On Saturday I attended the first Birds of a Feather event in Coventry, with the gorgeous Paige Taylor Evans as guest designer.
The day itself was beautifully organised. I arrived at the hotel (the lovely Ansty Hall) and I was greeted by James, who ticked my name off the list. I went into the room and I was shown to my seat. On the table there was a bag with the included kit and some extra freebies. The kit included for the workshop consisted in quite a lot of goodies from the Paige Evans newest collection for Pink Paislee “Take me away”. I must admit that from all her previous collections, this is probably my least favourite because it features a lot of violets and I am not keen on violet for scrapbooking at all. However, there are lots of other amazing papers, so I am happy to work with it.
Paige designed four layouts exclusively for this workshop and we were given photos and instructions for every single one. In addition to this, Paige also gave more detailed instructions and other tips on design, composition, etc.
The good thing about being given almost a full collection with papers, embellishments, etc, rather than just the exact materials that we would need, is that if you didn’t like a certain element of the layout or you wanted to personalise it a bit more towards your own style, you had plenty of papers and other bits and pieces to choose from. For the second layout I had chosen a photo of Eric, and the layout that Paige had designed used lots of “girly” papers, so I was just able to pick my own papers to make it a bit more boy-ish. I like having done this in a couple of the layouts, because now my layouts are kind of more unique than everyone else who followed the layout to the T.
I tried so many new techniques on the day! I did stitching (which I struggled with at the beginning, but it got easier towards the end), I did lots of fussy cutting (I’ve done fussy cutting before, but not to this extent!), a die cut piece with lots of different patterns underneath… Things that I don’t normally (or ever!) use on my layouts but that look so stunning!
I also enjoyed working with 12×12 layouts. I have said in the past that I struggle with 12×12 because of the amount of space to fill, but Paige’s technique is about filling the background with big, bold patterns and elements, so it is not so overwhelming.
Another great thing about the day was the the ladies who run Hey Little Magpie set up a pop up shop at the event! And it wasn’t just a small table, no… It was a huge display, organised by collections, with tons of papers, embellishments, inks, stamps and so many more things! I must admit that I have never bought from their online shop before, just because their prices are just slightly higher than Papermaze. The difference is that HLM are official American Crafts distributors and always have the latest collections straight away. As I have mentioned in the past, I don’t really care that much about the latest must-haves and always buy what I like and what I can afford. But we were given a £10 voucher to spend on the shop so I felt like I needed to spend a bit more! I ended up buying some thickers, embellishments and some 6×6 papers. I think I spent around £30 in the end… Naughty me!
There was another bigger table on the other side of the room
I attended alone, although I did recognise some of the ladies as the organisers had created a private facebook group for all the attendees, so we could interact a bit before the day. To my right was a lady called Leisa, who I already kind of knew from the scrappy groups on facebook and next to her were Mimi and Rubina, who I got on quite well with too. To my left was Lisa, who came with her sister. I didn’t talk much to her, but she seemed like a great laugh. She had this very contagious laughter… I had no idea what they were talking about half the time, but when she laughed, I laughed too 🙂
So, finally, here are my four layouts! My favourite ones are number 1 and number four (Elisa and Pepper), however, I must admit that I love all of them. I am specially happy with Eric’s layout, as I much more prefer the colours and papers that I used than the ones that Paige selected for hers.
The ladies of Birds of a Feather are organising another event in May. This time it will be a full weekend retreat but the are also bringing a special designer… Wilna Furstenberg!!! This is specially exciting as Wilna uses lots of mixed media and I would absolutely love to attend one of her classes, however, due to the fact that it is a full weekend retreat, the price for the event is quite high (over £350 – that includes accommodation, obviously, but a bit pricey!). I have enquired about coming for a one day only to attend the workshop with Wilna, and apparently several other people have asked the same, so they are going to look into it. Or I could start saving now!
And a last couple of photos: