My reviews are based on my personal experience with a product or event. I am not a professional product tester nor do I get paid for any of my blog posts.

The items that I post reviews on, have either been purchased on the internet or through a local vendor. Additionally I will review items that I got on sale, as a gift or as a sample from either the manufacurer or some other source.

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A review of the Spring Glitterfest 2012 Craft and Handmade Gifts Show

     Nothing says "Spring" better than a cool craft show featuring a fun selection of handmade spring craft and decor pieces.  There were also vendor selling a fabulous selection of crafting supplies, glitter, and other merchandise to tempt folks who like to make their craft projects.
     I love spring and all the excitement associated with it.  So in between planting seeds, replacing plants and designing a new garden, I found time to attend the Spring Glitterfest craft and handmade gifts event.  It was held at the Elks Lodge in Santa Ana, California (which is about 15 minutes away from Disneyland).  The show offers parking at the Elks Lodge or you can park at the store and take a tram to the show site.

    There is a wide offering of merchandise available at the Spring Glitterfest show.  The organizers take care to plan the show floor with care so that you can enjoy the various "eye candy" in a fun and relaxed atmosphere without getting overwhelmed nor over crowded. Since I reviewed the Fall 2011 Glitterfest Event, I thought I would concentrate on introducing you to just a few of the many talented artists who sell their hand crafted art work at this particular show.
   My first stop was the Craftside publishing booth, to visit with my friend Stefanie Girard.  She was giving away some really really cool journals and sketching pads to show visitors.  The Craftside booth also had a great display of some of their more popular craft books for folks to enjoy.   This gave me a chance to look through some of Craftside's newest craft books and see what types of projects they offered.  Something I really cannot do while shopping on Amazon.

Craft book authors Karen and Ann Mitchell,  who are well known for their wonderful jewelry designs

which they sell under the name Ankara Designs were also at the Craftside booth sharing their talents with guests and teaching them how to make jewelry.
The Mitchell sisters are also known for their polymer clay designs and have demonstrated various polymer clay design techniques on cable shows like "Carol Duvall", and other "how to" segments.

The Mitchell sisters are the authors of the new book "Bead Jewelry 101" which teaches the reader how to master basic jewelry making skills and techniques.

They did a "Make &Take" (at the Craftside booth) that taught folks how to make a cute pair of

earrings from paper and other inexpensive jewelry making supplies.  This was an easy craft project that was also an inexpensive craft project for folks to make.  This same project would also make a great upcycle project just by using materials you already have on hand.  You can also use parts from an old necklace and give it a more updated look.
Earrings made from a punched paper leaf.
Visitors of all ages enjoyed making this particular project.

My next stop was the "Ink Stained Book Arts" booth, where I had a chance to talk to Jeanine Stein.  Her most recent book is called "Re-Bound" and is centered on creating fabulous books from recycled and repurposed materials.
She had some very cool hand bound books for sale that were made from unique materials, the book below is made from recycled cowboy chaps.

I loved the hand bound books that she made from Vintage Photographs and frames.  This one is made using a modified long stitch binding that allows for the contents to be viewed easily.
Jeanine also teaches classes in book and paper arts. She also did a "Make & Take" at this show that featured a simple binding technique like the one in the photo below.
She also made a hand bound journal using the advertisement cards for the Glitterfest show and heavy weight paper.
Here is another peek at some of the fabulous items she was selling at the show.

If you look carefully you can see that she makes books from a large variety of materials, including some journals made from vintage french lotto cards.  As a person who collects vintage books and ephemera, I just love her creativity and the beautiful journals and books.
Here is what I went home with, a beautifully bound book made from natural repurposed materials.

For a bit of whimsy, I decided to stop off and take a peek at the wonderful hand sculpted work by David H. Everett.  

His booth featured his "Chicken Lips" line of whimsical art. These amazing creations are made from paper-mache.

The detail in these pieces is incredible.  I have worked with paper-mache and can appreciate the amount of creativity and talent that he puts into each of his creations.  He actually hand sculpts each and every paper-mache figure that he creates.  Then he covers the base material in gesso. Once the gesso dries, he hand paints each figure giving them their individual personalities and features.  If you want to learn more about his creations, he has a fun blog where he shares his musings and his newest creations.  I am

a huge fan of his halloween line and am looking forward to seeing what he creates for the upcoming 2012 fall season.   The Glitterfest Spring 2012 show offered so many different types of handmade and vintage art that it would take too much space to cover it all here.  I highly recommend checking the show out if you are in the Orange County area.  You can also find similar shows in your own area by doing a local google search.

Do you have any favorite craft shows or events that you like to attend? Leave a comment to share it.


A review of the Original Rubber Stamp Convention 2012

The Original Rubber Stamp Convention  which is put on by Kat and her staff from the
Kat from A Stamp in the Hand Co.

 "A Stamp in the Hand"company,  recently had a rubberstamp craft show in Carson, California.

I stopped by the show to do a little shopping and take advantage of the fun opportunity this rubberstamp show offered to view a great assortment of  rubber stamping products all in one location.

My first stop was to watch Tim Holtz demonstrate his new line of distress markers.

He demonstrated various ways you can apply the ink to either the rubber stamp or

directly to the stamped image.  Tim Holtz has a great YouTube channel where you can watch his tutorials and learn some new techniques.
Here are some of the many cool cards he made using his new markers. I loved the antique effect on the

card in the middle of the photo.  These markers looked really fun.

Later, I got a chance to catch up with calligraphy artist, Lisa Engelbrecht. I talked to her about her latest book "Modern Calligraphy & Hand Lettering"from Quarry press.
This book features some fun modern lettering techniques.
The book also includes a section on formal invitations and cards for those who are planning formal events.

At the "Original Rubber Stamp Show" she was demonstrating one of her fun hand lettering techniques

and writing out names for show guests.
As you can imagine, this was a popular event and the line was quite long but well worth the wait.

She also displayed some of her other work like jewelry,
and home decor hand painted and dyed fabric pieces.
I loved the idea of writing on fabric and purchased a copy of her video "Hand Lettering on Fabric" that has a cool Bali Lantern project on it and step-by-step instructions for some fun lettering techniques.  Lisa also has a blog where you can catch up on her latest adventures and see more of her work.

There was also a great variety of product demonstrations and classes at this show.
Card Demonstration with felt flowers

Judy from JudiKins rubber stamps, gave a class that introduced

new stampers to a variety of rubber stamping supplies.
Judy from JudiKins giving a lecture on stamping supplies.
Judy also demonstrated some this cool stamping techniques using the Eclipse Art Masking Tape to create a fun card background.  The Eclipse paper is re-useable which makes it easy to use.

First she tears a piece of the Eclipse Art Masking Tape and covers a portion of the card.
Then she repeats that step using other colored inks.
Then she keeps removing the paper and re-applying it to different areas of the card, until she has it filled in just right.
Then she applies the ink directly to the rubber stamp and then stamps over the card stock.

Judy recommends that you heat sets the image with a heat gun so it will not smear.

Another product that I thought was pretty cool were these fun charm accents from Darcie.

They seem pretty easy to make and you only need a few supplies to make them.  From what I saw, you

need the U-Cut sheets, the acrylic charms, and
glossy accents together make these fun charm pendants.
Here is a quick video that I took at the show that shows how to put the glossy accents on the stamped image to set the base for the plastic u-cut sheets.  Note: the sound is bad on this video because the show was crowded and therefore, loud.

There were all types of fabulous displays.

The "Original Rubber Stamp Convention" was not too big and gave me enough time to be able to see all

the new products and attend classes.   I had a great selection to choose from and enjoyed watching the product demonstrations and lectures.  I recommend always do an information search on any craft show that you want to attend so that you can know what to expect.  Simple google searches on show reviews will pull up sufficient links to help you make a smart choice when planning to attend any craft or rubber stamping show.