[Editor's Note: I subscribe to about 8 kajillion blogs and skim most of them regularly 🙂 I noticed Myra's recent posts on her blog about Silver Bella and was intrigued … An important paper crafting event that I hadn't even heard! What? Apparently it was Myra's FAVORITE paper crafting event this year…. And Myra's been known to attend a paper crafting event or two 🙂 So I asked her to let yall know about Silver Bella so that you could be "in the know" too! Thank you, Myra!]
by Myra Bierria
For those of you who have considered attending Silver Bella or who have never heard of it, I wanted to share some feedback with you. I attended Silver Bella, a three-day paper arts (sort of — IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll explain more later) event in Omaha, Nebraska this past weekend. I had a wonderful time and canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t wait to go back next year. Yes, I know Omaha, NE is out of the way for most of us, I live in Atlanta after all, but it was well worth the trip.
So what is Silver Bella? The sign on the hotelÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s conference room doors said Ã¢â‚¬Å“Paper Arts Event.Ã¢â‚¬Â That makes sense because the woman who created it is Teresa McFayden, creator of the vintage chic scrapbook paper and embellishment line, FoofaLa, which was bought by Autumn Leaves. However, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not exactly accurate because we didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t do much paper crafting!
We were offered a choice of five amazing classes from a list of eighteen and it is so difficult to choose just five! The classes ranged from jewelry making, soldering, painting/collaging, to mixed media altered art/upcycling. The classes are taught by nationally recognized artists and designers who are amazingly talented, but so down to Earth and wonderful.
So why go? These events are fun because they go beyond paper crafting and allow you to learn techniques in other art genres that are transferable back to your paper crafting projects. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s the perfect way to stretch your creative self and take your paper crafting projects up a few notches! More importantly, youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re joined by hundreds of other super talented women who love crafting as much as you do. ThereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a message board that is very active in the months leading up to the event and there you meet other Bellas and sign up for the most amazing swaps. In addition to the classes, on the second night thereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a vendorsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ fair where the teachers, other local and national designers and even some of the students sell their creations and wares. I had to drag myself away before I emptied my bank account! The three-day event ends with a wonderful closing dinner featuring a guest speaker and this yearÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s speaker was Jenny Doh of CrescenDoh. If you havenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t heard of her, please check out her blog.
How does it compare to other events such as Inspired Artist by Donna Downey and Creative Escape by Heidi Swapp? I have attended both Inspired Artist and Creative Escape. While I really enjoyed both and actually plan to attend Inspired Artist again in 2011, I have to say that Silver Bella was the best. Silver Bella is very similar to Inspired Artist in that it includes a choice of classes that range across the different arts and crafts genres (i.e., jewelry making, painting, sewing, etc.); however, Silver Bella appealed to me more because it included a vintage glam-like theme that was present in all of the class projects as well as the swaps. It was lovely Ã¢â‚¬â€œ think pastels, creams, lace and tons of rhinestone bling. Now if thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not your style (it grew on me), you can make your projects your own with a totally different look; but itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s still fun to see all the wonderful Ã¢â‚¬Å“bellafiedÃ¢â‚¬Âcreations. In comparison to Creative Escape, on the other hand, Silver Bella is much different. In my opinion, Creative Escape was more paper crafts oriented and, unfortunately in this economy, much more expensive.
If I havenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t convinced you to check out Silver Bella yet, please take a look below at a few pictures of the instructors' samples of some of the projects we made! For more information, see also the Silver Bella web site. I hope to see you at Silver Bella No. 6 next year!