I was so thrilled to be able to visit Crafting Live at Doncaster in July 2016. Even more so because this was the first full-scale craft exhibition I have been to. Of course, I did mean to go and have a look around and enjoy the atmosphere rather than spending too much, however, I quickly realised that wasn’t going to happen.
Let’s just say a crafter going to an exhibition and not spending money is on a par with a child going into a sweet shop and coming out empty-handed and leave it at that!
So let me tell you about the day and share some memories of the highlights of my visit and what I spend money on.
Arriving at Crafting Live
When we visited it was early on in my Spoonie journey. I didn’t have a blue badge and I was still able to walk a relatively decent distance. This was quite a shock though as it was a much bigger venue than I was used to. It was held at Doncaster Race Course. The car park we were pointed to go to was a considerable walk-in itself. It probably took us ten minutes at least to walk from the car to the centre. There were more entry styles than checkouts at a large supermarket and the sheer scale of the place was a little challenging to Michael’s anxiety.
My first stop at Crafting Live was at the Hunkydory stand where I just got a couple of Premium kits, On the Harbourside and Dreamy Diorama. I was somewhat restrained due to a small budget and the fact I already have an awful lot of kits I haven’t opened yet. I have to admit if the current Christmas Decolarge had been available it would have been purchased.
Looking back at this over five years later I have used the Harbourside kit but if memory serves me the Dreamy Diorama is still in my collection so this was a 50% successful purchase.
My next stop was the Dreamees stand. I only really became aware of them in about 2015/16 and their products are sensibly priced and pretty. This made them a great call for the collector in me. I bought three sets of stamps so I probably have about 12 sets of stamps and 6 discs now. Find out how I got on starting to play with them in my post Choosing the best stamping blocks.
I was a big fan of Hayley and Carol Bignall too at the time, their TV shows are always inspirational and much more focused on enjoying the craft rather than the hard sell. I was delighted to find they were both as lovely and down to earth in person too. Here is a photo of Hayley and me, she looks cool as a cucumber considering how hot it was in the exhibition hall and I look like I am twice her size, like even my head!
Revisiting these purchases five years later and I have probably used less than 10% of all my Dreamees products so potentially a good purchase but maybe I just like to look at their cards.
I then took a look at the Card-io stand, I have been collecting their stamps (mainly Christmassy ones) for about a year now but haven’t used any yet. I think there is a good chance that will soon change, please feel free to remind me if I haven’t displayed any cards in the next couple of months.
This is beginning to be a bit of an embarrassing repetition but I have still not used many of my Card-io stamps. I love the style though and I am determined to change this, maybe by Christmas 2022.
Creative Crafting World
The next memorable stop was at the Creative Crafting World stand where Pollyanna Pickering was. Knowing her artwork is so well known far beyond the crafting world I was really honoured that she signed a disc for me and had a photo with me too. The disc I bought was the Winter’s Tale which features some beautiful wildlife in winter settings.
This was the most important memory of the day. More than anything I purchased I got the chance to meet someone as outstanding as Pollyanna. At the time I couldn’t imagine she would pass away just two years later. You can read more about Pollyanna on her website. Thankfully her daughter is working hard to keep her memory and her work alive.
The final purchase I made was a set of adhesives from the Affixit stand. I mentioned in the post what is the best adhesives for papercrafters that I wanted to compare their sticky pads to the Hunkydory ones, so now I will have the chance. I’ll let you know the results when I have done this.
After effects of visiting Crafting Live
Well, I have to say that the visit took a lot out of me, I felt completely shattered in the afternoon afterwards and was not able to do very much the day after. But it felt completely worth it. I talk about Pacing Yourself on the blog but sometimes it is important to do something that will bring you joy, even if you know you will pay the price afterwards. To stay in touch with the outside world and the experiences of non-spoonies.
Looking back now, I can’t imagine being able to go to such a large place again, even though I have a blue badge that would allow us to park closer. I think I would need one of those push around trolleys that you can turn around and sit on, to have any chance of seeing much of it. It is entirely possible that this may have been my one and only experience of Crafting Live.