Friday, September 5, 2008

this is one sweet escape

Thursday at Creative Escape. First official day of the event. Incredible. Awesome. Everything I was hoping it would be! SO glad to be here!

But before the event began this afternoon, my friend Barbara and I decided, on a whim, to go to a local store, Ruffler's Roost, where all they sell is.....ribbon! Aisle after aisle, floor to ceiling. Nothing but ribbon! I had heard about it during the bus tour yesterday. Barb and I are both ribbon junkies, it's one of our favorite embellishments for scrapbooking projects. So, we rented a car (yes, just to go to a ribbon store, gasp!) and drove to Mesa to visit the store. And it didn't disappoint! We both left with a bag full of fabulous, fun, unique ribbons. I found some that are completely glittered, I couldn't resist the sparkly rainbow of colors.....two of my favorite scrapbooking supplies --- ribbon and glitter --- together in one spectacular embellishment!

We had to hurry back to the resort to pick up our registration materials and participate in the afternoon's events. The fun of checking-in is getting your tote bag and Project Portfolio & Inspiration Guide. The tote is filled with goodies, starting with your nametag.....but this is no "Hello, my name is _____" adhesive nametag! No way, this is Creative Escape! You get a fancy printed nametag hung on a pretty beaded lanyard. It's like wearing jewelry! And the guidebook is full of color photos and details of the projects that we'll be completing in our 8 workshops over the next two days. Although I didn't attend CE '06 or '07, I bought the Inspiration Guidebooks for them afterwards.....oh yeah, they're that good.

We also found out what workshop Group we're in, each has a flower name, like Sunflower, Daisy, etc. (so much nicer than 1, 2, 3 or something boring like that) I'm in the Hydrangea Group. Attendees rotate through the workshops with the same group of scrapbookers for the entire event.

I spent the afternoon at the Technique Boutique and the teachers' Trunk Show. The Boutique is a series of 12 "work stations" that you rotate through, learning new techniques and gathering products that we'll need for the workshops. The Trunk Show was wonderful, a room of tables displaying projects created by the CE teachers. Lots of inspiration and fun!

To wrap up the day, all 640 of us attended the CE Welcome Ceremony in the hotel ballroom, complete with a colorful balloon arch to greet us. They played upbeat music (think Gwen Stefani's song, "Sweet Escape", how perfect!) before Heidi Swapp and "Mr. Bazzill" took the stage to introduce the teachers,

and explain details of what to expect during the weekend. They told us that they will "wear us out", guaranteed..... BRING. IT. ON.

Oh, and there was another party tonight too. The 300 of us who were on the CE message board all these many months got together again, and this time we took over the hotel lobby with our festivities. If I'm not mistaken, the entire resort is rented out by CE'ers, but if not, the other guests must think we're crazy! Anyway, I won a door prize at the party, a gift bag full of cute mini acrylic stamps and rhinestones. Fun! And thanks to Ann K. for supplying the prize!

I was told by CE alumni to expect CE to be full of fun surprises and special touches! Sure enough, tonight while we were all out at dinner, the staff delivered goodies to our hotel rooms. So nice to walk in and find a scrapbooking treat on the bed! It was a bag tied with Creative Escape ribbon, containing a fun ruffled apron (see left), with a note saying "Just for you, lucky girl". The fabrics are just too pretty to wear for messy crafting though!

Speaking of aprons, tonight I received my craft apron. Several of us placed a bulk order to have them made. It's pink fabric with the CE '08 logo embroidered in green. Love it!

It probably goes without saying, but there's an on-site scrapbooking store set up here in the hotel. Duh, right? So that must-have scrapbooking item is never very far away!

OK, so early Friday AM I begin attending the workshops, and they'll continue all day long. I'll be doing projects taught by Laurie Stamas, Tim Holtz, Janet Hopkins and Jenni Bowlin.

Did I mention that the weather here in Phoenix has been gorgeous? Sunny and not a cloud in the sky. I hope it stays the same back in Florida, we're watching Hurricane Ike closely. Geez!

Catchya back here on Friday night with more fun details and pics!

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