Getting Ready

So what have I been doing for the past few weeks? Well, other than working on our new energy efficient house (doing the unpleasant, but necessary, insulating and caulking around the windows and doors, etc.), I’ve been getting ready for the 2009 Crochet Guild of America Conference in Buffalo.

I wasn’t able to attend last year’s conference because it conflicted with my trip to Ghana. I’m going to Ghana again in August, but a few days after returning from Buffalo. In fact, I shortened my Ghana trip to attend the 2009 Conference.

I not only enjoy the conferences, but learn a lot, too! Back in 2007, one of the Professional Development Day panelists asked me why I was attending, but I knew that I still had a lot to learn – and I did. On that day, Kim Werker encouraged me to start this blog during her Internet session (and this is my 65th post)! Lilly Chin prepped us for the media – explaining the importance of preparing catchy phrases and memorable responses ahead of time for when the opportunity presents itself. Rita Weiss and Jean Leinhauser told us what editors wanted. I didn’t realize, for instance, that submissions should include pieces of each yarn used and the yarn labels; that the project should be tagged with both my name and it’s title; that each page of the instructions should include my name, the project title, and the page number; and that some editors prefer to block the pieces themselves!

It’s a lot of work to submit good conference class proposals, then to get everything ready when they’re accepted! A little more work for me this time because I prepared separate instructions for right-handed and left-handed crocheters! I also requested and received free beads, beading needles, yarn, and thread from several generous companies for my classes. I loaded Fire Mountain Gem triangle seed beads onto Patons Classic Wool for my Bead & Felted Tapestry Crochet Cell Phone Ribbon Bag project. Each kit includes $15 of materials, but thanks to the donations, I only need to charge $1!

Kit-Packed Bags for Chain Link 2009
My bags packed with class kits and examples.

Even though my My Bead Tapestry Crochet Cuff Bracelet is scheduled for all day Friday – I still strung Fire Mountain Gems size 8 seed beads onto white and size 6 seed beads onto colorful Aunt Lydia’s Fashion Crochet size 3 crochet cotton to allow everyone more time to finish their bracelet. I always bring along my bead spinner, thread, and beads so that class participants can practice stringing beads, too.

The most time consuming prep was putting together a Powerpoint for my Tapestry Crochet Project and Motif Design class. This interactive presentation includes info from my videos and publications and introduces new material and breaks for tapestry crochet graph paper exercises after each is introduced. I also included the types of images that inspire some of the motifs on my projects – and I look forward to seeing how they will be interpreted by each student!

I’ve sent off my submission for the Design Contest and wrapped my package for the gift exchange. The Design Contest winners will be announced Thursday night, the same night that members exchange a hand crocheted item (maximum $20 of materials). I can’t show you a picture of my package, because it’s a secret! Not everyone exchanges, but I especially love this part of the conference – so I always show up prepared!

I’m not teaching on Saturday, but decided to stay until Sunday to participate in the Fashion Show. Not only to see the runway fashions, but also to look at the fabulous crocheted ensembles and accessories worn by the fashionistas in the audience.

The deadline for preregistration is July 23rd. After that time you can still sign up, but it’s more expensive. Money aside, being surrounded by people who share my crochet passion and being able to match online names to faces is priceless. I hope to see you there – and please say hello, if you are able to make it!

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