Hot 20 inspiration necklace

 

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If you’ve been following our ICE Queen eZine or any of our social media channels for Susan Lenart Kazmer ICE Resin, you know by now that Iced Enamels was named one of the Hot 20 products of the CHA Winter 2014 show. We were so excited when we receive the email in December announcing the win, and then all the details of how we had to keep the secret until right up to the Friday evening event when the news was announced before members of the press, craft bloggers, designers and buyers. A representative from each manufacturer was given the opportunity to give a 60 second elevator speech letting folks know why the products are awesome. Here I am explaining that Iced Enamels rock because they allow for the look of torch-fired and kiln-fired glass enamels without the use of a 1400+ degree heat.

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As part of the Hot 20, we were upgraded to a large space pedestal on the show floor in the Innovations Showcase, which was pretty awesome in itself. On display was a statement necklace piece I made using a cold enameling ombre technique to get this graduated color in our Relique enameling colors starting with Relique Ivory at the top and then working down to the debut of our new Garnet color on the bottom. The brass shapes are our Geometric Shapes from our Art Mechanique Silhouettes. To add extra bling, I did some ombre bead work with crystals on 18 gauge wire that I did the technique of drawing a bead on the ends of the wire and then hammered flat.

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All of the Hot 20 displays in the CHA Innovations Showcase are heading to Germany. They will be on display at the Paperworld trade show in Frankfurt this coming weekend. I can’t wait to see how the Europeans respond.  Here are some pics of the display on the CHA show floor and also the full piece that I took photos of in my studio before I left for Anaheim. Just as an aside, I made a sketch of this necklace in November, and kept dreaming about it until I finally found the time to get it made. It came out exactly like I saw it in my head. As an artist, it’s always so cool when that happens!  I hope you find a little bit of inspiration in the piece.

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Hot 20 Iced Enamels 

Some CHA pics and wrap up

Susan Lenart Kazmer and myself in front of our ICE Resin booth CHA Winter 2014.

Susan Lenart Kazmer and myself in front of our ICE Resin booth CHA Winter 2014.

The Craft and Hobby Winter 2014 trade show and convention was a whirlwind, as always. I’ve nicknamed this show my annual “corporate dog years convention” because we do five or six months of work crammed into 5 days. There are so many things I absolutely love about CHA every year. The top one being that I get to see so many of my friends. I love being in the company of wildly creative people and get so inspired seeing all the artwork they’ve made as samples for various manufacturers, as well as the creative outfits and jewelry they’ve put together to represent themselves and their brand at CHA.

There was some amazing behind-the-scenes business relationships that were established for me and Susan and ICE Resin this show that I can’t talk about yet, but that will be keeping me busy the next few months. I’m squealing inside when I think about how these opportunities are going to fling us even deeper into the growth we’ve been expecting and working so hard for. What I can share though is that Iced Enamels was named one of the Hot 20 products of this Winter CHA show. As part of that recognition, I gave a quick 60 second presentation to buyers, bloggers and other media the Friday evening before the show began to tell everyone exactly how revolutionary our cold enameling program really is. It was a little crazy at the time because Susan was at the other end of the Anaheim Convention Center teaching her Artisan Workshop during the exact same time as our Hot 20 presentation.

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The honor definitely helps create a little more buzz for us on the show floor. Our booth is usually packed each year, but this show in particular was busy as people came to see our constant Iced Enamels demos. Some of the incredible artists from our 2014 Creative Team ( and one from our 2013 team Susan Walls) were helping us out working their fingers to the bones with demos, demos and more demos. Thanks Jamie Dougherty, John Petersen, Tatiana Allen and Candy Rosenberg for the 2014 team, Susan Walls from 2013 and our amazing Designer friends Vicki O’Dell and the totally fab-u-lous Suze Weinberg!

This show also proved 2014 is going to be the year for Rue Romantique by Kristen Robinson. All new packaging and brand new styles of backless bezels designed by Kristen were hot, hot, hot! People could not get enough of her workshop, demos and designs!

Here we are with our respective books. Jen Cushman, Making Metal Jewelry; Susan Lenart Kazmer, Resin Alchemy and Kristen Robinson, Making Etched Metal Jewelry. What a trio!

Here we are with our respective books. Jen Cushman, Making Metal Jewelry; Susan Lenart Kazmer, Resin Alchemy and Kristen Robinson, Making Etched Metal Jewelry. What a trio!

In addition to our ICE Resin company business, Susan, Kristen and myself all had book signings at the F&W booth. People were lined up to get signed copies, and it was awesome to talk to folks who are true fans of ICE Resin and all of our jewelry designs. It’s a pretty incredible feeling to know people are reading, seeing and finding value in our creative work. I did have one humorous comment during my book signing from someone who follows my blog and Facebook. “What Jen, no new book this year?” I had to laugh because Making Metal Jewelry just came out January of 2013. Knowing how much I publish, she really expected a brand new release. I laughed and told her a new one is in the works, but that it’s still a year away from release.

Every year at CHA we do a team dinner at Buco di Beppo where we bring in some form of mustaches. We started this five years ago as a lark before mustaches reached the trend they are today as an ice breaker and to get the party and socializing rolling. It’s now become our thing. Dear Kristen is over the mustache trend, but I just can’t seem to let it go. Our sweet friend and Booth Manager Misty Grosse is the one who found the handlebar mustache straws for us to use this year. Last year, it was stickers and we placed them all over the pictures in the walls of the Pope room. The cutest thing is our waiter this year was the same as last year and he even still had the ‘stash sticker on his holder where the bill goes. He was so thrilled to see us again, but sad that we had gone to straws and that he couldn’t collect a new sticker. Now that’s staying power and a testament to our craziness.

Mustaches at Buco 1

Mustaches at Bupo 2

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My absolute favorite moment this year was getting to meet Rupert Boneham, one of the most popular players ever on Survivor. My husband and I are HUGE Survivor fans. When I heard that ilovetocreate hired Rupert this year as their national spokesman for their tie-dye line, all I could think of was brilliant! I want to know who thought of that idea and I would like to hire that marketing person to work with ICE Resin. Susan and I were invited to the ilovetocreate party (which was awesome with a massage therapist and makeovers and gourmet popcorn and even a professional photographer to take new blog headshots) Saturday evening. I was sooooo hoping Rupert would show up, and he did. Not only did I get to get have my picture taken with him, but since the party was quiet at first because it was at the same time as a huge blogger event, me and Rupert grabbed a drink and sat down to talk about Survivor and Life. One of the things I adore about him so much is that you can tell he is all about his family. In this aspect, he reminds me of my husband. Just a good, solid man and human being. We had a very real and authentic conversation and I’ll remember it for a long time. Thanks, Rupert for just being you!

Me and Rupert, my favorite Survivor player ever!

Me and Rupert, my favorite Survivor player ever!

Here are a few more pics from CHA…

My dear friend Debbie Cole and me getting ready for our joint demo at the Makerspace Theater. This was a collaboration to show how incredible Stampendous stamps work with ICE Resin and our Art Mechanique and Rue Romantique bezels. Debbie totally rocked her art samples. We had a great time doing a 45 minute class showing all kinds of advanced techniques.

My dear friend Debbie Cole and me getting ready for our joint demo at the Makerspace Theater. This was a collaboration to show how incredible Stampendous stamps work with ICE Resin and our Art Mechanique and Rue Romantique bezels. Debbie totally rocked her art samples. We had a great time doing a 45 minute class showing all kinds of advanced techniques.

Anthony Ryan Auld from another one of my most fav television shows, Project Runway. He is a spokesman for the brand new Scan and Cut machine from Brother. Both Anthony and the new machine ROCK!

Anthony Ryan Auld from another one of my most fav television shows, Project Runway. He is a spokesman for the brand new Scan and Cut machine from Brother. Both Anthony and the new machine ROCK!

The wickedly-talented and ever charming Suze Weinberg. She LOVES using ICE Resin in her art jewelry.

 

Heading to CHA

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It’s that time of year where we head off to Anaheim to the Craft and Hobby Association trade show for Susan Lenart Kazmer ICE Resin. This is such a huge show for us as an exhibitor and manufacturer of our products that preparations start a full six months before the show. By the time the show arrives, we’ve done everything we can behind the scenes to do our level best to make it a success. I’m always super excited — and a little nervous with butterflies in my stomach — today and these next few days of final prep and set up. However, when the show starts it’s always amazing because so much business and networking happens at lightening speed, it’s like living corporate dog years of 5 months crammed into 5 days.

For those of you who might be going here’s my schedule for the show.  The rest of the times I will be at our booth — #652 or in meetings. Please track me down.

Saturday Jan. 11th:

Noon: Booking signing for my book Making Metal Jewelry at the F&W Booth.

3:30 – 4:15 Stampendous and ICE Resin collaboration demo.

Sunday Jan 12th:

3-5 p.m. ICE Resin Fundamentals workshop where I’m teaching

Monday Jan 13th:

Noon -2 at the NABA booth

 

cha_logo_designersBe sure to follow our ICE Resin blog and also us on our social media. Jennifer Priest, our Social Media Manager, is at the show and she’s be Facebooking and Tweeting and Instagraming throughout the entire show. I’ll be Facebooking as well, so if you want to see pics and sneak peeks, be sure to “like” me on JenCushmanArtist on Facebook.

Here’s a sneak peek of one of the art samples I made for our booth using Iced Enamels and our geometric Talisman shapes that’s a new release at the show. In addition to my work, there will be loads of art on display from members of the ICE Resin Creative Team, past and new team, as well as from Susan Lenart Kazmer and Kristen Robinson and some guest designer friends like the Crafty Chica. If you really want to see all the brand new hot releases at the show, along with talking to some of your favorite designers, sign up for CHA Live with Charity Wings. Elena and her crew do an amazing job walking all over that show floor and giving a behind the scenes taste of the excitement that’s the mega show.

Here’s wishing all of you a wonderful, creative, ARTFUL and successful 2014! Happy New Year.

Iced Enamels and Summer CHA

Today I’m packing for Las Vegas and Summer CHA. Well, Ok, so the Craft and Hobby Association is no longer calling it Summer CHA and has changed the name to Create ‘N Connect Conference. Whatever you call it, I’m off to check out the new mid-year releases from the manufactures in the crafts and hobby industry and visit with so many of my amazing Designer friends. There are also a handful of meetings set for ICE Resin, as well as a workshop I’m teaching on Cold Enameling and our fab Iced Enamels. Here’s a pic of the cute charm bracelet people will be making at our workshop Monday from 2-4 p.m.

Cold Enameling Workshop Summer CHA

Of course, my dear friend Elena with Charity Wings invited me to do something with her non-profit organization. I’ll be at the Mystery Craft Box Challenge by Charity Wings Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. If you want to see this little feat of deadline crafting, tune into Charity Wings Live from CHA. You can join her linqto room and watch the live streaming event from the comfort of your own home or office.

I was recently in San Diego teaching workshops in the brand new Metalsmithing area of the Charity Wings Art Center. I was thrilled to see my fellow Designer/Artist friend Jennifer Priest of Hydrangea Hippo wrote a post on Iced Enamels on her blog and did a little video of my workshops. I never have any teaching photos of myself because I’m just too busy working. It was a trip to sit back and watch myself on Jennifer’s video. As you can see, I just get to into what I’m doing that all I’m focused on is teaching!

I’ll be updating my Facebook status and Tweeting from CHA next week. If you’re not following my social media yet, be sure to check in if you’re interested in seeing come of the cool new craft products heading to store shelves soon. This is going to be fun for me. I’m always non-stop busy in our ICE Resin booth at the winter shows that a rarely get time to walk the floors. I’m grateful for the space and time this summer to just see and be.

I hope all of you are staying cool and using the summer heat as a great excuse to hunker down in your studios and be creative.

Artfully yours,

Jen

The CHA Bra

I realized I never did post pics of the bra I made for Charity Wings that was auctioned off at Winter CHA. Here’s a bit of background. Charity Wings did a very successful Crafty Flash Mob at Winter CHA 2012. About 100 folks took over the convention center lobby before the show opened. It was my first and only flash mob and I had soooo much fun.

Resin paper altered bra

Elena being Elena, she had to up the ante this year. A very dear friend of ours in the industry was diagnosed with breast cancer and we were devastated. Elena and some folks cooked up an idea to do a mob flash where all the crafty peeps created altered bras and then “flashed” them before  Winter CHA 2013 show opening. No worries, the ladies wore pink T-shirts with their altered bras on top of the shirts. Because this show was a big one for us with our new releases, there was no way I could sneak out this year and participate in the fun. (sad face here).

As you all know by now, I pretty much support Elena in just about anything she does to raise money for the charities Charity Wings supports. I told her I would make an altered ICE Resin paper bra. I wanted to show the world how cool and transparent tissue paper becomes when a layer of ICE is applied to it, and well, I thought the breast area was the best possible canvas to get my point across. I bought a tiny little bra at the Goodwill, washed it up and then proceeded to cut the cups out of it, keeping the underwire, and attaching resin paper. I also made some wire leaves (a technique Susan created and taught me and a bunch of others how to do in her workshops) and added an Iced Enamels bezel and some German Glass glitter  to it. Just for the fun of it, I created an asymmetrical headband to go with the bra. When I finished the whole thing it seemed to me that I somehow channeled a modern-day Moulin Rouge costume inspired by our summer workshop in France.

The one thing I forgot to do was add extra “material” (resin paper) to the cups so the bra will need to be worn by one tiny little flat chested woman. Oops! I wasn’t exactly thinking of functional art now was I? The cool part of that all of the bras were auctioned off at a Westcott sponsored party with all the money going toward breast cancer awareness.  I have no idea how much money my bra raised,  but I do know that it raised a few eyebrows and was the object of a some scandalous jokes. Of course I love that, as art is supposed to inspire, stimulate and elicit emotion!

Altered bra and headband by Jen Cushman

And to let you in on a little insider joke, when I finished making the bra I held it up for my husband to see. I asked him what else it needed, as in did it need any further crafty embellishments? Being the straight man he definitely is, his response was simply a sly smile, a quick sideways shake of his head and two words; “Just breasts.” I had to laugh. I really love my man!

Headband by Jen

On another non-bra related note, I’m off to Tucson Friday night for the To Bead True Blue show and more workshops and our booth. I doubt I will have time to update while I’m gone. I’ll try to take lots of pics and post them when I return.

 

 

The annual CHA CHA CHA

Elena from Charity Wings always brings fun and excitement into our booth at the CHA shows. We LOVE her and Charity Wings!

Elena from Charity Wings always brings fun and excitement into our booth at the CHA shows. We LOVE her and Charity Wings! The peeps were just awesome to talk to and demo for. Keep an eye out for our ICE Resin videos with them soon!

I’m back from  California and the Winter 2013 Craft and Hobby Association trade show. This was such an exciting show this year for me and for all of us at ICE Resin! We’ve been working really hard for the past  year now on all our of new product releases. It’s been months and months of hard work behind the scenes and there was absolutely nothing any of us could talk about. It’s incredibly hard when you are putting in 12-14 hour work days at various critical points throughout the year and when people ask, “How’s it going?” all you can do is reply with a smile and a non-committal, it’s busy!

Finally, now it’s time! Susan Lenart Kazmer and ICE Resin has our very first licensed designer line of bezels and components. At the show, we introduced Rue Romantique by Kristen Robinson. The collection is vintage Victorian inspired bezels re-imagined for today’s jewelry artists and crafters who also adore a romantic, elegant and stylish collection. Kristen has been with us since Susan and I handpicked our very first design team. She’s also been in charge of our ICE Resin Creative Team for the past two years at its director. She is an amazing artist, teacher, wife, mother, friend and beautiful human being. I’m so very, very proud of her and thrilled to have the company selling her gorgeous new line.

In addition to Rue Romantique, Susan and myself have also developed a Cold Enameling program that is really quite amazing. We launched our Iced Enamels program at CHA and will be talking about it lots more and and also teaching workshops in all the brand new techniques we’ve developed over the past year. Be sure to read the ICE Queen eZine for lots of upcoming projects and videos from our wonderful Creative Team with the new stuff, as well as more videos and education from the two of us.

Here are some pics of the show (the mustache ones are from our team dinner at Buco di Beppo where there were 14 of us being silly and letting off some steam):

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Me and my darling Kristen Robinson. So thrilled to see her hard-earned success of her new Rue Romantique line.
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My book signing of Making Metal Jewelry at the F&W booth.

being silly with mustaches

Me and Susan practicing being French Artistes from the Belle Epoque era.

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My one and only make n take that I got to do the last 2 hours of the show at the Purple Cow booth. They were directly across from us, which is why I was able to sneak away for a bit.

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Katrina, our amazing office manager who also handles distribution, busily taking orders. We saw Katrina looking like this A LOT this CHA. Woot!

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The Kristen Robinson corner of our booth. Sooooo pretty!

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Kristen’s beautiful samples. She had the ladies salivating over her gorgeous art!

QR Codes and U

Jen Cushman QR Tag

This is the QR Tag that When Creativity Knocks did for me. To see it, download the app on your smartphone by going to http://gettag.mobi

Just a quick note to let you know I’m on a three-person panel Wednesday talking about QR codes as part of a CHA webinar. If you are a member of CHA, you can still register for this free webinar by going to the CHA website, clicking on the education link and then online learning center. Here’s the direct link for more information.

I’m thrilled Ana Arujo and Scott Pfeiffer, owners of When Creativity Knocks, asked me to join them in the webinar discussion. Ana and Scott are experts on using QR codes in marketing, education and more. I’m adding my two cents as a designer and columnist and how people can incorporate this technology into their businesses.

Last summer, When Creativity Knocks created a QR tag and linked it to a video they shot that I did to introduce myself as a CHA Designer Member. If you want to try it out, whip out your smartphone and hold the QR reader app to your computer screen. I also did one for my column for Belle Armoire Jewelry, but the editors preferred a QR Code over the tag. Below is the video I did for them.

Jen Cushman QR code for Belle Armoire Jewelry

Here's the 30 second QR Code I did for my Art Chooses You column.

Since the seminar is this week and we are doing it via Microsoft Live Meeting, a program I’ve only used once before when my computer tekki husband walked me through a session when I expressed interest in how he does his work remotely, I’m really looking forward to seeing how this all works. I’ll follow up on the blog next week to let you know how it all goes.

I’m on Notes from the Voodoo Cafe!

Notes from the Voodoo Cafe

Ricë Freeman-Zachary's great blog. You gotta check it out!

If you follow my blog at all, then you know I absolutely adore Ricë Freeman-Zachary, artist, writer, educator, innovator and inspirer. Ricë called me up last week and asked if she could do a podcast with me about CHA for her cool blog Notes from the Voodoo Cafe. She left her request in a voicemail on my cell phone, so when I called her back and she answered the phone I said “Yes, Yes, Yes!” before even saying hello.

Ricë is a terrific journalist. She is inquisitive and always asks a ton of questions, even the hard ones, which she does to me and I have to internally groan while I think fast on my feet to respond appropriately. You know questions like….”what did you really think of such and such when she knows darn well that I’m the type of person that if I don’t like something, I just keep my mouth shut and talk about all the things I do like about so and so. It’s easier for me to live my life this way. I once interviewed a 96-year-old woman in a nursing home who led a storybook life. She gave me this piece of advice as a 21-year-old reporter:

“Honey, when you wake up every morning, you can choose to be happy or your can choose to be miserable. I choose to be happy.”

I’ve kept her sage advice in my head, and try to choose positive. Anyhoo…I digressed…AGAIN! This seems to happen a lot. :-)

Ricë wanted to know what the big deal is about CHA, and why so many of our mutual artist friends not only attend, but Tweet and Facebook and Pinterest, etc. If you have the time to listen to the Podcast, which runs about 35 minutes I believe, head on over to her post on our interview.

CHA Winter 2012 wrap up

Jen and Susan at CHA

Me and sweet Susan

It always amazes me how people can get their blogs done so quickly recapping all the wonderful things that happened at CHA. It takes me about a week to catch up on some Zzzz’s and get settled back into the routine.

CHA this year was busy, as always. I remember the days when I used to attend the show as a member of the press. I’d just show up and look around the party. No real hard work on my part except to see, do, gather info and figure out what and who was interesting to my readers. That was seven years ago already (?!) Fast forward to now, and boy, have things changed.

Picture of Kristen Robinson's collage

Kristen Robinson's wonderful assemblage art sample

We re-designed the Susan Lenart Kazmer ICE Resin booth again this year. Coming on the heels of the summer show where the theme was the power of mixed-media, Susan and I decided we wanted to go full on mixed-media this show with amazing art samples from us, our Creative Team Director Kristen Robinson and our incredible SLK ICE Resin Creative Team members. We showed customers how our resin, bezels, ribbon, glitter, templates, new collage image pack and more could be used in everything from jewelry to collage to assemblage to journaling.

The show stopper was Susan’s chandelier and her cast figure ballerina with the lightbulb belly. I absolutely loved the lightbulb belly filled with glitter and a note. She is birthing new ideas and mixed-media excitement into the world, which is what we were hoping to do with our booth.

gorgeous cast resin figure by SLK

Isn't she lovely? SLK's cast resin ballerina that stole the show

Pre-Show fun included participating in a Flash Mob, which was the brainchild of Elena Lei Etchevery from Charity Wings and Wendy Russell. Elena organized the She’s Crafty Flash Mob to raise awareness for the charities that were participating at CHA. Kristen and I, along with 98 other folks broke out in dance right in the entrance lobby about 15 minutes before the show officially opened. It really was a blast and I can now say I’m so cool that I’ve been in a flash mob (grin). Also, I made a pair of wings for Elena that she wore around the show. I was pleased with the way they came out. Gorgeous 7 Gypsies Tissue paper covered in ICE Resin on a hand formed wing armature frame. I even used our frayed ribbons to make a rose and some girlie grunge goodness in the back where the wings attached.

Here’s the video from the Crochet Crowd, whom we met and fell in love with at this CHA. These guys are totally fabulous! We’re going to be working together in the future, so stay tuned.

Flash Mob She's Crafty

We were movin' and groovin' for charity.

Another exciting happening at the booth is that Kristen was on hand to do book signings of her wonderful book Tales of Adornment, where she uses ICE Resin in every single one of her projects. The ladies flocked to the our booth, as well as the F&W/Norht Light and R&M Distributors booths to get their signed copies. I, too, did a book signing with giveaways and had so much fun handing out goodie bags.

The three us of at CHA

Oh how I love these women. The both inspire me every day.

Creative Team members Tina Schiefer and JoAnna Pierotti were also at the booth doing some great demos throughout the show. It was JoAnna’s birthday on Sunday while we were there and we celebrated at Buco di Beppo wearing skinny stick-on mustaches that I bought in a little California shop when I was there last October. You can read Carol’s cute post about our ‘stashes over on the company blog.

Susan and the Crochet Crowd

Michael and Daniel of the Crochet Crowd with Susan

The other thing I really enjoyed was participating in the Designer Roundtable discussions, where people ask questions to CHA Designer members moderating various round tables. My topic was on looking at your work through the eyes of an editor, but the questions ranged from publishing books to Designer membership to product development. The conversations were exhilarating.

The only bummer of CHA for me was that we were so busy with the booth and customers that I just didn’t get to hang out with my artist friends as much as I’ve been able to do in the past. Boo hoo. Luckily, many of them stopped by for quick hugs so it was great to see them.

ICE Resin wings by Jen

Wendy is sporting the ICE Resin and 7Gypsies tissue paper wings I made for Elena of Charity Wings. They came out cute!

That’s about it for my CHA wrap up. I’m not sure if I’ll be attending the summer show in Chicago this year. Lots going on in 2012. Just have to wait and see.

Me? Award Winner, OMG!

Jen Cushman and Marisa Pawelko Plaid Award Winners

It’s Sunday night as I write this post. Winter CHA is over. We packed up the booth Wednesday, finishing about 5:30 p.m. and had one last quiet dinner in Anaheim. Thursday was spent on the road traveling I-10 home. I spent all day Friday snuggling my daughter, playing tea parties and taking a long 2.5 hour nap with her. I made my son his favorite dinner too. The weekend has been unpacking, cleaning my studio and home and reflecting on the days that passed and the events that transpired.

Obviously, the most amazing thing that happened to me this trade show is that I won the Plaid New Horizons Award for the CHA Designer member whose been in business 1-5 years. Marisa Pawelko, the Modern Surrealist, won the award for 5+ years. It’s a cash award — $1,500 each (!) However, the thing that means the most is the personal handwritten note and signed card from Mike McCooey, the President of Plaid.

I’ve been thinking about the award and all that it means to me. In addition, I’ve been thinking about what to write here on my blog about the experience. Honestly, I’m still at a loss. I feel like I need another week, at least, to process it, but in Internet time that would be like talking about something that happened a decade ago. So, I’m diving in, feeling like my words are all thumbs and my tongue is tied in knots.

CHA Designer Members Jen Cushman and Marisa Pawelko

Obviously, the words honored and blessed come to mind. So do humble and grateful. Interestingly enough, I find the adjectives fierce and powerful also seem to want to be part of my award thesaurus. Winning an award of this magnitude makes me feel proud from my bangs to my toenails. I’m still trying to wrap my brain around it. Me? New Horizons Award Winner? GET OUTTA TOWN!

If you’re like my husband or family, you’re probably wondering what project I designed to win this award. That’s the kicker, I didn’t. This award is such a high honor because only CHA Designer members can apply and Plaid executives decide the winners. It’s based on a body of work as a Designer, in addition to the professional steps you’ve taken, such as writing books and articles, teaching, community service and your short-term and long-term business goals. You have to say exactly how you plan to spend Plaid’s hard-earned money working toward a better future for yourself. This award is an investment by one of the largest and most influential craft manufacturers in the people they choose as winners. This means this year, they choose me. (Hit me with a two-by-four now please).

CHA Designer Member New Horizons Award

As I said, it’s going to take me a while to digest all of this. However, there are a few things I know for sure, and Plaid’s faith in me made it crystal clear. I am meant to do this. I have a passion for this industry. As a lifelong crafter and self-taught artist, I’ve been creating with every product imaginable for most of my life. I get excited when I walk into Hobby Lobby or Michaels and see something that inspires me. I love being both a customer and an educator at independent stores whose owners share the same passion for creativity as I do. I feel a jolt of positive energy every time I’m fortunate enough to stand before a group of mostly women at mixed-media art retreats to teach them techniques that inspire them to take their creativity to new heights.

Seriously, somebody pinch me.