On Thursday my dear hubby very kindly drove me over to Exeter to the Westpoint Exhibition Centre for the annual Craft 4 Crafters show. Not getting out much, unless he takes me, this was a huge treat for me, and I’d been looking forward to it for ages! I’d also arranged to meet Margaret from Blogland, and her hubby, who were down in Devon on holiday – Margaret suggested I carried a red rose so I’d be recognisable, and as I was going around, I spotted them from behind (she’d given me a couple of clues as to their appearance) and I tapped her on the back, and she turned round and saw me there with a long stemmed rose between my teeth, looked a bit blank (as well she might!) and then burst out laughing! We had a great time together, meeting for lunch.
I don’t think there were as many stands as last year, and some that were listed weren’t there, but I put this down to the snow. It’s been pretty clear down here in South and parts of East Devon, but up country it’s been much worse, and people may have been put off coming – this would probably also explain the reduced numbers of the public attending, which suited me fine as it was easier to get around and see everything.
My new wheelchair spoke guards (finished just in time for the event!) and my new floral decorations down the front frame were a great success and I lost count how many lovely positive comments I had about them, and how many smiles they generated! Blog post imminent!
Here are some photos of the day. I tried not to duplicate too many of the ones I took last year (like the wonderful display of huge quantities of glitter, and all those beads!) to provide a bit of variety.
There was a stand for Origami South West, hosted by Sean Clarke, who gave me a little private lesson on how to make an origami flower (“we don’t usually teach this on the stand as it’s a bit advanced…” – but I’m always up for a challenge and didn’t want to do anything too simple!!) – I made a reasonably successful one!
Here are some of the pictures I took of the stand.
These rings are constructed from individual modular parts which are slotted together without glue or pins. I love the interlocking rings.
The same principle applies to these beautiful panels hanging on the wall. They remind me of patchwork.
These were some floral bouquets and arrangements, with some floral panels behind.
I loved these naturalistic blossom sprays which reminded me of oriental paintings. Behind was a little tree with hanging ornaments.
Then we had some fun! Here is Sean holding an intricately-folded piece made from brown paper, which he said took him six hours to create.
Here is a little video clip I made:
I’m afraid I couldn’t resist taking more photos of Stef Francis’ stand as it’s always so colourful and her textile art pieces are so stunning.
On the Inkylicious stand, I got chatting with the lady there, and she said she’d seen my Youtube videos on how to use their Ink Dusters! I was thrilled. She said they had been too busy to upload any tutorials, and I said when I did mine, there was nothing, and because I was so pleased with them, I thought I’d be the first.
On the Storage 4 Crafts stand, I bought some Really Useful Boxes – unfortunately they didn’t have both the sizes I wanted but I got a couple of larger ones as well as the smaller ones I’d intended buying. I couldn’t get too many or they wouldn’t have fitted in the car!
I came across a stand hosted by Textures and Beyond, a group of exhibiting textile artists who don’t necessarily sell their work, but just like to exhibit as a group. This year their theme was royal blue, and the pieces had to be tall and narrow. To me, they spoke of a marine life theme. Gorgeous pieces, aren’t they.
A new one this year (at least to me!) was Marbling 4 Fun, with Craig Joubert. I knew about the normal sort of marbling, where you put oil based paints onto the surface of water and swirl them around, and then apply paper to the surface, but this was something different – the ink is water based, and you add something to the water in the tank to make it slightly gloopy so that the ink rests on the surface. The patterns you create with the ink that you drop on are a lot more controllable, and also, you can marble absolutely any kind of surface! There were examples of stone, metal, leather, paper, fabric, wood… I was so fascinated by this that I’m afraid I broke the vow I made before leaving for the show – “Whatever I see, I am NOT going to start a new craft or art form!” Really, I can’t take me anywhere… Craig popped a little marbled stone, a fabric sample and a clothes peg in with my kit.
Here is the stand.
The beautiful quilts behind were interesting.
The one in the foreground with the white background is apparently fairly new, but the large one behind is about 20 years old, and has been washed repeatedly! (I thought this was a new form of marbling, but apparently not.) You can see how controlled the patterns can be. In the following photo, of a small wall hanging, the patterns remind me of fractals.
For the first time in my experience, there was a Zentangle stand at the show! I got so excited about this, and spent some time visiting there, looking at all the gorgeous stuff she’d tangled – shoes, boxes, canvases, fabric, coasters… and all the books she had for sale, that I quite forgot to photograph any of it! Duh… Anyway, quite a few of the pieces on the stand are on her website, so you can see them there. She was doing good business selling her various kits, including one for kids, and demonstrating. It was great to see Zentangle in evidence at the show.
The NaturaLeigh stand was an interesting contrast to most of the rest of the stands which tended to be very colourful – everything was natural white in colour, and very shabby chic. They were selling natural herbal beauty products and crafty fabrics in natural fibres.
Madeleine Millington was there again with her wonderful felt creations, and dressed as usual in colours to co-ordinate with her work! She is a friend of my sister-in-law’s so I always seek her out and we had a nice chat.
Towards the end of the day I came across Jo McIntosh on her Knit One Weave One stand – she is a textile artist living in St. Ives, Cornwall. I had to stop and speak to her because her appearance was so striking and creative, with her green hair and her gorgeous bright clothing! It all shouted, “I am a true artist!” She was so friendly and lovely, and I asked her if she knew Carolyn Saxby, a mixed media artist from St. Ives, and she said she was one of her greatest friends, and they often exhibited together! Such a nice contact, and I was thrilled to have met her.
Finally, here are some pictures of some of the purchases I made – filling the gaps with colours I was missing from my distress inks etc. and one or two nice extra things too!
At the back is the very pretty bag that the yarns came in – I bought 3 different balls of yarn for my art work. Most of these are slubby (great for mixed media) and/or dip dyed and variegated, so you can cut off lengths of whatever colour you want. At the back on the left is a tag given to me by the gentleman on Ali Crafts, from whom I bought the stencil brushes and the Graphics 45 keyholes, and also the refills for my Tim Holtz blending tool.
In front are some of the Distress Stains I bought to fill the gaps in my collection, including, grouped together front left, the three new metallic ones which I am looking forward to trying. According to various Youtube videos, these blend very well with normal Distress Stains to give a beautiful metallic shimmer to the colours, and you can create great backgrounds with them. I also bought the Fall Seasonal collection of Distress Inks. Unfortunately nobody seemed to stock any of the re-inkers which I am missing but this isn’t a problem as I can get them online when necessary.
Next level down is the Origami South West information sheet, folded in an origami pattern! I did unfold it and actually managed to get it back again, folded correctly! I’ve stuck on the two flowers we made on the stand – yes, you’ve guessed it, the red one was the one I made lol! (Well, it did get a bit squashed on the way home…)
On the right is the marbling kit. You get several pots of different colours, which can be mixed, some fixing agent and the gelling agent for the water, as well as some plastic pipettes for applying the colours. In front of the box are the samples I was given when purchasing the kit – the fabric sample, stone, and clothes peg.
All these items are arranged on some Really Useful Boxes that I bought. Now I’ve got to summon the energy to sort out all the stuff, make labels for my new Distress products, and start filling my new boxes, and I might even get a bit more organised!
Here is a close-up of the two origami flowers I came away with. I don’t think my red one is too bad really – one of the petals tore when I was trying to shape it and it’s not quite as even as Sean’s one, but I shall definitely practise this one as it’s so pretty! I’ve tracked down a Youtube video giving instructions for this lovely flower if anyone’s interested.
Here’s the marbling kit. In the demo, Craig used the lid of the box as a tray for marbling small items. He explained that he also used a cat litter tray for larger things, and even constructed his own tray from cardboard, lined with plastic, for such items as lengths of fabric etc.
The items he gave me show the versatility of the process.
The amazing thing is that if you dip something like a clothes peg right into the tray, the pattern continues right around the object! As you can see from the fabric sample, the pattern is also very controllable. I’m looking forward to getting started with this!
My hubby came to collect me at 5 p.m. and we went to his brother and our sister-in-law’s for a Chinese takeaway supper, which made a perfect end to a wonderful day.