Tuesday 12 June 2012

ArtsyCrafts - end of an era

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!

Take care and have a great week



yoursartfully said...

It has been an absolute pleasure working with you and Mark, we must keep our promise and get together every couple of months for a bit of a playtime.

Wot no pictures of your rubber ducky!!!

L. x

Unknown said...

Gutted that AC will be no more, but fully understand why. Thank you for the inspiration and for giving the courage to play with paint and so many other products. I always remember the first AC I attended - I was so afraid of making a mistake. Now I go for it and if it doesn't go to plan just throw something on top!!

Sarah said...

Work hard, play hard - time for the latter! Sorry to have missed it but it could not be....but I've always enjoyed the other events soooooo much. I learnt to make my first metal grunge rose at AC and got to meet the Lynne P!! Glorious creations on show...the inspiration you have given and professional approach won't fade that easily. Thanks again - and here's to the future and beyond... enjoy that prep-free existence...!
Sarah (still with a bump...see I could have come...)

Trish said...

It was such an amazing weekend, as always, and sad there are no more to look forward to. But, a BIG thank you for all the past classes, and all your hard work. You have taught me so much, and inspired me more than you can imagine xxx

Jennie Atkinson said...

Gutted that living in the north of Scotland I have not been able to arrange transport to get down to any of the events. I have heard so many people talk about your weekends and how fabulous they are. But I can understand how much work each one takes and difficult decisions have to be made.

Rebecca said...

So disappointed if I'd known b4 I would have stuffed the budget & gone 2 one day. But never mind it obviously wasn't to be have enjoyed the pics & blogs well done.
Happy craftin

Netrix said...

Aw I couldn't believe the news I just read, enjoyed artsycrafts events so so much. What great teachers you've both been and what great "craic" we had.
It's totally understandable all the same, you've both got lots of other things to do but look forward to seeing you all again at one of the shows perhaps. All the very best chook

lisa_crofts said...

So sorry to hear it is the end of and era. I wish i had tried harder to get to last years with lynne perrella. I think i could have died happy if i had done that retreat. It is sad to think this is is ending as this sounds like a very organised event and i am sorry to have missed it. Maybe one day the time will be right again. All the best to both of you.

Minxy said...

To say i'm gutted is an understatement, i always hoped i would get to attend one of these fab events, but understand life goes on and wish you well in your future ventures x

Linda M. Cain said...

WOW!!! I LOVE it all!


Helen said...

Am gutted that I never got to attend one of these events, and now I never will! But I know how much work (at least I can imagine, just from the tweets!) goes into preparing for them, so I can understand.... Going to go back and read this again properly now!!!

Carol said...

Thank you Leandra for all the work and time you've put into AC over the years. I've enjoyed every one I've attended. Although its so sad that there won't be more I understand completely. I can only imagine how time consuming it has been. Hopefully see you soon somewhere.
Carol x

Neet said...

Thanks for two days of sheer indulgence, how I wish I had signed up for the middle one too and having seen the project am sooooo envious of those who made the effort.
Three fantastic projects - nothing unusual about that, you girls always pull out the best that there is around. Thanks for getting me so much into my sewing machine, I just cannot wait to do more and will probably have the fattest fabric book in history as I just want to keep going and going with it.
Really sad that this was the last one but fully understand the reasoning behind your decision, will have to have my 'Leandra fix' when I see you at shows but in the meantime have a little time for YOU and the family and most of all have a little time to enjoy life. Good Luck in all you do.
Hugs, Neet xx
ps might have to go to Ally Pally now!!

Anonymous said...

Hi hi friend Leandra!
Wow -- what a weekend!!! What projects!!!! What fun for us all to be together! Not only was the crafting mind-boggling, but it was so wonderful for some of us girlies to get together and catch up on each other, learn new things about each other, and share so much. Just cannot tell you how special AC has been to me, and what a marvellous experience they have all been. But . . . this last one was the topper! I know you and Lin both say: "well, we just sit and experiment and come up with the goods", but the goods are superb, and it is just incredible that you manage to get me to do the job! "Thank you" is not enough . . . but, thank you! Of course, I won't say "bye bye", but simply "au revoir" -- don't know where, when, how, but am absolutely positive that our bond will continue (at the latest next VS, but hopefully, maybe, even before that).
Lots of love from the bonkers one -- Sally xoxoxoxoxo

Unknown said...

Oh woe is me! Never got to any if these events. Thought I'd go to the next one :(. But thank you and Lin for all the tweets and and pictures. Even though I couldn't be there they helped to make us feel part of it. Really understand your reasons for stopping and wil have to reky on shows to get my ArtsyCrafty kick. xx

whyducks said...

Very sad, as it has always been my dream to come along to one of your week ends and I never had the money and now it is too late, double boo. But completely understand. Happy times to Lin and see you at the Craft Barn. x

Gabrielle said...

I absolutely loved the ArtsyCrafts I went to. I saw first hand just how hard you both worked, the amount of detail you included and the warmth which you showed us all. I have my creation proudly up on my wall and I often look at it and am reminded of a fab time.
However all good things come to an end and you, and all the team behind the scenes, deserve a well earned break. Thank you for sharing your talent, creativity, knowledge and above all patience with us xxx

Lia said...

Sooooooooo glad I decided to go this event. You girls rock! all three project were amazing... thanxxx for all the inspiration and 3 days of doing nothing else then crafting and connecting with a group of special ladies. it was sooooo much fun!!

Jester said...

It's a shame (particularly as I couldn't make this one), but I'm glad you finished with a bang! The pictures of the projects look fabulous.

Siobhan Brignull said...

was already planning to attend next year, boo hoo sob sob :(

Sid said...

Looks like it was a fab event, sorry there will be no more though.

Francesca said...

Sad to hear the news that this was the last event, but can fully understand. I was unablr to attend this time. Have enjoyed the events in the past and learned a great deal, made new friends. Wishing you all the best and perhaps will see you at one of the shows. love Francesca

Bethan said...

Well this was certainly a 'going out with a bang' AC!! All the classes were great fun ..with a zillion techniques taught. Great to catch up with old friends made on previous AC's. Thanks for all your hard work in organising these events,they have been worth it!!

all the best to you all


Rachele Dennis said...

Thanks again for a fab weekend. I know it takes a lot of preparation. I had such a great time, loved the projects and made some new friends who I will stay in touch with. Now I just need some free time to play with all the ideas I got :)

Mark said...

Leandra and Lin, thank you very much for the AC events!! It was wonderful, and well worth the journeys from the Netherlands. We also enjoyed the pleasant times in the bar before and after the events! A special thanks from Mark, who has finally learned to sew :)
Hope to meet you again somewhere, sometime! Bye, Mark and Ineke

Anonymous said...

I am so glad I was able to book onto one day of this fabulous week end. (Had to go on holiday the following day else would have stayed all week end!) To say I enjoyed it is an understatement. Thank you for an amazing learning experience !
Sue C

Sandy said...

Wow look at all that craft goodness. What a job it must have been to organise those classes. I would have loved to come to all of them. Sandy :)

massofhair said...

So sorry i couldn't attend any of your events as i always wanted to. It must be great to look back at your wonderful achievements and see how many people's lives you have enriched by your events.

Hopefully i will be able to meet both yourself and Lin some day. Enjoy your time and relax:-)