Monday, September 14, 2009

Speedball 09 & The Kootenays

We've just spent an awesome weekend away motorcycling around the Kootenays for Speedball 2009 - this is a scavenger hunt 'game' where each team had to take photos of various places/things or objects to collect as many points as possible - things like 'take a picture of all team members, standing with one toe in a Starbucks coffee cup - 100 points per player! and a picture of a loud sound....I wasn't an 'official' member of the team since I ride pillion but I supervised and made sure Chris didn't get lost or went too slowly ;-) We all had great fun! Saturday night was spent hotelling it in Nelson, drinking and hanging out in the hot tub till the wee hours...(therapeutic for the sore backsides!)

Sunday should've been a slow and relaxed pace back to Kelowna, but the roads are too smooth and too twisty for that so most people had a 'spirited' ride home, finishing off the evening with a big BBQ and Chris's team being awarded first prize!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Sore Toes

Today I went climbing for the first time in 2 years! Can't believe time slipped by that quick but it did! We car-pooled with Rob and Anne (handy since we don't have a car!) to the beautiful Cougar Canyon in Kalamalka Provincial Park near Vernon. It was already going to be a great day just from the gorgeous 1/2 hour hike in to the climbing area! I managed a couple of climbs which went so well considering my lay off period - still ain't keen on those heights though - it's fine on the way up whilst I'm concentrating on something (the climbing) but as soon as I'm at the top I just want to get down - the quicker the better! A great day was had by all. Chris finished it off nicely with a pre-booked 2 hour 'Euphoria' massage - lucky him - should've thought that through myself!climbing,cougar canyon,vernon,bc

Friday, September 4, 2009

Creative Escape projects

So I've spent some of my time over the last couple of days putting the finishing touches on some of my Creative Escape class projects. Like I said before all eight classes were really fast paced and in many cases for me I was learning new techniques and using unfamiliar products (I wasn't an ink and paint girl - things are a' changing though!) I suppose if I'm honest I wasn't completely mad for all the classes - not because I didn't appreciate them for what they were creatively but that they weren't to my taste and I couldn't envision using them or displaying them. And by seeing which projects I was keen to get finished here at home probably is a bit of a clue to the ones I liked the most!!
creative escape arizona 2009,creative escape arizona 2009,CE09,tim holtz
This was I think my favourite - the mini book encased in a cute little suitcase (it measures only 4x3" - its adorable!) taught by Tim Holtz. It was a class I was 20 minutes late for and completely flustered, the class with the most 'new' techniques for me and yet the only project I completely finished in class. We used grungeboard sanded down, painted then inked for the covers then inside there's a combination of patterned paper pocket pages, some mini photo sleeves and some grunged up ticket pages decorated with distressed flowers and a few metal embellishments.
creative escape arizona 2009,CE09,Debby Schuh
This is a close second in my fav list - a Creative Escape album taught by Debby Schuh. Full of pinks, black and white in various shades, shapes, sizes and textures - there's even a patterned felt page to put our collectible pins on! There's transparent pages, pockets, tags and more - love this. Nothing was rocket science but I lack the imagination to put something so cute together myself - I'm so looking forward to filling this with all my memorabilia of the event and my photos!
creative escape arizona 2009,CE09,7 Gypsies
The class taught by Paula Cheney and Debbie Crouse from 7 Gypsies I wasn't sure on at first but since I've finished it up with a photo I love it! It's a wall decor peice which we put together from scratch. It has different layers and textures and there are secret doors and flaps for extra bits of journalling or photos - it even has a real glass vase and a cute bunch of flowers - I'm so happy with the finished product (now husband dear - I just need a house with walls to hang it!!)
creative escape arizona 2009,CE09,Heather Bailey
This cute cheerful album was created by Heather Bailey who is normally found putting her talents to designing fabrics and other things related to sewing and stuff (not my bag - I wonder if I could use glue dots instead of sewing on buttons?!!?!) This was a mini album which various pockets, clips and other fun stuff - not sure what I'm going to do with it but dang it looks cute!
creative escape arizona 2009,CE09,Marah Johnson
And finally for now this great altered box taught by Marah Johnson. We decorated using glimmer mist sprays over flocked papers so texturally its yummy. Inside there are 12 mini chipboard books - I'm thinking it's going to have to have something to do with the 12 months of the year when I come to fill them!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Creative Escape 2009

Last weekend I travelled to Arizona for the Creative Escape event. I'd never been before and I went alone but for 3 days I was surrounded by over 600 of the most amazing, inspiring and creative women I've had the pleasure to meet - I was truly fortunate. Over the course of the last few months many of us had been chatting on the Yahoo Group message board so it felt like I was meeting with old friends - in fact there were only 3 others there that I'd actually met before!
creative escape arizona 2009,CE09,heidi swapp
It was a busy and thoroughly exhausting 3 days - who'd have realised that scrapbooking and papercrafting could be this exhausting - seriously?! (I'd had all good intentions of hanging out with like-minded friends at the bar each night but even a good cocktail couldn't lure me from my bed come 10.30pm!)

I arrived on Wednesday night and was met at the airport by the wonderful Christa (who I'd not previously met) who promptly whisked me off to a Mexican restaurant for dinner with another 15 women (who'd I'd never met - catching the trend here?!)

Thursday morning was some down time and for me a mad dash around the local stores making the most of the American stores I'd been missing in Canada - then Thursday afternoon the event proper got going. The 'Technique Boutique' where we got goodies and prepared and perfected some items and techniques we'd be needing in class. Running alongside was the 'Trunk Show' where each of the 8 teachers showcased their work and some samples of our class projects (up until now the class projects had been closely guarded secrets - we only ever knew the teachers and could only speculate based on their style!) Rounding off Thursday evening was the opening ceremony and welcome, a party and raffle organised for the members of the Yahoo Group, then some of us scooted off to a nearby Macaroni Grill for supper.

Friday and Saturday were classes. At 8am classes started. Each class was 1hr 45mins long - 2 before lunch and 2 after, finishing off the day at 5pm. From the moment I woke at 6am for the yummy buffet breakfast at 6.30ish, rushing to class, a packed lunch eaten on the go, yet more classes then a sit down dinner at 6pm, followed by additional evening activities it was constant. By Saturday morning I was positively bleary eyed - and not due to a few too many bevvies - more's the pity!

Saturday night was the closing dinner and key note speaker. It all started with dessert. Yes - with 600-odd women in the house it is apparently tradition at the event to start dinner with dessert and the more chocolatety the better! Then they raffled off about a dozen lamps (originally bought at Ikea for $15) that were decorated and altered by each of the teachers past and present. 2 of them were reserved for a little extra special treatement; lamps designed by Heidi Swapp and Tim Holtz (2 of the industries more well known 'celebrities') were to be auctioned off for charity. (all in support of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society) Heidi's was up first - and the bidding crept up and up, each time all of us squealing a little more - it reached $8,200!! - An insane amount of money for an Ikea lamp - purdy that it was! But there was to be more insanity in the room. Tim's lamp bidding opened at $500, went straight to $5,000, then jumped to $16,000 - all in 3 bids! OMG. We all watched dumbfounded as the hammer went down at $29,000 - for an Ikea lamp!!! It was such an exciting moment but someone's husband is going to be freaking out I would've thought?! Over $45,000 in total was raised for the charity during the event through raffle tickets and the auction.

The event was held at the Sheraton Wild Horse Pass resort which was absolutely gorgeous. It had the most amazing pool and landscaped grounds and excellent facilities for our classess - but the place was HUGE - it took 15 minutes to walk from our hotel room to the conference area and with 120 degrees outside most people didn't venture out too much! I manged a little stroll most mornings when it still had that lovely hot-yet-freshness about it!

I loved being at the event - this was it's 4th year and I'd heard so many great things about it - all true! The event is full of such great people, everyone has been so giving and generous - with their time, efforts in organising things, sending each other gifts, providing prizes for the raffle - the list could go on... It was an event where we shared our passion for creating and recording life in artistic and meaningful ways. The teachers (Heidi Swapp, Tim Holtz, Heather Bailey, Lynette Carroll, Debby Schuh, Marah Johnson, Carol Wingert, Paula Cheney & Debbie Crouse) and class projects which had been created especially for Creative Escape and were all amazing - not all to my style but I think that's the point. It forces you to look outside your box and embrace other styles and techniques - and there's certainly a stack of ideas that I will be trying again and again.
But the biggest thing I've taken from this event is friendships. The people that I met, that I 'hung out' with - these are what made my trip so special and unforgettable - thank you Linda, Angela, Florence, Carol, Janet, Patti, Stacy, Renee, Gail, Kate, Faye and not forgetting everyone's favourite Scrap Hero Dave!
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