So I had a chance to cruise with Paper Crafts magazine (and a whole lot of really nice folks) last week.
Let’s go back to how it all happened.
It was a quiet day, in the mid-Summer. I was cleaning up my paper-covered floor after an all-night craft fest. The phone rang. It went to voice mail. It was a Utah number. So I called back. It was the head cheese(head) from Paper Crafts. And for some crazy reason, she and the rest of the PC crew thought I’d do an OK job teaching and asked me to join Susan and Kim for the party. I’m like, “Really?”
Long story short, I accepted and got to go teach on a Cruise ship for an entire week!
Sure, there are going to be lots of posts in the coming weeks from Susan, Kim, Jaclyn (Gallery Idol runner-up and special guest to the cruise) and other cruisers about the fun we had. But I thought I would share with you five things I learned during the cruise:
1. Rum factory tours with new friends = lots of fun!
The week was filled with classes, but there were no classes when we were on port so we got to take several breaks. During one of the breaks, we stopped in Belize and I was able to join a few of the cruisers for a tour of a rum factory. We started out with a tour of the city via school bus.
Then we went on an awesome tour of a river/swamp on an itty bitty boat. Think Pirates of the Carribean-sized boat times 2. We got to see many homes of the people who live there.
And we saw crocodiles, iguanas, birds and other wildlife.
Yes. He was that close.
As we toured the swamp portion of the river, we had to duck from branches, logs and tree limbs that hung down. And we had to fight off pesky mosquitoes.
After the long boat ride, we arrived at the rum factory where workers welcomed us into their storage room and cracked open bottles of rum for us to try.
The one he is holding is one that a fellow cruiser said “tastes like ear wax.” That coupled with the green’ish color = mine stayed there.
2. Posing with copies of “Get Inspired” (a brand new special issue from Paper Crafts) = tons of fun no matter what country you go to.
And believe me, there are a ton more of these photos. Me and Kim had lots and lots fun with this issue. BAHHAHHHAAAAAHHHHAAA……… (<—- Yep. That was supposed to be evil. But I digress.).
3. Nothing beats taking a cab right to an exclusive beach and laying on a lounge chair, just a few steps from the water.
The water really was that blue.
4. It’s hard to get used to cooking again.
We were spoiled every night by the dining staff, who put napkins on our laps, provided anything we wanted and just made us all feel like we were a million bucks.
I informed my family when I got home that I was going to have to ease back into the normal cooking routine around here because it would be too much shock for my body. For some reason, they didn’t quite buy into that and I found myself in the kitchen that night doing dish duties. (Aww, cruise, how I miss you already.)
5. Teaching = a ton of fun. It’s awesome to see crafters having fun while they make stuff. It’s also great to be able to share your ideas and crafty tricks with them.
When you teach, you meet and get to know some of the nicest, kindest folks.
These cruisers introduced Ben, their steward, to the joy of paper crafting during the cruise. Brooke (from CK Events and one of our fellow cruisers) put together a bag of goodies and class kits for him. He was so touched. He planned to put together the cards to send to his family in Indonesia while he traveled.
One more thing: I’ve spent a good chuck of the last year teaching around the country (and now internationally). This was definitely one of the most enjoyable experiences of my year.
A few months ago, I had a chance to talk with a magazine friend. I find sometimes it’s really easy to get caught up in the rat race of designers and the magazine world (and what’s happening online).
Teaching gives you a chance to really get lost in the joy of making stuff and learning. It gives you the opportunity to really talk to people who just read the magazine and care about the projects in it and what they want to see in it. It gives you a chance to really see where the rubber meets the road with paper crafting. I want to encourage any of you frequent magazine submitters out there to take the time to teach if the opportunity to teach is ever given to you. Not only does it give you an opportunity to stretch yourself personally, but you can reap a lot more from it, too.
Be back again soon with cards.