Thursday, June 18, 2009

WHEW again!

My friends and I went to the AGM for the SDP and stayed 'til just past the voting. Then, apologetically, we left. There was just so very much on our plates for the day that we couldn't give everything justice. But the Parade of Flags to start the AGM, the pomp and ceremony, the speeches and introductions... were something that you've just got to experience for yourselves. The slate of members willing to commit their time to volunteer for a position was impressive, and the best part?, there were no "wrong" votes. Every person who willingly put their name forth was a winner in my mind and a devotee to our passion, Decorative Painting. I am sure those who did not "win" are still going to put the hours in for our society and we can count on seeing their names again in future. It was nice to see some new and "young" members come forth too, like Erika Frei. I think we can expect big things from members like her. Lots of enthusiasm and love for this industry. I suspect we will see Erika's name on the ballots again.

My class with Glenice Moore and Jillybean was great. Glenice had just had hand surgery on her right hand and was still smiling and capable through the obvious discomfort. She wanted to give us a good class and she did. The wolf eyes were spellbinding. It was a class of 73. Biggest class I've ever been in, although I know, in past, there have been classes of 100+. We had a large screen to view the piece as it unfolded and a good mic system that enabled us to clearly hear Glenice (and Jillybean later) and also enabled the teacher to walk around and check student pieces. Each student also left with 6 brushes donated by Dynasty and I learned I can create a furry critter with another brush! The possibilities are endless now, lol. Chatted with a few ToleFriends' and past ToleFriends' members (like B.J.) and hoping they'll rejoin our fun.

When Glenice was finished her project with us, it was Jillybean's turn and she was a delight as she kept up a constant conversation throughout her demoing the piece along with us. We learned more about the Traditions paints, Dynasty Wave Brushes and many other tips and tricks that we took away with us.

Then it was time for the Trade Show (Expo) Opening. This was a special "look see" for only registrants of the convention. What a variety. I understand that booth numbers may be down due to the economy, but it was still a sight-to-see all that is available and that you might only hear/see of through others and the internet. Made a quick, cursory run-through and picked up a couple of things (okaaaaay, more than a couple) and am looking forward to a leisurely stroll through there today. I will go and see Donna Talerico and Cindi Estes as well and see if they can't keep me busy filling a volunteer spot somewhere later.

ToleFriends' Meet n' Greet time. Was a little worrisome when I had to track down "someone" to approve and open the room for me, lol. Whew. Not too big a task but initially a bit of a scare. Brought over my huge suitcase full of goodies and with the help of my buddy Lynne (whom I drove down to convention with) we set all the prizes out for display and then proceeded to make the "grab" bags for our members. Gloria arrived with more goodies and our eyes rounded with the task and overwhelming generosity of our artists, designers and businesses. Wow.

We sold raffle tickets for the doorprizes and everyone was very generous. The money collected will be turned over to ToleFriends' to go towards our programs. Thank YOU.

Donna S, bless her heart, kept me on task, lol. So after a brief announcement to the group (altho' by that time, no announcements were really needed as we were all talking [at once, may I add] like old, long lost friends [not old as in OLD, old as in COMFORTABLE!] ), we went through introductions by each person. It was great to put faces to names. I also mentioned how sad we all were/are about losing our Sue M so suddenly and how she would just want us to continue on and be friends and paint, paint, PAINT!

Then the real fun began and we pulled tickets and read numbers. The doorprizes were endless and I think just 'bout everyone left with something, largely in part to the generosity of those with bushels of tickets who had already "won" one or two items. Most graciously declined to accept another doorprize if their number was called and it was given to the next number. Thank you so much. You guys are the ABSOLUTE greatest. Don't ever doubt that. My tickets didn't get called (I'm not really pouting - I got my reward just having the attendance we did and meeting everyone. Darn you guys were great!), but there were a LOT of very happy members (and guests) with the prizes they did win. When I get home, I will put the list together (I did keep track - there may be errors with spelling, lol - but not pronunciation of names - an "in" joke, you had to be there, lol) and we will bribe Annie to make us a special section to show what we did and what we won. 'Course, then I'll have to send instructions on how to find it [wink].

Gloria gifted me with one of her specially painted Rose T-shirts. I was overwhelmed. Gloria, thank you again. And thank you for being my "rock". You're a treasure.

Oh... and if y'all would like to know some of the things we talked about, you'll have to ask those involved, lol. Some of the discussions involved bucket lists, bedmates/strangers/new friends/headboards and engineers (from the SAME ROOM, lol), moose encounters, air-brushed photos, new Volunteer Co-ordinator for your next National...

And a special thank you to Linda Sofranko who jumped right in and lent a hand with photography duties and raffle tickets. My friend Lynne is also a photographer and was snapping away for me. When I get the photos, I will organize them and see if our web guru will make magic and put them up for us to see and share.

And oh ya! Thank you to my new bestest bud, Janet. Quick on her feet that one. I had created a large display board detailing all the things about ToleFriends' and including flyers and business cards. I wasn't able to display it in the exhibit hall as SDP really can't say yes to one group and not the others. Rules is rules,lol. But, my quick-thinking friend had an "aha" moment and buzzed off with my display board (which I'd put considerable work into) and placed it in the "public" area where the Civic Centre had a table for other Peoria events, coupons, sights to see, etc. Yippee! She's so smart! So... hopefully, it will get noticed and people will take our information and come see us [grin]. Thanks, Janet T (from London, Ont).

I love you guys! Thank you for making Wednesday night the BESTEST night!

Okay, that's it for now, stay posted for my excerpts about my Thursday.

~ Shelley

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