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Behind the Scenes at the 2012 Tournament of Roses Parade Floats

Reported by Maria Del Pinto
2012 Shriners Hospital for Children Rose Parade Float

One of my favorite family traditions is to work on the Rose Parade Floats for the “Tournament of Roses” which is held every year in Pasadena, California.  While everyone else is out doing their after Christmas activities, there are hundreds of volunteers working on those wonderful floats that you can see during the Rose Parade.

2012 Loyola Marymount University Rose Parade Float

So how do you get from the metal base float to the finished “Loyola Marymount University” 2012 Tournament of Roses Parade float in the photo above?  Well it is a very well organized system that is powered by both the float building personnel and volunteers from all walks of life.

2012 Tournament of Roses looking down at the Rose Palace Work Floor

The work floor may look a bit chaotic but it is actually a very organized process.  There are flowers, floral supplies, scaffolding, power tools, and equipment. Additionally, there are people everywhere all

working in a unique harmony to create some of the most breath taking pieces of floral art that I have had the pleasure to enjoy first hand.  Every flower that comes goes through a process that can vary in accordance to the type of flower it is.  The volunteers then begin the processes of gluing wooden sticks to the stem of each carnation bud.
Petal Pusher Volunteer Gluing toothpicks to the Carnation Buds
Once the adhesive is dry, each bloom is carefully hand fluffed by the volunteers
Fluffing the Carnations
and then put onto Styrofoam base to be lined up by color and type of flower.
Then they are labeled to be placed onto the float in accordance with artist diagram directions.
Once they are labeled, the flowers are lined up next to the float they are going to be placed on. 
This allows the volunteers to begin the process of placing the flowers 
2012 City of Glendale Rose Parade Float
onto the floats, one by one.

Every part of the float is covered by flowers, leaves, stems, seeds, and other natural materials.  Some of the float signage is covered by a process of using individual flower petals which are glued onto the surface one-by-one by the volunteers.

This is slow and sticky process. The glue has to be strong enough to hold the petals onto the signage throughout the parade route.   We usually end up with glue all over our hands and clothing, most of the seasoned volunteers will advise new volunteers to wear their oldest clothing (since it will probably get trashed during the float decorating process).

Additionally, we glue seeds, dried orange slices, and other natural materials to various surfaces and

signage.  In the photo below, you can see a volunteer working on the “City of LA” plaque using these types of materials.

You can see how tiny the natural materials used in the process can be.  Each seed has to be attached with the adhesive.
More examples of the various materials used.  The wagon wheel has dried and fresh flowers, seeds, beans, and more on it.
2012 City of Glendale Rose Parade Float

The beautiful portrait below, is composed of seeds, ground pepper, ground flower petals and other natural materials which were applied by hand (one-by-one) by various volunteers.  It is amazing to see this time consuming process create such an interesting portrait in person.

HGTV 2012 Rose Parade Float
Here is a look at some of the different floats and the cool features you may not get to see when you see the floats in the Tournament of Rose Parade on television.
The 2012 HGTV Tournament of Roses Parade float sported a very cool cobblestone road,

which is made with by using potatoes that are cut in half

and covered in spices and ground seeds.

The Lions Club International 2012 Tournament of Roses Parade float was an amazing example of the creative use of crushed natural materials and florals.  The center of the flower is dried lentils.

Which were individually glued on to create the center of the flower bud.  All materials used on these floats must be organic in nature and cannot be dyed.  They are fresh, dried, crushed and/or pureed and then applied individually by the volunteers onto the float surface.  All visible parts of the float must be covered in these floral or natural materials.

These bud were attached to the float.  The floating ribbon on the float is completely decorated in crushed natural materials and cut up leaves.

2012 Lions Club International Tournament of Roses Parade float
Seeing these amazing works of art emerge from their beginning stages to end product is an amazing experience.  Being that they are built in large empty buildings that have to be large enough to house these amazing pieces of work, volunteers do get exposed an interesting variation of temperature conditions.  This year we had a very warm week (70 plus degrees), so it was rather warm in the daytime.  Then it switched to cool in the evenings (50 degrees and below), so if you decided to volunteer to work on these in the future, just layer your gear because getting to work on these floats and seeing the end result is so worth the extra effort.  

If you live in or are visiting California,  I highly recommend checking out the Tournament of Roses Parade Float display which sets up at the end of the parade route (on Sierra Madre Blvd).  Currently they charge $10 for adults and children are free.  I find that it is worth the traffic and parking challenges to see these floats in person and see how the designers and volunteers have used natural materials to create the Tournament of  Roses Parade floats.

We would love to hear from our readers what type of activities they participate in during the holidays.  What are you looking forward to in the new year?

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Event: Glitterfest Fall 2011

Reported by Maria Del Pinto
 If you embrace the creativity of the holidays, enjoy unique handmade items, German glass glitter, love vintage collectibles, or just want to enjoy in a bit of whimsy and fun, then you need to know about the “Glitterfest” show which is created by Sheryl Simpson and Dianne White.  
The Glitterfest fall show was held on October 15, 2011, at the Elks Lodge in Santa Ana, California.  My friends and I arrived early to be able to catch all the fun and excitement of the event.  Upon arrival, we followed the signs and joined the line of excited attendees who were kind enough to share their excitement for the event with us.
They told me a little about the various artists that they were going to see.  Since it is easier to understand the whimsical nature of this event through photos, I got permission to take some pictures at the event to share with our readers. Below is a peek at some of the wonderful work these artists donated for the show raffle.

I stopped by Denise Hahn’s (In My Blue Room) booth.  She sells some great vintage supplies and fun crafting kits, along with her finished pieces through her etsy site shop.  I bought a fun skeleton kit and a jewelry making kit (that came in a jar). 

I love the “Day of Dead” festival celebrations throughout the Los Angeles and Orange County area and was pleasantly surprised to find some very cool “Day of Dead” inspired work.  One artist who had a fun display was Dennis Haynes from Runnamuck Studio.  He also sells on etsy but there is nothing better than getting to see his creations in person.
Another fun artist, is Lori Gutierrez who make an eclectic collection of that spans from home decor to wearable art.  She even had some of her cool crowns on display that were similar to the one she did for the Somerset Home article she wrote. 
Then there was the work of Colleen Moody.  I just fell in love with the cute snow angel diorama below. Unfortunately, someone else bought it before I could.  Her pieces are so whimsical, cute and each one has its own unique story.  Her vintage jewelry pieces are also lovely.
It got pretty crowded at this show, so I had to wait a bit to finally see the fun characters created by Jenny Hernandez (The Polka Dot Pixie) in person.  I had heard about her work from some of the ladies in line and just had to get a peek.  
After talking to Jenny, I found out that she also teaches sculpting classes at different locations throughout the year.  You can also so see more pictures of her whimsical characters on the Polka Dot Pixie flicker site.

The show also had an outside area with some amazing booths that included the “Blossom Vintage Chic” booth, where I got to meet Debbie Watts.  
I had a fun time talking to her and seeing her great selection of vintage and antique merchandise. I also spent some time talking to Linda Fitt and Sandi Woods of Eurotrash.Co.  They had some fun mini kits for jewelry making and for tabletop decor, as well as a great selection of vintage inspired jewelry.
I was excited to find out that Michele Legler (Mosaic Cottage)  had a table at this show.  I love her mosaic work.
  She makes some very cool mosaic furniture pieces, home decor items, mosaic cakes, and mosaic cupcake pieces that are so darling.
Another fun booth was “Beyond the Poison Apple” with fun selection of holiday merchandise made by Rose Polanco.
 I especially enjoyed her cute Halloween inspired tree ornaments and potion bottles.
Of course it would not be glitterfest if there was not at least one vendor actually selling an amazing selection of German glitter.  The Meyer Imports German Glass Glitter Staff was so very helpful in 
explaining the difference between the glass glitters and some of the cool fun things I could do with them.
They have a blog where they post ideas, links, and more on glitter related topics. I purchased some cool silver glitter, that tarnishes over time, to use on my crafty projects. (Check out the Craft Critique reviews of Meyer Imports glitter and supplies).

Additionally, each person who attended could enter their names in a drawing to win one of the many lovely prizes shown below (this is only a sample of the prizes).
All in all, this was a fun show to attend.  I ran into so many people that I know, including Jeanine Stein, (author of “Re-bound” which features some of her book binding techniques), Jenny Doh, Beth Livesay (from “Stampington“) and many others. This was a fun and exciting atmosphere.  The producers of this show did a wonderful job in decorating and maintaining a whimsical atmosphere that just made shopping fun.  The people who attended the show were very happy with their purchases as you can see in the picture below.

Pros:

  • Fantastic variety of artists and crafters.
  • The show offered a unique variety of merchandise to appeal to a wide group of individuals. There was plenty of “eye candy” to be enjoyed.
  • If you have read some of my previous articles, then you know that parking in the Los Angeles and Orange County area is at a premium, and cost for parking in that area can be high.  The producers of this show went the extra mile to offer attendees two parking choices.  One was to park at the Whimzy store (in Tustin, CA) and ride the special tram to the show, or to park at the show site.  The parking was free and plentiful.

Cons:

  • Other than the fact that there was a fabulous selection of merchandise and I had a hard time of deciding what I wanted to buy, there really were no cons to attending this show.

Disclosure

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Event | Art Supply Warehouse Fine Arts Weekend

Reported by Maria Del Pinto

I am always on the look out for new ways to expose my kids to the fine arts, in a fun and enjoyable manner.  I was lucky to find out that the local Art Supply Warehouse store was hosting a fine arts event on their property.  It was free to the public, which was a major boost to my pocket book.  Additionally, they encouraged children and adults of all ages to participate (which meant they would have workshops that were child-friendly).
The “Fine Arts Event” was a three-day event that offered several different workshops to choose from on  each day.  There were also hourly demonstrations put on by a variety of artists.  The event also offered an opportunity to create a piece of art through the “Remaster The Masters” event to display on the Catalyst art class space wall.
We anticipated that we would probably spend the day at the event, so my kids packed a light lunch and off we went to the “Fine Arts Weekend Event”.  The first stop was at the store, so we could stock up on the art supplies we were low on.  The Art Supply Warehouse offers a 25% sale at least two times a year and this year it was timed at the same time as the fine arts event.  We have learned to shop first because at those prices they tend to run out of the things we need very quickly.
Once the shopping was completed, we went to the first demonstration which was sponsored by Strathmore.
This was a mixed media workshop where the kind folks at Strathmore provided each participant with one of their new mixed media pads to test out with watercolors, charcoals and pastels.
There were students of all ages taking this workshop.
If you are into junk journals, art journals, mixed media pieces, etc., you may find that these pads are great.  The instructor had samples of different materials that she used on these pads.  The first one was a page from her Strathmore Mixed Media Pad showing the use of Pan Pastels and Stencils.
The second was her Strathmore Mixed Media Pad showing the use of Golden’s Acrylic and hot sticks.
The third was a sample of air brushing on the same pad.
The fourth was an actual in class project by one of the students using watercolor sticks put down in layers to get vibrant colors.  She used a lot of water and still the paper did not buckle, which I think is a plus.
The next workshop we attended was soft pastels workshop which was presented by Lon Dekkers and sponsored by Rembrandt.
You may wonder what is so special about these pastels, for us it is that they do not contain any heavy metals (such as cadmium, lead, and cobalt).  My daughter has certain allergies and these did not cause any reaction.  The colors are also very rich and easy to work with.
Lon showed how to use the side of the pastel to fill in larger areas in the drawing.
He also went over several different ways to use the pastels to create depth and light.
Lon Dekkers demonstrating the Rembrandt Soft Pastels
He was very patent with my teenager, and happily answered all her questions.  She asked him to do a whole apple without smudging the colors on the apple,
so she could better understand how the use of particular colors brought light and depth into the apple drawing.
My daughter’s apple drawing
Her apple drawing came out really well.  Unfortunately, my apple turned into pumpkin (thank goodness that I do not have to rely on my own drawing skills to create cards).
My pumpkin.
My daughters definitely loved this workshop and I am sure I will see a set of these soft pastels added to their Christmas wish lists.
The next workshop we attended was an oil painting workshop which featured paints from the Jack Richeson Oil Paint – Shiva Collection.
The teacher, Jeff Morrow, for this workshop was a very patent artist.  Teaching oil painting to a group of individuals of varied ages and experience is no easy task.
  He taught us how to combine colors, use the various tools and some different painting techniques.
He also shared tips with the students, one of which is to think about perspective when working on a painting. This was helpful, since many of the students had never used oil paints before and were feeling bit nervous about working with them.
Oil Painting without a frame.
Another fun tip was that he showed us how the right frame can change how a painting looks.  The above the painting is great.  However, when you add a frame…
Oil Painting with a white frame.
…it definitely changes the way the finished painting looks.
 Another fun workshop we were able to attend was an “Artist Trading Card” workshop.   In this workshop we had the opportunity to try out the Daler Rowney’s FW Acrylic Inks.
This workshop was taught by calligraphy artist and author, Lisa Engelbrecht,
who taught us some fun techniques for creating our own Artist Trading Cards.
I am a big fan of making Artist Trading Cards because of their size.   I find that Artist Trading Cards are a manageable craft project and allow me to try out a variety of textiles, materials, etc. on them within a short time span.
Lisa Engelbrecht Artist Trading Card Projects
Here are samples of some of the ones made by the workshop attendees.
and some by Lisa.
The “Fine Arts Event” also had a very cool “Remaster the Masters” project.  Where we got to create our t-shirts master pieces with the new Sharpie paint colors.  The store provided us with a fun t-shirt to paint.
They had all the pens out and the colors were fabulous.  Below are just a few examples of some of the shirts people created.
My daughter drew her version of “Nyan Cat” which apparently is a popular cartoon cat with a “pop toasty” body.
Nyan Cat drawn by one of the kids
The event lasted three days and offered many more workshops than we were able to attend.  My family and I appreciate stores like Art Supply Warehouse who give us a chance to try out different artistic media and provide these fun educational opportunities.  If you are interested in similar events,  I highly recommend checking out the online calendar of local art stores and museums who often sponsor similar events in your area.
We would love to know what types of events our readers enjoy reading about.  Please take a moment to share some of your favorites with us.
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Event | American Sewing Guild 2011 Annual Conference

This summer I got a chance to attend the “American Sewing Guild 2011 Annual Conference” which held in  Los Angeles, California.  It was a great opportunity to see what is new in sewing, what the trends were, and what  different types of workshops were being offered.  They even had a display of some their pin and thimble collectibles from former conferences.
  The conference was held at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel in Los Angeles, which is known for its unique architecture and decor.
The American Sewing Guild Conference offered over 19 different free demonstration of sewing techniques at the exhibit hall state.  The ASG conference offers workshops, seminars, and a large amount of lectures to suit difference member needs.  The selection was amazing.
They also had a wonderful community service project called the “Painted Turtle Pillow” where members

buy the pattern to make the turtle pillow and then donate them to either raise funds for the children or to give to the children.
The Painted Turtle camp (a non-profit organization) is a special camp and family care center for children who suffer from life threatening illnesses.
The American Sewing Guild also had some great special events that included the “Art Bra Exhibit” from “The Way to Wellness Foundation”‘ and the well-known Hoffman Challenge from the “Treasures Collection”.
The first exhibit I got to see was the “Art Bra Exhibit” from The Way to Wellness Foundation.  The art bras can be made of just about anything.  The artist’s imagination is only limited in the fact that it has to remain wearable and displayable.  The “Art Bra Exhibit” from “The Way to Wellness Foundation” was created to benefit woman’s breast cancer services.
The detail work on these bra’s is very creative and fun.
Below is a close up of some the different detail work on three of the bras that were on display.
The first has some fun western motifs on it.
The second has all different types of beads.
The third was covered in cloth dominos which were three dimensional.
The second special event was the 2011 Hoffman Challenge  from their “Treasures Collection.”  Here is a
peek of only a few of the beautiful pieces of clothing that were on display.
 In the trends area, I stopped by and spoke with Stephanie Klienman at the “Fabric Studio” booth.  She explained how the  Fabric Studio Software line allows the user to create and print their own fabric patterns in easy-to-follow steps.  It was so simple, and the resulting fabric is pretty to cool to see in person.
Below are printed examples of some fabric made using their fun new “Fabric Studio” software. I like the kitty and puppy fabric.  They are too cute!
This little dress is so adorable and if you look closely, you can see the little girl’s face in the print.
Then I went to visit with Linda McGehee from Ghee’s to talk to her about the zipper trend and some of the many different things you can make with them.
Her booth had an incredible selection of zippers that varied from simple to some covered with rhinestones.   I personally loved the fancy lace trimmed zippers.  She even had badge holders that were made from zippers.
Linda knows that folks are busy and cannot often shop around for the materials to make some of her cool jewelry projects that she sells on her website.  So she actually had some kits at her booth that were incredibly cute and very reasonably priced.
Samples from Linda’s Jewelry Making Patterns from zippers.
  She also offers free patterns on her website.  Linda a very cool class on upcycling old clothing.
Then I decided to check out the Exhibit Hall and see what types of merchandise was being sold by vendors. One thing that caught my eye was “Dawn Sklar Ribbon and Button” booth where there was a fabulous selection of ribbons and buttons.
She also had jewelry-making supplies as well as pre-made button jewelry.
However, it was the buttons themselves that held my attention. She even had some steampunk ones but they sold out pretty quick on those.

The show had a lot to offer between the workshops, the lectures and the exhibits.  The demonstrations provided some very useful information and the opportunity to see different ways to use the products.  There was plenty of eye candy and a great selection of interesting products to empty the pocket book.  If you enjoy sewing and being a part of such an interesting organization, then you may wish to look into their next conference.
Pros:
  • ASG offers a large selection of workshops.
  • The ASG sends out supply list before the show so attendees can bring the right equipment.
  • Over 50 vendors of sewing related products.
Cons:
  • Location…location…that part of downtown LA is a challenge both with parking.  We had to park a 1/2 mile away from the hotel to find reasonably priced parking (the hotel charged $40 per day for parking).
  • You could easily be overwhelmed if you try to attend all the lectures.
  • Trying to decide which workshops to attend, they had a huge selection.

What different types of shows do you enjoy attending?  What kinds of lectures and/or product demonstrations do you wish they would hold? Leave us a comment and let us know what kind of events you want to see reviewed here on Craft Critique!

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Event | The Unique LA Show in California

Reported by Maria Del Pinto

The “Unique LA” gift show is known for its unique handmade and/or hand decorated arts & crafts items that appeal to folks who enjoy items that are different. This particular craft and gift show takes place several times a year, each with its own theme.
View of downtown Los Angeles from the show windows.
Now, this is not a traditional craft show; it has a more adult setting, since it is in the downtown LA area. It is not geared for small children and does not offer an area for children to run around and play.  If that is a concern for you, then I do not recommend bringing small children to this show.
The vendors will vary at each show as will the merchandise available for purchase.  However, there is always something exciting planned by the sponsors, including goody bags, hourly drawings, and more.
Upcycled old purses
At this show, you will not find teddy bears or traditional hand made dolls.  I did find jewelry made from Legos, motorcycle parts, and other non-traditional materials.
You will also find unusual and recycled material gift items like the fun doll furniture set below, made by local artisans and crafters.
The doll furniture set is made from recycled metals cans.
The chair above was made from a large food can and the ottoman below is made from a small food can
(similar to a tuna can).  I love all the small details and scrolling that the crafter did with the tin can pieces.
You can just about find anything at this show, including a booth that made and sold wood ties.
Another booth sold seed bombs and sling shots.  Apparently, you throw these wild flower seed bombs into ugly empty fields and within a few weeks they sprout and the field is filled with flowers.

The selection of merchandise available for purchase was beyond belief.  I had a great time checking out the different booths, demonstrations, food vendors, and photo opportunities that were available for show guests to enjoy.
Bacon Sticky Bun
The chocolate booth.  
  I had the opportunity to try all types of bacon desserts, some unusual sodas (made from vegetables) and other unique snack items.   I also found a booth with personalized socks, handmade chocolates (unique flavors), leather jewelry and so much more.
There were also “Make and Take” mini craft workshops for folks to experience.
Christi Friesen was there doing polymer clay works shops featuring projects from her various books.
For those who love polymer clay or just want to try it out, she also has a monthly “Blather and Stuff” newsletter and free project downloads on her projects page.
Christi demonstrating sculpting techniques.
One of the many cool pieces made by Christi that were available.
There was also a glass focal bead workshop by  Cathi Milligan (Author of “Mod Knots“), who teaches glass bead making workshops locally.
Tamara Berg had a very cool project made from champagne cork cages.  Her workshops were wildly popular with this crowd.  As you can see they are really cute and easy to make.
The Craft and Folk Art Museum sponsored a very cool craft workshop on hair accessories made with scrap materials.
The Craftside Publishing Booth featured a fun “Ugly Sweater” that folks could pose with (Photo Op Stops are always popular with this crowd).  Notice all the fun ’80s icons you find on the sweater.  It was a big hit with the show visitors.
Christi Friesen posing with the “Ugly Sweater”
The Craftside publishers arranged for a two day whirlwind of mini workshops and “Make & Take” demonstrations for this particular event.  They also donated journals which are made from the over runs from their book printings.
Journals made from the book printing over runs.

Since they do this to recycle the left over materials from the printings, you never know what the outside cover or inside covers will look like (nor the information contained within them).

The photo above shows a page from an embroidery book which could be used to learn stitches to make something like this quilt box cover.
Quilted box top my daughter made.
They do not do this at every “Unique LA” show, so you need to check the website to see if they are participating in the “Make & Take” workshops at the upcoming shows.
For those who are not familiar with the term, a “Make & Take” is a craft project that you make in a very short time (usually 10 minutes or less). Pictured in the photo below are Stefanie Girard,   Cathi Milligan, and  Linda Swingle who taught some of the workshops offered at this show.
Stefanie (author of “Sweater Surgery“) taught her recycling sweater projects.  Cathi demonstrated glass focal beads and showed off her handblown beads.
Linda Swingle taught a water color technique featuring images from her new set of stamps sold by Stampington & Co.
Nancy Langdon was hand to share some of her sewing secrets and techniques.
Nancy Langdon, is the author of “Sewing Clothes Kids Love”.  Nancy was on hand to give a workshop on ribbon rose techniques.
Each of these artists contributed freely of their time and class materials to provide this fabulous opportunity to provide show guest with a chance to learn a new craft and/or technique to the various visitors to the “Unique LA” show.  As someone who truly enjoyed the various workshops and demonstrations,  I thank them for their generosity in time and supplies.


Pros:
  • Wide selection of crafts and hand made items to choose from.
  • A lot of merchandise made from unusual materials.
  • Fun, party-like atmosphere.

Cons:

  • Parking in downtown LA.
  • It got crowded at times which made seeing some merchandise a bit more challenging.
  • You may spend too much money.

What types of craft shows do you like to visit?  What types of workshops do you wish they would offer and/or which are your favorites?
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Event | The Scrapbook Expo

Reported by Maria Del Pinto
The Scrapbook Expo has several shows across the country; each one features a fun crop event where folks get together and crop the day and night away.
For those who have never attended a crop, here is how some of the crops work.  Each person rents a table workspace and brings all of their supplies and pictures that they may need to work on their projects.  
The point of this type of event is to create the opportunity for an individual to work in a very creative atmosphere with other folks who share their enthusiasm to create memorable pages.  The shared creative ideas are a lot of fun, and people often make new friends at these types of events.
Each day of the crop part of the show has a different theme.  In the one I recently attended,  Friday was a fun “Old West Crop Party” theme.  There prizes for creativity, enthusiasm and more.  The show also offered attendees of the crop event some great equipment like die cut machines, paper trimmers, scrapbook software (compliments of Kodak), cricut machines, and more for croppers to use during the crop.
They even had pre-packaged scrapbooking kits that scrappers could order to make during the event.
The Expo also offered a broad selection of classes in digital scrapbooking and media.
On the show floor, there were many “Make & Take” opportunities for attendees to participate in. the projects were varied and had a wide range of appeal.
There were also plenty of free Technique Demonstrations to watch throughout the show, one of which was at the JudiKins booth.
Judy was on hand to demonstrate her technique of combining cool stamps with other products to create fun mini works of art. My favorite stamp was her new “Galaxy Spiral Stamp” which is from her retro collection.
For this project, she combined dye-based inks, glitters, and
Diamond Glaze to create a fun effect on glass and plastic.  The soda can lid (project on the right in the picture below) is stamped, then the color is heat set before adding the diamond glass (which is allowed to air dry).
The JudiKins booth featured a vast assortment of new rubber stamp images.  Here is a sampling of some of the new images 
and the sample card project.  She has more project ideas , directions, and instructional videos on her website.
The next booth to catch my eye was the Button Farm.  I just loved their wall of products, which included 7 Gypsies,Tim Holtz, and some very interesting curios. 
They also offered pre-packaged altered album kits.  All the supplies need to complete the project are in the kit.  They offered some fun designs.  I like the fact that I would not need to hunt out various unique products on my own to finish the kit like the one below.  For those who do not have time to plan a project, the complete step-by-step directions are always included in these kits.
My next stop was the Little Windows Brilliant Photo Jewelry booth.  Their display of photo jewelry just made you want to stop and look closer.  
Their fun jewelry making kit includes an epoxy resin that is not toxic and does not have the usual strong odor that most epoxies have.  Plus, it is created to work well with photo prints.
Here is a sampling of the different types of pieces you can make with this product using a variety of techniques.
Quick Quotes had a fun “Make & Take” that featured their flip flop shoe book.  This kit features a real pair of flip flops as the album cover.  Then the pages are attached in accordion style.  This is a very fun and cute kit.
They also had a fun display from their Club Q which offers crafters a choice of either a page kit or an altered art kit.
Technique Tuesday, featured ideas and kits that were geared towards toward the busy crafter.  They had page layout kits, chip board, clear stamps, and more.
Another booth that caught my eye was the Charity Wings.Org booth.  They were hosting a fund raiser “Make &Take”  event at the show, where they were making cute cards to raise money for charity.
Charity Wings is a non profit organization (California Non-Profit Org. 501(c)(3)) that empowers creative people who want to make a difference in other peoples lives and help raise funds for various charities and organizations (this show raised money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society).
I enjoyed the wide selection of “Make & Takes” mini workshops,
scrapbooking classes, and digital media imaging workshops.
This show offered an abundance of paper craft supplies.  The selection of embellishments was more tempting that you can imagine.  They also had basic rubber stamping supplies, chip board books, altered art supplies, stencils, embossing powders, glitters, adhesives, and incredible deals on patterned paper.
It turned out to be a great mix of altered art, stamping, and scrapbooking combined.  One of the things that really stood out at this show is that the “Tim Holtz” line is extremely popular and people are finding lots of creative ways to use the products.  I also noticed the pre-packaged scrapbooking and altered art kits were widely available.  No matter what your experience level is, there was a kit to suit your needs.   For more information on upcoming workshops, 2011 show schedule, discount coupons, or vendors,  I would recommend checking the Scrapbook Expo show website.

Have you attended any scrapbooking shows?  What was your favorite project or workshop? We would love to hear your thoughts on these type of shows?

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CHA 2011 Supershow: Chicago

July 21-24, 2011
Donald E. Stephens Convention Center
Rosemont (Chicago), IL

Following successful debuts in Orlando, Anaheim and Rosemont/Chicago, IL, the Craft & Hobby Association (CHA) Craft Supershow will now be held as the CHA Craft Supershow Section at TransWorld’s Jewelry, Fashion & Accessories (JF&A) Show. This event has great synergy with the audience of crafters and craft and hobby enthusiasts in the Chicagoland area that have attended the Craft Supershow in the past.

The CHA Craft Supershow Section will draw over 8,000 crafters from across the country and feature industry-leading exhibitors showcasing unique craft products and supplies available for sale during the show. This along with the 25,000 attendees that the JF&A Show brings, it will surely be the ultimate craft shopping experience in Chicago! Expert crafters will assist attendees with hands-on projects and make-n-take demonstrations on the show floor.

“We launched the Craft Supershow to promote the benefits of crafting, such as the value proposition, quality time with family, stress-relief and to introduce and remind consumers of the pleasure of crafting,” explained Steve Berger, President and CEO of the Craft & Hobby Association. “We are very excited to bring this fun and informative event as part of TransWorld’s 34+ year tradition of finely attended Jewelry, Fashion & Accessories Shows in the Chicagoland area.”

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