Monday, February 16, 2009

The boys hit town.

Well I think you need to grab a cup of tea, pull up a chair and make yourself comfy, because this is going to be a long one. lol. It all started last Wednesday when the Ranger boys flew into town. The gorgeous Alain (he who must be obeyed), My bezzie Mario ( Tim's right hand man), and of course, the man himself ,Tim Holtz. I just love these guys, not only do I get to work with them but I am also in the enviable position of being able to play with them as well. And boy do we know how to play!!!

Well first things first. What do the boys fancy doing for the day. Shopping . Yes you heard me correctly shopping . Yippeee!!! Lets go. So off we went for 5 hours of retail therapy. Ha ha yes we sure know how to shop. I took them into Leeds city centre where serious damage was done to every ones credit cards. We finally staggered back to the hotel and all had a fabulous meal at my fave restaurant. We were joined later by one of my bezzies Kirsty who was staying at mine, and by Ben's gorgeous girlfriend Katie. Of course being the professionals that we are not a drop of alcohol passed our lips lol.
We were up and about early the next day to make a start on the days preparations and discovered to our horror it was snowing again. Just what you need when people are travelling the length and breadth of the country. Well as long as the route between mine and Starbucks remains open we are OK.
We ran around like mad and were ready in time for the mad rush through the doors. We had split everyone into 3 groups to try and ease the congestion . It seemed to work and a fab time was had by all.
Alain and Mario tried to convince us that they were really busy here catching up on work , but I have a sneaky feeling that they were just watching episodes of Dexter!!!
As you can see the crowds were enthralled with Tim's demos. Every time I wandered through you could have heard a pin drop.
He really is the most darling of people. Everyone has very pre conceived ideas of what he is going to be like, with some expecting him to be a bit of a Diva! But he is the most normal down to earth person. Very patient , very charming and very good at explaining and demonstrating his techniques. You cannot fail to be inspired by watching him. Everyone just wants to watch him all day long .
I just luuurve this photo of Mario
Ha ha but as you can see Alain hates having his taken!

Tickets for this event were sold out as soon as they were released and the place was pretty packed. Is this a gatecrasher peering over.??
Oh no its bezzie Su, just sneaking a peek. She was one of my trusty helpers ( even baking but not burning buns for the occasion)

Here she is in the kitchen, carefully balanced on an upturned bin!!!. She was allowed to go in and sit but insisted she had a fab view from there lol.
Talking of buns look at these fabby cupcakes made by The Goddess. I think she made about 75 and never wants to see another one as long as she lives!!!
Liza T also came to help, I set her and kirsty to work entertaining the customers. They make a great double act.
Big , big , big thank you to all who helped on the day. Lovely Pam was on hand in the kitchen making endless cups of tea but somehow managed to avoid the camera. Not quite sure how she manages that!!
Here are the results of the raffle. First prize was a signed stamp tin and crackle paints.
And the winner was strip starting no 236.

2nd prize was a collection of Blonde Moments goodies.

and the winner is starting with no 176
3rd prize is a signed Tim Holtz book and lots of Idea-ology goodies.

And the winner is starting with 86.

Please send in your address's so we can mail out your prizes asap.
The day was over far too soon and we were all tired but happy. The lads set off on the next leg of their journey, but not before leaving me a full set of the new alcohol ink colours to play with. Yayy!!! They have launched lights and brights to go with the existing earth tones.
*Edit* These wont land in this country until end Mar/ early April sorry.
No prizes for guessing which are going to be my favourites.

When everyone had vacated I collapsed into a heap, but Ben and his girlfriend, the lovely Katie scooped me up and deposited me at Brio's restaurant. I can highly recommend the beef braised in red wine. It just melted in my mouth. thanks guys.
Now onto Fridays alcohol ink workshop. We had a full class , with many students still giddy with excitement from the day before. I was in work at 6.30 trying to put the studio back to some sort of normality, so their giddiness plus my tiredness made for a challenging start!! lol. But what a fab workshop we had. The class was very directed with everyone making the exactly the same projects step-by-step and was a great success, so expect more of the same in the next brochure.
It looks as though alcohol inks are making a big comeback this year. We had a massive stock, but just look at the state of the stand when everyone had finished in the shop!!

Friday night saw me hotfooting it over to my fella's for an early Valentines. I walk in , get given glass of wine in one hand and told your bath will be ready in 5 Min's. How cool is that?? Mind you with his working all over the country and me working all hours it doesn't seem to happen that often so always best to make the most of it.
Saturday I tore myself away and scooted down to the NEC at Birmingham . It was the annual Craft , Hobby and Stitch trade show. Saturday is always workshop day and I was Tim's Be-atch ( sorry trusty assistant lol) in his classes. His class was fab, it was the one he taught at CHA (Americas premier trade show). It was a stunning wall hanging using the new alcohol inks, filled with techniques and tricks of the trade. He left me all his spare kits and has allowed me to include it in my next workshop brochure. Cheers Tim you are a gem xx. His other trusty assistant was of course my partner in crime , Mario. We are like a couple of kids when we get together and are always in trouble from He who must be obeyed. Actually no, its usually me who seems to be in trouble as Mario has this uncanny knack of dropping me in it and looking all sweet and innocent. It is a trait that I have never seemed to master, strangely.
After class finished we headed out for the night . How many women would have loved to be in my position having Valentines dinner with Tim. I have to say it was really strange, Alain, Mario, Tim, Me and Suze Weinberg all eating in a restaurant purely full of couples. It was a really strange place but I will save that tale for another day.

Sunday dawned and we all headed to the show. Tim and Suze were busy demoing and Mario and I were busy lounging lol. No seriously we know our place. We are mister fillers, dishcloth finders, coffee providers and general all round dogs bodies!!.

I want to say hello to all the people who came looking to see if I had my boots on. I couldn't believe how many people asked, shoe watch is really taking off, isn't it. I am glad that you all enjoy a bit of fun.
Ben came down on the train and we walked the show. I have to say that the show was a lot smaller this year, lots of companies have been hit bad by the recession. And unfortunately nothing new jumped out and grabbed me.
Tim's new Idea-ology is fab and I will give you the lowdown on it all tomorrow. Can you wait that long?? Tee hee.
Mark and Leandra from Paper Artsy were walking the show , so with the old gang back together we did our annual tradition of curry night. The idea is to order as many different varieties of dishes as you can and have 2 mouthfuls of each. You never know what you are gonna get like it or not!!! Then the bit I always dread arrives. The sad goodbyes. I have so much to do back here that I jumped ship early and drove home late last night. I hate saying goodbye to them all, because even though we are in constant contact I know we wont physically get to see each other in person for months now. I really miss not having them around and I am such a soft arse that I always cry buckets. they always leave with a pool of my snotty tears on their shoulders. It has become a standing joke and they always take the piss out of me, so I am always determined that this time I wont. But I never fail to come up with the goods lol and last night was no exception. So farewell my luvvlies.
Tim - he never ceases to amaze me with his creativity and generosity in sharing all his knowledge.
Mario - my babe!! The sweetest, kindest man to walk the planet.
And Alain - What can I say?? You just would, wouldn't you girls !!! xxx


Michelle said...

Hi Dylan,
You lucky Girl.
Looks like you had a great time.
Looking forward to seeing Tim and Suze on QVC tomorrow.
Don't forget to spill the beans on where you got the boots. :-)
Michelle xx

GadgetGirlUK said...

Thanks for doing us a Tim show and tell on your blog for all us people who can't make it to Yorkshire.It's wonderful that you shared so many photos.
Is Tim definitely going to be on uk tv (qvc?) tomoorow. I have taken a half days holiday to sit and be entranced by the Inkmeister.
I am desperate that nothing stops his uk tv debut. Oh would that they gave him his own tv channel :)
What are the likelihoods of the new bright alkie inks being available in your shop before this weekend ?

Love from Geordie Tricia x

Unknown said...

Sounds like you had a fab if tiring few days! Looking forward to the new stamps arriving :0)

thekathrynwheel said...

I was sooo happy to see the boys at your place but I am deeply deeply jealous that you got to spend all that quality time with them. Can I join you next time LOL?! I am also deeply jealous of your new boots............but I have tracked them it wrong to copy?! :-)

borgqueen said...

Lovely treat, just got in and was presented with my tea and my laptop to chill a bit from a long day (as good as bath and wine in my world!) and I had an epic to read - fab - thank you.
Think new boots should be available on prescription as mood boosters ;o)
Lots of love

Marie R said...

Sounds like you had a great time. We are all madly jealous! Love all the new stamps but will have to restrict myself, sadly, especially as there are new alcohol inks coming, can't wait!

Carole Bryson said...

Hi Di ! Great to see you on Sunday and that you WERE wearing the boots !!

Can't wait to get to practice with the new inks in March - and to see you again of course.

Take care xxxxxxxx

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