Friday, 26 February 2016

Trip to Birmingham NEC for Stitches, CHSI 2016

Good Morning and I wish you all a good Friday, nearly the weekend!

I really can't believe a week ago I was getting ready to visit CHSI at Birmingham.

Since I've been home I've been busy preparing the kits for my workshop this Sunday here in Kent and catching up on all things at home.

This is a pretty text heavy post, I'll warn you in advance but I wanted to share my experience, it may be useful to anyone who is thinking of visiting Stitches for the first time in the future.

Picture candy will follow at the end as a Thank You for sticking with me through my ramblings...

I'd like to share with you the experience of my first and I hope one of many craft trade shows.
As a passionate crafter I've had a series of goals and ambitions I personally wanted to try and achieve.
One of which and the biggest I guess was to become an independent craft tutor.
Another was to turn my lifelong hobby into a small business, taking on the various roles that are required for each particular area or seeking advice from those more qualified as and when necessary.

Then it was to get out there and attend the CHSI trade show, I've ticked those things off my list.

I'm really passionate and thoroughly enjoy what I do.

Anyhow my craft sessions and workshops no matter how small or large are relaxed, social, chatty and fun and offer the opportunity to maybe learn something new or a bit different and go on a creative journey that has no boundaries, just be yourself.

I set off from Kent last Saturday driving to Birmingham, another challenge for me, as I haven't driven there before. I was meeting up with my lovely friend Sam during my stay.

I decided to arrive the day before the show so I could organise myself with everything I want to do.

The three days went in a flash and I was pretty exhausted trying to fit everything in but I did it!

The seminars were invaluable and I'm so grateful to the lovely
Sara Naumann, who's just the most inspiring knowledgeable crafts person, for her wonderfully informative and down to earth insight into the areas self employed crafts people have to negotiate.

It was pretty last minute that I decode to attend the trade show, I wanted to go last year but we were busy sorting mum out in the care home and the time was not right.
Having dithered about the decision for this year, my husband told me to just go for it!

I hadn't pre-booked many of the workshops not knowing if I was definitely going to attend the show for sure, but was lucky enough to get on a couple of extra one's due to last minute cancellations or no shows.
I must thank the lovely lady who gave me her ticket for
Paperartsy Pandemonium as she wasn't feeling well and had to leave.
I was so thankful for her ticket but so sorry she felt so unwell, thank you lovely lady for the opportunity!
We used Fresco Paints, new Eclectica stamps by Kim Dellow and Frosting Glaze on the glass.

I also attended, Kate Crane's journaling session using DecoArt paints and mediums along with Andy Skinner texture stamps, Needcraft clock making, Lantern making presentations using their kits.
A Deflecto presentation showcasing their unique storage systems and Kuretake Inspirations with Helen Pritchett, using Woodcraft and Varnish Markers.
All were just fabulous!

The show provided a great opportunity for me to have a very long overdue catch up with lovely friends Roy and Steve from
Candy Box Crafts as well as meet in person some of the other great suppliers I deal with.
There were many, many friends from the crafting world there that I met up with and Sam and I had a great time together going off doing our own thing and meeting back up again at various times during the day/s for a catch up and a coffee.

The show also gave us the opportunity to attend the Craft Awards ceremony, so many great achievements recognised.

I must thank CHA Craig for his encouragement and insight into joining CHA and Jo from Shabby Dandelion, on the Bright Sparks stand, who pointed me in the right direction.

Oh my goodness, so many highlights but it's pretty hard to top the King of Craft himself the amazing Tim Holtz!
He and Mario were there Sat - Mon and he's just the most lovely guy and so passionate about his craft it's contagious.
To see him demo was fantastic, lots of goodies including Distress Markers!

So for a first experience and visit to the trade show I came away very fulfilled and inspired.
So many people I haven't mentioned, Ken Oliver all the lovely folk at Personal Impressions,
Deco Art, Country Love Crafts, Sheena Douglass, Crafter's Companion to name but a few...

Thanks so much for sticking with me if you've read this update, now for some pictures...

Much love and crafty hugs xKx

Project pictures - Kate Crane Art Journal session, Kuretake Inspirations, Enamelling with Efco and Paperartsy Pandemonium.
Pictures with Roy from Candy Box and Tim Holtz.