Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Very strange!

What a strange weekend, in a nice sort of way!

As I mentioned in a previous post, I made the decision earlier in the year not to work at any of the big retail shows - NEC, Ally Pally, Excel, Summer Crafting etc but it really hit home this weekend whilst the big craft show was on at the NEC. On Thursday I was sitting at my desk in my office doing my "day job" and I just happened to look at the clock and saw that it was 9:30 and realised that the first day at the NEC was about to start when a sudden wave of sadness came over me...... however it didn't last long when someone came and said that they were having problems with there computer!

So, back to the weekend....................... I needed to drop some storage units of to the lovely Maria Simms who has opened a small unit near to where she lives in order to run workshops - if you are in the Wirral area (I think that is where she is based!) - I would highly recommend attending one of Maria's workshops - she is mega talented! Check out her blog HERE If you are not near to Maria, there is a team of other very talented Clarity Tutors up and down the UK and all the details can be found HERE

Anyway, I digress, again! Another reason was to collect some stock from Pinflair for a workshop/demo I am doing at Dragons Paper Craft in Rugby to celebrate their 2nd Birthday on Saturday 29th March

Blimey, I have done it again! Back to the weekend! So on Saturday morning I set off to the NEC, nice and early - 5am! I arrived at the carpark and met up with Barbara Gray and handed over the contents of my car to her lorry so that Maria could collect it later to take back home on the Sunday evening when the show closed, then headed into the hall before the show opened. Walking into the hall, before it opened was normal, it sort of felt as if I was working, it still hadn't hit me that I was not there to work! I dropped some stuff off at Katy Sue Designs, then bumped into lovely Joanna Sheen and Jo Channon and had a quick catchup, then headed towards the Pinflair stand to find Princess Pinflair and her team of merry men and my crafty partner in crime, Antony!

I had a good catch up with Team Pinflair and then before I knew it the show was open and I took my position next to Antony ready for the throng of crafters streaming through the doors, and that is when it hit me! I was on the wrong side of the stand! I was not there to work, I was a "customer" !!! I can't really explain the emotions that came over me, it was really strange, so I made my excuses and dashed off to let it all sink in!

So the show was open, now what was I supposed to do? Follow the crowd I suppose! But before I started following II grabbed a coffee and started to wander.......first stop was Oyster Stamps to have a catchup with the lovely Queen of Bling, Martine working her magic with various flower dies and the lovely Tracey & Graham who run Oyster. If you are ever looking for some great bargains in all things crafty, then this is a wonderful place to visit, either online HERE or at the shop in Rochester. They seem to be ahead of the UK market when it comes to new releases from the USA and the prices are pretty good too!  Oh, and I am doing a workshop on the 24th May!

So then it was time to join the hustle and bustle of the crafty crowd! How I had forgotten what it was like to be pushed and shoved!!!! I gave the show a once over and then headed off for another coffee! This time I ventured into the Creative Stitches part of the show thinking it may be a bit quieter - how wrong was I - it was worse! However, what I did notice is how bright and colourful all the stands were - my eyes were darting all over the place, looking at the wool, the fabrics and some of the stunning artwork from knitted products, quilts and novelty items. So as I ventured back into the Hobbycrafts part of the show, I came across the Create & Craft stand where the lovely Mel Heaton was showing people how to use the Scan n Cut - when I first saw this launched on TV it was very hard to resist buying it, but somehow I did as I didn't want to add it to my collection of other unused electronic machines - Cricut, Craft Robo, eCraft & Silhouette Portrait, plus I wanted to be able to see it up close and personal - I spent about 45 minutes watching Mel and really fell in love with it - if they had them to purchase there and then, I think I would have left the show with one, but they didn't - did I then rush home and order one, no!

So I did a bit more wandering and then decided it was time to leave. So I said my goodbyes, collected the stuff from Pinflair and then headed back to car. I looked at the clock and realised that it was just after 1pm! So what did I buy? Hard to believe, but I came home with no crafty purchases! So it looks like I may have to visit my local craft shops instead!

When I got home I was totally shattered, physically and mentally and crashed out on the sofa!

Right, I suppose I have waffled on enough for tonight - plus I need to get on with my prep for Saturday at Dragon's Paper Crafts in Rugby!

Happy Crafting

Paul xx


  1. Paul was so lovely to see you ,but so strange walking past Pinflair ,there was no Paul to give a crafty wink to .
    So my partner in crime was not walking outside with me for some fresh air lol
    But will see you at Oysters for that coffee soon
    Big Hugs Always
    Queen of Bling xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  2. Paul, what a lovely read that was, just what I needed in the middle of the night. Sounds like my idea of a great day ..wandering and chatting you will have a great time at Dragons paper craft Hazel is a great woman..was in her company for the weekend a couple of weeks ago what a laugh

  3. Morning Paul, just sat and read this with a cup of tea, what a lovely read....I am sure it was a strange feeling for you but you sounded to enjoy your day...have a great day on Saturday....I met Hazel on Thursday at the NEC...she seems really nice....
    Take care and crafty hugs...x