Saturday, February 16, 2008

A Day Well Spent

Well it’s Saturday night and I’ve been frantically trying to catch up in the last two days with everything that I’ve not been able to do in the past two weeks. Needless to say, I'm not caught up yet! I did take some time out from the loads of laundry and kitty litter cleaning to go meet my son and his wonderful girlfriend at the California Pizza Kitchen that just opened in Brandon. In case you’re wondering, I did wash my hands first, HaHa! The last time I’d gone to a CPK was in San Diego with my good friend, Shirley P. That was in the days when I was heavily into bear making. We actually went to the TOBY awards which were combined with a Linda Mullins Bear Show. We had such a great time! I really miss my trips with Shirley but sometimes that is what happens when someone falls in love, they decide to travel with their new love. Go Figure!

Let me introduce you to one of my bears, Loam he's on the left and his sister and brother are in the middle and on the right respectively. Each is made from the same pattern, yet they all look so different. Loam was born in 2003 and was so cute that I just had to keep him. He is made of mohair with glass eyes and has the cutest expression in bear history. OK, so I’m kind of proud of him!

Of course these days I am definitely more into scrapbooking, card making, but I also knit, paint and read a lot. I’m also trying to catch up with my friends on RCS. For those who don’t know RCS is the original scrapbook group on the web having been formed way before there were Yahoo and Google groups when people still went through bulletin boards.

The other thing I did today is watch National Treasure with DH. We really enjoyed that movie, so we’ll put the sequel on our Netflix list and hope it becomes available soon. You have to understand that Rick has a bit of a theatre room so we actually watched it on a fairly big screen. I think video watching will be on our Saturday night calendar from now on. That is if I ‘m not at a crop or something.

I’ve been reading the Ettes blog and if you are a TLC consultant you need to get over there, they are doing a drawing. I’m also going to be doing a drawing from this blog in the next few days assuming that there are at least 10 comments entered on the blog by then. Anyone who has commented so far will get a ticket put in for each of their comments and of course only one comment is allowed per day!

Tomorrow I’ll work on my new TLC acrylic album and I hope to post it soon. I've enjoyed these few moments spent with you and that's a good thing, since each moment of my life, my reality, only comes once.

Friday, February 15, 2008

CHA 2008 - A Wonderful Memory

I'm home again and quite happy to be here. Hubby met me at the airport with a dozen red roses and I was so glad to be with him again. I was a little travel weary, having been on the go for over 12 hours, but was happy with my choice of layovers. Going from any airport in California direct to Tampa may cut out a couple of hours, but it does seem a lot longer than stopping just about half way in Dallas and stretching your legs and getting your adrenalin going hoping you make your next flight. At least, by choosing not to go through a northern city I didn’t have to worry about snow delays, LOL! (BTW the picture is of Helen the very talented owner/designer of the "My Little Shoe Box" company).

CHA was a great experience and visiting Amy and Eli in San Francisco was even better! I'd do it all over again in a heartbeat, well maybe not today or tomorrow, but certainly next year would be just fine with me! Right now I have a lot of catching up on a number of fronts. Imagine two weeks of junk mail; two weeks of laundry; a whole new line of products coming in that you need to find a place for and add to inventory; a house that truly needs a thorough cleaning; and the fact that you have to get ready for a big crop next week! Plus a number of customers that have called in about products and albums that they are having made by yours truly! Fun, definitely but it's all just a little overwhelming right now, which is probably why I'm hiding out in by Blogger's haven!

What I'll take back from CHA is the incredible talent and ingenuity that crafters have and need to keep going. I'll keep with me always how gracious scrapbooking people are even at a show like this. And I'll also take with me the fact that the scrapbooking market takes up a lot of space in the craft world and touches many lives. I'll also keep with me the fact that not everyone wants or needs to be a star and that there are different needs out there. Many people are just happy to put their pages together with pictures and a just a few embellishments, they don't need or want to spend days making pages that are as they would put it artsy craftsy!

I got to meet and speak to many people while at CHA: manufacturers, store owners, designers, teachers, demonstrators, buyers and just plain old happy crafters. They were all tied together by their need to create, to pass on a part of their reality and spirit, to share with others present and future a little of the world through their eyes. I think that from time to time, we all tend to forget the beauty that surrounds us. I speak here not just about the beauty of art, but also the unimaginable beauty of the human spirit. Whether it is CHA or my local scrapbook store or Michaels, I will endeavor to take a moment to savor the wonderful creativity that allows such things to be. After all each moment of my life, my reality, only comes once.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

CHA 2008 Comes to a Close

Hello fellow Scrapbook Buddies! Well it is over and I just hope that I will be able to come to something like this again, just for the Make-n-Takes and the general feel. My last day started by a 1 mile walk to the post office and back to the hotel to get some more flat rate boxes. I just didn't want to leave all those beautiful catalogs behid and all I can hope for, is that the boxes all make it home as they were pretty heavy and I didn't have any extra tape to make sure they were truly secure.
I had a mission to visit certain booths and started with Prima. We all know that they always have great products and they sure did again. They were showing lots and lots of acrylic albums, their make and take was hybrid scrapbooking, they are coming out sometime in May with a program, precut thick chipboard templates with tags and journaling blocks and of course 12x12 digital papers.
I went to the Jennie Bowler booth, another new company and looked at their lines again. I put in a minimum order from them and will be offering a couple of kits with their stuff.
Then on to BossKut's booth where I wanted to have a good look and demo of their new cutting machine. It cuts 12x12 paper, easily cuts Bazzill'z washboard paper and light chipboard, etc. Here are some of the details:

- Has a 12" cutting width. Can cut 12" x 24".
- Cuts heavy cardstock, glitter paper, heavy metallic paper and light weight chipboard.
- Will cut vinyl by the sheet or roll.
- Weld words and shapes right in Gazelle's software.
- Design your own images.
- Scan images.
- Draw, cut, weld, outline, shadow, pierce, embroidery, engrave and more.
- Add decorative edges to your images with the scissor tool.
- MSRP $529.00
- Shipping June 1st (for those who get their orders in now!)

I loved this machine! The software was pretty intuitive, there are buttons on the machine itself so that you can adjust the cutter during cutting if you see it is cutting to lightly or too hevily, and it will cut using amongst other things, jpegs and BMPs. Was does that mean? Well what I thought of is that you can easily draw something, scan it into your computer and then go and fut it. Imagine being able to cut some of your kids drawings and then using them as embelishments on your scrapbook pages! It also has a couple of drawers in the tray to put your tools and extra blades.
I cannot guarantee we will make the first shipping group, but if you email me immediately, we have a chance! First 10 people to place an order will get their BossKut Gazelle at $499.99 plus S&H! I'll be posting more pictures from CHA over the next few days! Now off I go back home!!!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Another Great Day at CHA

I was really looking forward to meeting Vivian today and she didn't disappoint. We met up after each going around and doing our own thing for a while. She came with another TLC member Lou Ann F whom I'd had the pleasure of meeting in Orlando last year. First, thanks Vivian for the lovely lunch. The Marriot was a great choice, I think so far it's the best food I've had in the hotels and the restaurants in the immediate convention area. But better than the food was the company!

I did make some purchases at the show and will be relaunching my website in the next few weeks. A formal announcement will be made. I also got some awesome freebies including the Daisy Cricut cartridge which I'll have to find a good use for as I don't have a Cricut! Perhaps I'll have some sort of contest! Stay tuned!

One of my "must Do's" for tomorrow is figuring out how to ship home about 100 pounds of catalogs and information. I'm thinking of hiking over to the post office tomorrow morning and sending a few flat rate priority boxes. That might actually be the cheapest way. The goodies of course will be going with me!

So what’s Hot???

There are lots and lots of acrylic albums. I know there are a few Disney fans reading this so here is a Mickey album and for the dog lovers I've also included an acrylic bone album. I’ll be carrying a few acrylic albums from different companies on my new website. Also hot, anything that sparkles. Think gems, paper, embellishments and so forth. Digital is right there too, with many companies using Photoshop elements as the platform for their products.
Lots of stamps in the scrapbook area, clear ones and wood mounted ones. I looked at the new “Clip-it-Up” ribbon holder and while I love the concept, it is 36 inches long and needs to be mounted to the studs in your wall. For my room, it really is too bulky.
MM came out with the Slice a hand held cutting tool with a rechargeable battery that will last about one hour. It uses cards much like the Xyron hand held printer does. Price is $149 and I believe it comes with a glass mat, a tweezer tool to change the blade one collection card and a can of tacky adhesive to help hold the paper to the mat while you are holding the cutter on the paper.

Here is my favorite paper of the show; you’ll be able to order a coordinated kit from me as soon as I receive all the co-ordinating products. This collection is from a new company called g.c.d. Studios. Unfortunately my camera does not do justice to this collection.

Well there are only a few hours left before CHA Winter 2008 ends at 2PM tomorrow. One more report coming your way and then Thursday I’ll head home.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Great Day at CHA 2008

Before I launch into the overview of things, you guys will just need to remind me never to buy tickets to classes at an event like this! The MnTakes are so incredible and there is so much to see that I never made it to either class today. The first scheduled at 7 am this morning,I slept through and yes it's really true, my alarm didn't go off. The second I missed because I was having so much fun ogling things that I failed to realize that it was already past 3pm.

After missing the early morning class I decided to take it easy this morning and read Jen's (Whim-so-doodle) blog and have brunch before going over to the convention. Well after reading her blog, I just had to go over to QK and figure out what Chris had given her... that was"bright, shiny, needs batteries and it moves." Here I am with Chris after his buddy told me the answer. Hopefully Jen will consider what I did creative and not cheating, LOL! The answer, a belt buckle that has scrolling letters!

Chris really is a sweetie! While at QK I did look at what was new. Man they surely give the biggest and best catalog! What's new, 12 inch border dies. Yulp, it would seem that 12 inch paper/cardstock borders are in again. Wil you need a new tool, nope. They have come up with new plates that will allow the dies to be used in the Revolution. Here is a picture of the available border dies. that QKs has come up with. Pretty, aren't they?

My favorite products so far is Flower Soft's tiny flower petals that you can use to fill tiny flower carts and bowls on cards etc. I'm not sure I can afford their opening order though, so I'll have to hope that a company that I already do business with will decide to distribute their product. You can see it on my badge lanyard. I'll try to post more pictures taken at CHA on my webshots account in a couple of days as the network here at the hotel is truly overworked!

The first MnT I made today was great! A journal with wooden front and back covers that we got to decoupage. Lots of fun, but while we were told that it would come off our hands with water, I am sure that they meant hot/warm water which is not available in the restrooms at the convention center. Let's just say that I looked like I had peeling skin for most of the day and believe me, I washed my hands at least 6 times.

Of course I had to stop at the Basic Grey booth! Here is a pictures of an item in their booth that caught my fancy. It's made using their two scoops line that came out in October.

What are their new lines called?

- boxer - great for men LOs
- sugared - great for baby LOs
- archaic- great for boy LOs
- cupcake - great for birthday LOs
- sultry - great for girly LOs

I stopped and did the BG MnT which allowed me to try their new rub on tool. This is a very nice tool, and definitely on my "I need to get this" list! My only recommendation is "don't to be fooled by how easy it feels to use. You still need to press hard to make sure that your rub on transfers well and completely!

Next stop Bazzill. Love their displays, especially the ribbon flowers. I've included a picture. Also a big wow, their new wedding cardstock especially the one that has teeny weenie butterflies debossed into it. I also loved the new colors they have for their paper flowers and their new 12x12 3 ring binders called "Lickety Slip." The covers are made with their diablo, chablis, pinecone, beetle black, skylar, and parakeet. Page inserts include 12x12 to insert a 12x12 LO or 12x12 sheets divided into 5 slots allowing you to quickly create pages and journal. Each album comes with 12 sheets of 4x6 cardstock.

And there is a whole lot more, but one can only write so much here and besides it is now 11pm California time and I've actually adjusted to this time zone. I guess I'll be getting up a little late when I get back home!

I can't wait to see what trouble I can get myself into tomorrow while in the company of a local. I'm finally getting to meet Vivian P, someone I've been speaking to and emailing for over two years now! She is also the one responsible for turning me into a TLC consultant! I can't wait to meet her!

Monday, February 11, 2008

CHA - WOW!!!

If you've heard that CHA is overwhelming, you heard right! It is also awesome, wonderful and incredible. It's not just the paper, embelishments, fibres but the incredible talent. I got to meet Tim Holtz, here is the proof. He is actually quite soft spoken and that smile is a killer. I got to make a bracelet using grunge board and his new hitch fasteners. They are really kool. They look a little like a trailer hitch, are composed of two pieces that screw into each other.

What a wonderful lady Dee Guering is. She was supposed to leave, but sat back down and made me a tag, just for me! She is so talented! You've never seen anyone put ink on a stamp with a felt pen as quickly and with as much ease! I felt so blessed that she took the time. She stamped, she inked, she stippled and she just made it look so beautiful! I guess I should show you the tag, which she has dedicated to me and signed on the back. As soon as she was done she had to rush off. I think the lady is kept quite busy.
Here is the tag. My favorite new find is the Zen Collection by a new company G.C.D. studios. The paper for that collection is so beautiful that I've decided to buy the whole collection and offer it in my soon to be re-launched online store! I believe that this company will be much bigger by next year's CHA. I did such a job of begging that the rep gave me a full 8x8 slab of their paper to take with me. That was just one of the free gifts I got today. Here is a picture of most of what I got. It does not include all the catalogs I'll be taking home! The picture does include a few of the make-n-takes I made, a couple of T-shits, a little bag, a little kit of hero acrylic stamps, ribbon, etc.

Well time for bed. I have a 7am class which means getting up at 6 to forage for food!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

First 24 in Anaheim

After checking into my hotel, the Clarion, I went to my room which was a corner room apparently away from the noise. Well it turned out to be a huge room which I m sure can sleep up to six and here I am all by my lonesome!!!

After unpacking and calling my hubby, I decided to walk over to the convention center. It is a metal and glass building but I actually find this one rather pleasing to the eye.

I just missed being able to get my badge, but I did pick up some catalogs. I've actuallky brought a pre-labelled priority flat rate box to ship all those back home so I can use them as idea books. I am here as part of the Kit N' Kaboodles team thanks to Gerri-anne! They are an absouletly wonderful internet scrapbook kit club which I have joined in addition to my TLC monthly Artist Choice kit. The directions on the Artist Choice kits are far better not just colored photos, but also diagrams showing you all the cuts you need to make.

Well it was too late to get the badge and I truly had to settle for looking at the very few classes that were left and ended up picking two for tomorrow:

A 7am class on the 11th called Accordian Albums with MAMBI style the Instuctor is Suezi Gurzi: and a 3-5pm Spring Basket Mini-Album with Prism papers and instructor Jamie Harker.

I did pick up a lot of catalogs already. Here are just a few! Well off I go to the show!!!