Sunday, 27 February 2011


I'm still flying high despite the 680+mile round trip and the fact that I am at home now. They say your long term memory improves with age and that is certainly true for me. I can remember back to being 2ys old but am struggling to recall everything that happened since last Wednesday! What a wonderful experience. I would do it again in a flash because the master himself TIM HOLTZ is the most easy-going guy you could ever want to meet. So very professional and so very charismatic (thanks Lindsay for that word, it sums him up completely).
I realise the cost put many off, to be honest it frightened me too, but I pushed the boat out knowing it will most likely be a 'one-off' for me. Having said that, I did some sums when I got home and added up the cost of all the 'goodies' we were given so wait for it - over £90 worth - now that makes the cost very cheap indeed don't you agree.
We began the day with a 2.5hr class with Leandra and Lin.
After registration and a quick shopping session I found a seat on a table with ladies I had never met but who had friendly faces and welcomed me.
One lady called Zoe made this tag book. The photos certainly don't do it justice, but if you look closely at the first one, you may be able to pick out the different layers. I thought it was just fantastic.
On to the project. We used metal which had been pre-embossed with a tree design, which we had to ink and paint before sanding down for a final finish. The paint was an Artsycraft product just being formulated and gives a more chalky finish. I mixed it with spray inks and water to coat the pieces we used, and had extremely 'mucky' fingers at the end. We also had to cut round a metal tree and then knurl the edges.
I managed that ok so no cut fingers. My tree didn't really come out as inky as I would have liked, but I did like the colours I ended up with for the rest of the project.
Wow, I actually finished it plus, it's correct, no mistakes. Whoohoo!
Class over, I went straight - well not exactly straight, I went round a lot of chairs and tables and fellow crafters - to get to the front of the room where projects from various classes and demos were laid out. What an array of amazing art. I just wanted to spend the whole of the lunch break there. However, a couple of dozen other lasses had the same thought so it was hard to get good photos. I did my best so please enjoy this little gallery.

These are the 3 canvasses made at Tim and Dyan's workshop at the Stitches show. I had seen photos on Facebook and Twitter from various people and just couldn't wait to see them first hand. I know Lindsay has made them and I want to get the chance to see them close up. I absolutely adore each one and want to make them for myself.

Isn't this amazing?

I bet you are getting excited at seeing these aren't you?

I can't stop looking at all these. They are going to inspire me - and jog me - into making some special pieces this year. Hold me to it folk.

After I took the photos, I picked up my packed lunch and headed back to my hotel room where 'peg leg' was after having had a short trip into Bedford that morning. He had started with a cold a few days after me, so was in the middle of the worse of it. Being able to just rest was perfect for him and he actually enjoyed his day too.
I then headed back to floor 1 where Tim's class was being held, and managed - at last - to team up with Hels and meet Dan too. We were finally allowed in - oh joy! - and there was Mario looking all sun tanned and smiling radiantly.
Every time I tried to photograph him, someone got in the way!
We found a table (not hard as we were the first in the door) and look at how it was set out for us.

Ok, the glasses and water are mine, but the configurations box, fancy feet, plastic bag of grungeboard and zipped bag of paint dabber, DI ink pad, blending tool, glossy accents, mutli matt medium, craft scrapper and perfect pearls spray were all there for us to use and KEEP! Add the cost of that little lot for a starter.
Tim appeared and was immediately mobbed. I had no chance of a decent photo.

He is sooo handsome. All the classes and demos over the last few days had taken their toll on him, and he was losing his voice. Didn't stop him though.
We began the 4 wonderful hours of making a very special keepsake configuration box. The first 2 hours were spent prepping the compartments using Tim's Lost and Found stash with papers previously cut and scored for us by Mario and the team in the US. What a marvelous job they had done. After that we had a tea break, which Tim finds to be 'so English'. Anyway, on our return we had another little surprise, a canvass bag filled to the brim with allsorts of goodies, including some new releases not on our shores as yet. I have priced all these and they make up the £90+.
So we began the task of filling the little spaces. I had taken 'Wim Wam' with me. He is my baby pram mobile which was given to me by my God Mother when I was born and he was her pram toy too. This makes him Victorian and around 120years old. I placed him in the centre space.
I haven't finished my box but will as the days permit, so you will have to wait a bit longer for a photo of that.
I did manage to leave a little present for Tim. A Lancashire magazine, some Chorley and Eccles cakes, a box of Fisherman's Friends (would love to know if he tries those!) and some soft liquorice from Blackpool. Mario will no doubt get to share them too. Tim kindly signed my new £1.20 apron!
and as you know from my previous post, I finally got to have a photo taken with him.
He is so delightful.
Another exciting part of the day for me was finally getting to meet Hels. She doesn't usually like her photo taken I believe, though goodness know why because she is really pretty. You will know the name of her blog is Ink on my Fingers, and I can verify where that comes from. Not only were her fingers absolutely covered in black paint dabber - hence the verification - but she managed to get matt medium, and goodness knows what else, on her favourite black top. A pretty lady but messy indeed!!
It was over far too quickly. Most of us wanted to sneak in again the next day and do it all over again.
THANK YOU Tim for the experience of a life time. I shall never forget the day.
My lovely friend Sioux arrived that night as she was on the Friday class. We met up in the bar and it was lovely to see her again. The best bit for me was knowing what excitement she had to come and I was thrilled for her. I text ed her on Friday night and her reply went something like 'life will never be the same again'. I reckon that sums up the whole experience.
So, how do you make something so very special into an adventure that is perfect?
I surprised the lovely lady who had originally introduced me to grunge - Lindsay Mason.
I booked a room at a Travelodge at Scots Corner for Friday night so that 'peg leg' and I could surprise her with a visit to her demo in Darlington yesterday.
On the way, this van overtook us and gave us a smile.
However, when we arrived at the lodge the electricity was off and they wouldn't book us in as they had no idea when it would be back on. So we had to go to the other one down the road. No hassle really but it did add to the memories. Yesterday we popped into Darlington and Lindsay was surprised. She also had one of the canvasses she made on Tim's workshop at Stitches with her, so I got to see one close up. Fabulous.
We didn't disturb her but the trip made mine 'perfect' and I'm glad we went.
If you've made it this far, thank you. I hope you can 'feel' my happiness and take my advice - get saving now just incase Tim comes back next year and agrees to do some more workshops. Believe me, you will smile forever. x


Zoechaos said...


pearshapedcrafting said...

Oh Joanne, what a time you've had - am I jealous? - YES!!but so glad you enjoyed it and thanks for showing all those piccies. Look forward to catching up with you some time soon!!
Love and hugs, Chrisx

Artyjen said...

Thanks so much for sharing that Joanne....I know I was there but Wow! Love your photo's of the projects...I did not really get to see those!!! I'm still emotional that it is all over but elated and grateful that I could be there....and if I had to sell my soul to be able to go again I would do it in an instant! ;)
xoxo Sioux

soniajones said...

Joanne I can feel your excitement and I already have a tin entitled Tim Holtz (for the next one!)Really fabulous reporting! Thanks xxooxx

humel said...

Wasn't it just amazing?! It's been such fun to relive all my memories by reading yours! And yes. I'm already starting to put some cash aside so that next time I get the chance I can go for it!!

Gez said...

WONDERFUL post Joanne! I was hanging on to your every word!!! I've spent a lovely evening catching up with your blog. Thank you so very much for taking the time & blog your wonderful to re-read it!!