Wednesday, 2 July 2008

The next instalment

Can’t believe it’s been a week since I posted the last blog. Well the picture here is of my newly finished project that is now proudly sitting on a coffee table at Create. I knitted and then felted the plant pot cover and then painted the plant pot in colours to match. I suppose it’s to show how the wool and the pottery painting work well together. We have a great teapot and teapot cosy (both covered in roses) on display, which is along the same lines. I love felting as you put this huge odd shaped garment in the washing machine and it comes out looking very different and so much better.

We have finished our plans for summer courses (you can view all the details on our website We are going to get the pottery wheel that has been sitting in my dining room for the last three years out and into Create and we have got Michele (art teacher and professional potter) coming into take the courses. Miranda and myself haven't a clue how to throw a pot but we are both really looking forward to having a go! We will definitely take some photos of the pots that we make, as I am sure they are going to be interesting!! We have set these courses up for children / teenagers but we have had loads of interest from the adults so have a feeling that some of the sessions are going to be hijacked!!! Miranda has also been very busy setting up loads of adult knitting workshops with the Rowan teachers – just got to get the details published. This week has been manic for Miranda who has had to juggle Create with trips to the hospital. Simon, Miranda’s husband, a very keen cyclist (so much so that he rides ridiculous lengths up major hills) got knocked off his bike on one of his early morning trips. He broke his wrist and has a few cuts and bruises but think he was very lucky to get away with that considering he met a car on a blind corner. Importantly though Simon still managed to take part in the Father’s race at their children’s sports day and didn’t come last – I was impressed!

The other major bit of new is we have had some sunshine here in Yorkshire!! After last year’s miserable summer and never ending rain this week has started me hoping that maybe this year we will be able to have picnics on the moor and take a visit to the Lido. Can you believe that Ilkley has an outdoor swimming pool – it took me by surprise when we moved here but it is fantastic! Just think you can swim in the outdoors and paint a pot all in one day with a trip to Ilkley!!
See you next week ……….actually it may not be me writing it next week so could be a lot more interesting!


Thursday, 26 June 2008

The next post!

Well it seems to have been a busy week. We had our sock knitting course running. This is taken by Sherry our sock knitting expert. Sherry taught all of us to knit socks last winter (guess what we gave our husbands for Christmas!) and she is a fantastic teacher and knows everything and anything to do with socks! I am going to get Sherry to write a blog so she can let you know a bit of her knitting background but for anyone local, Sherry is the one sitting supporting her sons at football matches knitting socks (much to her son’s embarrassment I hear!). The photo shows our sock knitters course and you can just see a baby on the knee of one of the knitters – we in fact had 3 babies on the course with their Mums. They were all so good and they all seemed relaxed.

Miranda and I have been busy working on our online wool shop. Its while having to put together our database of wool and books that you realise how much stock we have got! We are also trying to sort out our children’s’ courses for the summer holidays. Hopefully by next week they will be up on our website. My daughter breaks up a week tomorrow – can’t believe it and it is putting me in a bit of a panic about how little time we have to sort things out here before the summer break. We did take some huge deliveries of pottery to paint yesterday in preparation. I think Miranda and I can safely say that sorting out deliveries is the worst part of our job – although very good for our fitness levels. We received over a tonne of pottery that we had to carry up stairs, sort out, check off and then try and store somewhere. Wish I had taken a photo of us – I was wearing a really impractical long skirt and stupid shoes as had been to a summer performance at my daughter’s school (and had forgotten about the task ahead). Anyway I think our faces showed the story BUT it is all sorted now.

Well need another coffee and better get back to the café – there is a lot of chatter I am missing out on!!!


Wednesday, 18 June 2008

The First Blog - June 2008

Well this is my first ever blog. Maybe I am moving with the times! My name is Emma (I am the one on the left) and I set up Create with a friend Miranda (on the right) in 2005. Both of us had lived and worked in London in marketing related jobs for numerous years (although we didn’t know each other then), got married, had children and then decided that London wasn’t quite the place for us to be and moved to Yorkshire. We met in the playground in Ilkley as we both have girls of similar ages and over a relatively short period of time the concept for Create evolved. We had both been to pottery painting places in London with our children (as babies then) and knew that it could work in Ilkley and there wasn’t anything similar around. We also wanted to have a place where you could come on your own or bring the kids, NOT sit on plastic chairs and have a decent coffee! It was also a lifestyle choice as although we both wanted and needed to work we also wanted to balance it with home, children and dogs!! Neither of us are potters or had any great artistic talent but we did have a very similar vision and I think are adaptable so we had a lot of crash courses, employed some very artistic people, found a great site and here we are!

The shop before we took it over was selling antiques but bizarrely also sold a bit of wool. Previously the shop had sold wool (for over 20 years) and the bit of wool that was here with the antiques was a hang over from that. After having Create open for 8 months, and having numerous people in asking for wool we decided to introduce wool back into the shop. Miranda and I do knit and just love being surrounded by the beautiful colours of the wools and yarns. On paper the fit doesn’t sound great – pottery painting, wool and café. But it really works – I hope our website shows that. It has a great creative feel and warmth about it and obviously a lot of chatter!! We are also incredibly proud of our coffees!!

We hope with this blog we can bring you into the shop if you can’t actually get here (or if you do come but still want to know all the news – I have a friend who lives really close who says she can’t wait for the blog to get going so she can keep up to date on all the happenings!). It is a way to introduce you to some of the people who work here and the lovely people that come to visit us. Also the blog will hopefully be a place to show some of the fantastic stuff that gets made here. Being in Ilkley we are in the heart of the wool trade (sadly though most of the mills are now luxury flats) but there are still some working (Rowan’s new K Fassett yarn that is launching in August is being produced not far from here) and we get so many people in who use to work (or still do) in the industry – spinners, machinists, pattern designers. Hopefully we can pass on some of those stories to you.

Really hope you join us regularly – any comments, ideas please e-mail us using our website.