Hello to all our loyal blog followers!
We must apologise for the delay in blog postings, but we’re back with plenty of exciting show news from our Crafts for Christmas, Hobbycrafts and Art Materials-Live shows at the NEC, Birmingham, which took place over last weekend!
Christmas had certainly arrived at the NEC towards the end of last week, as the ICHF team were busy setting up the show, arranging magical Christmas displays and an eyecatching Christmas showcase, which included a host of wonderful products from exhibitors.
It was on the following day, Thursday 3rd November, that the Christmas spirit really took hold! Queues of eager creative crafters and art lovers waited anxiously for the show to begin, and as the doors opened at 9.30am, they poured into the arena which had been transformed into a creative and inspirational extravaganza!
Christmas melodies from the Sax on TV Quartet filled the air, and the irresistible smells drifting from the Food Court attracted many noses straight away… with a range of luxury chocolates, Welsh wines and liqueurs, fresh curry sauces, handmade giant pies and various confectionary, you could spend hours wandering the stalls looking (and sampling!) everything. We had to try the Sparkling Gold Bubbly from Perfect Tipple, and we weren’t disappointed. As well as looking gorgeous, the champagne tasted delicious and would make the perfect Christmas gift for a glamorous family member or friend!
Arona Khan and her internationally acclaimed gift wrapping skills drew in the crowds, and the handsome Rocking Horses on display at The British Toymakers Guild showcased the wonderful but rare talent of traditional toymaking. There was some beautiful and unusual jewellery for sale at the Margaret MacEvoy and Isobel’s Designer Jewellery stands, while at the Prima Craft Theatre, you could discover how to make Candles and a Christmas Wreath. We were especially enchanted by the artworks on offer at Love Live Laugh – produced by Karen, the exquisite detailing and the stories behind the pictures truly warmed our hearts!
The halls filled up quickly, and many exhibitors we spoke to, including WOW! Embossing Powders and Jumping Clay, had their Make & Take Workshops slots completely booked up! The Workshop Area and On Stand Mini Make & Takes proved to be very popular, and were the perfect opportunity to get a headstart on those unique Christmas gifts and cards. There was endless craft supplies on offer in Hobbycrafts – with everything from beads, sequins, buttons and fabrics, to papercrafts, knitting, tools and ‘make it yourself’ kits, craft enthusiasts weren’t disappointed.
Wandering over into the Art Materials-Live area of the Hall, we were overwhelmed with the buzz of activity going on around us – professional artists were demonstrating and showcasing their extraordinary talents, including Jane Booth who we avidly watched painting her pet Poodle Penny! The SAA offered demonstrations and hands-on areas from three expert artists, while Pebeo, The Art Shop Skipton and Hugh Miller had their very own dedicated area which showcased the innovative ‘People’s Painting’ – a ‘paint by numbers’ for visitors based on one of Hugh Miller’s own stunning artworks. While we haven’t got a finished picture for you today, we will do soon, so watch this space! The Artists Theatre also proved to be a pull for visitors, which saw Linda Wain and Humbrol Art amongst others putting on educational presentions.
A special mention goes to Nathan Wyburn, who made a picture of Jedward entirely out of Marmite and white toast! Love it or hate it, you cannot fail to be impressed with his rather unique skills…
The show only got better and better over the weekend, and with Cake International opening on the Friday, the crowds became even bigger. We will have a full run down on the Cake Show for you with some lovely pictures, so don’t forget to check back early next week.
We hope you enjoyed the show as much as we did, and came away with lots of inspirational ideas for your own creative Christmas!
Until next time,
The ICHF Team x