Wednesday 1 August 2018

A final Goodbye

This is just a little note to say goodbye from Ian and I as we reach the final closing of the Craft Barn.  
We want to say a heartfelt thank you to you all for your support over the last 10 years.  We are going to really miss seeing and talking to you all even as we are looking forward to the next chapter of our lives. 
We hope you will continue to craft and enjoy this wonderful hobby, personally I will certainly keep crafting and I'm sure I will bump into at least some of you at various fairs and shows.
With thanks, love and hugs to you all
Sandy and Ian 

Tuesday 3 July 2018



Once again we have been blown away by the numbers of orders placed once the 70% code went live. As of now I still have 35 orders to pick from 26th June but then we should be able to power through the rest of the outstanding orders as the volume of orders placed dropped significantly In the following days. If necessary we will work through the weekend to get up to date.

Stock update is that there are just over 500 product lines remaining but nearly all are in single figures now.

See you soon

Sandy xx

Tuesday 26 June 2018


Hi Folks

A little heads up that I have changed the Discount code to 70%.  This can be used for any orders placed going forward.  We plan to leave this for a couple of weeks and then if there is still stock left we will do a few mega goody boxes.

There are aprox 1500 different products still available, still plenty to choose from!

Just a little reminder that there are now flat rate postage rates on all orders.  These are £2.50 on all UK orders and £5 for all Europe orders.  Postage to the rest of the world remains unchanged.

Thank you all again for your support and for shopping with us.

With thanks, love and hugs

Sandy xx

Thursday 24 May 2018


Hi Folks

I thought another update was in order as we work our way through the closing process.   
I want to thank you for your patience as we managed the large number of orders we received after the 50% code went live.  It was both the number and the size of the orders which impacted on the time it took to process them.  After the issues we had when the stock system temporarily crashed, we decided that the sensible thing to do, before we have what could be another peak in orders, was a full stock take prior to the release of the last offer code.  We are over half way through this but it is taking way longer than we thought and it’s not complete yet.  We think there are another 2-3 days work just stock counting.

We have added lots of items back on to the stock system that were showing out of stock or had been deleted and I have baskets and baskets of things still to add for the first time which is another few days work.  I know everyone is keen for the 70% code to go live but we want to take the time to finish the process properly before we update the system, that way all these products both existing and new are visible and go live at the same time, rather than in dribs and drabs so people miss things.  

I will email progress in the newsletter and put notes up on the website, facebook and blog when we have finished and the products are live.  We will then let everyone know when the new code will go live, at this point the estimate is the first week of June.  Please bear with us we are trying to work as fast as we can.
Thank you all for your support, we have appreciated your orders and all the lovely comments and emails we have received.

With thanks, love and hugs
Sandy xx

Friday 18 May 2018

Latest update

Hi Folks

Thank you for your support over the last few weeks we are  very grateful for all your orders.  We are finally up to date and things are back to shipping in 24 to 48 hours.
I still have the last batch of refunds to process which will happen very shortly. We are going to do a quick stock check and add the missing items on to the system and we are aiming to get the 70% off code up next Friday.
Just to let you know, at the time of writing there are still over 1500 different products on line.  We also have some products to put back on the system as a number of people placed a replica second order when the stock system crashed, thinking their order had not gone through.  Finally as we are getting to the bottom of boxes of stock we are finding extra items so they need to go back on too and I won’t have time to do that until we have caught up with the orders.
With thanks, love and hugs
Sandy xx

Thursday 3 May 2018

Delay to 70% off code

Hi Everyone

Thank you for your support over the last few weeks and most especially this past week, we have been blown away by the number of orders we have received.

I just need to give everyone an update on where we are.  Last Friday was so very busy we had an unprecedented number of orders, so much so that you actually managed to crash the cloud based stock control system and the link to Sagepay for the first time ever!  The stock system tried for several hours to reset itself but the volume of transactions kept making it restart, so there were some issues with  the stock counting until the volume of orders slowed down enough to enable it to properly cycle through its interface with the website.  What this means is that there will unfortunately be some out of stock items in the orders, although hopefully not too many as the stock was counted just not applied as quickly as it would normally have been.  

We are working really hard to process all of the orders but there is just Ian and I and I need to be honest and say that we do have a backlog.  So (big gulp) we are running with a 7-10 day time frame for orders at the moment (yes we really did have that many orders!) and I am picking and Ian is packing as fast as we can.  
Please, please, please bear with us, we are working extra long days to get on top of things.  If your order is really urgent then please call me and I will do my best to speed the shipping for you but I am picking the orders in the order they were placed so that we are fair in respect of any out of stock items.  We have someone coming in to help who will process any refunds that have arisen from out of stock items on the picked orders.

As a result of all of the above, we think that it would be sensible to defer the new 70% off code for two weeks to allow us to catch up, before (fingers crossed) we have the last spike in orders before we close.  We hope that you will understand this decision.

Just to let you know, at the time of writing there are still over 2000 different products on line.  We also have some products to put back on the system as a number of people placed a replica second order when the stock system crashed, thinking their order had not gone through.  Finally as we are getting to the bottom of boxes of stock we are finding extra items so they need to go back on too and I won’t have time to do that until we have caught up with the orders.
With thanks, love and hugs
Sandy xx

Saturday 7 April 2018

Changes at The Craft Barn

Hi Folks

I have some news to share with you all. 

We have loved running The Craft Barn for the last 10+ years, however, Ian is now almost 68 and really wants to retire plus we have my mum who is coming up on 92 and although she is fiercely independent she is needing more support which means trips up to Cheshire at short notice, so we have made what has been the difficult decision that we are going to close the Craft Barn.

The way that we plan to handle closing is as follows.  We have created a new clearance section on the website which includes all the current sale stuff and some other bits that we rediscovered when we were going through the stock click here to pop over. Starting next Friday we will have an offer code for 20% off everything then each week the offer code will change and the discount will increase to 30%, 50%, and 70% off everything.  The extra discount will also apply to the items already reduced in the clearance section.  

I recommend having a good look around at what is available as there are almost 5,000 products there.  We don’t have huge numbers of stocks of many items and customers will need to gauge the level of discount available vs the chance of the product selling out to decide when to buy any things they may want.  At the end of the discount codes, we will see what is still in stock and look at some kind of final ridiculously good value goody boxes.

We are hoping for your support for a final time so that we sell as much as possible over the next few weeks especially as there will be some amazing savings to be had and we need to ultimately reclaim our house!  I don’t think Ian is looking forward to the redecorating but that’s the trade off for him!  I have a new venture in mind for myself after all I’m too young to retire completely!

A few weeks ago we had to take the decision to add postage back for orders under £30 as we were making a loss on so many orders when we factored in packaging and cost of shipping, and with the new postage rates it was just not viable to carry on absorbing the cost.

We are so grateful to all of the wonderful people we have met through the Craft Barn, customers, staff, tutors and suppliers and truly thankful for all the support and help we have received. I am also grateful to Ian for helping me to live my dream for the last decade and for his love and support.

Unfortunately the blog won't be continuing with new posts into the future as the Craft Barn won't be there, but it will stay up so you will still be able to see the wonderful projects that are currently there.

Hope you grab some bargains

With thanks, love and hugs

Sandy xx

Saturday 31 March 2018

Easter Egg

Easter Egg

Hi There!

The daffodils are out, 
the crocus and hyacinth
bulbs bursting forth, birds
singing their little heads
off  Spring must be on the
way.  Wonderful. 

Here is an Easter Card for you
today from Angela Radford

 "Hi all I'm here to show you how 
I've made this Easter card using one 
of the Jofy stamps Jofy53 by Paper Artsy. 

As you can see I have only stamped
 the flower section of this stamp and 
not the stem. 

I used Versafine Black Archival and
 then embossed with clear powder.

 I know they are not meant to be eggs 
but I'm sure you'll agree they do look 
like them. 

I coloured these with brush tip
 ink pens and added highlights
 with a white pen

 Before completing this card I splattered 
Distress ink onto the card blank. 

Just smooth some ink onto a craft mat 
and add a little water then use a brush
 to flick it onto the card. 

I played around with the eggs and 
decided to use just three and
 also added the little birds from 
Kim Dellow stamp EKD02 stamping a
 little towards the back of the card.

 I coloured these yellow so they looked
 like little chicks.

The background was made by applying 
Distress Oxides straight to the card ,
 one colour at a time, spritz, drip and dry.

 The large sentiment stamp is by 
Woodware and the Easter text is one
 from my stash. 

I stamped around the edge with a 
stamp from a Lin Brown set ELB33 and
 completed the card with a few coloured sequins. 

The lines around the edge were drawn 
free hand with a black felt tip pen and
 that's it, all done. 

Have a lovely Easter, Angela xXx"

And you have a lovely Easter too
Angela.  Thank you for the
beautiful card too.  

So bright a colourful - really brings a
smile don't you think? 

Of course, if you don't celebrate
Easter then this card could be used
for any other celebration - just use
the "eggs" the other way up and
they become Balloons!  
Finally add a greeting appropriate
to the occasion.  

I'll leave you with that 

'Till tomorrow

Mickie xx

Friday 30 March 2018

Easter Egg

Easter Egg

Hi There!

Hope the day is bright and
cheery but worry not if its
downcast, cold and dreary
the whole family can get
involved with today's
bright and colourful project
from Helen Chilton

"Journal page using Lin Brown stamps,
 Dylusions sprays, rub ons, words 
and lots of colour!

Had the stamped and coloured labels 
already for another project and 
decided to use them up.

Added more background stamping.

Stamped the flowers and birds then 
painted all over in white and stamped 
again over the top."

Many thanks Helen for this
lovely page

Certainly shows how it is possible
to become completely engrossed
in journalling doesn't it?

A quick tip from me too : if you
leave your journal open on your
desk you will automatically add
to it.  If you keep it away on a
shelf or in a draw you will rarely
do any work in it

"Till tomorrow

Mickie xx

Thursday 29 March 2018

Easter Egg

Easter Egg

Hallo Everyone!

With the Easter Holiday rapidly
approaching I was delighted to
find this lovely project from
Craftyfield in my in box.

The perfect answer to the
dilemma of how to carry all
the little eggs found on the
Easter Egg Hunt ........

"A drawstring fabric bag, like this one
is ideal to wrap up awkward shaped items
 and, as a bonus, you get 2 sides to decorate!
 The bag is roughly 15 by 20cms.

It's also a lot easier to buy ready mad
 than to make the bag yourself, which I 
now know since this is precisely what I did.
 Given the choice, let me tell you, I'd
 rather spend the time on the fun
 decorating part rather than the 
construction of the bag!

No step by step today, especially on how 
to cross-stitch, as I'm a complete beginner
 myself, but I will give you ideas to 
decorate fabric bags.

 The bravest crafters might want to 
paint or draw on the bag, otherwise
 try stamping with textile paints 
(SoSoft, Starlight Textiles, Setacolor) 
or any of your permanent inks. 
I would recommend Brilliance inks 
because there are so many colours available 
but Archival or Versafine will work too.

 Remember to place a piece of cardboard 
inside the bag to give you a firm 
surface to stamp on and protect the 
reverse of the bag from the ink or paint 
seeping through.

If stamping is not your thing how
 about stencilling? Just make sure the
 fabric of your bag is stretched and 
held in place with masking tape before
 applying the paints. 

Use one stencil for an overall pattern 
or several to create a scene.

 Create stripes with masking tape or 
die-cut shapes out of acetate to stencil
 specific areas of the bag. 

If you are not confident decorating 
your bag directly you can use a separate 
piece of fabric and sew it on
 to the bag later. 

Other ideas: use image transfer with 
gel medium, collage rice paper, sew 
a printed fabric piece or several 
pieces to make a shape or pattern...

You can add embellishments too,
 flower shapes, buttons, shrink plastic 
items (don't forget to punch the holes 
before srinking...), ribbons, twine etc... 

Like me you can use felt die-cuts motifs
 to the bag, and I would advise you to 
sew them on to be sure they won't move. 

You could die-cut initials or a complete
 name, word or phrase.

 Steel rule dies (the thick Sizzix dies) are 
best for this but I have had success with 
thin dies too, just as long as the shape
 isn't too detailed.

Only a few ideas here, but really the
 world is your oyster! 

Share with us in the comments if 
you have ideas of your own.

These little bags will make it so easy
 to wrap up the Easter eggs or Bunnies 
and make nice keepsakes too!"
Thank you Craftyfield - lots of ideas here
especially for those of us who like to
make individual bags for each family

These bags would be good for
a little person's ballet shoes
or gym pumps too

'Till tomorrow

Mickie xx

Wednesday 28 March 2018

Mother's Day the Sequel

Mother's Day the Sequel

Hi There!

Yes, I'll admit.  I had a brainstorm
(before anyone goes all pc on me
that is a technical term) and for all
I had created some articles specifically
for Mother's Day; I omitted to post

You don't have to be crazy to
live my life but it does help.....

As you will see, each card lends
itself to more than one
occasion all that is required is
to change the greeting 

I have three such projects for you;
the first is from Hazel Harler
and it goes like this:

 "For the background I placed a stencil 
on some white card and sprinkled it with
 Cosmic Shimmer Pixie dust and then
 sprayed it with water. 

I dried the card with a heat gun and 
stamped the Paperartsy Hot Picks flower 
and coloured it with a felt tip pen. 

I then edged the card with a black pen and
 added the ribbon then adhered the 
decorated card to a card blank.

I stamped a butterfly onto card 
that I'd coloured with Pixie dust, cut it out 
and adhered it to the card and then
 finished with the sentiment and some sequins."


The next card is from Jane Castle and it
goes like this:

"Here is a fairly quick and easy card to help
 with any ideas if you are struggling with 
what to make.

"For my base card I used a linen textured card 
and cut a paper heart template to work my
 Gelatos off to form my outline.

Then using the blending tool worked around
 the heart before removing the template
and added buttons following the 
shape of the heart.  There's lots of
lovely buttons on the Craft Barn website
if you need to stock up

Some I added thread to for added interest. 

Then using the same 3 colours of Gelatos
 coloured a piece of card and added a die 
cut Mum, a couple of Tim Holtz die cut wild 
flowers at the bottom and finally some 
Ranger Liquid Pearls to enhance the 
shape on the outside."


and finally, here is a card from
Claire Jackson

My card uses water soluble pastels 
(Gelatos or Distress Crayons) and
 embossing folders.

First I scribbled on two pieces of card
 and blended the colours with a damp 
baby wipe.

Then I coloured an embossing folder using 
the lighter colour first. I did both sides 
and then spritzed lightly with water. 
I put my coloured card pieces back
 to back in the folder so that I could emboss
 both at the same time, ending up with 
one side embossed and one side debossed.

There was still some colour on the folder
 so I spritzed again and ran two 
pieces of white card through.

Using a different folder I embossed and
 die cut some flowers.
 I had enough pieces for two cards

Thank you Hazel, Jane and Claire
for a lovely set of cards

Some good techniques here too
and I really liked the tip from
Claire on using two pieces of
card in an embossing folder.

There's always something to 
be learned isn't there?

'Till tomorrow

Mickie xx