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.

Adventurers in Arting with Julie and Eileen update

I had such a blast chatting with the fabulous Julie Fei-Fan Balzer and her mom, Eileen Balzer this week. We covered a whole host of topics, but I really enjoyed the part in the discussion about the authenticity artists’ bring to the world. Talks like these just stimulate me so much intellectually. If you listen to the podcast, you’ll hear how I get excited and begin to talk even faster than I do normally (heaven help me!) It was interesting to see that we ran the gamut in our discussion from fine art — museum and gallery quality art — all the way to the Craft and Hobby Association and what it means to walk that line as a designer/artist.

Balzer Designs Adventures in Arting podcast

So it you want to get yourself a cup of tea and take a listen to Julie, Elieen and me for the next hour, I’d be honored. Here is Julie’s blog post with all the deets.

Gifting Lounge wrap up for the Emmys

Susan Lenart Kazmer and Jen Cushman as the Connected Gift Lounge

Hi everyone. Sorry for the long delay in getting to my blog. After the Emmys event, I spent Monday morning in LA in a fairly long meeting working out some future business that came from an important contact made during the event itself. Another meeting in the afternoon and then a 6-hour drive back to Arizona. Unfortunately, as a working mother I returned home to a sick little one with a raging fever. No sleep Monday night and spent Tuesday taking care of my daughter. I caught the flu myself, so most of the week has been trying to do business while half functioning.

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As you may know I was in Los Angeles last week for the CHA Connected Gift Lounge as part of the festivities surrounding the 2013 Primetime Emmys. Susan Lenart Kazmer LLC/ICE Resin was there as one of the sponsors of the event. Susan, myself and a few other ICE Resin team members were there to show off our passion for art and all the amazing mixed-media jewelry folks can make using ICE Resin and Art Mechanique products. You can learn more about the event during a free webinar being sponsored by Interweave on Oct. 2. Be sure to sign up here!

I have to say some of my favorite moments were the times where there was space to really connect on a personal level with a few of the actors, actresses, musicians and professional athletes. I know that seems like a crazy thing to say when there is this huge event going on around you that’s taking place in a dark nightclub with hundreds of people vying to get the attention of the celebrities. Sure there were folks who were there just for the swag, and others for the opportunity to see and be seen (as well as be adored by fans), but there were some authentic people who really “got” what Susan and myself are about. People like Tank and his girlfriend Zena Foster and her sweet daughter Zoey who got as happy as my little girl does when she gets to make a wearable piece of handmade art.

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Other favorite moments:  Seeing Grammy-winning musician Prinz Board engaged in a great conversation with Susan about her work and how she uses Talismans and getting a chance to speak to Tony Hale (Emmy Winner!!!) the day before the big event and how one handles the thrill of being the nominated front-runner.

Crafting The Emmys Tony Hale

I also loved when Drake Hogestyn and his wife Victoria spent at least 20 minutes at our booth picking out charms and designing necklaces for their three daughters. And I got a kick out of the actors from HBO’s Band of Brothers digging through all of our charms to pick out pieces that spoke to them. They were adorable and so fun!

Crafting the Emmys Drake Hogestyn

Crafting The Emmys Band of Brothers

I was so busy helping the celebs with the make n take Talisman necklaces that I didn’t get too many photos of myself with them. However, Susan did have me get one with Tony Denison from the hit television show The Closer and that was awesome.

 Crafting The Emmys Tony Denison

There were dozens of moments throughout the day at the Celebrity Gift Lounge that were exhilarating. I can say that we had fun and made some important contacts for the future. There’s an incredible amount of creative talent in Hollywood and it was really cool to be part of it for a day.  There’s a lot of hoopla surrounding things like this, and I think it can be very hard to stay real and grounded in situations where it’s easy to become star struck, but it’s important to remember that many, many of these celebrities are just like us. They want to be respected for their talent and recognized for their hard work. They’re family oriented and they want to enjoy life’s pleasures.  I was also reminded that for a lot of people ART is a common ground, a path to more authentic conversations. I’m reminded time and again that art is a language all unto its own and you either speak it or you don’t.

Emmy’s just days away

We’re getting down to the final countdown for the Primetime Emmys crafting Gift Lounge in Hollywood. I hope you’re following along with the ICE Queen’s Road to the Emmy’s over on our ICE Resin blog. There’s information and happenings all week, plus giveaways so be sure to check in daily on the ICE Queen eZine.

I’m holed up in my studio this week doing some strictly-for-fun creating in addition to normal work stuff since our long Emmy’s to-do list is done.  I’ve had this idea in my head for a while now to do some Iced Enamels® shoes. Why? Because ever since we debuted Iced Enamels® this January, I’ve had people ask how they differ from embossing powders. I go through the whole deal about how Susan and I have created an entirely new program of Cold Enameling and how Iced Enamels are at the heart of it and that our enamel powders can do things no embossing powders can do, etcetera etcetera… There really is no comparison because we’ve truly created something that just hasn’t ever been done before.  I figured if a picture is worth a thousand words, then an art project is worth a million.  I decided to use some of my free time to finally make those shoes so I can wear them to the Emmy’s event.

ICE Resin fabulousness from my head to my feet.

ICE Resin fabulousness from my head to my feet.

I have to tell you, Iced Enamels went on like a dream. Yep, we made the enameling system to go onto metal, but I have yet to find a substrate they won’t work on, just like ICE Resin.

Be sure to keep up with us on our social media this coming Saturday during the event and see the full pic of my cute new shoes. Of course , the BIG reveal is this outrageously amazing wearable art piece Susan created from wire and ribbon and Art Mechanique hobnail bezels and ICE Resin and…well, you gotta see it. Come join the party this Saturday. Oh, and did I mention the celebrities? Yeah, we got them too. We have a front row seat waiting for you!

(To keep up with us, be sure to follow the hash tags #CraftingTheEmmys #chaswag and #ICEresin on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.)

That’s how I roll…

My last post was an invite via a Twitter chat for the second stop on our Follow the ICE Queen to the Emmys road trip. For those of you who attended Saturday night, I want to give you a big THANKS shout out for joining us. For those that weren’t able to make it, I thought I’d share a little behind-the-scenes snafu that happened to me. It’s kind of a funny story, and my thoughts keep coming back to it as I work at my computer today.

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Tweeting in the dark. My family thought it would be helpful for me to see my cell phone better wearing glow in the dark glasses. Hahaha. They are so funny.

Since it’s still pretty hot in Phoenix, my family likes to get to the cooler weather and our family cabin. This past weekend was extra special because one of my best friends for more than 13 years and her four kids were coming up. Her oldest girls — 17 and 14 are like my nieces and think I’m pretty cool. They’ve been asking me to teach them resin and how to make jewelry for a while now, so that was the plan. I had warned my family/friends I needed to block out 7-8 p.m. Saturday night for our company Twitter chat. Since  our amazing Creative Team and staffers met all of their Emmy’s deadlines with grace and ease, I felt pretty confident taking a full two days for family time.

My friend, hubby and myself worked to get bbq and dinner done so everyone would be fed and happy by the time I had to sneak away to chat. All was on schedule. I signed into my Twitter account from my computer at 6:45 p.m. so I was primed and ready to begin. I was really looking forward to watching my pals Vicki O’Dell, Tanner Bell and Jennifer Priest moderate the chat. I knew there were members of the Creative Team ready for action. All I had to do was watch, sit back and jump in every now and then to answer a question or two.

It had been storming all day, but stopped right before dinner. At 6.58 p.m. (PST) as I was watching Vicki inform people  the chat would begin shortly, the power went out. Arghhhhh! Crashed into darkness. Luckily the family was already outside by the fire pit ready making s’mores. I looked at everyone — they looked at me and we burst into laughter. I immediately sent a text to Vicki and Jennifer and put Plan B into action. That was to join the family outside in dwindling twilight with my iPhone, log into my mobile Twitter app and participate as best I could.

Our team immediately knew what was going on and sent me encouraging messages to let me know they had it taken care of. The chat went on — was spectacular actually — as more than 600 Tweets went out in less than an hour using our hashtags #CraftingTheEmmys and #ICEresin, as well as #chaswag which is CHA’s hashtag for the event.  Jennifer, ICE Resin’s Social Media Coordinator, also scheduled an Instagram party at the same time so the amazing artists who are part of our 2013 Creative Team could show sneak peeks of the handmade bracelets made for the Emmy’s Nominees and Celeb VIPs, as part of the CHA Gift Lounge sponsorship.

I have to say it’s incredible to realize that we’ve grown so well.  There was a time that ICE Resin was just Susan and myself and a part-time office person and full-time shipping person. Sure, we’ve always had a design team as part of our company (since 2008) but we now have an entire internal and external team of people who love these products as much as we do and are dedicated to making the company bigger and better every day. The Emmy’s has been an incredible opportunity for all of us to do what we do best — be artists and make cool, inspiring mixed-media jewelry, but I see it as yet another success in a long line of successes. While I may have been Tweeting in the dark on Saturday, I knew that I wasn’t alone because there’s a whole community of people  who want to share in the buzz that comes from creative energy.

ICE Resin jewelry for men

When I saw that there were a lot of male nominees for the 2013 Primetime Emmys, I thought it would be fun to challenge myself to make jewelry for the guys. I had a great time making men’s jewelry! Keep an eye out, plans are already underway to publish and teach these, as well as commission work. If you saw all of them I made, I think you’d see that they really show my style as an artist.

Just so you know, we’ll be talking more about the 100 handmade bracelets that we made for the celebs over on the ICE Queen eZine and on our social media channels. We even have another surprise we’re working on behind-the-scenes now with one of our favorite media companies. Deets to come as soon as I can share. Also, I’ll be showing some sneak peeks of the handmade bracelets I made for the male nominees and VIPs coming up as well. For now, I hope you enjoy the one here. I’m secretly hoping this finds its way to Matt Damon for his nomination for Lead Actor in a Mini Series or a Movie 2013 as Scott Thorson in Behind the Candelabra. I’ve been a fan of Matt Damon’s films ever since Good Will Hunting way back when. Keep your fingers crossed for me!