Saturday, February 14, 2004

Ahhh... The Joys of Being a One Dragon Show....

It’s almost 1 am here on Friday the 13th and I just got all my updates sent over for my website. Entering all the addresses of the shops that ordered from me in Nashville (so that stitchers know where to get their claws on our two special sample designs) has made me almost cross-eyed, but it was fun to also put up the picture of me with a SWORD!! It was so COOL to wear one all weekend, even if it was heavy enough to give me a new appreciation of what real warriors had to lug around.

Nick and I decided to switch our “date night” to tomorrow night anyway, so I slogged on with my HTML code and got the first one in my Generosity/Elemental dragons up on the site. After getting so much feedback from stitchers all over the world, I figured that the honour system would work best rather than forcing people to give to just one charity. I tried to also include some ideas of how people could help/contribute in non-financial ways... so we shall see what stitchers think.

Earlier tonight we had some friends of ours over for pizza and so that all our kids (and the Big Kids too) could watch Lion King 1 1/2 to see if it was worth buying. After being SO disappointed with STITCH when it came out directly to DVD, I vowed we’d always rent one first to see. I laughed harder than I did at some of the antics in Nashville!! The DVD was HILARIOUS!!! Watching Nick twitch when Timone started to hum “It’s a Small World” was priceless. He and I got stuck for over 25 minutes in the finale of that ride when we went together about 10 years ago and the song is a joke/form of torture for him. I also thought that a Riverdancing warthog was worth anything they might charge for my own copy, so the girls have decided that would make a much better Valentine’s present for me than roses which “go all mushy after days and days”! Such thoughtful children!

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!!!

Thursday, February 12, 2004

Back and getting into the swing of things...

Well, this is actually the first quiet moment I have had since leaving for the show in Nashville to gather my thoughts together.... sorry to my friends and even my sister who called to find out if I had actually made it back in one piece... since there was no blog to check!!

The show itself was SUCH fun!! I had a local seamstress make up a grey leather/suede vest for me to wear with my long black jeans and high black boots. An absolute angel in the USA (thanks Jeffery/Mr. Tink!) brought me a sword that he uses when teaching theater combat. It weighs as much as a real sword, but it isn’t edged. Many of the actors have to wear it on their backs and draw it that way... but I have such long legs that I wore it at my hip! It was SOOOOoooooo Cool to swagger around with a sword all weekend and raise a few eyebrows. I think some shop owners were even worried that my 2 Dollar Store tattoos were real!! I am definitely more cut out to be a warrior than a princess!!

I taught a class to shops on how to teach Illustrative Blackwork to stitchers, which was great fun, and spent the rest of the weekend either selling designs or hanging out with some of the zaniest people in the industry. One of the things that makes attending market so special is the fact that I get to build friendships with the stores who carry my designs instead of just business relationships. 18 of us taking over a traditional room at a sushi restaurant was a lot of fun too. I did discover that my legs just don’t collapse that far under the itty-bitty, low tables. I just stuck my feet straight out and tickled Connor’s armpits all evening. This was also the first time I really had a chance to see a bit of Nashville, including the Country Music Hall of Fame and “the Mother Church of Country”.

Standing for most of the weekend and then a long layover in Toronto before getting squished by the passenger in front of me putting the chair back certainly took its toll. I got home to feet that had almost no ankles left showing on the inside of my feet and strange bruising which have luckily returned to normal now.

The girls had a wonderful time getting stranded at their Grammy and Papa’s in the snowstorm that hit Moncton Friday night after Nick ran them down. His training session on the Saturday was canceled, but the roads were so tricky down near where his Mom lives that she just told him to stay put and kept them a second night. They had a blast!! Bethany and Erin pounced on me as soon as they woke up on Tuesday morning and I think they have been my shadows every waking moment since then. At least the next trip we do is as a family!!

Now that I am back, the Milk Maritime cows will keep me busy with 2 big projects while I get the extra orders shipped out and the last 2 of the new designs to my distributors. I was SO nervous about the reaction to the Runekeeper Saga, since it is the first mix of story and stitching that I know of on this scale, but the reaction was very positive. Most shops told me that they really appreciated my efforts to produce a quality product and still keep the price reasonable.

We had SO much fun, that I am already planning some more magic and mayhem for the Nashville show next year, but right now I need to pay attention to closer deadlines such as getting my Dragon of Fire up on the website tomorrow and getting things done before I teach in Myrtle Beach on the 27th!!

It IS good to be back in my own bed and have my “cave” to hide it to get stuff done!