Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Customer Appreciation Evening

To say a big thank you for your continuos support, custom, inspiration and friendship, we are hosting a customer appreciation evening on Thurs 17th Nov from 5pm to 8pm.

This will be a social evening of creativity and inspiration

Mulled wine and nibbles, raffles and competitions, Music, Art and Craft demonstrations, Children and Adult Christmas Gift Ideas (including new ranges)

If anyone would like to demonstrate or display their art or craft on the night we will have some limited space available so please drop me a line and we will try and allocate you some space.

***Special discounts on the night***

Please RSVP to or by calling 0646630800 or by accepting the Facebook Event request.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Interview with Tina Reed, oil painting artist

Q.1 When did you first discover your creativity?

IT was the subject I enjoyed the most at school. Ive always earned a living by the paint brush! First in textile desing, then as a muralist, now as a landscape artist

Q.2 What is the art / craft that you most enjoy and why?

Oil painting. I also really enjoy making things, all types of craft and baking too

Q.3 How much time do you spend a week on your practice?

20- 30 hours

Q.4 Where do you like to work/ create the most?

My studio at home at the foot of the Paps

Q.5 Who inspires you creatively and why?

I think nature and beautiful landscapes inspire me more than a particular person. For example when I see strong light though the trees, catching on a rippling stream, shadows and contrasting colour...

Q.6 Do you set yourself creative goals?

Yes! Often more than I can achieve. I have so many paintings in my head that I haven’t got to yet.

Q.7 What is your proudest creative achievement to date?

A large  painting over a metre square, of a woodland scene that is currently in an exhibition in Central London

Q.8 Do you believe that social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Blogs etc. are important for promoting your work and what opportunities have they presented for you?

I do think theyre important and its made a difference for me having a facebook page

Q.9 What advice would you give to somebody wanting to make a business from their art / craft?

Be prepared to work hard and not to give up. Have something a bit different, but it has to be something people actually want and can use or live with when its hanging on their walls- I find big disturbing abstract paintings don’t sell as well as relaxing woodland scenes!

Q.10 What have you most enjoyed about your creative journey to date and what are you most looking forward to over the next 12 months.

Doing a job that I enjoy...and never doing a days ‘work’- lucky me! More painting. Hoping to do some more large scale work where I can really lay on the paint and build up big textures

Q.11 Finally, what does it mean to you to pass on your skills and experience through teaching?

Its a privilege to see people discover what they can do, and be part of their joy. Its also wonderful to meet so many people.

Daisies at Dingle By Tina Reed

Where you can find out more about Tina Reed

*** We are delighted to announce that we upcoming oil painting workshops with Tina Reed at The Crafty Alley Shop. You can book a place online here or by calling the shop on 0646630800. Please note Tina keeps her workshops numbers small to provide quality tuition so please book early to avoid disappointment. ***

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


I am a lover of buttons. They are one of those things that make me happy, I don't know why. Buttons have so many purposes, they are functional, they are design features, they keep toddlers amused (while I am writing this post) and so on. They look just perfect stored in a clear jar, added to jewelery or stuck onto a painting.
We sell buttons for repair, for paper crafters, for seamstresses, for knitters, for students, for quilters for everyone. We have always sold buttons in our bricks and mortar shop in Killarney as they are a daily necessity for our customers. However as we are constantly adding more to the range we thought it was about time to bring our button collection to our online shop too.

You can now find a great range of buttons, everything from a crystal effect heart to beautiful coconut extra large buttons available in a stunning palette of colours to transform any garment. The coconut buttons are my particular favourites for knitted garments and accessories.
Keep an eye out as we add to our button collection over the coming months. And in the meantime have a think about how adding buttons to your projects could transform them.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Knit-a-thon for National Day of Volunteering

We are getting very excited about this Friday, 30th September. Normally we host our regular knitting and stitching group on Friday mornings but this Friday is extra special.

Friday the 30th September is National Day of Volunteering in Ireland and to show our support we are hosting a knit-a-thon.

Volunteer Ireland say "The aim of the National Day of Volunteering is to encourage everyone in Ireland to give volunteering a try, so that everyone can learn that - even if it’s only for a minute, an hour, or a day - volunteering can make a big difference and be a lot of fun! Read more under our ’Get Informed’, ’Get Involved,’ and ’Get Organised’ buttoms to learn more about the National Day of Volunteering and how you can get involved! ". 

We thought that taking part in this event would show our support for the wonderful volunteers in Ireland, promote a local charity (Bee for Battens) and bring all the lovely knitters and crocheters in Kerry together. 

You can read lots more about the knit-a-thon here but basically these events are going to be held all over Ireland on Friday and we are going to collectively try and break the Guinness World Record of the most people knitting simultaneously which currently stands at 1147. Easy right?

You can knit whatever you like on the day but we are also asking people to donate a piece knitted or in crochet (Any size or item) to donate for sale to raise funds for the local charity Bee for Battens. The donated garments will be put for sale in the shop between now and Christmas and all proceeds donated to the charity, 

So all you have to do is turn up with your yarn and needles on Friday September 30th between 10am and 1pm at the shop and get knitting and crocheting, have a cuppa and meet other stitchers. 

We look forward to seeing you then.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Starting or Developing a Craft Business in Ireland One Day Workshop

***Please note the price is €100 per person but places are limited to 6 people. Includes one days training with all materials, 10am to 4.30pm Wed 7th September 2011. Plus email follow up support and mentoring and a one hour one to one session*** 

Venue: Workshop Room, The Crafty Alley Shop, 6B Scotts Street, Killarney. Book by calling 0646630800 or online 

A €50 non refundable deposit is required to book place with payment in full one week before workshop. If for whatever reason the workshop is canceled we will move the workshop to another date. 

This course is aimed at people who wish to start or develop a business in Ireland in selling their handmade crafts.

Proposed Modules
1.       Introduction to starting or developing a craft business
1.       Motivation – what got you here and what will keep you going.
2.       Goal setting – Setting achievable and challening business goals
3.       Creative thinking techniques – thinking outside of the box
2.       Marketing research
1.       How to research your market
3.       Defining your craft business marketing plan
1.       Creating a brand and deciding on a product or portfolio of products to market
2.       Pricing – Defining your costs and planning your profit
3.       Place – This module will cover the work place
1.       Working from home – the highs the lows
2.       Renting a premises
3.       Online market places (Etsy, Ebay etc.)
4.       The Craft Fair – the who, what, why, when,where and how to take your product to the market.
5.       Wholesale – selling to retail stores
6.       Ecommerce website – The pros, cons and options of selling through a website
4.       Promotion
1.       Developing an online profile – Twitter, Facebook, Blogging
2.       PR – How to get into local and national press
3.       Printed advertising
4.       Free advertising
5.       Packaging
4.       Getting Support
1.       Identifying sources of support
1.       Enterprise boards
2.       Business networks
3.       Online networks
4.       Information resources
5.       Crafting communities
5.       Starting a business in Ireland information
1.       Information sources for starting a business in Ireland

About the Facilitator
Cathy Giles has worked in training for community partnerships, private and corporate training since 2003. She holds qualifications in Marketing (DIT, CIM), Life and Business Coaching and a Bsc in Education and Training (hons) (DCU). Cathy always had a keen interest in craft businesses and in 2008 opened her own craft business in Kerry supplying the local community with both supplies and creative workshops for adults and children.

©Cathy Giles 2011

Cathy Giles, The Crafty Alley Shop, 6B Scotts Street, Killarney, Co. Kerry
Phone: 0646630800       Web:   Email:

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Whats been happening over here

Hi all,

I cannot believe it is August, did somebody steal July?

Summers here are always about planning Autumn and Winter...summer gets planned in January etc.

We restocked our wool with end of summer and beginning of winter lines, we got all our back to school bits and bobs in and we have been birthday partied out!

We were thrilled when Amélie Gagné came to teach a one day acrylic beginners class and we hope to have her back in the Autumn for another workshop.

Mairead Sharry are regular fibre and textile craft teacher was here also teaching a lovely group of Spanish Students how to felt. The all had great fun and went back to Spain with gorgeous felted bags and wall hangings.

Clare Buswell was also here teaching card making which was as usual an enormous success. We have Clare booked in again for Autumn and Winter (a special Christmas Card making Workshop).

Lots to look forward to in terms of workshops in the Autumn and Winter including Oil Painting, Acrylic Painting, Textiles, Card Making, Scrapbooking....

We'll be back with dates very soon


Thursday, June 30, 2011

Does sorry cut it?

Because that is how I am going to start this blog with a great big apology for not writing in so long.

The lovely Evin gave us a mention on her favourite blog posts she wrote today which made me run right over here to say yes we are still here but it has been a crazy few months and yes we have neglected the blog. Actually I am changing the "we's" to a great big "I" for the rest of this post.

So whats been going on? Well the new website to be honest, night and day and day and night. It was a major job and not without its problems. The major ones, oh you know like not accepting laser cards (did I mention MAJOR problems) have been ironed out so finally we get to start work on all of the fun stuff which is why we created a new website in the first place.

I have also being debated the whole blog thing. Our new website has an integrated blog but I have been slow to move my blogging over there as here is such familiar territory. I still have not made up my mind so please leave a comment on this with your own thoughts. What I might do is write from both places for the time being and wait for divine inspiration (or google analytics) to determine where The Crafty Alley Shop blog calls home.

Ok, I cannot tell you everything that we have been up to in one blog post but I am going to start sharing more often.

So, it feels good to be back and although I think blogging should be a labour of love rather than of necessity I will be back very soon with more.

I hope you are all good and even though I have not been writting, I have been reading and keeping up to date with some of my favourite blogs so thanks Evin, from reading yours you have brought me back to here.


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Easter Camps 2011

Hi all,

Well it is nearly that time of year again. Kids off school, full of excitement about the arrival of the Easter Bunny. Well why not channel some of their excitement and inspiration into a 3 day art and craft Easter Camp at The Crafty Alley Shop in Killarney.

Book your kids into this fun and craft filled Easter camp. Kids will be getting busy cutting, drawing, painting, making, sticking and laughing. The children will get a chance to use lots of different materials and textiles and can let their imaginations run wild on their projects.

On the Tuesday of both weeks we will be doing a form of textile painting.
On the Wednesday of both week we will have Mairead Sharry in to teach felting with the children.
On the Thursday of both weeks we will have a "surprise" project which promises to be lots of fun followed by face painting.

Each week there are different projects so if your child would like to attend both weeks be assured that even though they may use similar techniques they will be working on different projects.

The price is 30 Euro for the three days which includes all materials and all craft work to take home. Each days lasts one and a half hours.

Please book a place by calling 064 6630800. As usual places are limited so book early.


The Crafty Alley Shop

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Birthdays, workshops, craft's all happening!

Well here is a bit of a mega blog post just to bring you up to date with all the latest happenings.

Countdown to new website going live......

The new web shop is almost there (as in almost days away). It has take some major hard work but the site is getting to a stage where we are happy with it. We discovered in the process of putting up the products that we hold more than 12000 products. I know, scary right? But I suppose by the time you add up sheets of paper, buttons, paints, brushes, beads its not an unrealistic figure. So we are not going to be putting 12000 products on line as that is just asking for trouble. We are instead going to take baby steps and the first month will be a test period for the new site so a few of your favourites and new lines will be going up and each day we will add a few more. Anyway I hope to be giving away lots more info on this early next week so I'm not going to give away too much now

Its our birthday!

3rd Birthday Celebrations. I cant believe the shop turns three this Saturday. From a personal point of view it feels like such a milestone as I remember when we opened we never new would we see year three as it seemed so far away. Well we are glad to say that we are still here and it is because of the loyalty, friendship and support our customers have shown us not to mention our staff (big shout out to Clare and Ebony). So year three I hope is going to be a good one and maybe even the year that some our "BIG" goals are realised. Again I am dropping hints but I just don't want to jinx any plans but needless to say watch this space.

So to celebrate our 3rd Birthday there will be of course some special offers in store Saturday and Sunday. We are also hosting a scrapbooking workshop on Saturday the 19th March from 12pm to 2pm. It is 30 Euros for a whole lots of materials so book by giving us a call on 0646630800

Sunday we are hosting our very own Crafty Alley Shop Craft Fair and we are inviting our amazingly talented customers to take a table and demonstrate and hopefully sell their handmade goods. No charge to participate or to attend but if you do want to take a stand on the day please give us a call so we can allocate space.

Upcoming Workshops

We have two very exciting workshops coming up.

April 2nd 2011, Colourway Knitting Techniques with Carol Fellers 

Carol is back with a very special knitting workshop especially designed for The Crafty Alley Shop. When I say especially designed I mean that Carol has actually written an exclusive pattern for the workshop!

(Sneak peak of Carol's exclusive pattern for the workshop)

Here is what Carol had to say "I’m having lots of fun putting together the colourwork class for you! I’m busy putting the finishing touches to the cowl pattern that should be a really good introduction to stranded knitting. As its knit in the round it is by far the easiest way to experiment with stranded knitting. (Plus you get an introduction to continental style knitting!) Intarsia and slip stitch colour pattern work will also get a mention."

This really is a not to miss workshop and we are thrilled to have Carol back with us. The cost is 40Euro for tuition and pattern. Yarn is sold seperately and we would appreciate it if the yarn has or is purchased from The Crafty Alley Shop. We are bringing in a new yarn especially for the class so more information on that to follow as well as needle requirements. You can read more about Carol here. Also remember that we stock some of Carol's patterns in the shop. 


April 11th 2011 Make a felt bag with Mairead Sharry

The second workshop we have coming up is with the amazing talented and inspiring Mairead Sharry.

This is the third felting workshop Mairead has taught at The Crafty Alley Shop and we are thrilled to have her back. Mairead will be teaching how t make a felt bag using the wet felting technique. 

Felting a bay with Mairead Sharry Monday April 11th 20100 10.30AM to 12:00PM 25 Euro including materials. 

One again we are taking booking for Mairead's workshop now s please call 0646630800 to book your place. You can read more about Mairead here

I hope that was not information overload but just had to get all the information out there. 

Will be back next week with some more news so in the meantime Lá Fhéile Pádraig Shona Duit agus go raibh a mile maith agat (Happy St Patricks Day and Thank you). 


Thursday, March 3, 2011

March already

Gosh, I cannot believe our last post was a month ago but there has been so much going on over here. SO what has been keeping us busy?

  • Continued development of new website
  • Birthday party bookings
  • New quilting classes with Nikki Foley - two so far this year
  • New products - New season Sirdar, Proarte Brushes, Fimo, Staedtler
  • Crafty hen party package developing
  • Year of Craft 2011 for Kerry - Have you done the survey yet?
  • Spring summer workshop schedule planning
  • Craft Clubs - we have had a scrapbooking and a cardmaking (With Clare Buswell) so far
  • Facebook keeping us busy too
Lots of other plans going on in the background too, including big plans for our 3rd Birthday on the weekend of the 19th and 20th March. 

So has your start to the year been busy too?

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Crafty Hen Parties

So you are planning a hen party in Killarney and in between the pub crawls, cocktails and treasure hunts you want to do something fun and different?

Well we have just the thing for you - a Crafty Alley Hen Party Package.

You have a few options to choose from and we are happy to tailor packages to suit you. We take a minimum of 6 and a maximum of 16 in our purpose built workshop room at The Crafty Alley Shop in the centre of Killarney.

You choose an activity

1. Knitting
2. Jewelery Making
3. Scrapbooking
4. Painting

For the price of €35 per person you get all the materials required, full tuition in a relaxed fun environment with afternoon tea and cakes.

If you have more that 16 in the party you can either book two or more sessions or we can come to you (to a hotel or self catering house).

Spend some quality time with your girls, learn a new skill and most of all have some fun and make this a unique hen party. You will also have your own handmade piece of art to take away with you and to remember the weekend forever.

What one of our recent brides said about us

"After the best weekend ever in Killarney with the girls for my hen party, we made one final stop on our way to the train station..The Crafty Alley Shop. We were all a bit delicate after a very late night on the tiles so we sat back knitting, swapping gossip, drinking tea and eating cake..the perfect end to a perfect weekend! The Crafty Alley Shop was cozy and inviting, a treasure trove of unique and fun craft supplies, such a convenient location, and Cathy who looked after us was of the girls! And best of all, we all have our own beautiful handknitted scarves as souvenirs!"

Please book well in advance as the weekends are very busy times for us and we don't want you to be disappointed. You can pay a €100 non refundable deposit by either cash, laser or credit card.

Call 0646630800

We are looking forward to hosting your hen party soon.

The Crafty Alley Shop

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Crafty Alley Shop Teacher Competition

Its Competition Time.....Yee Haw!

Did you now that teachers are some of our favourite people in the shop. They are always looking for weird and wonderful things to make their craft projects brilliant. Well we want to thank the teachers so we are going to run a very special competition just for them.

Its simple, all we want you to do is...

1. If you are a teacher (Early childcare, nursery, creche, pre school, montessori, primary, secondary, third level etc. ) then just leave a comment on our Facebook page telling us what art and craft item could you not possibly live without in your classroom. Please leave your answer under the competition comment.

2. If you are not a teacher, then let all your teacher friends know about the competition.

3. Some further information

  • Just one entry per person. 
  • You must say where you teach
  • The goods will be sent to the school not the teachers home so on winning the school address must be made available. 
  • Deadline for entering is 9pm Mon 31st Jan 2011
  • There will be three winners so therefore three prizes made up of art and craft supplies. More details to follow on the prizes. 
So get entering and good luck

The Crafty Alley Shop