Monday, 18 February 2013

CHSI trade show review

It's trade show season which is great for seeing all of the new products that will be released over the coming months. It's not so great for getting deliveries arranged from suppliers who are jetting all over the place though!
The Craft, Hobby & Stitch International trade show is held at the NEC Birmingham once a year and showcases a range of suppliers and products. We go every year to order new goodies for the kits and to catch up with friends from the craft industry, it's such a small community we always bump into loads of people we know. This year the show was very significantly larger than I can remember it for quite a few years. We can usually do the show floor twice in the day but this year we barely managed it once!
We visited the show with two of my girlfriends who were so excited to get to see a trade exhibition. They were gutted to hear that Tim Holtz wasn't going to be demoing this time, he's done every other year I've attended so it was such a shame that they missed out. We had a VERY early start but arrived not long after the doors opened. Our first stop was at the workshop registration as we had two places booked for a Fimo class and I really wanted us all to do it. We were lucky and got the extra two places and the girls also got seats in the Sizzix and Spellbinders classes respectively.
The Fimo class was very interesting but not really my cup of tea so I was quite happy when it finished and we could get on with the show. We had a drama right away when Michele's tote went missing from the very first stand we looked at. I quickly found it next to a couple at the end of the aisle but they denied all knowledge of it. Thank goodness we reunited the tote and Michele very quickly and we could all calm down.
There were quite a few gorgeous things to see at the show, the DCVW stand was stunning with paper dresses and even a paper peacock!! We stopped for a make & take at a book publisher where we created fabulous funky pin cushions in vintage tea cups complete with their saucers. Even Dave made one and put us to shame with his crafty skills!
So what did we order? Lots of gorgeous Prima papers for kits, some Teresa Collins, some stunning flowers hand made in Bangalore, Gelli Plates, loads of mixed media book titles and Pan Pastels. We have earmarked loads more to order soon as well, it was overwhelming!
We learned how to create felt and some cute tricks with Stix2 products. We laughed till we began to hurt and walked till our feet nearly dropped off! We were given a personal show by Paula Pascual of her new dies and stamps for Sizzix and got a sneaky peek at the new dies coming in collaboration with Prima. We just about squeezed everything into the day and then we were invited to the Craft Awards. Dave was fabulous and said we should go. The lure of free drinks and nibbles was too much for one member of our little group! We had such a laugh at the awards and bonded with the other guests at our table over a fun quiz with a hamper as a prize. Even the assistance of Google couldn't help us to win - cheaters never win!! I have to confess that I didn't know many of the award winners and was a little surprised that the 'paper range of the year' was won by a company I'd never heard of in light of the stunning scrapbook lines available. I think it was more of a card making line - oh well, I wish them the best and ill be campaigning for a scrapbook line next year.
We were very sensible and took the day off today - we all needed it!! Sore feet and heads full of wonderful new goodies don't make for a good nights sleep. We'll be bouncing back tomorrow!

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