CHA (Craft and Hobby Association) trade show with some of my favorite highlights.

I can’t believe it is already February.  January was an extremely busy month with me in overdrive preparing for and exhibiting in two License and Design shows.  The first was in Atlanta at the Gift Market where I had a combined booth with 5 other artists under the name of Atlanta Art Licensing. The second exhibit was in Anaheim at the CHA (Craft and Hobby Association) trade show where I shared a booth with my good friend, the talented Brenda Pinnick. At CHA, I also exhibited in the Designer Showcase which had a fantastic viewing by manufacturers, editors and publishers looking for new designs.   Now both shows are behind me but I have tons of following up to do and am excited with the contacts I made.

The good news from both shows, while the attendance was down, the mood was pretty upbeat.  While being cautious in buying, the buyers that were there were buying.  The vendors that I heard about were pleased with their sales. 

There was an abundance of new products at the shows so store shelves will have new items to entice you.  Colors remain bright to reflect optimism, with yellow (Mimosa) being the hot new color.  Think warmth and sunshine and to bright days ahead.

At CHA, Leatrice Eiseman, Director of the Pantone Color Institute gave a seminar on color trends that was outstanding.  For you color junkies, she has a blog that I recommend you put in your favorites.

Scrapblog sponsored a fun event that I attended.  There, I had the pleasure of meeting and talking with Drew Emborsky, The Crochet Dude and Steve Piacenza of the DIY Network’s Creative Juice.

Deborah Norvillewas the Keynote Speaker at CHA and gave one of the best and most inspirational talks that I’ve heard.  She has been a crafter her entire life and focused on knitting and sewing.  It was a delight to hear that she sewed all her bridemaids’ dresses as well as her on-air clothes when she started in television. 

Since I was exhibiting, I did not get a chance to get out of my booth much to walk the show and to check out  new products. And I missed several seminars I had planned to attend.  But I did get to catch up with a lot of friends, as well as meet face-to-face new twitter and facebook friends.

Now back to my desk and drawing table — which are piled high and a scary sight!


International Quilt Market – all the fun is not inside!

The weather was beautiful during the International Quilt Market in Houston so if felt good to walk through the new Discovery Green Park across the street from the George Brown Convention Center.

As I walked through the park on Sunday, I saw the funkiest golf cart.  It has been created by a high school for an entry into a motorized parade and then donated to the park. Decorated with dragons, sequins and pearls, it was a crowd stopper!

After a invigorating trip to Quilt Market and then a couple other trips, I’m back home creating new art.  My new fabrics, Its a Dog’s Life will be released soon.  I am waiting some samples so that I can start sewing with it and give you a free pattern!

Free giveway – Look at this limited edition Giclee Print that Artist Brenda Pinnick is giving away.

 I guess I shouldn’t be sharing this with all of you because I want to win it!  But being the kind-hearted person that I am, I am sharing this opportunity with you.

Brenda Pinnick has a Friday give-away on her blog EACH Friday.  This is her first give-away and is a signed, limited edition giclee print of her latest painting.  I just love it and some very lucky person is going to win it.  The models for the two kitties Brenda’s very own sweeties Luke and Nugget.

If you don’t win today’s give-away, check back each week because she is having a give-away each Friday. 

My paperweight purchase at the Seattle Glassblowing Studio

While enjoying all the beautiful glass art pieces in the shop at the Seattle Glassblowing Studio, I had a very hard time deciding which piece to purchase (no one was twising my arm, but I just had to buy something).  The decision on which piece to get was helped by airline regulations, you know, weight and number of checked pieces.  After a lengthy bit of time with a paperweight in each hand, trying to decide between the two, I saw this one, picked it up and walked to the register.Glass paperweight in green and blue I have a small collection of paper weights as they are easy-to-tuck-in-the-suitcase items so this one feels right at home.

I did a lot of walking on vacation and just have to show you my very you my very comfy red walking shoes.  Red Walking ShoesBrenda Pinnick – eat your heart out!!!!  (My very talented, fun friend who just happens to love red shoes!).

Visit to Seattle and to the Seattle Glassblowing Studio

I just love glass and and all the fantastic shapes and colors.  Seattle is noted for producing beautiful glass art.  Since I had some time to myself in Seattle before my husband, brother and sister-in-law flew in to join me on vacation I didn’t waste any time and headed immediately to the Seattle Glassblowing Studio.

Seattle Glassblowing Studio shopWow!!! Not only do they have a shop filled with beautiful glass, but thrill of it all, you can stand in the back and watch the artisans at work.

I found it fascinating to watch and could have stood there for hours.  Although I may have the technical terms wrong, I will do my best to describe the process.

Furnaces at the Seattle Glassblowing StudioThe studio has furnaces on one side where they insert their glass that is attached to a long rod.

Rolling Glass to create formThe artisan sits between two bars and roll the rods with the glass to create the uniform design.  He adds foil, shapes the end with additional heat and other techniques to form the piece.

Glass blowing at Seattle Glassblowing StudioWhile the artisan is rolling the glass and creating the shape, another artisan blows the glass.

Seatle Glassblowing Studio shopMore of the shop – it was all eye candy, better than real candy since there are no calories.  Of course, I had to buy something and with all the choices, it took me a while to decide. (I will take a picture of it and post tomorrow.)

The Seattle Glassblowing Studio has classes and I would absolutely love to take them.  Unfortunately, they are located completely catercorner across the US from where I live.  If you are in Seattle, stop by, watch and shop.  They are easy to locate and not far from the Space Needle.

The art of Matisse, Picasso, and Van Gogh in quilts

I love art and definitely have my favorite artists.  While I was walking the International Quilt Market in Houston this past October, I spotted a few pieces of art.  But these were not ordinary art prints.  Matisse art quiltSunflowers by Van Gogh They were art quilts based on a Matisse paper cut “The Sadness of the King”, Van Gogh’s “Sunflowers”, and a Picasso.  They were created by Virginia Robertson of Virginia Robertson Designs for Princess Mirah batik fabrics by Bali Fabrics, IncPicasso Art Quilt

As you can see, these quilts are quite detailed and looked exactly like the fabulous paintings they represent. What a great job Virginia did making these! They were beautiful to look at and another example of the treasures you can make with fabric and thread.

Beautiful Prague and Art Nouveau

I have always loved Art Nouveau and to see its influence on a city was awsome and inspiring. Art Nouveau is everywhere in Prague – doors and doorways, decorative trim on buildings, the structure of the buildings, windows, stained glass, light fixtures and art. The city is really “eye candy”.sunflower-door.jpg

This door is in the shape of a sunflower with sunflower decorative motifs. Its a huge entrance as the door is area below the round design.

This was another fabulous entrance that we saw. art-nouveau-entrance.jpgThe doors were open so I took a separate picture of one of the them. stained-glass-door.jpg This entire building was fabulous. We just happened to stumble on it as we were wandering down a side street and found an entire block of Art Nouveau buildings. This was decorative trim on one the buildings on this block.decorative-trim.jpg The buildings had beautiful paintings and more elaborate scrollwork.

You really had to look everywhere as you walked as well as look up toward the top of the buildings to find the most amazing decorations.  Most were hard to photograph so I had to store them in my memory.

The most fabulous Art Nouveau building in Prague is the Municipal House. minicipal-building.jpgThis building is the home of Prague’s largest concert hall and a few restaurants.  We were so fascinated with the building that we went back that night for a classical concert.  The windows were all stained glass.stained-glass-municipal.jpgMy pictures do not even begin to do justice to this building with its beautiful windows, light fixtures and other trim or all the Art Nouveau found in Prague.

This building is in Josefov, the old Jewish Quarter, which had many beautiful Art Nouveau

In addition to Art Nouveau, Prague’s architecture spans thousands of years.  There are fabulous buildings intermingled throughout the city in Medieval, Baroque and Renaissance styles and are in various colors. They are so picturesque especially since so many had window boxes filled with colorful flowers.

Please revisit my blog so see more of the sights of Prague.

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