Yesterday I went to the Creative Stitches and Hobbycrafts Show at Westpoint, Exeter - an annual craft show which I have never managed to get to before. It is a general craft show, but there is a heavy emphasis on card making and papercrafting because these are so popular these days, and those stands were certainly the most crowded!
I had a totally brilliant day. My hubby dropped me off, and went off for the day to do his own thing - he did some exploring, and also did the weekly grocery shop for us, which I was very grateful for as I was shattered after the day at the show!
There was so much to see. One of the first stands I visited was this glitter stand:
I have never seen so much glitter! I told the Glitter Guy that he ought to be wearing a pirate's costume and an eye patch because he looked like a pirate king in his treasure cave! He said that was the idea, having the chests and buckets of loose glitter. He was selling it by the scoop! Isn't it a magnificent sight?
I was thrilled to meet Ziggy of luceting fame - I saw him a few weeks ago on the Create and Craft channel on TV and he came over as such a lovely man - and this was borne out when I met him in person. We had a lovely chat, and all the while he was luceting away, and must have made several inches of braid in the time we were talking! He has the most amazing shoelaces, which most people never notice, but I made a point of looking out for them after seeing them on TV! Luceting is an ancient Viking craft, a method of making braid with a tool that looks a bit like a two-pronged fork. Ziggy has elevated this to a new level and produces many different designs and colours.
At least 30 people commented on the flowers on my Rolls Royce - everybody loved them - as it was a craft show I suppose people were more observant about such things, but it was a great conversation starter! Talking of flowers, there was a man on one stand who was making the most incredible flowers out of florist ribbon, using a ribbon shredder and a barbecue stick, and wrapping the ribbon around. He was making dozens of different designs and sizes - the smallest ones he made into tiny bouquets which were attached to the front of cards. He was selling kits, including the shredder, quite a lot of ribbon, and an instruction DVD, but I decided that I was already spending money faster than I could keep up with, and I shouldn't really start yet another craft... But... today I've spent the day regretting not buying it! It was just so cool, so simple, quick to do, and very, very effective - the flowers are so realistic!
In the centre of the hall was a magnificent structure created for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI), made entirely of knitting! It was in the form of a grotto that you could walk through - I didn't go through because it was very crowded at the time, but I took a couple of photos of the outside:
There was also a display of vintage costume - ladies' undergarments predominantly, and this piece particularly took my fancy - a Victorian bustle made entirely of bras!
Here is the Hat Lady on her stand:
She had a display of the most exquisite fascinators and some of the materials she uses to make them. Each one was a "one-off" and the attention to detail was amazing. They were all so elegant, and sure to turn heads - as she herself demonstrated; several times during the day she left her stand and walked around the show modelling a hat, and everyone was looking and pointing!
This was the sugarcraft stand. I am always amazed at what people can make out of cake icing - this is a skill beyond me, and I am lost in admiration for the artistry and beauty of the work.
This was one of several bead stands at the show. Unfortunately the Chinese lady on the stand didn't seem to understand when I asked if I could photograph her in front of her beads - she turned and walked away so all I got of her was a blur! However, the strings of crystal beads are so lovely as they catch the light and sparkle.
This lady is a textile designer specialising in devore velvet. She had many, many fabulous wraps on her stand, in the richest colours and opulent designs from floral to Art Deco. She was modelling different ones, complete with a selection of beautiful jewelled clips to hold them in place.
Towards the end of my visit, I was delighted to discover the Stampin' Up stand. When I first started being seriously creative in the early summer, I learnt a lot from Youtube videos, and the first ones I came across were Stampin' Up ones - I thought the demonstrators were all so charming and friendly and fun, and I loved what they were doing. These young ladies on this stand were no exception! You can see from their happy smiling faces how much they enjoy what they do! I had a lovely chat with the two looking at the camera in particular, and the one on the right had recently discovered my blog, which was great! When I have sorted through all the leaflets and cards that I picked up at the show, I shall be looking her up, as she's got a blog too, which I shall enjoy visiting, I am sure.
Many of the stands had demonstrators showing different techniques and the use of different materials. I particularly enjoyed this aspect of the show, and all the stand holders were so friendly and chatty, and willing to share any information! Conversations sprang up between visitors as well, and lots of information was shared, and we all agreed that we learnt as much from each other as from the demonstrators.
Altogether it was a marvellous day. A day really wasn't enough to see and do all I wanted, especially as it was extremely busy and crowded until later in the afternoon - apparently whole coach-loads of ladies arrive on a daily basis to this very popular annual event, and these days everybody seems to be crafting!! It was quite hard to get around at times, and to see everything.
I shall definitely be going next year! In the meantime, there is another one in January, more specifically geared towards papercrafting rather than general crafts, so I think that one will be very interesting, and I look forward to it.
Shows of all kinds are great fun. Sharing the day with like-minded people, and learning what is available, and how it is used etc. is very stimulating, and it widens one's horizons. I have now bookmarked the Westpoint, Exeter, website so that I can keep up to date with what's going on! All most enjoyable.
Finally, here are the things I bought! (Well, most of them!)