Saturday, November 17, 2007

A Very Bella Weekend

To say the least, last weekend was like a dream. I'm so grateful to have had the opportunity to be among so many creative and delightful ladies. Many of these women own businesses while others have managed to find their bliss simply for their own pleasure. All of them passionate about one thing-paper arts! Here's a little recap of my Silver Bella weekend and a peek at some of the projects we made.

Tam and I headed out after work on Thursday and arrived in Omaha about 10:30 pm. After picking up our welcome paks at the Hilton, we headed for our hotel just in time to get settled and to bed for our early morning wake-up call. Friday morning was a full day beinning with a class with Rebecca Sower.

So cool to meet her and have her share with us some of her tips and tricks. That's always my favorite part of taking classes. She was just lovely-very gracious and kind. Even the way in which she packaged the kit demonstrated the care and detail she gives to all she does.

Here are some of the vignettes we made in her class. These make great stand alone gifts, but would also be beautiful tied onto a package or as an ornament on the tree.

Our second class on Friday was with none other than Jennifer Paganelli of Sis Boom. Yes, can you believe after gushing about wanting to take a class with her I actually did?!? I was so impressed with how down to earth, engaging and fun she was. She was sweet enough to give each student in her two classes the materials for each class. In other words, you actually got to take both classes. How cool is that?!?

Here is the banner I made in her class. This is a terrific project and would make a wonderful hostess gift. Can't wait to make a bag or apron out of her gorgeous fabrics and maybe even try on her beaded Christmas trees. One of the gals at our table was smart enough to trace the pattern before she cut hers out and shared it with us. I probably had the best time in this class. It was so relaxing and we had great gals at our table and ended up sitting together at lunch, too.

And the luncheon-WOW! I do alot of events so I totaly understand what all went into planning the entire weekend and no detail was overlooked particularly the luncheon. The room just shimmered and was so, so pretty. The table was decorated simply, but very elegantly.

Here's Tam at our table just beaming because that's how we felt the whole day. We were treated so well!

The only glitch we were aware of the entire weekend was that the guest speaker for the luncheon cancelled at the last moment. Bummer. But what a delight to have senior editors from Country Living magazine pitch in for a Q&A session. They happened to be there along with photographers doing a feature on the event. Look for the Silver Bella feature in the October 2008 issue. WOWSER!

After lunch on Friday, I had my class with Pam Garrison. The project was called "Jack on the Box." What a cute, cute project. And not totally difficult, but very detailed. Needless to say, it's not quite finished, but I hope to complete it soon and will share it with you. I was a little freaked out anyway and super nervous to be in this class with folks like Charlotte Lyons and Cari Kraft. You know, I love PamG's aestetic and even purchased a kit from one of her other classes. I'm hoping to work on it next week.

That was just the first part of day one. It was so fun and exciting to see so many we only knew through their blogs and the online world. Exchanging MOO cards and talking as tho' we've know each other for years. So wonderful to meet gals from all over that share the same interests for all things pink and blue and glittery. We met gals from Wisconsin, New York, Illinois, Oklahoma, Nebraska (of course!) and California just to name a few.

On Friday evening, we attended the Silver Bella vendor faire which had evolved into more of a costume party. The theme was junk gypsy so we put on our best cowgirl glam and spent the evening shopping and enjoying an hors devours and dessert buffet. And what a fabulous assortment of vendors it was. I was already familiar with some of their online shops such as, Heather Bullard of Present Past and Jenni Bowlin. I made purchases from them as well as new discoveries such as Raised In Cotton. What a fun time! This is me and Tam with the head Bella, Teresa McFayden. I also met Coleen Moody who was the Bella willing to switch with me so I could be in one of Pam Garrison's classes. I'll share more about her later, but you can see some of her amazing art HERE.

On Saturday I took two classes with Carolyn Peeler who is the creative director for Melissa Frances. The first class used one of their new Open Up albums-the star and some of their gorgeous papers. I learned one of the coolest techniques in this class. Using a waterbased ink in a spray bottle, you spritz your paper-in this case she used a vintage dictionary page. Then since the ink is waterbased, when you use acrylic paint-also waterbased or water and reactivate the ink you get a really cool varigated effect. She had us use bubble wrap as a stamp with cream paint and stamp on top of the spritz'd paper. But the magic really happened when later on she had us use Sally Jean's charcoal pencil antique treatment and when we reactivated the ink with water to smear the charcoal then this is what we got. Lots more to add to this fun album, but wanted to share this technique which I think is awesome.

I can't wait to use this technique again-very, very cool. We also learned to cut and assemble this beautiful flower made from upholstery fabric.

This would also make a great pin! Yeah, you know I'm making a couple of those!

Most of my day Saturday was spent hanging out in the fabulous Omaha Hilton hotel since I had the bulk of my classes on Friday and Tammy had most of hers on Saturday. I'm hoping she'll share on her blog some of the projects she made. We had a couple of classes that were different and she was fortunate enough to take a class with Jenny & Aaron and her project turned out fabulous. BTW, Jenny & Aaron have a very hip style that is all their own-you can read about them and their art HERE. I loved chatting it up with Kim Haynes who was on hand as the event photog. Talk about down to earth and the ability to put you totally at ease. Here's a photo she snapped of me and Tammy.

The light streaming through the windows that day made everyone look so fabulous. This is just a scan of the original so it's not as crisp. Check out Kim's blog and website for more info about her Oklahoma City based business HERE.

We set out Sunday morning for a fabulous brunch at one of the local eateries, but didn't find any open other than a little bakery and coffee shop. We did enjoy great coffee and pastries, but were sad that none of the local shops opened until Noon. So we headed back home on the lookout for a cool antique mall. And we found two great ones next to each other! Just outside St Joe's, we stumbled upon The Rusty Chandelier (how could we NOT stop there?!) and Jesse James Antique Mall.

Here's a couple of the great things I picked up. I'm totally loving the scale-I had passed up one similiar to it before, but not in this color which is too perfect. And although I had a small collection of the westies, I was so excited to find this one with pink accents.

Like I said, this was a dream of a weekend. In fact, it's taken me a week to catch up on my sleep and get organized and motivated enough to complete some of the unfinished projects. It certainly has kicked off the holiday season in true Bella fashion. I'm ready to start making lists and get busy. My goal is to make most of my gifts this year so I'm off to clear out my studio so I can get to work. If you're looking for me between now and Christmas Eve, I'll be the one with glitter in her hair!


Anonymous said...

Glad you had a fun trip. Cool pics of your projects. What a great picture of you and Tammy. Nice to have good friends to share with. M

Tammy said...

That westie is the cutest thing ever!What a fun trip we had. Seems like a dream. Such a cool experience. Thankful to have spent that time with you. :)

Giustyle said...

Hello i look your blog and I like yours jobs!!!
Its very nice!
I'm from Brazil and I loved Handicrafts...
Bye Bye

Cathy said...

Looks like you had a lot of fun. I love the picture of you and Tammy, and the picture of you in your earlier post! Beautiful! When you posting more pictures?