Silver Bella Blast!

I can scarcely believe that the weekend I look foreward to all year is over. Silver Bella 2008 has come and gone, and I am (again) a better person for it. Each year, I prepare and leave for Silver Bella wondering if it could possibly surpass the fabulousness of the previous years event. I am always happy to say that overall, each year is always incredible and outshines the year before. Silver Bella is the treat I get for myself each year, my trip away from home, my time to be refreshed artistically, and to hang out with other artistic women who "get" me. I know many of you don't "get" Silver Bella or even paper arts/crafting. That is what is so wonderful about Silver Bella. As golfers hang out with golfers and they just "get each other", as Bella's we just "get" each other. 

I love the sisterhood, the comraderie, the incredible generosity and willingness to share and uplift the others around them. I love the loads of chocolate, the artistic creations, the intense support and accolades from the artists who surround us, and the whole feeling of being with others who understand your passion and drive to create. 

I know you're shocked, but I (as always) am horrible at taking photos. I know my dear roommates and fellow Texas Bellas (Valita, Jana, Shannon for the whole weekend with Alisa and Joanna joining in on the slumber party Wednesday night) took loads of photos and will be sharing them as the days roll on. A few of my other Bella friends have kindly shared photos and I'll be sure to share them with you as I come across them also. 

I participated in a total of 6 swaps at Silver Bella, and came home with some of the most beautiful and amazing creations from my Bella sisters. I participated in a Twinchie swap with 24 other amazing artists. Each of us was assigned a date (I had 18) and we made a 2"x2" piece of art with a Christmas theme. Our sweet hostess put packages together for each of us with one of each piece from each artist. I can't wait to frame and display the amazing collection of art! They're wonderful!

I also participated in the 12 Days of a most glittery Christmas swap hostessed by Gina Grable. Each of us were assigned a verse (I had 7 swans a swimming) and Gina coallated them together and gave each of us our books at Silver Bella. I now have an incredible book illustrating the holiday song, with amazing art from each of the participants. 

I participated in two supply/stash swaps and each of the participants were incredibly generous. And I do mean incredibly generous. I felt that my contributions were not enough when compared to the others contributions. Each of them was over the top generous with their packages! If only I had access to the same here in Texas!

I participated in Valita's Winter Magic Wand Swap and created a wand for my sweet partner. I also received a lovely wand from the creative and sassy Stephanie George Hirschberg. It's lovely and will be a great addition to my studio's decor.

Finally, I hostessed a swap this year titled "Royal Silver Soldered Charm Swap" and had 17 amazing participants who each created 20 charms which were sorted and re-distributed to each of the participants. Some of the charms created are amazing - absolutely amazing! I am so proud that I have pieces from the artists. The creativity is brilliant and I love looking at every piece.

At Silver Bella, most participants had 5 classes and then a group class taught by Teresa McFayden of Paper Bella Studio (and also the Silver Bella Founder and organizer). I was able to take classes from Pam Garrison, Rebecca Sower, Jenni Bowlin, and Sally Jean Alexander. I had registered to take a class from Carolyn Peeler, but unfortunately was ill Saturday morning and ended up sleeping through it. I even ended up sleeping through our guest speaker's luncheon. And who was the guest speaker you ask? MARY ENGLEBREIT! Of all things to sleep through... ugh! So very very sad, but unfortunately it was a necessity. 

Many were surprised that I was able to and that I made the trek to Omaha with our Bean's arrival being so close, but I did. In all honesty, the trip to Silver Bella and the weekend was surprisingly smooth. Of course, being super pregnant brought upon it's own set of difficulties, but they were all overcome and handled one way or another.  My flight home was rather uneventful... well if you count cabin pressure putting me in pain eventful. In the end, and after stressing out the flight staff, everything was fine and the bean is still growing and has yet to present himself to the world. WHEW!

I think that about wraps everything up. I promise to post photos (I know Krista... idle promises) soon!
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