Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Review of "The Scrapbook Expo 2011"



I asked an jewelry making friend of mine to attend the "Scrapbook Expo" with me.  Her first words to me were "Why?" and "I do not scrapbook".  So I had to explain that the show was not just about
scrapbooking but featured other creative outlets such as rubberstamping, jewelry making, paper arts and more.  She still did not believe me, so I had to find another way to convince her.  After searching through google links for the expo, I realized there wasn't any articles posted on the different activities,

classes and/or crafts that one can find at this particular show (other than the expo's own website).

Most of the articles that I found were older and did not reflect the changes in the show in the recent year.   Since the economy took such a hard hit, it has changed how people spend their money and where they spend it.  Most of the folks I spoke to want to maximize their expenditures and will not spend money to attend a show unless it offers them sufficient insentive to spend the funds required to attend.

When you attend a show like this, you are looking at the cost of gas to get there, parking  ($5 - $12 depending on the venue location), and entrance fees (this show offers coupons and early purchase discounts).  It can easily cost a person, upwards of $20 just to attend a craft show.  This is pretty reasonable for a craft/gift show. I recently attended a convention that charged $40 just for parking because it was being held at some fancy hotel in downtown Los Angeles.  Needless to say, we found a parking structure less than a mile away that offered much more reasonable rates.

Keeping the cost of attending a show in mind, I decided to write this review to show some of the different things that I found at this show.  I hope this will give readers an idea of what they may find at this event and provide a little information that may help them in making their own decision as to deciding to attend this type of show.

Tip:  I highly recommend researching a potential show to see if it truly is what you are looking for in an craft show event.  While you are researching you may come across discount coupons which will come in handy, if you decide to attend.

The Scrapbook Expo does have several shows across the country, the vendors vary with each location, as do the classes and each one features a fun crop event where folks get together and crop the day and night away.  

For those who have never attended a crop, here is how some of the crops work.  Each person rents a table workspace and brings all of their supplies and pictures that they may need to work on their projects.  
The point of this type of event is to provide the opportunity for a scrapbooker to work in a very creative atmosphere with other folks who share in their enthusiasm to create memorable pages.  The shared creative ideas are a lot of fun and people often make new friends at these types of events.

To add fun to the crop part of the show, each day has a different theme.  Friday was a fun “Old West Crop Party” theme.  There prizes for creativity, enthusiasm and more.  The show also offered attendees of the crop event some great equipment set up like die cut machines, paper cutters, scrapbook software (compliments of Kodak), cricut machines and more for croppers to use during the crop.  I thought it was a fun way to test drive products before considering the purchase of such items.  Scrapbooking equipment can be expensive, so it is a good idea to try it before you buy it to be make sure it meets your expectations.
I got to use a "Big Shot" machine which I own, but the ladies at the show gave me even more ideas of things I could make with the items I cut with it.  The sharing amongst attendees alone was worth the cost of attending this event.
I also got to use to use a "Cricut" which is an interesting machine.  The machine is seems expensive to me and rather limited in its uses.  The machines sells for around $199 to $299.  The cartridges run anywhere from $19 to $80.  Each cartridge has a theme and the shapes, words or phrases will relate to that theme.  You can cut one design in many sizes uses the cartridges. They even have one for cake decorators that cuts fondant.  I still do not see the applicability of this product that justifies the cost.  However, if you own one do make a comment below and let me know how you use it? Why you like it?

Anyway, the show sponsers even had scrapbooking kits that folks could purchase to make during the event.
The Expo also offered a broad selection of classes in digital scrapbooking, card making, and more.  The classes offered will change with each location 
 and are usually offered by local talent, as well folks who have booths at the show.
On the show floor, there were many “Make & Take” opportunities for attendees 
to participate in. the projects were varied and had a wide range of appeal.  I enjoyed the wide selection of "Make & Takes" mini workshops.  The cost for the "Make & Take" varies from free to $15 and the price included the supplies needed to make the project.  For those who are not familiar with the term, a "Make & Take" is a craft project that you make in a very short time (usually 10 minutes or less). 
There were also plenty of free Technique Demonstrations to watch throughout the show. One of which was at the JudiKins booth.
Judy was on hand to demonstrate her technique of combining cool stamps with other products to create fun mini works of art. My favorite stamp was her new “Galaxy Spiral Stamp” which is from her retro collection.

For this project, she combined dye-based inks, glitters, and





Diamond Glaze to create a fun effect on glass and plastic.  The soda can lid in the picture is stamp, then the color is heat set before adding the diamond glass (which is allowed to air dry).







Her booth featured a vast assortment of new rubber stamp images.  Here is a sampling of one of the new images

and the sample card project.  She has more project ideas and directions on her website.

The next booth to catch my eye was the “Button Farm”.  I just loved their wall of products, which included “7 Gypsies”, “Tim Holtz”, and some very interesting curios. 

They also offered pre-packaged altered album kits.  All the supplies need to complete the project are in the kit.  They offered some fun designs.  I like the fact that I would not need to hunt out various unique products on my own to finish the kit like the one below.  For those who do not have time to plan a project, the complete step-by-step directions are always included in these kits.  I did purchase one and will do a post on the kit at a later date.


One of the newer products that keeps catching my eye is from "Epiphany Crafts" and is their shape studio products which allow you to make buttons, jewelry and other small acrylic bits from your favorite papers and/or photos.

Their demonstrations was so simple, just pic out the paper (or picture).

Line it up and then punch.
Remove it from the punch.

And add it to what ever embelishment  from their line that you want to.

They have necklaces,
rings,

buttons, and so much more.

The emblishments can be found at their website,

also at online retailers and at this show.  The sample board below shows some of the many possibilities for this tool.

There are also many great videos on YouTube that show how to use this tool effectively.

My next stop was the Little Windows Brilliant Photo Jewelry booth.  Their display of photo jewelry just made you want to stop and look closer.  
Their fun jewelry making kit includes an epoxy resin that is not toxic and does not have the usual strong odour that most epoxies have.  Plus, it is created to work well with photo prints.

Here is a sampling of the different types of pieces you can make with this product using a variety of

techiques.  I love unusual jewelry and this just seemed like a fun idea for making personalized jewelry.

Quick Quotes had a fun "Make & Take" that featured their flip flop shoe book.  This kit features a real pair of flip flops as the album cover.  Then the pages are added in accordian style.  Very fun and cute kit.
They also had a fun display from their "Club Q" which offers crafters a choice of either a page kit or an "altered art" kit.  I have never joined one of these type of clubs so I can not give an opinion on it.  But it did look interesting.


Technique Tuesday, featured ideas and  kits that were geared towards towards the busy crafter.  They had page layout kits, chip board, clear stamps, and more.


This show offered an abundance of paper craft supplies.  The selection of embellishments was more tempting that you can imagine.  They also had basic rubber stamping supplies, chip board books, altered art supplies, stencils, embossing powders, glitters, adhesives, and incredible deals on patterned paper.  One of the things that I liked is that they had displays of different ways to use the embellishments that had nothing to do with scrapbooking.  It is nice to have products that can be used for other craft mediums.

It turned out to be a great mix of altered art, stamping, and scrapbooking combined.  One of the things that really stood out at this show is that the "Tim Holtz" line is extremely popular and people are finding lots of creative ways to use the products.  I also noticed the pre-packaged scrapbooking and altered art kits were widely available.  No matter what your experience level is, there was a kit to suit your needs.   For more information on upcoming workshops, 2011 show schedule, discount coupons, or vendors,  I would recommend checking the Scrapbook Expo show website.



Disclosure

Monday, August 22, 2011

Burbank Car Show

Growing up as a kid with access to an amazing collection of hot wheels, you learn to appreciate the beauty of classic cars.  It is always fun to get to see in person, the real versions of some of my favorite hot wheel toys.  


Last Saturday was the "Burbank Car Show" on Magnolia Blvd in downtown Burbank, California.

This is a much smaller show than the Glendale Car Show

but just as much fun.  Well, it is if you are into cars.

Personally, I love classic cars and can not seem to get enough of these shows.
 Every car owner has their own story

about how they got the car and refurbished it to its current condition.

I found it to be quite interesting to listen to what enthusiast have to say about the different vehicles.



The local stores had interesting window displays to tempt attendees to pay a visit.
This store had live models in their windows featuring some of their cool vintage clothing,
accessories, and more.


The car show also featured some craft booths, local volunteer organizations, live entertainment and a great selection of outdoor food vendors.  It ended too quickly.  However, watching all the classic, vintage, and muscle cars drive by as they departed was quite the experience.