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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Thursday, July 26, 2012

CHA Summer 2012 - The Product

I squeaked out a bit of time to make my way down all the isles of the show floor and caught a few pictures of new things I’d love to incorporate into my creative projects so I thought I’d share.   Rubber stamps continue to be popular - especially those coordinating with product lines.  Black and white, colorable images both in papers and embellishments also seem to be gaining popularity.  Embellishments seem to be getting increasingly textured and dimensional (YAY!).  Birds were still appearing frequently.  Bold colors were present, but unless my eyes deceived me I seemed to notice more muted tones in the new lines being offered by various manufacturers.   A wide variety of make & takes at the booths were hugely popular and I wish I'd have had the time to try out a few of them (that little fuzzy owl at FloraCraft - adorable!)

Expo International always has a booth full of textural eye-candy - fibers, trims, fringes, feathers, appliqués, beads - it’s a feast for a texture-junkie like myself.  Some of their newest products include these dainty crochet trims and textured mixed-media flowers.   They also have organza bursting with color and shimmer - and even a new camouflage organza for that outdoor princess awaiting her tutu!

Prima always as a mind boggling assortment of intricate flowers, but what caught my attention immediately was their new collection of more “masculine” embellishments in their new Craftsman line (as a mother of 2 boys, I’m always looking for something new for my projects).    I loved this layout on display as it combines so many fabulous elements - intricate details, depth, dimension, subtle colors, and a perfect combination of floral and “mechanical” components.  It’s an A+ “boys”
layout in my opinion.  Prima had lots of other new products on display, including these fun architectural elements - more dimensional goodness for my creative muse to dream about.

As a clay artist, I’m always intrigued when I find new types of clay to experiment with.  Spending some time in the Art Clay World booth I discovered enough new options to keep me busy for months.  Glass clays, metal clays, resin clays, and molds - amazingly detailed, intricate Paula Radke Art Glass Clay molds that I absolutely have to add to my collection. (I’ve already experimented with Makin’s Clay and the molds work beautifully!)

We R Memory Keepers has a booth that is always what I consider a “toolapalooza!”  This summer’s booth was no exception - they are adding a new smaller version of the Super 8 punch to their line up of nifty crafting tools.   6 Styles are available.

HandBEHG Felts had a wall full of colorful felt balls - and the most adorable simple little felt critters in the entire building.  Just too cute!

The Rhinestone Genie makes adding bling to your projects simpler than ever with templates and a magnetic system for aligning your rhinestones before mounting.

Graphic 45, as always, had fantastic displays and great detailed papers.  And, they had a fun vintage photo op for attendees!  Ann Butler and I shared a good laugh while posing for ours.

Lots of lovely patterned papers were competing for the attendees’ attention, including the clever booth for Farm House Paper Company,  and their cute line of papers (love some of the unique patterns!)

I think Plaid offers as many creative products for crafters of all types as there are lines in a full yard of plaid fabric! I was almost drooling over their new jewelry items (those ring blanks are heading to my studio for sure!)  Here is a peek at a few of their new products....

And that is a summary of what I was able to capture - I hope you find something to inspire your creativity among the many new products being offered by all the manufacturers at the show.   

I also shared a peek at the CHA Hot 20 Innovations products in my most recent Simple Solutions article for WCK.  

Until next time.... remember to "Dare to be Different!" 
 - Cindi

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

A Book Review, CHA's Hot 20 and More from WCK

This week on WCK I reviewed Kristen Robinson's Tales of Adornment - find out what I thought of here.

For my Simple Solutions article this week, I share my thoughts of CHA's Hot 20 from the Innovations Sneak Peek event. 

Ana shares a cute birdhouse project featuring Elmer's decorative tapes and foam board in the latest episode.   And she reviews episode 4 and 5 of TLC's Craft Wars.

Until next time.... remember to "Dare to be Different!" 
- Cindi

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Golden Glamour Brooch with Spellbinders & Ice Resin

I've got a new project posted on the ICE Resin blog!  I made molds using ART Mechanique Jewelers Grade Molding Putty and Spellbinders Nestabilities dies and then created jewelry using ICE Resin.  This gold leafed brooch with a large faux gemstone center from Plaid is the first of many projects I'll be sharing.  While you are at their site, be sure to check out the amazing creations from their Creative Team!

Until next time.... remember to "Dare to be Different!" 
- Cindi

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Faux Metal Stamping - New Episode of Behind These Eyes

My latest episode of Behind These Eyes is now live at When Creativity Knocks!   It's a quick video - less than 3 minutes - so sneak in a little time and stop by to learn how to create the effect of metal stamping quickly & easily using ImpressArt Metal Stamps!  You can view it and find the complete supply list here

CHA Summer - Craft Inspiration Galore

My vintage luggage Designer Showcase display

CHA Summer in Rosemont, IL, offered lots of inspiration in many forms.    Products aplenty - for a wide range of creativity, were available to view.  Absolutely amazing project samples and displays awaited at every turn.   

The winning playhouse - impressive in person!
This year’s event for me was packed full of workshops and seminars - both as an instructor and a student, I participated in the Designer Crafty Couture Display, was one of the many designers interviewed by Charity Wings, demonstrated at the Art Clay World booth, and was featured in the Designer Showcase.  I also hosted The Next Iron Crafter challenge along with Theresa Cifali and Terri O.  My time to view the actual showroom floor was limited, so my coming reports this time won’t as extensive as they have been in the past, but I’ll also be sharing links from many of my fellow designers as they bring you their reports and photos from the showroom floor.

For now, here's a glimpse at some of the amazing gowns created for the Crafty Couture display.

Until next time.... remember to "Dare to be Different!"  

- Cindi 


Saturday, July 14, 2012

CHA Summer - Here I come!

Tomorrow is the day I fly to Chicago for Summer CHA!  My schedule is packed hour to hour, and my suitcases (3!) are packed from inch to inch - just under the 50 lb limit each (well, the carry on is more than 50, but they don't weigh those lol!)  Here's a peak at a few of the new projects I've been working on for display at CHA.   I'll also be sharing posts from the showroom floor throughout the week next week.   If you're attending CHA, I'll be demo'ing in booths, hosting a CHA Iron Crafter segment, am being interviewed by Charity Wings, am co-teaching a class on Monday night for Flower Soft, and am teaching a Demo-nar on Wednesday at noon.  I'll be all over the show room floor and would love to say hello!

Friday, July 13, 2012

DIY Video - Faux Stamped Metal

In this episode of my series Behind These Eyes on When Creativity Knocks I am sharing a technique for creating a "faux stamped metal" pendant. 

Friday, July 6, 2012

Nature's Birdhouse

Birdhouse Mania? - My official prediction is that with the birdhouse challenge on the 2nd week of Craft Wars - Birdhouse crafting is going to be more popular than ever!   To keep in the spirit, I thought I'd share a project from one of our past When Creativity Knocks Creative Journal newsletters.   While it may not have the “bling factor” of the one Tori Spelling shared recently, it’s “back to nature” feel made it a winner in my porch decor.  

The unfinished birdhouse has been nestled amongst the plants on my screened porch for a couple of years.  I’ve been pondering how I wanted to decorate it.  While cleaning my studio I discovered my stash of tiny pinecones and birch bark – and my decision was made!

The great thing about real birch bark is that it peels resulting in several, paper thin layers of bark.  Just one small strip was enough to cover almost this entire birdhouse.  Elmer’s Craft Bond Tacky Glue was the perfect adhesive to hold my birch bark in place.  I left the edges around the hole to the birdhouse rough, as I love the added rustic effect. 

Craft Bond Tacky Glue would also work to hold the tiny pinecones in place, but I opted for the faster drying option of a hot glue gun.  Simply layer your pinecones and glue in place until the entire roof is covered.  Can’t find tiny pinecones?  Use full size pinecones and simply remove the individual pieces and use them as shingles for your roof.    If you don’t have an unfinished birdhouse, but have another you’ve had around a while that needs a bit of sprucing up, just cover it the same way and it will look like a whole new piece!   Note – This birdhouse is meant for decorative purposes only. Perfect for a summer porch, but may not hold up to the weather if a real family of birds was to move in (unless you coated the
entire piece with Powertex Liquid Textile Hardener - that would make it perfectly weather proof!)  I encourage you to add some functional birdhouses to yard no matter how big or small it may be – watching nesting birds is truly one of nature’s wonders!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Designer Craft Blog Connection July Hop - Vacation Crafting!

Welcome to the July Designer Craft Connection Blog Hop!  This month’s theme is Vacation Crafting.   While many of us may use vacations as a time to sit back, relax, and actually not craft, for many of us it’s a time to spend MORE of our time crafting.   Whether you are on a trip to the mountains, a lake, the beach, a theme park, or are exploring a new state or country, if you look closely I promise you will begin to notice creative inspiration everywhere.  It’s in the color palettes of the scenic views, the textures and unique architecture of the buildings and clothing of the people around you, the wonderful tiny found elements to incorporate into your projects.   If you are enjoying a vacation in your own home and yard - take the time to notice all the details that make it special to you too, capture them and let them inspire your creativity!

Beach vacations tend to be popular - and who hasn’t come home with a bit of beach sand, and a few (hundred) seashells to help remember the good times along with fun photographs?     These Beach Memory bottles were a project I shared on an early episode of When Creativity Knocks - You can view the full episode here.    I repurposed shampoo bottles from hotel rooms, along with beach sand, tiny shells, assorted embellishments, and a tiny memory message in a bottle to create these pretty little reminders of fun beach vacations.   It’s a craft you can start working on while you are enjoying your vacation and helps you remember the good times in a unique way.   And, they look so pretty on my studio windowsill with the sunlight shining off of them and through the colored bottles.

Be sure to click through the Designer Craft Blog Connection link on the right to see the other creative vacation crafts being shared by this amazing group of talented designers.  There is always, literally, something for almost everyone in these hops and one of the best parts is seeing everyone’s interpretation of the monthly theme.