If you've been reading my blog regularly for the last 6 months or so, you will know that that I've got back into my old crafty hobbies (I shared some of my jewelry here). I used to be a regular 'maker' but as I got older, other things took priority and I soon forgot how much enjoyment I got for getting my fingers covered in glue. For some reason, I rediscovered my passion towards the end of last year, and since then it's been full steam ahead.
On Saturday I headed down to Event City in Manchester for the Stitching, Sewing & Hobbycraft, and Cake International shows. This was my first Hobbycraft and Cake show so I didn't really know what to expect and definitely wasn't prepared for how many people were there. It was very reminiscent of the Clothes Show, but for crafters! I was also quite surprised at the mix of people attending the events. I must admit I was half expecting to feel a little out of place, with more, shall I say, mature ladies being the majority; but I was very wrong. From young people, both male & female, families and pensioners alike were all present and represented, all sharing the same interests.
I decided to head to the Stitching, Sewing & Hobbycrafts show first and I quickly got distracted by stands selling craft supplies perfect for my project life scrapbook for a mere £1! Whilst wandering along the rows and rows of craft stands I was amazed at all the products available. I could have started so many new hobbies, but somehow managed to stay restrained. I eventually wandered upon a small stand showing the original costumes used in the television show Mr. Selfridge. As you all know, anything vintage is right up my street and I fell in love with how elegant they all were, After I'd finished finding bargains I decided to signs up for two free workshops, one on how to make a felt bangle from scratch, and the other learning how to use a new product called Wonder Mesh to create beautiful jewelry. I was a little anxious that these would be too advanced for me, having only recently started again but I was relieved the instructors were very friendly and went through it step by step. I would definitely recommend going to one or two workshops as its a great way of learning something new from professionals with no commitment to continue it if it's not your thing. If you do pop down, make sure you look at the workshops in advance and sign up as soon as you get their. All workshops were booked up by 11, and the show only opened at 10!
After lunch I decided to head over to the Cake International show (entry was included in the price of the ticket to the Hobbycraft show). I didn't really want to buy anything as I've already got everything I need for the bit of cupcake decorating I do, but what I really want to see was all the decorated cakes entered into the competition. I always knew that you could make amazing things with cake and icing but some of the entries were absolutely breathtaking. The detail on the dog cake was astonishing, and I genuinely thought the straw hat was real before I saw the sign showing it was hand-piped. The work that someone went into to make the water on the Otter cake look so realistic is crazy and I loved how actual water with a toy fish was used to showcase the lily pad cupcakes! I think my favorite in the entire show was the Gruffalo cake. I have a bit of a Gruffallo cake obsession and watch the animation more often than I probably should. The thought the creator had put into it to show every character and the skill they showed to make it look like a model is amazing. Believe it or not, it only got 2nd place in its class too!
Well and truly exhausted from walking round both shows I went home with crafty bargains in my hands and cake on mind.
Are you a 'maker'?