Mega Craft Show Report!

I survived another stint at the Mega Craft Show put on by the Craft & Hobby Association (CHA). And what an event it was! As you most likely know, this is the craft industry’s Academy Awards, Emmys and Golden Globes all rolled into one. More than 400 exhibitors showed up in Anaheim to showcase new craft products. Vendors came from all across the U.S., plus Canada, Australia, England, etc. and booths spanned all the creative arts: beads and jewelry, cake and food decorating, paint and art materials, floral decorating and paper, fabric/needlecraft, kids and general crafting.

In the next few weeks, I will try to give you a taste of some of the things I found there, from the biggies (Ranger, Sizzix, Spellbinders, etc.) to smaller, lesser known companies.

Let’s start off with something a little out-of-the-box — metal and chalkboard products from M-D Hobby & Craft. Here are some of their offerings:

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Who knew you could be so creative with building material? (Well, actually any mixed media artist knows!)

Check out these darling bird houses:

M-D birdhouses sat IMG_1298

And beautiful jewelry:

Sat M-D Building Products IMG_1297.

For more ideas, and how-to videos, visit www.mdhobbyandcraft.com.

Stay tuned for more CHA reports.

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All the News Fit to Wear!

When my friend and former news reporter colleague had a birthday, she requested hand made gifts only. Brilliant! Right up my alley!

Since we are both writers, former reporters and newspaper junkies, this gift was easy:

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I used a Formica chip left over from a long-ago remodeling project and collaged pieces of newspaper. I gold embossed the edges and added some pretty yarns, bling and a pin back.

But I couldn’t stop there … I packaged it (and another bracelet) in this box:

kathy box 559 DSC_0502

After collaging the box, I sprayed on some gold Perfect Pearls for a little sheen. I added a flower topper made from … that’s right … newspaper, which I cut using a Tim Holtz flower die. So easy and effective!

Here’s a photo that shows the other piece, a bracelet. I used a wood bracelet blank and covered it with pretty paper and a few strategically placed gemstones:
kathy pin set 559 DSC_0500

Are you as addicted to Pinterest as I am? Come back Friday for a Fabulous Find … and a giveaway!

Fabulous Finds Friday — Bangle Bling

This project was a departure for me, but I had a lot of fun making it, to give to a co-worker.

I used several different products to make this bracelet. I first primed the bangle (which I got a looong time ago from DIYBangles.com) with white acrylic paint on the outside and gold on the inside. When it was dry, I rubbed it with a blue Faber-Castell Gelato.

bracelet 535 gelato blue DSC_0428:

I don’t know if I needed to heat set it, but I did.

I then rubbed on some Viva Decor Inka Gold in Rose Quartz for a little shine:
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Yum!

Next, I stamped using StazOn permanent inks:

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And finally blinged the heck out of it using gems and Viva Pearl Pens (my latest addiction.)
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It was hard to stop. Thanks for coming by!

Fabulous Finds… ICE Resin

It feels like years since I’ve posted! Lucky me, I’ve been at the big Craft & Hobby Association trade show in Anaheim checking out the latest and greatest craft projects. I always come home feeling energized and exhausted at the same time! There have been many postings about the show, but I am compiling a CHA Hot List for the newly named Craftideas magazine (formerly Crafts ‘n things), so will have to save some of my thoughts for that column. (But do check out the magazine and register for the free e-newsletters, etc.)

One of the coolest things I did was take a workshop with Susan Lenart Kazmer of ICE Resin. This product has been around for a few years and I have long admired the gorgeous jewelry and resin paper made with this product. (Check out the website for great inspiration). But I have been too chicken to try it. It seemed so complicated. Guess what? It’s easy!!! And so much fun I am now addicted. I want to resin everything!

Check out a few of my pieces (shot on the desk in my hotel room!):

ICE resin 524 CHA IMG_0957

They’re not perfect, but not bad for my first attempt.

I am crazy about making resin paper (LOVE the translucent look) — wish I had known a year ago how easy it was! I also tried the Iced Enamels, but I can’t find the piece I made. But you know I’ll make more.

Thanks for stopping by.

Another Inky Fab Find

On Friday, I shared a Fabulous Find showcasing the new Wendy Vecchi Archival Ink (Ranger) and promised to showcase another new ink, SurfaceZ from Clearsnap (makers of ColorBox ink pads.)

This fast-drying, permanent ink works on many surfaces, including metal, plastic, wood, glossy cardstock, etc., and comes in 12 colors.

Surfacez Group3 small
I used the ink to add dimension to these flower pins — which are made from aluminum soda cans! (Scroll down for the how-to)

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And a close-up:

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First, I washed some empty soda cans, then carefully cut them open using a kitchen scissor. Be careful as some of the edges and points are sharp (ouch — don’t ask how I know this!). I cut the cans into smaller pieces, taped them onto my Tim Holtz/Sizzix Tattered Flower die and ran them through my Big Shot die cutter. You may need two soda cans to make all the petals. I used Vintaj Patina paints and a sponge to dab color onto the pieces, then punched holes in the center using my Crop-a-dile. The Vintaj paint dries very quickly.

Using the Fudge Brown SurfaceZ ink and an old Hero Arts background stamp (sorry, I don’t have the number), I stamped the patterned dots randomly over the petals. (Yes, I know, the blue one does not have any texture. It was my first.) I also edged the petals with the brown SurfaceZ ink.

Starting with the smallest flower, stack them on a big glitzy brad (Eyelet Outlet), turning them so the petals are randomly spaced. Close the brad, then carefully bend and shape the petals (I used my fingers to shape the petals) so they form a dimensional flower. Glue a pin to the back (I used E-6000) and wear with pride!

Thanks for checking out my blog!

News You Can Use

Earlier this year I made two jewelry pieces to be donated to a journalism group for a fundraising event.

spj newsy jewelry 411 DSC_0318

I used newspaper stories and headlines to create the background on Formica chips, sealed with Mod Podge. When the Mod Podge was dry I used a VersaMark pen on the edges, then added gold embossing powder. And finally, some beads and gems.

Naturally, I needed something cool to hold them, so I fashioned these recycled gift boxes from a box that held soap:

spj newsy gift boxes 411 DSC_0316

Again, I covered the box with newspaper (hey, this was for a bunch of journalists!) and punched a hole in the sides for a ribbon. But the most fun was the flower, made with the Tim Holtz Tattered Flower die (Sizzix) and, you guess it, newspaper. I spritzed the flower with Ranger’s Perfect Pearls (I think gold and another color… I’m so bad at remembering.)

Here’s a close-up of the flower:

spj newsy flower detail 411 DSC_0319

Thanks for swingin’ by!

Fabulous Finds Friday — Spellbinders

I’ve had Fabulous Finds all week as I recoup from the Craft & Hobby Association winter show! (Yikes … this never got posted on Friday…)
Today, it’s Spellbinders’ turn to shine.

If you love the embossing of Spellbinders’ double sided M-Bossabilities, you’ll be ga-ga over the deeper, more sculpted looking 3D M-Bossabilities.
Here is one example:

E3D-001_HR

These folders are a tad thicker than the others, so your sandwich will use the pink embossing plate and the raspberry adapter plate, rather than the normal base plate. Also, mist your cardstock first to loosen the paper fibers for an even deeper impression. The folders snap apart, making it easy to ink the plate itself for a letterpress look. Check out this video:

Here is a finished card:
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And a closer view:
spellbinders 3d flower close

For this project, the embossing plate was inked first with gold Delicata ink from Tsukineko.

Then there’s the exciting collaboration between Spellbinders and Susan Lenart Kazmer, creator of ICE Resin, who has designed the Media MixageTM line of bezels, papers and dies to use with Spellbinders new Artisan X-plorer MachineTM. Here is a sample of a pretty bezel:

MB1-005

Besides bezels and blanks, there are matching templates, metals and more. The new Artisan X-plorer Machine, which I have not played with yet, is a multi-purpose high pressure machine that cuts, embosses and presses a variety of materials, including metal.

MMM-001_LR

Stay tuned for more samples, examples and projects … including Valentines! Thanks for stopping by.