Sunday, July 20, 2014

Applique Getaway 2014!! (Part 1)

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It's hard to believe Applique Getaway 2014 was three weeks ago already! Like last year I combined my attendance at the conference with a long family road trip. We've been home for a week now, I'm basically caught up with my I2S work after vacationing for two weeks (you really should check out all the cuteness Cristy digitized while I was gone), and I'm ready to share my AG experience! Like last year's post, I'm writing this as my personal diary entry about my experience. However, since I taught a class this year, I'm going to talk about the details of what I covered there in a second post. Here we go!

My journey to Frisco got off to a rocky start. We were supposed to leave Thursday morning at 5am, but between midnight and 2am my son threw up three times. :(  I got ZERO sleep worrying about what in the world I should do... drive by myself and leave sick kiddo at home with daddy, ruining ALL of our plans for the trip? Get in the car anyway not sure if it was a fluke or did we all have a stomach bug? Either way I HAD to go, I was teaching!! I felt nauseous (but it was just nerves).
He woke up chipper and ready to go see Grandmama, so I decided to "lay out the fleece" so to speak -- if no one threw up in the morning we would leave at noon.
We said goodbye to my husband and pulled out, making it to Baton Rouge in seven hours, only making one stop. Unfortunately Dashiell threw up again, but it was in the parking lot of the rest stop, so YAY for that! And then he threw up again in the middle of the night at the hotel (NOT fun). So yet another restless night for mommy...

The next morning he seemed ok, didn't even remember taking a bath in the middle of the night. We decided to press on to Frisco and get to MY MOM whom I was desperate to see at that point. We pulled into my aunt and uncle's house, immediately took Dashiell to the walk in clinic five minutes away (no waiting at 5pm on Friday) found out very quickly he had an ear infection, got antibiotics, and then I left both kids in the care of my mom and dashed over to the Embassy Suites. Almost right away I found my dear friend Kaycee and I think I started crying when I hugged her. Whew! I made it!

I was supposed to arrive by 4pm as a volunteer to help set up, but by the time I rolled in after 6pm, most of the set up work was done and several attendees had already gone through early registration. You can see some ladies putting the finishing touches on their booths here:
There in the middle of the picture is a pooped Janay who got to meet Lori of Happytown Applique and Johnnie Lee of Little Darlings. So fun to meet internet friends! :) Unfortunately I was so tired from running on adreneline and caffeine that I didn't get a real picture of us together. (This pic courtesy of Tobye of Just Sew Pretty).

Cristy's booth for The Itch 2 Stitch was already done. Later we did add a few things that I had brought along with me, but I didn't get any pictures of the table after that. Phooey.
I found Cristy, met her husband Chad (he sends me my paycheck stub so he's pretty important, ha!) and got settled in my room. Honestly, I don't remember much of what else happened other than going out to dinner with a huge group of volunteers and digitizers! It was yummy and fun even though I was in a daze. Special thanks to Tracy for sharing this big group picture!
I got back to my room, got my final thoughts together for my class the next day, and CRASHED.

Saturday morning I was up bright and early to get our room set up for our class: FONTastic! Expert Editing and More!
Even though I had been nervous to the point of nausea weeks prior, the morning of I was quite calm. I'm so thankful for the hundreds of friends I had praying for me! See how I'm not freaking out?
Our class was in the first time slot of AG, and we were put in the largest room. The capacity was 180 and they brought in more chairs! The room was full and deep and kind of intimidating:
But everything went really well. I walked through the process of creating a merged design in both Embird Editor and Embrilliance Essentials. I showed how to take elements from these designs:
To make this!
(More details about that project in a separate post)

I talked non-stop for 1 hour and 45 minutes, ha! :)
We had lots of vendors that donated door prizes:
So many in fact that we didn't have time to call individual names! So we put business cards under 36 seats and surprised the class at the end. That was fun. :) We did draw names for the bigger prizes like a gift certificate to I2S and a copy of Embrilliance Essentials.
Whew! After that experience I had to decompress.

I ate lunch at the registration desk with several other volunteers:
I didn't end up attending any other classes Saturday. The one I was most interested in (taught by Sheila of Savvy Stitches and Marisa of AKA Applique) was right after mine, and by the time I regained some strength and checked the schedule again... it was almost over! The rest of the day I really just wandered around, visiting with people and browsing the vendor booths. So much to look at! I spent quite a bit of time in All Stitched Up by Angela's booth and left with lots of fun fabric.
The meet and greet that night was nice (and tasty!) The photobooth was a fun idea, and I love this picture of me with several digitizers and assistants (L->R Kaycee, Lyndsie, Whitney, Susan, Jodie, ME, Tobye, Rachel, Sara Ann, Janna):
Kaycee and I also got to chat with Sheila and Marissa! (OH and Shawn... who was gracious to answer all my questions about running Embird on a Mac, which is next up on my to do list).
Afterward I went out to dinner with some of my favorite people: Kaycee, Janna, Sara Ann, Cristy and Chad, Rachel and Jose. Nice relaxing evening, no pictures though!

Sunday morning we repeated our class, this time in a smaller room with a smaller crowd (about 100?). The way the room was set up I had to stand in the middle at the podium. That was different, facing the screen with everyone else instead of being up front and facing them. I kind of liked it better. 
I'm thankful for this picture because the gal right in the middle gave me my favorite memory of the weekend:
After showing a particular feature of Embrilliance she gasped out loud and exclaimed "That was worth the price of the whole weekend!" :)

After that class we did a bit of packing and reorganizing. I snagged Lyndsie and Kaycee for a quick picture, I just adore these two women!
Cristy, Janna and I headed over to the photo booth in our matching tee shirts. This is The Itch 2 Stitch team! I L-O-V-E working with these girls! Cristy digitizes fabulous designs, Janna brings them to life with her always beautiful combination of fabrics and threads, and then I... well I do a bunch of technical stuff to help get the files online. Ha! I love it!
I joined a group of volunteers for lunch (it was nice to meet some new faces) but I had to skedaddle to my volunteer job before the food arrived.... I helped in Lyndsie's class, where she demonstrated how she digitizes an applique design (a cowgirl cutie that will be coming soon to Lynnie Pinnie).
It had the same effect as last year -- I'm in total awe of what our fabulous digitizers provide for us and it confirmed yet again that *I* do not want to be a digitizer! (I'm much happier working for one!)

When class was over I walked down with Lyndsie to the main room, where everyone was congregating for the door prizes to be given away. At some point she called all the presenters to the stage. I was not expecting that. It was neat to get a stage view of the whole room though. I didn't take this picture (used with permission from Applique Getaway), but it gives the scope of the whole thing (click to enlarge):
Alas, I did NOT win the grand prize (Janome MB-4). Oh well...

I helped the crew of All Stitched Up by Angela pack up their booth and hugged goodbye to many dear friends.

Then the icing on the cake... I got to meet a very special little guy. Lyndsie and I ran up to her room so I could see her son Jacoby. Last year she was VERY pregnant with him at Applique Getaway. And I gave her a gift of monthly milestone bibs using her Ninja Number designs. Well out of all the bazillions of things she had to remember, she thought to pack his 10 months bib so we could get a picture in person! Neat, huh?!
This charming little boy is so adorable, but he had NO interest in being in my arms, he desperately wanted his mommy who he hadn't seen much of for 48 hours. I'm impressed Lyndsie got this shot before he jumped out of my arms back to her. :)

And with that, Applique Getaway was over! It was such a wonderful experience. I really enjoyed teaching, and if they will have me back, I plan to teach again. I think next year I will teach Embird and Embrilliance as two separate classes instead of cramming them both into one time slot. If you happened to attend either of my sessions and have any feedback to offer, I'd love to hear it! You can email me at stitchedbyjanay @ gmail.com



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