In a series of random events, I planned to trek to Minneapolis last Wednesday for The Creative Connection Event, a conference for women with crafty tendencies (this is paraphrased by moi).
It began when I won a day-pass in March. It sounded pretty awesome but I wasn’t so thrilled about going solo, so I emailed my friend Jenny at Anything Pretty to beg ask her to join me. (This was totally my husband’s idea, who said, “Why don’t you email one of your blog friends?” I think he was actually just afraid he would get roped into going.)
Now, it’s relatively strange to just email a person you only know through your blog. I mean, we had never met in person. Either of us could have been a 40-year-old man, for all we knew. (I’m fairly certain this was what my coworkers were thinking.)
We had never spoken on the phone (at this point). And, she actually said yes. So, we made plans, and before we knew it, it was time to go. We met halfway and drove up to Minneapolis together. Then, we spent the next 3 days together, shared a hotel room and had the most wonderful time. (That whole scenario could have gone horribly wrong, so it’s lucky for both of us.)
It was a whirlwind of activity for three days. And I cannot even count the times that Jenny and I looked at each other and laughed, as if to say, “Can you believe that just happened?”
There were so many wonderful aspects of The Creative Connection, but here’s the recap of my top six experiences. (I’m only covering the actual event here.)
The meals were top-notch. Not only was the food itself delicious, but the decor was lovely. Every lunch or dinner was different, with new table decorations, vignettes and meals.
The first lunch was with the Pioneer Woman and she chose the dish. It was a delicious chicken pasta with nuts and herbs, served cold. I’ve been looking for the recipe on her site, so if you know the name, let me know. Dessert was a (divine) red velvet cake.
Dinner with Amy Butler and Mary Jane Butters was also delicious and the tables were covered in Amy Butler’s fabric, which looked lovely. Our final lunch was a simple sandwich picnic lunch, with mason jar pitchers and burlap runners. Everything was just so – food, decor and service.
At the keynote luncheon with The Pioneer Woman, we were able to snag a really great seat at the front table. I was approximately 10 feet from the lady herself, and found her to be so sweet in person, both when we heard her speak and field questions and when we took photos with her and got books signed. I liked her before (my chicken fiasco aside), but now I’m really loving her.
And as an aside, I want her boots.
This is very materialistic, so I debated not even talking about it. But, goodness gracious, the swag. Every time we turned around, we were receiving something lovely. At lunch, a cute notepad. At dinner, we received this oh-so-cute bag jam-packed with swag – paints, scrapbook papers, a Lisa Leonard necklace, water bottle, magazines, handmade soap, food, candy…. we were amazed. The next day, we brought home a cute tea towel apron.
We adored Camille Roskelley. She taught a quilting class one afternoon and it was one of the highlights of my trip. She was lovely, her fabrics were lovely and we got some great quilting practice. She’s obviously so talented and beautiful, but she’s also so down-to-earth and friendly.
I asked her to sign my book telling me I was the favorite in my class (and she obliged). I’m taking that as though she adores me as well. 😉
Here’s our class photo.
Which leads me to
We took the quilting class with Camille and a wool felt ornaments class. I was able to get the top of a table topper pieced in the quilting class. The ornaments class was taught by Betz White. We made three ornaments, including the rosettes above. I now feel much better equipped to tackle the closet-full of wool sweaters that I felted in January. (I was a little overzealous.)
And finally, the most important part –
I was able to make such a great new friend in Jenny, and we also had the opportunity to meet lots of other wonderful women. (Top right: Cindy at Skip to my Lou, Bottom left: Heather Bailey, Top left and bottom right: Friends in our classes, including Shelly at Honey Lamb and I).
What an experience!