Okay, did I get carried away my first day at the Vendor Fair? Maybe a little, but it was awfully fun dumping it all out on the bed and rolling around in it. Well, except for the part where the glue dots got stuck in my hair. Still though, getting that early admission really kicked some conventioneer ass. There were some amazing discount booths this year, most notably SEI (and don't we all love SEI? Now don't we love it more when 12x12 albums are five bucks and brads are $1 a pod (or whatever they call those tubey things they come in.)) and Queen and Co. I told myself this would be the only trip I was going to take to the Vendor room, but well, we'll get there as time moves on...
Classes I took:
Good Friends Mini Book
Felt Fusion Mini Album
Fun-Filled Friday Night Crop
4 Album Enhancing Techniques
Send-Off Saturday Night Crop
First, the crops: Friday night was especially fun. I really liked the specials various vendors offered during the crop. The chaos was invigorating--the crowd just seemed to form like a cloud around anyone unloading merchandise. I was pleased to get a great deal on some Technique Tuesday stamps I'd been eyeballing (50% off! Whoooo! It was missing a stamp I had no use for anyway--all the others were perfect.) and a more portable lap desk to take to crops at friends' houses where I can sometimes grab a seat on a couch instead of trying to fight the pain in a standard chair. To date, I have only found 2 kinds of chairs that really "work" for my spine: a "geri" chair (short for geriatric)--hideous plastic covered reclining chairs you've seen in hospital waiting rooms. If you've ever had a friend or family member skirt (or succumb) to death in ICU, you've likely slept in one of these. The other chair? A nursing chair with accompanying rocking ottoman. Much more attractive, but also much more expensive so I don't really expect others to have them, or at least not for long--most people get rid of them when the kids wean. Anyway, even if they did have them, it's not like you can really push them up to a table to work. Hence, new cool lapdesk? Rules. It's got a cutting mat, plus pouches for all of your nifty goodies. I haven't loaded it up yet, so I'm curious to see how well it closes when it's full, but overall, I am pleased. I wasn't one of the first in line so I missed out on the really great messenger bags, but my roommate, Jen got one. There was one drawback, we found...the bag was rather stinky, reeking, as it was, of some kind of crazy chemicals undoubtably used in the production of said bag. The problem was easily solved by having the open bag enjoy a slumber party in the closet with my weird-scented t-shirt (I seem to have let the laundry mildew last load. Oops.) and by morning all was well again.If you look carefully in this picture, you can see that I'm finishing off the Queen and Co. Felt Fusion mini album. Really fun class led by the head Queen at the Co. (I'm sure he hates that joke, but who can resist?) At the end of the class he showed of some neat cards made using the felt flower edging coupled with brads. I couldn't resist making my own version. They were just a first try so they are a little off kilter looking, but I do like the black background with the bright felt colors. Nifty!
Did I mention the goodiebags? All of the crops had them! We got magazines of course, plus little surprises from a nice assortment of vendors. The one item that struck us as a little strange was the inclusion of an extremely large number of purse-shaped eyelets. Think ten packages per person! They're nice brads, but who can use 10 whole packages? Don't be surprised, Fiskateers I owe surprises to, if you see some headed your way shortly. Might as well share the wealth, right? The bags also contained some little stamp pads, page kits, coupons, great stuff! It really made the fee worthwhile and made me feel better about the fact that I had to leave early from the crops. I was just too exhausted and the pain was so distracting, I couldn't work. Saturday night, my hands didn't even want to grip the tools. :( Sad, but you know, not really. Both days I managed to walk around carrying so much weight in purchases, my doctor would smack me on the head and call me an idiot. Both days I made it to every one of my classes. All in all, I was incredibly lucky to have two great spine days in a row! Lots of traction and bed time between classes (and, yes, I admit--I had to take the maximum allowable dose of most of my meds) kept me going strong. Sure, by Sunday I was ready to collapse and it took me a full week to recover physically, but dammit, my spine finally gave me a timely break and I'm thrilled. I want to publicly thank all my friends--you know who you are--who were kind enough to leave the crops long enough to walk me back to my room. The direct route between the convention center and the Hilton is a dark desolate alley with a train barrelling through it periodically, so I was really grateful to have an escort. It takes me forever to get from point A to point B, I know--thanks for being so patient. Poor Chris had the longest trip with only one functioning elevator and a card key that malfunctioned. The service at the hotel was uncharacteristically slow that night, too. I must have looked pathetic too because a couple of passers went to the desk to ask for help for me, as well as Chris, plus I made a couple phone calls to the service desk before my key was magically fixed electronically and all was well.
Before I close on the subject of crops, I do have to mention the abundance of prizes given out. While no one I know won any of the drawings (darn.) my friend Barbie actually won a prize for most money spent at the vendor booths. I won't share the actual total here, but I feel much better about my indulgences now.
More class reviews will be forthcoming! I apologize that these posts are coming so slowly, but between all the things I do and the days I lose to the pain, sometimes I feel like time is reeling backwards. Be patient with me, please, and I'll get there.