All Counties Craft Challenge Diary – Scotland, A Long Drive, A Midnight Rendevous and First In The Queue At The NEC

Ready for a catch up? Good, me too!

Over the last week or so I have been all over the country and at all hours of the day!

All Counties Challenge Header

Last time we spoke I was on the move again. Well, obviously Maisy and I made it there however I think that Maisy is not looking forward to upcoming MOT as she is starting to throw out a few grumbles.

This one in particular did pop a few butterflies in my stomach.


I’m not so great at this ‘car’ stuff so I had to dig out the instruction book and look up what ‘angry looking error light combo’ meant. I eventually found it and it was the fuel injection system failure.

This, my dear chums, did not sound good.

Thankfully the book had a few words of encouragement and said that we can still drive, but that we may be a tad less enthusiastic about it.

Panic subsiding, but not completely gone, I shoved the book back in the cupboard, erm I mean glove compartment – see, not a clue about cars, and decided to catch up on some chores so went and sat watching the laundry go round for a bit.



Whilst in there, I did wonder what the door had done to deserve that sign … poor thing.

Defo not the most exciting times but certainly staying on top of things like this whilst living on the road is certainly part of the challenge.

Anyway, workshop time came around as quickly as it usually does and the first one of the weekend was being held at a small church in Glenrothes in the Kingdom Of Fife.

It was organised by lovely Alison who regularly hosts a small craft group. Alison had asked for a workshop on the Scan N Cut. Her wish, and the wish of seven other lovely ladies, was my command so the tables were set and we got down to exploring the Scan N Cut machines working our way through various simple tasks and then onto more complex combinations of techniques.

Here are the ladies working through some of the processes with their concentration faces on …

Hehe, well, at least that’s what I think the faces where saying …

Anyway, probably one of the fastest flowing workshops that I’ve done on this challenge and a reminder as to why I can never explain everything that the Scan N Cut can do in a one hour show. Thankfully all of the ladies were pleased with how the day had gone and were happy that they had learnt something new and gained more confidence.

No time to stick around though, it’s time to pack up and head back up to Inverness for another workshop the next day.

Oh, quick photo time!


Bye for now ladies!

Maisy and I were straight back on the road and headed back up the country to Inverness. We made it in just under three hours. No issues, despite the warning light issue of the other day – phew!

As a treat for getting us there, I gave Maisy a hot soapy shower.


There was another reason for this however more on that layer in this post.

Time for a bit of grub before bed. Probably not the ‘lightest’ of options, but rather lovely nonetheless, was this burger and chips!



I don’t know what it is however just lately whenever I put my head down it seems to be time to get straight back up again. Must be my age I guess.

Something else that confused me the next morning was the clocks going back. Was I late or early or on time?!

Eventually figured that my phone was correct so was on time.

The short drive into Culloden went without hitch and we soon met Mary, who had invited us along to her group.

It was very good to meet the ladies, of which there were ten. A tad daunting to be held in a school though – haven’t been in a classroom in years and it kinda reminded me why I didn’t always enjoy it.

Anyway, enough ‘thinking’, time for some ‘doing’.

Gelli plates were the order of the day for this workshop so we spent the morning looking through various techniques and then in the afternoon the ladies were left to have a play and a chat, with me generally hovering about.

Enjoyed this workshop thoroughly and we had some very varied and interesting conversation topics – I think that I’ll leave the empty box story in the workshop though.

Here are some photos of the session in progress.

Silly me though – I forgot to get a group photo! Sorry ladies – hopefully you all made it into the photos above though :)

Right, lobbing stuff on seats and jumping into Maisy I set the Sat Nav for the 500+ mile trip down to Birmingham, via Stamford to pick some stuff up.

This might not sound like far to my overseas readers however this is around a third of the country and takes around 10 hours non-stop.

I wasn’t going to be doing it non stop though. I decided that I would set a limit for drive time to make it a safe journey so, when we passed Carlisle at just gone 9pm it was time to park up and take an overnight break.

Bright and fresh in the morning … no, wait, that’s not true. After shuffling into the services, getting coffee and shuffling back to Maisy like a caffeine addicted zombie, we finally set off again reaching Stamford at just after midday.

Stuff collected and it was on to Birmingham.

Now, most of you know that the reason Maisy and I were heading to Birmingham is to attend the Hobbycraft show coming up this weekend. What you probably weren’t aware of is that because Maisy is to appear inside the exhibition hall, she had to be in there before the carpets are laid and the stalls set.

What did this mean?

It meant that Maisy and I were sat outside the exhibition hall at just gone midnight on Monday night.


After which, we were shortly in the best parking spot ever!



Ok. So, why be in so early?

It takes a heck of a lot to build and set the halls for the biggest craft retail show of the year.

Just take a look at how much space has got to be set up …


Sadly I couldn’t stay in Maisy while she is parked in the NEC so I have had to come and stay in a hotel.

What a crying shame. *winks sarcastically*


OK, I musn’t get used to these luxuries but it’s going to be glorious while it lasts.

Right, much to crack on with for the next day or so but of course I must say that if you are coming to the NEC at the weekend, please do pop by and say hello. I’ll be taking donations for colouring books (of which we will have loads) or even just to say hi to Maisy.

Look for the Create and Craft TV stand and we will be there.

Just before I go, please don’t forget that I am doing this tour in order to raise awareness of mental health issues and to raise money for Mind, the mental health charity.

If you would like to contribute and help me reach that £20k target you can do so in three ways.

  1. Make donation on my Just Giving page.
  2. Make a donation via the Create & Craft TV website, for an additional P&P charge of £2.99 you will also be sent an official challenge postcard colouring book.
  3. Attend a workshop. To find out if there is one coming up near you, please visit the itinerary page on this blog.

Right, many thanks for reading and I will see you again next week.

J :)

8 thoughts on “All Counties Craft Challenge Diary – Scotland, A Long Drive, A Midnight Rendevous and First In The Queue At The NEC

  1. Hiya John

    I think you earned it and deserve a bit of luxury… And so does Maisy, who I’m sure will enjoy the nice, warm NEC.

    On that topic I hope everyone going to Birmingham has a great time. John I hope this collection is as successful as the last

    Take care, enjoy the rest in a warm bed and the flushing loo ;-)

    T x

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Well done John. Enjoy the luxury for this weekend! I hope to come & see you on Saturday. Hope you get Maisie fixed soon. After that long drive she’ll appreciate the rest!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hiya my heart went out to you when I read the bit about having to stay in a hotel….it must have been really hard for you but again you rose to the challenge….what a trooper!
    Have a great time at the show, 1200 miles is a tad too far for me to travel, so I will just have to wait until your next post to savour all the delights of the craft show. Enjoy. Karen X

    Liked by 1 person

Share Your Thoughts On This Post

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.