This crush of people is Vendor Night. It's sheer insanity every year. Not only do the Artfespians attend, but Teesha also opens it up to the public so it's basically a sea of humanity. The trick is actually getting to the tables that are lined up three deep. Last year, I had my nametag somehow ripped right off my chest! Anyway, shopping requires patience-I had to circle the room three times in order to get to see everything. I ended up not buying much-some prefab shrine and jewellery kits and vintage cloth measuring tapes from Small Studio Productions, a beautiful pendant from Stephanie Lee and a handmade wool bear with button eyes from Karen O'Brien of Quiet Companions.
My classes...day one was Mixed Media Naturalist with LK Ludwig. Here LK is showing us how to do techniques with chemicals. Somehow in reading the class desciption when I signed up, I missed the part about working with chemicals. Unfortunately, I can't wear latex gloves and since I wasn't paying attention, I didn't bring any I could wear. Luckily Mary and Katie were in my class and were able to aid me in dipping and neutralizing. It was pretty loud too-there were 27 people in the class and there was lots of hammering. It was an interesting class, but I am not fond of working with chemicals, (I have allergies) so I don't know that I would use those techniques at home. My book is nowhere near finished so it may be a long time before I will have pics to share.
Day two was the delightful Nina Bagley's "Book of Parlour Questions". That was a fun class. My seatmate, (sorry, her name slips my mind at the moment, though I want to say it was Sherry (?)) had hearing aids. She sat down and asked me what was going on. I had to laugh. She does what I usually do-sits next to someone she can ask to clarify if she misses something because she has a hearing impairment. I laughed and explained that if she thought I was going to be helpful in that way, she was barking up the wrong tree-I have a hearing impairment too, though most people never notice it. (Years of coping with it makes it hard for others to tell, unless they spend alot of time with me.) We had a laugh about that. Later when the hammering got crazy (we were bashing eyelets all day) she was able to take her hearing aids out to cut down on the noise. I wasn't so lucky! Though I worked like a demon, I did not manage to finish my book in class. I am almost finished it now though so soon I should have something to show you.
When I pulled up to the classroom in the morning, I parked and got out to rummage my trunk for my class supplies. While I had my head in the trunk, I could here this loud pounding of hooves, like galloping. I thought "What is that? There can't be horses here!" I stepped back to look and very nearly got side swiped by a huge deer racing by, hell bent for election! If we had collided, I am sure it would have meant some broken bones for me-that animal was scared and enormous! As it zipped past me, there was another car pulling up and about to make a right hand turn. They had to slam on their brakes to avoid grazing the deer on the passenger side. I just stood there for a minuted yelling "ON MY GOD!!" I was so stunned. Talk about a close call with mother nature! (Later, I laughed hysterically at the thought of what would have happened if I had got hurt and how much fun it would have been trying to explain that to BC Medical! "Uh yeah, I got side swiped by a deer...")
Day three's class was "The Box of Inspiration" with Kristin Steiner. (Sorry Kristin, this is not the greatest pic of you, but the only one I had!) When I walked into the class, I looked around to see if anyone had brought a hammer. No one had! It turns out, Kristin's class was an oasis of calm. I was so relieved I had chosen this class for my last day. (On the last day, everyone is pretty tired and I knew I should pick something within my comfort zone.) Kristin closed the door right away to block out the hammering that was happening down the hall (Bless you Kristin!) and she talked softly and calmly the entire time. The pace was slower, which was perfect-it was nice to feel relaxed. This class required some personal reflection and sharing and it was a nice way to wrap up my Artfest experience. I also got to meet some really cool people (*waves at classmates*) and finish up some trading.
During the class, Kristin mentioned that she was a quilter. I've been a quilter for 15 years. She also lives in South Carolina. The wheels got turning so I asked her the dreaded "Oh you're from (insert name of place) do you know...." question. I asked her if she knew my friend Jan Bode Smiley, who is also a quilter and author. I know that the quilting world, like the art world is a close knit community and if you don't know someone personally, you know of them. Sure enough, Kristin knew Jan. In fact, Kristin told me she was in both of Jan's books. At that point I had to laugh because so was I! Later, when we got home, we found we had actually shared a 2 page spread in one of the books. Small world! You just never know which of the threads that run through your life connect you to others.
My favourtie part of the class was learning about using these special fabric dyes to paint fabric and lace. I enjoyed playing with the dyes and seeing how soft and vintage-y they came out, Yesterday I spent an hour or so painting more fabrics and as soon as I get a chance, I am off in search of lace to dye.
My box is also a work in progress, but nearing completion. Since getting home from Artfest, I have been busy with family stuff and kind of tired. Now that Easter weekend is over, I hope to get back on track.
Tomorrow I will share photos from the show & tell. Stay tuned!