Spending 4 days away from home (and a little sensitive missy who cannot bare to be parted from her gentle and kind momma) does actually take its toll, when it isn't the norm. Especially when you told your little missy that you would be home Friday night but came home Saturday afternoon.
So - last weeks events. Wow, ok.........here goes:
I had a visitor on the Tuesday night. My adorable friend Bethan came around to wish me luck with this - isn't it lovely?
Its all of my stamps turned into shrink plastic trinkets - I almost cried at such a wonderful gesture and a personal one at that. Thanks Beth, you rock xx You know, she is running the Great North Run for Christies next Sunday? If you have £1 or £2, would you be loves and sponsor her - HERE? She is doing this in aid of the hospital whom treated her Mother (and whom, sadly, passed away). It breaks my heart when such good people lose the ones they love.
I traveled down to London on Tuesday evening where immediately I was stuck in traffic with a jack-knifed truck with spilled apples. The driver and police were encouraging jammed traffic to take some but I don't think I fancied my chances with them being mixed with diesel! I arrived in Streatham at around 11pm to go and stay with my LOVELY airbandb hosts, Keith and Maria. I love these people who rent me a room in their house for £30 a night - an impossible find for a London abode. I totes recommend that next time you are in London, you contact them via airbandb (their direct listing) and stay with them. Yes, they are a little out of the city centre but there are fantastic tube links to get you about. Its proper home from home. They are not knife wielding murderers and are actually very interesting, intellectual and wonderful couple. You can go as a couple if you need to stay in London and their street is like any normal street in the uk but only minutes from the city centre.
The next morning I was supposed to be going for an interview across the water but what is essentially 13 miles in distance in London, does not necessarily mean 15 minutes travel time. oh no - its more like 1 and a half hours and no way hosay was I going to make it back to QVC in readiness for the show. Ive rearranged the interview for sometime this month now that I know how much better the travel system can/cannot work for you on a tight schedule. The job itself is so exciting and will give me the opportunity to work from home and preparing digital imagery for children's crafts. Fingers crossed xxx
So on that note, I stayed at QVC and prepared for the 4pm show. QVC is a professional body with a light and airy feel about it. The studios are magnificent and you can't actually help but feel quite excited about the buzz in the building. People are going about their business in droves but always are willing to smile and say hello (and I don't even know anyone properly yet). My first port of call was the craft prep room. Man, I wish I had of taken my camera, that place is swarming with delicious goodies to sit and make cards all day. What I would not give to work in that room, its awesome (Note: I would not give my daughter or dog in that bargain!). I spent the day with Sandy and Daisy, just happily making cards, prepping for the show and have a good old laugh. How I miss office life, truly - it was such fun.
Then came studio prep time. I have to say that I was really nervous but when I sit and think about it, it was actually excited nerves. I was scheduled to be on air with Catherine who is a craft lover as it is which meant that if anything was to go pete-tong, she would have been able to pick up where I fell down. Fortunately it didn't go wrong and those 40 minutes flew by. I know some of the viewers were disappointed with an early finish and I was warned it could happen but for a thorough reason, I cannot explain why. In short, the answer to that will come in a few weeks time. But its a good one and one that QVC are handling very well. I'm very excited about it and will inject new life into the whole craft feel of the company.
After the show, I drove to my friend Roooobies. I just love this girl and whenever you go to roooobies, you go home. No airs or graces or fanfares or posh clothes. Its proper jammies, slippers and help yourself to tea and coffee. Her husband, Mem, is an absolute diamond and if I was to describe him to you Id say he is the spit cross between Ben Kingsley and Theo Paphitis. He is literally those two people moulded together. Its so true, I scare myself with my analogy. So, I pitched up for a proper Rooooobie curry and chinwag at the dinner table and we did laugh. it borders on insanity with two people like that. Isn't it lovely that you can just melt into company with two relatively new friends and never have to worry about pregnant pauses?
After dinner, roooobie whisked me into the lounge where I watched a playback of the show. **cringe** I'd seen some of myself on the screens on the set at the studio and wondered why I was allowed to have my mike receivers sticking out and making me look like a camel! Its embarrassing watching yourself on tv. It feels like you are giving yourself a high five and I'm not that modest. After lovely, long chats with rooobies, it wasn't long before we were knocking out the zzzzzz's for bed.
The next day, Rooooobs and I pattered about and then took a trip to TK Max in Croydon. I was very sad to see the state of the town after the riots and really got a greater perspective of the damage done, not necessarily understood by me from the news on tv. It was heartbreaking. nevertheless, we scoured the store looking at beautiful objects and came out with stuff we didn't really need (as you do!). Then it was next door to Hobbycraft where we both found boxed canvasses (3ft square no less) for £7.99. We have challenged ourselves to make something magnificent with it real soon but the best part of the bargain was trying to get the damn things in Rooobie's Beetle. What a laugh and a struggle rolled into one.
We came home, ate a lovely picnic table lunch and then meandered until dinner time where I offered to make them a dinner as part of my gratitude for their hospitality. My famous curry burgers got an airing with a chilli prawn starter. I honestly think that material objects can't replace the gift of delicious food when it comes to sharing the love. **pats tummy contently** Then it wasn't long before I had a good long drive down to Ashford to spend the night in a delicious hotel before my day at Letraset. Like I said in yesterdays post, Letraset is a true retro style building (tongue in cheek!) which used to be the only dry transfer company in the world at one point - well, actually, they pioneered them before computers took over and the dry transfer market dried up (except in crafting where we still use rub-ons!). Letraset has evolved significantly since then and are now one of the market leaders in professional alcohol markers. I got to see their impressive new products that will come to market next year and if they don't hurry up, Ill be tempted to invent one of my own. And the product is an updated model of one of Letrasets oldest machines which of course has been identified as something that every crafter is going to need.
**slurp - yes please....I want one!**
This is Nicole, who I was talking about in yesterday's blog post. She is one of Hollands most notorious crafters who came with Colart to build new relations with Letraset. Nicole was a huge "competitor pen user" who has been shown the new FlexMarker product and has become instantly smitten with them. I don't think it was persuasion or hope that won her over but more of the instant attraction with the markers forecasted growth. It really was quite interesting to see the business model unfold before your eyes and see, first hand, how transactions take place in full. And I'm just a crafter, you know?! So much so that I am now going to become a customer with them. And what truly swung my decision is that I got to trial every alcohol marker on the market (and not just letrasets) which meant I got to see how incredibly professional the pens work when laid side by side with other pen manufacturers from across the globe. Believe me, I tried every single competitors marker and Letrasets markers won by a long shot (am I being biased? I don't think so!). So ProMarkers "no flooding, no pooling, no spotting" recipe was my winning decision compared to ALL its competitors plus the quantity of ink in the reservoir makes it more value for money.
Here is a little walk around the factory but please note, I was not allowed to take direct pictures of the manufacturing line as that is sensitive subject for Letraset against its competitors (understandably). The lovely Guillhame took me around, in all his french fabulousness and explained every intricate manufacturing process. I honestly think he has handed me, like, the crown jewels of manufacturing processes which I must delete from my memory in a week.
This is where the FlexMarkers are assembled and filled - its a delicate operation but watching the machine twist and flip and fill and test is amazing!
This is the promarker machine which I believe that this machine alone has manufactured 10 million markers to date (not including previous machines or other markers)
ProMarker labels - all pretty and colourful
ProMarker lids, being sorted in this fab spinning machine
the reservoirs, waiting to go on the line and be filled with delicious ink
FlexMarkers in their final homes!
The sorting and packing area is enormous
Racks and racks of product
Retro posters from yesteryear!
What is wonderful to note is that these pens have parts that are 95% British and are 100% assembled in England. **Viva la Britannia!**
I had the BEST day on the south coast before heading approx 7 hours home. Urgh :( I planned to stop for coffee and "use of facilities" at my friends hous in kettering (its practically half way) before admitting defeat and taking up her offer of an overnight stay (thank you my lovely Rosie roo x) We did, however, manage to play with the new Letraset alcohol inks of which I will be stocking in two weeks time. I allowed Rosie to select a threesome of colours of which she created "Citrus Kick" and my friend Janey Pye chose a wicked combination of colours to create "Red Velvet Truffle".
Don't they look gorge? Im estimating they will cost £11.50 including postage and packing for a set of 3 and I will have my two sets (featured in yesterdays blog post) and these two sets as a starter. Tomorrow I will be sharing some samples of projects that I have made with the Letrasets alcohol inks too. I think Im going to do pre-orders on my shop tomorrow as I have had a ton of enquiries and i don't want anyone to be disappointed. Pre-order will cost £1 to reserve but will be shipped out on final payment. I don't like the thought of taking all your money up front to pay for it when its my intention to buy anyway - does that make sense?
Leeds 25/26th Sept:
I will be teaching at Scrapstars event at the end of September if you fancy a getaway with like-minded scrappers. Im teaching a flip flap scrap page and a canvas class if you fancy it :)
Gloucester 18th Sept:
Im holding an all day workshop with three classes (1 detailed lift and pull scrapbook page and a mini album being two of the three!). Buffet lunch is included. Come and spend the day with me! Enquiries through here
And to answer many questions at once, my facebook page is PRIVATE because I mainly choose freinds who are special needs mommas and its my place to talk with them. I've set up another facebook page for craft talk, so Im sorry that I havent accepted all new requests since my QVC airing. That new page is HERE Also, the QVC craft team have a Facebook page HERE if you fancy joining in all the craft goss!
I had a flood of emails over the week asking about a newsletter so I thought id end all my blog posts with it so you can sign up
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