If you tried to call the mail center this morning, all you heard was my pleasant voice asking you to leave a message. Patti and Debbie are there, and they would love to be able to answer calls – and I’ll bet they would love to have air conditioning, too (as I type this, the temperature outside is 95 degrees). But we have no electricity – workers are burying lines in back of our building that were replaced last summer, but were still above ground.
So I went home to work on things that required power and an internet connection. One of those things was this – I promised yesterday that I would post a travelogue from my weekend in Texas. And air conditioned comfort required that I fulfill that promise . . .
When I got to the Metroplex (for the uninitiated, that’s Dallas-Fort Worth) Thursday evening, I had two errands to run. So I got them out of the way early . . .
Errand #1 was a new In-N-Out t-shirt for Ryan – he has a collection of those shirts that started when his Uncle Dex first sent him one from California when Ryan was in the first grade. Errand #2 was a couple of beer koozies (if I spelled that wrong, forgive me – I am not familiar with these) for my neighbor Chad, who is a huge Dallas Cowboys’ fan. Items such as this aren’t available in Ohio, so I sent him a picture of the three possibilities I found in the Dallas Cowboys Fan Store (he chose the one in the middle).
Friday was the usual whirlwind day of setup, this time followed by a round of golf (frustrating, but enjoyable) at the Grapevine Golf Course. Saturday, we hit the ground running – we greeted the customers with three demos in front of our booth.
Cheryl Darrow from Ten Seconds Studio was holding court in our booth for the first time in several years (and if you’re coming to Stampaway in Cincinnati in a little over two weeks, she’ll be there, too!). You’ll notice Jane McLaughlin observing in the corner of that photo – she was getting ready to take over for Cheryl on Sunday (Jane has learned – and demoed – just about everything that has come through our booth in Grapevine for almost as long as we have been coming here). And thanks to Pat Larson from Heirloom Productions, I have closeups of what Cheryl was working with . . .
This may end up being the new hot item this year – VerDay is very cool, especially if you like aged and weathered looks.
Rita Barakat is a member of Faber-Castell’s design team – she also lives in Rockwall so it was an easy jaunt across town to work in our booth. Our paths hadn’t crossed before, but after five minutes of watching her work it was obvious how talented she is! Wish I had been closer to home, because by Sunday morning we had to take orders for the Gelato Gift Sets – Rita had already sold all we brought with us!
Suzanne Reed has worked with us in Grapevine for years, and for the last few I have looked for new demo items for her to work with (she is also a high school teacher). I introduced her to Glitter-Fast Glitter (the stuff that doesn’t stick to you while you’re working with it) on Friday, and she went home and watched their videos and played with some samples. This is what she came back with on Saturday morning – I had never seen it used on a diecut before.
But she wasn’t the only one in her family who came up with a demo sample. Suzanne’s son Sean (shown at left when he first helped us set up last year) not only worked all day with us setting up the booth, but went home and created this piece.
Put them all together, and what you get is a booth full of happy customers. We always try to come to a show with at least one thing you haven’t seen before – this time, for many we had three!
After the show on Saturday, I got to spend the evening with my childhood classmate Becki and her husband Bill. This time, they took me to see the Fort Worth Stock Yards. We had a nice meal together and then walked all over Cowboy Country.
Didn’t get to go inside, but at least got a look at a famous Fort Worth landmark . . .
Also walked past this . . . everything is bigger in Texas!
And much like Orlando, I went home with a new t-shirt – this one is a “Becki Begley Original” – Becki works for the City of Fort Worth, so if you see people in the area wearing these t-shirts while they collect household chemicals, you’ll know that Becki designed them. I had a choice of colors – I couldn’t resist this one after I told her the color was “Road Crew Green” . . .
Last, but certainly not least, here’s a shot of Suzanne and Natalie helping to carry a cart that lost its wheels out to the back dock. They make ‘em strong in Texas, too!
And my cell phone just rang – the power is back on at the mail center. Back to work . . .