I'm spending the weekend in Madison, WI with a friend. Our hotel is right next door to the main convention space in town. The big to-do there this weekend is a Felting Convention, which means a lot of them are staying at our hotel. You can spot them a mile away. In addition to the hand-written nametags, they all have appliques on their shirts. It appears that only some are actually felt, and most of them involve puffy paints and sequins. With one dreadlocked woman who looked to be in her 40s, everyone else I saw is easily 60 years old, which then explains the puffy paints and sequins. I'm not sure how or why, but it does. It should be noted that the 40-something woman with dreadlocks was wearing a patchwork-y jumper kind of thing. She looked more like a textile arts person than someone who only works with felt (from my extremely limited knowledge of felters).
And here's another thing - the organization has enough money to hold their conference at a fairly large venue, but not enough to print real nametags for everyone? Maybe they're hoping it feels more "folksy", but it doesn't look like it (in case any of them are reading and wanted to know what I thought).
The Dalai Lama just left Madison and some of his aderents are still here, in our hotel, with us and the felters. We've got the men in red skirts (long, looks like they're made of linen) and red shirts, and the other people who look Tibetan. They aren't wearing red or saffron robes or dressed any differently than us, but they look like the pictures I've seen of Tibetans. And no, they aren't sherpas.
The hotel hosts a happy hour from 5:30 - 7pm each night. Needless to say it was a fascinating crowd waiting in line for Miller Lite and cheap wine. And in case you were wondering, I was drinking Diet Pepsi in my black pants and black and white shirt which was neither boasted an applique or a red linen skirt or saffron robe.