Saturday, 31 July 2010

One last day

Today is our last day at the convention centre.  It's hard to believe that I've been in there every day for a week!  But it's flown by as I've so many adventures and met so many lovely people.  Today I got to meet Cath (Moxie Fab World) and Jennifer from Papercrafts.  They were really funny and so nice.  I will be wearing my Papercrafts T-shirt with pride and the magazines are ready to read on my flight home.

Once the show was closed we had to break down and get everything back on the pallet before we could leave the convention centre for the last time.  It did also mean Ihad to say goodbye to some frineds which is always the sad part about leaving.  Big hugs to Julie, Jane, JD and family.  Julie I can't wait until you come and visit.
Breakdown didn't take too long and we had time to relax a little before going to dinner at Outback.  We all love Outback as it's casual but the food is fabulous.  It's the law that we have to have a bloomin' onion and coconut shrimp for Gary.  For the main I had fillet steak with marsala sauce, mash potatoes and green beans.

I think someone else enjoyed their dinner too!

The drinks were fabulous too and I had a frozen peach bellini or two!
Leann and I decided as it was our last night we'd have key lime pie to take out, so we ate it back at our hotel room, tucked up in bed!

Friday, 30 July 2010

Super Show

Today was the first day of the Super Show.  This is the retail show where the public buy a ticket and can come shopping and do make & takes.  As it opened at midday we were ready and waiting for the show to open.

The crowds gathering at the door

Here's what Papertrey Ink's booth looks like before it gets swamped.  With the lovely Nichole putting those last minute touches to it.

Dawn Mcvey getting ready for her make and take - she is such a sweetie xx

Here's Leann in full flow with her very popular make & take.

I did manage to get 5 minutes off stand today and did a couple of make and takes.  This first card I'm popping in to the challenge over at:

A Passion for Papertrey - forever friends - ok I know it's not over friendly but as I've been holed up in a hotel for a week with no crafting supplies this is the best I could come up with - thanks to the lovely Dawn.  Also I thought the girls at a Passion for Papertrey would like to see what was going on at the PTI booth x  As you see without a rock-a-block my stamping isn't anywhere near as good.

This card was made with lots of goodies from Kaiser Crafts.  Melissa and Richelle are too much fun and just let you play and make any card you wanted.  So in 3 minutes flat (I had to get back to our booth!) here's my card, inspired by challenges at:

Daring Cardmakers - it's a girl thing
Creative Inspirations  - animals
One Stop Craft Challenge - patterns

As the show didn't finish until 8pm we ate at the hotel tonight but as that's a McCormick & Schmick's Seafood restaurant there were no complaints and we had a great night.  All the food was fabulous, I had the Lobster and Seafood Steamer with Garden Vegetables and Fresh Corn.  Simon won the prize for the prettiest food of the night though with the sushi.

We have just one more day at the conference centre, so I'd better get some sleep, so I'm ready for what we hope will be another busy day.

Thursday, 29 July 2010

From one show to another

Today was another great day with the end of the wholesale show and breakdown followed by the set up of the consumer show.  So I said goodbye to my friends at October Afternoon - Kim your whole range is delicious, Glitz designs - you girls are crazy, My Little Shoebox, lovely new friends, Penny Black, Shanda and Susan you're both delightful.
I'm sure I'll make some new friends over at the Supershow.
Not many photos today as we were busy moving the booth from one hall to another but I did get to play with the new eCraft machine from Craftwell , I can't wait to get my hands on one of these beauties.  I also have some delicious October Afternoon paper to play with and a copy of the Card Style magazine from Papercrafts.
Poor Papertrey Ink still hadn't got their pallets of product delivered as we were leaving at 7pm but as I stood on their stand wondering what I could do to help they appeared.  So although they'll have a late night at least they'll have a stand full of gorgeous product tomorrow morning.  It was definitely a day when good things happened when I was around - spooky.
After a busy day what do the Crafter's Companion team get up to - dinner in one of our rooms of course.  Pizza for some but salad for Leanne and I.

I'll try and get into the Consumer show early tomorrow and let you know what's happening.  Luckily with me working I won't have time to go shopping so I'll come home solvent!

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Busy, busy

We've had another busy day at show today.  One of today's highlights is when the Papertrey Ink girls came by.  Most people want to meet the design team and although they're a very talented bunch the two ladies I wanted to see we're the owners Julie and her Mom (my American Mom) Jane.  Julie you're looking totally fabulous.  Apologies for the colours in this photo - don't you just love show lighting.

After the show today we went out for dinner with one of our suppliers.  They picked us up and took us downtown.  As the traffic was so bad we ended up having some of the meeting in the car - the high class world of the craft industry hey!

Dinner was amazing tonight, it has to be one of the best restaurants I've ever been to in the US.  Sepia was fabulous from the decor, to the atmosphere, drinks and mostly the food.  I started with a Mule - very gingery (like all the best things in life) and really fresh.

My starter was white asparagus with seranno ham, a delicate sauce and the most perfect poached egg, topped with a mini melba toast.

My main course was white bream with a chanterelle sauce, with sweetcorn.  there was also a side dish of deep friend okra - very tasty.

I couldn't manage a sweet but I did have a small amount of Sara's dessert, that was very chocolatey with a great addition of peanut butter, it really was worth every calorie.

Thank you to Mike, Audrey and Deborah for a fabulous evening.  We're looking forward to working with you.

So that's it for today's adventures.  I wonder what tomorrow holds in store.

Tuesday, 27 July 2010


Today is the first day of the wholesale show and to open the show a pipe and drum band walk the floor followed by the CHA staff and board members. You can see how different the show looks from the day before. They manage to carpet all the aisles and there's not a crate, pallet or box in site. 

As soon as the show opened we were busy demonstrating.

It wasn't long before we had special guest come and visit us on the stand. Claudine Hellmuth had heard all about our Rock-a-Blocks, so came over to the booth to try them out. She loved them and is a complete convert and can be seen using them with her gorgeous new acrylic over at the Ranger booth.

I also met up with the girls from October Afternoon today. They remember me from CHA winter because of my "lady shoes" - my heels that I manage to wear all day at show. It was so lovely to see them again and I'll pop by to see them daily for their dose of English accent (even if I am Welsh) – cor blimey g'vnor!  Kim how did you miss being in the photo!

Even crossing the road in Rosemont is an adventure, the local Police stop the traffic for us, so we can cross. Three of them were positioned outside the convention centre to manage the people traffic versus the automobile traffic.

For dinner tonight we ended up in a local sports bar. I'll be honest at first I wasn't that impressed but you shouldn't always judge a book by its cover and it was actually pretty good.

Monday, 26 July 2010

Set Up Day

Today was set up day for the wholesale show. I love walking into the conference centre on set up day as the front desk is all set up yet in the hall there are crates and pallets everywhere and the main carpet isn't yet laid. If you looked around you'd never believe the show was opening tomorrow.

We had a bit of a panic as only one of our pallets had been delivered to our booth and although we had everything to set up the booth we were missing all the card and paper for our class scheduled later in the afternoon. Luckily it turned up just as we were about to start re-prepping the class. So after that the class was a breeze and we had a great group of crafters join us to make two fabulous projects.

Sara and I with two of our students from the class.  Chantal and Lucie from Quebec, Canada.

To finish off the day we went to dinner with the gorgeous girls from Reprint our Swedish distributors. Unfortunately Ulle didn't make this trip as she was sick but it was great to see Marie, Ase and Therese again. The food at Gibson's was pretty fabulous too and it was steaks all round and not one ounce left on any one's plate.

So we all headed off to bed straight after dinner as we have to be ready for show tomorrow.

Sunday, 25 July 2010


I've had one of the longest days ever but it's been a great adventure. I caught the 6am flight from Manchester to Amsterdam where I met up with Simon, Sara and Leann. From there it was on to Chicago O'Hare International Airport. At the airport we met up with Gary our US sales manager and Shane who used to work for DCWV. We also met Hege from Norway. We have a meeting planned with her for later in the week but as we'd run into her at the airport she joined our merry little band. With the time difference it meant we we're all checked into the hotel by mid-afternoon and hit down-town Chicago. It's a great city to explore and the old mixed with the new and the city rising from the beach and the lakeside give so much to look at.

Waiting for the flight to Chicago, at Schipol airport, Amsterdam.

Hege taking in her first view of Chicago and the US.

The old mixed with the new.

How tall?

The beach within 2 minutes of the city centre

The view of the city from Navy Pier – I love the way the city just rises from the lakeside.

Navy Pier

Of course I have to share my food with you. What a fabulous salad. I could live on salad if it was always and adventure on a plate!

Sorry if I've rambled on today but it was a long day, I daren't even count the hours. But does it really matter when you're enjoying self? Not in my crazy little world. So it's off to the convention centre tomorrow, I'll show you what set-up day at CHA looks like.

Saturday, 24 July 2010

Special Saturday

What a fabulous treat.  My wonderful and crazy friend Jen from Edinburgh is in Manchester for the weekend and I got to go for dinner with her and her lovely friend Richard. 

I also got to eat great food - gnocchi with steak and tomato sauce.  It was delicious.

What else have I done today ... crafting of course.  This first card was inspired by challenges at:
Daring Cardmakers - layer it up (you can see the detail of the layers in the picture below)
Allsorts Challenge - a card for a baby or child 

This second card was inspired by the challenge at:
2 Sketches 4 You - Kazan's Sketch 57
I love the pink and the black together - very striking.
Just one more and this was inspired by the challenge at:
Get Sketchy - Sketch #48
I love this sketch so much I made 3 cards!  The paper is also some of my favourite.  I'd almost run out of my stash of Quite Contrary from My Mind's Eye, so was ever so happy to receive a mini paper pad on the front of a magazine.
Now I'd better finish my packing as I'm of to CHA in Chicago very early tomorrow morning.  I know I've said it before but I really do love my job.

Friday, 23 July 2010

A Couple of Cuties

Just a couple of cuties to share today.  I had lots to finish at work so not quite as much crafting as planned.  I decided to play with my SWALK stamps as I still haven't used them all!!  This first one was inspired by challenges at:
Cupcake Craft - cats or dogs
Cute Card Thursday - sketch challenge
I'm not sure where the turquoise and yellow colour scheme came from but I like it.

This second card is a little more delicate.  I decided to try my watercolours with my SWALK stamp instead of Copics and was pleased with the softer look.  This card was inspired by challenges at:
CPS - sketch 176
Papertake Weekly - Cutie Patootie
Stamp Something - flowers

Have a great weekend.

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Such Sweet Strawberries

I've been to Derby today to visit a prospective customer.  I was a little surprised to encounter so much fog over the pennines, it felt more like mid-winter than the middle of July!  But I made it there and back in one piece and had a great visit. 
For dinner tonight I made good use of those Syn free sausages Gwyneth got for me and made a slight twist on Spaghetti Carbonara - yum.

To finish off the day I went to visit my friend Shirley and got to meet the very cute Marley the pug.  She pulls such funny faces.

The other reason for visitng Shirley, was to make this cute little basket filled with strawberry goodies.  As well as the basket we made a cover for travel tissues, a little wallet to pop a tea bag or small face mask sachet in and a box to pop mini face wipes in.  It was inspired by challenges at:
MyTime To Craft- check it out
Charisma Cardz - anything but square

Now all I have to do is decide who I want to give this mini pamper pack to and also what other bits and pieces I can put in other baskets as they are just too cute.

When I got home I remembered I needed to finish off the bits and pieces for the wedding invitations I made at the weekend.  Here's 100 little inserts about wedding presents that I've just printed out and then cut with a nestability - yep 100 times through the Big Shot.  It's good for your bingo wings!  Although my Big Shot is missing a foot at the minute so it was a bit rock and roll!

So with the invites done, tomorrow night I get to make some cards.

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