I can hardly believe Convention is already just 2 weeks away!  So much to do!  I used the July 4th holiday to finish Swaps, make roommate gifts, and put in my pre-order for Holiday Catalog items (it was extremely hard not to buy the entire catalog).  I worked on finishing my swaps while watching TV yesterday.  I had recorded the Firefly marathon and watched the first 4 episodes while punching and taping here and there.  My daughter in Canada told me I’d like this show and the Big Bang Theory show characters also like it, so I figured I would give it a try.  The first episode was “not so sure”, but after the second one, I wanted to see them all.  I took a few breaks to go use the Big Shot and pitter around in my stamp studio.  Here’s the pile of cut paper and the first draft of my swap.  The second photo is the final swap design.

What makes Convention real is getting the badges and tickets in the mail.  I got all of these items in Friday’s mail.  I get the Vegetarian meals since I’m particular about animal products (I only buy my animal products from Whole Foods…organic, humanely raised, no hormones, no artificial stuff).  Plus, the vegetarian meals are usually more interesting anyway!  I got a ticket for my optional evening class, “I am Creative”, my Manager ribbon, and my Bag Voucher ticket — can’t wait to see the awesome bag, tote, purse, or whatever we get this year with our free stamp sets inside.  Last year’s bag was an updated Demo Business Bag embroidered with beautiful flowers and vines in In Color colors.

I think it was last year at convention that I first saw a My Digital Studio Journal printed and in person in the class Sara Douglass taught.  I have wanted to design myself one ever since.  It’s perfect for sketches, event notes, whatever…and I believe it has a built in ribbon bookmark.  So, I pulled up MDS to see what journal templates I had.  I had two and decided to use the Butterfly Shapes template, but of course I made quite a few changes to it to personalize it to my liking.  The layout and background papers are the same, but I changed up the butterflies, embellishments, & colors.  Then I added flower blooms that I just bought and downloaded recently and the Labels punches at the bottom with my journal title typed in.  Here are photos of the finished front cover and back cover.  I made the inside end pages Chocolate Chip and the spine Always Artichoke with “Barbara’s Notes” written in white.  I can’t wait for it to arrive.  I added it to my order yesterday – or I should say I ordered the book and then added the Holiday catalog stuff (you have to order it in that order to have MDS print products and regular items on the same order).  I’ll post a photo of the actual journal when it comes in.

Laura is coming again this year with me (3 in a row), and Becky & Jan are joining us this year.  So, there are four of us just like last year.  For the first time, we are going to arrive a day before, so we’re hoping to go site seeing in Park City, Utah the day we arrive.  Not sure why we haven’t been arriving a day early all along?  Check back here or better yet join my blog to stay in the loop on our Convention adventure this year.  I plan to post once a day while we’re there…it may be on a one day lag, but I’ll post stories and plenty of photos, so stay tuned!

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