Monday, June 28, 2010

Ranger University

Ranger University took place over 3 days and what a fabulous time it was. I met some really interesting ladies and gents from all over - Holland, France, Germany, England, Canada and of course the USA.

On our first day we had a little ceremony where we all introduced ourselves and then had a fascinating tour of the factory - the barrel with the glitter glue was amazing - it is very interesting watching the clever production line and seeing how stamp pads are inked and put together - Ranger employs 60 people so although a lot is automated plenty is done by hand.
Our first session was taught by Tim Holtz and we learnt all about perfect pearls and their application.

After a lunch break Suze Weinberg took over and we learnt all about the melt pot and Ultra Thick Embossing and then did a wonderful project where we applied all the pieces we had made to a mirror.

The chaps from Ranger and Suze's husband Lenny cooked a delicious barbeque for us and we got to know the other attendees on a more social level.

On Saturday morning Claudine Helmuth took over and introduced us to her versatile line of products - her paints are just delicious and working on the canvas just a dream.

My favourite technique is the batik resist - the canvas also goes through the cuttle bug a real treat!
After a well deserved lunch we did a project making a little box for our tags using the techniques we had learnt.

Tim then took over and we spent the afternoon delving into the magical world of distress - powders, pads, stickles, refill inks - you name it we learnt about it with lots of technical information thrown in and lots of tips as well.
Suze then came to pick up some of the girls and we went to visit her in her fabulous home - decorated so stunningly in an oriental theme with a lot of handmade art made by well know artisans from all over as well as lots of her own art - it is all so beautifully placed - it is so imaginative and special but when I look at my photos they just don't do her home justice. Her studio is jam packed and so well organised.
She shared a technique to make beads that she calls Leandra beads which are so cool!

On Sunday morning the pace picked up and we produced tag after tag using all the Adirondack products - pads both pigment and dye, powders, pens, washes, dimensional pearls, embossing powders, and alcohol inks - sure there are many more but so zonked with overload I can't think straight.
We produced about 64 tags of techniques in all with a little project interspersed here and there.
After the certification we had a little pep talk about what our role now is in the industry which was very interesting ... and THEN WE WERE GIVEN STUFF - oh my goodness - everything that we had worked with - we were given it all - not full ranges but certainly enough to keep us busy for a day or two - such generosity I have never experienced in all my life.
We were fed deliciously and kept in treats - chocolates, sweeties, nuts, biscuits, cold drinks, donuts - the sugar high never stopped!
It has been a fascinating time and I have really lived the journey - it has been a real dream come true.
I feel really empowered by this journey and so very grateful to Robin for bringing me here and giving me this enriching experience.

Excuses, excuses

Difficult internet connections, no time, extreme tiredness, but mainly trying to finish one post so that all are in chronological order. Well, we have decided that rambling also allows for jumping back and forth in time, so we'll post what we're ready with, including some stuff that we have sent in emails!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

More pics, eventually!

The promised crabs at Union market,

Starry Night

and of course views of the Chrysler and Flatiron Buildings, our favourites.

Saw a couple of Antony Gormley's naked men

and the downtown skyline and Brooklyn Bridge

from the Manhattan Bridge.

Our flag at the UN.

Finally made it to the Top of the Rock. Looking north over Central Park

and south.

Not sure which were scarier, the dried sea creatures in Chinatown

or the cupcakes!

Monday, June 14, 2010

A couple of Pictures

Today was shopping day and we did well!
In response to all (both) of the requests, here are some pictures.
The view from our window

As always, we saw a wedding - this time next to Central Park

At Union Square market we saw vegetables

some hand dyed merino wool

and crabs - but it seems we can't add more so wait for next time!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Settling into the trip

Our fifth day in New York, and we are finally easing into travel mode again. We have done quite a bit.
- Walked almost all of MoMA, which has some amazing works, very pleased to have finally seen the museum. Highlights were the Picasso drawings and paintings esp Les Demoiselles d'Avignon - we know he did a lot of stuff, but sometimes we feel that we've seen almost all of it! Also saw Starry Night for the first time (we think!) and lots of wonderful 20th c American artists.
- Spent the day on busses touring Downtown, Brooklyn & Uptown.
- Shopped for various cables etc and some essential crafting supplies at Michaels.
- Had a lovely walk through Central Park, with a picnic stop on a rock.
- Ate some pretty good meals with various nationalities.
We have also, amazingly, managed to have a few hours rest - must be getting old!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Getting Started

We hope to use this blog to let you all know what we are doing in the world of crafting, and more specifically for now, about our travels in the United States - hence Rubber - because if it wasn't for this we'd stay at home - and Ramblings - because that's what we do best.