Jemellia kept talking about Silver Bella and I had no idea what the hell she was talking about. She asked me to go, Uhh, no. She sent me a links to Silver Bella's blogs. I started to see the incredible pictures and creations and became interested. Then I signed up. Now I have gone to this event and I get it now.
1. Workshops. Let me school you about Silver Bella. It is an weekend event in November in Omaha, Nebraska hosted by Teresa McFayden. She announces the registration on her blog and it is sold out within hours to about 200 people. Female people. As you register you select 5 workshops. I like to call the workshop instructors the Titans as they are artists, company owners, published in magazines, have books, appear on television shows like Martha. They are a big deal. You leave a three hour class with a piece of art and wet your pants as well when they talk to you although they are really nice and normal but of gargantuan talent. Awwwww, Rebecca Sower......
2. Swaps. A person will determine a swap theme and rules. They are announced and opened up over several weeks after registration to a set number of participants. They are filled within minutes. You make your swap specific item, apron, page, crown, whatever prior to the event. You may send your portion in to the swap hostess who then combines all the parts to create multiple copies of a book or item. If it is a one to one swap, you bring your item to Silver Bella. Either way you take home an item from the swap.
I participated in the Sweetest Thing Recipe Swap which I will dedicate a post to later. But here is an example of a one-on-one swap between the Bells from Texas where they created and swapped mums. This is my favorite. These were the first thing I saw when I arrived in Omaha. Then I started to get an idea of what I was in for. This was made by Stacey for Rita. And, damn, oh-kay?
3. Luncheon Speaker. A big deal in the industry of creativity, this year's speaker was Jo Packham of Where Women Create. This publication is dedicated to supporting the creativity and talent of women showcasing their workspace. She was so real and spoke from the heart. She actually made everyone there a book mark, with her own hands. Uh, oh-kay? When was the last conference you went to where that happened? Never even occurred to me that she might make 200 items as gifts.
4. Vendor Night. These are the best booths I have ever seen. Well known artists and leaders in the industry set up their wares. We did a booth which prevented much in the way of shopping. I sold many knits that night, a record number and just shook from the thrill and awe of it. When this group of people like your work, the heavens open up and you can actually hear angels sing.
5. Acceptance. Look, I have been around the hen house a few years, but to get a group of women together with such a unity of spirit, talent and support is embracing and exhausting. There is so much praise going around it is surreal. Someone doesn't just say "Oh that's cute." They walk up, look you in the eyes, handle the item which may be clothing, jewelry, a bag or your creation, look it over, intensely inspect, pause, clutch their pearls and tell you they LOVE it while grasping your arm. I figured this out after the 83rd person loved me and my sweater on the first night. I felt the love and understood why they come and keep coming back. And I will go back. I will announce, I am Bella.