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About Crafty Tales

About Crafty Tales

“Crafty Tales is the company I founded in 1990. We believe passionately in supporting parents everywhere with their understanding of child development through music and signing in the early years, and in the power of story telling. We like to think of ourselves as the torch bearers for traditional folk lore and fairy tales. We feel it is extremely important to keep these stories alive by telling them to small children and encouraging their parents to to do the same. Story telling is a simple way of igniting a child‘s imagination and encouraging their creativity. Combining the stories with drama, music and games provides a rounded, stimulating experience, which above all, is brilliant fun.”
Deva Armstrong, Crafty Tales founder

 

 

 

 

 

Deva Armstrong

Deva worked in theatre up until her two children were born. She specialised in stage-management, but also included puppetry, props making and scenic art in her portfolio of talents! Her  love of stories comes from voracious reading while on tour as a child with her theatrical parents. After her children were born she worked as a muralist & Life Cake creator, with music and drama sessions as a sideline. However, due to popular demand, Crafty Tales took over, and now she can only hope that the children enjoy the sessions as much as she does!
 

Lynne Dahl-Neilsen

Lynne was born in Skegness (Skeggy) into a family that taught ballroom dancing and ran the successful dancing school, the 'Skegness Chics'. Lynne was, naturally, dancing by the age of two and later trained at the Arts Educational Trust School, studying drama, ballet, tap, singing and modern dance. But the world of dance was tough and rootless, a living wage a necessity, and so Lynne ended up in a “proper” job, spending her leisure time both on and backstage at the Questors Theatre in Ealing.

Marriage, followed by three boys and a girl (there is a little of Posh Spice in her) proved to be the most thrilling, enriching and fulfilling experience of her life. “Proper” work went out of the window. Lynne became a registered childminder and then, with gentle encouragement from a great friend, opened up a pre-school music group named 'Top of the Tots', which ran with great success in halls and nurseries in the South London area. Illness spelled the end of “Top of the Tots” but on return to good health Lynne joined the staff of “Little Munsters” nursery in Teddington. Lynne worked happily in this marvellous environment for ten years until the nursery closed its doors in 2009.

Lynne says “By great chance I bumped into a truly wonderful lady named Deva, who offered me work at Crafty Tales. I now feel I have the very best job in the world, combining my two grand passions in life - entertainment and a love of children. One of the greatest things I gave my own family was the ability to express themselves and to take part. Now I help other children do the same. When I see those eager, bright faces looking up at me in my classes, I tell myself that I have had more than my fair share. Parents, enjoy these very happy and precious years.”

Cassie Hodges
Read english and drama at sussex university and trained at the drama studio london. Since then she has become an actress, producer & artistic director of "Tales Retold" production company. Cassie has taught drama for Stagecoach, L|AMDA, Questors Theatre, Gymboree and is currently teaching the under 11’s youth theatre class at the Rose Theatre in Kingston. Cassie is thrilled to be joining Crafty Tales and looks forward to meeting you in class soon!