Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The end of an era

It was a sad day today. Off went our almost 30 year old Roxton sofa into the garbage truck. It served us well. Aside from the foam backing in the cushions finally disintegrating, that sofa and chair stood the test of time well and solidly.

It saw us through our first years together as a couple. Then it proudly bore our weight as we added to our family. First came the cat, Tiffany; then the dog, Sheena; the second cat, Zonker; the kids, Daniel and Michael and many more pets and people.

It was spit up on, puked on, peed on (by one dog who shall remain nameless - mad at my husband one day, lol - okay, dear ol' Ripley. She was quite a character and we always knew where we stood with her... low on the totem pole [grin]). It held us as we celebrated each milestone - anniversaries, birthdays, baby and wedding showers...

It was a big sofa but we marched it to the curb last night thinking that the garbage men might take the chair and leave the sofa, which would mean we'd need to cut it up and put it out again. I heard the truck pull up so went out to meet the driver. I asked him if I helped him, could we put the sofa on the truck. No problem he said. So with a bit of a hitch in my stride and nostalgia in my heart, I picked up the big, handsome piece of furniture and said goodbye for the last time. However, it did not go without a fight, lol. The crushing mechanism needed to work over and over in order to crush the rockwood maple frame and steel springs. Finally, it had chewed it up enough to move on to the next pick-up. That bit of history has now moved onto the great furniture warehouse in the sky, lol.


Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Quebec Show

Held in Boucherville, Quebec (south shore of Montreal), it was well-attended by registrants and exhibitors.

Lots of familiar names:

Della and Company - wow Bill and Della have some awesome metalware. And their booth is magnificent. It's a long trek for them, but they made the trip from the New England Traditions show in Connecticut, staying one night with Sharon & Marty McNamara. Their trip home to Texas after the show would take them about 5 days. Whew. Della does a newsletter from the shows to update those painters "at home". Worthwhile going online and signing up for it.
Settler's Cabin - with Sharon McNamara Black and her husband Marty
Heather Redick
Mary Owens
Gladys Neilsen
Tracy Moreau
Sue Beckerton
Brenda Levert
Wendy Fahey
Holly Hanley - who was demoing in the Coup de Pinceau (store) booth
Debbie Cotton, Lydia Steeves and Willow in our booth

Lots of exhibitors from the Quebec scene. Country Bear Woodcrafts; Rue des Beaux Arts; Art & Hobby; Madame Pickwick; Coup de Pinceau (the magazine); Diffuzart; Montreal Area Decorative Painters Guild; and lots and LOTS more. Some AWESOME talent, artists and booths. I really, really liked the paintings of Anne Grenier and bought a packet. Sadly, she does not have a website (yet, lol), but I would describe her painting as kind of "shabby chic" or English country cottage. Very soft, lots of florals and birds but not "realism". Just beautiful.

In the Rue des Beaux Arts booth, Mitzart was demonstrating on the Terraskin paper. Okay, must say I hadn't really given this "new paper" a chance when I first heard of it. Paper made of rocks. Okay. Looks like white posterboard to me, lol. Big whup. Lots of nice surfaces out there like Mi-tientes, canvas, wood... Well, let me tell you... the possibilities are ENDLESS [grin]. There is no grain to fight with. It will take paint, watercolours, colour pencil, watercolour pencils, sprays, regular graphite, cheap pens... metal implements can be written with (yup... think keys, stylus', stones, etc.). It is water-resistant so can be dropped in water or taken out in the rain and you don't have to worry about your work being damaged. It can be diecut. It can be heated and then manipulated. You can erase on it or scrub off your paint and you do not take off or damage the surface like on paper. It can be off-set printed. It doesn't buckle. It can be rolled and when un-rolled it goes back to completely flat. Need I go on? Yup, I'm excited. And it's available through many of our artstores already (DeSerres, Curry's, Wallack's...). Gonna play with some, lol.

So yes, the show was great, the people were great, the art was great (still seems to be lots of interest in the Faux Vitraille painting - faux glass painting on solid surfaces as well as glass and glass-type surfaces; similar to Gallery Glass, Decoart Glass Stains and "leading"), demos... and we'll go back next year!


Monday, October 18, 2010

What was she thinking?

Well, I made it home safe and sound from the Salon des Arts Decoratif painting convention despite the dingbat lady in the red pontiac sunbird who came onto the freeway thru Montreal from one of the inclined on-ramps hidden behind a "wall" and proceeded to shoot across my right front bumper. I was boxed in but had some freedom to brake lightly and managed to avoid a good thump and then woke her up with my horn. Grrr. She "started" and looked a little embarrassed but that didn't dissipate my shock and anger. Dingbat.

It was about 2 hours and 40 minutes door to door which included one "necessary" stop, lol. Sure beat the almost 4 hours it took to get there on the 13th. I got stuck on the highway when it was reduced to one lane at St.Albert through to Maxville (just before the Quebec border). That was an hour sitting in traffic. Funnily enough, it was surprisingly easy getting through Montreal at 2 in the afternoon. Go figure.

The show was awesome, despite the fact we couldn't start set-up 'til Thursday. We were hoping we could start on Wednesday night. That way we could at least lay out the booth and put stock under tables where we could pull from on the Thursday. Oh well, the best laid plans... everyone pitched in, though, and set-up went smoothly and was done by dinner. Yippee.

The show opened at 9 a.m. each of the three days. Ugh. 9-9 on the Friday (9-5 on Saturday and Sunday). Made for an incredibly long day. We were whacked. I'm not sure the foot traffic was as busy as last year, but it still never let up and we were kept hopping. We had translators in the booth this year which made it easier for those doing demos and for technical questions about product, etc. I was okay on cash and elsewhere as my "franglais" is passable and the customers were tremendous. They were happy, helpful with the language barrier and just so positive and friendly. It was a great
experience. Sunday, however, was slow and the couple of us in the booth were chatting (in English) and those coming into the booth quickly switched into English if they could. Mid-afternoon I was alone except for our translator who was tidying a corner when someone came into the booth and in rapid-fire French asked me something. Seen a deer caught in the headlights? Think that's probably what I looked like (and felt like), lol. I was horrified, lol. But the wonderful customer quickly realized what had happened and switched to English and we laughed about it and I gained my composure. I was at a total loss for any kind of language in that moment (believe it or not [grin]) I was so tired. Too funny.

Met lots of great people and artists and it was a great show.


P.S. - oh... and my soulmate brought me a bouquet of flowers (yellow carnations - my favourites) to welcome me home (and a PaintWorks magazine I had my eye on). I'm so spoiled!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Kolinsky Sable and Magpies

Absolutely nothing to do with each other, lol. Nothing.

But... having just updated about my Calgary trip the other day, it was still on my mind and I was thinking of the beautiful black and white birds I'd seen swooping across the skies and landing in trees and on rooftops. The first sighting riveted my gaze. I had to find out what they were. Closer inspection... they were magpies. Fascinating birds to me and conjured up the Windex commercial where they are talking and laughing raucously at the humans who clean their windows so well they end up walking into them. Gee a bird wouldn't do that, lol. But annoying to Calgarians who would just as soon religate this bird to any other province that would have them [GBG]. They had beautiful long tails and were just, well, striking. Have always liked the "bad boys", lol. Guess they're kind of like our Blue Jays or starlings and crows. Annoying to other birds and people, but striking and smart as whips.

And today, I decided to get my nails done. Yup. Imagine my surprise when the manicurist pulled out a Kolinsky Sable brush to apply the acrylic with. Now, I really shouldn't have been surprised, as many of our decorative brush companies made their start in the cosmetic brush industry. When I commented on her choice in brush, she pulled out another company's "bargain" brand nylon bristle brush and proceeded to tell me all about why the Kolinsky was superior to the other, lol. Yes, I was amused. Too funny.

Okay... off to go finish packing and sorting out my stuff for the Quebec show. Will drop my doggies off at my friend's in the morning then back home to pack the car.


Friday, October 8, 2010

Update on Elgin's Crop

It was fun. But it was 12 hours!

A 12 hour crop! Argh. Some of those ladies are REALLY focused, lol. I guess this is the "space" and time they get stuff done with families, etc. at home. Some just stayed at their own tables (full 3x6 rubbermaids for everyone) and kept their heads down and did layout after layout. Some, like one Stampin' Up rep, just cut and cut and cut... a whackload of assembly line cards, lol. Some looked for a little diversion and joined in on the classes. Tag, I was it, as no-one else followed thru for her (Victoria - the organizer of the charity crop). Good thing I did do all those last-minute cards/cutting/kits, lol (4 classes times 12 people per class times umpteen little pieces of paper, cardstock, chipboard, ribbon... I was cutting in my sleep, lol). It was really fun and the ladies really, really enjoyed and what was nicest? I got lots of compliments on projects and teaching style... Yup, definitely does leave a glow and feel good feeling. I pre-embossed a couple cards (easier for this situation). Just did basic, but fun cards to give them techniques and ideas that they could choose to "run with" on their own. You could hear and see the creative minds going on a couple of them for possibilities, lol. Too funny.

The following weekend (Oct 2) was World Cardmaking Day, so I taught a more-involved never-ending card plus a couple other simpler ones. Two pieces of cardstock and one piece of double-sided scrapbook paper and 3 cards later. An A2 Never-ending card... really complicated for scores but so freakin' cute!

I'll try to think of some other cards and do a few more classes for ScrapTease when the Quebec show is behind me. This is fun. Instant gratification almost with the papercrafts and happy attendees. Yup.


On the cusp of the next show

... I thought I'd better quickly update on the last. Ya, it happened a month ago, but what the hey, lol.

Ya, I've been back awhile, but been busy, and busy making busy, lol. Don't kid yourself tho', this ain't all from memory, lol. Made some shorthand notes and if you know me, ya know that meant lots of little pieces of paper... all over the place [GBG].


pick a number...

Yuch. This bed is SOOOO not for me . I mean, really, once you've "found"
your number it's kinda not "useful" anymore right? And let me tell you... if your partner's side of the bed is any kind of difference, it's like there's a "bar" up between the sides! Yup, guess it's that "line in the sand", the masking tape across the floor when you were little and shared a room with a sibling... the "boundary" to not cross or infringe upon... so all you bed hogs get over it, lol.

What am I talking about? Well, the "Sleep Number" bed. Imagine my surprise and yes, delight, upon walking into my room at the Radisson Calgary and exclaiming about the cool remote control lying on the bed! Oooooh, I can pick a number and have the best sleep ever. Heeheehee. What the heck is my number?! Four nights is so NOT enough to have found it (altho' I seem to be a "medium" somewhere after 55 and so not 100). Kinda like Goldilocks and the Three Bears, lol. Too hot, too cold, just right. Nope... don't wanna play with my bed, just wanna sleep.

Speaking of hot, cold, just right. No water on the last morning of my hotel! ARGH! My roommate got off without a hitch to catch her flight, but when I got up (an hour later) and so ready for a wake-me-up shower... no freakin' water! ARGHHHHH! Oh well, had some bottled water to wash my face and brush my teeth and thank goodness, they worked miracles and I had water an hour and a half later. Good thing I wasn't on a schedule and had a couple extra hours buffer before my friend came to pick me up to do a little shopping before my flight. Also had to UPS some boxes. Apparently, someone on my floor (5th) turned their hot water knob on the shower on FULL and it got stuck. Yup. Apparently when maintenance entered the room a 1/2 hour later it was like a sauna. Ya think? So off went the water to the floor while they worked on it. No wonder the trickle that came out of the tap had been scalding.

Some of the people I reconnected with at the show:

Maureen Unland
Val Dickie, a ToleFriends' Member
Carrie Mashon
Leslie Mayer
Janet Hornsby
Sue Richardson, Lorraine Fletcher and daughter Holly...
Carol from Paint for Joy (awesome travel teachers scheduled)...
Cindy Ohama - known for her
published books Those Blooming Bears, Cindy slowed down in painting/publishing for awhile due to family priorities (read: wee children). She is now doing fabulous colour pencil pieces and we'll keep nagging her, lol, to get them up somewhere for all to see. Too good to keep hidden to only a few.
Deb Antonick...
Florence Blois - a delightful lady
many more than that, yup, I just can't bring to mind right now.

The show was very small. Just under 200 registrants; only about a dozen booths. But it was warm (literally and figuratively, lol) and friendly. One booth was noticeably short on stock - Tracy Moreau's shipment must've been lost or misdirected but she did a fabulous job of pulling her classes together. Wouldn't you know it but the shipment showed up at the front desk the day after the show closed and many of us were checking out! Next year the Coast to Coast Eventing Team will have a show in Moncton, New Brunswick and then the
following year will head back out west. The Mississauga show will still be a regularly held event in the spring. I've already signed up for a class. A teacher I really wanted to take with happens to have a class booked at a time when the Trade Show will be closed so... yippee, skippee, I'm so in [grin].

Picked up a couple colour pencil packets from Cindy Ohama and brought back a large wooden mailbox for a friend, but other than that and a few more, ahem, luminarte paints for me... nothing much.

Quebec show in Boucherville starts Thursday next week so after this Thanksgiving weekend celebrations it'll be time to pack and get ready. Looking forward to it and will try to be better about blogging about it sooner.