Tuesday, July 26, 2011

CHA Press Kit Award

People often comment that I have the best job in the world. And I always agree that yes I do! I am lucky enough to be doing what I love doing: creating, teaching and inspiring. I get to play every day and even though there are constant deadlines, I am having the time of my life! You might remember a recent post on how my studio had become a production line whilst I was preparing press kits and giveaways for the Summer CHA show. Well, today I'm really pleased to announce that my press kit for Mill Lane Studio won the CHA Designer Press Kit Award. It's a great honour to receive the award as it's voted on by the press from within the industry - people who get to see amazing, creative stuff every day. So to receive this award is like the industry applauding your creativity and I am just tickled pink to have been recognised this way. I have to come back down to earth tomorrow as there is work to be done but today, I am just going to enjoy playing for the sake of playing!...
Monday, July 25, 2011

Summer CHA - Day 3

CHA Day 3 and the show is winding down but there is still time to wander the floor to find new products. This morning unearthed two goodies; firstly an easy bow making template called Brilliant Bowmaker and secondly Silver Silk wire lace. I’m fortunate to have mastered making bows but I know that many people are bow challenged and this just might be the tool that helps you overcome that challenge. With this template, a few simple wraps will give you the basis of a double bow. Then you secure the pieces together - you can use a needle and thread, or as we did in the make and take, you can staple the pieces together. You don’t have to worry about them showing as they will be covered in the next step. Finally, you take an additional short length of ribbon and wrap it around the centre, securing it with hot glue and voila, a very tidy double loop bow. These are big enough for adorning shoe clips, headbands or even a handbag. I'm sure you can think of lots of other places that coul...
Thursday, July 21, 2011

More from the Show Floor - CHA Day 2

I made my way straight to the other end where the new exhibitors were to make sure that I didn't miss them because I ran out of time at the Winter Show and missed a lot of the new exibitors. And I'm so pleased I did because I got to see some great new products. This first one is a really fun product and would be perfect for tweens and the young at heart. Twistz Bandz is a fun jewellery making kit. It comes with everything you need to create continuous link of rubber bands that can be made into a bracelet, ring or even a necklace. And I dare say, that you could easily put beads inside the woven patterns for added dimension. You get the jig, a supply of the specialty rubber bands, the hook tool to help you weave the patterns and clear instructions with lots of photos. This product won an honourable mention in the CHA Innovations Award. Next, I found a product that jewellery makers are going to love: Easy Earring Cards Punch Kit . Whether you sell your jewellery or just love...

CHA Report - Day 1

Another day draws to a close at CHA. Sunset from my hotel room tonight. Day 1 of the show is already over and I only managed to spend two half hours stints on the show floor between setting up my Designer Showcase and dashing off to seminars. But that doesn't mean I didn't have time to fit in some quality browsing. My best find of the day was at the Mark Richards booth. And that's an interesting story because on my way to the Convention Centre today I shared the lift with a lady wearing a stunning pendant that I couldn't help but comment on - it was truly eye catching. What I discovered at the Mark Richards booth was that one of their ranges - Crystal Stickers - was the wonderful component that made this lady's jewellery grab my attention. Jackpot! As you know, I LOVE pretty sparkly things and so I absolutely LOVE these! So, what's so great about these permanent crystal stickers? Well, apart from the great designs they come in, they will attach permanent...
Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Art Bites Resin Workshop Makes its TV Debut

Just a very quick post tonight. If doing one of my resin workshops has been on your "to do" list you might be interested to check out Totally Wild tomorrow morning to see what working with resin is all about. A couple of months back, I conducted a resin bangle workshop for Brisbane City Council's Art Bites program which was filmed by Channel 10 and it's being aired at 8am tomorrow. Sadly, I won't see it here in Chicago but for all you resin enthusiasts back in Australia, I hope you can tune in. If you like what you see perhaps you'd like to join me in one of my upcoming workshops: Resin Jewellery workshops: August 6 and September 3 Bangle and Ring Resin workshops: August 20 and September 17. Well its just minutes until CHA begins so I'll be off now to check it all out. Let the fun begin! Next post, I'll be back with my first show report. 'Til next time..... If you can't get enough of My Tutorials and you w...

CHA Chicago, Here I Come!

Greetings from the Windy City. Anyone from back home will appreciate the lovely warm days that we are expecting here this week - warm, humid, low to mid 30s...... all in all, pretty much what we expect in Brisbane in Summer so this is a welcome relief from the rather chilly winter we have had this year. It was still light when I checked in to the hotel at 8pm last night so I had a bit of a wander around the area and took a few snapshots. It was great way to stretch out the legs after the long flight! Corner view of the Convention Center. This is the view that greets you as you come off the motorway from the airport. It looks pretty impressive. I love the stylised rose which is the logo for the Donald Stephens Convention Center This one is huge and stands in the drive through front entrance. When I took this shot last night, the fountain was lit up blue, but as I left the Convention Center tonight, the water was a soft shade of red. I can't wait to see what other colours ...
Saturday, July 16, 2011

Production Line - the fastest way to mass assemble

My preparations for CHA are well and truly underway. Just one more sleep to go and I'll be jetting off to Chicago to the craft industry's premier trade show event, CHA. I'm still working on some projects that need to be finished and the only way I am possibly going to get things done is if I attack it production line style. Here's a few snaps of what I've been up to. Firstly, my press kits. They give the media and press identities an idea about what it is I do. As I do a lot of jewellery making and love incorporating mixed media into it, I've opted to incorporate one of my jewellery designs into the covers. Here's a look at some of the components. The paper clay drying rack Painted buttons. Recognise these? Check my banner at the top of the page! Cutting an opening on the cover of my press kits. A lot of work goes into putting a press kit together, especially when you don't have a PR department to do the work for you. Apart from the cre...
Friday, July 15, 2011

And the Winner is..........

What a busy time it is here in my studio at the moment. I had intended to draw the winner of the Kashmiri Bead Giveaway on Wednesday night but I am knee deep in preparations for CHA at the moment and time has just slipped away. I'll share some pics of the production line in my studio in my next post but right now, let's give away some beads! I've used The Random Number Generator to pick the winner: Random Integer Generator Here are your random numbers: 4 Timestamp: 2011-07-15 00:46:25 UTC And that makes the winner Debbi Baker. Congratulations Debbi. Send me your postal address and I'll have the beads on their way to you. Well, it's back to the production line for me. Happy crafting......... 'Til next time..... If you can't get enough of My Tutorials and you want even more inspiration,  click here to find my books and printable pdfs ...
Monday, July 11, 2011

Kashmiri Stretch Bracelet

In our busy lives where we are constantly bombarded with digital information, life can be a little stressful and it can be hard to find time to spend crafting. But with a project as quick as this one (you need just 5-10 minutes!) then you can treat yourself not only to some time out, but a beautiful bracelet that you made yourself! If you’re pressed for time, then this quick project is for you – a bracelet you can make with only a few materials and no jewellery making skills! You'll need: Stretch Magic 1mm Beading Cord Jesse James Boho purple bead strand  (or perhaps you prefer blue , red ,  orange or an assortment !) Bead stoppers or sticky tape Wire cutters Scissors G-S Hypo Cement (or nail polish) Begin by removing the beads from the beading wire that they came on. Don't use your good scissors for this as you will nick the blade (I prefer to use my flush cutters). You can rearrange the beads if you like or just keep them in the pattern on the strand. ...