What a blast! I bought a lot of stuff and met a lot of interesting people. There is such friendly camaraderie in a group of people sharing the same interest. Even though I went by myself I never ate alone. Brae and I had dinner together Thursday night, before an awesome class we took, then had lunch together again on Saturday with a very nice couple she knows from a miniature group she's in. I had lunch Friday with some women I met at the show...had afternoon tea with an English couple I met, he is a master furniture maker who was very interesting to just sit and listen to (I loved his accent!)...had a long dinner one night with a charming woman from Miami who owns a miniatures business and has been coming to the show for twenty years. I would sit at a table in the hotel restaurant for only a minute before I'd hear "I saw you at the show, do you mind if I join you?" I'm so glad the show was as much about great people as it was great miniatures. I even met a couple from my hometown who recognized me from the airport; we were on the same flight.
I'm glad the trip turned out to be just as much about the people I met as it was about shopping.
It was great to meet people whose blogs I read, online shops I've patronized, or who I've conversed with on online forums...seeing their work in person is so much better than pictures. Brae had the needlepoint projects she's been working on in her bag...her Navaho rug is absolutely incredible.
A couple of people tapped me on the shoulder to tell me they recognized me from the picture on my blog and love my work...I'm so glad I dyed my hair blue for the trip, even though I was feeling pink. I wish it weren't so crowded at the show, I would have loved to chat a little longer.
Also...a big thank you to Brae for playing chauffeur and being a great shopping companion at different points during my trip. :D
The shows were fantastic. I've been to the smaller fall Bishop show, and the show in St. Louis hosted by the miniatures museum, but this was my first time at the big Bishop International Show, the IMA show, and a Three Blind Mice Show. The Bishop International show was HUGE...people from all over the world were both exhibiting and attending. Almost everything at the Bishop show was out of my price range but I felt honored to see the work, it was like visiting a museum. I was awed and humbled by the artisans. The two smaller shows were great...fabulous artisans and also some booths with vintage pieces...not as overwhelming as the big show, just as interesting, and friendlier on my pocketbook.
Here's a quick picture of me (still contently smiling!) with my loot...I spread it out over the coffee table when I got home to show my husband and daughter. I'll post close up pictures of everything over the course of this week.
I didn't take any pictures at the shows because it was too crowded and I was worried I wouldn't see all the booths if I kept stopping to get pictures of everything I fell in love with (which was practically everything!).