Saturday, 31 May 2008

We did it our way!

Well, I think it's about time I made my final installment in the saga that is *The Do Crafts Roadshow*. I'm quite sad it's all over now, it was such great fun, and I think it will probably be another year before we're all in the same room again. It was nice to see some old familiar faces (less of the old), and great to meet new ones. I had met Sharon before (territory manager for my area) but it was like meeting a new person, she looked fantastic! Wow! I wish I had a figure like hers. Annette (territory manager for Scotland and Ireland) and I got on like a house on fire, we had such a laugh, and she's absolutely top dog.
Quick run down of the last week and a half. Monday Huddersfield went really well, and it was great to see some of my local retailers oohing and aahing over the new products. Also fitted in time to have a goof around after breaking down!
We Went out for a great italian that evening and took some snaps.
Fuelled with a little falling down juice, Sue, Hols, Kirsty and yours truly went back to my room to partake in a little Peter Kay and had a right laugh. As you can see!
Next day was travelling day to Cambridge, but unfortunately (yeah, right) along the route, me and Kirsty fell into Meadowhall for some retail therapy. Kirsty bought me a gorg cupcake timer which was immediately snaffled by Ems for her papermania display (I have it now though!). We also went and purchased a few choice gifts for all the girlies and one for the boys - John, as it was his birthday. Couldn't help being drawn into Paperchase, or Primark. That's also when I bought a new lens for my camera. Not Pirmark, Meadowhall, silly!

When we arrived at cambridge, we found that Kirsty and I had to share - what a bummer! NOT!!! I was sooo excited! We had the bestest time, inviting all the girlies back to our room for M & S extremely chocolatty mini bites and a good laugh watching clips on u tube - Victoria Wood and the funniest of clips from Most Haunted.

What a buzz there was at Cambridge. Everyone seemed excited about all the scrummily-umptious stuff, and I got sooo many extra kind comments about my work. Everyone was also drooling over Kirsty's coffee cup insulator scrapbook - the ultimate in recylcing. If I can get a piccy for you I will! I'm sure you will not be surprised that breaking down all the display units was incredibly faster than at any other road show - could it have been the football that did it? Kirsty and I went to our room early, meaning to do some crafting (a girl can never get enough!), but due to our lack of sleep Kirsty fell asleep and I watched The Apprentice.

The next day, on our way to lingfield, Kirsty and I were hoping to visit The Craft Barn (great shop!) but the traffic was so bad on the M25 (we should have known) we never got there. Had to go straight to the venue and start setting up. I had been feeling a bit *funny*, aching etc, but I put it down to all the setting up and breaking down. however, that evening I had the worst headache I've EVER had, and was shivering even though I was boiling hot. I know something was gravely wrong as I hardly eat any dinner!! I went straight to bed with Solpadene Plus, courtesy of Becks, and didn't feel much better in the morning. Luckily, Becks was on standby with the drugs again, which got me through the day. I felt a little detached, but managed to keep going, so that's the main thing. arrived home on Saturday afternoon, straight to bed!One week over! Phew!

Tuesday was the penultimate day. I travelled to Edinburgh getting there quite late, due to late trains etc. Edinburgh felt strange, as it was our last day, and even though I was glad to be getting back to normality, and seeing my family more, This HAD BEEN my normality for three and a half weeks. I was exhausted, shattered, I ached, and I had been ill, but conversely I had experienced the most exhilarating, funny, wonderful time, and spent quality time with the most kind, wonderful , hilarious people. So I had a little cry as I set off from Edinburgh train station, knowing that I would have to wait a whole year before I could do it all again. Thanks for the experience guys, I had a blast!

Monday, 26 May 2008

The Title Seems to be the Hardest Words!

I always struggle with the Title. I know what I'm going to write, well more or less, in the main; but then when it comes to writing the title I always sit for a good few minutes just looking at a blank screen. So from now on I'm not going to stress too much about it, after all, how much notice do we give to the title?

Anyway, on with what I've got for you today. Firstly I've decided that I will post about the DO roadshows as a whole when I get back from Edinburgh on Thursday. This is so that I can make sure that I miss none of the loveliness out whilst fermenting all the excitment for just a little while longer. I just wanted to share this with you though. I found this had been pushed under my door on Saturday morning, the day after the DO roadshow in Surrey...
It was a lovely note from Kirsty. It made me laugh, which was welcome as I still wasn't feeling well and was dreading the six hour journey home. I think this note says alot about Kirsty - she always wants to make other people happy is the happiest soul I've ever met, and makes everyone she meets feel special. She is such a wonderful person!

Today (bank holiday) we've been out as a family swimming, although I decided not to put anyone through the eye-bleeding agony of me in a swimming costume - or greenpeace being called out on a mercy mission to 'save the whale'! Joseph and David had a great time, and Joseph is definately getting more confident in the water. I couldn't take any photo's because of rules, rules, rules!Then we went to Maccy D's, a real treat for Joseph (we go about once a month) and he found a mask. I'm not sure what it's supposed to be though!

After shopping, we noticed that tesco's cafe had turned into a Costa Coffee!! Yippee - so we stopped for a quick cuppa, and I took a couple of snaps with my new camera...

I'm just loving it! Thanks for helping me to buy it Katy and Kirsty! I know I'm not a professional by any means, but I'm really enjoying myself and that's all that matters I suppose! I can see a new addiction rising.

Thought I'd leave you with another of my cards from the current Do Crafts creativity magazine. Hope you like it!

Materials: Papers: Papermania double sided foiled paper, Embellishments: Papermania pink seed beads, chipboard flower, fabric flowers, wire, adhesive pearls, metal tags, ribbon. Stamps: Anita's Happy Birthday Text.

Sunday, 25 May 2008

Feeling Sorry for myself!

Well, I haven't much to write, or rather I should say I don't feel up to writing that much tonight, but I thought I should as I haven't made an entry for ages (ooh-er!). Following a week on the road with DO, I arrived home on Saturday afternoon still feeling dreadful after I came down with shivers, fever and the worst headache which started on Thursday night. Even my eyeballs ached, have you ever had that? I still don't feel very well, and I'm trying to rest up as much as possible before I travel to Edinburgh on Tuesday (Hope I can find my train tickets). I'm sat in bed typing this, how indulgent!

I have been snapping away with my new camera with the fantastic help of Kirsty. I must say, she is very patient, and it's a good job. I also bought a new lens with her help, but you'll have to wait until I've seen her again on Wednesday to ask her what it is. I'm so clueless when it comes to these things. I went out today with Joseph, and took lots of photo's (none of which I would say are anywhere near to Kirsty's worst attempts), but for some reason, even after loading the camera software, I cannot get my computer to reognise the camera. I've uploaded some software from the internet, but can't try it yet, as my camera's battery is charging!!!
With this in mind, here's a card that I created for my pages in the Do Crafts Creativity! magazine. I made it with my Dad's birthday in mind. I really love this stamp, and the papers are gorgeous! I hope you like it.

Materials used: Stamps: Papermania Men's Collection; Papers: PapermaniaFor Him, Papermania neutral vellums, Cardstock: Papermania sunset yellows, black, latte square card blank; Miscellaneous: Papermania brads, ribbon, wire, Anita's outline text stickers, Ink it up! Inks in orange and yellow,Whispers ink in black, cosmetic sponges .

So no exciting photo's from the roadshows to share with you, and feeling ropey. Life doesn't get much better. I promise that I will fill you in on the whole of last week including photo's galore when I get back from Edinburgh. In the meantime, Kiiiiirrrrssssttttty!!!!

Saturday, 17 May 2008

News, news news!

Yesterday I had a lovely long chat with Hannah Westwood (Do Crafts Designer). I was in marks and Spencer at the time, and seeing as I haven't spoken to her since November last year at the Hobbycrafts exhibition it was a wonderful surprise! We had a laugh, and she told me that she was resigning from being a Craft-ed Consultant, for various reasons, and I can completely understand why. She's now concentrating on a crop she has started where she lives, and also her Do Crafts demos, so check out her blog to find more information. I really do wish her well with her new venture, as she has two young boys and stays at home to look after them. It's a pity that more people weren't as genuine and nice as she is!
Lots of love, Hannah, I hope to meet up with you again soon!

Friday, 16 May 2008

How much fun? (and hard work!!!)

How much fun is is legal to have in the country in any one year. Because, if there is - Wow! All the girlie's and boys on the Do Crafts retailers roadshow have definitely exceeded their quota of this year, and will be arrested forthwith! It all begins again on Sunday night in 'uddersfield, so we will be borrowing some laughter points from next year's allowance.

I honestly don't think I have laughed so much in one week-ever! Like, we laughed solidly for two hours in Phil's car on the way back from Taunton to DO HO, Sue nearly inhaled and choked on her lunch (or should i call it linner, as it was 4pm) on the way to Coventry. I really can't remember all we were laughing about, and of the things that I can remember, I can't tell you either! Partly I think it was the fact that Kirsty Wiseman is without doubt one of the funniest, loveliest people that I have had the pleasure of meeting, Becks the loveliest , most helpful, inspiring and most gorgeous person, and Emma the funkiest, most passionate and committed girly. You all rock! The lack of sleep and serious damned hard work was making us hysterical. OMG, after a couple of hours in a car, straight to setting up for 4-5 hours, then next day meeting and greeting retailers and showing them the luscious new products (more about this in a min), to then break it all down, pack away, and move on to our next location. No joke, I felt like the littlest Hobo! However, that said I would not have it any other way, I have absolutely loved every minute and long may it continue into next week and the week after! Talking about products, you just wait 'till you see what Do Crafts have got lined up!! To say that I was slobbering like a bull mastiff is an understatement to say the least!Take a look at the new collection from BasicGrey - Euphoria, and below the fantastical, go weak at the knees and pee your pants core'dinations . Also, the great news is that retailers were extremely impressed, and some commented to me that it was like a re-birth and a breath of fresh air!!! I'm like so lucky to be involved with Design Objectives, and the wonderful team that make all of this possible.

Now, off to look at my new camera, although I might wait till I see Kirsty next week. Less chance of getting Kit Kat crumbs in the lens thing.

Clare's Challenge of the Week Winner!

The Challenge of the Week winner over on Do Crafts was Carol Vile! Well done Carol, your prize is winging it's way to you as we speak. This weeks challenge is making a different shaped card - check out the full details of the challenge here. Don't forget, if you upload your creation onto the member's gallery you could win a crafting prize!

I've only gone and done it!!!

Blummin' hummas!
I've been meaning to do this for ages and have been 'umming and 'arring over the decision for what seems like ages. Anyway, thanks to the help of Katy at DO HO, and Kirsty (and I should say all the people in the DO HO office who put up with me trying out Katy's camera on them like I was part of the paparazzi) I have actually gone and done it! I had a budget (who doesn't and with Kirsty's and Katy's advice, they recommended the Canon EOS 400D. They could have said a Toy Town special edition free cracker prize camera for all I knew, but knowing how seriously they take their work/hobbies, I knew I couldn't go far wrong. And anyway they're seriously nice people so they wouldn't do that!!!

Katy seemed to be having a great time with my credit card, as she found the best deal for me on the Internet, and assisted in my purchase of the said item. then she continued to search for other things that i would simply have to have - a memory card (Kirsty and Katy got excited about the apparently cheap price of a particular memory card - don't ask me what it is, and that got also put onto my credit card. then we moved onto to look at camera straps, but I thought I would leave some excitement for another day!!!

It arrived yesterday (whilst I was at the roadshow in Coventry) and was waiting for me when I got home. It's still in the box, because, I'm afraid to say it...but I'm too nervous to get it out of the box. What if I can't work it? What if I drop and break it?.... an easy thing to do in Clare World.

Not to fear, because I am going to take the one day camera course with THE Kirsty Wiseman. I can't wait, and before you know it I'll be Davina Bailey!

maybe I'll get it out of the box tonight...just maybe!

Thursday, 8 May 2008

Whoops, I did it again!

I'm not very good at keeping this thing up to date, am I? I do have a valid excuse though, I have been very busy, and I have been away with work, so will you forgive me?

Firstly, I have for you a card I added to the Do crafts website a couple of weeks ago, and just completely forgot to add it here. It was made for the Craft Show at Olympia, and I made it using the completely gorgeous Papermania Creative Tones papers and Wedding stamps. Go here to find out how to make it!

Also, We have a Winner for Clare's challenge of the Week! It's Olga Pope. Well done Olga! This weeks Challenge is about personalising a piece of crafting storage. It could be a paper carrier, embellishment caddy or even a pen pot! Don't forget you can make this as simple or as complex as you desire, from a charm, to using eyelets or acrylic paints. Remember, the only limit is your imagination, and don't forget there's even a little prize for a lucky randomly chosen participant! So get up loading. For more details, click here.

This weeks project of the week over on Do Crafts is Oriental Wishes, by Yours Truly! Made with the scrummy new Papermania Oriental Spice papers in the Eastern Origin variation, along with co-ordinating stamps. This range is just so great as everything within the range co-ordinates. I Hope you like it! For instructions, go here.

I also wanted to show you the fantastic scrapbooking page created by Becky Dreyer. It's just gorgeous isn't it. I met this funky lady yesterday and had a really good chat about our favourite thing - crafting! it was lovely to meet you Becky, and I look forward to seeing you again!

Well, that's it for now - I promise not to neglet you ever again, until next week, when Do Crafts go on the Road! until then....