THE CREATIVE CONNECTION EVENT 2011
I'm back from THE CREATIVE CONNECTION in Minnesota, and it was a blast!
I had quite the time recovering from sleep deprivation but other then that, it was an incredible event. ha! As I mentioned before, I was selected to be part of the blogger social media correspondent team, that included me, Cindy, Kami, Char, Kari, Kim, Jen, and Amy. We were responsible for all of the social media coverage (aka: blogging, tweeting, facebooking...etc.) Thank you SO MUCH Jo! So besides a ridiculous amount of instagram-ing, you KNOW that I took about a thousand pictures as well, and totally want to share them all... so I'll stop yappin' and just SHOW you my TCCE journey through photos.
The blogger team flew in early, a day before the actual conference started, so once we were all settled in, of COURSE our first stop was to the Mall of America. I had my very first city bus ride. ha! It was quite the experience with 8 giggly girls all in one place.
We chowed down on some Bubba Gump Shrimp, and did some power walking to get in all the stores we could...
Later that night we were invited to the DecoArt Social Artworking pj party, thrown by Kami and Cindy. It was SO much fun, and the basis behind the whole party was how to "get social, through painting!" You can order a party kit and it comes with everything you need to have a paint party with friends! SUCH a fun idea. We all had a great time getting creative and learning how to paint like pro's.
The next morning was TCCE registration! Kim was the top-dog-registration-girl, and was constantly pointing us in the right direction.(thanks Kim!)
During registration we were able to connect with friends and snap a few pictures too!
Next we were onto the Welcoming keynote for breakfast with blogger speed dating, off to a few sessions and then onto our lunch speakers and goodies from Burda Style, Project Life, and Stacy Julian!
Friday started off with a bang! I was off to learn all about photo styling with one of my favorite people, Becki Crosby from Whippy Cake! Becki was a HOOT! She had fabulous swag for all of her attendees and kept things lively with candy and giveaways! whoo hoo! Who knew that there was so much that went into each and every photo for handmade products!? I learned a LOT and will definitely take Becki's tips and tricks with me, when photographing even the smallest of details for my blog.
The Market opened later that afternoon, and let me tell ya, business was BOOMING! Thousands of creative women all in one place, Oooing and Ahhing over each others handmade crafts was a sight to see. There was a little bit of everything. From crochet necklaces and recycled vintage sheet pendants to handmade soaps and yummy farm fresh goodies.
Before we knew it, we were on a bus venturing to the beautiful kitchens at Cooks of Crocus Hill for a Start Clean cooking class by Terry Walters! Man this girl knows her stuff! She is a clean-eating expert and had tons of knowledgeable information on how to start a life with a clean body and mind. You can find her Clean Start book here!
Later that night was the book
singing signing cocktail party with gobs of talented authors and their amazing books, ready to autograph. At this point in the conference we were all feeling that sleep deprivation and well... let's just say that sometimes when you're not in the right frame of mind, you DO certain things that only SEEM totally normal, at the time. LOL. (just go watch this video, courtesy of Miss Becky Higgins and you'll see what I mean. yikes!)
Soon it was time for some nutrition, so we headed to the local American Burger Bar, had some yummy dinner and celebrated Marie, Laurie and Kim's birthdays. It was loud, musical, and ca-ra-zy!... to say the least.
After only a few measly hours of sleep we were happily greeted by our favorite McDonald's girls and a yummy breakfast of Fresh fruit & walnut salads, Oatmeal and thirst quenching OJ then next morning. Yum! Perfect start to another busy day.
Saturday started off with Kim's class from The TomKat Studio. Words to describe this class...
Fun, Fun, and MORE Fun!
I was honored to introduce Kim, bust out some dance moves (which you may have caught from that video above. oh jeesh!) and also walk away with some really cute party favors, that the TomKat team taught us how to make! Kim has such a great story. Starting out as a real estate agent, and turning into an overnight party-decor-designer-extraordinaire! I love this girl.
Without a minute to spare a bunch of us from the blogging crew were jogging to the bus to attend yet another fabulous class with model, turned TV personality, turned amazing cook... Cristina Ferrare, from the OWN network! Her new book is called "Big Bowl of Love" and her class at The Creative Connection was on her love for all things simply made with, tomatoes!
It was DELICIOUS, to say the least. Every bite of those farm fresh tomatoes were to die for! That Cristina totally knows what she's doing, and she is so REAL, happy, pretty and kind of reminds me of the ultimate "Mom in the kitchen". I just loved the warm, cheerful passion for food that she brought to her class.
hee hee... okay, so she didn't say this, but you KNOW she was thinking it! :)
After a quick clean up at Crocus Hill, we were in for one more delightful food class. This time it was all about Photographing Food, with the ever-so-talented couple from White on Rice. These two are hilarious and have such a contagious energy for what they do. I caught myself more then once doing the "Oh ya, you're right" or "I've never thought of that before" expression and nod. ha! You MUST check out their work, it's phenomenal.
Here were some of the photos that I shot, practicing with a few techniques that Todd and Diane taught us.
And last but not least, it wouldn't be a proper conference for me, if I didn't force some of my sweet friends into doing some impromptu head shots. ha!
Remember Blogher? Nothin' like gettin' a new headshot done in your hotel room, by the window and on an unmade bed. hee hee.
At least this time I had an idealistic setting to photograph these pretty-lil'-bloggers in. There's just something that I love about capturing the beauty, that I see in my closest most talented friends, in a photo, that makes me happy and complete at the end of a crazy weekend. I wish I could have gotten head shots of them all!
WHEW! Are you still with me? ha! I know that this was a LOT to take in with tons of pictures, information and even a video, but I have been to a lot of conferences lately and in return have gotten an overflowing amount of emails from fellow bloggers and readers who want to know what REALLY goes on at these events and if it's even worth all the time and money for them to potentially invest in, one day.
So I guess with this post I just wanted to show you moment by moment what kind of experiences and knowledge that I gain when I attend. I know I've said this a million times, but I'm ALWAYS amazed by the amount of talented women who I meet when going to these conferences. For me, I consider it "The Next Level of Networking". REALLY getting out there, face-to-face with people and making in-person connections that I feel go leaps and bounds further then any email or tweet ever will.