Meet The Team!
Our aim is simple; to develop & deliver crafting courses of the highest quality! One of the absolute core values we have is to provide best-in-class Course Tutors - and we feel our current stable of hot crafting talent is second to none!
Whether Sewing & Quilting with brand headliners such as Sarah Payne, Jennie Rayment, Heather Jacks and Janet Clare or Papercrafting with top names like Rosemary Merry, Scanning & Cutting with Gentleman Crafter John Bloodworth, refining your Photography skills with Jake Whiteley, working with Mixed Media with Lou Withers and Joanne Roe, splashing acrylic/oils on canvas with Artist Joe Lowe or getting creative with Lou Collins' Brush-Lettering, we're proud to count on the fabulous skills of these wonderful ladies & gentlemen as we strive to provide YOU with unique course content you'll treasure forever! Our list of Guest Tutors is set to expand in the coming months as we extend our range of craft courses and weekend retreats. No two events are alike and we already have a stream of valued crafters who've attended multiple events, sometimes with the same tutor, but never delivering a direct replication of what might have gone before.
Here are the profiles for our current crop of wonderfully talented crafting/artistic specialists:-
I’ve been surrounded by craft and the arts for as long as I can remember! My Dad was artistic and Mum was a machinist who always had a sewing machine on at home, she was always creating something (she was also a champion ballroom dancer, but that’s another story!) My husband is a photographer/designer, and now our daughter wants to be a set designer! Me? I’ve dabbled along the way, but right now I simply love Mixed Media. Craft & art always seemed to surround me, providing solace, fun, or a way of connecting, eventually providing me with a living when I presented it on television! In 2019, I found my purpose: I decided to build a wonderful, creative, inspiring, fun, friendly community where people can learn and follow their passions, but also make friends, laugh and enjoy great food at the same time. Craft is therapeutic, inspiring and joyous; who doesn’t want to be surrounded by that? For anyone who knows me, they know I can be a ‘cheeky monkey’: now I’m a CraftyMonkie too - come join the fun!...
A crafter since she was a tiny tot, Sarah gave up a career in IT in 2011 to pursue her crafting dreams. Since then, she has opened a popular UK-based fabric shop & training centre, become a regular contributor to all the major UK quilting magazines and brought out a successful range of fabrics. Sarah's new book 'Sarah Payne's Quilt School' came out in the summer of 2019. She has also found the time to become a regular quilting demonstrator on both the UK & US Create & Craft shopping channels as a quilting guru, and on stage at the NEC in Birmingham (UK) and last Autumn she embarked on a six-week tour of the States where she gave & attended a series of seminars on quilting. Sarah’s approach to quilting is fun, fun, FUN: you're sure to have a wonderful time on one of her classes!
In 2014 Heather won the BBC's The Great Sewing Bee and realised how much knowledge she had that she really wanted to share with people. She nobly chose to help less fortunate children with the GoSew Project, she writes articles for various sewing journals, teaches regular workshops, has designed a range of fabrics for the Craft Cotton Company and become a brand ambassador for Simplicity Patterns. She enjoys the more complicated side of sewing, from pattern drafting to couture techniques but equally enjoys helping total novices to get started. She believes everyone should have pride in their talent and dexterity, and end up with something that is far more precious than a shop bought article!
We could not run Crafty Monkies WITHOUT the Queen of quilting Jennie Rayment!! Unique in her field, she's internationally known for her quick, simple, innovative and original techniques. Jennie teaches a wide variety of classes for all levels and abilities of sewers from patchworkers, quilters and embroiderers to fashion, soft furnishing and home décor enthusiasts. You'll be captivated by her deviously ingenious textural designs and benefit from the wealth of creative ideas arising from her magic manipulations.
Nine books, work exhibited in various galleries around the world and presenting on Create and Craft TV keeps her busy and we can’t wait to bring you retreats and day workshops with this very clever, talented and lovely lady!
SEWIST & QUILTER
We are so excited to work with Charlotte, winner of the Great British Sewing Bee 2016! She is what’s known as an all-round crafter and loves quilting, dressmaking and knitting. She was taught to sew as a small child by her mum, grandma and school teachers, and well & truly caught the crafty bug! As well as making a full time career out of her hobby, she also loves to pass on her knowledge to others. Charlotte certainly falls under the ‘TV Personality’ remit, as she was the winner of BBC¹s Great British Sewing Bee 2016! A lovely lady both off and on camera, she is a great member of the CraftyMonkies team and will teach you so many things you never thought you'd be able to learn!
The GENTLEMAN CRAFTER
We could sum up John in one sentence: "A passionate advocate and promoter of arts & crafts for more than 30 years."
But there is so much more to say! Whether on TV, group workshop or online, John simply loves to inspire others to make & create. He says “The joy of seeing the sense of achievement and hearing from those that have succeeded where they have previously failed is what drives me and, in turn inspires me”. This passion led him to create and more recently to leave his job and home and live life on the road in a motorhome for a year offering creative workshops in order to raise money for Mind. John has been nominated for numerous awards and we're delighted to have him as part of our CraftyMonkies team!
Born and raised in Lincolnshire, Joe spent several years in London training in Theatre Arts at Middlesex University before taking up abstract painting.
Using art as a therapeutic way for himself to try to help combat the type of everyday stress that life tends to throw at most of us; he now also uses his experience & talents to promote up and coming artists. Joe’s main areas of interest are abstract painting and creating art through experimental techniques, using a wide variety of mixed media. Joe is really looking forward to helping people who have an interest in exploring & developing their ‘inner-artist’; a truly lovely individual with a great outgoing personality, Joe (or Joey as he’s known to his chums!) can’t wait to work with… YOU!
One of our most recent additions to our fabulous CraftyMonkies team is the incredibly talented and versatile Jo. She describes herself as a ‘committed Mixed Media artist’. We would agree and also add that she is a wonderful teacher too. Her passion shines through and she loves sharing the skills and knowledge she has learned (and keeps learning) in the events and workshops she teaches. Based in the beautiful South East Valley in Wales, Jo is the founder and manager of a (slightly bonkers) social enterprise in the Rhondda and she couldn’t be happier – apart from when she is surrounded by CraftyMonkies! She is so excited to be on board and we are lucky to have her! As Jo says “keep Crafting!
When it comes to moral support and help, Janet has supported CraftyMonkies 100%. She’s great with a pep talk or an idea, but of course she is also immensely talented! After completing a Textiles and Fashion Degree she worked as a freelance designer for many years. Janet enjoys quilting, dressmaking, knitting, painting, drawing, gardening, baking and reading. She loves nothing more than to make do and mend and be in her studio with her thrifted, hand-me down treasures. She cant have a day when she is not creative and we LOVE that about her. It’s in her blood! As an experienced speaker and teacher, Janet regularly host talks and workshops focusing on the design process and the creative techniques she uses. We’re not quite sure how she has the found time to write five books, create a range of quilt and stitchery patterns and designed eleven fabric collections in collaboration with Moda, but she has! We welcome Janet and her impeccable talent on board with huge Monkie hugs!
What hasn’t Wendy done? She’s worked as a writer, teacher and author in the sewing industry all her working life, during which time she has been editor of several leading sewing magazines as well as having written 20 books including The Great British Sewing Bee from Stitch to Style, Fun with Fat Quarters and The Very Useful Guide to Using Your Sewing Machine. She has also written and presented DVDs on sewing and made several YouTube videos for Hemline haberdashery and Simplicity Limited. Wendy is also a regular guest presenter on Create & Craft TV plus she works with leading pattern and haberdashery companies in the UK, and organisers of the Knitting and Stitching shows to deliver extensive workshop programmes. She is also the Brand Ambassador for the McCall Pattern Company. Wendy has a strong reputation and indeed fan base because of her enthusiastic and friendly approach to sharing her passion for all things to do with sewing. We can’t wait for her to teach you!...
Were awaiting Jason's full biography details! He's always an incredibly busy fellow, organising literally hundreds of crafting events across the country, alongside his brother Mark, under their company brand: Bert & Gert!
We'll have Jason's biog just as soon as he can pause for breath!...
One of our fabulous teachers and Crafty Monkies is the incredibly talented and versatile Lou Collins. Lou has presented thousands of hours of live television on Create & Craft TV, demonstrating many different products from the world of paper crafting, including her own range of brush lettering tools! She is a paper crafter through and through and has also mastered the art of brush lettering, in fact, she is so good, she is now the Commissioning Editor for a Lettering Magazine, Simply Lettering! She has been crafting since being very little and has built a career around teaching and inspiring others, come along and let her inspire you!
One of our fabulous teachers and Crafty Monkies is the incredibly talented and artistic Rosemary Merry. Rosemary has presented 1000s of hours of live television on Create & Craft TV and other crafting channels, demonstrating many different products from the world of paper crafting. Rosemary is able to conjure up magic from pieces of paper, and she has created this magic on hundreds of workshops and events and for major retailers.She has a real passion for scrapbooking and mini books, its incredible watching her work. With us she will be teaching and inspiring you!
With over thirty years (& counting!) under his belt working as both a photographer & graphic designer, the fabulously talented Jake is as enthusiastic about his craft today as he was when he first started out all those many moons ago! Ever keen to share his knowledge & skills with a wider audience about what helps make us take better photographs, Jake joined the CraftyMonkies in 2019 and will be hosting a series of One-Day Workshops and Two-Day Retreats throughout 2020 and beyond! Whether you’re a beginner or intermediary looking to achieve/improve pictures that make people go “Wow!”, you’ll find Jake's Photography courses hugely beneficial. A highly personable, relaxed but highly motivational tutor Jake's focus - no pun intended! - is to help you improve your photographic skills!
Corrine began her crafting journey 17 years ago. You'll probably recognise her from countless TV appearances as a demonstrator on Create and Craft, and she long ago lost count of how many products she has demonstrated for top crafting companies, the main one being Tattered Lace. Rightly proud of her very own signature collection, she's also a regular contributor to many papercraft magazines in which she can spread her considerable knowledge of die cutting, Fleurs Foam, Scan N Cut and, as she says, anything and everything papercraft really! Away from the cameras she loves running workshops so she can share her crafting passions. Above all she is a warm, ever smiling people-person and you’ll love learning some breathtaking techniques in a friendly, happy atmosphere!
It is great to have some male crafters on board and Jamie is one of the best! He doesn’t look old enough, but incredibly he has been sewing for about forty years on and off! Back in 2014 the sewing bug struck again and now Jamie is fortunate to sew for a living. You might have seen him when he appeared on the GBSB in 2016, Kirstie's Handmade Christmas and as a guest designer/demonstrator on The Sewing Quarter. He has also published an award winning sewing blog and you can find it here: www.maledevonsewing.co.uk.
Jamie's expertise is in tailoring (soft and hard), couture techniques, pattern drafting and coat making (menswear and womenswear) and he loves to teach people and see the joy when they achieve something they may never have tried before. We can’t wait to bring a course to you!
Jacqui's mother taught her how to sew and her father how to do everything from wallpapering, tiling and painting! So with her fashion background and love of colour, textiles, trimmings and trends, it wasn’t long before she was drawn to interior design and interior craft. The lovely, affable, engaging Jacqui has presented and produced so much television including Discovery's home series Room 2 B You, Viacom’s US Channel BET and UKTV’S Love Home, showing viewers how to make everything from clever storage, to sofa covers and is about to appear in a new BBC series! As well as being ultra-talented on screen, Jacqui loves to teach! Come along to one of her Upcycling courses; you’ll never forget it, and you’ll learn a ton of exciting tricks along the way!
Kerrie can’t wait to get stuck in, meet you all and teach some fabulous tips and tricks along the way. What started out as a sewing hobby for her whilst on maternity leave has ended up being a full time job and a business named ‘Living in Loveliness’. Kerrie says: "My heart lies with bringing people together through my passion for people, crafting and sewing. The best feeling is seeing the look on people’s faces with every stitch sewn. Even the stitch-unpicking is part of the journey!”. Kerrie is not only a fabulous teacher but an award winner too, including one from Her Majesty: The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service. Both Kerries’ eldest children also received this award because she encourages them to always ‘pay it forward’, and that ties in nicely with the CraftyMonkies ethos too - welcome aboard Kerrie!
The team here at CraftyMonkies have known Leonie for years: what you see on the telly is what you get off it! A more genuine enthusiastic, passionate teacher and crafter you could not wish to meet. She’s worked in the craft industry for many years now, starting out selling handmade dragons with her sister at craft fairs up and down the country, along the way presenting for QVC and Create and Craft and now very proudly presenting on Hochanda TV. So highly valued is Leonie that she also has her own regular weekly craft show.
Leonie says of herself : “I love craft. It’s a passion, and a slight obsession! I run regular workshops, which are so rewarding. Not just because I have the ability to share my passion, but also because I am privileged enough to meet so many incredible and talented people. I feel incredibly lucky to have found such a wonderful path to follow on my life journey, and I know there’s always so much more to learn.”
Loti has been crafting since she was a little girl after years of rushing home from school to watch Art Attack. When she was on maternity leave, she decided to start blogging on her own blog ‘Mama Makes and Bakes’ about any projects she had created and sharing any recipe’s she had baked in the kitchen. The blog grew and eventually she evolved the blog into her own craft brand ‘Mama Makes’ putting her love for design to good use and start designing clear polymer stamps. Now a very popular stamp brand, featuring in craft magazines, appearing on Hochanda TV and various other retail store across the world. Loti loves to spread the word and joy or crafting! Teaching is one of her all time passions. She loves to see the delight on peoples faces when they achieve the unthinkable. Come along and see for yourself!
Denise would class herself as an ‘all round crafter’ who has been crafting for as long as she can remember, but she now specializes in Mixed Media. She has such a passion and love for it, she recently started her own company ‘I Love Mixed Media’. Many people are slightly afraid of the idea of using Mixed Media products, but Denise wants to quell that myth. She wants to help you find your creative spark and be free in your artistry! Denise loves teaching and can’t wait to be a CraftyMonkie! When she’s not teaching or working on new product ranges, you can find her on the tellybox at Hochanda TV!
We're awaiting Karen's biography details, suffice to say for now that we are deeee-lighted she's agreed to join the CraftyMonkies team! Stay tuned for more background info on Karen and what she brings to our picnic table!...
We're awaiting Lou's biography details, suffice to say for now that we are deeee-lighted she's agreed to join the CraftyMonkies team! Stay tuned for more background info on Lou and what she brings to our picnic table!...
Our Next Star Tutor
As soon as the next exciting top crafting personality joins the CraftyMonkies, you'll be able to read all about them here - be sure you return to this section of the website soon!