But anyhow... I haven't yet talked about the other two workshops I presented at my state conference, or a few fabulous ideas I got from one of the workshops I was able to attend. I'll briefly share here.
What I've decided, in the end, is that at next year's state convention, any and all workshops I decide to present will be hands-on, and I'm not messing with any PowerPoint presentations and laptops and projectors and assorted technology. That's because of this: my most well-attended workshop, with about 60 attendees, took the least amount of preparation. I put together a handout, gathered materials, and boxed them into my car. But for the two lecture-style workshops, I spend hours and hours and hours putting together my PowerPoints. I bought a new cable to connect a projector to my finicky laptop. I drove 30 miles to my former school and borrowed a projector "just in case", which I actually ended up needing to use when the convention projectors didn't like my laptop. And then, for one of these two workshops, I had less than 10 attendees. Bummer.... The other one had maybe 25 people. But hands-on workshops? FULL HOUSE. So next year, I'll be putting together some fun hands-on workshops. Because it appears that everyone secretly is hoping to fill their day with nothing but hands-on experiences! Lesson learned, on my part!
Speaking of technology frustration... the workshop I most looked forward to attending at my state convention was a 1-hour (well, actually 50 minutes) workshop on Gimp, a free photo editing program similar, I understand, to Photoshop. I do not have Photoshop, but in anticipation, I had downloaded Gimp onto my laptop, and was one of the first people in the room for this class, laptop open, ready and waiting. I did NOT want to miss out. The teacher gave us each a file from a thumb drive to we put on our desktop. When the class started, we all opened Gimp, but her file would not open for me. (We were using it for a step-by-step follow-along project.) She kept going with her instruction, but I was stuck. A younger and more tech-savvy attendee tried to figure it out for me, but still no luck opening the file everyone else was using. At this point, the teacher (and everyone else in the room) was approximately 400 steps ahead of me, and I was totally lost. And still no open file. I couldn't even do step one, and 30 minutes of the 50 minute workshop were already gone. I closed up Gimp, turned off my laptop, and quickly left before anyone could see my frustrated eyes filling with tears. I returned to the Bling Your Badge table, grabbed a glue gun, and added a layer of dangling Mardi Gras bead to my already over-blinged badge as quick therapy.
Anyhow - I got a few great ideas from another workshop I want to briefly tell you about. For years, I was given mat board scraps by the gal who owned the frame shop I used to mat and frame artwork. But I absolutely NEVER thought to ask her for the obsolete frame samples, which are simply a corner of a frame. In this workshop, the presenter had gotten them from her framer, and cut mat board scraps with a peak on top so that they could be inserted into the corners to make little houses or birdhouses. Such a great idea! So many possibilities!
Her coolest idea was this: Using Art Paste that has been mixed, put it in a squeeze bottle with a cartridge from inside a marker. The color will leak out into the paste. Or mix in some liquid watercolor. Squeeze the colored art paste out like gel icing! It dries beautifully!
Anyhow, you probably stopped reading a few paragraphs ago, so I'll close it up for now. Next post will have pictures, I promise!