So this past weekend I had a test run at The Katy House B&B. Linda and Melissa helped to get a group of people together to be my "test subjects" so that I could get a good idea of what I could expect at the Grand Opening, and decide if I wanted to make any changes before the big event. I have been preparing for this for months, but to be perfectly honest the day of the test run I was pretty nervous. I guess it didn't help that the week leading up to the test run was pretty hectic and went something like this:
Sophie: "Hey mom, I'm pretty sure my science fair project is due tomorrow" (so we scrambled to get it done the night before)
Sophie the following day: "Oh, yeah it actually wasn't due for another two weeks"
Me: "Okay, well at least it's done so we don't have to worry about it anymore. Next time let's try to keep track of the due dates and not stress ourselves out unnecessarily."
Sophie the following day: "My UIL competition is tomorrow, but I'm not really sure about the rest of the details".
Me: (whimpering a little) "Seriously?"...Thankfully everything worked out just fine. Shout out to all of Sophie's teachers, they were really great about clarifying the schedule and letting me know what we could expect once we got there. (This was our first competition, so I had no idea how these things work.I now know that I can expect to camp out at the school from 4pm to about 8pm next time)
When Saturday finally rolled around I was a big bundle of nerves. Not surprising considering how the rest of the week had gone.
Luckily for me, I have a great support system. My husband and brother in law went over to the Katy House with me and helped unload and set up. Linda helped get the wine and snacks out. Once the guests showed up they mingled in the parlour and walked around the inn, commenting on how beautiful it was. I honestly could not have asked for a better group or location. We held the event in the formal dining room, which was spacious yet very cozy. Once the wine had been served and we started painting, I realized that I was completely in my element and that everything was going to be fine. When I teach, I emphasize that there are no mistakes when it comes to art, and that it is not important for people to stress over making sure their painting ends up looking like the example. I encourage people to make it their own. I find that I am constantly reminded that I need to try and follow my own advice.
At the end of the evening, I gave our guests comment cards and asked that they leave feedback or any suggestions they may have. I told them they could be annonymous and as brutally honest as they wanted to make them, that I would welcome any feedback they could give. After everyone had left, all supplies were cleaned up and I returned home, I sat down to read the comment cards. I was thrilled to read such positive remarks! At the end of a very long and stressful week, they were the encouragement that I needed right then, and assured me that I am on the right track. (I snapped a few photos of the comments to post on here)
This week I will be preparing for my Grand Opening. I'm so glad we did the test run first, because I feel so much more prepared. I've been painting for about 16 years now, and teaching informally on and off just as long, but I'm definitely tackling some new territory. Blogging, for example. :) Please be patient with me, as my blogging skills are a work in progress, but check back often for new posts and new event info.