are always judged at the annual Ashtead Village Day event and we have been known to have the odd local celebrity as a judge. We always have a Club stall there and I have to say the celebs have been most obliging for the last three years!
We encourage our members to sell their cards on the stall and also any other hand made items. We have had an impressive array of items for sale including gift boxes, decorated tins, photo frames, mirrors, notebooks and also jewellery items too.
Our members all have varied interests when it comes to crafting and we try to encourage different members to demonstrate their favourite techniques at our workshops. It is a great way of sharing knowledge and expertise and it means that throughout the year we cover a wide variety of techniques and there will be something for everyone. This year we have started to include demo notes on our blog too, which is great for people to recap or pick up on something they may have missed. The demo notes are available to everyone and not just our members, so do check out our blog.
It’s fascinating to look at the statistics and see from where in the world we get visitors. It would be great to set up crafty exchange holidays too with some of the more exotic locations!! Well I can dream!