Whew! Estrella was dusty. How dusty was it? No rain in over 130+ days. The water pipe to the area of the park was broken for months prior. We had dust storms. We had minor wind the whole time and a little major wind (30 mph) one day. EVERYTHING was dusty. The fighters had it the worst - they have to lie down when they are "killed".
That said, Estrella was what a good vacation should be -- a mind altering experience. The run up to the event was hard with the husband having to work - Friday evening, all day Saturday, all day Sunday and part of the day on Monday to get a project finished. We went to the Cyprians ball and out to dinner first, but we were both so tired from the prior week, we left at 10:30 pm to go home and crash.
Opted to do the drive in one fell swoop - 12 hours on Tuesday. Celebrated Valentines Day at midnight Monday night since we were both up packing. Long drive, but it allowed us to dawdle on Wednesday - lazy morning. Breakfast at TJ's. Arrive on site after the land rush and with Starbucks Cinnamon Dolce Latte in hand. Pre-reg meant that we were done with registration in less than 5 minutes. I bunked my stuff and hung out through the event with the Hooded Hare in merchants row since it was near to A&S. Husband was able to stow his fighting gear with the Oerthans (thank-you!). The Oerthans had a great presence - over 20 and the rapier group looked fabulous. The also made arm bands for all the fighters and anyone who supported the West on the field. Pout - since I didn't fight I didn't get one.
Taught Goldwork on Thursday, More Metal Thread on Friday, and Blackwork Filling Patterns on Saturday. 7 hours in all. Had 11-12 students in each and a couple opted to take all 3 classes. Think I infected a number of them with the goldwork and blackwork bugs. It really felt good to have so many really take to the techniques. A couple of the students already understood the technique, but I was able to give them some help on technique nits and challenge them with a couple more advanced bits. Teaching in the wind and heat is tiring and unfortunately I didn't have enough energy to take classes. Did get to schmooze with some of the other teachers and attend the Goldworkers Tea.
The downside of hoteling is the lack of socializing in the evening. We left site usually around 8ish. The real parties and bardics happen later in the evening so, missed out a bit.
Sunday was the Artisans Display. I put out The Project (dress with beaded collar and sleeve), the couched gold piece (front piece for my German), the dyeing - bonework - broaches - linenhose from the Poppy Run, the pearled hat, and several of the embroidery teaching pieces (voided work, Egyptian pattern darning, Icelandic Pattern Darning, German brick stitch, blackwork filling patterns). It made for a very full half table. The display went for about 2 1/2 hours and it was non-stop people. I received lots of compliments and a few little tokens. People seemed to like, in order, the linen hose, the sleeve, and the couched goldwork the best.
Monday was the 12 hour drive back. Long but it was better than trying to drive back even part way on Sunday. All in all Estrella was a vacation. We felt like we had really been away. I feel renewed in my teaching and gratified that people really like my work - my art. It is really hard for me to see myself as an artist, but sometimes I'm beginning to feel that I get there.
Now off to do my next column and 3 new bits - the online Crazy Quilting course (I could easily loose myself in this with all the wonderful ideas and eye candy from Sharon Boggins - In a Minute Ago), the Crazy for Color workshop on Saturday for my EGA group which is also Crazy Quilting - still need to pick my threads and extra fabrics to take, and Tuesday's EGA program on decorating clothing - remember the jeans of the 70's - its back - Dolce and Gabbana $3000 - class free!