Sunday, 8 June 2014

Visit to Great British Craft Festival 2014 - Bolton

Hello everyone

Hope you're having a good weekend.

Well last weekend the sun shone on the Saturday, 31st May and we visited the Great British Craft Festival which for the first time was held at Bolton Arena.

This is only a stone's throw away from where we live so the visit was sealed really.  How could the opportunity to be missed?  We booked our tickets online quite a few months ago and they arrived at the beginning of May.  Bags packed and money saved for some crafting goodies off we went to the Arena and we arrived there just before 10am to a queue of traffic from all directions all off to shop for craft goodies.  After a few minutes we had parked up and had got ourselves some toast and a coffee.  There was no point in us joining the streams of people queuing up outside.  We may as well have a rest for the walking we will be doing round all the lovely stalls that greeted us.

After a browse around and a quick note in the festival programme we went off for a coffee and decided where we were going to go next.  There were some craft make and takes we could have booked onto free of charge but we decided not to and just to continue our browse of the stalls and chatting to some lovely likeminded people.

We particularly enjoyed looking at all the samples on view on the stalls for Stamps By Chloe's, Cardi-o and also Lili of the Valley.  Here are some of the pictures I took of their displays.

After a quick refreshment break we were off again to go and buy some lovely goodies.  I had no intention of buying any yarn as I'm visiting Woolfest at the end of June with a good friend and staying over in a lovely farmhouse B&B but when I saw the yarn that I had made a top in previously and saw the price of it, I couldn't really resist and so a purchase of the yarn was made together with a couple of crochet books for some inspiration.

It was then back off to visit the stalls where I liked their stamps and here are my purchases.

The stamps from Lili of the Valley are 'recipe' style ones about friendship and will be used on some of my special cards for my crochet hello happy mail group I'm a member of.  (I will be blogging about this very soon) 

I couldn't resist the stamps by Chloe and the little domed gems that remind me so much of little Liquorice Allsorts.  They are such versatile stamps and I can't wait to get crafting with them.  I'm thinking parchment paper will make them look lovely and delicate, but there are plenty of ideas I have in mind too, just need the time now to do something with them.  A lovely addition to my stash and I've never bought this range of stamps before.  I'm sure they won't be my last purchases either.  Such a wide range of beautiful ones available.

I bought a beautiful selection of the mini stamps from Cardi-o which are going to be added to the ones I already have of theirs but have not used yet.  They make such lovely pictures with the minimum of effort really and have a few ideas in mind for the buttons and branches ones already.  The samples I saw on their stall were absolutely stunning and now I have some more of their stamps to add to my collection my crafting juices are overflowing with ideas.

I could not resist this set of lovely sentiment and circle and flourish stamps from Phill.  I've admired his work for some time now and now he has his own range of stamps I couldn't pass the opportunity by to get some.  The flowers are beautiful and the words are a great addition too.  We watched Phill doing some demos too and as always the man is a true gent and so funny. 

I have a very good range of crafting CD's and am always on the look out for some new ones to refresh my collection and a few weeks ago had seen the Scruffy Little Cat one by Crafters Companion.  I wasn't sure whether to buy the stamp sets that were available together with the paper collection booklets or whether to get the CD that had everything on.  I decided to go for the CD as this is definitely a way of crafting I enjoy with everything colour co-ordinated and ready to print as and when I need to.  I've had a brief look at the CD and it is crammed with lovely papers and designs and so this will become a staple of mine I think when making girly cards.  I just love the look of the girls as I am very much into that style of look especially Saturated Canary.  As I find making cards for men very difficult and always seem to be stuck for ideas I decided to hunt down some 'male' themed crafting goodies and when I saw the CD called 'Fabulous Fellas' I struck gold.  There are some cute images on this CD together with some great ties that have themes to them together with some great papers.  Problem solved with making male cards now.

When we first got to the Festival we saw the stall of 'The MDF Man' and the queues were astounding and the prices so cheap that after we'd had another refreshment break we just had to go back and have a look.  I absolutely adore butterflies and so couldn't resist this pack of five in graduating sizes all punched so they can be strung/hung together.  I am going to make these up for our bedroom and have some lovely Decopatch papers that will do just the trick with the embellishments I have planned for them.  Watch this space for my next creation.

 One of the last stalls we visited before we left for home was The House of Zandra.  I love their products so much and have bought them before so couldn't resist the decoupage papers at the prices they were selling them.  The quality and colours are so good.  I bought a few of the Alice in Wonderland themed ones too for future products.  Watch this space for new cards appearing on my website.

After a last refreshment break we headed over to the Hunkydory stall to collect our free gift for attending.  I love the quality of Hunkydory card and decoupage kits, but I very rarely use them in card making.  These free packs are as good as ever with die cut decoupage flowers and matching card too.  I have earmarked a good use for them (probably the Hello Happy Mail I mentioned above) but will keep you posted as to what I do with them.

A good day was had by all and the sun shone all day, which wasn't the case yesterday when it was Chorley Carnival.  Anyway more on that subject in my next blog post.  Hope you've enjoyed reading about my visit and looking at the pictures. 

Bye for now.  
Tanya x 

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