Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Celebrating Life

Many of you know that I attended the first Stampaway convention 18 years ago in Cincinnati.  Each subsequent year I've made my travel plans to get there, budgeted my money to have funds to squander, and revelled in seeing good friends year after year that I would only see at that show.

One of those friends was Mike Meador, owner of Coffee Break Designs.  He was a wickedly funny, quirky, joyful man that came up with such ingenious kits and products that I was instantly smitten.  Every year I would incorporate his products into my classes, sending all the ladies rushing to his booth on Friday night to clean out his inventory.  By the time I'd arrive he'd be all grins & smirks, pleased as punch with the crowds who'd descended on his booth, filling their little baskets with his loot.

Just last summer I designed 2 classes around his kits .  My Shadow Box Collage class, which has become my benchmark class at Stampaway, was created around his little chipboard towers as he called them.  The end result was so far from the ordinary gray chipboard that most people wouldn't have recognized them as the same product.

And my Whimsical Assemblage class used his ATC-sized Elevated Box Kit.  Again, I took them in a direction he'd never have gone, but he was tickled when I presented him with my samples and displayed them in his booth right up until he sold the last of his inventory.  (That happened on Friday night, so if you were in his booth on Saturday, you never saw them.)

I chastised him once for not replying to me in a timely manner and his response was classic Mike.  He informed me he was on "Mike time", as though that said it all.  And you know, it really did.  He was worth the wait, whether it was for a return phone call, an email, or my turn in line in his crowded booth, waiting for a chance to giggle with him for a few minutes.

He was adored by many people and I was certainly one of them.  I miss him more than words can say.  But I have a huge stash of his products in my studio and will think of him fondly with each and every creation I design using those goodies.

Love you Mike.

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