After a 3hour and forty five minute flight from Phoenix, we touched down in the humid land of Florida. Every day it rained like clockwork at five.My son, DeAngelo, and I took a taxi ride to the city of Orange County where we stayed at the Embassy Suites. My wife Kathy (aka the Crafty Chica) and my daughter Maya were already there since Monday. It was a Thursday when we arrived.
As we sat in the lobby waiting for Kathy and Maya who were coming from the convention center to meet us, I saw a long white limo pull up in front of the hotel lobby. The driver stepped out, dressed up in his finest zoot suit, and made his way to the lobby where a woman greeted him with time schedules and the game plan for their evening activities. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a familiar face walk by. It was Alphonso Ribero (aka Carlton from the show Fresh Prince of Bel Air!). He scurried past us to get ready for their event. Kathy and Maya arrived just as he disappeared around the corner. We made it to our room on the top level of the hotel while telling the unbelieving girls about the sighting. Maya let us in to the room and abruptly slinked out to stalk the unsuspecting T.V. star. Moments later she came back in with her phone camera clenched tightly to her chest.
“Score!” she screamed into the room.
It turned out that Joey Fatone from the boy band N SYNC was riding the elevator down from the same floor as we were staying! Wasting no time she quickly got her picture taken with both of them. My mind was on more important things – namely the “Managers Special” – which is two and a half hour of free drinks! Yay!
The next day we went to the Craft Super Show where we found the Mancraft booth which was to be my abode for the next couple of days. We were greeted by a very large poster of myself and Mark Montano (the Big Ass Book of Crafts author and famous t.v show host) I was there to promote Mantastic Man Crafts, and do make and takes for the people who came.
Then the bad news hit…Two hunred wallets that I was supposed to use for the make and take never arrived! They were sitting on my porch in a box at home in Phx. Thanks U.P.S. (unbelievably. pissy. service is what they should be called!) This was a craftastrophe! I was dead in the water. What was I going to do? If I didn’t come up with something fast Mantastic crafts would be stuck in the mud! Kathy came by from her booth which was two aisles away with Sarah Hodsdon (the angel) who quickly brought some rubber stamps,some aluminum masking tape and hope that I wasn’t alone. Kathy brought a bunch of 4 by 6 canvas boards and the assurance from iLoveToCreate/Duncan Enterprises that I could use whatever products from the line that I needed! Even Mark Montano offered his stuff for me to use to his credit even though his stuff hadn’t arrived yet! The crowd was let in the door and with a roar of ferver they quickly scoured the aisles for free goodies. Giggling at the concept of mancraft they shyly strolled by seeing if they could get a glance at what were men crafting anyways. A mother and her not so enthusiastic daughter slumped in to the chairs at the front of our table and asked to do a make and take (providing it was free). I hadn”t had time to refine what the project would be so I winged it.”Hello ladies we are going to stamp onto these canvas boards today,” I said gathering a collection of home made stamps constructed with rubber foam sheets. The daughter quickly globbed her stamp and smashed it to the canvas board. DeAngelo and I held our breath as she lifted the stamp from the board. It looked like crap! I wanted to shrink and hide under the table.
I thanked them for stopping by and they left not so impressed with the project (I’m sure it ended up in the crafty grave yard). Now at the point of utter dispair I looked at the aluminum masking tape and covered ithe canvas with it, glued a Crafty Chica Mexican bingo card onto the center, surrounded it with a compliment of glitter, took a pencil and embossed the border and lo and behold- this thing was Mantastic!
DeAngelo let out a sigh of relief for after all he was to help demonstrate it also. Thank God, because a rush of press suddenly entered in lead by Victor Domine the P.R director of C.H.A, followed by the Mayor of Orange County! Needless to say, every thing worked out better than could be expected. The show was a resounding success and I like to thank all the kind souls that made it possible and the beautifull people who came by!