Countdown to CHA

January was a whirlwind of fun and creativity.

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I was honored, as part of the Spellbinders Design Team, to attend a team meeting / retreat in Phoenix at the beginning of the month.  With vistas such as this on a nightly basis, no wonder so many great artists come from or live in Arizona! 

Not only did we meet the wonderful folks behind the brand, Stacey and Jeff Caron, but we got to know each other as well.  Kim, Eli, Beth and Cathy were the leaders of our merry band.  The rest of us learned the tune pretty quickly and started to create.  I’ve put the DT girls’ blogs in a link on the sidebar.  You should take a look! 

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Michelle snapped a picture of some of us in front of the Caron’s home.  This was our last evening together, and Jeff prepared an amazing dinner for us.  He is such a renaissance man!

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And here is the whole bunch of us by the pool!

What has come from that meeting is some amazing artwork which will be unveiled at CHA.  It just goes to show you, if you make a great tool, great works will result from its use.  The Wizard is that tool.  While I have been the proud owner of my Wizard for a couple of years – I still learned some new things about it!

The Wizard is an amazing tool.  Because of it’s all-metal construction, you can run just about anything through it to flatten, cut, emboss and embellish.  It puts 3,000 pounds of pressure into that creativity!

But now Spellbinders has done it again!  Always forward thinking, and true inventors at heart, they have created the Xcalibur, the FIRST motorized die-cutting and embossing system.  And as ever, a UNIVERSAL system!  Like the Wizard, the Spellbinders’ Xcaliber machines will work with just about every die made by whatever manufacturer you can think of.  So your creativity is unlimited!  And your creativity is perhaps a bit quieter too, if you, like me tend to create into the wee hours of the morning.  No more ‘rachet rachet rachet’ sound coming from the basement.  Perfect for crops too!  Great for people with strength challenges.  Take a look!

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Feel free to check it out.  There is much more information on the Spellbinder’s website.

The Xcaliber will be debuting at CHA-Winter.  I can’t wait to report to you live from the show!  In May 2008 it is expected to ship to retailers.  See it at CHA booth 5071, watch the website for more info: Spellbinders.

But of course I want to show you a little bit of artwork.  Here is one card that I made at the retreat for the fabulous folks at Copic.  I used the Nestabilities Classic Scalloped Rectangle Small to cut a window in the card front.  I used Doodle Parts for my stems.  I used the round shapes for my Dandelions, cutting around the edges, and embellishing further with a gold glitter Copic Spica marker.

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You see, that was one of the many wonderful surprises of the weekend.  We had a day’s training with Marianne Walker of Copic, using the Sketch markers and the airbrushing system!  There is nothing like learning from an expert!  I’ve been coloring non-stop since, and now, as a ‘Copic Certified Designer’, I will be present during the drop-in training session at CHA on Saturday from noon-5.  I will be there from 1-5, after one of my seminars on Digital Scrapbooking.  Hope to see you!  Make sure to RSVP to office1@copicmarker.com if you are going to attend.

Also, I’ll be helping out with the Spellbinder’s class, ‘Dexing with the Wizard’ one morning before the show floor opens.  If you are going, you are in for a real treat!  Kim just indicated that all 193 pounds of kits and supplies for their class has arrived for the show.  Wouldn’t you have been tracking that shipment every hour?  Egads!  I can’t wait.

I’ll be attending the show with my friend, Ellen, buying for MOMENTO in Connecticut.  We are very, very excited to see the innovations to be revealed at the show.  Spellbinder’s booth will be among the first I take her to!

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