Thursday, May 24, 2012

Exciting News - Demoing for True Colors

Have some exciting news to share with everyone!!!

There is a huge arts & crafts show here in Sao Paulo called the Mega Artesenal, and I will be demoing for a company called True Colors.  I am very excited about this and it's a huge opportunity for me. 

Back in November, when I decided to try Brasil for two months (to make sure I could really really live here), Ruy and I met with Luciana at True Colors.  True Colors makes products for the scrapbooker, cardmaker, altered artist, and the hobbyist, and I was interested in selling their products here in our store.  But, before I could sell any of it, I had to understand what the products did.  And, since the products all have Brasilian names, I had to know what was what.  Gesso here is not the same as gesso in the states.  

So Ruy and I went for a 3 hour training class, which I blogged about here.  During the training, Eduardo, the owner, came down to meet us.  Luciana showed him some of my work and Eduardo sat with us for a bit.  One of the fun products they make is an alcohol ink in a spray bottle.  I had a chance to show Eduardo and Luciana how I work with alcohol inks and we talked a lot.  The 3 hour training turned into a 5 hour meeting and at the end, Eduardo had asked me if I would want to demo for them at the Mega.  Since it was months away and I had to first go home, pack up the apartment, and move here, I told him we would talk about it when I returned to Brasil.  

Fast forward to last week when Ruy and I went and met with Luciana and Eduardo again.  We talked about me demoing at the Mega.  I also showed him some of the stuff I had done in the days prior to our meeting - just basic background papers and tags using their sprays.  

So, that all being said, the Mega is in Sao Paulo from June 27th to July 1.  If you are coming to the show, please stop by the True Colors booth and say hello - in English or Portuguese.  

I've done two previous posts about True Colors - here and here.

Below are some of the samples I made for them last week.  Nothing wow.  Just playing around with their sprays.  Hope you enjoy.

~Michael  

Tag done with stencil and clear gel with acrylic sprays.

Tag done with alcohol ink sprays.

Tag with acrylic sprays and then sprayed with alcohol.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Product Review - Wink of Stella Pens

Ok, I'll admit it...say it out loud...for the whole world to know....[taking big gulp here] - 

I AM A PENOPHILE.  No, not what you are thinking Barbara Briskin - it means that I love pens and markers.  Yes, it's a real word.  Trust me.  You can Google it.  I love any pen that writes with a fine tip, has bright colors, or colors well.  I own a good amount of Copics and Spectrum Noir alcohol markers and a very good supply of Tombow markers, which are water based markers.  Now I get to add Wink of Stella markers to my collection.  These markers have glitter in them. 

How I missed these new pens at CHA in January is a mystery to me.  But, thanks to my good friend Barbara at The Ink Pad in NYC, she saw them and ordered them for the store.  When they got them in and I tried one, I was hooked, and ended up buying all the colors they had. And now I have the pleasure of passing this on to you guys.

These new pens are made by Kuretake under the Zig Memory System brand.  As with most things coming out of Japan - these are cool.  

According to their website - "Wink of Stella markers are "sparkle markers" and are appropriately named by the sparkle this constellation brings to the sky, and will bring an exciting element of sparkle to your scrapbooks and crafting projects."  The markers contain premium pigment glitter dust ink perfect for adding controlled glitter to your projects.  The markers are also acid free and are archival quality.

I'll admit that I am a fan of glitter but do not reach for them very often.  The idea of the mess, the glues, the waiting time for the glitter to dry...well, not my first choice.  But I was very pleasantly surprised with these pens.  The glitter is just the right amount, the drying time is almost instant, and there is no mess. 

The markers come in 13 colors - Black, Blue, Brown, Gold, Lt. Green, Green, Pink, Dark Pink, Silver, Yellow, Violet, Orange, and Clear.

The only important thing to remember about these markers is to keep them stored horizontally so that the glitter does not clog the pen when you grab it to color. 

I love the shimmer that these markers leave behind.  I love bright colors in my work and these do not disappoint.  And because they only come in 13 colors (at the writing), I keep them in a small case and carry them with me all the time.  The Black is perfect for writing in my journal, and the other colors just add even more to my projects.

Below are some sample projects I made using these pens.  If you are in the NYC area, you can purchase these pens from The Ink Pad, located on 7th Avenue and 13th Street.  If not, my good friend Cindy, has them on her website for a really great price - $2.39 per pen.  

http://www.stampingscrapping.com/category_1334/Wink-Of-Stella-Glitter-Markers.htm

Disclosure - I don't earn any commission or monies if you buy them from my friend Cindy or the Ink Pad, nor did they know I was going to link back to their sites.  I just love to promote places that I, too, purchase from.  

If you own these markers please feel free to leave feedback in the comments and if you end up purchasing any, I would love to hear what you think of them also.  Good or bad.

Image: Loralie Art Stamps, Background Paper: Ambrosia by Bo Bunny from www.stampingscrapping.com.  

Image from Gourmet Rubber Stamps available at The Ink Pad in NYC

Image: Floral Corners & Borders from Woodware USA, Phrase from retired Stampin Up set, Die: Romantic Rectangles from Spellbinders, available from www.stampingscrapping.com
Well, the weather has not been cooperating the past few days to get photos that really show off the glitter.  Today I did a quick video hoping that the glitter shows up on it.  Trust me, it's great.


~Michael

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

I'm Back!!! New Beginnings...

Hi everyone.  Sorry I disappeared for - um - 4 months.  But I have a good reason.  I moved to Brasil.  

After coming home in January, life got a bit hectic.  As soon as I landed I had to cover hours for my friend Barbara at The Ink Pad in NYC.  She had come down with a bit of the flu and, since she was going to be my CHA buddy for a week, she needed to get better.  So I covered her hours for a week.

The following week was CHA.  My first one.  It was fun.  It was overwhelming.  It was exhausting.  It was fantastic.  If you ever get a chance to go to a CHA show - GO!!  For me, going from the consumer side to the buying side for our store in Brasil, it was even stranger.  I knew so many of the vendors from local stamp shows or from using their products for the past 20 years.  It's a great time to meet some of those bloggers who you watch, get to meet some of the stamping/scrapping celebs that you adore, get to see all the new stuff coming out, you get to see demos, and you get to meet so many great people.  It was really fun.  

Jennifer McGuire from Hero Arts (http://www.jennifermcguireink.com/)

Suzi Blu from Stampavie (http://www.suziblu.typepad.com/)

Mark Montano the Designer, Crafter, TV Host, and Author (http://markmontanoblogs.blogspot.com)

Jen Del Muro (http://iheart2stamp.com/)
And, of course, Tim Holtz - he whom needs no introduction.
Ok, I took a pic with him twice.  Shoot me!!
And, Barbara and I got to get to Disney for a day.  Can it get any more perfect than CHA and Disney in the same week?



After getting home from CHA my life basically turned into one of packing boxes.  16 years living in my small one bedroom apartment in Queens, and being a crafter on top of that, left little time to do anything but pack, pack, pack.  The boxes are all on a boat on their way to Brasil.  Then it was a few dinners with friends and family and now.....

I am here living in Brasil.  Lots to do here.  We have a store on the first floor of our home, which is a stamping/scrapping store/photography studio.  There are lots of opportunities here for me and I hope to get those working soon.  

I am going to continue making projects and tutorials using stamps from the companies I have bought from over the years.  Also going to start doing some product reviews so you guys know what rocks and what is not really worth it (in my opinion), projects for a Brasilian company here that I hope to do work with, lots of mixed media projects, and projects using stamps and tools from some companies that I want to help out and promote.  

Oh, I might also post some blog entries in English and Portuguese - if I get up the nerve.  

So, with that all being said, time to get crafting again.  I hope you continue with my on my crafting journey!!!

~Michael