Friday, 26 February 2010

Home again, home again, jiggety-jig

I went to the Make It show at Farnborough. Now before I give you a big old run down, I need you to understand that I have the luxury of a super, well stocked craft shop less than 3 miles from my front door, and others within easy access, and so I have many and frequent opportunities to stroke and consider before I buy. I realise that lots of people don't have this luxury and that's why the shows like Make It are useful. So with that as my prologue, you kinda know that I'm going to whinge! But not really. Sort of. Less whinging and more observing I think!

It takes about an hour to get to Farnborough from here; no major journey, and in getting there, I have to drive past the end of my Mum's road, which is a bonus visit, doncha think? For her or for me - you decide. Because it's relatively close, I don't really feel I'm putting myself out too much to go, which is just as well, because I wouldn't want to have had a longer journey, or taken a day off work to pay £9.50 and be ready to leave in 3 hours (including coffee). It's not an attributable fault - the number of stands was probably the same as last year, indeed a lot of retailers were in the same stand positions which is probably helpful. It fills about half the massive marquee type structure, was warm and dry and the light was very good on this lovely bright shiny day. I think actually, a lot of the reason is that there were very few demonstrations. I KNOW that there aren't many of us that need to be shown or told 'how to' exactly, but there's a magic in seeing the product in use that draws you to it...just like product loaded samples, they sure help me to buy stuff! I mean, how many of us were glued to QVC this week, just to watch? There was a stand with an end aisle 'wall' of packets of unmounted stamps - absolutely loads of 'em. No samples. No inspiration, no wow factor. And there was a stand with some potentially gorgeous kits and the samples were tatty. (Not terrible, the work was sound, but they'd been over handled, probably at a couple of previous shows) and it lets the product down. For two reasons; first because we're all looking for inspiration and as I've just said, samples really help to sell. But second....and I am totally prepared to be wrong about this -in fact reassure me - it's a bit cynical isn't it, to load up your stand with product and not include any samples or a demonstrator churning out samples. Does it smack of 'oh well, they'll buy it anyway'? Again, don't shoot me down too fast, I'm an ex craft shop owner; I know the retailers are in it for a living and a profit has to be made. But not having a passion for your product - or finding someone who does to make stuff for you - means that you ain't promoting it right, and I ain't buying it.

I didn't leave empty handed though:one sheet of American Crafts paper (to be cut up and Diamond Glazed into epoxy style buttons), one Maya Road album (no plans), one tin of clear buttons, (I have a plan for them, sort of) two rubber stamps (come on, you knew I would) and an iron on transfer (yes, there's a teeny bit of a plan). Not exactly a haul! Was I strong or was there nothing much.....the Prima papers were gorgeous, but the prices were a bit silly for me, when I consider how much stash I have to use. So that's it. Tomorrow will be very very busy, no doubt. Here's a tip. Use the words 'Excuse Me' and set a good example; I was a bit embarrassed by the amount of shoving in the aisles. If you're behind someone, they will not know that you need them to move unless you ask! And this message goes particularly to anyone who feels they're old enough not to have to worry about their manners. Wrong!

Whatever you plan, have a fab weekend. Personally I'm going mourn the end of the Winter Olympics and have to get used to not seeing so much of Graham Bell on the tv. Oh those laughter filled crinkly eyes! Oh that grown up Hary Potter type naive appearance. So like Mr D!
Lawks, forgot to credit the card: ippity stamps ( a baby sister to Unity) and the text is a clear sticker from SRM. They are delicious. Both.


Carmen said...

You get the shoving a bit at Ally Pally too. £9.50??? That seems really steep. Am quite glad I didn't go now. Love that button paper and your idea for them but NO! I do NOT need any more pp. Though I may have to sneak a bit of that in come April :P

Wipso said...

I am right there with you Julia. I know all too well that a good demo has sold us lots at shows [even if we get home and never actually do a lot with it....and i have to admit I have lots of those]. You will be someone who will be going there knowing pretty much what they want and how to use it when you get it home but there will be lots of others that need a little more encouragement to buy. I have to say I do like the look of the stash you've bought and look forward to the show and tell of the things you make with it all.
A x

Anonymous said...

i would have loved to gone to farnborough, you knows i loves to drive!

Artyjen said...

I'm with you 100 per cent on the demo etc and my giddy aunt £9.50....I'd rather spend it on products!!! LOL

voodoo vixen said...

Is that what it costs to go to a show? I have never been to one and am not sure what they are like... I have to agree though, make sure people can see what can be done with stuff... they buy it!! Your purchases look very restrained and I love the Maya Road birdie book... bet that will look fabby!!

Kim Dellow said...

Oh I love the seeing what people are doing and the inspiration at the shows - what a shame there was a lack of it. Ally Pally is great fun but oh boy does it get full up, you have to be lucky to see the demos! £9.50 does seem a lot!
Anyway I LOVE what you have done with your {Ippity} stamps - just wonderful! Have a good weekend. Kim

Twiglet said...

Its great to see all the available products but a good demo is the way to my purse strings!

Helen said...

Golly, £9.50 is a lot! I can't believe many stalls didn't lay on demonstrations, like you say, they make the experience! I am going to Stevenage on Sunday, it's quite small as shows go, quite often gets crowded, only being on the one day (its in the leisure centre so I guess is used on Saturdays) but there are always lots of demos - in fact I think evey stall does one of some sort. Am looking forward to it - it gears me up for Ally Pally, which I LOVE!!

LadyBug said...

Loving todays card! beautiful flower stamping and the text :) Good show review I'm pleased I kept my pennies in my purse..... more to spend on line me thinks :)

Paula Gale said...

oohh - i've never been to a show before and have been contemplating NEC - has anyone been there? Pit about demo's tho'. Its what makes going worth the while surely - otherwise you might as well just browse the internet or the local shop!

Not sure if anyone watches Create and Craft - but Stephanie Weightman lives up the road from me and has her 'My Craft Studio' business in the next village (and craft shop) - 3 minutes drive away!! She's having an open day tomorrow and Nancy Watt will be there - now then, that's free entry, less than 5 minutes away, hope it'll be worth it - with plenty of demos. I'll let you know!!!

Paula Gale said...

Sorry Julia - Love the card and the colour scheme you used for the stamping. :O)

Paula x x x

Liverpool Lou (Anne) said...

Firstly Julia, love the card :) I absolutely agree with you, I hate it when there's no attempt at a demo or even examples of what can be achieved with the products. It does inspire us to buy but it's nice to watch other people create stuff. It's just so uninspiring to pass a stall where nothing is going on, just exhibitors standing there (and probably wondering why people are just walking past)! I usually love the Make It show at the Reebok Stadium, but it wasn't on last year. I contacted the organisers as it wasn't listed on their site for this year and was told that it was too expensive but they may consider doing a 2 day show as opposed to the usual 3 to keep costs down. The epoxy buttons are a great idea :)
Anne xx

mckinkle said...

Thanks for your overview, doesn't sound like I missed masses then! However I am pleased I missed the shoving and bad manners. Im amazed that any crafters are like that, I mean we have to be a fairly patient bunch to be able to do what we do! It brings back bad memories of being bashed about in a wheelchair at the Wedding show last year, think I have to admit defeat on physically going to shows now :(

Really love your card Julia, the stamp is really great and I love the rich red colour.

Keryn x

Emily said...

Love your card, so nice to see what people do with the stamps :)

Gez said...

Fab card. Love your plans for the button paper. I think the demos make for a good show! I too will miss the winter olympics. :(

Have a great weekend. Gez.xx

Angie said...

LOVE that card ...that stamp is brilliant ...had a peek at the link.
I have to say I've never been to a big show as I was put off that sort of thing when I was carried off my feet by a crowd on auto, at an Ideal Home ...must have travelled quite a few yards before my feet touched base ....and I have never been a light weight!!
Demos of techniques are great and help sell the product but demos of gagets make me frustrated. They make it all look to easy and when, after several attempts, I still dont get it, the item is stored on a top shelf never to be touched again.LOL

Lyn said...

Oh, I know all about shoving from the NEC, and don't even start me off about being shoved out of the way, followed by being run over/legs bruised by the shopping trolley attached to said shover. That's the bit I least enjoy cos all the crafters I've met are really friendly people and that behaviour is not only not friendly but downright rude! *gets off soap box*

Love fab card and gobsmacked at size of stash!

misteejay said...

I'm totally with you on the manners point - my Mum is disabled and we have problems when I take her to Ally Pally because folk push in front of her as she is in a wheel chair and then have the cheek to say "sorry, didn't see you there" or ""Oh, were you looking at that?".

I went to Excel the other week for the stitching & Creative Crafts show - my first time to Excel...and probably my last as far as shopping is concerned but I did enjoy the classes that I did. Thought they were great value for money. However, I have to say there were demos at a lot of the stands which if nothing else do make you stop and have a look.

Toni :o)

paola said...

I know that if you had your own craft business you had no business going shopping in the first place, just pleased to see you were so good, that self control, of which i have none.he he

Claireliz said...

Like your new goodies. I never really go to craft shows, but I prefer to see products being used just for the inspiration factor.

Chrissie said...

Farnborough is about an hour away for me too... of course I didn't have to pay £9.50, because I'm really old, I only had to pay £8.
I was hoping to have gone on the Friday too, with Keryn, but my husband had made arrangements for us to visit friends, hence me having to go on the Saturday, when, sadly Keryn (mckinkle)couldn't make it!
I was mainly looking for bargains, of which I managed to purchase several!
One thing that I was looking for and didn't see, was a paper trimmer that is capable of cutting out a square or a slit or whatever in the middle of a piece of card or paper. I believe Fiskars do one, but no-one at the show had one. It would make fancy fold cards a tad easier I think.
I have a Woodware trimmer, but I can't tell exactly where a cut will start or end... not a lot of use really.
Love your cards and the stamps you used.

Glen said...

I say, you can never have enough inspiration Julia. It's always nice to share. ~Glen~

Avril Ann said...

Julia, you give me a laugh, honest you do, you made such good points, I usually to to the SECC show, and they charge us £6 just to park our cars...then there are all the ladies with the scooters, don't they see my walking stick, or do they just want me to sit on there knees and go for a ride with them...LOL....great products...fab card too. Love Avril xx

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