The Creative Connection Trip

And so our journey to Minnesota began on a lovely fall day in September.  We had our suitcases semi-packed, leaving room for treasures we may find. :)  We carefully planned our outfits out for a long weekend full of creative classes about crafting, jewelry making, blogging, glitter, shopping, and reconnecting with wonderfully creative women!  The event that we attended is called The Creative Connection and is sponsored by Where Women Create.  And if you ever want to go on a trip where you are surrounded by the most creative women in the crafting/blogging industry, then this is the event for you!!

First, let me talk about how well thought out every meal was.  Because, when you are being creative you have to feed your brain, right?  Attention to detail was major at this event.  At every meal the tablescapes were decorated beautifully, and there was a gift waiting for us at our place setting.

This was a beautiful kitchen hand towel that they gave out at the kick off luncheon along with some Star Bucks coffee!

Table settings…

And yes, while we were there we did eat some yummy food, but we also created some wonderful crafts!  We were fortunate enough to take classes from Kaari Meng(The French General Boutique), and Wendy Addison.  These are two amazing women who have been creating crafts using old notions, beads, ribbon, glitter, tinsel, vintage charms and findings dating back to Napoleon times.  So as we sat down at the table in “awe” this is what we created….

We used vintage German glass glitter to make our eggs sparkle!!  What girl doesn’t love glitter???

We were given this beautiful silver vintage ribbon, gold dresden, vintage wax flowers, and instructions by Wendy Addison herself, swoon..

And the end result was this beautiful embellished mache egg box covered in old glass glitter, antique metallic ribbon, and waxed vintage millinery flowers.

So after finishing that lovely project we proceeded with the next class which was taught by Kaari Meng.  In this class we created a beautiful charm bracelet made with lots of lovely charms such as cameos, small mirrors, crowns, vintage pearls, and the list goes on….

And Voila’ the finished bracelet!!!

And a picture with the lovely Kaari Meng.

And so off to our next class, which was being taught by Debbie Murray and Shea Fragoso from A Gilded Life.  Their class was a “Count your Blessings” necklace.  In this class we learned to solder, which is wonderful skill to have for jewelry making.  These two ladies are very down to earth, and wonderful teachers of their craft!  So here is the creative process..

Debbie teaching us soldering techniques.

And again, another beautiful finished project to take home!

And just in case taking creative glasses wasn’t enough they also had stations set up where you could create a personalized name tag.

Natalie with our friend Mallie from DecoArt

Along with getting to be creative and crafty, we also heard from some really inspiring women in the industry!  Here are just a few that spoke to us at luncheons and dinners.



Nora had an inspiring story about how to achieve your goals as a woman entrepreneur in the creative business, plus inspired us to want to sew more.  Burda Style offers so many wonderful patterns!

Another wonderful keynote speaker was


She has been in the TV/modeling industry for many years and had wonderful tips on how to survive and reinvent yourself.  She currently stars in her own cooking show called Big Bowl of Love on the OWN(Oprah’s newtwork)  She is a lovely women and knows how to cook.  Her latest cook book is “Big Bowl of Love”, you should check it out!  Here is Christina pictured with Nancy Soriano and Holly Becker from Decor8.

And it was a MAJOR treat to hear from Holly Becker, the creative force behind A blog in which we often turn to for inspiration.  Holly is such a lovely person and her speaking at this event was major for us.  We actually got to meet her in person, and she couldn’t have been any more kind or gracious.  If you haven’t bought a copy of her new book, it is must have for sure!

So not only were there fabulous classes, and we touched on just a few of the speakers, but there was SHOPPING!!!!

Here is some shopping that we did at the Marketplace…

This is the Tinsel Trading Company booth, which has all kinds of vintage lace, ribbon, dresden, buttons, flowers, glass glitter, and the list goes on.

Feeling inspired to sew, there were so many cute patterns to choose from.

We met some extremely talented ladies from a company called These girls are cute and trendy and designed the most beautiful clothes!!

And as if shopping in the Marketplace wasn’t enough, we headed out to the Junk Bonanza!!  What is Junk Bonanza you say, only the MidWest’s biggest gathering of antique and junk dealers all in one spot!  Can I get an AMEN!!!

And we are off….so much junk so little time!

We can even find a piece of KY in Minnesota!

Great metal storage containers

Love the backless frames,oh the possibilities!

Love the vintage dress forms!

Wouldn’t this old vintage carousel piece make a great headboard?  If only we had a trailer to take all this great stuff back with us.  Maybe next year:)

And so our trip ended with a cupcake farewell…until next year…

Here we are with the co-creator of the event Jo Packham.

Thanks for stopping by The Lulu Life, hope you enjoyed the post about our fun trip to Minnesota, and hope you feel inspired to be creative in your own life!

XO~ Gretchen and Natalie



















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  • decor8 Holly says:

    I loved this post – thank you so much for making MY time at TCC so special – your generosity and kindness really blew my mind and warmed my heart. I hope to see you both again someday – perhaps when I teach at another small “boutique” style destination you can both join me. :) I have something in the works…

  • admin says:

    Oh my goodness, we would love to join you for one of your “boutique” style destinations. That sounds AMAZING!! We are so happy that you love your necklace, thanks again for being such a lovely and inspirational person! XO Gretchen and Natalie

  • Oh my word girls! TCC looks like absolute heaven!!! And Junk Bonanza? WHAT? I would have seriously passed out. I’m glad ya’ll had a wonderful time and absolutely cannot wait to meet you all on November 6th!

  • Tracy says:

    I cannot believe we missed you girls at TCCE! Funny thing is that we talked to Mallie and she said she’d heard of LaunchHER through you – but we had no clue that meant you were at the conference. Sad we didn’t connect, but glad you had a great visit to the Twin Cities and even found JunkMarket 😉

    Cheers! Tracy

  • Erica Cooper says:

    Your post perfectly captured the essence of The CC Event and the Junk Bonanza! I am so happy we were able to reconnect again this year. What a great few days, wouldn’t miss it for the world! Wishing you both all my best as you share your gorgeous jewelry with the world. :) Hugs…