My anniversary is next weekend, but my oh so thoughtful husband gave me an early anniversary gift...a trip to a CKC convention. Yay me! It's great that he knows me so well. This is only my second trip to this convention in the four years it's been in Tulsa. Typically, we're already on vacation somewhere else, so I'm not able to go. This is also a teeny (seriously teeny) convention, so it doesn't rank high on my "drop everything and go" list. Still, I'm not about to skip a day to myself scrappy shopping! I hadn't planned to attend, so I didn't register this summer when it was available. That left me scrambling through the class list trying to decide if I wanted to take a class or not. I know it's only been a year since I took classes at a scrapbook convention, so I was floored at how much some of the classes were charging. There were several that were over $30! Seriously!! In the end, I decided that one class first thing in the morning and spending the rest of my money on supplies was the best division. That got me at the convention center in time for reasonable parking, plus if I found the right class, I might actually learn something.
My first class choice was an acrylic book. After my tag experience, I've been wanting to try a mini album in acrylic. After trying to get to the sponsor's web site and failing miserably and doing some searching, I found several reviews on the class. None of them were flattering. They all agreed that the album was top notch for quality, but that the class seriously lacked. After checking out their booth and class sample, I'm inclined to agree. I figured it would be a reasonable backup alternative if my new first choice was full. My next option was a SEI class. To be honest, being SEI, I really figured the class would be booked. I think the only reason it wasn't was the time slot. The class was actually very lightly populated, which made for a very relaxed atmosphere. I can honestly say it was one of the best classes I've taken at a scrapbook convention. The class was on SEI's velvet paper. I'd dabbled a bit with velvet paper back in the day when I started stamping, so I knew what to expect for the paper. The techniques, however, totally rocked and on a couple of occasions, surprised me.
The project was a cute accordion mini book. It's not done and to be honest, the colors are not something I would have chosen, but I do really like how it's coming out. And frankly, velvet paper just rocks. I immediately jotted off a mail to my LSS owner asking if she had seen it and considered carrying it. I do hope so! Velvet paper has all the lush qualities of real velvet in a paper form. Which also means that anything you can do with paper, you can pretty much do with this stuff. We inked it, stamped it, and embossed it. Our oh so fabulous instructor also tells me you can run it through an ink jet printer and print on it. I bought 3 12x12 sheets in colors that match my LSS kit for the month. :) They also carry it in assortment packs but I didn't see any of those in their booth. As an added bonus for the class I won a package of buttons, plus they gave us a page of alpha stickers and a 40% coupon.
The totally cute instructor is Connie Hastings, who really did a bang up job teaching the class. Check out her blog!
After class, I had 20 minutes to check out the displays for other classes, pick up my vendor floor pass and take a quick break. A scrappy convention is one of the few places where a girl has the opportunity to use the men's bathroom. I should have taken a picture. How funny would that be?
Once the important necessities were addressed, it was time to shop. Number one on my list of things to pick up was adhesive. I can't believe that I'm clean out of glue for the second time this summer! I've heard good things about Zip Dry for acrylics and it's made by the same company as the glue I used for my acrylic tags, so I grabbed a bottle of that. My girl latched onto the lid when I got home and I haven't a clue where it's ended up. She's like a magpie for crafty objects. I've also heard good things about Kokuya adhesives, so I grabbed one of those and a couple of refills. I have an on again off again relationship with my Herma tab dispenser, so I decided to pick up a We R Memory Keepers one and see if I liked it better. It came in a very alterable clear. I can't wait to doll it up with some rubons. I also picked up a couple of sticks of QuickStik. I've heard very positive reviews of it when adhering paper to chipboard.
That brings me to my next set of purchases. I opted for three chipboard mini albums in cute shapes. Two Maya Road and an oh so cute fire hydrant one from Boxer to do fire station pictures.
I took a break from my shopping to sit down to make & take a cute alerted clipboard. They had one of those big glue and go guns from GlueArts that look like the ATG guns. I got to give it a try and I must say that I am NOT impressed. I found it bulky, heavy and difficult to use. Thankfully, I can say that without having dropped the $$ to buy one! On the up side, I was a total rebel and didn't follow the directions on the make & take. The demo gal was busy chatting it up with another lady, so I took the bits and glued them down how I thought they should go. I love how it turned out.
I watched a few other make & takes along the way and got some good ideas for quick projects and simple gifts. Then I broke for lunch. I have friends in the area who I used to work with. Phil, who I must say is one of my very best friends (and possibly the younger brother I always wanted, even though I already have one) cruised over to pick me up and drive me down town. Between construction and traffic, I'd never have made it without him. I was totally glad I did. Even though one friend totally flaked and the other was hijacked into a team lunch for work, the remaining crew was fabulous company. I totally miss working with these guys! Even though I had my camera and mentioned early on that we could do a photo, none of us remembered after the eating was done. So you'll just have to imagine four geeks at a table talking computers, work and super heroes. I did say we were geeks. No one understands a geek like another geek. It was a right fabulous lunch.
After lunch, it was back across town for a bit more shopping. I raided my favorite paper lines, adding extra SEI poppy to round out my LSS club kit, the oh so cute Imaginisce Hallowhimsy and some of the oh so yummy Scenic Route Sonoma. I have a pile of paper on my dining room table and I just don't know what to cut into first!
One of my weaknesses is brads and eyelets. I shamelessly indulged myself when I hit the Dollar Scrapbooking booth and then again at the We R Memory Keepers booth.
So even though it was a teeny convention and none of my favorite vendors were there for me to drool over, I still had a grand time and feel that my money was well spent. Particularly after I spread it out on the table and examined my haul. Not bad for a mere $150, minus class & vendor floor fees.