We spent one evening comparing our class lists and whittling them down to four (two a day) as we wanted to save some of our budget for buying supplies. Two of the classes were for making layouts, one for card making, and the other class was crafting with vinyl. Over the next few weeks, we took a look at the make and takes offered (basically mini classes where you make a project to take with you), early bird specials, and perused the coupons to plan out our day. We didn't want to miss a good deal.
The shopping was incredible. The area I live in lacks craft stores. Joann craft store is about thirty minutes away but their scrapbooking section has been shrinking at a rapid pace the last few years. There is a Michaels, Hobby Lobby, and AC Moore about an hour and half away but most of the time those three stores have pretty much the same items. I loved all the variety at the Expo. My favorite vendor, Paper Wizard, was there and I spent quite a bit of time (and money) and their booth. My family and I are going to Disney in December and Paper Wizard had a lot of detailed die cuts for the rides and other Disney themes. While I can cut die cuts out on my Explore or Cameo, sometimes to nice to have them premade where I only need to glue the pieces...especially when dealing with detailed images with small cuts. It can take a few tries to get the layers to cut correctly.
My friend and I had such a great time, we started planning our trip to the Stamp and Scrapbook Expo for next year before we even left. There are three changes we're already planning one (well, one change is just mine):
1. Leave my laptop home. I brought my computer along in case I had some down time and could get in a few hundred words or so on my WIP. The only reason I turned on my laptop was to charge up my portable charging unit for the iPhone. Next year, I'm going to bring a portable USB charger that plugs into the wall and leave the laptop at home. This way there's no fretting if the laptop is getting to hot in the car if I make a stop at an outlet mall, or worry I'm going to leave the laptop.
2. No 8:30 am classes. Neither of us are early riser and need some time for the caffeine to kick in so classes after 10:30 would be better--and 10:30 is when most of the early bird shopping offers end.
3. Reserve hotel room early. We're both setting reminders on our phone to start checking for the group reservations to open so we can snag a room at the hotel near the Expo center. That might also help if we find an early class a must as we won't have to worry about getting through the Dulles airport traffic in the morning.