Well, I'm home from HOOT and I must say, the morning after came far too early, LOL. I was definitely feeling a little fuggy (foggy and muggy and generally blah
My final walk through customs into Ottawa I was in the "zone" and snapped out of it the moment I laid eyes on my man. My wonderful, considerate, supportive, loving, keeper-of-a-husband! There he was to greet me with a beautiful bouquet of mixed florals with my favourite flowers (carnations) front and center and a huge, loving smile on his face. I was home.
It was a WONDERFUL week!
Okay... admittedly, I knew. Knew it was going to be a tough, tiring week. Thought that I could keep in touch with you anyway. How wrong was that?! I was flat each night after doing "books" and visiting. The only thing I could think of was getting into bed and hoping that sleep would quickly find me and that I would awake re-freshed and ready to ramble.
How wrong was that?!
I did awake each morning. Refreshed? Hmmm, probably not. But I was having SO MUCH FUN managing a booth (The Princeton Brush booth) where the excitement just radiated from it and the whole exhibition floor that... well, I never crashed and burned, grin, 'til day's end. I roomed with Holly Hanley (of Sunshine Kisses and Warm Winter Wishes fame http://www.hollyhanley.com), Lydia Steeves (Pause for Painting
http://www.pauseforpainting.com) and Debbie Cotton (designer of antique signage and labels and country designs - http://www.simply-cotton.com). They were represented in our booth and demoed fabulous new brushes for the excited convention goers. We all worked alongside Willow who's new book, "Painting Wildlife and Birds", was released at the convention. One word... awesome! All American Crafts did a fabulous job with this book. Also ready and newly released at the convention and on display was the DAC's new book "The Painted Quilt". I was able to pick up my copy that I had paid for and ordered in June in Peoria. I was like a kid in a candy shoppe! Two fabulous new, BIG books, priced to fly off the shelves. These you have to see for yourself. I love conventions for the "reveals", lol. And it turned me into a celebrity chaser as off I ran whenever I was "let off for good behaviour" to seek out the artists.
This was a new-to-me side of the show. I don't think the average registrant/convention goer really understands what it takes to "get there". The hours of preparation. The endless inventorying and ordering and prepping and creating and planning and co-ordinating and packing and shipping and... The travel, the missed meals, the sleeping in a strange (maybe uncomfortable, lol) bed. 100's if not 1000's of dollars and the SWEAT EQUITY, lol, to open on Exhibition Night. The game faces. The smiles. The feelings of optimism. The atmosphere. The excitement. The noise. The visiting and reconnecting with old friends and new. The excitement of showcasing your booth and offerings and the excitement of the convention goers.
It was a very exhausting week at HOOT. Very exhausting but VERY EXCITING. The HOOT ladies put on a WONDERFUL show and it is a magnificent venue. The class areas are large and well-lit. The information booth, class sales, 2 hour specials, art show, demo area, memory box painting area, decorations, people (wonderful, awesome, smiley, helpful people!), monitor station, raffle, registration booth... are well-marked, well-staffed (with those wonderful, awesome, smiley, helpful people), beautifully showcased and... well... I WOULD HAPPILY DO IT AGAIN! Just try to keep me away, lol.
Phyllis Tilford told me,warned me, but I don't think anyone or anything could adequately convey the energy and excitement and just plain old FUN that occurs on the exhibition floor. Would do it again (and ya, am already signed on) in a New York minute!
Okay... this is the LONGEST post I have written in a while, lol (ya... unbelievable, huh?)... expect more notes, but slowly as I come down to earth from the high of the week and all the trappings and get back to normal (or what qualifies as "normal" for me