Monday, November 12, 2007

Blown Away Bella!

Silver Bella was MIND BLOWING!!!! It was such an amazing collection of ARTISTS - not scrapbookers, per se, but women who have such varied talents and a love for beauty in common.

I arrived in Omaha Thursday night. All the Bellas were gathering at an antique store called Second Chance, so I quickly dropped my bags at the hotel and went to meet them. I met my fabulous roommate, Valita Baxley, and the other TX girls (Heather Ales, Jennifer Stewart and Jana Perenchio) and after antiquing a bit, we went to grab some dinner at a gorgeous bistro.

Friday morning came way too early; I started out with a class at 8am with Kim Kwan and went on to a 10:30am class with Carolyn Peeler.Kim's class was fun and high-energy. Carolyn's class was wonderful - we played with some fun products and learned great techniques. I've always wanted to take one of Carolyn's classes, so it was extra special!

Friday midday was our big luncheon. It was so well done, with the tables set beautifully in this grand ballroom. I will probably forever be known as Blushing Bella because the girls at my table started singing "Happy Birthday". I was soooo bright red - everyone was commenting on it all day long! ("Oh - you're the birthday girl - boy, were you red! Happy Birthday!" - to which I would promptly blush again!)

Friday night was our FUN night! We all dressed up in Junk-Gypsy style (totally out-of-the-box for me) and had our Vendor Night. There were about 40 tables of the MOST TALENTED gals out there! I bought entirely too many fun things (although I tried to stick to my rule of not buying things that I could make myself). One lady, Susan Jacoby, had the BEST t-shirts; the one I got "Princess of Paper" is brand new and not on her website yet, but it is similar design to one here. I also found really cool stuff from some of the other ladies, like vintage seam binding and German dresdens and excellent wood cutouts screaming to be decoupaged. (I don't intend to take up woodworking any time soon!)

Our swap night was after the vendor fair. I ended up doing three swaps. You would not believe the gorgeous things I received! One was a to/from tag swap, one an ATC swap and the third was an ornament swap. I was blown away! I had never done a swap before, so this was really eye-opening!

One thing that was pretty consistent with everyone I talked to was the inability to sleep! You know how when you're at CHA and you have 'sensory overload' - you're laying trying to fall asleep and keep getting flashes of color and textures, etc? Totally happened here! It was crazy! Very little sleep had by most of us, I think!

Saturday morning was the one I was most looking forward to - back-to-back classes with the talented and gracious Charlotte Lyons. I don't know how to express my immense admiration for this woman and her talents without sounding a bit stalkerish! ;) I will leave it at her classes and kind words were the highlight of my Silver Bella experience.

My last class was with Corinne Ayers; it was a fun little holiday organizer - very cute project. It went together very easily and will be fun to use this holiday season.

Have any of you ever been to Omaha? Can I just say WOW - what a great little city! The Old Market section is fantastic - full of the coolest shops and restaurants! You can't help but love the old brick streets lined with gorgeous restored brick buildings. This place has serious character!

I was so glad to have Debby Schuh on the same flight to Chicago on Sunday afternoon. Debby is from Buffalo, so between that and Anna Griffin, Inc., we always have something to talk about! She is one of those special people that you may only see a couple of times a year, but when you do, it is as if you have had no time apart. She is another gracious, talented woman whom I admire greatly. She's a real gem, and I was so happy to have a little extra time with her.

I will be back later with a few pictures - although, I didn't take all that many! I guess I was more into having a blast than taking the pictures! I'm sure there are several anecdotes I need to share, as well! But right now, I really have to go in search of a cup of coffee or a nap - whichever I get to first, probably!

Be well! ~ Jenn


Jana said...

Jennifer, it was just awesome meeting're as sweet as can be. Hope this birthday was one of your very best!!!

Julia said...

I've been wanting to send you congrats for making the Spellbinder Team! SO DARN excited for you! And I have to admit Silver Bella sounds so fun..I may have to go next year! :-)

Glad you had a great time Jenn!