My very crafty day :)

Today I went to Hobbycrafts & Art Materials Live at the Birmingham NEC. In all honesty I was expecting it to be ridiculously expensive and I was only expecting to come home with a few ideas. I was very wrong.
I bought quite a lot of stuff, and I have a few more online bead shops I can buy from. And everything was SO cheap! See the two massive bead strings below? £1 each.

Everything I bought
 These focals caught my eye. They're so bright and colourful and I love the rhinestone detail. I only noticed on the bus home that the rhinestone colours are different on each focal; on the first one they're all white, on the second one 2 are red and the other is white. I don't know how I'll use these yet, I did buy some matching blue rose beads that I'll try to use with them.
I found it quite hard to pay £1 each for these as I'm used to buying beads and pendants in wholesale, but I do think they are worth it :)

Unusual focals
  The only thing I really wanted to buy today was craft wire to make a tree of life pendant. I've yet to find a shop in Birmingham that sells craft wire. You wouldn't believe how hard it was to find at the NEC. Even the wire craft stall didn't sell any -_-
Eventually I found some and as soon as I got home I made my very first tree of life pendant! I'm very proud of it.

Tree of life pendant I made using some bead chips and craft wire

 Here is a list of my favourite stalls and their websites;
Spellbound Bead Co was my favourite bead stall, below is the selection of beads that I bought from them (the cheapest ones were 2p each!)

Some beads I bought from the Spellbound Bead Co
 My other favourite stall was TuffnellGlass and my mom has bought my Christmas present from there.
I've always been interested in lampwork but I never thought I'd be able to do it at home. I also thought I'd need to spend hundreds of pounds to buy all the equipment. My preconceptions were absolutely wrong, I can do it in the comfort of my kitchen for less than £100! The man running the stall (can't remember his name!) was lovely. He gave a demonstration when I asked him to and he answered my many questions. He didn't even try to sell me his products, he told me B&Q sell the refill gas canisters and I can use a cheese grater instead of the fancy tools they were selling. The basic kit cost £56.00 and the gas canister cost about £12.50.

Included in the kit;
  • Hot head torch
  • 1 Kilo mixed glass rods
  • Mixed pack of 24 mandrels
  • 2 pots of bead release.
I think it was definately a bargain, although I can't use it until Christmas :(

Altogether, today was a pretty awesome day for only £10 admission ^^

Loppy x

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