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Celebrating Movember

During November each year, Movember is responsible for the sprouting of mustaches on thousands of mens faces around the world. The aim of which is to raise vital funds and awareness for mens health, specifically prostate cancer and other cancers that affect men.

You can sponsor the growing of said facial hair of friends and family and be part of a fun event to make a difference as 1 in 6 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer.

In honor of this being the month of Movember, I thought it would be a good time to introduce our readers to some of my favourite Male Crafters.

Fabrizio Martellucci


1. What do you enjoy about being creative?
I enjoy the distraction of it, I can lose myself for hours paper crafting and when I look at the clock I realise that I spent a whole afternoon crafting. It’s healing for me as I would just sulk otherwise because I’m indoors all the time due to agoraphobia and other issues.

2. What is the most frustrating thing about being creative?
Not being able to create what you have brewing in your head. I might have an idea that sits there for weeks then when I’m finally ready to create, it doesn’t come to fruition; I usually get totally disheartened but sometimes out of that original idea something completely different might come up and that surprises me.
3. Where do you look for inspiration?
I’m an avid blog hopper for my own linking website papermood.com as I’m always on the lookout for that ‘wow’ handmade greeting card, I also like to read paper crafting magazines: especially the card making ones. Funnily enough my best ‘lightbulb’ moments came using sketches/pagemaps I really dig how you can apply any sort of papers, embellishments and ribbons, using various layouts, which seems to have taken the guessing work, out of the equation. Sketches are real time savers.¬†


4. What do you love about your favourite pieces of artwork?
It’s something I like to share with other crafters like myself, in a way it’s a bit of a legacy on my best work (I’m really a hit and miss so I’m not proud of all my stuff lol); I always hope that someone who’s sitting on the fence about paper crafting might decide to start crafting because they see my creations and that would be really cool to think that I’ve inspired someone else.

5. Do you find any differences being male in your creative field?
I think male crafters are still standing out like sore thumbs because there aren’t that many of us. Mind you, I can see more men cardmakers popping up everywhere now than it used to be only a few years ago. I do like the attention I get being male as with my foreign name, it makes me stand out from the rest.

6. What would be your favourite words of creative wisdom to others?
Don’t buy everything you see as we only use 20% we own to produce 80% of our output (using the Pareto principle here), I believe that some of us have hoarding tendencies and that can be a problem if space is at a premium in your own dwelling. My best tip is also to give your creations only to people who will appreciate them, don’t spend time trying to convert the ‘only shop bought’ cards brigade: you’re only wasting your time. ūüôā

You can see more of Fab’s work at his site: http://www.kimtag.com/fabrizio

Aaron Morris
1. What do you enjoy about being creative?
I enjoy being able to channel the creativity that I have inside me into things that make me and the ones I love happy.

2. What is the most frustrating thing about being creative?
I always find it frustrating when I lose my mojo. I hate having the desire to be creative, but having trouble creating something that I am happy with. Sometimes, I get frustrated when I have too much inspiration, knowing that I will likely not get to everything I want to do.

3. Where do you look for inspiration?
I find inspiration all around me. In a store, in nature, looking at other layouts (both paper and digi). I mostly get inspired to create things by my family and the memories we create – when I have memories to scrap or great photos I get inspired to create.

4. What do you love about your favourite pieces of artwork?
As I’ve spent time scrapbooking, my style has changed. I am most happy with my style as it is now. I love layering and clustering elements, and I love adding surprising elements to my pages. I also love having layouts that I can share with my family.

5. Do you find any differences being male in your creative field?
Not usually. Some people are surprised when they “find out” about me, but people are usually great about it and love having a man that shares their hobby.

6. What would be your favourite words of creative wisdom to others?
I think I would love to remind people that there is no “wrong answer” in creativity. Often we get caught up in what is trendy and what others will like and forget that creativity is supposed to be something that is original to each individual. My best work comes from the times that I forget what I think is the “right thing” to do, and do what I feel works the best.

You can see more of Aaron’s work at his site: http://www.sirscrapalot.com/

Andy Skinner
1. What do you enjoy about being creative?
Finding out new techniques, experimenting with new mediums and loosing myself for a few hours!

2. What is the most frustrating thing about being creative?
Never being totally happy with the artwork I create. Unfortunately we are all our own worst critics.

3. Where do you look for inspiration?
In absolutely everything including my dreams! I take a camera with me wherever I go and take pictures constantly for reference.

4. What do you love about your favourite pieces of artwork?
This is different for so many pieces as I dabble in many techniques, styles and media. I think, however,¬† for my Steampunk and assemblage items, it is the ability to produce realistic faux metal, rust and aged effects to fool the viewer. It’s so funny that my father spent most of his spare time restoring old items to make them look new, I on the other hand do the complete opposite, it’s much more fun that way!
5. Do you find any differences being male in your creative field?
Not really, I do sometimes feel a little out numbered as men are definitely the minority in this field it has to be said, but I have always got on far better with women having grown up in a female- dominated house and having all daughters.

6. What would be your favourite words of creative wisdom to others?
This one is simple for me, its from Albert Einstein “Imagination is more important than knowledge”

You can see more of Andy’s work at his site: http://andyskinner.org


I hope you have enjoyed this little introduction to some awesome crafters and that you will support Movember’s quest!

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Review | The Card Album

Reported by Maria Del Pinto
I enjoy finding new and interesting storage products for my finished projects.  It is even better when the
product has problem solving applications like the Card Album.  At first glance, it is not very impressive looking.  However, Stefanie Girard (designer & patent holder), who is a friend of mine, is pretty patient, so she took the time to explain how the Card Album works and the reasoning behind the design.
The Card Album
The Card Album was created for people like me who like to make their own cards.  In the past when I made a card I would stick in a file or in a drawer.  More often than not, the handmade card would get squished, bent, or even misplaced.  To avoid this type of disappointment, Stefanie Girard (author of Sweater Surgery ) created a special elastibind construction on the Card Album to hold greeting cards and other projects for crafters and artists alike.
She wanted to create an organized solution for folks to be able to store their handmade greeting cards without having them become damaged or misplaced.   She also recycles envelopes and uses them in these binders to hold an assortment of different items.
View of how the Card Album holds cards.
The Card¬†Album holds up to 24 of 5″x7″ cards even if you have a variety of different sized¬†handmade¬†cards. I like how easily this systems allows me to keep my cards organized and accessible.¬†
View of back pocket and banding on the Card Album
You insert the finished or even unfinished card through the band and its stays in place until you need it again.
Showing the album holding 5×7 cards
The fun did not stop there! I attended a “Card Album” decorating class at the winter¬†CHA show, and we decorated the outside of these cool card albums with die cuts, stickers, buttons and other ephemera. Since the decorative craft class was offered at the CHA show, there was an amazing assortment of items (both¬†cool tools, fun decorative¬†embellishments,¬†and other tidbits) available to use.

Stefanie showed us how we can uses our altered art supplies, scrapbooking supplies, etc. to decorate the outside of the Card Album  to reflect our own artistic style.  If you can not attend one her classes, she does have a blog (The Card Album Blog) where she often posts card making ideas.
Rubber stamps work great on these.  The stamped image, on the above Card Album is done using StazOn ink which works great on so many surfaces.
The next album I decorated I wanted to have a Halloween theme.  I found some cool templates on the Martha Stewart crafting site to use.  I printed out the witch silhouette and used it as a template.  The templates have some really convenient measurements so you can adjust the print to the size you need (on your computer).
Witch Silhouette from Martha Stewart crafts
Then I used a glue stick to attach the witch to the book cover.  It stayed on really well, which surprised me since glue stick glue does not always hold well on plastic.  I also used my Martha Stewart punch around the page crackle punch to outline the cover.  I love her punches and will use them in any craft I can.
It was a simple craft project that did not take a lot of time or supplies.  I only used items that I had on hand and I was pleased that it came out just the way I wanted it to.  Now I can store my Halloween-themed cards in this book.

I have a tendency to save the special cards that friends have made me over the years.  Each one holds a special memory for me, and I  treasure these mementos. So I also made one that is just for those cards, out of leftover bits and pieces.

The Card Album decorated to hold my treasured cards.

The card album offers me a great way to store these cards, yet have easy access to them when I want to look through my collections.

All in all, I really like this Card Album. Stefanie was happy to sell me a few to hold my favorite treasures.  At a price of $9.95, it is an affordable way to display and hold both my own handmade cards and those given to me.
Pros:
  • Holds up to 24 cards of different sizes
  • The designs of the books makes it easy to access my cards
  • Great way to show off handmade cards at Gift Shows
  • Very affordable at $9.95
Cons:
  • Only comes in two colors
  • I wish it came in a larger size to hold some of my larger projects
  • Only available online
Do you make handmade cards? What are some of your favorite cards that you have received?  How do you store these treasures?
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Book Review | Altered Art Circus by Lisa Kettell

Reported by Maria Del Pinto

If you have always wanted to try altered art but did not want to limit yourself to a flat surface, then Altered Art Circus is a book you may want to check out. ¬†The book’s author,¬†Lisa Kettell¬†takes you into the 3-dimensional world of altered art with some fabulously inspirational projects and artwork.
Betsy Figure by Lisa Kettell
Lisa Kettel is also known for beautiful paper ephemera designs, dolls, and jewelry designs.  

Lisa Kettell Vintage Crystal bracelet

I especially enjoyed her beautiful bracelets made from old baseballs, as well as her steampunk jewelry line.

Altered Art Circus Lisa Kettell dolls
Lisa’s artwork brings a little of bit of whimsy, imagination, and captures the magic from Lisa’s¬†Fairytale World. ¬†Her book has several fun projects, like the circus train which is made from old boxes.¬†
Page from Altered Art Circus by Lisa Kettell 
This is a pretty cool project because you can use recycled boxes as the base for any of these projects. 
Project from Altered Art Circus by Lisa Kettell 
I decided to try my hand to make one of these boxes to hold one of the my cute little yellow chick figure, which is a Lisa Kettell original piece.
Yellow Chick made Lisa Kettell 
   So I started with an empty box of pop toasties.
I measured and drew where I intended to place the cut out on the front of the box.
I took my inspiration from the project below by Lisa Kettell.  She adds paper that she has aged. Then along with some cool die cuts and glitter, she creates a bit of magic for us to enjoy.
Altered Art Circus Project by Lisa Kettell 
So I used some of the ideas and instructions in the book and I decorated the exterior and interior of the box with an assortment of papers. 
Altered Art Circus inspired project.

Then I added the little figure to the box.

I may still add some glitter to the outside of the box I made. However, for now I like the way it came out.
Images from the book Altered Art Circus by Lisa Kettell 
By the way, Lisa has included some fabulous images in her book for you to use in creating your own piece of whimsy.  These are beautifully illustrated images that just inspire a multitude of project ideas.
Lisa Kettell and her book “Altered Art Circus”
The book includes projects that vary from globes, to wands, to card pocket books, and some home decor items.  Lisa has done a wonderful job in inspiring her readers to reach into their own imagination and create some fun projects.  Her work can be found on etsy, angelfire, and other sites.
Pros:
  • The projects in this book are varied to suit different tastes and experience levels
  • The images in this book are beautiful.
  • The instructions are well written and easy to follow.
  • The book is available for the iPad.
Cons:
  • The iPad version does not allow for the reader to utilize the images, like the actual printed version does.
Please share any tips and ideas. We would love to know what different types of altered pieces our readers like to make.

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CHA Embellishments: Petaloo

Reported by Maria Del Pinto

We could not walk past the Petaloo booth without stopping to see the vast display of new scapbooking supplies,  and collections they have ready to release.  As you can see from other posts on CHA, flowers are big this year!

The “Mulberry Street” collection is their most recent release and is available for shipping to your local craft store.

This is a fabulous example of a fun way to use these blooms.

In addition to blooms, they now offer sparkly things to set off your lovely creations. ¬†Here is an example of a beautiful collage of the flowers, paper, glitter and sequins. ¬†From the “Dazzlers” collection, we have the following selection.

The memory book cover below is a great example of how you can combine the various products to create  a fun, personalized cover.

The “Sweet Pea” collection (Premier Devon Collection), was scheduled to be released on February 5, 2011.

Close up of one of the “Sweat Pea” flower sets.

These flowers looks so cute on the cards below.

The “Expression” collection also offered an interesting selection of florals. ¬†This collection is scheduled to be released on February 28, 2011.

 Below is your sneak peek at these new florals.

¬†The “Bohemian Paper Silk” flowers in this line are simple and lend themselves well to to be used on wearable projects like the hairbands below.

A very exciting addition to their line is the “Color Me Crazy” collection which is scheduled to be released on May 1, 2011.

These flowers are made from a variety of media (cloth, paper, etc.) and can be colored with different media (inks, paint, chalks, and more) to match your project color theme.  Below is a small example of the different varieties of flowers available in this collection.

Rosebuds
crochet florals

Rose Buds

Dendrobiums

They also offer trims in the same collection.

An example of flowers that were colored to match the memory paper.

The “Canterbury” collection is scheduled to be released on May 31, 2011.

Here is a look at a couple of the flowers you can find in this collection. ¬†The first is from the mini “Canterbury” collection in the color pink.

The next is a lovely violet vine flower.

Below are some lovely examples of different projects you can create with this particular line.

The next collection was the “Estate” collection which is scheduled to be released May 1, 2011.

These flowers are made from knotted ribbons that are accented with a lovely crystal accent piece in the center of the bloom.  They come with a pin so that you can put it on a variety of items like hats, purses, etc.  Here is a close up of the darling little toddler dress that is accented with flowers from this line.

The Petaloo booth was like walking into a candy store.  Their new trims offered a fun filled assortment of textures and textiles.  The color and selection was truly inspiring. The question is, what would you make with these beauties.

Mini Rose Trim
Crochet Trim

Crystal Trim
Paper Garland
Paper Garland

Here is one great way to use the paper garland trim.

Needless to say, we spent a lot of time in this booth to see all the exciting products that Petaloo is releasing.  The aforementioned is only a part of what they had there.  You can visit their website to see what is new and when it will be released.

Click on the link at the top of the page to visit Craft Critique for comments, giveaways and more!

CHA Supershow Contests: Get Your Craft On

Not only did the crowd at the CHA Supershow get to participate in oodles of make and takes and excellent shopping, there were also fun contests to get in on as well. One of which was Get Your Craft On hosted by Wendy Russell of HGTV’s She’s Crafty.

As the crowd started to gather, I could tell this was going to be a fun one to watch. Three contestants would be selected from the audience to alter wooden frames:

Using anything from this table of supplies:

In only 10 minutes! Talk about speed crafting.

Once the contestants were selected, Wendy got them suited up in aprons and ready to go.

And they were off!

Each contestant was to think of a story or theme to use while altering their frame. It was so much fun to watch each of them get straight to work (mega concentration was going on):




It was amazing to see how each crafter gravitated toward different media. One used Mod Podge, another just paint, and yet another knew spray adhesive would make the quickest work of her vision:

During the 10 minute wait Wendy and the CHA staff kept the crowd lively with trivia questions and give-a-ways:

But all too soon the time had flown by, and it was hands up, glue sticks down:

Each contestant then presented her piece and the story behind it. First up was Cami, with her colorful frame. She said she is certainly not afraid of color and just went for it.

Next up was this One Krafty Chick who said her frame represented her blog (I love the fur):

And finally Jacqui, whose frame was decorated around her daughter’s under the sea themed bedroom (notice the cute little octopus in the corner made from a button and pipe cleaners, great idea):

Then the hard part, the winner was to be selected by audience applause. But it was just too close to tell, so everyone went home a winner.




Especially when Wendy presented each contestant with a full DVD Box Set of her HGTV series. What a great prize to go home with!

Phew! I was exhausted after watching. Could you create something in 10 minutes with an audience watching?


Bamboo Craft and Wacom Pen Scrappers – Everything You Need for
Digital or Hybrid Scrapbooking and Crafting!

Giveaway: Enter to win your own Bamboo Craft Pen and Touch Tablet. Send an email
with your name and address to penscrappers@wacom.com and put “I saw it on Craft Critique” in the subject line. Enter by August 31, 2010. One lucky winner will be selected by random and notified by email by
September 3, 2010.

Click on the link at the top of the page to visit Craft Critique for comments, giveaways and more!

CHA Tools: GCD Studios by Melody Ross

CHA is held in the enormous Anaheim Convention Center, and is all sorts of loud. Between the excited chatter, squeaking rolling bags, and cheers from give-aways, it can be deafening. But if you listen closely, and block out the *squee-ing*, you can hear the banging and pounding coming from the back of the room: the GCD Studios booth, home of the new Chip Art product line from Melody Ross.

Designed to mark up her new chipboard shapes, the CHA attendees couldn’t get enough of the brightly-colored implements:

Her chipboard shapes, board books, and jewelry findings are pretty all on their own… almost too pretty to distress and beat on. Almost!

The “stamps” are sturdy metal dies, and come in 4 different alphabet fonts, as well as a slew of ornamental elements:

The make-and-take area was always crowded; we shot this video so you could see the tools in action:

It’s certainly not a nap-time craft, but we think the noise is worth it! What do you think?

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Click on the link at the top of the page to visit Craft Critique for comments, giveaways and more!