Because it is smaller and more focused, we have a chance to really speak to the vendors and learn about their products rather than getting a 60 second canned script in a booth as we fly by. Many of the vendors teach classes and workshops and often times provide us with samples to take back to out stores to show our customers.
This past weekend was the spring show and I had a packed schedule of classes and workshops; and although it was a lot of fun, it was also exhausting so it has taken me a few days to catch up. I think I can now share some of what I did with all of you and see what you think of the products and projects. Please leave a comment below to let me know what you like.
Friday was my first full day of classes. We started at 8:00am with an overview of some of the vendors and load our goody bags with fun samples of product to try. It's a great way to test out new adhesives, look at the quality of the products we may not already carry, and get a peek at some new lines that are going to be released.
At 9:00, my first class started with Tombow. Marie Browning, CZT, who has written several books geared toward Zentangle, was the instructor of a class called Pencil Potential. She is a great teacher and I really enjoyed the class and learned a few new techniques that I plan to re-teach.
At 10:45, I was in my next class with Little B. If you don't know who Little B is, you will. They produce punches, dies, 3-d embellishments and washi tape. In fact, if you have bought any washi tape from us in the past 6 months - it was probably from Little B! Their products are great and affordable. They were very generous in class and let us each take home FIVE of their punches!
They gave us a short break for lunch - we won't talk about the food other than to say it was hotel food. We were not impressed.
At 1:00pm I went into a Copic class taught by Marianne Walker. It was called Coloring Line Drawings and it was really amazing. We started with a photo that had been converted into a line drawing on the computer to somewhat resemble a coloring book image and then she taught us to match the colors in the photo and color it to get a finished work of art. I was very skeptical when she gave us a photo of a black & white dog (Rupert) and told us that would be our project... Black & White are two of the hardest colors to render in marker! But when all was said and done; I was slightly impressed with myself.
Moving on the the next class - I was already feeling like it was 7:00 at night - at 2:45 I had a class from Imagine Crafts (Tsukenieko). It was an art journaling class that was very chaotic. They provided a bunch of products I had not worked with before like the Stazon Glaze and Creative Medium and Pico Embellisher but because of the limited time and variety of mediums we really didn't finish anything. I will need to go back and play with the products on my own and see how I really like them. Kim took a similar class with them to make Mixed Media cards and she really enjoyed it, so I am leaving the messy stuff to her.
At 4:30 (yes, it's only 4:30 and I am already dragging), I was able to take a class with Heidi Swapp. In all these years I have never met her before and she really is a very nice person. We were given a bunch of her Memorydex products to work with and she had everyone in the room crying when she told a story about why she felt memory keeping was so important. Not kidding - there wasn't a dry eye in the room.
The concept of the Memorydex is not new - we did altered Rolodex files years ago - but her take on it was really great. By using her "dex" cards or re-purposed Project Life cards, she adds one memory to a card each night. It can be a quote, a quick note about what happened that day or something she is thankful for. It then goes in the Memorydex behind the monthly divider and once a week she adds small photos if she took any to the mix as well. So similar to Project Life but on a smaller scale and more about the journaling.
Is this day ever going to end? No. It's just time for a break for dinner. We couldn't handle another round of hotel food so I tagged along with several other store owners, including Tracie from Papercraft Clubhouse, to a quick dinner at Panera Bread. Then it was back to work.
My evening workshop was with Impression Obsession. The owner, Mitra, is an absolute doll. I met her years ago and have taken classes from her at every show. She even came to teach at The Inspiration Station a few years ago. The project was a great Summer Beach Box Card and thankfully she pre-cut all of the tiny die pieces for us so all we had to do was stamp, color and glue. Which was hard enough after such a long day! Not only did she do all of that work she was also incredibly generous and gave us EVERY die and stamp used in the project so we could go home and re-teach it! I have added it to the calendar for June (it will take me that long to die cut all the pieces for you!).
Class ended at 10pm and you would think my day was over - but no. Because I was late calling to book the hotel, it was sold out so I had to drive home... then be back in the morning for my next class.
To be Continued...