When I was with Paper Crafts magazine we went to the industry's tradeshow (Craft and Hobby Association - CHA) twice a year. Since I switched to the Events team, I haven't been to the show. But this last Saturday and Sunday I attended the CHA Winter show in Los Angeles. It was so fun!!!

What made it so fun? Several things.

1. Catching up with people I haven't seen for several years. Some are connected with manufacturers and some designers.
2. Meeting people in person that I've only known through Facebook.
3. Seeing all the new product.

My plan had been to take pictures of things, but it's amazing how few I managed to take :) My brain seems to have left me in the excitement of everything. So I'll share the few photos I took and then borrow from others.

Creating Keepsakes celebrates their 15 birthday this year and they had a celebration on Sunday afternoon. They provided an adorable cut out that you could take your picture in. Here's Todd and Brooke (co-workers) taking advantage of a photo op.

Todd hamming it up!

Brooke appreciating the beautiful cake she's holding! :)

As for the products, there were tons!!! Too many to list them all, so here are a few that stuck in my brain (which means they made an impression of some sort). Listed in no particular order.

Glubers from Cosmo Cricket get their name from being uber glue dots. The smallest is two inches in size. They are also available in two and a half and three inch sizes. What do you use these for? Flowers!!! I'm sure there will be other uses, but flowers are the reason for the inspiration. Check out the link included here to see the possibilities.

Hambly Screen Prints has new Washi Tapes that have their beautiful designs on them. Can't wait to try them out. (Thanks Paper Crafts for posting this picture that I'm sharing the link to).

Nikki Sivils product is adorable! I love her product lines, plus she's a dog lover - do I need to say more? (Thanks again to Cath from Paper Crafts for providing the image.)

I mentioned Crate Paper in my blog surfing earlier, but seeing the product in person, well let's just say I love it!! (Thanks again Cath for the photo.)

I'm a little slow catching on to the banner mania, but I really like making them. There are several companies with wonderful bases and Fancy Pants Designs came out with some great options. And this picture is one I took - amazing!

Love the variety of shapes!

Technique Tuesday not only released wonderful stamps, but several new paper lines. I love the ones that coordinate with the Paris stamp line - the colors are gorgeous! Of course I think my favorite stamp set is Who Let the Dogs Out? And why wouldn't I??? The sayings are so cute and I love the images. And I think I could really make good use of their Chit Chat stamps. (Thanks to TwoPeasInABucket for the link.)

The last product is from K & Company and is called Smash. It's a book made to catch all your stuff. Such a fun idea!!! And the bases are really neat - they have quotes and backgrounds and all kinds of stuff. the come in a variety of sizes and designs. (the video clip comes from Smash's blog.) I have a little sample they gave me and I can't wait to play with it.

Well that about covers it, or at least what I can remember. Like I said, it was a wonderful weekend and I'm so glad I was able to go. I'm leaving you with a picture of the Hollywood sign that I took while we toured the LA hot spots - we saw Rodeo Drive, the Kodak theater, the Hollywood sign, Santa Monica pier, and more as we drove through the night. The picture isn't the greatest since it was night, but it was so fun to be so close to the sign (a major winding drive up the mountain on narrow streets).


Basset Antics

The fur babies are in fine form this week - as far as Bassets go.

Two mornings in a row they've held a rousing bark-a-thon at 4 am. Not sure the neighbors are fans, I know I'm not.

Cleo loves to sit in front of the dog door and let it open and close, open and close, open and close at least 10 times. What is she doing you ask? You've got me. After this little ritual, about half the time she'll go outside and the other half she wanders back over to the family room area. Guess it wasn't very interesting outside after all.

Mabel greeted a neighbor boy last night with her normal barking when he rang the doorbell and then proceeded to provide lower more accentuated barks until he thoroughly acknowledged her and stepped close enough to scratch her ears. I think she couldn't understand why that wasn't the FIRST thing he did when I answered the door.

And yet, even with their quirky little ways, I love these sweet babies. They brighten my day and offer love anytime, often without even being asked.

Cleo can howl with the best of them!
How could you resist petting her?


Temporary Mom Duty

This past week I had the opportunity to stay overnight four different nights with my neighbor's kids. It was so fun! And they are an amazing family. They really didn't need me there - the oldest daughter was very capable, but it helped mom feel better about leaving town knowing the kids weren't totally by themselves. I'd come after work (they had already eaten and cleaned up by the time I got there), get them off to school in the morning, and then go to work. On Monday night we had a Family Home Evening activity - made rice krispie treats and played Wii games. The boys kicked my hiney (except in bowling) and I provided lots of laughs for them (since I'm basically miserable at most games).

I think the most amazing part for me was their scripture reading each night. I know that when I was growing up, scripture reading was all about getting it done, and quickly! For them, they read three to five verses and then talked about what they had read. So there was no drifting off to think about what you were going to wear tomorrow or other such wandering thoughts. AND they really did know and understand what they were reading.

But for me, this time was all about playing mom for a bit since the youngest (7 yr old) let me read to him at night, hugged me when I got there, and was a chatterbug about his Wii games and other kid stuff. It filled that little void that I have.

So thanks to my sweet neighbor for sharing her family with me. And thanks to the kids for letting me play mom for a few days and putting up with my game playing skills :)


Is It Snow?

Today was cold and snowy or at least something white fell from the sky, but on closer inspection it certainly resembled those little styrofoam balls/beads you find in bean bag chairs. But I do believe it was snow.

But here's the thing, if it's going to be this cold (low 30's) then it should snow. The snow with big, fluffy snowflakes. Not so today. Yes it was cold. Yes it snowed something that was white. But it was a short-lived snow and not the big, fluffy kind.

So I'll hope for "real" snow on another day.


Blog Browsing

It's the weekend and I'm celebrating my Friday evening by cruising through my blog list. As random as this post is, here are some things that caught my eye. Enjoy!

Lemon Vanilla Cupcakes - not just any lemon cupcakes but lemon curd filled cupcakes. This recipe looks divine and definitely worth trying.

Crate Paper has several new product lines, but I am in love with Neighborhood. I'm a sucker for cute animals especially when paired with pinks and yellows. And the elegance of Portrait - wow! I think the thing that really caught my eye in both these collections are the brads, eclectic buttons, and the ribbons. I have a small addiction when it comes to ribbons and buttons, which is probably why they caught my eye.

Cute Cupcakes All The Time posted adorable Snowmen cupcakes. Don't they look like they are made from porcelain? But no and so very easy to make. Are you starting to see a theme with my blog browsing??

Little Birdie Secrets made creative necklaces from crystals and patterned paper. The great thing about this idea is you can make several and switch out the paper so you have one for every outfit. You can also buy different crystal shapes. Love this idea!!

Jen Davis' blog Live.Life.Create.Art showed off her creative space. I'm not as eclectic as she is but I loved the idea of using muffin tins to store things in and the hanging baskets (usually for fruit or veggies) is such a fun storage device. I think what really appeals to me about her room is that it isn't perfectly organized but looks very functional. It speaks to me!

I think that covers it for tonight. Only made it through half of my bookmarked blogs, but found some fun things.



It's unfortunate for January that it comes after December (and yes I do realize that technically January comes first since it is the first month of the calendar year).

I mean, think about it.

January has one holiday and it seems that a lot of companies don't include it as part of their "official" holiday list.

January is typically cold and in Utah, filled with no drive days because of bad air quality.

In December, we spend a lot of money and in January, we start watching what we spend (where's the fun in that?).

If you're like me, January means trying to change the way I eat and trying to get up early in the morning to exercise (notice the use of the words "trying").

And last but not least, January means putting Christmas away for the season - whether it's putting away the decorations or taking the music off the iPod, Christmas is officially over.

There you have it, proof of why January is not the month I would want to be if I were a month in the calendar.

But, there are some bright spots. There's snow, ah, beautiful snow! And there's less worrying - did I get all the presents bought, do I still have money in my checking account, how many pounds am I gaining from all this delicious food? And I have vacation days I can take to make Martin Luther King Day an "official" holiday.

So while January may not be my favorite month, it is a month that is needed. Needed to put balance back in life and time to slow down and enjoy....the beautiful snow.


Just Because Card

Busy week - normal things at work and then Good Things Utah contacted me Tuesday morning to see if I could come on Wednesday morning to do a segment (one of their people had to cancel at the last minute because of illness). So I scrambled and pulled a technique from one of the new classes we're teaching at CKC called Material Girl. The segment is Just Because Rolled Flower card.

The flower technique in the GTU segment uses adhesive backed fabric paper (this particular product is from the Dear Lizzy American Crafts line). You could use paper or fabric, but the advantage I found with this product was the thickness/stiffness aspect. Fabric would be a little floppy and paper may not be as pliable (although you could soften paper up enough to make it more pliable, just be careful not to tear it). Plus, this fabric paper can be inked, rolled, scuffed, and more.

What I learned - make the circle bigger than you think you need :) Because you are cutting a spiral and then wrapping it around itself, it gets quite a bit smaller. And, I would practice with paper scraps before diving into this with the actual fabric paper since it is more expensive than scraps.

It was a fun card to make and interesting product to play with. Enjoy!

P.S. I've included the file with the spiral pattern too.


My Wish for You

With the Christmas season just wrapping up, hearing the word "wish" brings to mind a song Anne Murray sings - Christmas Wishes. In this song she starts with "If I had my way this Christmas" and then goes on to name her three wishes. The third wish is the one that I love the most - to share all my wishes with you.

How often do you find yourself wishing? I know I do. I wish for snow, that my team will win, a good night's sleep, peace, and that those I love are happy. No wish is too big or too small. And often wishes do come true. Not by themselves but with help from others or through divine intervention. And isn't it wonderful to be the one to make a wish come true?

So today, I wish that you might have all that your heart desires. I wish that life be full of love and happiness. And I wish for peace, in your heart and amongst people. And more importantly, I wish that I can make someone else's wish come true.

Which brings me to a poem I remember reciting as a child when we slept outside.

Star light, start bright,
First star I see tonight,
I wish I may, I wish I might,
Have this wish I wish tonight.
- Anonymous


And the word is....

This is my focus word for 2011. I want to experience things - new things, things I've done and love, and more. I want to gain experience. And I want to share my experiences. 2011 is full of hope for a new day and new things. Experience builds character, adds spice to life, and is something you can do with others.

So here's to a new year and a new word.


Winter Wonders

The snow has stopped falling but not the temperatures. Right now it is zero outside, which makes me very happy to be inside. But the sun did shine a little today and a few icicles formed on the deck railing. I love the way icicles look - with their variety of shapes and sizes. So I snapped a quick picture this evening.

Nature is so amazing in it's creations.

And while this isn't made by nature, it is a winter wonder - I wrote my goals for 2011. I kept them simple and a little more generic. I think this will help me achieve them or at least feel that I am making progress since there are multiple ways for that to occur.

Bring on the new year!





About This Blog

My posts are random. They cover a variety of subjects, but are mostly about things I enjoy, am inspired by, or catch my attention at that moment. I don't ever want to offend anyone by anything I write. This blog is a way to express myself and the interests I have. I hope you enjoy what I share.

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