Greetings from sunny Orlando, Florida! I'm writing to you from our hotel room; staring out at the lovely palm trees and pool below. Dave, Clover and I arrived safely yesterday and have been partaking in CHA-ness ever since.
The view from our room
The Crafts & Hobbies Association's Summer trade show is much smaller than the one in the winter. It seems as if there are about 1/4 of the vendors here as the one I attended last January in Anaheim, giving the convention a much more intimate feel.
Last night I had the pleasure of speaking on a panel with painting veteran Donna Dewberry, TV icon Carol Duvall, and fellow I Love to Create-er Kathy-Cano-Murrillo. It was so much fun! We got into an impassioned discussion about future craft trends, current economic challenges and the great debate between the value of "in-person", shop-based craft groups vs. the newer, thriving internet community. I really appreciated that we could all have very different opinions and present them respectfully, while genuinely enjoying each other's company. All of the women on the panel (as well as moderator Terry O.) are very impressive, interesting ladies who I felt honored to be amongst.
Kathy, Carol & Donna backstage, waiting for the panel to start. We missed our cue to go on stage because we were all gabbing so much. Oops!
After the session was over, Carol & I slipped away for a drink. We chatted family, business and I just basically soaked up as much of her wisdom as possible. With 58 years of industry experience under her belt, she's still as quick, witty and sharp as ever...not to mention she can order one heckuva martini. I totally wanna be her when I grow up! It was a lovely way to end an exciting day.
Dave came along too, loaded up with diaper bag and stencil kit giveaways
The three of us (me, Dave & Clover) walked the floor, saying hi to a few friends and meeting a few new ones. Lion Brand has some nice, new eco- yarns (stay tuned for future reviews) and Provo Crafts has a couple of really exciting new products including the Yudu screen printer and the Gypsy, a handheld electronic designing device. I'm looking forward to playing around them in future months!
My favorite stop though, was at the always beglittered, I Love to Create (formerly Duncan Crafts) booth. I may be slightly biased, but seeing all of their new products always makes me smile. Kathy was there, showing off her Crafty Chica line; my pal Traci Bautista was playing with these really cool, pump spray paints; and fellow CRAFTED co-host Patti Donham decoupaged jewelry. It was good times!
At the I Love to Create booth with Alyson Dias & Crafty Chica
I may try and stop by again tomorrow to get my hands dirty but today, with baby girl attached, was just about soaking up all of the crafty goodness!
If you'd like more, up to the minute scoop on what's-a-happenin' at CHA, follow @vickiehowell and @ilovetocreate on Twitter. Oh, and while you're in the Twittersphere, you can also do a search for #CHASummer for even more updates!
Have you picked up July's Crochet Today! Magazine, yet? Let me tell you, there's a Sun & Sand Tote (designed by Pop Goes Crochet contributor, Mary Jane Hall) featured, that's reason enough to grab it! Oh, and while you're flipping through the issue, give their review of Pop Goes Crochet a read--or, just click on the image below for a larger view.
P.S. Don't forget to check out this week's Craft Corps featured crafter!
Morning, Craftshines! I leave tomorrow for the Crafts & Hobbies Association Convention. It'll be my first trip with baby in tow but thankfully, Dave (who I've been affectionately referring to as "my manny") is coming along for parental back-up while I take meetings and speak on a panel. Speaking of, if your an industry-type who'll be at the trade portion of the show, stop by the seminar. It should be fun; I'm really looking forward to it! Here are the details:
The Future of Crafts: Our Changing Face Business Seminar S110 5:30-7 p.m. Panelists: Kathy Cano-Murillo, Donna Dewberry, Carol Duvall, Vickie Howell, Terri Ouellette Room W307 Who Should Attend: All Members; Price: Requires Seminar Pass 5:30 PM - 6:00 PM – Awards Ceremony; 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM – General Session Celebrity Panel;
The face of crafting changes, the aesthetic of crafts evolves, and the participation in crafting broadens daily, before our eyes. But what doesn’t change is the opportunity to connect with each customer by appealing to them through the mediums they care about most. Do you know the psychology behind motivating your customers to craft? In this current economic climate, it’s even more important than ever to understand your customer and the role crafting plays in their quality of life. Join this session to hear from iconic voices of the industry as they share their perspective on industry drivers and how to spark incremental sales for your business, you’ll learn:
• Why people craft • Which craft segments are growing • What trends are up and coming • How crafters have changed, and what remains constant
For those of you who are unable to attend however, they'll be putting up a video of the talk on the CHA website. I'll let you know when it's available. Oh, and watch out for my Twitter updates all week long, from the convention floor!
Unrelated, I totally spaced and forgot to post last week's crafty links. Here you go!
About Family Is it too early to start thinking about Halloween crafting? How early do you start your Halloween planning?
About.com Cross Stitch Can You Stitch and Ride? Connie barely can and she wants to hear what your situation is - be sure to read the comments and add your own.
Aileen's Musings Aileen has an exciting announcement! She's just finished creating a book for Project Ties That Bind benefiting Ovarian Cancer Research Fund (OCRF). 100% of all proceeds from the book are going to OCRF. Stop by and take a sneak peek at this beautiful 68 page book filled with beautiful vivid pictures and inspirational quotes and stories.
Cathie Filian Whip up a custom belt buckle with a little paper, creativity and Dimensional Magic. Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at a crafty world This week at Craftside there are tutorials on how to do recycled paper napkin casting, make a movable fighting girl element, an interview with Norma V. Toraya author of Paper Puppet Palooza, a video on how to die cut and needle felt a bookmark from a recycled wool sweater and how to create a window for pressed botanicals in your gathering journal.
Crafty Princess Diaries If you have always wanted to make your own crafting video but didn't think you had the techie know-how, then you'll love this new free software the Crafty Princess recently discovered.
Mixed Media Artist If you get inspired by seeing fabulous work by other artists, check out some of the fabulous profiles that Cyndi has posted!
Naughty Secretary Club Jen takes some of her favorite free embroidery patterns on the net and transforms them into plush dolls.
1. You never throw away a broken plate, vase or colored glass just in case you get inspired to do a mosaic someday.
2. You sacrifice 2 months worth of mani/pedi allowances to buy enough Lobster Pot Cashmere to knit yourself a wrap with.
3. While watching coverage of the Michael Jackson funeral, you wondered who they hired to bedazzle the Jackson brothers' gloves.
4. When you're in labor you notice that your obstetrician's hair cover is made out of Amy Butler fabric. You make a mental note to e-mail Amy to let her know, once you're out of the hospital. (Ok, this one may only apply to me, but still.)
5. You only subscribe to the Sunday newspaper for the Michael's 50% off coupon.
6. Assuming that everyone knows you crochet, you don't get offended when you're called a hooker.
7. Like "Norm" from the show Cheers, they call your name every time you enter your local craft store.
8. You keep an embroidery project in your purse to work on while you're sipping cocktails at a bar.
10. Your sheets and towels have been banished to various places in the house because your linen closet has been promoted to "Craft Nook".
11. You see paint chip samples at the home improvement store as a wonderful offering of free card stock.
12. You pick your vacation destination based on its proximity to yarn stores.
13. You remember television shows from your childhood based on scenes involving craftiness. The episode of The Cosy Show when Denise attempts to make Theo a designer shirt, comes to mind. Oh, and remember when Hawkeye was so bored on the M*A*S*H compound that he took up knitting?
12. If you can Dremel a hole in it, no item is safe in your house from being turned into a necklace charm. (This one's for you, Jennifer!)
13. With the same vigor as a Trekkie fan at ComicCon, you stalk famous crafters at Renegade Craft Fair for their autographs.
14. You've given up reading books in bed before you go to sleep, in favor of craft blogs on your laptop.
15. You find that you know more about the lives of craft bloggers than you do your own extended family's.
16. If it can be cut into a strip then, you've knit, crocheted or spun with it.
17. You feel a sense of pride when your son opts out of skiing in favor of taking a pottery class.
18. You reschedule your entire weekend to take advantage of the sale at JoAnn Etc..
19. Some people have Super Bowl parties; you have Project Runway parties.
20. You truly believe that anything looks cooler when covered by a little spray paint.
21. You only take pictures of your family when they're in coordinating outfits, so as not to mess with the aesthetic of your scrap book plan.
22. One woman's magazine is another's "Collage Inspiration Book".
23. You've named your sewing machine.
24. You've organized your Tulip Fashion Paints by color and have them displayed prominently on a shelf.
25. You have a bumper sticker on your car that says, " D.I.Y. or Die. Store bought's for losers!"
Ok, I have to admit that I only watched Speed Racer long enough to snap a picture of the knitwear in it so I can't vouch for the movie, but my kids seemed to like it. If you like vibrant, super-saturated color then this movie and this hat might be for you!
Paulie Litt as "Spritle", wearing a brimmed beanie.
About Family Crafts I need your help! Be the first to submit a photo of this completed craft and be featured on the Family Crafts site!
Aileen's Musings Your help is needed...Please take a moment to help make a difference We have a chance to get our ovarian cancer charity project on the cover of a northern CA magazine. Your vote is needed! The project benefits the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund. Deadline for voting is July 23rd so hurry and cast your vote!
Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at a crafty world Craftside's got a how-to's on bleaching photos and juxtaposing images, a mixed-media journal out of a wide variety of recycled materials and a video with Scatha G. Allison where she shows the incredible designs from her book Jean Therapy. Be sure to answer the day's questions to be entered to win a free book!
Crafty Princess Diaries Have you thought about taking your craft hobby to a different level? Tammy has some thoughts to consider before crossing over the hobby/professional line.
CraftyPod SisterDiane is thrilled to unveil her new ebook, Weaving Un-Loomed: Simple Ways to Weave Cool Things.
Cross Stitch at About.com Have fun trying out these new free Candlewicking patterns Connie's sharing. If you use one, send in a photo to show it off!
Mixed Media Artist Using two very different book pages, you can create a found poem for an altered book...or just because!
Naughty Secretary Club Jen shares clever and crafty uses for suitcases that have nothing to do with holding clothing. Side tables, laptop cases and portable craft studios oh my!
Stefanie Girard's Sweater Surgery Drink Mermaids take the plunge into some silver paint and get transformed into some swimmingly fun necklaces inspired by the wonderfully innovative book- A Charming Exchange.
During these tough economic times the only traveling some of us get to do is across the world wide web. Thanks to cool gadgets like the iPhone, though, that internet trip can be taken anytime and anywhere! Every travel buddy clearly deserves proper attire — so if you've ever thought about journeying into the land of knitted lace, then this Traveling Vine iCozy's the project for you! Get the pattern for free on CRAFT now, during Travel Month on their website!
P.S. During your travels, why not visit me on FaceBook and follow me on Twitter?
Apparently, in the first act of the movie, Professor Dumbledore is visits Professor Slughorn. While there he asks to use the loo, emerging from the bathroom with a knitting magazine in hand. He asks Slughorn if he can keep it because he likes the patterns.
Ok, I know a version of this is in the book too, but it's nice to hear that D.'s love for knitting gets another screen shout-out.
It's time again for another edition of Kiwi Magazine. The July/August issue hits stands next week in it, my Eco-Craft column featuring how-to instructions to make this simple quilt. Save up your kids' team, class and camp tees to create a cozy throw full of memories!
This Wednesday's the much anticipated premiere of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. My husband and son get to go to a press screening for it today but me, well, I'm celebrating by taking a look back at the knitwear featured in the series' last installment, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Walk with me, if you will...
I'm so excited! AwareKnits, the eco-conscious knitting & crochet book I co-wrote with Adrienne Armstrong, is now available for pre-sale! With only a few months to go until it's officially on shelves, I thought that now is as good of time as any to start sharing some of the details of the Awareknits with you. Here is a preview of the front and back covers, along with the flaps. Click on each image for larger views and to read a little about the projects, some eco-info and what people are already saying aboutthis book!
People are always asking me how I find time to craft while raising 2 active boys and an infant. Well, it's simple. As you can see from this picture, I don't sleep (or shower). Ever. Nah, I'm just kidding. With a little planning, it's possible for even the busiest mamas & papas to bring creativity into one's life, no matter what form it takes. Today on I Love to Create, I share my 10 tips for fitting your craft into your day.
(I may not have showered. I may still be in my pj's. Heck, I may not have slept [in days].
But darn it, I'm still making time for craftiness!)
Crafting Tips for Busy Parents
1. Be realistic. Us parents are usually short on time, so pick quick and easy craft projects for maximum success. The last thing you need is to feel frustrated from lack of progress!
2. Embrace the speed crafting! Pre-set your project supplies ahead of time so that the minute baby (or toddler) falls asleep for a nap, you can immediately power-out some quality crafting.
3. Carry on. If you're caring for an infant, utilize a baby sling. Snuggly carriers make wee ones feel secure while offering you the option of some hands-free crafting time!
4. You can take it with you! If your project's portable (ex. small knitting, crochet, or embroidery pieces), bring it to your child's soccer game practice, dance rehearsal, or art class, and work on it from the sidelines.
5. Be social. If possible, join or start your own crafting group (aka, knitting circle, collage co-op, sewing bee, etc.). This ensures that even if it's only for one evening a month, you'll have time on your calendar set aside solely for nurturing your creative side.
6. Get your kids crafting! Have your kids "assist" you with appropriate steps of your project or even better, get them started on one of their own. Try setting them up with a Crafty Challenge --it'll keep them busy, while giving you a chance to be creative, too!
7. It takes a village. Set-up "craft dates" with other parents, where the kids play while the adults work on projects. That way if one mom's hands are covered in decoupage glue, there's another mom there to hold any kiddo in need of a cuddle!
8. Craft in bed. I'm serious. Although this obviously wouldn't be ideal if glitter murals or clay sculptures are your crafty medium-- and your partner will likely not be thrilled with this suggestion-- stitching while watching a little nighttime TV is a great way to wind down from a busy day.
9. Stay organized. Keep all of your craft supplies in easy to access bins and if possible, all in one place. The more time you have to spend trying to dig up the right size needles or the perfect color of paint, the less time you'll have to actually use them.
10. Take a break. If you find that working on your craft is starting to feel like another task on an already overwhelming to-do list, then it's time to set your project aside for a bit. Being creative is supposed to help fill your emotional well, not suck it dry. Take a deep breath, attend to your family and come back to your craft (or start a new one) when you're ready.
Good luck and great job with balancing it all, crafty parents. I salute you!
Do you have any tips for making time for crafting? Please, post 'em here!
Hey all! Just a reminder that a new featured Craft Corps crafter goes up every Tuesday. Take a moment to read, connect and share today with these amazingly creative people. Oh, and if you haven't done so already, please tell your own story by filling out a profile. Craft is community; community is craft. Join the movement!
In unrelated news, as some of you who follow me on Twitter or Facebook know, I had been working on a crocheted 4th of July dress for my wee girl. My boys were with their dad this holiday, so they escaped my crafty costuming. Clover however, was alllll mine to decorate! ;-)
I had originally planned to come up with something for her made completely out of red, white & blue granny squares. The squares morphed into triangles however and once I'd made two of them, I couldn't resist how cute they'd be as little chi-chi covers. The result is this patriotic, halter dress. Tee hee! I may make her another one in a less Americana colorway too and if you're interested, I'll (eventually) write-up the pattern and make it available to you.
Which brings me to my questions: Are any of you interested in me putting together a project that's all baby pattern related? If so, would you want a book, an e-book (something you could just download), more individual projects, or some other format? Lastly, would you want it to be all knitting & crochet or would you prefer there be some sewing, embellishing and/or paper crafts involved? Or, are you so darn sick of all the baby stuff out there, that you'd gag if you saw another one? I'm just doing a little informal poll so if you wouldn't mind posting your thoughts here, I'd really appreciate it!
A grey, button-up cardigan sported by a critically acclaimed performer, is the icing on this knitter's cake--especially when featured in a brilliantly written and phenomenally acted movie such as Paul Thomas Anderson's 2007 triumph, There Will Be Blood! Feast your eyes on this...
Daniel Day-Lewis as "Daniel Plainview" Wearing a Classic, Men's Cardigan