Friday, December 3, 2010

Don't ask how long


The actual card took no time at all. The process of "ripping off masks and applying glitter"... well, let's just say, it's not a dollar card, lol. It's priceless .


Torture by any other name

Cruel and unusual punishment, make work project. Call it what you will, lol.

So why am I doing it? Maybe just to say "I can"?!

What am I talking about? Well... I've been cardmaking/crafting again. Went to a friend's yesterday. We'll call her the Glitter Queen, lol. That girl loves all that glitters. Made four cards. EVERYone had glitter of some sort. So... having learned a couple new techniques, I decided to play today.

Whew, gotta be patient (and/or certifiable). These are a LOT of work. You take a sheet of foil outline stickers, cut some "transfer tape" (makes a reverse image) and burnish the transfer tape to the sticker of choice, lift EVERYTHING (positive outline and negative "insides") onto the transfer tape, get some double-sided sticky sheet and put a suitably-sized piece onto cardstock, lift the protective top sheet, and burnish the sticker from the transfer tape onto the sticky sheet. Now comes the fun (ya, right, she says). Get some good tweezers and lift off portions of the stickers that are acting as "masks" and burnish some glitter onto the exposed portion with the fatty part of your finger pad. Repeat until it's all done to your satisfaction with multiple colours of glitter. Then you cut out the image and use it. Clear as mud? Easy-peasy she says.

I've definitely gone to the darkside. Me who is not a huge fan of glitter (the mess part, not the look, lol). Will now put my pieces together onto a card and post when done.


Thursday, November 18, 2010

A blast from the past...

A lot has happened since I last posted. A lot of "stuff" (errands; dog grooming - this I like as it gives me mad money, lol; housework - did I tell you this is a "hobby" of mine and therefore I don't have "time for hobbies"? LOL; cardmaking and a Stampin' Up Girls' Night Out party here;... life) and a lot of, well, nothing, lol. You know, busy making busy.

So, today I was on Facebook and Mo's Digital pencil is one of my "likes". She posted a couple digi-images (for those of you "not in the know", these are "stamps" on your 'puter that you can re-size and print out to your heart's content - no fuss, no muss, no mess!) of cute Christmas doggies. Yup, not shelties. A cute Lhasa with it's Santa Hat on and a cute lab pup with a Santa hat in it's mouth.

Now, I KNOW Mo has or did have a border collie. How do I know this? Well, I had previously bought an image from her that was "sheltie like" and she informed me it
was of her border collie. Knowing it probably wasn't too much of a stretch, having insider information about this border collie lol, I taunted about wanting a sheltie... Of course, dog people are breed specific, unlike cat people who just like any cute kitty item, and others were looking for their own breeds. This insider information brought out the devil in me, though, and I wouldn't let go. So she promptly produced (ya, within less than an hour no less) a cute collie-type image with a candycane in it's mouth. But the Santa hat is sooooo cute, I whined.

Gee, and with that, up popped a collie-type dog (close enough to a sheltie for me, lol) with a darn Santa hat tilted at a rakish angle on his head! So I had to buy it!

Devil made me do it.

Further conversation prompted Mo to declare HER border would never stoop to wearing a Santa hat. Just wouldn't stand for it. Well, I said, "my" shelties would and did and have and probably still will, lol. Found the blasts from the past and posted them for everyone that had been on Facebook and just felt I had to put them here.

So, without further adieu, I share with you a pic of Sheena and Cricket at the Obedience Club Christmas party some 22 years ago dressed up as Reindogs. Yes, they won, lol. And of course, as I was hunting for those old, scanned photos, I found one of dear Sheena with a Santa hat. Too freakin' cute.



Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The end of an era

It was a sad day today. Off went our almost 30 year old Roxton sofa into the garbage truck. It served us well. Aside from the foam backing in the cushions finally disintegrating, that sofa and chair stood the test of time well and solidly.

It saw us through our first years together as a couple. Then it proudly bore our weight as we added to our family. First came the cat, Tiffany; then the dog, Sheena; the second cat, Zonker; the kids, Daniel and Michael and many more pets and people.

It was spit up on, puked on, peed on (by one dog who shall remain nameless - mad at my husband one day, lol - okay, dear ol' Ripley. She was quite a character and we always knew where we stood with her... low on the totem pole [grin]). It held us as we celebrated each milestone - anniversaries, birthdays, baby and wedding showers...

It was a big sofa but we marched it to the curb last night thinking that the garbage men might take the chair and leave the sofa, which would mean we'd need to cut it up and put it out again. I heard the truck pull up so went out to meet the driver. I asked him if I helped him, could we put the sofa on the truck. No problem he said. So with a bit of a hitch in my stride and nostalgia in my heart, I picked up the big, handsome piece of furniture and said goodbye for the last time. However, it did not go without a fight, lol. The crushing mechanism needed to work over and over in order to crush the rockwood maple frame and steel springs. Finally, it had chewed it up enough to move on to the next pick-up. That bit of history has now moved onto the great furniture warehouse in the sky, lol.


Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Quebec Show

Held in Boucherville, Quebec (south shore of Montreal), it was well-attended by registrants and exhibitors.

Lots of familiar names:

Della and Company - wow Bill and Della have some awesome metalware. And their booth is magnificent. It's a long trek for them, but they made the trip from the New England Traditions show in Connecticut, staying one night with Sharon & Marty McNamara. Their trip home to Texas after the show would take them about 5 days. Whew. Della does a newsletter from the shows to update those painters "at home". Worthwhile going online and signing up for it.
Settler's Cabin - with Sharon McNamara Black and her husband Marty
Heather Redick
Mary Owens
Gladys Neilsen
Tracy Moreau
Sue Beckerton
Brenda Levert
Wendy Fahey
Holly Hanley - who was demoing in the Coup de Pinceau (store) booth
Debbie Cotton, Lydia Steeves and Willow in our booth

Lots of exhibitors from the Quebec scene. Country Bear Woodcrafts; Rue des Beaux Arts; Art & Hobby; Madame Pickwick; Coup de Pinceau (the magazine); Diffuzart; Montreal Area Decorative Painters Guild; and lots and LOTS more. Some AWESOME talent, artists and booths. I really, really liked the paintings of Anne Grenier and bought a packet. Sadly, she does not have a website (yet, lol), but I would describe her painting as kind of "shabby chic" or English country cottage. Very soft, lots of florals and birds but not "realism". Just beautiful.

In the Rue des Beaux Arts booth, Mitzart was demonstrating on the Terraskin paper. Okay, must say I hadn't really given this "new paper" a chance when I first heard of it. Paper made of rocks. Okay. Looks like white posterboard to me, lol. Big whup. Lots of nice surfaces out there like Mi-tientes, canvas, wood... Well, let me tell you... the possibilities are ENDLESS [grin]. There is no grain to fight with. It will take paint, watercolours, colour pencil, watercolour pencils, sprays, regular graphite, cheap pens... metal implements can be written with (yup... think keys, stylus', stones, etc.). It is water-resistant so can be dropped in water or taken out in the rain and you don't have to worry about your work being damaged. It can be diecut. It can be heated and then manipulated. You can erase on it or scrub off your paint and you do not take off or damage the surface like on paper. It can be off-set printed. It doesn't buckle. It can be rolled and when un-rolled it goes back to completely flat. Need I go on? Yup, I'm excited. And it's available through many of our artstores already (DeSerres, Curry's, Wallack's...). Gonna play with some, lol.

So yes, the show was great, the people were great, the art was great (still seems to be lots of interest in the Faux Vitraille painting - faux glass painting on solid surfaces as well as glass and glass-type surfaces; similar to Gallery Glass, Decoart Glass Stains and "leading"), demos... and we'll go back next year!


Monday, October 18, 2010

What was she thinking?

Well, I made it home safe and sound from the Salon des Arts Decoratif painting convention despite the dingbat lady in the red pontiac sunbird who came onto the freeway thru Montreal from one of the inclined on-ramps hidden behind a "wall" and proceeded to shoot across my right front bumper. I was boxed in but had some freedom to brake lightly and managed to avoid a good thump and then woke her up with my horn. Grrr. She "started" and looked a little embarrassed but that didn't dissipate my shock and anger. Dingbat.

It was about 2 hours and 40 minutes door to door which included one "necessary" stop, lol. Sure beat the almost 4 hours it took to get there on the 13th. I got stuck on the highway when it was reduced to one lane at St.Albert through to Maxville (just before the Quebec border). That was an hour sitting in traffic. Funnily enough, it was surprisingly easy getting through Montreal at 2 in the afternoon. Go figure.

The show was awesome, despite the fact we couldn't start set-up 'til Thursday. We were hoping we could start on Wednesday night. That way we could at least lay out the booth and put stock under tables where we could pull from on the Thursday. Oh well, the best laid plans... everyone pitched in, though, and set-up went smoothly and was done by dinner. Yippee.

The show opened at 9 a.m. each of the three days. Ugh. 9-9 on the Friday (9-5 on Saturday and Sunday). Made for an incredibly long day. We were whacked. I'm not sure the foot traffic was as busy as last year, but it still never let up and we were kept hopping. We had translators in the booth this year which made it easier for those doing demos and for technical questions about product, etc. I was okay on cash and elsewhere as my "franglais" is passable and the customers were tremendous. They were happy, helpful with the language barrier and just so positive and friendly. It was a great
experience. Sunday, however, was slow and the couple of us in the booth were chatting (in English) and those coming into the booth quickly switched into English if they could. Mid-afternoon I was alone except for our translator who was tidying a corner when someone came into the booth and in rapid-fire French asked me something. Seen a deer caught in the headlights? Think that's probably what I looked like (and felt like), lol. I was horrified, lol. But the wonderful customer quickly realized what had happened and switched to English and we laughed about it and I gained my composure. I was at a total loss for any kind of language in that moment (believe it or not [grin]) I was so tired. Too funny.

Met lots of great people and artists and it was a great show.


P.S. - oh... and my soulmate brought me a bouquet of flowers (yellow carnations - my favourites) to welcome me home (and a PaintWorks magazine I had my eye on). I'm so spoiled!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Kolinsky Sable and Magpies

Absolutely nothing to do with each other, lol. Nothing.

But... having just updated about my Calgary trip the other day, it was still on my mind and I was thinking of the beautiful black and white birds I'd seen swooping across the skies and landing in trees and on rooftops. The first sighting riveted my gaze. I had to find out what they were. Closer inspection... they were magpies. Fascinating birds to me and conjured up the Windex commercial where they are talking and laughing raucously at the humans who clean their windows so well they end up walking into them. Gee a bird wouldn't do that, lol. But annoying to Calgarians who would just as soon religate this bird to any other province that would have them [GBG]. They had beautiful long tails and were just, well, striking. Have always liked the "bad boys", lol. Guess they're kind of like our Blue Jays or starlings and crows. Annoying to other birds and people, but striking and smart as whips.

And today, I decided to get my nails done. Yup. Imagine my surprise when the manicurist pulled out a Kolinsky Sable brush to apply the acrylic with. Now, I really shouldn't have been surprised, as many of our decorative brush companies made their start in the cosmetic brush industry. When I commented on her choice in brush, she pulled out another company's "bargain" brand nylon bristle brush and proceeded to tell me all about why the Kolinsky was superior to the other, lol. Yes, I was amused. Too funny.

Okay... off to go finish packing and sorting out my stuff for the Quebec show. Will drop my doggies off at my friend's in the morning then back home to pack the car.


Friday, October 8, 2010

Update on Elgin's Crop

It was fun. But it was 12 hours!

A 12 hour crop! Argh. Some of those ladies are REALLY focused, lol. I guess this is the "space" and time they get stuff done with families, etc. at home. Some just stayed at their own tables (full 3x6 rubbermaids for everyone) and kept their heads down and did layout after layout. Some, like one Stampin' Up rep, just cut and cut and cut... a whackload of assembly line cards, lol. Some looked for a little diversion and joined in on the classes. Tag, I was it, as no-one else followed thru for her (Victoria - the organizer of the charity crop). Good thing I did do all those last-minute cards/cutting/kits, lol (4 classes times 12 people per class times umpteen little pieces of paper, cardstock, chipboard, ribbon... I was cutting in my sleep, lol). It was really fun and the ladies really, really enjoyed and what was nicest? I got lots of compliments on projects and teaching style... Yup, definitely does leave a glow and feel good feeling. I pre-embossed a couple cards (easier for this situation). Just did basic, but fun cards to give them techniques and ideas that they could choose to "run with" on their own. You could hear and see the creative minds going on a couple of them for possibilities, lol. Too funny.

The following weekend (Oct 2) was World Cardmaking Day, so I taught a more-involved never-ending card plus a couple other simpler ones. Two pieces of cardstock and one piece of double-sided scrapbook paper and 3 cards later. An A2 Never-ending card... really complicated for scores but so freakin' cute!

I'll try to think of some other cards and do a few more classes for ScrapTease when the Quebec show is behind me. This is fun. Instant gratification almost with the papercrafts and happy attendees. Yup.


On the cusp of the next show

... I thought I'd better quickly update on the last. Ya, it happened a month ago, but what the hey, lol.

Ya, I've been back awhile, but been busy, and busy making busy, lol. Don't kid yourself tho', this ain't all from memory, lol. Made some shorthand notes and if you know me, ya know that meant lots of little pieces of paper... all over the place [GBG].


pick a number...

Yuch. This bed is SOOOO not for me . I mean, really, once you've "found"
your number it's kinda not "useful" anymore right? And let me tell you... if your partner's side of the bed is any kind of difference, it's like there's a "bar" up between the sides! Yup, guess it's that "line in the sand", the masking tape across the floor when you were little and shared a room with a sibling... the "boundary" to not cross or infringe upon... so all you bed hogs get over it, lol.

What am I talking about? Well, the "Sleep Number" bed. Imagine my surprise and yes, delight, upon walking into my room at the Radisson Calgary and exclaiming about the cool remote control lying on the bed! Oooooh, I can pick a number and have the best sleep ever. Heeheehee. What the heck is my number?! Four nights is so NOT enough to have found it (altho' I seem to be a "medium" somewhere after 55 and so not 100). Kinda like Goldilocks and the Three Bears, lol. Too hot, too cold, just right. Nope... don't wanna play with my bed, just wanna sleep.

Speaking of hot, cold, just right. No water on the last morning of my hotel! ARGH! My roommate got off without a hitch to catch her flight, but when I got up (an hour later) and so ready for a wake-me-up shower... no freakin' water! ARGHHHHH! Oh well, had some bottled water to wash my face and brush my teeth and thank goodness, they worked miracles and I had water an hour and a half later. Good thing I wasn't on a schedule and had a couple extra hours buffer before my friend came to pick me up to do a little shopping before my flight. Also had to UPS some boxes. Apparently, someone on my floor (5th) turned their hot water knob on the shower on FULL and it got stuck. Yup. Apparently when maintenance entered the room a 1/2 hour later it was like a sauna. Ya think? So off went the water to the floor while they worked on it. No wonder the trickle that came out of the tap had been scalding.

Some of the people I reconnected with at the show:

Maureen Unland
Val Dickie, a ToleFriends' Member
Carrie Mashon
Leslie Mayer
Janet Hornsby
Sue Richardson, Lorraine Fletcher and daughter Holly...
Carol from Paint for Joy (awesome travel teachers scheduled)...
Cindy Ohama - known for her
published books Those Blooming Bears, Cindy slowed down in painting/publishing for awhile due to family priorities (read: wee children). She is now doing fabulous colour pencil pieces and we'll keep nagging her, lol, to get them up somewhere for all to see. Too good to keep hidden to only a few.
Deb Antonick...
Florence Blois - a delightful lady
many more than that, yup, I just can't bring to mind right now.

The show was very small. Just under 200 registrants; only about a dozen booths. But it was warm (literally and figuratively, lol) and friendly. One booth was noticeably short on stock - Tracy Moreau's shipment must've been lost or misdirected but she did a fabulous job of pulling her classes together. Wouldn't you know it but the shipment showed up at the front desk the day after the show closed and many of us were checking out! Next year the Coast to Coast Eventing Team will have a show in Moncton, New Brunswick and then the
following year will head back out west. The Mississauga show will still be a regularly held event in the spring. I've already signed up for a class. A teacher I really wanted to take with happens to have a class booked at a time when the Trade Show will be closed so... yippee, skippee, I'm so in [grin].

Picked up a couple colour pencil packets from Cindy Ohama and brought back a large wooden mailbox for a friend, but other than that and a few more, ahem, luminarte paints for me... nothing much.

Quebec show in Boucherville starts Thursday next week so after this Thanksgiving weekend celebrations it'll be time to pack and get ready. Looking forward to it and will try to be better about blogging about it sooner.


Saturday, September 18, 2010

Landmines and leaves

No... not THAT kind of landmine. Five dogs and fall leaves... need I say more?

Sadly, three of the dogs in the picture are no longer with us. This photo was taken last year and since, the dark dog in the back (Sheba) has passed to the Rainbow Bridge as have Dusty and Holly (top row left and middle row left). Sigh, they are with us such a short time yet have so much unconditional love to share.


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

She calls it a what?!

A home studio. Yup. I guess, in reality, it's in her home. It's a place to paint. A place to hold classes. But... this is no ordinary studio. Not as we in the Decorative Art world know it.

This, this is a home studio like no other. Altered and morphed into an experience. As a friend called it... a hybrid. Yup, that word suits.

Sharlene Arseneau owns Artfully Toled in Calgary and I was honoured to be taken to and welcomed into her home to see this treasure. Oh my, I wish I lived closer and could take advantage of all she has to offer. The classes are varied and beautiful with something for everyone. The environment is welcoming and the inventory and supplies are organized and vast. Pattern packets, books, surfaces like no other, paints, mediums and a warm, inviting hostess and gifted artist.

Sharlene picked me up from the hotel on the Monday and went to the UPS Store to drop off the boxes of booth supplies destined for the Seattle Painting Convention, North
West Toleliners (and I dutifully filled out all the forms and customs forms, lol), then off to lunch and to visit Cactus Art Supplies. Wow, what a place. Everything my heart desires (but couldn't possibly buy 'cause no more room in my luggage [grin] - honey, you were safe, lol).

Then she took me to her home to show it off and continue our social girl chat [smile]. So glad to call Sharlene a friend. Thanks, Sharlene, I had the best visit and getting-to-know-you time.


I could get used to this

Oh, he treats me like a Queen. I could get used to this.

Oh, wait... I AM used to this, lol.

I was tired. Had a long week. Enjoyed it, but it was time to come home. My flight left Calgary at 6 pm, arrived in Ottawa close to midnight. My man was there to meet and greet me.

What a welcome. He always makes me happy to come home. And he had a bouquet of flowers for me and a charm. Sigh. Spoiled and I know it.

The flowers were a wildflower mix. I love wildflowers and carnations. Beautiful and not fussy. The charm was a Pandora charm for my bracelet(s), he picked out the Breast Cancer dangle charm as I have had some close friends fighting this cancer and he thought it would be meaningful to me. He's so thoughtful, and so right. Yup, my man is a keeper.

I'm so glad to be home and in his loving, warm arms. I am blessed.


Monday, September 6, 2010

My new best friend

My battery-operated personal fan! I would never take it out in public, but in the privacy of my own home... well, I embrace it, lol.

Top five reasons I LOVE menopause (which, by the way, has been occurring fairly regularly for the last 15 years and in ernest the last couple):

1. Several times a day I get to go on sizzling tropical vacations. For free!

2. My heating bills are way down. This would be good provided that the “power surges” would come when it’s cool out... but Murphy’s Law seems to prevail. That is, none or few in the cold months and LOTS so far during one of the hottest summers on record.

3. IF I make a New Year’s resolution, I have forgotten it by the next day. In fact, I forget if I even made any.

4. Getting dressed in the morning is like going to the Racetrack - do I bet on the skinny jeans because I sweated off 3 pounds of water weight in the night or do I bet it will be one of those mornings when only some elastic waisted track pants will fit?

5. I've no need to spend big bucks at the spa. I get steam baths many times every night (and day).

6. No need for an electric blanket to keep hubby warm. Or wait 5 minutes and he’s more likely to wake up shivering because my “surge” is over and I’ve now hogged all the sheets.

7. There is exciting new mystery in my marriage. The mystery is, my husband never knows from one minute to the next whether I will be a weeping mess or a screaming fishwife. One thing he can depend on, I will not be the boring, joyful, even-tempered woman he first met.

O.K., I realize I have now listed seven reasons, not five. In the interests of accuracy, I should go back in this post and change the number. Normally I would. But here's the eighth reason I love menopause: I don't give a shit about accuracy or much of anything else. I am a hot, cranky, depressed, brain-deranged harridan. I celebrate this b_ _ch!

(What else can I do?)

Comment... if you dare! Heeheehee!


The end of summer fun...

It was a dark and windy night...

Nooooo, not that kind of story, lol.

Actually, it is Labour Day and kind of a cool, rainy, dreary day. So here I sit, me on my 'puter at the kitchen table and hubby on his 'puter in the familyroom, lol. Hey, we can message each other!

Have "laboured" (heehee, pun intended) over my arrangements and organization for this week's coming painting convention in Calgary, Alberta (PIA - Paint-in Alberta). Think I have everything under control. Willow and Debbie Cotton will be there with me but they will be so busy with their classes, that "tag" I'm it for the booth and any necessary demos, lol. Did I tell you I'll be cloning myself?

Labour Day brings with it the close of summer and it truly seems that way today. Tomorrow my better half ends his vacation time and heads off to work [pouting]. It's been nice having him 'round (yes, dear, I know you're reading this but it's true!). We've had together time and day trips but I guess it's back to reality.

This morning my dear old dog (Hunter) decided to gift us with another puddle on the floor. Yes... she'd already been out and no, she does not have a bladder infection 'cause she has now been following me around and at my feet for the last few hours. Sigh... is she "losing it" as this is about the 3rd or 4th "accident" in a couple weeks? Couple times I have literally been behind her beating it down the stairs to the back door and she has hung a right at the kitchen for the "splash proof" carpet of the diningroom instead of heading for the backdoor and outside. I mutter away as I sop it up and spray with vinegar and say maybe it's "time" before I don't like her anymore [lopsided smile]. Or... is it a "let's get back at you guys" for some unknown slight (yes, she has been known for this over the years... as her grandmother, Sheena, was well-known for and, dare I say, loved?)? I will monitor the situation for a couple days prior to my leaving and hope it is something I can put off (or reconsider) 'til I get back from Calgary. Yes... I will "warn" my friend who will be taking care of a few of my furbabies including Hunter.

Okay, 'nuff fooling around [grin], I'm off to do some laundry and a few other must-do's so my list won't be quite so long.


Tuesday, August 31, 2010

When: Saturday, September 25, 2010
Time: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Where: Carleton Place Arena
75 Neelin Street
Carleton Place, Ontario

You can read about this very worthy venture at . Victoria Fraser owns Scraptease in Carleton Place and organizes this charity crop each year. Elgin, the namesake for the event, was her son who lost his battle with neuroblastoma in 2007.

How could I not go? An awesome lady trying to run a LSS (local scrap store) so that us crafters can have a place to share our guilty pleasure and a very, very worthy cause in memory of her beloved son and all proceeds going to charity.

Hope I will see some of you there.


Sunday, August 22, 2010

Anniversaries and scrapping

Well, my anniversary is on the 28th of August. I didn't have time to create a card for my better half before I went to Columbus, Ohio for the HOOT convention. I'd really like to make one and/or a small album. One problem... hubby is on holidays and we do EVERYthing together.

I finally put together a small album for Willow's daughter, Nya, from June of this
year when I went to Winnipeg for Willow's Certification. Nya borrowed my camera (as she did last year in Edmonton when Willow brought her to the PIA - Paint-in Alberta - painting convention) and took pictures of us when we went out to our celebratory dinner at the end of the week. She's a fun little girl (8 years old). Quick and smart and precocious (in a good way). I just have to write a few things in the little album then I'll mail it to her as I'm sure she'd be more excited to get her own mail then have Mom deliver it ('cause I could wait and bring it to Calgary next month).

Where am I going with this detour in thought? Oh... the anniversary, lol. 28 years. I was hoping that maybe I could putz with something for hubby while putting together something for Nya. Nope. Dan's just too curious and proud of what I do. Not going to be able to slip in another project if I want it to be a surprise. Will have to think of something. I know exactly what I want to do, so it won't take long as the plans are already in my head, but...

I am not going to post this 'til AFTER Saturday. Why? 'Cause the Big Guy reads my blog, that's why!

The best laid plans... heeheehee. Will keep you posted.


August 27, 2010 Update: Have been able to sneak in a titchy bit of time to work on my "plans" (when my better half was at his Slot Car Night - whew, lol), BUT I only needed another hour or so to finish. Thought I'd do it this afternoon when he had a nap... NOPE. Guess where he decided to nap? On the livingroom sofa! Grrrr. My project is on the diningroom table right beside the livingroom. Oh well, lol.

Midnight on the 27th heeheehee... Hubby has gone to bed. I decided mid-evening that I HAD to work on my project. He KNEW I was up to something and it was like Christmas when he knows I'm wrapping in "plain sight" stuff for him but he won't look, lol, and he tiptoes around. Oh well. I had fun and now I can post 'cause by the time he reads this, he'll have my gift to him in his hot little hands. I made a Swing Card and a Paperbag Album with pictures of the two of us and love quotes.

Next conventions

Okay, I've booked my flight for Calgary. Did I tell you I hate planes, lol? Paint- in Alberta is September 9-12, 2010. I'll fly out on Thursday the 9th and get in just before 10 a.m. and start setting up the booth sometime that afternoon. I'll fly out about 6 p.m. on Monday the 13th. Maybe there'll be something near the hotel to have a looksee/shopping. If nothing else I'll get a sleep-in, lol.

Classes are on the C2C Events site. I'm going to help in Willow's classes when I'm not in the booth but I'm hoping I'll have a couple volunteers to schedule for her classes, too. Saturday night, after the Trade Show, Willow has her Whimsical Hummer class so I'm hoping to putz and paint while giving some help in the class (ya right... and I think I'll have time because...? Hey, I can dream and plan, lol).

My next and last painting convention to work at will be the Salon des Arts Decoratifs in Boucherville, Quebec (east-end of Montreal on the South Shore I think). It will be October 14-17 and I'll probably drive up on Wednesday the 13th and leave on Monday the 18th. I'm really looking forward to this one, for a few reasons: 1) I get to empty my garage of the 7 boxes of inventory I brought back in May, lol, 2) I can drive - yippee, no air sickness and 3) it was one of the most exciting shows I went to last year. A lot of painters, younger than what we've seen at the regular, non-French painting conventions and they seem to have a hunger to paint, buy and learn. The only downside is, of course, the language barrier. I have some French education but the language is slow to come back for me as I don't use it; however, after the first day and a lot of sign language and apologies for not speaking fluently, it comes back in fits and starts, lol. By the end of the weekend it's not too bad [grin].


Saturday, August 21, 2010

School's starting

Good news! My oldest has made the decision to go to college! We've been asking him
since he moved out if he wouldn't like to go back to school and get some kind of degree or certificate and invest in his future. We said we'd help. Well, it's been two years and he made the decision... two weeks ago, lol. Yup. College starts in a couple more weeks and he decided now, lol.

He seems committed to going back and has chosen Business Administration. It won't be a cake walk but I know he can do it if he wants to. He's very, very smart. So... what did hubby and I do on this first week of his holidays from work? Paid for school for both our sons and the books. Argh. Oh well, it's an investment in their futures.

This is our youngest's second and final year. He's doing Internet Application and Web Development. My own techie right here at home, lol.


Friday, August 20, 2010

Memories from HOOT (Heart of Ohio Tole convention)

Ya, this "report" is really long... was going to break it up, but thought "what the hay", lol. It'll give you something to read with your coffee.

Whew, well HOOT is but a memory for another year. The theme this year was "Painting is a Buzz". It is a well-run and fabulous week with tons to see and do: project room; art competition; charity of painted bras - seen in person they were dynamic and moving, especially when you learned that a couple of them had been painted by those who have personally and bravely won the battle with breast cancer - my friend, Donna Scully and also Barb Jenkins; HOOT Boutique; class sales area; memory box painting area; demo area; raffles; Trade Show; monitor/teacher room; banquet ticket table; registration table for registrants; table for teachers and vendors; info booth and more that I've probably over-looked in this senior moment.

Andy Jones did win the "People's Choice" award for his "play on art/words" watermelon bra, but in my eyes, each and everyone of those donations and artwork were winners. $1600 was raised through the silent auction and donations for the Stefanie Spielman Fund for Breast Cancer Research (Jamie Mills Price took home Andy's Watermelon Bra as the highest bidder)! Now I do have to say, I think Andy's rendition would've "won" regardless of whether we knew who painted it or not... it was great. But again, I think they were ALL winners and the "buzz" around the display was positive and "uplifting". Heeheehee. It was all in good fun, with lots of "pointed" jokes and innuendos and so well received.

I arrived via plane on the Sunday (August 8) and waited around for a bit for my friends to show up so I could join them in the room. I'd brought my own large checked bag, a large computer bag and a small carry-on suitcase full of miscellaneous booth supplies (cash box, pegs, sales books, lots of notes, bags, pens, etc., etc., etc.). Monday was my day to check out the convention area where the ladies of HOOT had done their organizational magic. I checked in and got my Exhibitor package after I'd told my roommates where they should register (in the hallway between the Hyatt and the Convention Center) and then checked out the book to mark down which classrooms "my" teachers would be in (so I'd know where to "run" and find them if needed, lol). Then I helped out in Willow's class (Basic Bluebird). One of the ladies in the class was 95 years young! She was an absolute doll and we spoke again as we met each other over the next several days. Sure hope she does get to come again next year. What an inspiration!

Tuesday we started to set-up our booth and I helped out in Willow's second class (Gentle Flight - Hummingbird). Wednesday, we finished putting the booth together then went to get a light meal before the Trade Show opened up for the registrants. It was a great opening night. I don't think I put my head up once, so if you came by our booth and I didn't notice you, I apologize. It was all a blur, lol. After the opening show, we went to the Hyatt Regency Ballroom for a reception and to celebrate Betsy Edwards' retirement.

Thursday was a really busy day, and this is where my awesome friends come in, Shirley Edmiston and Janet Thompson. I worked the booth 'til about noon then joined Willow in her classroom. Actually, two rooms that the divider had been rolled back to make room for close to 100 students! This was her Special Event. Janet and Shirley, bless their hearts, met me in the room and jumped in and helped set up each spot for the students with all they would need to make this a great class. After they'd done all the set-up, the doors were opened and the students rushed to take their seats. The monitor assigned by HOOT took the attendance and made the introductions of Willow and the class was on. Willow had divided the class up into sections and called up each section individually to step through the initial instructions. As she finished with each group, Janet, Shirley and I circulated to make sure all was well. Being a Willow Wolfe Certified Instructor, I was able to offer further assistance and clarification to some of the painters. The class couldn't have been better or run more smoothly (between the help and the awesome teacher). Almost each and every student came uber-close to finishing and at the end of the four hours, there were glows on their faces and they had nothing but compliments for Willow and the project. It was awesome. A truly amazing event that you had to experience.

I finished out the day in the booth (my home away from home, lol) and then we went to dinner at a local Italian Restaurant to discuss the day and sit back and relax. It was so nice to share it with my friend, Janet (Janet is from London, Ontario and flew in to help me with Willow's Special Event and take in all that is the atmosphere of HOOT; she was able to sign-up for a couple of classes that had openings).

Friday was not quite as busy on the Trade Show floor, but it was steady. I got a little bit of time to check out the other booths and pick up a couple things on my wishlist. Not a lot of time to visit with my fellow booth friends, but did manage to say quick hi's.

Classes for attendees were busy all week. I had short, but frequent conversations with friends as we passed in the corridors. Even peeked in on a couple classes to see what was going on. Sure wish I'd had some time to partake of a couple of the classes. Another time.

Friday night, the Trade Show closed early so we could all prepare for the Banquet. Dress code ranged from ultra casual to really dressy. It was awesome. I'm not sure how many were there, but my best "guess" would be about 500-600. I think the show's registration was just shy of 1000. The place was packed. The speeches and introductions from the Head Table were short but informative and the table decorations were simple but so-thoughtful. Everyone got a note clip (a wooden clothespin painted with flowers, bees and/or ladybugs painting the flowers) with a painting tip clipped to it and the oldest at the table won the centerpiece. Janet, Denise (friend of a friend who helped in our booth) and I sat with Lorie, MaryJo and Joan from the Gateway Decorative Artists in St.Louis, Missouri. The meal was very tasty and the service great. The company, conversation and ambiance were something you need to experience. Glad we went. And again, sharing with my list buddy from and friend, Janet, was the icing on the cake.

Saturday was very quiet on the Trade Show floor. I was able to split my time between the booth and Willow's last class (a repeat of Thursday's special event, but on a much smaller scale - about 30 students). When 2 pm came, we started the long pack up. 5 hours later we had everything inventoried and boxed and on it's way to it's destinations. Dinner and a relaxing evening then early to bed for the trek home on Sunday. Of course, it wasn't uneventful. Not as long as some of my friends (Kathy Swigon's 20 hour trip home), but an extra 2+ hours of trepidation on whether or not I would get home as they'd oversold the flight and my name was pulled. But... finally made it and have been playing catch up ever since. As an aside, picture me sitting on the floor in the Columbus airport handing over stuff I really didn't HAVE to take home (peanut butter, crackers, hair gel, honey, extra plastic bags I was saving for our next show...) and offloading from my checked bag to my two carryons, lol. Good thing I left plenty of time knowing this would probably be the scenario .

I got some brief time to meet some new-to-me faces and chat with some of the teachers in the monitor room where the class supplies are oh-so-organized. Met Earline Padgett and chatted away with her. I could listen to her melodic voice forever, lol. My friends were lucky enough to take one of her classes. Got re-acquainted with Shelley Hankins, from the UK. She was teaching a couple of classes (Sunflower in oils; single poppy in acrylics) and taking a bunch as well. What a fabulous painter and teacher. I took her double poppy class at the SDP Convention last year in Peoria and wrote then that she was one of the most relaxing teachers I have ever had the pleasure of painting with. Quite something when you can say that on the very last class of the very last day of a long convention when most of us have "hit" that wall, lol. Would take with her again in a New York minute. Lovely lady. Met Nancy Dale Kinney-Stout. What an elegant southern belle. She and my friend, Donna Scully, are best buds and Donna's always imitating Nancy's drawl. Too funny.

Of course Tina Norris, Pat Lentine, Janelle Johnson, Bobbie Takashima, Rebecca Baer, Maxine Thomas, Joan Dixon, Sharon McNamara Black (and hubby Marty) all got big hellos from me. Also, many more of my fellow exhibitors (Jo Lutness of Painters Paradise, Linda Heller and Brett Cohen of PaintWorks, Jamie Mills Price and Don of Between the Vines and Valhalla Wood - THAT was a busy booth, Brushes and More, Bear With Us...). I talked with many more when I could "escape", lol. Our booth was across from Robert Warren's booth so we talked and kibbitzed with Robert and his lovely family (wife Donna and daughter Amanda) and of course salivated over his paintings. I took home a couple of his packets and am anxious to play with one of them and while I don't have his talent (or the special mediums he has) I am looking forward to attempting them. He's definitely on my list of teachers I would like to take a class with someday and what a really, really nice person (as well as extremely talented).

There were a few new products, packets and books around the show. Our booth showcased the new "Twinks", lol. Love that name. Twinkling H2O's and Radiant Rain misters. Beautiful glittery results on our painted surfaces. Lydia Steeves has been playing with these products and creating beautiful backgrounds for her artwork. The results are stunning. Willow carries these products and they just flew outta our booth (along with Lydia's new book, Pause for Painting 4 and Willow's new book, Painting Home Decor, which is almost, what I'd describe, as a technique book as each project steps you thru an additional add-on, embellishment or technique to use in her paintings. I picked up a few extra of each book as per requests from friends "stuck" at home, lol). I will be making time soon to update Willow's site (as
soon as I'm a little more awake and can function, lol) so keep watch.

So much to see and do. Am looking forward to next year's HOOT Convention and the theme will be Painting is a HOOT (LOL). Can't believe in 30 years that they've never used that theme! Amazing.

Am still so very, very tired and trying to play catch-up. Next on my list is the painting convention in Calgary (PIA - Paint-in Alberta) September 9-12, 2010, then I'm off to Boucherville, Quebec for my final convention of the year October 14-17. Hope to see some of you there.