My mother and I went with a local craft group who had spare seats on their mini-bus. It took just over 2 hours to get up to Doncaster, then another hour waiting to get to the actual Racecourse – as well as the crafting there was another big event on on the opposite side of the road… traffic nightmare!
Create and Craft television organized the event, and were broadcasting live throughout the weekend. As we walked in the main entrance we could see the small “studio” where the shows were being made, and which we had been watching on tv the day before.
The next show was being broadcast in half an hour, so we set off to explore the show…
Yes, there were a LOT of people. And it was very hot indeed. But everyone was in such a good mood – crafters are such happy, fun people, aren’t they?
Here is a picture of the main show area, packed to the gills with craft stalls from companies both big and small. At this point I realized that any chance of my coming home without buying something were non-existent!
And indeed it was not long before we found a few crafty bargains. Below is the beautiful stall from Pinflair – one of our favourite companies. Their stunning new fabric and chipboard Christmas products were proving to be very popular indeed. Christine (christened “Princess Pinflair” by some tv presenters years ago) is the “boss” and was happy to pose for a photo with my mum.
It was fascinating to see how the show came together. I could see the monitors on the cameras and was watching how each filmed different elements of the show, with the control room switching between them as required.
The tv show was two hours long, but we could not stay in the audience for long, there was still so much to go see!
There were “Make and Take” sessions going on, where visitors could join in a half hour crafting session to create something to take home. Many of the session leaders were crafting celebrities, including some familiar faces from the popular “Great British Sewing Bee”. Because we had arrived later than planned we decided not to do one of these (assuming there was even any places left!). Another year..
As members of the Create and Craft club we were allowed into the special members only area. We sat for a little while in the cool lounge, chatting to fellow crafters, then checked out the view from the private terrace outside. We felt very posh and important, hehe. We club members even had access to our own toilets – which I am sure must have been much smarter than the normal ones!
And if that wasn’t enough to give us inflated egos.. we then met some of our favourite Create and Craft tv celebrities! Obviously we felt like we already knew them, having seen them on tv so many times, but meeting them for real was such a great experience. First we chatted to Andy Love, who was telling us how much hotter it had been the day before. Such a friendly gentleman, we quickly got over our silly “star struck” bit and enjoyed his company immensely.
At the risk of spoiling what is to come, here is a shot of yours truly, posing with Andy Love, Nigel May and Dave Bradford. They really made our day special.
Many of the stalls had “show specials” and we definitely got some great bargains. I have new stamps, embossing folders, scissors, glue, ink pads, boxes, dies, twine and more to play with now.
Mum and I had a quick piece of pizza and a much needed drink, sitting out on the terrace, overlooking the stadium and racecourse. It was nice to get some fresh air too, and we were soon perked back up and ready for more.
After a bit more shopping (obviously we were only buying essentials, you understand), we were back near the film studio area just as the show had finished broadcasting. Mum wanted a photo of her favourite, Dave, but as soon as he saw we were about to take a snap, he hopped down from the stage and came over to talk and give us signed pictures. What a class act 🙂
I have seen Clare Bowman’s Cake Lace on tv a few times and been impressed, but I have to say that the tv really does not do it justice. In real life it is amazing. There was lots of examples of cakes and cupcakes decorated with this delicate (but sturdy) edible lace and it really is stunning. I don’t do baking and cakes myself but I am tempted to try this, it is edible art!
Many of the big names in crafting were at the show, including Debbi Moore who was showcasing her new book-folding disks, the lovely Dreamees girls, and Craig Joubert from Marbling 4 Fun (I have one of his marbling kits, they are a lot of fun).
I also particularly liked the colourful stand from Chloe’s Creative Cards. Along the top of the stall were many examples of cards made with their beautiful stamps and other products. Very inspiring indeed.
Just before we left we came across four of the Create and Craft presenters together. I was thrilled to get Nigel’s signed photo and a big cuddle!
Stephanie Weightman was also there, the brains behind the show, apparently. She is such a busy lady with so many amazing products and ventures to her name. Definitely someone I admire a lot.
I know that doing this sort of thing is part of their job, but the C&C stars really came across as genuine, friendly and fun people. They seemed to be enjoying meeting us just as much as we were meeting them (well, who wouldn’t want to meet my mum, she is marvellous!).
It was a very long day, and really a bit too warm for comfort. But we returned home very happy and buzzing with great memories.
And yes, the very first thing we did when we got into mum’s house was to pop on the tv and see if we had been caught on camera (she recorded the show in case, as did I!) You can see the backs of our heads in the audience, then a little later you clearly see us walking behind Mel and then the glass screen. It is just a few seconds of “tv fame”, but hey, we are very easily amused and this was all quite a novelty for us, hehe.
Thank you to everyone from Create and Craft for putting on such a fantastic show, and especially to the presenters who made a couple of daft old crafters feel special.