Craft Focus - April/May 2022 (Issue 90)

12 New LEGO Stationery Manuscript Brands has been selected as the Exclusive UK Distributor of a new range of exciting Lego Stationery products – adding a global brand to a carefully selected existing product portfolio. Lego 2.0 is the new generation of Lego stationery that features everything you would expect from the iconic brand including its hallmark brick-based technology. With Lego’s universal appeal, Lego 2.0 has been cleverly branded without a specific theme, expanding its popularity to a wide variety of age groups. The extensive range of Lego 2.0 products includes notebooks, gel pens, coloured pencils and highlighters which easily stack and build offering creative and easy storage. The convertible ruler, mechanical pencil, hard pencil case and some gel pen sets and are packaged with a traditional Lego minifigure and showcase the revered clipping technology Lego has made famous worldwide. Charlie Stockbridge, Managing Director at Manuscript Pen Company, said: “We’re really excited to be the sole distributor for Lego stationery in the UK. Adding this revered brand to our current portfolio is a fantastic opportunity and great fit for us and we look forward to bringing these iconic products to market. We’ve been supplying stationery products to education for decades and we have a strong foothold with our Lionheart Range which is seeing a rapid rise in popularity. We believe the Lego 2.0 range will complement this market as well as attract a whole new legion of Lego fans.” A number of Lego accessories are also included as part of the range which introduce iconic characters such as Ninjago and the Star Wars theme. The portfolio also comprises Lego Dots products and bag tags with a host of iconic designs including Hot Dog as well as the classic brick design that has been popular for generations. For more information on the range visit the website Painting revealed as 2021’s leading hobby Painting has been unveiled as the UK’s favourite arts and crafts pastime, according to a new study from RopeSource, a supplier of quality ropes and twines. The study, which analysed Google search data from the past 12 months, found that the top five searches for ‘painting’ averaged at around 216,000 per month, significantly higher than ‘sketching’ (160,000 searches per month) and ‘sewing’ (135,000 searches per month), the second and third most popular arts and crafts hobby in 2021. However, it's the rise of macramé which is perhaps most significant, having enjoyed a 20 per cent rise in searches during 2021, and a staggering 446 per cent rise in searches over the past five years. It’s the largest rise of any hobby within arts and crafts, with the vast majority having suffered a decline over the past 12 months. In fact, over the last year, only ‘cross stitch’ (11% per cent), ‘knitting’ (7 per cent) and ‘crocheting’ (8 per cent) joined macrame in terms of an increase in search over 12 months, the latter certainly helped by Tom Daley’s love of the pastime. On the other hand, interest in ‘papier maché’ dropped by 38 per cent year-on-year, the highest drop of any hobby, as children return back to school. ‘Photography’ also saw a significant decrease in searches, with 16 per cent fewer searches compared to last year. When it comes to individual search terms, ‘quilling tool’ saw a 201 per cent increase in searches over the past year, with ‘quilling art’ welcoming 49 per cent more searches, offering a suggestion that quilling could well be the new macramé in a few years’ time. ‘Calligraphy letters’ saw the second highest percentage increase in searches (107 per cent), with ‘how to macrame’ enjoying the third biggest increase in searches at 66 per cent. At the other end of the spectrum, both ‘upcycling clothes’ and ‘paper maché ideas’ saw heavy decreases in search volume year-on-year, as the likes of retail, schooling and hospitality began to open up. You can view the full study at: