Saturday, 24 March 2012

Craft Fair Haul (and a little rant, just a little one)

Yesterday was the Stitching for Pleasure / Hobbycrafts / Something something Embroidery exhibition at the NEC in Birmingham (UK, not Alabama).  I completely forgot to tell you I was going.  I managed to bring home a fair old loot, and have a go at a new craft. 

A wooden letter rack and a tray.  I'm going to paint/decopatch/mod podge these (or something).  The letter rack is to contain the many piles of paperwork Mr CA leaves lying around and the little tray is to go next to me on the sofa to stop my needles, pincushion, scissors, threads and / or crochet hooks from falling down between the sofa cushions.

A few necessities and some tiny embroidery hoops. I stopped at a stall to buy the 5" and 2 4" ones where I was told that 4" is the smallest they do.  A few stalls later I picked up a couple of 3" hoops... seems someone was lying!

A little iron-on bunny for no reason other than she reminds me of my bunny Ellis, and my first ever attempt at pyrography!  The image was pre-stamped so I only had to go over it with the tool.  It's quite tricky to get right and I burnt it in a few places, but it was really good fun.  I added the titles to the books.  Luckily my mum had invested in one of these tools a few weeks ago (she's a compulsive craft-horder like me), so I can go over and have a go on some more items.

A lucet with a spindle/bobbin type thing, and a gizmo.  Yep, that's its name.  It's for making coils from wire which you can then make into jewellery.

A needle-punch kit.  Yes, that's right, another new craft for me to try.  There was a lady demonstrating this and it looked so easy... bet it isn't!

Beads, beads, beads and more beads, a necklace kit, findings, spacers, connecters etc.

A little gift from my mum - a seam iron.  It can be plugged in and left turned on for hours without the handle getting hot, so it's got to be easier than plugging in and unplugging my big iron every five minutes.

Hand-dyed merino tops and a variety of hand died threads, heart trims, button-type things, cutters that I'm hoping I can use to needle-felt and some hand-dyed crewel thread that matches the threads in the DMC kit I bought that hasn't got enough thread in it...  DMC rudely ignored my constant emails asking for help in identifying the pre-sorted threads so I had to buy them elsewhere.  Unfortunately, there are still 3 threads I've run out of that I couldn't match.  There was only one stall selling crewel wool in the whole exhibition.

Even-weave, I think that's pretty self-explanatory.

Fabric!  2 metres of Kate Spain Fandango and a few unidentified pieces.

I don't think I did too badly.  I love the exhibitions at the NEC, they're a great way to find new suppliers as well as stock up and see things demonstrated.  The one thing that really gets my goat is how rude some people are.  The vast majority of crafters that I've met on the internet are kind, generous, giving folk.  The vast majority of people visiting the craft exhibitions are rude, self-centred and agressive.  Loads of them have trolleys on wheels which they'll park in your way and whack you on the legs with. Other people will push and shove you.  I was told to "move, I need to look at this stall" by a horrible woman whilst I was actually waiting for the stall-holder to bag up my purchase and another lady had a go at me as I accidentally caught her little boy with my bag - not my fault that she'd let him run free and he was crawling around by one of the stalls!


Kandi said...

And breathe :0)
Yeah I was at NEC on Thursday and the rudeness is always apparent there and at similar fairs. Pushing, shoving, those bloody trolleys and the motorised scooters, arghhhh! It's rather frustrating but I bet you took some comfort in your fab haul! I had my eye on that mini iron too, I've wanted one for ages now!
Kandi x

Celtic Thistle said...

Looks like you will be busy in the coming months! I saw some projects with that coiling gizmo in a jewellery making magazine a couple of months ago (forget which one)and it looked fairly simple for really good results, so I will be really interested in what you do with it.

It is a shame that some people lose all semblance of manners when faced with a bargain! I have never been to the big show at the NEC, but can say that it has always been much more civilized when I have visited the Scottish show at Edinburgh. To be fair I have only ever gone on a Friday, so it may be the same there too on Saturdays and Sundays!

Enjoy a well-deserved rest after such serious shopping :)

Sandra :) said...

I'm always surprised at how many people forget plain common courtesy - so many are so focused on their own wants and needs that they don't spare half a second to be polite. It's very sad. Parents who let their younglings run around practically unsupervised deserve a swift kick in the a$$ - just because they're YOUR precious snowflakes doesn't mean we'll find their poor behaviour cute!

You found all kinds of goodies, eh? I have a lucet as well - I use it to make cord! Love the orange and pink fabric - that combo has become one of my favourites - Nancy even found me a 70's sheet @ the thrift store last week, with orange and pink flowers! :)

Allie said...

What a haul! I love it! I'm drooling over everything. Too bad about the rude people though - you need to carry an umbrella with a pointy tip to poke people with, lol!

Nancy Lee said...

Lovely shopping, there, Wendy. Punch needle is dead easy as long as you thread the needle properly. It's great because there is no counting involved, and the even weave holds the threads nicely. Are you going to do the wood burning on the trays? People are getting increasingly self absorbed. It's not that they are rude as much as they are oblivious.

Hester said...

I love bunnies too and I'll let you in on a little secret, I saw some fluffy bunny ears on an aliceband in the shops yesterday and I nearly bought them for myself if it wasn't for my husband stopping me. I would wear them at a dinner party especially at my house or when I do the 10km saturday morning walks where you can dress a little crazy, I'm an arty, young at heart 48 year old lady.
I'm busy sewing quilted felt animal cell phone pouches for my kids Tracfone LG800G smart phones to protect their touch screens as they cost me $50ea. (must say $6/month for 40 min for the kids ea. is a bargain).
These little animal pouches are such fun to make and they're easy for the kids to tackle them over the weekends. I just take 2 layers of felt with stuffing in the middle and sew round the edges by hand with blanket stitching. You can use plain stitching to sew on the features and limbs of the animals. I can't believe what cute animals you can make from felt not to mention cut Christmas ornaments for your loved ones. Creatures such as owls, penguins, fish, foxes and ducks are easy animals to make.

Fleur Cotton said...

You did very well didn't you! Lots of good buys.

I have to admit that I'm put off alot of the big shows purely because of the crowds, I would much rather go to smaller and local craft fairs.

Happy Crafting
Fleur xx

The Dotty One said...

I haven't been to that show at the NEC but I have to say that the Stitch and Craft in Olympia a week or so ago was similar. People just barging past and jumping queues. It is so annoying becuase it makes what should be a really fun day quite stressful - grrrr!

On the plus side - excellent shopping! Good work soldier!