When Destiny and I went to the Craft and Hobby Association's winter trade show last month, we combed the convention center floor for new products we could try on shoes and bags. We came home with quite a few ideas (including some not-new products that we simple hadn't heard about before), which I'll share with you today. Over the weeks to come, we'll try these products on leather and manmade leather shoes -- the toughest test! But for now, I'll just give you a rundown. (If you try any of these before we do, let us know how they worked for you!)
Sometimes the most interesting events at a convention are not the ones you're expecting. Early one morning I was sitting in the lobby waiting for the show floor to open when I started talking to the woman next to me about her wonderful bag.
She turned out the be the author of the best-selling book One Zentagle a Day: A 6-Week Course in Creative Drawing for Relaxation, Inspiration, and Fun.
Her name was Beckah Krahula and she had heard of Sassy Feet. Then she gave me a copy of her book. I told her I thought that Zentangle designs would look GREAT on a wedge, and she suggested using Pentel Gel Rollers for Fabric for doing permanent line drawings on fabric shoes.
The bag I was admiring was in a multitude of colors and she had painted it using USARTQuest's Perfect Pigment acrylic paints, which I hadn't heard of before. Like the other products in this post, we're going to give them a try on shoes! Stay tuned.
There were A LOT of companies showing different types of glitter, which interested Destiny and me A LOT because we have been on a years-long search for black glitter that will actually, uh, glitter! Black absorbs light instead of reflecting it, which causes a real problem when you want your black glitter to sparkle. We did find a product that might work, called WOW Chunky Glitter from American Crafts. I've ordered some and will make samples as soon as it arrives!
From the same manufacturer, we found some shiny POP! microbeads, which we want to try with our colorless Glitter It glaze. I have a concern that they may be too heavy to apply to non-horizontal surfaces without dripping, but we'll see.
The product that we got most excited about is something called Kroma Crackle, which creates a FLEXIBLE crackle glaze over your painted surface. Now, there are plenty of crackle paints and glazes on the market that work nicely on rigid surfaces, but this is the first one we've heard of that works on a surface that has to bend and flex like shoes and bags do. In fact, the folks showing off their invention had a sample painted onto a brown belt.
You can paint the background in one color, apply the crackle medium (and you can tint it with a little bit of paint if you want), then you can apply paint on top of the crackles before sealing. Destiny and I are going to have FUN experimenting with it! To learn more, go to the Kroma Crackle site.
One of the products we "discovered" at CHA is Elmer's Painters markers and pens, which apparently work on leather, manmade leather, and lots of other stuff including rubber! They had shoes and rubber boots on display that had designs drawn on with the Painters Pens and the paint seemed pretty stable when we tried to unobtrusively scrape it off with our fingernails....
While we were at CHA we stopped by the Jacquard booth and met owner of the the company that makes the Lumiere paint we use on shoes and bags.
In chatting with him, we mentioned wishing there was a way to stamp Lumiere on to shoes and bags. "Haven't you tried our Pearl Ex Stamp Pads?" he asked. So he sent us one the other day and we're putting it toward the top of our list for experiments. Thanks, Michael!
Two more discoveries to go! The next is a narrow. flexible satin ribbon that is embedded with tiny LEDs. It's called LED Textile Ribbon and it's made by Artistic Ribbon. The LEDs are driven by a small battery-operated unit.
The ribbon comes in 20" pieces, with LEDs every two inches. You can set four different lighting patterns, and the ribbon can be glued or sewn onto your surface. We chose a sample of blue lights on a black ribbon, and Destiny is talking about putting them on the flap of a shoulder bag. Can't wait to see that!
Last of all, mixed-media meister Tim Holtz is bringing out a new paint later this month that is supposed work on leather. It's called Distress Paint -- not to be confused with his very popular Distress Crackle Paint. Of course we are going to try it, and of course we'll report our results. We love this mad scientist stuff!