Hobbycraft and Art Materials Live at the NEC Birmingham 2011

Bearded Dragon in Acrylic, by Abbie Wilett

After spending so much time sat at home lately barely going out I decided, given that I have been exploring my creativity again lately, to pop along to the Hobbycraft and Art Materials Live show at the NEC. Hoping for ideas, inspiration and made treat myself to a few bits and pieces while I was there…

I was meant to meet my mom there, she was going with her art group, but unfortunately she was taken ill that morning and unable to attend. I got her shopping list so I could pick up the things she wanted while I was there.

It was already busy by the time  arrived but continued to get busier as the day went on, your ticket also gave you entry to the Crafts for Christmas Show, but I wasn’t so interested in that. I had a little look round there and there was nothing that really caught my eye.

In the main exhibition hall there were hundreds of stalls selling a huge range of art and craft materials, with an abundance of card making, stamping and bead crafts – to be honest these crafts do little to interest or inspire me. I find that while there may be an element of skill to cutting out things to stick on card blanks and selecting stamps/bead etc to make nice looking things it is a kind of simplistic art/craft form but it doesn’t really demonstrate creative ability to such a high level  as those people who will draw, paint and design things from scratch with their own hands, but hey that’s just my opinion! Being a fan of art and craft that is more using your own skill rather than sticking preprinted things onto cards I avoided all these stalls – which was quite a lot of stall to just walk past! lol I was impressed to see the airfix stall 😀 I like model making, I didn’t buy a kit today though as I already have a few to do!!

A lot of stalls were giving demonstrations or chances to ‘have a go’, one of these was the British Origami stall, which I had made plans to visit after posting on Twitter that I was attending the event fellow Twitterer @Emmajg informed me she would be there. Her stall was very busy with people making origami penguins, although Emma felt the fact that they were one of the few stalls with seats helped draw people in, lol. I haven’t done any origami since I was a teenager, and I was very impressed with some of the items on display as shown in the following pictures. The cuckoo clock was made with a single piece of paper, and a miniature version of the same piece was also on display. I also took a picture of Emma hard at work, and she gave me the lovely origami rose (also pictured here).

Origami Cuckoo Clock


miniature version of the cuckoo clock

Emma 🙂

The Origami Rose Emma gave to me 😀

My goodies 😀

After having a good look round I decided to pick up the things I had come for before continuing to browse. I stopped and got a desktop easel and some fine acrylic painting brushes for my mom and a couple of art books and some sketching pencils for myself (I prefer to work with pencils myself). I then spotted a little kit for making a ‘felt monster’ that reminded me of the ‘Moshi Monsters‘ characters my step-daughter is really into, so I thought I would pick up on of those for us to do together one weekend (although she will probably complain that it isn’t an ‘actual’ Moshi Monster! :/ ) ahh well, Im sure we will still have fun doing it!

Now, I know its not ‘quite arts and crafts but I also picked put some great ‘nail art’ varnishes. I love painting my nails occasionally, when I feel lie being girlie and have been inspired by a few fellow bloggers talking of painting ‘cupcakes’ and other things on their nails, but you cannot achieve anything interesting with normal nail varnish, now I have this kit I can experiment and doodle some fun things on my nails! hehe

Nathan Wyburn with his Marmite on Toast artwork

I then saw the most interesting art display of the whole event – ‘Marmite on toast’ YES that’s right, Marmite art!  stopped for a quick chat with the artist Nathan Wyburn. I was fascinated to find out why he had decided to use Marmite as an art medium. He explained to me how it all started when he had read a new piece about Simon Cowell that described how people ‘love him or hate him’ and it reminded him of Marmite! So he decided to create portraits of famous people using Marmite (and other food stuffs) – now this is what you call creativity!! Nathan went on to explain how he does draw and paint with typical art materials too, but using Marmite is much cheaper (something I could agree with after just purchasing several items!)

I had a final wander round, but was satisfied I didn’t want to spend any more money and had seen all the things I wanted to see, so I decided to head home and maybe paint my nails with my new kit or just go and see my mom to drop off her goodies seeing as she had missed out…

Which arts and crafts do you enjoy? have you used an unusual art material?

Thank you for reading!  If you have enjoyed reading this post please share it with others who may be interested and I always enjoy receiving feedback and comments 🙂

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12 comments on “Hobbycraft and Art Materials Live at the NEC Birmingham 2011

  1. I like doing collages but all I’ve made in the hospital are where I wasn’t feeling good so they’re pretty negative collages.

    In the hospital, I’ve also made some beaded bracelets and a red spider made out of clay with (I forget what they’re called) piping sticks and I put on 2 boggly eyes to top it off. It’s quite cute really as I gave it a big smile! Trying to cure my sister’s arachnophobia and a little of mine too!

    I love using Spirograph to make art with. You can see an example a couple of posts back on my blog.

    I’ll have to try getting in to arts and crafts more!

    The Quiet Borderline

    • I do find art and craft work very therapeutic 🙂 I used to do cross stitch years ago, and painting by numbers and I’ve tried loads of other crafts from card making (boring) to pergamano, marquetry, beading, jewellery making, crochet, fimo (polymer clay) but I much prefer drawing than any other 🙂 xx

      • Wow, you’ve certainly tried a lot of arts and crafts.

        I’ve made some birthday cards before but only made one by hand. The rest I made on Photoshop – much more fun! But that’s me. I still prefer drawing also, just doodling in particular.

        What do you draw? Asides from your wonderful comic strip?!

        The Quiet Borderline

      • I draw anything really, but usually prefer to draw from a picture/photo as I don’t often ‘think’ of something to draw just ‘off my head’ so to speak. Recently I did a self-portrait and a close-up of an eye, people and landscapes seem to be my preference when drawing mostly 🙂

  2. I love painting and Hobbycraft but I know to stay well clear of there for the reason that it’s too expensive. I went there to get some beads and charms to make jewelery and it all came to £200!

    • Yeah, I know what you mean about it being expensive for a lot of stuff I’d generally prefer to order online mainly lol just thought it would make a nice to change to get out the house and maybe get some new inspiration 😉 It worked! I came home and ordered a few bits and pieces! lol

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