A few months ago we held the Ultimate STITCHES West 2013 & Craftsy VIP Giveaway. We randomly selected a winner: Kathryn Paulson. She was delighted to attend, and thrilled to invite her daughter Sheila along. When Kathryn returned from her epic trip, we were lucky enough to get the chance to chat with her about her experience winning, going to STITCHES West, enjoying Craftsy classes, and more!
Were you surprised when you found out you won the giveaway?
When I found out I won, I sat in my chair and couldn't move. I kept looking at the email from Craftsy saying Benjamin from STITCHES West 2013 was trying to reach me because I won! Many minutes went by and then I called my daughter, Sheila, and she said, "I don't know mom, don't give them your credit card number or anything." Then I called my son, Matthew, in NYC. He was very calm and asked me several questions and helped me confirm that the trip was real. When I told my son in Texas about it, he asked if Matthew had checked it all out. No one really said, "Hey mom, glad you won!" until I asked Sheila if she would go with me.
What interested you about STITCHES West and Craftsy?
I've been regularly visiting the Craftsy website to learn anything I could and, of course, enter contests. The site is amazing in the way that it covers so many interests. I am always looking over what Craftsy offers and hoping to find a new interest. I love to learn! I'd like to take a few classes on crochet and knitting and then expand my horizons a bit; perhaps into cake decorating.
Have you ever been to STITCHES West before?
I have never been to Stitches West before. What a wonderful location! I woke up every morning so excited to see the sun come up. Coffee in hand, I tried to take in the colors, smells, and sounds. It was so amazing I tried to capture it in photographs. I am an oil painter and I hope to paint something someday to remember my trip in oil.
Are you a crafter, yourself?
I have tried many crafts in my 61 years. Drawing was my beginning into the world. I loved the first day of school and all the accompanying crayons, paper, pencils, construction paper and the paint closet. Art was my favorite time of day.
As I got older I took a liking to knitting and crocheting. Crocheting was a faster way to get mittens, hats and scarves made, and having three children, it helped with the budget. I made slippers and blankets: gifts for the family. My children have all saved one thing or another that I made for them when they were small.
I got back into oil painting eventually, and joined a group of people that got together once a week to paint, drink coffee, and eat whatever treat someone brought that day. Then it turned into lunch. And then into an all afternoon affair. We had men join the group too: retired, firemen, and others who came and went.
What's your latest project?
I've been doing dollies. Don't ask me why because they are so darn small to work with and take awhile to get started. The ends are almost impossible to weave in. But they are so pretty when done.
Can you share with us a bit about your STITCHES West experience?
I believe the whole thing was a "pinch me" moment. It was so fun planning the trip with my daughter. When we reached San Jose, we got help checking into our lovely rooms and had an excellent night's sleep. In the morning I could look out my window at a beautiful sunrise; a peaceful way to start the day. Then my daughter would come over and off we'd go. She attended different classes, so we'd meet up later and have wonderful stories to share. The Market was the best yarn show I've ever been too. It was so nice to be around high quality products with the people right there that made them. The whole time I was at STITCHES West 2013 I felt like I was with family. Everyone was so kind, making sure we had all we needed to have a wonderful experience. Overall it was overwhelming, but we took it in!
What were your favorite parts?
The fashion shows were by far the most encouraging, and made me realize that we could really create such things. And then there was the food. Oh my goodness! Plus, the show brought together great people and there was so much to do.
What sort of sessions did you attend?
I attended Marly and Drew's classes. I learned so much from them and couldn't wait to get home to see if all the "tricks of the trade" would work for me. Marly was a joy. She patiently took time with my daughter, Sheila, and taught her to crochet in a beads class. It was nice that you could walk away from the class with a project completed or nearly completed. Plus, I bought a few of Drew's things to take home. I would take classes similar to this again, as I have much to learn.
Did you meet many crafters?
I met many crafters while I walked around. I would start up conversations to learn why people were there and what they did. I came away with many new friends!
Thanks for sharing your experience and crafting passion with us Kathryn!