Saturday, January 17, 2015

January 2015 market experiences, part II

I wised up on Sunday morning and requested a wake-up call.  Of course, I woke up ten minutes ahead of time and after I had waited for it, decided to go ahead and have my bath.  Naturally the phone rang then.  Ah, well.  (Come to find out, this hotel didn't have it automated, since the young man at the front desk informed me that he had called and I hadn't answered later that morning when I requested the shuttle to the market).  I'm a hot tea drinker so when I leave home, I give up the hope of an enjoyable cup of tea.  Usually hotels get the water hot enough, but then the wait staff fills the cup with water and brings it to the table and offers a selection of tea bags.  By then the water has cooled.  And heaven help you if the selection of teabags doesn't contain what you want (like Lipton or Earl Grey or English breakfast), because that means the water will get even cooler while the waitress goes to locate one of those teabags.  Just smile and say thank you.

Into the shuttle again and off to the convention center.  This time it's for a class with Laura Taylor of Aristeiea.  It's a Needledeeva Thanksgiving canvas.  Big Boondoggle!  I got there early enough to have an end seat, but again, the lighting is bright enough to not need any further illumination. However, other problems  happened.  Somehow, the canvases are in the convention center, but not at the class.  Also, there were not enough fiber kits or stitch guides.  (The stitch guides were emailed later and missing fibers will be snail mailed).  A miscommunication on a  massive scale occurred.  I did learn how to do a rose using silk ribbon, which was one of the reasons I had signed up for the class (the other was to meet Laura Taylor, who is one of the up-and-coming national needlepoint teachers).   The canvases did eventually appear.  Laura seems quite experienced and personable, but I was disappointed because this isn't the experience you expect at a class offered to professionals.  I don't know why I was disappointed, though, since I never stitch in classes.  I try a technique (like the silk roses), but I just can't get comfortably into my stitching position in class.  I'm the one watching like a hawk, though.  And I like the exposure to new fibers.

My ribbon roses:
Ain't they gorgeous???  (And amazingly those three were my first 3 attempts.  I almost broke my arm patting myself on the back!)  I keep reminding myself of the steps involved in producing them.

On to the show floor where I'm determined to start ordering.  First I go to the booths where I have special orders to make, just to ensure I don't somehow forget them.  I also used this as an opportunity to stop by designers where I have questions about previous orders.  Then I stopped by the company that does the copy-painting for Needle Nicely's designs.  When I purchased Needle Nicely from Trubey Walker of Trubey Designs, part of the deal I purchased were the designs that I had helped Trubey develop for sale at Needle Nicely.  These vary from sayings to some whimsical animals to shell and tassel designs.  They also include exclusive designs that Trubey has done since my purchase of Needle Nicely.  There are over 300 designs that can only be purchased from Needle Nicely.  I have a resident artist, but it isn't cost effective to have her reproduce previous designs.  She is busy doing custom designs or new designs for Needle Nicely. I needed to confer with the copy-painting company about their progress in (or lack of) production.  Then on to a logical approach to the exhibitors.

For those who think the idea of a needlepoint market is an exciting happening:  Picture a football field (inside, of course) with booths set up in aisles.  Put it on concrete but disguise it with carpeting with no pad.  That's a wholesale market.  Punishing on the feet and legs.  The decision-making is punishing on the brain.  Continue through this sensory bombardment for 2 and 1/2 days.  That spells utter exhaustion.  And you're spending money that can make or break your business's bottom line.  Have a good time!!!

And another evening of solitude, but this time watching the Broncos go down to infamous defeat.  I totally forgot about Downton Abbey.  I hope I manage to catch up somehow this next week.

Monday morning things happen later, so it's a piece of cake to arrive at the market for the 9am opening. Now for the big reveal which should be no great surprise:  Many shopowners will come early for a market so they can take classes, but rarely will they stay for the last day (Monday).  That's when they travel home (or on the Sunday night red-eye).  So people like me who like to schmooze with my friends the first two days of market can get serious on the last day, Monday.  It is a shortened day, but with almost no other buyers in your way it is possible to swoop through the market and accomplish miracles in ordering.  So much so that I finished, including my farewell hugs, at about 12:45 (the market closed at 2pm).  Then I went downstairs to the food court for my farewell slice of pizza.  While dining, I encountered a friend from North Carolina days.  While we were chatting (and before she managed to order lunch), we heard this low-key announcement: "There has been a reported emergency.  Please evacuate the area."  This was a really quiet announcement.   No sirens, no oooogahs, oooogahs.  Peg and I looked at each other and upon hearing the announcement again, allowed as how we would exit to our right.  Good that it wasn't really drastic since we left before everyone else.  I, of course, took my slice of pizza with me.

Here is my poor shot of the fire engines who soon arrived.

We were on "the back" of the convention center--the majority of the attendees were evacuated on the other side of the building.  Here is a security officer coming back up from contacting the firemen before their entry into the building.
These are the 6 firemen who went into the building to locate the fire.  About 8 minutes later, two of them returned, soaked.  They let us know that they had found the fire.  Word on the street is that someone threw a cigarette butt, obviously not out, into a men's restroom trash receptacle.  Naturally the convention center is a non-smoking zone in these times (unlike 20 years ago, when there were ashtrays on each booth's tables!!),

At that point, I had finished my pizza and, unlike everyone else, I didn't have to wait to re-enter the building. But I was on the back of the convention center and had to walk a city block to the right and then another city block around before I arrived at the light rail platform.  I apologize for not photographing the hordes of needleworkers who were assembled across the street from the convention center while they waited to re-enter the building (the authorities hadn't removed us from the back of the center--lucky us!!).

The first stop on the light-rail after the convention center was Encanto where the Heard Museum is.  Trubey and I had been there years ago when we did cash-and-carry markets on Camelback.  The American Indian exhibits are so compelling.  And the gift shop is a silver jewelry-lovers dream.  I have several pieces that I have purchased here.  Sadly, this time I was looking for Artie Yellowhorse pieces and they had none in their inventory.  (My husband was delighted!!)

Back to the light rail and to my hotel where I organized my price lists, class fibers, stretcher bars, and personal belongings so that I could easily pack everything.  My wake-up call was 4:30 am.
Sadly, hotels protect themselves and recommend 2 hours before a flight.  I left the hotel at about 5:05 am and went through the TSA line as a pre-approval (who knew?), so I got to sit in the gate area for my flight for an hour and 45 minutes.  Ah, well.  It's only sleep!  After a 3 hour wait in Atlanta, I arrived in Melbourne, FL at 5:15.  Then 50 minutes later I was home in Vero Beach.  It's always nice to travel and even better to return home!!

Now to wait for my purchases to arrive.


  1. Welcome back! What we do for love--and business! Waiting with you for pics of your purchases.

  2. Having been on both sides of the table at markets, I miss the excitement--don't miss the exhaustion! Can't wait to see what arrives in the shop.