A couple of weeks ago, thanks to the generosity of a colleague's lovely daughter I was given two tickets to the Hobbycraft event in Glasgow. She had won the tickets but already had some so I too became a lucky winner as I got the use of her spare tickets.
I'd only ever been to one bead fair in Perth and hated it as it was so cramped and crowded and hot from the stall lights. However, the Hobbycraft and Christmas event is apparently 'the' big date in the crafting calendar and attracts people from far and wide as well as lots of opportunity to see different crafts so I was very keen to see this one.
On the Saturday my friend Ava and I arranged to go. As I picked her up from the train station I was almost mugged/car-jacked by a frightfully well dressed woman clutching flowers and presents. Apparently she, her hubby and son were waiting for some friends in a hire car and she simply would not catch on that I wasnt there for her. I tried the exaggerated hand gestures you do when inside a car to let her know I wasnt there for her but she wasnt to be deterred. So I rolled down the window and said "I dont think I actually know you. I'm here for my friend who is just coming down the street". However, this made her worse as she got so flustered she wanted to explain why she was all dressed up, was clutching gifts, how they werent sure what kind of car they were waiting on as it would be a hire car.....! Tho' it was only a few mins I wanted to stick my head out and shriek "AVA!" to hurry her up and save me. Thankfully the lady's son started dragging her back by her coat belt while she was still babbling on.
Anyway, we headed off and made it into the venue. When we got into the hall there were a prolific number of stalls selling all sorts and we were captivated. Luckily the friend I was with is a methodical sort and we were able to tour the venue in a very orderly fashion. Normally she and I are total opposites in the structured approach stakes. She is Mrs 1.1, 1.2 and I am all "ach, bung it in and see if it works". Normally our 'complimentary' approaches work somehow but at this craft fair we were of a one mind in making sure we covered every stall.
It was, however, quite obvious we were newbies. How did we know this? Well, because we were unarmed. Neither of us had a backpack you could have gone on an expedition with, a pull along shopping trolley on wheels, or a hand driven or motorised battering ram (sorry, wheelchair). Some of the folk there were serious crafters and were deadly serious about doing their big opportunity for stocking up their craft stashes. Yes, we were obviously lightweight novices.
We did have a ball though. everywhere you looked there were shiny things and our eyes were swivelling wildly. We bought some lovely bits and pieces. I got a few (ok 5) pairs of very pretty scissors. I used to do a lot of embroidery and always thought the height of sophistication was having those gold crane scissors rather than using the kitchen scissors or your work ones. I got a pair when I was an embroiderer but when I got into this jewellery lark the years of lusting after them has meant one is never enough. So when I saw the ones with the fairy wing shaped handles, it was a certainty I 'needed' some of them too. I also got some nice swarovski findings and I joined the Beadworkers Guild. This is my next big plan; when I actually get some time to bead is to learn peyote and all the other tiny bead work skills to begin making a dent in my substantial seed bead collection. I also got a number of items in the Christmas Hall for my Mum's Christmas so that is nice that I am way ahead of the game compared to normal years. Ava didn't do too badly either and bought herself some lovely treats for her and her Mum too.
We were both taken by the number of sparkly christmassy beaded items. Ava loved the baubles with the beaded overlays and I liked the beaded angels. I was going to buy some as I buy a new tree hanger each year but her comment that they looked like Dalek's took the shine off somewhat! I could see what she meant as their little arms were sticking out like Dalek's.
What did surprise us was that we've both picked up a new craft when we visited the Pergamano stall and they were making little gift bags from parchment which looked very swish and just the thing when we are gifting our jewellery creations to friends and family. 'Obviously' we had to buy the templates, the paper, the cutting mats and high powered double sided tape. Worryingly, neither of us needed to buy a stanley knife as we both had our own at home...! Needless to say neither of us have had any spare time to actually try out our new craft but we live in hope that either some spare time or retirement comes before the paper degrades to dust.
So all in all was it a good day out and would we go back? Absolutely! We had a ball and we are already planning next year's outing, albeit with some modifications. 1) We will take a wee annual leave day and visit when less likely to be crushed/trampled to death. 2) We will get fit. Both of us were exhausted. After I dropped Ava back at the station I went to do my weekend supermarket shopping but I got there and realised I could not walk another step or face the crowds so went home and dined from the freezer - God Bless Captain Birds Eye. 3) We will take our own lunch. Although the colleague who'd been the day before and was a seasoned visitor advised us to take a packed lunch Ava and I thought we'd do the Fair then go and lunch elsewhere not realising how long it would take us to see everything. We lunched in the cafe in the SECC and the food and service were truly dire. All in all it was an excellent day and one we'll look forward to repeating next year.