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!)