Oh and inspiration was there in shedloads this year! There seemed to me to be more exhibitors than in the last few years, many of whom had demonstrations, make-and-takes and static displays on their stands. The static displays give you a really great idea of what the latest fashions in crafting are, and this year the main look seemed to be delicate and dainty (two words that don't come naturally to me) with fine stamping, subtle watercolouring and very little in the way of bling or grunge. But of course those are the products they are trying to sell us this year - what we'll actually fall in love with and BUY is a different matter!
I planned my day to start with a workshop showing us how to decorate a box from the MDF Man then did my shopping, and finished off with a make-and-take at Imagination Crafts.
OK, here's my shopping - I've not bothered to photograph the envelopes and cello bags, you all know what they look like! And many apologies, I didn't make a note of the names of the stalls I shopped at.
First of all, a fab bargain bag which will be absolutely great for crafting with the grandchildren. There are literally dozens of packs of Crafty Bitz embellishments and gems, about 6 packs of card blanks and two 12 x 12 paper pads. All packed into a strong fabric tote bag for just £5!
Next, some dies I've had my eye on for a while, I wanted to see them in real life before deciding exactly which I needed
I was also looking for a replacement bow maker, my old one having lost a couple of teeth. The new one came with a DVD and two rolls of ribbon. The pastel paper was also on my shopping list - my only unplanned purchases were the gorgeous set of stamps, featuring London, Sydney and Paris, and the sweet little bird and nest embellishments.
Now on to my makes at the show. The Make and Take involved rubbing two shades of Alchemy Wax - a product I'd never used before - through a stencil, and finishing the card with a butterfly die-cut covered with a sparkle paint.
Uh-oh, I see one of the pearls has moved - I'd better go and fix that!
The highlight of my day was the box covering workshop. I don't usually do much in the way of mixed media, so I learned a lot, got myself gloriously messy, stuck, stamped, inked, tore and twisted to my heart's content and finished up with an item I feel VERY proud of. I was fascinated to see that although we all started with the same pack of materials, every box came out looking totally different.
I was a bit alarmed that we weren't provided with rulers, knives or paper trimmers (Elf and Safety, you know) and had to do all the cutting, measuring and getting lines straight by eye, the mathematician in me was having a nervous breakdown about the lack of measuring and trimming, but I left her in the corner sobbing and got on with things without her for once.
|the finished box|
|Papers for the sides and base, distressed at the edges|
|inside the lid was decorated with stencils, grunge paste, distress inks and mica powders|
|frayed hessian topped with fabric stamped with distress inks formed the base layers of the lid|
|cord coiled into a swirl and a ribbon-tied key to finish.|