Tuesday, August 31, 2010

When: Saturday, September 25, 2010
Time: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Where: Carleton Place Arena
75 Neelin Street
Carleton Place, Ontario

You can read about this very worthy venture at Scraptease.ca . Victoria Fraser owns Scraptease in Carleton Place and organizes this charity crop each year. Elgin, the namesake for the event, was her son who lost his battle with neuroblastoma in 2007.

How could I not go? An awesome lady trying to run a LSS (local scrap store) so that us crafters can have a place to share our guilty pleasure and a very, very worthy cause in memory of her beloved son and all proceeds going to charity.

Hope I will see some of you there.


Sunday, August 22, 2010

Anniversaries and scrapping

Well, my anniversary is on the 28th of August. I didn't have time to create a card for my better half before I went to Columbus, Ohio for the HOOT convention. I'd really like to make one and/or a small album. One problem... hubby is on holidays and we do EVERYthing together.

I finally put together a small album for Willow's daughter, Nya, from June of this
year when I went to Winnipeg for Willow's Certification. Nya borrowed my camera (as she did last year in Edmonton when Willow brought her to the PIA - Paint-in Alberta - painting convention) and took pictures of us when we went out to our celebratory dinner at the end of the week. She's a fun little girl (8 years old). Quick and smart and precocious (in a good way). I just have to write a few things in the little album then I'll mail it to her as I'm sure she'd be more excited to get her own mail then have Mom deliver it ('cause I could wait and bring it to Calgary next month).

Where am I going with this detour in thought? Oh... the anniversary, lol. 28 years. I was hoping that maybe I could putz with something for hubby while putting together something for Nya. Nope. Dan's just too curious and proud of what I do. Not going to be able to slip in another project if I want it to be a surprise. Will have to think of something. I know exactly what I want to do, so it won't take long as the plans are already in my head, but...

I am not going to post this 'til AFTER Saturday. Why? 'Cause the Big Guy reads my blog, that's why!

The best laid plans... heeheehee. Will keep you posted.


August 27, 2010 Update: Have been able to sneak in a titchy bit of time to work on my "plans" (when my better half was at his Slot Car Night - whew, lol), BUT I only needed another hour or so to finish. Thought I'd do it this afternoon when he had a nap... NOPE. Guess where he decided to nap? On the livingroom sofa! Grrrr. My project is on the diningroom table right beside the livingroom. Oh well, lol.

Midnight on the 27th heeheehee... Hubby has gone to bed. I decided mid-evening that I HAD to work on my project. He KNEW I was up to something and it was like Christmas when he knows I'm wrapping in "plain sight" stuff for him but he won't look, lol, and he tiptoes around. Oh well. I had fun and now I can post 'cause by the time he reads this, he'll have my gift to him in his hot little hands. I made a Swing Card and a Paperbag Album with pictures of the two of us and love quotes.

Next conventions

Okay, I've booked my flight for Calgary. Did I tell you I hate planes, lol? Paint- in Alberta is September 9-12, 2010. I'll fly out on Thursday the 9th and get in just before 10 a.m. and start setting up the booth sometime that afternoon. I'll fly out about 6 p.m. on Monday the 13th. Maybe there'll be something near the hotel to have a looksee/shopping. If nothing else I'll get a sleep-in, lol.

Classes are on the C2C Events site. I'm going to help in Willow's classes when I'm not in the booth but I'm hoping I'll have a couple volunteers to schedule for her classes, too. Saturday night, after the Trade Show, Willow has her Whimsical Hummer class so I'm hoping to putz and paint while giving some help in the class (ya right... and I think I'll have time because...? Hey, I can dream and plan, lol).

My next and last painting convention to work at will be the Salon des Arts Decoratifs in Boucherville, Quebec (east-end of Montreal on the South Shore I think). It will be October 14-17 and I'll probably drive up on Wednesday the 13th and leave on Monday the 18th. I'm really looking forward to this one, for a few reasons: 1) I get to empty my garage of the 7 boxes of inventory I brought back in May, lol, 2) I can drive - yippee, no air sickness and 3) it was one of the most exciting shows I went to last year. A lot of painters, younger than what we've seen at the regular, non-French painting conventions and they seem to have a hunger to paint, buy and learn. The only downside is, of course, the language barrier. I have some French education but the language is slow to come back for me as I don't use it; however, after the first day and a lot of sign language and apologies for not speaking fluently, it comes back in fits and starts, lol. By the end of the weekend it's not too bad [grin].


Saturday, August 21, 2010

School's starting

Good news! My oldest has made the decision to go to college! We've been asking him
since he moved out if he wouldn't like to go back to school and get some kind of degree or certificate and invest in his future. We said we'd help. Well, it's been two years and he made the decision... two weeks ago, lol. Yup. College starts in a couple more weeks and he decided now, lol.

He seems committed to going back and has chosen Business Administration. It won't be a cake walk but I know he can do it if he wants to. He's very, very smart. So... what did hubby and I do on this first week of his holidays from work? Paid for school for both our sons and the books. Argh. Oh well, it's an investment in their futures.

This is our youngest's second and final year. He's doing Internet Application and Web Development. My own techie right here at home, lol.


Friday, August 20, 2010

Memories from HOOT (Heart of Ohio Tole convention)

Ya, this "report" is really long... was going to break it up, but thought "what the hay", lol. It'll give you something to read with your coffee.

Whew, well HOOT is but a memory for another year. The theme this year was "Painting is a Buzz". It is a well-run and fabulous week with tons to see and do: project room; art competition; charity of painted bras - seen in person they were dynamic and moving, especially when you learned that a couple of them had been painted by those who have personally and bravely won the battle with breast cancer - my friend, Donna Scully and also Barb Jenkins; HOOT Boutique; class sales area; memory box painting area; demo area; raffles; Trade Show; monitor/teacher room; banquet ticket table; registration table for registrants; table for teachers and vendors; info booth and more that I've probably over-looked in this senior moment.

Andy Jones did win the "People's Choice" award for his "play on art/words" watermelon bra, but in my eyes, each and everyone of those donations and artwork were winners. $1600 was raised through the silent auction and donations for the Stefanie Spielman Fund for Breast Cancer Research (Jamie Mills Price took home Andy's Watermelon Bra as the highest bidder)! Now I do have to say, I think Andy's rendition would've "won" regardless of whether we knew who painted it or not... it was great. But again, I think they were ALL winners and the "buzz" around the display was positive and "uplifting". Heeheehee. It was all in good fun, with lots of "pointed" jokes and innuendos and so well received.

I arrived via plane on the Sunday (August 8) and waited around for a bit for my friends to show up so I could join them in the room. I'd brought my own large checked bag, a large computer bag and a small carry-on suitcase full of miscellaneous booth supplies (cash box, pegs, sales books, lots of notes, bags, pens, etc., etc., etc.). Monday was my day to check out the convention area where the ladies of HOOT had done their organizational magic. I checked in and got my Exhibitor package after I'd told my roommates where they should register (in the hallway between the Hyatt and the Convention Center) and then checked out the book to mark down which classrooms "my" teachers would be in (so I'd know where to "run" and find them if needed, lol). Then I helped out in Willow's class (Basic Bluebird). One of the ladies in the class was 95 years young! She was an absolute doll and we spoke again as we met each other over the next several days. Sure hope she does get to come again next year. What an inspiration!

Tuesday we started to set-up our booth and I helped out in Willow's second class (Gentle Flight - Hummingbird). Wednesday, we finished putting the booth together then went to get a light meal before the Trade Show opened up for the registrants. It was a great opening night. I don't think I put my head up once, so if you came by our booth and I didn't notice you, I apologize. It was all a blur, lol. After the opening show, we went to the Hyatt Regency Ballroom for a reception and to celebrate Betsy Edwards' retirement.

Thursday was a really busy day, and this is where my awesome friends come in, Shirley Edmiston and Janet Thompson. I worked the booth 'til about noon then joined Willow in her classroom. Actually, two rooms that the divider had been rolled back to make room for close to 100 students! This was her Special Event. Janet and Shirley, bless their hearts, met me in the room and jumped in and helped set up each spot for the students with all they would need to make this a great class. After they'd done all the set-up, the doors were opened and the students rushed to take their seats. The monitor assigned by HOOT took the attendance and made the introductions of Willow and the class was on. Willow had divided the class up into sections and called up each section individually to step through the initial instructions. As she finished with each group, Janet, Shirley and I circulated to make sure all was well. Being a Willow Wolfe Certified Instructor, I was able to offer further assistance and clarification to some of the painters. The class couldn't have been better or run more smoothly (between the help and the awesome teacher). Almost each and every student came uber-close to finishing and at the end of the four hours, there were glows on their faces and they had nothing but compliments for Willow and the project. It was awesome. A truly amazing event that you had to experience.

I finished out the day in the booth (my home away from home, lol) and then we went to dinner at a local Italian Restaurant to discuss the day and sit back and relax. It was so nice to share it with my friend, Janet (Janet is from London, Ontario and flew in to help me with Willow's Special Event and take in all that is the atmosphere of HOOT; she was able to sign-up for a couple of classes that had openings).

Friday was not quite as busy on the Trade Show floor, but it was steady. I got a little bit of time to check out the other booths and pick up a couple things on my wishlist. Not a lot of time to visit with my fellow booth friends, but did manage to say quick hi's.

Classes for attendees were busy all week. I had short, but frequent conversations with friends as we passed in the corridors. Even peeked in on a couple classes to see what was going on. Sure wish I'd had some time to partake of a couple of the classes. Another time.

Friday night, the Trade Show closed early so we could all prepare for the Banquet. Dress code ranged from ultra casual to really dressy. It was awesome. I'm not sure how many were there, but my best "guess" would be about 500-600. I think the show's registration was just shy of 1000. The place was packed. The speeches and introductions from the Head Table were short but informative and the table decorations were simple but so-thoughtful. Everyone got a note clip (a wooden clothespin painted with flowers, bees and/or ladybugs painting the flowers) with a painting tip clipped to it and the oldest at the table won the centerpiece. Janet, Denise (friend of a friend who helped in our booth) and I sat with Lorie, MaryJo and Joan from the Gateway Decorative Artists in St.Louis, Missouri. The meal was very tasty and the service great. The company, conversation and ambiance were something you need to experience. Glad we went. And again, sharing with my list buddy from Tolefriends.com and friend, Janet, was the icing on the cake.

Saturday was very quiet on the Trade Show floor. I was able to split my time between the booth and Willow's last class (a repeat of Thursday's special event, but on a much smaller scale - about 30 students). When 2 pm came, we started the long pack up. 5 hours later we had everything inventoried and boxed and on it's way to it's destinations. Dinner and a relaxing evening then early to bed for the trek home on Sunday. Of course, it wasn't uneventful. Not as long as some of my friends (Kathy Swigon's 20 hour trip home), but an extra 2+ hours of trepidation on whether or not I would get home as they'd oversold the flight and my name was pulled. But... finally made it and have been playing catch up ever since. As an aside, picture me sitting on the floor in the Columbus airport handing over stuff I really didn't HAVE to take home (peanut butter, crackers, hair gel, honey, extra plastic bags I was saving for our next show...) and offloading from my checked bag to my two carryons, lol. Good thing I left plenty of time knowing this would probably be the scenario .

I got some brief time to meet some new-to-me faces and chat with some of the teachers in the monitor room where the class supplies are oh-so-organized. Met Earline Padgett and chatted away with her. I could listen to her melodic voice forever, lol. My friends were lucky enough to take one of her classes. Got re-acquainted with Shelley Hankins, from the UK. She was teaching a couple of classes (Sunflower in oils; single poppy in acrylics) and taking a bunch as well. What a fabulous painter and teacher. I took her double poppy class at the SDP Convention last year in Peoria and wrote then that she was one of the most relaxing teachers I have ever had the pleasure of painting with. Quite something when you can say that on the very last class of the very last day of a long convention when most of us have "hit" that wall, lol. Would take with her again in a New York minute. Lovely lady. Met Nancy Dale Kinney-Stout. What an elegant southern belle. She and my friend, Donna Scully, are best buds and Donna's always imitating Nancy's drawl. Too funny.

Of course Tina Norris, Pat Lentine, Janelle Johnson, Bobbie Takashima, Rebecca Baer, Maxine Thomas, Joan Dixon, Sharon McNamara Black (and hubby Marty) all got big hellos from me. Also, many more of my fellow exhibitors (Jo Lutness of Painters Paradise, Linda Heller and Brett Cohen of PaintWorks, Jamie Mills Price and Don of Between the Vines and Valhalla Wood - THAT was a busy booth, Brushes and More, Bear With Us...). I talked with many more when I could "escape", lol. Our booth was across from Robert Warren's booth so we talked and kibbitzed with Robert and his lovely family (wife Donna and daughter Amanda) and of course salivated over his paintings. I took home a couple of his packets and am anxious to play with one of them and while I don't have his talent (or the special mediums he has) I am looking forward to attempting them. He's definitely on my list of teachers I would like to take a class with someday and what a really, really nice person (as well as extremely talented).

There were a few new products, packets and books around the show. Our booth showcased the new "Twinks", lol. Love that name. Twinkling H2O's and Radiant Rain misters. Beautiful glittery results on our painted surfaces. Lydia Steeves has been playing with these products and creating beautiful backgrounds for her artwork. The results are stunning. Willow carries these products and they just flew outta our booth (along with Lydia's new book, Pause for Painting 4 and Willow's new book, Painting Home Decor, which is almost, what I'd describe, as a technique book as each project steps you thru an additional add-on, embellishment or technique to use in her paintings. I picked up a few extra of each book as per requests from friends "stuck" at home, lol). I will be making time soon to update Willow's site (as
soon as I'm a little more awake and can function, lol) so keep watch.

So much to see and do. Am looking forward to next year's HOOT Convention and the theme will be Painting is a HOOT (LOL). Can't believe in 30 years that they've never used that theme! Amazing.

Am still so very, very tired and trying to play catch-up. Next on my list is the painting convention in Calgary (PIA - Paint-in Alberta) September 9-12, 2010, then I'm off to Boucherville, Quebec for my final convention of the year October 14-17. Hope to see some of you there.


Monday, August 16, 2010

Of flowers, charms and especially CHARMERS!

EXHAUSTED! EX-haus-TED! Hit the proverbial wall, lol. Back from HOOT (Heart of Ohio Tolepainters painting convention) and had all good intention of trying to do some updates, but... just no time and when I did have a few minutes that I could nab my 'puter I only had energy to "talk" to my DH (dear hubby) and that was it. Will update later. For now...

My trip back was, of course, eventful - Murphy's Law, lol. It was long (not as long as some, obviously, travelling by car to far destinations - some of my returning friend's were about a 12 hour drive), but a simple plane hop turned into a bit of an adventure. It was only a 1/2 hour plane from Ohio to Detroit. Didn't bother to check out duty free 'cause it was in another terminal and no shuttles to the different terminals (am so going to try to go thru Philly again next year - they have shuttles!) so I thought to heck with it... far too much walking and rushing with extra carry-ons. Had about an hour and a half between flights. Of course, they'd oversold my flight and then also had a weight alert/restriction 'cause of full fuel tanks and amount of people and luggage. Asked for volunteers and they'd give chits to be used on another flight. Not interested 'cause might never take with this airline again and has to be used within the year anyway. Think two volunteers came forward and everyone else wanted to go home. So... they decided to just pull luggage and decide who was not going to be permitted on the flight. Yup, my name and luggage got pulled along with 7 others. So I was not permitted to line-up.. they'd figure what to do with us later... maybe the 9:30 pm flight if there was room. They continued to re-jig and then I was lucky to finally get on (after plane already 1/2 hour late and I sat in terminal with other "rejects" waiting and hoping, lol). Then... they decided still too heavy after they let on a few more so maybe might have to re-boot some off again. Geesh. Well, they finally decided to dump some fuel so we sat on the tarmack running for another hour. Sigh. Then a further delay 'cause of storms. Got in close to 6 pm ('bout 2 hours later then it should've been) ... a long day. But I hate flying, lol. I get sick and nauseous and clammy. Nothing to do with the "fear of crashing" or anything like that... probably because of the pressure change, re-circulated air (or not... when you're sitting on the tarmack and the air isn't on full, grrrr) and my motion sickness. Feel like a limp dishrag.

Oh ya... all this was after I sat on the floor in the Columbus International Terminal and dumped and re-jigged my checked baggage to my computer bag (thank gawd my dad gave me his 'cause he didn't like that it was so big, lol) and little carry-on luggage with my booth supplies that were left. Hee hee, had to get rid of 10 lbs! Tubes of oil, modelling paste and stuff kinda weigh a lot more than you think heehee. Thank heavens I'd emptied my suitcase of stuff I no longer needed and sent it home with a
couple of friends travelling by car. Whew, lol!

My sweetheart met me at the airport with a bouquet of flowers, a new charm (a plane!) and an offer to take me out for a light dinner. Ahhhhh. He's a keeper. Told him that he shouldn't keep doing this 'cause maybe I'd find more times to go away to capitalize heehee. Rolled into bed at 10 pm after fighting to try to stay awake that last hour from 9 and don't think I've ever fallen asleep THAT fast. Don't remember even dreaming and didn't wake up 'til close to 9 am and now I'm on a snail's pace. It's amazing where I found the energy to go, go, go this week, lol. You just do when you hafta. I love coming home to my Better Half. My gawd he makes me feel like a million bucks and that I'm so valued. Sigh. Yes, I'm a lucky woman.


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

It's still here

The Windows Vista AND the laptop, lol.

I have reached a tentative peace agreement with the VISTA. It's more trouble to try to go back "down" to the Windows XP (and my son will so frown at me) and to try to make it forward compatible to the new Windows 7, well, we're so not prepared to go there right now.

I've had few problems after hubby and computer-literate son wrestled a few of my existing programs. And I'm so capable and ready to "google" when I have a problem. I tell you... as soon as I start typing "xyz" compatible with or to work with... Windows Vista in the search box on my google page... I get all kinds of help, lol. Whatever problems/changes I encounter, dollars to donuts someone else before me as had it, lol. Yup. The last holdout/problem is that our colour printer is so NOT compatible with the Vista. Oh well, my flashdrive is at my fingertips and I have
access to another couple 'puters here so off I'll go if I want that printer. No biggie; life goes on. I'm having more problem getting used to the new-to-me Word 2007. ARGH!!!!

Until today. Grrrr. And I cannot blame it on the Vista. Nope. Not this time. It has to do with our power outage yesterday from a big storm that blew in. Happened before and it's a pain to bounce around the house from 'puter to 'puter and router, to modem to... Can't print from any of the 'puters. Have re-set the print server myself, cleared cache, powered down, turned off and re-set printers. Heehee... wait 'til the hubby gets home, lol. Remember that childhood song?

The toe bone's connected to the heel bone,
The heel bone's connected to the foot bone,
The foot bone's connected to the leg bone,
The leg bone's connected to the knee bone,
The knee bone's connected to the thigh bone,
The thigh bone's connected to the back bone,
The back bone's connected to the neck bone, ...

Think someone needs to re-visit it and refer to computer networks... the printer's connected to the computerOH, the computerOH's connected to the ethernetOH, the ethernetOH's connected to the main computerOH, the main computerOH's connected to the internetOH...

If you "google" (love that word and that site) why 'puters are like men, you'll nod your head in understanding:

Computers are Like Men...
In order to get their attention, you have to turn them on.
They are supposed to help you solve problems, but half the time they are the problem.
They have a lot of data but are still clueless.
As soon as you commit to one, you realize that, if you had waited a little longer you could have had a better model.
They hear what you say, but not what you mean.

Now... I MUST put a disclosure statement here. My hubby is SO not like the above, but from what I hear from girlfriends... he's one-of-a-kind and one of my friends is quick to say, "he's perfect" (see? not even having to come from my lips [grin]). But I just love the above. It's how I feel about this computer/printer issue today.

Why especially today? Well, I have so gotta prepare my "binder" of materials for the upcoming painting convention. My "bible" with all the schedules for the booth and the teachers and price lists and orders and my plane reservations, hotel info and ... whew, just all the "stuff". Good thing I haven't TOTALLY left it 'til the last minute. Heehee (just about). So what am I going to do then? Well, go and get my small carryon case that I take the booth SUPPLIES in (sales books, pens, cash box, calculator, bags...) and inventory what I have and what I need. Intend to get all this stuff done by Friday. Then I can throw my clothes in a suitcase Saturday ready for the flight to Columbus, Ohio and the HOOT Painting Convention on Sunday.

It'll be a whirlwind week but I'll try to post about some of it. If not while I'm there, when I get back sometime. Hopefully it'll be sooner than later [wink].