Jan 30, 2009

Tim Holtz Video for Alcohol Ink Pens-CHA Winter 2009

Hi everyone!! Well, I’m not quite “back to normal” yet, but I’m almost there. So, here’s the first video I promised you. This is the super talented Tim Holtz of Ranger Inc. For those who may have been held hostage in a cave far, far away from crafting civilization for the last several years & haven’t heard of Tim, he’s the inventor of the entire “Distress” line (Distress Inks & embossing powders, Distress Stickles and of course, all the alcohol inks). He also has his own product line consisting of wonderfully helpful tools, stamps, storage, the much loved Grungeboard (and now there is Grunge paper that actually feeds thru a printer!!!) & embellishments, all under his “Tim Holtz idea-ology” line. He’s also authored some books, as well as DVDs. Not to mention, he is the innovator of the entire “grunge” & free-handed stamping & inking techniques. To top it all off, he’s a great & patient teacher & a genuinely nice person.

Here in this demo he is showing how his new refillable pens for the alcohol inks work. I love these pens!! They come empty, with 2 different sizes of brush tips on either end. You can fill them with any color of alcohol ink, or the Alcohol Blending Solution. He stressed several times that when you fill them, tip the alcohol ink bottle into the chamber (after carefully removing the brush tip end by the METAL part) & then fill it to the count of five, with no pauses or “Mississippi” in-between (now don’t pretend you don’t know what I’m talking about, as most of us were taught to count out seconds as: “1-Mississippi, 2-Mississipi…”!). Tim said NOT to do that or we’ll overfill the pens. He said while squeezing the alcohol ink bottle, just count out: “1, 2, 3, 4, 5” and that’s it. Oh, and be sure to only pull off ONE tip at a time when you’re filling the pens, because if you pull them both out, the ink will just fall out the bottom! So, once you’ve squeezed 5 seconds worth of alcohol ink into the pen’s chamber, put the tip back on & leave the pen lying down horizontally for 5 minutes & after that, you’re ready to start using the pen!!! He also suggested that you color the white band around the pen with the color of alcohol ink you filled it with. You can also fill one of the empty pens with Alcohol Blending Solution, which I LOVE, because I feel it will be so much less wasteful & I know I’ll have much better control over the solution. Of course, that’s the same way I feel about filling the pens with alcohol inks—less messy, easier to control, plus now we can use the finer tip of the brush & can actually write a bit with them!!! WOO HOO!!! You can NOT mix colors within the pen; each pen needs to house one color only, so if I don’t plan to buy a pen for each color of alcohol ink I have, then instead, I’ll just get them for the darker shades of each color family, because I can them lighten the color using the blending solution!!

Oh and guess what??? I haven’t even mentioned there are several new colors coming out for the alcohol inks!!! Ohhhhh, they’re so pretty, especially the “Brights” (wait until you see this bright Pink---it’s sooooo hot!!).

Well, that’s my CHA video demo and product information for the day. Tune in tomorrow for more fun & exciting news!! Until then, have a WONDERFUL & CREATIVE crafting day!!

Jan 29, 2009

More CHA Videos, Info & "Buzz" are coming, I promise!

Hi all!! OK, OK, OK!! I know I promised I'd put up at least one more CHA video featuring that darling & oh-so-talented & amazing Tim Holtz from Ranger Inc., but I'm running behind schedule because on my last evening at CHA, after having a wonderful meet & greet & dinner with several of our gals from the Cricut Message Board, I felt suddenly very sick--literally!! And no, I wasn't "under the influence" at all!! (Amazingly, one of the other gals got sick right before I did---geez, makes me wonder if there was something "off" about some of the food? Because believe me, if there's even a little something wrong, I'll be the first to be put off by it!!! Maybe I should take up a new career as a professional taster or something for the Food Safety folks, what do you think, LOL???)

Anyway, back to reality. So, I'm running behind schedule, but hopefully I'll be back to normal tomorrow (well, as "normal" as I ever get, that is!!!). It will be worth the wait, as I have some AMAZING buzz about other new Cricut cartridges coming out in 2009, what MIGHT be happening with Cricut Design Studio and some insight into the Cricut Rewards program & their waaaaay too expensive shipping charges!! Oh & some other videos & photos from around CHA too, not to mention, I have some very cute photos of the Cricut MB gals!! So, if you'll just bear with me, let me get them downloaded off my cameras then uploaded to the internet for you. Plus, I'm trying to figure out if I can import my videos taken with my FLIP Ultra camera into the newest Photoshop Premiere Elements 7 to edit & generally just clean them up for you---I've heard there's some "codec" conflicts w/the type of files between those 2 programs & their conversions, blah, blah, blah--(I'm now rolling my eyes up into the back of my head!)..., so I've been too chicken to try it (last summer I had a horrible experience with the previous Premiere version--it crashed, destroyed & totally wiped out my hard drive, so no wonder I'm a bit timid about possibly going thru all that again!!). So, again, please be patient with me & hopefully it will be worth the wait!! Thanks for your support!!!

Jan 27, 2009

YuDu Demo--CHA Winter 2009- (demo done by Richard at Provo Craft) & other Provo Craft news

I'm back!!! Sorry I've been remiss & haven't been posting, but it's been quite a busy few weeks. This week, I've been at the CHA Winter 2009 Convention (Craft & Hobby Association) checking out the new products being introduced for all of us crafters.

Of course, the moment the show opened, I ran straight for the Provo Craft booth to see what else might be new & exciting in the Cricut product line, but there was still only the sampling of images (just a few pictures) for each of the new cartridges. Believe it or not, they STILL don't have anything for us to see that would show us all the images on each of the new cartridges. Personally, that was surprising to me, as it seems to me that it would be difficult to get retailers to place pre-orders for cartridges when they don't even know what those cartridges consist of in full!! The sampling of the seven new Cricut cartridges have been all over the internet on many blogs over the past week or so & I assume that means that most of the "serious" Cricut customers have seen those examples, so it would be redundant for me to post them again.

For those of you who asked if there were any new Cuttlebug folders, the answer is sadly, no, there are not!! I don't know about all of you, but that really disappoints me! Waaaaa!! I just LOVE the Cuttlebug embossing folders, especially the large A2 size and I want more, more, more of them--I'm just saying...

So, besides showing the "Your Story" book binding & laminating machine, the "hot" new item Provo Craft is pushing at this show is the YuDu, which is basically a silk screening machine targeted to the consumer market. My feeling (so far) on this machine is that it's:

1) A bit large for the average home user, so you would need to find a spot to store it. (The footprint on this machine is really, really big!)
2) It's a bit messy and "steppy" process.  I think there will be a learning curve, but once you figure it out, I think you will be able to do a lot of interesting things with it.  I hope Provo Craft will put up a forum on the messageboard JUST for the YuDu so we can all learn together.
3) The retail price is $299.00, which is a lot of money, but compared to getting a couple of silk screening jobs done for you (such as for a soccer team, etc), that $299.00 figure isn't that bad.

Here's a demo that I asked to be done for the Cricut users out there, so please, form your own opinions after you watch it & please let me know what you think about the machine by posting a comment! When I was filming this, I was really trying to figure out how the YuDu tied into our Cricut machines & how we'd use our Cricuts in conjunction with the YuDu.  I now know that we can cut out images and letters from black cardstock and use those to "burn" a screen for printing, so it will absolutely be something that we will use our Cricuts with!

Jan 12, 2009

I'mmmmm Learning!!!

OK, I just want all of you to know that I've been reading & reading like a manic for the past couple days, trying to understand how to "tweak" my blog to make it pleasantly readable for you, but at the same time, have a cute enough appearance for me. Tonight I finally jumped in & actually downloaded a couple different templates & subsequently tweaked the text colors, etc. The third time seemed to be the charm & it was the one I settled on (well, for now anyway, LOL!!!) from TheCutestBlogOnTheBlock folks. My main concern is that the area where the posts show up not have too much of a distracting design element on it. Sooooo, please tell me how this works for you--your opinions mean everything to me here.

The next project to help get my blog up & running is to get my files/documents, all my photos & my humongous collection of digi scrapping elements all copied over to my new laptop, so I can work on things either at home, or if I'm at our business. Also I'm going from a Windows XP environment on my desktop PC to to a Vista environment on this new laptop, which is another learning experience for me in 2009!!! (If I'm not careful, I'm afraid my brain is really going to explode!!!!) Truthfully I had been delaying getting a new laptop only because I was dreading having to go w/Vista (and now I know why I was dreading it!!!)---I was sooooo comfortable in XP, I could do anything I ever needed to do & now in Vista I'm having problems figuring out how to move around & go up & down in folder & file views... So, although I absolutely adore my new laptop (thanks to my DH, Moe!!!!) I really, really HATE this darn Vista!!!

Thanks for hanging in there with me during this process while I try to make this blog a good place for all of us!!!

Jan 8, 2009

OK, here I go!!! My very first post!!!

Well, after wanting to start a blog for quite some time now, I've finally taken the very first "baby step". I did it!!! I registered the name & now I'm actually posting for the first time. My hope for this blog is for it to be a happy place for me to share with other crafters my ideas, projects & any tips that I've learned along the way that may help others. I know I have a long way to go from here. It will likely take me several weeks to really get this blog "tweaked" to look the way I'd like it to (first thing I need to learn is how to change the color & setup of these blog templates, yikes!!), not to mention to start adding "real" content, images, tutorials, etc. (Plus, I still need to clean the disaster I created in my scrap room while making all my holiday projects, whew!! I can't really make any videos in here until I manage to find the top of my desk, LOL!!!)

I hope you will all bear with me as I get up to speed, learn about this new medium of blogging & how to tailor it not only to my needs, but also to yours.

Finally, I hope that when I get it going in the right direction, it will a place that you will like to visit & a place that may occasionally inspire you!!! Any suggestions or ideas, please don't hesitate to post comments, so I may learn!! Wish me luck!!!

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