Archive | Events

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.


  • 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.


  • 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.



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.

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.
  • 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.
  • 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!