Well, we have finished our first day of marathon shopping and after another wonderful dinner with the Needlework Maffia, we are ready to wind down the day. We started out at breakfast around 8am, where we fortify ourselves for the day. Debi and I rarely take the time to each lunch at this particular show since shopping time is so limited. The show on Saturday runs from 9am - 6pm and we are on the move the entire day. There are 5 floors of vendors with about 30-35 vendors per floor. Our normal course of action is to hit the couple of vendors we must get to early on Saturday because of limited edition items and then we methodically go floor by floor.
So this morning we started out picking a few limited edition items at Hillside Samplings followed by a brief visit to Indigo Rose. Catherine has a family member who's the manager of a Starbucks so she brings coffe with her to brew in her room all day and it's a magnet for the caffeine addicts (of which Debi is one). After a cup of good coffee we're off the complete our rounds. Vendor rooms are on floors 2 through 6 and we worked our way through the 2nd floor until about 1pm. This floor included From Nancy's Needle, The Hearts Content, Liz Turner Diehl, Britstitch, HIllside Samplings, Threads of Gold and Week's Dye Works. We filled up our rolly-carts (the truly indespensible tool of any trade show) and when done with that floor took a break and retreated to our hotel room on the 9th floor. A quick "necessary" break, a phone call to confirm dinner, depositing our new found goodies on the couch and we're off for the afteroon.
We had to drop off an order at Just Another Button Company on floor 6 so that was our next floor to conquer. This floor included Picture This Plus, Marking Sampler, Silver Lining, Fancy Work, Lizzie Kate, JBW Designs, Sisters and Best Friends, Sam Sarah Designs, R&R Reproductions and Blackbird Designs. That took us until about 3:30 or so to complete, then time for another trip to the room, more depositing of goodies and off for round three today.
Our last floor today was the 5th floor, which had Dinky Dyes, BIZZI Creations, Cat's Whiskers, Kelmscott Designs, Art-Stitch, Kreinik, Pine Mountain Designs, Hob-Nobb Designs, Whimsey & Wit, Patricia Ann Designs, Brightneedle and With My Needle. We try to take a little time to visit with vendors, especially those we've known for a long time, but there's not always enough time for as lengthy a visit as we would like. But at least we get to catch up a little on what's new with many of them. We finished floor 5 about 5:55pm so it was time to head back to the room again and then get ready for dinner. So in 9 hours we visited about 100 vendors, bought lots of goodies and wore our poor feet out. Ok, in my case it seems like my knees are what can't take the stop 'n go traffice like they used to.
Dinner was at the Stockyard restaurant, a fabulous steak house in the old stockyard building just outside of downtown Nashville. It was an actual stockyard until the mid 70's and has been a restuarant for most tof the time since then. We had an absolutely fabulous wait staff, with the quote of the evening being "I love it when you moan" from our head waiter. I can't recall the last time I laughed so much at a dinner and it wasn't even comedy night! The food was wonderful and as always, the enjoyment of dinner with our friends was the highlight.
We're settling down for the night - printing boarding passes for those leaving tomorrow on flights home and getting paperwork sorted. Actually I'm writing this while Debi is sorting paperwork. We're not leaving until Monday in the early afternoon so we've got time for a change, to go through our purchases and sort them all out before we pack them. Usually we leave on the last flight out Sunday to Oakland but decided this year to stay an extra day and not be so rushed. I think it's going to be a welcome change even it means not spending another night in my own bed.
We have bought and ordered a lot of new items for you. New bead kits, a new scroll frame system to try out along with a new lap stand, new samplers, a few new punch needle designs (which I love), new cross-stitch designs and a few fabrics. We'll publish a separate list of the new items when we get them all cataloged - hopefully by the time we get back.
Tomorrow is the last two floors and we only have 7 hours (9am - 4pm) to get them done. This includes Bent Creek, Little by Little, Crescent Colours, Milady's Needle, Heart in Hand, Twisted Thread and the list goes on. So another 60 or so vendors to vist and explore. But now it's time for a good night's rest!!!