Creative Estates Re-Cap!

I was lucky to attend Creative Estates with Kami Bigler as my roommate!
Not only is she as crazy as I am {remember us as bag ladies?} and sweet as can be,
but she is from Utah and is friends with some/all of the Utah bloggers!
Like I said...I was lucky!

So at dinner and the Cupcakes and Cocktails event I was immediately welcomed into a group of sweet girls. AND...we all became fast friends. These girls are hilarious, lovable, fun and genuine.

Lara {elle g} from {Less Cake More Frosting}, Megan from {Brassy Apple}, me, Shelly from {House of Smiths}, Kami, Char from {Crap I've Made} side note: loved her right off the bat just because of her blog name, and Jen from {Tatertots and Jello}.

How did I not know about these craft bloggers. I've been living in a little blogging hole I guess. I met these fabulous women, not really knowing about them, but fell in love with them.

How can you not when you all share the same creative spirit and get each other about 'why blogging'?!

Amy from {The Idea Room}, Jen, Cindy from {Skip to My Lou} and Kim from {Today's Creative Blog}

Next, I somehow became 'the leader' of this little group of lovely ladies as I helped them stay on task as they prepared their notes for their panel on Thursday evening. We laughed hysterically as they would get off topic about 'highs and lows' and Budig vs. Prosciutto then get on topic again. What a pleasure to get to know them and be so inspired by their thoughts and genuineness. Here are my notes from their first session. They all shared amazing ideas. These are just random as I scribbled them down as they spoke.

Blog with purpose, think about how you want your readers to feel after reading or what you want them to learn. Make your tutorials easy to understand. Photograph your supplies and link to where you purchased them. Watermark your photos. Re-size your photos to load faster. Re-name your photos. Always link back to a project that you are borrowing from another blogger. Give proper credit.

Best Advice: Be authentic. Blog your Passion. Don't worry about your numbers. Do what you love. Don't be afraid to promote, collaborate or link back to another blogger. It will come back to you two-fold. The more collaborative you are, the more beneficial it is to you.

Back up your blog and buy your domain name NOW. Use twitter and facebook but curb facebook a bit so friends don't hide you. Your facebook/twitter should be 50% blog/shop 50% personality. Just a guideline, but I loved that advice! And set up business hours and a schedule.

Kami did a craft/demo class using the Lifestyle Crafts Letterpress Epic machine. Guess who won one at the conference?!

ME! After I won it, I decided I should give it a try to make sure I knew how it worked.
I can't wait to get started using this amazing machine. And I hear it cuts fabric. I scored twice!!

Char and Lara helped Kami with the demo! It was a fun class.

Another part of the conference that was so fun, was meeting twitter and blog friends in real life and new bloggers  that I now have the privilege of calling my friends. I call these girls friends regardless if we have actually met or not. We interact on a daily basis, we support each other, we brainstorm with each other and we cheer for each other! That is what makes these conferences so exciting. Is knowing we actually get to meet up face-to-face.

Joon from {OrdyandJoon} was a face I recognized from What I Wore Wednesdays. She is gorgeous and such a sweetheart!

There were quite a few bloggers that I met and were introduced to their blogs for the first time. These two lovely ladies saved my butt at the airport. I needed a ride to the hotel and hadn't confirmed a shuttle. Wasn't thinking...just so excited to get there. Through TWITTER came these two to my rescue. I randomly tweeted 'anyone at the airport with extra room in their car' and Bev from {Flamingo Toes} came to my rescue. She told me to find Holly from {504 Main} and I could jump in the car with them. Funny side note....neither of these ladies had ever met in real life and Bev doesn't have a picture of herself on her twitter account. You should have seen us all looking for someone that we weren't too sure what they looked like. I finally approached Holly with a tentative 'are you Holly' to which she quickly replied 'April?' and then we both tweeted Bev with 'found each other'! Too funny. Bev was driving around and Holly was walking around and I was just searching for them both. We all finally found each other and had a good laugh!

This little cutie Becca from {Blue Cricket Design} became a fast friend. Her and Stephanie from {Somewhat Simple} are sister-in-laws and I couldn't get enough of them. Too cute and so generous and sweet. Girls I will call friends for a long time to come.

Nicole from {Olive Blue} is a Queen Bee Market friend. I was so looking forward to seeing her again. And her booth....so cute. Love the turquoise. The handmade market was filled with darling stores, girls and booths! It was so fun to shop there. I came home with a flower/feather clip from Nicole! Can't wait to see her in a few weeks again at Queen Bee Market. Psst....we talked booth design and I can't wait to see how hers turns out. We brainstormed together!

Me, Kami who I consider one of  my BFFs for so many different reasons after this conference, and Shelley from House of Smiths who is absolutely hilarious in every way. Her personality is so contagious. And she is a great singer...I hear. I missed her breakout session where she broke out in song!

I promised these girls me, Shelley and Allison from {A Glimpse Inside} that I would work on my sassy face for next year! I just can't stop laughing during those photos!

It seemed like girls were either in white cardigans or yellow tops! Two hot colors for summer maybe?!

This cute group of girls were definitely on my radar for meeting in real life and having time to spend chatting with.

Back Row: Moriah {Josiah's Nest}, Ilene from {Much Love, Illy}, me, Sandy from {Sandy A La Mode}Front Row: Kim from {Oh Sweet Joy} and Lindsay from {Aisle to Aloha}

I spend a good amount of time tweeting with these cuties and it was so fun to get to see their pretty faces, their fun personalities and talk shop for a bit. A true treasured memory!
Somehow I missed the headband memo!

Kami sat on the panel for the photography session with Laura Winslow and Allison Waken. Tauni from {It's a Tradition} and co-founder of Creative Estates {with SheyB} introduced them. For the record, I love Tauni! The two girls did a fabulous job putting on this event.

These photog girls did an amazing job talking 'shop' and giving out really great advice about photography for blogs. Kami actually posted today here her 10 quick tips to a better photograph!

Look what I found over on Jen's blog....a picture with me and Kim from {Today's Creative Blog} in it! So exciting. I thought she was the one that got away!

Becky Higgins, Megan {Brassy Apple}, Melanie {Above All Fabrics} and Becki from {Whippy Cake} started off Saturday morning with a bang. They were honest, crazy fun, and shared personal insight on running a business and staying present in our daily life as mother/wife/woman. Crazy Wonderful Chaos is what I call it. Here are my notes from everything they said....

One Calendar for the whole family. Stick with a schedule. Plan/schedule rewards for family/husband/you to re-charge and re-boot yourself after a busy week or meeting a business deadline!

Achieve your own level of success. Let your kids be creative with you. Help kids to learn to  be independent but be there when they need you. Do your menu planning/grocery shopping weekly or you might not eat if that week is crazy busy. Prioritize your next day before you go to bed.

Have one notebook where you write your ideas down/sketch new product/brainstorm topics! Get it out of your head and onto paper so you can think clearly.

Include your family in weekly schedule. Sit down for family council weekly to discuss everyones schedule and deadlines. See where you can help each other!

I so needed to hear all of these ideas. So inspiring and motivating. Thank you ladies for help clearing my head and also for making me feel so normal with my happy chaos that comes with being a small business owner, mother and wife!

Ok only a few more pictures promise.....

me and Jen from {Tatertots and Jello}.

I will just tell you know that I love these girls that I got to know. I can't explain it any other way, except to let you know that they are sweet, kind and giving! We laughed so hard at times and built friendships that will last a lifetime.

me and Megan from {Brassy Apple}
Megan was just one of those girls that I could pull up a chair next to and not a word was needed but a connection made!

Ok...complete honesty here. Not that I'm not always honest but I didn't know Cindy from {Skip to My Lou} or who she was. Again, why didn't I know about this whole group of amazing Craft Bloggers. I love that I got to know her so personally before really getting to know her blog. We laughed and went everywhere together. At one point the morning of her session I was helping to organize them, fixing hair, handing off paper, pens, etc. and Cindy nicknamed me her 'handler' letting me know that I was going to have to be her right arm girl. I'm pretty sure I can't explain how funny and fun it was. But trust me, by the end of the weekend we were dreaming of  me living in Kansas and the pair we could be. Love her and miss her so much. Cindy...please start tweeting or email me. I'm going through withdrawals and need my Cindy!

Kami, Amy from {Positively Splendid} and me.

We went to dinner, just the three of us on Friday night. We talked, laughed, shared business tips and then got personal. I loved getting to know these two even more. And Amy, sweet as they come with an amazing business head on her shoulders! These girls got lucky and heard the whole crazy drop your mouth to the floor story of my first marriage and divorce!

And last picture from the event....
Stephanie from {Somewhat Simple} and Becca from {Blue Cricket Design}. Can you believe I'm a blond now?! I fit in perfectly with these two dolls I mentioned earlier.
Loved their sweet funny sarcasm, not taking themselves too seriously and quiet little chats off to the side that I had with them!

The week home from a conference is always hard. Hard to adjust to not being surrounded by girls that do what I do day in and day out. Share the same passion about social media and blogging. Sharing life stories, crafts and being inspired on a daily basis. Making fast friends that you don't feel like you can survive without, only to have to say good-bye to them and wondering when you will get the chance to meet up next. So glad we have the pictures and memories....and blogging and Twitter to keep in touch! And I always fear with these re-caps that there is someone or lots of someones I'm forgetting. I'm so sorry.

Creative Estates announced their dates and locations for next year.
I'm going....are you?
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  1. It was so fun to meet you April!!! I just think you are the cutest girl and I had such a fun time this weekend. I can't wait til we meet again. It was so much fun!!!


  2. I love all your fun pictures, but you're missing the one where you're breaking into the Coke machine. It was so fun to meet you. Hope to hang out with you again next year.

  3. Okay Miss April. Tons of new photos. And some that I think "hey, I've got the other angle of that one." :)

    You are hilarious. And real. And about as stinkin' cute as they come. I'm SO glad Kami introduced us. Loved this wrap up! The long ones are my favorite ones. (that's what she said...okay....sorry....I couldn't help it)

  4. Wow - I love this post. What a fabulous recap and a super stylish bunch of girlies. Love the sunny yellow cardigan - so pretty!

  5. such a fun recap post!!! i loved yours - especially since you included me and the other crazy ladies! (what an honor!).

    it was such a pleasure to meet you - you are as incredible in person as you are online. thanks for your inspiration!! :)

  6. I was lucky enough to have you for my roommate!

    You are instant friends with everyone, because your just so dang FUN!

    My favorite...you with the 20 something tweeters.

    I'm right...they ALL love you!

  7. what a fun recap! excited to check out some of your links...

  8. oh, and I have to add that I love that tweeting airport story! I do not use twitter at all, though people keep saying I need to jump on the bandwagon--how awesome is that story?!

  9. April, I am working on a wrap up of posts I am thinking you ought to go first because you said you love me?! What?! That's the nicest thing. Plus, I love you back.

    So happy to have found your blog. Can't wait to see you again.

  10. Oh my gosh!.. the fun you had the places you went... very Suess of you!.. glad it was wonderful I hope to be there next year!

    Maddie- the D.A.

  11. I am so happy you had a good time. And you got some amazing pictures too. I feel like my camera must have been in my purse far too often.

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