Friday, 21 October 2016

New workshops and 'Social Sundays', finding our way in the studio & gallery

Today marks the fourth week in the studio & gallery. Each day has seen progress whether it has been styling the price tags, adding artists information, arranging to stock 'The Crack' listings magazine or as in todays chores, adding the latest batch of felted mobiles and garlands ......... and yes the flying pigs are back, more colourful than ever.

By the far the biggest job of the last week has been getting our series of Christmas workshops ready, as all of the others were sold out. 'Handmade Christmas' offers two needle felting workshops, one to make your own needle felted Robin, the other to make some needle felted baubles. If you don't fancy felting we have a very creative 'Christmas All Wrapped Up' workshop with retail magician Frances, so if you'd like to give your gift wrapping a serious attack of flair and enjoy a glass of mulled wine and lots of ideas then this one could be for you. If you require something a little more cerebral and fancy a bit of creative writing, local writer Elaine Cusack has two workshops, one to indulge the travel writing, the other is based on food ...... ah now we have your attention ....... yes being some recipes along and you can start your own very special recipe book or maybe blog?

Full details of all workshops can be found here, where you will find links to book online, or of course if you are local you can drop in and book in person.

A busy first workshop who produced some lovely brooches and tree decorations.

The studio is open on Sundays and we like to have a very relaxed atmosphere, so we offer free tea and coffee between 10am and 12 noon for Social Sundays, so you can browse at your own pace or have a try at whatever is being made...... it's one of the joys of being more than a shop and having creativity and well being as one of our core ethics.

Next week I shall tell you about the artists who work with us and the lovely items they produce, but if you're in the area why not drop in and see for yourself?

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Our Provisional Autumn Workshop List

Lots of people have been asking about our workshops so here is our provisional list, which includes felting, creative writing and art journaling. We will be adding more workshops in due course, we are just waiting for confirmation from two new venues, as the larger workshops will take place outside of the studio, but all workshops take place in Whitley Bay/Monkseaton.
You can book online through our shop, or in person at the studio and gallery, where you can also ask me any questions you may have or pic up a list.

Sunday, 25 September 2016

Transformations: from empty shop to Happy Planet Studio & Gallery in 3.4 weeks

I collected the keys for our new premises on Friday 26th August, with the decorators starting work the next day and finishing the following Wednesday.

The empty shell on day one
Once the decorators had finished I couldn't wait to start moving in furniture ........ not just because it was exciting to finally have a our new premises, but almost as important was to reclaim my home, which had become part shop, part studio and part furniture store. The majority of our furniture in the gallery is second hand from community furniture stores, or was liberated from skips.......with permission. Some needed a little tlc, some needed a lot.  It took several days to get it all shop ready but I feel it all helps to take ownership of the space, to say nothing of getting it all to match. Most of the preparation work was done in my garden, as sanding is a filthy job.

When the furniture was all repaired and painted, deciding what should go where was the fun part. A new window display ledge was also built, with plenty of storage out of sight, as the space itself had not storage. Once it was put into to place there were only a couple of minor changes, it was almost as if the furniture was made for the space.

Nearly done, the view from my desk

My favourite transformation is the converted darts cabinet, now a jewellery display case,  with the aid of some polystyrene, glue and black velvet, complete with chalk boards to show information.

A few days later and all of the stock is labelled and signage complete, Alan the sign writer has been twice, once to put up our name and logo and again to add 'the planet' and window logos. It's a wonder I wasn't arrested for stalking window cleaners, as both the inside and out were too high and hideously dirty to be cleaned by yours truly. Finally 'Dave', cornered up his ladder at 7am one sunny morning, took pity on us, liked our coffee and says he'll add us to his round .......... result!

The next task was to co-ordinate the stock being brought in by artists and putting together displays, thankfully they all took responsibility for their own and left me to do mine and the shop window.

The seaside corner, which looks like it has always been there

 Finally, the day that felt like it would never arrive, arrived. I was hanging curtains at 5.15am, tidying my desk, sweeping the floor and fighting with a very irritating printer. Eventually, with seven minutes to spare, I lifted the blind, took photos of the shop front and opened the door for the first time.

Opening day in Whitley Bay
 The day was wonderful with a fairly constant stream of customers, both friends and strangers, and the sun shone, nobody could ask for more.  Heart felt thanks to everyone who helped me to complete this undertaking, I absolutely love it and I hope visitors do too.

Saturday, 27 August 2016

Poetry with Friends, Tuesday 6th Sept Cancelled

Due to moving premises our scheduled meeting for Tuesday 6th September is cancelled. This is the only change and all scheduled Thursday meetings remain unaffected.

Friday, 12 August 2016

We have a new home

I have now secured new premises on Ilfracombe Gardens in Whitley Bay and will be moving in on Sept 1st. Don't expect to open for 2 - 3 weeks, but will post updates and information as the process flows ........ well at least I hope it flows smoothly.

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Summer Workshop Programme Part 1

The first part of our creative summer workshop programme is now available here. Part one contains our more regular activities, but in their new home of The Old Low Lights heritage centre at North Shields. The regular art journaling workshop takes place in the fabulous top floor gallery, which is light and airy with panoramic views of the river, it's the perfect creative space and will also be used for the felt picture workshops.

Part 2 of our workshop programme is just waiting for a few minor details to be ironed out, but is full of new creative workshops to inspire and delight  right up to Christmas and we hope to unveil those to you by the end of July.

You can book securely online through our online shop here. If you would prefer to book by cheque or other method, or have any questions please contact Gail directly either by email or Tel:07752356880

If you are not on our mailing list and would like to be kept up to date on workshops and other happenings at Happy Planet you can either drop us an email or sign up via the form on our website home page. We don't pass your details to anyone else.

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

New Summer Programme of Creative Workshops due on July 12th

Our new programme of creative orkshops will be published on Tuesday 12th July.
We have some old favourites and some new ones, so please check back next week.