Wednesday, February 9, 2011

It's Over...and Just Beginning

My rugged friend Heidi and I at our booth en plein air at the Best Bead Show.

I'm sad to say that the Best Bead Show is over for this year, and I am alone for the first time in over a week mulling over many sweet memories. Seeing the javelinas that first gorgeous morning (as well as the last day), the excitement of setting up, the Flameoff, the karaoke party (with some startling performances by some glass icons), it just goes on. I'm much more of a "beginnings" kinda gal, and goodbyes and door closings, no matter how soft are always difficult for me. Instead, I'm going to focus on the path ahead, the work, decisions and new connections to be made.

Eli Mazet took 1st place in the solo flameworking competition at the Flameoff.

Eli's winning piece, with something like 13 skulls piled on each other for the base.

First place in the pairs competition went to Matt Bain & Jon Russell, with this incredible creation.
Keep in mind that these pieces are created in a matter of a couple of hours.
See the rest of the winners here.

Our booth neighbor Kevin O'Grady, telling an interested group of women about his work.
This is a common sight at the show. Kevin had some killer new work to show this year.

My favorite desert animals, the javelina.

Bead fans come in all shapes and sizes. I am honored to report that Senor Dune found one of my beads lick-worthy. He got his name after being rescued, near death, from the desert. He now lives a well-deserved life of luxury.

It was wonderful to have a little time to wander through the halls and tents and visit with friends like Joyce, Kate, Lori, Judy, Denise, Jean, David, and more. Everyone's tables looked so delicious! I wish I had gotten more photos of people at their booths but I'm kind of shy about that.

As I look back on the challenges (2 days peddling beads and jewelry outside in 37 degree weather come to mind) and the fun, as time goes by I'll recall mostly just the fun. Ironically, I've been chasing incredible weather around the Western U.S., leaving unseasonably warm days behind, and arriving in the desert just as their unseasonably warm temps are replaced by a 100 year deep freeze. Arriving home last night was the same - it was 80 degrees here last weekend and now is brisk and threatening rain soon. Oh well, best snuggle up to the fire and get over it.

The lovely fountain outside our casita froze, as did fountains all over town.

Cacti are always beckoning me to photograph them.

Harris Hawk, in a thrilling raptor demonstration at the desert museum.

We were totally spoiled by our friends Terry and Barnes, who made sure we were always well nourished and cared for in every respect, and who shared their decades of knowledge and deep connections with this area. What comfort it was to know that there were caring people waiting for us each night at home. The jacuzzi was just what the doctor ordered to revive our cold, stiff bodies those first couple of nights. I look forward to our next visit there, to see more of the Tucson area and more of the shows. There's just never enough time to do it all, is there?

My booth mate Polly gets the Best Attitude award for finding cause to celebrate (an unbroken jellyfish!) amidst the ruin of her broken boro work that crashed to the ground in the night when our canopy nearly left the earth. This place is known for high winds and I'm now the proud owner of a sledge hammer and some 2' long iron stakes. A heartfelt thank you to the astute Pima County sheriff's officers who were there at 3am and tried to minimize the damage. Most of Polly's beautiful work survived, and it was cool to see all the Japanese boro boys who came to trade with her.

Polly and Heidi, bundled up in our booth.

Polly's stalwart boro jellyfish, silhouetted against the gorgeous desert sky.

It was great to see some brave shoppers out those first few days, and even better to see the crowds multiply as the temperatures rose with our spirits. I got some great feedback on my new reptilian beads, and was further inspired by the reptile exhibit at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum on Monday. I can't wait to get back in the studio and explore some new ideas.

So, it was a great road trip, and an incredible adventure. Tucson, I'll miss you.


rosebud101 said...

Patty, you must have had a wonderful time!!! I hope to make it there one of these years!

lomaprietapottery said...

Loved having you here! Have not seen the Javalinas since you left. It is as if they came to say hello and good by to you!

Patty said...

Terry, I like to call that "kismet", and kismet is always good. They'll be back soon, I hope. It was so much fun being with you both and just magical to see all of the desert animals.


thanks Patty ..
fantastic post ..

man did we miss ..
0( ...

love mo & the girls

mairedodd said...

thank you so much for sharing all of that - the ups and downs of the show... but through it all, your wonderful spirit that inspires in so many ways is ever present... beautiful...

Barbara Lewis said...

Patty, It was great seeing your little corner of Tucson. It was quite an experience. I've already signed up for my spot for next year's performance!

Snowcatcher said...

Hard to believe the desert went cold at precisely the time you would be there. Glad the wind didn't destroy your work or your friend's.

Sharon Driscoll said...

Outdoor shows are so unpredicable -We once did a show here in MI when it snowed on Mother's Day. It sounds like you overcame all challenges and had a great time, I'd expect nothing less from a art trooper! Thanks for sharing Patty. Can you pet Javelinas?

Patty said...

Sharon, I think you're wise not to pet them. First, the males smell really bad, and they do have some pretty nasty looking teeth. I hear you should never get between a mom and her baby, as well. We viewed them behind a very sturdy fence, and that was fine with me. :-)


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