OML Meet Up 2018

“The Our Maker Life event was one the best things I’ve ever experienced in my life. Every maker should make it a priority to attend at least ONE of these events….”

I first came across Our Maker Life during there meet up event in Toronto last summer. As I followed the posts and seeing how many Makers that I personally follow posting photos of the event, I immediately wanted to be a part of this amazing thing. So when OML announced the voting of the location of 2018’s meetup and Chicago was one of the options, I quickly voted and crossed my fingers that it would be Chicago.

I live about 40 minutes away from the city so if it were to be in Chicago I would NOT have to travel very far to get there 😉

I was so excited when it was officially announced it would be in Chicago. I was even MORE excited when I saw that TWO of the Makers I follow and aspire to be were going to be speaking at the event: Brittany from Bhooked and Jessica from The Hook Nook. It was as if this meetup was made for ME haha.

From all of my excitement, you would think that as soon as those tickets went on sale I bought mine. Well I’m here to tell you that that wasn’t the case for me. I had to put off purchasing my ticket due to financials and by the time I was ready to make my purchase, the tickets had sold out 3 days prior.

I. Was. Devastated.

Even though I had immediately signed myself up on the waiting list, I had lost all hope that I would be able to attend. As the months went by and the date of the event got closer and closer, I was just so sad that I wasn’t going that I just decided to not even think about it and prepare myself for all the FOMO I would be feeling the weekend of the event.

Then I received a certain email….

Exactly a week before the event I received an email from Our Maker Life saying, “One ticket has opened up for our event next week. This is a first come first serve opportunity! The first person who responds to this email will be sent the link to purchase this ticket…” I quickly responded saying, “YES YES I would like to purchase that ticket!!!” Hoping and praying that I would be the first person to respond to the email. Almost immediately I get a response with the purchase link in it.

YYYYYYYYAAAAAAYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!

You can only imagine how freaking ecstatic I was that I was the first person to respond to this email. I was going to the OML event and nothing was going to crush my spirit, not even the immediate nerves that rose up in me from the reality of attending this event by myself.

I immediately reminded myself, “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity! You can do this!” And I literally ran this sentence through my head everyday until Saturday.

The morning of I woke up with complete peace. I knew that I would be surrounded by 100 others who share my love and passion of crocheting and knitting so I will automatically have something in common with literally every person I meet.

My wonderful husband was kind enough to drive me to the event so that I wouldn’t be stressing about finding a place to park. He got me to the event about 5 minutes after they opened their doors and it was pouring down rain. I was in a tank top and shorts and did not prepare for rain. That is what I get for not checking my weather app prior to leaving the house. Thankfully the event was indoors so I wasn’t too worried about it except that the line to get in was out the door.

This forced me to immediately make friends with people so that I could share some umbrella cover and avoid being soaked through the entire event. This is when I met these wonderful ladies!

20180714_121211From left to right, Myself, Susan (Susan_qusan), Lori (lunarknitsbylori), and Mercedes (blinddogyarns)

Lori is one of the amazing makers I followed on IG prior to this event. She had posted about facing her own anxiety and fears of coming to the event by herself and we were able to exchange encouragement and she even told me to seek her out so we could hang out. As if destiny was on our side, she was among the little group I stuck myself to the moment I was there. She is the sweetest most genuine person and her and I had so much in common. I told her it was as if we were meant to be friends and I was so grateful that we got to meet.

Susan and Mercedes were first time friends and of course I had to follow them on IG. They both had come to the event by themselves so our little group started from loners (ha!) and became a crowd! It also so happened to be Susan’s birthday so I felt we got to join in her celebration which made the day even more special! It was so nice to be in good company while we were patiently waiting to get inside. If the event itself ended up being a total bust, we all agreed that meeting one other had already made it an amazing day!

The day before the event, I had made a post on IG about how excited I was about attending but also my nerves and anxieties about it. That is when wonderful Karen commented on my post and offered to be my friend because she too was attending the event by herself. I was so incredibly touched by this offer of friendship that I could not wait to meet her! We had the luck of being able to sit next to each other through majority of the event (she had to leave a little bit early to catch her train) and I soaked up every moment I had of building yet another new friendship. Thank you Karen for being a wonderful person and I hope we get to meet again in the future! ❤

20180714_101200Brittany giving her amazing talk at OML 2018

Like I had mentioned earlier, the two speakers at this event were two crocheters who I have been following for about 2 years now. I admire them both and aspire to be an amazing influencer just as they have been to me.

Brittany gave a wonderful presentation talking about Fear and not letting it get in the way of what we dream to achieve in our maker businesses. One thing she said that continues to ring in my head was that her starting point was NOT perfect. She even went the length of sharing her very first tutorial video and saying how this is was really embarrassing to watch but that is where she started. She had to start from some point and gradually learn and tweak to get to her end goal.

I felt like this is something I personally struggle with. I am a closet perfectionist and have been that way since I was little. Just ask my mom. When I was learning to play piano I would get so frustrated that I couldn’t get it perfect on the first try and I wanted to just give up. I’ve had this same problem with my crochet, specifically my photography of my crochet.

I’m really glad she touched base on this because it really hit home for me. Its okay if I feel like I suck at certain things lol but practice makes perfect. If I don’t keep doing it and just give up, how can I expect myself to improve?

When it came to the time where I had to put my anxiety away and go up to Brittany and introduce myself, I was a nervous wreck lol. But she is so sweet and soft spoken and it was so cool to be able to tell her that she has helped me so much in learning new things with my craft. And for her to offer to help in anyway she can is another level of encouragement. She doesn’t just through out the advice, but she also offers her assistance and I think that is really amazing that she does that.

I also came to find out why and how I was able to get my ticket to OML. As I had said earlier in this post, a ticket had become available to purchase. I had mentioned this to Brittany because I was so grateful to be able to be there. She proceeded to tell me that the reason that I was able to receive this ticket was because her plus one wasn’t able to attend with her (aka her husband). I immediately felt bad but told her to personally thank her husband because if it wasn’t for him, I would not have been able to meet his amazing wife!

20180714_102338Jessica being completely herself and sharing her amazing testimony!!

After Brittany finished her presentation, it was Jessica’s turn to take the stage. Although she had never done public speaking before and was extremely nervous, she was able to just be herself. She shared with us her testimony and her journey through life and man she has gone through so much but the Lord has miraculously transformed her into an amazing woman! She also touched base on the subject of fear and how she has overcome how fear has attempted to take hold of her life. I was in tears after she was done and was just so inspired to say no to fear and my anxieties because I AM NOT ALONE. So many people around us are going through things that could be similar to our situations and we have no clue!

During our lunch break Lori and I decided since we both wanted to meet Jessica we would go together to help settle our nerves. I got to have a quick chat with Jessica and tell her that I love her creativity and her boldness in sharing her love for Jesus and that she is a huge inspiration to me. We got to snap a photo together and chat a little bit more and then I walked away letting the next person introduce themselves to her.

Now, prior to the event I was REALLY REALLY excited to meet Jessica. But I also had the desire of wanting to pray for my fellow sister in Christ because being bold like she has is not easy , especially when people attack you for it on social media. In the moment of meeting Jessica and breaking that awkward ice, I had completely forgotten about this until about five minutes after our social interaction.

20180714_123221Meeting Jessica was the main thing I was looking forward to when it came to this event! It’s amazing to find someone who not only shares your love in crafts, but also your love for Jesus and shows no shame in sharing it!

I immediately told myself, “Okay Lord, as soon as I have the opportunity to approach her without completely interrupting conversation, I will go up to her and offer to pray for her.”Not even 5 minutes go by and I see her chatting with my friend Karen. So without thinking I walk to both of them and pretty much join in the already going on conversation.

Karen turns to me and says to Jessica, “Have you met Dayna yet?” I responded with explaining we had and then said, “Jessica I have a weird question to ask you and I know it may be awkward and I’m totally okay if you say no (yeah I was EXTREMELY nervous haha), but I was wondering if I could pray for you?” Her face immediately lit up and she said, “Yes I would absolutely love that!”

We broke away from the event and went into a hallway so that we could have some privacy. She proceeded to tell me she had just come from praying and thanking God for all this overwhelming love and support she has received and did not prepare for. We embraced in a hug and I even started to get a little teary-eyed! I asked her if she had anything specific for me to pray for her and then I let the Spirit lead my prayer. We hugged as I prayed and I felt the Spirit meet us in one of the most unusual places.

After I had finished, I told her I would continue to pray for her and send her encouragement whenever I can. She thanked me again and we parted ways. I immediately was overwhelmed with emotion. I called Cameron (my husband) and as I told him about what had happened I had started to cry tears of joy. I had never been used by the Lord in such an incredible way with no fear and completely acting on the boldness of the Spirit. I was overwhelmed with thankfulness and gratitude that God has used me in a place where you wouldn’t think this kind of thing would happen. I mean who would’ve thought that prayer would take place at a maker event?!

I was on a Spiritual high. I thanked God for giving me the confidence to act on the Spirit and for filling me with boldness to do something that was completely out of my comfort zone. I learned that obedience is simply just taking that step of faith, even if it means that someone will reject your outreach. Thank you Jessica for again accepting my invitation to pray for you. I’m so thankful that Our Maker Life was able to bring us together not only as crafters, but also as believers!

The rest of the event I spent soaking up every moment. Every time I had a moment to look around the room I was just in awe that I was actually there! It was like a dream to me, a very small craft version of Comic Con so to speak. I couldn’t believe that I was actually there, and I thanked God AGAIN for opening the door for this to become a reality just a week before this all took place.

Now I know this is a long post, and if you have made it this far you are probably family, friend, or you are just an amazing person who is going to read this post to the end. The last thing I want to end with is, of course, the goodies I was able to come home with. Here is a photo of all the swag I walked away with from this event:

20180714_185704

 We received not one but TWO Swag bags for attending. First was the Our Maker Life tote that says, “Life happens. Yarn Helps.” In this bag we received:

-a matching tumbler
-One skein of Koigu yarn (one of the many sponsors for the event that gave a presentation)
-Three skeins of Paint Box cotton yarn (another sponsor that gave a presentation)
-One skein of Sugarbush yarn and a pattern book
-an adorable Willow and Wool pin
-a Knitcrate 
-a fur pom from two different makers (True North Knits Co. & Cozee Creations Co)
-a mini skein from The Yarns of Richard Devrieze
-a handful of leather tags from Grain Deep
-a handful of business cards, stickers, patterns and/or discount codes
-two skeins of Lion Brand yarn. I received one of Touch of Alpaca and one of ZZ Twist.

But wait there’s MORE. We also received a swag bag from Joann and here is what was in their bag:

-One skein of Bernat Bundle Brights
-One skein of Premier Yarn
-One skein of Bernat Maker Outdoor Stripes
-One skein of Bernat Softee Baby stripes
-A sampler of Red Heart Chic Sheep (100% wool!)

Lastly, we received an amazing Our Maker Life T-shirt, which I am wearing in the photo below and a We are Knitters kit.

20180715_131709

I could not believe I came home with all of this for FREE. This was every crocheter/knitter’s dream!

Above all, I am so thankful to the people behind the Our Maker Life team for putting so much work to make maker’s dreams (like myself) come true through these events. I look forward to next year’s event!

Also, to my fellow Christians and believers: Don’t underestimate what the Lord can use you for. The beauty of our relationship with Him is he WANTS to use us to do his work. All he asks is for us to step in faith.

“Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.” ~ Proverbs 3:6 NLT

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