It really is a team effort which is of course headed by Mark and Leandra. There's me, who after helping set up the stand gets to play for three and a half days. Paul the die man is chief re-stocker, making sure that the shelves remain full throughout the duration of the show and I can assure you that is not an easy task!!! My dear friend Missie Sally is bi-lingual and she is a key part of the team, handling lots of translation for demos and also in Leandra's classes. Dounia (i hope I have spelt her name correctly!) is a lovely French student who also happens to be bi-lingual and she was in charge of the Make & Take table this year. And last but by no means least, Audrey who is one of Mark and Leandra's French friends and does a sterling job manning one of the tills alongside Mark.
An enormous amount of preparation goes into any show but the extra work involved in exhibiting at an international show is mind blowing. Mark and Leandra have been working hard behind the scenes for ages to make sure that everything is in place. Things like organising signage in French, making sure the till is programmed correctly for the currency conversion, ensuring that the credit card terminal is geared up for accepted payment outside the UK.......the list is long and those guys deserve medals for the amount of time they invested in this show.
I have to admit, I was pretty bad at taking photos of the show and stand this year, we were so busy, it simply didn't cross my mind but I would like to share with you the pictures that I do have.
The show starts for us at 7am....Yes, I did mean AM, on Thursday morning when we arrive at the venue to begin building the stand. At this point, it is Mark, Leandra and myself with Paul, Sally and Dounia arriving throughout the morning. We spend all day building the stand, setting up the demo desks, Make & Take table, till area, putting up all the artwork and making sure that we have a good system for restocking. This is a very time consuming process but we do have a giggle along the way, usually at someones expense, for example, the moment that Leandra managed to get her coat jammed in a packing tape gun was really quite funny! Think I may be in danger of being killed for posting this but it really was very amusing!!!
Sadly, fool that I am, I didn't take any pictures of the PaperArtsy stand (I'm sure that Mark did, so I'm certain Leandra will post them on her blog when she has time) but I did take a photo of the stand opposite us. This is my favourite stand at the show, they have an amazing eye for design, the stand is simply but so very effective. I love all the globes on the top shelf, illuminated by lights inside them.....just fabulous. The company is called Scrap Buttons and the sell the most beautiful buttons and badges which they make themselves.
A close up, in the hope that you can see the texture.
As you can see, I was a busy girl and had loads of fun making these samples and sharing the techniques. These are just a few of the samples I made.....there are many, many more and if you are coming to Ally Pally at the weekend, you can see these in real life. I will be there demoing alongside Leandra on the Saturday and Jo Firth-Young will be working her magic on Sunday. If you are coming to the show and would like to see how these are made, stop by the PaperArtsy stand and I will be more than happy to show you.
Twitter is buzzing this morning with excitement about the Ally Pally show, it appears that there is going to be a mass Tweet 'n' Meet which is a lovely opportunity to put faces to all your Twitter friends so it's definitely going to be a fun show.
Finally, I am going to leave you with a photo of Missie Sally, my dear friend and room mate, proudly wearing her PaperArsty apron. Without Sally's help at VersionScrap with translation, demoing would have been a much bigger challenge for me, so thanks Sal, I couldn't have done it without you.