Wednesday, February 29, 2012

National Craft Month

Happy Leap Year - one extra day to prepare for -

The month of March it is time to celebrate crafts.  Google crafts and the search will be endless. To get started I thought I would share some sites to check out for some information and inspiration.  Get crafting - get some friends or kids together to try something new or stick to what you like - but have some fun! Think about trying to push yourself to the next level. Think and work "outside the box".

If you were not aware of the industry that supports crafts, check out the site of CHA.  Twice a year there is a trade show to showcase the newest products and ideas with retailers.

Other sites that you may like to check out are from retailers and see what's on sale or download coupons for your craft purchases during this month long celebration of crafts. Use those coupons they offer to purchase some supplies to help celebrate this month long event.


Hobby Lobby


JoAnn Fabrics

Hancock Fabrics

Searching for ideas try these sites first for help for many:
 Crash Test Dummies

If you spend anytime online, there are oodles and oodles of blogs to follow on any subject.  They can be specific to one area of crafting or many that share a variety of subjects.  Check out a few then visit other blog links that are listed as favorites.

Several manufactures of crafting materials also have blogs related to their products, with ideas galore.  Check them out!

On the Home Shopping Network this month there will me many chances to see crafting products for sale and ideas on how to use them.  Brenda Pinnick, who designs fabric, stamps and dies, will be featured on HSN, March 6th.

A new online site for taking craft classes is called Craftsy.  A new idea you just might like.

Unless you have been living under a rock, I'm sure you have heard of Pinterest. If you can't draw inspiration or the urge to get creative after looking at pinboards here - well, I just don't know what to say!  It has inspired in me ideas for crafting of course, but also decorating, sewing, writing, and cooking.

Coming Next Week

Monday, March 5th, is the posting day to the Designer Craft Connection blog. The theme this month is - what else - all about Spring!  Come hop through the blogs to see what the designers have come up with this time to interpret their ideas of Spring.  I'm working on several things. I'll share them with you through out this crafting month. March brings us the beginning of a new season.  This month starts the parade of family birthdays that continues on through April.  There are showers to attend and some "wearing of the green" to take place and the celebration of Easter. The days will bring us longer periods of daylight, plants will be popping through the earth and buds will be swelling with new life. Seeing green sprouts, crocus', daffodils and primrose are a lovely sight.  It's the time to open up and clean out - the season of renewing

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy HEART Day!

"There's this place in me where your fingerprints still rest, your kisses still linger and your whispers softly echo.  It's the place where a part of you will forever be a part of me."
     -Gretchen Kemp
It's February 14th, the day that "Love" is celebrated each year.  I will be without my special love this year, the first time in 46 years.  I do miss you Michael.  There hasn't been a day that I haven't said your name or thought about you.  My heart may be sad but it still holds you very, very close.  I think about years past and when we were young and how our lives together continued to change and grow.  Life was not always simple and easy, but we faced it together.  Made me think of a old song by the Beatles, but this version is sung by Emmylou Harris and it reminds me of you - "Here, There & Everywhere"
Hearts, hearts ... I love hearts!  I thought it would be a good time to share with you one of my Pinterest pinboards.  It is titled "Heartful" and it shows my favorite shape in many, many forms.
Heartful pinboard

"The life and love we create is the life and love we live."
      - Leo Buscaglia

Monday, February 6, 2012

Designer Craft Connection-February - CHA & Pinterest

Last week many designers who are part of this group attended the CHA trade show in Anaheim, California.  This particular show takes place twice a year.  The winter show (the larger one) is usually in Anaheim and the summer show (some what smaller) is in the midwest, at the convention center in Rosemont, Illinois.

I have been unable to attend the winter show for a few years now, so I rely on those who I know that were able to attend to share what they saw and what they think.

Many of the designers are sharing "pins" on a group pinboard to give some ideas of what they saw or did at the show.  Comments and photos are still being shared since they all returned from the show.  There is nothing like being there and seeing all the wonderful new ideas the industry has to offer.  My hope is that the stores chose some wonderful new products to share with the consumers.  It's always amazed me how many things shown at the show never make it to the consumer or only a limited amount of new products get into the consumers hands.  It's kind of a shame!

Of course as always the papers that come out at each show are truly amazing.  A few of my "favs" are Graphic 45, Cosmo Cricket, and DCWV.  This is only three of the many wonderful companies that design papers.  I do very limited "scrap booking", I still do a variety of paper crafting, so I'm always looking at papers that can be used in very different ways then scrap booking.

The designs for new "dies" are always something I have a huge interest in.  So many wonderful dies are available from a variety of manufacturers.  The nice thing is that they are making many of them compatible with the various systems.  Smart move for the consumer!  My favorites are by Sizzix and Spellbinders.

I noticed how knitting and crocheting are continuing to interest more and more people.  So happy to see this.  Though quilting will always remain popular I feel, but this show doesn't deal with this medium as much as Quilt Market show in the fall down in Houston or the spring show that is in various parts of the country each year.  I get the feeling that sewing is making a come back ever so slightly.

Of course the "Do-it-yourself" genre is going strong and the "eco-friendly" ideas are catching on and I just love that.
Another company that I love is Ranger.  Their products are can be used by more then the "stampers" out there and for more than just paper. There are so  many other companies that make some amazing products for the creative people out there and way too many to share.

I can't go on with this post without mentioning PINTEREST.  I realize it's been out there  for a while now, but I was unable to see what this was all about because of what was going on around me last year.  Heard other designer friends talking about and didn't give it much thought.  I also wondered what and how can it would do for me to become interested in this.  Well anyone who has checked it out will probably say - "they are hooked"!  I have folders in my file cabinet with ideas of several topics, that I have saved, dating back many, many years.  Each time I get a "brainstorm", I go to those files and search for various things.  It's very time consuming.  Pinterest has put numerous ideas at my fingertips.  Love it!!!

So just after I discovered it I shared it with my daughter, daughter-in-law, other son's girlfriend, some relatives and friends - yes, they are all hooked.  We discuss ideas we have seen and shared.  Even the guys are interested in several topics.   If for some reason you haven't seen or heard of it here's a link to my Pinboards: