That is the main word that keeps escaping from my mouth now that the mind-bogglingly brilliant and phenomenally fantastic Melbourne Stitches & Craft Show has finished. As usual, the Show was five chock-a-block days of crafty and creative goodness, with inspiration galore and enough fabric, fibre and paper goodies to make even the most stoic crafter go giddy at the knees!
It all began on Tuesday morning, when the great challenge of setting up began. I, of course, was still running around Melbourne like a mad chook, organising patterns to be printed, buying furniture for the stall, and folding and ironing fabric.
Even though the venue opened at 7am for set-up, Sharon and I didn't arrive until 7pm... not that that stopped us from creating an exciting and extravagant Pepperberry & Co. stall, complete with a built-in-a-panic Ikea shelving unit!
As a small, indie crafter, I was lucky enough to have a stall in the beautiful Incubator section with a group of uber-talented, ridiculously fun crafters. Below are pictures of their amazing work- can you imagine being surrounded by this kind of brilliance every day and not buying every thing? Sheesh, talk about high expectations!
From left to right, top to bottom, my fellow Incubator pals were: Jen from Red Parka Designs and her stunning handbound books; Claire from Craft Shmaft and her super-cute owls; Jodie from Vintage Ric Rac and her too-cute-for-words softies; Nic from Yardage Designs and her stunning hand screenprinted fabrics; Michaela from Wren's Nest Studio and her incredible Paper Quilts; Kristen Doran and her inspiring fabrics and softie friends; Pauline from Funky Friends Factory and her collection of cute critters; Nicole Mallalieu from You Sew, Girl! and her amazing bags; and Lisa from The Red Thread and her funky cute friends. Also inspiring me on a daily basis were Hollie from Two Cheese Please, Caitlin and Leisl from Pippijoe and the girls from Ink & Spindle.
Apart from running the shop (which the wonderful Sharon was in charge of!), and shopping up a storm (which I was in charge of!), I also taught sewing classes, where I met some gorgeous crafters from all across Australia (and even the world!); gave Small Business talks to a group of inspiring and inspired up-and-comers; and even squeezed in taking some classes, which resulted in the world's cutest sock owl and a Japanese patchwork purse!
To say that I'm exhausted would be an understatement, however the smile that is still on my face from the Show means it was all very well worth it. Thank you so much to Angela, Ross, Graham and the team for putting on such an extraordinary event! Here's to many more.