CROCHET & CHATTER WITH… IN2CRAFTING

Welcome to the first in series of interviews I will be doing with local businesses, independent crafters and people/organisations I find interesting and who I think you will love too. As the title suggests, I will also be including something crochet related too!

If you would like to have a little Crochet & Chatter with me, then message me and I will add you to my list of people to interview!

 

Wickford, where my home is, is very lucky to have an excellent craft shop – In2crafting. I spend a little…well, ok…a lot of time in there! Sometimes I’m only there for just for a couple of minutes as I rush in to grab an essential crafting item but more often than not, I have a leisurely browse of all the pretties and a chat with the friendly and welcoming staff. On a very rare occasion, you can even find me with my pal, Wendy, buttoning – a term we have come up with for the joy that is sorting through the pick and mix button section!

When and where did you set up in2crafting?

What started as a hobby some years ago has turned into a rapidly growing business for us. We started our craft shop in a garden centre in February 2005 with a view to supplying all sorts of craft, art and hobby materials to local residents. Réne also started card making workshops to teach card making to beginners and experienced crafters.

In May 2009 we changed our trading name to In2crafting and started to plan our website.

In August 2010 we moved to more convenient and larger premises in the Ladygate Centre, Wickford offering more space, choice and larger workshop facilities. Thanks to the great support of our customers locally and from far afield, the shop has grown in popularity as have the workshops.

What did you do before setting up In2crafting?

Before starting our business Réne worked in London for a violin dealer and John spent his career in sales training and sales management.

What kinds of items can we find in In2crafting?

Due to the comments of the majority of customers, the phrase “an Aladdin’s cave” has been adopted to describe the shop and it’s mass of contents. We have over 20,000 different products in store!

Some of the most popular items at the moment are die cutting/embossing products as well as stamps and inks.

What kind of workshops/demonstrations/offers do you run?

We run our own special offer promotions as well as those provided by major suppliers. In addition, extra savings can be made by joining our Privilege Card Scheme.

Apart from Réne, there are now other tutors providing fantastic inspiration to the classes. Michelle, and Carol, are our card making experts, Cherry who specialises in Parchment craft as well as Pen & Ink Drawing, Jane with paper crafting, Carol our resident Scrapbooking expert, and then there’s Yakoba with her Jewellery making classes.

Most weeks there are morning or afternoon workshops going on. All materials are provided and there are refreshments during the workshops, which can last between 2½ – 3 hours. It’s a great chance to share ideas with other like minded people. Customers are really pleased with what they have created in their workshop and often book way ahead to get in the next season of classes.

Another very popular event is our monthly free demonstration Saturdays. These feature great products from leading manufacturers and combined with special offers on the day. We continue to have some top class demonstrators coming to inspire and teach new and alternative techniques.  Customers love our workshops and demonstration days.

Thank you to Réne and John for taking the time have a chat with me.

I can highly recommend popping into In2crafting whether you are looking for a specific crafting item, a gift for a crafty or model making friend or to join one of their excellent workshops or free demonstrations.

 

So, we’ve had our chat, now for some crochet! There is no question about what I should show you in the world of crochet today. The fabulous Lucy of attic24 has unveiled her Autumn Wreath and it is a complete delight! You can see what I mean here.

If you haven’t discovered the wonderful blog that Lucy writes and fills with glorious photos of her crochet, her home, her studio that she shares with her friend and fellow crafter Tracy of Patchwork Chickens  and the lovely countryside surrounding it, then I highly recommend you do – she lifts your soul!

I’ll finish this week’s Crochet & Chatter with a photo of my very own attic24 inspired crochet wreath.  The lovely Mr F bought me a voucher from Beautiful Things for my birthday earlier this year which I used to attend the a course run by my crafting guru Claire Mackaness and this beauty (if I do say so myself) is the fabulous result!

photo by Claire Mackaness

photo by Claire Mackaness

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OH HAPPY DAY!

I feel this week is going to be a good one!

Firstly, the children didn’t go back to school until today and so we, technically, have a ‘short’ week which is a lovely way to start the new half term.

Secondly, I was woken up at 5am this morning by the cat trying to get in to our bedroom – this may sound like a negative but between the efforts of my cat (trying to get in for sneaky cuddles in bed), my youngest (feeling lonely and needing to squeeze in the middle aka hog the whole bed) and Mr F (either waking me up when coming to bed or by snoring when he is in bed), this is actually a lie in, so not a bad start!

After my usual routine of lying there trying to get off to sleep again and then giving up and going on facebook, I had a the pleasure of finding that the very talented Chandi from  Expressions Fiber Arts had posted a fabulous rainbow yarn giveaway! You can find out more details here but, in case the words rainbow and yarn were not enough to get you flying to her blog here is a photo of what she is giving away!

Expression Fiber Arts Nov Giveaway

Part of the giveaway requirements is to tell Chandi why you love yarn, here is what I wrote

“I LOVE YARN! Whether new or old, it’s like holding memories in your hands – soft, warm, gentle, joyous memories of people and times gone by or anticipation of those yet to come!”

Just thinking about why I love yarn, without a bit of it in sight, made me feel really happy and brought a big smile to my face as I recalled all the lovely knitted cardigans, scarves, dolls clothes, even a dressing gown once, knitted by my lovely Nanny. Even though they have all since been passed on to other children, the memory of her giving them to me and the excitement and joy I had wearing them or playing with my dollies new clothes is a fresh as if it were yesterday!

I then spotted that my lovely Cousin Susan who lives in Australia had tagged me in a post.  We have been posting back and forth over the last week or so commenting on various visual illusion photos posted by Craft Corner which you can see here.  As a return challenge for me she tagged me in this photo challenge from Linda Campbell Melton (which she admitted she had needed to use a magnifying glass for!).

Find the black and white cat

In the conversation that followed, Cousin Susan commented out of the blue on how much fun our Nanny, who we have never talked about together before, would have had with these challenges! That, combined with her comment about needing to use a magnifying glass to find the cat, triggered another lovely memory of my Nanny using her white, pearlised magnifying glass to read knitting patterns! My Mum still has the magnifying glass and it is used regularly, so it is always around in the kitchen or the sitting room of her house and every time I pick it up, it is like I am holding my Nanny’s hand.

Magnifying Glass

So thanks to Chandi and my Cousin Susan, I started the day and my ‘working week’ with a rainbow of glorious colours and a warm and cosy feeling as if sat on my Nanny’s lap, wrapped in her arms!

Nanny