Wednesday, February 29

Winter CHA '12 Flashback: Quick Quotes

Guess what?!?!?  We have a snow day today!  During times like these do I appreciate winter more.  Now I have lots of time to catch up craft wise and do other worldly chores.  It just feels so good to sleep in and be lazy.  But I won't do that because I want to accomplish many things today.

One of the booths that I enjoyed during the Winter CHA in Anaheim last month was that by Quick Quotes.  I never knew of Quick Quotes before (click here to learn more about them), but I can tell from their booth that it is a very established scrapbooking company. I always admire family owned and based crafting companies, and Quick Quotes has been added to my list.


As you can see in the photo above, there are a couple of long lines of people on both sides of the booth, waiting to check out what Quick Quotes has to offer.  Do you see me in line?  I waited at least 30 minutes for my turn, and I can tell you that it was worth the wait.  We were to make a beautiful shadow box from the Timeless 8 x 10 Canvas Kit.  I never made a shadow box before, and I enjoyed every minute in making this one.





And after you finish your shadow box, they give you a nice pink and black scrapbooking tote.  That really helped in carrying a lot of paraphernalia and goodies during the show.  It was also handy during my travels after the show.

I admit that I haven't done much scrapbooking lately, but Quick Quotes did rekindle that flame - making me want to do more scrapbooking.  I have a strong feeling that I'll be visiting their site more often, and maybe try their kits as well. 

'Til next blog!

Tuesday, February 28

Winter CHA '12 Flashback: Technique Tuesday

Technique Tuesday is not new to me.  I have some of their stamp sets, mostly the ones designed by Ali Edwards (did I tell you that my favorite font is Ali Edwards' handwriting?), and I love them.  When I saw their booth in the winter CHA, I just had to try their make and take card.


The stamp that we used for this card was wood-mounted. I tried to look for it in their website but I couldn't. I can't remember what medium we used to color the image at the time, but I'm sure they definitely weren't markers. Because there were some people already waiting behind us, I just colored my image lightly and quickly.

And just last night, I touched up the image with Copics (R89, R85, R83 and W00), and added some punching here and there. 




'Til next blog!

Monday, February 27

Winter CHA '12 Flashback: Quilled Creations

Hello dear reader!  I have to admit that I couldn't find time to do some crafting lately as my sister is here visiting.  But I don't want you to think that I've forgotten about you.  For the meantime, I'll be blogging more details about my Winter CHA experience in Anaheim, and maybe something else in between.  That's the main reason why I wanted to attend the conference in the first place.  Before I had the chance to go to this CHA convention, I was one of those stalking the blogs and websites who were sharing photos and videos of the event.  And now that I had the chance to see it first hand, I would like to share my experience with you.



Quilled Creations was one of the first booths that I was able to visit during the show.  I had my first make and take there as well.  But what first caught my eye was the beautiful quilled art that was displayed in their booth.





I've never tried quilling before, and I have been very curious about it.  And that was a perfect chance to give it a shot.  What made it extra special is that it was Alli Bartkowski who gave me my first quilling experience.  She helped me make this pin with a quilled heart.


I'm sure for a lot of quillers out there, this is nothing.  But to me, this is my best quilling project ever.  During the make and take, she also featured their New Beginner Quilling Kit.  Now that I have tried quilling, I most probably will get this kit when I see it in the stores.

I also had the opportunity to buy one of Alli's books about quilling.  Guess what?  She signed it too.


Now I have no reason not to try quilling by myself.  I'll jump on it as soon as I get the chance.

'Til next blog!

Thursday, February 23

Christmas in February

Guess what?!?!?  I can see my craft desk now... woot!!!  I can now sense some craftivity happening soon... but for now I want to concentrate on blogging.  It's starting to slow down now that my sister's on her 3rd week in our snowy neck of the woods. 

I did mention that I took a trip a few weeks ago.  And when I got back, a box was waiting for me in my planet.  It was from crafty friend Claire.  I was excited to see what's inside, but it took a few more days until I got to open it.  Now, they are spread on my craft desk and I'm really enjoying the view.  I just want to share with you her wonderful work as I clear the floor of my planet.

Let's start with this beautiful handmade card:


Followed by two sets of Christmas Cards:




And two sets of tags:


Aren't they beautiful?!?!?  Now I'm all set for Christmas this year.  There are other fun stuff in the box, but I'm keeping them for myself for now.  Thanks a big bunch Claire!

'Til next blog!

Monday, February 20

Thanks

No, I haven't finished cleaning my planet.  The farthest I got was assembling my ArtBin Satchel cube and vacuuming the clear areas of the floor.  Thanks to my sister, my Copic markers are now organized.  But just the same, my craft desk is still a mess, and there are still stuff everywhere.

But that didn't stop me from making a card tonight.  It's for a co-worker who taught me and my sister how to ski last week.  I've lived here for almost 5 years, and I have never tried to ski.  If not for my sister visiting, I wouldn't have tried.  And guess what???  I actually enjoyed it.  And even though my sister hit a tree, she had more fun than I did.


Since we're giving the card to a guy, I wanted to make it as simple as possible.  I was relieved to find background paper in my stash that had a skiing theme.




Materials used:
cardstock/dp:  DCWV, Wassau, leftovers
image/sentiment:  Stampin' Up, River City
ink:  Stampin' Up, Tsukineko
tools:  Janome Sew Mini, heat gun
embellishments:  buttons, spiral paper clip
misc.:  Inkadinkado embossing powder
adhesive:  Scotch, Glue Dots, mounting tape

 'Til next blog!

Saturday, February 18

Warm Tied

Hello crafty friends!  The other night, we had my crafty artiste friend Bean come over for some girl fun.  My sister is visiting from the Philippines, and she cooked some very good Carbonara.  We enjoyed that with nice fruity wine, followed by a Dance Central session on Kinect and karaoke.  Bean brought 2 tie blankets she made... they're beautiful!  I mentioned that I have this tie blanket kit which I acquired back in Japan at least 5 years ago.  I never got around to it.  Bean came to the rescue and showed me how to put it together.





Now that I know how to make tie blankets, I think I can make some more in the future.  Thanks Bean!

When I left for my California trip, my planet was already a total mess.  Finally today, I have some time to clean my disastrous planet while doing laundry because my sister's engrossed in watching Hell's Kitchen on DVD.  I haven't started yet, because I wanted to update my blog first.  And before I start to work and give my planet some TLC, let me show you its present state.



Don't worry my planet... I'm now here to rescue you!!!

'Til next blog...

Monday, February 13

Quickie Treat

Hello everyone!  This is going to be really short.  I made some Valentine treat bags to give to co-workers tomorrow.  I'm so glad that my sister is here to help me out.  This is one of my favorite treat bags to make because it's quick and easy.  I have seen many versions of this, and the best tutorial I would say is the one from Splitcoaststampers (click here to see).




Materials used:
cardstock/dp:  vellum, ColorBok, leftovers
image/sentiment:  Deadbeat Designs
ink:  Tsukineko, Ranger
tools:  Spellbinders, EK Success punch
embellishment:  ribbon (American Crafts)
misc.:  embossing powder (Ranger), Shimmer Spritz
adhesive:  Scotch, mounting tape

'Til next blog!

Saturday, February 11

Another Copic Post

Don't you just hate it when you accidentally delete something on your blog?  Well, I did.  I posted about my Copic Intermediate Certification Class in Anaheim on the day itself.  And now it's gone (sad face).  I have to learn the hard way about posting from an android phone.

So here I am over two weeks later, posting about my experience in this really great class.  Now that I finally have time to look through my SD card, I'm ready for a comeback. 

Since I was going to be in Anaheim to see my family, I thought it was a good opportunity to take the Intermediate Certification Class that was scheduled in the area.  For me to take it here in Michigan, I have to drive almost 4 hours one way to get to the venue.  I just had to grab the chance.  I was really relieved that there were some spots left despite me signing up quite close to the date of the class. 

It all took place in Red Lion Hotel:


Since I was going to ride the plane, I didn't bring any of my markers.  I knew, based from the Standard Certification Class, that there would be markers available for use.  I wasn't surprised however, when I saw some of the attendees who brought their markers with them.  I did wish that I brought my own though. 



The class was to be taught by Sherrie Siemens, who is one of the popular names in the card making/stamping industry.  She's from Canada, and she makes awesome work. 

Before the class, I was kinda hoping that Marianne Walker would be present somehow because of the Winter CHA that was going to take place the next day.  And when I did see her as I entered the function room, I got more excited about what I can learn.  We were going to have two top notch Copic instructors.  Who wouldn't want that?!?



After getting my Copic goodies and picking a spot in the room, I got to pick a name tag which I looooveee:



Marianne took the floor first, explaining about the Intermediate Certification Class as a whole.  At this stage, we should already know and be comfortable with the basics as they will be tackling more about the advanced stuff.



Marianne and Sherrie took turns in teaching the different segments of the class, which started at 9 am and lasted until 8 pm. 







But it doesn't end there.  At the end of the class, Marianne and Sherrie gave each one of us a very wonderful surprise - a Copic Carrying Case.


It comes with a long strap and 6 buckets inside:


One bucket can hold so many markers.  What's in this particular bucket here already carries most of my Sketch markers.  I guess I still have a long way to go as far as collecting Copics is concerned.



And you know what made this class extra special?  It's the calligraphy on our certificates.  One of the attendees does calligraphy, and she offered to write our names on the certificates.  I never really found out who she was, but I would like to thank her for doing such an awesome job.


If you are going to ask me if taking this class is worth it, for somebody like me who never had any type of formal art education, yes it definitely is.  I learned so much in this class, and the hands on teaching method was definitely a plus.

'Til next blog!

Friday, February 3

Winter CHA Frolic

Hello everyone! It has been a busy couple of weeks, and still is. I'm very glad that I was able to insert some crafty fun during my visit with family and relatives. I guess you can say that they were nice breathers. Right now, I'm writing this blog through my android phone. Thanks to technology, I can blog even without an actual computer.

On Saturday, I took the Copic Intermediate Certification Class in Red Lion Hotel in Anaheim, CA. I have to say that I was star struck when I saw my Copic idol Marianne Walker as I entered the room. That alone had made this class super extra special. I like to visit her blog and I learn a lot of Copic techniques from it. And I learned a lot from this class as well.




Images colored with Copics during the
Intermediate Certification Class
in Anaheim, CA
It's really great to have hands on training with Copics, and actually have someone tell you what you're missing and what needs improvement. The class started at 9 am and ended at 8 pm, with 1 hour lunch break and 2 hour dinner break. You might think that it seems long, but to me it was otherwise. The content of the class was very well planned and executed that you wouldn't really mind the time. After the class, we were all given a surprise - a black Copic bag meant to store hundreds of markers. This bag is so huge that it would't fit in my luggage and I had to mail it home. Thanks to the Winter CHA taking place the next day, we were blessed to receive this cool organizer.

Speaking of CHA - this event completed my trip in Anaheim. It's been a while since I felt that kind of excitement. The term "like a kid in a candy store" is not even suited for the emotion flowing through my veins. I kept thanking God for giving me the chance to attend this convention. Before you can get inside, you had to fall in a long line to get your badge. On a normal day, I would complain. But that Sunday morning, I was as pleasant as any flower in the Spring. I guess people can tell that I was a first timer because I was all smiles. The others who have been there time and again were grumpy and complaining about the long line. But not me.

I guess you're wondering how I got a badge as I don't even have a store or business and definitely not a CHA member. 

Winter CHA Non-Member Badge
After doing some research, I learned that CHA allowed non-members to apply for a badge this year. But of course, you have to meet certain requirements. However, if you do qualify for a non-member badge, you are only limited in the convention area. You cannot sign up for special classes taking place during the convention. Which was a bummer for me. But still I'm already grateful that I was granted a badge as a craft designer. And that I was able to get a badge for my sister as well.

The Anaheim Convention Center is huge - I knew the moment I stepped in that I won't be able to see everything in just one day. My mistake was I didn't bring a cart or small carry on luggage with wheels like most people did. Newbie alert! You would definitely need one after all the paraphernalia and make and takes. I had to call my Mom and Aunt and ask them to get my carry on luggage and bring it to me in the convention center.

Inside, there were hundreds of brands and companies showcasing their products. Some were just doing demos, while some offered make and takes for the attendees.  I find it amusing that when you go to a particular booth, the staff would check your badge and see what type it is. I do understand that they would prioritize demoing to those with businesses that would buy their products in bulk. But lowly bloggers like me can also help in promoting their products through reviews and such.

Quilled Art by Quilled Creations
I really enjoyed doing the make and takes. Who doesn't like free stuff? But I especially like being able to try products that are not yet out in the market. It made me feel extra special. I did notice though that some companies do not give emphasis to the product they are pushing. There was a brand that had a make and take card. I got confused from the tools and materials that were on the table that had to ask which of those is their product. I like the make and takes that would really make me want to check out their product, and wait for them to be released in the market. You can tell that everything was well planned.

Handmade card courtesy of Technique Tuesday

Handmade Card courtesy of Tattered Angels

Handmade card courtesy of Walnut Hollow
I wish I was able to do all the make and takes. But out of the ones that I tried, I especially liked those by Tattered Angels, Silhouette, GCD Studios, Deco Art, Quick Quotes and Impress Art Metal Stamps. The demos that stood out for me were from Clover, Silhouette and La Blanche.

Keiser Kraft display

And did I mention about the displays and decorations? What big feast to the eyes! It has been 5 days since I was in CHA, but I still cannot forget the presentation of Graphic 45, Prima and La Blanche. They had amazing themes and decor. Just seeing their booth was already a wonderful gift.  I also loved seeing all the projects that were made to feature each and every product on the floor. There is really a big difference to be able to see and touch them in person, compared to just seeing photos online. It was an explosion of inspiration and ideas. If you're going to look at each and every display in one booth, it could take you hours. All the companies, design team members did a spectacular job.

When it was almost closing time, I started rushing and made sure to visit my favorite brands. There's a bunch of them, but for now I'll talk about just three.

I was very glad to see Kellie and Rick of Our Daily Bread Designs. I worked for them during a scrapbook and stamping show in Birch Run late last year, and expressed my interest to do it again this year. My adrenalin was pumping at the Spellbinders Booth, especially after seeing their soon-to-be-released products. They'll be having new designs for their dies, but I'm most excited about their embossing folders. Of course we were not allowed to take photos, but I can tell you that their new line of embossing folders will have two designs in one.  At the Ranger booth, I had the pleasure of seeing Tim Holtz in action. As expected, there were lots of people around him as he was doing demos for his products. I could barely see what he was actually doing, but I was able to take photos of his face. That was enough for me.

I also got some feedback from some of the companies during my one day visit at the Winter CHA. They said that the CHA Convention is now greatly dominated by stamping and paper crafting companies. And I can say so myself. I also noticed that the atmosphere is more festive in those areas. Sometimes I couldn't help but feel bad for the other crafting companies because nobody seems to be interested in their product. But then again, presentation is a big key to attract people and potential buyers.

One of my regrets is that I wasn't able to do jewelry and beading make and takes. I guess it was my fault too as I focused more on paper crafting companies. But I was glad to discover new crafts like pop can mosaics and decorative edible gellos.

Last weekend was really very special for me. Now that I have attended the Winter CHA Convention, I am much more interested in checking out the Summer CHA in Illinois.

I hope the photos I'm attaching here will be ok for now. I took them with my cellphone. When I get settled and can access a computer, I'll share a lot more better quality photos.

Thanks for the visit... 'Til next blog!

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