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The Weekend Lens | Crop & Create Markham

Last Thursday Katie and I flew to Toronto, Ontario Canada for a weekend event called Crop & Create sponsored by Scrapbook & Cards Toady magazine

We had the best time. 

Sometimes when we travel to events we are in and out - no time for sightseeing or extra stuff - just take care of business and get back home. This trip we planned in an extra day, mainly to make sure we were able to get there since we were traveling across North America from West to East in the winter. It's just so unpredictable and having that buffer day makes everyone feel a bit better. 

Since we made it safe and sound on our scheduled travel day, and since Catherine was so organized in advance, we were able to drive a few hours from Markham, Ontario to Niagara Falls. 

When we landed Thursday evening in Toronto and it was -15 Celsius (5 Fahrenheit). We call that cold. 

On Friday morning we made the 2-hour or so drive to Niagara Falls with the lovely ladies from Doodlebug Designs and Vicki Boutin (all teachers at the event). We were not disappointed. It was our first time and it was awesome. 

We were on the Canadian side, which people seem to say is the best view. 

So all these photos were taken looking over towards the United States. 

Seeing it in the snow and ice was amazing. We'll definitely have to come back in the warmer months to get a taste for what it's like then as well, but seeing it this way was seriously cool. 

We walked all along a walkway where you can see both sets of falls. 

iPhone pano shot for the win. 

And yes, it was that cold. 

So beautiful. 

We were really thankful for the opportunity to get out and see this place we've only read about and seen on TV or movies. 

The event itself was also really great. Organized. Fun. Happy people, ready and willing to learn and enjoy each other's company. I couldn't have asked for a better group of students. 

You guys rocked. 

We did three classes at this event that seemed to be well received: Day In The Life™, Love You Because, and Storytelling With Project Life®. All include a lecture portion and then hands-on work time. I will be offering these workshops as downloadable classes later this year. You can also check out where else I'll be doing in-person teaching events here. If you are in Paris or surrounding countries we want to see you next month at Version Scrap

At the end of the event I got up and said a few things, including a big thank you for all the kindnesses received, and shared a few things I'd written down that I wanted to remember about the weekend (because you know I love repeated prompt journaling): 

  • I want to remember how cold it was at Niagra Falls and how great the company was.
  • I want to remember the smiles on so many of your faces as you came into the classroom or greeted me in the hall.
  • I want to remember how lucky I am to have Katie here with me.
  • I want to remember how great it is to be in the company of other people who are just as passionate about memory keeping as I am.
  • I want to remember seeing all the heads down, hands moving in the class this morning as people responded to the writing prompts.
  • I want you guys to remember that you have everything you need inside of you right now to include more of your words in your projects.
  • I want you to remember the your voice matters. And the person it should matter to most is YOU. 

Thanks again to Catherine at Scrapbook & Cards Today magazine for inviting me and for running such a smooth event. We've love to come back!

I also wanted to tell you guys that I finally caved and bought a Kindle. I went with the Paperwhite because I want it to be only for reading - no other activities like surfing the web or social media. I also just saw that it's on sale on Amazon right now because it's National Reading Month. Good time to jump in if you've been thinking about it too. 

I sent Aaron a text message and told him it was possible I was in love with the Kindle. 

It was awesome and lightweight and I could read when the lights were out in our hotel room. I started and finished The Girl On The Train on this trip (loved it). I don't think I will be only reading off here from now on, but I definitely will anytime I'm traveling. 

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23 thoughts

  1. judyg says…
    03/03/2015

    Hi Ali,
    I find that I am reading a lot more since I got my Kindle. It is so easy to put in your
    purse and read a chapter or two when waiting a few minutes at appointments, etc. Also, love that I can read at night with the lights out in the bedroom. I've got Niagra Falls on my bucket list, but hopefully when it is a little warmer. (Have really been loving this spring like winter we have been having in Eugene!)

    Reply 0 Replies
  2. Carolly says…
    03/03/2015

    Wow! Makes me wish I could be at one of your classes!!!! Maybe you'd consider coming to Montana ??? :) the workshops that are downloadable will they include video?

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. AliEdwards says…
      03/04/2015

      Yes, they will include some form of video like I usually do - combination keynote and maybe live hands-on video.

  3. lifeinperspective says…
    03/03/2015

    Gorgeous pictures! I was hesitant to read ebooks, and now I'm almost exclusively electronic- love that I can carry many books with me at one time! I also have the paperwhite (and a Nook SimpleTouch)- love the ease of it.

    Reply 0 Replies
  4. aussiehostie says…
    03/03/2015

    Hi Ali, I'm so happy to hear that you may be offering those workshops as downloadable classes. Also, I love your genuine gratitude for the seemingly little things in life. I love that. Have a great day.

    Reply 0 Replies
  5. barefootscrapbooker says…
    03/03/2015

    I love my Kindle too, but I find that it only gets used when travelling. There is something so magical about holding paper in your hands. It's like you form a stronger connection with the characters and author through printed words.

    I loved your last point: your voice matters, and the person it should matter to the most is you. That resonated in my soul, and will be a good reminder to myself when I sit and wonder if anyone will ever care about my creations years from now. We can't have kids, so our story ends with us in many ways...but those stores are ones we can treasure for years through my scrapbooking! :)

    Tanya

    Reply 0 Replies
  6. bearluvr says…
    03/03/2015

    I'm so sorry I missed your classes. I live 5 minutes from the hotel but I am in Florida. Warm weather but bad timing. I would have loved to have met you and Katie. Scrapbook & Cards is the BEST magazine. Every time I see Catherine I tell her she needs to publish it 6 times a year! Happy to hear that the classes will be offered online!

    Reply 0 Replies
  7. northcarmen says…
    03/03/2015

    Love that you got to see Niagara in the winter -- waterfalls look so amazingly different when they're frozen. We've only been there in July, so your experience was quite different from ours. I had to giggle at myself a bit because as soon as I read your line "we call that cold", my response was, "We don't!" (It's -30 Celsius here today, as a point of reference.) I will have to check out your classes once you release the self-paced versions. :) Glad you enjoyed your most recent Canadian adventure. I have fond memories of Edmonton. :)

    Reply 0 Replies
  8. mlcortez says…
    03/03/2015

    I've been in the summer & have always wanted to go in the winter, thanks for posting the pics!! BTW - where did you get the awesome hot pink bag?!? LOVE IT!!!

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. AliEdwards says…
      03/04/2015

      Thanks - it's from Kate Spade and I got it at Nordstrom Rack sometime last year.

  9. LisiCaro says…
    03/03/2015

    It was great to meet you both and take one of your classes! And believe it or not, it warmed up for your visit (it was -35!!!!). And you'll definitely love the kindle. So portable, I just keep mine in my purse for lunch hours, doctors appointments, etc. and best part is, when you finish one book, instant access to the next (once you get wifi).

    Reply 0 Replies
  10. Rosy says…
    03/03/2015

    Ali, thanks to you and Katie for an amazing time at the Markham Crop & Create. Thanks for the generosity of giving your time not just for the classes, but also staying with us well into the evening for the make & takes, posing for endless photos and just sharing your perspective on memory keeping and photography. Leaving on Sunday we were all so inspired. Rosy & Kitsa (the twins).

    Reply 0 Replies
  11. maiaohe says…
    03/03/2015

    Amazing pictures of the fall. So great that you and Katie traveled together. I am an early adopter of the Kindle. Love it for traveling. I was lucky enough to find Girl on the Train at the library. Just started reading it and so far its great.

    Reply 0 Replies
  12. mtercha says…
    03/03/2015

    Beautiful photos. The story of your weekend and your classes was so inspiring. Glad it was great for everyone. Michelle t

    Reply 0 Replies
  13. saracook says…
    03/04/2015

    There's a wonderful children's book by Chris Van Allsburg called Queen of the Falls that would be fun for you after your visit. Beautiful pictures, glad your trip was good.

    Reply 0 Replies
  14. Davida says…
    03/04/2015

    I second what Rosy said! Wow! Gorgeous photos from Niagra! I remember you said on the blog you were feeling nervous and I just wanted to say you rocked the in-person class, I really enjoyed the lecture format, the pace of the class and the variety of techniques we used. It was very relaxed and inspiring. I actually finished my projects which rarely happens. LOL Your handouts were helpful; the quality of the photos etc were great. Loved the class kits too! Glad you had a safe trip home and looking forward to seeing you again one day :-)

    Reply 0 Replies
  15. sunnyb64 says…
    03/04/2015

    I was skeptical of e-readers at first, but then one year my mom ended up getting Kindles for my brother, my sister-in-law and I for Christmas. I actually have two now--my original one from that, and the Kindle Fire that my husband got me for Christmas two years ago. I still love and read "real" books, but have found that the Kindle is great for things like travel and taking to work! It's also been fun hunting for free books on Amazon that I'd be interested in reading. Glad you enjoyed your trip, even if it was very cold. The pictures are gorgeous!

    Reply 0 Replies
  16. cruisin_ali says…
    03/04/2015

    ah Ali - I also had to chuckle about the -15 being cold! it's great to see that it didn't damper your spirits and that you made the best of it! -30 to -35 is what we have been dealing with lately, but I always enjoy the comfort of a hot drink, a fireplace and your blog to keep me warm inside! Glad you enjoyed your Canadian trip! come back soon :)

    Reply 0 Replies
  17. chp97 says…
    03/04/2015

    Hi Ali! Just wanted to say I love being able to read the blog from my inbox, it's a great feature before I have time to come to the blog :) I wish I'd have been able to go to the Markham event as Ottawa's about 6-7 hrs drive away. However you are so right, the SCT events are so popular they sell out super fast! Hoping to be able to participate in the future as I am sure it was so fun! Glad you enjoyed a part of our Canadian culture with Katie! The Falls are a beautiful sight and your photos are lovely. Safe travels always and welcome home again!

    Reply 0 Replies
  18. Deborah_P says…
    03/04/2015

    I second what Tanya (barefootscrapbooker) said about your last comment. I have one great niece and several great nephews and I mostly scrapbook about them although I have done my own stuff and have plans for more. My mother asked one day "Who is going to want all that when you die?" I had previously had that conversation with myself and came to the conclusion that I don't care what happens to it when I die. I'm doing it now for my own enjoyment and if they want to keep them years from now - great! If not, great! That's not the purpose. Now is the purpose. Some of the stories I'm telling, from when they were very little, no one but me knows because we were the only ones there. I love to go back through and remember those special times. Thanks for your encouragement, Ali. I rarely comment, but read faithfully.

    Reply 0 Replies
  19. krisparisi says…
    03/04/2015

    I live 15 minutes from the Falls in Buffalo, NY. It is a wonder to see in all seasons. You should come back and take a ride on the Maid of the Mist. And just to reinforce your wonder of it all, Nick Wallenda walked a tightrope over the Falls just last year. Come back again, but this time come to Buffalo...

    Reply 0 Replies
  20. joblackford says…
    03/04/2015

    Gorgeous photos!
    Since you're new to the kindle I wanted to pass on a little tip that might have you using it more, and more cheaply. Your local library system almost certainly offers library loans on kindle. You borrow the book through your library's downloadable provider and they transfer you over to amazon to complete the loan and send the book to your kindle. You can place holds on books too. The best thing is that you don't have to worry about due dates - the book returns to the library automatically on the due date. BUT if you're still reading it, leave your wifi turned off (which saves battery life too) and the book won't leave your device until you synch again, but you won't keep the next person in line waiting for it. And no fines!!
    I read every night on my kindle now. I usually check out a few books to last for 3 weeks and when I'm almost done with them I go back and check out more or put a few more books on hold. It's so easy. And I have reciprocal cards at other area libraries so I can check out ebooks from my local system or Seattle or Timberland or King County. Most libraries have reciprocal card privileges with neighboring systems - it's not so good for physical books but it's amazing for downloadables. (Even better, my friend told me about a chrome browser extension so I can see all of my libraries' holdings/availability right on a book's amazon page!) Combining all of that with goodreads, I'm in bookworm heaven!
    And btw, for anyone else reading this who has a nook or other ereader, libraries offer downloadables for those too - they have even more books for epub readers than they have for kindle.

    Reply 0 Replies
  21. sandy0307 says…
    03/04/2015

    I so enjoyed meeting you Ali! I took the class on Sunday morning & your lecture offered me some insight into the whole "project life" style of memory keeping. I'm not sure whether it's something I can get into, but I think I might give it a try. If not, I really want to add more 'words' to the projects I do create. Hopefully you'll be back this way again! In the meantime, I'll just follow you digitally! Sandy

    Reply 0 Replies

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