Phew!! This weekend has been wall-to-wall scrapbooking – shopping, make and takes, classes, you name it, I’ve done it! The only respite was this afternoon and involved eating six desserts in two hours, but that’s another story!
This weekend, for the first time, Melbourne hosted the Scrapbook and Papercraft Expo, a long time fixture in the Brisbane scrapbooking calendar but a new addition down south, where Paperific has long reigned supreme in the scrapbooking extravaganza space. And as a long time Paperific visitor, I have to say, it now has some serious competition on it’s hands!
When Mum and I first saw that the expo was coming to Melbourne, in a copy of Creating Keepsakes I think, we were immediately excited about the prospect of all the lovely classes that we’ve always lusted over in Brisbane being held essentially on our doorstep! We booked ourselves into two on Saturday afternoon, thinking we’d shop in the morning and do classes in the afternoon
Well, it didn’t quite work out that way!
About two weeks ago, a proper sneak peek of Jane Tregenza’s class was posted on the Expo Facebook page and we just had to be a part of it, so we booked into that for Saturday morning, meaning we had to go Friday for shopping – I say “had to” like it was a chore, but a full day of scrapping shopping? Who am I kidding, we weren’t in the least bit upset about that!!
We arrived nice and early Friday morning to get the most of our big day of shopping. On the train we’d agreed that we weren’t looking for a lot of things, we’d just pick up a few essentials and have a browse. Okay, stop laughing now, we really did think that would be the case! There were some amazing storeholders there, including a few new faces who didn’t have to do too much to have my credit card flying out of my wallet!
My highlights in order of visitation –
- Michelle’s Cards & Stamps – lots of stamping and Copics (two hobbies which I am trying to avoid getting hooked by!) but I picked up a “Scrap-Ma-Bob” for a bargain price as well as some Darkroom Door lovelies.
- Craft Queen – sigh. I think we visited this stall four times… at least… and managed to find something new each time! I bought some really fantastic kits, buttons, a fleur-de-lis border punch and, of course, some ribbon which is Craft Queen’s specialty. A really delightful stand and the ladies were so friendly and even remembered our faces among the hundreds of visitors on our return visits.
- Catchy Crafts – these guys had a great range of dies, but we really stocked up on the essentials here – you know the deal, tape, cutter blades, acrylic stamps, templates (yes, I know the last two aren’t technically essentials but they were really pretty stamps and templates!).
- All Things Paper – the two ladies running this stand were some of the friendliest people at the show – I wasn’t surprised to see on Facebook that they’d won Best Small Stand award! Their range of kits was stunning and we couldn’t help ourselves from going back a second time to buy some more! Between the two of us, Mum and I bought about eight kits I think, which will make 3 – 4 layouts each which is great value. I can’t recommend highly enough checking out their website and supporting them!
- Practical Publishing Australia – I have to admit to being a bit disillusioned with Aussie scrapbooking magazines at the moment, but “Australian Scrapbook Ideas” looks like it might be trying something a bit different with detailed project instructions rather than just page after page of layouts with no details. They had a good deal on subscriptions, so I signed up for 12 months – I’ll let you know what I think, but we had a sneak peek of the next issue and it looked pretty special!
An honourable mention has to go to Jane Davenport – although I didn’t buy anything from her stand, her art is just stunning – you really should check it out – and I am super envious that she gets to live in the gorgeous Byron Bay and create art for a living!!
Mini Canvas Album with Gillian Lester
On Friday, by mid-afternoon we were about shopped out, but not ready to go home yet, so we signed up for a mini-class at the Scrapbook Creations stand with Gillian Lester. It was just an hour long but we almost finished a very cute little canvas mini album – just a little bit of homework and it’ll be done. She showed us a really cool technique for making little pop-outs in your pages using a strip of plastic bag and we also used some leftover packaging to make a shaker bag.
Billboard with Jane Tregenza
This class was almost overshadowed by Jane’s display of her other projects – I tell you what, she’s one super talented lady!! She was kind enough to bring in her People I Love book and My Favourite Photos book – go and look at these right now, they are jaw droppingly awesome! I nearly fell of my chair when I opened the My Favourite Photos book as it’s all been done with popups, which really bring the divine Graphic 45 papers to life.
But back to the class…
We made a small billboard project, as shown on this page, which was really fun to do and I’m sure I’ll be making more similar things in future for gifts (look out friends and family!). Jane was a really friendly teacher and thanks to the small class size we had her undivided attention so we could ask lots of questions and learnt a lot about how she got to where she is. She is such an inspiration, I can’t wait to do more of her classes in future and maybe visit her shop when we go to Adelaide later this year.
Tea Thyme Album / Wall Art with Lynette Carol
We were originally only booked in to do one class with Lynette, but as soon as we saw the Wall Art when we arrived on Friday (and some friends showed us what they’d done) we hotfooted it to the bookings stand and by some miracle were able to get into Sunday’s class (we had to do some re-shuffling of plans on Sunday, but we made it work – so glad we’ve got friends and family that understand our need to scrap!).
Lynette is a very generous and attentive teacher – even with a bigger class she made sure to pop around to check on everyone’s progress, making sure you understood what you were doing and that no one was confused. I love her “no stress” approach to classes – I never once felt left behind, worried or overwhelmed, which is rare! Special mention also goes to her mum, Jan, for helping make the classes run smoothly and relaxingly (is that a word? It should be!)
But I digress, I really, really, really have to stress how much you should be reading Lynette’s blog now instead of mine, she really is a papercrafting master. Go and check it out (just make sure you come back!), I guarantee she’ll change your perspective on scrapbooking.
Her use of dimension is just awe-inspiring! If you ever get a chance to do a class with her or even just see her work in real life then make sure you do it because she’s amazing.
I’m almost done with the gushing, I’ll just say her tips, especially when it comes to backing foam mounted elements with card are simply inspired.
Yours Truly Mixed Media Mini Album with Georgia Heald
This was our last class on Saturday and we were very tired and dopey by this point, but Georgia was very patient with us 🙂 The mini album was made up of lots of different materials including paper, card, string and acrylic and we got to play with Gesso which is always fun. Georgia’s layout gallery at the show was fantastic, I love her use of different media to create striking layouts and albums – I’ve already subscribed to her blog to see what exciting ideas she comes up with next!
- For the first time in a long time, I feel like I’ve really seen and learnt some new scrapbooking techniques this weekend. Jane and Lynette are two of the most inspiring, clever and talented women I’ve ever done classes with and if I can harness just a tiny bit of their spark, I’m sure my scrapbooking will lift 100% if not more!
- Running into old friends – it’s amazing how many people you find you know through this hobby! We ran into people we know from retreats, other classes we’ve done and shops we’ve visited – I was so happy to see everyone and catch up on what they’re up to!
- Shopping 🙂
- The venue, the Melbourne Exhibition Building is just gorgeous and there was plenty of space and it was easy to get to.
The not so good…
- The classes didn’t seem to be very well attended – maybe us Melbournites aren’t used to shows with lots of classes – which was a shame. It was an absolute travesty that Jane’s class wasn’t booked out, it was amazing – anyone who didn’t go this year, if she’s back next year make sure you go because she’s so talented and you’ll learn more than you can imagine!
- The classrooms were a bit noisy, which was hard with some of the quieter teachers struggling against the louder teachers and also the general hub-bub of the show.
Okay, I’ll be quiet now, I think this post is longer than all of my other posts put together! All in all it was a fantastic weekend with every scrapbooking need sated. Now if only I didn’t have to go back to work tomorrow so I could put all this inspiration to good use!
Maybe one year we’ll get to the Brisbane show, which I’ve heard is like this one but on steroids! Bring it on!!