Life is short. Break the rules, forgive quickly, kiss slowly, love truly, laugh uncontrollably, and never regret anything that makes you smile. We're not quantified; there's no chart of desire. When the roaring flames of your heart have burned down to embers, may you find that you have married your best friend. [Steven Tyler]

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

What a Difference a Day Makes (or 7 of them to be precise)

Having been away at the NEC, it's now seven days since I last made the almost 60 mile round trip to work and what a surprise I got this morning. In only seven days - Spring has Sprung (despite the fact that snow is forecast for Easter this weekend).

It was a mild morning and quite bright and as I drove along the very scenic route to work. I was taken aback by the beautiful blossoms in abundance on the trees, some pink and some white. These trees had been completely bare last week. Japonika and Forsythia bushes were in full bloom and the sunny yellow of their flowers made everywhere look stunning. I had to resist the urge to stop and take photographs - I'd never have got to work if I had.

Now, back to my adventures at the NEC:

Having got the first very successful day over with, I returned to the hotel in the evening. There were several other exhibitors staying in the same hotel and we made arrangements to all have dinner together. The company was good even if the food was just 'OK'.

Friday 14th: You could really be forgiven for thinking today was Friday the 13th not the 14th. Overnight, the hotel car park had been hit by a gang breaking into cars looking for lap tops and sat navs. Seven cars were targeted where I was staying and one of them just happened to belong to a colleague and friend also exhibiting at the show. They seem to have gone for cars that looked like they could be 'reps' cars. Mine was fine but as I walked out to it that morning I could see glass all over the ground and a car just one away from where I was parked had been broken into.

We later learned that just about every hotel car park on the NEC complex had been targeted.
Although the day had got off to a bad start for some, the show turned out to be another successful and enjoyable day. A bit of a strange day in a way as one moment the stand was completely inundated and the next the aisle was almost completely empty. It left you wondering if the hall had been evacuated and no one had told you! But then the next wave would hit and you couldn't see the stands across the way again.

Some more examples of some of stamps and techniques that I was demonstrating at the show. Sorry about the lighting on these examples, I tried using the flash but it was bouncing off the pearlescent card and the pearlescent paint on the Peacock feathers. The Peacock has been stamped on vellum and 'bowed' out from the front of the card to give it dimension. I adore the little Peacock Feather stamp around the border - it is so delicate. The background stamp in black on the card above is also on the Peacock Glory themeplate and gives such a lovely damask 'feel' when stamped repeatedly. This is a very adaptable plate of stamps and well worth having in your collection.

Saturday 15th: Such a sad day. The show got off to a great start, it was busy from the word GO at 9.30 and by 11 a.m the hall was heaving. Then tragedy struck. I'm not going to go into too much detail, you'll understand why. One of the exhibitors collapsed on his stand and a very serious medical emergency was declared. The show was temporarily closed while the paramedics gave assistance and the air ambulance was brought in but I'm very sorry to say that every ones efforts were in vain. This very sad event cast a subdued air over most of the exhibitors I spoke to that day and our thoughts and commiserations are with his wife and family.

On a happier note, everyone I spoke to who stopped by the stand appeared to be enjoying the show - many people, even late into the afternoon had not stopped for lunch in fear of missing something good and they kept walking the show.

I got a lot of enquiries about the ink pad storage system I was using. It's called an Ink Pad Craft Locker. I knew that we didn't have many left back at Graphicus and some of you have been on the phone and placed your order for this very nifty little locker since seeing mine at the show. When I got back to work this morning I checked to see how many we have and there is ONLY ONE left now. So if you were one of the people who wanted one and you haven't secured yours yet, do it now! I know that we haven't got any more on order at this moment in time.

Sunday 16th: and the final day of the show started quietly, probably due to a combination of heavy rain and the fact the it was Palm Sunday. But again, by 11 a.m. we were in full flow and it was fast and furious. I love the buzz of the show, to hear all about the exciting things people have found to buy and what you have planned for using them. I was also really delighted to see how many 'young folk' we have coming into the crafting community - and boys too. Maybe the next Tim Holtz was standing watching my demo's over the last four days - who knows?

All too soon, it was time to pack up my demo equipment and head off back up the motorway in the direction of home. I'm pleased to say that the heavy rain of the morning had passed over and the driving conditions were relatively good. My little Punto did it's 'Transformer' impersonation and turned into a Porche and I was home in next to no time. Exhausted, but at the same time wired with enthusiasm to continue creating and I have lots of plans for the next two weeks to get some 'eye candy' ready for our Open Days at Graphicus on the 04th and 05th of April.

Here's a peak of a work in progress.... this is how it looked when I put all the elements together to get started, it's looking a little different now that it's about half way to being completed. Any ideas? I'll show you when it's finished!

And last but not least, I did get back in time to see the end of the final of Dancing On Ice. Wow, what a show. I'm sorry I missed the fly wire performances but what I did see was spectacular and on a completely difference level to last weeks show. This series has been the most brilliant entertainment and has given Sunday night viewing the sparkle it has sadly lacked for many a year now. Just a pity that they can't find a show to do the same for Saturday night viewing! The great British viewing public pulled it out of the hat again and the results were spot on. Hurrah!


Jo said...

I just wanted to say how nice it was to meet you at the NEC on Saturday, Lynn. I was unaware at the time of the tragic events unfolding although I did notice later in the day that a stand had closed early. Such sad news on what was otherwise a brilliant day. I'd been really looking forward to seeing the demos. Like you I missed seeing Linda Brown. Her demos are a real show highlight. But I learned a lot from you that day. As I'm relatively new to crafting, it was really helpful to see how you do things and the sort of tools and materials you use. I followed your advice about the Adirondack inks (haven't quite nailed the stippling yet though!) and have been preparing my new stamps the way you suggested. It was also great to see the new Elusive Images stamps in the flesh. All in all, a very worthwhile trip. Thank you for all the inspiration you give us.

acrylik said...

Really enjoyed reading all about your trip, and of course seeing all the wonderful artwork you made :)

Have a great week!

Anonymous said...

Really enjoyed reading the last couple of posts Lynn and, of course, looking at more wonderful inspiration for using the lovely stamps I've bought recently.

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get to the NEC but I'm glad you enjoyed it.

If you get chance can you tell me how the lovely delicate mandala flowers are done. I can only think they are done on vellum but they really look too transparent. I have those stamps and that technique is stunning so I'd love to have a go.

Lesley GG197