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!
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.......