OK, it is time for our weekly meeting, hosted by Julia Dunnit, who lives over at Stamping Ground, and hosts a huge gathering of like minds. We all have different ideas in crafting, but we all enjoy taking to each other each week and having a good nose round to see what is going on on our desks. How else could so many chat in one day and have a really good ferret on so many desks except through the medium of the internet blog meeting.
Last week, I promised some pictures of the goodies from the NEC Craft Show. I chose to go on the first day, being the quietest, usually, with less traffic on the roads too. So, early Thursday morning, I was in the car and off for the 20 minute journey up the M42, armed with purse and credit card and shopping bags and a LIST. That list will appear later in the story.
I had already had a look to see where my favourite stands would be, so first visit was the the Clarity Stamps stand - where else, I ask you? It was like being a kiddie in a sweet shop. Although the show had only just opened, the crowd round Barbara Gray and Maria Simms was already several deep, all desperate to gather more hints and tips. (If you want to see what we were all desperate to get at, just look at Barbara's blog at http://barbaragrayblog.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/a-moment-of-clarity-at-nec.html)
I started very well following my list, then it slipped a bit when I spotted something lovely that I NEEDED. At that point, the lovely Heather took pity on me and took my list in charge and found everything for me. Then, still with the list in my hand, I fought my way to Dave to pay for my goodies. That is where things fell apart. I lost my list (I still blame Dave for stealing it so that I would spend more money).
The other problem was the amazing special show offers, and it would have been rude not to take advantage of them, wouldn't it. Not to mention the £20 voucher I had won from Clarity and the £5 voucher printed off the website. Storage was my main aim, for my remountable stamps and for the growing number of stencils in my collection. I got that, then proceeded to fill a new stencil storage file. There were so many brand new beautiful ones brought out as show introductions.. They are not even on the website yet. Just look at the fabulous butterfly in the folder, and you get the outie as well as the innie. Then you might be able to see the fabulous gilding flakes, another brilliant offer with all the things you need to start playing, including the stamp of your choice.
I did go elsewhere in the show, including the Pergamano stand, where the lady was demonstrating a new type of embossing mat, and giving us a chance to try before we bought. She also had good storage, a zipped folder type of bag to carry all the tools you need and pens as well. So that was two more things that were not on my list that just fell into my bag.
Another stall good for demos was the Derwent stand, where I did pick up a lot of useful hints and tips and ways to extend the uses of all the lovely Derwent things I already have. I did not actually buy from here, but only because I have most of what they do anyway, being a crayon/pencil addict from childhood.
For me, it was a better show than the November one, more room to move and I think most of the stamping companies were there, and plenty of card and paper etc as well. Even the dratted Scan and Cut was there with Mel Heaton demoing it. I did find a quiet moment to ask the question I have wanted an answer to since it was launched - what can it do that my Silhouette Cameo can't at about half the price? In the end, I think she really could not find anything that I would want that the Scan and Cut could do differently. Some people seem to think that it is an advantage to not use a computer, but I cannot see how it is better to try to edit on that tiny screen rather than a large colour computer monitor. We agreed to differ, very amicably, but I did feel that it was the first time anyone had asked that question.
I was a little disappointed not to meet any WOYWWers at the show, and I had my badge on. Perhaps you were all going on the other three days. However, it was good to meet up again with Barbara, Maria, and meet, for the first time, four other lovely ladies from the Clarity team, Theresa Pace, Jane Barber, Yvonne Frohlich, and Jo Rice. It felt to me as though I had always known them, a result of chatting so much online. Being with them did take me back to the Clarity stand as you might imagine, and as my list had vanished for good, needless to say, I fell for some more goodies, so much so that when I got home and realised I had forgotten to get one particular stencil, I did debate, very seriously, going back the next day to get it. Then common sense took over, and I realised it was much cheaper to ring Clarity and ask for one to be added to the order I already had in.
I will show you more of what I have once this next weekend is over - the weekend when the collapsing shed is to be emptied, and the good stuff put in the garage and the rubbish removed to the tip. I also need some things returned into the caravan ready for my first ever solo trip very soon.
I think I must finish right now, otherwise Julia will put me on the naughty step for going on too long. Sorry Julia! I will try to get round to visit as many of you as possible, but that will depend on garage clearing etc. I am sure you all understand.