However, if blogging required the use of my feet, I'm afraid I would be out of it for a few more days. These are Clare Curds feet, she walked back to the Hotel one night in stocking feet. Red, raw and unloved were all of our feet. I think if we had of had a pong-o-meter, we would have broken itI am completely drained but inwardly charmed by the whole show at Olympia. I got to work with Anita Brook (DO's cardmaking fanatic and teacher of all things bling), Sian Melonie who is the most fastest, busiest, gorgousest and happiest PR girls I have ever met and Clare Curd who makes you leak pee pee in your undies from laughing so hard. A combination of these three people makes for a lovely working environment this side of Watford Gap.
I was quite nervy working my first Design Objectives show because the stronghold of their industry lies with card makers. Cardmaking in the UK makes up for a large proportion of crafting with scrapping being very much in the minority. I think I had a fun job with these students who experienced a smooth transition from small card to big page.**cheese on toast moment coming up next, so look away if you the cow stuff doesn't do it for you**
I actually "welled up" (quite by accident) at one class when I tried to relay how crucial scrapbooking can be. Not only is it prettifying and artistic but also you double the fun by creating a genealogy that most of us tend to ignore. I got a bit teary when I was trying to explain to one class how much I am obsessed with scrapbooking. It wasn't about "wow, look what I made"but more about freeing that damn hard drive packed with photos and freeing the memories that you will take to the grave if you don't. So with two students in tears too, we could have used our sniffles to stick down the paper!
What also struck a chord with our lovely cardmaking students taking the scrapbooking class was explaining to them that every penny they spend on supplies is for themselves and the benefit of their generations (as you know, Cardmakers tend to make cards and give them away). And through scrapbooking - not only will they fill albums with pages invested with careful spendage of supplies but they can also make a couple of cards with just one page's left overs. I think once people "get that", scrapbooking will begin to grow more rapidly in the UK. It doesnt have to be a niche market - its a hobby that everybody should do.
So not only did we teach 16 classes to almost 320 crafters over 4 days with barely enough room to breathe between class changes (because we spent most of that time laughing, sneaking up chunks of very dark chocolate, copious loo run's, slurping (not quite enough) water) we also spent quality time in the evenings enjoying our company - perhaps being a lil sozzled at times. We talked more than we ate and drank more than we took breaths - so where did time go? It just flew. We met some really nice and interesting people at the show including Anne Parry who came to see us. I have to say I have not met anyone so charming and unaffected in my whole life as a scrapbooker and the refreshing thing was is that we both talked about what means most to us both. Our families. Anna Moore paid me a visit and bought Ellie these lovely things to take to the USA.
She is so quiet and kind and lovely (and Belle freaked right out when she saw them - thank you Anna, you chose the bestest things). We also spent a bit of time with the funky bunny that is Shimelle who graciously allowed us us to tease her UK/ American accent. I have only managed to spend small fragments of time with Shimelle and I always find her so lovely. We met briefly with Jane and Georgina on Saturday who had no idea I was at the show and it was about time I had met Georgina in real life after only getting to meet her on Janes pages. It was also nice to meet with figureheads in the industry such as Amanda Bateman and Dawn Bibby. And to talk and meet with these people in a relaxed manner, it's actually quite less intimidating than we all assume. These girls have an air of confidence which I certainly lack but it was nice to put a personality to a business face, IYKWIM. We spent an evening meal at our hotel with Dawn and JJ after a ridiculous amount of blush Pinot Grigio (my new, erm, **fave**) and it was the most pleasant evening I had enjoyed in the longest while. Why is it that the silliest text jokes make an appearance at a dinner table when we are supposed to be refined and demure? Im not sure neither but by jove, it was rib tickling good.
So when most of the crew had gone to bed, Sian, Clare and I stayed up to just schmooze with the mixed affairs of the hotels guests and **people watched**, took silly photos and danced in our chairs hoping that nobody was watching. You know that kind of experience - don't you? Oh I did feel the pain the next day though - and we lost an hours sleep. Tut, tut, tut.
Before the show started, mind, my sister and I met at my hotel on the Wednesday night. **note that the bed awaits a tired and tipsy lady on return!**Boy did I almost die from laughing a hundred times that night. We started with a lil aperitif in the hotel which cost the earth and they still managed to sneak on an "discretionary surcharge" on top. Im sorry, but nothing is discretionary when you read it in black and white. So to make up for it, we swiped all the olives on the bar top and that lined our tummies before our booking at Foxtrot Oscar, one of Gordon Ramsay's restaurants near the Embankment. **Foxtrot Oscar being the phonetic wording for the letters "F" and "O" - which we know is a swear word amongst there!**
Becky and I are familiar with London as we were both serving in the RAF at some point in our careers. Dallying around Kensington was cheaper than we expected but getting to the embankment was a real treat and a half. We caught the bus - THE BIG RED LONDON BUS (love it!) to Sloane Square where people looked dapper and super posh.
Hmmm, ok - tipsy, on the bus, out of focus....... as it should be!We ran through it looking for our restaurant treat and walked like the clappers down the longest road in the world. We finally saw it (took pictures, as you do) and walked in quite excited and tipsy. The whole affair was not as grand as we expected but then we did realise we had chosen the Mcdonalds rung of the Gordon Ramsay ladder. Not that we got burgers but you know - on the sliding scale of opulence, it wasn't exactly Claridges. However the food was indeed divine, the waiter was genuinely French(ish) and cost us less than £75 between us (and yes, that crappy discretionary surcharge was on there on top, so it would have only been about £65) - and we got a bottle of wine with that, so fair's fair. We worked it out that it was cheaper than eating at Planet Hollywood where Sian and the rest of the DO team had 2 fajitas at £20 a portion whereas my steak with snail butter cost £14.50 and buttery soaked savoy cabbage at £3 a bowl - all in a Gordon Ramsay drive through ;)
Here are sone pics of us both although the lighting was pappa-poo, we caught the action at least.
and then back to my room for Coffee to try and pep us up for our next day. We needed, like, a ton of coffee!It was sad when we wrapped up the show because it was Sian's penultimate day at Design Objectives. She is leaving to travel the world and I'm mad that people like her are allowed to leave when they are so good at what they do. But she is young and happy and adventurous and will see the world whilst there is life in that wee soul of hers. I wanted to take Anita home with me forever so that we would work every show guaranteed and Clare? Well Clare Curd, DO's most prolific show demo girl with funky hair, cool dude specs and cheeky manner... Im sure we will meet again.
I took some wee snaps of flower boxes (on our walk to Olympia from the Hotel) near the end of the show one day and wanted to share them because although London is smoggy and stifling with zero air - these babies live on!Oooooh, talking of DO - they have announced three seriously fool hardy UK guest DT's for the new Creativity Life magazine (over here). With a potential readership of 220,000 - these girls are going to be thrust into mega stardom. You lucky girls xx
Im off to go and find some glue remover as I have a 12 year old poppet not letting me go right now and I need to use the bathroom. And it ain't no fun having an extension of a body clasped to your side when the call of nature springs upon you. I have had a ton of sweet kisses from that little girl today which makes up for the separation but a girl needs a lil elbow room ;)