Thursday, June 16, 2011

Textile Art Festival

We had a great show and basically sold out of so much stuff - the sari ribbon almost all gone by lunchtime on day one for starters. I am flat out reordering and will be following this with repackaging and Jacinta is busy re-dyeing. It was wonderful to catch up with so many of our very loyal and lovely customers. I first went to Brisbane to a show back in 1996 and after we stopped going to the shows we used to come up to the Albert Park Hotel and set up shop and run workshops to which many people came. I really appreciate all the positive and delightful comments made by so many people at the show - enjoying our wonderful display of different goodies and the magnificent colours we have. It does always look good and like an Aladdin's Cave and it makes me proud that I have been able to do all this from a modest beginning of needing a machine embroidery thread. We have come a long way and I could never have done it without Ian and without Jacinta who is a dear friend, a fellow artist and a wonderful dyer who either jumps to my commands or ignores me - either one is fine. I remember back in Melbourne when we were at the YWCA with shop and workshop and Jacinta appearing with a shoebox of hand dyed threads and I bought the lot and we haven't looked back. Jacinta's dyeing has developed so much from way back then and some of her colour combinations now are simply superb as they get more complex. Then Jacinta's friend Rae appeared and she dyes all the fabrics and now the threads leaving Jacinta to dye the fibres and flimsies and other things which tickle her and my imagination. I think we make a great team and I love it when customers tell me how much they appreciate the products. We try. I know I have introduced many new products to the Australasian scene and I love seeing how people have run with them. I talked to and admired the work of so many talented people over the weekend. Thank you to everyone who bought my new book. I enjoyed creating it and am working like fury on the next one.

There were some lovely things at the show - the Bernina display was wonderful - the Art U Wear - Circus Berserkus garments looked fabulous. At the top is Tilly the Tightrope Walker made by Kirry Toose which won the overall prize. I loved them all.

This is Cheryl Bridgart's work which won the Bernina Tattoo competition - they were all wonderful as well. And there were heaps of great displays but sadly I didn't think the show looked much different from any other show - was called a Festival but it lacked an atmosphere. There weren't many stalls - I talked to people who had little stalls the first year and they said what we all know - too expensive. A festival to me is about all sorts of things - there were too many blank black walls without decoration. It is a real shame because it has the potential to be a wonderful event. The artist working area (which was my suggestion previously) is a great idea and Jacinta and I had a lovely time making a giant mess and chatting to people and playing - there often wasn't much happening at the 2 other stations.The other sad thing was that because it was on a long weekend, I didn't really see any school kids which was a shame because it was a great opportunity for them to see the wonderful work and they are the up and coming people to keep our dreams alive.  I don't think I am speaking out of turn  - in my previous life I instigated and organised a varied number of exciting events. I know it was linked with the Papercraft and Scrapbooking show next door and we did get quite a good spin off from that with new people coming through but I felt it needed more. Maybe the wrong people run it - who knows. Those who go to the Knitting and Stitching show in London - aka Ally Pally - will know what I mean when I say - excitement.

Anyway - Brisbane did us proud - cooler weather right up my alley. Our favourite restaurant - Barolo - was gone but we found Vapiano where they cooked fresh pasta and we drank red wine to go with it. Very nice indeed.

Last night we went to dinner with Kaz and Bruce - it is lovely to have them both back in Perth.

Back to work - I have several deadlines looming. Plus I have finally worked out that I can make videos with my i-phone - such fun - but at this stage they come out upside down.....


Heather said...

Fascinating post Dale, even though I'll never get to Brisbane! I wonder if your success would have spooked you had you known years ago how much things would grow. From such small beginnings it could be hard to imagine how you'd cope with what you do now. Keep up the good work. Don't worry about the videos coming out upsidedown - we can stand on our heads to view!

Elizabeth said...

Wow! I really enjoyed this post Dale, I could feel your enthusiasm! Its a shame that the stalls have become too expensive, but its the way things are going unfortunately. Thats why I stopped doing shows/markets with my business and now work from home. I have Ally Pally on my list of things to do - one day! Bethx

Wilma said...

it was great to meet you and watch you and Jacinta at work ... I don't live in Brisbane and was just visitingso it was all a bonus for me. I enjoyed what was there,had a great time in a embellisher machine workshop and learnt a lot from some presentations, but must admit I was surprised too at the smaller number of stalls and workshops although I could have spent more hours than I did! I am sure everyone there appreciated your attendance - thanks.

Linda said...

Great post Dale. Sadly, I could not get to Brisbane, but have stitching friends who had a ball, and it's great reading about their purchases. I am so pleased that I took a Carol Wilkes' workshop one day, and 'heard' about your store. You and Ian are the most wonderful people to buy from. As I live the isolated stitcher's life, having someone willing to 'have a chat' is something money can't buy. THANK YOU [and Ian] for being Dale and Ian. Cheers.

Judi said...

I came to the show Dale, after missing the first 2. I was determined to spend 3 days there. I came home after 1 day. Not only weren't there many stalls, my shopping list was still half there. I couldn't get the things I expected so have to go back to mail order. Your stall was definitely the best stocked but I was hanging out for the range of Opulence paints to buy up big and you didn't bring them. I'll see what Rae Cummings has next week.
The Scrapping side was crowded with rude pushy people. No one was selling the basic stuff and no one had time to talk to people. Quite a lot of people I spoke to said the recent Craft show in March/April was far better for scrappers. It's a lot of money to pay out for a stall and not make the most of the opportunity.
I agree about the artist areas. I never saw anyone at 1 table at all. No idea who it was set aside for. If I had gone back Sunday, it would have been to sit in with you in the afternoon, but I am doing Ratty Tatty so will use Lutrador & Evolon then. It wasn't worth the entry fee and parking to come back when there wasn't anything else I wanted to do. I really enjoyed the displays but came away very disappointed by the whole event. As you said, no atmosphere and very sparsely set out. The financial climate is sad but a show like this doesn't come to Qld very often, and I think an opportunity was missed by many traders absence.
I was good to meet you both at last and catch up with Jacinta again while she worked. The area is a fabulous idea, just another opportunity lost.
Judi S

Teresa said...

Please keep coming to Brisbane Dale....we need you !! I went to the show on Sat & Sun and I thought, after lunch on Sat, the crowd thinned out and on Sunday, it didn't seem busy at all. I wanted to see some demos & my sister who came with me wanted to do an embellisher course, so by the time we did that & looked at all the exhibitions, we needed the extra day to seek out the goodies on offer. I agree with everyone who said you had the best stall and my bank account has managed to back up that statement !! It was great to meet you & Jacinta and get loads of tips & both know what you're talking about and both of you share your knowledge freely willingly and I think that's terrific. Some professional people can be very precious about that, but not you two. I haven't tackled the 1st lesson of Ratty Tatty Papers yet, but will get stuck into it this week and play with my new goodies as well......just on the show again....I have to say I was appalled at the public judging of the embellished scarf challenge......I thought it was embarrassing for some of the entrants & it appears it was judged on how many yells & screams the audience provided as each entrant showed their scarf. Good luck to the winner .....but that's a pretty amateurish effort from a professional organisation.


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