Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Patience is a virtue!

I admit it...I've been missing in action on the blog lately! I can hear your disappointed sighs every time you pull up the page and find no new content. I mean it! I hear every single one of them!

Since getting home from the Bead & Button Show/Beads by Blanche trip last Wednesday night, there's been little time for rest or catching up. I had three weeks of mail to go through, bills to pay, packages to ship out, as well as some important personal things like getting to see my niece and nephew. Mom and I drove to Fort Worth on Sunday to take a class with Maggie Meister (more on that soon!) and that entailed waking at 6am, and then not getting back home again until 8pm. At which point, I crashed.

By crashed I mean slept. For 18 out of the next 24 hours. Maybe 18.5. So there went Monday! And today I spent the whole day feeling ill. Too much travel. Too much greasy road food. Not enough normalcy. So it was day two of my body's revolt.

Thank goodness I can feel the tide turning, though. Tonight as I type this, the energy is coming back and the stomach isn't rumbling anymore. I'm packaging a bazillion receipts to send off to Shoeboxed.com to be scanned and downloaded into my Outright.com bookkeeping package. So actual WORK is happening!

It's good there will NOT be a day three of the body revolt (are you listening, Body??) because I don't have time for it at all. There are projects to be designed, MORE packages to mail out, beads to be ordered, and evidentally, some Part II of the Bead & Button Show blog post to be written!

So hang in there for another day or two with me....okay? I haven't forgotten about you! I never forget about you. You wouldn't believe how many conversations we have in my head.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Just Wondering

From June:
Do you suppose there IS a Part 2 to Jill's Bead and Button Show report? Just wondering.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


From June

Hurray! Jill will finally be home today. Between the Bead and Button Show and teaching afterward, she's been gone for 3 weeks. And who will be happiest that she's home. Two guesses.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Bead & Button Report, Part 1

I have spent the last two days sleeping and gazing around dazedly, trying to recover from the myriad of fabulous experiences of the previous week. I'm still taking it all in. I have never worked so hard, or had so much fun in my life in such a compact amount of time! I can't wait to share it all with you (well, maybe not ALL of it! There are simply some things that have to stay secret a while.)

The whole month of May when Mom and I were little worker bees, making kits like mad women, Mom was a little suspicious that I was overestimating on the volume of kits we needed to be creating. On some of them, she was right. On some of them, I was right. And overall, I'd much rather be over prepared than under prepared. We still managed to sell out of some of them, and came quite close on others. I'll be in good shape for the next few shows in August with only some of the inventory to restock. My car is still filled to the brim and over it with boxes and beads and clothes because Mom left one of her large suitcases with me to take home.

But as a result of that over preparedness, I ended up leaving Austin a full day and a half later than I'd planned, so my calm, leisurely drive became a two day marathon of driving, with me arriving at the hotel at 4am Sunday morning. The parking garage is closed at that time of night (morning!) so I ended up leaving the car on the street. Good thing, since after the week was over, I'd paid $225 in parking fees between the garage and Mom's airport parking. AGH! So that street parking saved me another $20. Anyway, I was able to sleep for a few hours, but then had to get up and hustle.

I had to unload all the things I needed for my classes from the car, in addition to my suitcases. Rummage through boxes and re-pack them in ways that made sense for me to cart them back and forth from the hotel room to the convention center where my class was. And do it all in time for my first 7pm class of 20 people eager to learn Kumihimo with Beads! Honestly, it was entirely too frantic for my taste, but I managed, and the first class was a dream class. Total rock stars! They picked up the technique quickly, and everyone left very happy. I returned to my wreck of a room and ordered room service. The delivery guy started laughing when he came in - there was NO PLACE to set the tray! I had to swipe things to the side to make room on the bed. Good thing Mom wasn't there yet!!

So I was able to sleep in on Monday and recover a bit. There was more last minute kit making in the room, and MORE resorting of things into various boxes. I taught Parisian Lights on Monday night and was thrilled that almost everyone left wearing their bracelets! Another round of room service... (I'm actually having to go back to my Facebook posts to remember everything - especially that first part of the week!) Anna Draeger, Bead & Button Editor, author of Crystal Brilliance: Making Designer Jewelry with Crystal Beads, and really good friend, dropped by my classroom for a big hug. Her book is new and amazing - I'm dying to make several projects out of it!

Tuesday I woke up bright and early (yes! Me!) and met with Gwen Youngblood for lunch. I had to actually leave the hotel room to let housekeeping in for the first time since I'd been there. I hope the poor woman didn't have a heart attack! I invaded Brenda Schweder's classroom for a hug too. I'm big on hugs! Had to actually make room for Mom on a bed, so that involved a lot of cleaning up. Nothing like the threat of your Mama to make you clean your room! She arrived Tuesday night while I was teaching another session of Kumihimo with Beads. And that set of 20 ladies was ferocious! They were very eager to learn, and soaked up every bit of knowledge I had. I was exhausted when they left! But that's why they pay me...and I love that they were so excited! When I got back to the hotel room, Mama Bear was asleep in her bed. I woke her up and talked nonstop at her for an hour over MORE room service.

Part II will include many more celebrity bead sightings, a hint of that big news I can't share, and much, much more! Stay tuned!

(A student from my first Sunday night class, Peggy Rapaport Goldblatt, made this Kumihimo with Beads bracelet!)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Meet the Teachers Night Insanity

Last night was Meet the Teachers night at the Bead and Button Show in Milwaukee. This is where the B&B attendees got to....well...meet the teachers. Its frequently the only place someone is able to buy a kit for a class that they wished they could take. Many teachers make a limited supply of kits and when they're gone, they're gone.

If you have never attended a Meet the Teachers night, it's kind of hard to explain what it's like. Friends meeting up, people oohing and awing over kits, and lots of noise and energy.

Here is a picture of the room as I was setting up yesterday. (Taken with my cell phone, so please forgive the quality.)

Now in past years, they have let all the attendees congregate as a group in the lobby. This year, they decided to line them up. This line went around the corner all all the way down a long, long hall.

And here's the hall about midway through the evening. Our booth was swamped with people as soon as it opened, and it never really let up. It's the first time we've ever had a long line of people waiting to pay for their kits.

Jill and I were exhausted by the end of the evening. The event went until 11:00 p.m., and then we had to break down our display and lug all our stuff to the exhibit hall to be set up again today. Unlike most of the teachers showing kits, we had decided to do our full booth set-up with lights and everything. We finally got back to the hotel, got some room service food, and got to bed about 2:00 a.m. (Getting to actually eat a meal is something that doesn't happen a lot for us this week.) So we did crawl into bed at 2, but we were so tired, but yet keyed up, that we got into one of those laughing binges. Everything either of us said just set us off into uncontrollable laughter. I hope we didn't disturb the people in the next room!!

The exhibit hall opens tonight and we have lots to do before then. Will post more later.

Friday, June 4, 2010

It's Bead and Button or Bust

From June:
Whew! 5:00 p.m. and Jill JUST NOW started the drive to Milwaukee. She was supposed to leave yesterday morning, but we just didn't have everything done that needed to be done. So she will be driving hard the next two days.

With all the classes Jill is teaching at Bead and Button, the amount of stuff we have to take is ridiculous. It's compounded by the fact that she is not only teaching at B&B, but is going from Milwaukee to New York (well, technically, to Bergenfield, NJ) to teach at Beads by Blanche. The car looked like a clown car by the time it was loaded.


I get to fly in to Milwaukee next week, but I have a whole list of things to do and get ready to bring, because you know, WE NEED MORE STUFF! I don't think I will ever be able to drive with Jill after I retire, unless we get a bigger vehicle, because as you can see, the front passenger seat is PACKED WITH STUFF!

Come see us at Bead and Button!!