Thursday, March 05, 2015

Market: Before, During, and After

The whirlwind is finally over. Whew! Only giving myself a month to prepare for Market was a silly thing to do, but I managed to get through it with all the hair still on my head! My house was in a constant state of disaster, my head always full of lists and calculations.

Was it worth it? EVERSOMUCH!

I can't begin to tell you what a fabulous time I had, and I am counting down the days until next year's market! I kept so busy while there that my poor camera was mostly neglected, so I apologize in advance for the low quality (camera phone) of most of the pictures, and the complete lack of views into other designer's exhibit rooms. Go check out Kathy Barrick's blog for peeks at our room, and watch for Paulette Stewart to post; she was spotted with her gorgeous camera snapping pictures all around the place.

And now, without further ado...

Spring Flame Pincushion (a Market exclusive, available through shops that purchased from me there, or wait until April when I'll release it to everyone else) in progress...
The boxes and stacks of paper, early on in the process. By the end, I had crammed TEN large flat rate boxes with charts and THREE large UPS boxes with models.
My sweet, supportive Farmboy hand-stamped every single one of my bags. While playing poker on his smart phone and eating Oreos, no less.
There has been a trend for a few years now, of people taking pictures of their feet at PDX, our very own Portland, Oregon airport. The carpet has quite a following, and is even featured on shirts, mugs, onesies, and anything else the marketing people can come up with. After being in constant use since the mid-1980's, they are in the process of tearing it out and replacing it with new.

Even though it was way too early, and I had been up since 2:30am, I had the presence of mind to join the fun, and caught both the old and the new.
My layover was in Dallas, where the carpet is much calmer and noticeably more stained and in need of a good vacuuming.
But I'll give them some slack, because they were in the middle of a "blizzard".
Oy, those southerners were beside themselves and couldn't get enough of their staff to venture out to de-ice the planes. After sitting on the tarmac for almost 3 hours, we finally were able to leave. I count myself blessed though, there were a good 50+ airplanes in line after us, and they started cancelling flights soon after we left.

Once in Nashville, my drive to the Embassy Suites in Franklin was uneventful. The hotel was very impressive to this country bumpkin. I really don't get out much, so everything from the pond and stream and the ninc floors facing the inner atrium made me want to stand and stare.
I restrained myself though, and hurried up to the room that Kathy and I were to share. Being over three hours later than planned, I was relieved and thankful to find all of my models already set up by Kathy and Carol Sims. And in the back room I found Donna Gabbard, one of my model stitchers, already up to her elbows in charts, opening boxes and getting them organized.

I could have never done it without them!

I can't believe I'm sharing this with you, but it is the only picture I got that had both Kathy and I in it. That's Donna in the middle. Carol was standing in the exhibit area laughing at us. :)
And then, the icing on top of my loooooong day, I met Beth Wiksen, one of Kathy's model stitchers, who has a twin version of my cross stitch tattoo on her ankle. She was embarrassed to show me, but I was so surprised and excited! I want to start a trend... who's next?
After finally crashing in my bed much too late (thank you Jeannine and Jean Lea for making me stop to eat), I tossed and turned most of the night in anticipation of the big day Saturday.

There's Carol waiting to help someone with Kathy's gorgeous designs. Seriously, have you seen her new releases? My favorites were Bird's Eye View and Good Intentions. I wish I had time to stitch more than my own models. There were so many drool-worthy designs at Market.
This lady is Tracy Horner's mother, Cindy Wasner. They were in the next room, and during a slow spell, she brought over her in-progress His Eye is on the Sparrow. She has changed some colors and is using several greens to a great effect.
Speaking of His Eye is on the Sparrow, you guys... I can still not believe what interest it has generated. What seemed like a silly and frivolous venture on my part (who else, in their right mind, would buy and stitch something so large?) really appears to be legitimately liked by people in all parts of the cross-stitch world. Thank you so much for making my 100th design more than memorable!

Jean-Lea from Attic Needlework in Arizona brought her own version of Sweet Land of Liberty along with her to show me. See how tiny? I can't remember the exact count, but she stitched it on something like 50/60 unevenweave. I LOVE how tiny and sweet it looks next to my big ol' model.
And here I am... on day two, feeling much more rested and ready for the final day.
By far, the highlight of my show was the many encounters with other designers, who previously I had only had email conversations with and admired from a distance. Sharing an exhibit room with Kathy Barrick was a dream. She is such a kind and generous person. I couldn't have asked for a better first-Market experience. Having spent the most time with her, it just kills me that it was all during the busy and tired times and I have almost zero photo proof. If you ever get a chance to see her in person, you really will love her. Not only brilliant in creativity and design, but downright lovely in personality.

On Sunday night, after we had all busted our butts getting everything packed up, a large group of us went to dinner at Carraba's. I haven't laughed as hard as I did that night in a very long time, and it was mostly thanks to Paulette Stewart. We always thought there was a chance we were sisters separated at birth, but to meet in person and truly have a connection was amazing. She is just as charming and funny in person as she is on her blog. We tried very hard to get a good selfie at dinner, but the lighting was low and our cell phones just wouldn't co-operate. So I took liberties with my photo editor... I like imagining that we really met in 1860 at a campaign speech by Abraham Lincoln.
Here's the whole group... Back row, from left to right: Pam Reed of Olde colonial Designs, Tina Richards Herman of Shepherds Bush, Ann Robbins of R&R Reproductions, ME, Jeannette Douglas of Jeannette Douglas Designs, Sharon Verbos of The Purple Thread, Linda Stolz of Erica Michael Designs, Alma Allen of Blackbird Designs, Brenda Gervais of With Thy Needle and Thread, and Norma who came with R&R. The five ladies in the center (left to right) are: Paulette Stewart of Plum Street Samplers, Mary who came with The Purple Thread, Katrina who came with Plum Street Samplers, Pat Ryan of R&R Reproductions, and Teri Richards of Shepherds Bush.
Continuing the trend of air travel with Nashville's carpet...
The entire country from Tennessee all the way up to Wisconsin was blanketed in snow.
The last layover was in Minneapolis.
And once my feet were on the ground in Oregon, it was all I could do to walk and drive a safe speed all the way home to the warm hugs of my Farmboy and babies.

What a journey it was for me. And a big step forward in this needlework career, truly. I came home having barely peeked into anyone else's rooms, but nontheless very inspired by the atmosphere and conversations with so many people who speak my language!

Only about 360 days to go until the next time...


Patti said...

Oh Beth! I am so thrilled that you were able to go and enjoy the fruits of your many years of labor. You are an inspiration to all of us stitchers at home :)
I was able to see Kathy's models at market night at Inspired Needle and Birds Eye View and Good Intentions both went home with me :)
I love your "His Eye is on the Sparrow" and plan to stitch many of the motifs, but lately I've been thinking that the entire piece should be my first retirement project. I have 10 years to plan ;)
Blessings, Patti

Sharon Twist said...

So great to see so many at the show who are stitchers and can appreciate each others works of art. You are all blessed to have such a relaxing gift and can share it with all those of same interest. I am so glad you got to enjoy your time together with friends and get away from the farm and see some of the big world. Proud to know you, girl. You ran the marathon and accomplished all you dreamed to see and do. Hopefully, you are up to go next year and know the ropes of the trade.

Jennifer M said...

Beth, so awesome and thrilled for you. I know you will treasure the experience and plan for many more markets. A deserving getaway:) Keep doing what you have been, your wonderful!

Robin said...

What a wonderful first market experience you had! It will be an experience that you won't forget.

Robin in Virginia

PS One of the gals at the stitching retreat I attended last weekend was working on your His Eye is on the Sparrow. It looked fabulous up close and personal.

Katrina said...

So much fun to meet you!!!!!! Can't wait until next year :-).

Vickie said...

Good for you! Thank you for sharing. I enjoyed this post. Every bit of it.

Von said...

Oh, Beth, I'm so glad you had such a great experience at Market! Thanks for writing an awesome post and sharing a bit of it with your readers. :D

Cathy B said...

So glad you had the opportunity to experience it firsthand!

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