Reported by Fabrizio Martellucci
We don’t get many craft shows in London; most of them are either in Birmingham or other cities in the United Kingdom. But despite my agoraphobia I always make sure every year I visit Stitch & Craft at Olympia so I can see what the new trends are, and also to meet up with Dawn Bibby and her niece Amy Shaw who both presents at QVC UK.
British paper crafters have a tendency to be more cardmakers than scrapbookers, although the trend is changing and more are doing both. There are a few ‘Made in the UK’ companies who have crossed over to the USA; one of them is Crafter’s Companion (USA – UK) who have on license the lovely designs ‘Cute Companions’ made by the even lovelier Jayne Nestorenko. They were present on the day, and had a good size booth at Stitch & Craft.
I have to admit I was a total groupie and asked her to take a picture with me.
For those of you who don’t know Crafter’s Companion they produce a full range of tools to score and create cards as well as envelopes, CD (unfortunately not available for the American market due to paper size issues) and rubber stamps. They are well known for the Enveloper Pro (USA – UK) and the Ultimate Crafter’s Companion (USA – UK) as well as the Top Score Multiboard (USA – UK).
Another really cool company I came across was MJM – The Art Tart run by the bubbly Michelle and her husband.
She had these templates you could use to create these stunning projects such as the Bird House and Pirate Ship. I was well impressed by her craft skills and took a few pictures around the booth. You can only admire her stunning layouts she created for the craft fair.
I spent the afternoon going round the various booths, as you can see it’s on two floors. The lower floor has everything for stitching and embroidery. I’ve started to crochet so I could use dimensional flowers on my card making, so I was in awe with all the choice of wools and various tools for that kind of crafting.
We spend the afternoon following a demonstration after we greeted Dawn and Amy as well as Julian Ballantyne (another QVC presenter). He always jokes when he’s on air that he’s better crafter than Dawn and claim to have a Craftology ‘degree’ so we created one for him and gave him it on the day. He was over the moon with it! LOL! The demo went well and we followed various techniques being demonstrated, our goodie bag contained Kanban products (another British company) so we could make one quick card on the fly.
We stopped at another booth and saw The Frame Workshop & Molten Designs who are the main distributor in the UK for Friendly Plastic. I couldn’t help talking pictures of the stunning creations made using that product. I have to thank my dear friend Maria Given Nerius who has sent me Friendly Plastic goodies when I won a competition on her Pyjama Party Radio Show. I haven’t used them yet but after seeing those projects from Molten Designs I definitely will give it a go in the near future.
I finished my day talking to cancer survivor Valérie Mantz from Décopatch (a French company). I’m sure she must have thought bizarre that I was trying my best to speak in French to her (I was a bit rusty to be honest) but she was really welcoming and lovely. We chatted for at least 20 minutes as she explained to me her goals for Decopatch and where the company was going. They do have a USA presence and I really like their matte-finish glue.
Despite my refusal she wanted me to have a small sample of their newest papers; I didn’t want to cross a French lady and relented at the end! LOL! I already owned the brushes and two pots of glue which I use to create a slightly painted effect on background papers and to make some creations sturdier.
It’s a PVA glue with a slight varnish effect when dry used with their own papers who have a vellum like quality – the colours really stand out when dry. The paper being so flimsy can contour and adapt itself to any shapes. I was thinking chipboards but you can adapt the technique to anything you own.
I will review Decopatch in the near future so please watch this space.
I hope you enjoyed my day out and I hope I gave you an insight into what’s going on at Stitch & Craft in London!
Disclosure Statement for Crafter’s Companion (tools were bought by me)
Disclosure Statement for MJM – Art Tart
Disclosure statement for Friendly Plastic (material was won in a competition)
Disclosure statement for Decopatch