Sunday, January 31, 2010

Antique Glasses: Art or Old Junk?

When I photographed the antique glasses I bought yesterday, it crossed my mind that I have used old glasses in art pieces before. Here are three.

HPB, remember this? Do you still have yours? HPB and I went to an art retreat in Wisconsin. The people who went were so excited that we all connected before we left and did a round robin project together. We each bought a canvas, and did 1/4 of it. Then we mailed it around our group of four. You can tell my theme. Click to see it bigger and read the words.

My Grandma had glasses just like these.

This was another round robin. I think HPB and The Diplomat both had a hand in this one. We each did our pages in our eye colors. I added the glasses to the spine of the little book. And I laid the glasses on the copy machine and made a paper bookmark.

I did this in a weekend workshop in Seattle. I had a great time sitting and stitching all weekend. I found these way cool glasses at an antique shop around the corner when on a break.

These glasses are so cool. Should I get my prescription in them and wear them?

Wondering if old glasses should be my signature,
Normal Girl

Saturday, January 30, 2010

A Tiny Bit of Antiquing

The Editor and I had a very creative meeting last week while at CHA and I am getting to write a new column in the magazine. It is going to be called: Vintique: Where Vintage and Antique Go on Holiday. Exciting!

This part is a secret. I am not telling anyone but you, so if you can't keep a secret, stop reading now. Come closer......I am going to write it under a psuedonym, how fun is that? I am thinking about Samantha Carter, Columnist, Vintique: Where Vintage and Antique Go on Holiday. What do you think? No telling.

I had a fun afternoon at the antique store looking for really inexpensive items Sam can use in her projects. My fav are the playing cards. They are from the 50's. They say The Kid Glove Treatment and the gloved hand is holding a railroad car. They also say Plymouth Michigan, which is where Sam lives. I had to have them. I am also some kind of freak for old glasses and had to have these too. If Sam does not want them, I am taking them.

All of the things in the pictures are going into one project. I am not sure what Sam will do with those rockin' Christmas light reflectors. I am looking forward to seeing what she can do. Stay tuned, if she is not shy, I will get her to post some of her work.

Are you confused? hahahaha
Normal Girl

Friday, January 29, 2010

I Heart Golf


I got this in the mail while I was gone. I have never played golf....except putt putt, which does not seem to be in the magazine's editorial direction. Don't know a thing about golf. Don't really care to know a thing about golf. Please do not say TIger Woods in my presence ever again. I do not know who the new Phil is or want to putt like him. But, it's mine. Has my name and address and an account number on the label.

I started by calling Golf magazine, whose automated computer told me I could not cancel the subscription since a third party set it up. Thankfully, they gave me the name of the third party. I am oblivious to pressure and you can see by the scribbles on the magazine, that I was sent on a wild goose chase to make sure I am not being charged for this magazine.

I never spoke to a person. Eventually, the computer managed to tell me that I am not being charged for the subscription. I recently placed an order at Vista Print and they asked them to send it to me. Yeah, right. So, to cancel it, I had to give them even more information that I did not want them to have. I guess I will not know if it is cancelled until next month. Meanwhile I am watching my card account to see if there are any charges.

Why did they assume I would love a year of Golf magazine?

Dear Vista Print,

Thank you so much for your generous gift of a year of Golf magazine. Could I possibly change that to something I would read? Please choose from the following suggestions:
  • Bead and Button Magazine
  • How to Make Money from Giving Other People's Addresses Out Quarterly
  • How to Save Money by Never Answering the Phone Magazine
Thank you, I look forward to receiving one of the above.
Normal Girl

Thursday, January 28, 2010


I am going to be developing a couple of jewelry-making product lines that will hit the market in 2011. So, today, I am doing a bit of research on color and jewelry trends and such for next year. If you don't mind, I will probably ask you all some questions during the process and you can be sort of a focus group for me.

Meantime, I knew that you would like to know what next year is going to bring in fashion. You can get a head start now planning for that. If you are going to wear this bracelet, you should start lifting weights now.

Apparently, jewelry continues to grow in size through next year.

And check this out! I am such a visionary. I am already doing boot jewelry. I am not crazy, just tragically ahead of the rest of the fashion world.

I love these false eyelashes. Very creative.

Unfortunately, none of that helped my research, it just helped me laugh,
Normal Girl

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

And Now the Work Begins

I have been walking by these every day. I might copy them sometime, stay tuned.

I'm home. I had a great time hanging out with The Queen, The Editor and BW. I got a couple good opportunities and one really great one. Now I have to get to work. But, maybe after I sleep in tomorrow.....

My suitcase weighed in at 76 pounds. And I left behind some stuff I would have liked to bring home. I brought homework to do on the plane. The row of three women ahead of me and the row of three women behind me were all excited about having been to CHA. They were both from scrapbooking stores, one someplace in Michigan and one in Boston. They were having a blast comparing notes and planning classes. Loudly. Luckily, I was reading Rob Bell and it drew me in. You can download his book free here. This is the third time I have read it. It is great to read a book for class that I like and find though provoking.

Enjoyed my trip, but it is good to be home,
Normal Girl

In the Home Stretch

I am happy to report a busy and profitable day at CHA!

I visited my friend the VP of Buttons at the Blumenthal Lansing booth. They had some amazing new buttons and they had some great projects done with them. Here are the projects I made for them earlier this month, displayed in the booth.

This was my favorite display in the booth. It is huge.

I am headed home tomorrow after a week in California. I have enjoyed my trip and it has reaped business for me, but I am ready to go home. I have not:
  • shoveled a sidewalk
  • slept in my own bed
  • watched a minute of scifi
  • eaten a healthy meal
  • stood in line at the post office, or,
  • taken a nap
for a whole week!

I love a good 5 hour airplane ride,
Normal Girl

P.S. I learned more about the show uniform today. The reason everyone is wearing the uniform everyday, is that there is a guy walking around the show randomly giving really great free gifts. You have to be wearing the uniform to be eligible.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Two CHA Stories, Day 2

Every CHA has a uniform that people wear. Some booth gives away a t-shirt or hat or something and people wear it the during the whole show. I do not understand it, they just do. This year, it is a pink apron and a chef's hat. They are everywhere. I even saw a very well dressed woman wearing a suit, looking professional, wearing the uniform over top.

Second story... I really did not know what to do about this or how to react. One of the women who spent a lot of time watching me glitter shirts yesterday, came back today. She watched a long time again today. Eventually she picked up a bottle and held it to her shirt, kind of pantomiming that she was going to squeeze it on the shirt. I explained that she should not do it because the glitter would stay wet for hours. She did not speak English. I kept shaking my head no. I got busy doing something else and the next time I looked up, she was squeezing it on her shirt. It takes hours for it to dry, she is going to have wet Sparkle 21 on her shirt for hours? It was not 30 seconds before it was all over her. I could not communicate with her, and she went back to her booth. I felt bad that we could not communicate, I would have loved to hear what she was thinking!

One more day,
Normal Girl

Monday, January 25, 2010

A Random Look at CHA 2010, Day 1

Today was opening day of the trade show. I do not know why they do this, but they start the first day with guys in kilts playing bagpipes and such, walking around the show. The CHA board follows behind them. It is kinda weird and kinda funny.

P.S. Clicking on the photos should make them larger and easier to see.

Here are some knitted animals in the Lion Brand Yarn booth. They are completely knitted. I asked. Twelve people worked on these. They were amazing.

Sparkle makes her industry debut!

Some of the pieces Sparkle painted for display in the glitter booth. I demoed for a couple hours today. I think more non-English speaking people came in than those I could actually hold a conversation with. They are super patient and I pantomimed where I could. It is hard to pantomime "washable on fabric" I did a whole show to a husband and wife who could not speak English. I think they understood most of what I said, and managed to tell me they wanted to write an order. Whew! Later, they came back with a daughter who spoke English perfectly. She handed me a crystal bead bracelet and said, "Here, wear this and when people say they like it, send them to our booth." HAHAHA Even the selling is creative in the craft industry!

I only walked the show a short time today, but I am predicting that the hit of the show is a new Cricut machine. If you are a scrapbooker, you know a Cricut is a die cutting machine. Their new machine, Cricut Cake, cuts fondant into shapes. It is the coolest thing I have seen in ages. They were doing a cute make it take it. If you wanted to stand in line for an hour, you could use the machine to cut some flowers and put them on top of a cupcake. They had a mountain of cupcakes. No lie. Then you could die cut a box, and put your cupcake in it for safe keeping. The presentation was very cute. If they ever allow us to use the Michaels 40% off coupon on it, I might possibly own one.
I saw several iron dress forms today, all sizes. Most were decorated and I now wish for one for Girl World.

This one has a paper dress.

Jewelry display. Cute or creepy?

Girl World would look a lot better with this rhinestone covered chandelier. Never mind that you would have to walk around it instead of under it because the ceilings are so low.

It is kind of hard to tell, but that is Deborah Norville looking at you. She has her own line of knitting patterns. I think. Or crochet. Or both. Sorry, I did not pay attention.

It is not hard to tell, that is Shrek.

I liked these bangles. They seem kind of like mitten bracelets.

Tomorrow I get a visit from the buyers and the suits from Jo-Ann fabrics. I should get the opportunity to demonstrate Sparkle 21 for them. They are putting it into almost all of their stores. They are smart.

More tomorrow!
Normal Girl

OH! I forgot a really funny thing I saw today that had nothing to do with the show, and I did not even get a pic. Maybe you have seen these and that makes you cooler than I. Tattoo sleeves! I saw a girl wearing them. They are super tight flesh colored sleeves. They start at the wrist and go up high on your arm. You wear a bracelet to cover the bottom and the top goes under your shirt sleeve. They are painted and you look like you have both arms tattooed. They fooled me until her shirt sleeve rode up and I saw under it. HOOT! Who thinks up this stuff?

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Consumer Show Day 2

How darn cute are these? I walked by them this morning before the show opened and had to stop and take pics. I have seen some very interesting and creative things as the booths are going up for the trade show. I will take pics tomorrow as long as my battery lasts...because of course I forgot my battery charger. Again.

Today, we did a glitter glue project with 2353234 people, mostly kids. It was really quite fun. And a first occurred today. There was not one single person, kid or adult, to whom I could award the COD. Amazing! For pics of today, see Sparkle:

Yesterday's COD did come by the booth as we were cleaning up. She lingered, but did not attempt to sit.

Trade show tomorrow,
Normal Girl

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Crafter of the Day

These two girls should be the crafters of the day because they were just perfect. I enjoyed them. But they are not, because to qualify for crafter of the day, one must irritate every person around her.

Our project took about 10 minutes to complete. Crafter of the Day took nearly an hour. At the end of our shift, we were in a hurry to clean up because the next demonstrator was ready to set up and get to work. So, we cleaned up everything, threw away trash, emptied water buckets, wiped down tables. The final crafters at our table understood and while we did not rush them, they picked up the pace and got finished.

Except the COD (Crafter of the Day). She gave me a defiant look and said to me,"I don't do well in situations where I have to hurry." She glittered. And glittered. And glittered. Until her canvas was close to completely covered. (The project was to add a few glitter accents.) She was scooping glitter off the table to use. Her project was a nightmare.

It came to a point when we were completely cleaned up except for her, and she just kept on. I told the next demonstrator to set up and work around her. Then I stood off to the side to wait her out. COD worked another 15 minutes before she put her project away, and remaining in her seat, asked to start the new project....even though people were waiting in line.

She did not feel the slightest bit of guilt. Hope COD enjoyed herself. Lots of people were talking about her...

Some people just gotta glitter,
Normal Girl

Friday, January 22, 2010

California Here I Am

Here I am, in sunny Los Angeles. Wait. No. It is pouring rain, has been for 6 days and there is much talk of mud slides. Cool, I have never seen a mud slide. I did experience an earthquake while at CHA some years ago. CHA = all kinds of experiences. But all the talk of mudslides? I am taking it with a grain of salt, because Californians do not understand weather. They can't tolerate it, it makes them panic.

A carful of us, having some time in the afternoon yesterday, tried to do some sightseeing or shopping. Do you know they close the stores here when it rains? How hysterical is that? It became not only a recurring pattern through out the day, but a running gag for us.

No buffet tonight at the hotel restaurant? No, we don't do that when it is raining (truth)
The rolls are cold? Of course, it is raining
No school this week? Are you kidding, it is raining?
Why are the locals dressed like they are going skiing? Duh, it is raining
The kitchen is not making quesadillas today? No, it is raining

It could entertain us all week.

Here are the tools for the rest of my week. It will start today with schlepping of boxes (so glad that Mr. Human Pinball is here to help me...the Human Pinball is in China right now), doing a glittery make it take it with 200 of my newest friends (unless the show is cancelled due to rain), and some booth set up time.

Also funny to me is that NASA is having some kind of convention in the hotel. What a combo: crafters and rocket scientists. You can certainly tell who is who.

Off to the races,
Normal Girl

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Entertaining Kids at Kinkos

Maybe I shouldn't have laughed. I don't have kids, so I don't know if this is normal. I was working in Kinkos today. A Mom came in with two little kids, probably 2 and 3 years old. She had to make some copies and told them to sit on the floor. Her words were, "You must remain seated." Then she gave them each a rubber band and her instructions were, "See if you can put it on your wrist."

Does a two year old know where her wrist is??

The second Mom turned to the copy machine, both of them put the rubber bands over their heads and around their necks. They both remained seated as instructed and screamed, "OW OW OW OW OW OW!!"

Even now writing about it, it makes me laugh. I thought, in some things, we never grow up. How many times have I done something I knew would not turn out well, or would be painful, just to see if I could?

The stapler and the scissors would have been entertaining too,
Normal Girl

Monday, January 18, 2010

How to be a Pack Mule

Today, I am saying a big thank you to Wonder Woman. She gave me this two wheel dolly for my birthday. Something like this might not be on your birthday list, but I love it. This afternoon, I was singing the praises of Wonder Woman as I had to deliver five 50 pound boxes to Fed Ex. Love things that make my life easier. Great to have friends who understand me.

My boxes are on the way to Cali and my dolly and I will meet them there Thursday.
Normal Girl

Friday, January 15, 2010

A Question for You

Does this make you happy or does it make you want to put all of the necklaces away in the closet?

Just asking,
Normal Girl

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

On Being A Good Citizen

I went to the Post Office yesterday. I will try not to rant, even though visits to the Post Office grow increasingly painful. Yesterday, the employees were complaining that they now have only enough employees to have one window open all day. Nice.

That being the truth, the line was at times, out the door....out the door into the 12 degree day. I waited in line maybe 20 minutes. That is not terrible, but still 20 minutes. After 20 minutes I arrived at the first spot in line.

I watched a man park his car in front and get two huge boxes out of the back seat. They were so big, he could not see over top. he came up the steps carrying them and I could not help it. I left my place in line to open the door for him. As I was walking to the door, the entire room went silent, just like in the movies. After I let the guy in, I turned back to retake my place in line. And the shocked woman behind me said, "Oh my goodness. I could not figure out why you would wait all that time, get to the front of the line, and then leave."

I have been thinking about it for two days. Out of 25 people, only one moved to help the man who needed it. I live in a pretty small town and people are nice here, and friendlier, more outgoing than in the big cities I have been in. And yet, nobody made a move to lose a place in line. Of what is that a sign? There are so many of us in the world that individuals are not important? We hide within ourselves, even in public, so we do not see other people around us? Isn't it uncomfortable to pass someone on the street who does not look at you and say hello? How about at your place of work, or school, or church? Isn't it weird that people you know do the same thing in the hallways?

Trying to be cognizant of others today,
Norma Girl

Monday, January 11, 2010

A Weekend's Work

I have been doing some work for Sparkle. Here are some of the projects I completed this weekend. All very glittery.

These are all going into a display called Mod Girl....retros 70s and fun.

I found some napkins that reminded me of Pucci prints. I put one on a storage box.

Mod Girl art...note the rick rack around the edges.

I have had a lot of fun painting jeans.

I think this shirt is my fav. I painted it to go with the the flower child jeans.

I made some citrus slice beads. Stylized and fun. These are not for Sparkle.

Sparkle owes me,
Normal Girl