So… It’s over. The convention. The workshop. It’s all over.

Or that’s my story as I work my way through a list of final things to do:

  1. Write thank you notes (more…)
  2. Turn in wrap-up articles (more…)
  3. Unpack art supplies
  4. Catch up on blog
  5. Take the dogs for a walk before they call the humane society

So, Thursday I was wowed by the volunteers to hang the show.


Friday was the “half day” of the convention. Mostly it’s about checking people in and a meet-and-greet reception where we gets things going.

I had hoped to offer a jet boat tour with Willamette Jet Boat Tours, but not enough people signed up. Lots of people, however, signed up for a class on historic homes with Jenny Armitage.


This swung us into the “big day” of Saturday with 18 break-out sessions, an artists reception, followed by a banquet. And my camera battery died Friday, so I have not a single photo to show for it.

Here I need to pause again to sing the praises of volunteers. All of my teachers were volunteers and EVERY SINGLE ONE of them showed up on time, well prepared to teach spectacular lessons. Can you imagine anywhere else in life where 18 separate individuals just show up to work? For free? And do a great job?

I’m still blown away.

There were a few glitches:

  • The cleaning crew took away the plastic from a previously prepped room (I panicked)
  • I realized I booked the wrong room for Sunday’s lecture and had to beg Clackamas Community College for another room (CCC is a rock star, by the way)
  • I did not realize that the traveling show crates were ginormous and incapable of behaving in a normal manner (long story)
  • There were reports of people not paying for attended classes (I never figured this out, but it was weird on all fronts)
  • I moved around some classes from one room to another to make people more comfortable, which instead created confusion (mea culpa)
  • The Pioneer Center, which had not been the easiest facility to work with in the months leading up to this event, played the part of the villain in the tale (with the exception of one person, who was a rock star)
  • I was left nearly on my own to clean up the Pioneer Center (thank you J.P. for not abandoning me too, and to R.R. and his wife who only left at my urging because they needed to e someplace else)
  • We left the coffee pot on at the reception (another call to CCC Security)

But body language of the attendees indicated that everyone was having fun, so I did my best to keep my panic under wraps.

Tara’s major meltdown

Things were going well until about 5:30 on Saturday when I started to get phone calls about “the band wants to know how they are getting paid.” I had hired a band, lead by the husband of a friend, for the reception on Saturday. We had signed a contract, he showed up, and people were texting me that the music was great. The only hitch? I had forgotten to tell our Treasurer that there needed to be a check for him.

By this time I had been doing physical labor for 11 hours. I hadn’t slept well in two nights. I had pushed my social side to the max. And, though I didn’t know it at the time, I was coming down with a cold.

So… I had a meltdown. I was crying and hysterical, even after our treasurer stopped what she was doing to sort things out. It was all too much, and I felt horrible (emotionally and physically) and because of it I ended up not attending the banquet (ably supervised by my lovely co-chair, Patty.) So me and my headache went back to the hotel where I went to bed, though I was still too keyed up to sleep well for the third night running.


Sunday things were looking brighter. Sunday is a slower day, with only the business meeting and juror lecture. Two events, one site, with the last event over at 1. I might get home before 5pm?

Indeed, after a normal business meeting and an excellent lecture and demo by juror Francesco Fontana, we were able to clean up, drop off a few remaining things, and head home.

The center painting is by Francesco Fontana. It’s the view from his hotel room of the Abernathy Bridge over the Willamette River at dawn.

Where I collapsed.


I’m proud of my work on this convention, and I think it went well. However, I’m not sure I’d do it again because of my meltdown on Saturday. That was the number one thing I was afraid of happening and in spite of how hard i worked and prepped, I’m really disappointed in myself for not being able to hold it together for the whole event.

Next: The workshop!