what crafting is, and isn’t

Oh, my gosh!

I drove through blizzard-like weather to go to the Family Christmas Gift Show, touted as quite possibly the most spectacular extravaganza ever, for families, Christmas, and gifts [–thus, the title.] I got up at my usual 4:30 or so, did a few things around here, packed the car with things I needed to get done in Utah [return things to Kohl’s, JCP, head to Wood Connection, Poppy Seed, Quilted Bear] and headed out. I had to stop in Evanston for some edibles, window-washer fluid and earring backs and then I was on my way.

Roads were tolerable but slick and it was snowing some of the way. I listened to KSL. KSL has become my sidekick to all my travels. I feel like I know personally Doug Write, Amanda Dixon, Grant Neilson, Jay McFarland, Amy Iverson, Maria Shilaos, and Mary Richards. I’m forever quoting them! I also listened to Kim Komando, geru of all things technical. I called Scott and told him what she said about buying the door-busters on black Friday. All I can say is beware !

Yah. People do not appreciate being called at 7 am and told what to do.

Oh, well. My intentions are good.

Awww, I digress.

So, I am at the show at precisely 9:45. I’ve got my new gigantic black polka-dot bag with me, big enough for a small traveling circus! This, just in case I find a myriad of must-haves. I buy my ticket with a coupon for $1 off the regular price. I rush to the bathroom leaving instructions for the people around me to save my place in line. At exactly 10 am the line starts moving through the entrance at the South Expo Center. 400 booths! I get out of line and go up and down row three, instead of staying with the pack of oh, say one thousand people, easy, who are all glommed up in row one. That way I’m way ahead of everyone and can move at my own pace.

Well, can I just say it only took me about five minutes to realize this was not the hand-crafted festival I expected. I was quickly becoming very disappointed. Pretty much, every single booth was a spectacular display of color and charm, all right, of things made in China, Taiwan or Hong Kong. Everything had that ‘buy me’ appeal that screams from it’s perfect placement and presentation, but for me, I couldn’t bear to spend a pretty penny on any of it. Oh, wait. There was a beautiful booth of nativities which were so unique and tempting but they started at $50 and I passed on that. One other booth was full of temple drawing. The vendor was an architect and his pictures were amazing. They were hand-sketched then water colored and then antiqued. Beautiful. One of the only authentically ‘hand-did’ products in the whole bunch. But they started at $147. So I enjoyed visiting with him but, um, no. There was a triple-sized booth at the very end that sold Adams Company products. It was amazing. And huge! Boxes and boxes of Christmas decorations — the kind that sell at Michael’s and Hobby-Lobby and Robert’s Crafts. But again, not hand-made. People were grabbing up things in near-mob style!

So, at 10:51 I walked out. I did get my hand stamped for re-entry should I be inclined to return. [They were open until 10 pm, so there was a slim possibility I might have the desire to run through once more. Maybe back to front, in case I missed anything the first time.]

Off to Wood Connection — my home away from home. Now here is where I feel most comfortable. It, too, was mob-like. Tons of people clamoring for the perfect wood project for the holidays. People had those little shopping baskets you hold over your arm completely full to overflowing with wood. The smell was wonderful The anticipation on people’s faces was a welcome contrast. The conversation was appealing. A completely different feeling for me. I try to eaves drop as much as I can to get all their ideas. All of these people were willing to do the work, the staining, sanding, painting, re-sanding, detailing and spraying the final product they would give to their favorite people as gifts. My kind of people.

Two more stops — Quilted Bear and Down East Outfitters and I was on my way home. I left SLC by 12:30-1:00 and drove back to Wyoming. It was starting to snow much heavier and KSL said a huge winter advisory was in effect. At Evanston I ran into My Favorite Things for a few crafting necessities and hoped the road wasn’t closed. I drove very carefully, as the roads were getting — just awful — is the only way to describe them. Oh, wait. I could also say they were ‘treacherous’ and ‘slick as ice.’ Oh, my gosh. Six miles out of town the traffic was at a standstill. It took me two and a half hours to get from Evanston to Lyman.

What’s a person to do while sitting there? I, of course, counted semis! Way over 500 of them!

Yes. I had to p**. I hadn’t gone since early morning. Yes, I was miserable and called my children several times with updates. [They were so helpful! “P** in a bottle!”] Yes, I shouldn’t have driven to SLC on such a stormy day. After sitting for about an hour and a quarter and discussing the situation with the fellow in the car just ahead of me, we thought we might barely fit through a couple of the semis and drive on. We were right and inched through and went on our way. After only a mile we were out of the pile-up. Several, and by ‘several’ I mean exactly eight, semi’s were in the barrow ditch. Two had hit cars. One cab was completely smashed in. Three were smashed into the highway divider. We were the only two on the highway for most of the way home. He turned off at Kemmerer and I continued at a snalis’ pace to Lyman. So, so scarey! The roads were closed for about six hours. They opened for an hour or so but then closed again.

It was wonderful to finally be home in my warm little place. I brought in my stuff, fixed something hot to drink and promptly fell asleep on the couch. Aww. Now I’m up at 3:45 and seriously wish I could get this whole time change thing out of my system.

I’m, seriously, in the mood to craft.