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Monday, 10 April 2017

As one door closes.......?

Last time I managed to post anything on here Lev3l3 Crafters had just relocated to a new unit in Manor Walks and started to hold craft markets in there every day Monday to Saturday.  As a result of all the increased crafting going on, in order that supply could meet demand, time for updating business pages and this blog diminished dramatically!  Let's just say that we hit the ground running .....

Since we opened in our cosy little unit we have gone from strength to strength.  The downside of The Venue being in such a small unit was that we no longer had any space in there to carry out our Krafty Kidz sessions.  Manor Walks management team, past and present, kindly allowed us to use space outside in the mall in order to continue to craft with the kids.  We also continued to hold Krafty Kidz sessions in the central mall in conjunction with The Vue cinema in Cramlington too.  As a bonus all the proceeds from these sessions go to the Guide Dog Association so win, win all around!

We were also encouraged by Manor Walks management to have a display in the mall outside The Venue each Saturday in order to draw attention to our little craft market, which has worked quite successfully.   (We do tend to have a problem with passers-by thinking we are a charity shop for some reason - despite the sign above the door stating we are crafters!)

 In addition to this we also had "crafting showcases" out in the mall each month where individual crafters demonstrated their craft.


 Ebeneezer Scrooge even visited us in The Venue as part of the Christmas Lights Switch-on in December 2015 (and not Wee Willie Winkie as someone suggested!!)

 In June 2016 we were very honoured to be invited to the Duchess of Northumberland's Garden Party for volunteers and carers.  The Duchess holds an annual garden party in her capacity as Lord Lieutenant of Northumberland.

As part of our support for the Guide Dog Association we managed to have some of their volunteers visit the market, along with their beautiful guide dogs.

And in November last year we had a tombola stall in the mall outside The Venue to raise funds for them.

We have also had new members join our group during our time in our current location, whilst others have moved on to other things.

Our new members include:
 TC Crafts


Craftee Thoughts

Paulin Crafts

Greylord's Bookbinding Services

Earlier this year our founder Sue took the very difficult decision to leave our group due to other commitments.  She has been instrumental in guiding our group since she founded it a little over three years ago and it is largely thanks to her that we are where we are today so she is a great miss.

Sue with her trusty assistant Lucy

So that is a very quick potted history of our time in our current location.  But now for the bad news.....

Our "parent" company Digital Community Youth have taken the decision to close down, which means the end of Lev3l3 Crafters as we know it.  With effect from 1st June we will no longer exist.  At present we are in limbo waiting to find out when we have to vacate The Venue and as soon as we have a date for that I will update the blog.

However, on the plus side, each and every member of our crafty group has said that they want us to remain together as a group.  You can find links to the business pages of all of our members at the rightside of our blog page.  How we proceed as a group from 1st June is not yet clear and requires a great deal of thought as we will effectivley be "homeless".  We will also have to decide on a new name so the name of this blog will also be changing, as will our Facebook business page and our twitter account.

I'll leave you with a few pictures of the inside of our current Venue.  Thank you for reading our blog.

Sunday, 21 February 2016

We're still here!

Hello everyone.  It's been a while since my last post but there has been a lot going on since then and not much time for writing blog posts.

In September we left our location next to Lloyds Bank in Manor Walks, Cramlington and had a worrying three weeks while we waited to get keys to another unit within the mall.  But Manor Walks came up trumps and on 19 October we opened our doors a bit further down the mall.  The new unit is still The Venue and we are still community crafters.

 This unit is slightly smaller than our previous two and so we had to have a rethink about how we operate.  Where previously we only held a market day each Saturday, we now have an ongoing market 6 days each week, though weekdays and Saturdays are still a bit different.  Monday to Friday four of our crafters have a table - these are "fixed" tables so the same people each week.  The fifth table is our crafting table and each day the crafter in "residence" sits there to demonstrate his/her craft.  On Saturdays it's all change - and we still run our Saturday markets as we always have, with all crafters in the group taking turns to have a table on a rota basis.

We also now have a lot of display shelving and so each crafter in the group has some of their items on display (and available to purchase) on a permanent basis.  And of course being handmade means that many items can be personalised to order.  From changing the colour of buttons to having a name or date put onto a plate, card, mdf heart, to having a photograph framed in the size and colour of your choice - or even made into a fridge magnet or set of coasters.

On the first Saturday of each month we have a "crafting showcase" out in the mall where one of our crafters sits and demonstrates their craft and is available to answer any questions you might have.

The third Saturday of the month is our Kidz Crafting session - also out in the mall - where for £1 the kids can join in getting crafty.  Materials are supplied and all proceeds go to our chosen charity for the year - currently The Guide Dog Association.

On 6 February we had our first visit in our new unit from some adorable four legged friends.

 With the money we raised last year for the Guide Dog Association we will be sponsoring three guide dog puppies.

Now that we are settled in I will try and do a blog post more frequently again - though it's unlikely that I will manage a weekly one.

Thank you for visiting our blog.

Lev3l 3 Crafters