You may recall my experiences last year at the Creative Connection ( I blogged several days about it, I only show you one http://ohfercute.blogspot.com/2010/09/creative-diary-day-one.html ). This year the budget was smaller, so I was wondering how I would do it. Fortunately, I had heard they were looking for some volunteers, so I ended up working an afternoon shift in exchange for taking a class and having lunch. Perfect!
This year's event was held in downtown St. Paul, so it was a short trip. Tracy and I arrived bright and early to receive our instructions from Nancy Soriano, in her suite (first brush with fame....). Then it was off to attend my class!
One creative personality that I have admired and followed for years is Kaari Meng. I have many of her books, this jewelry book is THE ONE I go to when I need fresh inspiration. Last year I got to meet her, and she autographed it for me!
I also have this book:
which is full of wonderful old notions and trims. In the other part of our class, we made beautiful glittered egg boxes with things found in this book, Wendy Addison from Tinsel Trading showed us how, and there was an entire booth full of these goodies in the Handmade Market. swoon....
Kaari also authored this book,
which sits on my shelf. I pull it out when I need sewing inspiration, or to dream of France.
And finally, this book of hers arrived in my mail this year, oh, it's scrumptious!
Clearly, I am a little obsessed.
In our class, we made a GORGEOUS charm bracelet and earrings, and had the chance to purchase more of her goodies. I was in heaven.
You too can be in French General heaven, here is a link to her shop in California. https://www.frenchgeneral.com/ I have ordered many kits from her, they are simply scrumptious.
But my newest dream? Joining her next summer on her yearly two week trip to France, her "Chateau Getaway". She takes a small group of people with her each year. Oh my....
After class, it was off to lunch, the food was underwhelming but the speakers were interesting. We learned that people had traveled from every state and seven countries to attend the event this year! I sat at my table, looking around the room, glimpsing all of these amazing women who are legends in their field: Stacy Julian, Becky Higgins, Susan Branch, and of course Kaari Meng.
For my volunteer stint, I was in charge of taking tickets at the door of the Handmade Market. It was to open at 1:30, there were literally HUNDREDS of woman standing outside the door, waiting to get in, and little old me, the one who was to let them in. EEK! But I did get to let Susan Branch and her husband in early (a true joy for me, but we didn't exactly get to chat...). Once the first throng was through, it was a very manageable afternoon. I met so many people! I saw co-workers from my days at Target, Cathy Zielske and her adorable daughter, and Mary Jane Butters! fun fun fun.
After our big day, Tracy and I headed out for a relaxing glass of wine and delicious dinner at the Downtowner Woodfire Grill. http://www.downtownerwoodfire.com/ The perfect ending to a very good day.