Yes, I did! I am no longer a Bead & Button Show virgin.
BOY! Is that an event, the show, that is. So many people wearing so many amazing pieces of beaded art, people wheeling craft carts, displays of the most gorgeous pieces designed to make your chin hit the carpet.
Of course, idiot me had phone and camera and took one solitary photo!
And not even of jewelry....not even a good photo! Which only goes to show how overwhelmed I was!
There used to be a time I didn't go anywhere without a camera....methinks I need to get back into that habit!
Anyway....the show got off to a bit of a rough start for me....there was some not so pleasant stuff going on my first night that could have completely ruined my trip if I had let it.....but that seemed to be the idea. The next day my suspicions were confirmed by a few people...lol, it isn't paranoia if it's actually happening...I was met with it as soon as I walked into the showroom.
But you can't let these things get you down and my work shone through it all and I had a brilliant time.
It is rather un-nerving to be stood in line at Starbucks and have someone suddenly scream your name, and to have people wanting to have their picture taken with you. Freakish...lol! Also an incredibly rewarding feeling that my designs are giving people joy. I feel so lucky to be able to make a living from doing something that brings me joy and then to know for sure, in my face, that my work is appreciated.
I am now able to put so many faces/voices/laughs to the names on my Facebook friends list and include some people as firm real life friends. I met some of the most amazing designers...the icons of beading and you could have picked me up off the floor when they knew my work....and even 'admired' or 'loved' it!
On the health front I did extremely well at the show, I had lots of energy and was literally running around at some points....barefoot jogging through the skywalks. The food issue was a little troublesome at first...I swear if someone else had suggested a gluten free soup and salad I would have rammed it. My first day of GF food while travelling sucked however I got myself over to Millertime and found GF beer and bunless burgers...yay!
I did chance the fries....and they were a bit of a problem....next day I asked if they used the same oil for fries as he chicken nuggets and sure enough they do....bread crumb cross contamination! So, I felt the effects of cross contamination each day but nothing that ruined anything. Story got a little different when I got home and a week later I'm still recovering from the horrible effects of gluten build-up. But...it shall pass!
The whole trip made me do a lot of soul searching and thinking. Yesterday I posted pics of my art on Facebook, something I tend to keep hidden because that was what I was taught to do. I learned to hide my work/talent because a few people get all pissy about it...and sometimes take their frustrations out on my work by ruining it or stealing it. My first year's work at college at the end of year display was splashed with paint and every piece ruined. My second year someone went into the pottery studio and smashed a set of figurines I'd worked all year on. It has been explained to me, sometimes years later by the people who did these things that they didn't like that I was always top of my classes. *sigh*
So I've decided to not hide in a corner anymore, there will always be the haters who try to intimidate you out of existence and they can only do that if we let them. I have some interesting things coming up, some new things, some reincarnated things.
Watch this space :)
So....a big thank you to all the wonderful people I met at B&B with a special thank you to Shelley Gross, Suzanne Golden, Jill and June Wiseman, Jennifer Erlichs, Leora Mattila, Mandie Ainsworth, Amy Royster, Perry Bookstein, Kelly Stevenson, Lisa Kan and a myriad of others. Also a big thank you to the not so nice bunch as you gave me the push I needed to get out of the corner.