Good evening everyone, or should I say 'Bonsoir'.. Leandra here, bringing you some highlights from Version Scrap This is the International show of Paper Art, Scrapbooking and Crafts and runs 4th to 6th April at the Parc Floral in Paris.
Version scrap is an absolutely relentless show to do as an exhibitor. We have a stand slightly larger than our Ally Pally stand, and we have 7 staff. Jonathan, an American student studying in France as Mr security, Dounia, a French student finishing her doctorate in the chemistry of art restoration processes who does all the Make and Take programme, Sally, an English lady who lives in France and is translator/ re-stocker/ knowledgeable one on all things Paris, Lin Brown and Leandra demoing, and Mark and Audrey (the lovely daughter of our French distributor from many year ago) are on the tills. It's a great team and each and every person works their socks off from 8 in the morning until 8 at night each day. We fall into bed around , get up at 6 and do this for 4 consecutive days.
Wednesday saw us up bright and early. After 6 weeks of manufacturing and a whole week of wielding a price gun, the van was packed and we were on our way. We had hoped to set up the PaperArtsy stand nice and early, but it wasn't to be. No worries, it meant that we could check into our hotel and relax before having a lovely evening meal with Sally.
Thursday became our set up day. Wow who packed all this stuff? So excited to be bringing lots of new products to the show. After so many years doing shows we have a set up routine, and even though it meant a 7am start, everyone pulled together and got the job done smoothly.
Looking good, Oui?
I managed to sneak away to have a look at the other stands, all busy with their own preparations. This year the show is double the size due to the addition of a sugar craft show, so it's no wonder the number of visitors increased accordingly. Next door there is also an amazing farmers market show where the food is amazing. Mark usually sneaks off for lunch with Christian, Audrey's papa (I think it might also involve a sneaky red vino) and saunters back late afternoon with bags of amazing jams, hams and saucisson.
The Europeans have such a wonderful talent for stand design, product display that it puts English shows totally to shame. The show organisers have bright turquoise, lime green and hot pink carpet to denote different sections of the show (scrap, sugar craft, workshops) which gives a fresh modern vibe. Stand exhibitors signs are like flags, seats are futuristic pods atop circles of carpet, even section walls are all fabric in the same colours. Signage matches the colour schemes, and there are cute signposts telling you where everything is. All this attention to detail sends a strong branding message for the show as a whole.The thing that always strikes me is how elegant the stands are and how much attention to detail the exhibitors put into the presentation of their products.
Many stands are minimalist but colour, display, and decoration are always superb. Just look at this wall for instance. The whole wall is individually folded pieces of patterned paper.
Thursday evening is a V.I.P preview evening, open for people who booked classes, and in addition, each stand gets given a number of tickets to issue to customers based on the size of the stand. We are asked to make available special offers just for that evening, limited edition products etc. regardless, It's a LONG day.During the evening Lin and I made samples, here are mine, lots of layering, text and stencilling.
A couple of embellies and the ever versatile wooden spool, really add dimension and bring projects to life.
Friday saw the show open properly, Lin and I were soon busy making samples. It is always such a pleasure to show people how to bring together small pieces of art. Here are a few of the samples that I made.
This one utilizes JoFY 10, a definite favourite and ideal for colouring in.
This one combines the new JoFY stencils and the new JoFY 23 stamp.
Here I used Grunge paste and Treasure gold with the new stencils by Lin Brown and the new Lynne Perrella stamp LPC 029
We were thrilled to see some of the UK #PAtwits at the show, the lovely Lin,Helen,Sam and Emma came to see us and snapped this photo of me and Lin. Working hard, but we always have time to chat to customers and answer questions.
Here are some of the samples that Lin made throughout the day, combining her stencil and the scratchy circle stamp from Eclectica³ Ellen Vargo.
Another sample using the beautiful new stamp by Lynne Perrella.
While we were busy at the demo tables, the wonderful Sally was an absolute star and kept very busy restocking the shelves. Meanwhile Dounia did a really great job, working with customers on these make and take projects.
This morning the make and take project focused on the new Lynne Perrella stamp collection.
I did not get time to walk the show today ( I stopped for lunch at 6.15pm) but I am sure some of the English ladies who came over this year will have plenty of photos to show you, when they blog, I will come back and put the links to their posts here.
Workshops with French and international crafting teachers are on offer all day long, usually 3-4 hours in duration, so something to get your teeth into. Here are some of the UK ladies at a workshop.
Sam has blogged about her journey here , and her day at the show, doing workshops, here.
Helen has blogged lots of great photos here.
Helen has blogged lots of great photos here.
Saturday was another long busy day, with lots of samples made. Again Dounia was in charge of the Make and Take sessions. Today the morning project involved using the new JoFY stamps
This afternoon the make and take project swapped, and this time the main images used were from Eclectica³ Lin Brown.
and the show is open from , and . Then we have only a couple of hours to break down and get out. One year we drove home immediately after the show because Mark's parents arrived into Heathrow at morning, but now we know the best thing is to collapse back at the hotel night, then drive home when we feel slightly more human!
But despite the absolute slog, it is a beautiful show and one we enjoy very much, well my head and heart more so than my feet!. I think what we do is very 'out there' for the more usual bright crisp or shabby-chic muted style of French scrapbookers, but after 6 years at this show, we now have a solid bunch of French, Spanish, and Italian groupies who attend the show just to see us, and they are très géniale! This year, as the style of the show is very much scrapping, I was not surprised to see the Prima cartographer paper collection disappear off the shelves so fast, but so did the mechanicals embellishments, Lynne Perrella stamps, and the new Hot Picks. And they adore Treasure Gold, that generates many ohhs and ahhhhhs! We had it last year too, but they are still snaffling it up like all good little craft piggies do!
.If you ever get the chance to come over to Paris for Version Scrap you should, nothing wrong with a spring time weekend in Paris, and if you get a craft fix at the same time, then what a great bonus!
A big thanks to Darcy for editing this post from me and hopefully making sure it doesn't read like the gibberish manner I feel I am typing in!
À bientôt. Leandra.
Oh, and I have ordered a secret new product this morning from one of the other exhibitors, that you will like a lot and we will show you at Ally Pally, and I have already reordered much of the stock that sold out today for Ally Pally which I pray will arrive before !