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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?

Little Windows Jewelry Kit Winner

Congratulations to the winner of the Little Windows Jewelry Kit…

Michelle said…
Nope, never purchased a kit like this but after reading this review I’ve already browsed Little Windows website! I would use this to make grandparent presents, necklaces for my little girl and friends. I really want one of those rubiks to make a gift for my hubby!
Michelle in NJ

If your name appears above and you are a winner, please email us at info@craftcritique.com with your name and address as well as the product you have won in the subject of your email.  Congrats to the winners!

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

Vendor Spotlight: Little Windows Make 3 Necklaces Kit

Reported by Taylor Usry

I recently had the chance to play with an awesome product – the Little Windows Make 3 Necklaces kit. Doesn’t it come in the prettiest package?! Just like a box from Tiffany’s – stunning blue box and all. Presentation is important! I couldn’t wait to open this kit up, but before I get into it, let me share the deets: the kit retails for $48.00 and is available from the Little Windows store. It comes with everything needed to make three 1 1/8″ square resin necklaces, including:

And there are leftovers to make more goodies. Extra is great! The kind folks at Little Windows also included a small doming tray for me to try out. And for cropping your photos, the Little Windows Photo Cropping Software is available for free. It is internet-based, which means it works on both Macs and PCs.

Making the necklaces could not be any easier. The hardest part was deciding what to put in them! Once you’ve made the choice (more on my first tries in just a bit) the online photo cropping software is super easy to use.  It can be accessed from any computer, so you can take this craft on the road with you. They only make two shapes available, though – medium squares (which fit the molds included with this kit) and medium diamonds (same size as the square, only on an angle). The other sizes you see pictured in the template above can be purchased as add-ons for the photo cropping software; molds for them can be purchased as well. You can watch the demo they provide to see just how easy editing your photos is – just upload and crop. Up to eight medium square photos will fit on the 4″ x 6″ specialty photo paper. Once you’ve printed your photos out you place the cropping template on top of it, trace around the edges with a ballpoint pen and then cut it out. Now you are ready to make your jewelry!

The resin is very easy to mix – just pour to the correct lines on the mixing cup, stir for 2 1/2 minutes, and let it rest for about 5 minutes. Then you fill the molds about 3/4 of the way full, if you are just using photos in them. When you add the photos it’s important to slide them in, not lay them on top and push down – that will cause your resin to spill over the edges. If you have bubbles, they usually disappear after 10 minutes. If they don’t you can either pop them or pull them out with the mixing wand.  Once you’ve got the the photo all set into the resin, you place the molds back in the dust cover and let them sit for about 12 hours. It’s important to note that you can do more than just photos in these molds – you can do beads too. I’m not sure if you have to have a certain type, though – the ones I had at home bled into the resin and tinted the whole thing pink.

I used a photo of my little sweeties in one of the necklaces above. I turned it black and white before I printed it. The other necklace I didn’t want to be just a photo, but I read on the site in the FAQ section that the reason you have to use the specialty photo paper was that regular photo paper was too porous and wouldn’t work. So I was hesitant to try just plain old patterned paper or cardstock. Instead I scanned a piece of Webster’s Pages Waiting for Santa paper and uploaded that. It turned into the cutest little holiday necklace! So the possibilities there are endless – you can use scanned papers, pictures of art, landscapes, people…I really don’t know what to make next!

After you’ve let the resin sit in the molds for about 12 hours, the next steps are super easy. You pop the molds in the freezer for about a minute, pull them out and twist them like an ice cube tray, and then tap them on a hard surface (I used my counter) – and out they come! The hand drill makes short work of the hole through the top. Then you put a silver pin through it, twist it into a loop, and put them on a necklace. I’m not kidding, it really and truly could not be any simpler. And the step-by-step instructions included with the kit have excellent pictures as well as written instruction (for all types of learners). It’s foolproof!

With some of the leftovers I used the doming tray to try our a technique they call doming. The concept is simple – just pour resin on top of your shapes and allow it to set. You can use these little trinkets as magnets, for custom embellishments, stick-ons for cell phones or iPods…there is no limit to the possibilities! Shown above are my first batch of domed images – the leftovers from what I printed and didn’t turn into necklaces.

I tried the beads with this technique too. But again, I think the beads I have just aren’t for use with resin. They look super cool, especially on the photo-paper base I used, but they did bleed a bit. I punched out a piece with a flower punch, poured the resin on and added the beads. I pushed them into the resin and when it dried you can see above how they sit up off of the flower. What an easy way to make cool custom trinkets for projects!

I cannot say enough great stuff about this kit – I know I’ll be making tons of things with it! Currently setting up in the molds are a cool set that uses the layering technique. I wish I had a picture to share, but it just doesn’t look right in the mold and I can’t take it out yet. So I’ll direct you to the ones on the Little Windows site.

When I first saw the price of the kit I thought it seemed a bit high. Once I used it, and saw the quality of the things that come with it I changed my tune. I can say unequivocally that this kit is worth the money. It’s easy to use, the website is super helpful and easy to navigate, and the extra components are way cool. I feel like I keep saying the word easy, but that’s because it really and truly is!

The kit would make a great gift for anyone. Or you could get it for yourself and make some unique gifts for others. Either way – just get it!!

READER DISCOUNT
Order one of these great kits or Little Windows custom designs for yourself or as a great holiday gift!  Craft Critique readers can enjoy FREE SHIPPING by entering the discount code CCFREE at checkout.  Offer expires December 14th.


EDITOR’S NOTE: If anyone is having problems entering or redeeming the free shipping discount, please email the folks at Little Windows and they will happily refund the cost. Just email them directly to correct, Thanks!

GIVEAWAY
The great folks over at Little Windows are offering our readers a chance to win one of their Necklace Kits (MSRP value of $48).  To win, just answer this question in the comments section at the bottom of this article on our website.

Have you ever used a kit to make a gift like this?  Is this something you would purchase and make yourself or give to a friend?  We’d love to hear what you think!

One Comment per Person, contest will remain open until Friday, December 10th at 6pm CST.

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