Ok so last word on the Stitches and Craft Show I promise. From here on in it may just get a passing mention as I use up some of the goodies I purchased there.
What did I think of it all?
Well considering it has been quite a few years since I last attended such an event I was not quite sure what to expect. Certainly I thought it would be new, fresh and made over especially since the Living Creatively team had taken over from the other organisers. The Show certainly lived up to those expectations.
The Showgrounds were an ideal place to hold the whole event. Despite the rain that bucketed down on Saturday, the main pavilion where all the businesses were, was lovely and light filled and so spacious. One lady commented to me just how easy it made choosing her fabric in an area that did have such lovely light.
There was heaps of room between the rows of stalls and each one appeared to have more than enough room to display their goods to the best advantage. Although no doubt each stall would have hoped for even more room…vbg.
The displays of Jodie’s selvedge dress, sewing machines sitting on tables and chairs that were covered in artifical grass (the table and chairs not the machines), giant spools of thread, giant knitting needles – Nicola is still wondering just how they managed to knit with what was essentially rope, and a stunning display of what I thought was paper Babuska dolls were mind blowing.
It was lovely to see plenty of seating around the stage area at one end so you could sit and enjoy the fashion parades and interviews with various guests.
The Craft Bars where something I really wanted to try but with no hope. I think in general every time I wandered in that direction there were up to three and four people standing behind a chair waiting their turn which is a real testament to how popular each bar was.
I didn’t do any workshops or attend any studios – to do that I would have needed two days. Maybe next year I will be able to fit in more. Nicola and I did wander over to check out the building that housed those events and even there it was big and spacious and light filled. Brilliant.
I also didn’t get to sit and watch Faith Levine’s “Handmade Nation” that was screening in the cinema. Something Nicola didn’t fancy – but again I heard reports of how good it was and I heard a snippit of her interview on the stage before Nicola dragged me off to look at something else.
The outside vendors – well it was certainly a market affair and they carried on despite the rain. It was nice to see a varied range of goodies and all beautifully made.
The Incubator. What a stunning idea to have smaller sites for those crafty bloggers such as Jodie to display their wonderful creations. I didn’t see, in the many times I passed by there, a time when there was no one checking out the beautiful goodies that were for sale. In fact most of the time it was standing room only which is a real testament to the goods that were on offer and they were seriously scrummy.
Food? Well if you don’t mind paying $7.50 for a sandwhich wasn’t too bad. The only down side I could see was more seating was needed as by lunch time seating was at a premium. I must admit though it was nice to be able to shop without the all pervading smell of food cooking floating though the building.
Any down sides? Nicola was a bit upset that there were no chips and Dim sims for sale but personally I was very glad of that…..vbg….and I can’t quite understand how no one would want anyone with greasy fingers touching their wares. I would suggest more seating as many sat on the wooden stands they displays were situated on which possibly wasn’t what they were intended for but seating was at a premium. The rain was a pain but umbrellas were provided for those dashing from one building to another and to be honest it was nice to see rain falling in quantities larger than six drops….lol. The only other thing was I would have like more quilting “things” but that’s my interest. Certainly all the stalls had plenty of customers and everyone was catered for.
On the whole I think the whole event was beautifully managed and very well run. It was fantastic to be able to go outside to see other things. It gave us a chance to clear our heads and appreciate more the next thing we were looking at. I have to say though it had to be the most relaxed craft show I have ever been to and sooooo friendly. Several times when we were sitting down complete strangers would start up a craft conversation which was a real first and several commented on how they liked the new layout and style.
Was it upmarket and fresh and vibrant? Absolutely. But not to the point that those who aren’t so much into that kind of look would feel uncomfortable. Instead it was more a “hey this is a new way of looking at things but we aren’t going to force it down your throat” kind of thing.
I think that the Living Creatively team should be giving themselves a very well deserved pat on the back and after a few days break begin planning for next year. In my humble opinion I think the Stitches and Craft show is going to go from strength to strength under this new leadership.