Sunday, April 30, 2006

A Huge Scrapbooking Weekend!

What a weekend! I attended two days of Creating Keepsakes Scrapbook Convention. This was my third scrapbook convention, and my second CKC.
Last year, there were a lot of complaints about things not being well-organized. Class kits didn't always arrive complete--parts were missing, or they were short kits. Teachers were replaced at the last minute, so the presentation was not prepared. And the class content was weak in many cases.

This year was different! I took 7 classes over the course of two days, and only one was a disappointment--my last class which was sponsored by Deluxe Designs--Me, Myself, and I-A Mini Tag Album. The project was too simple, and the product received was pretty skimpy. I picked up the instructions & kit, and after a 10 minute presentation, left. She wasn't doing anything else after that except answering questions if you needed help.

My Rusty Pickle class was great! I took the Life's Friendship Garden class. We learned about 5 new techniques on one layout. And the product is really nice.

I didn't take any Junkitz classes, but after hearing people in the halls talk about them, I wish I had. Apparently, not only was the project fantastic (a mini ruler book), but you got tons and tons of great product to take home!

I took the K&Co Happy Hearts Mini Album class, too. We got lots of product, but I wasn't too thrilled with the instructor. It was a guy who basically read instructions on how to cut all the pieces of paper. But the final project turned out very nice, so overall I was pleased.

The Basic Grey & Bazzill classes sponsored by Embellish It! were very good. We learned some great tips about using rub-ons, and made several very cool layouts. And the teacher (Shelby Dredge) was great--very high energy in spite of the fact that she throwing up between every class because of morning sickness. Poor thing! She really deserves kudos for stepping up to the plate and delivering fantastic classes all weekend while feeling so ill.

I also took Power Packed Paper Projects sponsored by Scrapbooks 'N' Stickers. I have to be honest--I only took this class as a time filler because I registered late and a lot of stuff was already full. But I am glad I did! Renee Camacho taught the class, and I always enjoy her classes. We did two projects--a layout and an altered clipboard. Both were really cool.

But one of the highlights of the day was my Accordian Album class with Donna Downey. She is just soooo cool! She has enough energy for 10 people, and a great sense of humor. The project was really cute, and we used Chatterbox papers, which I love. I highly recommend this class to anyone, if for no other reason than to spend an hour with Donna Downey! In fact, here is a photo of she and I:

The vendor fair was very crowded, as always. I didn't have time for any of the Make-n-takes, and only a short time for shopping. But I didn't go for the purpose of shopping--I went for the classes. I can do most of my shopping on-line without all the crowds. I did buy a few things from the Embellish It! booth, and three QK dies. No real bargains to be had, but I wasn't expecting any.

I didn't attend any of the crops, so I can't give a review of those.

The one thing I do wish would be addressed for future CKC's in Nashville is the parking situation. The event is held at the Opryland Hotel & Convention Center, which is just ENORMOUS. On Friday, I was able to park just outside the Convention Center doors. It cost $10, but it was as convenient as you can hope for at this venue. However, Saturday was a parking nightmare. The parking lots on the convention side were all closed because someone had rented them out for an event later in the day. I had to drive around the hotel THREE times to find a lot that wasn't closed or full, and ended up paying $12 to park on the far end of the lot on the farthest side of the hotel from the convention center. It was a 30 minute walk from my car to the area where the CKC was being held. So if anyone who helps plan CKCs is reading this---Please see if you can secure the parking lots on the convention side of the hotel for your attendees in the future. All in all, the convention was a great experience, and I will definitly attend next year, too.