Crafting Outside My Norm – Fused Glass

I love my new fused glass piece, sprinkled leaves and a ladybug. I recently took another class in fused glass with a friend just for the fun of it. The night of the class, I was really tired and not feeling creative, but then an idea of nature with leaves popped into my mind and then I forgot that I was tired. I’m really happy with how it turned out.

Fused glas leaves

I took a previous class last year, creating a more abstract fused glass piece with greens and blues. I really enjoyed it so I decided to give it another try. Since my business is based on crafting, almost everything I do is “work” related (although I love my work). So I really enjoy crafting just for the fun of it.

I am planning on going back very soon and create some more fused glass – they have the supplies to make the absolutely cutest bugs and I have really been itching to make some.

Happy Crafting,

Phyllis

March is National Craft Month with Lots of Crafting Opportunities

Get out your craft supplies!  March is National Craft Month. To celebrate, many of the craft companies are planning lots of activities and specials, so click to see these activities all listed on CraftPlace.org.

National Craft Month

I’ve always loved crafting and have created crafts from childhood. Oh, all the crafts I have worked with – drawing and painting, sewing, designing doll clothes, batik, macrame, stained glass (this was my only drop out due to too many cuts and blood), decoupage, paper crafting, embroidery, cross stitch, beading (both jewelry and sewing), crochet, needlepoint, quilting, crewel, rug hooking, and mosaics. I know there are plenty more that just didn’t pop out of the top of my head. I love taking classes and whenever a class was available on a craft technique, I took it.

Let me know what you love about crafting. Me – I love how relaxing it is and how little everyday life stresses fade away when crafting. You can come home from a hard day at work and let a little crafting soothe you. As a designer, I can get stressed by deadlines creeping up, but when I start working on the projects, I’m in heaven! I also love the creative aspect – no two craft projects are the exact same, so you’ve created something totally unique. Its also something that you can do with your kids for some really good times together. The list of perks from crafting just goes on and on!

Seriously, let me know about your crafting loves or experiences!

Phyllis

More Great Products and Displays from the Craft and Hobby Show (CHA)

Welcome back for more great products and displays from the Craft and Hobby (CHA) Winter Trade Show held in Anaheim, CA. If you missed my first CHA review post, please visit it to see some great color and design.

One of the fun trends I saw at CHA was paper sculpting and the Die Cuts With a View (DCWV) booth had so many fabulous projects, I took photos of all just about of them.

Paper Bird Sculpture at the DCWV booth at CHA

Paper fish sculpture by DCVW at CHA show

Paper sculpture Peacock by DCWV at CHA show

The bird, fish and peacock were all gorgeous and my favorite was the peacock with its tail “feathers” cascading to the floor.

Floral paper sculpture display by DCWV at CHA

Loved the paper flowers!

Paper tree with beads by DCWV at CHA

The paper sculpture tree held streamers of the beads from their bead line. DCWV also won the best booth for an island or peninsular. The DCWV booths at prior shows were also spectacular, including the one with full size paper dresses.

June Tailor booth with new products at CHA

June Tailor flower template to create multi-size flowers

June Tailor had several new products in their gorgeous booth. Two of their new tools were the Rosette Template and the multi-size flower template as shown with the layered felt flower. The rosettes made with the Rosette Template can be used as accent pieces on boots, knit caps and much more. With your imagination, you can come up with tons more uses. The fringe on the cap in the top center was made with their new fringe tool. And I love the colors of pink and orange color combination they used in this section of the booth.

Rose pillow using June Tailor Rosette Template at CHA

Blue Hydrangea pillow created with the Rosette Template by June Tailor

The gorgeous rose and hydrangea pillows were created with the Rosette tool and I guess you can tell that I love this tool!

Claudine Hellmuth at Ranger Booth at CHA

I ran into the talented and beautiful Claudine Hellmuth at the Ranger booth after she finished her demonstration using her product line for Ranger –  Studio Paints, Studio Brushes and Studio Sticky Back Canvas.

Debi Schmitz in the Expo International booth at CHA

Feather swirl accessory by Expo International at CHA

Debi Schmitz of Expo International is just adorable!  She’s pictured above holding some of the new feather swirls that come in both the bright colors she is holding as well as the more neutral colors that are pictured right below her. They are beautiful, no matter which color!

Peacock feather trim by Expo International at CHA

Small hat adornments by Expo International at CHA

Peacock’s are really trendy in both design, decoration and motifs. Their peacock feather adornments were gorgeous, especially with the bling in the center.  The hats are about 5″ – 6″ and are so cute. Expo had an entire line of the small hat adornments.

EK Success Crewel embroidery at CHA

The EK Success booth had a line of crewel kits for their Dimensions Brand, all designed by Lori Siebert. I’ve always loved crewel and embroidery and am excited to see this type of needlework being featured.

Duck tape prom dress and suit at CHA

In the recent years, Duck Tape has been put to much more creative uses than just being used as tape, with all kinds of fun things being made with it including clothing. Shurtech Brands displayed a prom dress and suit, all made with Duck Tape.

Vanna White at Lion runway at CHA

Lion colorful yarn display at CHA

Vanna White was at CHA again, presenting the Lion Brand Yarn runway show. Vanna has been the spokesperson for Lion Brand Yarns for over 14 years. This display of their yarns really made a splash of color!

Oliso Smart iron 2

Oliso smart iron in use at CHA

I don’t usually get excited about irons, but this one is the exception. The Oliso steam iron the “iTouch” is fabulous and its on my shopping list. You just leave it flat and after a few seconds, prongs come out of the bottom and lifts the iron up from the surface. You don’t stand this iron on its “rear” end like most irons, but leave it flat. When you get ready to use it again, just touch the handle and it lowers back to the surface. So no burned or scorched fabrics!  And since it stays flat, is harder to knock over. Oh, another thing I love about it is that it fills on the side instead on the front top end.

Paper pinwheel in the Silhouette both at CHA

More paper sculpture – the pinwheels in the Silhouette booth were cute and fun!

Sullivan Sharpening cutting mats at CHA

Sullivan Add a Mat cutting mat at CHA

For you sewers and quilters, Sullivans USA had some exciting new products that caught my attention. The top photo shows cutting rulers that sharpen your blades as you cut. In addition, they have a new mat, Add-a-Mat, lets you size the mats as you need them.  This is a great idea for travel where you need to take a cutting mat, like to classes, or are limited in storage space.

Tony Ford technology seminar at CHA

CHA has a lot of educational seminars. Tony Ford, the COO of ArtFire and CHA’s Emerging Technology Expert, conducted two classes. I attended both, which were outstanding. I attended a seminar by him at the CHA summer show last year and learned so much. So I made sure to be at both of his seminars this time as well.

Karen Embry and Phyllis Dobbs before the flash mob at CHA

 

One of the fun things that took place at the CHA show was a flash mob dance before the show opened. We’re standing around above trying to blend in and look natural in the crowd before the flash mob.  All of us wore pink She’s Crafty aprons from Charity Wings and had to cover them up prior to the flash mob.

I’m looking forward to working with many of the fabulous products that I’ve shown you, so it will be a fun year!

Happy Crafting,

Phyllis

Great Products and Great Displays at Craft & Hobby (CHA) Winter Show

After spending several days in southern California for the Craft and Hobby Association (CHA) winter show, I came home inspired and excited. I took photos of the fabulous products and displays, so many photos that I will have to divide my CHA review into two parts. CHA is a huge show with such a variety of products in about all crafting cagtegories. The variety is one of the things I love about the show.

The trends that I noticed at the show included lots of paper sculpture as well as bead sculpture, glass mosaics, beads and needlework to include both embroidery (and Crewel) and felt. I’m sure I missed some other trends, but these caught my attention.

I was working in the Gutermann booth surrounded by the beautiful and high quality Gutermann threads.

Gutermann booth at CHA winter show

Gutermann threads display

I love the wide assortment of the in both cotton and silk.  Watch for designs and projects that I will be creating using their threads – comiong soon!

Gutermann thread patternI took a closeup of one spool of the varigated thread.  I loved the pattern created by the thread winding and the brilliant varigated color. Opening your eyes to things close  around you can give you beautiful patterns.

Brazzill Basic Papers sculpture

Brazzill Basic Papers had beautiful displays of sculptured flowers.  This display was hanging in a corner of the booth. A beautiful, larger display was in the center of the booth, but they were so busy and crowded with buyers, I could not get to it to take a photo.

Therm-o-Web glittered sculpure heart

Therm O Web demonstrated a new glitter – Glitter Dust, that gives a light sprinkling of glitter by aerosol.  The paper sculptured heart consisted of various sizes of flowers, all with a light coating of Glitter Dust.

Therm O Web Glitter Dust

Knitting and crochet are so versatile, as can be seen by the display in the Bernat booth with these chairs.

Bernat knitted and crochet chair coverings at CHA

These chair covers were knitted and crocheted using Waverly for Bernat, based on 5 of Waverly’s popular patterns.  The yarns are in color collections based on the colors of the patterns. You can see my favorite 2 chairs below.

Bernat Green crocheted chair at CHA

Crochet and knit chair at winter CHA by Bernat

Aren’t they wonderful!!

Bernat clothing and accessories at CHA

And I just love these sweaters and accessories also in the Bernat booth. I will take one of each! I really love the colors of this display.

Glass mosaic boots by I Love to Create at CHA

Dress made with paper plates by ILovetoCreate at CHA

The ILovetoCreate booth was filled with several wonderful displays created by EdoHeidi Borchers and Tiffany Windsor. Heidi created the mosaic boots using over 2000 pieces of mosaic tiles and buttons. They were gorgeous!  The dress was designed by Heidi and Tiffany with 90 paper plates hand cut into over 5000 petals, glued and painted to look like faux leather.  This was a stunning display to show the uses of Aleene’s glue.

Decorated white column ILovetoCreate CHA

This large column, designed by Tiffany and Heidi, is decorated with 1200 paper plate hand and die cut into over 3300 pieces.

Mosaic skirt created with broken china in ILovetoCreate booth at CHA

Mosaic table by ILovetoCreate at CHA

Broken china mosaic chair by ILovetoCreate at CHA

This display of mosaics was also designed by Heidi and Tiffany for ILovetoCreate. I love the skirt!  It’s made with broken china – cups and plates.  Its really a work of art! The table and chair are mosaics using broken china.  All three pieces created a beautiful setting.

Tulip body painting by IlovetoCreate at CHA

ILovetoCreate also has Tulip paints for body painting. A different design was painted each day.  The pretty model is Savannah Starr, Heidi’s granddaughter. I wonder if it tickles but it would be fun to paint and wear!

Phyllis Dobbs with Tiffany Windsor of ILovetoCreate at CHA

Tiffany is pictured here with me when I ran into her at the show. Besides being a great designer, Tiffany also hosts the Cool2Craft network.

Felt fish pillows by Kunin Group at CHA

The Kunin Group had adorable projects in their booth with colorful felt, including the this fish pillow and the stuffed fish.

Cell phone cases made with Kunin felt at CHA

The cell phone cases were one of the displays in the Kunin Group booth.  They are just too cute and are by Jodie Haffa of Lova Revolutionary.

Bridal accessories by Darice at CHA

David Tutera at Darice booth at CHA

David Tutera, wedding expert and host of My Fair Wedding on WeTV, has a bridal accessory line with Darice. Some of the products are used for the beautiful table setting above. And as you can see, I got to get a picture taken with David.

Mich Turner of Little Venice Cakes at Darice CHA

Mich Turner of Little Venice Cake Company, London, has a line of baking accessories also with Darice. Mich, the Queen of Couture Cakes, is demonstrating on the Darice stage.  Those cakes really look yummy!

Check back for part 2 of my review of CHA.  I have lots more to show you!

Phyllis

Back from the Craft and Hobby (CHA) Winter Trade Show in Anaheim, CA

I just returned from the Craft and Hobby (CHA) Winter Trade Show in Anaheim, CA, in the Convention Center next door to Disneyland. It was great seeing lots of new and fun products as well as lots of friends. I attended several of the educational seminars that were packed with information. I took so many pictures (almost 300), so I have bunches of photos to go through so I can post them (much less than the 300) and  show you the things that caught my attention.

But I want to go ahead and post a link to one of the fun events of the trip. I participated in a flash mob dance “She’s Crafty” before the opening of the show. It was organized by CharityWings.org to earn money for charity and the flash mob consisted of almost 100 artists, designers, business owners and more. It was my first flash mob but I was enjoying the moment and kept forgetting to count the dance steps.

Please check back soon to see my photos from CHA of new products, great displays, and more.

Phyllis

I’m off to the CHA Winter Show (the Craft & Hobby Association)

I’m really looking forward to attending CHA, the trade show for the Craft and Hobby Association for a few days and as well as the warm weather in Anaheim, CA.  I always love attending this show to see new products, take the educational seminars, and for the exciting atmosphere of the show.

CHA Craft and Hobby Association

I’m excited about the seminar The New Dynamics of Art Licensing that I along with Brenda Pinnick and Karen Embry will be teaching while we are in Anaheim. We have been really focused in putting the seminar together with some great information.  (You can click on the NDAL button in the sidebar to see more on what is being offered.)

At CHA, I will be working for Gutermann, so you can find me in their booth most of the time.  I’ve always loved the beautiful Gutermann threads and am delighted to be working with them.  So if  you are attending CHA, please stop by and say “hi”.

Gutermann threads

The Designer Showcase  is having a change in the format this year, focusing more on what the designers can do for a company.  I’ve always exhibited in the Designer Showcase and had been giving a lot of thought to my showcase this year. Then it just all finally  came together in a mental snap so all I had to do was gather up things I wanted to use and do a little printing. This year, it will also be open to everyone, except for non-CHA members.

I will be involved in something else at CHA that is really fun, but I can’t talk about it yet. But I can mark it off my bucket list. So you will have to check back to find out what this is – it will be videoed and out there for the world to see.  I just have to make sure I don’t mess up, but it will be among friends.  Speaking of friends, that’s another reason I love to attend CHA – to catch up with friends, network, and gab a little.

Check back and stay tuned – I may come back with a little gossip, or not (probably not). But I will have lots of photos of new products, great displays, splashes of fun and splashes of color.

Phyllis

Trying a New Craft Technique

I love crafting and always have. I started crafting as a kid. Before I became a professional designer, I took every craft class and tried every type of craft that came along. I still take classes whenever possible and love trying new (to me) types of crafts. I’m a huge fan of glass and when a fused glass class became available recently, I jumped at it, signing up immediately.  We made 2 projects during the evening classes. I really enjoyed playing with the glass in arranging colors and pieces to make my first project, a shallow dish. I wanted it to look abstract and while it won’t win an award, I love the way it turned out. It was very informative and interesting in seeing how different colors of glass and opaque and transparent glasses work together.

Fused glass dish made in class

 

The class included a second project which was a pendent. Somehow I thought the pendent would be much easier – wrong!  I tried arranging several small pieces to create a design. But because everything was so small, I kept bumping the pieces after I arranged some, messing up my design. A large pair of tweezers would have helped. It was getting late so I took the easy way out after many attempts with the small pieces and used 2 large pieces.

 

Fused Glass pendent made in class

I plan to go back and create some more fused glass pieces as well as take other classes on different mediums. Even though my days and business are based on creating, I still find it relaxing and inspiring to craft and love working with my hands to make something.

I hope you are having a crafty day! (And if you have children, introduce them to crafting if you haven’t already – it will start a life long love of creating something!)

Phyllis

Organization Tips for Sewing and Craft Rooms and Repurposing Thrift Finds!

I love comments you readers post to my blog or email me. Today, I want to feature one of my readers, Dee Fox of Cedar City, UT who had a prior business of helping people organize their homes. She posted a comment on my recent blog post on spray painting my filing cabinets for my studio redecorating.  I emailed her and she mentioned that she loved finding unique thrift items to refinish for her sewing room and  how she had it organized. I asked if she would mind sharing some of her finds and tips with you.

Dee lucked up when she found two filing cabinets in a thrift store for $7 each. What a find!! She immediately spray painted them and added another salvage of an old lid from a fish tank.  The result – a new desk. (Tip from Dee, light a vanilla candle to lesson the temporary smell of spray paint. I just love the smell of vanilla!)  I also love the rack with blue holders for markers and the button jars that she placed on the desk. Dee also keeps a dish of cat food handy for her cats, Fancy and Coco Bear.

Dee Fox painted filing cabinets

Dee found this small cabinet in her father-in-law’s garage and spray painted it blue. His loss, her gain! Its the perfect size for storing her fat quarters.

Old cabinet used to store fat quarters

She found this old cabinet for $40 at a yard sale.  Again, Dee painted it using a cheery red and uses it to store more sewing supplies.

Red storage cabinet for sewing supplies

Dee’s favorite organizing tip for craft or sewing areas is to group like things together. She keeps everything she needs at arm’s reach for her sewing area as well as her cutting table and other areas. Keeping scissors, rotary cutters, rulers and other needed items close by prevents needless interruptions for trips to locate them as well as prevents time lost while searching for them.  A great example of keeping like things together is Dee’s stablizer holder that she sewed to hang close by.

Stabilizer holder made by Dee Fox

You can see from this photo that Dee is well organized and well stocked with her sewing supplies. I doubt she has to stop in the middle of a project and run to the store. You can also see that she makes great use of plastic containers and carts, which are ideal for storing craft and sewing supplies.

Dee Fox's organized sewing room

Dee also recommends that you make your space happy!  Doing so will make you want to spend more time in it.  I love this happy and decorative setting below where she uses little pots to hold fat quarters and a colorful lamp made with terra cotta pots.

Pots to hold fat quarters and lamp made with flower pots

When starting a project, Dee gathers everything for that project and keeps them togehter in a clear container.  She says the way she stays on track is to make lists for everything she needs to do.  She got away from making lists temporarily then realized she was not getting anything done. Being able to mark things off of a list also gives you a feeling of accomplishment.  Another tip is to always straighten your studio or work space at the end of the day so you don’t have to face a mess the next day.

Dee also shows that you don’t have to spend a fortune to have a great craft or sewing space or room. Repurposing old furniture or belongings, found or thrift store items is inexpensive as well as giving them a new life and giving you some unique items.

I love repainting things and am delighted at seeing Dee’s repainted treasures. Paint is inexpensive yet gives you such dynamic results and a quick makeover as well as create a mood. So keep your eyes peeled and imagine what something would look like with a make-over.

Thanks, Dee, for allowing me to feature your amazing and very well organized studio!  I love seeing studios and yours is a real treat!

Phyllis

Classes and More from The Creative Connection

This has been a busy week, unwinding and getting back in the flow after attending the amazing Creative Connection Event held in St. Paul. Days 2 and 3 were devoted to classes, various panels, and other speakers and panels at breakfast and lunch.  (My prior blog post detailed the first day with exciting BlogHer panel discussions.) I chose to take 4 classes on these 2 days although there were several panel sessions I would have loved to attend.

Its always fun to have some arts and crafts play time and to work in different techniques than I’m used to.  There were many  classes to choose from but I chose to take all 4 of Traci Bautista’s classes with different focuses of art journaling.

There are so many surfaces you can journal on and, as shown by Traci, fabric is one of the surfaces that can be used.

Traci Bautista showing art journaling on fabric

Our table early during first class with our basic journal pages in process.

Art journaling class with Traci Bautista

Karen Embry and Brenda Pinnick are very intent on their journal pages.

Karen Embry and Brenda Pinnick in art journaling classIn another of Traci’s classes, she is explaining different page techniques and the binding of journals.

Traci Bautista talking about putting a journal togetherOur table in another class – lots more more product and lots of swapping between tables.

Art journaling class with paints and pens

A journal page I was working on during one of the classes.

Phyllis Dobbs  art Journal page

Art journaling can get messy so its best to cover up both surfaces and clothes.  Its amazing that I didn’t get any paint on the shirt I brought to protect my clothes. If I had been in my studio, I would have had paint in my hair, on my face and all the way to my feet.  But it was impossible to keep my hands clean!

Phyllis Dobbs' hands covered with paint

On Friday evening, the event had a cocktail party with book signing by the authors in attendance.  I didn’t pass up a chance to have my picture taken with several of the authors.

Jo Packham, although the same height as me, is a giant.  She is not only the editor for Where Women Create and Where Women Cook, she is the co-founder of The Creative Connection Event. I know TCC event took a tremendous amount of planning, but Jo pulled it off to perfection.

Jo Packham and Phyllis Dobbs

Holly Becker is the author of the popular decorating blog Decor8 and her book Decorate is an international best seller. Holly is a tremendous speaker and was the dinner keynote speaker Thursday night along with Christina Ferrare.

Holly Becker and Phyllis Dobbs

Kelly Rae Roberts, author of Taking Flight, was also part of a very informative breakfast panel of speakers.

Kelly Rae Roberts and Phyllis Dobbs

And I love this group photo at Crafty Chica’s (Kathy Cano-Murillo) signing, left to right – Eileen Hull, myself, Ann Butler, Kathy – Crafty Chica, Karen Embry, and Brenda Pinnick.

Crafty Chica at author signing at The Creative Connection

I remain inspired from this event and am already looking forward to next year’s. If you are thinking of attending, you won’t be disappointed!

Have a inspiring day!

Phyllis

Back from The Creative Connection Event – Inspired and Amazed!

Back from The Creative Connection event held in St. Paul last week, I returned home inspired and amazed (plus exhausted!). Not wanting to miss a minute of it, I attended everything from early morning until late at night and then met friends to talk even later (meeting in our PJ’s with a glass of wine in hand). Everyone I spoke with was just as thrilled with the events. Women attended from all 50 states plus 6 countries. I talked with a talented artist from Slovakia and a woman from Melbourne Australia. Both visited the US just to attend TCC.

After checking in, I was delighted to see the view from my window of  the Mississippi River across the street. I meant to walk over to it, but there wasn’t a spare minute to leave the hotel.

Mississippi River view from my hotel in St. Paul

The 3 days of the event were filled with panels, speakers, classes, and social activities.  I have so much to write about, I am going to present my coverage in two parts – BlogHer with technology and then the creative part with classes and much more.

The first day of TCC was sponsored by BlogHer Handmade and was focused on technology for blogging and social media. I learned so much from the panels. I thought I had already learned a ton from past conferences/seminars that I have attended, but so much more was presented by BlogHer panels. Please check out the links to the blogs for these talented women.

BlogHer Panel presenters

The panelists from the first panel I attended are from left to right Marie LeBaron (Makes and Takes), Mena Trot (Sew Weekly),  Corinne Leigh (previously on ThreadBanger) and Megan Jordan (Velveteen Mind).

It was tricky taking pictures with all the various lighting types in the hotel so the photo for another panel did not turn out. The presenters were fabulous – Alicia DiRago (Dismount Creative), Anne Kuo Lukito (Crafty Diversions), Megan Auman (CraftMBA) and Tara Gentile.

BlogHer founders in panel discussion

Two of the 3 founders of BlogHer were the panel for the Keynote luncheon Friday. Elisa Camahort Page (right) and Jory Des Jardins (center) told of founding BlogHer.  Nancy Soriano (left) led the panel discussion. The third founder, Lisa Stone, was unable to attend.

It was interesting to hear each of these women tell of how they started their businesses as well as the technology they presented.

A group of fiends at a panel discussion

Here I am with friends at a table during one of the panel discussions Karen Embry, myself, Brenda Pinnick and Eileen Hull.

The Creative Connection event was co-founded by Jo Packham, editor of Where Women Create and Where Women Cook and Nancy Soriano.  I extend a huge thanks to them for their starting this event!

Check back for part 2 of The Creative Connection of classes, author signings and more. The classes were fun – I love to work in a new direction or medium than I am accustomed to.

Phyllis

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