Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Impatient Crafter on You Tube!

You know when you meet someone and they make you laugh, smile and really think all at the same time? For me, Margot Potter is that incredibly talented source of energy. She is known as the "Impatient Beader". Her books open up jewelry making to everyone through the great instructions, humor and variety of style.

To see Margot in action and learn some new techniques, check her out on You Tube. Plus, her website is always a fun visit -- her list of "Hair Don'ts", hilarious blog and really cool projects will keep you smiling!

- Jessica

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Baby Boy Joy!

It is a happy Spring indeed! I am pleased to announce Mr. Dylan Parker! My very good friends, Rob and Eileen, just gave birth to a beautiful baby boy! He really is beautiful, not that “aww he’s cute” then you leave the hospital and ask what happened to that poor child’s face – he really is beautiful!

I got to visit him when he was just 6 hours old and so new to the world. His beautiful eyes were looking at everything around him and trying so hard to focus – imagine seeing everything for the first time! He was enthralled by his tongue and his mouth, darting his tongue in and out and catching air on the tip. What really put a cheek-to-cheek grin on my face was watching his parents. Rob and Eileen are so proud, as they should be; it’s amazing to witness that joy firsthand. I had fun watching Rob change his son’s first diaper and Eileen instructing on how to do it. The happiness in that hospital room could fill the entire city of Tampa.
In order to capture this moment I decided that I wanted to create a scrapbook page for them – and Dylan. As always, Jennifer G’s site offered me some great inspiration. Jennifer’s site linked me to Kim Hughes’ site who offered this great layout for inspiration.

Of course, I changed it up a bit to format it more to my liking and capabilities, but it offers a great place to start. She also offers many more ideas for creating different cards and pages. Make sure to check her out!Welcome Dylan to this crazy world. It’s one heck of a ride but buckle tight and enjoy every moment of it!

You are Worth It!

Jewelry designer Linda Valentino shares her OttLite story and some beautiful pictures of her work:

"Before I started using the Ott-Lite my eyes were getting strained and the colors of my beaded work were all fuzzy and looked a different color.
My yellows were more like mustard color not the yellow that I have purchased at Joann Fabric -- it was muted. Then I brought home the Ott-Lite last Christmas.

"With amazement, the work looked so much life like and I use my Ott-Lite for almost everything I use. I work with it, at my studio at this time, I use it to read the newspaper and it does not hurt my eyes. The Ott-Lite does not get too hot under it like the regular light bulbs do and it also the old stuff burned little bits on the top of my head, the Ott-Lite did not do this.

"I could keep the Ott-Lite on for 4 hours a day, everyday. The renewable bulbs do not cost as much as the fluorescent bulbs and Joann Fabric carries them. I am so happy that my work appreciates that I use this too, and for all of you who have not made a decision on wheter to spend that extra 80.00 or not. Do yourself a favor, spend the money while you can still see once the eyes go you will not be buying the Ott Light you will be in a nursing home. So enjoy your life with scrapbooking, needleworks, or just like me seed beading necklaces and start enjoying your life. You are Worth it!!"

Linda Valentino, Valentino Originals Seminole, Florida

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Art of Playing

I recently had an opportunity to speak with Hank Edley from AdeptiCon – “For Gamers By Gamers”. Here is what he had to say about this year’s conference and AdeptiCon itself.
Q. Describe AdeptiCon for those who are not familiar with it?
A. It is the largest club-run mini war game convention in the country. We recently finished our 6th year and have increased our attendance from 100 people our first year to 800 currently. It is mainly a convention for adults who haven’t stopped playing with toy soldiers. It is highly detailed and teaches how to paint, sculpt and have fun competing at the same time. We work closely with Games Workshop in creating highly competitive tournaments where attendees can show off their work.

Q. How long have you been involved with AdeptiCon and what is your role?
A. This is my 5th year operationally but I attended the first year and wanted to become involved which led me to marketing and sponsorship opportunities. This is a volunteer-driven event that requires thousands of hours of time. In fact, planning for the 2009 event has already begun.

Q. What first attracted you to AdeptiCon?
A. As like most Americans, I do have a competitive streak; it’s the nature of the game. I have a lot of friends in the tournament circuit and this has given me a great venue for social networking.
Q. How important is the artistic portion? Is it more the painting and creating the pieces or the game playing?
A. The artistic portion is very important as is the sportsmanship of the game. Gamers are scored on how creative their pieces are and the painting contest is judged solely on artistic merit. There are also scores for sportsmanship during the games and how well you play with others.

Q. Do you buy your pieces already painted or do you paint them yourself?
A. Yes, I do paint my own but I have also contracted pieces out to elite painters. With young children and a demanding job I don’t have as much time to dedicate but I do paint a good chunk of my own stuff.

Q. Is there a required skill level to attend the conference or can beginners join as well?
A. Beginners are more than welcome. We offer intro to painting courses and there are always people willing to teach. As with other hobbies, we are seeing the pressures of quick entertainment such as video games and internet, but this is a hobby that teaches good skill sets.

Q. How important is lighting when creating your pieces?
A. Very, very important! Light sourcing for competitive painters is critical. You are using a base color and need proper lighting to highlight this color for better matching. On the competitive side you can spend hundreds of hours on one figure, without good lighting your eyes get tired and fatigued. Having good lighting helps when painting for long periods of time.

Q. Anything else that you would like our readers to know?
A. We have a significant amount of crossover with other hobbies that people may not think of. We frequently use craft paint and include stamping to sewing with many pieces. What makes your pieces successful is good lighting, good magnification, talent and steady hand!
For more information, please visit their website

- Danielle

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

OttLite in Office Depot "Green Office"

Office Depot featured the OTT-LITE DesignPro Floor Lamp for their Green Office.

OTT-LITE lighting is great on your eyes, but also great for the earth. By using less energy than incandescent lighting, OTT-LITE lighting helps reduce carbon dioxide emissions -- a major component researchers believe contributes to global warming.

Providing energy saving -- and money saving -- solutions is nothing new to us. It's been our mission for almost 20 years. Click here to find out more.