Monday, February 7, 2011
Tucson Gem Show, part II
So earlier I went over the lowlights of my annual Tucson trip. Today I'm going to give you the highlights. Because as wild and crazy as this event can be, there are ALWAYS good memories to take home.
- My rental car was a Chrysler 300. You have to understand that I am a car girl. I love cars. And my choices this year were between the 300 and a Ford Taurus. No hard feeling to Taurus owners, but c'mon! There wasn't really any other choice.The rental sales guy said, "Are you sure you don't want the Taurus?" Um....hel-lo! Have you met me??
This was probably the most fun rental I have ever had (and I've had some doozies, trust me). Its throaty engine, its pep coming off the line, and overall Daddy Mac aesthetic (in addition to a verrrrrry comfortable interior, made driving so much fun! And I don't mean just surface street driving. I fly to Phoenix and rent my car, then drive to Tucson to shop, and return to Phoenix to fly home. I plan this for a couple of reasons: first, car rentals, just like hotel rooms, can be scarce in Tucson. One year there was a mix-up and I had to go from rental counter to rental counter desperately looking for something because...well, there I was in Tucson, ready to shop, but with no transportation. Finally one of the rental places got me a van...that was lovely. And second, I grew up in Phoenix, and still have friends and family there. So I usually tack on a day or so on either end of the trip, and flying in and out of Phoenix means I can spend time with them as well. So I had about ninety minutes (each way) of freeway time in the "pimp my ride" car. And I enjoyed every minute of it.
Of course the photo above is much sexier than the one shot I got with the BlackBerry, but here is MY actual rental, sitting in Helen's driveway. Funny, it doesn't look like 30-degree weather...
- Helen and I had a blast together. Last year I did not attend the show, so we missed our annual catching up. We reminisced about all the other years of show-going, laughed (because what else can you do??) about the weather, water, and heat issues, enjoyed the annual dinner outing with all the other jewelry wingnuts and rock- and gem-hounds in town, and shopped like crazy. Here's the value of a friend who knows you well: I asked Helen what she was going to do while I was there (she works a regular job and can't always attend the show). She said, "I'm coming with you to do what we do." What that means is that she is my second pair of shopping eyes, keeps me from meandering aimlessly through the tents (It's easy to get distracted!), and tries to stop me from losing anything and everything. I say "tries" because I usually manage to lose things anyway. In past years, I have left behind: purchases (very bad!), credit cards (also bad!), shopping lists, pens, calculators, and too many bottles of water to count. Shopping is much better when Helen's there...and not just because she's good company! We have done this so many times that we can easily communicate at the show without saying a word. It's laser-focused shopping. :)
- I regrouped and tweaked my game plan, after the frustration and panic of day one. Items I couldn't find will have to be sourced elsewhere, if possible, so I bought new shapes, colors, and sizes of gems. Hopefully they will be just as loved by the customers as by me (I have a sneaking suspicion that they willl...) Usually Tucson is such an amazing shopping experience, but some years are just "off", and that means being flexible and creative with what you've got. After all, that's what I do for a living. I should be used to it!
- Shopping done, I headed to Phoenix to see my girl Ginger and her husband Brett. I stayed over at their home before flying back to Georgia the next day. We never fail to have a crazy time together and typically many strange photos are taken. Ging and I have an abiding love for 1980's music, so that's usually what's on the iPods...one year we wore side ponytails and did 80's makeup. This year it was still COLD so we bundled up and took some silly shots. And of course we had to sit in the Mac Daddy for some photos too...can you guess which one is me?
It might help if I tell you that I am still wearing my tights...along with a cowboy hat, Ging's sassy boots, and a very rockin' (and warm) faux fur leather coat. And my red Target sweatpants. :)
This is Tasha, unofficial princess of the Hager household (they have one son, two horses, four dogs, two cats, and a whole lotta fish). She's also my girl...though in this shot she is giving me the hairy eyeball. Despite that thick coat, the princess *hates* to be cold. But we have our favorites...I am hers and she is mine. And we don't care who knows it. :)
Now that I'm home, it's time to focus on new designs again, both with metal and gems. I missed my fabrication class last week, so I am attending tonight instead. Hopefully after that I will be able to show you the most recent class project in its finished state! I'll post it here as soon as I can...