Thursday, February 26, 2015

Project Goes LIVE tomorrow! But first...BEAK FACE!

Tomorrow my FIRST project on the Linnie Blooms Design Team Blog goes LIVE!
Stay tuned...or go directly to

A little more crafty parrot from tonight....this time is a crafty FOOD BEAK!
Can you guess what Ollie had for dessert tonight???

That's little Lacy Lulu peeking behind Ollie.  She's every watchful for the slightest morsel that might fall.  Sometimes, those food tidbits don't just accidentally fall.  Ollie LOVES to feed his puppy!  He'll give me the "stink eye", then literally just toss everything out of his bowl just to watch her gobble it all up.  They have already become friends in crime!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Ollie the Crafting Parrot

Many of us have family members that share our studio space with us--or at least visit us from time to time in our creative spaces.  I just happen to share my creative spaces with a parrot who LOVES crafting!

The past couple days have been spent in crafty bliss, creating projects for the Linnie Blooms Design Team ( ).  And Ollie the Monkeyman ha been hanging with me, quietly watching all the creative magic going on.  When I was properly covered from head to toe with ink and glue and couldn't find an extra square inch of table surface ANYWHERE, it was time to do a little cleaning up. My hands were so inky from sprays and sponging I couldn't have Ollie step up on my hand so I just walked about the room, cleaning up.  A couple times I had to leave to wash my hands in a sink in the adjacent room amidst Ollie's screams of protest.  Other than that, he hadn't made any sounds the entire time we were in the room working.  

So, just making conversation, I casually asked him if he liked watching Mama do crafts...and the clever boy immediately responded with a loud, emphatic "YEAH!"  And repeated his answer twice more for emphasis.  

Most people do not share their lives with parrots and think all talking birds do is  mimic what they hear.  That's not the case with all species.  Ollie is an Eclectus parrot, a species that is very intelligent and capable of much more than just imitating sounds.  He uses words and sounds appropriately and we have managed to form a great communication vocabulary.  He is definitely a thinker and will only respond to what makes sense to him.  For example, he understands what hurt and pain means and totally respects when I tell him an object or action will cause him pain.  Obviously I wouldn't allow him to just wander around a work table with craft tools and supplies but if he reaches for something that would be harmful for him to touch, I only have to say "don't touch" or "uh uh...scissors OW!" and he stops immediately and backs away. 

He is also a critic.  If he sees something he recognizes, like if I stamp an image of a bird, he'll say things like "Look!  Look at THAT!" He LOVES it when I stamp and is totally fascinated with the images that appear.  

Yes, he is a lot of work and yes, he needs lots of fresh food multiple times a day..and yes he also makes some high decibel sounds at times...but he is also a fascinating creature.  And the fact that he keeps me company in what can be a very isolating profession, is a blessing.  

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

More on being a CRAFTY GRANDMA....

Guess what the crafty project was?

Nothing fancy.  

Just an empty water bottle.  One that was heavy duty and whose cap sealed on super tight. (I used a Fuji Water Bottle...super sturdy)  I added a little water, a few drops of liquid dish detergent and voile!  A bottle of BUBBLES to shake and slosh!  And I have a TON of videos to prove how much fun we had playing bubble shake...for an hour.  

Next time, I'll add glitter and food coloring....jazz it up a bit.  

And that's how we introduce the little guy to Grandma Crafts...

Monday, February 23, 2015

Guide to Being a Crafty Grandma

When my kids were young and money was tight, I would make all kinds of fun toys and games with odds and ends of materials we had around the house. I made my daughter's first soft doll (the only doll she has to this very day) ...a special pillow with the face of the man-in-the-moon to help my son drift off to sleep. Pretty much everything my kids treasured were made from my heart instead of bought in stores.

That's what makes crafting special.  When we take the time to make a one-of-kind something for someone, it can mean more than just buying one of a thousand identical items made by a stranger and a machine.

And that's what my little grandson will experience.

I made his first craft item yesterday while I was visiting.  It is probably now his favorite.  I'm basing that on how much it entertained this 14 month old with the attention span of a gnat . He played with it with me for  over an hour...

More tomorrow on what it was...

Leave a comment if you feel so inclined...

Monday, February 16, 2015

Did you attend the CHA show last month in Anaheim?

If you were at the CHA show, could you please tell me what you saw!? 

Any new and exciting products? 
New creative directions? 
Did you get totally inspired to try something  new?
Did you order cool stuff for your store or score  learning new techniques?


I was there but I missed most of it. Nope, I wasn't sick. Didn't spend the time at Disneyland instead.  And, as tempting as it was, no, I didn't leave the convention center to wander around in the sunshine or go to the beach. 

Instead, I spent almost the entire show in meetings. LOTS of meeting. Taught a sold out workshop with some the most awesome workshop assistants anyone could dream of having! Exhibited in the Designers-in-Action Section.  Demoed. Attended several events and discussion groups, although I had to miss others because of conflicts with MORE  meetings.  

Did I forget to mention I spent a lot of the show in meetings?

Granted, I DID spend almost my entire day on Saturday networking, socializing and basically just enjoying the company of my creative peeps. Somehow I was lulled into a false sense that I actually had DAYS open to just wander the aisles.  Apparently I totally under-estimated reality. Over the following three days of the show, my meetings all seemed to mysteriously spontaneously schedule or reschedule in a way that made it impossible to ever stop for more than a moment on the way to the next meeting ...and weirdly I always seemed to walk down the same dozen aisles.   Which meant I totally missed most of the show. Bummer.

Fortunately I did meet some new vendors and have even just joined a Design Team! (More on that as soon as I can announce it...). I soaked in all the creative energy and radiated it back. Ran into old friends...and made several new ones. And I networked until the very, very end...and beyond. . 

Note to self: In 2016, make sure to set aside one full day to walk the aisles.  EVERY aisle.  Watch more demos. Play with more products. Do every Make 'n Take.  Celebrate CRAFTING!