Okay, maybe "dreading" is to harsh a word....but I can safely say that I am extremely anxious about attending the ISGB Gathering this coming week/weekend. Fair warning - I'm about to pour my heart out here.
When I first heard that the Gathering was coming to the Seattle area this year (specifically Bellevue, which is just minutes away from my home in Maple Valley, WA) I was really excited about it. I definitely wanted to attend, and participate in everything I could. After all, THE beadmakers' convention doesn't come to the west coast all that often. I've been to only two other Gatherings - the one in Portland in 2004, and the one in Oakland in 2008. Both were a great time! The idea that the convention would be so close was really an incentive to me - no travel, home nearby, a familiar place, etc.
So I signed up - for the main convention (complete with seminars),and the banquet. I also signed up for half a table at the Bead Bazaar (sharing with my friend Kim) on Saturday. I had planned on donating to several of the projects, and taking part in some of the contests.
A few months ago, life really got in the way of all my plans. Severe family issues cropped up and brought my creativity, motivation, energy, mental faculties all to a screeching halt. I know it sounds all melodramatic and catastrophic.... but that's how I have been feeling lately. Both sides of our family - my husband's and my own - had some major things come up at the same time. It was kind of an onslaught of confusion and heartbreak that took me completely by surprise.
Since these events, I have had a pretty rough time keeping up with things. I've been doing custom orders, and really little else. No glass testing, no new beads for sale, no experimenting, nothing like that. And certainly, no inventory for the Bead Bazaar. At all. I have like a handful of beads to bring to the Gathering - most of which are extras from the custom orders.
Things just....fell apart for me. The depression has been crushing, and I don't really know when it will get better.
So as it sits for the Gathering.... I am supposed to have half a table - but I have nothing to stock it with. So I am basically giving my half to Kim - even though the tables aren't supposed to be transferrable. I am hoping the people in charge will understand. I haven't emailed them because the deadline for a refund on the table has long past, and I am embarrassed about it. If nothing else, I will help Kim at the table with her stuff, allowing her to take breaks and shop and such as she needs. I'll have my business cards to hand out for people who want to place orders, or buy tutorials - and I will have a few beads for trading and maybe for sale, but that's pretty much all.
One thing which does sound promising is that Creation is Messy will have
some new colors soon that I can test - including transparent and opaque
peach shades, which we have been asking for forever. They (as well as the other new colors) look really lovely.
As for the rest of it.... I missed all deadlines for the contests/projects, but I am hoping to donate some beads to the Beads of Courage, if they have a booth there. And I am going to try and attend all the seminars and such.
With this kind of depression and anxiety, I don't know how what kind of company I will be, but I will try and have a smile on my face, and hopefully I can snap out of it long enough to commiserate with my fellow artists and maybe be inspired.
But I am really nervous, and haven't yet been able to build up much enthusiasm for this event, which in the past I have really loved. When I am depressed and under a lot of stress, I tend to have issues with crowds and am prone to panic attacks. I hope that changes soon.
So why am I telling you all this - and laying it on so thick? Well, part of it is in the hopes that if you are there, and see me, you won't judge me too harshly if I am quiet and have not much to show. Partly, it's also to apologize for my utter lack of preparation for this show.
As at the Oakland Gathering, I will have my tarot cards with me as kind of a social anxiety security blanket. I most likely won't come up and strike up a conversation with people - that's just not in my makeup right now. I hope that won't make me look like a stuck up antisocial brat. Just a fragile artist trying to get through some tough times, and maybe talk herself into having a good time at the Gathering. Crossing my fingers.
Pon Pon Morgana
14 minutes ago