Monday, 13 July 2015

Launceston Craft & Quilt Fair

A smooth 2 hour 20 minute flight in the afternoon  included a wee snooze - it had been a busy morning! Launceston didn't seem too hideously cold, and I caught a shuttle to the Olde Tudor Hotel. What a set-up! It kind of feels like a holiday camp - there's a supermarket, cafe and shops right next door, and best of all, the entrance is a bottle shop!! I didn't even unpack before I set out for supplies, as I was unsure of trading hours. Unfortunately, although I was given two sets of wi-fi passwords, neither worked, so I went to get some replacements. Still no good, so it was an early night with the tv - no arguments here though! (Turns out, that as I am one of the furthest away units, it's busy, there are double brick walls, and something to do with the weather, I don't have much hope of ever getting it. Sigh.)
After the usual reasonably restless first night, I cautiously opened the door to find... that it wasn't too bad out there!! Misty, and definitely cold for a Queenslander, but do-able. After a cup of brown water (International Roast) it was time to find a cafe - stat! Luckily, the Lime Korner was in the nearby set of shops, and despite my reservations, turned out a totally nommy coffee for $3.50! You've won me!! Only trouble is, they either don't open till 10 or not at all on the weekend! Now awake, I was able to enjoy my walk, which took me around a corner to a misty view of Launceston. I took a few side streets, enjoying the architectural and botanical differences between Tasmania and Queensland, and of course, found a super crop of lichen upon lichen! I may have even had too many layers on, as I got quite warm, but even then, could still feel the chill trying to bite it's way through. After a leisurely
breakfast at my digs, I packed my duffel bag full of all my new stock, and a half mannequin! This was not even a replacement for one of my poor inflatable girls who lost the battle with a slow leak after Sydney's show, but one for me to use as I sew the special piece I am working on. I set off up the road, finding Silverdome only a short trudge away, and made an entrance walking down the steep loading dock in my big boots! And then the transformation of empty space began.
Five or six hours later, it was done. It's the most different one so far - I only had a back wall, but then I ended up with two tables! As the Silverdome is a sports venue, I also ended up with a white circle on the floor, which became my starting point by telling me where Isolda should be positioned! Less wall space than usual, two broken dress stands (I'll sort that in Melbourne) and one mannequin down found me struggling a bit to sort myself out, but in the end,
I am happy with the new set-up. Around 3pm I was freezing cold, tired and hungry, so set off home, via the op-shop I had walked past this morning. It turned out to be a little further away than I remembered, but it was a nice afternoon, and I enjoyed the smell of wood-smoke in the air,
reminding me of my time living on Tambourine Mountain. I found some nice bridal and formal gown patterns there, and topped up my reading supplies. Back to base to cook up a roast to be my lunch for the next few days! It was then that I realised the six new nuno felted lace scarves I had made and had packed into my duffel bag this morning had not been unpacked today - so where were they?!! Slight panic as I tried to come up with a reasonable answer, and thought about trudging back to check, but with a 10am start tomorrow, there'll be plenty of time then. And they're not here, so they MUST be there!
(Sadly, as I suspected, they were not, and there not many options for what happened to them on set up day. However, I will not dwell on that.)
Today was slightly tough, after an evening at the hotel bar watching the local karaoke. The trudge was a bit more of a struggle. Apart from that, it was a lovely day, and I have to say I think the Taswegians are my favourite crowd so far! They were very responsive to my work, and I enjoyed talking to them as I practiced my tambour beading and stitched my special waistcoat. It was nice to get out into the fresh air this afternoon on the way home, and I was set to bunk in when the phone in my abode rang - I took a while to figure out what and where it was! Miss Chrissy of The Lindy Charm School was in the bar - would I like to join her for a drink?! There were a few others from the show there, and we enjoyed a catch up before everyone departed. For me, it was a detour to the IGA for some cheese which I couldn't initially pay for because I messed up my pin number three times - aaaaghhhh!!
It was an interesting night as I dreamt I lost my mind - quite an amazing feeling (I know, the cheese)! I set off early to the show to have a look around before we opened - I was also keen to get back to work on my waistcoat. I again got many compliments, really heartfelt ones. I got a fun one from Trevor the Scissorman - he said I looked like some kind of fashion superhero in my fur cape and big boots - this inspired me to grab Kerrie to take a photo of me in action! (Scissorman was also kind enough to lend me a fab rechargeable LED light for my needlework activities - thanks for helping me not go blind!!) 
It was however, very cold today, and my chair was very hard! It was a cold walk home in the quickly darkening evening, but it was nice to be in the fresh air. 
Sunday - the last day already!! Didn't we just set up? I went for a walk, cooked myself a delicious breakfast, and made it into the Silverdome with perhaps a minute to spare! Here is what the beginning of the day looks like as the crowds make their in after the 'Let's Get Ready to Rumble' introduction! It was a slower than normal start for the poor visitors as they had to negotiate the steep and uneven stairs, but nothing was going to stop them!
It was straight into the Tambour Beading practice, which certainly gets some interest, and it wasn't long until I met the delightful Willie, a TAFE teacher who was so enthralled that she had to come around and try it! And mastered it straight away!! There I was still struggling, continually getting snagged, and she could do it like a pro despite never having done it before! Sigh. However, this wasn't merely annoying, it was very beneficial, as she was able to put into words what it was that I needed to do to pull the hook through smoothly and behold - now I can do it!!
I also met a talented young lady who was keen to dive into the world of textile creations, and was able to give her a helpful hints, like subscribing to TEXTILE Fibre Forum to get all the textile news, and joining ATASDA. She was so excited, she had to come around and give me a hug, and we got a great photo - Josie if you're reading this, post it up on my facebook page! The day passed very quickly with lots of chatting and lots of sewing, and then it was pack-up time. I felt like an island facing an encroaching tide as the fair melted away around me.... I had still held a faint hope that the bag of scarves would miraculously turn up, but had to face the fact that they are indeed gone. Now I know I said I wouldn't dwell on it, but I am absolutely devastated that someone would do this. Why? They wouldn't have even known what was in the bag?!! I spent days making those scarves and they were quite beautiful. I hadn't even sewn my label into them yet, but can I just say to all in the textile world to keep an eye out for them and let me know if they are spotted. Here they are again - they all have lace felted into them.
 Now it's a day of catching up on emails and all the other internet tasks I have been unable to do all week, as I don't fly out until 4pm. See you Tassie - it's been cold but fun! Oh my goodness, a week today it is off to Melbz - totez!! And tomorrow, the email stating whether I have made it through to the next round of WOW - eeek!

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