Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Catching up from the weekend - finally

I'm saving most of the pictures for a magazine article, so this will be a phot0-less post.
One of the things that struck me over the 4 days of tearing wildly from one event to the next was how a circle of friends just keeps growing.
Mike Eppley of singinghillemu.com asked us to do the soapmaking at the conference he organized. For a few years, he was "the emu guy" across from us at Landis Valley Herb Fair, and then the year we set up and did classes at the PA Farm Show, he was there too. He wanted us to do the classes because he thinks we're entertaining. We get a big kick out of that. We were amazed at the caliber of show Mike put together.

Next was the Mid-Atlantic Lights & Lather Artisans conference. I don't really remember how Abbie from Scents & Sensibility and I started talking (or emailing, I should say), but the next thing we knew, Maryanne and I were scheduled to take part in the demos/talks. Cheryl from Erinn's Laine Candles was Abbies co-organizer, and they did a fine job! It felt like we knew everyone there by the time we went to sleep on Friday night, so the conference itself was a blast. And the prizes.... well, lets just say there were many, many prizes. We wound up winning a large gift certificate to Snow Drift Farms for having the most unusual (or something like that) soap. It was our road apples soap. I also won a gift subscription for a magazine! Scores of oils and scents to try out, and some coupons and offers that we have to look through carefully to be sure we don't miss out on the opportunities. Anyhow, Abbie, Cheryl, and Lyshel from Candle Cocoon seemed like old friends by the end of the day. Bonnie Barkley taught us all how to do gemstone soaps - and she is a funny lady. The woman who did molds... I'll have to find my program and put her name in... she was hilarious. Bambi from All About Travel might have sold a cruise too. Just need to get the biz out of the August doldrums.

Last was the Int'l Herb Association Convention on Sunday. Sweet Sue Hess had offered to share a room with us, and it was heaven to have that all ready when we rolled into town after 10 Sat. night. We threw our table up on Sunday morning (the convention had started the day before), and I whoooshed out to do my presentation along with Stacy Fox, Francesco DiBaggio, and Susanna Reppert. Tina Marie Wilcox and Susan Belsinger were very welcoming. The local organizers were the Wadjas from Willow Pond near Gettysburg. It was a very nicely put together conference, and I really enjoyed the presentations I got to sit in on. More than anything though, any conference or convention where you are around people in your field (or like some this weekend - close), you meet people. You get to know them in a way that the internet doesn't allow.

Now I will be able to picture the way people smile, or the tone of their voices when we write back and forth. It helps to form good solid relationships. It was a rough weekend, but so worth it. We came out of it enriched with new friends and acquaintances.

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