Thursday, April 24, 2008


I've been looking forward to attending Scrap Etc. for over 8 months and it was wonderful! Drove to Nashville Thursday (and listened to Brook Shield's book "Down Came the Rain" on CD), a 7.5 hour drive which went very smoothly (as did the ride home when I listened to "Let's Roll" by Lisa Beamer... lots of tears with that one).

Scrap Etc. was a packed 2-day scrapbooking event which inspired us to "tell our story" in many different ways. We had 8 classes with gifted instructors Vanessa Hudson, Monique McLean (also event planner/dreamer), Wilna Furstenberg, Heidi Swapp, Jenni Bowlin, Angelia Wigginton, Gretchen McElveen, Danelle Johnson and Kristi Sakori Blakenship. We came home with meaningful projects (and cute ones at that!) and tons of ideas about ways we can tell our stories, as well as ideas about different stories to tell. There were 600 scrapbooking women at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel and the friendliness was overflowing! I had a free room at the nearby Sheraton Music City, so stayed there (briefly) at night - even felt the earthquake in the early morning hours on Friday (was a 5.2 that originated in Illinois).

I met friends from Willow Traders: Christina, Naomi, Ruth, Andi, Rachel, Sandy, Lisa, Staci, Renee (& friend Janet), Theresa, Linda, Tali, Dana, and Shirley (& friend Wanda). Christy and Heather met us for dinner on Saturday. We were all together in "Group D" of about 80 women, a smaller group, and our group leader was Janna (so fun, organized and energetic). We also met Heather and Heidi from Twelve Fridays. Meeting these "online friends" in real life was incredible. We had so much fun together... too many stories to tell here, so I'll let some pictures help tell part of the story...

Willows in "Group D"
Ruth working on Angelia's project:

Saturday Night dinner:

Heidi Swapp's Mirror album project that almost sent 2 willows "over the edge" :-)
With Heather & Heidi from Twelve Fridays:
With Monique, master planner and dreamer (& I was so touched when she recognized me and called me by name at the registration table Thursday - she and her team worked incredibly hard and gave us all a fabulous experience)!

Friendships were forged, hearts were touched, minds were inspired, and projects were made. It was a wonderful experience, one that I know will impact my life for the better. I am so thankful that Kent worked it out so I could attend, that Mildred came to stay with Seth & Tessa while I was gone, and that so many people worked so hard to put together a truly meaningful event! What a blessing!