This Saturday is the annual Stampaway Convention in Cincinnati. We have gone to this for the past 3 years and never regret it. In fact, it is one of my favorite mommy days of the year. Even if you aren’t close enough to visit this specific stamping convention you should find one in your area to attend. The inspiration alone is well worth the price of admission but these events offer so much more than that. If you enjoy any kind of paper crafting or stamping then here are 5 reasons you should experience a stamping convention.
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Gets Creative Juices Flowing
Crafter’s block can be even more frustrating than writer’s block. You want to create, or maybe even have to create, but the ideas simply aren’t coming. A stamping convention is the perfect place to get those creative juices flowing again. Everywhere you turn there are new designs, ideas, and examples of creative work. There is no way that you will still be blocked after a day at the convention.
Find Unique Items
There are so many unique items at a stamping convention that you won’t find in the craft store (like the stamp used in this project). These aren’t limited to stamps, either. You can find ribbon, stencils, tools, and more that are unique to the vendors selling them. I have found templates for boxes, specialty rub-ons, and glow-in-the-dark shrink paper for unbelievable prices. You never know what cool stuff you’re going to find from year to year.
Learn New Techniques
Did you know that you can cut soda cans with your Sizzix? I didn’t until I watched a woman do it at the convention 2 years ago. She also showed you how to color your cutouts so that the ink sticks to the aluminum. There are always fantastic demonstrations to see and they free to watch. Learn how to make realistic 3-D paper flowers or new gorgeous inking techniques from vendors. Some even offer make-and-takes for a small fee. (A make-and-take is when the vendor provides the materials and guides you through making a specific craft. You then take home the items that you have made.)
Take the Inspiration with You
There is so much to take in that you couldn’t possibly remember all of it. Thankfully, most vendors don’t mind you taking pictures of the displays. If you buy a product to make a specific idea you see, you can take a photo for later.
- Always ask a vendor before taking a photograph of anything. While most do not mind, some expressly forbid it.
Meet the People Behind the Designs
One of the coolest reasons you should experience a stamping convention is to meet the people behind the designs you love. It makes the designs more meaningful and it is fun to hear the stories behind them. A lot of vendors create their own unique stamps and each line has its own style. One of my personal favorites was getting to watch a demonstration by Tim Holtz. Watching the way that he layers inks and designs was mesmerizing. Unfortunately we didn’t get our picture with him because the wait for photos was simply too long. It was still incredibly cool.
Some of My Favorite Project Ideas from Last Year
Are you excited to check out a stamping convention? Before you go I want to leave you with a few tips for attending. First, wear comfortable shoes. These conventions can be quite large which translates into a lot of time on your feet. You also want to bring a tote bag. Not all of the vendors have bags for your purchases. Lastly, I like to bring a small notebook and pen to jot ideas and techniques on throughout the day. Which of these 5 reasons you should experience a stamping convention are you most excited about? Did any of them surprise you? Let me know in the comments!
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