Loaded up and ready to head to Vegas!!!
I got to Vegas at 11am Linda picked me up at the airport and we headed to the hotel to meet with Janet. We got our stuff to the room then headed it to eat that the Cheesecake Factory! Yum!!
The bathroom was pretty impressive with a separate toilet room. Gotta love that!!
When we got back from eating we went to the pool area and swam in the heated pool. It had gotten quite overcast and cloudy with a breeze. We also explored the spa area and used their showers as well. ;). Then we headed back to the room to visit. I'm such a slug I fell asleep at 10pm. That's 1am Georgia time in my self defense!!
It was a nice day spent with the girls visiting and catching up.
Linda left early the next morning to make it back to a meeting and to work that afternoon.
Rainbow from our hotel window. It got brighter later when we were pool side but NO camera at that time/drat it!
Sunrise Thursday morning! Pretty!!
The Store. There was more product added as more shipments came in as well. It was weird that all the products weren't on sight from open to close on the last day. Some of the vendors left out Friday night. Some products showed up on Friday during classes.
THIS is what was in our registration welcome bag. Yep. One thing.
The location was STELLAR!! The Green Valley Ranch Spa and Casino. Now I didn’t even mind a titch paying the BIG price on the room – really – it was worth it to me – it was a good location – the pool area was great although I didn’t plan nearly enough time to enjoy that part of this experience, but honestly, it wasn’t too horrible on that end. We didn’t eat at the Buffet, but ate at the pizza place one night (food was HUGE portion and delish!) and the café a few times… with a stop at Starbucks and the food court as we were always short on time – probably my fault as I linger in classes wrapping stuff up!
ThursdayAs to the classes. Yes, one ladies kits got misplaced and she didn’t have her kits first thing Thursday morning. She taught it later during the crop time on Friday evening. Ok, I get it, crap happens, she didn’t plan shipping well. She also didn’t plan kits well either. She was missing a part in EVERY kit and in mine was missing three. One I could make up for – it was just white card stock and Janet rescued me on that one and had a piece, so I cut it to the measurements in the instructions – they were a full INCH off on both measurements. I asked her if I was misreading this wrong or if the instructions needed to be updated. She kinda seemed to snub me at that point, but then again, I kept asking question of her design as she took pictures of CLEAR paper over the next page –which only lead to confusion on what was actually on the page we were working on or the page following. Personally – take pictures of them with a blank sheet behind so you can see what is on the actual clear page – you’ll see if I ever get MY blog done what I’m talking about J I flipped all the pages up so it was page on black.
Ok, I’m still OK with the project… but really for the cost… not really. They were expensive. They were California prices. I’m not a California girl.
Midge and Madge – RAVE about these gal’s they were SO fun, so engaging, so I guess that would put a damper on the rest of the teachers, but honestly they were so fun, and you will see us in the back of the class (so we could spread out!) twice with them and although I don’t think the value was there for the product, I learned new things and I enjoyed myself completely! They taught the multimedia journal cover (which I thought was a cover for a hardback journal – uh, no, a 10 page paper one – not what I was thinking, but it was a new thing to try and now that I THINK about it, that is where I got the bottle of decoupage!) AND the pillow with them was TINY in a 12x12 – which once you SEE that, it’s VERY tiny, but again, I learned something and they gave us a whole bottle of fabri-tac with the class (more than I can say for the rest of these folks!)
Thursday night was also the opening ceremony... thinking we would get a bit more "bling" while at this...\
Waiting outside of the doors to be let into the event... they were running a bit late for this... so we waited....
And this was the one giveaway that everyone received - it's a double pack of gold flip books from the Teresa Collins line. She also had two different papers (clear) to receive from the cabana line, however the only ones that were left were the black and clear striped - the pink arrow ones were all gone. Hum... lack of planning anyone? Really - you KNOW how many are coming to the event and you didn't have enough product to give out? What the heck... I was so disappointed in the whole mess I walked out and was told they would get more in the room in a bit - as we had a class to "catch up" on we opted to wait a bit - they didn't get anymore of the pink arrows, that was it.... there was no more. So Janet and I didn't get ANY of those.
The opening ceremony "motivational speaker" was a downer... it was Whippy Cakes - and really all I remember is was the downer talk about suicide and mental illness... really didn't bring the crowd up... just let us know we're all "girls in progress"... Ok, got it... thanks. now off to bed to cry myself to sleep, thanks... :(
FridayFriday's classes were “eye opening” for me. No, really – Richard Garay was shockingly good and I LOVED the easel. Even after I had looked at it on line and thought “really? What am I going to do what THAT?” then it turns out that (blush) I LOVE that project. No really – it’s on my entry table RIGHT now. It’s blingy and bright and I LOVE it. The “give away” bag after I used it on the plane… not so much – no zipper, no closure, but really – it was a freebie, so who cares, right? I can let kids use it –it’s a denim look but it’s a very plastic material. BUT it can serve a function, I’m sure. See, positive points for that one? LOL Ok, not super positive.
Our table mates for the weekend - we kept the same table the entire time - these gals were from Vegas.
As we were sitting on the far end, we kept cutting through the storage area to go to the bathroom rather than walking in front of the teachers - ha! So we saw a lot in there before it was our time :) At the end is Lisa Bearnson talking to someone.
Speaking of freebies… that was what shocked and let me down too – our welcome bag had ONE little thing in it with a “shine on” theme to it – but really ONE thing… ONE… very much a letdown. Midge and Madge rocked this part in that they gave us not only banner paper, but some udder balm – that stuff rocks. I’m a bit sad that one of my two tubs grew legs and walked, but honestly I have one tub, that’s plenty for me now that I’m back in the land of humidity – being in the desert was KILLING me… I was drying up and blowing away!!!
Anyway – the next class was the Christmas Cards with (yeah I had break down and get my name tag so I could reference classes) Deanne Hutchison – she was AWESOME – taught the class well – she had some very specific designs and there was a LOT of glitter paper and I blanched when I saw that… I’m just not a blingy gal. Yep, you guessed it – another project I fell in love with!!! They were awesome – the paper was great, the projects were complex, but easy to accomplish and it was all in all a GREAT class.
Teresa Collins than taught us… an honestly I have no pictures… and I have ZERO memory of what the blazes she taught us that day… it will come to me I’m sure.
**updated** it did come to me, it was a mini album - which is really cute with quite a few paper tassels. They are kinda fun - I have zero pictures of this one, so will add those when I finish the book!
AND she had a giveaway in this one too that was pretty awesome - I love this thing and I have no pictures of it - it's a LARGE gold stapler. I will have to hide that from the kid for sure!!
There was another get together with giveaways at this one too - but in order to have more than one name in the hopper you had to buy $20 of product in the store - for every $20 you bought, your name went into the hopper again. I had a Very low chance of ever getting called as I bought NO product - I don't have the room for it in my luggage, thanks!!
From here we went to the class that I have listed in the first slot...
SaturdaySaturday morning was a cute gal – Margie Romney –Aslett – she did a cute book all about ME. It was a complex project and I’m NOT done with, but once I got past the first parts of the instructions and moved onto just “create” I was OK with just zipping on ahead and just putting the pages together the way I want to… but then I have to sew it in time. I think I will like this one… no, really I think I will – and I know I need to finish it as well. I need a book all about me
Teresa Collins taught again and I think this one was the banners… and I enjoyed them – they are going to be hung in my house … I have Halloween done and Valentine’s day… I will work on a Christmas one too for the mantle.
Oh, and going through pictures, she did have a few giveaways at this one!
And these are samples, I'll get pictures of mine when they are all finished and hanging on the mantle - K?
The last one was Lisa Bearnson – she was great – she had a fun game that was sort of an icebreaker and reminder to be kinder (which apparently hasn’t sunk in for me yet). It was a cross word puzzle – one you could complete and one that was impossible… very good lesson there… but then again, I’m here to scrapbook, not do cross words, but OK, it was a worthy thing…
She had a BIG BOX display that was OK, if you’re not traveling… not thought out for those that fly for sure, but I made it home with mine in one piece J The layouts were simple and they were good, but it was touted a few times on “don’t you like how you can use this kit for its design (very easy/simple/straightforward) and for other projects. Which is true of all packages… honestly it seemed to be a sales pitch, but really – more power to you if you get folks to sign up. (same could be said for Richard Garay as well as he was stating “you can only get this if you are a “Journey leader” or something like that – meaning consultant for him)… but again, more power to them. They need to make a living too.
LOOK, Janet has pictures to put in hers!!! Very nice!
The BEST parts were the giggling down the hallways and just general fun we made along the way. A few crop dusting episodes where that dang Margie Momney was behind me and I didn’t know it – hahahaha. Whoops!! We’ll never speak of that again – right???
So - for the first of it's kind for me going to a high end scrapbooking event, the question is 'will I go again?" Probably not is the answer. I'm more of a budget scrapper. I don't care if I'm getting national names to teach me, I just care that I'm spending time with family and having a good time!
**updated** I swore this was going to be my journal of sorts, so I need to be truly honest in this appraisal of this event. I had sent a very scathing email to my niece spelling it all out then when it came to the blog I sanitized it a bit. Then I thought "why" - who will care that reads my blog and if those who run the even come and read it, maybe they will learn that true salesman ship can be seen in those that welcome all and are gregarious and friendly regardless if you are a groupie or not. Ya know? So the crotchety old lady part of the story is this:
Ok, I think I’m ready to answer this question now.
I may have answered it my head a few times before as well, but really had a good talk with Mom the other night heading home from work and I came to the conclusion that I didn’t feel “included.” They are a BIG group of family and kids. I don’t know them, nor if I were to follow them on Facebook or other forums would I feel like I know them.
They are “above me” – the mere mention of her husband being an attorney really turned me off in the closing talk. It was like she was saying at most times “look how GREAT my life is” – which, yes, I know she’s had her share of downs. I guess I have this thought that it’s all superficial. They are the bleach blonde group and I’m more of a bargain bin type of gal.
Let’s face it, Scrapbook steals, smaller venue, friendlier, crazier group is more my style. When we were taking our group photo on the last day with our tablemates and Teresa walked through the room I invited her to come and join us for the shot. We were turned down without even a full sentence, just a look that was like “why would I come join you? You’re not a returning guest, you are not one of the groupies” … maybe It’s just because I’m a crotchety old lady now too.
I don’t appreciate paying $325 and having them assume I’m OK with crying babies in the room. Ok, if they are quiet and you zip them out of the room the minute they start to fuss, fine – but most of the time they would stand at the back of the room with a screaming child and rock them and stay in the room. Ok, the groupies LOVED it, of course, they are following her, know who the kids are and have watched this from the beginning – me, as a new person. Nope, not for that sort of money – shoot not for ANY money. I get offended when I meet my friends who have kids that are their be-all-end-all and they don’t leave them home so we can have adult time to talk and catch up. Yes, I know YOUR child is #1 in your life, but s/he is not in mine. I didn’t drag my kids to adult time. I thrived on adult time without kids. I LOVE my girls, they are great – but there is a time and place....
It was very BUSY and intense, but, honestly I had memories popping up on Facebook this week on our Scrapbook Steals event from two years ago and the amount of product was SO much better… the overall cost was 1/3 for the event… and it’s smaller, more intimate and more “down to earth”. Feel free to share that with Melody if you care… I would love to do hers again if it doesn’t conflict with and held on SCHOOL HOLIDAYS!!! When they did theirs in September it was so much easier to get away and go to… October/November I can’t claim it as my birthday present to me!!
Now aren’t you sad you asked??? I think I will just copy and paste this in the blog so I can just add pictures and be done with the whole description of the trip!
**and then I deleted all of the truly honest feelings about how I felt leaving that event. My friends and I had a nice lunch today and we talked through this. We had some similar experiences and it really can sour you to the whole experience, person/line of product when the "face" of the product is aloof and made to seem above you somehow because they are where they are... It takes nothing to be nice and smile and when you are in the area to put yourself out there. By all means, take care of yourself and remove yourself from the public eye, but if you are the face of a product, suck it up butter cup and be nice and friendly within reason. I would not expect to sit down with you and have coffee if you are that level - heavens no - but shoot, you're selling me a product, a name, an event - act like I matter just as much as the next guy! Ok, end of rant :D