Thursday, November 19, 2009

Figuring out my direction...

... and insights gained from Silver Bella

I finally have all my take away items photographed and ready for show and tell.

Vintage Apron my inspiration of things to come!

Sit back and enjoy the show.

Parting Gifts Galore!

Lots of new materials to explore!

So generous!

Silver Bell held high expectations for me.
The message board spoke of unending fun and camaraderie.
So much so, that I let myself believe that when I arrived the hotel would
be teaming with women chatting, sharing glasses of wine and laughing
the night away.

Unfortunately, my entry on Wednesday night into Thursday morning did not meet
expectations.  The hotel was quiet and lifeless.  No parties happening, no women
hanging around chatting.  So...apprehension sets in.

Not knowing what to do next I decided to strike out on my own...
off I went to do some exploring.
Many of the shops in The Old Market section of Omaha
 were quiet, but as soon as I came upon
Second Chance Antiques
I knew there had to be some ladies in there searching out
more treasures to add to their collections.

The girls that were in the shop were all buzzing about what a collection of "stuff" they
had just stumbled upon. 
It would take days to go through the two floors of crammed packed junk.

So with some vintage papers in my grasp I headed out to
lunch at a local restaurant just across the street from the Hotel.

Again, I was amazed as to how quiet it was both at the restaurant and back at the hotel.
A nap was in order.

When it came time to get our welcome packets that afternoon
I soon found all the women ... anxiously opening packets and checking schedules.

Following pics of Holiday Fabric Fatbook Swap...

The welcome dinner was very intimidating because the majority of
women either knew one another or came together.

  I thankfully found another newbie while
getting a glass of wine.
She seemed to understand the anxiousness
we both felt.

At the table, conversations came easily among the women that sat with us.
This world of the unknown seemed to be coming a little more into focus.

After the dinner it was time to gather up our swaps.
I entered three of them as a way to introduce myself to others.
I thank all of the hostesses for their kindness and extra efforts in putting these
swaps together.

Again, too overwhelmed by the chaos and unknow...I retreated to my room for
a good nights sleep.  Tomorrow was a new day and I had a few new faces to look for.

Looking through my swaps before I went to sleep gave me the courage I needed.
The talent of these women is incomparable and I knew this
was what I really came to experience.

Each of us had our own style but we were so impressed with the uniqueness each represented.
There is a commonality to us all and we appreciate each and everyone's individuality.

It is as if your eyes had been opened to a different way of thinking.

Charlotte Lyons with most projects they are unfinished

The classes I attended were something that I really enjoyed.

Pam Garrison...Holiday Countdown Wreath

Denise Sharp ... Paper Bird.  Challenging yet inspiring!
If you haven't seen her work...please check it out.

Jennifer Murphy Snowman Ornament Clip
He just makes me smile!

Meeting others as we placed ourselves around the table
 I was able to put some faces with the names that I had seen on the message board.
This did help ease some of the remaining anxieties and feeling of not belonging.

Friday evening was the Vendor Fair.
Well, if I can only tell you in words how overwhelming it might take pages.
The creativity in presentation and product was something to behold and learn from.


This in fact was a learning trip. 
I wanted to how people do what they do,
where do they get their inspirations,
how do they continually impress me?
My big sister Sheila spent sometime walking with me through the fair
after she snatched up her treasures.

It does seem that we all have someone who inspires us to continue
to create.  For Sheila it was...

I have to admit...I do love her sense of style, so much so I bought this journal.
After, this I headed out with a bunch of gals for some dinner...we had so much fun that we agreed we had to do it again the next evening.  So...what does that tell you...the ice has melted.
I finally felt a sense of strength and belonging.  I understood what was happening...others, who were nervous just like myself, stepped out of their comfort zones to meet new people and one of those
people happened to be me.

The instructors who opened up to share their "trade" secrets, the artists among us who
dove right in to tackle the same artistic adventure, the women who just
smiled and made you feel welcome...that is what it was all about.
Women...coming together, taking chances and putting themselves out there...together becoming stronger and more self confident.
My expectations may have been set too high or maybe it was my nerves getting the best of me.
My level of comfort was never really relaxed enough.
Crowds do tend to send me packing...but I have to say...I am proud of myself
for sticking it out and meeting the artists that do inspire me.

Thank you to Debbie Dusenberry of Curious Sofa...
your kind words and smile made my day.

You are just amazing.
My trips to Kansas City will continue and I look forward to meeting you again.

Thank you ...Charlotte Lyons
I so enjoyed the chats and inspiration...two classes with you gave me my dose
of creativity I sought.   Your stories made me smile.

Megan Hunt ...aka...Princess Lasertron
As always your infectious style and personality make me smile.
Good luck to you as I know you will be and are a great success.

Another swap..recipe book :)

There are so many others that I really enjoyed but just too many to list. 
 Thank you to those of you that extended a smile or a kind word...they meant so much to me as I waded through a sea of women.

"Will I go back?"
That seems to be the question of the week.
I don't think so.
I am a small group kind of gal...I don't thrive if I am overwhelmed and anxious.
I  found that when I create it tends to be solitary.
Not that I don't want to share what I am doing...I just tend to get deeper into my projects.
I did find out that my art work is "evolutionary" takes me time.
I have to walk away from something let it sink in and then readdress it later.

The wings in development state...symbolic isn't it?
I thank The Accountant for making this journey possible.
It was important to do ... because as they say... nothing ventured nothing gained.
I did gain new friendships and a new insight into the world of creative women.
We do need to connect with one another and we each have our own different ways
of doing that.
I thank all of you who read this, for your creative and emotional support.
Life is an Evolution
and I really believe each and everyone that I come in contact with
plays an important part in its direction.


Debe said...

I did so enjoy meeting you! Just wish we had all found each other right off the bat because it turned out to be a great group. I do hope to be able to get together with you again...somewhere. Amazing weekend meeting and sharing with women from all across the country. Creating with kindred spirits is the best!!

Karin said...

What a wonderful post!

Sheila R said...

Loved your insight and so enjoyed our good conversation as we strolled around during the Vendor Fair. I just wish we had more time to spend together. Whenever you visit KC, let me know I would love to get together! Maybe take you to a few lovely places.

Nice and Easy Antiques said...

Hi Janet! Thank you so much for a very honest inside opinion of the show. I consider myself a very sociable, open person but for some reason, I always had the feeling that I would feel just like you described it if I attended a show like that...have no idea why, but that's how I felt.The goodies you brought home look like a lot of fun, though! Have fun with them and take your time, find your own path and create something beautiful!!

sabrina said...

Well said, Janet. YOU are gifted with your words! Will catch up with an email shortly.

Suz said...

thank you for your insights, janet. i am going back but you have helped open my eyes to the fact that all of us new people felt somewhat overwhelmed and intimidated. i am a group person, eventually, but i would like to do something next year for first year women.

I am thinking and would appreciate any insights, if you have them.

Linda said...

I so enjoyed reading your post. I remember my first year going alone. I'm glad you were there...your pictures are lovely. Tell Sabrina to email me! Please!

And I will continue to check out your blog, Janet!

Linda said...
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Linda said...
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Linda said...

It keeps posting my comments in triplicate! Sorry!

tiny elf studio said...

Great post Janet. This was my first year too and I agree with you about the comfort level in smaller groups.
I hope we can meet again at a smaller event. Great Photos !!


Jen R. said...

I am glad you had a good time! It looks like fun and creativity abound!

Tracey said...

What a candid and honest post about your experience...I'm soooo looking forward to hearing all about it in person! And peeking at some of your goodies :)

:) T

texcinlulu said...

Thank you for sharing your expeiences.
I too am intimidated by crowds and large groups. I am a one on one person usually or art least small groups.
I have often wondered what Silver Bella would be like.
Now I know.