Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Top 15 Thoughts on Attending A Blog Conference (or at least what I walked away from Creative Estates with)

I am so thankful that I went to the Creative Estates Conference in Chandler, AZ.  It was an amazing event with absolutely amazingly talented and beautiful women!  So great to find that many women who “get” the blog and craft side of me (and balancing it with motherhood and jobs!)! 

I learned a ton!  The greatest things was to just be yourself!  And while you are at it, don’t be afraid to let your personality show through, in fact people want to see your personality and not just your “stuff”.  I will also be buying my domain name and I suggest you all do as well.  Another big one for me is to just ask other bloggers if you have questions.  I have done this in the past but wasn’t sure how it was received.  Everyone I met was more than happy to answer and and all questions.  Everyone was so willing to help each other out.  What an awesome community to be a part of!  And I was completely shocked by how many people were from AZ.  I thought I was all alone here! Winking smile


I’ve been nervous to type my true reaction to it.  But here it is; the good, the bad, and the ugly.

1.  Apparently I’m more insecure than I thought.  I had never met anyone at this conference in real life before.  Walking in all alone was as scary as it was exciting.  Which was weird because I was so excited to meet so many of my online friends in real life.

2.  Everyone was super nice!  I was happy to see how open everyone was to just start a conversation with someone they have never met before.  Beverly from Flamingo Toes was one of those that just broke into conversation with you.  It was those kind of talks like you were already comfortable and had known each other for years (I guess because these women “get” you as a crafter and blogger).  Beverly and I discussed Yellowstone vacations, of all randomness for a craft blog conference.  Beverly led a super cute craft time for her amazing necklaces!  Those ladies looked divine in them!  Another woman like this was Leanne from Organize and Decorate Everything.  Just talked to her like she was already my friend.  And I can’t forget Ashlee of I’m Topsy Turvy.  She was so interesting to talk to (I mean she has a pet pig…how can you not find that interesting?!), and again so nice (do you see the theme of sweet and nice here?).

3.  I met some people that I can’t wait to “work with,”  others I can’t wait to be friends with, and others I want to do both with!  Rebecca of Freckles Crafts, I have “known” online for awhile and was so glad to meet her IRL.  Big thanks to those four ladies who “held my hand” so that I wasn’t all alone!  Lauren and Michelle from Coffee at Three, Jessa from Sparkle, and Aimee from Paging Supermom thank you so much you were all so much fun to hang out with!!  Can’t wait to keep in touch with you ladies!



This photo was from Lil Luna (who just had a baby weeks ago and still managed to help throw this amazing shindig!!)

4.  Friday night at the AZ GNO was my favorite part of the weekend!  Those girls really know how to throw a crafty party!  There was a SERIOUS swag bag, filled with amazingly cute stuff!  I already loved Kendra with My Insanity, but now I am more in love with her!  She was wonderful and so nice!!  I did not get enough of a chance to meet the other two ladies (Kristyn of Lil Luna and Stephanie of Somewhat Simple) that put that event together.  Can’t wait to go to the next one in June!!  I set next to the amazing Jen, of Tatertots and Jello!  I’ve loved her blog forever! Yup she’s as amazing IRL as online!

5.  I tried to meet as many different people as I could.  I think that was a bit of a mistake because I did not have enough time with anyone.  There were so many lovely ladies (and trust me, these ladies were LOVE-LY) that I would loved to have spent more time with and can’t wait to do so another time.


I got this picture from Becky Higgins site (Becki, Megan, and Becky)!  Which brings up a side point, at this conference your name either had to be Allison, Katie, or Becky (thankfully I fit into one category!)

6.  There are some amazingly talented people out there and I am so glad I got to actually meet them! How about Becky Higgins, or Becky of Whippy Cake, ….Those two were in an amazing panel about balancing it all.  Don’t we all need more help with that?

7.  There are some REALLY tall crafty women, who totally know how to rock their tall cute shoes!  I’m all of 5 ft 1 and wore my flats because my cute wedge shoe busted on the way there, and my super cute black hills I didn’t dare wear in the rain on Saturday night.  So, those women were TOWERING over me! Winking smile

8.  The cupcakes in Arizona are to die for Yummy!

9.  Apparently SheyB also knows a fantastic guy who makes to-die-for BBQ!  And the recipe for the Mac-A-Roni has people offering up their first born for it (and you know who you are Blue Cricket Design!)!  Shey B and Tauni threw this conference.  I learned so much from Tauni’s PR talk!  Great info!

10.  Twittering during a conference is half the fun!  (just search the hastag #creativeestates and you will see that it is still going on!!)

11.  I can never think of the song, “Forget Me” the same again.  Shelley, from House of Smith’s, rendition was THE best!  She absolutely rocks.  With her, what you see is what you get.  Who doesn’t love what you see on her blog?  Many of us busted a gut because of her.

12.  Some people went out of their way to find me so we could meet.  That is so awesome!  Alison from Oopsey Daisey was one of those.  She is really so sweet!  I missed her fantastic necklace and purse though! Winking smile

13.  The sponsors totally rocked!  I walked away with some AMAZING swag like a gorgeous necklace from The Vintage Pearl, a super cute headband from Katie, @Vintage Rose Wraps (by the way I got to sit next to her in one class and she is sooo nice!!), Amazing business card holder from Taradaramadeit, way cute hair clip from Funky Polka Dot Giraffe, Lovely earrings (that I’m wearing right now) from Lil Luna, stuff from plaid, silhouette, LetterPress, The Ribbon Retreat, and more as well as amazing discounts from countless others!  Love you all!! 

14.  I need to get over being camera shy.  Lesson learned:  Which is why I added that picture of myself to my vinyl record post.  I’m trying to break free of that fear.  Can you believe that as a blogger I am camera shy?  Look back through my blog.  Very few pictures of me!   But I want people to know there is a person behind this blog.  This is me, take me as I am.

15.  The person I walked away the most impressed with was Kim from Today’s Creative Blog.  She is so brilliant!  She is also just as caring and sweet as you think she is (actually even more caring)!  I am in absolute awe of her!  Oh, and Kim could I be in your Skype group?


Thanks to everyone who made this event so amazing!  I would LOVE to go to every conference I can~  there is nothing like meeting all these amazing women in real life!!




Kendra@My Insanity said...

Thank you for your sweet comments about me! I loved this post and your honesty. I think we were all nervous. I had to take a deep breath before getting out of the car. But aren't we glad we did! Btw, Shey posted the mac & cheese recipe. And I totally agree with you about Kim @ TCB. LOVED her!

p.s. Sorry about the tall blogger thing! :-) I look huge in some of the pictures surfacing.

RootsAndWingsCo said...

I actually thought it was awesome that all the tall bloggers felt so comfortable that they even rocked their heels! Though at the GNO event there was a moment I was talking to you 4 tall lovely ladies, and I swear I was talking to your belly buttons! ;)

Anne-Marie said...

Sounds like you had a great time! Aren't conferences the best? It's just great getting to connect with new people and learning that we all have something to teach each other =)

Becca said...

Leave my Mac n Cheese obsession out of this!!! Ok so yes I am still dreaming of it so thank goodness they posted the recipe! So great to meet you Rebecca! It was about time don't you think!

Katie's Nesting Spot said...

I am so envious of you and all the fun you had! I really really wanted to go too! My best friend is in AZ so I could've tied it together with a visit out to see her but since I'm expecting it just wasn't the right time. But hopefully one of these days:)

Leanne said...

Thanks for the ride to GNO Rebecca. I'm so glad I ended up riding with you. It was so great to talk and get to know you better. It seemed like we had been friends forever. I can't wait for next year.

RootsAndWingsCo said...

AnneMarie and Katie,
I wish you guys had been there! It would have been great to have met the two of you IRL! You girls have both been so great to me and so supportive of my blog. That's what true friends are made of! ;)

Becca and Leanne,
I'm super glad I got to meet both of you! Becca you are just a hoot and certainly seemed to know how to enjoy yourself! Leanne, I'm also super glad we got to drive together to AZGNO. You are amazing!


Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this wonderful post, Rebecca.

Some really great and useful information and food for just jump starting a "personal thinking session".

Copying this and referring often.

On another note - little green things are popping up in my box planters. Very excited!

Craftingmom said...

Hey there "other Rebecca"! It was so amazing to meet you IRL as well. I was so excited that we just happen to sit down next to each other on Saturday morning. What are the odds?? You are just as sweet in person as you are on line. Can't wait to see you again...hopefully in the near future!

Freckles Crafts

Jessa said...

Very thorough recap!! It was such a pleasure to meet you and we will keep in touch! I love your blog and you are such a sweet and beautiful person..

Coffee@3 said...

It was really great meeting and chatting with you at CE! You are so sweet. Hopefully we'll see you at the next GNO :).

Alison@Oopsey Daisy said...

Rebecca, you're one of my favorite people I got to meet!! I'm so glad we got to meet. Thanks for the kind words :) I love how you wrote up this post, too... a general how you felt/what you learned instead of the millions of pics. And who knew there would be 3 bloggers named Alison?! Lo.