Wednesday 2 December 2015

Another Gem Expo put to bed...

An awful cold hit me like a freight train late Monday afternoon -- but Thursday the 19th found me bombing down the highway on a sunny day: well, first a pit stop at Peridot Hair Salon in Paris to get my hair done -- the day before I'd hacked off almost 18 inches of hair. This is the shortest it's been in almost 20 years. Now for four days of glorious freedom from typing. Wheeee!

I met Ruth at the St. Lawrence Market where we stocked up on bags of chocolate-coated ginger (really great brain food) and tanked up on hot sweet and sour soup. It seemed to help my cold, at any rate. We walked around until it was time to head over to the Hyatt Regency to set up at 8:00.

Our tables were smack dab in the centre of the ballroom, rather than the usual spot off in a corner. Location, location, location, right? Last March, I can't tell you the number of people who arrived at my table in the corner farthest from the doors only to tell me that between the doors and my table they'd spent all their money.

What with this head cold and cough (which got worse and worse through the weekend), I was pretty brain dead, but Ruth and I got the van unloaded and things more or less set up around 10:30 p.m. This was the sight that greeted me when I arrived at 8:00 a.m. Friday morning. Only three and a half hours 'til showtime. Surely we'd got more done last night????

But I methodically persevered, fueled by a second medium Tim's latte (by Saturday, I'd graduated to large lattes, anything to cut through the brain fog), and by 11:30 the November 2015 Gem Expo was open for business:

One of my very first customers at The Gem Expo two and a half years ago, Kate Laidlaw, came to visit Friday afternoon and brought one of her necklaces that she'd made with my beads.

She does such beautifully clean but bold work. You've got to check her out.

Saturday night, Ruth took five of us out to the Thai Princess for a really nice meal. I was grateful that whatever this horrible nastiness I had was, it hadn't affected my appetite. I love Thai food, and it was so nice to sit down and share plate after plate of wonderful food with new and old friends.

Meanwhile, I finished wire-weaving a turquoise pendant. I'm not too sure about it, but here it is.

I restrung a bracelet I'd given to Ruth, which needed shortening. She added some turquoise and deleted one of the skulls. Here 'tis, with her asymmetric tweaks:

I managed to drop a string of lodalite, which is a gorgeous greenish phantom quartz, and broke one of the beads, so I decided to put some with the third of my bird necklace designs. Lodalite, hand-cut Afghanistan turquoise heishi and shell birds:

Friday had dragged... but then all of a sudden the show was over.  Took a lot less time to pack up than to set up.Yes, the contents of all those bins and bags had been on two 6-foot tables and two 2x6 foot grids only one hour and 45 minutes before. I think the packing this time was a record. But then we had to find a functioning elevator...

Ruth convinced me to accompany her to the Elephant & Castle for a good meal before attempting the drive back to Woodstock. Good plan. Good food. Actually, really good food -- it cut through the brain fog and I could even taste their version of French onion soup, made with beer. Yum! Just wish I could've had a beer.

And that was it. A fast drive home. I pulled into my driveway around midnight -- and promptly spent the following week in bed. An enormous thank you to Ruth's parents for hosting me this weekend and putting up with my infernal coughing. Her mom sent me downtown every morning with jars of steeped raw ginger tea, to which I am now addicted.

See you all in March 2016!

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