Thursday, June 6, 2013

All's Well That Ends Well

In Which Our Heroine Teaches Classes, Sells Kits, Makes New Friends, Spends Time With Old Friends, And Finally Has Her Faith In People's Decency Restored. And Then Has A Field Trip.

I taught a class each of Sunday, Monday and Tuesday evenings, and then Wednesday afternoon, immediately followed by Meet The Teachers which I think I shall have to experience another time for the full immersion, since my table faced away from all the others (I was an end cap to the row of tables) and I experienced only my small part and saw absolutely nothing else, which I'm led to believe involved the liberal use of elbows, but I can't confirm that.

I thought my classes went well, even the ones about which I had had my doubts: the class with only one person (who was quite delightful so that it wasn't weird as it can sometimes be, which is why I generally won't do it), as well as the class that was almost full, in which I had practically nothing to do as everyone was pretty experienced and didn't in any ways overburden me with desperate pleas for help. If half the people had been less experienced beaders, it would have been a different story.

I'm so touched by the students who have previously bought kits and/or patterns, and who signed up for my classes too.

Teaching is always enjoyable for me, and this show only reinforced that.

I had thought I'd be quite the tourist during my long empty days; however except for an outing along the Riverwalk in which I looked for a restaurant for lunch and was slightly weirded out by how uninhabited and quiet the area was, I wasn't actually [much of a tourist]. Turns out there was quite a lot left to do to prepare for both my classes as well as for Meet the Teachers since it was immediately preceded by a class.

I did make a field trip to a bead store in Milwaukee (Eclectica), which turns out to be in the same strip mall as a wonderful yarn store, and stopped by a grocery store to get some fruit, but that's about it.

I met the incredibly talented and delightful Martina Nagle, as well as a host of people whose last names I don't remember, websites I don't know, so I can't give them shout outs. Petra, Martina's friend, Cheryl from Chicago originally from Philly, Melissa Grakowsky who not only is uber-talented, but also young and gorgeous, the one who does quilling with beads, Melanie from the UK who probably views size eleven seeds the same way I view size sixes (her work is all in ridiculously tiny beads, fifteens and smaller) - yeah, the list goes on.
 This is the only picture I took once things got going; it's from either my Monday or Tuesday class showing how well the kit slings worked (very well). I'm pretty sure more people were impressed by these displays than by my beading.

Two things would make them even better:

  1. Something to separate the two sets of kits on each "shelf". I actually thought about it as I was designing them, but as it involved hand-sewing, I was less than excited, so omitted them. It wouldn't be hard though.
  2. WHEELS. Two loaded displays in each hand carried from the Hyatt to the Delta Center is more exercise than I needed at that time in that part of my arms. I'm really sore today!
Other than that, I thought they worked out pretty well for prototypes. If I made another set, I'd work on my sawing accuracy (pieces of PCV that were supposed to be a certain size were only ever approximately that size), and experiment with paints to get a more permanent finish. The paint scrapes of if you look funny at them.

As I was hauling my stuff to Meet the Teachers, I saw to my horror that one of my samples had come loose, and another had disappeared completely. I dropped the displays and retraced my path, to no avail. Clearly the necklace had been picked up. I made a noise in the meet and bead area in the Hyatt, asked at Lost and Found, asked about it at the B&B registration desk, nothing, nada, no necklace.

When it wasn't returned immediately, I hoped that the person who picked it up and KEPT IT would burn in the atheist version of hell (I think that pretty much amounts to feeling very guilty about not doing the right thing). I was annoyed, to say the least.

After Meet the Teachers (which ended at eleven), I had a bite and a drink with a few people (the utterly charming Anne Mitchell, the crazy talented Gail Crosman Moore, and the delightful Amanda someone, sorry, didn't catch your name!) at the Hilton, which is at the opposite side of the Delta Centre from where I was staying. By the time that was over, it was quite cold, so the skywalk, or skyway, or whatever the covered passageway between the two hotels via the convention centre is called, was the only possible route back. Plus as I said, downtown is quiet, and at that time of night the only people out were odd men not appearing to be going anywhere.

When I got to the part of the skyway that belongs to my hotel. It. Was. Locked.

I'd have to walk back about two blocks to get out of there, and then walk those two blocks in the cold. Not a fun prospect.

I did the stamping of the foot, the gnashing of the teeth, the groaning of "Oh shiiiiiT!" at which the phone on the wall rang.

It was like one of those movies where Colin Farrell answers a public phone and then there's this hostage situation, or something, except really it wasn't; turns out I hadn't noticed the sign saying that closed circuit cameras were in operation.

On the phone was an extremely nice man who unlocked the door for me.

Back at the hotel, my necklace still had not been turned in.

Back in my room, I tallied the evenings takings and if there had been zero expenses associated with going to B&B, like buying materials for kits, the hotel room, gas and food and so on, it would have covered about three quarters of my new furnace and air-conditioner. Not so shabby anyway.

Naturally, the morning after the night on which I went to bed the latest my entire stay, even though every other day housekeeping didn't come near my room until mid-afternoon on every other day (which truly wasn't ideal), they freakin' WOKE ME UP this morning.

My necklace still hadn't been turned in at the Hyatt.

Nor at B&B registration, so I packed my car and as I was about to leave, an email from B&B Registration arrived: my necklace was found.

Turns out it was at the Eclectica booth which was not along the path from my room to the Ballroom at the Delta Centre. I bet someone picked it up, was going to keep it, heard the noises I made about how someone who keeps things that were accidentally dropped should rot in hell, was too embarrassed to be seen handing it in, and so left it somewhere that they knew it would be found.

Alternately, it magically levitated from the skywalk when I switched hands, and then flew all the way back to the Hyatt because it was so taken with the vintage beads at the Eclectica booth.

And by the way the carpet in the second room (oh yeah, they gave me another room because my first room had ANTS and carpets so filthy that after sitting on them, my knees, the front of my feet and the front of my toes were black. Ick) were filthy too.

Since the show floor opened after I was leaving (my departure at this time was on purpose; I don't feel I should be trusted around that many shopping opportunities), I decided to make a couple of stops on the way home, so I stopped at Studio Beads in Deerfield where I spent rashly with abandon (it was great; they had twenty percent of seed beads including all the expensive ones I treated myself to), and then stopped at the Frank LLoyd Wright house and studio in Oak Park for a tour.
I mostly missed rush-hour and even made pretty good time getting home.

I hope I can do it again next year. Perhaps if I practise self-restraint all year, I'll even allow myself to stay and shop, but I think it might be dangerous.

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