I'm having my lunch and starting to ruminate over and relive the past four days in Omaha at Silver Bella. For these kinds of events I usually say, "its all good" and there may be a few things that don't necessarily suit me but overall, I find them worthwhile and enjoyable. And I can say that I don't try to "dollarize" the event, i.e. did I get my moneys worth or enough freebies. I don't do that about my travel either. It's the experience that I want and I got alot of it this year. Good times!
Like Julia's trip to London (we missed you, Julia!), I'm going to try to spend the week writing down my memories of Silver Bella. I'm not sure where to start, there's alot of ground to cover: vendor faire, projects, teachers, swaps, aprons, social life & Omaha, keynote speaker Jo Packham. Why don't I start there, with Jo. Yes, she makes you feel like you can just call her Jo, that she's your friend and she's a regular... well, you know. It was unfortunate that her speech was cut short (because of time) because we could have listened to her stories for hours. which she offered! She created the book and magazines, Where Women Create. She is just a downright lovely person even as we fretted over which Rebecca Sower journal to purchase at the vendor faire. And even with her kind personality, when she gave her keynote speech and talked about helping women and promoting women... I was all over that! Especially women that are young or less fortunate than us. Side story - I was at my bank drive-through one Saturday morning and saw two older hispanic women dumpster diving. It broke my heart. On the flip side, though I was proud of them because they weren't standing on the corner asking for a hand out. Typical of women, we are going to go - get it done - one way or the other. I'm sure they didn't understand a word of my rambling but I shared a small bit of cash I took out of the bank with them - because as women, we owe that to each other. Okay, sorry about the side track. Jo was just clear and pure in her message and it was great to meet her and get to know more about her. Corny but she had us all at "hello" and she spoke straight to the heart and had me reaching for a tissue when it was all said and done.
My favorite project was Rebecca Sower's cigar box because it had 3 elements: a top string of beads or buttons and middle section of 12 inchie blocks that were a bit funky and out of my comfort zone with their "ruffle" and a bottom vingette of stick and flowers. I love how she incorporates nature (with sticks) in her projects. And she is just a kind and down to earth person herself. I also loved her hodge podge journal.
The weather was cool and refreshing, especially at night when we walked to dinner. I loved the cooler than Houston temperatures and the downtown area near the hotel is quaint. Great restaurants and vibrancy. Friday night, we had an impromptu dinner at M's Pub, based on a passerby's recommendation. WOW. Fabulous, unusual menu (I had a steak). Debe and I were headed out and she added two friends (Sabrina and Janet) and then we ran into two Bellas (Betsy & Carol) that were stumped on where to eat... and it just turned into a great meal with fun conversation and laughs. Betsy's sister, Kelly joined us but please note I have to call her Becky (after her idol, R. Sower). They were all newbies so it was good to hear their experience and see if from a different vantage point.
I've run out of time today but I'll be back tomorrow. I have unpacked one suitcase, one to go. And need to take photos of my vendor purchases. Hmmmmmm. Yummmy!