Wednesday, February 26, 2020


125,744. That’s how many steps my Fitbit says I walked last week, Saturday to Saturday, when I was in Las Vegas for the Creative Painting convention. I’ve been home for 3 days, but I’m still a little Vegas-lagged. I can’t say I’m jet lagged because I didn’t change time zones and it was only a 45 minute flight. Still, my brain is still recovering from all that Vegas stimulation so I won’t be talking about anything super serious today.

The Creative Painting convention has been going on for almost 30 years. (Next year will be the 30th one.) My sister and I have been attending for about 20 of those. Honestly, I lost count a long time ago. We take classes, shop the trade show floor and enjoy the other things Las Vegas has to offer. It’s also a way for me to see what’s going on in the tole/decorative painting world since my series protagonist, Aurora (Rory) Anderson, enjoys painting as well. I like to incorporate some aspect of painting in each book so going to the convention gives me ideas.

This time we tried something new: alcohol ink. The concept is fairly simple: dab a bit of alcohol ink on the piece (in our case it was a ceramic plate) and immediately blow it with compressed air. That’s the same compressed air you use for cleaning electronics. You can make interesting things. This is what our piece was supposed to look like:
I did not paint this! Wish I had.

Let’s just say, my execution of the technique left something to be desired. Alcohol ink dries very fast, especially in the Las Vegas air, so you’ve got to spread the ink before it dries. Turns out, that was something I found hard to do. I’m sure I’d improve with a lot of practice. Just like you improve your writing by writing, writing, writing.

We also went to see several shows while we were there: Cher at the Park/MGM, Potted Potter at Bally’s and magician Shin Lim/mentalist Colin Cloud at the Mirage. All were very fun. Potted Potter was “all 7 Harry Potter books in 70 minutes.” Two Brits with minimal sets having a lot of fun. I haven’t laughed that hard in a long time.
Waiting for the concert to begin at the Park Theater, Park/MGM

Cher was awesome. I’ve enjoyed her music since watching the Sonny and Cher show in the 70s. And the show put on by Colin Cloud and America’s Got Talent winner Shin Lim was just amazing.

We were there over a holiday weekend so I expected it to be very busy, but it wasn’t. Everyone began to trickle in over the week because there was a lot going on in Vegas.
  • The Democrats were caucusing so the Democratic candidates were in town for a debate at Bally’s/Paris. 
  • The president was in town for four days snarling up traffic a bit. 
  • There were two Golden Knights hockey games at the T-Mobile arena near the New York New York casino. 
  • The Wilder v. Fury fight was at the MGM Grand the day we left so there was a lot of build-up during the week. 
  • And NASCAR rolled into town on Friday evening.
  •  Plus all of the other conventions that were going on at the same time as ours.
Makes me tired thinking of all of that activity!
Flamingos at the Flamingo hotel
A blinged out dragon at Caesar's Palace

When I go to a place with a lot of people, I enjoy just looking around and observing. It gives me ideas for characters I can include in future stories.

That’s my Vegas trip wrap up. I already have ideas of things to do and places to see next year. How many of you have been to Las Vegas? Do you like it? I find people either love it or hate it. Which one are you?

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