Serendipitous - A surprising turn of events!

Life is always full of surprises.  That’s what I love about walking the floor at the Craft and Hobby Association (CHA) Trade Show and Conference.  Chance meetings creates new bonds and working relationships. 

I met all of my clients through CHA and enjoy working with them.  And, last week I was working on a project for one of my clients.  I was using their product to embellish a store-bought item.  Everything was going great until….. The piece slipped from my fingers and fell — but not before hitting the side of the table.  Had it not hit the table, it would have landed on soft carpeting.  The table broke the project. Little did I know at that time that the accident would set off a series of fortunate events.

The next morning, my Mom and I ventured back to the store to replace what was now broken.  I never have to ask my mom twice to come out with me.  She’s always been my best friend, so it’s fun being with her.  (fortunate event: spending time with Mom.)

We get to the store and then I immediately pick up a replacement for what I broke.  (fortunate event: they had more in stock)

Mom and I decide to walk about the store and check out their products.  As we are walking, I spot a display of dress forms.  Mom, of course, keeps walking — but the tiny sign sitting at the base of the display has my full attention.  This display was not here when I last visited the store.

Fortunate Event: The dress forms were for sale for a very, very, very low price.  I have wanted a dress form for a long time, but just didn’t want to purchase a new one. And, this dress form was high quality. In disbelief, I asked a sales person if they were really for sale at that price.  Which, she confirmed.  So, I grabbed the best “pick of the litter” and headed for the register.  Yes, I did forget that Mom was still shopping.  (Make a mental note: Never forget you are shopping with Mom.)

Mom did join me at the register and was also impressed with the dress form.  

Moral of the story:  Serendipity is such a pleasant surprise.  Make the best from chance encounters and broken projects.  After all, had I not dropped my project, I would never enjoy owning my own dress form — and enjoyed a fun day with my Mom.

Tomorrow:  What will you pin? 

New Product from Jolees: Jolee's Boutique Confections

Have you seen these new embellishments for scrapbooking and paper-crafting projects?  I have seen these at my local craft store and they really captured my interest. 

 My contact at EKSuccess Brands is quoted: “This month, one of our most exciting new collections is Jolee's Boutique Confections: Create colorful memories with special handmade touches to carry your theme through an event. Jolee’s Boutique Confections add color and detail to invitations, favors, table cards, thank you notes and more. Capture the essence of any celebration by adding fun, bright, inventive touches to your scrapbooking and paper-crafting projects. Make everything you do a memory to keep.”

While I agree with them, I think they can go beyond scrapbooking and paper crafts.  Wouldn’t they be adorable on plastic headbands for little girls?  They would be fun to try on other crafting projects as well. 

The manufacturer list price is $5.49 and are available at

Tomorrow:  Surprising turn of events!

Arts and Crafts - Roll On!

My husband is the business manager for my Professional Design Company, Carol Heppner, LLC.; because he is part of my company, he attends CHA with me. 

After my meeting with another company at CHA, I receive a phone call from Paul asking me to meet him at the Purple Cows booth.  The owners wanted to meet me.  “Purple Cows?”  I asked.  I wanted to make sure I heard the name correctly.  

I was thrilled to meet Paula at the booth and she gave me a tour of their great products.  They really are Craft Geeks, like the package says.  They take ordinary art and craft tools and give them a whole new twist. 

Paula sent me home with many of her products to try.  The first one that I removed from the package was their Roll It rubber stamping tool.  (Yes, if you take a look at the package in the photo, you will see that it is opened.  I wanted to show you the whole package, so I placed the tool back in the container)

I loved how the roller stamped the images in a straight line.  You can run a line along the edge of cardstock and will get a nice pattern.  I also tried it on a square piece of paper and going over and over the square with the roller.  It produced a marble type colored image.  Now, it doesn’t look like marbling, but rather gives you that darker and lighter image which will be great for backgrounds.

Tomorrow:  Fun product just in time for spring!

Please visit my friend and fellow Professional Designer, Vickie O'Dell on her blog for her I Love My Flip-Pal™ Mobile Scanner.  Vicki is a great designer, so make sure to visit her blog and join in the giveaway!  

Miniature Mask Pin

My miniature mask pin appeared in an arts and craft issue of Belle Armoire by Stampington and Company.  Because the mask was so small, it needed a wire mesh support to keep its shape while baking.  I do not remember the issue of the magazine, but they may still have back issue available. 

After the article appeared and this tiny mask was returned, it found its home in a mixed-media collage in my private collection. 

After seeing my masks, which are dusted with Pearl-Ex powders, Jacquard asked me to create a mask for them for one of the crafts supply catalog.;

Monday:  Awesome New Product from CHA

IlovetoCreate to the arts and crafts rescue

This year, the Designer’s Showcase was a two-day event at the Craft and Hobby Association Winter Trade Show and Conference.   The CHA Professional Designer Section can purchase tables at the Designer Showcase event, which is set up in a room away from the maddening crowds of the trade show. 

As the Professional Designers were discussing getting ready for the event, a representative from ILoveToCreate lets us know that they will be putting together a “Rescue” kit for our room.  Things like tape, glue, and paint for any mishaps that happen to our display during traveling.

Well, we all assume it was one kit for the entire room.  The Professional Designers were shocked by the generosity of those at ILoveToCreate.  It wasn’t a kit for the entire room, but a kit for each and ever Professional Designer who was exhibiting in the Designer Showcase.

We each received a goody box over flowing with ILoveToCreate products to meet our needs.  It included water, tissues, and candy.  They thought of everything.  Not only do they make great products but they are an awesome company.  

ILoveToCreate has provided me with product for articles and even for my Spring Trends report.  Make sure to visit them to see all their great products!

Professionalism at it’s best!
 Ever wonder what it takes to be one of CHA’s Professional Designers?  Do you think you have the right stuff and qualifications?  Ever wonder what are the benefits to belonging to the Craft and Hobby Association?  You should check it out today.

Tomorrow:  What is tiny and made from clay?

Mardi Gras Paper Mask

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! No, not Christmas — Mardi Gras.  Maybe it’s the colorful costumes or the imaginative floats.  Maybe it’s all the creativity that I love.  But my heart has always skipped a beat when thinking about masks. 

The above mask was create for Somerset Studio using Rubber Moon images.  I love the sense of whimsy that is provided by Rubber Moon. 

The base of the mask was made from air-dry clay.  Before the clay dried, the rubber stamps were impressed into the clay.  Once dry, I painted the mask with watercolor paint.  Yes, that’s watercolor paint.  I used a sealer to protect the mask. 

I do have a few other masks to show you in the next few days.  Some of my masks have been in gallery art shows.

Check out Mardi Gras to be inspired by the colors and creativity.

Tomorrow: Gift at the CHA Designer Showcase

Wax On! Batik on Paper

When I say the word, “batik” do you automatically think of fabrics?  What if I told you that you can create beautiful batiks on paper?  Seriously.  You can.  These hearts were created on rice paper using the batik technique, but could I could have easily used white scrapbooking paper and they would have looked just as great.

“The dyes,” you ask.  The rich dyes I used were from Tulip® One-Step-Dyes.  You just add water to the bottle and you get these wonderful dyes.  I love their deep color and richness.  I also love their ease of use. 

You can also use food-coloring dyes, the ones in the small bottles, but they won’t have the same deep, rich color that comes from the One-Step-Dyes.  But if you are just starting out, they are fine to use.

The most important facts that you must remember is that melted wax can catch on fire and that wax can burn you.  So you really do not want small children to handle hot wax and you want to read and follow the safety instructions that come on the box of wax.

If you have really young children, you can always use a white crayon to draw the design onto the paper as a resist.  Then, let them use watercolor paints to fill in the design. 

Wax give a deepness to the color that cannot be achieved any other way.  It’s one of my favorite techniques to use.  I hope you will be inspired to try your hand at batiks after seeing these hearts.

You can frame your work. You can scan it into your computer and print it out as cards or background paper (you can use the original, but you may want to save the original as your mater copy). 

You can also use this technique on fabric as well. 

Interested in learning more about the batik technique, pick up a copy of my Batik Tutorial right now.

Tomorrow: Mardi Gras

Shutter My Timbers - Choosing Color

How do you choose the colors you will use in your craft projects?  As a designer, I am always choosing colors for my projects.  Many times, the colors I choose depend on what look I am trying to achieve.  If I need a client’s project to look romantic, I need to choose romantic colors.  If it’s for artwork on a package, that artwork needs to pop and get the customer’s eyes.  I choose colors based on the viewer of the art and what I am trying to achieve with my artwork. What mood I am trying to evoke or set.

So, you are not a professional craft designer, how do you know what colors to use?  Many times just go with your gut.  But, why not look to the experts?  Check out the magazines at your local store.

There are times when you are in the grocery store and you see the magazine at the checkout counters.  They all have a color scheme.  Make note of it and then go home and try out that color scheme.  Keep a journal of color schemes that are interesting to you.  The magazine picked those colors so they could capture your attention.  So, why not use what they know when creating your own project?

This heart was inspired by a magazine that had this pretty lemon pie which was sitting on a blue and white tablecloth.  The dish, of course, was white.  Inspired by that cover, I made this heart.  There is a fresh, clean look about the heart. This is the same pattern that I used last Thursday, but this color scheme gives the heart a whole new and fresh look. 

Oh, the title, Shutter My Timbers… It’s from the shutters I used to photograph the heart.   What can I say, sometimes I am inspired by pirate movies!

Tomorrow: Wax On!

Polymer Clay Heart

The heart is my favorite shape, so should it surprise you that I use it a lot in my work? 

I love working in polymer clay and wanted to create a hanging wall pocket.  I wanted an update version of a wall pocket using polymer clay instead of using ceramics.

This tiny little thing using upcycled necklace parts to hang around the house.  You cut out the heart shape and use rubber stamps to create the texture on the clay.  The three layers (bottom, top, and decorative piece on the very top) were attached by using the same method you do with pie crusts.  I often say, if you can work with pie dough, you can work with polymer clay. 

If the heart doesn’t stay together after baking and cooling, you can always glue a clear-drying glue to attach the pieces.

I like filling the heart pocket with lavender from our garden thanks to my husband.  He’s the gardener in our family.  My parents, grandparents, great grandparents and great-great grandparents were wonderful gardeners.  Some how, that gene didn’t get passed down to me.  But, I digress…

The heart project was published six years ago in PolymerCAFE Magazine and can still be purchased from them.  The hearts in that article are a different design, but the techniques uses are the same.  The design is timeless and the article includes all the information you would need to create the heart. 

Monday: Shutter Me Timbers

Spring Project Sure To Make You Smile

Long after Valentine’s day is but a memory, this little project will be a fun addition to any room.  It’s a great way to celebrate spring and summer.  This month's free project for Viva Décor is a collage with a stand using clothespins and aluminum flashing.

The stand can be used to display the collage or a favorite photograph.  This is so quick and easy to make, you can create it as a project at a party.  Attach a tag to one of the clothespins and write your guest’s name on the tag to make a festive place card.

This project will be on Viva Décor’s Blog very soon.  Make sure to check it out. 

Tomorrow:  A heart that is fit to be tied.

For Valentine's Day and Beyond

At the end of January, I attended the Craft and Hobby Association winter trade show and conference.  The show is filled with creativity and excitement.  Vendors gather to show their newest products to retailers.  As designers, we meet with manufacturers, editors, and publishers.  This year, our Designer Showcase case was open to all CHA members. 

While at the Designer Showcase, my friend, Brenda Pinnick gave me some of her new fabric so I could use it in some projects.  I love her designs and her new line of fabrics is just awesome.  Make sure to visit her website and check out her work.  She is an awesome artist.   

This heart was made using Brenda’s fabric.  You just cut out two hearts. Add a 4-inch ribbon to the heart.  Sew them together leaving a little opening to stuff in fiberfill and then close up the opening.

Use a needle and thread to gather one end of a 12-inch sheer ribbon to form a rose and then glue a fabric flower to the center of the ribbon rose. I like adding one of the pearl beads from the Cousin® collection in the center of the flower.  Sew or glue the flower to the heart. 

You may think that hearts are just for Valentine’s Day, but why not use them around your house all year long.  It is a fun way to give a dash of color to an unexpected area. 

Hang one from a closet door knob, one from a kitchen or bathroom cabinet, or place one near a vase on your table. 

Tomorrow:  FREE Pretty-Pink Springtime Project

Spring 2012 Wearable Art Trends - Accessories Part 2

Necklaces and bracelets are substantial and multi-layered.  They combine traditional metal colors with brightly-colored stones and materials that coordinate with the bright colors of the spring season.  

Fabrics and leather will also find their way into necklaces and bracelets allowing, mixed-media artists to turn their thoughts to accessories.

The heavier-looking necklaces and bracelets have a hand-crafted quality to them.  Team them with a simple outfit and you will be a trend setter.

Try combing several single-strand bracelets or necklaces for your own unique look.   If you go for a strong necklace, keep your other jewelry on the simple side.  Same is true with a bracelet.  If you use a strong necklace with a strong bracelet, you will loose the dramatic look that you are trying to achieve.

The trends of Spring 2012 show the wearable-art designers using brighter colors flowing fabric, and a growing accessory awareness to celebrate their individual styles. 

Thanks to ILoveToCreate for their support.  I had to create the shirt that you see in the presentation and ILoveToCreate sent me the paints and Glam-It-Up Iron-On Crystals that I used for the shirt.  It was an honor to see them at the Trends Report at CHA.  

What is your favorite style bracelet or necklace for spring?  Let me know by leaving a comment below.

Tomorrow: Valentine Hearts

Wearable Arts 2012 Trends - Accessories Part 1

Lifetime’s Project Runway’s spin-off show, Project Accessories, promises to bring greater awareness to accessories, wearable art, and wearable-art designers.  Creating accessories or altering existing accessories will be one of this spring’s strong trends.

With garments being sleek, jewelry pieces are making more of a fashion statement.  This spring, big is the hot trend.

While belts will be rising in popularity, clutch purses for afternoon or evening events will be even more popular.  Designers who make clutch purses will look for interesting colors to contrast with garments.  Altered-art designers will look for clutch purses to embellish and make into wearable works of art.

Crafters will continue their love of hair accessories for young fashionistas.  In addition to ribbons for headbands, hats, and barrettes, look for flowers, gems, and even decorative buttons this spring.

Do you have a favorite hair accessory?  Tell me about it in the comment area below.

Make sure to come back to my blog on Monday to find out what is in store for Necklaces and Bracelets!  

Wearable Arts 2012 Trends - Fabrics

The fabrics of Spring 2012 are soft and flowing.  The soft fabric gives a relaxed, unfussy look to the sleek, feminine silhouette designs.  Many of the fabrics are flowing and provide movement to the design, thus providing another dimension to the garment.

Shredded plastic, beads, and feathers are a few of the materials being used for the fringed “Flapper look” of the 1920s

Are you inspired by the “Flapper look” of the 1920s?  Do you like a romantic look?  Let me know by leaving a comment below.

Tomorrow: Accessories

2012 Wearable Art Trends - Prints

Many designers are using color blocking to make a strong statement with their wearable art designs.  While some designers are using a traditional approach to color blocking with rectangular shapes, others are updating the technique with a free-style shape that is worked into the design.  The trend is to limit the color blocking to two or three colors in the garment.

Since the color blocking trend is very easy to create, soft fabric paints, as well as water-based resists or batik wax and fabric dyes, will be in demand as wearable art designers create easy color-blocking designs. 

The color-blocking trend is a very clean and sophisticated look, yet it is very easy to create.  This trend is a great way to introduce crafters to wearable arts and increase fabric craft sales.

Flowers are still a strong trend this spring and are more stylized than realistic.

Geometric prints are used alone or coupled with a safari, African-inspired print.  The African-inspired prints trend to desert-color combinations.

Have you seen color blocking in magazines or at your mall?  Tell me about it by leaving a comment below.

Tomorrow:  Fabrics

Make sure to visit Fave Craft's CHA Roundup of all bloggers telling about their Craft and Hobby Association experience.

You can click HERE to visit the site, or click on the logo on my side bar under the Designer Craft Connections Blog Hop.


Spring 2012 Wearable Art Trends - Color

Forget the pale pastels of past spring seasons.  Stronger spring colors are Poppy, Geranium, Tangerine, Canary Yellow, Grass Green, Tiffany Blue, Hyacinth, Ink Black, Honey and Sandstone.  There are some designers who are also using stronger colors as royal blue. Neon colors are also trending.

The above colors are being paired with sandstone or white.  However, some wearable-art designers are contrasting the colors for a dynamic look.  Tangerine combines with Ink Black, Royal Blue is teaming with Canary Yellow, and Neon blue is showing with Neon Green. 

If you can’t find that perfect shade of tangerine or grass green, you can always mix your own colors to achieve the trending color.  Not sure how to mix the colors?  Ask the expert at your local craft store.

What is your favorite spring color?  Let me know by leaving a comment below!

Tomorrow:  Prints

CHA - Spring Wearable Arts Report

I presented the Spring 2012 Wearable Art Trends report at the 2012 Craft and Hobby Association Winter Show.  Here is what to expect for Spring 2012.  

Spring 2012 promises to be an exciting and creative time for wearable art.  Even more crafters will seek fabric-related products to create fashionable pieces or alter existing pieces in order to express their own unique looks. 

Wearable art trends for Spring 2012 will focus on sorbet colors, fresh prints, sleek silhouettes with flowing fabrics, and dramatic jewelry.   Styles will still have a 1970s inspiration, but will also draw from looks of the 1960s and 1920s, but with an updated feminine and relaxed look. 

Now that the economy is turning upwards, wearable-art designers look to catch the eyes of consumers by using strong sorbet colors in their work in the hope of attracting clients.  Designers are well aware that brighter colors will capture your attention, which they trust will translate into sales.

Let me know what you think Spring 2012 will bring.  Leave your thoughts in the comment area below. 

Tomorrow:  Spring Colors for wearable Arts