Ally Pally behind the scenes…

Ally Pally behind the scenes…

Hi there!
Thanks for popping in.
Happy to report we made it back home in record time this evening,
after our set up day at Alexandra Palace.
Mind you, we have never got there so early either!
Friday’s blog a private peek?
Up at 5am
Saw Dave off. He flew off to a wedding in Edinburgh.
Traffic was harmless on the way there;
here we have the two Stephens:
brother Steve who was our van driver for the day,
and Steve from work, 
who picks all your orders – each and every one!
Then of course, we had
This is what we deal with when we get there:
A blank space, with a chair and a sign, 
so that we don’t forget who we are.

Fortunately, we back onto some lads 
who had already set up their backwall,
so if ours fell over it just crashed into theirs.

Underneath the Rose Window – that’s where we are!
Plan A
Unload van completely.

Here we see Susan in the back of the van,
propping up the loaded Stamp and Stencil walls.

Nobody told her it was a glamourous weekend 
with Clarity at Ally Pally!

 Plan B.
Let’s sort the back wall out first.
Then the rest will just fall into place….
 Trying to work out the rack sequence and make sure it doesn’t all fall over, was no mean task, I can tell you!!
Half an hour in, and brother Steve is beginning to wish he hadn’t been so quick to volunteer…

It will fit, I shout! Trust me! I measured it!
I had to shout because at this point Freddy Mercury was being blasted through the Tannoy System so loudly, 
you couldn’t hear yourself think!!
We are the Champions at 200 decibels, 
and I still wasn’t convinced…

Jayne got into it though
Notice how the rest of the team are oblivious …

or are they?

Slowly slowly, catchee monkee…

Tea and refreshments required.
Very civilised.

I climbed up on the table to click this one. 
We literally are under the window at the front!
Check out the organ at the back!!

But look!
We have never had so much room.
Disabled access, just like at the NEC.
That was our plan and we made it in record time.

Just look at the open area!
Now that’s what I call customer friendly space!

All done and dusted by just after 3.
Stock’s back in the van and we’re back on the road by 3.30
Record Breaker.
The scene is set,
the shop is ready,
and we look forward to making you welcome 
at the weekend if you are coming!

Sunny day too…
all good.

Lots of love,

54 thoughts on “Ally Pally behind the scenes…

  1. It all looks wonderful, Barb…..wish I could be there, but it's a long way from Norn Iron!! When are you coming to Belfast???? We would love to see you here. Have a great weekend! Jo x

  2. Well done crew it looks fab and very people of any ability friendly! Can't be there but I just know with you at the helm, with preparation and planning it will go very well. Despite being hard work have fun, that's the main thing. Lots of love. X

  3. Looks fab & your spot under the Rose window is fabulous. Love the room you have available, much, much better & very considerate too. Can't wait to see it in person tomorrow

  4. Looks fab & your spot under the Rose window is fabulous. Love the room you have available, much, much better & very considerate too. Can't wait to see it in person tomorrow

  5. Looks fabulous. I have had a wee day off work, so spent it crafting. It was so much fun just to craft and not look at the clock!
    Hope that lots of people enjoy your Clarity stand.

  6. Simply cannot wait for Sunday. The stand looks stunning and so do you! smiling as ever! I have to work tomorrow and just about had it! I have been abused, shouted, sworn at and threatened today. etc etc and tears are falling. They will be tears of joy on Sunday. Hooray for Barbara and Clarity.
    Best wishes
    Anne (Reading)

  7. Hi Barbara, thanks for the fun sneaky peak, you always make me laugh :-). Never having been to any show ever I had no idea you literally start from nothing but a measured out space in a bare hall! I had assumed your allocated stall area would be already there for you to fill how you want!!! That must take some planning, just as well you are a very much preparation person, some folk must have a nightmare of a time getting there and realising what they've brought doesn't fit their space. I hope the wedding was today because it's set to get more like winter again here overnight.

    Hope it goes really well for you this weekend
    Love Brenda xx

    1. Hi Brenda, having lots of fun here. Went kayaking and saw lots of huge alligators slipping into the water in front! I discovered I can't paddle in a straight line and have been give the nickname 'Ziggy' ! Very warm here high 80s. Have even managed to find a craft store much to my sisters horror! Xx

    2. Sounds like you're having a great time :-). Good incentive to not capsize!!! I tried canoeing a couple of times, I had a natural talent for it, well if doing pirouettes and going backwards was the aim!!!!! At least you're managing to go forwards, you're just taking a creative route to get there!!!!! I think we've all got built in radar for anything craft!!! Hope you've got a plan for talking your sister into letting you fill her case with crafty purchases for coming home!!!! xx

    3. That's what I said, just taking the more scenic route. I also said I thought my kayak could read my mind as it kept heading for shore! That said, it was great fun and I would do it again havrent laughed so much in ages. Hhhhhmmmmm now how am I going to convince my sister to drive me back to the store and get more crafting stash? I will have to ponder that one. Xx

  8. Well done to you all. I thoroughly enjoyed this post. Wish I lived closer so I could come and see you all. However, I wish you luck and hope it's a massive success for you all. Have fun. I am totally jealous but I shall be crafting along at home. Keep safe. Kind regards Joanne K x

  9. Hi Barbara
    Brilliant work by all. The stand looks wonderful. It looks like you had more space than at the NEC. I am sure you will do really well. My lovely box with the order form for my new bespoke stamp came today so all I need to do is choose which beautiful design I want and pop it in the post.
    Enjoy your weekend. I know it is work but you are doing something you love and all the visitors to your stand will be delighted to see you doing what you do best- creating beautiful art and inspiring us.
    Hugs from Chris x

  10. wonderful good luck for the show would love to meet you in person but cannot make the shows ,
    I recived my clarity club stencil and stamp set today it's brilliant thank you xxx

  11. Hi Barbara My you have all worked hard today and the space looks amazing. Steve is looking very well, I'm sure he doesn't mind helping out really. You do all look as though you enjoyed yourselves and not too stressed out. Have fun tomorrow, I hope you have masses of customers , not too many helping themselves! And a good laugh ( oh yes and pizza, that's convenient for your stall!). Ally pally is such a beautiful building, the rose window and organ are just amazing aren't they. I'm sorry I'm not able to join you but I hoe you will have fun. Hope Dave enjoys the wedding too.
    Love Diane xxx

  12. Wow we don't realise the works that goes into setting it all up looks fab what lovely space would love to come but cannot make it this weekend another time thanks for picks have a fantastic weekend lots love hugs joy xxx

  13. Hi Barb,
    Fantastic behind the scenes photos. We don't realise what goes on prior to the events. I bet you are all shattered. Hope everything goes well for you. Love Alison xx

  14. looks fabulous after all that work – did you let Susan loose with her trusty drill? have a fab weekend – me I am up on the banks of Loch Lomand and just found out tonight about a craft shop near Glasgow Airport – guess where I am off too ?

    I hope you have a terrifically busy weekend. My friend Moira Lord is coming down to see you on Sunday – she is being very brave and coming on the train and underground from her son's ….so proud of her

  15. It is so interesting to see how the set up progresses and voila – magic! It looks great! You all make a great team. I hope all goes well for the show. I wish I could be there but alas no, and I'm sure you will be very busy and in much demand. x

  16. Wish I was joining you but we came to NEC so can't be greedy. I am going along to Sazz instead tomorrow for the first time. Craft essentials packed and I am ready. Lots of space on that stand looking real good. Hope all goes well. xx

  17. Oh now that looks all very tempting and I wish I could be there to join in the fun! I'm off for a crafty day on Sunday with Sharon but will think about you all working hard!
    Love and hugs xxxx

  18. All looks like so much work, but worth it for all your visitors. have a great time doing our demos, hope it is cooler than last year or you will have to employ someone just to fan you! Xx

  19. The stand looks great and so much, something I really appreciate since I've been using a wheelchair. It's so frustrating when you can't get to see anything or struggle to manoeuvre around items placed on the floor. I just stopped going shopping or to events. Well done for considering this and changing your stand layout. Say hi to Maria and Susan for me. Wishing you all a rewarding day tomorrow. Love Jeanette xxx

  20. Your stand looks superb Barbara, and organised in record time too. If I were coming I would really appreciate the space you have, because I need a mobility scooter to get around these places and so many are just inaccessible. So thank you on behalf of all the disabled who might be visiting.

  21. What a great space this time – and gutted we won't be there to see it this year :(. Sure it will be a fantastic show for you again. Most important thing is that you have fun 🙂 xx

  22. It looks fab – I hope the show is busier for you than NEC, and that it doesn't get too hot with all the sunshine flooding through those windows! By the way, I just LOVE the stamp and stencil with this month's gold membership of your new designs club – can't wait to have a play!!! Susan x

  23. The stand looks great and I hope it goes down a storm (not literally – it will be standing to the very end I'm sure!).
    I'm saving myself for Crowborough this year so won't be visiting Ally Pally.
    I loved Crowborough last year spending time mooching around there watching all the demo's. This year, Peter's only coming in for an hour or so to carry my basket, then he's going to toodle off to the local golf club to hit a few little white balls until I've had my fill of craft-time.
    Hope all went well today and that tomorrow is nice and sunny so that you have the pretty window lit up above you.
    See you in June. Take care, Carole xxx

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