Thursday, October 27, 2011

I'm not sure where to start

in sharing with you about all the good things at I've enjoyed 'knowing' Margie since I first met her at CKU - Atlanta in '06 and have followed her blog ever since - enjoying her creativity from 'afar' - and also seeing her at
Inspired & CKU-Nashville & CKU-Provo thorough the years,
but the truth is - I haven't been to a BIG event since '09
and I really was looking for one that had
teachers I admired and respected in the crafting industry.
And I found that at Much thanks goes to Nancy who kept all of us Sparklers on track in the months and weeks leading up to the event through the [sparksisters] blog and facebook group.The pre-event dinner and swap was a blast and I so appreciate all the work she put into everything to help us feel well-prepared for the MAIN event!And since I went 'solo' it was so nice to have a chance to meet some other sparklers before we walked into the crazy creative connection the next day!It was so fun hanging out with Erin and Barbara!
From the moment I drove up I could tell THIS was different from any event I had been to - everywhere you looked there was creative goodness sparking our imaginations!HUGE THANKS goes to all of the teachers
and behind the scenes planners [Meghan and Amy you know who you are!]It was all so lovely and almost too much to soak in!The day started with a short welcome from Margie and
a little pep talk [and beautiful songs] from Mindy Gledhill.I loved having my apron signed by teachers and classmates throughout the weekend. SO FUN. And easy - I ironed the logo on a baker's apron [$5 at a restaurant supply store] and the ruffles came from a thrift store. A great memory all in one spot!
And then we headed to our classes - and I'll be honest, I chose Spark over another event this weekend [CKU-Reunion] because of the teachers, pure and simple. Some I've learned from before and some I met for the very first time and I was not disappointed!
We made this darling nest necklace with Cathe Holden [I put mine on my name tag - isn't all just cute as can be?!?]- the first time I've EVER made a piece of jewelry and while I may not have understood the terms she used the sparklers at my table helped me out and I *love* how my little nest turned out!And then we headed into another class with April Meeker to do stamp carving - I'll admit that somehow this class was never on my radar screen - I was unprepared and had no idea what we were doing. I walked out thinking - never again - but then as I pondered it I thought of all those potato Christmas tree stamps I've made through the years and I just may give this more intricate technique a try in a few weeks.
From there went to Jen Jensen's class on Junk Journals - this was sooooooooo fun! I loved learning how she took an old book and transformed it into a special scrapbook. It's multi-layered and we didn't finish it in class - but I'm looking forward to completing it with heritage photos of my mom and her nine sisters. [I actually found a japanese book on flower arranging at DI thrift store the day before and used it. - but I have another old book that I'm using for my Spark scrapbook as well!]
[[photo coming!]]
I finished that day by learning how to do reverse applique with Amy Tan[gerine]!! This was so easy! I love my bag and will add to the quote in either embroidery or just plain ole pen. Either way - I know it will be fun to use and I can say that I have a partial Amy Tan original because she sewed one of my letters and helped to cut them out. So fun.
Throughout the day we had the opportunity to shop at the Artist Market - a couple of rooms FILLED with hand-made creativity. I wanted it all! But airplane travel can put a little squash on that... I did buy a beautiful bead & wire tree necklace, a blue hair pin, and a donna downey apron. Love it all.
That evening our hours were filled with make'ntakes and I so enjoyed having the opportunity to see new products and give them a try before buying them. Flowers, flags, and butterflies seemed to be the order of the evening and it was fun to see different takes on each of them.We also embossed with the Letterpress and made earrings too.
The next day I was giddy with excitement because of the classes and teachers!
Donna Downey is soooo inspiring and I was thrilled to be in class with her showing us how to use pan pastels - love the way my project turned out and I'm sure I'll have some pan pastels on my wish list soon! I've had classes with Donna in the past - at a crop in D.C. and a couple of shops over in Georgia. She's as fun as she is creative. Loved it.
And this view from some of our classrooms - wow!Next we went into Christy's classroom - and y'all already know that I love these girls!
Christy Tomlinson's a great teacher on-line and even better IRL - loved having the opportunity meet her and play with some of her artsy stuff. - And I loved using that ranger Heat It too! That and some of those faber casteel markers will be added to the ever-growing wish list! lol.I have to say that it worked out so that I saved the best for last -
soap felting with Emily Falconbridge!I've followed Em's blog for years now - through two pregnancies and a move to Australia and back for sure... I promised her I wasn't a stalker - but I was over-the-top thrilled to meet her in person and soak up her crafty goodness! I loved this class!! It's unbelievably easy and everyone's little soaps turned out so great!
[Mine had a pink heart on it until my little Emma Lou - chihuahua ate it - lol]
If you ever have a chance to take a class from her - do it. She is so calm and easy-going and just
an all 'round great teacher!So let me take a breath and share a little about the food. Gladys [aka Amy] did a TERRIFIC job coordinating our meals and snacks and extra goodies - giant cinnamon rolls, chicken salad crossaints, grilled chicken and roasted veggies, and cake balls, and truffles [I just ate the last of mine as I typed this -lol], and cookies, and candies, and cupcakes - Oh my!
Everything was delicious!
We ended the event with music from Sara Sample - and I can say she is just the sweetest girl [she was our table-mate] and does a great job entertaining! Afterwards may of the sparklers went up to the soiree at Dear Lizzy until midnight- I passed on that one since I had a 4 a.m. wake-up call.
I could go on and on --- and will shop up my photos and get them on facebook eventually --
But I'll end with encouraging you to start saving your pennies now so that you can
attend SPARK 4
- many girls shared rooms and ended up paying only $20 /night -
[I stayed at a different hotel and used points.]
Or plan on attending any crafty event of your choice - going outside your comfort zone into areas you're not familiar with really does give your creativity a SPARK that will carry over into the crafts that you love.
I hope to see you there next year!


Scrapin Kat said...

I am SO Jealous! I have heard so MANY great comments on this event! maybe next time ... I am ready to get crafty again!

Erin Bassett said...

It was so good to see you in real life at Spark!! Love seeing all your projects!

Shannon b said...

wonderful post! I love that you chose Spark over another event . . . I really think that it tops everything else out there. Your SheArt turned out so fun! Love the red hair. :) I'm glad I got to visit with you a bit and share a little Spark!

Gloria L. said...

You really DID enjoy yourself! Utah is too far away for me, but who knows, maybe someday! Thanks for all the pics, especially of the projects!

Marci said...

i loved your cute apron! that she art on the side of your blog is just too sweet. i have a little brown girl who has hair just like that!!

Linh C. said...

I'd love to attend a SPARK event one day. Trying to save my pennies! Thanks for the recap.

Erin said...

Great post... so glad I finally got to sit down and check out the blog. It's great! I was also thrilled to steal that photo of us at the event. Love hearing about the event in your words. Still prepping to get my own words out and onto my blog.... soon... soon. :)