The Creative Connection Event 2011...

Grab a cup of coffee, this is going to be a long one! Last week, Toni, Molly & I ventured off to St. Paul, Minnesota to attend and teach at The Creative Connection Event. TCCE was founded by Jo Packham, the incredible women behind Where Women Create & Where Women Cook magazines. Over 700 creative women {and a sprinkling of men} came together for 3 days filled with inspiration, ideas and opportunities. It was such an amazing experience. Seriously. Our plane took off Wednesday morning and from that moment on, we were going nonstop all weekend!

We arrived at the hotel and were greeted with a sweet welcome basket from our friends at LaunchHer! We spent some time searching for our supply boxes that were shipped in, only to have two large boxes missing. {anyone find 25 EK Success paper punches, by chance?} That night, we joined some of our favorite crafty bloggers at a DecoArt Social Artworking Painting PJ Party. I worked with Mallie from Social Artworking a few months ago on party designs and ideas for this fun new program. {more details soon...keep your eye out at Joann stores} It was fun to see the party in action, along with the printables I created.

{cupcakes, tomkat girls, kami & I, laurie, shelley

The next day, we attended the welcome lunch and loved listening to our amazing friend, Becky Higgins speak. She made us laugh and made us cry. She's incredible. That afternoon, I participated in the Pitch Slam Event. How could I pass up an opportunity to chat with several large publishers at once?  It was Shark Tank style so I was quite nervous, but I've learned that you have to take a chance when it is in front of you. I think it went well. We'll see! ;)

That night, we attended the keynote dinner featuring Holly Becker of Decor8 and Christine Ferrare of Big Bowl of Love on the OWN Network. They were both wonderful speakers. So real and honest. Holly's blog, Decor8 was one of the very first blogs I started reading back in 2008 when I started my own blog. I was so thrilled to meet her. She recognized me {grin!} and told me my blog is beautiful. To hear that from a girl with one of the most beautiful blogs ever....sure made my weekend!

{me + holly becker}

The next day I was invited to be interviewed for The DIY Dish, a web show hosted by twins, Kim & Kris. They are so adorable! We were totally giggling before the segment and had a great time with it. I will post the video when it airs on their site. After the interview, I had a few spare minutes to check out some of the booths at the Marketplace. I wish I had more time there, the vendors were incredible. I ran into the ladies of LaunchHer and had a great time chatting with them. At the Stampington booth, I was able to sneak a peek at the premiere issue of Mingle magazine, which is features three TomKat parties!

My shopping was cut short to be ready for the Autograph Signing Cocktail Party. Who me? I felt silly, but it was fun. I signed my magazine spread in Where Women Create, which was available to purchase at the party. Lucky me, my table was right next to Becky Higgins so we had a lot of fun!

{holly becker & I, tomkat girls + shelley + becky}

After the party, we went back to our room to prepare our swag bags and materials for our classes the next day. I was nervous, yet again. How much stress can one handle in a matter of a few days? Book pitches, interviews, autograph signings...teaching classes? I'm exhausted just thinking about it all again. Good news...I think it is okay to say that "Creating Fabulous Parties" with The TomKat Studio was a big success! To prepare our students for class, I asked my girl, Shelley from House of Smiths and my Molly to get everyone warmed up with a dance party. I brought my iPhone dock and created a party mix for the class. We DANCED! Fun!

{class photos courtesy of house of smiths}

After the dance party, it was time to get down to business. I talked a little bit about my background and how this little business came about. Our attendees then made chevron cupcake toppers, wrappers, banner and cake bunting to take home. Once they were finished, we did a Party Design Challenge, which was so much fun! They were divided into teams and given a table full of random supplies to use to create a party item or tablescape. They were given about 45 minutes and the results were AMAZING! Seriously, I was so impressed. It was totally like a show you would see on HGTV or The Food Network, and the participants loved doing it! Check out what they made tomorrow in our giveaway post!

{cindy, kami + jen, gussy + me, jessie} 

I had many friends attend my classes including some I've met before and some I've been wanting to meet! It was so fun to meet Maggie aka Gussy of Gussy Sews. We have chatted several times on the phone so it felt like we were friends who hadn't seen each other in awhile. I also met Jessie, the lovely girl behind Shop Sweet Lulu. She is such a sweetheart and I was able to witness her creativity first hand during the design challenge.

That night, we joined a big group of bloggers for dinner out! I finally got to catch up with the lovely, Becki of Whippy Cake {we had both been so busy the whole trip}. My online friend, Jess from Polka Dots & Pirates lives near where the event was held, so she joined us for dinner. We had so much fun together and could have stayed out all night. However, morning came soon enough and me and my girls got back on a plane to head back home. We're almost recovered.

I want to give a big THANK YOU to my TomKat girls, Toni and Molly for attending the event with me and keeping everything running smoothly!


  1. Ceilidh


    So excited right now....are you coming out with a book?!

    Reply 0 replies
  2. Modern Cupcake - Jill


    Wow! You covered a lot of territory in a very short amount of time! What a blast!!

    Reply 0 replies
  3. {Fabulous Friday Giveaway} Our Favorite Party Crafting Supplies + Free Printable Chevron Birthday Party Circles | The TomKat Studio


    [...] week, the TomKat team attended and taught at The Creative Connection Event. It was incredible! {Read full recap here.} During our classes, we taught over 50 creative women how to make cupcake toppers, cupcake [...]

    Reply 0 replies
  4. Tracy @ LaunchHER


    What a wonderful re-cap and pictures! You stuffed so much into those few days, major kuddos to you, Toni, and Molly. It was such an amazing group of women, all in one venue - still in awe at how inspiring it was.

    Reply 0 replies
  5. Kami


    Great recap, Kim! You three were busy! I seriously loved your class, and I was sad to have to leave early. The swag bag was so fun! What a treat for all those who got to come and party it up with the TomKat girls! :)

    Reply 0 replies
  6. Kristina McCook


    What a fun time! So many crafty ladies in one place!!!

    Reply 0 replies
  7. Syreena


    that looks like it was craft heaven!!! I soooo wish I could have been there!!!

    Reply 0 replies
  8. {Cupcake Monday} Everyday is a Holiday Cupcake Art + Surprise Giveaway! | The TomKat Studio


    [...] week at The Creative Connection, I happened upon a booth at the market that instantly grabbed my attention. I wonder [...]

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  9. Amanda


    Soooooo amazing!!! I wish I could have been there =(

    Reply 0 replies
  10. {TomKat Studio Update} Epcot Food & Wine Festival for HGTV! | The TomKat Studio


    [...] Shelley the other day and she was surprised how nervous I was before the classes that I taught at TCCE. She said that she would have never thought I would be so nervous, just based on my personality she [...]

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  11. The DIY Dish Interview {Video} | The TomKat Studio


    [...] we were enjoying The Creative Connection Event a few months ago, I was asked by Kris and Kim of The DIY Dish to be a guest on their show! The [...]

    Reply 0 replies
  12. Decorate Workshop by Holly Becker :: Book Giveaway! | The TomKat Studio


    [...] Decor8 and author of Decorate, her first book. I had the pleasure of meeting Holly last year at The Creative Connection Event, which was such an amazing experience for me because I have been following her blog forever! (well, [...]

    Reply 0 replies

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