I have always thought the name of NAME - National Association of Miniature Enthusiasts - was so appropriate. Who is more enthusiastic than a miniaturist on her or his way to share an experience with others who totally understand us? And in this case, it was my first small scales show, which ramped my enthusiasm even higher!
Wednesday May 2
To my great delight, my daughter Dana planned to attend this event with me. Although she says she is not a miniaturist, Dana is certainly an appreciator, and at each of the events she has attended with me, managed to find something to buy. She made a beautiful beaded tree quite a few years ago and has been collecting ornaments and packages and toys for its dome setting ever since.
I had months to get ready for this, but no matter how much I plan, there always seem to be last-minute things I have to do that leave me tired even before I get started. I had maybe 3 hours sleep the night before we left, and then we got up at 6 a.m. so my husband could get me to the airport in plenty of time for our 8:20 flight. I had arranged for our hotel and convention events and Dana had kept an eye out for the best travel purchases, so we were signed up for Early Bird seating on Southwest.
I recall how my mother resisted any attempt to suggest that a cane, or later a wheelchair, would make her life easier, until she had absolutely no other recourse. At this point in my life, with two knee replacements, and after my first year in Chicago when I hadn't a clue how large O'Hare was, I welcome the assistance of a wheelchair when I fly anywhere. I wanted to be sure that all my energy wasn't expended pointlessly in acres-long airports when I knew I would be on my feet almost continuously when we reached Portland. Therefore, I was wheeled from curbside Early Bird check-in to Security, stepped out to be whisked throgh the full body scanner and before I could even get a deep breath, was back to my chair and wheeled to the gate.
For quite a while my husband had been saving $1s and $5s for me (I don't get out much you can see lol) for tips and Round Tables, and the first of my tips went to the baggage person who set up the chair for me at all three airports, then to those who made my travel so much easier the rest of the way. Lovely people! And thanks, dear husband!
Flying over Las Vegas, I looked out, hoping to see the fantastic casinos on the Strip, but instead saw miles of symmetrical rows of houses that reminded me of a song from the 60s by Malvina Reynolds:
Little boxes on the hillside,
Little boxes made of ticky tacky,
Little boxes on the hillside,
Little boxes all the same.
There's a green one and a pink one
And a blue one and a yellow one,
And they're all made out of ticky tacky
And they all look just the same...
No reflection on Las Vegas, you understand; I am sure the neighborhoods at ground level are lovely and certainly aren't made out of ticky tacky, but that's the way my mind works. I could not get that stupid song off my mind for hours, either ....
It's hard to miss finding your color-coordinated plane and staff!
The attendant at the gate in Las Vegas who wheeled me down for early seatng told us to be sure to eat logan berries when we got to Portland, and Hal, the fellow in Portland who tootled my chair around, had a twin brother somewhere else, had been in the Navy, and chatted us up all the way to the car rental place, where Dana had already reserved our vehicle. There we were greeted by perky good looking young people dressed in green; I told them I felt like I was in a tv commercial! Then the woman in the booth went all out to give us directions to the Red Lion Hotel on the River. What great people all the way, and a credit to their employers, whom I hope compliment and pay them well!
It had been a long, long time since breakfast, and all we had eaten was snacks on the plane, so the first thing we did on the way to the hotel was stop at a BJ's for an excellent hamburger. I never saw so many fries; took most of them in a carry-out for later.
Oh, the colors, the trees, the variety of greens - what a glorious place Portland is. Everywhere I looked, my mouth kept opening and closing like a guppy as I almost gasped aloud, and mentally kept reproducing all that gorgeous landscaping in miniature.
Our hotel was quite close to the airport, just over the river from Washington; a lot closer to Vancouver than to Portland, actually.
Now this river rock reminds me of the rock landscaping around El Paso.
As does this series; love those colors (and I have similar ones in miniature in my stash! lol)..
We had spotted what looked like giant red flower balls from the plane; later found out they were either well-groomed rhododendron or azalea bushes; I forget which now. The colors were so brilliant, reminiscent of the cactus blooms which suprise everyone who isn't used to the desert where we live. I am told this is an azalea. Not many of those in the desert, either.
We were greeted royally ...
... by the lions.
Might be a bit unnerving meeting them on a very dark night.
As Dana said, "Even the parking lots are great here!"
This was the view from the hallway on the way to our room. It's a long walk, but there is an elevator close by which leads us down and out to the parking lot a short distance away.
Here is one view from our balcony looking toward the parking lot below.
Dana has an eye for lines ...
We hadn't signed up for any tours because I wasn't sure what shape I would be in after getting up so early and having so little sleep the night before. As it was, after checking in and unpacking a bit, I got out my nightie and went to bed where I slept four hours while Dana went out for her first exploring. That was our pattern throughout the show; she expended energy; I conserved it. lol
Dana came back, and, refreshed after my nap, I joined her for a tour that she had mapped out earlier to get pictures of neon signs, one of her hobbies. Dana always takes fabulous pictures. A few of the pictures that follow I took, but the vast majority are hers. She never goes anywhere without her camera; I take mine but forget to use it. One of these days she will get all her Portland pictures posted on Flickr or somewhere, but I don't know when that will be, as her son, my grandson Jeremy, is getting married, and she is leaving after that for her own anniversary trip. When she does, I will post a link.
I didn't know this before, but she informed me that the best neon pictures are just before it gets dark, not after. It was very damp and chilly, and we were glad to have our windbreakers. Later, after much driving and picture taking we spotted a place that said it had the best pies in town so we stopped for coffee and dessert. And sure enough, there were logan berry pies!
Dana had logan berry and I had strawberry-rhubarb. Utterly wonderful! It reminded me of the luscious cherry-rhubarb cobblers that my dear late MIL made from the gigantic rhubarb plants on their place in Montana.
After our pie we got more neon sign pics and then returned to the hotel where we fell asleep before you could say Logan Berry!
Thursday May 3
We went shortly after 7 to register and received our name tags, information packets and tote bags (I picked lime green), and saw for the first time the Round Table Samples on display and got a shopping list where we could check off the ones we wanted. Oh, what lovely items. I salivated.
Then we headed for breakfast in the hotel dining room overlooking the Columbia River. I had scrambled eggs with hashbrowns, sourdough toast and three small ham steaks. So good, and too much for one meal; I took one of the ham steaks in a plastic carryout box back to the frig in our room.
What a view of the river, the drawbridge - I love how they paint their bridges that dusty green - and the Washington side of the river with all those trees. Lovely views, but with the rain, not one boat ventured out while we were there.
That's when we first saw the rain chains, an anomaly to us in El Paso, although Dana said she had seen one advertised in Lowe's or somewhere, and had wondered about it. Cool idea, and a better way to keep the rain from splattering all over.
Others wanted to get that view, as well.
We just couldn't get over the gorgeous hanging baskets.
Surely would like to duplicate these in miniature!
And there are more of those chains ....
Dana wanted to take me on the old scenic route down the Columbia River, and oh what a drive it was. I just couldn't get over the variations in shapes and colors of the trees and bushes, ranging from a light feathery bright pale green, to a dusty droopy greyish-green mossy to a dark forest green, with varying shades of plum and red, yellowish green, orangish-red, tossed in. I kept mentally searching my stash at home for materials to duplicate those trees and bushes. lol
On the way we visited a little old town called Troutdale, which was been refurbished and turned into a tourist place, cute as can be. Because I wanted to eat at some place different from what we can find at home and in every other town in the country near an interstate, we headed for a place that Dana had spotted the afternoon before, Something-Dumplings it was called, but it was closed, so we drove on further to another place she had spotted...
... Shirley's Tippy Canoe Restaurant, across the street from a water fall. How cool is that? (I accidentally erased my pictures of the waterfall somewhere along the way.)
It was a place with personality, and we seemingly had it all to ourselves!
I kept mentally reducing everything to miniature scale!
Lots of artistic fish creations on the walls. This enormous fellow was made of brass, copper and tin.
And here's one, lighted. Awesome!
And here's one of several giant carved wooden fish. You can get an idea of its size in relation to the fishing pole and the menu on the table top!
The waiter, a very personable young man, recommended the fish and chips, so I ordered the halibut. It looked wonderful, piled high and crispy, but with the first bite I thought, um, don't know ... I chewed and swallowed and figured well, it was just some kind of seasoning or my imagination, because I had eaten halibut before and it was good. Then I took another bite and knew it wasn't just my imagination. Dana took a bite, screwed up her face, and immediately agreed. The waiter was very apologetic as he took it back, and said their dealer was supposed to have the freshest fare. Instead of ordering another entree, I had a giant bowl of clam chowder with toast made from a chewy, nutty totally delicious bread. Excellent, and the coffee was, as well.
I made sure my tool bag was ready and we said goodbye as Dana headed out for more picture taking and I set out for my first event:
THE THURSDAY NIGHT WORKSHOP
7:00 - 10:00 p.m.
We used every minute of that three hours. The workshop was given in overview to a very large group of attendees by Suzanne Larson-Tamburo, whose bungalow class I had taken in Chicago. Suzanne is always fun and very good at presenting information.
Dana got back from her travels in time to get some pictures of our table. Each table had 9 people and a leader-guide; ours was Jean Learman, standing.
A whole bunch of people signed up to do this delightful little shop, Season's, for which many of our tote bag favors and gifts would be perfect. In looking through all the workshops before I signed up, I made a conscious decision to go for those where I could hopefully have a finished project to bring home with me, and that wouldn't be so large as to be a problem when I was packing. This one seemed likely, but nope, not to be - small enough, for sure, but, finished? No ....
This was the prototype for our table, using kits that came with the project and various little gifts contributed by dealers. (I later purchased a similar kit from Mary Bonner to make that garden table.)
When I first added these pages I did not know that the potting table was a kit from Jean Learman and Georgia Queen (GJ's Christmas Trees). Jean informs that they will be offering the roundtable through the Gazette.
We could hardly contain our pleasure as we examined all the details.
We kept passing the sample around so we could see everything, from one side ...
... to the other.
The basic box was supposed to look like this when finished. At our table we managed to get the box together and papered on the outside with the brick, and the interior wallpaper cut to fit, the steps made and all the wood pieces painted. I looked around, and most everyone was at about that point, too, except for a few faster-than-the-speed-of-light people who always populate every group.
lt is a great little piece, and came with several accessory pieces generously contributed by various dealers at the show.
I'm not sure if Dana was coming into the workshop or had turned to take a look back when she snapped this one. Unfortunately, I don't know who that person with the bag is. That's Gayle Baillargeon standing to the left, who also sat at Table 22 for the meals.
Isn't it amazing how much stuff it takes to make something so small?
I packed up and staggered to our room and made sure that everything was set out for easy dressing and grabbing the next morning. Dana set her alarm for 6:00 and we were both out like a light. I am a prodigious reader but I don't think I read more than three pages of my novel for the entire time we were there!
Friday May 4
Fashion From The Gilded Age
Oh, it was so hard to get up at 6:00 a.m. Here's where the brought-from-home breakfasts first came in handy. I had a boiled egg and buttered raisin bread with fresh-brewed coffee; good way to start the day for a workshop beginning at 7:30. Dana set off on her travels and I headed for my second workshop.
What a lovely little vignette. I make dolls in various scales but was anxious to learn some specific small scale techniques.
This was the configuration for our workshop.
The instructor, Abby Carlson, assisted by her daughter, was back and forth as we worked, answering questions and demonstrating.
And the seatmate to my left shared Luci's workshop, as well.
It always helps to have written directions with illustrations for those like me who don't finish during the workshop.
When I signed up for this little vignette with the mannequin I thought I could perhaps get it finished. Mistake number 1, I didn't realize I would have to make the box, too! And the only thing I got done was the gown. Even there, I didn't add her sleeves or her jewelry because I was still debating what kind of sleeves I wanted. With all my angst you would never know that I have been making and dressing dolls for a long time - just not in this scale. I learned some good techniques but I also know now that I can trust my own instincts better sometimes in a situation like this where I get all stressed out and there are so many people waiting for instruction and answers.
So, I still have to finish the sleeves, add her jewelry, plus make the box, install the drapery and make the chair. It will be a pretty display eventually, however, and now I know I can make quarter scale clothing, too!
I didn't have time to go back to the room to leave the toolbag and the bag with the vignette components because I had to hurry to ....
12:00 - 1:30
This was the first of the official Convention meal functions, and we had pre-registered through the Quarter Connection online group to sit at a table together.
Bob Francis held up the sign to guide us to Table 22, where Isabel Allen was hostess. I met Dana there and a collective gasp went up around the room as we all saw the centerpieces for the first time.
Absolute enchantment, and I knew the instant I saw it that it had been designed by Susie Newell, who is a member of Pam Junk's Small and Smaller list, of which I am also a member.
There was no mistaking her sense of whimsey (I had seen her marvelous little Seuss figures before so I recognized her work), and absolutely everyone was dying to receive that centerpiece.
It was great fun putting faces to names known previously through our online groups and chats. Here is my daughter Dana McCartney with Bob Francis from Quarter Connection.
Gayle Baillargeon opens a gift while husband Gary looks on.
Everyone kept leaning way over the plates and glasses and coffee pot to turn the centerpiece for another view! Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh!
Here are Isabel Allen, Gaye Schmiedschen, Joanne Bailey, and me.
It was an excellent meal, with a luscious dessert. (Dana has this habit of sending her DH pictures of the food she is about to eat when she is traveling; this is the one she sent Lee, hard at work no doubt and mouth watering!)
We were introduced to those responsible for putting together the 2012 N3 Regional, and there was great applause, especially for the Centerpiece Committee.* (See NOTES at end) We were also reminded not to get too attached to our dome as the centerpieces would circulate so that there would be a different one for each meal.
We also received our first two quarter scale table gifts, a wonderful birdhouse by Karen Marsh, with flowers by Karla Smith,
and this amazing little strombola from Karen Cary. Can't wait to celebrate the seasons with them!
It was good getting acquainted with the others at our table, entirely new to Dana but most of whom I "knew" from my online groups. Here Dana and I are with Joanne Bailey and Bob Francis, both from Canada. We had shared time with each other during QC chats before.
Funny, too, I heard for the first time from someone who had pictured me as tall and with dark hair, and I heard the same later from someone else! I had pictured Bob as middle aged with a balding head and spectacles! lol
Somewhere along in here we bought our Raffle tickets.
Dana managed to get a picture of Ruth Goodger, known as goodannieruth, whom I have "known" for a long time; just met her in person, finally, to my pleasure.
The Sales and Exihibit Rooms opened at 2:00. Oh bliss! But first Dana and I went around putting in our tickets for the Raffles and then, as usual, we went our separate ways. I was aready so tired that midway around the room I had to stop and sit for a minute and decided I would save the Exhibits for another time.
Sales closed at 5, so I headed for our room and welcomed the chance for a rest. That big old bed was so high that I had to heave myself up and roll over to actually get in it! After a quick nap I made coffee and ate the first of my packed lunches brought from home - roast beef, sliced tomatoes and cucumbers, with the large fries left over from my meal on Wednesday afternoon.
Dana had gone out to visit friends who had moved to Portland from El Paso and whom she had last seen when she and her family were here 17 years ago, thinking about moving here, as well. Frankly, everything is a blur at this point; I guess I saw her before bedtime but can't remember.
I went down for Round Tables Sales which began at 6:45, but forgot my shopping list that I had carefully marked in advance after admiring the wonderful samples on display. What madness as people lined up to purchase! It was not worth it to walk that long distance to the room for my list so I just decided to head for the shortest lines and get sight unseen what was available quickly and then take my chances with what the other lines were going for. It sure was helpful having all those $1s and $5s that my DH had saved for me! My only complaint about the whole show was that the tall signs only gave the round table numbers and did not say what they were. Oh well, there is probably a good reason for that - like having your list lol. As it was, I was happy with the kits I got and hopefully will be able to get the others when or if they become available in the next Gazette.
I did not attempt to put together any kits and was back in the room before 8 o'clock, I think. I don't remember if I went out anywhere with Dana or whether I just got my shower and went to bed. More likely the latter!
May 5 2012
SATURDAY MORNING WORKSHOP
My Upstairs Craft Room
Dana's alarm went off at 6:00 a.m. again. Here's where I ate the second breakfast from home, a bagel with cream cheese and strawberry jam and the leftover pork steak from Thursday morning's hotel breakfast.
Somewhere along the way, Dana caught up with me and Pooh. What a joy to meet Pooh after all these years! Someone said we could be sisters!
And by the way ...
When I first put these pages on my website, I had an email from Pooh. She wrote, "Wanna, I took these pictures from the deck just outside the bar area of
the Red Lion hotel restaurant. Thought you might like them for your collection. They were taken on Sunday. the only day we had clear skies and the mountains were visible. My roomie and good friend, Susan, spent that day with her son who lives in Portland. He took us to the Rhododendron Garden for the afternoon. It was gorgeous.
"When we returned to the hotel we went down to the bar and there the two mountains were, showing off. I still had my camera with me so snapped some shots of them."
Aren't these marvelous? Thanks, Pooh!
Now that was a very large group for Luci Hanson's workshop.
We literally lined the walls.
Luci managed to carry it off with aplomb, and in the time allotted I thought we got a remarkable amount of work done.
I had done several of Luci Hanson's room box projects, so I knew I wouldn't completely finish it in the time allotted, including the frame, but I knew the box would be made and much of the prep work would be done for us. And, of course that was the case.
Besides the basic components, we got the readymade table and chair, as well as the accessories and kits for the coffee pot, microwave, big screen tv and the wee dollhouse kit! It was a great class and I managed to get my stairs and flooring in, the back wall and window in place, and all the cupboards stained. Having made Luci's kitchen before, I was not worried about finishing the project, so came home feeling good about this workroom. Luci had a very large class for this and handled it masterfully. I learned a lot.
Dana peeked in for a moment to take some pictures then was off again.
After this class, I hurried to pack up my tools, clean up the mess, pack things into the box, which had its own sturdy carton, and then rushed down (or was it up?) to the Theme Luncheon with Karla Smith.
SATURDAY THEME LUNCHEON
Just Your Cup of Tea
Unfortunately for me, Dana was out on her journeys, so there are no pictures of this luncheon with Karla Smith. I was already tired from my Saturday morning workshop, and although my camera was in my totebag, did I think about taking it out? No.
Our lunch was a gigantic roast beef sandwich, half of which I carried back to the room with me at the end of the luncheon.
We each received a seasonal cup and saucer, complete with floor and wallpaper. Mine was originally a Christmas themed cup and saucer, but it turned out the person to my left already had a decorated plate of the exact same pattern so I was glad to swap for a more whimsical design.
The swap made her quite happy and this cup and saucer fits my plans better anyway.
Karla had good tips on doing this for ourselves. She demonstrated how to make the patterns, adjust for the interior shape of the cup, etc. So I left pleased with my finished cup and saucer and its stand, ready for furnishing. I had already purchased a couple of items in the sales room which will go perfectly in it.
This pair of lamps and the easy chair look as if they were made for that cup! Not sure what else I will use in it, but it will surely have a cup of tea and a teapot, and it will reside in future on an open shelf in my china cabinet.
This ended my use of the tools, so after the luncheon I staggered to our room with my box and my toolbag with the goal of taking just a few minutes before heading for the Sales Room again. Once more I wondered if I would make it into that big old high bed. I lay there, feeling my pulse pound, both with excitement and exhaustion, as I dialed my husband once again to share my fun. He is such a sweetheart and the world's best cheerleader; he was so happy that I was happy.
Dana spent so much time taking pictures of exhibits that she didn't document all of my meetings with online friends. Luckily, she captured me with Carol Pittmann and Fern Rouleau. Carol and Fern, next time pull your name tag up higher so people can see it!
And, of course, Janet Smith and I are practically neighbors since she lives in Las Cruces, NM, and I live in El Paso, about an hour's drive away. I bought a boar's head and a blackbird pie (to be delivered later, as she had sold out) for my castle. What an artist she is with food. And, of course, she is the new owner of Quarter Connection and very active in NAME. How do these talented busy people DO IT?
And since I first put this on my website, Dana found some more pictures in her phone and sent them to me, including Dale Lovett from Hobe Sound, Florida, whom I just knew as Dale from FL until now.
SATURDAY NIGHT BANQUET
I made sure to get my name tag and the little lime green tote bag full of my table favors (I made both mine (a Spring flower arrangement) and Dana's (quarter scale books) and headed off for the banquet. Dana had been out on a jaunt but managed to get there shortly after I did.
We were greeted at our table by Isabel, who informed us that this time we could not sit next to anyone we had been beside before, so this mixing up created new companions to get better acquainted with.
We had a different centerpiece, Spring,
... and once again we all strained to see it from all angles. Don't you just love that water treatment? Someone pointed out later that this was a perfect reflection of Portland - one side of the roof was sunny; the other was damp with moss!
We exchanged our table favors and had another great meal. And we opened two more wonderful gifts...
... a teeny, tiny glitter house under 3/4 inch tall from chimney to base. This was made by Charlotte Atcher.
And we also were delighted to open a package from Chris Okubo, a wonderful wee snowman less than 3/4 inches tall, as well!
The program was a presentation from a street rescue group (unfortunately I did not get their official name) which for the past 25 years has gone out each night to provide blankets and covers for the homeless. A very moving live performance and video showed the faces of those whose lives we so often don't acknowledge or just walk right past. After the banquet and at other times during the convention, there was an opportunity to contribute blankets, coats, gloves, caps and scarves, as well as money for this very worthwhile and humane service.
After I first posted these pages to my website, I had an email from Pooh, who wrote, "Because our 1:144 table didn't fill we hosted the folks from the Street Rescue Group and found them to be delightful. They are a husband, wife and son. The wife was quite pretty. She excused herself to go put her makeup on and when she reappeared I was taken aback at such a transformation. From lovely lady to homeless street person - bad teeth and all. What a commitment they have made!"
The next event was the widely anticipated Raffles. Ticket after ticket was drawn for some outstanding items and unfortunately, our table didn't win a single thing. We groaned; loudly!
The only thing that marred a lovely evening was that one person became seriously ill and had to be taken to the hospital.
Well, Dana had set the alarm a bit later, which was a relief.
8:30 - 10:30 A.M.
Once again we sat by different people and it felt like Old Home Week as we got together for our last shared meal.
This time our centerpiece was Summer; marvelous landscaping and water treatments.
And, once again we all tried to see it from all angles.
Oh, what delightful figures. Karla, or someone, pointed out that instructions on making little figures like these are in the Souvenir booklet from the show.
We heard more about the person who had become ill. Her husband had been called and we learned also that Sue Herber had spent much of the evening at the hospital to keep the poor lady company. We all felt hopeful that she would recover completely.
So many good ideas in all those little dome scenes!
And we were thrilled to receive this wonderful 144th scale gingerbread house, ready for us to furnish. It was made by Miniature Club, Play With Itty Bits, from Coeur d'Alene, Idaho.
There was a great air of anticipation as names were called for various prizes, and once again our table won nothing. Isabel Allen won the centerpiece, which was Summer, and there was a collective groan around the room because everyone wanted to win a centerpiece. To our amazement and great joy, the Centerpiece Committee had made over 300 of those centerpieces, and we ALL received one. And - get this - my non-miniaturist daughter was so overwhelmed at this largesse that she burst into tears!
That was a monumental undertaking, and Susie Newell, the designer, said, "Our centerpiece committee worked almost 3 years getting the 319 done. 300 for the hp, 1 for NAME and 18 for US! We each decided we wanted one of each season for ourselves. I used 32 gallons of light weight spackle on the bases. The girls said that they used a tanker of gas getting from their houses to mine to work on them and I don't think they were exaggerating."
Pam Junk added, "The committee worked hard on them but Susie went waaaaay above and beyond, basically giving up a "normal" life and a "normal" house for the past several years so everyone could have one! She and her ever patient husband Russ deserve gold medals." I agree wholeheartedly. And I doubt that feat will ever be repeated!
After the huge cheer went up and ecstatic convention goers settled down somewhat, we were reminded that shipping services would be available in the hallway outside the ballroom. It made sense then why shipping times were mentioned in the House Party schedule!
Someone - our waiter, perhaps? - obligingly took our group photo at some point during the Convention. From left, Joanne Bailey, Gaye Schmeidchen, Dana McCartney, Bob Francis, Wanna Newman, Isabel Allen, Gary Baillargeon, Gayle Baillargeon, Karen Carter, Ron Carter.
People everywhere were taking pictures of their goodies, but did I think to get out MY camera? No.
It sure helps when people use that bead at the back to raise their name tags up closer to eye level. I missed out on who a lot of people were because I couldn't see their name tags very easily, especially when they were seated. After I first put these pages on my website, Marilyn Nielsen wrote me that the woman on the left is Alician Pearce of Wisconsin. Goodness; I've been seeing her name in miniatures circles for years!
(I'll have to remind Dana to raise her name tag, too. lol) Shortly after someone obligingly took this picture of us, Dana hurried off to the Sales room to find things for her Summer Centerpiece!
What good friends we had all become. One of our table mates, Joanne Bailey, left, had driven her travel trailer from Canada, and asked if she could temporarily store her box in our room until her husband came to pick her up.
So she and Pam McDonald, also from Canada, brought their cartons to store in our room temporarily since Pam was checking out and could not carry hers on the plane.
Dana was off again, but I stayed in our room for a brief rest, and then I began figuring out how to pack everything. It took me a long time. I ate the left-over half of the Theme Luncheon sandwich, sitting in one chair with my feet in the other, with the sliding glass door open to wonderful fresh air.
As it turned out, I had brought from home two breakfasts and two lunches for each of us. I ate two breakfasts and two lunches, both great time-savers providing opportunities to get a little more rest, but wound up tossing Dana's, as she was always out and about. As I said in the beginning, she expended energy and I conserved it. lol
Joanne and her husband picked up their boxes and when I went down to ship our two boxes at 4, I was through with my packing except for my clothing.
Fortunately, Dana managed to catch the drawbridge in operation as barges approached.
Apparently there is a deep channel over there closer to the Washington shore.
Looks like they're carrying some kind of red ore.
Somehow I had expected a drawbridge that opened in the middle, but this is cool, anyway. Here it is fully up and the barges have gone underneath.
We drove downtown to meet Dana's high school friend and my former student, Wesley Harrison, at 6:00 p.m. at a restaurant called Veritable Quandary. Fortunately, the rain had stopped and it was a lovely evening, if a bit chilly, and we sat out on a patio surrounded by lush wonderful plants.
Wesley had moved to Portland in December and is really loving it. The old high school buddies look pretty cute after all these years, don't they?
That bread was chewy and delicious; wonder if it came from the same bakery as the bread at the Tippy Canoe place? I had a fabulous roast pork loin dinner, and once again rhubarb for dessert, this time in a Crumble.
It was great reminiscing with my former student and recalling the good old days at Ysleta High School when he and Dana were students and I was teaching. I remember him as a good writer, and always with his camera, running to capture all that he could of the high school experience - climbing up and reaching down and sliding under to get his shot for the newspaper and the school annual.
It amazed me what Wesley remembered from the one year, his junior year, he spent with me! He recalled in great detail what we did in that class and especially the popular music I tied in with our American literature studies. In particular he recalled the first Alan Parsons Project, Tales of Mystery & Imagination: Edgar Allan Poe, after our in-depth study of the works of Poe; and The Police, after we studied the Faust legend, etc. He told me recently that after he got home that evening he got out his Parsons CDs and played them!
It was a lovely evening and after we hugged and said goobye to our good friend, Dana drove us all around downtown, and then we drove out of the city and up to the Pittock Mansion where she had been earlier. It was closed for the night and we only got a glimpse of it from the back but it was still a very interesting drive. One thing that struck me about Portland was that one instant we were in the city and the next in the middle of some deep dark forest on a very narrow winding road. It was dark and we knew houses were back in there somewhere, but we had the road entirely to ourselves.
Goodie, goodie, no alarm! But - gasp! we were still up at 7, got dressed, and had breakfast in the dining room, once again overlooking the river.
Dana just couldn't resist getting better pictures, since it had been so rainy earlier.
"I wish those guys would hurry up and finish," she said. The two men had a very animated discussion in German.
"Their white shirts reflect in the glass and mess up my pictures!"
The sun was out brightly that day and because of my sun sensitivity I had to find a shady spot, as I was still experiencing the aftereffects of the previous afternoon, when I had sat too long in the lobby visiting with the few remaining miniaturists waiting for their rides, and the glare through the windows got to me.
Well, we sighed, as we left the dining room, time to finish packing up.
She loves her large pocketed fabric sling purse and was happy to find more of them at the Craft Show downtown where she purchased another for herself and one for her soon-to-be-daughter-in-law. Now the trick was to fit them all in to get them home! As it was, she carried two on the plane, I think ...
This souvenir shoulder bag for Jenna looks like it leaped out of a Harry Potter setting!
My philosophy is Pack everything else, but carry the minis with you! That bag on the right is my favorite of all time; it is unstructured but tough canvas with pockets everywhere. It was from the 2005 QC online convention; I think that was the first one in which I participated. Besides my windbreaker, a folding hat, and my novel and other essentials, I use it to carry our food when I leave home, and since I don't bring any food back - well, maybe a bag of unopened chips - it is perfect for packaging the minis. I even carried a quarter scale bungalow in it from Chicago.
I figured if I HAD to leave something behind, I could leave that little barn display that I won because I have some similar pieces, but somehow it managed to fit, too.
Dana sent another message and then went to load the rental car ...
... while I walked one last time down that hallway with the beautiful outlook.
By that time, the lobby was an awfully quiet place, compared to the previous few days!
I had gotten well acquainted with that ATM machine glowing seductively in the gloom!
Dana drove me around to see certain places, including an area with houseboats. We also crossed over to Vancouver and looked around there a bit before heading for the airport. One day she will have those pictures posted and I will include a link.
Once again a nice young man wheeled me to our Gate, and then we entered the plane for our trip home.
Got to get this view.
What a fabulous way to say goodbye to our Great Northwest Adventure.
And later to look out and see Grand Canyon stretching on and on below was breathtaking.
We stopped in Phoenix to pick up passengers, but did not disembark. Before the newcomers began loading I heard voices across the aisle a few seats back telling an attendant that they were miniaturists. And by golly, these two happy women from the San Antonio area had been to Portland, too.
You know how it is when you know someone online wiith just a name, not a face, and you think they are going to look one way and they don't? Even though we introduced ourselves and I "know" them, for the life of me I cannot now attach the names with their faces. Help me out here, someone. I have wracked my brain, and I recall the names Jeanette Rost, Jo Ann Miller, Jenny Williams, Mary Sweet, Kathleen Moore, Kat from Texas, Val in San Antonio , but ....
My SIL Lee was at the El Paso airport for Dana, and my dear Robert was there for me. We brought a bit of Portland with us, as it was quite cool and feeling-like-rain then and the next day!
The last NAME Convention I had attended was way back in the early 90s, and I always had a good time, but this one was exceptional! My only regret is that I couldn't take more classes, and somehow I missed the Hospitality Room entirely because I was too tired or too excited or too something. I hear it was great and people loved the kits.
Thank you, Portland Committee, and thank you, NAME! Can't wait to get rested up and ready for the next SmallScales Convention! In the meantime, I have safely received my Fall Centerpiece dome (as Dana her Summer one) and it makes me smile every time I look at it.
Finally, thank you, dear daughter Dana, for your wonderful company, your indefatigable energy and your marvelous camera. Love ya! And last but not least, thank you dear husband Robert, for saving that thick stack of $1s and $5s and being my biggest cheerleader! Love you, dear!
NOTE: Here is contact information for those who put this great convention together:
Mary Lou Stephens
HOME IMPROVEMENT SEMINARS:
Pat Perry & Doreen Lindsay
HOUSEPARTY HELPER & SILENT AUCTION:
ROUND TABLE WORKSHOPS: