I do wanna give a shout out to all of you that attended and snapped a photo with me. Thank you! I loved meeting each and everyone of you and I was thrilled that you wanted a picture with my wackiness. I love y'all!
So in this here blog post, I thought I'd break down for y'all my experience. I had so much fun attending sessions and presenting (a whopping four times. Someone. Please. Remind me next year just how crazy I am, ermkay?). If you weren't able to attend, don't you sweat it, sistah (and brah), Ima be creating blog posts on my presentations (10 Exciting Ways to Introduce Vocabulary and Tiptoeing into Blogging) later this week. So stay tuned!
And without further ado-ness, I present to you NOLA NAEA 2015!
So the amazing Tim Gunn was our keynote speaker. And he was seriously just that: ah-freakin'-mazing. Like, there was laughter, there were tears, there was loud coughing into the microphone by the interviewer (whut was that, y'all?!), it was ab fab. As y'all might recall, I interviewed Tim waaaaay back in December for the April issue of School Arts magazine. So, I gotta tell you this hilarious stalker thing I did after Tim's talk: I was standing around outside the auditorium with a bunch buddies rehashing the dude's awesomeness when we spot him! He's chatting with a small crowd of folks and my friends were all, "OMG, there he is! Let's get him!" And, being his new BFF, I lead the troops to introduce ourselves and say hellllllo. Did I mention that one of the buddies in my group was wearing a dress completely decked out in Mardi Gras beads? Well, imagine this if you will, we start walking towards Tim but he's leaving! So we start walking faster. Next thing you know, we are chasing the man and I can hear the SWISH! SWISH! of the beaded-dress girl behind me. Now, least you think I'm a total fool, the dude WITH Tim was waving us on! He was saying, "Hurry! C'mon!" So our behavior was totally encouraged, warranted and justified. When we finally reached Tim breathless and swishy you can tell poor dude is in a rush. He rapid fire shakes our hands and poof! disappears. I was mortified. I shook my clenched fist at the man who encouraged us and said, "You told me to hurry! You told me to c'mon! Now he's going to reissue his restraining order!"Shortly after that awkward exchange, I was in Tim's class (so, duh, why didn't I just wait to talk to him then, right?!) which, I gotta tell you stressed me out, y'all! It was basically a condensed version of Project Runway. We worked in groups (I had The Best Group. Just sayin'.) and were given a table full of supplies (rubber bands, tape, scissors, clothes pins, highlighters, velcro, etc). Tim came around and handed each group a paper that said things like "T-shirt to Zombie Apocalypse", "T-shirt to Runway". Ours said "T-shirt to Purse". We had 30 minutes and managed to pull that cute thing together. I had to walk the runway which also made me a nervous wreck (whuuuuut?!). All that to say, after that experience, I had no nervous energy left for my presentation!
See that teeny tiny speck in the background? That's me talking about teaching vocabulary in a 25 minute session. I was thrilled that so many folks showed up (thanks, guys! Y'all made my day!). It was standing room only. I was worried I wouldn't get through everything so I told everyone I was gonna talk fast and I finished in 15 minutes! So I opened up the floor and so many awesome art teachers shared their vocabulary cheers, chants and tricks. I couldn't have planned that better!
Now I gotta tell ya, this is like my 5th conference or something. And when I first went, I didn't know anyone. Which can be pretty lonely even when you are surrounded by thousands of other like-minded folk (in fact, it can feel even lonelier!). If you had even a pinch of that at the convention, I'm so sorry! I know I felt very shy (imagine) and intimidated when I first started attended and hardly spoke to anyone. If you attend, please don't let that be you! Strike up a convo with everyone! Talk, share, swap war stories and phone numbers. The connects you make are priceless (me with my buds Laura and Nic!).
After the vocab session, I waited in line a long line to meet Tim Gunn. Again. The poor dude. All kidding aside, he stood and signed autographs for well over 3 hours, y'all. That's after being the keynote speaker and leading a session. He's perfectly awesome. AND he signed this here article!
After that, AOE hosted a blogger meet and greet. It was so fun to chat with the AOE team (so much awesomeness! Jessica has some great taste!), meet blog readers and chat with bloggin' buds. Some of these bloggin' buddies of mine feel like long lost friends (Nic! Laura! Phyl! Hope!) and new best buds (Tim! Andrew! Sheryl! Theresa!). I love this meet up.
Thank you so much, Jessica, for arranging this fun!
I love these two ladies! Being around so many art teacherin' besties is good for the crazy soul, I tell ya.
That evening I taught a ticketed event on needle felting. I do believe I officially got 25 lovely ladies addicted to a new craft. To introduce needle felting, I had each create a palette hair clip (as you often see me wearing...DIY post to come).
I love how this artist had a "mixed colors" palette! So clever!
Then each was given a blue apron to needle felt their individual design upon. We also had give aways, crazy story telling, chocolate consumption...it was a big time all around. Special thanks to all that those who missed part of the masquerade ball to attend.
If we look a lil cray [that's cuz we are], we are trying to show you our palette hats! None of the ladies finished (felting takes longer than just an hour or so) so they took home enough roving to finish their masterpiece. Hey attendees! When you do finish, email me a photo so I can share it here, please.
After that, we decided to crash the ball with some other buddies! It was so fun, I'm so glad we went. The night may or may not have ended with some serious Hurricane consumption...I'd give you the full story but what happens at an art convention stays at an art convention.
Until next time!