Tuesday, May 1, 2012

We survived CKC-Manchester!

Whoa!  We LOVED CKC-Manchester!

As many of you know, paper crafts is a wonderfully collaborative hobby that is perfectly versatile for me to enjoy creative "quality time" with my children.  It is something that offers something for us all: color, texture, adhesives, and TOOLS!  

My little guy, Robbie, made it to preview CKC-Manchester with me on Thursday.  My little angel, Susan, and I went on this exciting adventure to CKC-Manchester on Saturday together . . . **Thank you so much to everyone at the show for sharing your enthusiasm for paper crafts with our whole family**

The classes were packed - Susan and I had to hold hands tightly as we shimmied past people as they were lined up in the lobby to get into the class rooms.  There were so MANY classes to chose from!  The list of classes available was huge and the students were READY TO LEARN!!

As you know from my last post, "CKC-Manchester is ON!" our first stop was to see Stephanie Barnard of The {Stamps} of Life.  And, to our surprise, we got to meet her husband, Ken, too!  As the eye BEHIND the camera of all of Stephanie's online videos (yes, we subscribe to Stephanie Barnard's youtube channel), it was fantastic to see him.  

I'm an unabashed fan of Stephanie's work; her stamp designs are joyous, her collection has expanded to include licensed coordinating pieces with dies from Sizzix and ColorBox Premium Dye Ink, and, as the product spokesperson for Sizzix, she shines as a enthusiastic ambassador for the paper crafting industry.  The perfect place to start our day :)

Yup, Susan and I picked it all up - stamp sets, dies, ink pad.  Susan rounded it all out with a wonderful The {Stamps} of Life Make 'N Take with Faylene for only $3.00 - a great value, as it included a Limited Edition Stamp Set.  Winner!

One of the most surprising aspects of CKC-Manchester was the amount of product that debuted at CHA 2012 which was being demonstrated.  The "latest and greatest" supplies were everywhere.  Our local New England paper crafter, Khristen Foss, was showing us the best of Spectrum Noir alcohol markers at the Bee Creative booth.

I was happy to see the Scrap Rack.  I have been researching scrap storage solutions, so I was familiar with their product.  CKC-Manchester offered me the opportunity to get my hands on it.  It was innovative, intuitive and expandable . . . . yes, we need expandable, don't we??  FYI: Scrap Rack Show Special - a whole opening package for $184.50, saving $60.00!
Cri-Kits was a good one.  Brance told me they've been in business for three years.  They offer special colored pens and pen holders for electronic cutters that are quick to set up and change out.  The offer embossing options, too!

Oh, Mary Farneth, what beautiful work you can do with Spellbinders' Spectacular Spin!!  Plus, Scrap-Mart was offering a Show Special on Spellbinders: Buy 3, Get one FREE!  Nice!

Now, this was one of my regrets - I wish I had picked up one (Okay, maybe more than one - ) of these scrapbook templates from Lea France.  Ann was wonderful - encouraging us to join her demonstration. Those templates were so versatile . . . I still can't believe I didn't pick one up :(
Oh, my Goodness!  Brenda from Sparkle 'N Sprinkle wins the "Demonstrator of the Day" award, hands down.  She was whipping out every technique in the book: Tear-ificTape, Dimensional Glue and Sakura glue penPearlescent Watercolorsembossing powders, and, of course, GLITTER!  She was fast and loose with tips and tricks, which we were extremely thankful for.  She gave us the confidence that, we, too, could handle glitter in the craft studio!  A+ job, Brenda!!
Susan and I had a great time at the Eyelet Outlet.  In my last post you can see the picture of the HUGE booth.  SO MUCH to choose from, both trendy and traditional embellishments!  It wasn't easy narrowing down our options, but we picked up some darling cupcake ribbon with coordinating brads . . . hhhmmm . . . girly girl shopping trend today . . . 

OK - so Melissa Frances' booth was the icing on the "girly girl" cake today.  What a distinctive collection!  When we pulled out the paper crown, it LITERALLY stopped people in the aisles with "Ooohhs!" and "Wows!"  Yup - tinsel, mica flakes and crepe paper have found a happy home in our studio {sigh!}

Susan and I were looking for our friend, Dee Pierce, of The Crop Shop, where she was demoing for Clear Scraps.  We missed her, but we did NOT miss the show special on Viva Decor pens: Buy 5, get 1 FREE!  Donna Silliman, Sales Representative with The Collins Group, turned me on to these at their Spring Trade Show.  We picked up Viva Decor Pearl Pens and Glass Effect Gel.  Check out that piccie - you think Susan is looking forward to trying them out??  Thanks, Donna!

Distinctive layouts and kits abounded.  We picked up a Girl Scout Daisy 2-page Layout by Dillon Laser Designs.  For those of you who have Daisies, you'll appreciate how happy we were to find it!!
CKC-Manchester was booth after booth of WOW!!  Plus, we got to see more of our New England friends like Maryann Maldonado working at The Button Farm (GREAT kits!) and Traci Hinman from Scrap It Simple (VERY cool ideas!)  So wonderful to see our neighbors enjoying such great success!! 

Oh, my goodness - LOOK at the detail in the pages by The Paper Wizard!  Unbelievable.  Yeah, no kidding - I think it IS wizardry.  I have NO IDEA how they make these.  Stunningly gorgeous!  My photo doesn't even do them justice.  You'll HAVE to see them "in real life!"

Leanna from club sei wins for "Enthusiastic Demonstrator!"  Ten minutes before closing time, as we were heading out the door, we stopped by her booth one last time to say "Goodbye!"  Susan remembered the Make 'N Take they were offering.  Leanna picked right up on her interest and asked us both over to make a wonderful acrylic card with their Clear Accordian Album.  As time flew by, she gave us information about club sei and discussed how she and her family enjoyed CKC events.
We had not worked with acrylic yet and Leanna had wonderful patience with us, along with terrific craft ideas and pointers to share.  She'd been working the booth for days, the show was literally closing down around us, and there was nothing but crafting enthusiasm from her.  What more can you ask for??  Hugs to you, Leanna, for helping us end CKC-Manchester on a high note!!  New England will look forward to seeing you at the club sei booth at CKC-Manchester next year!!

Now that we've had time to test out all these wonderful products, we're going to need to source them locally.  If you have great sources in New England, post a comment - we want to know where to "get the goods!" Here's what I know my family is going to need:
- Glitter-specific adhesives and glues
- Melissa Frances product line
- Viva Decor pens
- Lea France page templates

** Again, a huge, "Thank You," to all the generous staff, attendants and demonstrators for making CKC-Manchester an exciting event for the Pollard Family.  We continue to appreciate your smiles, generosity, and enthusiasm that lasted ALL WEEKEND! **

Happy Day, Laurel Lee Pollard


  1. Ink About it carries the viva decor pens and usually has a lot of Melissa Frances stuff :) glad you had fun at CKC

    1. Hey, Jenn - thanks for the heads up! I'm at Ink About It every couple of months . . . Now I have even MORE reason to go! I'm usually drawn to all the great stamps, but I'll be sure to ask where the Melissa Frances is!

  2. I hope my trip to CKC Buffalo is as exciting as yours was...My first ever show! I hope I can do alot of projects and learn alot of techniques. Thanks for the little pre-trip!

  3. Laurel, I am hoping you might be able to give me some tips on what to do when I first get to the event. I am goin on Friday and Saturday and have prepaid for 2 classes each day. It looks like there are some opportunities to do some make-n-takes so I guess I will have to bring some cash with me. Any tips would be greatly appreciated as I said in my last post, this is my first show and I am going alone (I didn't say that but I am).

    1. Hi, Reesey! Congratulations on your upcoming excursion! Trust me, you won't be alone - you get to share the CKC experience with thousands of other crafting enthusiasts from your area! I'll bet you'll see a familiar face or two ~

      For a first-time attendee, I'd recommend:
      - Arriving right when they open - that way you can ensure you have enough time to peruse every booth at the Vendor Faire in between classes.
      - Having a list of new products you're looking to seeing. The CKC booklet (that you'll receive at registration) is terrific because it will tell you exactly which booths are carrying what you're looking for.
      - Take a camera - It will help you record products & info that you will want source locally after the event has passed!
      - YES - take CASH!!

      Have a WONDERFUL time! Laurel