Saturday, October 24, 2009
What a Festival!
This past Festival was so eventful for me, I'm not entirely sure just where to begin! When I last posted here the day before the Festival was to begin, I envisioned 5 days of stitching, shopping, relaxing and catching up with friends.
I should have known better.
Did everyone hear that little explosion around 8am on Wednesday, October 14th? No? You didn't hear the screaming and swearing? What about the little earthquake? No? Oh, maybe that was just me.
Silly me decided to check my e-mail before taking DS#2 to school. That's when the world kind of exploded. You see, I had an e-mail from Teresa at 4:27AM titled 'bad news'. Apparently what she had thought was just a bad head cold was, in fact, the flu and she couldn't get on a plane to Toronto. In the shock of the moment, all I could think was 'Waaaaaaa! I'm not going to get to see one of my favourite people!'. Then reality set it in. That's where the swearing came in (good thing the kids were upstairs and out of earshot - the air around me turned blue for a minute or two...). Teresa was teaching classes. She was teaching 6 classes. How in the world was this going to happen? (that was the explosion). Then I realized that I had a good portion of her kits sitting on my living room floor. But I had no idea just what I had. Then I realized that I probably could TEACH HER CLASSES (talk about presumptuous, eh???). That's when the earthquake broke out. Or maybe that's just when I sat and shook violently for a minute or two. I'm not Teresa, nor do I play her on TV. Could I pull it off? Was I crazy to even try?
I loaded all the boxes into my van and went to my first class. It was *really* hard to concentrate since I was so flummoxed about Teresa not coming to Toronto. I think I kept breaking out in the shakes and/or a cold sweat too......
Jennifer finally arrived and I dashed out of class like I was on fire (really, it was plain old panic!). Jen and I got the box and opened it and started pulling things out. We discovered that we had a good number of complete kits for her classes, but no charts and the first two classes she was teaching were missing supplies (had to be the first two, didn't it?). Jen went to call to Teresa and figure out a way to get us charts and I went back to class. I was feeling a little calmer, but not much.
The next morning Jen walked into another class I was attending (a chain mail bracelet class - I'm lucky I didn't stab myself with the pliers!) with 4 charts in hand. Yipee!!!
I figured out what the first class was that I needed to teach (Sparkling Hearts) and that night, after helping set up Enchanting Lair's booth, I took the supplies home and started to figure out just what the *bleep* we were going to be doing the next evening. I had a ton of pretty beads in zipper bags, some perforated paper, some floss and some Kreinik. I sat down with the Mill Hill site and figured out which beads were which - no mean feat (this was a TW class, after all!)! I printed off labels and started to label as many baggies as I could manage. By this point it was almost 12:30 am and I decided I needed some sleep (for me to make it downtown by 9AM on a weekday, I need to leave my home by 7 AM...).....
Friday arrived and I drove downtown and helped Jen with the over-1 Dragon class. Bascially I handed out supplies and helped sort out Teresa's floss. Thankfully it was all snipped but was in bundles, similar to what you get in a purchased kit. The students, with remarkable patience sorted their floss, punched holes into a floss card and recorded which was which.
I had to dash off to work in Enchanting Lair's booth for the afternoon - man was it *BUSY*! I sold lots of stuff, spoke with tons of people and couldn't tell you anything more specific than that if you paid me. I had a perpetual feeling of rising panic - I was about to teach my first solo class of Teresa's. It didn't help that someone came up to me (I don't remember just who) and said 'I hear you're the other Teresa Wentzler!'..... Gak! No! No! No! Remember? I can't draw stick people!!!!!! I'm just a stitcher.
Anyway, I made it to class and had a momentary qualm seeing all those people staring at me. Then I reminded myself that it can't be any harder than wrangling 8 year-olds - heck, I'd wrangled about 140 of them the week previously to no ill affect! The students were remakably kind helping me to label bead packages and hand them out and collect the kit fees and take attendance. It just goes to show that stitchers are the kindest and most helpful and most understanding folks on earth (thanks again to Debbie and Emily and whoever else jumped in to help!)..... We made it through the class relatively unscathed and so far I even had one student e-mail me finished pictures of the piece! Yay!!!!!
Next up on my agenda was the Cutwork Compass Rose class. I took all the materials home with me on Friday night and dumped the lot onto my family room floor so I could start sorting kits and get familiar with just what was what. I realized quite quickly that the best use of the class time would be to dive in and do the teaching cutwork piece that Teresa had provided in the chart (for anyone that took last year's cutwork class of Teresa's they'll recognize the teaching piece!). Saturday morning arrived and I handed out kits and had folks find the extra-special cat hair embellishment packs that my kitties included at no extra cost!
Again, stitchers were kind and patient and took time to say thanks. We worked out way through the teaching piece and I showed everyone my way of cutting threads that eliminates those little nubby things that stick out from the edges of your kloster blocks. I think just about everyone did manage to cut their piece and they even got to wrap some bars and do some dove's eyes. I think it was a fairly successful class, considering that I had no model to show anyone, that I hadn't actually stitched the piece myself and that I barely had a handle on all the materials!
I consider the fact that no one got up and left, nor did they throw sharp objects at me means I did a passable job as a substitute TW.
I'm endlessly grateful to the students in those classes who helped, who understood and who were just so incredibly kind!
Hopefully still being the first to get their claws into Teresa's new charts is sufficient compensation for not having Teresa herself teach the class!
I did manage to squeeze in a little stash shopping:
I picked up some Northern Pine charts and a kit for Blue Bayou. I found a couple little charts over at the Sampler's booth and over at Xs and Ohs I spent some of my model stitcher credit picking up the new Spooky House and The Guardian. For some reason my chart only says Spooky on it, instead of Spooky House.... :-)
Naturally I did my share of damage at Enchanting Lair's booth - lots of new Dinky-Dyes (always a downfall for me!), a pair of the new Dinky-Dye scissors, Mirabilia's Lavender (with the embellishment pack), and of course, lots of Laura's pretty, pretty linens.
I really wanted to spend some time in the knitting booths - I wanted to get an up-close look at Kaffe Fassett's new wools/sock yarns and so on. I glimpsed them briefly during the talk that Kaffe gave on Friday night and really wanted a closer look - the colours were amazing!!!!!!! Oh well, next year, right??? I wanted a shawl kit from sweaterkits too, but maybe it's just as well I didn't get over to their booth. It would probably be a waste of wool in my inept knitter hands anyway..... :-)
I was really blessed as well to have received a special gift from another Festival friend, Gail. Gail comes up from Bahamas (or is it Bermuda? Brain fart! Can't remember!) every year for the show and is one of the nicest people I know. She made this for me:
It's a kumihimo lanyard and it's got some really pretty sparkly fibres in it. I love it and wore it with pride through the whole show. Aren't I lucky?????
Now that I've started to recover from the show and another busy week of being Scientist Erica instead of TWLite(!?!?!?!), I really need to deal with this:
This is all the stuff that needs to be sorted and shipped back to Teresa and Jennifer. Thankfully they're patient people. Next week. Next week.
Cross your fingers and maybe my next post will show some of the work I accomplished in the classes where I actually got to stitch!