Are you sick of hearing about the Flame Off yet? Well, don't worry, it will be my last post for this year - unless I think of anything else of course :)
The event runs from Thursday - Sunday. Thursday is for master-classes with visiting artists. Friday and Saturday are for demo watching, playing and shopping, then the whole event finishes with a bead fair on the Sunday.
Normally we go down on the Thursday, Hubby goes off and does his own thing while I take a class. I didn't take a class this year as I have not fired my torch up since last years class so I was being a bit strict with myself and hoping that this year will be different - time wise.
But Hubster also couldn't get time off work which meant he could only do the Saturday event (and the Sunday, but the bead fair doesn't really interest him).
I made the decision to go down on the Friday by myself, on the train, and he would meet me there Friday evening (it's a 3.5 hour drive from home)
7.02am - YES "AM" !! saw me chugging away on the train while doing a bit of crochet. A lady moved to stand beside me and watch to see how it was done, apparently she got a book for Christmas and hasn't been able to work it out yet.
A quick hop, skip and jump across the platform at Crewe saw me get the shuttle train which would take me to Uttoxeter. I made the decision to stop at Crewe station for a pee, taking the chance of having to wait for an hour for the next train - I am so glad I did though as there was no facilities on the shuttle train - that would have been an interesting journey.
When I got off at Uttoxeter I was armed with a map that showed me the half a mile walk to the venue, when in fact, the platform was more or less in the back garden of the racecourse and it was a 3 minute stroll across the grass - bonus!
You can read all about the event in my last blog post HERE.
After the busy day watching demos and re-meeting people I had not seen for a year I blagged a lift to our hotel 14 miles away - the Ibis Budget in Derby. I have never stayed in one of these before and although basic - rather like the inside of a caravan, it was certainly habitable and a great price at just £29 per night. You can read my Trip Advisor review HERE if you like.
Dinner that first night was a Thai restaurant which we found on Trip Advisor (I love that site!) It was ok, nothing overly special. My curry tasted nice but eating those big mushroom things (oyster mushrooms perhaps) felt like I was in the Jungle in "I'm A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here" and trying to force down a kangaroo penis - or that's how I imagine it would be.
Served with sticky rice - boil in the bag style :/
As I said, it was ok, it filled our bellies, wouldn't rush back though.
On both the Friday and the Saturday there was a bead swap, this is where you choose a bead you have made, wrap it and pop it with a note to say who you are and pop it in a bag, then you take another one out.
I took three swaps, on the Friday I was swapping one, and on the Saturday two, as I thought there would be more people to trade with.
I am not showing you the Friday swap because quite frankly I was very disappointed in it. It was a small spacer bead of which the maker had not even cleaned the hole out! Now don't get me wrong, if this had been made by a newbie to glass work I would have loved and cherished it, but the card that was with it, and the subsequent website browsing told me that this person is capable of far better things and this one was probably out of her reject bin!! To me, that is just plain bad manners, and actually I am sure that person must feel the tiniest bit bad about putting it in the the first place.
But these beauties I got on the Saturday. A stunning etched bead by Jenefer Ham.
And a totally wonderful floral lentil bead by Scarlet Leonard.
THESE are the type of beads you should put in a bead swap, get your name out there and spread your beautiful work to people who might not already know you.
(I'm hoping mine were liked now :) )
I hardly made any purchases, Hubster made up for that by buying a second marble mold - he really needs to start showing off those marbles, he set up a Facebook page two years ago and there is only one photo on it!
But I did buy these, a popper system bangle, pendant and ring.
What you do is make your glass, with a flat back, then glue it onto the poppers so you can change your jewellery to match your clothing! Genius eh? Of course you don't have to stick glass on, anything goes with these. I need to get on with making some cabochons to go on them.
If you fancy some for yourself you can find them over on MizGeorge's website.
Well, I think I have bored you enough with tales from the Flame Off so I will leave it there.... for now ;)