When the Simple Simon girls asked if I wanted to teach at SNAP! conference I was conflicted. Excited, but nervous. I'm used to sitting all alone behind my computer and sewing sewing machine, taking photos of each step, talking only to myself (or Drummer if he happens to be interested in interacting with me, or usually climbing up my back). Real live people?
But the purpose of this life is to try new things, do things that seem scary and out of our comfort zone. So, I said YES! I'd love to teach my Coastal Curtsy Skirt tutorial in front of live people. I attended SNAP! not knowing what to expect, really. All I knew is that I was supposed to have business cards. They're a big dill is what I was told. ;) And in true Katy fashion, I thought I could whip out 500 in two days, free-hand embroidered on the sewing machine. Sure. No prob. Acutally, a very big prob. And then I had a stamp fiasco that almost brought me to tears. But it all worked out. I set up a sky-high stamping station on the plane and watch BIG.I don't know if I would have ever gone to a blogging conference on my own accord. I've waffled back and forth between how much I want to invest in my blog and if I want to worry about making sure it's lucrative and worth my time, because it's a lot of work to photograph projects, edit photos and put it all together. But I went, with the intent to take some classes to help decide which direction I want to go with my blog.
My conclusion? I LOVED IT! Yes, I just shouted that. This is my fun sewing class. Aren't they adorable? Turns out, I love teaching. I loved watching these women start with their ruffle fabric in a big mound (that they caressed and draped on their bodies) and turn it into a fancy skirt. And every single one of them finished. I'm so proud of them. Some of them didn't even have much sewing experience at all, and they did it! So gratifying to help make that happen.
And then there were the speakers and the entertainment. Alex Boyé! My girls love his version of Let It Go. He wooed the audience. And was such a good sport about letting 500+ women take pictures with them, sing songs to their children, and even pretend to play his leg like a guitar. I know. What a guy. Can you tell I was a bit excited to get my photo taken with him?
I took my first quilting class by Amy of Diary of a Quilter. (Best teacher!) I still prefer making clothes, but quilting was fun to try. I might do a bit more playing around with it. Noelle Pikus-Pace also spoke to us and was so inspiring. I was weeping by the end of her presentation. Plus. I got to hold her medal. I feel cool.
My favorite part? Meeting these women I've emailed for years, swapped blog posts, competed with, and, of course, admired greatly. Divine came with me and stayed with my parents during the weekend and when I told her I was rooming with 3 women I had never met in person before she said, "So you're sleeping in bed with a stranger?!" Ha! I responded, "Yes! Isn't that exciting?"
I brought them some local honey and a chocolate honeycomb bar and was putting them on their beds when they all came into the hotel room. It was a collision of my virtual world and my reality and the result was fireworks! We hugged and we laughed and I commented how tall Ashley is in person and Dana's voice is deeper than I had imagined in my head and Delia is so petite and sweet (and you pronounce it Deal-ia--I had to correct myself all weekend.) I was also able to meet up with Anneleise, Cheri, Christie, Danielle, and Jessica who are equally incredible, smart women, I just didn't have the pleasure of sharing a hotel room with them.)
My conclusion. The conference was wonderful. I loved teaching, much more than I thought I would. Live people are just so much more enjoyable than taking photos of every step. The classes were insightful and I think will be helpful in making some tweaks with my blog. But. But, what I decided was this. I don't want the most lucrative and most popular blog. What I want is something that brings joy to myself and others, and fulfills my need to create. When it becomes a chore and something that I dread, that is when it will stop. And even more importantly, I learned that these relationships that have come from writing a blog are far more valuable than any blog. I'm grateful that blogging has brought these inspiring and unique women into my life. I'll admit that I was worried I would walk away from the weekend feeling like it was a snippet from high school, full of cliques and snubbing. But I walked away knowing that Ashley and I wear the exact same black yoga pants and grey t-shirts to bed. We preferred to unwind, sitting in bed talking while Dana and Delia finished off the night with some partying and karaoke. I walked away feeling like I had spent the weekend with best friends who know me better than anyone (except maybe for Ryan ;). I loved it. I love these women and the chance I had to get to know them and allow them to know me. So, if blogging is what brought that into my life, I will keep doing it.