"Art is my vehicle through life; may we share the ride together." Ron Wickersham

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Great mail!

I received these two wonderful Valentine RAKs from my AAWA online group pal, Joan. I just love both of them! The altered Bingo card is just so cute with the felt hearts, jewels, vellum quote and the vintage image. The adorable Valentine doll is made with old metal Jello molds! Her body is a cork, her arms beaded wire and her legs are beaded wire threaded through rolled book pages. Attached is a vellum envelope with a stamped tag "for you." Super darling!

While I was away the mail brought this cute bundle of goodies I'd ordered from One Ripe Peach on Etsy. I love the little package of Valentine misc; the "bridal" Bingo cards and the kit for making the sweet little red and white polka-dot notebook. It's always fun to receive yummy stuff like this in the mail.

I've also received almost all of packages for the "14 Days of Valentine Swap" I'm participating in. Tomorrow is the first day to open the first package which just happens to be my project. So, I will finally be able to reveal what I made.

CHA - The End

I promise this is the last of the CHA posts - I really do need to get on with my life (LOL)! I wanted to tell you more about some of the new products and trends that interested me.

There were several new corner-rounder and hole-punch/binding tools. I didn't get pictures, but you could probably find these on the company websites. Cropadile has a 2-in-1 corner rounder that cuts both 1/8 and 1/4" corners for approximately $25. Zutter has 2 rounders - a 1/4" and 1/8" - I can't remember the price. They easily cut through hard acrylic book covers. 7 Gypsies has a new Binderie which punches holes in paper, cardstock, chipboard and book board. This was pricey at $39 but would be great for book-makers and it's a cute little red "machine."

Chatterbox had a DIY brad maker with decorative dark brass brads in 3 sizes (these are vintagey and really pretty) complete with clear domes, adhesive circles and 3 punches. Great for coordinating your embellishments with your papers! They even had some samples using actual photos. I think the start-up kit was around $19 and the refills (without punches) about $6-7. Imaginisce had an "i-top" which is essentially like a seamstress tool for covering buttons with fabric, but this was for paper. This might have been about $20 and there were packages of precut papers and even punches to prepare the paper circles for the tool. Vintaj had lots of brass findings and embellishments for, you guessed it, vintage projects! Of course, Tim Holtz's new Ideology products are great too. I used his new jump rings for the make 'n take and thought "oh, just an aged regular jump ring with his name on it", but wow! These you can open and close very easily with your fingers - no tools needed! There are also some teeny paper clips and safety pins which were too cute.

In papers, of course, there were tons of new lines by all the companies. Tim's Grungepaper is super - it's 12x12 and I heard also printable in your computer. Several companies featured recycled paper and patterned kraft paper. Heidi Swapp's new Invisibles are ingenious - embossed patterns on white 12x12 cardstock which resist most mediums such as inks and paints and are beautiful designs as well.

Lots of fabric and canvas being used in layouts and, of course, mixed media projects. Claudine Hellmuth's Sticky Back Canvas sheets, though not brand-new, are useful for so many projects and she demoed great techniques. Donna Downey (Prima) has a new canvas album complete with canvas pages and canvas and fabric embellishments. I was thrilled to see Basic Grey introducing fabrics in their same great colors and patterns.

Masks are still popular and in all sizes - Tim introduced "mini" masks and Heidi now has "mega" ones.
Some previous trends continue - we saw many birds, owls, trees - but they are joined by other little woodland animals and cute monsters and aliens. Lots of cute boy-themed papers too. Still lots of flowers (they are getting even bigger) and many fabric/felt embellishments. And lots of cupcakes/sweets and travel themes.
I was happy to see a trend toward more mixed media - painting and sewing on both fabric and paper. Lots more home decor pieces. This year's theme was "going green" and this was reflected in lots of recycled paper lines, a new Stampington magazine called "Green Crafts" and layouts using recycled products - isn't this adorable?

I just have to share my most favorite make-n-take - an adorable LOVE banner from the Melissa Frances booth. I love it! (The pics aren't the greatest - it was hard to get it all in. The photos on each end are my husband and myself when we were kids and they are both black and white, even though mine on the left doesn't look like it!)

Our last day there was Jaclyn's birthday and we ate breakfast with some of the Disney characters at the Storybook Cafe. Look at this darling waffle!

And here we are about to return home, standing under a HUGE, beautiful tree near the convention center! Only part of the trunk shows here - can you imagine how old it must be?

And that's THE END!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Cuttlebug Challenge Blog

Be sure to check out the relatively new Cuttlebug Challenge Blog and see what they have in store for this weekend - a Luv Bug Bloghopping event. Visit 22 design team member blogs to find word clues for a quote and then return to the challenge blog to qualify for a prize drawing. The blogs are featuring "sweets for your sweet" tutorials and blog candy. You can either click on the highlighted link above or click the Cuttlebug Challenge Blingee on the right column of the blog. Have fun and good luck!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Can you stand yet another CHA post?

There were celebrities galore. Paris Hilton was there promoting her new "creativity kits" for teens but we didn't see her. Check out this hysterical interview Craft Critique did with Donna Downey:

Jane Seymore was there too signing her new book but we were busy placing orders...

The cutest celeb was this one and only - check out the eyes!

More Ranger houses

For some reason, Blogger would not allow more photos to the last post. (?) Here are more of the wonderful artist houses, reach one was so different and clever!

Ranger heaven

I think I could have spent the whole three days in the Ranger booth! I just love, love, love all things Ranger. What a terrific business model - who could possibly go wrong with the talented Tim Holtz, Claudine Hellmuth, Wendy Vecchi and Suze Weinberg all in one place??

They introduced new Grungeboard paper - same great stuff, just thinner! I was told it could be cut with the Cricut with the deep-cut blade, run through twice. Great possibilities.

Check out the mini "quilt" in the upper right corner - I think it was made with painted or inked squares of grungeboard paper stitched together on a sewing machine.

Here's a pic of Tim's messenger bag. This is appliqued grungeboard!! What will he think of next?

This cute little birdie was dressed up in the new Ideology line items.

I was thrilled to meet Wendy Vecchi in person. I love her work which is similar to Tim's but less "grungy" and she uses lots of flowers. I think she might be the next "Tim", female-style! There was a wonderful display of her pins and jewelry on an old dress form. Loved it!

And here's one of her small canvas collages
I posted Claudine's picture a few posts ago. Here were canvases she had displayed. You can certainly tell the one on the right was her a few years back and I'm betting the cutie on the left is her now-husband. Don't these make you smile?

This is a newer canvas using her new Studio acrylic paints which were super creamy and such yummy colors. I'm in love...

Ranger had an entire display board showcasing their recent artist challenge samples. They gave several artists a canvas (I think these were approximately 5 x 7 or maybe 8 x 10) to create a house. I don't think there were any other stipulations. Take a look at all the unique creations!

New - follow my blog!

I just discovered that Blogger has come out with a new feature where you can sign up to follow my blog. Check out the Follow This Blog on the right column of the blog near the top. I would love you to "join" me. Farther down the column you can also subscribe to my blog through a feed. Hope to "see" some of you around more! I also added a blog list so check it out.

I'm home!.

I arrived home this morning from CHA - bittersweet, as it's always good to get home, but we had such fun in CA that I didn't want it to end! Yesterday was not only Jaclyn's birthday, but my daughter, Dana, turned 28 as well! And as it turned out, I decided to fly home through Albuquerque to spend the night with her. It's always great to be able to say Happy Birthday in person.

I loved how the vendors went all out to decorate their booths. There were some pretty awesome ones - can you imagine trucking all that stuff in, setting it up in a day or two, and then disassembling it again? But they are sure impressive.

I loved Doodlebug's 50's soda shop fountain look:

This was one side of their booth with "windows" and window boxes filled with such yummy glittery goodies.

Vintaj had a great booth with lots of brass findings - loved this display door! Their demo counter was made of old wood - you can see a bit in the pic to the left.

Graphic 45 is a fairly new paper line. Loved all their gorgeous papers and they had a fabulously decorated booth. Check out this display unit (a small version of old bed springs).

This huge hanging metal flower uses one of their papers - isn't this beautiful?!

Speaking of flowers, they were everywhere. Look at this happy endcap from Petaloo.

When Tracy placed an order at Prima, she qualified for the "scoop as many flowers as you can in this plastic bag in 10 seconds" offer. Here she's holding the bag while Jaclyn furiously scoops.

Tracy was very happy!

This was a cute layout at Basic Grey. The flowers were made with styrofoam balls cut in half and covered with tiny paper flowers. Very cute. I regret not getting a close-up.
I finally got to see Flower Soft up close. This has been getting a buzz on Yahoo groups and I could never quite "get it." It's basically a fluffy fibery product that you sprinkle on a wire (if you want to make flowers) or a shape covered with any clear drying glue. It really does make very realistic flowers as you can see on this card sample. It comes in every color imaginable and they had some interesting samples with hearts etc. Not something that I might use, but a new concept.

Everyone wants to get noticed at CHA. Look at the huge ribbon spools that were stacked on the four corners of the Offray ribbon booth. We heard they were made with paper - very clever and they really did look like ribbon!

It was great to get to see the altered bras for breast cancer at the Melissa Frances booth. They are so much prettier in real life! As you probably know, Melissa is a breast cancer survivor. I actually got to meet her in the booth and talk a bit with her. She talked a little about her cancer journey and how excited she is to have a full head of hair back and anticipating her upcoming wedding. She is a beautiful person, inside and out! I got so caught up in talking with her that I forgot to take a picture! She had beautiful papers, as always, and great new products. Isn't this little shabby chic box just the most adorable thing? It would be so perfect for a baby's special mementos. I so have to have this to keep for a future grandchild!

I can't remember which booth this was at, but look at this suitcase papered in these beautiful bright, happy papers. I would just love to have this to open and look at when I felt down or sad. I think I'll be keeping an eye out for an old suitcase...More cute ideas -- a paper covered lampshade from Graphic 45:

Paper birds in a tree (great Easter decor!) from Jillybean Soup, a brand new paper line.

A cylinder purse with a Just Rite Stamper monogram on the front - hmm, I'm imagining recyling an oatmeal box...?

I'm still on a CHA high. What creative stimulation - so many exciting ideas crammed in my brain right now. Just hope I don't forget anything. Thank heavens for digital cameras and old-fashioned notebooks! I have tons more to share later...

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

More CHA

Another day, more fun! There were more celebrity sightings today, some great make 'n takes and tons of fun stuff to look at! Here's Tim again - today he was doing an awesome make 'n take.
Look at the cool "Memory Capsule" I made. These are so neat - there's a special dimensional front piece that allows you to add items inside along with your collage. This uses alot of the new Ideology trinkets.

And here's an overview of some of his new trinkets.
Got a pic of the new Alcohol Inks from Ranger that match all the Adirondack ink colors.

Spotted Donna Downey near the 7 Gypsies booth. She introduced a new canvas album and fabric embellishments with Prima.
Heidi Swapp was in attendance. Look for some really cool new stuff from here - and yeah, Create Joy Workshops will be carrying them!

Cute Kristen Robinson was in the Stampington booth working on her delightful journals. Her beautifully romantic book on the front of the new Stampington Love publication was there to drool over irl! I had a great talk with Kristen - I just adore her work and was totally thrilled to meet this sweet and talented artist in person.
Also at Stampington was Ruth Rae working on her wonderful antique Singer Featherweight. I loved seeing it, as I have one almost as old and love it. I loved seeing her darling muslin dresses which she'd stamped and free-motion stitched. She said she would be lightly stuffing them and she also had made adorable garment bags for each dress. Cute, cute, cute.

I had to stop by the Crafty Secrets/Heartwarming Vintage booth to visit my blogging pal, Vicki Chrisman. Their booth was as beautiful as ever and Vicki as warm and friendly as ever. Loved seeing you Vicki!

There were lots of fab make 'n takes and not enough time to do them all. Here's a few I managed to get into. This was such a cute huge chipboard at Daisy Bucket - I'm just wondering how I'll get this on the plane!

An initial from Bo Bunny - love their rubons.

A great book from 7 Gypsies with lots of pockets and doodads.

A cute card with new kraft paper from Jillybean Soup (a new paper company with really cute names for their paper lines and embellishments.

CHA is such a fun and happy place, kind of like Disneyland next door! See all the happy stuff.

Oversize buttons

cute, cute pillows
And for a treat, the chocolate fountain at Rusty Pickle!

Enough excitement for one day! More tomorrow...