Monday, November 7, 2011

Score! (Some Kreadoe Loot)

I'd known it was coming for a year. I'd been saving for it for months. I'd been looking forward to it for weeks. I had to leave home for it for days. And my sister and I traveled to get to it for hours. Last Saturday finally it was time for our annual visit to the Kreadoe, a big craft supplies fair in the city of Utrecht which is in the center of the Netherlands.

We went there by train and when we left the train station this sign was standing outside the escalator to tempt us to travel to any European capital we could think of. It's got nothing to do with the fair, but I just had to take a picture of it.

Anyway, we could not be tempted, we had plans!, so we followed the crowd and walked to our destination of the day. They hung out the flags for us. We wouldn't have settled for anything less. ;-)

The Kreadoe was being held in the Jaarbeurs,which is a big complex of halls where all sorts of events are being held all through the year.

But we came for this one. (I'm so glad some of you Dutchies told me you hated the name too, makes me feel very validated.) For the non Dutchies: the word Kreadoe has something very childish and belittling to it. It's a word sandwich from the words for 'create' and 'doing' and it just sounds...yucky, like we're a bunch of five year olds who get to play with old cardboard boxes or something. Bleh.

Coming into the entrance hall it was clear we weren't the only ones going. We arrived just before the fair opened, which was at 10 am. It was going to be a long day.

We always start out with coffee and apple pie at one of the several catering services in the halls. We were smart enough to move forward to another hall, which was still very quiet at that time. I took the following picture to give you an idea of the size of the thing. This picture was taken in the central isle of the second hall. There were eight isles in this hall and where I am standing when taking the picture is about halfway through. There were two halls filled with stalls. Do your math people! It. Was. Big. ;-)

It stayed this quiet for about ten minutes and then every nook filled up with people. Apart from that moment early in the morning we did not get to sit for one minute until about 5 pm when we left. We had ourselves a seven hour fair!

Meet my sister! This is somewhere halfway through the day. She's showing off her shopping bag. Everybody got one. I can't show her loot of the day, but trust me, she left happy and broke, just like me.

And this is pretty much how busy it was all day. At some points people were crawling over each other like ants. But it's all worth it and it's not so busy that you can't reach or see anything. Still, in all, sister and I agreed that it was even busier than previous years. And we have years and years of experience to go by. ;-)

Enough about the fair. Let's get to the important stuff. Time to show you all the things I bought. It's a lot. I threw cash around like it meant nothing to me. But I'd saved for this event so it was okay. Wanna see what I got? Here we go!

I was overcome with joy at finding these gorgeous stencils. They had so many that I drove my sister crazy going back and forth changing my mind again and again. I wanted them all, but decided on these four. The other two are templates for banners and paper shapes that will come in handy. 

I got some very cute collage sheets with vintage images. Those will go in my collection.  I always make color copies of sheets like this to save money and keep the originals for reference. On the top are some sticker sheets and elements that will probably be used in my journals.

No visit to this fair is complete without me buying some pretty papers. In the front is some 8x8 inch paper in sweet colors and in the back are two K&Company stacks and one Graphic 45. The last one was a wonderful find for me. It's the "On the boardwalk" themed pack that I have been looking for for ages now and was sold out everywhere I looked and here it was just lying on a table ready for me to snatch it away!
The bottom (christmassy) stack is actually only half a stack as I shared this one with my sister. We each got one piece of each paper in it. I'm not a traditional scrapbooker, but I love all the supplies that scrapbookers can choose from. I use most of my pretty papers for mixed media or collage and for making books of course.

The next thing is a something new I am planning to try this winter. It's two little packs of polymer clay. I have the book Mixed Media Mosaics by Laurie Mika and it's amazing what she does with this stuff. So I figured I should give it a try sometime in the near future, just to see if I can do it too.

The fair was overflown with stamps. One more beautiful than the other. It's a good thing I know from experience that I won't use ready made images in stamps. I prefer alphabets, patterns and textures or just little decorative elements. So I got three texture stamps and one little alphabet. I also got some new color stazon ink pads (I love love love stazon), some sparkly spray inks and some distress stains. The latter I've never tried before, so we'll have to see if I like them.

It's the curse of the mixed media person that we can use everything. So I also had to have some fabrics. The bigger pieces are 'real' fabrics, the little rolls are more like a kind of artificial fiber material. I'm sure it has a name, I just don't know what it is. Anyway I bought it all for the pretty patterns and colors.

I can't say enough how much I love ribbons and lace. I didn't get any of the latter, but I did get plenty of ribbons and I also got some small trinkets like fake cameo's and plastic butterflies. And there's also a small collection of Hello Kitty pendants in there that will be nice to decorate a journal with.

Last but not least I got two books. The doodle book I've been eyeing for a while, but it was out of print. Probably because of this I got it on sale. The other is a book on watercolor that I was very surprised to find as it is a Dutch translation of Heather Smith Jones' Water paper paint! It's so rare that these really cool books get translated, so I was over the moon with this find.

All these goodies will have to last me for a while. Not that I won't buy anything until next year, but I won't have a shopping spree like this, that's for sure. I'm sure you can imagine that sister and I were exhausted after all this walking and shopping and gawking at beautiful things. We were very happy when we got home and found my brother in law had already bought some Chinese food for us to enjoy. I slept really well that night!

Hope you enjoyed my little show and tell and wishing you all a wonderful artsy week!