Another amazing group of fabulous crafters came to join Lin and I this last weekend at the DeVere Hotel, Daresbury Park, near Warrington for 3 days of crafting exploration.
Gotta say, I think it was one of our best events for variety. Variety of people from several countries, variety of textures; fabric, clay, metal, wood, crunchy, smoothly, crackly and metal, and a variety of old-to-AC (had to be careful how I put that) and many new-to-AC faces too. It was perfect! We always try hard to bring something new to the table for each event, and I think we ticked all the boxes on that count!!
The event was another sold out occasion, which is what we always try to aim for, but we feel a bit unsure with the economy how it is, and if the classes will appeal when we release the classes for sale. This time we allowed people to book 1, 2 or all 3 days, so we hope that helped people pick the classes they preferred and to suit their budget. It seemed to work well.
People always seem amazed at the level of preparation we put into these events, and it is a labour of love when it comes to kitting and typing up the class notes, but Lin and I do enjoy our AC get togethers. The joint brainstorming magically produces a unique project with techniques we have explored or encountered along the way....this time we enjoyed the wonders of mica paste, illegal flowers, soldering through fabric, mesh-window clipping, satin glaze image transfers, plaster-resin buttons, and gilded clay...yes I guess you had to be there!
The crafters who came were again, such a lovely group, and even the brand newbies seemed to grab the bull by the horns and totally go for it. I love to watch how people take an idea we present and follow their gut instinct to tweak to their personal preference, whether it's colour, arrangement or whatever. It's so liberating to guide the people you teach rather than dictate how it should be done. I am all for people finding their own unique style and going with what they prefer! What they feel works or looks right. Lin and I might make suggestions, but people may or may not take our advice, or come up with something different. Building your confidence this way is how you stretch yourself to try new things and move forward. There is no right or wrong, it's all just fun and crafty exploration. There are no restrictive expectations, standards or boundaries.
From the feedback we got from the punters this weekend, they are so proud of what they achieved, and Lin and I were just as thrilled as they were. It's such a buzz to be a part of that , words cannot explain.
So, the clanger news is that Lin and I have come to the decision a few weeks ago that this will be our last ArtsyCrafts. It's really hard decide to discontinue an in-demand event that has given us so many warm fuzzies as a weekend like the one we just had. But, after 5 years with anything from 4-7 events per year, we are ready to call it a day. Lin, as you know retired last year. She intends to teach occasionally locally, but ArtsyCrafts is a big commitment, and she's ready to stop now that the retired lifestyle is calling to her loudly. I have several hats to wear running PaperArtsy, and certain hats really need a lot more of my attention. Clearing ArtsyCrafts off our schedules will free up a significant portion of our time to do the things we really should be doing. Yes, we will miss you all deeply, but we won't miss Quite so much the weeks and weeks of preparation, admin, spreadsheets and planning we put into each event.
So while you digest that bombshell, let me show you some more of the pictures i took over the weekend.
Friday was In the big room to fit all the sewing machines and allowed 3 people per large round tale - plenty of space16. What a sight that was. Lucky for us as the room is so huge, the noise wasn't bad at all. This class we made a fabric book, although some people opted to arrange it as a wall hanging. It took a couple of sessions to get into the groove, as this was unfamiliar territory for many, but we must have done ok, as Debbie and Lis, who had no experience whatsoever finished! And they loved it!
Saturday we hinged 2 Artemio frames together to make a sort of book filled with sewing notions, but not so much sewing on this, painting and other ideas went into this one.
Sunday was our 'Rusty Relic' class. Since finding out about rusting powder earlier in the year, Lin and I knew we wanted this to be used somehow. And we wanted clay, metal mesh and other unusual ideas incorporated. We though this was an unusual class, but many people decided it was their favourite as it was so different to the rest of the weekend. I think all the projects hit the mark. Thumbs up was the impression I got from our punters.
So there you have it, the end of an ArtsyCrafts era. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with Lin, we seem to know each other inside out now, and she is fantastic! Of course we couldn't have done any of the ArtsCrafts weekends without 'The Mark's' (our husbands), and the other ladies who have helped over the years behind the scenes, particularly Karen, who has been the best kit-up queen, ever!
And of course, a big thank you to all of you who have managed to come to one or more of the many ArtsyCrafts events of the last 5 years. You were all amazing!