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A rare confluence of crafty goodness made it so four editors from the highly addictive website Craft Gossip happen to live in Central Arkansas. Because of that happy circumstance, Little Rock gets to host an annual meetup of crafty bloggers known as the Fork & Talk.
The event is sponsored by EK Success, the crafty company behind such brands as Jolee’s Boutique, Martha Stewart Crafts and the American Girl crafting line, to name a few. Two dozen bloggers from the region attended the event (one in spirit and one by Skype) and received a free lunch, a bag bursting with crafty kits, samples and other goodies, and the privilege of hanging out and crafting with some like-minded ladies for a few hours.
Last Saturday was the second such event. I think I only heard about the first after the fact, but when I heard about the second I “applied” to be a part and was invited to join in the fun.
Going on an Adventure
My husband and daughter decided to come with me on the three-hour ride and to have some fun in Little Rock while I was “working.” So we packed up the car Friday after lunch so the girl could nap in the car.
The only thing the Craft Gossip gals asked us to bring was business cards. I made some on my computer, just really plain ones, because I’m thinking of getting a real logo made so I didn’t want to be stuck with a bunch of cards I didn’t need. I’d left them on the dining room table the night before.
And that day, too. I remembered I didn’t have them with me about 20 miles away from home. My sweetie offered to turn around, but that just seemed silly. I knew I had paper and scissors in my bag so I figured I’d make some cards and have a funny story to share. So that’s what I did. I had the lamest cards of the bunch, but at least we didn’t waste gas!
The Big Event
While my sweetie and the Bit went to a friend’s soccer game and the zoo, I got on with the business of crafting. The event was at Trio’s, a local restaurant, and we took over the back room.
I have to say from the beginning that everyone was really warm, welcoming and friendly, which is unsurprising given the high volume of southern ladies in attendance, plus the fact that crafters generally seem to be nice because we get each other, even if our crafty specialties aren’t the same (and I heard some great knitting fail stories).
We divided up into four tables for lunch, one for each editor present. I got paired with Sewing Editor Anne Weaver, because I happen to have been featured on her site. She was delightful, and clearly a passionate crafter and a lovely person — and I’m not just saying that because she literally picked me up off the street, took me home and gave me wine. (I’m sure the other ladies, representing the Quilting, Needlework and Jewelry Making sites, are wonderful as well, I just spent less time with them.)
We all chatted through a yummy lunch, then worked on a group crafting project in which we used random craft supplies to give photos of our editors “makeovers.” Though our group didn’t win it was still a lot of fun.
After that we got our goodie bags and got to look at all the fun products and rank our three favorites. It was really hard to choose, but I picked
1. Tree Embroidery Kit by Dimensions Needlecraft. Isn’t this a beauty? I’m not great at embroidery but I really want to try this and think it would make a great little pillow.
2. Martha Stewart Crafts Large Flower Punch. The punch makes such an appealing shape. Anne used it to make a little party streamer and stacked and Modge Podged a bunch for a funky pendant. I’d love to do that and use it to decorate a photo frame, or glue the shapes to plain paper for some simple but fancy gift wrap.
3. Stacking Stamps by Inkadinkado. I’m not a fancy stamper by any means, but these cute stamps that make a bistro scene really caught my eye, because they make it simple to make a card with a lot of depth and interest. You can use them separately, too, for things like gift tags, bookmarks or anything else that needs a little embellishment. I’m tempted to attack a stack of index cards with them, to make note taking a little cuter.
This haul is massive, and there’s a ton more great stuff in there: an awesome paper stack, more punches, stickers that look like cupcake icing, a wooden box to paint, a ring kit, and on and on. This post grows too massive so I’ll end by telling you I plan to be crafting with some of this stuff really soon and will be sure to share my ideas.
I had a wonderful time sharing with the ladies of Craft Gossip and all the bloggers I met and certainly have a few new blogs I’ll need to keep up with. I hope I get invited back next time!
The flower punch was one of my favorites, too! Though I guess you probably already figured that out by the number of projects I made with it. There were actually a couple more project starts using that punch that just didn’t make it to the finished stage before the event.
Thank you for making the trip down to Little Rock for our meet-up!
It was really fun meeting you and everyone else at the Fork and Talk. I’ve been spending an enjoyable time visiting everyone’s blog. I left the event feeling more inspired and connected! I hope we get to do it again – and I thought your handmade business cards were charming!
Thanks, Holly! Of course if I had made them at the event instead of before they would have been a lot cuter! I’m busy coming up with lots of things to do with all the goodies. Nice to meet you, too.