Sunday, July 29, 2012

Some trends from CHA and a Winner and a new prize!

 Winner first - Petrii (Dawn Winslow), you are so lucky, you have been randomly picked for the journal prize and that's your second win this summer. Congratulations!
Yes, folks there will be more prizes through August. Comment on this post for a chance at a $25 gift certificate to Big Picture Classes.
Check them out at

I had hoped to post more when actually at the Craft and Hobby convention in Chicago earlier this month. It did not happen. CHA is fun but tiring, even though I used a scooter for getting around, I was exhausted. Life has been a whirlwind since I got home. Well, for me, it's been a lot. Better that than bored. A lazy day of doing almost nothing yesterday and I'm feeling quite refreshed.
It has been helpful to mull over the experience of CHA. Even though this was a smaller show, there was a lot of lovely product to take in and process.
Of course, the fall and winter seasons feature prominently in this shows collections with lots of Halloween, Christmas, Winter and Valentine designs.
Christmas was interesting in the choice of greens. While some traditional greens can be found, for example the Christmas themes from Webster's pages, SEI and Little Yellow Bicycle, in others the yellow-greens predominate. Not so much lime/chartreuse but moss/asparagus/olive tones that transition well from fall. (I know that olive green is technically a shade of yellow, but it does register as green to the eye.)
In patterns, there is pretty much something for everyone. Chevrons do remain a strong trend. I did notice a number of soft romantic designs and several collections featured small tile prints in brighter colors on a  white background.
Banners, particularly the rectangular ones with the V notch on the narrow end, were often seen.
Small journal cards that would work well with project life or layered designs showed up in most collections.
Mini books are another trend. Several seem to follow the idea of a combined Smash book/project life with themed printed pages and pocket pages that are bound with rings to make them customizable. Check out Simple Stories and Studio Calico for these.  I like this idea - covering chipboard with patterned paper is a mini book chore.
Feathers are a new trend. It may just follow the popular bird trend that still remains popular, a trend following art. This past year, Traci Bautista was a teacher in the Stathmore Artist Papers' free classes and she likes to use feathers in her work cannot forget Grace Lauer and her wonderful creation for Charity Wings that Elena Etcheverry wore at the last CHA. Grace fashioned her wings with masses of hand crafted feathers made of book paper on a wire base and she fringed the edges.

 If you like that look; but, are not as crafty as "Tish", you may purchase a similar ready made feather from Jenni Bowlin's collection.
Speaking of Jenni, she has some new punches for Fiskars that feature designs perfect for card making. These also work with the small embellie clusters which people are using in the trend of small photos and embellishments and lots of white space on designs. Card makers were definitely a consideration in most collections with scaled down 6x6 paper packs everywhere.
Lots of pretty stuff coming to your LSS in the next few months!
Please check out for info on the show and definitely watch their videos on you tube. So many generous companies that helped us raise money for A Place to Bark It was fun to explore their products with the featured designers.
I hope you are all watching Craft Wars on TLC. Cathy Filian and Steve Piacenza were the producers. Several crafters   at CHA gathered at a nearby bowling alley for a group viewing of the show. Cathy and Steve were there, as well as some folks who have competed on the show, most noticeably, Andrea and Lisa who were on the episode we watched. So fun! They did not let on at all that they had won. Even the regulars who had been watching the Cubs game came over and joined us and cheered Andrea and Lisa on. Too bad we do not get to see all the crafters compete in both challenges. I think some very good artists just need more time. That pop craft just is too fast for some. Thank goodness, we home crafters only rarely need to craft under time pressure (usually because we procrastinate, LOL!).
One of my personal highlights was getting my photo taken with Shimelle Laine. She was studying the booths intently and I think has some very informative posts on her blog. Thanks to Shimelle for being so gracious to stop for a fan photo.

Monday, July 16, 2012


I promise the photos will follow, but using the hotel business center computer at the moment. There is a buzz in the air this CHA, so exciting. Charity Wings was setting up the booth today and I helped as I was able. The booth is so cute. Hope you all have bought a ticket and will be signing in to Live at CHA. Amazing interviews planned and absolutely fabulous prizes! Check it out at
While it has traditionally been the smaller show, I think there will be more than enough interesting new product here.
It's fun taking part. Charity Wings has an international cadre of volunteers this show with folk coming from Canada and Australia to help us out.
I'll try and get to the business center with news and reviews as I am able - though it will be busy.
Will draw my prize winner for the stamps when I get back.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Journal Give Away and a chance to win big with Charity Wings!

 Hi, dear readers!
You were wondering if I really still was giving things away, right? The answer is, "Yes".
I was thinking journal spots.

To that end I bundled together some great journal stamps, a flower stamp with a nice large center for journal notes or a sentiment, and a slightly used 2 inch circle punch (because that size makes great journal spots on scrap pages). I'm also including an arrow stamp since those are fun to tie in journal entries to photos. Just leave a comment on this post to be entered!

I did say something about winning BIG. As you know, I am a supporter of Charity Wings. Charity Wings is having a Live from CHA event. For $10 you may buy a ticket and a chance to win. There are over $4500 in craft products prizes available. Check it out at
I made a fun banner to celebrate the event. Hope you join us. The wonderful charity "A Place to Bark" is the beneficiary of this event's fund raising.

Monday, July 9, 2012


 I'm taking Nic Howard's class at Big Picture Classes for the second time. Her Dimensional Details clas is so inspiring. I'm also loving Shimelle Laine's blog posts and videos, too. Lots of layering; so, that, too, is inspiring.
Here are a couple of LO's I've just completed that use inspiration from both.

Love putting in texture, layers, little elements. the paint splashes and stamping were inspired by Shimelle and I loosely followed Nic's page design. Still, I do not think this is "scraplifted", more "inspired by".
Likewise the second layout where I've used Nic's ideas of curling edges and cutting out the middle, torn edge (my tag where she tore a paper layer), distressed photo edges and Shimelle's layering and transparency and tag combo, though my transparency was designed to be used like this.
It's fun to use inspiration techniques and page plans to jump start one's own creative process. Using more than one inspiration can be tricky, you cannot use everything from both. It's a nice way to work on one's own style though.

Documenting Travel with a Smash Book

In June, Cal and I took a trip to the Pacific Northwest to be there for Taylor's high school graduation and to visit Mom in Victoria, BC.
K & Co.'s Smash Book was the perfect way to keep a travel journal. I did not use chronological order but Smash books have provided some fun tools like self stick tabs that can help index pages for future reference. The glue stick and cute Washi tapes make it so easy to add ephemera and photos. I brought my Pivi printer to print out the photos I took with my Canon Elph and have added more photos taken with other cameras since returning home. The nice thing about the Smash book is that the lovely pages give it a finished scrapbook feel even when used as a casual collection and journaling device, making it fun to look through. I may make more formal scrap pages of some trip highlights later but for the purposes of keeping the memories the Smash book is sufficient.
I recommend a small tote if you plan to take along the tools I did but a Smash book with the large elastic strap where you can put extra pens and items can work for those who prefer travelling as lightly as possible.
My minimal items are above. The book itself, a Smash book glue/pen combo with an extra glue stick and extra pen some favorite accessories items from the Smash book line (these note pads are whimsical way to add notes to some of the dark patterned paper pages) and a couple of rolls of Washi tape.

 Some extras that I brought included a mixed media journal, watercolor pencils, some distress markers (Picket fence was great for writing on a black page) and Gelatos, and my Pivi printer (do not forget all your cords and chargers and extra film packs, too!) I had a couple of other Smash book accessories, like the page tabs, as well.
It is quite easy to use a Smash book and a lot more fun than I expected. Cal was very good at helping me collect ephemera along the way.
I'm sure there would be much that I would have failed to remember about the trip without this contemporaneous record. Let me know if you have done anything like this with a Smash book or if you have any tips for me or others.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Congrats Sherry Cartwright! And Happy Fourth to everyone!

 Well, it just hit 9 pm California time and Sherry was picked by my random access number generator to win the prize. Congrats to her. Hope you are all having a fabulous 4th of July. We enjoyed the fireworks across the street last night. It's fun meeting the folk who drive over to our street to watch. Some nice folk sat on our lawn last night. Sometimes I wish they'd shut down the street while the fireworks are on, I'm afraid there might be an accident. At least, the traffic does slow down. Best show they've ever had. We worried the full moon might be too bright for a good show, no worries.

We went over to Starbucks to watch our annual neighborhood parade - probably the shortest one ever! Still, that meant none of us got heat stroke!
Here are some photos:
Kids with patriotic spirit.
Eat your hear out, Rush. The Real Housewives of Rio Linda!
Decorated trucks may have outnumbered the cars this year.
More patriotic decorated cyclists. I always like it when I see kids participating.

Just stopped a moment to watch TV and the national fireworks show in Washington, DC. Looks pretty awesome. On the other hand, Cal told me once as we looked out over the Potomac during an intermission at the Kennedy Center,during a lightening and thunderstorm,  "Best fireworks show I've ever seen." As much as I love fireworks, I'm forced to agree!
Sherry, please send your snail mail address to me at Thanks everyone for entering or sending kind comments.

Montreal - A Girdled Porcupine (reflections on a reunion in 2013)

Forty years, unbelievable and yet, a reality; that it's been that long since I graduated from McGill with my M.D.;C.M. and a l...