As every year, I went to the 'Stitching and Craft' Show in London Olympia. I've been going ever since I first discovered cross stitch and became really addicted, and the first ever show I went to was in 1997!! I felt like I've gone to cross stitch heaven.
This year, my report is a bit two-fold.
I have to say this honestly - I am disappointed with the show, and it has been slowly but steadily going downhill in the past years. Fellow cross stitchers on the Yahoo-boards have been saying it for a while, but I didn't want to see it, mainly because the show is still so special to me. Less and less cross stitch every year. Now we only have the big retailers ( I don't mind them, of course, there are great, but where are all the other's??) For example, there was not a single retailer with Lavender/Lace, Mirabilia. More papercraft, which I don't mind generally, but it seems to be taken over. Come to think of it, less stalls all together. And one thing which annoys me greatly is non-craft related stalls like blouses, shoes etc. Yes, I know, there are always a few, but it seems to be taken over. If I want to buy shoes, I go to Barratts or M&S, and not a Cross Stitch fair *geddit*.
But I have good news to tell as well. I took my colleage Jo along to the fair. She likes papercraft, cardmaking etc, and we talked about it some time ago, so I got her a ticket. And would you know it - Jo fell instantly in love with cross stitch. She was ooo-ing and aww-ing over all the designs (she likes 1930's ladies, tigers, egyptian), there was plenty for her to admire. And she straight away got herself 2 (rather big) kits . She was so much taken by everything, she wanted to have the full equpiment to start cross stitching, so we browsed the fair and got her a frame (I recommended R&R as I get on best with them), a lamp and other small bits and bobs (like magnetic chart holder). We than went back to her house, as she wanted to try it out straight away, and I had to set her up of course. Well, she took to it like a duck to water. I went to see her a few days later, and the Pink Lady (see above kit) was already 1/2 done - I couldn't believe it. She'd gone to Hobbycraft, bought another kit (John Clayton), and went to Sewandso to order 2 more!! And she told me she can't wait to get back home after work to cross stitch - oh, how I recognise this! Well and truly addicted I'd say. It's the first time that I got someone addicted who is really really into it now.
Anyway, this is what I got myself at Olypmia:
50 DMC colours
R&R frame (the small one)
Lavender & Lace Celtic Autumn (material pack only, couldn't find the chart)
Dimensions Labrador kit
11 hours ago