The Big Stamp And Scrapbook Show

This weekend I visited the April version of The Big Stamp and Scrapbook Show (hereafter referred to as Ally Pally).  This was a deviation from the norm for me, as I usually go to the NEC in march and thats my big spring splurge, and go to Ally Pally in September.  But events conspired to crap all over the NEC plan, and opened up the option of April Ally Pally.

This show is my favorite of the papercraft shows.  Its geared towards the more sophisticated crafter; Pinflair and Hunkydory do not dare to lower the tone with their presence, and uber-sophisticates PaperArtsy, Inkylicious and Visible Image set up their stands.  Therefore its always a treat just to go and look at the samples.

And as always, I go intending only to get some essentials, like Scortape or grungeboard, and I come away with a lot more.  This time was no different.  I went hoping to get some ATG refills and maybe some grungeboard.  I came back with this:



(In case anyone is shocked at the spend, remember that I have no handy local craft store, and I save for these shopping binges.  As I've missed a few recently, the craft fund has become bloated. so I had a good few pennies to splash)

More interesting than the actual shopping is looking at the event as a state of the industry.  Now, normally I go to Ally Pally in September when there is a lot of people there picking up their Christmas stuff, so that may be a factor, but this time it fell emptier, with fewer visitors and fewer stalls.    It also didn't seem as #buzzy' - fewer demonstrations too.

Another angle is whats on sale.  Stencils and masks are still huge, as are intricate thin dies.  Several people had Big Shot Plus for sale, but notable by their absence was the American companies that don't do dies and masks - There was no DCWV, no real Ranger presence (no racks and racks of Distress or Inksentials), no Graphic 45.  Whilst this is in someways a good thing - a sign that British Craft is standing strong, It in many ways limits choice in others.  British Craft is extremely twee, far too cutified for my taste  (My friend said we were too young and too alternative to be in that hall, and she was right).

Not that any of that stopped me spending all my goody fund in three hours.


What there was was a lot of glitter paste.  Cosmic Shimmers, Dreamweaver, Sweet Poppy. Glitter itself was low on the list, but all the possible versions of texture/embossing paste you could think of was in abundance. There was Stamps and Stencils Frosting paste, which add sparkle to everything, without needing multiple colours,   each texture paste had its own charm - high sparkle, ultra fine, satin finish, so you could glitter anything you like with really dense glitter, such as you'd find on asay, glitter cardstock.  Bring on the Fairies.


And the highlight of the afternoon was a Paper Artsy Make and Take.  Mostly becuase Rachel wanted to do it - Paper Artsy stamps are n't really my thing, I love their dedication to techniques and going beyond cute, so I go for their other stuff.  But at the end of 45 minutes with the lovely Darcy, even I had managed to produce a suitable avantgarde art piece.  (Designed by Lin Brown, who used to run my favourite craft shop before she selfishly decided she actually wanted to retire and get to, you know, create and stuff :p)



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