Shopping (and Stalking) at CKC Valley Forge

Posted by Kathy Torrence on Aug 3, 2008 in Crafts, Local Community, Scrapbooks, Soldered Art, Today's Photo

I had a great time at the Creating Keepsakes Convention in Valley Forge, PA this weekend!  My friends and I went at the same time last year and had so much fun shopping, we decided to do it again this year but stay overnight for the crop and some more classes this time too.

I took two great classes (I’ll finish up the projects and post them later, but here’s what one of them will look like when it’s done…but with photos of my own family, of course)


and got to SHOP all afternoon!  And when I say shop…the vendor area in these conventions is incredible!  Lot of new paper crafting products, demos, make-and-takes…and I also did a little bit of celebrity ‘stalking’…

When I first started making soldering projects, I mentioned on my blog a website called Simply Swank that sold pink soldering irons and other supplies including a fabulous instructional DVD.

I may have also mentioned a book, Simple Soldered Jewelry & Accessories by Lisa Bluhm (one of the ‘swanky’ sisters), that I just loved for project ideas and instructions.

Well, Lisa Bluhm, her royal ‘swankiness’ herself was at the convention and I just had to stop and gush over how much I loved her book and products!  I was such a geek – but I honestly do love her stuff and didn’t hesitate to tell anyone who stopped by her booth (in fact, she asked if I could stick around for a little while and help sell some sets with my free advertising/testimonial).  I eventually pried myself from her booth and continued shopping, promising to send her some emails of some of my projects.

After shopping all afternoon (I got some GREAT bargains!), my friends and I grabbed a quick dinner then went to the crop Friday night.  I couldn’t believe how many women were there!


Here we are at our table:


There were lots of vendors inside the crop as well – and one of the people helping out was…Lisa Bluhm!  This time, I was even geekier and showed her a photo of one of my projects that I still had on my camera:


I whipped this project up this week after one of my co-workers announced her retirement – THE NEXT DAY!  (Note:  If you are going to retire, please give your friends more than 24 hours notice in order to plan an appropriate gift)  I used a vintage postcard with some images of a rose garden, added some glitter and a rub-on that says, “Enjoy” – then I wrote on the back, “Take some time to stop and smell the roses.”  Hey – it was the best I could do in one evening with no advance warning!

Anyway, I showed Lisa this photo on my camera (at least, a tiny version of it on the little camera screen) and she said she loved it (I’m sure she was just humoring me, but I pretended that she meant it anyway).  Then I took even one more step toward being arrested for celebrity stalking, I asked to have my photo taken with her and she kindly obliged:


How did she manage to look so good after all those hours at the vendor fair?

I noticed a man standing to the side laughing at us – Lisa said that he was jealous that no one ever recognized him and asked for his photo.  Turns out, his name is Brian and he’s a model who has done lots of work including underwear ads for Target…so I told him I’d like his photo too:


Um…I didn’t ask him to see his work – or his abs.  That might have been going just a bit too far.  Right, Mike?

I also chatted with former Paper Crafts editor-in-chief Stacy Croninger (I had my photo taken with her last year, so I didn’t make the poor woman pose again) – but this time, she came up to OUR table (was she stalking me???).  Turns out that she just announced that she is leaving the magazine to take a position as the director of the Creating Keepsakes conventions.  We talked about that a little bit (I offered some feedback on the convention – she also humored me and made it seem like she was interested in my opinion) and I showed her the photos of Emily during the “princess incident” that I happened to have out on the table – she thought they were really cute and would make a great layout…I’ll work on that when I have time.

I also saw Mindy from Crop Classix – she also found me out in the crowd and came over to chat…I guess scrapbooking is really becoming a small community – you see the same people year after year at each event.

I didn’t get nearly as much done at the crop as I’d hoped (I was too busy chatting!), but I had a lot of fun and will definitely go back next year!

After a late night of cropping, we headed back to the vendor fair the next morning and picked up a few more bargains and did a few make-and-takes.  Most of the free make-and-takes were pretty lame, (mine were always MUCH better, if I do say so myself)…but what do you expect for free?

On my way out, I ran into Stacy Croninger again and she was with Stacy Julian, the founding editor of Simple Scrapbooks.  But poor Stacy J already had a list of other stalkers waiting for photos, so I just said hello and headed out.

I had JUST enough gas in the truck to get home…and then got stuck in a MAJOR traffic backup on the Schuylkill Expressway (known for its traffic backups) – it took me almost 1 1/2 hours to get home – twice as long as it would under normal conditions.  But I didn’t run out of gas (thank goodness) and to ease my stress, I took the time in the truck to admire my purchases…now let’s see what I can create with them!

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