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]

Thursday, July 09, 2009

What a Blast!

Friday 03rd and Saturday 04th July saw us all having a whale of a time at our Graphicus Open Day events, during which we celebrated the '04th of July' in honour of all of our American suppliers. Let's face it, a large proportion of the fabulous crafting goodies available here in the UK originate from the USA and any excuse for a huge crafting 'knees-up' is a good one!

I must admit, on Wednesday 01st of July I was having serious doubts about the event going ahead. At one point I imagined Graphicus floating away down the bank and into the town of Barnard Castle after torrential rain fell all day, accompanied by the most awful electrical storms complete with clashes of thunder that shook the building to its very core. We lost all of our electrics, computers, phones... everything! Our regular Wednesday Crop was taking place during all of this and the Cricut machines kept stopping in mid cut every time the electrics went off and eventually we lost the electrics completely for the rest of the evening with just the emergency lights at strategic points throughout the building giving a limited amount of light. But the girls were brilliant, they just carried on cropping and enjoying themselves while we continued stocking the shop and setting up the demo areas.

Thursday brought a new day and beautiful sunshine. At one point I was outside, up a ladder hanging all of the bunting and thinking 'phew - it's hot' (or words to that effect) and decided to open my car windows to help keep the temperature down inside for the drive home. I had to put the keys in to get power to the windows and the temperature guage was giving an outside reading of 34 degrees! What a difference twenty four hours can bring.

Friday was unbelieveable... it was so hectic from the doors opening at ten until we closed at five. What a fantastic turnout and that was even with the two Andy's battling it out for a place in the mens final at Wimbledon! Saturday was busy but without the crush of the previous day, just a nice steady flow throughout with several of our Graphicus Guild members meeting up at the event, some for the first time. It was great to see everyone having such a good time enjoying each others company and watching the demo's.

We had visitors from far and wide... from Devon in the South West, the Midlands, Scotland and I do believe we even had visitors from distant shores, together with all of our local customers who support us so well. It really was a blast. Everyone was lovely, friendly and extremely generous in helping us to raise funds for Graphicus's chosen charity: P.S.P. (Progressive Supranuclear Palsy). It was great to catch up with everyone and share in the fun.

This lovely lady is Issy, one of our customers who travelled from Stirling in Scotland to support the event and got into the theme of things sporting a fantastic top paying homage to the USA!

David (Lesley's husband and resident Chef) was once again working his magic in the kitchen serving up hot food with an American flavour. As the weather was so beautiful on Friday, many people ate alfresco under the sun shades.... not the only thing going on out there, let me tell you!

We even had some alfresco shopping going on on when the bargain bins ended up outside under the sunshade... nice one Ladies - I hope you found some great stamps in there!

On the Demo front we had Glenda showing off wonderful new stamps and doing amaizing things with Copic Markers (brand new and just put on the shelves on Thursday) together with lots of other lovely arty products. Lesley was having great fun getting inky with the Speedball Brayers, Big and Juicy ink pads, glossy card, and lots of fab stamp designs from Clarity Stamps. All of the things Lesley used were new in and just about everything sold out but they will be back in stock very soon. Judith was showing the versitility of the Melt Pot, UTEE, wire and beads and made some totally stunning jewellery with a centre core of Dew Drops... sooooooo cool! (Look out for Judith's Melt Pot Workshops coming soon). Annette was our Machine Specialist, being our resident expert on the Cricut, Expression, Create and the Slice and was just to the right of my demo table and those machines were smokin I can tell you.

Then there was me! I got to play with some fab new stuff... how about Heidi Swapp's Mega Masks, Invisibles and Distress Inks. Mix in awesome stamps from Elusive Images, Tim Holtz, Wendy Vecchi and 7 Gypsies, Perfect Pearls, lots of lovely 'trinkets' from the Ideaology line, Dew Drops, Prima Flowers, Tags, Tattered Angels Glimmer Glass Albums and whatever else anyone wanted to see. Ooo - seventh heaven! I have to admit, I'm somewhat addicted to those Mega Masks together with the Invisibles and Distress Inks, they are quite incredible and such fun to use.

The event would never have been the success it was without the invaluable assistance and very hard work of the front line crew. Denise, Emma and Victoria manned the tills, restocked the shelves, answered phones and looked after our guests. If there was an award for being a good sport it would have to go to Denise who turned out dressed (very daringly) as Daisy Dukes, complete with a long blonde wig which must have been terribly hot! In fact, all of the staff dressed in accordance with the theme of the event but Denise and Victoria were VERY daring. Adrian looked dashing and quite distinguished dressed all in black with a suave silver grey stetson hat, silver adorned belt and yes.... heeled cowboy boots! He manned the presses to manufacture more stamps when stocks ran low and very kindly offered a chauffeur service for a special lady who would not have been able to join us without his assistance. Val did a sterling job of manufacturing all of the stamps with which to stock the shop and David did a brilliant job providing the hospitality and keeping the demonstrators fed and well watered even though he was run off his feet in the 'chuck wagon'.

I have only one regret from the two days...... not having time to walk the floor with my camera! I didn't get any photos of the shinnanigans I'm afraid although, I did see Judith with a camera in her hand at one point, so look out! It may be worth checking Judith's blog to see what appears.

I did get some photos (post event) of a few of the pieces I made whilst demonstrating:

Heidi Swapp Invisibles, Hearts Mega Mask and Flower Mask, together with Distress Inks in Worn Lipstick and Tea Dye applied with the Inkssentials Cut 'n' Dry Foam Applicator. I just need the right photograph of Diesel to finish this off now.......

Heidi Swapp Circles Mega Mask on coloured paper and inked with Peeled Paint and Tea Dye Distress Inks. Collaged images (Elusive Images and Clarity Stamps) stamped with Black VersaFine Ink.

Rangers Adirondack Alcohol Inks - NEW colours from the Lights and Brights range together with Pearl Mixative, Blending Solution and Tim Holtz Stamps.

Distress Inks, stamps from Elusive Images, Tim Holtz and 7 Gypsies. Embellished with Glossy Accents, Ideaology Trinkets and Dew Drops.

Distress Inks, Elusive Images Stamps, Martha Stewart Butterfly Punch, Prima Flowers and Dew Drops.

Distress Inks, Elusive Images Stamps, and Dew Drop Embellishments, Water Colour effect achieved by spritzing the inked stamp with a Mini Mister containing water, before stamping.

I know I shouldn't be wishing the months away, heaven knows - they go fast enough as it is but I am so looking forward to the next event days in September. Better get my thinking cap on now and start coming up with ideas for demos and samples!
Have fun all and Happy Crafting!


craftimamma said...

Wow Lynn, what can I say? Saturday I finally managed to get to my first Graphicus Open Day and it was well worth the travelling from Nottinghamshire.

Having seen most of these fabulous pieces 'in the flesh' so to speak I know just how gorgeous they are. As you know, I fell for those mega masks and last night I added some photos to my Guild group album of a Wedding Card for my niece, inspired by watching your demos.

Watching everyone's demos on Saturday was fantastic and so inspirational. I was intrigued by Judith's Melt Pot beads. I can't wait for the next timetable of workshops to come out as well as the next Open Days.

Thankyou to everyone at Graphicus for a brilliant crafty day out.

Lesley Xx

veronica said...

Lynn, those photos are great! Loved the tags especially - PLEASE don't make us wait too long for the next workshop list- am determined to come to one (at least) and the longer it takes for the list to appear, the fuller my diary gets.....Lesley, Jo and Phree all say how wonderful they are, and i am getting greener by the day!

Jo said...

It's really nice to hear that you enjoy the open days as much as we do. It must be a lot of work for you and a tiring day but we so appreciate it. Thanks for all your tips and for sharing what you do. You are a real inspiration to us. Hope you've had chance to look at Lesley's wedding card, Lynn. And I hope Lesley won't mind me saying that this card would have looked much different if she'd made it a week earlier.

craftimamma said...

Just to follow Jo's comment, which I don't mind at all because I was blown away by your demos with these masks Lynn,so Jo is absolutely right.

I actually have quite a few of the Heidi Swapp smaller masks but have never used them until I saw your demo.

I now have another Wedding card to make as we have two weddings in the family in the first two weeks of August.

As Jo says, we really do appreciate all the work and effort you and the rest of the Graphicus team puts into these events so it's good to know you enjoy them too.

Lesley Xx

Lynne K said...

Your tags are brilliant, Lynn. All gorgeous, but I especially like the one with the butterflies.

Linda Elbourne said...

My first visit and certainly not my last ... your tags are stunning!

acrylik said...

Ooooh, how did I miss this post? Lovely to see all your wonderful artwork, Lynn, lots of inspiration as always :)

TonyaA said...

Beautiful Tags!
Blessings, peace, and love to you,