Friday, 25 November 2011

Crafting at Coed-y-Dynas

For this crafting demo, I had to drive all the way to Welsh Wales. Luckily it was a lovely clear day when I set out and the roads weren't too busy so I arrived in good time after a journey of an hour and a quarter. The store was absolutely delightful. A labyrinth of buildings seperated by open passageways which hosted farmers market style stalls displaying delicious local food produce.
Once again, the staff were really friendly and welcoming and in good humour when I arrived. The craft department was in its own little annexe and seemed miles away from the main entrance, but there was a lovely atmosphere throughout the store as I made my way through.
I met a lovely lady who I believe was with her granddaughter. She was tempted to start making her own cards and, after being shown a few simple techniques, they carefully chose a few goodies to start them off on their new hobby. They turned up again later in the afternoon with a few questions and then chose a few more bits and pieces. They seemed so excited that I am sure that they will be paying another visit very soon. I don't think you ever lose that feeling of excitement when you make a new purchase and can't wait to get home and have a play.
There was another lovely lady with her husband who had been doing a little bit of on-line research before attending the event and they commented that the website photos did not do them justice. Blushes all round, but we all love a compliment don't we? They were fascinated by the pillow boxes I had made and bought one of the x-cut score boards to make their own. They really are so simple and only take a few minutes to make. The department supervisor kept one of the boxes to show other customers.

This pillow box has been made using an A4 sheet of Papermania textured card and works perfectly with the largest scorelines on the scoreboard. It's the perfect size for a scarf or gloves.
The smallest size on the scoreboard makes a really sweet little box which would be ideal for a small piece of jewellery or as a table favour.
If there is anyone who hasn't tried making these yet, give it a go. Once you've started, you won't be able to stop. :-)

Crafty Catch Up

Well, my first demo weekend came and went in a flash.
Saturday at the Range in Burton was incredibly busy. The store had newly opened and was packed with early Christmas  shoppers looking for a bargain. Their craft section is huge and well worth a visit and the staff were lovely. The only available space for me was on the corner of a walkway on the edge of their furniture section which meant that lots of shoppers were walking past who wouldn't normally visit the craft section. My card samples soon caught the eyes of passers by and I was able to introduce handmade cardmaking to two new recruits who bought 'start-up' basics. "What do I need to start?" is one of those questions that is so hard to answer. More to the point is "Where do you stop?" There must be thousands of crafters out there who started with a shoebox of crafty items and have ended up with a whole room crammed full with their equipment and stash. I am one of them!

My day at the NEC Hobbycrafts Show was incredible. I arrived at the NEC and straight away noticed how friendly and chatty the staff were. The car park attendant must have once been a holiday camp red coat I am sure. Once I'd managed to sort out my pass, I walked into the hall with my eyes just growing bigger and bigger. Straight in front of me was one of my absolute heroes, Barbara Gray of Clarity Stamps. What she can't do with a brayer, isn't worth knowing! I had to physically pull myself away and focus on looking for the stand number I needed. It was amazing to walk past so many giants in the craft world: the DoCrafts Stand, Crafters Companion's Sara Davies, Polka Doodles' Nicki Hall, and Sheena Douglas to name but a few. Wow!
I found my way to the Craft Superstore stand and was met by such a friendly and relaxed team and was made to feel really welcome from the start. I had just enough time to unpack and set up before the visitors were allowed into the hall. From that moment on I don't think I stopped talking, which would explain my lack of voice the following day. So many customers were interested in the Bigshot machine that I seemed to be demonstrating it constantly. Everyone was drawn to the gorgeous new Papermania embossing folders and the x-cut die-licious dies. I found it unbelievable that three seperate people told me they had won a Bigshot machine but didn't know what to do with it. Three! By the time I had shown them how simple it was to use and some of the wonderful effects they could achieve, they were soon stocking up with dies and folders and were excited about using their machine. The Bigshot machine itself was flying off the stand and I am sure that there were many happy bunnies playing with their new purchases that evening.
The only downside to the day was that I didn't get chance to look around the show, but it was a great day, wonderful people, and a fabulous experience. It was the final day of the show, otherwise I would certainly have journeyed back the next day to do a little personal shopping. Never mind. There will be another show there next March and I for one will definitely be there. :-)

Thursday, 3 November 2011

There may be crafting ahead...

This will be my first full weekend of crafting demos and, despite working on samples for a full week, I still feel totally unprepared.

On Saturday I will be at the new Range store in Burton-upon-Trent. I only received the request for this demo on Tuesday, so I think I might be forgiven for having a little panic.

Sunday will see me at the Hobbycraft show at the NEC in Birmingham. I will still be demonstrating DoCrafts products, but I will be on the stand for one of their retailers - The Craft Superstore. I think that simply saying this will be an experience, might be the understatement of the year. I haven't a clue what to expect, but I'm sure it will be an exciting day.

Some of my card samples for the DoCrafts latest promotion can be previewed in my gallery on their website: www.docrafts.com/dianac and I will add the others asap. If you'd like to see how they're made, it would be lovely to see you at one of the demos, do please come and say hello. Hopefully I'll be able to get some photos of the day to show you all.

Back to my craft table now for some more prep. Busy, busy, busy... :-)