Thursday, January 18, 2018

Creativation 2018: I'm Phoenix-Bound!

When this post goes live, I'll be at the Sacramento airport. My destination? Phoenix, for Creativation 2018! This will be my fifth time at this craft industry trade show and I'm as excited as I was the first time.


Aside from the fact that the show is truly a crafter's paradise AND I get to see some of my very favorite people, there other reasons that I am thrilled to be on my way to Creativation. I'm really excited to be speaking this year. I cannot wait to share my knowledge and experience with a room full of craft store owners who are looking to expand their business into the world of kids' crafts. I am honored to have been named a Creator VIP and look forward to enjoying the many perks that go along with the designation, including doing my first livestream(s)!

I will not be blogging while I'm at the show, but I will share as much as I can via my Facebook page. Let me know what booths you'd like to see, new products you want me to check out, or anything else and I'll do our best!

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Loungy Bun

Steve, Trevor, and I have developed a surprisingly large vocabulary to describe where Trouble is and what he is doing. For example, one of us might ask, "Where's Trouble?" and someone else will answer, "Meatloaf on the noon chair." This means that Trouble is in the dining room, sitting on the dining room chair that is at the head of the table (noon position), and his feet are completely tucked in and not visible, leaving his body looking like a meatloaf. We often announce where he is, even if no one has asked. I'm sure it sounds really bizarre to outsiders, but it's completely normal around here to announce "Square tube bun!" or "Pear box!" completely unsolicited. 

I've tried to photograph Trouble in all his favorite spots doing all his normal behaviors, but it's tricky because it is impossible to sneak up on a rabbit. So every photo of him is with his full knowledge. He often gets up if I'm close enough to photograph him, usually either to come ask for petting or to sniff my camera. But once in a while, he ignores me and lets me snap a photo. I had to scrap this photo of "runway loungy bun." 

Loungy Bun (affiliate link)

Runway refers to the narrow strip of carpet we put along the edge of our hardwood floor to give Trouble better traction for Super Runs. Loungy is our word for when his back feet are straight out behind him and and he relaxes his tail so the grey top portion shows, rather than the cottony white underside. It's a vulnerable position for a prey animal, so it shows that he feels safe and comfortable (but fully alert and not sleepy). It's how he chills out and watches what's going on around him. And it's adorable.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

One Little Word, 2018

This is my eighth year participating in Ali Edwards' One Little Word. I started in 2011 with Balance (2011), then did Celebrate (2012), Try (2013), Enjoy (2014), Relax (2015), Share (2016) and Connect (2017). Focusing on each of these words for a year has been very positive for me.

Usually, my word comes to me early. By November, or December at the latest, I know where I want the upcoming year to go and what word will help guide me. This year was different. My word simply wouldn't reveal itself.

I have three primary goals for the year: 1) to lose weight (25 pounds); 2) to reduce possessions and eliminate clutter; and 3) to grow my business. These goals seemed to be pointing in different directions. Words like Reduce or Simplify work for two of the goals, but not the third. Likewise, I didn't want to pick something like Grow or Expand that seems at odds with the first two goals. Maybe my word was Prioritize? Choose? Concentrate? Value? None of them felt right. I wanted a word that would help steer me toward important, yet difficult, goals. I also wanted something uplifting that would help me cope in a society that I increasingly don't understand. Finally, it came to me.

My One Little Word for 2018 is Believe.


First, I believe I can achieve anything I decide to do if I am dedicated enough. I can lose weight, I can get rid of stuff, and I can grow my business. None will be easy, nor will the steps I need to take always be pleasant. But I believe in myself. I believe that God is there for me and supports me when I need it. And I believe in the good in people. We can come together, but it takes openness, risk, and compassion. 

As always, my new One Little Word does not replace the previous ones. Balance, Celebrate, Try, Enjoy, Relax, Share, and Connect will be as much a part of 2018 for me as Believe. Usually, I add my new tag onto my previous string of tags, but the space is full! Believe will be the first tag on a new strand that hangs below this one:


Did any of you choose One Little Word for 2018? I'd love to hear what it is and why you chose it!

Monday, January 15, 2018

Olympic Torch Craft

Today's craft is inspired by Mr. Giannetto's Olympic torch craft, my MLK Day peace craft, and my core belief that people around the world are valuable, important, and deserving of basic human rights. I love that the Olympics focuses on the best of what each country has to offer athletically, where all who compete, regardless of their place of origin, have overcome obstacles and demonstrated determination, commitment, and dedication. The Olympics is so much more than sports. It's about our global community coming together and celebrating talent and hard work.  

Mr. Giannetto's craft features hands holding up the Olympic torch. Mine is about the passing of the torch, the connection of one person to the next. That together, we make up one human race. 



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Olympic Torch Craft



Materials:

  • cardboard tube (paper towel size)
  • silver paint
  • construction paper
  • scissors
  • tissue paper (red, yellow, orange)
  • tape
  • glue


Steps:


  1. Cut the paper towel tube so that it is about 6" long. This will be the main part of the torch. Use the scrap to cut a piece that is about 1" long. It will form the top of the torch. Discard the rest of the tube.
  2. Paint the cardboard tube pieces silver. Set them aside to dry. 
  3. Trace your hand on construction paper that matches your skin tone and cut it out. 
  4. Trace a friend's hand on construction paper matching his or her skin tone and cut it out. 
  5. Tear pieces of tissue paper to make the flame. Tape the bottom of the tissue paper together to form a bundle. 
  6. Assemble the torch by cutting vertically through the 1" piece to open it up. Flatten it slightly, then glue it to the top of the main portion of the torch. Glue the tissue paper bundle in place. Wrap the fingers and thumb of one cut-out hand around the torch and glue it in place. 
  7. Glue the torch to the background paper. Fold the extra portion of the arm that extends beyond the edge of the background paper and tape it securely to the back. 
  8. Glue the receiving hand to the background paper. Again, wrap the extra portion of the arm around the back and secure it in place. If you want to add dimension, use foam dots or built-up construction paper scraps to pop the hand off the page instead of gluing it flat. 


  

Friday, January 12, 2018

Predicting Trends for 2018

In less than a week, I will be headed to Phoenix for the Creativation Show, put on by the Association for Creative Industries. I've literally been counting down the days since arriving home from last year's show. It's an amazing experience.

As usual, I'm going to be busy. I'm registered for 10 classes related to blogging, social media, branding, and crafts. (I'm teaching a class too!) I'm attending a craft blogger meet-up, the New Product Networking event, the Industry and Hall of Fame Awards ceremony, the annual AFCI Business Meeting and Town Hall, the keynote address, the After-Party, and several other events. I'll be in meetings multiple times a day. Between all that, I'll be spending about 24 hours over 3 days on the trade show floor, learning as much as I can about new products and spotting the latest trends in crafting.

I freely admit that I'm not the most super-trendy person ever, but I do love trying to predict and identify craft trends. I've been pouring over the sneak peeks and I'm definitely noticing some colors, techniques, and motifs appearing over and over. 




I made this graphic with PicMonkey (affiliate link), using one of the color combinations I think will trend in 2018. I'm seeing a LOT of blush pink, grey, and navy, often with a watercolor feel. There are a lot of repeated shapes, like the triangles I put in the graphic. Butterflies are everywhere, but for the most part, they are flat and lined up in rows like specimens, rather than in flight.

Here are some other trends I'm seeing:


You'll notice my logo at the bottom right. At first, I put a watermark on the image like I usually do, but I changed it to the logo. While I'm not necessarily predicting that My Creative Life will trend in 2018, I'm certainly hoping it will! 

So what's not there? Chevron. I haven't seen it at all. I haven't seen 2018's Color of the Year either. I don't think it will make the impact in crafting that it might in fashion or home decor. We'll see!

What do you think will trend in 2018? Anything you're expecting (or hoping) to see?