Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Mothers Day!

 It's Mothers Day in a little over a week! Are you ready?

Mothers Day is always celebrated the 2nd Sunday in May in the US, but in England "Mothering Sunday" was celebrated on the fourth Sunday in Lent - not quite as easy to remember since, like Easter it would change from year to year.  You can read about the history of Mothers Day here if you're interested, but nowadays the biggest question top of mind is, what to get mom! 

How about a gift basket?

            Everybody loves a gift basket, right? This mom loves the beach so a basket filled with something special for the beach would be my top choice.  I loved these "Seas the Day" flip flops from my local Dollar (& a quarter) Tree, but they needed a little extra pizzaz. I had some white, star studded suede ribbon, blue Taffy striped and white grosgrain ribbon from Gwen Studios. I also found two, star shaped, silver buttons in my stash and got to work.

1. Measure then adhere pieces of the suede ribbon to the top of each strap. NOTE: I planned to use double-sided adhesive tape, but found it did not stay securely on the plastic straps, so I used hot glue instead. Please use an adhesive that works best for the flip flops you plan to decorate.

2.  To make the rosettes, cut a 7" piece of the blue Taffy ribbon and a 5" piece of white grosgrain ribbon.  Gather each piece with a small running (up and down) stitch along the bottom edge. Pull the ends together to create the ruffle, leaving a larger circle at the center of the stripe ribbon as shown. Stitch ends together to secure.  Place the white ribbon ruffle on top of the stripe ribbon and the button shank thru the center hole, then glue to the top of the flip flop straps to finish.

Don't they look cute!

All that's needed now is a sun hat, sun glasses, beach towels and sunscreen and mom is good to go to her favorite beach where she can "seas the day" in style.

But wait! Not just for beach flip flops, I can see all kinds of potential for up-cycling some older flip flops for later in the day.  I also had some Gwen Studios satin and rhinestone trim and decided to go all out and bling it on!!!

1. Measure then cut the wide trim to fit over the fabric straps on these older flip flops. Secure with double sided adheive since it works well on fabric. You can also stitch the trim in place to make it really secure.

2. I covered the center with additional trim from the same card.  To make the short piece a little wider, I adhered one layer of trim at the center of the satin trim. Cut to size then adhere to the center as shown.

This mom is definitely walking out in style when heading out for a sunset cocktail don't you think...

It's amazing what can be done by simply adding ribbon and trim!

                You can find more Mothers Day project inspiration using Gwen Studios ribbons from industry designers on the Designer Crafts Connection blog. Check it out and let us know what you think!

Yours truly,
Julie 💝


Ribbons and trims used in these projects was provided by Gwen Studios. It is available at your local Walmart store and Walmart online 

Friday, April 15, 2022

NAMTA-Creativation Trade Show 2022


                The creative world continues to change.  The trade show that was once HIA, became CHA then AFCI when ACCI and CHA merged with their annual trade show known as Creativation.  AFCI Creativation merged with the National Art Materials Trade Association (NAMTA) in the fall of last year, bringing general arts & crafts and fine arts together. The first combined show was held last weekend at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida. The names of the associations may have changed over the years, but creativity remains constant.

                I've been attending arts & crafts trade shows since 1991 and always look forward to seeing well-known and new exhibitors, new products, new techniques, new ideas, etc, as well as catching up with long time industry friends and meeting new ones.  For those of you who have followed my "walk thrus" in pictures over the past few years, grab a cup of tea, coffee, or whatever you enjoy (it's 5  o'clock somewhere), sit back and enjoy!                                                                             


New Products coming soon!

Deco Art Marbling

Artesprix Iron-on Inks and Paint

Tim Holtz Distress Foundry Wax

Medea Thread Sealer

Stencils and Stencil Butter from the Crafters Workshop

Bob Ross Kits for Kids

There were quite a few more, so keep in touch with your local and online stores.  

        Now here's a look at the exhibitor booths, starting with DecoArt's water marbling acrylic program, demonstrated by Sandy McTier, plus Impasto and Wax Effects.


For those who love to braid fabric, Clover brings us a folding tool to make it easier.


This is a company from Italy...

For those of you who love to create with T-shirt yarn, no more visits to thrift stores!
 This company saves you time by doing it all for you......  a prime example of a manufacturer who sees a need and develops a product to fill it.

Art Venture is one of a handful of manufactures bringing mechanical, laser cut wood kits to the hobby market.

Check out this assembled, wind up, motorized spider! So cool....

Artful learning kits for kids!  So important for our industry. In a hi-tech world, children need hands on activities, plus they are tomorrow's customers.......


Craft Express for sublimation blanks and tools. 

More laser cut wood craft kits

Paper Rose

Sue Eldred demoing for Style Tech (vinyl)

Demo Alley where designers and manufacturers demo'd their products.

 Above,Designer Tanya Ruffin demo's sublimation paint for Artesprix and 
below Kassy Laurence demoing for Grafix

This manufacturer travel teaches and developed these disposable paper paint palettes.

Here's Erin Reed demoing Edding paint markers.

had to stop and say hello to Ken Oliver...

Winsor & Newton, one of the fine art companies I'm familiar with from over 60+ years ago!

Leisure Arts, familiar to us all for the their wonderful publications, now sells product!

3D Printers and organizational product

Zuri Designs - molds for clay, wax, chocolate, etc


Love this! Fabric trim patterns created with Gel Press!

Golden Acrylics

So cute to knit and crochet!

Silver Creek Leather

Royal Talens. This booth was always packed, probably because Mark Montano was demoing! 
Have you heard about his new show, "Meet Your Makers Showdown"?  It's airing on Disney Plus.

Sewing Center


Here we (Ann Butler and I) are relaxing at the end of the show.  Hope you enjoyed this quick walk thru. I probably only got photos of half of the exhibitors there, but maybe it will give you a little taste of the arts & crafts trade show world.  If you would like to see more, my friend, Erin Reed shared a video tour of the entire show on her YouTube channel.  Be sure to subscribe to let her know you watched...

Yours truly,
Julie 💝