Tuesday, April 10, 2018

CHA Winter Trade show 2010

I'm home! Finally, after 6 days of non-stop creativity and inspiration. I haven't missed a CHA show in almost 20 years. Each year is different, but still wonderful. Here's a few notes on some of the new tools, etc then you'll see a gallery of photos from the show from a variety of booths just to give you a taste of what it was like to be there.

PRESTO PUNCH: This is a new tool from Spellbinders. It's an electric punch so all you have to do is press a button and out pops your cut and embossed shape! All you'll need in the future for small shapes is one "Presto" punch and the small dies instead of bunches of punches.

CRICUT CAKE: This really "takes the cake" to a new level. For those of you who decorate a lot of cakes, or have a store, you'll have to put this on your shopping list! I wonder if it will ever be used for a cake challenge on the Food Network.......hmmm - I'm still waiting for one (for our industry) that cuts felt and wood....

HANG IT ALLS and DISTREZZ it ALL: These are two new products from Zutter/Bind it All. You can see from the photos that the Hang it Alls are a "hook and link" concept to join clipboard wood pieces together to make a wall hanging and the "Distrezz it All" will distress the edges of multiple pieces of paper for that cool, shabby chic/vintage look.



i-top, BUTTON /BRAD Maker: Imaginisce has developed a tool to make custom buttons and brads. I've used the Badge-A-Minit button maker for years (I love to make photo buttons for embellishments and refrigerator magnets) and have demo'd it on Scrapbook Memories, but this tool is so much easier to use. The tool is at the back of the Make It Take It table. Sorry the photo doesn't really show what it does.

ECLIPS: The Eclips is an electronic die cutting system from Sizzix. It is easy to use and non techies will love it! Check out sizzix.com for all the details on this and other fabulous new tools and there will be segments on how to use it on the new series of Scrapbook Memories which will start to air in late Spring.

LEVER PUNCHES: These have been around for years, so they're not new, but what is new is that McGill has them! It's worth mentioning since they have always had great punch designs and now they'll be easier to punch.

GCD STUDIOS & Melody Ross: The chatter here is all about the tools Melody has developed for adding texture through debossed images/patterns to chipboard. Add the small metal stamp to the basic tool then just hammer away for great effects.... There are wonderful designs to choose from, including alphabets and the packaging is to "die" for - the designs are packaged in tins like the ones you get when you buy jewelry from Brighton. Love those tins!

THE CINCH: Innovative as ever, We R Memory Keepers has come up with a tool to make book binding a "cinch". I wish I knew what happened to my photo :( but look for it at your local store and on HSN (the tool, not my photo.......)

XYRON Creatopia: I first saw a full page ad for this new machine in a fall issue of Martha Stewart Living and looked forward to seeing it in person. I'd describe as an All-In-One. Xyron has always had interchangeable cartridges for their original machine, but now the range of cartridges has widened dramatically. Not only are there different adhesive cartridges, including one for fabric, there's one that cuts and embosses using existing dies and embossing folders, one that cuts paper with and/without decorative edges, one that adds texture patterned borders and a cartridge with new rollers that will allow you to add adhesive to surfaces up to 1/2" thick.

I'm sure I've forgotten something, but I'm going to go ahead and post what I have so far, then add to this later. I still have a whole bunch of photos of the show to post that will give you a taste of what it was like to be there, as well as photos of the Super Show, so check back soon!

Yours truly,
Julie :)


The following photos are in no particular order and taken throughout the show. There's a variety of booths, some of which I'm sure you'll recognize. Enjoy!















Have to say a little bit about the following photos. This is the Kaisercraft booth and it has become an annual tradition to stop by for a photo with Melissa Kennedy.



And finally a project from Tim Holtz featuring his new Sizzix dies
with its quote from Gwen Stefani.


There was SO much to see and I took lots more photos, but instead of posting them all here please check out Julie Fei Fan Balzer's blog at www.balzerdesigns.typepad.com. You'll also love her commentary. Julie is a regular guest host on the new series of Scrapbook Memories for the Artist to Artist segments. I just love her style and I know that you will too.

A few final words about trends: There were flowers everywhere made from paper, yarn, ribbon, fabric, felt, canvas, even newspaper and more Vintage than ever. Jewelry is popping up in what once were typically "scrapbook" company booths. Making Memories had a wonderful line of jewelry pieces for example. K&Co, which is now part of EK Success Brands had a really cool jewelry program a few years ago, so perhaps now would be a good time to bring it back.... There were also a lot of canvas surfaces to work on - not just bags, totes and wearables, but journals, pieces for wall art, etc. "Peace" signs, neon, Vintage buttons and Vintage bling, more glitter paper and adhesive sparkle for either wearables, or wall art. Speaking of wearables, you have to check out this photo. It was taken by Julie Fei Fan Balzer and I borrowed it from her blog. It's a dress made from newspaper that was in the "I Love to Create" booth, influenced, I'm sure, by a design from last season's "Project Runway". Reminds me of the old joke, "what's black and white and read all over"............ Wearable ART.

The industry is changing... mixed media now rules and it's a very fun Kingdom for our creative souls. So spread your wings and soar!!

Yours truly,
Julie :)


Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Flower Fairies

April showers bring May flowers and, if you're lucky, you may find flower fairies hiding amongst those beautiful blooms!

Growing up in England, it wasn't unusual for children to believe in fairies.  We looked for fairy rings on walks through the woods and placed gnomes in our flower gardens to protect them. You may have heard the story about the sisters who photographed fairies in Cottingley woods. They took such convincing photographs, that even Sir Arthur Conan Doyle started to believe in their existence. If you'd like to know more, you'll really enjoy the 1997 movie, "Fairy Tale".  I found this information about it on Google:

FairyTale: A True Story - Wikipedia


It is loosely based on the story of the Cottingley Fairies. Its plot takes place in the year 1917 in England, and follows two children who take a photograph soon believed to be the first scientific evidence of the existence of fairies.

My mum lived on Cottingley Road, not far from Cottingley woods, so we often went for walks in the woods. The only fairies I saw however, were the ones I kept in my pocket made from my dad's pipe cleaners. I've always enjoyed fairy crafts and in 2001, I had a series of fairy projects featured in the Spring issue of Crafts magazine.  You can find more photos from that issue in an earlier blog post here:  https://juliemcguffee.blogspot.com/2014/03/flower-fairies.html

Supplies have changed a lot over the past 18+ years, so this fairy is an updated version using some of the supplies I received earlier this year at the 6th Annual Prime Networking Event in Phoenix.  Sponsored by Primedia, Arts & Crafts industry bloggers are invited to meet with manufacturers at a special event where we receive samples of product to work and create with. There's a wide variety of product, so It's not possible to include more than a few of the supplies in one project, but with the magic of fairies top of mind, some of my favorites are featured here.

For my Flower Fairy project, I used the following supplies:
  • Xyron® - Creative Station and double sided laminate cartridge
  • Marvy® Uchida  - DecoColor® Premium Fine Tip Silver; DecoColor® Opaque Paint Fine Tip Ultramarine and Pink Bistro Chalk markers
  • Plaid® - Folk Art™ Glitterific paint, Unicorn
  • Deflecto® - Acrylic frame, 8" x 10"  (to feature the magazine cover in the photo)
  • Silk floral bush
  • Grey moss for hair
  • Smoothfoam™ 1" Ball & 1" Raindrop/egg shape
  • Flat paint brush - small fabric (stiff white nylon) 
  • Wire cutters
  • Clear, holographic gift wrap film (cellophane)
  • Scissors
  • Paper Trimmer
  • Lo-temp glue gun & clear glue sticks
  • Cotton swab
  • Ball head quilt pins (optional)


1. Unfold the clear gift wrap and cut one piece about 4" x 8" from one sheet. The sheets tend to cling together so separate carefully then laminate the cut piece. The material is very thin and delicate so work slowly as you laminate. 

2. Wings:  Draw a simple leaf pattern, about 2" x 1" onto a piece of white paper then place the laminated sheet on top. Trace 4 leaf designs onto the sheet with the silver marker. Add a straight line down the center, and 2 or 3 small lines at angles from the center line toward the edge for veins.  Set aside for a few minutes to dry.  Note: Laminating this delicate film makes it possible to use for fairy, butterfly, dragonfly wings, raindrops, snowflakes and more!  You'll love the way it catches the light.

3. Cut around each leaf shape then paint the edges with Glitterific as follows:  Dip the brush into the paint then gently "scrape", or tap the paint onto the edge of the leaf by pulling the brush down across the edge. Let dry then enjoy how it shimmers and sparkles.

4. Head:  Push the 1" ball onto the end of a stylus, paint brush handle or toothpick to use as a handle. Scribble pink marker onto a scrap piece of laminate, then dip the cotton swab into the paint. Pounce up and down onto a paper towel to remove excess color then press onto the front of the ball to create 2 pink dots for cheeks. Use lightly at first. It's easier to add more color than it is to remove it if the dots are too dark. Use the tip of the blue marker to make tiny dots for eyes.

5. Spread lo-temp glue over the top and back of the head then dip quickly into the bag of grey moss. Press the moss firmly onto the head.  Your fairy will now have a very bad case of bed head, so trim with scissors.

6. Remove the flower head from its stem and separate the layers. Set the stem aside to use for the arms.

7. Body: Spread lo-temp glue around the top half of the raindrop shape then, with the center of one of the large flower layers aligned with the top of the raindrop shape, press in place. Add additional flower layers as needed.   

8. To make the arms, cut 3" from the flower stem. Bend at the center then glue at the top of the body.  Glue the smallest flower layer over the top of the arms to cover and create a bodice, then glue the head in place on top. For added security, push a long quilt pin down thru the top of the head into the body.  Glue a small flower on top of the hair if desired, or, as shown in the project photo, glue the yellow flower center to the top of the head for a small hat.

9. Glue 2 of the wings to the back of the body, then use a shorter quilt pin to glue the additional wings in place.  By using a pin, you can adjust these wings as needed.

11. Glue the remaining piece of the flower stem into the base of the body to finish, then hide her amongst the flowers in the floral bush.

I also received a book from Leisure Arts on how to make paper flowers. This is another craft I remember from my childhood. My parents would sit for hours on end making exquisite crêpe paper flowers. I still have the book they used and crêpe paper from Lia Griffiths, so maybe next time I'll have to try my hand at paper flower fairies......  y'all come back now......

Yours truly,
Julie  🙂