Tuesday, October 24, 2006

CRAFTY CORRESPONDENT: miss Sue does the CreativFestival

What's the big deal?
miss Sue reviews the scrapbook & paper craft section of the Fall 2006 CreativFestival

Bargains. Cheap. Deals. Those are words we want to hear when we go to huge consumer shows like the Creative Needlework and Sewing Festival (
re-branded this year as CreativFestival). The bi-annual event is held at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre in the fall, and the International Centre in Mississauga in the spring. Every event is filled with mainly Canadian vendors for all types of creative crafts.

My main target is the paper crafts section of the fair - so if you’re into quilting, sorry, I’m not going to be very helpful. But if you’re even a wee bit interested in paper and all kinds of things you can do with it, well, read on.

Unlike last year, when I felt a little cheated, I walked out the door of this year’s show feeling happy little tingles all over because I managed to uncover some great bargains. With so many stamping, scrapbooking and paper craft vendors in attendance to show off their wares, you can get great bargains - if only you know where to look.

Although this is a review of the Fall 2006 show, these vendors come back during both the fall and the spring show, so my tips may be useful for the upcoming show in April 2007.

Scrapbooking vendors
There are many booths in the paper crafts area, so like a breakfast buffet, don't fill your plate on the first trip 'round. Be careful not to buy something you like at the first booth you stop at (except, perhaps, at
Unique Pages). I discovered a Hero Arts Clear Design alphabet stamp at $18.99 and $16.50 at two different booths (guess which price I paid? Yup, $16.50!).

With a massive collection of scrapbooking-wares, be careful and do your research. Even stores located directly opposite one another can have substantial price differentials. For example, something as simple as mini glue dots, on sale at the
Cherished Scrapbooks for around $6.99, the exact same glue dots box could be found just across from that booth at Herrschners, for only $4.99. That’s what I call a shame. There are lessons to be learned here for sure.
7gypsies products - I love the phrase stickers and I just can’t get enough of the little cards. Great scrapbooking tools!
If you’re big on card-making and stamping, you’ll find great deals on inks and stamps.
Unique Pages is where you want to go. Although they have a store on Lakeshore West which offers great prices, they were offering a ‘no taxes’ deal on their already affordable prices, BONUS! You can find EK Success punches here too, in all shapes and sizes. In fact, if you don’t make it to any other booth, this booth itself makes the show’s $16 ticket price worthwhile.

My American Cousin
Deals aside, I love how at least some of the scrapbooking stores are keeping up with the times. Besides the ultra snazzy
Quickutz or similar-styled products, I was particularly impressed with Bizzy B’s collection of 7Gypsies products. As a Canadian resident reading US-based magazines like Simple Scrapbooks, I get envious of those cool and snazzy American products. Which cost way too much once you add shipping to Canada, and customs, and duty... So, when companies bring over stuff from over there so we can buy it over here - I am absolutely thrilled and ready to fork over my credit card!

Make & Takes
One of the best things about this show is how many free make-and-takes there are. Vendors are keen to share techniques using new products. You should take full advantage of the opportunity to try these out, and take home some lovely samples. My favourite make-and-take was the one at the Cherished Scrapbooks booth, done by Emily, the designer of Stamping Bella stamps. She is truly passionate about her stamps and their design, and I loved the glitter she let us add to all finished samples. Bellissima!

The CD-Accordion tin made during the class. All materials provided (including the ribbons).
There is also a wide range of fee-based classes and workshops to participate in. I took part in one hosted by EK Success. They didn’t tell you what they were doing in advance, so the content of the class was a surprise. I debated about doing it at first, but I got lucky with this one, since the class was very good value for money! The class registration fee was $25, but included the materials kit, which had products worth nearly $50. We made a CD-tin accordion album which was cute and sassy. I’m really into mini albums right now, so this class was just what I needed.

We worked on the accordion album by pasting the background circles on them (e.g. of the L - lean on me on the far right circle). I then went home to complete it with a Friends mini album about my 2 year-old daughter’s friends.
The class focused on using the really handy Circle Scissors tool. Afterwards, the instructor announced that the Circle Scissors and glass mat used in the class would be sold at a discount to class participants (from about $35 to only $20, plus tax of course).
Can’t get enough of this Circle Scissors tool. It makes circles from 25mm in diameter.
Final Words
Personally, I really enjoyed this year’s show. I think there’s a great range of products being sold and the vendors are generally friendly and helpful. Bear in mind though, if you have no self-restraint, you have to be willing to part with large amounts of cash (or be prepared for huge credit card bills)… and that’s only in the paper section of this huge consumer show.

I’m definitely going again, next year. After all, I can’t resist a good deal (you can read that both ways!)

miss Sue.
Sue Mylde is a writer, editor, scrapbook enthusiast and paper arts instructor living on Toronto’s Harbourfront. She loves being creative, and being a mother, which, are often not two separate things. You can read more about her up-and-down life at


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