Saturday, 24 September 2011

Creative Stitches and Hobbycrafts Exhibition, 2011

My lovely hubby took me over to Exeter yesterday for the annual Creative Stitches and Hobbycrafts Exhibition. This is a general craft show with lots of different crafts being featured, but still lots of opportunity to stock up on the mixed media and papercrafting supplies, and to watch demos etc. He left me there, and spent the day with his brother, and did some shopping of his own, which he was pleased with.

It was a very special day for me, because I met up with my friend Wendy for the first time! We’ve been following each other’s blogs and emailing each other, and being on forums together, for ages now, and when she told me she would be down here on holiday, we agreed to meet up at the show. What fun we had! We looked at a lot of things together, and then went our separate ways, bumping into each other every now and again. On one occasion she came up to me with an absolutely beautiful card she’d just made, when she attended one of the workshops. I hope she’s going to blog about that!

Here are some of the photos I took of the day. On one stand, someone was demonstrating the Spellbinders Grand Calibur machine, and I was amazed by the fine detail on some of the samples – flowers and swirls, some cut in vellum and layered. So pretty and delicate, and so intricate!

01 Display of Grand Calibur Work

Glitter time!! I was sad that the Glitter Man wasn’t there this time – on my first visit to this show last year, he was there in his pirate’s cave with his treasure chests full of the biggest quantity of glitter that I’ve ever seen! The display this year was impressive, though.

04 Glitter

It’s a real pity that photos don’t pick up the amazing glitteriness of glitter!

I found a wonderful stand with loads of Tim Holtz stuff on it, run by a delightful man who really knew his stuff – he didn’t just sell the stuff, but also used it. He had made a big display board showing all the colours of the Distress Stains. He’d taken a tag for each colour, and stamped one of Tim’s background text stamps on it, and coloured it with the respective Distress stain, and then mounted a dress form from Tim’s die, which was distressed with a matching Distress Ink. Finally, he’d added a row of small roses along the bottom of each dress form shape. It was a beautiful display which we were all admiring (wish I’d thought of photographing it), and he told us it had taken him 3 weeks to do, and 4 bottles of wine! He also told us he knew Tim quite well, and what a lovely man he is, very unassuming and humble, and it appeared that he really didn’t know what all the fuss was about – he just got on with doing what he is so good at! His success certainly hasn’t gone to his head. He recommended that if any of us ever got the chance to go on a course with him, we should. That was very nice to hear, I thought.

I’ve been thinking of getting some Distress Stains for a while, and was hoping to get a good deal at the show, which I did. If you bought 12, you got 3 free ones! I also chose two more that I wanted. I didn’t see any point in buying them all, because some of the colours are very similar, so I got a representative selection.

There was an Inkylicious stand at the show, and they were selling the Ink Dusters. I told the man on the stand that I’d done the first Youtube video on them, and he was very pleased – he said they’d been too busy to set up the website on them yet, but hopefully it would happen soon. He said he’d look on Youtube, and also on my blog, which was nice. I mentioned to several other customers how good they were, and how they’d revolutionised my ink blending.

Back with the eggcrafting ladies again, as at previous shows:

06 The Eggcraft Ladies

This time I caught them in the act – eating chocolate cake!! They were very happy to see me and remembered me from the past 2 shows. They know how I love to photograph the eggs, and publish their beautiful work around the world on my blog! They were happy to oblige, again, and showed me the salient points of some of the new creations on the table. There was a mixture of old and new designs – it’s such an intricate craft that they cannot hope to make a completely new display for every show.

07 Eggcraft Display

I just love the little pink umbrella over the ducks by their pond! And here is one of several beautiful eggs.

09 Purple Rose Egg

This had to be the star of the display – the Royal Wedding Egg.

13 Royal Wedding Egg

The lady on the right in the photo above made it, and she lifted it down for me so I could see and photograph it better. She had dressed all the figures herself, and made the carriage axles, and even made all the horses’ harnesses herself too. This piece was just stunning – out of this world. Here are some detailed shots.

14 Royal Wedding Egg Detail

15 Royal Wedding Egg Detail

I then went on to the sugarcrafting stand, and I must say they’d excelled themselves this year! The flowers were so realistic that I could hardly believe they were made of icing. The focal piece was a wedding cake decorated in rainbow colours, which amazingly had been done by a lady in her seventies. The intricacy of the work was incredible.

16 Sugarcraft Display

17 Rainbow Wedding Cake

18 Rainbow Wedding Cake Detail

19 Sugarcraft Nasturtiums

20 Sugarcraft Roses

At the entrance to the show, there was a display of this wonderful wedding cake.

25 Wedding Cake

26 Wedding Cake Bottom Layer Detail

27 Wedding Cake Middle Detail

29 Wedding Cake Base Detail

I wouldn’t even know how to begin to do such a thing!!

Today I unpacked my lovely box of goodies. Each time I go to a show, they allow me to put my box in the office, and when I buy things, I can leave them there, as it’s hard to carry a lot of stuff around. My box was only just big enough! I stocked up on various things like glue and plain white cardstock. You were given a polywallet to fill as full as you could, which cost a set amount. I bought 2 white packs of 300 gsm (about 60 sheets in each), really cheap.

Here’s a picture of most of what I bought – I haven’t put it all out.

30 My Purchases

L-R, back-front: a Martha Stewart Circle Cutter (more later), some feathers, some Claudine Helmuth sticky-backed canvas (haven’t tried that yet, but love the effects you can get with it), some gold and silver mirror board, some gold and silver foil (and a small roll of copper), a DCWV paper stack “Tattered Time” which is soooo gorgeous that I probably won’t be able to bring myself to use it!! and some more Glossy Accents. Front row: a few rubber stamps, replacement Cricut blades, some really gorgeous embellishments which I shall also be able to use to make moulds out of, lots of regular Pinflair, and Pinflair photo glue, some Spray and Sparkle which Wendy recommended, some of the Distress Stains, some glitter (fabby colours! – only I wished I’d waited before buying them, because the loose glitter was cheaper), some fine paintbrushes and a sepia pen, some embossing powders and some wire (and other beading bits and pieces not on the photos).

31 Distress Stains

These are my new Tim Holtz Distress Stains. Today I made the labels for the lids so that I could easily identify them in the box I’ve chosen for them.

32 Martha Stewart Circle Cutter

This is my new Martha Stewart Circle Cutter. I saw one of these online the other day and thought what a good idea they were. You can cut circles ranging from 1 in diameter to 5 1/2 in, in very small increments, which means you can also cut very thin rings. The central transparent disc fits in a groove in the white ring, and rotates in a ball race. You put the blade into the hole of your choice (they are all marked) and holding the ring, simply rotate the disc, and the blade cuts the paper underneath.

Last year, when I got my ARTHaven set up, I was thinking of buying one of those Making Memories rotating tool caddies, but they were too expensive, and so I decided to make my own. I was going to get a small lazy susan base, and mount some vertical cylinders onto it, to take my various sized tools, but I never got round to it, partly because I couldn’t find a suitable lazy susan base. Last month, at our village fete, I found a small fabric caddy, brand new, going for a song, so I bought it and have been using that.

This afternoon, when I had opened my Circle Cutter, I was wondering where I was going to store it, and I was idly turning the disc in my hands and noticing the ball race it was running in, and I got a brainwave. Here is my small lazy susan base! I popped my fabric caddy on top, and hey presto, killed two birds with one stone – got a rotating caddy, and also found a convenient place to store the Circle Cutter!!! That sort of thing gives me a very good feeling!

33 Caddy on Circle Cutter

Finally, here are the papier mache boxes I bought for altering. The first one is rectangular, and came filled with 24 small round boxes, very cheap!

34 Boxes for Altering

The other large box is square, and I also bought several smaller ones in different shapes – a round one, two ovals, and some heart-shaped ones. Lots of scope for altering!

35 Boxes for Altering

Sorry this has been such a long post this time, but I think you’ll agree I’ve had a good time! I am so enjoying my new purchases, and finding homes for them in my ARTHaven. I need more storage space!!


  1. What awesome bargains you found Shoshi! It sounds like your day was just totally delightful and meeting your buddy Wendy was the icing on the cake! Thanks for sharing your day with us! *Hugs*

  2. Lots of lovely stuff Shoshi, glad the lady found the circle cutter for you, You got a lot more than me but I did say I was going to be good and only get what i really need, my craft room is so full already, running out of places to put things.
    But very happy with what i did get, It was fab to see all the demo`s that were being done, and to meet you at last, Have fun playing with your goodies

  3. Aww, how lovely that you were able to meet Wendy, that must have been a highlight of your day and you got lots of lovely goodies.

    Fabulous how your MS circle cutter has another purpose, serendipity is a wonderful thing :)

    Love Mandy xxx

  4. Hi Shoshi, finally got around to watching your Ink Dusters tutorial last night, thanks so much for posting that. I am still a newbie with mine but my fingers are itching now to go and play!

    Having read the above post with its lovely pics we have the exact same mini caddy in browns and pinks, and I have a Martha Stewart circle cutter but its hidden in a drawer, so I may have to remedy that! I found the circle cutter very good, but better on card than paper, it seems to snag and tear paper whereas it will cut throught quite heavy card with ease.

    Have fun playing!



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