Journal by TreiC Designs

I just got back from the Shopping Extravaganza Day at Art Unraveled. Art Unraveled is a national five-day altered art conference held here in Phoenix. It’s organized by creativity maven Linda Young.

Basically, this show has edgy and emerging art workshops taught by the leading professional crafters in the country. These are artists who create works that are so original, they spawn a new wave of trends that ultimately are picked up by mainstream manufacturers. Whenever you pick up magazines like Cloth, Paper Scissors or Somerset Studio – it is usually these people’s work on the cover and in the main features. I’m serious – these artsy folks are living the high life. They teach workshops in places like Italy and on cruise ships AND they have their own product lines!

OK, about the conference. Collage artists from all over the country came here to stay at the Embassy Suites to make art for FIVE solid days. Many of them had supplies packed in suitcases that they rolled from class to class. Today was the shopping day, where dozens of vendors, artists, workshop teachers and book authors come to sell their wares. It was a droolfest beyond anything you’ve seen. The art was so amazing, and even if you never made anything, there were plenty of wild supplies to buy for future use. I bought some Virgin of Guadalupe and papel picado rubber stamps, old Mexican postcards and my favorite:
Housewife Tarot Cards

I arrived at 9 am to set up my booth space, which would open at 10 am. There was already a line of eager beavers waiting for the doors to open! I passed them to get in, and one of them said:

“You are barely setting up?”
“It’s only 9 and I thought it opens at 10…” I said.
“Well, yes,” she said. “But still – you better hurry, we are waiting and will be rushing in right at 10! Hurry!”

She was right. When the doors did open at 10, it was like a boho Beatles concert! Women who paint and decorate their own fabric – and then sew purses and accessories out of it – busted into the room with credit cards, checks and cash in hand. Seriously – in the main exhibit hall, you had to wait in line just to look at the merchandise at each booth! It was beyond standing room only.

Just about everyone had adorned their name tags in one way or another. Some had turned it into a wire and bead necklace, while others created a body from it with arms, legs and head all held together with eyelets and jump rings. And that was just their name tags! They also had pins, earrings, purses, necklaces, braceelts, etc that they non-chalantly showed off. The one phrase I kept hearing throughout the day was “Oh thank you – I made it!!”

My sister, Theresa, (a non-crafter) went to drop off Maya to help me, and even she ended up spending hundreds of dollars on handmade papers and retro pictures. My favorite part of the event? The pleasant surprise of all the people from all over the country who came by my booth to meet me. They all had bought my books, visited the site, read this blog regularly and several of them even brought me gorgeous handmade gifts! At one point I got choked up. One lady had read about my Aztec Warrior Angels from my blog and she made me a piece of personalized glittery angel jewelry. They even knew Maya! Maya said a couple ladies who came by the booth asked her about the blog!

But now the fun is over and I’m in serious ca-ca. I leave Tuesday morning for Burbank to tape two 30-minute episodes for the new DIY Network show called “Craft Lab”. I still have to finish something on ALL my projects and step outs. I met one lady there who is also going to be on the show and she took a whole month off from work just to complete her projects for one show. Here I have two shows and am making everything in three days!! Tomorrow I have to take my nana to church & breakfast, and then work, and then we have a Phoenix Frida meeting. Monday I work and then Monday night I’m the featured speaker for the Art Unraveled dinner. I have no idea how I’m going to finish it all and make it seem like I had it all organized months ago. Don’t tell anyone my secret, OK? It seems I’m always in this situation and it always comes through, so I’ll be fine. I hope.

Before I sign off to go drink quad mochas and jump in the studio for a marathon night of power crafting, I want to share the work of the talented artists I met and saw today. They are the rock stars of the crafty industry and I feel like a tiny plastic ant next to them. But a very inspired ant! you’ll see what I mean when you see their work.

Traci Bautista
Jill Badonsky
Bev Brazelton
Caludine Hellmuth
Lisa Pavelka
Paper Bag Studios
Lynne Perrella
Traci Bunkers
Tim Holtz
Laurie Mika

And I can’t go without sharing the local stores that were there. Go support them so they will stay in business!!
Ink It: 225 North Gilbert Road – Gilbert. 480.632.6801
The Creative Quest: 7146 N. 57th Drive, Glendale. 623.847.2215

I’m sorry if I forgot anyone!

P.S. The kids want me to blog about some new treats we got for the dogs today. They are called Yip Yaps Breath Mints for dogs. They really work!

peace, respect & glitter.
See the new line of Crafty Chica products at select Michaels stores!! All content/photos copyright, © Kathy Cano-Murillo, 2008.

Love & light,

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Kathy Cano-Murillo

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Hi, I’m Kathy, The Crafty Chica! My specialty is creative motivation. I’m an artist, author, and speaker and this is where I share my craft tutorials, artwork, articles, books, product lines, and workshops!

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