CHA 2011 Day 2

 Don't you love this? It is made out of paper.  It made me wonder how they transported this.

 I have not been out of the booth much, but did walk by the Die Cuts with a View booth and saw their paper displays and snapped a few quick pics.  Very eyecatching!

So cool!  More today and tomorrow.

Great Day at CHA!

Opening day. Woke to a sunny day in downtown Los Angeles.

From my hotel room, I can see the Hollywood sign....way, way, way off in the distance, but I can see it!

In the booth today, we did some fun bangle bracelets.  Very easy, cute, and of course, I encouraged everyone to try their hand at creating their own designs.  How cute are these girls?  This little girl was smart as a whip and barely needed any instruction. She was intuitive.  Then she helped her Grandma.

Oh yeah, and for those of you who think this is one big party......well, yeah, it is...... but the price of the pizza killed me anyway.

We started with a bangle, wrapped yarn and fibers around it and then wired some new flower and leaf buttons on top.  Go Darlene! I turned two quilters into jewelry makers here.

One finished bracelet.

Looking forward to day 2!

Live from CHA!

Live from Los Angeles and the Craft and Hobby!  Read below and tune in to watch me at 1:15 tomorrow, 
Saturday, January 29.  My topic: Buttons Inspire Creativity.  I get three minutes, don't blink!

CHA will be webcasting the hottest products live from the Show floor for 2 hours a day.  That’s right EVERY NEW PRODUCT that is entered into the Innovations Product Showcase will receive a 3-minute interview on CHA-TV. CHA-TV is a free webcast portal for the craft & hobby industry. CHA will use this new resource to webcast the hottest new product launches live from the upcoming 2011 Winter Show. Two-time Emmy Award winner and CHA’s National Spokesperson Terri O will be conducting the daily interviews from 11 am – 12 pm and 1 pm – 2 pm PT live from the CHA-TV Broadcast booth on the Show floor. You'll need to download the free CHA-TV Facebook app at or view it live on the web at

Fabric Cuff Bracelets

Since we talked about cuff bracelets yesterday, and I made two today, I am posting them. Don't you love the fabric covered buttons I used?  They are a new line of buttons from Blumenthal Lansing.

The cuffs are very easy to make and you can use scraps of fabric. I cut two strips of fabric, you can make  your cuff any width.  Stitch them up, right sides together.  Turn them and top stitch close to the edges.

One style is to make the ends of the cuff butt together, adding a loop of ribbon or rick rack to go over the button.  In my second style, the cuff overlaps just enough to sew a couple small snaps between to hold the cuff on the arm.

Stitch on a button and that is it!

The possibilities are endless.  You know you need a couple of these so you can be all trendy and cool.

French Watch Bracelet

I recently attended Gift Market in Atlanta.  One reason I go is to keep an eye on trends.  One jewelry  trend I saw was the fabric cuff bracelet. There were fabric cuffs of all kinds, even fur with giant pearls sewed on. 

I am not too much of a cuff bracelet girl, but there is one style I think I can wear.  It is just a silk cord wrapped around the wrist and tied.

Last summer, on my mission trip, we all spent a day in France. Yeah. We started at a flea market that was so stinkin' cool that I could have moved in and lived there.  Funny though, Wonder Woman and I had fun looking around but everyone else sat in the hallway bored to death. They let us stay one hour. I cried when they made me leave.

I haggled for three old watches. Weird, that I made it home with only two. Do you think the seller kept one or something? I have no explanation. Anyway, I remembered today that I have those watches. There is no point in putting in new batteries since they tell the time in French, so I opted for some kind of jewelry.

So, I took one off the band. I kept the small dangle...I cannot tell what is on the dangle, it might be a person, but I can't see it well enough. So, I am saying it is Saint Imaginina, Patron Saint of Creativity. 

I also added a rhinestone ball, and then slid it onto a silk cord.  It ties around the wrist.  Fastest and easiest jewelry project I ever made.

Ooh la la!
Take Your Daily Dose of Vitamin C...

The Dreaded Stairs

Today I questioned how I could creatively make shoveling snow more fun.  Someone said to add glitter and paint.  How well do my friends know me? I thought more along the lines of beading my snow shovel.

Tonight, I saw this video and it is the same question. If we can make it fun, people will do it.

We need creative solutions to things that we didn't even know were problems!

Yarn Bombing

 I ran across the art of yarn bombing a couple weeks ago and have been doing some research.  People are doing this all over the world. Think of it as yarn graffiti.  They do it in public spaces.  Sometimes it gets torn down by a big fat killjoy, and sometimes it is allowed to remain.  Groups do huge projects.  Individuals do small projects.  Who thought this up? I think it is a super creative idea.

Sometimes they are tagged by the group who did it, leaving a website address or information on how to join the yarn bombing group.

 I have been pondering the question of art versus waste because of this. I am all for art, and I love this concept.  But, would the time and expense be better spent for someone in need?

I am reading through this book, it is amazing. I shared it with a couple young friends of mine. They also were drawn to it and we are thinking about starting a yarn bombing group of your own.  They answered my question by saying we should add scriptures to our bombs. We could add invitations to church or church events as well.  Don't you love young people? So creative.

You  might consider joining the Yarn Bombing page on facebook. There I learned about a huge project that set my mind completely to rest on the issue.  A group in England, bombed a city bus.  Yeah, the whole bus is covered in yarn.  You can see a pic of it either in the book (which I bought used for only a couple dollars on Amazon) or on the facebook page.  They drove the bus around for a day for everyone to see.  Then, they took the huge piece apart, making blankets that they sent to Africa to Aids orphans.

There is a big opportunity for a women's ministry here, I think.  It could involve women in your church and women in the community at large.

Does it spark any ideas for you? Please share!

iPraise Band

North Point's iBand from North Point Web on Vimeo.

Who thinks up this stuff?  The world just offers us so many possibilities these days, doesn't it? It seems endless.

Simple, yet impressive.....

Beacons of Light

Saturday night, I was invited to participate in a middle school activity at church called Beacons of Light. It is an event to introduce the kids to missions and missionaries. The middle school leaders are very creative in designing their events to get kids to attend, and of all of the year's programs, this one always has the highest attendance.

How? They turn the lights off around the church and let the kids walk around with flashlights looking for the hidden missionaries. I hid in the dark attic for a couple hours...behind the heating ducts and piles of sports equipment. 

The kids must ask each missionary a set of questions and also some they make up themselves. The were attentive and interested. During their hunt around the church, they can be arrested and taken to jail for awhile.....just because they are there.

Funny questions I was asked that were not on the list:

  • Aren't you totally creeped out in here?
  • How in the world did you get in here?

At the end of the evening, they all meet and the leaders explain more about missions and missionaries.  They hear about God's great commission for believers to go out into the world and spread the word.  Then, they introduce the upcoming middle school summer mission trip. The kids love the summer mission trips and they always have a good crowd.

I am always looking for ways to interest women in joining the women's mission trip each summer. Do you think if I let them walk around the church in the dark with flashlights, they would join? I would be happy to put them in jail, if that helps.

Mission Trip Wall Art

Today at church, we started a two week series on missions.  It started me thinking about past and future mission trips. My own women's missions group is steeped in creativity. We redo rooms in homes and we always add some unique art to personalize the work we do.

During our preparation for our trip to Pontiac, Michigan, we all read My Heart in His Hands, Ann Judson of Burma, written by Sharon James. It is the story of the first American woman in foreign missions service. We read about the struggles of sickness , politics, lost children, emprisonment, and uncountable more horrible things she endured. But also as we read about her trials, we saw her heart. No matter what was thrown in her path, her focus was always on God. She always trusted that He was in control. It is an amazing and inspirational story.

It is important to me to leave behind a piece of art that expressed Ann Judson's missionary heart.  She was very inspiring and several of her thoughts touched me as so truthful:

  • While thus recounting the mercies of God to my soul, I am particularly affected by two considerations: the richness of that grace, which called and stopped me in my dangerous course, and the ungrateful returns I made for so distinguished a blessing.
  • ...constantly to bear in mind that I am in the presence of God.
  • ...the obligation I feel to try to be useful, has induced me to comply.
  • I ought not to consult my own ease; the question should be, how can I be most useful in the world?
  • I am a creature of God and He has an undoubted right to do with me, as seemeth good in His sight.
  • Blessed Jesus, I am thine forever. Do with me what Thou wilt; lead me in the path in which Thou wouldest have me to go, and it is enough.
  • But if the way were plain and easy, where would be the room for confidence in God?

On a large canvas that we found in the basement of the house, I did a combination of decoupaged words and painted/lettered words that came straight from Ann Judson. It was a way to share what inspired us in our pre-trip study.

Try something similar with inspirations from your own ready or study. it is a good way to keep the feeling fresh after you finish the book.

Happy Birthday RDA!

Today I am celebrating the birthday of my favorite TV star ever, Richard Dean Anderson. Don't judge. If you were too young to watch him on General Hospital, then you can't possibly get it.  But, of course, you watched him as MacGyver, and maybe as Jack O'Neill if you are a sci fi fan.

What does this have to do with creativity?  Not so much, except this guy did write some funny and creative lyrics. Creativity comes in many packages.

Happy birthday RDA...

Embelishing Your Bag or Purse

Charming Charlie sells fashion accessories. They have stores in several states.  You should consider following them on facebook because not only will they help you follow accessory trends, they will pass on lots of creative ideas for using and wearing those accessories.

I am admitting some of these ideas are dorky... but some are fab.  I am not saying which is which because one woman's dorky is another's fab.

Gift in a Tube

for a creative idea for giving a gift. 

This is my friend Queenie. The world knows her as Jo Pearson. She is the creative genius behind craft projects at Michaels. She is one of the most creative people I know. And I travel in a circle of artists, so that is really saying something. 

She uses her creativity muscle every day in her job, and that makes it easy for her to use it in her personal projects too. If you don't already, you should definitely follow her videos on facebook.  She will fill your brain with creative ideas. You will, of course, find her page listed as Jo Pearson.  

Color Quiz

Go here to take a color quiz. These are not your basic primary colors, they are way more fun. Maybe it will expand your color horizons a little. I have to admit that I did not know what color Vermillion is.  And now I do!

You will be able to say, 

"I think Aubergine is your color!"

"I saw a beautiful Viridian sweater at the mall yesterday."

"Cyan is so last year."

"What do they call your new car's color? Puce?"

"Chartreuse and Crimson are amazing complementary colors."

 For sure, you will impress your friends!

The Beginning

Three years ago, I spent a lot of time and a lot of money going to a career counselor. I think I have skills and experience, but am not able to see how they are marketable. The counselor asked me to do several soul/self searching exercises in an attempt to get to the bottom of what is most important in my life. Every exercise I did turned up three things that I need in my life to function: a relationship with God, constant learning, and creativity.

I think a creative look at life helps to make it bearable.  In an undergrad choreography class, my teacher always said, "give the audience a flower." That has stuck with me for....well, I am not admitting how may years. Let's just say it was very memorable. She meant that a choreographer should add bits that make the audience smile or nod their heads in understanding or pleasure. That is probably true for all art forms. I have come to believe that creative responses to daily stuff are the flowers we crave each day.

A couple months ago, I read this book.  I have to say that this is what prompted me to quit my personal blog and start this one.... the hunt for creativity. It will be about a relationship with God, constant learning, and creativity.

Briefly, the book is about a guy who had a job that was boring him sick. When he started in his career, the job was exciting and he was passionate about it everyday. Yeah, things have a way of getting old and stale. And the job he loved became a drudge. One day, he wandered into a rehearsal of a Cirque de Soleil performance and struck up a very interesting relationship with that organization. In the end, he realized what he had originally loved about his job was the creativity he needed to have success. Eventually, it became business and he used the techniques and processes that had always worked for success. Through a change of thought process, he was able to recapture some of the creativity and interest from the early years of his job.

So, I am there. Entrenched. Buried. A bit bored. I work in an industry that inspires creativity in people. Yet, I use little to no creativity in my job. Seems weird, but it is true. I am a designer whose left brain has taken over. After all these years, I know how to do the job quickly and efficiently, and have stopped the experimentation and fun.

So, we are gathered here today to begin a journey to find the flowers in our days.  Let's go.......

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