Sunday, April 6, 2008

Show Stop: March 27-30, 2008: Bead Expo Portland

(click on any photos for an enlarged view)

Aaaah! I am up early this morning, recovering from a cold, yes, but energized nonetheless full of ideas and new opportunities of which I shall share with you folks soon. I like to keep the mystery up of what I am up to but all is well. Aren't surprises fun?

If I had more hours in the day I would be posting more frequently on this blog. I so enjoy writing and sharing part of my life with my fellow beaders and artists. Magic is happening in the background and this year you will see the fruits of my labor!! I'm rebuilding old connections and making new ones, loving every moment of this busy life I lead!

Travel back in time with me to the second Show Stop of this year, Bead Expo Portland, through my camera lens. I tried to take as many photos as I could in Portland to share with you all but I was using THAT Kodak camera "for now" since I haven't had time to play with the new Canon Powershot G9. (The Nikon 995 stays home safe! I have SO many toys!) My new "baby" and toy is feeling sad these days because when it arrived a MONTH ago, I just opened it up to make sure it could power on. YES! I have been THAT busy. You know me, I can never help myself to those electronic gadgets but it's been a bit crazy launching the book and new Japanese tools (more on the new tool kit in another post, after the upcoming Miami trip, as it is an engineer's dream and a wire artist's friend!). I have so much news to share with you all that I am bursting with excitement. I must pace myself and post on the blog periodically so I may focus on the many projects running in parallel.

Team Interweave in their 2008 signature BLUE T-shirts welcomes you as you register for your show passes or sign up for classes. The big case to the left of this photo showcases some of the featured classes that were offered in Portland by internationally known instructors. Interweave is MY publisher for Bead Romantique. I have not met anyone "yet" at Interweave that was not sociable and nice to 'hang out' with. I am NOT saying this only because they are my publishers but everyone is on TOP of their game there. It takes a lot to impress me and I would not say this about ANYONE unless it was true.

Portland was my book launch! This was the first weekend that Bead Romantique was available to beaders. The book has been on Amazon and other book clubs, on pre-order status since mid November 2007. I "finally" had the opportunity to show this book to everyone. In Tucson earlier this year, I only had a mockup of the cover. Everyone kept on picking up the display thinking it was a book. We had to SURPRISE you for Bead Expo Portland. It was so very exciting to launch the book in Portland.

There were many firsts for me on this trip. It was my first time in Portland, my first time launching my first book, my first time showing my new gadget - a 15" digital picture frame, my first time launching an innovative and exclusive Japanese tool kit, my first time meeting my new PUBLISHER, Mr. Stephen Koenig (a very nice guy I enjoyed teasing because he didn't bring enough books to Portland and we SOLD OUT 72 books by Saturday. Sorry my fellow beaders on late Saturday and Sunday! but you can order your copy from Amazon or through me too! This is the FIRST time in Interweave history that a newly launched book has SOLD OUT at their show! Woohoo, I'm dancing in my seat. I am simply THRILLED and thank all of you for your kind words regarding my first book. Enjoy the book, the history and projects! Okay, Steve if you are reading this... "hi" and THANK YOU to Team Interweave! See you in September!!), my first time conducting demos "every" day etc. Lots of firsts that will go down in my life as memorable from this trip. I am a very sentimental person. Without the good folks at Interweave, I would have been just any designer and/or writer without a book to share my design sensibilities and love of the craft with beaders worldwide. Interweave ROCKS!! I love teaching through my writing because I can reach more people than in a classroom setting. Come with me as I discover, learn, grow and thrive in my future endeavors. Come learn with me through Bead Romantique.

In front of Hall A, where we exhibited was this HUGE golden pendulum. With my vivid imagination, I can see the below photo as a possible Thursday Tease photo. Can you see the the photo translated into bead, glass or metal? I CAN. I'll have a nice Thursday Tease to share early as I'll be flying off to Miami Wednesday! With my crazy imagination, I considered what would happen if the HUGE (humongous!) sphere would suddenly break free. Notice I am shooting the photo at a distance and using my telephoto lens. Hey with this vivid imagination do you think I would want to stand RIGHT under the pendulum. Ouch! Anyhow back to Bead Expo Portland.

Every morning I walked from the hotel to the convention center. Remember I am training for my Susan G. Komen walk in November (DON'T forget to support my fundraising efforts, if you can!) so I was walking everywhere and hauling 70lb luggage. One of the luggages going to Portland was 82 LBS! It's funny that the Budget rental car attendants offered to help me load and unload my car but I told them "hey I may be a small Chinese girl, but I need my workout". They stood back and watched me lift all four luggages into the SUV. I took the opportunity to tell them I was a beadmaker and writer as I love sharing my adventures in the bead world, with anyone who has an eager ear. (Can't run away from me now! I love to talk and talk and TALK (as well as write!) about creativity and BEADS!)

By November, I will be so much stronger and hopefully back to the fit/healthy self I once was. YES! I parked my rental SUV (yes I had FOUR huge luggages for my corner booth!) at the convention center and left it there ALL week. It was good exercise even walking in the light rain that is synonymous to the Pacific Northwest. The air was so fresh and cleansing compared to "smoggy" Southern California. I love the Pacific Northwest for it's natural beauty but this California girl was missing the sunshine. I'm such a wimp but was prepared with a long jacket, wool scarf, umbrella and even HAT!

Guess what? All the photos with that darn Kodak inside the exhibit did not come out well. I was so busy (not that I didn't remember) with the show that I didn't even snap a photo of my booth with the cool digital frame. I will do much better at the next show. I spent my free time in the mornings before the show, pre-signing THE book.

Every day 12-1p.m. I did demos on the Pearl Mesh bracelet at my booth with Vintaj, Italian Mesh, Artistic Wire, My $5 pearls and the NEW fantabulous Japanese Plier kit!! (on pre-order status and the FIRST large shipment will be at the Los Angeles port mid to end of May!) Some attendees were able to snatch up the first 18 kits. I shall share the technical details of these lovely and BEAUTIFUL pliers with you after Miami. So much to share with you all. YES these pliers are BEAUTIFUL if pliers can be beautiful. They are in the signature Lisa Kan "black and red". No the factory did not design these pliers in my booth's color schemes. As "luck" (color red) would have it, these pliers found me - I didn't look for them. The last thing on my mind was to become a tool distributor. But I HAD TO SHARE THIS great product with you all. So I am learning how to import and wire transfer money to Japan, learning about how far I can take the falling US dollar versus the Yen, learning about how to package and market an innovative tool, learning about the technology of the Japanese stainless steel standard AISI 420 aka SUS420J2 and MUCH MORE. I LOVE IT, learning new things, especially if it is technical info. I'm a nerd and a geek at heart still. I'll probably get a bit too technical next, so I'll end the Japanese plier topic here for the meantime and focus on the tools exclusively later in a future post.

The pliers DESERVE to have it's own post. The product is "PPT" Professional Precision Tools Made in Japan. I am the EXCLUSIVE US Distributor. I thought of calling it "PPP" Professional Precision Pliers but there is a wonderful flush cutter in the kit, so "PPT" it is! I know good tools when I feel them in my hands. Tools are an extension of our hands. If you can find a better and finer set of tools in the market TODAY for the detailed wire artist, I challenge you. I will GIVE you a free bead if you win! I am confident that you have never seen these in the jewelry industry because these tools are used for integrated circuit (IC) and surface mount technology (SMT) prototyping. AHA! Yes, going to engineering school at Cal Poly Pomona has not been lost in my new life as a bead artist! These tools are designed by engineers for engineers and as an EX-engineer I'm loving it that I can bring them to you at an AFFORDABLE price! I'll tell a story later about the "plier challenge" in Portland later. All I will say now is that I won the plier challenge (Hi "El Jean" yes I am talking about YOU and the plier challenge! Your plier kit is on the way!)

The next post, if I have time later today, will be photos of Portland. I was able to fly in early on Wednesday March 26th and drove around downtown a bit to find snacks for the show before setting up the booth. I love Trader Joe's and seek out one if the city I'm visiting has one! It was BEAUTIFUL even in the rain. I also spotted some interesting architecture and nature to capture. Even with that Kodak, the photos came out beautifully. When you have such inspiration before you, it is evident in the pictures!! I will return to Portland NEXT year September! See you then Portland!

I can't wait and no rain will STOP this SoCal girl from enjoying the city!

Until next time... thank you for joining me on my SECOND Show Stop this fabulous year, 2008! More photos of Portland soon.

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