Sunday, December 29, 2013

Birds In Winter card class update

Join me Saturday January 18th, 2014 from 12 - 3 pm for my first class of the new year:  Birds In Winter.  We will be making a total of 8 cards (2 of each design) with a bird and winter theme that can be used for many different occasions.  I'll have a variety of sentiments on hand for you to choose from for your cards.

Please bring the following Copics to class if you own them:

Y family: 17, 19

R family:  27, 29, 56, 89

YG family:  05, 67, 97

G family:  46

N family:  0

W family:  0, 1

C family:  3, 5

B family:  00, 0000

E family:  29, 31, 34, 37, 57

Also, if you own Wink Of Stella in Clear (brush pen, not fine tip) bring that along too. 

Here are the cards we will be making.  Unfortunately the sparkle and shine from Stickles and the Wink Of Stella pen does not show very well in my pictures.  Make sure you take time to see all the class samples when you are shopping in the store!

I'm looking forward to seeing you soon!

Friday, December 20, 2013

New Card Class: Birds In Winter

Join me Saturday January 18th, 2014 from 12 - 3pm for my first new card class of the year:  Birds In Winter.  We will be making some lovely cards with a variety of stamps featuring winter birds.  We will create a total of 8 cards (2 of each of the 4 designs) in class.  These cards are great for many occasions such as a winter birthday, holiday thank you, sympathy, and more.

Here are the first 2 cards (unfortunately the sparkle from the Stickles does not show).  The other 2 cards and a supply list will be coming soon.

I am looking forward to seeing you in the New Year!

I really love how the Chickadee card turned out!  Am I allowed to pick a favorite?

These cardinals remind me of the pair that visit my house every day.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Here is a little Gift from the Graphic 45 Blog

Here is a little Gift from the Graphic 45 Blog

We've got one more special holiday treat for you all today!  Our friends at PaperHaus Magazine are also hosting a magnificent holiday event called the Winter Frolic 12 Days Of Christmas Blog Hop! They are celebrating the release of the Winter Issue of PaperHaus Magazine but also inspiring you each day with wonderful holiday projects, giveaways and inspiration! The PaperHaus Winter Frolic 12 Days of Christmas Blog Hop will run from December 1st to December 12th! Be sure to stop each day and leave a comment each day to win some fabulous prizes by their lovely sponsors! Don't forget to check out the Winter Issue for additional inspiration, holiday cheer and some amazing projects from the PaperHaus contributing team! Here is a list of today's wonderful companies who are participating in this festive event!

PaperHaus Cover Winter

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Revamped Demo Day card

A funny thing happened on my way to the Caribbean...I accidentally packed my snowman Demo Day card and my snowman melted!  OK, truthfully Hero Arts discontinued the adorable snowman and I had not known about it when I made my card.  So, with all the fresh snow we had today (plus a cute Paper Smooches stamp set) I was able to make a new snowman and his friend.  We will be making this card along with my previously posted tree card at my table on Demo Day, Saturday 12/14/13 from 11 - 4 pm. 

Come join the fun!!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Hands-On Bavarian Count Presides Over a Pencil-Making Empire

Article from the New York Times. Click here to go to New York Times.

Hands-On Bavarian Count Presides Over a Pencil-Making Empire

Penciling in the Future: A visit to the pencil-making factory of Faber-Castell in Stein, Germany, one of the world's largest makers of writing instruments.
STEIN, Germany — Count Anton-Wolfgang von Faber-Castell has been known to hurl wooden pencils from the tower of his castle to the stone courtyard below.
Ben Kilb for The New York Times
Faber-Castell has manufactured hundreds of millions of pencils since 1761. Here, the flagship factory in Stein, Germany.

It is not a petty fit of pique by a mad Bavarian aristocrat. The 72-year-old count, the eighth in a long line of pencil makers, just wants to prove how durable the pencils that carry his family name are.
The Faber-Castell family has been making wooden pencils by the hundreds of millions here in a storybook setting, bisected by the swift Rednitz River, which was once the main source of power here. A torrent of brightly colored pencils flows from clattering machines in a century-old factory with a tile roof and windows framed in pastel hues.
Faber-Castell is the largest maker of wood-encased pencils in the world and also makes a broad range of pens, crayons and art and drawing supplies as well as accessories like erasers and sharpeners. About half the company’s German production is exported, mostly to other countries in the euro zone. That means that Faber-Castell contributes, at least in a small way, to Germany’s large and controversial trade surplus — which now rivals China’s for the world’s largest.
Faber-Castell illustrates how midsize companies — which account for about 60 percent of the country’s jobs — are able to stay competitive in the global marketplace. It has focused on design and engineering, developed a knack for turning everyday products into luxury goods, and stuck to a conviction that it still makes sense to keep some production in Germany.
“Why do we manufacture in Germany?” the count asked during an interview at the family castle near the factory. “Two reasons: One, to really make the best here in Germany and to keep the know-how in Germany. I don’t like to give the know-how for my best pencils away to China, for example.
“Second, ‘Made in Germany’ still is important.”
Not all its factories are in Germany. But when Faber-Castell, which is privately held and had sales of 590 million euros, or about $800 million, in its last fiscal year, manufactures in places like Indonesia and Brazil, it is at its own factories.
In contrast to many American companies, like Apple, that have outsourced nearly all production to Asia, Faber-Castell and many other German companies make a point of keeping a critical mass of manufacturing in Germany. They see it as central to preserving the link between design, engineering and the factory floor.
The result is a large trade surplus. During the first nine months of the year, Germany exported goods and services worth €148 billion more than it imported — including a surplus of €20 billion in September alone. In absolute terms, it was the largest monthly trade surplus on record.
Germany’s trade surplus is so huge that it has drawn criticism from the United States. The European Commission is conducting an extensive review of whether it is unhealthy for the euro zone economy. Critics say Germany should invest more of the profits from exports at home, to stimulate its own economy and, by extension, the rest of the euro zone.
But companies like Faber-Castell are more concerned about their ability to stay globally competitive, leaving the macroeconomics of trade to the bureaucrats of Brussels and Berlin.
There are threats everywhere, including ever-more-sophisticated Chinese competitors, the stagnant euro zone economy and unpredictable shifts in technology. And when even preschool children know how to operate iPads, there is no certainty of a future for colored pencils and ink markers.
“The biggest challenge for Faber-Castell will be how writing will develop with the advent of digital technology,” said Hermann Simon, a management consultant who coined the term “hidden champions” to describe the highly focused, midsize companies like Faber-Castell that drive the German economy. “Will children still write? But Faber-Castell recognizes this challenge.”

(Page 2 of 2)
Certainly, the current market is testing Faber-Castell. While sales in the last fiscal year rose 3.5 percent, profit declined 27 percent, to €24.2 million, in part because of the cost of building new operations in Asia and Latin America. The company said last month that sales so far this fiscal year were down 9 percent, because of the depreciation of currencies in markets like Brazil and weak sales in southern Europe.
The New York Times
A century-old Faber-Castell factory is in the town of Stein.
Ben Kilb for The New York Times
A Faber-Castell worker tests pencils for breakability.
Ben Kilb for The New York Times
Count Anton-Wolfgang von Faber-Castell, initially resisted joining the family company. “I wasn’t interested in pencils,” he said.
Still, Faber-Castell, founded in 1761 when graphite pencils were a novelty, has overcome technological shifts before. When Count Anton took over the business in 1978, after the death of his father, Count Roland von Faber-Castell, the company was a leading maker of slide rules. That was soon laid to waste by the electronic calculator. Then, in the 1980s, the advent of computer-assisted design soon gutted the market for its mechanical drawing products.
Count Anton had been working happily as an investment banker at Credit Suisse First Boston when his father died unexpectedly. He was not thrilled to assume the family throne. “I wasn’t interested in pencils,” he said.
To his surprise, he enjoyed the business, particularly the marketing end. And he felt a responsibility to preserve the family legacy, a typical characteristic of German companies. “I consider what I got from my father as a kind of fiduciary property, which in a way does not belong to me,” said the count, who owns all but a small percentage of Faber-Castell.
With help from the Boston Consulting Group and the company’s in-house designers, the count revamped the product line to put more emphasis on higher-priced products, ranging from colored pencils for artists to fountain pens selling for thousands of dollars. Premium products account for about 10 percent of sales.
“You have to continuously shift,” said Count Anton, who on this day wore a double-breasted pinstriped suit with red tie and white pocket handkerchief. “If you lean back and say, ‘With my products I can be happy,’ then it’s the first step to hell.”
While the basic design of a pencil has not changed much in 400 years, Faber-Castell has managed to find ways to be unique. For example, in the late 1990s, it developed a triangular pencil with raised dots that make it easier to hold. That proved popular.
Innovations include the use of water-based coatings to make pencils more environmentally friendly, as well as nontoxic to compulsive pencil chewers. To demonstrate the harmlessness of the ink Faber-Castell uses in children’s markers, Count Anton drank a glassful on camera this year.
The count’s pedigree sets him apart from the typical factory bosses. But being an aristocrat in Germany no longer means much, at least not officially. The nobility lost its privileges after World War I, and most of Germany’s remaining princes and barons have to work for a living.
Faber-Castell was founded by Kasper Faber, a carpenter’s apprentice. His great-grandson Lothar Faber was given noble status in 1861 by King Maximilian II of Bavaria after building the company into the world’s dominant pencil maker. Later generations intermarried with the aristocratic Castell clan, creating the Faber-Castell name. (Eberhard Faber pencils, recognized by generations of American schoolchildren, were made by Lothar’s younger brother, who first set up shop in Brooklyn.)
And yet, being a count still counts for something. The company’s luxury products are called the Graf von Faber-Castell line — “graf” being German for “count.” The company recently unveiled a Graf von Faber-Castell fountain pen made of jasper, quartz and gold. It sells for almost $10,000.
Even boxes of the highest-quality Faber-Castell colored pencils and artists’ markers can easily cost hundreds of dollars. It is this focus on the premium end of the market that has enabled German companies to survive in markets flooded by low-cost Asian alternatives. Mercedes and Audi cars are good examples of this, but German companies have also achieved similar success with more mundane products like Rösle kitchen implements, Steiff stuffed animals and Falke socks.
“The higher end of the market still cares about and is still ready and willing to pay a premium for good-quality products,” said Daniel Berch, a director at the market research firm Pell Research who has studied the pencil industry in the United States.
Count Anton, while aware of the digital threat, maintains that writing by hand will never disappear. People still use pens, pencils and highlighters for personal notes and to mark up printed documents, he argues. And even in wealthy countries, he says, children use pencils and pens to learn how to develop the motor skills needed to read and write.
“The pencil is in some way a very archaic product but still indispensable,” he said. “The pencil will remain alive much longer than we probably believe.”
To make sure that remains true in the next generation, Count Anton’s 33-year-old son, Count Charles von Faber-Castell, a graduate of Columbia Business School, recently joined the Faber-Castell marketing department.
“First,” Count Anton said sternly, “he has to learn the business.”

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Spellbinders and Snowmen

It's no secret that I love Spellbinders dies!  So, of course, as I was perusing their web site in search of more dies (one can never have too many dies), instead what I found was a little instructional video, featuring artist Linda Peterson for Spellbinders, demonstrating how to make a mixed media small canvas she calls "Snowman Kisses". It's just in time for the holidays too!

After watching the video, I have to say, I am inspired!  This might be a chance to use my Luminarte Silks Glazes too, especially the shimmery white Ice glaze. So for all those who love snowmen, love winter, or just want to create, here you go!  Enjoy!

Alice I.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Gloria Clark's 12 Days of Christmas Carriage

Hi Everyone,

I just had to take photos of this amazing Christmas Carriage that Gloria Clark made.  Gloria likes a challenge and is not intimidated by an intensely detailed project.  She was inspired by Laura Denison who made a pattern for her Halloween Carriage.  To see the original project Click Here.

Gloria loved the 12 Days of Christmas line by Graphic 45.  She add in a bunch of cute little pieces like the Tim Holtz ice skates.  To top it all off the top center comes out to reveal a mini album tucked in the carriage.  How amazing is that?

Saturday, November 16, 2013

CAUTION: Enter at your own risk!!

Want to see where the magic happens in my home?  I have a purple-licious room on the lower level of our townhouse which I share with our home office.  But truth be told, the home office space has been taken over by my stamping stuff.  Can anyone else sympathize with that?

This first photo is what smacks you in the face when you open the door...this mess encompasses new toys and leftovers from classes and Demo Days that I have not put away yet.

Here is a bigger shot of the closet in that area and the mess coming out of it...

More embarrassing than the mess is the 2nd source of light in my room.  I got this bad boy at Home Depot for less than $25.  It is a halogen meant for a construction area and gives me lots of extra light.  I never create without having this light on.

This is a view of my horribly messy desk.  I shot this picture from the side that I sit on when I create.  I am always looking at the mess flowing out of my closet.  I am busy making Christmas and holiday cards for the Liberty High School craft show.  Tina is gracious enough to let me put cards for sale on her table since I will be out of town.

Here is a shot of what my desk looks like when you open the door.  Yes, there is another closet behind my desk filled with stamping supplies.  And I have to admit that it is a double closet!

This bookcase sits to my right and holds some of my most frequently used items:  dies, embossing folders, tape gun, Copics, etc.

One of my most beloved purchases ever are my ink pad holders from a company called Wisconsin Stamping Supplies.  I have had them for more than a decade and just love them.  I keep my most frequently used ink pads in the one on my desk, and my lesser used ink pads on the one on top of the bookcase.

This room is supposed to be my animal-free zone.  We have a very furry household since we have a dog and 4 cats.  And after the Cat and Glue Dot Disaster of 2009 I declared that no animals would be allowed in my creative space EVER AGAIN.  But I am a sucker for my dog Sawyer, and sometimes I let him in.  Shhhh...don't tell my cats!

I can't believe I have just shared my mess!  If and when I ever get it cleaned up I will take some more shots and post them.  I hope you've enjoyed the peek into my mess, um , I mean my room.

Your turn...Share your space with us!


December Demo Day cards

I cannot believe that I am posting my cards for the last Demo Day of 2013.  What a creative year it has been!

Join us for the final Demo Day of 2013 on Saturday December 14th from 11 - 4 pm.  We will be making 2 cards at my table, one that is adorable and one that is elegant.  Each of the cards could be used either as Christmas cards or Winter cards.  As always, I will have a variety of sentiment stamps on hand for you to choose from. 

We will be playing with Copics on this adorable snowman card.  Isn't he cute?  He reminds me of a marshmallow :)

I will teach you how to make this quick masked background on my elegant card.  This card was inspired by one I saw on the web from the amazingly talented KittieKraft.

I will have 50 of each card available so make sure to stop in on December's Demo Day!


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Preview of Kaisercraft coming in December

Hi Everyone,

Sandy Boyd our sales rep for Kaisercraft made this pretty printers tray.  These papers are on order and we will be getting them in December.  

Monday, November 11, 2013

Saying Goodbye And Starting I/O

Saying Goodbye And Starting I/O

IO Logo
Posted by  on Nov 11, 2013 in Avocado ArtsWhat's New | 1 comment
It’s been months since I put some words together on this ole bloggy. It has been a crazy, busy time. A time of transition and change.
Today, I wanted to share that after almost three years of work as the creative director for Avocado Arts, I have decided to move on. The November stamp set is my final illustrated product for the company.
Avocado Arts2Life and business decisions present the biggest challenges along with the potential to grow.  Deciding to leave Avocado Arts as the sole illustrator and product developer was a decision that was months in the making. I was there at the beginning, working with Michelle to create the brand and I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to illustrate over 50 clear photo polymer stamp products, countless digital product offerings, along with the logo, packaging, marketing materials and so much more to launch the company.
As many of you who follow me know, I am a professional graphic designer and illustrator. I also teach copic, product and mixed media classes here in Maryland. I’ve worn many hats and owned my own design company for over 9 years, all the while balancing work within the craft and hobby industry with my other graphic design clients.
Within the last 8 months, I have partnered up with a colleague and together we have launched our own new marketing communications company. We are off and running, serving many NEW clients alongside our well established ones. Click on the logo and check us out.
IO Logo

For those of you who follow my work as an illustrator/artist, I will continue teaching here in Maryland and will be dedicating this blog to sharing new techniques, tips, tricks and all the artsy goodness that you have seen over the last few years.
I want to Thank all who have supported my product design years within the Craft and Hobby Industry. It has been a six year run designing products forUnity Stamp Company, Avocado Arts, Craftwell: USA and ClearScraps. It was amazingsauce to meet so many of you in real life, see what you created with your own hands, see what you published in magazines using the products I designed. Just amazing. To the Avocado Arts, Pit Crew Team past and present, you all never ceased to amaze me what you created with the products I designed. It was thrilling for me to see such amazing talent each and every month. Thanks for sharing a little bit of you with me.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Gina Adolph's Gratitude Journal

This month I'll be creating a gratitude album with a photo a day representing some of the blessings of my life. I'll share them here with you (in no particular order!) and hope you'll be inspired to record your own thankful thoughts. And if you want to learn how to capture the stories of your life in a scrapbook join me for a Journal 101 class soon! -Gina A

Nov. 1st...I'm thankful for the little, unique, funny, silly things that have become our special family traditions. This is a page from a book I made a while ago to share the stories of those rituals. On the first of every month we greet each other saying "Rabbit! Rabbit! Rabbit!" to bring good luck for the month ahead. Do any of you do this or have another unique family tradition you can share? Post it here!

November 2nd...I am thankful for the beautiful colors of autumn, my favorite season! (If only it didn't lead to winter...sigh....)

Nov. 3rd...I am thankful for the chance to celebrate a happy milestone with dear friends...congratulations on your engagement, Julie and Kennedy!

Nov. 4th...I am thankful to have Photo Scraps in my community, a great independent scrapbook and rubber stamp store, that caters to my creative obsession! I'm also blessed to work here every Monday to help our fanatstic customers Stop by to see me tonight! -Gina A.

Nov. 5...I am thankful for my wonderful Goddaughter, Jenny. We celebrated her 35th birthday tonight. She is a beautiful and amazing young woman who has faced a difficult year as caregiver & advocate for her mom (who was diagnosed with a rare & devastating brain infection). I am inspired every day by Jenny's spirit, grace, and devotion — with Gina Brown Adolph.

Nov. 6...I am thankful for the opportunity I've had to meet and become friends with so many incredible survivors, caregivers, volunteers & staff through my work with the American Cancer Society. Their friendship, whether we see each other often or only once a year, enriches my life. The work they do for ACS brings us closer to a cancer-free world and their dedication to the cause inspires me daily. There are too many to mention them all but today I'm thinking of my friend Barb in particular. She has faced rough seas but keeps on swimming. I am humbled by her courage, faith, & humor and I'm proud to have her as a friend. Keep fighting, girl♥
-Gina A

Nov. 7...I am thankful I have an interesting & successful career as a Real Estate agent which allows me to work with my husband, (sometimes work in my pj's in my home office!), and meet & assist many people with buying & selling houses. It is very rewarding to be able to help people at a time that can be stressful and I love being able to share their ultimate joy when they get their new home. I'm proud & happy to say that many of our clients become our friends but even if we don't socialize with them after our work is done, I'm always grateful to have had the chance to meet so many great people. Two folks who started as clients & became friends settled this week & sent me these beautiful flowers to say thanks for my help. Made my day...thank YOU, Bill & Marcy!!! -Gina A.

Nov. 8...I am thankful for First-World problems. You know what I mean? Those annoying little things in everyday life here in middle-class America that most people in the world would be grateful to have. For example, a few weeks ago the battery in my car remote died...and I HAD TO ACTUALLY INSERT THE KEY IN MY DOOR TO OPEN IT!! Can you imagine the horror?!?!? Seriously, I felt so annoyed until I took a moment to think about all the people who couldn't begin to imagine a problem like that...I remembered that again today and took a moment to thank God in appreciation of all my "First-World" problems. I know many people have posted their first-world problems before, but please take a moment to comment here and tell me yours. I'll be printing this page and including it in my Blessings book. Can't wait to read your thoughts! -Gina A.

ov. 9...I am thankful for my sister-in-law and friend, Brent. We can talk non-stop or sit together in comfortable silence. We both love scrapbooking and reading. We laugh all the time and dry each others tears when life gets tough. We work well together caring for her elderly parents (and that's no small thing!) And...did I mention she saved my husband's life (her brother) by donating a kidney 6 years ago today?!?! Even I, the self-proclaimed queen of journaling and all around talk-aholic find it difficult to find the words to express how much that means. "Thank you" doesn't seem enough and yet sometimes those are the most powerful words we have.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

A Mystery Facebook poster shared a great Pan Pastel video

Sssshh....I've snuck into Photo Scraps' Facebook page! Yep, I've cracked the code! Of course, I can't share my identity or my cover would be blown! Since I'm here, I want to share with you my little find while I was at the store today.....METALLIC Pan Pastels! I cannot wait to play with my new find! In the meantime, I'd like to share a video demonstrating how awesome these little pots of yumminess truly are! Enjoy

How to use Metallic Pan Pastels and create Faux metal effects by Nikky Hall, Polkadoodles. Nikky shows you the best technique to use Pan Pastel and how to make the product last longer. Nikky uses a Versamark inkpad and share hints and tips on how to create some great faux metal effects for cardmaking, scrapbooking, altered media and crafting

Mary Bishop Anthony shared this great Washi Tape Storage idea

Mary Bishop Anthony shared this great Washi Tape Storage idea on our Facebook page.
This is a birdhouse my daughter painted for me for Mother's Day 2001. It was too pretty for outside so I use it to store my washi tape and ribbon.  An 8" tension rod is what's holding them in.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Linda Romero's Craft Space

Three tables and it's still not enough. I've been collecting crafting things since I was a kid and it is all with my Scrapbooking now. I have cards, several scrapbooks going, and a shell project. Just added a project for the Westminster marching band.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Kat Blue's Craft Space

My space is in the basement of our house. My kids come down and do crafts, homework, watch tv or just hangout with me if I am crafting. I wanted my space to be comfy and it had to look like an extension of my house. hide a lot of my supplies in baskets or in the cabinet that is against the wall. I display a lot of card and tags and special presents that people gift me to inspire me as I craft. :):) The only thing that gets messy is my round table but I usually clean it once a week.

ps-my husband swears this is messy