CKU Provo 2008 – Day 3

Well, after months of waiting it’s finally begun, CKU Provo 2008 has officially begun!

Our day began with a reasonable registration process. The bus tour running late had us totally missing the Wednesday night early registration, so we had to be up earlyish to get it done today. After that it was off to the CKU bookstore to shop. Yes, even after our 14 hour spree from the day before we still had some shop left in us.

Off to the Inspiration Stations to begin the day. Our first workshop was with Ali and we made a cute, and typical Ali layout. Her ever adorable friend Paolo was there too. Other stations included Piggy Tales – which was ok, but I’m not overly inspired by most of their papers; Inque Boutique, which was taught by Brittany Beattie, who also happened to help us in with our luggage the night before – very cute, awesome girl, hugely down to earth, and they gave us exclusive CKU stamps as well; Tim Holtz led an awesome layout, the Rusty Pickle one was fun as well, and as always full of stories and giveaways (If you have ever been in a Rusty Pickle class you would totally understand this), Lisa B came in and taught one that to me looks disappointing, more from the paint used for the foam stamps (it was *not* Ranger :(), Margie from Making Memories lead a cute one using a lot of Noteworthy product, Little Yellow Bicycle did 2 gorgeous pages with the Vita Bella line, with lots of product leftover, and I’m definitely a converted fan, it’s gorgeous. I’m sure I’m missing some as I try to scan through the layouts in my head. Either way, we have a 6×6 album complete and I’m *mostly* happy with it.

After that we hit the Provo Craft outlet. A bunch of awesome deals to be had there. Stephanie found Cuttlebug alphas there for around 22 each. I escaped with spending less than $10. Patterned paper there was mostly $0.15/sheet. They had tons of other crafty things there, not just their own product, and not just scrapbook stuff.

Dorm night was a hoot. There were a bunch of decent giveaways through the night. We got a Lisa B. album, as well as a Lisa Becky card kit to work on at the crop. I took down a huge bag of paper from our freebies that neither of us wanted to keep and our table pillaged that, so it made me happy to see it go to a good home. I smuggled in a Cosmopolitan or 2 to get through the night 😉

All in all, this has been a serious blast, the time has passed all too quickly and the stress of the airport seems so long ago.

I am now off to bed. Tomorrow is album track day with Ali and I can’t wait to spend another day with such an awesome woman. It’s going to be great!

CKU Provo 2008 – Day 2

Day 2 was the Mecca Motherlode Bus Tour Day and it was every bit as awesome as expected and then some. We went to 6 warehouses warehouses and 3 LSS in the area. The warehouses were – Rusty Pickle, Bo Bunny, Lasting Impressions, Making Memories, Daisy D’s and 3 Bugs In A Rug. They all really had fantastic deals and some of them really had their acts together and made it real easy to shop, the others, not so much – but the deals on loot made up for it. And if the deals weren’t enough, the freebies and goodie bags from all stops were absolutely incredible. The 3 stores were generally decent, but I think we got the least time at what was probably the best. The name is currently escaping me, but it was huge, had a huge selection of new loot, and other related things that weren’t necessarly scrapbook things – like nice stationery and candles and things. They also had a celebrity make n take for us with Teresa Collins and her new Hallowe’en papers. All in all, much cash was spent, and it was a great but long day. The giveaways on the bus were also amazing. We were really looked after, and it was a great day. We boarded at 6:45ish, and didn’t get back until 9ish. I am so glad we made it in time and it was heaps and heaps of fun. Well worth the price of admission.

We were both generally too bagged to even look at all our substantial loot before we called it a night. Thursday is the official start of CKU – with a very important change. The days of dashing from table to table for manufacturer make n takes are over, and now they are in class “inspiration stations”, 30 minute sessions to make 6×6 layouts for a mini album for CKU memories – with lunch brought to you in your seat. Both are at the outset seemingly great improvements from past CKUs.

CKU Provo 2008 – Day 1

This morning saw us up (Stephanie and I) before the rooster crowed to make our way to Pearson – presumably on an Air Canada/United code share flight to Salt Lake City with a connection at Chicago O’Hare. Apparently, shockingly enough, there was weather in the windy city that cancelled our flight in this morning. United “helpfully” rebooked us on a similar flight, but leaving tomorrow – totally *NOT* acceptable as we are supposed to be on the Mecca Motherlode Shopping Bus tour tomorrow and there was no way in heck we were missing that. A few frantic calls to United central reservations, some sprints across the terminal between ticket counters and we were rebooked on an Air Canada, for this morning, by way of Denver, getting in 20 minutes later than originally planned. Totally palatable.

…Except there was a screw up with the ticketing..and horrendously long lines at Air Canada check-in that almost had us miss the baggage cut-off, but made that under the wire – tick tock. Then off to wait in huge lines for US Customs. 8:25, we are still in the customs line, nowhere close to being seen for a flight that is taking off at 8:45. I was totally stressed, and in line a bit behind us were some guys from our Olympic kayak team. If I was less stressed I might have wished them well in Beijing, however I was too concerned about making it to my own flight. I flagged someone down who pulled us to the front of the line. The customs agent was horrified at the amount of bags we were taking for just 2 of us for 5 days – little did she know we were toting an empty suitcase each because a $25 2nd bag fee was still cheaper than shipping the same amount of weight home via USPS. An explanation of copious amounts of shopping helped, and off we were sprinting through security and tossing bags on the check-in conveyor, sprinting towards the gate yelling “Stop the Plaaaaannnnneeeee!” Thankfully we weren’t the last ones on as *several* passengers were displaced this morning. And now we’re off to Denver. We make it safe and sound, navigate Denver airport and eventually find our United gate for our next leg in to Salt Lake City. For once today after the kerfuffle to start the morning we are actually somewhere with time to spare. Our arrival was uneventful, which made a nice change, and with the stress gone, and finally here it was time to take it all in and enjoy it!

The city is gorgeous. Such amazing scenery. I’m so glad and thankful we decided to make this pilgrimage. On today’s docket was a self-guided tour to some of the northern state warehouses – Cosmo Cricket, SEI, Adorn-It, Bo Bunny and Rusty Pickle. Since we got in later than usual, and the car rental was a much slower process than usual we didn’t clear the airport until close to 90 minutes after arrival. So, all we really had time left to see was Bo Bunny and then work our way south. I’m a bit sad as Cosmo Cricket is my fav, and SEI a very close second, but only SEI had a store, and it was a very long way to drive to just see stores of paper.

BoBunny – OMG what an amazing place. They had a great little make n take set up. It was neat to see the graphic designers creative spaces – not much different from yours and mine really. They had all the new product up in samples on display and it looked great! And then the shopping..and the fantastic deals! Wow! The $1 section was fantastic, and we got a huge lot of newly released paper and embellies for $20..seriously..$20. We got a class kit selling at a nearby LSS for $25 – but it was $17 at Bo Bunny. The people there were just great and heaps of fun. A stop we weren’t sure about making but *very* thankful we did. Simply fantastic!

Ben Franklin Crafts – reminded us a lot of old White Rose. Not much great here. Carried on with small purchases only.

Rusty Pickle – Warehouse sale ongoing, some good deals, some not really deals at all, but a great chance to get all things Rusty Pickle. The goodie bag for CKU participants…OMG!! So generous! We already went through it all, decided what we are keeping/could keep with airline weight restrictions, and the rest will be left at a CKU crop table for others to pillage.

Strange LSS near Rusty Pickle – old and dated stuff, kitchy, essentially not so good. Nothing bought, 15 minutes of our lives we are never getting back again.

Archivers – Lots of good loot, Stephanie found some stamps she’d been coveting for a while as well as some new favs. We will definitely be back later in the week with a coupon and other discounts offered once we officially get registered for the event – or possibly on our bus tour tomorrow. Who knows where that will take us.

Pictures will have to wait. Tired. Very long and for a time very stressful day. Can’t wait until the bus tour tomorrow! Next update will be tomorrow, same Bat channel…unknown Bat time 😉

CKU Provo 2008

I posted these trip updates to a message board, but I’m going to transfer them here, and make a few little updates as I remember them. It was such a whirlwind couple of days that sometimes details get lost in the shuffle for a bit. I’m so excited because rumor has it there will be 2 next year, Provo and Nashville. I currently plan on doing both – because I *LOVED* both locations! I’m so excited and can’t wait! CKU 09, bring it on!