sigh… it's over…

sigh… it's over…

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I am not even sure where to start. I have attempted to blog 4 times since my last post, and either I got distracted, or fell asleep while typing or just plain gave up because it feels almost impossible to report on the happenings!
Overall… my trip was fabulous! I mean, what is not to love about a trip to AZ (fabulous to be back home)…staying at a really cushy resort with amazing customer service! I think they made us all feel so welcome and absolutely tended to every need!  My mom and sister both came to CE to help and be volunteers… but mostly it was just awesome to hang out together. we would try to stay up and talk, but we were all so beyond exhausted by the end of the days, so mostly we would just crash.
Creative Escape was amazing. for the most part, everything went so smooth. The credit for that goes to the Bazzill team. They are SO organized, and this year we were all ready to go earlier than ever!  I seriously am amazed at what an awesome group of people get the job done there at Bazzill! We were all set up on Wednesday with kits all delivered to the classes, and the different areas set up for Thursday. Thurs is registration starting at noon, Technique Boutique that went until 5pm or so… (that is where you pick up a bunch of stuff needed for the classes, you get some hands on stuff, and it’s a place where we do some little projects and do some pre-work). This year… Terri Ouellette came and broadcasted her internet radio show from Technique Boutique… she interviewed me, tim holtz, jenni bowlin, kollette hall, janet Hopkins, doug jones… you can listen to it here on their website/blog. You have to check it out… kinda fun! I just got a chance to listen to it all and it’s just amazing!! makes you feel like you were there, and totally gives you the inside track from the teachers. I loved it. Terri O is super cool, and so down to earth and she LOVED CE! She took all the classes as was there with us all weekend. So awesome.

//www.wsradio.com/internet-talk-radio.cfm/shows/Terri-O-Radio:-Empowering-Creativity.html

While ‘technique boutique’ is going on we do a thing called ‘Trunk Show’… this is when all the teachers grab up a bunch of pieces they have created over the years and set them up, and sort of stand by their tables and then participants can come through and see our stuff in real life, and we get to visit and meet one another before the class time starts. It’s kind of a ‘wedding reception’ format…lol. it’s one of my favorite parts of CE- so that was awesome. After the trunk show, we had our welcome… which was short and sweet, and ended early so that everyone could  have some time to relax and hang out and hopefully get some sleep to be ready to wake up bright and early and work all day taking classes etc.

I forced myself to get to bed early! *novel concept!  And was all ready for the first day of classes. The way that CE works, is that we divide all the 640 participants into 8 groups and each group rotates through all 8 classes/ and teachers. 4 classes Friday and 4 on Sat.
I did a lame job taking photos –as per usual…so I don’t have photos of all the teachers and their projects… so I will just give you a little overview!Img_2453

I taught an interactive calendar/wall hanging project.Img_8689

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Kollette Hall taught a spiral bound book that is a year long journal that is designed to help you find the ‘good’ in your life..
Jenni Bowlin taught a really cute ‘Hodge Podge’ book… so cute. So jenni… she talked a lot about her process and how she finds stuff that she loves.
Janet Hopkins taught a really cool BRAND NEW book that she actually designed for my brand that will release for the general public at CHA winter. You have to see this one…
Tim Holtz taught an amazing mix of a ‘wearable’ and ‘home décor’… it’s the perfect gift!
Jessica Gutherie who was the ‘treasure hunt winner’… taught a cool acrylic book that is actually her own product and used the bind-it-all. This class was a power house…
Kelly Goree taught a bunch of 12×12 scrapbook pages using everyone’s favorite Basic Grey paper. I have always loved Kelly’s pages…
Laurie Stamas taught using the new ‘lickety slip’ album that is so cool.. you have to see this! And her concept revolved around making ‘lists’… I am totally a list maker, so I loved this… and it could be anything you wanted it to be. I loved the whole concept of it!

I think that it was such a unique and fabulous mix of teachers, personalities and projects. For CE, we create a full sized, full color, spiral bound-fabulous ‘project guide’ book…if you want to see these projects.. get the step-by-step instructions and information, photos and sponsor info- you can get the book. I think you can order it on the Ce  website www.creativeescapeaz.com . I think it will also be available online at scrapbook.com. it’s  $14.99. it turned out great this year again! I love the silver cover (the printing was done by a company called O’neil printing, and they do just a beautiful job)… all these projects would make awesome gifts for the holidays and the instructions make them easy to replicate.

Emily Waters and my sister, Katie Hymas helped me to teach my class…and my sweet mom was my volunteer and had to hear my ‘spiel’ a million times!  the space that I had to teach my class was actually 3 smaller rooms. We had to split each group up in 3’s so there were only 20something people in each room. Emily, Katie and myself each had a section of the class to teach, and we all rotated through. So instead of teaching 8 times… we all taught 24 times. Smile… that was major!

Friday night we do a thing called ‘Friday night extravaganza’.. this year we invited back some of the teachers from previous years and invited them to create some thank you cards…8 of them. so again… we had this amazing, huge kit for 2 of each card, and the teachers rotated through and taught all the cards. it’s a die hard event! I have to thank Amy Totty, Kelli Collins, Pam Black, Jenny Packard, Heidi Lynn Schreiber, Tena Sprenger, Carol Wingert and Jennifer Wagner.. and of course ‘Imaginese’ for the fabulous black and white papers…

I have to say that the ending is the best- every year! we had the yummiest dinner planned… and of course… we stuck with our tradition of serving ‘dessert first’. I love that. that is the ‘ultimate indulgence’…we gave away 2 spots to one lucky winner for next year’s creative escape by having these cute little treasure chests on each plate. Everyone had to open their treasure chest with a cute little key, and the winner had 5 real gold dollar coins… While dinner was served we gave away about 50 or so raffle baskets that were so generous and gorgeous!  This year, we sold raffle tickets to win 2 spots on the “Ultimate Scrapbooking Cruise” donated by Scrapmap,  that I am teaching at in January. Each raffle ticket was $5 or 5 for $20 and all the proceeds were for donations to the American Cancer Society. We felt that so many people that we know and love in our personal lives, as well as friends in the industry have been effected by cancer…so this year we wanted to do something!  we sold tickets totaling about $6000 for the cruise! how awesome is that… so then..Img_2473
mr tim holtz got in the spirit, and decided to donate this cool shirt that he had made and had been wearing as he was teaching- and Doug decided to do an open auction…I wasn’t really sure what that meant, or how it was going to work, cause it just happened on the fly. The bidding started and next thing I knew it was up to like $1200!! I was totally freaking out! it was amazing!! the bidding went up to about $2000 or just over and doug was like ‘going once…’and a girl in the back bid $6,000!!!!!
She decided to match what had been raised with the cruise raffle! Holy cow… it was such a shocker! That totally created such a buzz! (how much for the pants)…$12,000 for cancer… awesome.  on that high, Jason Hall was our keynote speaker! He was so awesome. he is the husband to Kollette Hall… the two of them were working together in her class, and he was able to carry her message on. it was so inspiring…
I would love to give you a run down on everything he said! But there is so much! I have been thinking about it non-stop.. certain things that he brought up. Emily traveled with me back here to Beijing, and she and I have quoted to each other from his talk several times. I find myself totally reflecting and altering my thought process based on some of his stories and examples. Reminds me that we NEED to be inspired and challenged on a regular basis to that we can grow and improve. We NEED to be reminded that there is more to look at in life, that it’s good to step back and evaluate and re-evaluate. I am going to be the first one signed up for the year long class that they are teaching together on Big Picture Scrapbooking. it’s exactly what I want for me. knowing me, and my life right now, I won’t be able to keep up with a rigorous creative class… but I think that I need the constant call-to-action- on improving my life, my approach, my outlook. I am just thoroughly impressed. I came away from Ce wanting to be a better person. Wanting and expecting more from myself… hoping that I can be better about utilizing my time and my resources. Being a better mom, and a better friend… evaluating what is my most critical priorities… and above all focusing on what I DO have, and what strengths and assets I possess… it was truly motivating and inspiring.  I did hear that we filmed and recorded Jason while he gave his talk…and it will be available on DVD soon… it’s worth hearing, having and being reminded! So I will let you know if, when and how it will be available.
I believe there is a bunch of CE stuff that will be available…we are working to update the CE website with the post-show information. This year, instead of printing out all the photos that we took of you that attended, we have posted them on the site and you can pull them off and print them out on your own. They turned out so cute… you can also see the a slide show of the event on the site at the moment. If you weren’t there with us… (we MISSED YOU!) but you can get a look inside! Everyone had the best time! (thanks to Shelby Stroud for the slide show!… do you dig all the pink hair!) ok… this is ridiculously long and I need to get it posted… I am adding a photo album as well if you want to check that out! I wish I took more photos… I wish I would every year!!it really is just impossible to capture it!

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