Well, after months of preparation and 10 weeks of the SENZ Sunday Times, we thought it appropriate to end with a summary of the weekend. The NZ Scrapbooking and Stamping Expo was held in Christchurch over the weekend of 16th – 18th July at the Riccarton Park Convention Centre. Thousands of people attended from across Canterbury, NZ and even a keen group of girls from Aussie made the trip over!
Artfull Crafts decided to get a big stand – and then we enlarged it some more! We packed up most of the Timaru store and just managed to fit all the stock and fittings in the back of a huge furniture trailer – as well as a second high-sided one. We packed up the trailers by 11pm on the Wednesday night and woke up early for the trip to ChCh the next day.
Thursday morning began with a bit of drama! The night before Graham had driven the car with the very heavy furniture trailer out into our back yard area. It was a really frosty morning and the car would not go up the slope of the driveway. The wheels kept slipping and sliding and it would not go forward! I was starting to get quite concerned. He had to do a huge 3-point turn in the carpark and tried a few more time from different angles. I was even trying to push it up the hill!! It finally got some traction and made it! Whew. That took 15 mins (I had visions of having to unpack the trailer and running late to ChCh!)
So we got on the road and nervously drove to ChCh (frosty roads and all). It took longer than usual travelling at 80km max! That’s how heavy it was. When we arrived we had to go and hire a car trailer and pick up the 2 huge stands that we would be using at the show (we’ve since brought them back and set them up in the shop. They look great!). That was a job for 4 strong men and a few helpful females!
By 11am we were ready to start. Thanks to extra helpful friends we had a team of 9 people unpacking the trailers and setting up the stall. We worked flat out until 5pm – right on queue for the early VIP Shoppers! After a very busy hour and a half of trading we were ready to collapse into bed! But we still had some class prep to do, and then we needed to stay awake til midnight to pick up the Aussie guests from the airport! Melissa Kennedy and Al Hannah from Kaisercraft came out to run 6 of our classes and they did an excellent job! Thanks girls for all the laughs.
Throughout the weekend there were 8 classes run and 6 Demo Theatre Presentations – which I really enjoyed doing! There was always something to win at an Artfull Crafts Demo. They were always short and snappy too as I was running off to introduce the classes and check on the stall! I also ran a mini-masterpieces class which seemed really successful and I loved the creations people came up with. Many thanks go to Besty Clarke and her daughter who ran a very popular Vintage Cards class for us. People are still ringing me wanting extra packs of these!
My thanks have to go to my wonderful husband - who wore a Depserate Housewife” apron all weekend (while we wore bright pink!), Juanita and Vicki who are very hard-working employees of Artfull Crafts and the other wonderful helpers – Shirley, Clarissa, Diana, Judy, Francine, Betsy, Jocelyn, Melissa, Allanah and family… We couldn’t have done it without your support.
Every morning we were up early making sure everything was ready for the classes. We did have the odd panic where some wooden pieces were in wrong packs and we only had 5 mins to get the classroom set up between the classes – but a few free prizes and laughs hopefully kept everyone smiling.
It was a high-pressure weekend and incredibly tiring. I admire anyone who goes to SENZ. It’s a lot of work if you are running classes and even though it’s only a weekend event, it does represent months of work!
Artfull Crafts was thrilled to win the Best Stall Award. We thank everyone for their support and were so pleased to put names to faces over the weekend. Thanks for all the positive feedback too. My worst fear was coming home to negative emails – but it was quite the opposite!! (Whew!). We tried hard to put on classes that would appeal and that had generous class packs – and we’ve certainly been pleased with the feedback.
After the quick pack down on the Sunday night we headed back to Timaru with the Kaisercraft girls. We set off early morning on a 750km tiki-tour of the South island! We started with breakfast in Timaru, a quick trip to the Moeraki Boulders, through to Oamarama stopping off at Elephant Rocks, then up to Tekapo (with numerous photo stops at the dams and lakes).
We had a quick look at the Church of the Good Shepherd, a dip in the hot pools, fish ‘n chip dinner and a drive back to ChCh via Geraldine. We dropped the Kaiser girls in ChCh for their early morning flight and headed back to Timaru! The next day we set the shop back up and opened on Wednesday.
What a crazy week we’ve had. We’ve been quietly hibernating this week and recovering from all the excitement!
So the question is … Will we go to SENZ next year?
Watch this space…! It might be a good chance to have a little look around the North Island… Mel and Al might even consider it after their fingers and toes thaw out.