Manchester, good friends and puddings!

A melt in the middle chocolate pudding with vanilla ice cream and delicious chocolate sauce.

It has been pointed out to me by a certain gentleman in the Portsmouth area that I have been rather remiss in my posting duties. It can be difficult to find the time and then wifi to post on the blog when I am travelling, particularly when I am doing a show. I hope this one makes up for my silence.

I got back from the Manchester show yesterday after calling in on a few friends on the way. The show was held at Event City just opposite The Trafford Centre in Manchester. I haven't known SUCH a busy show for a long time. I am used to busy shows, but this one was bonkers! And they were such lovely people, I don't think they get many craft shows of the ICHF (International Craft and Hobby Fairs) calibre in that area of the country. My lectures were full every day with standing room only, I wasn't sure how busy they would be as I have never travelled to that area before. I needn't have worried.

 My stand - looking reasonably tidy from a distance.

Not quite so tidy when you get up close.

I had a brilliant time talking to all the people who came to my stand, so many interested and interesting people. It really was a wonderful show, I hope I get chance to go back.
 The lovely Dionne Swift showing her new stitched pieces to one of the fabulous ladies who attended the show.

I didn't get much chance to see what else was at the show but Dionne was just up the aisle from me. She was working on some gorgeous new stitched panels - for more information go to Dionnes website
There is link on this site to her Facebook page. I hadn't seen Dionne since we taught together in Australia last year. We will both be at Fashion, Embroidery & Stitch at the NEC in March so we should get another chance for a catch up.

My great friend Brenda Killigrew also had a stand at the show ably helped by her minder/PA Linda. Brenda is the owner of IDC at The Old Needleworks in Redditch where I teach my Experimental Textiles course. We had a lot of interest in the new course that starts in May - it is filling up fast. If anyone is interested got to the website

Linda showing off hers and Brenda's tiramisu.

On Friday night Brenda, Linda and I went to The Trafford Centre for dinner. The girls wanted to show me the centre as I had never been before. I was amazed, it certainly puts all the shopping centres I have been to to shame. what an incredible place. I loved 'the ship' and the huge choice of restaurants. we had a great evening. I will be seeing Brenda again in a couple of weeks when I teach my final session for the this years group of Ex Tex girls.

While I was in Birmingham I stayed with Jill and her husband Simon. Jill is a busy teacher of very many talents and I meet her every year at the T.S.G  (Textile Study Group) summer school. We have become good friends over the years and it was great to be able to spend more time with her. Jill worked on the stand with me on the Saturday and helped me with the break down of the stand at the end of the day. As a thank you for Jill and Simon for putting me up (or should that be - putting up with me?) I took them to a splendid local pub for a fabulous meal. I can't remember the name of the pub but it is in Disley by the station. The food really was very good - as was the company!

The sharing plate.

When we had checked the menu out online, Jill had noticed there was a sharing plate on offer so when we got to the pub and ordered we skipped the starters - wisely as it turned out. From the top, clockwise - creme brulee, a slice of treacle tart with lemon curd (ohhh!!! that was gorgeous!) rhubarb crumble and custard and chocolate brownie and ice cream. Oh! how Jill and I suffered. Simon had a ice cream sundae so it was just Jill and I left to demolish the sharing plate - we managed womanfully . . . . .

I left Jill's house on Sunday morning with not too much snow on the ground. I was off to see another friend from the TSG summer school, Sandra and her hubby Greg. I drove across to Clowne in Derbyshire via Snake Pass. I have never driven along this road, I have only heard it mentioned on the travel news when it snows. It was absolutely stunning - I really wanted to stop and take photos but it had started to snow - hard, and I didn't like to stop. I hope to return when the weather is warmer. Although the snow on the trees and on the dry stone walls won't be there - it will be safer.

I met Sandra for lunch, and yes, we had puddings.

 This is Sandra and delicious ice cream sundae with chocolate flakes.
 I succumbed to the sticky toffee pudding - a girl has to do what a girl has to do . . . .

I had great evening with Sandra and Greg on Sunday night then it was off to Newark to go and bully David of

 David is providing the paints for my retailer workshops at the trade show which starts on Sunday at the NEC in Birmingham. I am doing 45 minute workshops everyday for retailers attending the show. If any of you are retailers attending the show here is the link for the workshops I will be on Stand no D14 working with the team from Freudenberg - Vilene Retail.
 David didn't have time to hide under the desk.

I don't often get up to see David and have a catch up,(much to his relief) we had a good chat about some of  the new things he is bringing out soon and we had a fab lunch - but no pudding! I hope to be seeing David on way home from the Glasgow show next month. I will need more of his divine gilding flake by then.

 A box of gorgeousness - Colourful Thoughts multi surface paints and big pots of gilding flake.

After saying goodbye to David it was off to Knebworth to see Viv and Kevin from Art Van Go. I always pop in when I can, they have become good friends and I don't see them often enough. Teaching there two or three times a year is fine, but not enough and I do miss them.

Viv trying to hide behind a mug of tea . . . 

 Kevin moving so fast he blurred . . .

We had a great evening and I will be seeing them again next week at the trade show where they will be visitors for a change.

The new workshop list is now live on the Art Van go website There are several new tutors teaching at Art Van Go as well as some wonderful regular ones. Who could I possibly mean?
I wanted to enrol on Julia Triston's workshop in July but I will be teaching at Denman College.

 I bought some fabulous wooden printing blocks for the next weeks workshops.

I needed some printing blocks for the workshops next week and of course Art Van Go had just what I needed - they have such a choice there. The shop is such an Aladdin's cave.

It was wonderful catching up with all my friends, living in Brighton is great, but it is a long way from the North of the country.


I must now dash off and pack up and post a load of orders for A lot of orders have arrived since I left. My new delivery of Hot Spots! should arrive from Germany this week. There will be article about them in next months issue of Stitch magazine.

I am hoping to find a new heat gun at the trade show, my last one was discontinued, ggrrr!!!

More next week.

x x x x


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