Friday, January 30, 2009

Back From CHA Winter 2009 Trade Show!

Whew! What a ride... 7 days of busy, busy, busy times. Despite the economy, our Ranger booth did very well. We are usually a pretty popular stop on most retail store's buying lists. Check out the new products we introduced at the show! And here's some of the fun parts...

One of our signature artists—Claudine Hellmuth—doing her make-and-take. She created a tiny, wearable house pin using her Studio Paints and Stickyback Canvas...
Here is the final wall of houses from the Claudine Hellmuth Designer Challenge. Everyone did such a great job...
Maya Road had some fabulous new ribbons, stamps and chipboard books... including a cupcake one! Must have...
Melissa Frances came out with mica flakes and bottle brush trees in baby blue, cream and light pink. Also must have...
And Darice had these cool fuzzy stick things with wire down the center so you can bend them to your crafty delights. Hmmmm, the possibilities...
Lots of cool stuff... but I am glad to be home again.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Pretty Please... With Sugar On Top!

Okay, here it is... my secret project that I made for CHA using Claudine Hellmuth's Studio line of products from Ranger! Our challenge was to create a "house" using a papier maché dimensional form we were provided, Claudine's products... and the rest was up to us! So I created a shrine dedicated to my favorite sugary treat... the Cupcake!

The circus tent awning, pennant-style flags, and the back and sides of the shrine are made of Claudine's Sticky-Back Canvas. And the gorgeous colors I mixed using her Semi-Gloss Acrylic Paints. I glued everything on using her Matte Multi-Medium. I love the line so much! It's so versatile.

See you when I get back on the 30th. I'll be sharing pictures from CHA then...

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Off To CHA...

I'll be flying out tomorrow to California and attending the Craft & Hobby Association trade show with my employer... Ranger Industries. While being in a giant convention center, amidst all the craft industries' cutting edge new products sounds like fun... we are actually there to work! We'll take a 5-and-a-half hour flight, check in to our hotel and go to the convention center to begin assembling our booth for 2 days. Then we'll be doing sales in the booth for 4 days, breaking down the booth on the last day... and then flying home the next. Whew!

But... in-between there is a little time peruse other company's booths, do some quick make-and-takes, relax in the shade of the tall palm trees and enjoy some nice meals with friends, associates and favorite designers. I'll be posting some photos from the show after I return on the 30th. In the meantime, I'll be posting my finished top secret project I made for CHA on the 25th! See you there or see you later!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Preparing For CHA Winter 2009...

The busiest time of year at work for me, is when Ranger is preparing to attend the Craft & Hobby Association's Winter Trade Show in Anaheim, California. We've had months and months of preparation, creating package designs, logos, press releases, testing product and making all kinds of creative stuff! And all will be revealed the first day of the show, January 25th! As you can see here, my little helper Juliet is assisting me in picking out my wardrobe.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Pick-A-Photo Tuesday: Birthday Me

Here is a whimsical canvas project I made after perusing Claudine Hellmuth's craft technique book Collage Discovery Workshop: Beyond the Unexpected. I used a baby picture of mine as the head of this funny birthday girl and utilized some of the methods in the book to create a polka-dotted background. Fun stuff.

Monday, January 19, 2009

It Was A Dirty, Low Down Trick!

Yeah, that's right. I'm sayin' it! My favorite, favorite, favorite all time radio station —106.3 WHTG, New Jersey's only rock alternative— sneakily changed formats today! Yup, on my way in to work it was awesome alternative rock music, and on the way home it was cheesy Top Hits radio. I was so sad. I am so sad! How could you do this to us? You bite! You leave me no choice... I guess I'll have to get XM Radio now.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Tabletop Dedication Party...

So here I am toasting my finished pink table with pink champagne! A few months ago, I was one of 12 artists who had their round canvas selected to become a permanent tabletop for the Belmar Arts Council.

Friday, January 16, 2009

We're In The News...

The company I work for—Ranger Industries—was recently in the local paper. An awesome article in the Asbury Park Press talked about our exciting "lean manufacturing" strategy in these tough economic times. In other words... I think we got it goin' on!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

I Was Totally In The Dark!

In the mornings, I get dressed in the dark—or in whatever light is shining through my changing room window. This morning it was snowing, so the overcast sky left the room fairly unlit. Well, unbeknownst to me, until around 10am... was the fact that I put on two different boots today. One black boot and one brown boot. I was a little embarrassed, but it cracked me up so much that I had to share it with my co-workers. It was a great source of amusement during a very busy week.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Mother's Little Helper...

I just wanted to show you one of the most wonderful jewelry-making thing-a-ma-jigs ever invented... the ChainSta! It keeps chain link bracelets and necklaces in place while you are adding beadwork and charms. No more guessing if everything is lining up correctly. It keeps everything in place. And it has a channel to use for jump rings and beads and a ruler on the front for easy positioning of elements. It was a tremendous help in making my 51 cent souvenir bracelet below.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The 51 Cent Souvenir Bracelet Is Done!

Wow, I can't believe I'm finished already. I guess all those years of wanting to do something with my 51 cent souvenirs really lit a creative fire under me. I combined a bunch of fun mementos and random beadwork with my squished pennies and am thrilled with the results! It makes a really cool sound too when all the pennies clink together.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Well, Isn't That Sweet...

Recently, a very good friend of the family—who understands my love of sugary sweet treats— gave me this ceramic cupcake she made as a little girl. So not only is it a super appropriate gift... but it's also nostalgic. The top comes off and I can use it as a keepsake box too! Thanks Mary!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

I've Been Tagged: Addictions (Guilty Pleasures)!

My good friend Tanya tagged me this week and I feel so guilty... and it's a good thing! I'm supposed to list 5 of my addictions... which I like to call... guilty pleasures. Then I get to nominate 5 of my own, so... read on...

Guilty Pleasure #1:
Cupcakes. I just love sugar and the best way to quench my sugar addiction is with a sugary treat of soft cake with a glistening top of swirly goodness. Sprinkles are a bonus.
Guilty Pleasure #2: Cigar Boxes
I love cigar boxes and I love to create all kinds of assemblages using new or old cigar boxes. My secret? I pay 25 cents for them at my local grocery store.
Guilty Pleasure #3: Mochaccino
I'm supposed to cut out caffeine, but I must have my morning Mochaccino. I just cannot go through a day without tasting that thick, frothy, milky, bubbly-on-top, chocolatey treat.
Guilty Pleasure #4: Reality Shows
Okay, I confess... I love reality shows. They're like a bad wreck. You just can't look away. I love watching Project Runway, Survivor, Top Chef and the like for the socialization factor. I like to see how people handle difficult and stressful social situations. I really learn from that. Then there are the others that I like for the sheer entertainment factor, like Celebrity Rehab, Rock of Love, and The Bachelor.

Guilty Pleasure #5: Singing In The Car
If you ever heard me sing, you'd probably cover your ears... but in the car, I'm a rock star. I can sing along to any tune and pretend I sound really awesome. Even the guy in the car next to me at the stop light thinks so!
Guilty Pleasure #6 (Bonus): Flea Market Shopping
No matter how many dolls, buttons, ephemera, vintage magazines, skeleton keys and costume jewelry pieces I have, I can never have enough. I think I'm trying to buy back everything I owned in my previous lives!
Now it's my turn to tag some others and see what their guilty pleasures are. So I nominate Bonnie Egenton, Debbie Tlach, Claudine Hellmuth, Jen Cushman and Suze Weinberg.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Up, Down, Up, Down... Back On The Merry-Go-Round!

Oh boy. Life is tough sometimes. I thought I had something good and it turned out bad. Then I thought I had something bad and it turned out good. I'm all topsy turvy... I just don't know which way is up. Hopefully I can make heads or tails of all this.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Ho Hum... Lots Of Rain Today...

All day long rain just pounded the earth today. Good weather for wanting to hit the snooze... stay under the covers... and go back to sleep. But alas, a busy month at work beckons me to get up and get moving.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Pick-A-Photo Tuesday: Magic Shoes Transfer

Back in the early 90's I learned how to do a Polaroid Transfer. This involved taking a slide... placing it into a Polaroid Day Lab machine... which would expose the image onto the old style Polaroid Film. After you let it develop... you'd peel off the paper to expose the image... and then place it onto watercolor paper. You never knew what you would get, but that was half the fun. If you have an old Polaroid that uses the "peel off" kind of film, you can do it by taking a picture and putting it directly onto the watercolor paper!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Time To Take Down The Christmas Tree...

Okay, so do you think I love my kitties or something? With all the air time they've gotten on my blog lately, you'd think so! But this one was just too precious to pass up.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

The 51 Cent Souvenir..

Whenever I go on vacation, my absolute favorite souvenir is the "squished penny". Perhaps you've seen the machine? You insert two quarters and one penny... you pick a picture... and turn the giant crank. The machine drops your penny into the press and stretches it while imprinting your image onto the coin. I've been collecting them for years and keeping them in a shoe box. Well, I've decided to show them the light of day and turn my collection into a bracelet or necklace of some sort. A good way to honor the places I've been, don't you think?

Friday, January 2, 2009

Top Secret...

For the past couple of weeks—in my spare time—I've been working on a project that will be revealed at the Winter 2009 Craft & Hobby Association Trade Show. As Ranger prepares to re-launch Claudine Hellmuth's line of Studio products, we will have an entire wall decorated with projects created by over 20 craft industry talents using her products! I am honored to be a part of this challenge... and will reveal my special assignment in three weeks. But for now, here is a little "taste" and a photo of my favorite helper...

Happy New Year!

May 2009 be filled with wonderful surprises that please and delight you! For example, I recently realized that my beautiful orange tabby, Romeo, has sprouted one single black whisker. How cool is that?