Thursday, March 27, 2008

Spinning Straw into Gold...or Inky Paper!

Happy Wednesday (uhm, okay, almost Thursday!)! A quick email and some updates! Tim and I have been spinning straw into gold, as Miss Margot would say, but in this case, into class kits! It's tough having to reach out to so many vendors for product. I have to say that I am extremely lucky to have such a great relationship with so many in the industry, but with everyone located all over the place, it's never enough time, even though I started to source this weeks and weeks ago, to get all the product in and orchestrated. It's finally all coming together nicely, though, with one day to spare! (Photo: Rapunzel)

Check out Absolutely Everything for their latest Email Updates...Kate's posted some tidbits and samples of the classes I'm teaching at her store Thursday, April 3-6th. If you're in the Topsfield, MA area, come by!

I was also thrilled to see that my friends at Amate Studio's Site is UP! I was pleasantly surprised to see my samples of UTEE marbleized pendants as the first photo! My friend Diana Kovacs' got her bracelet there, as well. She is so talented! And she blames me (for no reason...hee hee) for her Webkinz addiction!

I'll probably be MIA for the next week or so because I'll be in MA, but I'll be back with many stories, I am sure! I'm also thinking of a Bandanna Backgrounds Card Contest. I'll give a few more weeks of the pens getting "out there" and will come up with something...this could be a LOT of fun! I really need to do a "formal" instruction of the bandanna technique for everyone. I'll get on that, but one thing at a time!

For those that will be at the Sue Gilman event this weekend! I'm looking forward to seeing you...be ready to get inky!!!

Inky Hugs, Robin

P.S. March 29, 1962. Do the Math. Ugh!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Hoppy Easter!

Happy Sunday, everyone! (Photo Credit: Bunny)A quiet day for me, hopefully a nice family day for you! A busy week ahead; Mr. Tim is on his way to NJ. We've got another week of prep and work ahead getting ready for Sue Gilman. I've been inking away this weekend, which is always good!

There's been some new additions to the Jewelry Making Mavens of Beady Goodness! Check 'em out! Enjoy your day!
  • About.com Jewelry Making Are metal costs are going through the roof these days! How are you coping with the cost of metals when it comes to designing jewelry?
  • Art Bead Scene Knowledge is power! Learn tips to improve your jewelry business.
  • Jennifer Jangles Blog Jennifer's designed a pollen free flower necklace for spring.
  • Jewelry & Beading Leah Hitchcock-Ybarra shows how to make a pair of felted ball earrings! This is the perfect beginner project, and Leah is the perfect guest tutor!
  • Katie's Beading Blog Need some spring color inspiration? Read Katie's post for a review of some yummy color resources.
  • PearlEsq. Robin has added video editing to her repertoire...check out new Ranger licensed designer Claudine Hellmuth's cool transfer technique that can work on lots of different surfaces and for jewlery or papercraft projects!
  • Savvy Crafter Hop on down the bunny trail at Candie's blog to see some Springy bunny bling!
  • Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done! Jean wants to formally introduce you all to the super new members of this fun group!
  • The Impatient Beader (Goes Dutch!) Madge is heading off to a book shoot and a trip to the city that shall not be named again, but before she left she wanted to share this sunny little jewelry set. Check out her newly translated first book in...Dutch!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Moving into the Video Age!

Happy Wednesday! Just a quick bloggie...for those that may not know it, Ranger's added a new Licensed Designer to the fold...Claudine Hellmuth! For those that don't know Claudine, you should! What I think Claudine does is take all the confusion and mystery out of what many term "mixed media." I'll be the first in line to learn about how to use all that stuff that you usually see in the "Fine Arts" section of a craft store.

While at CHA, one of the women helping us with sales at the booth became a director...with Flip Video in hand! Unbeknownst to me, weeks later, I would become an editor/producer. Whoda' thunk it!? I took on the job of trying to piece together various tapings into something cohesive. Ranger's first video has been put on Youtube and will also be linked to our site. I thought I'd just make it easy for you and bring it to you right here! Claudine creates some awesome magic by creating the look of tin type images with Adirondack(r) Acrylic Paint on tags! I have to tell you, I really am going to try this...after I get everything else on my list done, of course! Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Welcome to the 40's and....more Memory Glass!!!!

Hey, Readers of Blogginess! I hope all is well. I'm tired. The word of the week is PREP. All I've been doing is prepping, prepping, prepping for classes at the end of the month for Sue Gilman in MA. So that I can then spend this weekend getting all my class samples and kitting done for my classes at Absolutely Everything. It will be such a blast, but I have to get soooo much more done. Hey, it keeps me out of trouble, right?

Before I forget, a milestone is going to take place tomorrow. My youngest sister, Stephanie, will be turning 40.......HAPPY BIRTHDAY STEPHANIE!!!!! This is a picture of my family...I'm the oldest and I must have been maybe...10? So Stephanie, the one in the middle was 4 and my middle sister, on the left, Tracy, 8. Around 1972...yikes!

I love this picture for one reason. Stephanie. She's got one of those detachable jacket hoods on her head...upside down AND backwards. And I think a little bit too proud of it. She is a great mom and wife to my fave Brother-in-Law Chris, who is more like a brother to me. I don't get to see them enough, with my nieces so busy, but I'll be sure to make "the" phone call (as noted in my blog entry for my Mom's birthday) and maybe some flowers. Oh, and of course a bunch of obnoxious email birthday cards via American Greetings.

Okay, enough gloating about my sister...hehehe. I was able to download and tweak the most
recent samples of Memory Glass and Memory Frames. As usual, a lot of Wrinkle Free Distress, new Adirondack(r) Pigment Ink, Bandannaed images with THE Ranger White Pen. I love the blue bird and the addition of a little "bling"-German Scrap from Paper Artsy. I'm having so much fun using old book pages for the backgrounds, and I'm just so into the birdies! I guess it works with my name, huh!? The crown and 1" x 1" Medallion image is also from Hampton, the numbers are from Tim's new collection (love, love them!). The birds in the blooming tree and the "flourish-ey" Bird is Hero Arts, of course.

I hope you enjoy these and I'll be bloggin' soon!


Sunday, March 16, 2008

Sunday, Beady Sunday!

Happy Sunday! Was busy all day yesterday prepping for a trade educational event at the end of the month, boy am I pooped! More to do today, so just a quick, fun blog linky and the beady links of the week!

Check out my friend Rachel Greig's blog...she was kind enough to take my niece Madison's Flat Stanley for a trip around Sydney. Check out the pics she sent Madison. I sent her kids a bunch of Flat Stanley books. They didn't know about him... and they're going to hopefully make a Flat Stanley of their own to send to us in NJ! We'll take them to the beach, and who else knows where!

Enjoy the wonderful beady links!
  • About.com Jewelry Making Tammy has discovered another outlet to sell your jewelry on-line. This is really a place for other crafters too.
  • Art Bead Scene What's the best suggestion you ever received? ABS Editor Cindy Gimbrone's was The Rainbow Suggestion. ABS readers weigh in and tell us theirs!
  • Jewelry & Beading Cyndi details the products and methods she likes best for creating her bead-embroidered necklaces.
  • Katie's Beading Blog Here's another opportunity to use your beady powers for good. Read Katie's blog to find out about Beads of Courage®.
  • PearlEsq. Robin's got some great news, tips and samples on everything Memory Glass!
  • Savvy Crafter The Savvy Crafter is in the Philippines this week. Candie's Travel Tip: Look beyond the everyday souvenir and you will find beads!
  • Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done! Jean hand made a chain maille double standed bracelet with some very special names on it: her two grandsons! It is offered as a free project in Beading Daily online!
  • The Impatient Beader Ever wonder how a designer comes up with new ideas? Get a peek inside the creative mind of Margot Potter as she shares two bitchin' and bad ass new designs, paging Biker Crafts Magazine!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Through the Looking Glass...with Memory Glass!

Happy Thursday, everyone! While I don't usually provide "official" Ranger information, this was too exciting to not pass on. Inkssentials(tm) Memory Glass(tm) is now back in stock. Yay!!!!! There had been some issues as to the size consistency of the glass so they would always fit into the frames. This has been resolved and the new glass is in. You'll notice that it is a touch smaller than the 1", 1-1/2" and 2" square and 1" x 3" sizes, but that's to accommodate placing your collage/image between the glass and it be able to comfortably fit it into the Memory Frame and close completely.

I tested 'em all out and gave the A-OK! of course, I still have them sitting on my desk, and have not taken pictures of them...I'll try and get that done.

For those not totally familiar with how to use the Memory Glass and Frames, it is microscope quality glass, thinner than "window glass", so lighter. It also has ground sides and corners so no sharp edges! That's one thing I hate about cutting my own glass, because I would always get wonderful cuts from small glass slivers. The frames are pre-fabricated, metal frames that that the glass fits into, with a soldered ring on it (the 1" frames have 2 rings!) for hanging on a necklace as a pendant or for charms; you can also use transparencies, rub-ons, photos, you name it!
If you don't try and make a "Dagwood Sandwich" of paper and embellishments, you can make some wonderful collages to give as gifts or to wear yourself if you're not inclined to learn how to solder. It's definitely a simple way to create wonderful jewelry in no time!
I've provided some great close-up pictures (I lucked out with my camera on this day) of how to open and close the Memory Frames. There's a tab that fits into the slit in the side of the frame. When flipping open the tab, don't go crazy, just a slight flick of the tab is all that's needed. Add in your art, sandwich between the glass, then slide the tab back into the slit and you're done. Sometimes, if you're collage is thicker, just use one piece of glass. The more you work with them, the more you get to "know" what fits and what doesn't.
Close-up of how far to open the tab.
How to replace tab in place after adding artwork and glass.
Close-up of how to close it!
You'll find that the newest 1" size of Memory Glass is thicker than the other sizes. The thought behind that is this size will probably used more in bracelet design and it will be less likely to break...trust me, I'm the poster child for "will that break"? If I can't break it, you know that it probably won't for you.

I'll be sure to share more ideas for uses with Memory Glass. Hmmmm...maybe a contest down the line? I love to spotlight Memory Glass in classes because it's a wonderful way to teach a bunch of techniques on a smaller scale...so you learn more, and then get to show it off! How can you go wrong?

In the next few weeks, check with your local stores and online sites...Memory Glass and Frames are shipping-all sizes!
I'd love to see what you've created-please share!
Inky Hugs, Robin

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Momacita Birthday Hugs

Happy March 11, everyone! Today's my mom's birthday. I did the usual call to the birthday celebrator with my requisite rendition of "Happy Birthday to You." When I call my one sister and she sees that it is me, rather than saying "hello", she says, "don't sing." Which is all the more reason for me to sing louder and more out of key than usual.

I have a "cool" mom. She is in awesome shape, due to her always being busy doing something around the house and her daily walks at the boardwalk. She loves the beach; she is a true "beach bum!" My parents just returned from a couple of months in Florida and now she's so looking forward to the beach. Once it gets the least bit warm, don't be surprised if she's down there with a windbreaker stopping any cold breeze, working on her tan!

My mom is never shy about what she wants for her birthday, Mother's Day or Christmas...a Chico's gift certificate is all she needs. She deserves it, raising 3 daughters and taking care of things at home while my dad at times worked up to 3 jobs! She also worked as a secretary for the school system, just recently retiring only a few years ago. Growing up, since we lived near the beach, we really never went away or did the "travel across America" type of thing. When my dad took vacation, that meant Dad came to the beach with us and Mom didn't cook, but went out for dinner!
My Mom turns 70 today, which I can't believe...in fact, when my 8 year old niece called to wish her Happy Birthday today, my mom swears that when she told her that she was turning "Seven-oh", "Seventy", that my niece responded, "that's a bitch!" ROFL! We laughed so hard at this and my mom made me swear not to tell my sister until she got to tell her! See? A cool mom. Thanks Mom-for everything! Love ya!
If you can, give your mom a call or a hug or think some good Mommy thoughts today!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Crazy Weather Weekend and Beady Bloggers!

I hope you all had a great weekend! I made it through the rain to Rubberbuggy in the lovely Lancaster, PA area with owner and friend, Kris and her niece, Evy and I had so much fun! I also got to spend some time with Kriss Cramer, who is also quite talented and a great teacher, with a surprise visit from Inky-Rebecca Peck. Unfortunately the rain only got worse, followed by some hellacious wind (I was looking for a small house or the Wicked Witch from Wizard of Oz to go flying by!) and then colder temperatures. Now we lost an hour with the "Spring Ahead" daylight savings, although I love it when it's light in the early evening! I'm getting ready for another busy week. In the meantime, enjoy the beady links from the talented group of ladies! Have a great week! (Photo Credit: Amish Buggy)
  • About.com Thinking of diving into the Etsy pool? Then you may want to take some of this excellent advice first.
  • Art Bead Scene Inspired ways to finish your designs - think of the claspossibilities!
  • Jewelry & Beading Cyndi's stuck on V-pendants, and has decided to share another way to turn them into wonderful wearable necklaces!
  • Naughty Secretary Club Think you have an amazing idea for a piece of laser cut acrylic or wood jewelry? Well Jen will be the judge of that, literally. Jen is the guest judge at the Ponoko 10 day jewelry challenge. Did we mention the $10,000 worth of prizes?
  • PearlEsq. Check out where Robin's going to be this weekend and what comes back to you from the love of making jewelry.
  • Savvy Crafter Candie shows a sweet little charm bracelet featuring, Tassels, Blossoms, and Beads, Oh Deer!
  • Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done! This lovely cover is a good example of teamwork. Teamwork has been on Jean's mind lot lately. Check out the necklace Jean made for Simply Beads Magazine with a little help from her friends Lisa Kan and Green Girl Studios. Friends are truly gifts. Jean feels lucky every time she thinks about her wonderful, amazing friends!
  • The Impatient Beader (is going to Paris) Madge shows a jaunty little necklace she's sporting on her trip to the City of Lights. Yes, she's going to Paris and she's rubbing it in. Thanks a lot, Madge.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Bandanna Madness and Jewelry Hugs!

Happy Thursday...I know, I know, I say it all the time, but where the &#$%&*@ did the week go?

Anyway, I'm furiously getting ready for the next go round of education, both for Ranger and for myself at stores!

I'm doing a last-minute, surprise(!) demo at my buddy Kris' store, Rubberbuggy on this Saturday. I'm going to show everything Bandanna! We're going pigment it, wrinkle free it, crackle it, grunge it, you name it, I'm doing it, with a little more emphasis on the new pigment inks. They're the focus of Ranger's home page this month, with a bunch of samples with instructions that are, by chance, ones I made! The plan is to get there in the morning, set up and be ready to demo by noon. If you've got nothing else to do, why not come by the "'Buggy"...it will be fun, with some surprises to boot! (photo credit: Bandanna)

I also wanted to share a sad, but neat story. One of the things I love about CHA is getting to catch up with my friends that I've made over the years. I always like to make bunches of jewelry to give to vendors that have worked with me through the year as my way of saying "thank you" as well as just giving some to friends, "just because."

I had a breakfast meeting with one of the industry "people" that I can clearly call a friend. I happened to be wearing one of my newer soldered pieces, complete with a flying bird on one side and a butterfly on the other. (Photo Credit: Timothy K. Hamilton) She remarked how she liked it and I took it off of me and gave it to her. Little did I know, until an email that I had received from her on Monday, how my little gift was one of comfort. She suddenly lost her brother to illness right after the show. She brought the necklace with her and wore it during the funeral mass, stating:

Part in part because I love it but also, because of the butterfly and bird on each side. The butterfly is the symbol of new life and so it was important to me that I have this for [my brother's] funeral. The bird, a symbol to me of spring and rebirth so again, most appropriate. The day of the funeral mass, I wore your necklace and Robin, in some very strange but real way, as I would hold it and play with it in my hands during the mass, I found some comfort in it. I know when you gave it to me, neither of us could have imagined that it would bring comfort during a very hard time but, I wanted you to know this. And, I wanted to thank you again. Strange to look back at moments at a later date and see how very important they are. I remember you taking it off during breakfast and asking me if I would wear it. Little did I know where I would wear it and what it would mean.

Needless to say, I was floored, and it also put so many things in perspective. Life is too short, do what you love, enjoy the time you have with your friends, family and other loves in your life and don't sweat the small stuff. All of the things that many times I don't do. What it did do was confirm my love of taking the time I do to make these little soldered pieces to share. Remember that your love of what you do and make is also appreciated by others. Not that others' attention is always needed, but it's nice to know that they "see" what you "see", right? (Photo Credits: Butterfly, Swans)

Enjoy the rest of your day! Robin

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Yikes! Tagged Again!

Well, it was bound to happen again. Thanks Miss Ginny...here's the rules: The rules are simple: 1. link to the person that tagged you - 2. post the rules on your blog - 3. share six non-important things/habits/quirks about yourself - 4. tag six random people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs - 5. let each person know they've been tagged by leaving a comment on their site.

Okay, I'm sure I can share some more 6 non-important, quirky things about myself....hmmmmm.
1. I have a collection of freckles on my left arm, in the general area of where you would wear a wristwatch that reads 2:40 (if you drew a clock using the 3 freckles to tell the time, it would read 2:40 on the button!).
2. A family joke in my house is that when we were kids, we went to Florida two years in a row, going to Disney World, etc. For whatever reason, it's only one trip in my head. Don't ask me why, but I just think of it as when we went to Disney "that one time". If we get talking about Disney, the joke is, "oh that's right, Robin only went once." I can remember tons of other mundane facts, but that one, oh well, what can I say?
3. I've become a fan of Melrose Place. I happened upon it one Saturday morning, and now I've got it on DVR. I never watched this show when it was first out, so it's been fun to see it from the beginning (by the way, Andrew Shue...nice!).
4. Drinking diet soda gives me a headache, but I'll only use Sweet n' Low with a lot of lemon in my iced tea. My favorite water is Deer Park, and I'm trying to give up Pepsi.....!
5. I'm a pillow hugger. I've got a whole pillow hierarchy on my bed; I know that I'm not letting any strange secret out of the bag, because in talking to so many of my friends, I know there's more of you out there. I used to remember when my grandfather was still alive and he and I shared the house I'm in now, I was always amazed as to how he could just sleep on one pillow. Flat. I'm sure for my back, etc. that it probably the better way to sleep, but it's just not me. I'm a stomach/on my side sleeper, hugging a pillow. And proud of it.
6. My middle name, Dale, is named after my grandfather's grandmother, Clara Sophia Dale. One of these days I'm going to hunt down her marriage license. She basically raised my grandfather when his mother was sick or working at other peoples' houses as a seamstress. She was apparently quite a character. No one knows what happened to her husband. He was never discussed and he never knew if he died, they got divorced, or whatever. Just one of those fun family "mysteries."

Well, it's time now to pick some fun people to tag: Lisa, Carol, Jean, Patti, Jen, and last but not least, Candie!

Can't wait to see what everyone has to say!

Quirky Hugs, Robin
(Photo: Kids Playing Tag)

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Nothing beats the smell of a new Craft Store!

Happy Saturday...as usual, where does the day go? I was just not in a super motivated mood, although I should be with all that I need (and want) to play with amongst my stamps and other inky accoutrement at home. I was curious to find out if the new Michaels near my house (within 2 miles, mind you) was open. Alas, it was.

Anymore, when I go to these stores, it's not as much as a shopper but as one that is "in" the industry. I look with such a different eye. How are our products displayed? Does it make any sense? What stamps do they have? What new stuff do they have? What other companies' stuff do they have? What are shoppers looking at? Does the staff have a clue, or more importantly, are they TRYING to get a clue (I'll take anyone that is trying over someone that doesn't give a rat's you know what).

My overall impression was that I was pleased with the display of our products and was thrilled to see they had Tim's Distressables 2 Book there and even more psyched to see the "Ink Essentials" book, right in front of the stamp pad aisle! Regarding stamps, I still think they need to update what they've got, but I totally understand the immense undertaking of trying to bring in a "basic" offering of stamps. Lots of alphabets, though, which is always good for the cross-over with scrapbooking.

I was pleased that a sales associate did come up to me and asked me if I needed any assistance. My brain couldn't help but think to itself "I could probably help you more than you can help me." In the jewelry aisle I did actually help a young male associate try to understand from a customer where the earring back thingies were...he was so happy when I was able to help point out what they were (I had just scanned that portion of the bead aisle!).

My most favorite part of the trip was walking down the widest aisle in the store (this used to be a Rag Shop, and it's a long space rather than wide, so it's different than from what you see at other stores; There in the "main" bead aisle were Margot Potter's, a.k.a. Miss Impatient Beader & Blogger's 3 BOOKS! All them, sticking out on a display thing from the pegboard, 1, 2, 3. I had to call Miss Beady on the stop and let her know... she was so excited! How cool is that?

All in all, I really think that if a "new" crafter has a good experience in a "big box" store, that will send them to search out the independents. I really believe that's another reason why I'm so vigilant about education. The more information out there, the more any level of crafter can learn and (hopefully) will want to learn more. So, I may just volunteer to do a few demos at what I can term as "my" (geographically speaking") Michaels store. I also met the manager of the papercraft area of the store; of course her first question was, "Have you met Tim Holtz?" When I said that we worked together, she almost plotzed...always fun!

My other adventure of the day was getting a new phone. Today in NJ it is now a primary offense to talk on the phone with the phone...you must be hands-free. I, of course, am a bad girl on that front, and my phone is over 2 years old and beat to sh*$. So, off to the AT&T store and I ended up with a Blackberry Pearl. I have to say that the sales associate was super. She gave me the straight scoop on what there is to offer and I came in on a good day, as I got their Bluetooth Bundle with all the other stuff so that I won't get stopped...now I just have to figure this new monstrosity out!

Please also check out the wonderful BeadBlogger Links of the week!

About.com Jewelry Making Tammy has news about a unique jewelry design contest going on at a relatively new site for designers of all types.

Art Bead Scene A Fit to Print Review that Sparkles!

Jewelry & Beading Cyndi takes a little trip into macrame land in an attempt to find something new to do with a V pendant!

Katie's Beading Blog The Triple Take projects for April are online for free download now! Read Katie's post for previews and links. And, don't forget to scroll back and visit this week's Ornament Thursday post.

Naughty Secretary Club Shame on Jen for spreading Cyber Gossip!

PearlEsq. Robin shares a fun technique with Ranger's new Adirondack Pigment Pens and Maya Road's new Sheer Sheets-it's sheerly colorific.

Snap out of it Jean! There's beading to be done! Aardvark art glass repost: with my hand-made sterling 3 in 3 necklace, I teamed up with Cathy Lybarger, an amazing glass artist, as she experimented with painting on the insides of her hot glass beads, using enamel! This is now in my Links chain maille gallery on my site!

The Impatient Blogger The Crafty Chica and The Impatient Beader share their craftastrophies in a no holds barred conversation. Yes, even the pros make crap sometimes. Leave your own True Craft Confessions in the comments!

Well, off now to do some more fun inky stuff! Enjoy the day, everyone!