OMG…where to start! We left -9 temperatures (-25 with wind chill) to arrive in sunny Las Vegas
topping at 73 degrees. That in itself was such a reprieve from the blustery cold Ohio winter. I am always so amazed at how quickly one can acclimate to warmth. I soon forgot about heavy winter coats, gloves, scarves, mittens… It was so nice to just walk outside or ride with the windows down.
The first day was the Special Event taught by Laurie Speltz and myself. We had a sell-out class with 75 students. I could tell by the enthusiasm and seriousness of the painters that they came to learn and have fun. We painted fast and furious, learned many techniques and made many new friends.
Waiting for unload fun to begin…
Next was set up…and if you have never had the privilege of helping with a booth set up, let me tell you it is a tremendous undertaking. Transforming boxes and boxes piled high into a magical and appealing booth takes time and energy. The Cupboard Distributing team started early in the morning and worked until evening. The finished results were perfect! Thank you to Laura, Lindsey and Drake…we have the best employees!
We made a space in the center table for me to play and demo tools, brushes, mediums and answer questions. It is always a treat to mingle with such talented painters. I cherish all the kind comments and compliments. One lady told me she was going through a difficult time in her life. My patterns and designs helped her get through the tough times! Imagine being able to do what you love and helping others at the same time! How incredible is that? This is what keeps me inspired when painting in the wee hours of the night!
The show floor is a great place to meet new friends, see old friends and rub shoulders with the stars. Wish I would have had a little more time to take more pictures. I was able to chat and catch up with my favorite designers, Doxie Keller, Debbie Cole, Kim Hogue, Sandy Strecker, Jaimie Mills Price, Della Wetterman, Tracy Moreau, Deb Antonik, Bobbie Campbell, Kathi Hanson, Janice miller, Glenice Moore, Ros Stallcup, Chris Thornton…the list goes on and on…. I was able to have fun with Gary Jenkins. In addition to being extremely talented, he is a hoot!
Doxie Keller has the energy of five people and is an asset to our industry. Her love for painting just keeps getting stronger.
I met Tracey Weinzapfel, a mixed media DecoArt Helping Artist. She has a great eye for design, color and layout with a totally fresh outlook on creating with paint. Her method of painting is funky and fun! I was able to catch up with Robert Warren and watch his magic with a brush.
The atmosphere this year at the convention was electric. The excitement, the enthusiasm, the energy was uplifting for all. I love the camaraderie the shows create and always leave with many wonderful memories. The long, weary drive back makes coming home wonderful. The great thing about returning home is looking forward to the next convention!
PS. I do miss the sunshine and warm temps…Spring can’t come too soon!