Tuesday, November 8, 2011

IQF Houston, 2011

A couple of years ago, I was juried into a photography contest hosted by the IQF which debuted at the Houston festival; I was thrilled and honored. But that feeling can't even compare to the floaty, astonished, humbled way I feel now as I sit and write this post.

Let me start my recap of my IQF experience by first apologizing for not having a single bit of photographic eye candy of the show, the quilts, the vendor area, or of friends. My beloved camera went missing in that enormous hall some time on Saturday before I could take and upload any to my computer! I don't grieve long, though- things go missing all the time- so today, I went and purchased a new "set of eyes", a Canon PowerShot SX40.

Still, not even being a bonehead with my camera could dampen my excitement during this years' show, or my pride in wearing this badge onto the convention floor. 

I did my first Open Studios demo on Preview Night, Wednesday. Only students, teachers and vendors are allowed into the convention hall that night- not the thousands and thousands who will descend between Thursday and Sunday- but it gave me a great idea of what it would be like the next afternoon to demo at a table buzzing with fellow mixed-media artists and enthusiasts. It makes me so happy when I'm able to make art and talk with others about technique and process at the same time. An Open Studios demo is all about those two things, so I was in heaven! The Thursday demo was even more crowded and happy and kinetic; I chatted with hundreds of people throughout those two sessions about everything from products, where to buy them, and how to use them, to techniques, mediums and grounds. This kind of shop talk is even better to me than chocolate.

While giving the demos was one of the most fun things I've ever done and I will never forget it, it was meeting up with so many of the friends I've made in the fiber arts community that has left me so thunderstruck. THAT was the real highlight of the show for me, getting to see, hug, chat with, work with, and hang with so many friends! Unfortunately, I didn't even get to meet everyone I wanted to- it was crazybusy times, for sure, and as I looked around at my fellow artists who were also involved in all the same activities, I could see that it was like that for them, as well! A frenzy of fun, a whirlwind of a few days, and then it's over and we're all happy, exhausted and broke!

And speaking of ways to go broke at the festival, in the vendor area I naturally gravitated towards those merchants selling my most favorite products- fabric dyes and paints, mixed-media goodies, furniture builders (I may- towards the end of 2012- be in the market for a real sewing table), and longarm vendors.

One of my favorite vendor booths was Artistic Artifacts, purveyors of paints, unusual fabrics, found objects and embellishments. Owner Judy Gula and I will have a surprise coming in January that I think you'll enjoy, so look for that here on this blog!

And of course, the Make It University staff, volunteers and participating artists were incredible. I felt comfortable and happy working in their space and I hope I was able to make them proud, as well.

Festival was a success, despite the missing camera!

2011 is coming to an end, and it's been a year filled with both very, very good and very bad. It's been exhilarating and exhausting, and has come flying at me non-stop since January. It's time to slow down. I'll be taking some time off between now and New Years and after that, in 2012, my plan is to work hard, develop SJ into a new direction, and see where that journey takes me.

I know this for sure... I checked a bunch of things off my bucket list last weekend!

Happy creating!
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