For me, it started in 2006. I was asked to teach at the very first Creative Escape and it was an amazing experience for me...far beyond my expectations. I met so many of you who have become my friends...I've taught at your stores, stayed in your homes, and have shared stories and inspiration. It only made sense that I would stay connected and attend CE in years two and three...and the extra little bonus was that I would teach at the Friday Night Extravaganza...FUN! This year, when Marti Jones, The Grand Dame of Scrapbooks, Etc. who is also known as "Mrs. Bazzill", asked me if I would be interested in teaching, it was totally a no brainer.
I have to say that it was an amazing event...and again, it far exceeded my expectations. It's hard to describe the emotions that I experienced just being there...seeing familiar faces and meeting so many new ones...but I'll give it a try.
My weekend started with the trunk show on Thursday afternoon. It was great having Vern come with me, help me unload boxes and help me set up. He also had a chance to meet some of the other instructors and take a picture of the table when it was set up.
The trunk show is a great way to meet the attendees and to give them an opportunity to see our style of creating...those of you who are kit buyers and class goers will recognize many of the projects I had on display. To see pictures of each instructor's table, head over to Tim Holtz's site, since he managed to get pix of all of the tables.
On Friday morning, classes began bright and early at 8:00 a.m. I just wanted to shout out a huge thanks to my two volunteers...they were amazing and so instrumental in having smooth running, fairly stress free classes. Here they are with me at the end of the last session (you'd think that we'd all know better than to take a pic when we're exhausted...I know that I look WASTED!). These two fabulous TA's are Susan Mast to the left of me on the photo and Sharon Margiotta on my right. Thanks again, Susan and Sharon...love you both!
As always, we were asked to stay mum about our projects...you don't know how many times I just wanted to share with you what we were making...but, following the letter of the law (and facing the wrath of Carol and Lisa at Bazzill) I refrained :). But, now I can show you what we made in class!
The project is a pyramid display case with 3 solid sides and a clear acrylic "window" in the front...all made from scratch...all inspired by Forte tea bags which Ashley had given Vern and me for Christmas last year. We also created a simple pamphlet stitch book which fit inside. As I was creating my sample, my mind was spinning with ideas for other display cases...I was able to make another one to showcase a 3-D item...here it is.
This display case, covered with jenni bowlin papers, features a display made with a vintage zinc Ball jar lid, a vintage spool of thread, a vintage silk flower, a nest and eggs from Michaels and a glittered bird from Heidi Wallingford at Birds of a Feather. As I began sharing a few ideas that I had for the display box, I could see the light bulbs starting to go off throughout the classroom...and in each class, some amazingly creative ideas were shared for how boxes were going to be used. I know that I went out on a limb a bit with this project...it's definitely different...and I know that some didn't get it. But, I also know that so many that attended totally got it...and told me that the ideas were buzzing around their brains so much that they couldn't sleep. I'm with ya, girlfriends...I totally get that! I had some real sleep challenges Friday and Saturday night because my brain just wouldn't shut off...but it was totally worth it.
In my previous blog post, I introduced the lamp that was one of many to be raffled off at the event. It's exciting to know that those lamps brought in over $8,000 for the Leukemia-Lymphoma Society...isn't that awesome?
Two of the lamps, Heidi's and Tim's, were auctioned off during the Saturday night dinner...it was wild, it was emotional, it was incredible. These two lamps brought in OVER $37,000 for the society...yes, that's not a typo...between these lamps and the raffled lamps, over $45,000 was donated. Isn't that kind of generosity totally amazing?
There's so much to say about this event...there's so much more than just product and classes...the emotion, the relationships formed and continued, the inspiration that is shared, the generosity of giving...all of it contributed to a great time that I couldn't stop talking about when I got home. (Just ask Vern and Ashley...they will tell you that's totally true...I spent quite a bit of time on Sunday sharing the stories :).)
To the remarkable, tireless and organized folks at Bazzill, to Doug Jones and to Heidi, I just wanted to say thanks for asking me to teach...and thanks for organizing such a great event. To the other instructors- Debbie Crouse and Paula Cheney, Debby Schuh, Marah Johnson, Lynette Carroll, Tim Holtz, Heidi Swapp and Heather Bailey, I wanted to say it was fabulous spending time with you and teaching together...you are all amazing. And finally, I wanted to say thanks to those of you who attended...who inspired me with your creativity and generosity, who laughed and cried, who took time out of your busy schedules because you love to learn...you are the reason it's so much fun to teach...thank you!
I'll have other pix later this week...lots of catch up going on here at home...a new project to post...Heirloom kits to get out...it's all GREAT!