Sunday, January 29, 2012

Innovations Sneak Peak

About 100 new products were entered for the Innovations award this year.  20 of these were selected as the "Hot New Products" and the manufacturers set up their displays and demos for judging.  Each representative had 60 seconds to promote their product, then judges and attendees had an opportunity to see, touch and watch demos.  Here they are in alphabetical order:

Babyville Boutique.  A sewing program for environmentally conscious moms who need specialty fabric for making diaper covers.  The program includes coordinating snaps and snap tool, fold over elastic, appliqu├ęs and more.

Flower Me with Candy: An easy way to make realistic looking edible flowers with candy.

Sullivans Clear Rulers:  That sharpens the rotary blades as you cut......

Send it Clear from Clear Scraps:  One of a kind clear card kit with USPS approved envelope.

Embosser from Craftwell:  Electric die cutter and embosser.

Cool2Cast from Yaley Enterprises:  Developed by Tiffany Windsor this is a new, air dry fiber plaster.

Copper Color Me from Hot off the Press:  Custom color your own embossed papers with mists, chalk and more.

Dazzu Light Craft Studio: Especially for kids, this kit contains programmable, interactive lights plus all the materials needed to create a one-of-akind, unique projects.  Such a fun way to bling.....

Diamond Head Tacks (for Home Dec):  Upholstery tacks with interchangeable heads. 

 Crafty Bands from Epiphany Crafts:  Create unique custom charm jewelry for kids!

Eco Crayons:  Saving the world one color at a time!  In recyclable packaging.....

Fringe in a Flash Multi-Blade Rotary Cutter from June Tailor:  The perfect tool for cutting fringes.  

The Knook by Leisure Arts and knit with a crochet hook!

USB Power Glue:  When the power fails, use your laptop battery power to use this glue gun.

Shoe Attitude:  Print images on Kodak shoe art film then use a special adhesive to apply to shoes.

Prima Press:  Use individual letters to create your own sayings, etc.  It's like having your own mini print press.

Craft Geek Pin It by Purple Cows:  Pin it anywhere with this new tool.


Tulip Screen It, All-in-1 Screen Printing System.

The show opens tomorrow, so lots more photos to come so y'all come back now.......

Yours truly,
Julie :)

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Making Faces

I've seen tons of artwork lately featuring faces, so thought I'd pass on a little insight to those of you who might want to give it a try.  Drawing and painting faces is easy as long as you're not trying to create an exact portrait.  Use the camera for that.......  Here are some basic guidelines to get you started then it's just a matter of practicing.

I created these steps on the computer, so the face looks "cartoony", but when you use a pencil it'll have a more whimsical look.  If you want this type of look however, use a stencil with graduated ovals and circles as your guide and simply trace the shapes you need.  Look closely at the eyes, nose and mouth, they're all combinations of parts of circles and ovals.   Okay, here goes:

Step 1.  Start with an oval for the head.  Don't be afraid to freehand.  The outline of the head doesn't have to be exact - you'll be adding hair to cover up any imperfections.

Step 2.  Divide the oval into 4 equal sections by lightly drawing a line down the center from top to bottom and across the center from side to side. 

Step 3.  Eyes are usually half way between the top of the head and the chin; the nose is half way between the eyes and the chin and the mouth is halfway between the nose and the chin.  Mark the placement for these with a short horizontal line, or just visualize where the features will be.

Step 4.  Sketch in the eyes, nose and mouth.  They don't have to be exact.  After all, no two faces are exactly the same.

Step 5.  Add color using watercolors, water color pencils, chalks, paint, etc.  The eyes are white with black pupils.  Add a light coat of blue around each pupil and a white highlight on top.  Color the lips and shade the cheeks.  You can even use powder blush for the cheek color.  Apply with a sponge applicator from your make-up drawer, a cotton swab, or even a soft make-up brush.  Don't forget to keep it simple.  The secret to adding cheek color, is to start at the center then swirl the applicator in a circular direction, moving outwards.  You can even use your own powdered eye make-up to add accents and highlights to the eyes.  And don't forget some black "swooshes" for eye lashes.


Step 6.  Add hair.  It can be straight or curly, with bangs or without, whatever you like.  Look through the ads in magazines for inspiration.

All you have to do now is pick up a pencil and start sketching and please don't be afraid to use an eraser, or, as we say in the UK a "rubber"...........LOL!  Enjoy!  Y'all come back now......

Yours truly,
Julie :)

Sunday, January 8, 2012

First Monday Projects! Journaling

Over the past, dare I say, 20 years or so, I've been designing inspirational and technique based projects for manufacturers, books and magazines based on the products I've been given to work with.  I sincerely love what I do, but a few months ago someone asked me what I liked to do for me.  Surprisingly enough, I had to actually stop and think...........  and it was kind of an eye opener.  I like to paint and I like to draw, but realized I've done very little of either one for quite some time.  I'm always doodling, the down and dirty kind of doodling as I talk on the phone, or get bored in a meeting - oops - don't tell, and I'm always playing with markers.

I've always loved to draw.  As a little girl I remember saving up pocket money to buy colored pencils at the University bookstore and used to fill book after book with drawings of fairies and little girls in Victorian style dresses.  Wide eyed damsels of the fairy tale kind flowed from my pencils like Niagara falls together with a whole army of popular cartoon characters.  I even wrote poems to go along with them.  Then one day it happened, I became a teenager and graduated to covering school jotters with things like "John", "Paul", "George" and "Ringo".  That was in the early '60s.

I'm sure you've seen and read a lot about "Art Journals" over the past few years or so, but anything that requires a commitment is not for me.  I rebel against doing anything I HAVE to do.  I have to WANT to do something, plus there has to be a good reason to do it.  Other than marriage, the only thing I'm committed to at this time in my life, is getting out of bed in the mornings and going to bed at night......LOL  As I said goodbye to 2011 however, and hello to 2012,  I started to think it might be fun to do some, what I will call "Freestyle Journaling".  My daughter bought me a journal (because it had London on the cover) for Christmas and I decided that instead of scribbling on odd bits of paper and the backs of envelopes here, there and everywhere, I would at least try to keep thoughts, ideas and doodles together in one place.  So here's today's musings.  Probably the only thing I will share, because this is only for me........

This kind of journaling may not appeal to you, and that's okay......  It's like any creative endeavor,  it's very personal - no rules - just fun!  Enjoy whatever you do - that's the whole point.  Look for more ideas by clicking "hop forward" on the Designer Crafts Connection logo in my sidebar on the left.  If you keep hopping you'll end up back here with a whole bunch of new ideas and inspiration. Y'all come back now...........

Yours truly,
Julie :)

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Twelfth Night!

January 6th is "Twelfth Night", the day we traditionally take down Christmas decorations in England.  It's also Epiphany and, like December 6th in some European countries, January 6th is the day children in Mexico and South American countries receive gifts acknowledging the day the 3 Kings arrived in Bethlehem with their gifts for the baby Jesus.  My mum always said it was bad luck to leave our decorations up after the 6th, so I guess I'm in for a rough year - I didn't get it done yesterday.  They're down today though.  Hopefully that will count for something.  Garlands and wreaths are now piled up on the table ready to be stored and all the ornaments are lovingly and carefully packed away in their appropriate boxes. The house looks so bare without the brightly lit tree by the fireplace, but Baby Jesus is still in his manger on the end table.  As my granddaughter reminded me, we don't put away Jesus just because Christmas is over.  Not her words exactly, but you'll understand if you read the story in the earlier post below.......

So what now...  it's a New Year and another 12 months of new possibilities.  Psychologically we seem to look at the New Year as time to start over, hence the making of New Year resolutions, basically setting new goals.  Many of them get broken, as quickly as they're made, but thinking about changes and setting new goals is always - dare I say, fun......  No?  Well let's make it fun.  The first step is to find a some kind of a notebook, journal or whatever inspires you.  The title is "New Year Resolutions" and on the first page you'll write 2012 and the list of what you would like to do this year, your goals and dreams.  Cut pictures from magazines, sayings from books, etc anything you like.  Add things as you think of them, but don't stress about it.  As the days, weeks and months fly by, you'll probably find you'll set your Resolutions Journal aside and totally forget about it, but that's okay.  The important thing will be to keep it in a place where you can find it next year and start a new page with 2013.  You'll probably look back over the things you wrote for 2012 and you'll be able to do this each year you keep it up.  Just think how interesting it will be ten, or more years from now.  I've never been disciplined enough to write in a diary, or keep up with an Art Journal every day, so having the freedom to write odd notes whenever I feel like doing it is fun.  Sometimes I'll write, or doodle on odd scraps of paper and "Post It" notes and all I have to do is glue them on a page in my book.  I even include photos, postcards, my grandchildren's drawings and so much more - whatever I want.  It's an original scrapbook - little bits of everything a totally unrefined, unartistic mish mash of just plain stuff with no rules and no restrictions.  I love it......  you might want to try it too.

The theme for the Designer Crafts Connection first Monday project this month is "Journaling".  You'll find even more ideas then, so......y'all come back now!

Yours truly,
Julie :)

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Scrapbook Soup TV Show Now Online!

You can now watch the new series of Scrapbook Soup online starting this Saturday, January 7th, noon-5pm EST.  Check it out at  See ya there!

Yours truly,
Julie :)

Monday, January 2, 2012

First Monday Projects!

Designer Crafts Connection usually posts projects on the First Monday of each month.  Since today is January 2nd, we'll be posting next week instead.  Our theme is journaling.  Y'all come back now!

Yours truly,
Julie :)