Networking Really Works!

Networking really works!

I have proved this time and time again over the past few years and never is it more evident than when I attend specific networking events organized by a city’s Chamber of Commerce, or my own Craft and Hobby Association.(CHA). Networking really works

Of course I always knew this, but when you really put yourself out there and do it right, it pays off in spades (and hearts and stars and moons and…).

Not just the physical face-to-face networking, either.  I recently participated in a wonderful Arts Symposium called ‘Creativity Connected‘ and the resulting contacts and PAYING jobs are beyond my wildest expectations.

One large order was negotiated  right at the show. When I returned from another wonderful networking and learning experience – The CHA Designers Retreat), I had two messages waiting for me. Both of them basically said, “I saw your booth at the show, and even though you weren’t there at the time , I want  you.”networking really works

So what does this say?

It confirms for me that I can sell myself even when I am not there. It means my 6-foot table spoke for me. And it has also made me rethink my approach to craft shows because 9 times out of 10, I actually make more money through these networking events!

The importance of presentation

This is what my set-up looked like, nothing fancy, but it worked:

networking really works

I placed my business cards at both ends of the table. All pertinent information was highly visible and easy to read. I wanted it to be a true representation of me, my style, and what I have to offer. I wanted my sense of humour and passion to shine. Perhaps that is why I was able to attract people and get business even when I wasn’t there.

Which brings me to business cards:I have several. Because I wear many hats I like to tailor my presentation ( which includes my personal appearance and artistic display, and resume) to my audience, because the audience DOES change. Will I be selling or just displaying? What am I promoting? What is the purpose of this show and what do I hope to accomplish?
These issues are all taken into account when I prepare for a show.

And with each show, or symposium, or workshop, I learn. I also like to walk the floor and really take notice of what everyone else is doing. What stands out? What pushes me away?

I try to leave a lasting impression.

I am thrilled when I get a call or email from someone who met someone I met at a show. The person I spoke with was thinking about me and promoted ME. Now that’s what I call networking!


Powertex and Foil Ballerina Published

My Powertex & Foil Ballerina was published in FaveCraft’s “Best Blogger Craft Ideas 2016: DIY Home Decor, Paper Craft Ideas, Sewing Projects, and Unique DIY Crafts” free eBook

FaveCrafts Best Blogger Craft Ideas 2016

Download the book!  It’s FREE!

Here is an excerpt from the Introduction:

Every January the FaveCrafts team travels to the Craft & Hobby Association Trade Show to not only check out what’s new in the crafting world, but to host one of our favorite events of the year. Our blogger networking party is an event where we invite the best and brightest bloggers to meet some of our favorite companies. These companies generously gift the bloggers product to bring brand new projects to life, entering then into our Best Blogger Craft of 2016 contest. All of these projects are collected into this eBook.

The projects in ‘the book’ were created exclusively for this eBook and our readers. In this book you will find ways to spice up your home, handmade cards to give, sewing projects, and more. 

I attended that wonderful networking party and I’ve been waiting months for the book to come out. My Ballerina is on page 40. I wouldn’t have won without the generous support of Therm o Web and their delicious DecoFoil®Powertex and Foil Ballerina

You will enjoy looking at all the other wonderful designers’ work, too. 

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Upcycled Burlap Gift Bag

Today I am sharing an Upcycled Burlap Gift Bag I made with some products I received from sponsors of the Prime Publishing VIB Event at CHAShow 2016.

upcycled burlap gift bag

I honestly didn’t expect to have so much fun making this Upcycled Burlap Gift Bag!

upcycled burlap gift bag


Thank you to the following sponsors:

  • Therm-o web DECOFOIL™ Transfer Sheets: purple
  • DECOFOIL™ Liquid Adhesive
  • Plaid folkArt® HOME DECOR chalk paint ( in Sheepskin #34879)
  • Testors yellow enamel spray
  • FairfieldWorld Oly*fun™ fabric sheets in various colours, and metallics
  • IMAGINEcrafts Tear It! Tape
  • Sakura Micron pen – black
upcycled burlap gift bag

I love how easily the Plaid chalk paint went on the surface. I also used some of the Mixed media Color Spray

upcycled burlap gift bag

REALLY taking recycling to the next level! I took the remnant Oly*fun® and used it as a stencil! It worked perfectly 🙂

I started by painting some of the surface with the chalk paint, let it dry, and then added some splashes of yellow spray paint. I hurried up the drying with a hair blower.

Next I used Sizzix Flowers#7 die and cut out some lovely flowers from pieces of Oly*fun®.

I used the remnant of the Oly*fun® as a stencil and first daubed green acrylic paint, let it dry, and then sprayed the white colour spray to create an added pretty sheen .

I lightly daubed some DecoFoil adhesive on a few spots and added a lovely highlight of purple flecks.

Add brads, attach flowers with adhesive, and your gift bag is complete!


Oly*Fun Mixed Media Made Easy

Oly*Fun Mixed Media Made Easy

Yes! Today I am showing you how easy it is to work with products and materials in a way different than they are intended. This is the first time I have worked with Fairfield and their wonderful Oly*fun material! olyfun mixed mediaThe new metallics are gorgeous and I received very generous samples of gold, bronze, and silver. The non-metallic colours are beautiful and there are so many to choose from.

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Before I forget: You could win one bolt of Oly-Fun Metallic of your color choice. (US and Canada only). Find out how to win at the end of this post!

Oly*fun mixed media I enjoyed working with the Oly*fun so much, I made two projects today.

olyfun mixed media

Canvas #1. Isn’t this bright and fun!? The colours are so beautiful and I love how vibrant the blue and purple are against the bright yellow canvas.

olyfun mixed media

I used Testors Spray Enamel (yellow) to paint my Styrofoam canvas — it was so easy!

olyfun mixed media

I was able to use scraps from the flowers I made to ‘poke’ the fabric into the Styrofoam™ and NOT use ANY glue!

olyfun mixed media

It was so easy to gently push the Oly*fun into the canvas. Notice how beautifully the metallic Oly*fun embosses.

I did use Fabri-tac to glue the fabric flowers and strips to the canvas.

olyfun mixed media

Canvas #2. Gelli Print and Metallics.

My first idea was to create a very large canvas and this was my first planning session: I created a beautiful print using a gelli-plate and acrylic paints.

olyfun mixed media

I was going to use a large canvas and use the quilted metallic Oly*fun as a mat. I played around with the placement of shapes. I decided I didn’t want to ‘waste’ the large piece of quilted fabric. It would make a pretty tea cosy or thermal coffee holder!

I used a fancy pair of scissors to create a border because it was uneven. I then used ETI (Environmental Technology, Inc) Ultra-Seal™ Multi-Purpose Sealer/Glue to seal and protect the print.

olyfun mixed media

It looks so thick and goopy but WOW does it dry clear and shiny. The colours look so vibrant afterwards.

I applied one coat with my brush going vertically, and allowed it to dry. I then did another coat brushing horizontally, and allowed it to dry. Then I used the Ultra-Seal™ to adhere the print to the canvas, carefully sealing the edges. The metallic Oly*fun was cut into shapes, embossed with my Cuttlebug, and glued with the Ultra-Seal™ and then finished with another 2 coats over the entire project to seal it.olyfun mixed media

Wasn’t that fun and easy?

Now — How to win! Please leave me a comment then you can:

Enter to win via Rafflecopter on the Designer Craft Connection blog and be sure you check out ALL of the great designer projects.

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Easy Christmas Ornament

Today I am sharing how I made the easiest Christmas ornament!

Easy Christmas ornaments

No spellcheck needed *wink, wink

I fell in love with these David Tutera wedding tissues a while back, and immediately thought, ‘Decoupage!’ But then I spotted the most fabulous ‘bling on a roll’, also on clearance, and it got me thinking…

What a beautiful gift for newlyweds on their first Christmas!


  • One glass Christmas ornament (clearance; purchased in pack of 6)
  • 3 David Tutera tissues ( these are 3-ply and you only use the one sheet with the writing on it)
  • 1 8″ single line of Bling on a Roll (for inside)
  • 1 2″ double line of Bling on a Roll (to adorn cap)
  • DecoArt decoupage medium
Easy Christmas ornaments

One at a time, insert the tissue into the ornament. Try to keep them going in the same direction ( the words)

Easy Christmas ornaments

Use the end of a paintbrush to even out the paper and puff it up.

Easy Christmas ornaments

Carefully insert a single line of bling and use the end of the brush to help guide it from the tip, up and around the top, and down the other side of your Christmas ornament.

Easy Christmas ornaments

Coat the perimeter of the cap with DecoArt decoupage medium, apply double line of bling, and hold till adhered. This only takes a few minutes.

Isn’t that a fun and easy way to make an ornament? I think so.