Monday, April 23, 2012

Just Be You - Snap Conference Recap

Just Be You

My new favorite necklace from Amy Cornwell -
she gave one to everybody at  Snap!

"Just Be You" was the theme for the 2012 Snap! Creativity at Your Fingertips Conference that I was lucky enough to attend this past weekend.  The conference was AMAZING!  It was fun, and exciting, and emotional (yep, tears were shed), and inspirational, and educational, and validating.

I don't have the exact numbers, but there were
  • approximately 320 bloggers from across the country attending Snap,
  • 60 speakers from some of the most well-known blogs in the creative blogging world,
  • 46 of the best vendors selling their homemade goodness at the Queen Bee Market,
  • three FULL days of classes, and
  • several fabulous sponsors who showered us with tons of swag (free goodies and product samples).
It really was uh.may.zing.

The venue was perfect.  (Of course, it being only 20 minutes away from my house maybe clouds my judgement a bit.)  Thanksgiving Point is a beautiful place.  There are tulips everywhere, the food is fantastic, and the Emporium is such a fun place to shop.

I went to the conference by myself, but not without first trying to find someone to come with me.  I am a little bit socially challenged.  Okay, maybe more than a little bit.  :)  I am not good at all at small talk and chatting and mingling and, having never been to a blogging conference before, I wasn't really sure what to expect.  I think I was practically hyperventilating as I walked into the building to register.  There were 2 girls greeting attendees at the door and as I said hello to one, I mentioned that I was nervous.  She gave me a huge hug and the two girls behind me (thanks Zoe & Jeremy!) heard me and began chatting with me, helping me feel at ease.  This was the atmosphere: welcoming, friendly, and supportive.

After that initial stress and nervousness, the rest of the weekend was a virtual blur of meeting people, exchanging business cards, attending classes, and tweeting!

At registration, Xyron gave us each a ring with hole punch so that we could keep our collected business cards organized.  It's ideas like this that make me giddy! 

Listening to the inspiring Ana White speak.

With Kelli from Lolly Jane Boutique!

The adorable Shelley Smith speaking at the Discovering & Defining Your Style class.
I could listen to her speak all day long!

I could go on and on about the inspirational talks that were given throughout the weekend.  Like about Cheryl who told us, among other things, about the time she had Martha Stewart over for dinner and, no, everything did NOT go as planned, but the evening was still a success!  I cannot wait for her book to come out next month: You're So Invited: Panic Less, Play More, and Get Your Party On!

And about Amy from The Idea Room who demonstrated a little "blogger yoga" - squatting down and trying to angle that camera for the perfect photo.  She reminded us that a lot of times we compare our worst to other people's best.  We need to just be ourselves and not get into that comparing game that so many of us participate in.

I've heard people say that bloggers must be so narcissistic in order to blog.  Kind of a "look at me!  look what I did!" attitude.  After this weekend, I can attest to the fact that most of these women are just very passionate about sharing creativity.  It's as simple as that.  And as bloggers, we needn't worry about the numbers/statistics or whether or not we're on trend.  We don't have to worry about posting every day.  We need to "get inspired by our own creations first" (Shelley Smith) and "Learn it. Do it. Share it." (Kate Riley).

With Kate from Centsational Girl!

I also had the opportunity to try a hands-on class in stenciling taught by the President and Creative Director of Royal Design Studio, Melanie Royals.  Oh.My.Gosh.  Now I want to stencil everything!  Her instruction was outstanding and her stencils are beyond beautiful.

One of the conference sponsors, Riley Blake Designs, had a make-and-take project at their sponsor booth where we made these fabric flowers.

Their fabrics and notions are so cute!  And now that I know how to make these adorable flowers, I can't wait to make a bunch more for my daughter and her friends.  In fact, I think I'll whip up a bunch for her dance studio yard sale this weekend.
Finally, at the closing dinner, we were treated to a special guest speaker, Matt Townsend, a communication and relationship expert.  His talk was phenomenal!  He was hilarious and inspiring.  When he was done, I felt so good about myself and my blog and pretty much felt like I could do anything.  :)

It was an amazing experience, Snap.  I made some new friends and found some new blogs to read.  It was wonderful to be surrounded by like-minded women and to feel empowered and inspired.  I am honored to be part of such a supportive, creative, powerful community.

And, I can't wait until next year! ;)


  1. This post made me tear up! I am so glad you really enjoyed it and felt welcome and inspired. You are many creative women sharing their hopes and passion for creativity. So glad you were able to come! xoxo

  2. Oh wow. What a lovely post. I am so glad you had a wonderful time! I am happy you were able to come and hope you will be able to join us again next year :)

  3. You definitely had a great time. Glad to see so many pictures from the event. Please share the stencil design too.

  4. Such a great post! SNAP conference was my first conference as well and I know how you felt at the beginning. But I was also overwhelmed by how supportive and uplifting everyone was! I'm only sad that I have to wait another year to experience it again!

    Newlyweds on a Budget

  5. I felt like I was there with you, I could feel your nervous energy in the post! Glad you had such a fantastic time!

    Aimee's Home Cookin'

  6. O.M.G. *in my whiney voice* I wannna goooooo! Lol. Fabulous post! Sounds like you had a REALLY good experience! Glad to hear that! =]

  7. It was amazing to meet you. I can't wait until the next one and being able to "rekindle" all of our new friendships we gained over just 3 days! I'm so excited to start following your blog!


  8. wonderful recap Catherine...snap sounds like so much fun...what a wonderful experience! Thank you so much for sharing!

  9. You're SO sweet, Catherine! I was so happy to meet you!! You're adorable. I wish we could have talked felt like a whirlwind where there were so many people we all wanted to meet for 3 seconds, LOL!!

    You're so kind, love you girl! XO, Kelli

  10. So nice to meet you Catherine--and I'm loving hearing other people's perspectives on the weekend and what they enjoyed about the other classes that I didn't attend!

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