The Best Day EVER!

Come to think of it, the day before was pretty good, too.  I’m talking about last weekend, when the illustrious Tim Holtz, Duke of Distress, came to Florida to teach four amazing classes!  I decided to take only two, knowing from past convention experience how easily “burned out” I can get if I jam too many classes in.  And it freed up some of the budget to spend at Whim-So-Doodle, the sponsor store, which is fabulous!  (Wish it weren’t quite so far away.)  I arrived on Friday and shopped in relative peace while the other 99 Tim fans were in his afternoon class.  I’ve never seen so much Tim stuff in one place!  (And they seemed to have the full line of 7 Gypsies, too, which was also very cool.) 

The next morning, I made my way to the beautiful Hilton hotel in downtown St. Petersburg.  At the check-in table, we were given a handled paper bag with an amazing embellished name tag to wear, info on upcoming classes and a list of places to eat that had been inked, stamped and trimmed with pom-pom ribbon.  We were also given a paddle with a number on it to use during class in case we wanted to buy something we’d seen demonstrated.  We’d just hold up our paddle and one of the staff would come around and take our orders.  Those Whim-So-Doodle gals had gone all out!

In the front of the classroom was a table of samples.

Let’s get a closer look at those tags!  I didn’t take the tag class, but a lady at Whim-So-Doodle showed me some finished ones.  Aren’t they yummy?

Tim’s work is always so detailed and intricate.  He inspires me to try less “simple” designs and really pile the stuff on!  🙂

While I was shooting the samples, I noticed Mario, Tim’s right-hand man, unpacking boxes behind the table.  I was going for an “action shot,” but at the last second, he looked up and grinned.

Tim was on the other side of the room, signing books and getting his photo taken.  I joined the end of a long line of fans and had a flashback to Disney World.  It was just like when Winnie-the-Pooh came out and the little kids lined up to get a hug!  Hmmm…would I get a hug from Tim?  Only time would tell…

If you’ve read my “getting ready for classes” post, you’ll remember that I made a tote bag with an altered photo of Tim on the front and “WWTD?” on the back.  I showed him my bag, which he said he loved (though admittedly he looked a bit embarrassed at the sight of his own picture!) and this was his reaction when I explained that “WWTD” stood for “What Would Tim Distress?”:

Because I’d spent so long in line, the only seat I could find was at the very end of one of the three long tables in the room.  At first I didn’t much like it because everyone who was going back and forth through the door had to walk past me (and there wasn’t a lot of space), but once the class started, it turned out to be the ideal seat!  The door was shut, everyone sat and stayed sitting, I could look straight ahead and see Tim and the screen without straining my neck, and there was a giant waste bin three feet behind me, so I didn’t have to wait for Mario to come around to pick up trash.  Plus, I had the entire end of the table for my workspace.  Nice!

Our first class that day was called Creative Blocks.  I LOVED this class and will very definitely be making more of this project!  I was able to finish in the four hours allotted, which made me very happy, and we got to play with beeswax, which is always a lot of fun.

This is Tim’s sample for the class.  Isn’t it pretty?  He described it as “shabby chic,” but said we could do the same technique in a more “grungy” theme if we wanted to.

Tim supplied everything we needed; we weren’t to bring any supplies or tools at all.  At each class, he surprised us with a freebie or two, and there were many, many door prizes (alas, I didn’t get lucky, but it was fun to play along!).  As he came around to check on our progress, some ladies nearby asked him to sign their books and shirts.  I asked if he would sign my tote bag and he signed both the front and back! 

On the back, he wrote my name and “thanks for sharing the journey!”  Awesome.

I then gave him a cigar box that I’d filled with some fun vintage items that I’d collected over the years along with an ATC, and told him it was a “thank you” for being so inspiring and because I had been one of the tissue tape winners on his blog and wanted to give something back.  (I’m afraid at that point I went on at great length about how much I love tissue tape; on the bright side, I’m sure he’s used to encountering babbling enthusiastic fans.)  He thanked me with a hug!  (Yes, I did get a hug from Winnie-the-Pooh after all!  Hooray!)

Okay, enough of the gushy stuff…here’s my finished Creative Blocks project.  I was stumped for awhile as to where to put what, but it finally all came together at the end.  I was excited to discover a glue that would hold items to a waxed surface: Studio Matte Medium.  We were each given a small bottle of it to use in class and got to keep the open bottle in case we wanted to add more stuff later.  Yay!  Everything on this piece was glued on with the Matte Medium.  Yes, even the metal bits and even that glass bottle!

After a delicious Subway lunch (and – possibly – more shopping at Whim-So-Doodle?), it was time for the afternoon class, Patchwork Pandemonium.  This is Tim’s sample for the class:

Once again, everything was supplied.  We all cheered and clapped for Mario, who had cut, embossed and put Wonder Tape on all the pieces!  (Whew, that must’ve taken forever.)

During class, we used Distress Ink, Distress Stains, alcohol inks and Distress Crackle paint.  Tim talked about how much he loves Rock Candy Distress Crackle.  He’s apparently working on making it available in much larger containers, saying a gallon would be ideal, though it unfortunately won’t be that big.  🙂  He also made a lot of “crack” jokes as we were using the crackle paint, claiming it was easier just to call it “crack” instead of Distress Crackle Paint.  Which is how he got away with saying, “I like big cracks, and I like little cracks,” and “Make sure your crack is dry.”  He was (pun intended) cracking us up!  He also made himself even more popular (if that’s even possible) by giving us each a free package of his new self-adhesive plastic letters…

…and an unfinished wooden frame for our patchwork project!  Whoo-hoo!  Niiiiiice.

Unfortunately I didn’t finish in class (actually, nobody did, because Tim specifically asked), but I did get quite a bit done:

Eventually I’ll add lots more “stuff” and frame it.  I’ve been busy this week working on a mini album to commemorate this awesome experience and finally finished it last night.  Alas, my employer continues to expect me to show up once in awhile, and since they do fund my Tim habit, I actually have to take time out of my busy creative schedule and show up there, dang it.  So I’ll be stuck in the office for the next three days, but my mind will still be in St Pete…

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4 Responses to “The Best Day EVER!”

  1. Trish D Says:

    Lisa, you did such a great job describing your time in St. Pete, FL I was at Tim’s Patchwork class. I believe we met that evening.
    I would never pass up a chance to take a class with Tim. He is an awesome teacher.

  2. Lenna Andrews Says:

    o h, l i s a!! That sounds like so much fun!!!!!! Thanks for a great description of your weekend. Awesome!!!! I would have definitely enjoyed.

  3. Karen Says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading through that account – Thanks for sharing. I love your shabby chic canvas and the patchwork in progress.
    I was lucky to do the Compendium of Curiosities workshop in the UK in Feb. Tim and Mario were both so sweet, and very hug-able 🙂

  4. bjogreen Says:

    I love your canvas!!! That is so neat!!!

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