CHA 2012 Day 1

 First day of the show and here is my home away from home for the week.  The booth is looking marvelous. If you want me, I will be at this table.

 These were my first four customers. We made cards today.

 One finished card. They all looked different, according to the artist's personality.

This is Koggy. She is here from China. She is a designer there. Isn't she a doll?

One of the best parts of my day at a show is meeting crafters.  Although I have met some "way out there" folks, for the most part, crafters are a passionate lot.  I try to get their stories about where crafts has led them. More and more, the industry is global and I get to meet people far from home like Koggy. Today, I taught 2 women from Japan, a couple from South America, and one from China. 

I also meet people from all over the USA. I had four women from Oahu today... and a lot of locals. Crafts take people on paths I never would have imagined. At the table today, I had a darling girl who runs a non profit company that makes scrapbooks for "Make A Wish" kids. She takes the pics from their big wish trip and turns them into pages.  And makes no money from it.

And while some stories are heartwarming, some just make me laugh. One of my ladies told me when she was young, she married a man from Italy, as she said, straight off the boat. He spoke not one word of English. They both went to college and she earned a degree for each of them. Because he spoke no English, she did all of his work. She said, for each assignment, she would write an A paper for herself and a C paper for him. In the middle of that, she had a baby! She got him his degree and one for herself before she collapsed of exhaustion. Literally. I asked her what in the world drew her to a man she could not speak to, who would not learn the language, and allowed her to do all of his college work for him. She said, He was tall, dark, and Italian, and a musician. I was young. Need I say more?" While she is no longer married to him, she said they had a daughter who has turned out to be the brilliant owner of a multi million dollar company. She is happy with that result.

So many stories. Good ones.

Take your Vitamin C!

Random Pre-CHA Stuff

I am in California and the CHA show starts tomorrow. Today was filled with travel, booth set up, sneaking into an interesting program, a fabulous dinner, and a visit with friends from Florida, China, and Japan. I now can hardly keep my eyes open. Is it any wonder?

I sort of snuck into a program this afternoon that was meant for retailers.  It was 20 of the top new products in the industry. Each manufacturer was allowed 60 seconds to sell said new product. Wow, some did great. Some really need copywriters. I have been in this industry 23598 years and I have seen it all, so most of this was not really new.

But, I share with you three products that impressed me in some way. I will categorize them as What is the Point?, I am Not Sure, and I Would Buy That!.

What is the Point?
This is a glue gun that you plug into the USB port of your computer. At first, I thought, cool! Then I wondered why. What reason could you have to plug your glue gun into your computer? Seems slightly dangerous. Kind of a novelty, maybe, but does not seem practical.

I am Not Sure
This is a shoe application by Kodak, called Shoe Attitude. You run the film through your computer, so you can have any design in the universe on your tennis shoes, even photos. Then you glue the film to the shoe. They used a glue stick. Yes, a glue stick you buy at the drug store. You and I both know that is not going to stay on there. They say it will last a couple weeks. I am doubtful. Their idea is that you will want to keep changing the design on your shoes.  It did look cool, but I was not completely sold.

I Would Buy That!
This is an interchangeable upholstery tack. They come in stone and gems. You pound the tack into the furniture...headboard, sofa, chair, ottoman wall, etc. Then the head screws onto the tack. You can then unscrew the head, and change it to a different look if you want. They made quite a statement. Pretty cool.

 And this is where the randomness hits its peak. These are ceiling light fixtures in my hotel. They are huge, and stinking cool.

And, even though this glass installation was  a Chihuly knock-off, it was pretty and it was 2 feet away from me at dinner tonight. 

Taking the toothpick that are propping my eyes open out, and going to sleep. CHA 2012, day 1 tomorrow.

Take Your Vitamin C!

Button Jacket Lapel

At CHA this week, I will be selling buttons, so I really wanted to sell buttons!

 Do you think this will set off the metal detector at the airport? hahaha! I love all of these Blumenthal Lansing buttons, some metal and some rhinestone. All of them look vintage, but they are not! You can buy these at your fabric or craft store right now.

It was a fun project. Watching a movie while sewing buttons on was relaxing.

After a trip to the Salvation Army store, where I bought a jacket for $8, I stitched one lapel full of buttons, both antique gold and antique silver. I used shiny metallic embroidery floss (gold, black, and copper). I cannot tell a lie. That stuff made me say a few bad words inside my head. It is more prone to knotting than cotton floss. But, the little bit of shine it added was worth it. It makes me want to touch it every time I look at it. Texture and shine!

When you go to buy that shiny floss, take a coupon!

I added some french knots and some straight stitches to fill in some places.

Then, I added gathered brown tulle along the entire lapel/collar. The tulle was left over from lamp tutus. It is on a roll, 8" wide. I folded the width in half and made running stitches along the fold. After I pulled the thread to gather slightly, I tacked it to the underside of the lapel/collar. It is exactly the same process I show in my lamp post, except I stitched instead of glued.

Now, I love the buttons and am unsure about the lapel tutu. What do you think?

Love that Vitamin B(uttons)!!!
Tip Junkie handmade projects

Hello, It's Me!

These are my new business cards. The backs have photos of my work. They just arrived in the mail today. Next weekend, I am headed off to the CHA winter show. CHA (Craft & Hobby Association.) is the trade show for the craft industry. All of the manufacturers, retailers, and publishers in the industry will be there. Happily, I will be working in the Blumenthal Lansing booth while there.

And, when I get a little time to network, I will be handing out these babies, looking for some more work. I need an additional project or two. 

My business cards came from MOO. Check them out, their services are very creative and it took less than a week from the time I uploaded photos until they were in my mailbox. They do lots more than business cards. I found them very affordable.

Take Your Vitamin C!

Wild Thing

 I started painting this chair about 23433 months ago, and finally sat down to finish it tonight. 

 It started out a dark wood finish.

 After some sanding, I covered the wood with gesso, and then painted.

 My inspiration was the zebra fabric. It is fuzzy....really soft. So, what else could I do on this chair, but Wild Thing? Since this was a junk-picked chair, it came with a filthy damask cover on the seat and the top finials were missing. Other than that, the structure of the chair is good, no repairs needed.  Just painting.

 It turned out kinda groovy. I am not sure if it is wild enough or not. Do you do that thing where you finish a piece and then let it sit for a day or two before you look at it again? I think that is what I will do here.

Use your Vitamin C to repurpose something. It's a good feeling. SimpleHookingupwithHoH Artsy Mama

Reminder by Beads

 Being such a visual person, it is helpful to me to have reminders I can see. If I can wear them, it is even better.

 Remember that redeem is my word for 2012. Knowing myself, I know that reminders of my plan will be important, at least until I make the habit my own.

I made letter beads to spell my word, and put them into a bracelet. Colorwise, it is almost monotone, which is not my usual. But, the good side to that is that the palette is pretty neutral, so I will be able to wear it with most anything.

I found the twisted bugle beads and the bi-cone crystals (khaki AB) in the stash, and they were a great match to my letter beads. See the small disc beads on the bugle bead strand? The holes are larger than the bugle beads, so the discs slide back and forth in their sections. It adds some movement to the bracelet. I like that!

Do you need a helpful reminder of your new year's resolution yet?
Use your Vitamin C!

White Heart Beads

 Once in awhile I hit on something that is just fabulous. Don't you LOVE when that happens to you? I made these beads and a bracelet using them for Bead Design Studio Magazine. They featured the bracelet in the December issue, and there are downloadable instructions on their web site.

If you are following trends for fashion and jewelry, you will see fringe is definitely on the list. 

Most of the fringe jewelry I see is very hippie-like, including bead fringe, and I wanted something more up to date. So, I included the faceted, shiny metal beads and glow-y white heart beads.

For those of you making your own lampwork beads, the instructions for making the white heart beads are in the new February issue.

If you do not make your own beads, but would like to make the bracelet, head over to my Etsy shop for the beads. <------- Look over to the left column on this blog. I am offering the set of white heart beads not only in the featured blue, but in some other beautiful colors.  

Use your Vitamin C!

No Tools Needed Button Bracelet

Lately, I have been finding some gorgeous button bracelets online. If you search through Etsy and Pinterest, you will find some nice examples. I have made button bracelets in the past, and have not been completely happy with them. It is hard to wire the buttons close enough to the links so they don't flop around when worn. 

And then. It came to me. I present to you now, a super simple way to make a great button bracelet!

Part 1

Part 2

My mind is picturing all of the fabulous buttons available and how they would look in bracelets.  Hope yours is too.  

Take your Vitamin C!

Sumo's Sweet StuffSomewhat Simple Weekend Bloggy ReadingTip Junkie handmade projects


 Pronounced miss el ay knee ick. More on that later. The girls came over today. We knitted. It was their first time.  

 I admit, I am not a great knitting teacher. But, we managed. It was fun to see their progress.

 They did not get too far, but they did learn casting on, knitting and casting off, so they can go home and do it on their own.

After knitting, we dumped out a couple containers of horrible beads. I cannot say why I save the bead failures, but I do. My nieces used to like to pick through them. The rule is that you can take anything from the bad beads, but you are not allowed to say who made them. Hence, the not-close up photo. 

The best part of the process is that the bad bead collection has a new name. It is miscellane-ick...sort of miscellaneous but also a big pile of ick.

Share your Vitamin C!

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