Monday, 31 January 2011

More CHA pics

I came to the convention 5 ft in height and I think I'll go home 4ft 10 as I've walked myself down. So much to see and do .... lots of great make and takes and freebies so I'm sure I'm already into excess baggage. 
One of my favourite booths is 7 Gypsies. So many great ideas and beautifully staged.....
Lots of new fastening which resemble mouse traps to me!
A fun make and take mini totes full of bling!
 With Diana of Hampton Arts, make and take using smooshes
We were photographed for fun by Smash and posted on the wall
Graphic 45 stand is another great piece of staging
Plenty of mini buildings around
It was lovely to meet up with Suze Weinberg who is retiring... sort of... as she plans to run art retreats in Portugal!! Good luck and good health to her!
Somewhere in this lot is our hotel. At night is is a myriad of lights from the skyscrapers and lots of helicopters whizzing around as there are landing pads on top of many of the buildings.

Sunday, 30 January 2011

CHA/LA/USA update

This is the first chance I've had to post some eye candy from CHA as my laptop wouldn't connect to the internet. All sorted now so I'll just post a few photos of the hundreds I've snapped. We are really enjoying it despite the tiring schedule of classes starting at 7am, then the show, then classes in the evening. Lots of make and takes around the show too. Somewhere along the line we grab something to eat and get the courtesy transfer to and from the convention centre.
First some of the individual artists work exhibited at Ranger's stand...

 Guess who we had a chat to?... charming as ever and so giving of his talents and greatly adulated by so many. Great demo of the new Distress Stains and we are impressed at what they'll do.
 The staging of the stands is amazing and this is Ranger's decor.
 In the textile section I loved the  wacky feathered decor of this booth.
 Even the floor is covered with feathers.
 Almost forgot to show the opening razamataz....
 The pipe band played as the doors opened.
Lots more to follow when I have time....

Thursday, 27 January 2011


Another quicky craft session today as Mary showed us all how to make pendants from brass blank shapes. They are embossed with the Vagabond (lucky Mary) then dabbed with a white acrylic dabber. We then painted them with alcohol inks and finally coated them, when dry, with Glossy Accents.
The brass blank
We took a walk around the "park" where our friend May lives and had a tour of the community centre... with it's swimming pool but also it has a media room, a hobby room, a large hall and dining room etc.
After the whole estate being burned down in the fires of 2009, then the site was rebuilt, the park is now all new. In the community room the original community centre stars and stripes, rescued by the firefighters, is framed and in pride of place.  The flag below was presented by Congress as a tribute and also hangs alongside the old one.
When we shopped today we called in Von's supermarket and boy! was I glad it wasn't my birthday when I spotted these fantastic brightly coloured cakes! The colourants must cause hyperactivity in those who dare to eat them!

Early start in the morning as we leave the San Fernando Valley for CHA... yeah! We've had a wonderful time here with the best hospitality but can't wait for the show! Watch this space............

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

USA update

Started today with another swifty crafting session before we went out and about so I decided to get my calendar pages ready for February. Valentine seemed to be the obvious choice.....It's not quite finished but it's almost there.....
The American experience is something else......... far too much food so I'm keeping breakfast simple but I'm loving the bagels and I also love Smuckers Boysenberry jam and the name amuses me. Trying to eat things I can't eat so readily in Uk.
Lunch yesterday was a huge hot dog in Sams, with relish, mustard , onions on the side, sauer kraut and limitless bucket of root beer......... all for $1.50 .... as a result evening dinner was cancelled and I only had a little salad snack. I could so easily come back with twice the weight on my butt as well as in my suitcase!
Today we visited a Michaels craft store... wooh hoo! I had a splurge but I'm not showing it all as I don't want DH back home to panic... we did have discount vouchers, I must add.
Endless aisles of crafty goodness and I'm sure if my friend Jayne was here she would spend a full day in here!
I love the new Industrial Chic range designed by Susan Lenar Kazmer for the Horizon group. I first saw them last week on Suze Weinbergs blog and she made fab necklaces with them. Plenty of info ( and videos) on Michael's web site for techniques using this new range of charms and fittings.

Tuesday, 25 January 2011


We've managed to get some good crafting in, here in California and our main quest was, at the request of our friend Mary, to make a special card to send to a US soldier who has been very severely injured.
I made two cards, one of which will be posted out to him by Mary.
Maybe it's the American experience rubbing off on me as I've made Western style cards totally away from my style but it's great to have so many stamps and so much equipment at my disposal.
Mary's craft room, in her new house, is ginormous and has an island of 7 tables for workshops so we can spread out in comfort. I thought I'd died and gone to craft heaven when I first saw it. She also has a room dedicated to die cutting and cardstock and another for all her inks, sprays, and scrapbook papers.
Here's my area of my desk where I have just finished my cards
Call in on stamping ground, the blog of our general factotum and illustrious leader Julia who started us all on this crazy weekly owning up to the state of our work desks. This week I'm crafting in a far off land  in a crafting scene of wonder and joy!
We are having a great time on the run up to CHA in LA on Friday. Good food and too much of it, good friends and lots of crafting and today we visited a variety of craft shops in the area and made a dent in our luggage allowance for the return journey. There are lots of bargains to be had with discounts of up to 70% and many sale items. 
Lots of love to all at home in England!

Monday, 24 January 2011

California Here I am!

Day one report.....After a long journey we arrived safely but lost a night somewhere along the way. After a 5 am start on Sunday, two flights and a bus journey, we got to our friend Mary's house in CA around 4.30 am UK, Monday!!! It was only about 8.30pm here and instead of flopping into bed we found a last spark of vitality somewhere and ate a lovely meal that Neet and Mary kindly had ready for us, plus a rather large G&T before we got to bed about 10.30pm. I slept until 7am! Not bad!
Today was really sunny and warm .... but what did we do... we crafted all day, caught up with chatting and relaxed and made cards for a good cause for Mary. 
Lovely day... then we went out for an Italian meal of the most ginormous proportions. I think there is more in those doggy bags we brought home than we ever ate in Caruso's restaurant!
Here's Mary's friend BJ with the pizza that automatically came with our meals, plus salads, garlic bread and of course the main courses that we HAD ordered. A lesson learned early on in our trip... Caz and I will order one meal to share in future.

Friday, 21 January 2011

Shackleton and the Scary ride

First of all I want to wish my lovely younger daughter a very Happy Birthday for Saturday 22nd. Sending love and wishes for only good things. I'm so pleased your card and parcel arrived on time!

This post should be titled "The Leaving of Liverpool" as it will be my last post before I leave for America, as so many thousands did in the past from the Liverpool Waterfront, pictured below. I'm glad I won't be going by sea! 
No crafting time at the moment, so it photos only, but I'll be posting news from CHA, whilst I'm away, so keep tuned in!
 Just over a week ago I posted photos of our ride on the Wheel of Liverpool and later we walked around the Albert Dock to the Tate Gallery of the North and then to the Shackleton Exhibition in the Maritime Museum. (That is Shackleton of Antarctic Exploration).
The anchor outside the entrance is from HMS Conway which sank in 1953
The Endurance was the ship on which the Shackleton team ventured forth on the futile race to the South Pole and here you can see how quite primitive it is with the sledge dogs on the deck. 
Here's Shackleton outside his tent with another member of the team skinning a penguin ready for the pot!

This spectacular new building below, next to the Pier Head and Albert Dock, is almost be complete and will soon be the New Museum of Liverpool.
We went on the Wheel of Liverpool but I certainly didn't fancy freezing high up in the open air on this thing! It's called the North Star ride and is the only one of it's kind in the UK. It spins really fast, high above the new shopping centre, Liverpool One.
Here it is illuminated at night!