Monday, June 27, 2011

HSA conference in Pittsburgh

Vending at a conference is a little different than attending a conference. Okay... a lot. But I really enjoy it. There is usually a good bit of down time while the attendees are in workshops or lectures, and that's a relaxed time to get to know the people around you.
The Essential Herbal did very well with our books and magazine, and Torchsong Studio nearly sold out of her Wishing Vessels. Looks like Maryanne will be busy on the torch melting glass this week, and I have quite a few orders sitting here waiting to go out. It was now or never for the blog though, since more excitement awaits!

Josh Young and Jim Long from Long Creek Herbs were on one side of us. Jim was pretty busy with scheduled talks, etc., but I was happy to see Josh was our neighbor. We've vended in close proximity in the past, and he always makes it a humorous and enjoyable time. It was also great to meet his lovely mother Barbara, and it quickly became clear where Josh's sensibilities come from. Jim joined us for a good bit of Friday afternoon. Jim seems to have a thing for hats, so he wandered over to Carolee's area and tried one on. Personally, I think it really looked good, but he put it back.
On the other side of us was graphic designer and illustrator Karen Sandorf. She has a lovely selection of cards, calendars and hang-able art. She does the art, the printing, the scoring, folding, wrapping - and I can completely relate to that! On the back of the notecards (which are blank inside for writing), there are recipes that include the herbs on the front. I am hoping to carry them on the website soon.

One of my favorite acquisitions from the weekend is this mug, held here by the artist, Sandy Manteuffel. It is absolutely gorgeous! The outside of the mug is porcelain, and the mug is sort of bas relief so that you can feel the leaves and bugs and fairies carved into the clay. She does various kinds of pressed clay work, but I just fell in love with this piece. Her business is From the Earth to You, and there is no website, but the email is

On Friday morning I took advantage of the on-site massage therapist, Alison Matesa from Munhall Chiropractic (412-638-5807) in Homestead PA. She was offering chair massage, but I asked her to work on my poor swollen foot. It did help a lot for the day, although gravity wasn't on my side :-( If you're in the area, Alison did a great job!

There were a lot of great vendors in the marketplace. Lisa Head of Perry County gave a workshop on making beeskeps, and also had her handmade, amazing skeps on display for sale.
And of course we shared our travels with the Reppert-Brill girls, Susanna and Angelica of The Rosemary House. There is no picture that can express how much fun it was to hang out with the two of them. They are wonderful companions.
We also got to have dinner with a friend we got to know during the Somerset weed walk a couple of years ago - Deborah Stiffler - and enjoyed elderflower "martinis" while playing Bananagram at the table.
Oh, and then there was Ben from The Saturday Light Brigade which "has celebrated our neighborhood's people, places and ideas. These engaging features, heard live on the radio Saturday mornings, can now be easily streamed and downloaded at" who interviewed Jim Long, Susanna Reppert, and me. He was an engaging young man with really good follow-up questions. An excellent interviewer, he was. I'm not sure what will happen to those interviews, but it was fun and interesting to do. Thanks to Jim for the shove, btw.

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