It's been a week since I attended ScrapFest 2011, a mega-event for papercrafters at the Mall of America. To describe such an enormous event is a challenge, so I'm going to sum things up with a "Top Ten" list. I'm also going to share a few projects I've completed with the goodies that I got at Scrap Fest.
Top Ten Memories from ScrapFest 2011
1. Last year I had to miss ScrapFest, and I was especially bummed that I missed out on the free Beadniks make-n-take. I was hoping that Beadniks would do another make-n-take this year, so the first thing my friend and I did when we met up at MOA (the Mall of America) was to head up to the third floor and check out Beadniks, a bead/jewelry store. My wish came true--they had a new make-n-take this year! In the photo below, you can see the metal pendant that I stamped with the word "Love." I do not have much hand strength, so I was a bit nervous about whether I'd be able to stamp the words and punch the jump ring hole in the metal disk. But I need not have worried--these tasks were both easy to complete with the tools provided by Beadniks. For just three dollars (plus the cost of supplies) anyone can rent the tools and make more pendants, and that's what my friend chose to do. I, on the other hand, did just a bit of shopping at Beadniks and then decided to head back down to the first floor of MOA and start doing ScrapFest make-n-takes.
2. The main activity at ScrapFest is doing make-n-takes at various manufacturer booths. Unlike the pendant make-n-take at Beadniks, the ScrapFest make-n-takes are not free. However, for the twenty dollar cost of an admission badge, you can do as many make-n-takes as you wish. The manufacturer booths are scattered around the first floor of the mall, and most have long lines. I recommend wearing comfortable shoes and bringing a book or magazine to pass the time.
3. That said, I did not have to pull out my magazine at all, because I ended up standing next to friendly, chatty people in all the lines. It was particularly interesting to find out where everyone was from. I had thought that most attendees would be locals, like me, but most of the people I met were from out of town. I even met people from Illinois, Michigan, and Nevada! Most people said that they don't have scrapbooking stores in their areas. That made me feel really grateful to live in the Twin Cities, where we have several Archivers stores, and a few independent scrapbook stores as well.
4. I know that some people are really hard core about ScrapFest and manage to do 20+ make-n-takes. As for me, though, I would go crazy from standing in line so much. So, I just picked a few make-n-takes to do. Do I think it's worth the price of admission? Absolutely! I got to try materials and techniques that I might not normally use, and many of the manufacturers gave away "extras" with their projects--see photos below.
5. I also took some time to shop at Archivers while I was at the mall. They had lots of new products in, just in time for ScrapFest. I bought a lot of Christmas papers, quite a bit of the "Sidewalks" collection from October Afternoon, and also a nice selection of Lily Bee Design and Reminisce products.
6. Since I was already at the biggest shopping mall in the country, I took some time to visit some other shops. I satisfied my girly-girl side with some stationery from Sanrio. And, being me, I also paid a visit to Izba, a Russian gift shop. Whatever your tastes, the ginormous Mall of America probably has a store to suit you.
7. To save time and money, I brought my own food. I sat down to a bag lunch with my friend, and I brought a batch of homemade cookies to snack on while I was standing in line. Mall food can get kind of pricey, and I'm on a budget, so I chose to put my "fun money" toward craft supplies, not food.
8. In addition to bringing my own food, I also brought my own adhesive. I rarely use glue sticks, but they are pretty popular at the manufacturer make-n-take booths. So, I tucked a pack of dry adhesive in my shoulder bag. I only needed to use it a couple times, but I was glad I had it.
9. To me, the most exciting part of a make-n-take is being able to incorporate it into a layout. So, during the week following ScrapFest, I made sure to spend my free time using my new goodies. I used my supplies from the Authentique make-n-take in the layout "Yuriev Monastery" (first photo below), and I used my Beadniks make-n-take pendant in the layout "Cute as a Button" (second photo below). I was also able to use a lot of the fun, cheerful "Sidewalks" products that I'd bought on my second layout.
Supplies: cardstock (Bazzill); patterned papers, stickers, die cuts, ribbon, button, metal "Play" accent (all from October Afternoon); ink (Autumn Leaves/Stampology); pens (Zig); thread (DMC); stamped metal tag (Beadniks free project).
The journaling on the first layout ("Yuriev Monastery") reads: "Novgorod is magical! One moment you're walking through a cold, drab landscape, but the next minute you turn the corner and beautiful onion-domed churches and towers rise before your eyes. Though dilapidated after decades of Soviet neglect, the buildings are still breathtakingly gorgeous. Restoration work is underway both inside and outside, and soon the monastery will gleam as it once did. I hope I can return here someday, to see Yuriev as it was meant to be seen. But even as it is in these photos, its careworn grandeur speaks to my soul."
The journaling on the second layout ("Cute as a Button") is much simpler and reads: "Cute, playful, and very loving...that's our Tina!"
10. I was also eager to use the supplies I'd bought, so I devoted some of my free time to them as well. I used a recycled bottle cap bead purchased at Beadniks to make a keychain (first photo below), and I used some of my new Reminisce products to make a Christmas ornament (second & third photos below).
Supplies: recycled bottle cap bead (Glass Garden), fancy headpin (C-Koop Beads), small glass bead (manufacturer unknown).
Supplies: chipboard rocket (October Afternoon), space monkey paper & stickers (Reminisce), aqua stickers (October Afternoon), orange stickers (Lily Bee Design), ink (Autumn Leaves/Stampology), pen (Zig), fiber (extra shoelace).
I've enjoyed the week of fun that ScrapFest and my new craft goodies provided me. I'm still itching to try out some of the new holiday papers that I bought, so you can expect to see several Christmas layouts on this blog in the near future. Hope you've had some time for crafting this past week, too. I'm off to check out everyone's blogs now. See you soon!