|Today's blog posts are brought to you from here :-)|
Anyway, to business. Blog prompts 23 and 24 were "write about your favourite craft shop" and "do you prefer online or bricks-and-mortar shopping?".
Picking my favourite bricks-and-mortar craft shop is easy. Demoing in shops from Surrey to the West Midlands and from Berkshire to the East Coast, I've been to a lot of craft shops! I also see them from a different perspective, as I'm neither staff nor customer (OK, I confess I am often a customer too!). The store that has always stood out for me though is In2Crafting in Wickford. They're everything a family run craft shop should be - friendly, well-stocked, helpful, and all really keen crafters. And they make a really good cup of tea :-) I've really missed my demos there while I've been off with Bob, there's a lovely group of regulars and the atmosphere's always relaxed and fun. My favourite online shop is one that specialises in die cutting - Country View Crafts. It's run by two of my bestest friends, so I know I'm biased, but I also get to see how hard they work. What they don't know about die cutting really isn't worth knowing, and they're always happy to share that knowledge too.
As for the second question (online or bricks-and-mortar), I enjoy both. When I know what I'm buying, online is so easy, and of course you can keep an eye on what you're spending before you get to the checkout. What online shopping can't do though, is give you a sense of the quality of an unfamiliar brand, you can't be sure about the colours, and of course there's no 'Aladdin's Cave' feeling of being surrounded by crafty loveliness, or the happy feeling of finding something you didn't know you
needed. Online shops also don't generally offer demos, and my own crafting didn't really take off until I went to my first docrafts demo, and that experience was what drove me to be a demonstrator myself.