Sunday, September 28, 2008

ScrapFest 2008: The Classes!

The Place: Yes! I'm finally back for my report on ScrapFest 2008 sponsored by Archiver's at the Mall of America in Minneapolis, Minnesota! We arrived Thursday evening this year, flights were quite difficult to organize at the times we wanted this year. (Thank you price of oil and the overall collapse of the mortgage and general financial industries!) Edwina actually made the trip in from Wisconsin by car. This gave us time to get a bit organized at the hotel and plot our attack - I mean plan our adventure for the next few days. We checked in at the Archiver's Booth Friday morning first thing and received our free paper pack. This year it featured the 'Laundry Line' paper from My Minds Eye. In addition to the beautiful paper, it also included die cuts and rub ons - oh la, la! If I'm not mistaken, you too can have this lovely paperpack if you make it to Archiver's quickly - the other stores are now offering it with a $50 purchase. Also pictured above is the Pioneer 8 x 8 album received when spending $75 at the MOA Archiver's store. We received a guide book to tell us when things were happening and a map to help us get there. This year with 27 vendors to visit and 6 classes to take we were busy!

You'll notice that there are not two albums there... My only real complaint about this trip was that even though I spend far and away above the amount necessary to earn two of these in my first hour in the store, because I simply went in and gave them my money rather than plotting visits strategically, I only 'earned' one. Nice guys! No, not really. We were surprised by this as last year they happily provided you with an extra album or nifty Archiver's bag for each $75 you hit in one purchase. Other smarter gals went in multiple times and received multiple albums. $150 in a visit equals two albums. Not talking about keeping track... adding up... figuring a total of small purchases... Just plain spent $150 at one time. Silly me. Okay. Done whining now, but it really just needed to be said again (and I did put it in my survey, with my name and contact information just in case they felt really bad and wanted to send me extra one!)

This post will feature the classes we took and the next will cover the vendor booths. Hope you enjoy it. If you have any questions about what we did, or would like a copy of any hand outs emailed to you, I'd be happy to oblige! Just let me know.

The Usual Suspects: Once again, my pal Edwina accompanied me through this weekend. This was our third year at ScrapFest and I think we have a better time each visit! We had a blast planning which classes we'd take, how to register for them to ensure getting in, which booths to hit when, and generally getting into as much foolishness and mayhem as legally possible! I am so thankful to have her as my friend. Do you have any worthy events in your area we could have an excuse to go to? Not completely kidding!

Stamp & Scrap With Scrappy Cat: "Join us to create a beautiful 20-page, fully embellished 8x8 family album in one workshop! Learn how to use Scrappy Cat's popular clear stamps, dimensional glitter stickers, silk florals, and more to decorate your album. After class, just add your family photos and journaling, and you've instantly got a special keepsake you'll treasure always!"

I was excited to take a class with the Scrappy Cat folks, because they too, are from North East Ohio! This album really was all they said it would be. We received all the items in the photo above in a totally awesome totebag with Scrappy Cat on it! It was really a treat to be able to take so many things home with us. I was excited to receive the pigment ink pots, as I hadn't bought any of this type yet. The 'island tropics' book is well made and all the paper for the 20 pages was precut, double sided paper from the 'Kids, Teens & In-Betweens' line. The only problem with that is that I had to decide whether to use the cleverly designed layouts as is, or to flip the paper for a different look! The dimensional stickers are a a really nice weight and fun to use. The pages were detailed and really wonderfully prepared. With the time allotted, we may have been able to complete the album, but I preferred to wait until I had photos in hand in case I wanted to make some minor changes.

Here are Chris and Kim Roberto who put it all together for us. It was wonderful to meet them. Thanks again guys! I wasn't kidding when I volunteered to help out at any local events!

Frightfully Fun Haunted Album - Cosmo Cricket: "No tricks, just lots of treats in this Halloween workshop! Embellish a haunted house Blackboard album using the Haunted collection from Cosmo Cricket. You'll use patterned paper, Blackboard shapes, adhesive die-cut shapes (that perfectly fit the Blackboard shapes), and more. No bones about it - this is one frightfully fun mini album!"

A Halloween class is always on the list for us! It's a favorite holiday for both Edwina and I. This class really was fun. I apologize to the instructors for our wild behavior... I never should have suggested we get an extra shot of espresso in our already heavily loaded Starbucks beverages! This item was the first I finished after returning home. Again - the time was short - but we knew that going in! I love the Blackboard line of chipboard they offer and the self-adhesive die cuts do coordinate exceptionally well. The die cuts can also be used alone. All the supplies were provided as well as the remainder of items in the pack as sold - there were plenty of rub-ons and Blackboard shapes left, so I have lots more fun to come! We earned even more extras by playing trivia. (Thank you gods of TV land!) Everyone of their lines is a winner in my book. All in all a fantastic class!

Girls Just Want to Have Fun - Me and My Big Ideas: "Girls just want to have fun, and this album is certainly fun! Mix Reese [Me and My Big Ideas] collection specialty papers and embellishments, acrylic, chipboard, funky die-cuts, and great photos of your friends to create one spectacular mini album that is unlike anything you've ever seen. Accessorize with rhinestones and ribbon for the fabulous finishing touches!"

Call Cindy Lauper and someone get me a cosmopolitan - this project is ab fab baby! I plan to finish off this album with photos from my college sorority days (don't ask why they are still in a box 25 years later!) Once again, we received so much more than necessary to create this album. As you can see, we were given full packs of the paper, rub-ons, and embellishments as well as the rhinestones and plenty of ribbon. The hot thing this year was to have all the paper precut into the fancy project shapes and my only complaint here was that some pages were cut off the edge of the paper, so many of my scallops are kind of flat... no worries as I'll just trim them a bit! I love the mix of paper and acrylic here and the fact that more pages can be added to the split rings. The design plan is great and the paper is totally fun. I have always enjoyed the "Soft Spoken" embellishment lines and these are no exception. Projects like this are so good for my mid-life crisis!

Skinny Dippin' Tropical Mini Book - Marah Johnson for Creative Imaginations: "Come escape to paradise with us [creative imaginations]! Join Marah Johnson to create a fun, tropical-themed beach album, created with a Bare Elements book and her new Tropical collection. You'll learn new techniques to create fun embellishments, with a unique little twist. Fill with your favorite summer or vacation photos and you've got a cute keepsake!"

What can I say... Marah Johnson: OMG! Why the heck didn't I get a photo with this fine artist? I can usually spot her collections from a mile off, in a totally good way! We seldom go on tropical vacations (need to change that!) but once again... Spring Break 1986 photos are already half matted and ready to place inside this little gem. This style of mini book is very cool and I love the way it opens up to tease an edge of each page. Again, all the pages were precut so the album could have been finished if I wasn't so fussy. Some of the cuts were a bit off, but I imagine that it is an adventure to prep that many kits. Sadly, her PowerPoint instructions went down before our class, and the instructions had few photos, but everything was so well laid out for us it hardly mattered. A few new to me techniques were offered in this class. We foiled the edges of the cover using dotto adhesive and blue, green, and silver foil. Very easy and a fun touch. (I must add that Edwina didn't care for this trick and used some extra embellishments to do her own thing, but I was enamored!) We also used Ranger Alcohol Inks to color our plain pearl brads to match the vibrant papers and embellishments. Speaking of embellishments, once whole sheets of epoxy and die cut stickers were provided, offering lots of options for finishing off our pages once we got home. (I think I need to plan a cruise or something to use up the huge pack of rub-ons we got! Right?!)

Hip Clear Mini Book - Hambly: "Join Allison for this fantastic workshop and learn how to design your very own clear mini album. You'll create your funky, custom album using Clearly Heavy overlays, plus learn other tips and techniques for using Hambly papers, overlays, rub-ons, and new stickers!"

I think that this project was the most unique of all the ones offered this year. I have always admired the Hambly products - hot colors, hip retro images - very cool. We got lots of swag once again, so I am excited to design more items! This was also probably the most complicated class, if only because the beautiful full color directions were shot with the preceding and following pages in place; Nifty for showing the special design benefits of clear pages - awful for seeing the page as a single unit for replication. We used a product I'm not sure I had heard of before: Glue Dots Vellum. It allowed a thin layer of adhesive to be applied to one side of an item with minimal visibility through the clear pages. Worked well, but I'm not sure the cost or practicality for primary use in a project. I'm also still a bit unclear what the best adhesives are when working with clear pages and images. The instructors were very well informed - but honestly I was beginning to get overloaded with information by this point in the day: I have a new found respect for kids in junior high school now! I know it helps to design layouts with front and back mirror images which can hide adhesive like many of the pages here were done here, but it would be fun to utilize two sided paper to its full advantage. If you've got some tips for adhering clear overlays - please share them here!

ETA: I emailed Hambly, and Allison Kreft responded to me (thanks!) Here is what she suggests... "I really like the mini glue dots- they work great for the circle overlays too. Even though you see the adhesive a bit, it just a clean circle (so it doesn’t look messy) You can also staple through the overlays – that what I do if I have 2 very clear pieces and I don’t want any adhesive to show. If not I use the UHU glue roller & Therm O Web- Vellum Runner. It’s barley noticeable. I hope that helps!!" She also reminded me of the Hambly Blog - check it out!

Pretty Promenade Binder - We R Memory Keepers: "Make a mini album dedicated to someone you love! In this workshop, you'll use charming papers from We R Memory Keepers' Promenade collection to decorate the outside of a 5x7 binder, plus create 10 pages inside. You won't believe how fast this album comes together and how pretty it looks when finished!"

Okay folks. This was class six for the weekend, class five for the day, the fourth in four hours. And we ran here from the total opposite top corner of the mall! The very kind course instructor, Melodee Cloud, perhaps thought we were quite insane or terribly bored as we were totally incapable of following along. Actually, that's not completely true. Rather than "doing" I spend the time really appreciating the materials we were provided (again - tons of yummies!) and truly thinking of how this book will be made for my mother-in-law in honor of her 80 years. Which embellishments I'd use where to best celebrate her life and how it would really be perfect. I enjoyed reviewing the very detailed handouts and hearing her explain how things could be done. We also utilized a new We R Memory Keepers tool - the circle cutter. Very nifty and better than many out there. It works with the magnetic pad cutting system which I am very excited about. (Details and photos of this tool to follow when I review the vendor booths!) The design was lovely and this one album will be put to wonderful use as a gift. Thanks for being patient with us - your class was great!

The Class Wrap-up

So, despite too much caffeine, a huge mall to run through in the five minute break in between classes, and general information overload: everyone of our classes was a hit in my book. Every project met the descriptions, was fully formed, beautiful, fun, and worth the effort. We managed to select six which also gave us tons of swag - total bonus!

I'll be back soon with the details on all the Make 'N Takes! Promise!

Related Posts: The Vendors, Round One & The Vendors, Round Two

1 comment:

Anita Kurtz said...

Dude! WAYYYYYYY too much fun!!!