Sunday, June 08, 2008

Sprague Day - Day 4

Album track time! Got out of bed when the alarm went off at 8, instead of the regular 6:30. Goes to show you how intensive this event has been. I’m sleeping better now too. I don’t think any of the excitement has worn off, maybe it’s just that I am here in the thick of it all. I don’t have my mind wandering off on all the possibilities. I already have stuff to think about.

We got to the room with ten minutes to spare. New record for us. But then we blew it. Dropped off our stuff, set up the computer and then gave Jessica her apple for teacher. Which in this case translates into a box of Jelly Bellies (I made sure there was buttered popcorn in it!). Then we ran to Starbucks. Class had already started when we returned, but it was just passing out the dvd’s for class. Jared had burned some and Jessica had burned some. There were tiny differences to go over before we could begin.

Jessica got us started on the first project. The second page of the book used just one large photo of us. That was easier to show how to work with than the Title Page, so we began there. Good thinking. There were four TA’s ready to wander the room and help out at a moment’s notice. And work they did! Folks had so many questions at the beginning. This started to peter out as we progressed though. Once you do the steps a few times, it becomes second nature. Those that weren’t familiar with the basics for Photoshop were becoming much more comfortable by the second hour.

The papers from KPertiet’s Botanical line and all of the rest that were included with the kit were so gorgeous. The sketches that Jessica produced for the templates were beautiful. I can already tell when I print out this book, it is going to be AAAAWWWW-some!

People were plugging along and we barely noticed the time flying away from us. It’s so easy to lose yourself in selecting papers to use for the template, rearranging elements, typing the journaling, and playing that time goes bye-bye pretty fast. As I worked through the pages I started to realize a boo-boo, though. Jessica probably mentioned this. I was in the zone and might have missed it. It dawned on me that two pages next to each other would open up in a book format. Therefore I had to make sure that the pages flow together. I had to go back and tweak a few paper choices or colors to coordinate facing pages. But that was easy to do.

I didn’t get much accomplished during the morning half because I was paying attention to what everyone was doing. I tried helping out with questions and stuff, but the TA’s were pretty efficient. Oooh, I met Kathryn Estry (nee Mhire) from GottaPixel.net! I had no idea she was going to be there, so it took me a moment to place her. Once I figured it out it was like talking to an old buddy. I kinda listened in on her advice to the other students. Of course, she’s an old pro with Elements and gave great technical and design advice! Hi Kathryn!!

Lunch came, but I didn’t want to stop working. Besides lunch was a repeat of the Thursday with the ham and cheese croissant. They changed out the cookies for a brownie. I had such high hopes for that brownie with its thick layer of chocolate icing. So sad that it wasn’t up to par. I quickly ate and got right back to my station. I was really pumping them out now. As you become more familiar with the paper choices, it’s easier to plan them out. At this time I was coming across the Two-fers. Those pages where the layout spread out over two pages. It was a bit to work with at first. But I figured out that if you had both open at the same time it was easier. This way you could drag a paper onto the first side and then drag it again to the second. Much easier to coordinate this way.

Can you believe that the time started going by even quicker after lunch? It was crazy, but I had only done about 8 pages by then. Only three hours left. Only an hour and a half. Only an hour. AAAAHHH. I got 11 pages done by the time class was officially over. Jessica said that we could stay as long as we wanted. Meg and I took her up on that one!

Jessica ended the day with a speech that touched us all. She related how empowering we were for her. Sharing our lives and our journeys with her gives her strength. It was a tearful time for many. We thanked her with our applause and shouts of “We love you!” Oh, that last one might only have been from me. I couldn’t tell. HA!

It’s 5:30 and our stomachs are rumbling. Wolfing down half the lunch probably wasn’t a good idea. We went upstairs to drop off our packs and talk about dinner. Meg mentioned that she saw this Asian noodle shop near the Godiva kiosk. I’m all about that! This turned out to be the perfect choice. The atmosphere of the restaurant was so calming and serene with its soft music in the background and its d├ęcor of cherry blossom branches hanging from the ceiling. What a great change from the hustle and bustle of the mall experience. There wasn’t any loud blaring music where you couldn’t hear the person in front of you. Excellent way to decompress after three days of frenetic scrapbooking!

For some reason, Meg and I thought that commencement started at 7 and ran to 8. So we took our time over the Shu-Mai and Pad Thai. When we finally arrived in the ballroom the group was watching the slideshow. We stood in the back with Michelle Van Etten and said goodbye to her because she was flying off to teach in Dallas. It was fun to see the pictures that Paolo took throughout the event. Meg and I were in several so it was fun. Once it was over we rushed to find a table somewhere near a plug so we could continue working on our albums. When the slideshow was over they called out the album tracks and had us throw our graduation caps in the air. Then we could pick up our diplomas. Whoo HOO!

Meg and I looked at each other and realized that we had made a mistake. We asked around and commencement had begun at 6. Ooops. The raffle was already over but neither of our names were called. I don’t feel too bad because I really enjoyed dinner so much.

I finally had a moment to finish yesterday’s blog and got that posted. Sorry for the long delay. Meg and I sat working on our pages. I managed to get 15 of them (out of 22) fully completed and organized. I am thinking I will work on a few more during the plane ride. I had called up in the room for Super Shuttle and had to reserve a 7:50 AM pickup time. So Meg and I called it a night around 10:30. With a brief stop to talk to Josiane (Evolution with Ali) and Carol (Remember with Margie) about their beautiful albums. Josiane did a great take on Ali’s idea. She was going to turn it into a travel album. The gal sitting at their table (I’m sorry, I can’t remember your name!) did the same thing. She wanted to give it to her husband for Father’s Day, so she was really cranking to get it done. It was gorgeous. All about Rome.

Our experience with CKU has come to a close. There is still the airport shuffle tomorrow, but the interaction and constant scrapping has finished. It is sad and exciting all rolled into one big package. I feel like I’ve been away long enough to feel like a vacation, but it all went by so lightning quick. Meg and I discussed if we would return to do another CKU. We’ve come to the decision that we’d probably do the CPR photography retreat before another CKU.

We also are in agreement that CKU should design an entire event around a digital frame of mind. Meg mentioned this to Annette – a CKU organizer- as we were picking up our diplomas. Annette got this big mischievous grin on her face and said, “Be Patient. You might be surprised soon.” We immediately asked, “How patient?” Her response was to be very patient. So we’re thinking something is coming down the pike next year. Maybe?? Could be??

Whichever, I am there!
Here's Meg trying to get her suitcase closed after all the goodies!
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