I’m back! More babble from me! So, lets see.. where did I leave off? Oh yes! That home based scrapbooking company and my new artistic expression, photo preservation, and obsession! I was in a store and you know those magazines by the check out? Well, I seen this magazine called Creating Keepsakes and it was all about……….. scrapbooking! I had to have it! Reading thru it I found an ad for something called Club Scrap. If you aren’t a member you must check this out! I’m one of those anal matching gals.. everything matches: my clothing, my decor, my towels.. you name it.. I match it. The curiosity killed me and I became a member of this Club. They send these pizza boxes to your door with 8.5×11, 12×12 paper, stamps, and embellishments and stencils and all these goodies to match, on a monthly basis. Heck, this is like Christmas every month. It was love at first sight! Why do I mention all of this? Because..becoming a member of this club, opened even more opportunities for me to meet some VERY amazing people in the industry of paper crafting! Club Scrap you see, started to hold retreats. The first one was in 2002 (I think!), and 80 women signed up to go. We had a BLAST. CS is based out of the Appleton Wisconsin area. We spent a long weekend being spoiled, learning great techniques and the best of it all.. they had this woman from a company called Ranger Industries who was absolutely amazing and talented. I couldn’t get enough of her.. and that woman is Robin Beam, who is a GREAT bud of mine. I think we stayed up til 2am watching her demo. The razzled and dazzled and she and I hit if off great and have been friends ever since. CS has held retreats every year since and Ive not missed one yet. This will be year 8. After a few yrs of Robin continuing her talent with the CS gang and the retreats she then brought Tim Holtz into the picture…. the dynamic duo! Again, the razzled and dazzled us all with their artistic magic and this is where more doors opened for me. Ranger Industries (http://www.rangerink.com/) holds what they call Ranger U. It is an extended weekend packed full of education of their products: everything from meeting the chemist to every technique imaginable with their products. Robin encouraged me to attend. I did! Tim and Robin, the dynamic duo again, taught us so much! Thereafter, I did teach for several stores. Unfortunately, I live a bit “in the boondocks” and Id drive 50 to 90 miles to get to a store. That didn’t stop me tho. I love to share my obsession with others and I love to see them get excited when they see how easy it is to be creative. I don’t consider myself extremely talented. I just do this artsy stuff because I love it and I wish I still had stores nearby to teach. In the midst of these retreats I attended, Robin Beam ( http://www.pearlesq.blogspot.com/) made me “pinky swear” that I’d do something more with my knowledge and art. I am an innkeeper as my real job. She suggested I hold my own retreat! Ack.. something I’ve never done before and so “outside of my box”, but I was ready for the challenge and thus, The Scrap, Stamp and Beadtreat” was born! I had Robin here for this event! Better yet, guess who else came along to join in the fun with these 80 ladies? The queen of crafts herself, Carol Duvall and her producer, Cheryll. Wow! We had it at the local country club. We had 8 stations with 8 different make n takes. Robin did her magic demoing and Carol and Cheryll got to meet every attendee. It was an awesome experience, and I really wanted to do it annually but unfortunately, funds didn’t permit that to happen. But, maybe once again, in the future, You just never know.. life is full of surprises! But, thank you so much to Robin Beam, Carol Duvall, and all my local artsy friends who helped me make this dream possible. Just when I thought this was the high point in my obsessive hobby, more great stuff has happened! 3 years ago, Robin at Ranger asked me to help out with CHA. I have had a bucket list so to speak. One of them was to meet Carol Duvall – done! Another was to some day attend CHA! – done but.. I was able to be a PART of it! Ranger and Robin asked me to assist doing a Make N Take at their booth. I was honored to be thought of, asked and be included in this! Its so awesome to sit and play doing MITI’s all day and meet people from all over the world who enjoy, are obsessed and feel so passionate about the same stuff I do! CHA is this huge craft and hobby show that is held twice a year. The winter show is HUGE and the summer show is mid year release stuff, and a little smaller. It is a lot of work. Ive learned all about setting up and taking down a booth, all about sales, and marketing and everything in between. I thank everyone at Ranger for giving me this opportunity! It’s 3 years later, 4 shows total and every time I have the opportunity and invited, they don’t have to twist my arm. Ive just returned back from CHA and Ill have to try to post a picture or two!