Sunday, 27 February 2011

There may be one or two photos and a bit of excitement in this post...

Oh. My. Gosh.

I know I've hardly mentioned this, but I managed to get a ticket for a very special ArtsyCrafts workshop - with Leandra and Lin, and some chap called - what was it - Tim Holtz? ;-)

I got the ticket way back in September but the class wasn't till 25th February so I had to wait 'patiently' for those loooooong months to pass.... And, eventually, they did!!

I packed up my bag and set off on Thursday evening, because it was a bit of a trek to get to Newport Pagnell and I didn't dare risk oversleeping (as if!) or being delayed by traffic (much more likely) by driving the whole way there on the day. I spent Thursday night in a very comfortable room in a lovely little country pub - they were having some of the rooms renovated, so I got an upgrade from the tiny single room I was expecting to a spacious family room!

I got to bed nice and early, as I wanted to breakfast at 7am and get to the venue by 7.30 if possible, partly to avoid rush hour and partly because that was when the shop was due to open..... ;-)

I woke at half past midnight. Hmm. A little early to get up just yet. I managed to get back off to sleep quite quickly though.

I woke again at quarter past 3. Um. Still not quite getting-up-time.

I was still awake at 5.30. I was just thinking about getting up anyway when I managed to doze off again for 45 minutes. *sigh*

I got up at 6.30, got myself organised, took my bags to the car, and was ready for my 7am breakfast - not that I wanted much to eat at that time! (I'm not exactly a morning person at the best of times. Add in a smidgeon huge dollop of excitement and I could barely manage some orange juice and a small bowl of cereal!) And then I was off.....

I may possibly have squealed and bounced in my seat slightly as I saw the signs for Newport Pagnell....

It is remotely possible that I had a tear or two in my eye as the venue came into view....

It's really rather likely that I couldn't stop grinning widely pretty much from the moment I woke up....

And I was there!! First stop: the shop, from the corner of which I could sneak a peek of the first room set up for my morning class:

But I didn't spare too much attention for that, there was so many amazingly gorgeous goodies for sale, and all at discount!!

I was very fortunate that I had plenty of cash with me; The Mother and The Parents-in-Law had both given me spending money for my Christmas present, and I'd been saving hard. With the generous event discount I was able to make that cash go a long way, and didn't even crack open the credit card (though I did have to work pretty hard at resisting going back later just in case I'd missed anything!)

Wanna see what I bought? :-)

I had a mental list of certain things I particularly wanted to get hold of, and while a couple of them were out of stock or hadn't actually been released yet, I got most of that list, plus plenty of other goodies!

While I was in the shop, I bumped into Leandra :-) We'd been exchanging tweets for a while so she'd kind of got the idea that I was a bit excited, I can't think why?! So when she saw me, she presented me with a very special badge, to go with my event name badge!

I have no idea why she thought that might be a good name for me.....? ;-)

I got a photo with Leandra and Lin, another Twitter friend and Leandra's partner in crime craft!

(Look, even my hair is excited!!)

And then - after a quick coffee - it was time for the morning class to begin :-)

The idea was that each group would have a 2-hour workshop with Lin and Leandra, and a 4-hour class with Tim. It turns out that 2 hours wasn't long enough for Lin and Leandra, so we actually got a 3-hour class with them for our money :-)

It was so cool to see the little baskets of supplies in the tables! (And yes, there was some of that essential crafting tool - chocolate!)

We all settled down and got crafting :-)

It got satisfyingly messy with paints and inks!

And the chocolate came in very handy!

I took lots of photos of the various steps of the process and they'll all go into the minibook I'm planning, but to be fair to Leandra and Lin I won't share those, as it would be too much like giving you a tutorial! But here's what I made:

I was lucky that the lady sitting next to me received an 'M' in her kit and was quite happy to swap it for the 'G' I'd been given :-)

I just love how the cut'n'dry foam had been arranged!! I think Millie might have been responsible for that?

And then it was lunchtime. And then, finally, it was time for the afternoon workshop!

Quite a lot of stuff is required to kit out 4 groups of 72.... Loving this stack of boxes outside the door!

See all the happy people? Why are they smiling so, I wonder?

Why, it must be because they're about to take their long-awaited class with Lord Tim of Holtz!

There is no 'front' of the classroom really because Tim circulates all the time and offers demos and hands-on help to each table as required, but I still managed to get a seat as much at the 'front' as it was possible to be!

It was SO cool to have a close up look at the amazing projects I'd seen on Tim's blog and on QVC - to be able to handle the book he'd made and to appreciate properly the incredible details :-)

And it was SO cool to get started on our very own Configurations box!!

Being at the non-front of the classroom also meant I was near Mario, Tim's business manager and another Twitter-friend (so good to meet him for real!) It was lovely to chat to him now and then, and to get a good view of him modeling this gorgeous hat ;-)

(The white space is intentional, by the way - when this photo goes into the minibook I shall add journaling into that space.)

As I said, Tim did a great job of circulating and making sure each table got a fair share of his attention and help :-)

And he was so patient and lovely about having his photo taken with everyone!

Meanwhile, I was also working on my project lol! Here's the box all arranged and covered in paper and tissue tape and misted with the rather amazing Perfect Pearls Mist in heirloom gold, yum :-)

Tim was (unsurprisingly) a super teacher, so funny and interesting to listen to (though his voice was suffering, poor guy!)

One of the things I'd hoped to pick up was the new grungeboard 'printer's blocks' alphas, but they're not available quite yet - so imagine my delight to find an advance set in our class kit!!

What??? We HAVE to take a break???

Ah - so that the next batch of goodies can be given out! Yay! We'd had intriguing sneak peeks of these little calico bags but the contents were kept very secret - so exciting to see them waiting in our places, but we were strictly forbidden from opening them till the break was over!

Mario also brought round more essential craft supplies:

And I took the chance to pose for a photo with him!

And then - hooray!! - we were allowed to open the bags.

Oh, MY!!

Time gave us some hints and tips and techniques for a couple of specific items, but the second half of the class gave us a lot of creative freedom to fill each little box however we wanted, while he wandered round to help, advise, admire and sign autographs!

Towards the end of the class, this being the final group of the four, we presented him with a special book we'd all put together for him as a souvenir and thank you. My classmate Tania had made the covers, as many of us as possible had made inchies with messages on the back, and everyone else had a chance to add their messages to the extra pages of the book. It was a thing of beauty, and made with so much love - and Tim was overwhelmed to be given it :-)

It was an *amazing* day. I've shared here just some of the hundred and seventy photos I took, and just some of the memories that are spilling out of me. A huge, huge thank you to the whole team for all their hard work, organisation and creativity xxx

Yes, of course I got Tim's autograph!

And yes, of course I'm going to show you my finished Configurations box :-)

Top, sides and bottom - and yes, I got my project signed by Tim, too :-)

And here are some close-ups of the boxes:

(The ceramic buttons and the raw coffee beans had been given to me ages ago and I've been waiting for the right project. Here it is! I also brought along the tiny domino. Everything else was in the kit.)

(I love that my name is tucked away at the back in the corner, like I'm hiding!! And I got lucky again, the lady next to me - different lady this time - had this counter with a '36', my age, and was happy to swap!)

(How cool is this gentleman - printed on a transparency, wrapped round a candle tealight so you can light him up?!)

I bet you keep thinking maybe I've finished?! Sorry, there is a little bit more....

You see, in each class there had been some giveaways. Ours being the last, we were lucky enough to have a few extra chances to win, as Alain - boss guy at Ranger - needed to lighten his baggage in order to fit in the chocolate and gifts we'd all brought!!

And yes, I was fortunate enough to win one of the prizes :-) The very, very last giveaway of the entire event, in fact! When Mario looked at the list of names to see whose number it was, he said 'I recognise this name...... It's Tigger!!' So exciting!! So up I went to claim my lovely prize - I could hear someone say 'She's bouncing!' - and I think I might just have been :-)

I won this pack of brand new, not even released for sale yet, Core-dinations cardstock - woo hoo!!

AND! We each brought home a limited edition Vagabond sticker, and the goodie bag of products that we'd used to make the Configurations was ours to keep afterwards. Plus I also got to keep the leftover bits and pieces, paper offcuts etc!!

I'm done now. If you got this far, well done you!! I can't promise never to mention it again lol, but I promise I've got the initial excitement out of my system now! xx


Cheri said...

I'm wondering if this wins the prize as your longest post ever??? So glad for you that it was everything you anticipated (and more)! I guess from this that if I ever have the opportunity to take a Tim Holtz class I maybe should?

helena said...

wow, wow - I could feel the tiggerness bounces coming out my computer screen !

Heather said...

A-maz-ing!! Im so jealous I cant begin to tell you .......
You certainly got your moneys worth! I bet you are still bouncing inside :-))

JO SOWERBY said...

i am so impressed with all the pics and details in ur post about ur day mel. i went cropping yesterday and my friend tanya had been to milton keynes for her day with tim too. i saw the left overs and a few pics but nothing like this. it sounds like they were brilliant days and im sure it lived up to ur expectations and more,
glad to have u back from roma,
Jo xxxx

gayle said...

Thank you for sharing this with us! What a fabulous peek into the world of Paperartsy and Lord Tim :) not quite as good as being there but the next best thing for sure :) beautiful projects Mel, well done!

Sarah Somerset said...

Thanks Mel. Fantastic blog that brings back all the special moments of that great day. Still pinching myself. Sarah x

scrappyjacky said...

Looks and sounds like a totally amazing day,Mel.....glad it was all you had hoped for.....and what a gorgeous piece of art you now have.

Mary B said...

Are you sure the initial excitement has gone lol
Wow you have had a w/e to remember for a long long while
Love your box makes me want to do one of my own, in my style which would be pretty pretty I think but you never know once you get started.

Nicky Stevenson said...

Your excitement is oozing out of our computers! What a fab experience and so many goodies! Lucky, lucky you. :-)

Make My Day UK said...

Sounds positively AWFUL!!! You look like you had SUCH a rubbish time! you could have at least smiled for the photos?!?! Haha!! So glad you had a great time! I feel like I was there with you! I'm not really in to Tim Holtz style but that box you made would fit in so beautifully in my curious olde worlde office! I may have to take a few lessons from you!!! Thrilled you had such fun! X

Denise said...

Fantastic photos and project,I have been waiting patiently for your update and I am so glad you had such a wonderful time.Those configuration boxes are beautiful-Tim is such a good teacher isn't he? xxxx

Sian said...

I am completely glad that it lived up to all your expectations - exceeded them in fact, by the sound of things!

Anonymous said...

Really enjoyed reading this Mel, even though I had already heard all about it lol! I agree with everyone, you do seem to bounce out of the screen with the excitement :-) I am so glad you were able to go (as you were also able to see me:-))


Debbie H said...

OMG looks like an incredible day - and all those goodies!!

Kaz Hall said...

WOW!!! Mel your photos are pretty amazing, loved reading your story of events, i just wish my camera had worked, i had to rely on my camera phone....thanks for sharing and yes we must meet to share all things related to that special day! Next year is a must!! hugs

Alison said...

So glad you had such a all looks fab!

Lesley said...

Glad you had a great time. It looked fantastic

Ginger said...

Well that is so exciting Mel! I can't believe you got your project finished with all your bouncing LOL!
I enjoyed your story and photos. :)

Sandra said...

wow ... wow I can tell you're still bouncing as you were typing this ... what an amazing post and I'm guessing you're still reliving the day over and over again in your head. Have you stopped smiling yet?

Lizzie said...

And I drove past Newport Pagnell yesterday morning - and didn't even know I should wave!
So glad your class turned out to be all you were hoping for (and a lot more?).
The resulting project is gorgeous and no doubt you'll put all the extra goodies - and the new stash you bought - to very good use!
Great post, Mel, so glad you shared it all!
I don't mind if you mention the course once or twice again (each month!).. .so long as we get some more fab photos!
Sleep well tonight -you'll need to catch up!

Amy said...

Excellent! Though, I agree with Lizzie, you will need a good sleep over the next few nights to catch up and settle down a bit! ;-)
By all accounts it was a wonderful day and I am so happy that you have had this amazing experience Mel :-)

Kirsty.A said...

Wow. that sounds like an amazing day. I love the projects you made. I don't own a single Tim Holtz project, because I'm not at all a grangy scrapper, but I think maybe there's more to Tim than that. I might have to go shopping!

Joanne said...

What a wonderful writeup and fab photos. I was on the 2nd Thurs class and had the best time of my life. I'll mention your post on my blog as I didn't get photos of Tim's projects. Thank you for sharing.
Hugs Joanne xx

Deb @ PaperTurtle said...

Jealous. Jealous. Jealous. And Happy, happy, happy for you that you had this amazing experience!!! I loved reading your post and seeing all of your photos, Mel. I think I'll go back and look at it all over again! Awesome!!! xo

Gez Butterworth said...

AMAZING post Mel. Loved reading all about your fantastic day. :) Thank you for sharing your pics with us!

Val said...

Hi mel - I was there on Thursday - I agree - it was just so fab,. Agree with everything you said, and Lin/Leandra worked their socks of to get this so perfect.

PaperArtsy said...

LOVE LOVE LOVE your post and you make me want to bounce along with you.


Beverly said...

Don't worry about us, we are basking in your afterglow!!! Thank you for sharing the whole day, you did great with photos :) Your creation is beautiful!

Unknown said...

A fabulous post capturing the excitement of the day beautifully - we were all privileged who managed to attend Lucky Us!!!

Artyjen said...

Well done you for taking all those photo's.....unfortunately I appear on more than one of them! HOL
It was a fabulous day to remember and I'd do it all again tomorrow.
Thanks for sharing
xoxo Sioux
Oh! really were bouncing!!

Rhona said...

Sounds like you had an absolutely fantastic time - I can feel your excitement coming out the computer and can just imagine you bouncing around ;o) Love the projects you made and looking forward to seeing a few more little bits? xx

Kirsten Alicia said...

Hi Mel, this is a BRILLIANT blog post!! Thanks for taking so many fantastic photos of the day. Congrats on finishing your box, it'll probably be Christmas before mine's finished. :) And I was thrilled for you when you won the paper pack. Ok, I was jealous too, but I managed to keep smiling, LOL!!!! It was so great to meet you, but next time we definitely need more time to chat!!

Crafting Queen said...

Thanks for sharing all your photos, looks like it was a great event. !!

Hettie said...

Hi Mel. Boy it was an amazing day. I think one which we will all remember for a very long time. We never got to meet up and talk but Hey Ho!!
Have a wander over to my bloggie and you will see Tim having his photo taken with a very special guest!!! LOL!!!
Speak to you soon.

Unknown said...

Holy Crow... I'm so jealous! I'm typically a mellow, laid back person but I'll tell you what, if I had a chance to take a class from Lord Tim and meet him... I'd be bouncing like Tigger (and you) for sure! Thanks for sharing the experience... it looks like it totally rocked!!!

Karen said...

Great write-up Mel. I was on Thursday so sorry we didn't get to meet but I can relate to everything you've described: A totally fantiggerific experience!

inkyfingers said...

Mel, It was lovely to meet you. Great blog post and I remember you taking a photo of the chocolate :)

Yvonne x

Anonymous said...

Wow, what a wonderful project, I'm so pleased for you that it turned out so beautifully. AND that you met the lovely Sir Tim...isn't he just the nicest guy?
My friend Lynne also did the workshop - did you meet her by any chance?

furrypig said...

looks like a completely amazing day love the story of the day and all the pics xxx

Anonymous said...

Well, I'm late to this party, but I have just one word to say: AWESOME. AWESOME project, AWESOME experience, AWESOME post. I saw Tim demo briefly at CHA last summer and just that was fun! I can't imagine a whole day and a chance to create with him. Can't wait to see what you create with all your goodies.

Kristin said...

Amazing, what a wonderful time you had!

Anonymous said...

I took a class with Tim at a CKU conference about 7 or 8 years ago, and it was pretty exciting. Our project wasn't nearly as cool as yours though, I love it! Glad you had so much fun and thanks for linking up!

Missus Wookie said...

Oh I'm glad I came back and read this. You know I think you may have been just a wee bit excited ;) What a lovely project and awesome to have it signed by T!M himself!