Saturday 3 November 2018

A Day of Clarity at the NEC

I had a fabulous day out at the Creative Craft show yesterday at the NEC thanks to Claritystamp, Lou Withers and Jane Telford.  I was lucky enough to win a pair of tickets via the Clarity Facebook page and asked Lou to come with me.  As Lou had another ticket, we persuaded Jane to come with us and the road trip was on.  They were kind enough to pick me up on the way there and we travelled Thelma and Louise style down to the NEC in Birmingham.

The show was amazing.  It was the first time I had attended a craft show at the NEC and to be honest,  I probably wouldn't have gone if it weren't for winning the tickets and the great company (more on pricing later).  There was a really good selection of stalls from paper crafting to fine art, fabrics and a small number of baking related goods.  There were a wide range of free make and takes as well as paid workshops from Groovi parchment to water colouring, stamping, jewellery making and even encaustic art.  Unfortunately we arrived a little late to sign up for the Groovi make and takes with master parcher Linda Williams, so we let Lou have the last slot as she had never tried it before.  Jane is a DT member of the Groovi team at Claritystamp so she really knows what she is doing and I have done a bit too.
We've never known Lou to be so quiet.  She didn't even notice the photo being taken lol. 
The lovely Linda Williams ran four workshops during the course of the day.  It was really good to meet her for the first time in person.
Of course there were plenty of demonstrations by both Barbara Gray and Paul Church.  No question was too silly and all the Clarity team were welcoming and helpful.  It is so nice to chat with like minded folk.
The three of us were on the front row ready for the Clarity Live show on HOCHANDA at 12pm.  Lou was her usual self and I was busy biting the inside of my cheek so I wouldn't burst out laughing.
I was mistaken for a member of the Clarity team, Heather, by some people, so Jane took a photo of the two of us together just to prove there are two of us.  I didn't notice Paul photobombing in the background.
I must share my haul.  I didn't get all of it at the NEC, the Autumn 3 way overlay stamps and the dies arrived in the post yesterday and the day before.  I was pleased to get hold of the latest Clarity calendar, which Barbara was kind enough to sign and the mini word chain stamps have been on my wish list for a while.  I also finished off my Oxide collection.
The show is on again today and tomorrow.  However, if you are thinking of attending one of these shows it is worth sorting tickets and parking in advance.  Adult tickets on the day are £14 with parking costing £16 on the day (£12 if purchased online in advance).  That is a significant amount if you are attending on your own and therefore not splitting the cost of travel and parking.  Admittedly there were some very good show offers to make up for it but I can understand why many people are thinking twice about attending these big shows now.  I thoroughly enjoyed my day and can't thank Jane, Lou and Clarity enough.  I had some fantastic news too, but more of that another day.

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