Friday, June 19, 2009

Friday - Day 4 of the National Convention

Friday started far too early and far too rudely, lol. I don't think my head had hit the pillow before that alarm was screaming. Argh.

Ran to breakfast and the restaurant was jam-packed with others doing the same. I think everybody must've had 8 am classes today. Enjoyed fruit salad and eggs and a tea biscuit with jam and of course the requisite coffee. Don't know what it is about you Americans in this area , but no creamer or 1/2 and 1/2 to be found (and they just looked at me like I was crazy when I asked, lol), just the coffeemate. Argh. Sorry, just can't do it, so I've been using milk and while it is perfectly fine and the brewed coffee is delicious, it's just not the same for me.

Off to my class with Rebecca. Totally enjoyed it. She is a delight (as is her husband, Bobby). Class packets were organized and items ordered prior to convention arrived without a glitch.

When I was finished my class I checked in with Sharen, but she only had one class to do. As the dinner is later, and I have stuff I need to get done, I just couldn't commit to 5 pm; however I promised her I'd be back for 10 pm again. Oh, I am soooo nice, lol. Maybe I'm just a masochist, lol.

So, went back to hotel, put my stuff away, went to the corner store to get something to eat and then... hit the Trade Show again, lol. Wandered around and schmoozed and had a great relaxing time (oh, and spent more money, lol - well, not a lot, but ... for class tomorrow, the instructions call for very large bristle brushes which I don't have and have never had - 'cept a few small for drybrushing - as I'm here to learn, I felt I needed to breakdown and find some cheapies and make do. Well, I was in luck. Got a couple sets of them at the Royal booth - the Soft-grips - so now I feel prepared to learn and enjoy a new method of painting very large florals tomorrow). Talked with Rebecca, Heather Redick, Bobbie Takashima, Karen Hubbard's husband, some TF's, the ladies at Viking Woodcrafts and more that I just can't recall to note right now. Talk was going on throughout the floor about a huge storm watch and possible tornado coming in and s'posed to hit the area early evening. And while I was in the Civic Centre, there was some rain. Bobbie (Rebecca's husband) ran out to check on the thunder bashes he heard - a veritable storm chaser that one, lol.

Ran into (not literally) Debbie Slavin in the hotel elevator. She was just getting on with a beautiful piece and I looked at it and thought it looked like her hand/style, so of course, I had to ask her if she was "Debbie Slavin" and introduce myself and also thank her for the beautiful lesson she did for us last year (?).

Went back to our hotel and sat down for a breather and to "play" on the 'puter and the storm hit with lots of thunder and lightning and huge rains at about 5 pm. By 5:45 it seemed to have cleared - for now.

Dinner - well, thankfully the storm didn't return and we were able to walk over to the Civic Centre without getting wet (and got back to the hotel later without the promised storms too).

Another WOW! The tables were awesome. Those that had decorated tables had gone all out. Some tables had such "loot" it was almost obscene, lol (okay, that's the green-eyed monster talking ). Again, I took lots of photos and hope that they'll turn out. But nothing can beat the experience of actually being part of this event. Cindi Estes was so excited about her Chapter's entry (INDY Painters) that she just 'bout literally dragged me over to see. I got some great pics of it and will post them later today in my webshots folder. Understandably, they won first place for the Table Decorations. Congratulations.

My friend and awesome designer, Lydia, also decorated a table (which most of the Gateway Decorative Painters sat at - hiya, Gloria and Janie!). The theme? Cats of course. Lydia had just fostered a litter of kittens and of course, they were the models for the centrepiece. She painted on canvas and wrapped it around a beautiful glass vase.

The Gateway Decorative Artists' table was beautifully decorated as well. Another table I lusted after, lol. They had included little scrapbook albums at each placesetting for members to be able to embellish with their own photos and memories of the week (altho' if you didn't add anything more to the albums, they were still gorgeous with the decorating and thought that had gone into each one). Wow.

There were at least 500 for dinner. It was sold out. Most of us circulated and milled about ogling and drooling over the table decorations (and drooling and ooooohing and awwwwwwing). There was a cash bar which many took advantage of (ya, including yours truly - one glass of wine - I'm a cheap drunk, lol) and ice tea and water available at the tables and was refilled when needed. The cheesecake dessert (mocha?) was sitting on top of the coffee mug to the side of each place setting (don't ask me which side because our table didn't seem to follow any etiquette rules, lol). Salads were served and these were followed by a beautifully presented plate of fresh vegetables, twice baked potato (?) and stuffed chicken with a tomato sauce. It was delicious and filling. The wait staff was efficient and polite. Lots of time for chatting with our fellow table guests and enjoy the meal. Then coffee was served and speeches and introductions began. The Chapters that had brought their banners were introduced and made their way across the stage, new Board members introduced, departing Board members thanked and gifted. Jokes, fun, camaraderie. It was a grand evening and one I would definitely repeat at future events should I be lucky enough to attend.

The evening ended with the auctioning of the 4 painted pieces that had been donated to the SDP, I'm sorry I don't remember the 4th, but 3 of them were by Louise Jackson, Peggy Harris and Nancy Bateman. Linda Biedermann took home Peggy's gorgeous sled (that had graced the cover of one of the Decorative Painter issues) for $350.00 - a REAL bargain and a cherished treasure.

I also met our Debbie Doodle. What a sweetie. She'd met Donna Wessel while waiting to enter the ballroom and they got to talking. Donna found me and we chatted. Let me tell you, the lady lies. Yup. I said it, lol. She doesn't look like her crazy painting lady at all - well, maybe in another 30 years or so, but... lol. Just a diminutive little sweet blonde who... wait for it... fell asleep so missed our party! Guess you'll have to wait for another convention to meet her ladies or wait... I just may have a photo that I surrepticiously snapped. Heeheehee - hopefully the gremlins will be kind to me and the pics I took will be fine. I'll look thru them next week. Sorry, but you'll just have to wait.

Yes, it was a great evening and I would encourage any going to future National Conventions to take advantage and sign-up for the Dinner right away so as not to miss out.

~ Shelley

No comments:

Post a Comment