SNAP! Conference 2014: Unbelievable Products and Tons of New Friends

If you regularly keep up with the FaveCrafts blog, you’ve already seen a few of our posts about the amazing SNAP! Conference in Salt Lake City, but those were only a preview. The time has officially come for us to tell you all about our adventure at the SNAP! Conference! When the editors of FaveCrafts and AllFreeKidsCrafts flew out to Utah, we knew we were going to connect with a ton of people, but we had no idea we would have so much fun in the process.

What is SNAP!, you may ask? The SNAP! Conference can best be described as a creative haven for DIY bloggers to come learn new things, ignite their inspiration, and make long-lasting friendships as they laugh and smile their way through classes, seminars, 50+ company sponsor booths, and entertainment. To say that SNAP! is a big deal would be an understatement; this year’s conference saw over 500 attendees from 46 states and 4 countries! To visually track where everyone came from, SNAP! set up this awesome map for bloggers to pin their business cards. This was the board at the beginning of the conference- it was completely covered by the time we left!

SNAP! Conference

We found another map in the FloraCraft booth, and we were totally surprised when we went to mark FaveCrafts on the map…the board wasn’t made of wood, it was made of styrofoam!

FloraCrafts

As the editor of AllFreeKidsCrafts, I’m always on the lookout for fantastic new kids’ craft products, so I was incredibly excited to swing by Hasbro’s booth at the SNAP! Conference to check out the latest from PlayDoh. While I was there, I got to try out the new DohVinci line, which allows kids to create detailed artistic creations; think PlayDoh meets kid-friendly 3D printing. DohVinci won’t be officially released for a few more months, so I was thrilled that I got the chance to take it for a rest run. It turns out that using the styling tool is really similar to using a hot glue gun, so it’s easy to control. Once I had gotten the hang of it, I got to decorate a tile for the DohVinci art installation at SNAP!

dohvinci-preview

If you ask me, the coolest sponsor booth award goes to Cricut, who turned their space into a fabulous science lab. I had never experienced the magic of a Cricut machine before, so I was amazed to discover that it can be used on all kinds of materials, even leather! Cricut even showed us how to turn paper into custom jewelry. Yes, you read that correctly: paper jewelry. In just a few simple steps, we walked away with gorgeous molecule necklaces that looked like they were actually made of metal, ready to spread the word about the wonders of paper.

Cricut at SNAP!
Another awesome sponsor we chatted with was Duck Brand, who introduced us to their brand new glow-in-the-dark duct tape sheets and Duck Glitter® Crafting Tapes. If you’re anything like me, you know that using glitter can mean asking for trouble, but the amazing thing about the Duck Brand tape is that the glitter doesn’t come loose- it’s every crafter’s dream! We spent more time with Duck Brand during their 80’s Prom night, where we got to witness the epitome of duct tape brilliance. Tons of SNAP! bloggers had created 80’s-inspired outfits and accessories for the affair, and Duck Brand even displayed outfits that had been worn to actual high school proms. Who knew duct tape could be so high fashion?

Duct Tape Prom

While we did love chatting with all of the awesome conference sponsors and making new friends, one of the best parts of SNAP was finally meeting some of the fabulous bloggers we work with! We sat in on the Our Best Bites session and chatted with Kate and Sara…

Fabulous Bloggers

…met Angie from The Country Chic Cottage and Carolina from 30 Minute Crafts….

Fabulous Bloggers

…posed with Kim from A Girl and a Glue Gun

Fabulous Bloggers…and got our 80’s prom on with Alexa from The Swell Life!

Fabulous Bloggers

We could probably write a novel and still not cover all the fascinating parts of SNAP!, but we had to share the coolest craft supplies (and the coolest new friends!) we discovered while we were away!

 

What’s the coolest craft supply in your stash?

 

Sew Much Fun: Scenes From SNAP!

While I consider myself to be a pretty adventurous person, I must say that I’m always scared to try a new craft. I get so intimidated – What if I don’t catch on? What if I can’t make anything that looks good? Well, during my time at the SNAP! Conference in Salt Lake City, I conquered a major fear and learned something new – I can sew!

Sewing was a huge aspect of SNAP! Companies like BabyLock and Simplicity were on hand to show off new products and bloggers lined up to take classes in the sewing room. A variety of sewing and quilting classes were taught by top bloggers like Dana from Dana Made It and Amy from Diary of a Quilter.

I attended the Silk Screened Knit Patchwork Scarf class without any expectations. However, when I walked in and saw the sewing machines, I started to sweat. Luckily, I made some new friends in my class (shout out to Jonie from Just Between Friends, Karly from Paisley Roots and Crystal from That’s What She Crafted) and with the help of my amazing instructor, Ashley from Lil Blue Boo, I completed a scarf that I actually want to wear! I even took a picture with her that was Elizabeth and liZ from Simple Simon & Co. posted on Instagram.

 

I also had a chance to sew a Tissue Holder at the BabyLock booth. That’s right people, I used a sewing machine twice (after not sewing since Home Economics class in 8th grade). Tori, one of the BabyLock representatives, walked me through the process and made it so easy! Now I have a pretty pink tissue holder to match my handmade pink scarf!

babylock1

 

I guess now I can call myself a sewer … or at least a sewing enthusiast. But I do know one thing – I couldn’t have done it without my new friends from SNAP!

BONUS! SNAP! Blogger Sewing Patterns We Love:

  1. Necktie Wine Tote from A Jennuine Life
  2. Easy Ragged Baby Blanket from Simple Simon & Co.
  3. Easy Embellished Shirt or Tank from A Girl and a Glue Gun
  4. DIY Chevron Pencil Skirt from Sugar Bee Crafts

 

 

Don’t forget – We’re giving away a SNAP! Conference Swag Bag!

One lucky winner will received everything from stencils to Duck Tape (we even threw in a pair of stylish earrings). This contest ends Sunday at 11:59 p.m., so enter now!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Winner of the BlissDom Swag Bag Giveaway

Thanks to everyone who participated in our swag bag giveaway and read our post about our time at the BlissDom conference in Nashville.  I hope you enjoyed getting a sneak peek inside the event!

I was overwhelmed by how many of you responded to our giveaway question: “Where do you get your craft inspiration from?”  Your answers really inspired me 🙂

Now, to the good stuff: the announcement of our winner!

Congratulations to

Jackie who said “I get my inspiration from my friends and family. They always have things in their homes with beautiful textures and colors.”

Jackie, please contact us to collect your prize!  Please mention “BlissDom Giveaway” in your email and include your mailing address so we can send you your swag bag.

Thanks to everyone who entered and shared their stories of inspiration.  And if you weren’t the lucky winner this time, I have good news for you! We’re having…

Another Swag Bag Giveaway!

You have until Monday, March 5th at 11:59 p.m. to enter.  All you have to do is leave a comment on that post answering this question: “What is your favorite crafting memory?”

Also you’ll never believe which celebrity Kirsten, the editor of AllFreeSewing, met while at BlissDom!  Read her post to find out, and while you’re there you can enter for your chance to win some more awesome prizes!

Good luck!

 

Finding Our Bliss in Nashville + Swag Bag Giveaway!

Have any of you heard of the BlissDom conference before?  If you haven’t, let me quickly fill you in, because it’s awesome!  BlissDom is a conference that’s all about empowering women bloggers.  It’s in its fifth year and has grown to include more than 750 people from all over the country.  This past weekend Kirsten, the editor of AllFreeSewing and I (representing AllFreeHolidayCrafts) had the opportunity to experience BlissDom and we were amazed by all the inspiring people we met.  We got to network with a bunch of amazingly cool craft and food bloggers, learn from successful entrepreneurs like author Jon Acuff and social media guru Melanie Nelson, and have some fun in Nashville!

Since I love pictures, and I know you do too, I thought I’d give you a sneak peek inside our experience at the conference.  First up, the location!

We stayed at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel in Nashville, which is a city unto itself.  Seriously, this hotel had jungle-like plant life, waterfalls and even a boat that floated through the main lobby area:

 

After getting over the initial shock that this jungle paradise would be our home for the next two days, Kirsten and I started attending sessions where we learned about everything from Facebook to blogging to how to live creatively and believe in yourself. If it sounds very “Oprah,” it was — and in the best way possible. There’s no way you could have left BlissDom without feeling empowered to make positive changes in your life, whether personal or professional or both.

Interspersed with our seminars, we had time to chat with a bunch of other conference attendees. Everyone was so nice and friendly and I was amazed by the amount of creativity and passion packed into one place!  We especially enjoyed making new connections with a few bloggers in particular.  Pop over to these sites if you get a minute – I promise you’ll be glad you did!

  • Maggie from Gussy Sews – A wonderful resource for sewists and anyone who likes cute things!
  • Jennifer from Threaded Together – A blog run by two sisters, their mom, sister-in-law and some friends. They have great craft ideas and tutorials!
  • Allison from House of Hepworths – A great resource for home decor and DIY tutorials; I especially love her Dollar Store section!
  • Angela from Unexpected Elegance – A really cool blog with ideas for upcycled and thrifty home decor.
  • Meggie from Hoosier Farm Babe – A fun blog with delicious recipes inspired by life on the farm.

There were so many amazing women at this conference, I’m just sad we weren’t able to meet all 750 of them!

We did make one more special friend while attending BlissDom.  Are you ready for this?  We met…

 

The Lorax!  With the upcoming release of the Dr. Seuss inspired movie, this orange mustachioed guy was roaming the halls of the conference, taking pictures with eager fans and we were lucky enough to get to pose with him!  Isn’t he cute?

Stay tuned for more snapshots of our time at BlissDom (trust me, there’s some other special stuff we want to share with you!), but for now I’ll leave you with this: We’re having a special giveaway just for you, our loyal readers!

One lucky reader (chosen at random) will win a swag bag full of fun items we picked up while at BlissDom:

 

This awesome swag bag includes:

  • A Blooming Expressions flower from Hallmark
  • A “People Like Me” Facebook t-shirt
  • A recipe organizer
  • A fashionable wristlet
  • Shampoo and conditioner from VO5
  • An official “BlissDom” silver necklace
  • A cute breakfast bowl
  • An airplane neck pillow
  • A Blissdom canvas tote bag
  • Coupons
  • And so much more!

How to Enter the Giveaway:

All you need to do is leave a comment on this post telling us where you get your craft inspiration from. It could be a person you know, a blog you read, magazines, your kids… anything really!

The Details:

1. Contest ends on Thursday, March 1, 2012 at 11:59 p.m.

2. Open to anyone 18+ in US and Canada only.

3. Only one entry per person please.

4. Winner will be announced right here on the blog on Friday, March 2, 2012.

Good luck!

Sewing Bloggers We Met at The Sewing Summit

When I went to The Sewing Summit last weekend with Kirsten (editor of AllFreeSewing), we had a great time mingling with the other sewing bloggers and making new friends! One thing we both loved about the summit was the amount of downtime–we were able to make dinner plans with new friends, and there was open sewing in the Baby Lock sewing room at night where people could just hang out and sew. We also got to spend time thrifting with other bloggers. It was a lot more relaxed than other conferences I’d been to! A BIG thanks goes to Amy of Amy’s Creative Side and Erin of Two More Seconds for organizing the whole event.

We didn't take nearly enough pics at the summit, so I borrowed this one from the Sewing Summit Flickr Stream. Here's Amy and Erin giving a little speech to everyone.

On our Friday thrift excursion, we got to know Melissa from I Still Love You–she’s the one who planned the event–Pamela from French Knots, and Jessica from Urban Patchwork (Thanks for driving us around, Jessica!). We shopped till we dropped and then stopped for lunch at a hole-in-the-wall Greek place. It was so much fun to just sit and chat with other crafty ladies.

DI is a popular and ubiquitous thrift store chain in Salt Lake City. We loved it!

That evening there was a fun mixer where we met several people, including Kate from Needle and Spatula. We also met Carol and Susan from Burdastyle, Sunni from A Fashionable Stitch, and Emily from Craftsy. Those girls were so much fun, and they took us out to dinner that night at a really cool Mexican restaurant. Also with us were Lavender from Threadsquare and Suriah from A Maker’s Affair. We had a blast talking about sewing, blogging, and weddings (Congrats to Carol and Suriah who are getting married next June!). Lavender and Suriah met in a Burdastyle sewing club in Boston–if you’ve never heard of their sewing clubs, check it out now!

Lavender wore this amazing dress, which I discovered on her blog was homemade!! I can't get over how talented everyone was! (Photo from Threadsquare)

Then on Saturday we spent most of the day in class. I took Bag Making 101 with Bari J, Garment Making 101 with Jana Nielson of Izzy & Ivy Designs, Tailoring 101 with Gretchen from Gertie’s New Blog for Better Sewing, and Refashioning with Melissa from I Still Love You. That night we hung out with Melissa and Pamela again at dinner, along with Michelle from Seamingly.

Here's Gretchen teaching in Tailoring 101. Photo borrowed from Kadiddlehopper. Katie was also in the class!

But wait, there’s more! Breakfast and lunch were provided by the conference at the hotel, and attendees were encouraged to mingle and sit with people they didn’t know. We ended up eating with Katie from Kadiddlehopper, Emily from Mommy’s Nap Time, and Amylou from Amylouwho.

What a great weekend! I’m so happy to have met so many cool new sewing bloggers, and I hope to go again next year!

 

Sewing Summit Swag Bag Giveaway!

It wouldn’t be a craft conference without a swag bag, and The Sewing Summit did not disappoint! We got tons of free stuff, including sewing patterns, thread, charm squares, a tape measure, some quilting software, and the best part–a bunch of quilt batting! They even gave us a Utah visitors guide. I’m giving away most of the stuff to one lucky reader because I’m nice like that. (I’m keeping the thread and charm squares though–unfortunately I already started crafting with them and I don’t want to give out used materials!) Here’s the stash:

Want to win these goodies? All you have to do is leave a comment on this post between now and Thursday, October 13 at midnight CST telling me your favorite sewing memory. I’ll pick a winner randomly and announce who won on Friday morning!

Our Trip to the Sewing Summit

I just got back from the Sewing Summit last night with Kirsten, editor of AllFreeSewing–what a great weekend! Neither of us had been in Utah before, so we spent the weekend exploring the city, learning about sewing, and meeting a bunch of amazingly talented women. (And I also learned where Utah is on a map…)

Salt Lake City is so beautiful. You can see mountains and buildings at the same time! I tried to get a good picture of it for you guys:

The hotel we stayed at (Little America) was gorgeous as well. I took a picture of one of the chandeliers because it was so extravagant and, well, pretty:

But the real eye candy was at the conference itself. Baby Lock generously sponsored the event by loaning a room full of sewing machines (cue freak out!) for the conference attendees to play with. They also gave Sewing Summit attendees a discount on purchasing one to keep! Look at these bad boys:

So what did I do besides take pictures of stuff? I learned all about sewing clothing and bags, refashioning, and even book publishing, I had dinner with some lovely ladies from BurdaStyle, and I chatted with Gretchen aka Gertie from Gertie’s New Blog for Better Sewing:

Oh, and I did a little sewing, too! I stitched up this simple place mat clutch in my hotel room while Kirsten and I watched Titanic. I love sewing while watching old movies, don’t you? (I can’t believe Titanic is an old movie already!)

Isn’t it cute? The placemats and ribbon were in our swag bags (more about those in a future post!!), also courtesy of Baby Lock.

Perhaps my favorite part of the trip was the thrifting excursion. A bunch of sewing enthusiasts got together to visit a bunch of cool thrift/vintage stores in Salt Lake City, organized by Melissa of I Still Love You (you can see what she scored on her blog too!). And lookie what I found at one of the vintage stores:

Vintage Martha! I was this close to buying it too.

Stay tuned for more from me and Kirsten about all the fun we had at the Sewing Summit! Have you ever been to a craft conference?

 

FaveCrafts Heads to the Type-A Parent Conference

One of the perks of my job is connecting with bloggers an picking their brains! So you can imagine my excitement when Caitlin (editor of AllFreeKnitting) and I headed to the Type-A Parent Conference. This conference, formally known as the Type-A Mom Conference, took place from June 23-26 at the Renaissance Hotel in the heart of downtown Asheville, North Carolina. For three days, Caitlin and I attended interesting sessions about all things blog-related. We also met some amazingly Internet-savvy women (and men).

Our experience taught us so much about engaging bloggers and working with brands. Here’s a peek behind the scenes:

When we arrived at the conference, we were given a “swag bag” filled with products from the events’ sponsors. We received a box of Who Nu? cookies (delicious, by the way), a book from the Boy Scouts of America and discounted tickets to the historic Biltmore house.

My badge on the first day. It was time to get the conference started!

Caitlin and I attended a session called “Blogger Outreach That Works.” This is a picture of the Blogger Bill of Rights, which was created by session leaders, Cecily Kellog (@cecilyk), Jessi Langsen (@tokissthecook), Ana Roco-Castro (@anarc) and Jenn Fowler (@jennfowler). We learned so much about pitching to bloggers, reaching out to brands and the importance of communicating.

The keynote address on Saturday morning was given by Patti Digh (@pattidigh). Patti’s talk was called “Blog as a Verb” and it was all about finding your voice and owning what you have to say. The point that I found most important was giving up the need to be right all of the time – this will distort your message and lead to self-doubt. Caitlin and I loved Patti’s message so much, we each bought her book Four Word Self Help for our moms as a souvenir.

Here are some crafty bloggers we had the pleasure of meeting. Be sure to check them out!

  1. Catherine at Evolving Mommy
  2. Kim at Crafty Mama of 4
  3. Tonya at Create-Celebrate-Explore
  4. Sarah at Real Life Blog
  5. Alicia at Making Time for Mommy

How do you connect with other crafters?