David Campbell | Crieff Art Festival Pop-up Exhibition | Opening Night
Photo credit: Blue Noun

English Class Topic: Black Friday

Yesterday’s English class began by briefly discussing the American shopping phenomenon Black Friday, which has now become a regular event in the UK.


Last year, in Britain alone, Black Friday generated upwards of five billion pounds in sales over one weekend by whipping potential shoppers into a spending frenzy by promising unbeatable discounts.


We asked how real are those savings?
Language learning guest Elsa told us about an alternative movement in Sweden entitled Black Friday – I Don’t Buy It.

We then looked at an alternative shopping movement that we love, called JUST A CARD.

Then we visited a pop-up  group Christmas exhibition showcasing local Crieff and Perthshire artists to meet the makers and to see the show.


Read this week’s English language school blog to discover a local Crieff art exhibition and all about the wonderful Just a Card campaign. 
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Comrie Apple Festival Perthshire Food and Drink

JUST A CARD publicity campaigns and merchandise.
Image Credit: JUST A CARD


The JUST A CARD campaign aims to encourage people to support, value and buy from artists, designers, independent shops and small businesses by reinforcing the message that all purchases, however small, even ‘just a card’ are so vital to their prosperity and survival.”

JUST A CARD website, 2020

JUST A CARD | Campaign for Artists

The JUST A CARD campaign came about when artist & designer Sarah Hamilton saw the quote:


“If everyone who’d complimented our beautiful gallery had bought ‘just a card,’ we’d still be open.”

The card was placed in a window by the gallery which had who’d recently gone out of business.

This prompted Sarah Hamilton to action!

Designers/makers, independent shops, galleries and small businesses need a voice, and JUST A CARD was formed.


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“People seldom realise the considerable costs involved in exhibiting at design shows or keeping a shop open.

Stand fees, power, materials, wages etc need to be met before even a penny of profit can be realised.

Running a shop is often a labour of love. Without dedication and passion, and crucially sales, it would be another boarded up eyesore.”

Sarah Hamilton, JUST A CARD website, 2020

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JUST A CARD | A Topic for English Class for Creatives


We looked through Instagram at the numerous crafts people and designers taking part in the latest JUST A CARD Week.


Our English language guests shared the profiles of designers and makers whose work they enjoyed with each other – explaining why they were attracted to certain works, building up their art and design vocabulary and useful phrases as they went. 


“Since 2015 we have been highlighting the value to both customers and independents of shopping small to keep our towns, high streets, markets, events and online small business economy vibrant. Whilst our campaign is UK based we have thousands of supporters from across the globe, including the USA, Canada, Australia and Africa all united in spreading the JUST A CARD message”.

JUST A CARD website, 2020

Comrie Apple Festival Perthshire Food and Drink

Here’s an example of local crafter Leslie Mac (Comrie) using the JUST A CARD campaign to reach new audiences.
Image Credit: Screenshot of LeslieMac Instagram post. 

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An Opportunity for Strathearn Artists 

The previous evening, here in Crieff, Perthshire, many of Strathearn’s own artists and makers had enjoyed the preview of their own Pop-Up Christmas Market, organised by grassroots collective,  the Crieff Art Festival. 
Crieffs Cowches Artist Katy Galbraith
Crieffs Cowches Artist Katy Galbraith

Crieff Art Exhibition | Opening Night
Photo credit: Blue Noun

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Crieff Art Exhibition | Pop-up Christmas Show

Blue Noun Language School were there of course (many of our partners and guest artists on Blue Noun’s Meet the Makers Immersion English Programme were exhibiting).


Our language school guests enjoyed the generous hospitality of a Scottish Exhibition opening and the unique chance to meet many of the makers in person.

Buy Local | Support Artists | Just A Card

There is a lot of amazing artworks from local artists in the Crieff Art Festival pop-up exhibition. 
The exhibition is full of amazing quality arts and crafts, with original, handmade artworks selling for as low as £3, and a few in the high hundreds.
Support local makers, by popping in and taking a look – and remember, don’t be shy: buy something – even if it’s Just A Card!
Congratulations Crieff Arts Festival (you fabulous beasts!), great show!
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Crieffs Cowches Artist Katy Galbraith
Crieffs Cowches Artist Katy Galbraith

If you are local,
the Crieff Arts Festival Pop Up Shop is open
10 am – 5 pm daily
until 22nd December.

Crieffs Cowches Artist Katy Galbraith
Crieffs Cowches Artist Katy Galbraith
Crieffs Cowches Artist Katy Galbraith
Crieffs Cowches Artist Katy Galbraith

Crieff Art Exhibition | Artworks for Sale
Photo credit: Blue Noun

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red text further reading
There’s a link to the British Council’s English Learning resource sheet on Black Friday here.
Find out more about Just a Card and Indie-Week here.

And find out about the fabulous Crieff Arts Festival here.


If you have enjoyed visiting this Crieff art exhibition with us, you might like to read our interview with June McEwan (maker of the large wicker horse in the exhibition).


Our Art and Design English Course Talk Sculpture


A quick note from the author

We began the Blue Noun blog back in 2019, when we called ourselves a ‘language school’ (we now call ourselves a language hub) and we were building up our business completely from scratch.

Our first few months were spent making friends in the community, researching homestay hosts for our language guests and finding out about all the good local places and activities to take our language learning guests.

In 2021 we moved the Blue Noun website to a different platform. We had the option of deleting these old blogs – they are very different form our current, more pedagogic style of posting, but I think they are quite charming to see how our young business grew, turning from a language school run by an artist – into a language hub which really began to focus on coaching artists in English by immersing them in creative environments.