Friday, January 30, 2009

CHA - Clear Art Stamps

Clear Art Stamps had some great samples using their acrylic stamps. I like the vintage look (no big secret) but I'm not a big fan of acrylic stamps. The make n takes at CHA were o.k. and fun to do when you needed to sit down, but I was more impressed by the design team creations. When I first saw Clear Art Stamps new releases online before CHA I wasn't impressed at all. When I saw them at the show beside their samples, it was a whole different reaction.
Graphic 45 (another vintage look company) had some amazing projects in their booth too. They really inspired most of my upcoming class projects. I have about four pages of new ideas in my creative journal. Now I just have to sit down and get the samples done. :)

More CHA 2009- One little question

I think this photo was from the Tim Holtz or Ranger booth. I may do something like this for an up coming make n take project.
When I was talking to the designers of new paper lines, I ask what I thought was a simple question. "What inspired you to create your new line or where to do get your inspiration?" I mean they ask fashion designers that all the time. It was surprising that only one scrapbooking paper designer could field the questions. Many were stumped and either had no answer or refused to talk about it. I saw a trend of those who couldn't answer the question - their paper lines were totally boring. One woman said she just sits in front of her computer and I have to say her new release look is as exciting as staring at a blank computer screen. When I walked in the "My Little Shoebox" booth, she was all over the it. She rattled off about a dozen things, talked about her design team and most importantly was so excited about her new line. Yes, people this is how (if any one from CHA is reading) vendors should be about their product and what they sell. After she answered my questions, she went into showing me how I could use her line to inspire customers and the great price point of their show special. All this was at the end of the day when everyone else were walking zombies. I'm sorry I didn't get a good shot of her booth or the samples they had on display. I was too busy talking to her and forgot to take out my camera. Here's the link to My Little Shoebox

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Tim Holtz - Bird with a beak ring

Here's a picture for all you Tim Holtz junkies. I thought this alter bird was too funny. He had tons of vintage items in his booth along with some of his art work. Yes Mr. Holtz was in the building and I don't think he got a lot done at his demo table. He had to jump up every other minute because someone wanted their picture taken with him.
His little bird is too funny with ring in the bird's beak and light bulb in the crown.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Was this a Ranger display?

I can't remember if this was a Ranger booth display. It was on a back wall facing the aisle so I didn't see any signage, something their marketing people should make note of. All these little houses or shrines are made out of paper. I think there were a twenty in all from different artists. A very interesting and fun wall to visit.
Something I found odd at the CHA show - this is just my random thoughts. When I sat down to do a make n take (and some where really long, 30 plus minutes) why wasn't the demo person talking up their new product line or show specials? I mean they had us all sitting at the table and we weren't going to leave until we were done. I give Product Performers 5 stars for their demo people in the Teresa Collins booth. As I was using the Dream Kuts and Zutter machine making one of Teresa's books, they chatted about how to use the machine, how good it would for a class etc.... I also asked technical questions just to see if they could answer them. Hey if you are paying thousands of dollars for your booth space, wouldn't you want your people to be able to field any and all questions? Can't tell you how many booths had people working in them that had no idea what the product did or was. Do you know what improvements were added to the pink Zutter binding machine? The best individual demo person was at the LiquidTex booth. I'm rooting around for her card so I can post her name. Not only is she a talented artist but her knowledge of the LiquidTex acrylic inks (very cool inks that I'm going out to buy) was amazing. She could give you all the details from both a chemistry level and as a working artist.

Covered Bras???

Decorative bras were the in thing at the CHA. Spotted them in several booths and indie exhibits. I guess being a trade show that has more women buyers, it something we can all relate too. :) At the show all the vendors pass out some sort of promo piece, usually tote bags or an apron in "Making Memories - Slice" case. I have to say that Provo Craft's tote was the best. Nice long adjustable strap and gusted bottom. It's the one I used for the whole show. The Yellow Bicycle bag (photos to follow later) had the best graphic design (the younger girls were all over it) but for us full figure women the straps were too short. Making Memories aprons was really cool because one, it kept you clean when doing some of the demos (I have some great stories about demos gone wrong) and the pockets in the front that were very handy to hold all sorts of stuff. Since the main theme of CHA was "Go Green" I didn't take any totes or information packets from any company I wasn't interested in or would use. That made packing to come home so much easier.

Crazy Give Aways

The show as a whole was not crowded at all You could walk the asiles with no fear of walking into anyone. The vendors (I was told on the last day it's even more so they don't have to ship it back home) give away their product in random free raffles. I mean good stuff like Crickett Epression machines, cartridges, cutting machine, tote bags, storage carts. I won a faux leather lap top tote from "Creative Options" (retail value $59.00) just because I was walking by the booth. If there was a crowd gathering, good chance a giveaway was happening.

Cosmo Crickett - CHA

Graphic 45's booth was my favorite (see earlier post) but Cosmo Crickett was a close second. I thought it was too funny to see what they did with their paper on these well known images. There wasn't any really "stand out and shout" new designs. Every one's line has the same look to it, vintage, yellow, brown, blue and green and enough polka dots to make Dr. Suess proud. I don't think there is one scrapbooking company that doesn't have a tree and owl in their their line up. Of course, there was some really scary "hide in the closet" releases but I don't want to bash any one's company. They really think it's going to sell. I sure hope they didn't give up their day job.

Major Bling Over Load

I took these photos before I got a major smack down from the vendor not to take pictures. You would never guess what scrapbooking company (and I'm not going to tell since getting yelled at) that is now carrying glass beads. The bead artists did some amazing work and I really can't see the average crafter going home and whipping one of these puppies out.

CHA Drama - Flase Fire Alarm

I think I will first post all the CHA drama since there really wasn't too much. As many of you know, Paris Hilton attended CHA to pimp her new craft line - don't asked me what it was, I never saw it. People stood in line for TWO hours to see her. It didn't help that CHA had changed the time of her arrival but didn't get the word out to everyone and Paris showed up late. On top of all that, she was suppose to take pictures with the first 40 people. I heard that she only stayed for 15 minutes instead of the scheduled hour. One guy got down on his hands and knees and started crying when he saw her. So as people lined up waiting for her, they also blocked some of the new exhibitors tables. If you weren't interested in Paris, you couldn't see them. Want to talk about seeing some vendors going postal and really I can't blame them. The following day right after the show opened, the fire alarm went off and everyone had to leave the building. We were all guessing the exhibitors who's tables were blocked during the whole Paris fiasco pulled the alarm in protest.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Sunday - CHA

Day one of CHA. I'm working with a very old laptop so uploading anything is a really slow process. I ran through all the booths at CHA today checking everything out. I stopped to do some of the make n takes when my toes got tired. I think by far the best booth at the show is Graphic 45. Maybe because they have a great mix of vintage items that highlight their paper line. Just looking at everything gets the creative juices going. I didn't see a lot of "new" stuff but the samples are amazing. I'm coming back with some great classes ideas. I'm sorry to say that the paper cutter I was looking for is not here. I ran down every lead but no Genesis cutter knock off. Lydia and Cynthia are great CHA buddies. Cynthia scoped out the area before we arrived and had all the bus and restaurant information. She will even run ahead and hold the bus until we get there. :) When we meet up after the show in the evening, they are really good sports about my new diet restrictions and my screaming about having to eat now! On day two I will go back and wait in line to do the more interesting make n takes and take a bigger backpack.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

CHA here I come!!!

Leaving this morning for CHA!!! Can't wait to see all the new stuff, talk shop and hopefully wrap up some long over due business. I've packed our very old laptop (which weighs a ton) so I will be able to update my blog in the evenings. I think Lydia (Understand Blue) will be able to post live, so if you want to see the action as it's happening visit her blog. Purrcy and Lucy have been circling my suitcase meowing not to leave them alone with Dad. They never get the correct amount of attention when I'm gone.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Going To CHA

I'm getting ready to go to CHA (Craft and Hobby Association) in Anaheim, CA. It's getting down to crunch time, so I'm running around getting all the things done on my to do list. My plans to drive down changed at the last minute, so I have to rethink how to pack and what to pack now that I'm flying. I may or may not take my laptop, so if you don't see any postings from me until next week, check out Understand Blue (see my blog roll) because I'm sure Lydia will be posting tons of photos to her blog from the show. I've been told that a new Genesis type paper cutter is being released, so I will be on the hunt for that.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Quick and Simple Magnet Board

This was the magnet message board I did for my class at Memories Live On yesterday. It's a quick and simple project to do. The best part is that it only takes one sheet of 12X12 page. I know many scrapbookers get an extra sheet just in case and end up with a lot of orphan paper. This project is a great way to use up your stash. The magnet clip and note pad are easy to find at you office supply store. Make sure to get the big clip holder with a big magnet, the little ones don't work. If you want holes in the top of the clip for ribbon, use your Crop-a-dile. Have no fear I did it with damaged to my tool. Have to thank Louise for sharing this idea at our Cornflakes (card making group) last month.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Purrcy and Max

Haven't done a cat photo in awhile, so when I saw both Purrcy and Max together (well as close as they get to each other) I took a shot. Max (the short hair Siamese) comes over for breakfast all the time. Lucy doesn't mind him out in the garden but if he steps one paw into her house or even thinks of coming near her food bowl she turns into her alter ego "Bulldog". Max is much larger than Lucy but that doesn't stop her for a second giving him a big whack on the tail as she chases him out the door. Purrcy on the other hand doesn't care, so long as there is more kibble in his dish - yes he checks them out before eating and always goes for the bigger bowl.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Bees, Warm Weather and Guild PR

Last week Doug got a call about a bee swarm. It's too early in the year for the bees to start to swarm but with the warm weather we have had for the last two weeks, the girls are very active. Doug went to check it all out, thinking maybe it was wasps but again it's too early for them too. It was a wild hive that had been in a meter box for awhile. He smoked the bees to get a better look and get ready to be boxed up for transport. One of the neighbors smelling smoke called the fire department (I would have done the same thing) before coming over to see what was going on. When the firetruck arrive along with the whole neighborhood, Doug passed out honey comb for everyone to try and explained what he was doing. This was a great PR move for the Bee Guild and hopefully the neighborhood will remember to call the Guild and not break out of can of Raid when they spot a swarm.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Crown Night Part ll

Another silly card I made last night during my "crown" mood. When I was at Daiso (Japanese dollar store) last week, I saw these chip board game things. It's some sort of game where you throw down the card and how every it lands decides the winner - at least that's what I get from looking at the pictures and short description in English. I thought the images were fun and would make a super quick card. He had a one of those fun top knot warrior hairdos (of course no one would laugh at because he carries a super big sword) that just screamed for a crown. I've also been working out my new Cricut Expression machine which makes this even faster to make.

Crown Card Night

I get so distracted when I'm on my computer, that today I had to put myself on time out - no computer until I got things done on my to do list. As I was prepping for my classes this morning, I also had to do the usual household chores. One of the things on my list was to make a thank you card. Since my stash of paper is still being sorted, I picked the top paper off the pile and made some cards to night. I must have been in a "crown" mood because I put them on everything.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

What do these photos have in common?

I went to the doctor's yesterday for a sore shoulder I've had for several months now. I was waiting for our new insurance plan to kick in and my shoulder only hurt when I raise my arm over my head, behind my back or sleeping on my side. I have what is called a "frozen shoulder" and it's very common for people to get after 40. I was given advice to heat my shoulder before doing some very painful stretching exercises 3x a day. If you know how bad a Charlie horse hurts or one of those late night leg cramps then that's how bad it is to pull your arm where it doesn't want to go. While I was waiting for the heating pad to heat up, I had one of my many hot flashes. I thought since I was nice and warm, why don't I do the stretches whenever I have a flash. So if you drive by a woman with her arm sticking out of her sun roof, sweating and screaming in pain, it's probably just me working out.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

I've lost 84 inches - in paper that is.

Today is one of those beautiful California days, 70 degrees and sunny. I have all the windows open to air out the house and let the sunshine in - just love it. With it being such a nice day, I decided to tackle cleaning up and sorting out all the craft supplies that got moved into the bigger bedroom when I move my hubby's office to the smaller one. A few years ago, I stacked all my scrapbooking paper in two piles (I couldn't get it all in one pile) each about 5 feet tall - yes, 10 feet of just 12x12 paper. After seeing that I decided I really needed to use what I had in my stash. So today, I stacked the paper again to see how I've done. I now have 39 inches (a little over 3 feet) left from that original pile. So I've used up 84 inches of paper! On my 101 things to do list, this is #3 "get rid of 50% of my scrapbooking paper". I think I can now cross that one off. Don't ask how much I have in 8 1/2 X 11 card stock which if I had to guess is just as tall. :)

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Hero Arts - Japanese Dolls

These were the cards (one was a gift card holder) I did for my class today. They are super simple designs to keep the class under two hours. The stamp set I got was not indexed correctly (image on the top did not match the rubber) which for as big as Hero Arts is has never happened to me before. I thought I was just tried when I kept stamping the wrong image for my samples until it the little light bulb went on. I went outside my comfort zone with the colors. I'm seeing more people working with teal and red so I gave it a try.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Hero Arts Class - "Together"

Finally got around to taking a photo of my samples for my Hero Arts "Together" stamp set class. It was harder to work with these stamps since they were basically the same shape and style. It's a quick and simple card class so I couldn't go over the top with the designing, have to make sure we can get done in two hours. I mixed up the styles and used some color combos outside of my box.

Chocolate Bribe Paid Off - Sort Of

If you follow my blog, you will remember my post titled "What is this photo worth" (12/12/08) about Doug going fishing with his old boss. Ray didn't tell his wife that instead of going into the office, he was really going fishing all day. I said a big box of chocolate would keep me quiet since I had photos with a date stamp of him holding a fish. So today, my mailman (who is great) rang the door bell and said my package was marked "fragile, don't leave out in heat, deliver early". When I opened the box, I found what looked like melted chocolate with old candy corn, then I read the enclosed card. " Read your blog, here's your chocolate - Ray" Taking a closer look at the chocolate - well you can tell what suppose to look like. Must be a guy thing and another reason why my hubby liked working for Ray.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Full Moon Tonight

Tonight will be the biggest and brightest full moon of the year. I thought it would be fun to have a "full moon dinner". So I thought of pork buns which are white and round. Doug thought of lemon tarts (one of his favorite snacks) and moon shine, which I don't even know is legal to drink or where to buy it. So if you have any ideas on other "moonie" snacks let me know.
On the crafting side of the world, I was told today that Paris Hilton will be at CHA (for about an hour) to promote her new craft line or something like that. Let's get real here people, do you really think she crafts!?! Here's the link:
Sort of scary, this may mean the end of crafting as we know it.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Latest Trend Prediction - Wings

Just got word that the latest trend in the paper crafting world will be "birds". We've seen a long run with cupcakes, penguins and kids without noses. Now on to something new. Speaking of things with wings, I said to myself this weekend, I wish I could find some wings for my Valentine's Day projects, no one makes a good wing. I'm also on a "don't use my credit card for month"diet. The last time this happened was 24 years ago when I gave birth and couldn't leave the house for a month and way before before Internet shopping. So I was at Michael's today checking out Martha's stuff to see if anyone missed picking up her Christmas punches which would be 70% off now. No luck there but I was able to score on getting a Cricut Indie Art cartridge on clearance that had of all things WINGS. I was able to stay on my diet along with now being able to make wings any size I need. Happy dance time!!!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Cased Card for Yu Ai Kai

Lydia of Understand Blue fame sent out a very creative Christmas card this year. I loved it so much I decided to CASE it for my class at the Yu Ai Kai. I changed it to a Valentine's Day theme and had to use a bigger bird.
Lydia also has a second blog she calls "Project Reanimate" which she does a great tutorial on how to creatively recycle materials into fun art projects. With all that she does, I don't know when she sleeps!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Cultural Shopping Experience

Where I live (Silicon Valley) there is a high population of Asians, so of course there are a number of specialty Asian stores. "Asian" being a very broad category, there are stores to cover all the bases. As I told Lydia (Understand Blue - see my blog roll) who is a big Hello Kitty fan, there are at least 3 "Sanrio" stores in my area - all they sell is Hello Kitty and friends stuff. So today I went into "Daiso" which is a Japanese dollar store to see if I could find some small spice containers. It takes a super long time to shop there if 1) you can't read Japanese 2) have no idea what some of the product does 3) even after looking at the pictures on the packaging still can't figure out what it's for. I will say that the pictures do help out a lot.
I've been on the look out for some "pokey" tools or paper piercers (in the crafting world) so when I found $1.50 pokey tools in the cooking section I was thrilled. Now what would a metal pokey tool be doing in the cooking section? Here's where the pictures on the packaging come in handy. I guess when you want to check and see if your cookies are brown on the bottom, you can gently lift them with the metal pokey tool. Must be serious business because there where at least 5 different styles to choose from. Happy with my find I walked over to the sewing section and to my surprise found something called a "centering tool" which is a pokey tool with a short fat handle. Much better to have a short handle. What a score!!! On my way out I went to art supply section hoping to find some Uni Ball white gel pens. Didn't find those, but I did picked up some "fountain pens" and since I couldn't read most of the packaging, got three different ones to play with. So if you need 100 different ways to mold your rice Daiso has you covered but they don't have any small spice holders.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

After holiday wrap up

Now that the marathon "Madden" football and Wii games are over in my studio, it's time to pack up all the Christmas stuff and there is a lot to pack! This house looks so empty with all the holiday decorations taken down and the light put away. Yes, I'm up again at 4:00 a.m. Can't wait for Doug to lose those few extra pounds he put on during Christmas. It make such a big difference in his snoring. I made this card last year for a class using the Copic markers. There has been a lot of "bee" talk around our house since it's time to start getting the girls ready for Spring.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Why I don't eat Mochi

Mochi not to be confused with manju which is sweeter and tastes a whole lot better. People have asked why I don't care for mochi, a traditional Japanese food at New Year's. Well take a look at these photos above. Yes it tastes like it looks - very glutenous rice paste that will get rock hard if left out to dry to long. It really doesn't have a taste, sort of like eating chewed bubble gum with no flavor. Manju on the other hand (which can look like mochi but isn't) is made a different way and usually has a bean filling.

What's wrong with our bees - CCD

If you want to know more about Colony Collapse Disorder or what's killing our honey bees click on the link below. It's a very good (in normal people language) article about what's happening with the dying off of the honey bees across the country.