We had so much fun at HOOT and we only went there to shop! Some of us got to Columbus on Wednesday afternoon. We checked out the art show, the class displays (which made us wish we were taking the classes!), and a few free things that you didn't need a ticket for. While we were looking at the class displays, we wrote down which items we just had to have. The idea being that we would look for the patterns when we could shop on Thursday. We were itching to do something, so we hoofed it around Columbus. We found some great shops - too bad they were closed! Before we could get into the store, we saw one shop clerk close her store 10 minutes early, but she was faster than us and ran into her car. Of course, that was the store that had something each of us had wanted. :( The brighter side was that we had more money to spend on Thursday!
That night, we had dinner at the hotel and went back to our room. We spent part of the evening talking to a friend of Flo's. She let us borrow her book from registration (she was taking classes and could therefore shop Wednesday night) and gave us some hints for shopping on Thursday. The book contained the layout of booths for shopping. We planned all night and wrote down the booth numbers we really, really didn't want to miss.
Though difficult to tell, there were two lines for getting in on Thursday morning. One was for registered people and the other was for outsiders like us who had to pay $5 to get in. Our game plan was to start at one side of the ballroom and work our way over. Since there were three of us and we each have different tastes, we agreed to wait at the end of the aisle for the group before moving on.
There was so much to see and do! Barbara did a free demo by 1837 and make a gingerbread man. You know it had to be a neat product for Barbara to do another gingerbread man! It was colorful crackle that's suppose to always crackle. I saw something called Detail Magic being demoed, so I got that. It's supposed to help with bad float days. Later on, I was at the Jo Sonja booth and they had Magic Flow which isn't the same thing at all. It's supposed to help with line work and a transparent look.
Since we were only there the one shopping day, I pretty much bought whatever I saw that I wanted because I didn't think that we'd have time to go back. I bought things at one wood place and then the next aisle had the same thing cheaper, though that didn't happen that often (just enough to tick me off!). Our senses were overloaded with products and beautiful items. We didn't stop for lunch or even a bathroom break! We were having too much fun. The only drawback was having to carry everything. At the wood places, we would have been better off just getting the catalogs and order from them when we got home. We did do this though I couldn't resist a couple of bulky items just because I was so caught up with everything, you know, like a kid in the candy store!
I got some great tips from various artists! Too bad I didn't write them down. Next time, I'm bringing a piece of paper and one of those golf pencils. Also, I didn't bring my checkbook and I should have since some of the booths didn't take credit cards. Another thing that would have some in handy is address labels. But put them in your pocket because a certain person was too tired to take them out of her purse. They come in handy when signing up for mailing lists.
Now to name drop! First, we saw Kim Hogue. In the few minutes we were there, she sold out of the trays we're going to paint with a snowman for the September seminar. Her booth was hopping! We saw Philip Myers and Andy Jones. Andy was a card and talked one of us into buying a lid for a $1.50. It was worth it just for the entertainment value! I'm invited to have coffee with Brenda Stewart and her husband the next time I'm in Williamsburg (which will be next month!). I want to take a class with her since she's so close and I do like her work (www.brendastewart.com or 757-564-7093). Another person who's close by is Rebecca Baer. She and her daughter were manning the booth when I was buying many of her pattern packets. If you get to meet them, her daughter really likes it when you say that she looks just like her mother. ;) Anyway, Rebecca teaches at Shades of Cueller in Frederick, so I'm definitely checking into that. I bought a couple of watercolor patterns from Mary Spires herself. She was nice and has a new watercolor pen/brush for sale. I should have picked one up - I was just too tired to take my charge card out again so soon! Cindy Mann was at her own booth and I was real happy that she was doing a demo right in front of me. She was floating and walking color out with a small round brush which fascinated me since I've never seen that technique before. Of course, Barbara and I bought some of her pattern packets. In the very last booth we went to - and we went to them all - was Maureen McNaughton. I was so happy! I'd been wanting some of her patterns, but I hadn't been able to find them. And when we had looked through the booth layout the night before, her name was nowhere to be found. So, imagine how happy I was when I started scooping up her patterns and then Maureen showed up right behind me and started a conversation! She probably thought I was an idiot because I didn't know that she's going to do the Spring seminar at NCC. Well, I am an idiot for not realizing that, but I will be at her seminar!
There were so many things to see and do and now we can't wait for Charlotte!