Sunday, 8 July 2012



First, a bit like the Oscars, I have some big thank yous to say so here goes! 

Thank you to all of you who came to the extravaganza and supported us  
Thank you to all our wonderful demonstrators, 
Thank you to our amazing shop team who worked tirelessly to get everything ready and  
Thank you to David who took loads of photos for us.

A very emotional and heartfelt thank you to Sara Sandberg's Cardmaking Paradise forum for creating a beautiful banner, each piece made by a different person, which now hangs proudly in the shop.  It was lovely to see so many of you from around the globe.  Here is a pic of the presentation - from the left we have Liz, me and Sara.

Thanks also to Gio who dropped in from Italy and brought me a gift that she had made.  I'm sure she will be back next year.......

Thank you to Jean Hardy for my gorgeous bag, I will have it on show in the shop for a little while but I know I won't dare to use in case I spoil it so Ian has suggested having it framed which I think is a great idea then I can have it as a piece of wall art.

So turning now to the Extravaganza itself ..... It was lovely to see so many of you in the shop.  Once again we had 5 tills working and although we had quite long queues they did move pretty fast.  This was the first Extravaganza since we moved over to a barcoded system and it was really nerve racking because we didn't know how the system would cope when it got busy!  But here we all are with the new tills in full swing

This isn't the queue, that is actually round the back of the counter.  These are the people getting served and those aiming for the products on the right hand side of the shop.

Ian looks a bit startled above :o).  He has grown a beard since last year and everyone is calling him Santa.  Can't say I've ever noticed him heading down a chimney on Christmas Eve with a sack over his shoulder but there is one similarity -  he does work incredibly hard over 48 hours once a year setting everything up at the halls and in the shop and then breaking it down again at the end of the weekend so perhaps he's related!

Last bit relating to the shop because I know you want to get on to the other pictures!  Just want to introduce you to Sharon the latest addition to our team who you will be seeing a lot in the shop and speaking to on the phone as she has now joined us full time. 

Sharon used to work at the Craft Barn a long time ago so it's really a homecoming lol.  She is taking over as the lead for class waiting lists and class bookings so you may already have had a call from her if you are on any of the waiting lists she has tackled so far.

OK here we go with the demos

Di and Karen from Tando

Well these two definitely got a gold star for the biggest display.  It was across three tables and included a corner.   They had put such a lot of work into prepping the samples with help from Di's Tando  DT


A lot of people at the weekend expressed interest in Di's next class which is a 3D recessed canvas Beach Hut Scene on Sunday 19th August but it was so busy it was hard to book classes, especially on Saturday, so to make it easy you can click here to go to the website for more info and booking.

Some other good news is that Karen has now joined as a permanent member of our DT so you'll be seeing lots of her projects coming up on the blog.

As I've started in the Victoria Club I'll just keep going with all the people who were demoing in there.

Jean and Malcolm (Crafty Individuals). 

It's always so good to see Jean and Malcolm, I wish they were nearer and we could see them more often.

 Jean was using the TAP (Transfer Artist Paper) together with CI images, stamps, mulberry paper and fabric. It's a fabulous medium but you do just need to beware of copyright restrictions because not everyone will let you use their images in this way.

Just add an iron!

Jean also ran a Masterclass for us on the Friday and everyone made a Tando Cuckoo clock decorated with lots of yummy Crafty Individuals things (Jean's sample is in the middle of the picture below).  Everyone's clock was beautiful and different because they had all used their own colours and stamps

Helen Chilton
Helen has such a unique style and a quite quirky way of looking at things which always make her samples really interesting.

Helen worked with completely different products on the Saturday to the Sunday.  As always she managed to create some wonderful and creative projects and samples.  On Saturday she was using Oxford Impressions Circus stamps with Oil pastels and Dylusions sprays

 and on Sunday she moved on to Lynn Perella stamps with Distress Stains
She also had one of the Tando Cuckoo clocks to decorate (below left) and it is beautiful we have it hanging in the shop

Along the bottom of the picture above, you can just see the class project for Saturday 25th August.  It's using the Tando wide theatre to create a circus train using Oxford Impressions stamps, our lovely new Oil pastels and Dylusions ink sprays.  Such a clever use of the Tando theatre.

Jo Firth Young
Jo was working with the Sizzix Pennant dies, the textured impressions sewing and measuring and the Tim Holtz small sewing room Movers and Shapers die and

 her samples are just so beautifully feminine

and using the fabric gave them texture too

She has a class coming up on Sunday 22nd July which will create a mini album with a sewing theme using diecutting with fabric.

Michelle Johnson
Michelle was using gilding flakes, Woodware stamps and of course her trusty glue gun.

She came up with some lovely ideas once again
I think she is single handedly raising the profile of the glue gun in crafting!

She also introduced us to a couple of new products from Stix 2 "the pick up pencil" and magnetic printable sheets these I think are going to be really popular for stocking fillers come Christmas with family pictures on .

Liz Welch

Next is the lovely Liz, so calm and kind, she is a very generous sharer of techniques and knowledge. 
Liz stayed on and took the Friendly Plastic all day Masterclass on Monday which everyone seemed to really enjoy.  She will be back hopefully in November with a follow up class.  If you have already done one of her Masterclasses with us and are interested in the follow up class, give Sharon a ring and pop you're name down because it's likely that there will be more people wanting to do this than places.

Below is one of Liz's sample boards and her jewellery above is also friendly plastic.  I am constantly amazed by what you can do with these little sticks!

Julie Hickey

I didn't get to see much of Julie because she was only with us on Saturday and I didn't get down to the halls until very early on Sunday morning but she did pop in and say hello and left us lots of lovely samples which will be up in the shop

The new Craftwork cards floral inspired card candi and the white embossed pads in particular were very popular and very classy

Lina McDermott

Lina didn't like the photo we had of her so we took it off - it's not that we forgot her honest!

Lina was with us on Sunday and she was using DecoArt Acrylic paints to create some lovely whimsy Art pieces - there's still time to book onto her Whimsy Collage workshop on Friday 13th July

Neil Walker

Neil managed not one but two workshops over the weekend with the PaperArtsy crackle paint. Everyone decorated one of our mini icons and they came out looking distressed - the icons I mean not the attendees!

Lots of different projects on Neil's table, he was playing with Dylusions, Distress stains and some of Tim Holtz stamps

You can just see Neil's treatment of the round Tando Printer clock in the bottom right of the picture above and below below 

Kathy Byrne

Kathy was using Pardo polymer clay for her demo, she even had her oven and oven gloves!

I'm not sure what sort of mind comes up with creatures like the one below but I do Know that halloween is a bit of a favourite of Kathy's!

Actually she made loads of different pieces to suit all tastes and she has a class coming up on Saturday 11th August   in which participants will get to try conditioning the clay and will make a dragon and a steampunk heart to take home.  I'm hoping that if you click on the pic below it will get bigger!

Lin Brown

Lin is another person I missed  because she was only with us on Saturday too, I did hear from lots of people that they were wowed by her stuff and if the samples she left for us are anything to go by I can see why.

Lin was working with PaperArtsy/Lynn Perella stamps and loads of other things from dies to Tando, she is certainly very inspirational

 Moving on to the Community Centre

Jane Collman

Here's Jane with Jenny - I think they were trying to show me how models pose but I can't quite remember !

Jane is a real whizz with the old Copics and she had a bit of everything from decorated candles to funny cards using Art Impressions stamps

who'd have thought of using copics on our papermache letters  - well Jane of course!

Jane even managed a workshop on Saturday and given that she was really not feeling well (in fact on Friday we weren't sure if she was going to make it) she did a stirling job over the whole weekend.  Jane's daughter Bella helped out with teas and coffees, she's such a good kid  - hard working and a great attitude.

Linda Elbourne

Linda was working with the Dylusions stamps and sprays and she had some lovely pieces.

My favourite is the art journal pages don't you just love the colours

Although that daisy screen comes a close second!

Andy Skinner

Andy is without doubt the paint meister.  He has some really great techniques with all the DecoArt paints and mediums and he always surprises me.  I've lost count of the number of times I have picked something up expecting it to be metal only to find it's chipboard

Andy will be doing a class in September using the Tando carriage clock - you can see part of it below.  Give Sharon a quick ring if you want to go on the waiting list and reserve a place

On the end below is the cathedral box that Andy used in his Masterclass on Friday - it was turned into a tea caddy

Lindsay Mason

 We are so honoured that Lindsay joined us, David would have been so very proud.  

As always Lindsay had loads of samples to share and her journal page "I need a reboot" got loads of attention - it was the inspiration for her very popular robot stamp.   He is very appealing and I have to say I have days like that too! He's on the corner of the desk below.

Carole Cann

Carole was working with some Sizzix Textured impressions and flower dies but it wouldn't be Carole without the odd bit of metal!

She turned the crown below upside down and used it as a planter filled with all sorts of different flowers

Fiona Byrne
This is the lady that had the job of getting people to watch paint dry - fortunately we are talking the new Fanstasy paints from Pebeo and actually they really are exciting to watch because as they dry they change.  I describe it as popping but when you mix two colours together they interact to give lots of different effects and they can be used on loads of surfaces and projects. 

As you can see it works on jewellery blanks, it looks extra stunning if you add the resin to it to give a raised effect

 But also on glass, canvas, chipboard and loads more

Helen Chilton has a play day class coming up on Saturday 21st July it's heading to limited availability though so if you do like the idea of this one you will need to book sooner rather than later.  You will get to try the paints and make a wall hanging and some jewellery pieces too.
Check out the August Craft Stamper,  Helen Chilton has also been playing with these little bottles of gorgeousness in there!

Beatrice (Katzelkraft)

All the way from France again this year, Beatrice had a Masterclass on Monday which used all things Distress including the markers, stains and inkpads

There are some lovely new Katzelkraft minis which Beatrice was demoing.  
I understand that the Goosebumps spray went down a storm in the masterclass too!

Leandra (PaperArtsy)

It was so nice to have Leandra back, she hasn't been for a couple of years so everyone wanted to get a good look!

 The new PaperArtsy Minis were really popular and the Fresco Paints too.  Leandra was demoing her crunchy wax paper too which had everyone fascinated.  At the end of the day some lucky ladies got a chance to have a play with Leandra's products at her table - I bet that was a blast.

Leandra left loads of samples so we'll get them up in the shop for anyone who wasn't able to see her.

Pete Hughes (Sizzix)

It was Pete's first time with us and he brought some great samples to share.

He showed how to use the Movers and Shapers properly and lots of other useful hints and tips

We have heard that we have been given an allocation of  four Big Shot Pro machines on the latest delivery and they should be with us on Monday.  As these are scarcer than hen's teeth if you do want one, please get in touch asap.

Last but definitely not least The Day Centre

Jenny Mayes (Hobby Art)

A very focused Jenny here in full flow!

The scarecrow stamp turned out to be a bit of a star for Jenny. 
She was using Aquamarkers to create her samples and she had lots of lovely boards

Jenny is another contender for most samples as she had them behind her,  in front of her and to the side and made good use of the windowsills and a spare table!  They were very colourful and we now have some of the boards in the shop to inspire you.

Cheryl Young

Cheryl was using Dreamweaver stencils and pastes with the Dreamweaver FX powders a touch of gold leaf and some glitter

Cheryl showed that stencils can look completely different depending on the paste etc that you use with them 

I did have to smile at the difference in table styles between Cheryl and her sister Carol.  One table very precise and the other very eclectic and mixed up but actually both worked well.

Carol Cockbain

The lovely Carol who is the undoubted Queen of Dreamweaver

below is proof that Dreamweaver stencils are very versatile and not limited to cards with Carol's very pretty pieces.

The Dreaweaver FX mica powders work well on black or white pastes, are very vibrant and they shimmer beautifully not that we can capture that in a photo

Helen Meighan (Helidots)

This is definitely one of David's pictures - it's got proper lighting and mine never look this well focused and crisp!

Helen has released a series of pretty small patterned paper collections perfect for card making to go with her series of Peeloffs and books.  We have some great sample boards for these up in the shop and it seems that Helen just keeps finding more and more designs you can make with them

Kay Carley
Kay's cards are so intricate and exquisite, I don't know where she gets her patience from.  She had taken the time to produce project sheets for the all Gorjuss girls samples she had done and we still have some of these at the shop which we will be available in the shop to people who buy the stamps to give you a bit of added inspiration

Kay used the Perfect Pearls mists when she made her samples together with the First Edition paper pads which are a mix of patterned and glittered papers great for card making

Phew!  That's a lot of demonstrators no wonder some of you didn't manage to see everything even those who came for two days.

Unfortunately Nicky Hall and Francoise Read were unable to demo in the end through illness and we wish them both well and hope they are better soon.

See you all soon

Hugs, Sandy


  1. What a great stuff to see and to read. Marvelous. Fantastic pictures of all. Enjoy to read and to see this all. Thanks
    Lovely greet

  2. Fantastic pictures Sandy, I really wanted to come down this year but it didn't happen. Looks amazing, well done, it must have been a huge amount of work. Cindy

  3. I wish I lived closer! It looks AMAZING!

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Ohhh it looks like you had a lot of fun! Stunning artists and beautiful samples.
    I hope I can go someday...

  6. It was a fabulous day on the Saturday, and is so good to see the pictures here. You all worked so hard to stage this event and I can't wait for 2013!!

  7. Another brilliant event Sandy, so many amazing demonstrators, my head is still buzzing with ideas!
    I had a fabulous long weekend, & was one of the lucky ladies who got to play with Leandra's paints! :o)
    Alison x

  8. My Sister and I had a wonderful day last Saturday and learnt so much, spent too much, talked constantly and had a lovely lunch - what more could you ask for really?!! We also bumped into a blogging friend BJ - good to see you there!

  9. I had a fantastic time on the Saturday, but one day was definitely not long enough. Next time I'll make a weekend of it. :)

  10. Hi Sandy and everyone at the Craftbarn what a show it was so hard to get to see everyone and spend time with them. It was just amazing My granddaughter who came with me was so impressed -spent a lot of money on her for all different arty things to help her with her GSce exams Thank you all the demonstrators who took time to chat to her and give her the advice she needed.cannot wait for the next time well done everyone hugs Jo. Thomas:) lol

  11. Had such a wonderful day :) and enjoyed all the demo's such a lot of inspirarion :)
    Von ♥

  12. What a fantastic Extravaganza. Got lots of inspiration. Roll on next year

  13. Fantastic week-end, gorgeous projects and wonderful demonstrators. I even "met" Gio but only realised once I made the connection between her lovely accent and her picture published once in this very blog. Can't wait till next year !

  14. It was a wonderful weekend Sandy, I really enjoyed it and spent far too much money. Thank you to all your staff and to you for a great time!

  15. My Mum has recently moved into the area. We both craft & love a well stocked craft shop. The Craft Barn is just amazing. I came down to visit & me & Mum came along on Saturday's Demo day. We really enjoyed ourselves & was surprised how many people turned up for the event.
    The demonstrators were very inspirational.

    The queue was long BUT did move fast, also gave you a chance to pop more crafting goodies in your basket Lol

    Thankyou for such a fab day x

    hugs sally x

  16. Thanks a lot for this nice reporting on your event, and all the photos.. I'm too far to participate unfortunately, but I regret a lot !!

  17. Wow, what a fabulous post, such fabulous art and inspiration. Wish I lived at your end of the country.xx

  18.'s like to be there again!

    Just regretting not staying more , aaaaarg!!

  19. did you managed to get all these pictures in one post? Fantastic story!

  20. Hi Sandy Just read your blog today thank you so much for sharing. It looked fantastic. I was unable to make it to your event this year. But I will make sure I do next year. Looking forward to it.


We are very grateful for any comment you might leave.
All comments are moderated due to the huge amount of spam we receive. Your comment will not appear immediately. If you have any questions, please contact us directly, as your email address does not show in your comment, and therefore we cannot get back to you. Thank you.