Welcome to my NEW BLOG!

Cindi Bisson - Fat Cat Creations is now Cindi McGee - Behind These Eyes™. Since I've been on this creative journey for over 18 years - I have a LOT of project links out there in cyberworld! If you are looking for a particular project you have found on Pinterest, Facebook, FaveCrafts, HomeTalk, Twitter, etc. and the link is not working for you, please feel free to email me at cdjb11@yahoo.com and I'll be sure to get you the new link to the instructions. Have a creative day and remember to DARE TO BE DIFFERENT!

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Saturday, February 19, 2011

CHA Designer Showcase

In this week's episode of When Creativity Knocks, Ana Araujo talks with some of the amazing designers who participated in the Designer Showcase event at CHA.  This event gives designers the opportunity to share their work with manufacturers and press and was well attended - even though as those of us who participated can tell you - it was about a mile walk between the showroom floor and this room :0). 

I was honored to be one of the designers interviewed and share my "House that Cindi Built" with our viewers!  I wanted something eye catching - something different - to catch the attendees eye and hopefully cause them to pause and look through my portfolio.  I created this huge house out of about 98% repurposed materials. The roof opened to reveal a lighted attic that held boxes highlighting some of my skills. The inside was carpeted with felt, and wallpapered with scrapbook papers. Cardboard, book pages and covers (books purchased at a local Goodwill store), a dog food bag, plastic grocery bags, newspaper, plastic 2 liter soda bottles, bamboo skewers, placemats..... it took many hours to create this house, which collapses almost flat for shipping (which is another story I would rather forget).

View the episode here featuring Jen Goode, Theresa Cifali, Laura Bray, Einet Kessler, Svetlana Kunina, and Cindi Bisson: http://tinyurl.com/6kykskp

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentines & Sliding Puzzles!

I know Valentine's Day is now officially behind us..... but in case you want to share the "love" for a little longer - I thought I'd share two of my latest Cindi's Simple Solutions articles for When Creativity Knocks - the first has instructions and a template for wedge shaped gift boxes with a heart cut out door - but the heart can easily be altered to any shape.   I used fabulous papers from K&Company's new Kelly Panacci Valentine line to create these samples. http://tinyurl.com/32nwsk5   
I also baked a special warm, gooey, heart shaped chocolate chip and M&M "pie" for my sons and my husband for Valentine's Day.  They really enjoyed them warm from the oven with a little chocolate syrup drizzle and vanilla ice cream!   The instructions for this goody are also at the Simple Solutions page.

The latest episode of When Creativity Knocks features an amazing sliding puzzle game with Elmer's Foam Board and a photo!  We recently worked with Elmer's & X-Acto at CHA to host make & "send" projects for our troops - this is just the first of several we will be sharing in the coming weeks.   Here's the link:  http://tinyurl.com/62kr4tx

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Construction Boom?

  Ornate Metal Door Plate and Knob StaplesAre we in the middle of a creative "construction boom?"  As I wandered the isles at CHA Winter in LA – “buildings” seem to be popping up everywhere.  Booths made to look like storefronts, one, two, then yes, another one!  Patterned papers  and stickers galore with houses printed on them….. maybe not all brand new releases, but still visible on the showroom floor.  Rubber stamps with housing themes, dies for embossing and cutting…… even the smaller elements of buildings/ construction seem to be seeping into the creative world!    Check out this doorknob embellishment from Graphic 45  (www.g45papers.com Hardware for crafters - gotta love it!    Here are a few more examples so you'll see what I mean....
A new company I discovered at the CHA Canadian Scrapbook Sampler was My Stamp Box - www.MyStampBox.com - clear stamps complete with clear plastic storage cases - and you guessed it - a Neighborhood set!  Another favorite new company I discovered at this event was TWIDDLEYBITZ!  Offered now in the US by http://www.selectimports.ca/.  Here's just ONE of their dimensional houses....

Paper, Paper.... and more PAPER..... here's just a few! 

We R Memory Keepers Family Keepsake - "Charles"
Crate Paper - Neighborhood Collection

My Little Shoebox - City by the Bay Collection - Clear Acrylic Stamps, BRAND NEW - click to enlarge
My Little Shoebox  has housing papers and stamps

Sizzix Scoreboards House 3D Die by Eileen Hull - Super Cute!
My Mind's Eye - two of their cute options!

Hometown Summer - Sunnyside Lane 00456
Pink Paislee's Hometown Summer
 - Sunnyside Lane

Nikki Sivils brings houses in to style in many ways!


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Look, a Trend!

I had limited time to adventure out onto the showroom floor at CHA in LA - but the time I did spend out there I noticed a few things I think fall into the "trend" category...... Here's a peak at the first one that caught my eye. 

That's Entertainment! 

When Creativity Knocks recently held Crafting Under the Big Top make and take take sessions and taped two special episodes at the Craftwell booth at Winter CHA.   Complete with a portable big top, an adorable ringmaster costume and hat made by Ana Araujo for our host Megan Araujo (Megan was not impressed with the hat….but we sure did have some fun with it!), and custom made aprons for those of us manning the make & take booth, we were right on TREND! 
My first recollection of the circus theme entering the creative world was when TaDa Creative Studios participated in our first WCK Great Crafter’s Paper Cut in 2010 with their Big Top Collection.  TaDa also graciously donated their Under the Big Top Collection for the Craftwell Crafting Under the Big Top make and takes and the Elmer's Cards for the Troops make and takes - THANK YOU TADA CREATIVE STUDIOS!  www.tadacreativestudios.comI wonder if they knew they were at the beginning of an upcoming trend?! Fast forward to CHA Winter 2011, and we see the Studio Calico State Fair collection www.studiocalico.com   Graphic 45 brings us Le Cirque www.g45papers.com. GCD Studios offers Fun House http://www.gcdstudios.com/ , while Imaginesce's Animal Crackers collection features such fun papers as "Under the Big Top". www.imaginisce.com/
Circus themed rubber stamps, dies, stickers, and other embellishments are also readily available. 
*Tim Holtz Cling Rubber Stamps THE BIG TOP Circus Stampers Anonymous
Tim Holtz Cling Rubber Stamps THE BIG TOP Circus-  Stampers Anonymous

Almost every paper manufacturer had something to add to the celebrations theme - and many had a touch of the circus or fair thrown in for fun.  Whether you are looking for bright and colorful, softly rustic, or absolutely vintage - there are circus/fair themed papers, stamps, and more available to you now!  

Le Cirque Set
Graphic 45's Le Cirque


GCD Studio's Fun House - A peak at their line!

"Midway" from Studio Calico's State Fair Collection

Big Top Collection
TaDa Creative Studios' Big Top Mini Mes gives a peak at
their colorful collection, only in mini!

"Under the Big Top" from Imaginesce

Sunday, February 6, 2011

CHA Survivor!

I think there may be a new reality show in there somewhere...... CHA Survivor!  Between the perils of getting to LA, the crazy schedule of the show, and the storm of 2011 creating havoc on almost anyone who had to fly homes schedule, it certainly was an adventure!   As most of you know, I normally browse the showroom floor taking tons of photos to share with you here.  However, due to a back-to-back schedule this time, my floor browsing was limited.  I have some fun photos to share (although I can't believe I didn't get a photo of myself and my long-time friend and fellow designer Becky Conley!), but I want to refer to you to the blog of my friend and fellow designer Theresa Cifali - http://theresacifali.blogspot.com/ - for a plethora of CHA photos to give you a great view of what the week was like!  Thanks Theresa for covering it so wonderfully for those of us who missed out on some of it this time!   Also check out my Facebook page and the When Creativity Knocks Facebook page for lots more fun photos in the weeks to come.

The When Creativity Knocks team of Ana Araujo, Megan Araujo, Scott Pfeiffer, Theresa Cifali, Laura Bray and myself had a wonderful time working with Craftwell and Elmer's taping shows and hosting make & takes.  We created Circus Pops and fun bracelets at Craftwell, and did a whole series of interactive cards/games for the troops at Elmer's.  Vanna White and her daughter Giovanni even took the time from their schedule at Lion Brand Yarn to come and talk with us and make cards for the troops - imagine the surprise of the serviceman who receives a card signed by Vanna!  WCK also did a series of Great Crafter's Viewpoint interviews which are viewable on the http://www.whencreativityknocks.com/ site. 

I worked extensively at the Makin's Clay booth hosting make and takes.  We made fun rings which all seemed to enjoy.  It was also an honor to see so much of my artwork displayed at the Makin's booth.  The Craft Studio was amazing - what fun to see what fellow designers created with the base materials provided by CHA.  I am also hopeful that the piece I donated for the charity auction brought a good donation for the chosen charity.

The Designer Showcase was well attended despite being about 10 miles away from the show room floor inside the conference center.  I think everyone there was hoping a Segway would drop out of the sky to get us here and there all week!  It was a pleasure to be included amongst so many wonderfully diversely talented designers and I enjoyed meeting and talking with everyone who stopped by. 

Stay tuned for a report on the CHA Canadian Scrapbooker event, CHA photos, and more fun from the showroom floor.......