Thursday, February 12, 2009

The business of Scrapfest

I know I have been M.I.A. from the 'ol blog for quite a bit. Not that I have to blame it on anything, but I do feel like I should explain for those of you who have not been personally around me lately. A few years ago some friends and I put together a weekend away in St. George to get a break and scrapbook and pretty much do whatever. Well, since I coordinated a lot of it the first year, I decided I wanted to make it an event the 2nd year. So, in 2008 we had 67 people (30 more than the first year) and kinda had a little more drama than I wanted to deal with so I promised myself this year we'd keep it small (around 60) so I could host a quality event. Well, long story short, I have issues with saying "no" and by the time last weekend rolled around, we had 80 people registered for Scrapfest 2009.
And we had a good time. Sooo much of the prep work was done before we ever left Vegas and I HAVE to give major props to ma girl, Shawna Ballard, who is totally my partner in crime, er, I mean, in Scrapest. She's THE best ear, she works hard, she doesn't stress out when I'm stressing out, and she's the heavy when I don't have the nerve to be mean. Add to all that the fact that she's fun and funny and totally patient with my controlling/anal self and voila! we have ourselves a good little team.
After everyone registered it's my "job" to settle the contract with the hotel (for the conference room and hotel rooms), and start shopping for fun giveaways and prizes. I was kinda stuck this year in how to give everyone their treasures this year until Shawna found Michael's had their photo boxes on sale. So before we left we met at Shawna's to assemble the welcome boxes with the following:
official Scrapfest t-shirt
pack of gum
a chapstick
ruler, post-it notes, pencil, and glue stick (because that's practical crafty stuffs)
raffle tickets, Most Valuable Page voting cards, and coupons
water bottle with name sticker
Name tag

I'd like to say that everything went flawlessly, but thanks to a HUGE issue there was a lot of stress and panic the week before Scrapfest. My biggest concern with this event has been making the best use out of the monies that people pay to register. I'll sum it all up with this descriptive picture: Thursday afternoon at 1pm I had 159 packets of paper divided and GRATEFULLY my cousin (Jerolyn), sister (Erin), and friends Chris and Shawna came by to help add all the embellishments and get them all packaged. My entire living room was covered and by 5:00pm we had everything loaded in our truck and I was showering ready to hit the road. I also need to give BIG thanks to my dear father-in-law who watched my boys that afternoon for, well, forever, until Tyler could pick them up after work. Trust me, it was panic mode if I didn't even get a picture of it!

The drive to St. George was very relaxing and then I was ready to work. Shawna, my MIL (Dodie) and one of Scrapfest's local talents from St. George (Corinne) came to help put together the conference room with all our tables. The poor Holiday Inn people were so patient since I was creating a vision as we were going. And the room turned out better than I thought, even with all those women. Here's Shawna ready for bed after a long day!

This year people could sign up for an early-bird crop, so Friday morning I was up and shakin'. I walked to Staples to get copies AND worked out all before breakfast so Shawna and I had time to do a little shopping before noon. The Pebbles in my Pocket store was sooo generous with more freebies and a packet for EVERYONE. So cute.

And then the peeps started rolling in. That's my favorite part. I love visiting with the friends I only get to see once a year. There is something cathartic for me about having a group of women in the same room. I think there is a power in it. It revitalizes me. And I find the talent and stories of these women are soo interesting. There are professionals and stay-at-home moms, grandmas and daughters, sisters and friends. I just love it.

Friday at 9pm is the official kick-off even though, by that point, we'd been scrappin' for 9 hours, everyone was there to hear all the skinny. And then the night went on and on and on. and on. and on. I finally turned in at 3:40am, and when I stumbled back into the room at 8:30am there were STILL 3 or 4 or 5 women going at it. Honestly, I couldn't even keep track I was so tired, but I had promised a couple freebie drawings at 8. At 8:30am I literally walked into the conference room so contact-dry-eyed and no-bra-ed that I couldn't believe people were still up or BACK up scrappin' already. We are so die hard at Scrapfest!

By Saturday at 6pm we had the bigger prizes given out and most of the giveaways done. And you'd think at that point everyone would be burnt out . . . oh no. Scrapfest continued until 5am on Sunday. (Trust me, these woman have stamina!) After a quick rest we checked out and headed to the yummy Cracker Barrell for breakfast. I did manage to have some good eats and actually got some pages done for our family albums (although it was not even close to what I planned on doing.) But best of all was hangin' with my peeps. Here's a couple photos:

Me and my Patty. Okay, she's not mine, really, but I just love her and we had such a good time. She was such a sport to sit with me while everyone came up to us to visit or discuss business and every night she had to go to our room to get some sleep as I kept at it. Once a year doesn't seem enough, but I'm glad we've got it.

Me and Babs

With my Mother-in-law, Dodie.

Amy, Robin, Chris, Me, Whitney, Jackie, and Leslie . . . Aren't they smokin'?

Me, Angela, Jerolyn, Jennie, and Erin . . . soo fabulous

(and yes! my cousin Jerolyn IS that funny.)

My SIL, Mindie. I swear next year we need a picture all my family who comes (this year it was my mom, sister, 2 SILs, a cousin, and a cousin-in-law . . . not to mention all their family THEY bring with them.)

This year I wanted to do something more than just be indulgent, so in January I emailed a bunch of companies to see if they would donate to Scrapfest and/or help me with a special raffle I'd like to hold. See, my mom's BFF couldn't make it last year because of stupid breast cancer making an appearance in Marsha's boobies. So Marsha fought and fought and kicked that breast cancer's a$$ and I knew she'd be there, fer sher, this year. Also, I thought about my MIL who's a breast cancer survivor and how breast cancer has affected so many women, so many of those women who'd be at Scrapfest, and I wanted to be able to make a donation in their honor. A couple weeks before we left Provo Craft delivered a brand new Cricut machine to my door. And at Scrapfest I sold raffle tickets to raise $505.00 to donate to the Susan G. Komen foundation!! Isn't that awesome???

Here's the winner, Lisa German:

And finally, so you don't think we're all business at Scrapfest, here's just a couple of pictures of some of the shenanigans . . . totally worth making it to the end of this post, right!?

Here's a video montage with all the pictures I took of the fun ladies!
View this montage created at One True Media
Scrapfest 2009

See ya in 2010!


Nan said...

It's about time lady!! I'm glad you had such a successful fest! Too bad I don't scrap because it sounds like tons o fun and I love any excuse to hang out with you. You're such a freakin' go getter!! Love you!! Thanks for my fix:)

annilee said...

OH NO YOU DITN'T! Seriously I knew there were some black mail pictures floating around out there! I can't believe you would associate with that crazy redhead trying to use that chair as a stripper pole! Wow, the things that happen in the early morning hours...

chris jenkins said...

thank you so much for such a fun weekend :)

Donna said...

Watching the slideshow makes me want to go again! Thanks for a spectacular weekend! You are AMAZING!

Jana said...

Thanks for all your hard work putting this together each year. It was a great time.

Jeannie said...

Very fun pictures. Can't wait until next year!

Beth said...

Uh, Nan...I don't scrapbook, and I love it. I just take another project to work on and come and go as I please. Next year, though, I'll try to schedule a little more time actually AT the 'fest, rather than running around doing other stuff. Two days just isn't enough, if you haven't planned ahead! Sarah, it was great. Good job to both you and Shawnna and all the other behind-the-scene people that made it possible.

Jenn S. said...

Duh, I shoulda known you'd be Scrap festin' . . . looks like so much fun and I am going to make it some year (I'm projecting 2011). Looks like a rockin fun time.

Megan said...

looks like lots of fun. i might just have to come with my mom next year. and how sweet of you to donate to Susan G Komen. you think of everything!

Troy and Nancee said...

Wow Sarah!!! I didn't realize what a huge production this is. I am not surprised that you put this all together thought. It is what you were made to do. I have a friend about to pass away from breast cancer. It seems to touch everyone's lives. So awesome that you raised money for that. Thank you!!!