It’s been almost a week since I took my last class at the 2013 Creativ Festival, and I already miss it. I honestly think this was one of the best years I’ve attended (not including any year when Teresa Wentzler was teaching). The classes I took were great, the show floor was small but full of interesting vendors, the gifts for attending were generous, and the people were so wonderful. I only see some of the ladies once a year (like Helen from Montreal and Gail from Bermuda), and it is such a treat to be able to talk to them again. And, of course, I get to spend time with some of the ladies I see throughout the year, which is also wonderful.
This year’s Creativ Festival seems to have been heavily sponsored by Swarovski (who have been sponsoring it to some degree for several years). Each level of pass purchaser got a gift bag from Swarovski filled will lots of crystals and beads. I had purchased the highest level of pass, so I got about 14 boxes of Swarovski (most of which I gave to my jewellery-making mom), a tool, a reel of tiger tail, and the book [amazon_link id=”0871167018″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Crystal Jewelery Inspiration[/amazon_link]. In addition, for registering early, I got a really lovely scissor set donated by H. A. Kidd.
My classes covered everything from tambour beading to canvas work to jewellery making. And, if I had been able to clone myself, I would have loved to take knitting classes with Lily Chin, or crochet classes with Mikey of the Crochet Crowd. But, sadly, there is only one of me.
Since most of you are cross stitchers, I’m sure you are most interested in the classes with Jennifer Aikman-Smith of Dragon Dreams. She is, without a doubt, my favourite instructor at the Creativ Fesitval. She is friendly, knowledgeable, funny, and a great designer to boot. Even if you don’t care for fantasy designs, I still think her classes are worth taking (and not all of them are fantasy designs!). I’ve learned a lot from her about how to do over-one cross stitch better than I had been doing it, and how to stop tent stitch from making my canvas go all wonky. And, as I’ve said, she is just a really wonderful lady to get to know. (She is also over 6’3″ tall! There is nothing like a yearly reminder that, yes, 5’1″ is actually very, very short! lol!)
Here are a couple of pictures from my classes on day five of the festival, since I haven’t shared them yet.
First, I had Blackwork Knight with Jennifer. It is a companion piece to her earlier design Blackwork Princess (which I now need to buy!).
Next up was Tiny Fantasy Kingdom, which I think is my favourite design of the entire festival. When it is done, it will be a lovely castle design that I think I may mount on a journal or a small box.
And, my very last class was Zentangle and Mandalas, with Susan Stortini. It was a nice re-introduction to Zentangle, which I had recently stopped doing because I was getting frustrated that I wasn’t doing it right. Ultimately, it was more a case of me over-thinking something that is really simple, and very elegant. I need to learn to get out of my own way.
On to shopping! To be honest, I didn’t do very much. I have so much yarn, fabric and cross stitch supplies that I feel very overwhelmed. So, I tried to pick up only a few carefully chosen things. I ultimately ended up with the 2013 Jane Austen Knits magazine (so many lovely pieces!), a couple of charm square packs to make bags, a mini-charm square pack to make a mat for the dinning room table, two accessory packages for Banbury Cross from X’s and Oh’s and some sparkly fabric from Ruach Craft/Dove Stitch to stitch it on, some stunning peacock fabric, and a purse kit from Pearl*s Handmade.
And, speaking of Pearl*s Handmade, I just wanted to say “Thank you so much!” to Cheryl. I sent a few people down to her booth to buy her stunning bags, and in return she gave me a wonderful circular needle case. Wasn’t that fabulous? So, you know, if you are looking for a purse or a knitting needle case, check out her stuff. It really is wonderful. (Hopefully her etsy shop will be updated soon.)
So, all in all, it was a great year at the Creativ Festival. I’m already counting down the days until next fall’s Creativ Festival.