More CHA Show Goodies, Jewelry Making Edition

(NOTE: Click on images to enlarge for better viewing)  I bet a lot of you don’t know that I got my start as a professional artist in the medium of Stained Glass.  My sister had been in business for a couple of years and taught me the basics.  My career took off from there.  I did craft shows, custom design work and even helped her in a custom commission for turret windows in the rebuilding of a Victorian Mansion in Ventura County.  The mansion had burned to the ground during restoration work.  The Historical Society was able to pull together the best crafts people of the modern age and recreate the home, it was amazing to see.

One of the things that convinced me to give up doing stained glass work was the poisonous nature of the materials involved.  Lead and other dangerous compounds were in almost every supply I used on a daily basis.  I valued my health too much to compromise my life-expectancy for art.

Fast forward to the CHA show and I discovered some wonderful soldering products that can be used for creating jewelry and are entirely lead free.  Simply Swank has a delightful range of products for making very fun and contemporary charms and other jewelry pieces both easily and safely.

In the picture above, There is a delightful contraption that holds your piece so that your hands are free and don’t get near the extremely hot liquid metal.  This is quite helpful especially in soldering tiny charms.  This item can be used for many other projects than making jewelry.  It literally is your “third hand!”


Think of all the uses that this jewelry craft can make of the digital art you probably already own.  Think of the heart-touching jewelry you could make with your treasured family vintage photos.  The look can vary from Victorian to contemporary to very feminine!  I’m hoping to get my daughter, Jennifer (the jewelry making daughter) started in this so she can make me some fun jewelry pieces.

You can also use copper foil and solder to create magnets, sun-catchers, wind chimes and dozens of other crafts.  HERE’S ANOTHER LINK TO SOLDERED ORNAMENTS FOR IDEAS.

Later I’ll share a company that produces a microwave kiln for producing fused glass!  Talk about AWESOME, wow that looked like so much fun.

More CHA Show Ideas

Unfortunately, I can not remember the booth name on these next pictures.  Some “reporter” I am!  However, I thought this was a great picture of what could be done for a little girl’s birthday party using your extra scrapbooking supplies or digital art.  I loved the little feather boa trim on the hats — and what little girl wouldn’t too?!

On the shelf below is a cute idea for party goodie bags.  Using rolled up paper to match they’ve simply filled the tubes with goodies and wrapped them in cellophane and tied off the ends.  So simple but so cute.

The head band crowns are much easier than the wonderfully complicated and elegant K & C examples.  Dollar Tree would be a great source for the head bands and then simply cut the shape and decorate with either decoupage flowers or silk flowers, jewels, glitter and other fun embellishments.

Up above the same display was hanging an “Oh So Simple” birthday banner.  They used a gathered lace base and glued on decorated circles ith the letters.  You could also add streaming ribbons to the banner and dimensional layers such as butterflies or flowers to dress it out further.

Taking this same idea a little further, you could create a birthday banner for any theme.  For a garden party, use flower shapes.  For a tea party, use tea cup shapes.  You can print them easily on standard sized printers with your usual paper.

I saw these at a make and take for felting.  If you’ve never tried felting, it is about as easy a craft as there is and just watching her repeatedly plunging the felting needle rythmically into the project produced a soothing, restful feel.

These cupcakes were just so cute!  Wouldn’t they make an adorable centerpiece?  All they did to make them was decorate styrofoam balls cut in half with felting wool material.  They used pearl stick pins and a small painted, glittered ball with some felt leaves.  The cupcake base was felt that was cut with pinking shears and stitched lines made the “folds.”  If you substituted another material for the styrofoam balls, wouldn’t these make an adorable pincushion?

CHA Show Pictures

Okay, my daughter downloaded all my pictures for me so now I can start sharing some of the great ideas.  By the way, if you click on the pictures they will enlarge for you.

These pictures came from K & Company’s booth.  I could see this done as a centerpiece for everything from a baby or bridal shower to a Valentine’s Day Party etc.  You could make the top an actual box top and use them for gift packaging as well.   Without a pattern, I would simply cut cardboard for the bottom “cake plate” and use chip board or something similar to create the boxes with and then cover them with purchased scrapbook papers or print your own papers and piece them to cover the form.  They’ve used layers and layers of borders, and have used K&C Grand Adhesions dimensional tags, but you could also create your own out of any graphics set you want to use.  Just print multiples of the item and cut out the pieces to layer with foam tape!

I love these whimsical crowns as well.  You could actually make these at a little girl’s birthday party by pre-printing the items that they could use to decorate their own crowns with.  Of course, you must have lots of glitter and jewels to make them truly special!  K & C used lots of pearls, ribbons and layers and layers of their really wonderful dimensional tags.  I believe that all of these paper collections are Brenda Walton’s, but I’m not positive.  I should have kept a notebook for reference on the pictures and well… my memory is MY MEMORY!!!  Which means it’s not very dependable.

The final item for tonight is another Brenda Walton designed paper collection turned into a bird house.  I’m not able to find this collection online yet, it was Raspberry something.  I really MUST take better notes next time, sorry! The collection was absolutely fabulous!!!

This bird house would be very easily created with foam core, cut to size.  Just draw the front panel on graph paper, tape it to your foam core and cut two pieces.  Trace around a round object for your opening and using an exacto knife, carefully cut it out.

Measure the side of your front panel to get the height of the side panels and draw your template for how long you want the birdhouse to be, this was a square but you could make it a rectange as well.  Cut two.  Assemble temporarily with scotch tape on the inside and measure for the roof panels.  Cut two and cut a base one inch larger than the footprint of the birdhouse.

Cover each of the pieces with the papers you would like to use.  If you use Brenda Walton’s papers you could also decorate it with her matching Grand Adhesions Tags.  Assemble with hot glue and decorate to your taste!

I wish I could credit the creators of these wonderful crafts.  Unfortunately no design credit was given.  Each of them did fabulous work.  More tomorrow.

Okay, Okay Already!!! CHA Notes to Follow

LOL!  I have been chasing my tail ever since I arrived home — mostly because my new agents are doing their job amazingly well.  So all things considered, I am not going to complain.  I have a lot of art that has to be sent out to potential licensees so I’ll be a little scarce.  I am really hoping to get to post a new kit or two next week — at least new to the store and AAE, but probably not brand new for those of you that are my faithful customers.  I’m peddling as fast as I can!

I really enjoyed my time at CHA.  The show was somewhat smaller than it was two years ago when I attended it last.  The crowd was down somewhat, but the manufacturers over all were commenting that the buyers were in attendance and ordering, there were just fewer extra people from the stores coming along.

Because scrapbooking and digital crafting are my focus, I spent most of my time in those areas.  HOWEVER, that said, my absolute favorite goodie I wish I could have gone home with was for sewing and quilting.  It is the AccuQuilt, “Go Cutter.”  LINK TO ACCUQUILT WEBSITE. The whole idea of die cutting paper has been brought to those who love to quilt.  This little wonder is lightweight, travels easily and will cut through up to 6 layers of quilting fabric, it will cut batting and other items.

If you’ve ever tried to piece together a quilt that you didn’t accurately cut the pieces for, imagine cutting 9, PERFECT 2 1/2″ strips (the length of an average width of folded fabric) at one time!  The speed and accuracy is phenomenal.  I made a diamond quilt once and if your pieces are not accurately cut, they are a nightmare to assemble.  AccuQuilt has diamond dies, circle dies, hexagonal dies, you name it.  Oh, and their border dies are to “die for!”  Be careful, you might get lost for hours looking through their website.

For those of you that do digital crafting and package up goodies (candy, cookies etc.) Clear Bags, “Crystal Clear Cube Boxes” have endless possibilities.  They have pop up boxes in a wide range of sizes.  their smallest box, which is 1 1/2″ cubed, runs from $.25 each if you order 25 to only $.15 each if you purchase 1,000 at a time.  A couple of interesting sizes I noted are 4″ x 4″ x 6″ at $1.05 each for 25, 2″ x 2″ x 3″ at $.42 each for 25 and 3″ x 3″ x 4″ at $.54 for 25.   They also have a line of Crystal Clear Hanging Boxes for those of you that craft and do note cards, hand made greeting cards etc.  Their box for a 5″ x 7″ greeting card is $.58 each for 25 or $.43 each for 200.  You can find them at: LINK TO CLEAR BAGS WEBSITE.

They are running a special for CHA of 10% off of Crystal Clear Packaging and 5% off of Cards & Envelopes.  Promo: CHAW09, Expires: 2/25/09.

My photographs are on my daughter’s camera and I have to have her help to download them.  I’ll post pictures of some of the most darling projects that I saw, as well as some beautiful scrapbooking pages.

Leaving for the CHA Show Today

I won’t have access to a computer while I’m gone so I will have to report back when I get home.  I have my assignment list and hopefully will be able to scout everything out that I was asked to see, but as big as the show is I’m not sure I’ll get to everything in the two days I’ll be there.  The show opens at 9AM this morning and closes at 2 PM on Wednesday for anyone that is a CHA member and lives anywhere near Anaheim,  California.  I highly recommend taking it is if you can.  It is not open to the general public however.

Have a great week and I’ll be home soon with a million new ideas and not enough time in the world to do them all!

Next Week, I’ll be at the CHA Show

I won’t have my laptop as I gave it to my hubby, so I won’t be able to check in or give real time show notes, but I will try to post about some of the coolest things I’ll find when there.  If you are a crafter and have something in particular you’d like a report on, please leave me a comment and I’ll compile a list and try to check them out.

If you are a manufacturer and plan on being there, my agent, Ranae Lokpez of MHS Licensing,  will be showing in the Licensing and Design section.  She will have my portfolio and will know how to reach me should you like to connect.

CHA is one of the most amazing shows.  It is utterly HUGE and filled with so many wonderful ideas I constantly say to myself, “I wish I’d thought of that first!”  My head will spin, my feet will hurt and I will come home inspired with at least a million ideas that I won’t have time to do!  In other words, it’ll be a great time!

The Contest Winner is:

I’ve added some additional previews of the “Victorian Rose Hearts” digital clip art kit and paper pack.  You can find it here in the store:  LINK TO VICTORIAN ROSE HEARTSLINK TO VICTORIAN ROSE HEARTS PAPER PACK.

I expanded the contest to include from the 16th of December until today since I’ve only managed to post once this month so far!  The winner is the 36th comment on this blog post:  LINK TO POST HERE

Congratulations to the winner!  And a giant thanks to Lambie, who took up the mantle DebD left behind to remind me it was the day for the drawing.  I’m thinking of the song “We get by with a little help from our friends!” right now.

I hope, hope, hope to be able to post another kit next week and start writing more frequently.  My fabric line files are supposed to ship out today and then I can start breathing a little again.  However, my new agents are wonderfully demanding and are going to keep me very busy.  I like being busy so that’s a good thing :-)!

SCRIPTURE OF THE DAY: Mark 4:13-20   Then Jesus said to them, “Don’t you understand this parable? How then will you understand any parable?  The farmer sows the word.  Some people are like seed along the path, where the word is sown. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them.  Others, like seed sown on rocky places, hear the word and at once receive it with joy.  But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away.  Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word;  but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful.  Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop-thirty, sixty or even a hundred times what was sown.”   NIV

DEVOTIONAL:  How do you deal with disappointment?

I’ve walked with the Lord now for about 47 years (since the age of 3 1/2).  In that time I’ve watched a lot of people get very excited about their faith — some go on to continue growing and maturing and others fall away over time.  The single most common thread that winds through the stories of those that have fallen away seems to be disappointment.  Especially disappointment with God.

“I prayed and God didn’t do what I asked.”  “I gave my life to God and he didn’t give me my life’s dream.”  “I sought God and yet my husband left me — God didn’t save my marriage.”  God doesn’t do what I think He should, because He’s God and I’m not!  It’s a hard lesson to learn, but God sees things very differently than we do.

One of the most important lessons we can learn is to continue trusting God, ESPECIALLY when things don’t go as we hoped or planned.  Every single one of us will face disappointment in our lives.  How we face it makes all the difference of whether we get bitter or better.

When my hopes and dreams seem to lie crushed at my feet, I turn my face up to God and tell Him, “No matter what Lord, I trust you.  I want your best plan in my life.  I don’t understand and I can’t pretend to think that I can think like you think, but I trust you to take this that seems so awful and bring good out of it somehow, someway.”  And fortunately, I have learned that every single time in my life that I’ve faced great disappointment, God has used it to deepen my faith and grow my character.  I sure don’t like “going there” but I love what God has done in me through the experience.  I have to continually remind myself that the 30, 60 and 100 fold fruitfulness comes out of a life that is led fully submitted to God and resting in His wisdom, His will and His plans — not my own.

PRAYER:  Lord, it is so easy to assume what the “right” answer is when I ask you for something in prayer.  Then it is so easy for me to get deeply disappointed when you don’t give me the answer that I wanted.  Help me to overcome disappointment and continue growing in my faith.  Help me to trust when the world seems upside down.  Help me to see as You see.   I want my life to produce 100 fold fruitfulness, help me to let you do the work in me that is necessary to produce it.

Brand New For Valentine’s Day & Weddings



A BRAND NEW, NEVER OFFERED BEFORE digital clip art kit and matching Paper Pack, just in time for scrapbooking, card crafting or digital crafting your projects for Valentine’s Day!  But this kit has a much wider appeal than merely this holiday.  It’s filled with red roses fresh from my garden and an abundance of hearts in ever shape and color so it’s perfect for all those romantic occasions like Weddings, Anniversaries and Love.  I included the Valentine’s word art pieces at no charge in this kit, so that my International customers who don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day will still get the full value.

It was such fun to actually get to create some fresh, new art!  In between creating the portfolio pages for my new agency, MHS Licensing and Art for the walls for the CHA Winter show in Anaheim and wrapping up my newest fabric collection that will be out later this year (in June I believe), I snuck into my studio to play a little!

This kit will be on sale for two weeks only (until January 22nd, 2009) at 20% off so if you’re looking for a deal keep that in mind!

I forgot to post a winner for the first of the month.   Boy, do I really miss Deb D 🙁  I would never have gotten to the 8th without a gentle reminder — okay, not so gentle!!!  The winner is the lady who wrote the first comment on December 18th, 2008’s post.  Congratulations to the winner!  She gets a $5 gift certificate to use in my store.  CONGRATULATIONS!!!!  (to find the comments, go to the date’s post, scroll to the end of it and at the bottom will be a small link that says “comments.”  Click on it and it will show the entire post including its comments).