Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Craft and Hobby Association Show in Anaheim

Last year I went to the CHA show as it was right in my backyard. I became a member of the association as an Educator/Demonstrator as I facilitate Art for Healing workshops. The first time you go to any show or convention can be overwhelming and last year was no exception for me. There were rows and rows of companies that make any and all items having to do with Crafts and Hobbies. Scrapbooking, knitting, jewelry making, painting, drawing you name it.

This year I had originally planned to go for two days, but then it got whittled down to one day, about 4 hours to be exact. I started at one end and walked up and down the aisles taking it all in. I ran into Jenny Doh… formerly the editor of Somerset Studios and now starting a new venture: Crescendo… and the telling of how “Art Saves”. I met her last year at the show and I have recently emailed her to see if I can become involved with her new venture, as art has saved me many times throughout my life. I also met Kristen Robinson who was chatting with Jenny.

I continued on, taking it all in… stopping to look at the glorious handmade papers… with Sterling Art closing locally it leaves the paper collectors of the So Cal area underwhelmed. I may start purchasing and selling some of the papers that I use on my own site.

This year I even stopped to take advantage of 2 “Make and Takes”…

This necklace is from the Making Memories Booth… You were able to pick 2 initials and 2 other charms. The Vintage Groove Collection by Jill Schwartz had a wonderful selection of charms and findings to offer…
they also were giving away great pink aprons!

Buttons, buttons… I love buttons. There were two booths that especially caught my eye: and Blumenthal Lansing. OH MY GOD did they have the most wonderful, colorful buttons to offer.
I made this corsage… So cute and colorful… it would be a great Mother’s Day project for all of you teachers out there…
Grunge Board… Tim Holtz has the greatest collection… letters, numbers, shapes…he has so many wonderful ideas and items that can be used so many ways. As I was walking through the show I heard one woman talking on the phone… “One word to sum up the show… RETRO”. I would have to say she was spot on. Everything old is new again. All of the little items the crafting hoarders of the world have had in their stash for years are now selling all wrapped up lookin’ brand spankin’ new for a good deal of money!

I stopped by The Sticky Thumb booth… they have this great double sided permanent adhesive… I just love the name of the company and their big thumb logo…

Zentangle… originally coining the name was Maria Thomas and Rick Roberts… Suzanne McNeill of Design Originals publishing has just published two new Zentangle books. I think many of us Doodlers have been doing some sort of Zentangle for years… we just did not market the idea!!!

The Sculpey booth was giving away great little thermometers for your oven. I also received a quick lesson in stacking the Sculpey… It always looks so complicated, but after seeing a quick demo it did not look so painful! I walked away with a package of their White Premo Sculpey.

I have followed Artist Claudine Hellmuth for a few years now. I emailed her with a few questions and she graciously replied. She was demonstrating some of her new products with Ranger as I walked up to her. She spoke at length with me, did a few demos and tried to sell me on the merits of Twitter! She is so nice and a beauty at the same time. I want to order her paints and some of her other products. Ranger also has this great little brayer… Sometimes when I am adding color to my pieces, the larger brayer is just too wide and this little guy would be perfect.

I spoke with two designers, Denise Clason and Diane Flowers and they were both so gracious… sometimes designers can be so secretive about how they got started and what pitfalls they encountered. Denise and Diane suggested that I change my membership now that I am published to “Designer” and start getting more involved and take advantage of what the organization can offer. I had a wonderful time at the show taking in what I could in only 4 hours… so much creativity and so many creative souls in one place… it was amazing.

As I was leaving to go pick up the kids something caught my eye… Friendly Plastic! I have been cleaning and organizing my studio and I have trying to be good and toss some of the stuff that I have not used over the past few years. I came across my stash of Friendly Plastic. I put it in the toss pile… then took it back out… then back to the toss pile and back out about 4 or 5 times. I hated to throw it away but I have not used it probably since the 90’s.

The new techniques that use Friendly Plastic are amazing. I watched for a bit… grabbed some cut sheets and headed for my car… now the only problem was I could not remember if my stash had finally gotten thrown out or not! When I got home I looked into the cabinet where I had stored it… No FP… then I looked on my counter and Eureka! It was there… I had not thrown it out after all.
Now the challenge will be to actually try one of the new Friendly Plastic techniques before the next 15 years passes by….

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Trial Website...

I am trying out a new online portfolio/website for a few weeks before I decide if this is the way to go...

Please check it out here and let me know what you think!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Cat that Liked the Jacuzzi

We have had our cat, Rocky for 13 1/2 years... he is the most photogenic cat we have ever had... I probably have almost as many photos of him as I do of my children. He has a great of personality too. He has always liked drinking water from just about everywhere except HIS water bowl. When we had our golden retriever Duke... he would drink from Duke's water bowl... now that we have Mario he likes to drink from Mario's water bowl... and for some reason Mario likes to drink from Rocky's! I guess the grass is always greener, even for animals. Rocky loves to drink right from the water faucet too. At this house, his favorite faucet is the one in our Master Bathroom.
If he is not sitting in this spot when we walk in to bathroom... he is usually not too far behind us waiting for his trusty two-footed servants to turn the water on for his Highness. When he is done he merely jumps down and walks away.... we have to stand there or remember to go back and turn the water off! When his servants are attending to their own needs, he sometimes takes matters into his own hands or paws so to speak....

He will jump right into the Jacuzzi and drink the puddles of water that have not evaporated from his last tasting...
Then he will sit and ponder life for awhile...
and since he has lived with me for so long... he has learned that he may just as well pose for a few photos and then I will leave him alone... until the next time that he looks so cute that I just can not resist another shot!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Friday Night...

Friday night at our house is pizza and a movie... 1/2 cheese... 1/2 pepperoni and tonight... a Chance of Meatballs...

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Project 365-2010

It was 2 years ago that my husband set up this blog for me… I have learned a lot and I am learning more every day. I always have good intentions on blogging more… but it takes me a long while to put my thoughts down and rewrite them and usually rewrite them again. I have visited other blogs where they post every day. I would love to do that… to make that New Year’s resolution to post everyday… but then again why make a resolution that you know you can’t or won’t do?

Yesterday I was reading Jamie Rider’s blog… I have participated in 3 of her The Next Chapter blogging book groups. I saw a post about Project: 365. Taking a photo a day and at the end of the year you have a visual year in review. Now I love to take photos… my husband bought me a separate drive just to hold my photos. Two hundred photos on a walk is nothing for this girl. Thank goodness for digital. He also gifted me with a SLR camera last year and a new point and shoot this year. So I thought I would try this Project 365. I will take one (at least) photo a day and upload it to my flickr account and the upper left box on my blog. Sometimes I may actually turn it into a post and other days it may just be a new photo. But this is a resolution that I think I can do… and enjoy it… which afterall is really what helps us keep those resolutions anyway…isn’t it?

So I have added the previous days to my flickr page, but this is today’s photo:

N was practicing her driving today and this van was along side of us. The dog was too funny just staring at himself in the side mirror. When the van pulled ahead of us I laughed out loud…

Check out the sign on the back of the van (for the love of dog) and the license plate…Ad agencies could not have written a better advertisement!!!

So here’s to my third year of blogging…and Project 365 – 2010… I will keep taking pictures… it may be lots of flowers and animals and palm trees and sunsets but sometimes, maybe just sometimes I will even add words!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Immediate Serenity

Did you ever go to a place where no matter how stressed or anxious you are, you immediately feel relief... serenity?

There are a few places like that for me. When I lived in Upstate NY, we would go and spend a week in the summer at a cottage on Lake Chautauqua. The area was hilly and as soon as we would round the bend and see the lake, I would feel myself relax… almost immediately.

Here in California, I get that feeling at the beach… but my favorite place to go to get that immediate relief, that serenity is Balboa Island.
Today my daughter N, Mario and I went to the Island. We walked both Islands… listened to the birds, said hello to all of the other walkers and runners, watched all of the cute dogs and cats and took pictures with our cameras.

It is just such a relaxing, comfortable place. There are 2 islands… big and little (original, I know you are thinking that!). There is a walkway around both islands with a bridge connecting them. You can walk and not have to worry about cars or curbs or bikes… just people and animals! The homes are of many different sizes and styles… some grand… some quaint. It is even fun to walk at night and get a peek into the homes when everyone’s lights are on.

After our walk we stopped for lunch… we sat outside because we had Mario with us. He laid down behind me on my chair. He was being so good that we promised him a treat when we got home. All of a sudden an older couple passed us and the woman smiled… she placed something on the table next to me and walked away. She left Mario a little dog bone… He got his reward early!

That is just the kind of place that Balboa Island is…

They run their train during the Holidays right through their home!!



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