I promise this is my last post about The Creative Connection

Pinky swear. I just can’t shut up until I share a few more stories, pictures and do a little name dropping *coughReecoughcoughLoraleecough*.

My flight out was…crowded. Apparently Hell now operates an airline from Hartford to Minneapolis. There’s no other way to explain sitting in a teeny tiny middle seat between snoring shoeless guy and plus-size over perfumed grandma for 2+ hours with so little room I could neither cross my legs or work on my knitting. But the flight was blessedly on time and once I found my chauffeured car (!!!!!!) at baggage claim I was mere minutes away from that delicious red velvet cake and a great Q&A with The Pioneer Woman herself.

The funny thing about a crafting conference instead of a blogging conference is that the attendees were split about 50/50 on whether or not they had ever even HEARD of Ree Drummond. The mind, it boggles. Although I bet someone somewhere is writing the exact same thing about idiots like me who hadn’t heard of Amy Butler before. (I have now and I love her the appropriate amount.)

High point: When Ree signed my book.

Low point: When I hit myself in the head with said book after telling her my palms were super sweaty and she was cute.

Yes, Ree is wearing 2 different shirts because that was 2 different days. Like I said, since so many people were unfamiliar with her blog she was without fawning masses 90% of the time.

After lunch I made it to a panel on Social Media and managed to accidentally find a seat next to an outlet (DEAD IPHONE ALERT CODE RED WEE OOOO WEE OOOO) and next to Nicole from Lark Crafts, my contact at the event. Afterward I hung around awkwardly hoping for a chance to talk to Loralee and thank her for the link that lead me to the conference in the first place. She ended up asking a group of us stragglers for business cards and when I passed her mine she looked at it…and looked again…and said “Waaaait a minute…” and then JUMPED UP and ran around the table and hugged me and hugged me and hugged me again. The other women who had been standing around all stared and one of the asked “Ok who is this famous person?” IT WAS AWESOME. Loralee is totally the same in real life as on her blog – funny and real and gorgeous and so so so nice.

I managed to check in, find my room and get changed for dinner with a few minutes to spare so I turned on the TV and was surprised to see Jeopardy! was on. Central time is weird. Anyways, this was the Final Jeopardy! question. None of the contestants knew the answer.

I totally got it though. Because I am a genius. Clearly. Do YOU know the answer?

Then it was time for the Keynote dinner.

Me & Loralee (with PW in the background showing someone her pretty earrings), Amy Butler speaking, Kerrie (one of the other winners) & Nicole from Lark Crafts & me, Mary Jane Butters speaking

And then I limped up to my room, ripped off my high heels (poor choices, Suzanne, poor choices) and passed out. For exactly two hours. Then I woke up and composed eight zillion blog posts in my head and worried about finding my way around the next day and worried Baby Evan missed me and worried everyone secretly hated me and worried some more. I didn’t sleep very much. The possessed alarm clock didn’t help.

On Friday I attended a panel about blogging that included Lisa Leonard, Heather Bullard, Brett Bara and Loralee Choate. FINALLY, something I know a little bit about. I almost broke my neck nodding along to all the advice (write often! good quality pictures are important! comment comment comment!) and loved hearing people’s different opinions on personal vs. professional blogging.

Then there was the box lunch with the Women Entrepreneurs panel. It was the only place I felt totally intimidated and out of my league – not a single person mentioned The Twitter or The Facebook for 2 1/2 hours. To be honest, the whole middle part of Friday is just a big blur. The schedule was so full I hardly had any time at all to catch my breath.

Which is something I definitely needed to do, since right after lunch I ducked back into the Handmade Market for this…

OH HAI THERE.

O My, isn’t Allison ADORABLE?

I’m not even gonna lie – it was totally weird meeting a bloggy friend in person for the first time. You already know so much about them that the basic hi-where-you-from-how-many-kids-do-you-have-what-do-you-do? small talk is pointless, but you can’t really just jump in with the super personal details. You end up standing around grinning like a crazy person but have nothing to say.

Of course, the initial awkwardness didn’t stop me for a SECOND and since she was foolish enough to give me her cell phone number I managed to invite myself along to dinner with Allison, her friend Cindy and Cindy’s blog friends Kim and Jenny and (another) Allison (who writes for Apartment Therapy). We started at Ikea, which makes sense when you’re hanging out with house bloggers, where I enjoyed crepes and lingonberry soda and bought an inspirational yard of fabric I’m going to plan the new nursery/play room around. Then we went over to the Mall of America (Which turned out just to be a big mall. I don’t know what I was expecting.) for some super cheap happy hour food and wine Diet Coke* lemonade.

This is the part where things could be really awkward if I say “Meeting Allison in person was like getting together with my best friend from high school who I haven’t seen in years but I already know I love” and she’s all “Uh, yeah, it was…nice. Please stop emailing me.” It was like a first date where one person thought they were totally Soul Mates and the other couldn’t wait for the night to be over. My social awkwardness, let me show you it. I think it’s a blogger thing. But IN MY HEAD, it was a super awesome night.

On Saturday I played with yarn with Kristen Nicholas

Embroidering knitting with yarn was SO cool and surprisingly easy.

Attended one more panel – The Future of Retail: The Digital Marketplace…

Me & Lisa Leonard (I totally dorked out and begged for a pic), Amy Turn Sharp speaking on the panel

Amy writes a blog, has an incredibly successful wooden toy business (that once got Dooce-ified), and had her teeny weeny 3 week old baby boy Scout with her at the conference. She was all kinds of cool and nice. I talked to her about my horrible pregnancy pelvic pain and instead of giving me the side-eye and running away she was all “YES!! THE PAIN!! IN THE CROTCH!!” and made emphatic stabbing motions. I liked her.

And then…the weekend was over.

Nancy Soriano (one of the creators), Kerrie, Erin (winner of a local contest to attend), me, Jo Packham (creator and founder of Where Women Create Magazine) and Jennie (the third Lark Crafts scholarship winner)

It was fantastic. Amazing. Everything I had hoped for and more. It still feels more like a dream than something that actually happened to me and being back in my real life (oh boy am I back in my real life) makes it even more unbelievable.

Thank you again to Lark Crafts & Nicole & Jo & Debbie & Meaghan & everyone else who handled all the details to get me there and registered and made sure I always felt welcome and special. I promise to use everything I learned to do something beautiful.

P.S. I wanted to share this cookbook with you too:

How adorabe is this?!?

The author, Zac, was working as the event’s videographer and tried to give a copy to Nicole, since she’s all fancy and important and has tons of publishing connections, but I fawned all over it so much that she passed it to me. I feel sort of bad for stealing it from her (and I think he was pretty disappointed too) but I looooove it. I think I’ll throw a Halloween party just to make those cupcakes.

P.P.S. If you were at the event or want to write about the event, please feel free to use my pictures from this post or the other ones. All I ask for is an attribution and a link back. If you want unedited or larger copies just email me bebehblog at gmail dot com.

*There is NO DIET COKE in Minnesota. It was all Pepsi, all the time, and it SUCKED. I ended up drinking more coffee than I’ve had in years.

THE END

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25 Responses to “I promise this is my last post about The Creative Connection”

  1. LOL @ no Diet Coke in MN!!

    Actually (brace yourself for some Minnesota nerdiness) the Mall of America has an exclusive deal with Pepsi. Even at the McDonalds in the food court you can only get Pepsi.

    And yeah, there’s nothing special about the MOA :)

    Also, you should have called (or rather emailed) me!! I live literally 10 blocks from the MOA and I would have LOVED to meet you! (OMG, I’m a stalker now, sorry)

    I’m glad you had fun! Sounds like it was an amazing time!

  2. MKP says:

    I’m glad you had a faboo time – and I even read every single one of these posts mostly because I was like “how much pretty stuff can there /be/ in Minnesota?” I also wanted to remind you that you are tremendously awesome, creative and delightful – you shouldn’t be intimidated by anyone whose awesomeness just happens to be more widely known :P

    • bebehblog says:

      I heart you bunches MKP. Come and visit me in Connecticut and say nice things some more.

      • MKP says:

        Don’t tease! Hilarious mammas and redheaded toddlers to chase and play with are among my favorite things :) Brooklyn isn’t so very far away either, and not-quite-Park-Slope is rife with adorable baby boutiques #justsayin’

  3. Yay! So glad you had a great time.

  4. Ameena says:

    You are a superstar for handling this even while pregnant! Seriously, I am so impressed. What a fabulous event though, it was worth it I’m sure. :)

  5. raincheckmom says:

    We were thinking of visiting at Halloween…but if those cupcakes are promised it’s a sure thing:-)

  6. Jessica says:

    seriously! what was with the no diet coke?!!?! totally not an addict though… :)you’re so cute. glad you had such a great time!

  7. Monica Lee says:

    Cute, cute blog! the weekend was not long enough!!

  8. Sounds like an awesome time! I’m so glad you got to go. I can’t wait to see some of the loot in person and hear more about it.

  9. You = hilarious. This post made me laugh a million times and remember our super-duper awesome night out on the town.

    ps sorry about the lack of diet coke. i heart diet coke and i hate diet pepsi. i promise we have the good stuff here in the great state of mn. but apparently we hide it??

  10. Loralee says:

    You were SO freaking adorable, woman!
    And, I think this is the nicest thing I’ve ever seen written about me.
    Made my night. :)

    P.S. THE PAIN OF NO DIET COKE! I AM STILL RECOVERING!!

  11. Audrey says:

    Pepsi rules. Just sayin’. :D

    Also, I am one of those heathens you speak of I guess..for although I have heard you and one or two other people mention The Pioneer Woman..I have never bothered to click through to her website and have no other knowledge about her. I have, however, had a deep abiding love of Amy Butler patterns ever since I discovered how easy it was to make her diaper bag. I’ve just returned her Little Stitches pattern book to the library after curling up with it in bed for several weeks. No..seriously.

    • bebehblog says:

      I bet you call it “pop” too. Freak.

      And if I had known you liked her I would have bought you a book & had it signed! She was very very cool to hear speak – she renewed my secret desire to have my house (or part of my house) in Better Homes & Gardens some day.

  12. jennie w. says:

    Pepsi products means that Mtn. Dew was available all the time. Heaven!

    Wish we could have met up sooner! When they announced the “Lark Scholarship WInners” I was like, “ooh, they’re going to have a scholarship?” Duh. That’s me. I like that 250 words makes me a scholar!

    • bebehblog says:

      Yeah, “scholar” was waaaay too fancy a word for me. Especially since I used the phrase “there once was a man from Nantucket” in my essay. True story.

  13. jennie w. says:

    P.S. It totally blew me away seeing P.W. sitting there with nobody asking to sign her book. Too bad I sat in line for three hours at a bookstore in Austin for the very same privilege.

    P.P.S. Privilege is a hard word to spell.

  14. OMW you and your cute belleh! Me and my not cute exhaustion. I’m glad you enjoyed hanging out with me as much as I, you (despite all of the complaining I did).

    PS I miss your face. And your accent.

  15. Seeing all your amazing pics makes me sad that we did not stay for the last day. It was great to meet up with new blog friends and I am so happy that I got to meet you at such a great event!

  16. Wonderful recap. I’m still winding down from the event and unpacking all my Handmade Market buys too-lol.

    It was great chatting with you at CC. Good luck with your upcoming ventures.

  17. You took the most amazing photos during the event. And, you really met everyone, didn’t you?

    Thanks for the pep talk about the doors. Any chance you have door pictures on your blog? I’m looking for visuals to convince Ryan. =)

  18. Katrina says:

    I’m a little late in reading this…honestly I was putting it off because I knew I’d be so envious of your experience. Glad you had an amazing time! Love the pics. If you want to talk about it endlessly the next time I see you, feel free! I’d love to hear all about it!

    And Pepsi is way better than Coke. It’ll burn a hole through your stomach and rot your teeth but there’s nothing else like it! And it’ll always be “pop” to me. I’m from MI–the East Coast is so fancy. Ha!

  19. [...] bought a yard of this fabric at Ikea. But it wasn’t at my local Ikea, it was during my super awesome fantastic amazingly amazing trip to Minnesota so it’s extra special. The frame was another freebie from after a garage sale that I spray [...]

  20. [...] also used the free printables found here for some of the decoration and labels. I also FINALLY used the cookbook I got at The Creative Connection that had all the cute “gross” food in it. The rest of the stuff is a mish-mash of craft [...]

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