Saturday, June 30, 2007

NCA Convention Time!

Every year, the National Costumers Association (NCA) has an annual convention. I really look forward to these conventions. They are in a different city every year, as different members volunteer to host the 4 day affair. The NCA is made up of independent costumers from around the country and in a few other countries too. My parents joined the NCA in 1989 when they opened Annie's Costume and Magic. Coincidentally, that year the convention was being held here in Hollywood, FL. My first convention was in Cleveland in 1994 and I have been hooked ever since. We have made so many friends and learned so much from our NCA friends and family over the years, it is hard to even put into words what a great part of my life my NCA friends and family have become.

This year, our convention was in San Jose/ Santa Clara, CA. Our host was Debbie Lyn Owens of Debbie Lyn's Costumes in Sunnyvale. We had a blast at convention. Myke was in charge of the youth group for the second year in a row. If that is not a perfect job for Myke, I don't know what is. This job entails taking the kids around to the local theme parks and other fun activities for the kids to keep them occupied while all the parents and adults are taking part in convention activities and classes, etc.

King & Queen NeptuneHere are pics of Myke and I dressed as King and Queen Neptune for the opening night party. The theme was "Under the Sea" and the awesome costumes were provided by our friends Kim and Ron at Spotlight Costumes in Pittsburgh. (We have costume friends all over the country now!)

I also modeled costumes that Kim designed in the Showcase, which is our annual costume competition. Her costumes won in her category and Floyd Nash, who did my makeup won an award for the awesome makeup. I loved modeling the costume and especially loved it when I walked through the crowd and heard several times "Oh, wow, that's Shari!" (pics coming soon)

My favorite event at convention (besides spending time with friends) is called the Creative Style Show. It really shows off the creativity of the costume designers in the bunch. Ten shops volunteer to partake in the show. Each of the ten shops then receive "the box" a few months before convention. And each of these ten boxes include the same fabrics and notions. The fabulous thing is to see the ten completely different costumes that come out of the same origin. It's so cool and amazing. The NCA members are so talented.

We don't have a designer anymore since we don't have the shop, so we don't participate in these events, so now I get to watch, and enjoy!

One of the highlights of this trip was an excursion to Monterey before the actual convention started. About 50 or 60 people took the day long bus ride to Monterey via the Santa Cruz mountain roads to The Pacific Coast Highway. The trip was about 2 hours and we got to see all the different landscapes and terrains that Northern California has to offer. We started off in Santa Clara, which is the heart of Silicon Valley; and we went through the mountains, forests, and farm lands. They grow strawberries, bib lettuce and is the artichoke capital of the world. We passed through Moss Landing and a small area called Elkhorn Slough, which I was particularly intrgued by since Debbie Lyn said that animals that are found there, are only found there and no place else in the world. I thought that the Galapagos Islands was the only spot like that! Soon we arrived at Monterey Bay where the waves were crashing on the shore. Only the second time I've seen the Pacific Ocean before and its quite different than the Atlantic Ocean here in Florida. We passed by Monterey's Fisherman's Wharf and ended up at Cannery Row. I loved Monterey! It was awesome to see the seals, sea lions and sea otters. It was quite a bit cooler there by the ocean. When the bus stopped, Myke and I ate at one of the seafood restaurants called Fish Hopper right on the water. Seals and sunned on the rocks and played inthe waters just below us and the food was amazing. After lunch we walked over to the Monterey Bay Aquarium and spent a couple of hours there before getting back on the bus to head back tour hotel in Santa Clara. On the way back, we stopped at at a winery and Garlic World in Gilroy, which is billed as the Garlic Capital of the World. Myke tried some Garlic ice cream. (eeek!) This was all expertly planned out by Debbie Lyn, and I thank her so much! I can't imagine how much planning goes into hosting a convention, and I don't think I will ever find out.

Many often ask for us to host one in Ft. Lauderdale, but we are busy enough as it is! Myke is open to hosting one, but dad and I say NO! Too much un-needed stress!

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