There is nothing like being home!
I arrived late last night - around 10:30 PM - hungry and of course couldn't sleep. I did manage to sleep some, but I've been up for a couple of hours already and ready to go!!!!!
So what happened yesterday? Up for my last breakfast at the hotel. Funny how some people will say - "I'm so tired of the same breakfast". Seriously??? There is lots of choice - I filled up every day with the buffet and how many people vary what they have for breakfast at home? You know you've been in one place too long though when the wait staff practically knows you by name and they picked up the tab on the last day which isn't that big of a deal considering that I had two $5 coupons (for not having my room made up each day). But still - the buffet was $18 US per day! Plus tax and tip!
Then I was off to the Festival for one last roam through the vendors and a last look at the quilts that I hadn't seen yet.
I arrived at the Convention Center with time to spare so I just found a chair by one of the doors and waited. Chatted to a couple of people, but more importantly, I had a catalogue with a bunch of long arm pantographs and well - there was lots of eye candy in that catalogue. The big question of the day was - could I sneak in one last time with my Market badge or was I going to have to cough up $12. And there were crazy people who started lining up at 9:15 AM - doors opened at 10 AM. An extra 45 miinutes on your feet to wait - no thank you!
The staff were much more diligent about checking badges this day because many people bought tickets for the day and they all had to be scanned. But I sort of concealed my badge by my scarf and worked my way in. The minute I was in - that badge came off - never to be seen again. Apparently, Rich made it in as well.
I had made a list in numerical order of the booths so it was an easy process to follow along the trail. When I arrived at the first booth, I realized that this person was an author and had a book. The two patterns I wanted were in the book so a better deal to buy the book. A quick call to The Hobby Horse and the book is now in the store waiting for me - I didn't have to carry the book home, it didn't come out of my US budget and cost way less. Yeah - one down - nine to go. Thanks Joyce!!!!!!
I worked my way through the list one by one. I did make TWO impulse purchases. Technically one wasn't an impulse as it had been on my list, but it will be very useful for a class I am teaching so I bought it for that reason.
Oh yes - at one point, I needed to use the ladies room. I think there is only ONE set of washrooms in that entire hall on the main floor. Which is totally crazy with a bunch of women! I turned the corner and so many people, but I got in the line. The cleaning staff were there and the male janitor came out of the men's room and said to us - it's all yours!!!! He was pretty funny because he had to make sure the men were out and he was joking about how the last man was in one of the stalls for a long long time! The line went way faster and back to the show!
The booth where I was going to throw caution to the wind and buy several things - OK - a lot of things - well turned out that the owner and I have a sort of relationship - the items are being shipped and well - we are chatting about the price. Yeah - that saved a bit of cash as well.
As I was filling out the customs form on the plane - do you know that I barely brought home any receipts. Yep - if you use your credit card - the receipts are e-mailed to you. I wonder how that works for customs???
I was walking past a book booth and a book that I wanted caught my eye. The place was jammed but I wiggled my way in and got the book. As I was standing in line in the aisle to pay, a woman walked by and said - that is a good book, but way cheaper on Amazon. I didn't believe her (that it was available on Amazon). I thought for two seconds and put the book back - it was a very HEAVY book. A quick check on my phone and yep - it was $60 US in that booth and $52 CDN on Amazon. That book stayed in the booth. And I didn't have to carry it home - it is big. I'm going to put it on my Christmas book list and again - it didn't come out of my US budget!
The one thing that would make life easier for us Canadians is better roaming service. Well not better, but cheaper. I bought a phone package and a data package - while it wasn't cheap - it was so worth it to have access anywhere I wanted. I know they had WiFi at the convention center and the hotel, but this way - I didn't have to worry and I could call home when I wanted. That was so worth the money, but the package is for a month. Why not make week long packages for half the price?????? Hey Bell Canada - are you listening?????
I finished my shopping shortly after noon and I had to be back at the hotel to catch a ride to the airport with Rich. That gave me about two hours to check out the last of the quilts. There were MANY MANY exhibits. Some of the quilts - I just zoomed by and others I had a quick peek at. I don't want to sound jaded, but all those heavy back ground quilting fills are starting to look like each other. I think I took one or two pictures of quilting. I realized I was looking at colors. And only the bright ones merited a peek from me. But I did get loads of inspiration - my head is swimming with ideas to design.
I look at all those beautifully appliqued quilts - yes - I am in awe of the makers. But frankly - I don't really care for them. But give me a big quilt made from teeny tiny blocks and I am in my glory!!!! My camera battery was dying but I managed to get through the entire display of quilts and took all the pictures I wanted. Yeah!!!!
Although I didn't buy too much, my back was getting tired at the end from carrying the stuff. I was glad to get to the hotel, get my luggage and sit down while I packed everything away. It all fit nicely in the suitcase and I didn't have to struggle to get it closed! It weighed 40 pounds! And I don't take a big suitcase! Just as I was finishing, Rich arrived in the lobby - perfect timing.
Oh yes - I should say that when I left the convention center, I was hit with a blast of humid air. It had been humid when we arrived, then we had the rain which cooled the air down and then back to humidity!
Rich dropped me off at the Air Canada terminal and very quickly I was through check-in and security and waiting for the plane. The plane was late - mechnical issues and they had to find a new one. The flight to Calgary from the same gate was also late - and who knows why. But people do NOT listen. They had people from the Toronto flight trying to get on the Calgary flight because of the timing issue.
The plane wasn't full and there was a pair of empty seats ahead of me so I sat there. And had to listen to this young guy from Hamilton hit on a young girl from Toronto. I thought I was going to have to listen to them all the way home, but once the plane took off - he watched a movie. Thank god!!!!!!
Of course - Little Sammy was thrilled to see me. But I had to go upstairs - she wouldn't come down. Perhaps she was saying that she wasn't happy with me! The little cutey pie!
Then I couldn't sleep. I hate when that happens, but there was the time zone thing - only one hour, but I had been staying up rather late for me in Houston so that didn't help. And I had a Tim's tea. Oh well - I read for a long time before I dozed off and then I was wide awake this morning because I have a class - Misty Pines to teach today. There are seven people in the class and I wasn't quite finished cutting for them. I know - will this ever end?????? The kits are cut and ready for sewing. The tables are cleared and I am good to go! I still have a bit more cutting to do and I will try to finish it up after the class today. It is well past time to move on with this! Tomorrow is the last class and then a few kits to be picked up and it will be done! I'm taking Monday off and sewing with the Monday Mania group - and I might take what's left of this project to get it done!
I started up my computer last night and uploaded e-mail. All 989 of them. Thankfully many of them are just those group things that were easy to go through and delete. There were a few personal ones and then a few that I need to address later today. I have to figure out how to sort through all these e-mails and only read the pertinate ones. Yes - I have unsubscribed to quite a few things - I guess I should unsubscribe some more. So if you e-mailed me and did't get a response last night - e-mail me again. It might be a while before I get back through what's left.
I see the new Bonnie Hunter mystery is going to start at the end of the month. I am very happy to say that I am not the least bit interested. There are so many other projects that I want to do that I don't have time to even entertain the thought of making a quilt like thousands will make. That is just my personal choice, not a slam against Bonnie's followers. If you are going to make the quilt - I'd love to see it. I wasn't all that thrilled with the colors.
Speaking of colors - I saw the Hoffman challenge in Houston and where did they choose those colors from???? Now those fabrics were hideous!!! Everything was dark and gloomy and the quilts were dark and gloomy - I passed right by those quilts.
One of my impulse purchases was for M. I thought these were very cute and I got her two different ones.
Aren't they cute??????
Sorry - those are the only two pictures I can muster up this morning. I will go through my pictures later and post some of them, but if you followed on Facebook - you got most of the highlights.
It was fun last night as the plane flew into Toronto. I was guessing which towns we were passing by (and watching that little map thing on the screen). There was London, then Stratford, then Kitchener/Waterloo. Then Guelph. We were low enough that you could make out the main streets. Then Georgetown and Brampton and at last into Mississauga. We flew over the city and came in from the east. So cool to see the landmarks and amazing that the airport is smack in the middle of a huge city.
On that note - for the most part this concludes my Houston story - I'm sure there will be other stories as I sort through the pictures and as much fun as I had at the show, that was only the tip of the iceberg. Now I have that big box waiting for me at the office (and more stuff that I brought in my suitcase) that has to be sorted through, people to contact, guidelines to write, patterns to design, fabric ideas to sketch out and help get our booth organized for the next show which is the end of February, but there could be another one at the end of January. Have to check on that!
Have an awesome day - we'll be sewing Misty Pines!