Hi everyone and welcome! Oh boy it's been a fast and furious weekend (well I say weekend - make that early Saturday through to late Tuesday!) as the annual UK trade show affectionately known as 'Stitches' got under way at the NEC in Birmingham.
The weekend started with a retailer workshop with the awesome Tim Holtz, a chance for us to get the low down on the new products launched by Ranger so we can share them with everyone and spread the love. These things are always done at a break-neck speed as there's a lot of ground to cover in a short space of time with tons of product knowledge to absorb and test along the way. This experience was made extra special by the fact that I got to share it with two of my crafty besties Anne and Kath - special memories I'll treasure.
We got to use the new Framed Panel, which could as easily form the basis of a journal or scrapbook cover as well as the more obvious framed collage or picture. The Collage Medium is brilliant with 'a drying time of NOW' so if you're not one for waiting around this is definitely for you! We also got to play with the 'Crazing' version, fabulous for adding the finest of cracks to projects (depending on how thickly you layer it). And of course the star of the show, the product everyone has been clamouring for - Distress Crayons - they certainly lived up to the hype and I may just have to get these on permanent order so I never run out!!!!
Tim took time to answer every question, share more product knowledge, get feedback from us on these and other products and praise our newly emerging creations (Anne and Kath got bucket loads for theirs of course!)
Having 'known' the virtual version for so long I finally got to meet the super-talented Kassa Haylesden! and the lovely Sandra Botham who'd sped down from Art from the Heart to join the class. Tim even persuaded his bosses to get involved (see them working away in the corner!) There was a ripple of hysterical hilarity in the room when we were tasked with using the Splatter Brushes with Distress Paint but there were no major dramas and as the lovely Kath demonstrates beautifully here, a few baby wipes can do wonders for those mucky paws!!!
And of course there was chance to take photos with the lovely Mario and Tim, always so patient and generous with their time. Feel free to add your own captions but please, be gentle (and clean)!!! Thank you so much to Tim, Mario and the Notions team for all their hard work and effort.
So at the end of it all what did I create? Here it is, my Framed Collage Panel! I would have loved to have phaffed for longer with the background collaging (instant crafting is not the norm 'chez Marples') but I did get to learn so much more about the Collage Mediums and Distress Crayons which was, after all, the whole point of the exercise. And my honest reaction to the crayons? I'M IN LOVE!!!!!!!!! There's pretty much nothing they can't tackle and achieve, apart from make a cup of tea!
So that's if for the first instalment of catch ups. Over on the IndigoBlu blog later this morning I'm sharing lots of photos of what affectionately became known as 'home' for three days. Then later I'll have instalment number two here, with news of the Craft Stamper stand and so much more.
For now, have a great Friday and take care of yourselves, Jenny xxx