Well, this week has kind of gone in a blur. And not a good blur, but a gross flu-induced blur. Let's just say it's been a rough week, health-wise. Nothing kills my creative urges like a fever that is 100+ degrees. Well, that and having a messy scrap desk.
But I'm feeling better now (thank goodness for the healing power of gingerbread lattes), and tomorrow I head out for an all day blitz of scrapbooking-related fun.
What I mean by this is that tomorrow is the first full day of the Creating Keepsakes Convention here in Seattle. This will be my third year attending. I love that I can go shopping, meet with friends and take classes in an environment totally dedicated to my favorite hobby.
The first year I went I was all about doing everything. I wanted to be overwhelmed, consumed by the experience. I took three classes, shopped for two days and went to several events with friends. I had a total blast, and learned a lot as well.
The second year I was a bit more reserved. I didn't take any classes and only went shopping on one day. I still went to a fantastic crop at the LSS with friends. Good times.
This year I'm taking one class by Technique Tuesday (it's got Ali Edwards stamps, how could I not?) and planning to meander around the vendor fair for a bit. The plan this year is to take it easy.
I'm looking forward to this weekend a little bit like a kid looks forward to Christmas Eve... except I get to be my own Santa. I'm really looking forward to the Tattered Angels and Basic Grey booths. I promise to come back and blog with a full recap. ;)
Anyway, I thought I would blog about what I take to these kinds of things. I'm pretty proud of myself for streamlining my process and supplies to work for me.
My first year I took waaaaay too much stuff. I nearly killed myself dragging it around all day. The second year I didn't pack a big enough bag to carry my purchases (it didn't fit my 12x12 paper) so I had to rely on a cheap plastic bag from a vendor that ended up breaking (and wasn't rain proof). Between those experiences and the crops I've attended over the years, I think I've got a good formula now for these kinds of events.
Essential #1: Crop Bag
I picked up this little messenger style scrap tote from JoAnns on clearance a while back.
I like it because it is lightweight, has good partitioning and is the perfect size for my basic crop kit, one or two projects and it still leaves room for a few purchases. It also is small enough that if I have to squish it under the table for a class, I will still have a little leg room. :)
Right now I have my essentials tucked into the top clear pocket: my corner chomper, my favorite TimHoltz scissors, a glue stick, Distress inks in Walnut Stain and Black Soot, my black archival ink, a pen, my .5 inch hole punch, a steel ruler and one border punch (Fiskars Apron lace--yes, I'm obsessed).
The class I am attending is by Technique Tuesday, so I don't need to worry about bringing any other stamps or a clear acrylic block.
In the first body pocket (the big one) I have my portable Fiskars 12 inch paper trimmer (with a fresh blade) and a ziplock bag with a few photos and paper scraps to play with.
And that's it. It's really all I need for this kind of event. I don't think it's realistic to expect to get a ton of actual crafting done during these kinds of events...because for me, it's more about the experience... the social interaction and the educational aspect. And of course, the shopping.
Now, I did also pack some empty 12x12 plastic envelopes and a big ziplock bag just in case I need to contain anything (and guard from potential rain damage).
You should always leave room in your crop bag, just in case.
Essential #2: "Purse"
Now it may surprise you to know that my primary workweek bag is not in fact a purse, it is a small backpack that I picked up from REI a few years back (practical considering my commute on public transportation). This thing is a workhorse (it was my main bag on the Europe trip) and I really love it. It has all kinds of well-placed pockets and it can convert into a sling bag and holds an amazing amount of stuff.
Anyway.. In this bag goes my notebook with extra pens, my Ipod (freshly charged and updated with my playlists), coupons and class confirmation print outs, the lastest CK magazine, my checkbook, The Rebel and a sack lunch (made the night before). I tuck a small umbrella in the waterbottle pocket and I'm good to go.
One other thing that I like to mention is that I have written in the notebook a list of all the colors of distress ink and glimmer mist, etc. that I currently have. This ensures that I don't buy duplicates at the convention (unless it's a really good deal, of course). There was a moment in that first year where I was just could not remember what colors I had (because there are a ton in the line) and in that wondering if I really already owned Peeled Paint already... so after that I wrote down the ones I had so that I would be prepared for next time.
I also have a list of things that I am really looking to buy, and I try to stick to the list (and my budget).
Essential #3: Lightweight jacket with pockets
This time of year a coat is essential to wear, but it gets pretty hot at these events and I hate checking my coat. So I take a lovely trench coat that is lightweight enough to either wear indoors or if necessary, stuff into either of my bags. In the pockets will go cell phone, wallet, chapstick and keys.
Add a comfy (yet stylish) outfit including very practical shoes and I am good to go.
Well, it looks like my camera batteries are all charged so all that is left to do is get some good sleep.
If you are local or in town, maybe we could meet up for a coffee? Email me. :)
Have a great night and sweet dreams of craftiness!