Monday, January 27, 2014

Pieces of Us Mixed Media Canvas

Ahhhh....February is almost here and love is in the air!  Some people give jewelry, some people give chocolates, some people pop the bubbly, buy cards, go to dinner, share mushy sentiments...etc. etc

To me, nothing says love like carrying someone's child for 9+ months...squeezing out said child...continuing to take care of said child for the rest of my THAT'S LOVE! 
(I should know, I did it 4 times!)

Ok, so I'm being dramatic (big surprise)...but this piece of artwork was inspired by the idea that our 4 children were created from the love of 2 people.  Each of them is unique, different yet the same, part of a family unit yet strong individuals.  They are pieces of me and my husband...the best pieces I think.

Valentine's is all about love, but not just romantic love.  The love I have for my husband, kids, and family is the most powerful emotion I have ever experienced.  They are the greatest love of all and my true Valentines.

Mixed Media Canvas - "Pieces of Us"

Feeling inspired and ready to make your own? 

You don't have to follow these instructions exactly.  Come up with something fun based on the supplies you have in your craft room! 
Supplies used for this project:  Craft Attitude film, Blank canvas, Acrylic paints, Sharpie marker, Beacon 3 in 1 Adhesive, Dylusions Spray, Puzzle pieces, Photo, Wood Album from Genuinely Jane Studios, Misc. Magazines and book pages, stamps, black inkpad
  • Start with a blank canvas (the one I used is 18 x 24") and pull out your acrylic paints and paint the background with your colors of choice. 
  • Use black acrylic paint to paint puzzle pieces (finally a use for those puzzles that are missing pieces! Or pick up a jigsaw puzzle at the thrift store or dollar tree)
  •  Lay down puzzle pieces randomly and use a spray (such as Dylusions from Ranger - have to give a shout out to Dyan Reaveley because I love her Dylusions sprays!) to spray over the puzzle pieces.  When you remove the puzzle pieces, it will leave a ghost mark where the piece was.
  • Use miscellaneous stamps and stamp the background.
  • Print photos for the large puzzle pieces using Craft Attitude film.  Just follow the instructions included in the package. 
  • Use a glue stick to adhere craft film to the large puzzle pieces (I used a wooden puzzle album made by Genuinely Jane Studios)  You can apply Craft Attitude film to all kinds of surfaces, so take some creative license here and use what you can find.  I really liked the transparent feel that came out in some of the photos when I applied it to the wood pieces.
  • Make the title using miscellaneous chipboard pieces, letter stickers, and cut out letters from magazines.
  • Cut hearts from book pages.
  • Start arranging items on your canvas so you can compose where you want the title, photos, and puzzle pieces.
  • Glue everything down, use a sharpie marker to outline items you want to highlight.  You can also use the marker to draw some hearts right onto the canvas.  Add embellishments of choice.
Easy, right? 
Please share your creations with me, I would LOVE to see what you create! Wishing you love this month and always!
You CAN craft it!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Behind the Scenes at CHA Winter 2014

I'm back from CHA, and I returned with lots of photos, lots of videos, lots of swag, and the infamous CHA flu!  I'm still recovering a bit from the nasty virus that almost everyone came home with, but while I'm down I have lots of editing to do!  My goal was to show you a behind the scenes, "come along with me," look at the biggest trade show in the craft and hobby industry. I know lots of you would love to come and see all the products and people, so my hope is to bring a piece of the experience right to your home.  I've spared you the parking fees, hotel and travel expenses, blister covered feet, and even the dreaded CHA flu! 
If you're looking for all the newest products, do a search on YouTube...there are people who do a great job of that.  My CHA Diary is more about taking you with me as my friend, and sharing adventures together!
The editing process is time consuming, and I'll put videos up as I complete them. Keep checking my blog and subscribe to my YouTube channel for updates. 
Happy Crafting!
CHA DIARY 2014: My adventures at the show

DAY 1 - Friday January 10, 2014:  After days of packing suitcases (a girl has to have fashion options), I am bound for the biggest trade show of the year.  Known as CHA, this is the Mega Trade Show at the Anaheim Convention Center in Southern California.  I have packed my Jeep to the gills with too many clothing options, non-perishable food (have you seen what they charge for food and drinks at the Convention Center?), my Hello Kitty pillow pal, and alcohol (it's important to stay hydrated!) I make the trek to the Desert Palms Hotel where I have generously been offered a place to stay by my amazing and advanced planning friends Cyn Gagen and Lisa Fulmer. 
It's a beautiful day, and the weather is perfect!  I don't even hit any of the nasty OC traffic (I took the 5 freeway, by the way...inside joke).  I arrive in record time and check my bags, as my roommates have already hit the trade show floor. (Being that I am not an advance planner, my name is not on the room reservation, and try as I might I cannot talk my way into getting a key - Kudos Desert Palms!)
No biggie...I head out front to catch the shuttle to the Convention Center....come along with me!

1:00pm: Welcome to the Anaheim Convention Center in sunny Southern California...home of the 2014 CHA Megashow!  This is the day before the Trade Show begins, so all the vendors are inside furiously filling their booth with fun and fanfare!  I took video of some of the setup process (or thought I did), but silly me forgot to make sure camera was recording.  I don't know why it fascinates me, but it does.  It's hard to believe they can turn a blank, ugly, wide open empty space into a colorful fantasy land of crafting goodness in a matter of 1 day.

So I ran through the trade show floor, to just get an overview and see if there was anything that really stood out, and now it's time for a 2pm class with Jennifer Priest on Multiple Streams of Income from 1 Project.  In the past I have attended the show as a volunteer with Charity Wings, who does a livestream from the trade show floor, showing off the latest and greatest.  But this year, I am here on my own, spreading my wings as a craft industry professional, and trying to learn everything I can to build my brand.  So after Jen's class, I have just a little time to grab a drink and then it's time to learn about marketing in a class with my friend and roomy, Lisa Fulmer.  Can I say how lucky I am to have friends with brains so full of knowledge?!

Lisa is not only a marketing consultant, but she is an amazing designer, and so entertaining when she teaches.  If you're in the market for marketing (my English teacher would kill me for that) then check out Lisa's Facebook Page for her Marketing Business.  If you'd like to see her design work, check out Lisa's Design Page. She also had her work displayed at this year's Designer Showcase, and I'll be uploading that video to YouTube.
5:00pm - With my head spinning from Lisa's marketing class, it's time to head to the Sneak Peek for CHA designers.  A room filled with manufacturers who want designers to check out their new products (and take samples to play with)!  Let the fun begin!  This room is filled with great products and lots of people I haven't gotten to see since the last CHA.
Yes, this is the part where you will start getting bored of seeing pics of me and my peeps! 
Kendra Wiggins - we were on the Scrap n' Art Design Team Together

Lisa Rojas - among other things is involved with the Free Online Magazine, Bella Crafts Quarterly (check it out)

 Terri Sproul - Designer for Yasutomo and Create & Craft
Theresa Cifali - Helps people grow their creative business (facebook page, website)  She obviously has the most rocking hair ever!

Wendy Russell - awesome just because her name is Wendy!  She also works with Westcott scissors, and is kind of a crafting superstar since she had her own show on HGTV Canada called She's Crafty!  She's also a super awesome friend and makes me laugh!

 6:30pm - Okay, it's official: I'm HUNGRY!  Time to head downstairs for the CHA Block Party, being held in front of the Convention Center.  Let's get this party started!

6:35pm - They're still setting up the party....time to find alcohol!  Good thing Elena Lai Etcheverry (the force behind Charity Wings) invited me to come party with her and Donna Salazar in her room at the Marriott! 

A few shots of delicious vodka provided by Donna (Donna's husband set her up with some yummy stuff that tastes like dessert in a glass - thank you Mr. Salazar!) and we make our way back down to the Block Party.

7:30pm - There's a party goin' on in front of the Convention Center!  Food trucks, live music from The Incredibles, bars, booths, and people.  I was disappointed that all the food and drink cost money.  Sometimes at these events they provide appetizers and a few drinks on the house.  I was able to get one drink and shared a lobster sandwich with Donna.  The music was great, but a bit loud for trying to talk to people.  Remember those days when you used to go to a club, and you end up yelling at the person you're trying to talk to, only to have them say "what?" after each sentence?  But it was the first chance for friends to reconnect in person and people were taking photos like paparazzi!

So good to see old friends and make some new ones!  Theresa CifaliCindi Bisson, Ann Butler, Lisa FulmerCyn Gagen, JimboJader Bomb, and  Candice Alexander.  (click their name to see all the cool stuff they do)

And a little video to give you a taste of what it was like to be there.  (Taken toward the end of the evening, so most people had left)


 10:30pm - Time to call it a night and head back to the hotel. 
DAY 2 - Saturday January 11, 2014: I had set my alarm to wake up early to get all cute for the big opening day of the show. There's an excitement that builds in the Convention Center lobby waiting for the doors to open.  I had planned on being there and getting some video footage, but woke up with a splitting migraine.  I took some ibuprofen and reset my alarm, hoping to sleep it off. Unfortunately that didn't happen.  So I decided around 11am to push through it and get up and shower and get dressed.  Kinda threw off my groove for the day...I had planned on being there early, and now I was still fighting a headache, slept through the free hotel breakfast, and was just feeling "off".  We all have those days, I just didn't want to have mine on the opening day of CHA!  Boo!  My roommate wakes up sounding horrible as well, so we are both just dragging. 

2:00pm - We grab a burger in the hotel lobby and go out front to wait for the shuttle.  And we waited...and we waited...and we waited.  I had just taken the shuttle the day before so I knew it existed! The Convention Center is technically within walking distance, but Cyn injured herself and is using a cane, and I have been fighting with a bum foot for awhile, so between the two of us gimps, walking aint an option!  We learn that the shuttle only runs during peak hours, but we are determined to get to the show, so we call a cab.  $6 to take us less than a mile, but we get there!  I had planned on wearing all of my Hello Kitty garb and decorating a tutu the night before, but that didn't happen.  At least I managed to throw on some cute accessories!  (Including shoes that I decorated with Craft Attitude film)

3:00pm - We arrive on the trade show floor and immediately begin bumping into buddies!  My favorite part of the show! 

Since I arrived so late, I don't have much time to see anything, but I do my best to try to scope out what I can and formulate my plan for the next day.  Cyn and I meet up at Starbucks at the Hilton, and apparently their cash register isn't working, so they are letting anyone who orders something have it FREE!  Yay!  That perks up my day, and the white chocolate mocha gives me a much needed shot of energy! 

5:00pm - The Trade Show Floor closes for the day, and most of my friends are off to an invite only reception for bloggers.  Can I mention that they returned with bags of swag from manufacturers?  Next year I'll apply to go to that party!  My friend Sarah invites me to go with her eat some of her favorite food - Korean tofu.  We drive to Garden Grove and I embark upon an entirely new dining experience.  She orders, since I have no idea what anything on the menu is, and she explains to me what everything is, and how to eat it.  This was a totally new experience, and totally fun.  It's somewhere that I never would've gone.  Everything is covered in hot sauce!  I always tell my kids to try food that they haven't eaten, and now I know how they feel.  Korean vodka, using chopsticks, breaking raw egg into soup, and eating a whole fish...I loved this new experience!

 Approximately 10:00pm - We return to the Marriott to meet up with Andrea Atwater, my friend from Craft Attitude, so I can show her my Hello Kitty shoes and kick back a few drinks! I met Andrea at CHA Summer 2013 in Las Vegas and she introduced me to B & B's (Brandy & Benedictine)  Smooth!

Midnite - Time to have Sarah take me back to my hotel.  She just got a brand new hybrid Prius, and as we leave the parking garage, she notices an indicator light she hasn't seen before.  Hmmm....that's odd.  We ignore it and pull out of the parking garage when we notice a thump thump thump....oh no!  A flat tire!  As we drive past the Marriott lobby, I notice Jimbo from Kellycraft.  He is a true gentleman in every sense of the word.  I met him at CHA Vegas, and hearing him talk (accent and all), you can tell he is a good guy and respects women.  He makes me feel like chivalry isn't dead.  I also happen to know that he is handy and builds stuff (he started Kellycraft because he invented the Lasersquare to assist his wife in her scrapbooking). I run into the hotel and explain the situation, and Jimbo and Aaron don't hesitate to come out and rescue us.  They have the spare put on in record time!  At this point I'm wondering if it's a full moon out considering the strange day I've had.
 12:30 - Ready to roll, I return to my hotel to regroup for the next day.  When I get back, I find my 2 roomies are starting to show symptoms of the flu that has been running rampant...ruh roh!  I spray them and myself with imaginary Lysol and hit the hay, ready for a better day tomorrow.

 DAY 3 - Sunday January 12, 2014:  

More to come!  So many fun pics to upload! 

Spellbound by the new look of the Spellbinders Booth!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Ready for the Mega Crafting Show!

Winter is in the air, it's a new year...and you know what that means?  Time for the biggest trade show of the year - CHA, the Craft and Hobby Association Winter Trade Show.  It's like crack for crafters!  It's a place where manufacturers come and showcase their new product lines, and retailers and wholesalers place orders.  It's a place where designers show off their talents, a place for networking and education.  But for me, it's a place to reconnect with the people who inspire me, make me laugh, make me think.
Lots of eye candy (crafting eye candy that is).  Like a ginormous crafting store full of goodies and amazing eye catching displays, product demos, and inspirational projects.  Or for those of you Pinterest people, it's like a 3 dimensional Pinterest!  So much glittering goodness and oodles of ideas!
I'll be at the show getting a sneaky peeky of all the fun new crafting products so keep your eyes on my facebook page on January 10th and 11th.  You can also watch the Charity Wings free livestream on those same days from noon to 5pm (PST). Go to, pick a username and enter the room.  You can watch the feed and chat live with the manufacturers, designers, and other like minded crafters who are watching the livestream.
Hugs and Happy Crafting!