11 September, 2006

Back to the REAL world...

Where does one start or how does one describe what an awesome time I had at the Scrapbook Trading International Conference in Johannesburg. Even though I was there in a {working capacity}, it still was just as enjoyable. It was from the 8th Sep until 10th Sep.

Here is a little recap of what I experienced this weekend and who I got to meet...

Ellie and I flew up on Thursday morning early. Once we arrived in Joburg, we caught the hotel bus to Emperors Palace where it was being held. Upon arriving there, met up with Margo (she was in charge of the Volunteers), she asked if Ellie and I could start packing the 850 Goodie Bags for the delegates. Now you are probably thinking 850? Oh, my hat...when do you think you will have this finished by...but, not to worry, we got stuck in and proceeded with our rather so called organised production assembly line. Couple of students arrived in the late afternoon to assist us, and by later that evening, we managed to get them done. Or should I say by 1am the next day they were done. Needless to say bedtime was around 1h30am Friday.

Arrived Friday morning bright eyed and bushy tailed, after just having had a Red Bull, ready to face the so called 850 woman, who were about to start with registration for the weekend. Margo said Elie and I could relax a bit today, as we spent most of Thursday packing the goodie bags. So, our task for Friday was to hand out AMM tote bags and Heidi Swapp's "Love your Handwriting" book, to those delegates who booked and paid early.

After lunch, there was a brief rundown from the 7 American Teachers about the classes, just so that we had the just of it. The classes looked awesome, although only one of the classes was 12 x 12 layouts, the rest was rather nice projects.

After the class rundown, we headed off to the Circus Maximus Function Hall, for a Gala evening with fun. Show started off with some singing and live entertainment. Then Louise introduced the 7 American Teachers to the rest of the delegates. Then it was time for the announcement of the Creative Reflection / Scrapbook Trading Cream of the Crop Winner, who won an all expenses trip to CKU in the States, plus other awesome goodies. I was a finalist in the competition, so we all got called up and given a rose, and while up on stage they announced the winner. It was not me, so we will see what next year holds out...

Cheryl and Ilana had about 12 woman invited for dinner, which meant we retired into bed at about 1am.

Saturday, it was an early start for Ellie and I, as our classes started at 8h30. Our first class was Jessica Kopp, and she had them decorating the word LAUGH, and they used Making Memories products.

Second class was Melody Ross from Chatterbox, this woman is so amazing and has accomplished so much. She truly was an inspiration to me. Her class was a mini album with tags, using Chatterbox range.

After lunch, we had my all time fav teacher, Becky Higgins. I got to meet her in person at the first Scrapbooking Conference in 2004. Becky has always been like a mentor to me. Her scrapbooking style is so clear and simple and her focus is on the photos. Her class was 3 12x12 layout pages, which are stunning. Her husband David, got me to help her setup the AV to play her Ipod music selection through it for the last two classes.

The last class was Anita Oldham and she had them decorating a Coin Holder mini album, which looked awesome once completed.

Needless to say, Saturday night we got to bed at around 1am again.

Sunday's first class was Sarah Dupont (South African teacher),as Shannon Tidwell could not make it. She got them decorating a mini KI tin with some nice KI Memories product.

Second class was Annette Hardy from AMM, she got them decorating a mini 6x6 brown leather album with AMM product, it looked great.

After lunch, we had Amy Kennedy and Adrienne (mom and daughter duo) from "My Sentiments Exactly", they are those cool clear acrylic stamps. The class had to decorate a tin with some pretty cards in it.

Then in our last class, we had Heidi Grace, from Heidi Grace Designs. Oh, my, her product they got to use in the class was just too gorgeous, that you did not want to use it. She also got them to make a mini 6x6 album.

All the product the delegates got was so yummy, and I was itching to get to scrap it too. I guess we will just have to wait till we get home, as the volunteers got the product after the conference, as payment for the work done. So when I have managed to complete any, I will post back to my Blog...so watch this space girls!!!!

Here is the group shot of all the Gals from America. Rene Pearson was there too, she was doing Digital Scrapbooking demos in the Expo / Shop area.

By the way, seeing the page that I entered for the competition, where I got drawn as a finalist was about Becky Higgins, I got her to autograph the actual layout for me, now I just need to frame it, and put it up in my Scrapbook study...All the finalists got a R500.00 voucher to spend at the expo, so I decided to buy myself the AMM Pink Bag with mine, that way every time I use it, it will remind me of my entry. It is just so beautiful, and so pink, just the way I like it.

Then it was wrap it up time, all the volunteers had to assist in packing up some of Anita's tools, once the majority had been packed. We where allowed to choose 2 items, so I got the Fiskars circle cutter and cutting board and some divine Making Memories Decorative Foam Stamps. The circle cutter is just to cool...

Then it was home time, we packed up all our kits and pink and black boxes we got given. I was wondering how I was going to get all this stuff back to Durban on the plane, but we managed.
We ordered pizza for dinner. As there was going to be no cooking...just scrapping, but we did not even get to do that. Before we knew it, it was time to pack our suitcases and get ready for bed. We finally crawled into our beds at about midnight.

Caught our flight this morning back to Durban. Jenny's hubby gave us a lift back home. Unpacked and sorted things out.

Picked up Amy from school at 12h00, was she excited to see me or what. She gave me lots of hugs and kisses, that was the best thing about coming back home...to my loved ones. It was great to see that they had missed me.

Looks like Ellie and I did a good job, as we are allowed to work again next year...yippee!!!

We spent the few days at Cheryl and Ilana's house, instead of a hotel. These two people are the most wonderful souls I have ever met, they have the most generous heart and are so giving of themselves. THANKS so much for letting us stay at your place, I really appreciate it.

I now leave you with this...

"Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, champagne in one hand - strawberries in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming WOOHOO - What a Ride!"

- all tired out and sleep deprived, hoping to get into bed real early.


  1. Hi Sophie,
    I was in your group and I want to say and ENORMOUS thank you to you (and Ellie) for your hard work - you girls were amazing. I agree totally with you that the weekend was AWESOME - can't wait to do it again!
    All the best - get lots of rest and enjoy scrapping the projects (when you get time!)
    Cathy Sanders

  2. Hi Sophie,
    Enjoyed reading all about the wonderful time you had at the scrapbook weekend. Made me wish that I was back home in SA able to attend with all of you. Hopefully, I will see you on Capella's board....

    Kari from Los Angeles, California


Thanks for stopping by, I love reading all your comments...♥