Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Part One

Welcome to my blog covering the 2015 International Paper Doll Convention held in Chattanooga Tennessee June 16-21.  The convention was held at the Embassy Suites Hotel.  Jenny Taliadoros and David Wolfe did a fabulous job planning the event, which many consider to be one of the best conventions ever.  Obviously I couldn't cover every aspect of the convention, or get a photo of everyone who attended.  If I have neglected you, or some part of the convention that interested you, I apologize.  I have simply told my own story here, using my own photos (and a few borrowed from friends).  I hope you will enjoy the blog.

This is one of the first souvenirs we received, done by the wonderful Jim Howard.  I think it is my favorite.

This is a view of the hotel.  I drove from Missouri and arrived on Tuesday around 5 pm.  People told me that Chattanooga was an "easy" drive.  I found that to be so until I got within about an hour of Nashville.  NOT easy.  I don't enjoy driving but I thought I could manage a 6 1/2 hour drive.  It wasn't fun, but I made it.  The drive home was much easier, since there was less traffic on Sunday.  When I arrived in the hotel I was immediately greeted by Jan and Sam McKay, Mary Firtl, and Norma Lu Meehan.  I was tired but happy to have arrived.

                                            WEDNESDAY TOUR

On Wednesday a group of us took a bus tour to downtown Chattanooga.  Our first stop was the Houston Museum of Fine Antiques.  The museum houses the collection of Anna Safley Houston (1876- 1951).   I rode on the bus with Marilyn Brooks (above right).  She and I had a nice catch-up visit on the bus.  We had become acquainted at the Kansas City convention several years ago. 

          My husband's family has a collection of steins, so these were of particular interest to me.

                                                                 My favorite stein!

                                                                  My favorite colors!

                 There were lots of pitchers in the collection.  Anna must have loved pitchers!

The Hunter Museum did not open until noon on Wednesdays so a group of us decided to do an early lunch and then visit the museum.  From Left to Right:  Lydia Jarboe (California), Marilyn Brooks (Texas), Sharon Yarter (New York) and Marian Creamer (California).

Here I am in front of the Hunter Museum of American Art.  The museum offers a stunning view of the Tennessee River and the surrounding mountains of the Cumberland Plateau.  It houses what is recognized as one of the country's finest collections of American Art. 

The first thing I spotted when we entered the museum was an Art-O-Mat machine.  I've always wanted to see one, so I was very excited!!  My friend Michele Dieber Kumm submitted her art to Art-O-Mat and had it accepted, so her art is actually in a machine somewhere!  As you can see, it is actually an old cigarette machine, now being used to dispense original art.  For $5 you receive a tiny piece of original art, not a copy.  I couldn't resist.  I had to go into the gift shop and buy a token.  I put the token in the machine, chose something that  appealed to me, and then pulled the knob.  It was so much fun that I had to go back and buy another token and do it again.  You can see the two tiny pieces of original art below:  

The first is a block print on wood and the second is a tiny painting on an easel.  I received information on both artists, how to buy more of their work, etc.  You can find out more at: 

This was my favorite painting in the museum.  The artist is Robert Henri and the painting is entitled "Pet."  It depicts an Irish peasant boy.

This was the glorious view from the balcony of the museum.  This is the Tennesse River.  A guide at the museum explained to me that this used to be a bridge for automobiles, but it grew to be too unsteady so they turned it into a walking bridge.  After I saw it I had to walk least part of the way.

This is the new bridge built to accomodate automobiles.  I took this photo standing on the walking bridge.

After my walk on the bridge I went into a gallery that displayed and sold work from a variety of artists.   The artist who designed this necklace is named Steve Smith from Alabama. He makes an assortment of items using glass from discarded wine bottles. 

                                                 WEDNESDAY EVENING

That evening we met up with friends.  Here is my buddy Ron Fong, who is everybody's friend.  Ron is amazing at remembering names, faces, etc.  Everybody loves Ron, who hails from Seattle.  That evening there was gathering with hors d'oeurves.  Sharry O' Hare and Michael O' Hara led us in a fun "Name that Tune" game in which we had to match up country western songs with their singers.  Even though my husband plays country music on one of his radio stations, I did not do very well!

                                         THURSDAY WORKSHOPS

Jill Kaar Hanson gave a fantastic presentation on early magazine paper dolls from women's magazines.  I especially enjoyed the story she told.  When she was a little girl, sick with tonsillitis,   her mother would go to a closet and bring down a large envelope from her father's business.  It was filled with her mother's paper dolls, especially Dolly Dingle paper dolls.  Jill was only allowed to play with the paper dolls when she was sick.  She even showed us a photo of the actual envelope that housed her mother's paper dolls.  I wanted to give her a big hug when she finished, but I only had time to take a photo of a couple of items from her collection (below), so I could make it to my next workshop.  This was Jill's first convention.  She has been very involved in UFDC conventions, but promised to come back next year, as she is now officially a part of our paper doll family!  Thanks, Jill! 

After I snapped a couple of photos of items from Jill's fantastic collection, I had to grab a bite to eat and then go to Linda Horner's workshop.  I don't usually go to workshops at the convention, but I love Linda Horner's work, so I signed up.  My friend Lori Lawson had also signed up, so I was looking forward to spending time with her as well.  The workshop was entitled:  Making a Paper Doll Craft.  Here are the photos:

Here are my friends:  Lori Lawson (far left) and Alina Kolluri (far right)

I had not seen Alina Kolluri since my first convention in Charleston North Carolina, fifteen years ago!  It was so nice to see her again and she is just as sweet and talented as ever! 

                                                  Lori and I show our almost finished crafts.

Here you can see the cover of the craft (above) and below is the inside.  Thanks to Linda Horner and her sister Jill who ran the workshop.  Linda spent two weeks cutting and scoring  paper, so that we could be successful.