Although I don't actually collect JS or Gene any longer, I wanted to spend time with friends and go back to Chicago which I loved the first time I was there.
I'll describe the worst part of the trip first.
You may agree that flying and airports are not fun anymore. The plane rides were smooth and thankfully uneventful. In spite of the size of the seat, it's enough room for me as I always get an aisle seat and pay for the extra inch or two of leg room up front when I buy my ticket. And I am small.
Philadelphia airport is not too bad. They seem to have done a lot of modernizing. But American Airlines does this thing called priority boarding. Either you have a first class ticket or you pay to board first. No to both. So I was in group 6 out of 9 in spite of the fact that my seat was in row 8. Everybody's in such a hurry to get on the plane to stuff up the overhead bins with items they're not supposed to put there. I saw child-sized carry-ons taking up the room of an adult sized carry-on. Those items are supposed to be placed under the seats. Luckily no one was dragged off the plane broken and bleeding.
Chicago's O'Hare is a real nightmare. It reminds me of what the traffic pattern in India looks like. You can't see more than a few feet ahead of you when you're as short as I am. The human mass of which I was part, was directed to walk an alternative route to baggage claim. (I racked up a load of steps that day on my Fitbit.) Some jerk left a vehicle unattended outside the terminal and officials shut down an entire area, diverting all traffic elsewhere. I had no idea how to get to the shuttle. While waiting for someone to tell me how to get there, the emergency was lifted and the shuttles were once again allowed to enter the area. Goody.
Returning to Philadelphia was a bucket of fun, too. For some reason the x-ray machine detected something in my left hip area. I have no implants, neither did I have coins or a metal belt on my person. So along comes a lady with her blue plastic feel-your-junk gloves. However, she was very professional and nice and I was not uncomfortable.
To make up for that, O'Hare is a gigantic food court. The choices are dizzying. I had the most tasty deep dish cheesy pizza ever. Score 1 point for Mr. Edward Henry "Butch" O'Hare.
I spent Thursday walking and shopping. My favorite shop in Chicago is the Museum of Contemporary Art Store. You MUST go there. I can spend 2 hours browsing, touching and deciding what to buy. Their products range from the sublime to the ridiculous and everywhere in between. I have provided a link to their store but the shop has more than they have listed and is much more fun.
A cocktail party was held on Friday evening accompanied by a band with a collection preview afterward.
On Saturday there was a buffet breakfast followed by two workshops - shoe making by Juli Riedel and wig cap styling by Joseph Novak. After a short break, Pat Henry gave a talk accompanied by a slide show on the basics of photography. She included tips on taking better iPhone photos along with suggestions for photo editing apps.
The salesroom opened at 2:00 PM. It was very busy with lines snaking through an adjoining room for several hours. The companion dolls such as Trent created quite a stir as did Madra.
Saturday evening was the main dinner at which Mel Odom gave a talk. He is always entertaining. We were gifted with a set of flat feet for Jamieshow gals and some other little goodies.
Sunday morning was the farewell breakfast buffet.
Here are my mostly unedited (iPhone) photos from the event. I will let them speak for themselves. You can click to enlarge.
Six New Basic Dolls. Everyone loved the Anna Wintour type.
I want the wig cap Lee is wearing for my Alejandro.
Ten New Fashions
Correction: There were 12 new outfits. Kay Stemnock sent the additional photo above, right.
Trent- San (I added the San.)
The gorgeous convention souvenir doll Luna Li.
Also offered in the shop were loads of wig caps, posing hands, doll stands and a very few dolls from last year's convention.
Workshop kibbitzers. This was the most fun of the weekend.
Out of the Hotel
Great architecture old and new and gazillions of shops. I have to admit that I'm spoiled living in Pennsylvania. We have no sales tax on clothing and I live less than 30 minutes from the largest mall in the eastern US. As my real estate agent says, "Shopping is a sport here."
Above: Outside the Lego and American Girl stores.
The new American Girl hotel accessory, front and back.
Great view from my window looking north on Michigan Ave to the Lake.
The best part of the event for me was sharing with friends old and new. I enjoy conventions of this size as one can really talk to everyone. The dolls were so beautiful that I just had to buy one and that was Madra. She is waiting (patiently) for a photo shoot in my studio.