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November 21, 2013

Spellbinders On the Road…all the way to Paris France!

Hey blog friends, this week took Spellbinders, on the road…

Ken Oliver Paris France

all the way to Paris France!

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We got to work with our distributor, Artemio from Belgium, at Creations & Savoir Faire Show in Paris.  This was a show like no other I’ve ever seen…it was a 5 day show devoted to handmade crafts!  It was truly amazing, with over 10,000 attendees a day, this show was jamming busy from opening until close!

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You would not believe the wide array of cool stuff at the show!  There were rubber stamps, papers, handmade papers, chocolatiers, cake makers, quilt makers, jewelry…

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scrapbooks, cards, paper décor, textiles, fiber arts, and lots of cool crafts like cloisonné and cartonnage!  And there were so many beautiful displays…it was unbelievable!

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The show was a feast for the eyes!

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And, I think I single handedly cut 60,000 Opulent Ovals!  We had one little hiccup though…I was at a show in France…I don’t speak French. We thought it would be OK to demonstrate in English, but it was apparent, really fast…that I should be speaking French.  I worked with one of the demonstrators from Artemio, to create a Spellbinders presentation, in French…then I practiced and memorized the entire script in French.  That was really fun!

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One French word that I already knew was croissant!  And the croissants were wonderful…and they were everywhere!

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At the end of the day, we took a few minutes to take a mini walking tour of some of the sights…here’s a cool shot of Arc d Triumphe!  It was spectacular and a sight I never imagined I’d see in person.

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And, everyday as we entered the expo center, we were greeted by a wonderful view of the Eiffel Tower!

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It was such a privilege to represent Spellbinders at Creations & Savoir Faire in France!  It was an experience I will never forget…we made lots of new friends and shared Spellbinders with crafters and makers on the other side of the world!

Until next time,




September 25, 2013

Spellbinders at Archivers Scrapfest

Over the weekend, we took Spellbinders on the road to Minneapolis Minnesota for Archivers Scrapfest…Education Manager Kim Hupke, Krista Koenig and I teamed up for a weekend chock full of fun with over 3,000 crafters.

Laughs and good times were plentiful during the show…

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And we usually had at least 30 people waiting in line to make a handmade card with us.


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We were really busy the entire time.

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And a couple happy scrappers even used their collectable Spellbinders Crown dies to create crown pins that they wore throughout the show.


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Our make n take project was a beautiful handmade thank you card designed by Spellbinders Director of Education, Richard Garay.  Attendees at Scrapfest really loved the Spellbinders Make N Take project.  It was nice.


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Here you see Kim and Krista waving…we had a great time.  Thank you again, Archivers for including Spellbinders at Scrapfest.

Til next time, see you on the road,




September 18, 2013

Spellbinders Media Mixage Class at Scrapbooks Too in Bloomington Minnesota


Good Morning, On-the-Road blog friends…Spellbinders Education Manager Kim Hupke and I are headed out bright and early today to Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Spellbinders Scrapfest

We’re going to Minnesota to attend Archivers Scrapfest, and while we’re there, we wanted to visit our friends in the local scrapbook shops too.

Ken Oliver Create and Craft

This afternoon, Kim and I will be teaching a class at Scrapbooks Too in Bloomington MN…We’ve been to this store lots of times over the years, and going back is like visiting with friends…it’s going to be fun.

Spellbinders Ken Oliver

We’re teaching a class with Spellbinders Media Mixage by Susan Lenart Kazmer…the class is about preserving personal memories by creating tiny collages inside Spellbinders Media Mixage bezels, then sealing them with ICE Resin.  It’s a great class, and very interesting as students bring their vintage family photos and we always share stories in the process of creating our projects.  Kim and I are really looking forward to the class.

Ken Oliver

Kim sent me a little message this morning and said that we should make sure to spend a little time “junkin” while we’re in Minneapolis…she said there are some great antiques stores in the area…So I’ll be looking forward to some “pickin” while we’re there…I just hope we don’t find too much…my suitcases are already full of craft supplies!

Pickin with Ken Oliver

If you’re in the Minneapolis area and can stop by later today…we’d love to see you,

…I know today’s class at Scrapbooks Too is going to be loads of fun!

Til next time, see you On the Road,








September 17, 2013

Spellbinders at Archivers Scrapfest September 20th-22nd

Hello again blog friends, it’s almost time for Archivers Scrapfest at Mall of America in Minneapolis Minnesota!  We are really excited to be headed out on the road for this one! From September 20th thru September 22nd, over 3,000 scrap-bookers, card makers and paper crafters will overtake the mall…it’s craft pandemonium!

Spellbinders Archivers Scrapfest








We’ve literally been preparing for months…and it “got real” when we shipped out our stuff to go to the show…we shipped a whole crate of goodies!

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While we’re at Scrapfest, we’ll be demonstrating Spellbinders Die Cutting Techniques at the Mall of America store, and in the Spellbinders booth, Scrapfest attendees will get to make a really beautiful Spellbinders Thanksgiving card.


Krista and I are packing the last boxes today before we head out on the road…if you are going to be at Mall of America during Scrapfest, make the Spellbinders booth a destination….in addition to the Make n Take project, we have LOADS and LOADS of prizes and goodies for everyone who comes by!

Spellbinders Ken Oliver

Hope to see you there!


September 11, 2013

Spellbinders Teams Up with Michaels at Busch Stadium in St. Louis!

We’re heading out on the road again…this time to Busch Stadium in beautiful St. Louis Missouri! The St. Louis Cardinals will be going up against the Seattle Mariners and Spellbinders is going along for the ride.

It’s really exciting…We’ll be in Michaels Art Truck on Friday and Saturday, September 13th and 14th with the amazing JoAnn Pearson from Michaels.  The truck will be parked at the ballpark for 2 days…and we’re going to teach everyone who stops by how to create beautiful handmade cards with Spellbinders.

We know it’s going to be really busy, the last time Michaels Art Truck made a stop in St. Louis over 5,000 people came through the truck…in addition to all the fun we’ll have on board crafting with all the attendees, JoAnn is going to throw the opening pitch of the game!    I can hardly wait.

Michaels Truck Tour St Louis Ken Oliver


We’re also going with JoAnn on Michaels Art Truck to visit a store in Des Peres MO for a full day of crafting…it’s pretty exciting and Spellbinders is so honored to be included in the Art Truck Tour with Michaels!

Michaels Art Truck Jo Pearson Ken Oliver

We’ll be at the ballpark in St. Louis all day Friday and Saturday, September 13th and 14th,  and at the Micheals Store in Des Peres Missouri on Sunday…all day!

If you are in the St. Louis area, we’d love to see you!

Til then, see you on the road!




June 28, 2013

Mixed Media Madness: Spellbinders at Sierra Pacific Crafts Trade Show

Last week, Spellbinders was on the road again in Portland Oregon for the Sierra Pacific Crafts Trade Show.  Terre Fry and I headed out to Portland Oregon for 2 days of Mixed Media Madness with over 300 stores.

We really had an amazing time sharing Media Mixage and Spellbinders die cut cards with all the attendees.

This is Terre, right before the madness began.

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And you know, if there’s a crowd around, I’ll be crafting!

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It was wonderful to share Spellbinders with so many of our retail partners in the beautiful Pacific Northwest…

Waving “HI” from the road,

Terre and Ken




June 3, 2013

A Weekend in the Sun at AZ Scrapbooking, Green Valley Arizona

Hey On the Road friends, it was a weekend in the sun as Spellbinders made a visit to AZ Scrapbooking in Green Valley Arizona.  We had 3 fun-filled classes lined up for the weekend so I knew it was going to be busy!  We offered a class using Spellbinders™ Media Mixage™ with ICE Resin Susan Lenart Kazmer™ a cool fun class of masculine cards, just in time for Father’s Day, and another really fun class called One Die Wonders.

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Our friends and store owner Susan, Debbi, and Carol, we ready to make sure everything went off without a hitch, our classes required lots of hands on die cutting and using the Spellbinders™ Grand Calibur™.

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Every seat was filled…it was really exciting!

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The One Die Wonder class is an amazing class that really shows Spellbinders value and versatility!  The idea is simple, take one die, then show how many ways you can use that single die to create cards.  It’s an awesomely fun class and really lets you get creative.

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You can see Terri here creating Anemone Flower Toppers.

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Layering the flowers is simple and really fun.

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And before you know it, with 1 die, you’ve created a beautiful layered card.

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We had our die-cutting work cut out for us…we created 4 cards with 4 dies.

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Spellbinders Picot Edged Circles makes a lovely layered card.

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When you come to a Spellbinders class, it’s important to bring a list of the dies you already own…you will be adding new dies to it at the end of the class!

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Here we took a little breather to share some tips and techniques…and mostly to let my arm rest for a few minutes.

Our Father’s Day cards were really fun too…we focused on M-Bossabilities folders and Cog dies.  Both very masculine themed, and lend themselves well to the “man card.”

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And, we kind of have a rule…there are no rules, so each cardmaker can assemble the way she wishes, and can stamp the sentiments that she wants.  My “no rules” policy makes the class really interesting…we always get lots of beautiful cards…all different.

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We had an amazingly fun time creating together at AZ Scrapbooking in Green Valley Arizona!  Thank you again Debbi Vetter for your warmth and hospitality!  I can’t wait to come back again!

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Til next time,




May 27, 2013

Little Gifts from Clipper Street Scrapbooks in Langley British Columbia

Sometimes it’s the little gifts that often go unnoticed that make life really interesting and rich.  This Memorial Day weekend, I was lucky enough to spend the weekend with our friends at Clipper Street Scrapbook Company teaching Spellbinders classes on Father’s Day cards and Spellbinders™ Media Mixage™ with ICE Resin™ by Susan Lenart Kazmer.

Spellbinders Media Mixage

I’ve been to Clipper Street a few times and always enjoy their warm, friendly spirit…Store owners Lori Wakelin and Deanna Hutchison, and all their amazing customers are a real pleasure to work with…they foster an environment of creative collaboration in their community.  Interestingly, they really specialize in mixed media arts…the artists who frequent the shop are skilled in gelli printing, painting, jewelry making, mixed media collage, encaustic wax and lots of really creative pursuits. So, I was really honored to bring Media Mixage them this weekend.  I knew that working with them would be a gift…

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Our classes were sold out…I knew we’d be really busy…

Spellbinders Ken Oliver

Our Saturday workshop was “Personal Stories,” we used bezels and ICE Resin along with personal photos and personal trinkets and ephemera to share stories about our lives and families.  I am always a little nervous when teaching “Personal Stories.” Students often bring treasured photos and objects from loved ones, and it’s our goal to combine them into tiny collages that let us remember and share, sometimes, very emotionally charged memories.  Yes, the pressure is on when I am asked to die cut original photos or copies of photos…sometimes we work with originals that are over 100 years old.

My friends at Clipper Street really blew me away with the memories and stories they’d chosen to share…

Fran shared stories of her mother and grandmother…I loved how these images look under ICE Resin.  It was a real gift to learn more about Fran and her heritage, and she created an amazing piece of art to share with her friends and family…

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Naomi and Joan shared images and stories of their Asian heritage.  The images and were quite elegant and I loved learning about their cultural ancestry.

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Here’s a photo of Joan’s Japanese grandmother…this is the photo that was sent to her fiancé in Canada…the marriage was arranged by “matchmakers” in Japan.

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Here’s a photo of the “matchmakers” and her great grandparents.

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The cultural details about Joan’s story we’re little gifts for me…I loved learning about how her grandparents came to Canada and made their lives together there.  Her finished piece is stunningly elegant, and every time she wears it, she’ll share a memory of her family and their interesting journey.

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Each story, each bezel, each experience is different and it’s wonderful to see each memory unfold within a bezel.

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There’s a technique that I love to make sure everyone masters and that is doming their resin…the ICE resin is self  leveling and self doming…if you look closely at the projects you can see that the resin actually mounds up on top of the bezel creating a dome.  A nice dome almost magnifies the images within.

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After our bezel class, we offered demonstration all afternoon so everyone in the store could get hands on experience with the new Artisan X-Plorer™.

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You can see they are giving me a hard time about something!

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We made small metal butterfly charms with the metal blanks from Media Mixage.  It was really fun…I always learn new things too.

It’s always a joy and a gift to visit with Clipper Street. I’ve known some of their customers for a few years, we keep in touch, so it’s always nice to meet up in person for a chat, a hug and some crafting.   Celia always shares little gifts with me…stories about her Irish/Scottish/English heritage…I find her stories fascinating…they were pioneers in Western Canada.

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At the end of the really creative couple of days, I got to kick back with the store owners Lori and Stacey for a quiet walk on the pier at White Rock BC.  It’s only a few minutes from the store…it was a real gift to enjoy the beautiful landscape of the Pacific Northwest for a few minutes.

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It could not have been a more perfect day.

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While we were at the pier, we saw people fishing for crabs…since I have never met a stranger, I asked one of the guys if I could help him mind his  crab traps…I haven’t gone crab fishing for years…within a few minutes we were pulling the lines and harvesting bunches of fresh crabs…most of them were too small and were thrown back…I asked if they were selling them, and he acted really surprised…no, it’s dinner.


In just a few minutes time, after work we’d created some fun memories that will always be a gift to me…Thank you again Lori and Deanna for hosting a Spellbinders day at Clipper Street…and for making the trip so memorable.

Sometimes the smallest things are the biggest gifts when we make sure to notice and appreciate them.  As we were walking back to the car at the end of our excursion, I spotted an antique heirloom rose blooming…it was the perfect way to end my day.

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Til next time,








May 25, 2013

Spellbinders Father’s Day Card Frenzy at Clipper Street Scrapbooks in Langley British Columbia

Hey there, “On the Road” friends…if you’re following Spellbinders “On the Road” blog, you’ll know I’ve just returned from a whirlwind Tour of the United Kindom… and before I could nearly catch my breath…I am off to Langley British Columbia in Canada for a Spellbinders™ weekend at Clipper Street Scrapbooks.

Clipper Street Scrapbooks Ken Oliver

Tonight, we offered a card workshop featuring masculine cards for Father’s Day or for any occasion. The cards feature techniques using Spellbinders M-Bossabilites™ Card Creator die Templates and Cogs!

We had a full house…everyone always likes to learn techniques for masculine cards.

Spellbinders Card Class

Although this was a card class, our techniques were more like mixed media…after all, a card is really a mixed media project…when you make a card you’re combining more than 1 media and multiple techniques…here’s a little secret: a handmade card is really a collage!

Clipper Street Scrapbooks

We cut, we layered, we glued…and even added lots of metal cogs to our cards.

And, since I love stamps, I’d brought lots of additional stamps from Jillian Vance and Lost Coast Stamps…just in case someone wanted to create something other than a Father’s Day Card.

Spellbinders Ken Oliver

A boy and his dog?…a friend that’s one in a million!


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Or, here our student combines the same techniques and materials, to create a wonderful “retirement” card.

Spellbinders Ken Oliver

We had a real Spellbinders card making frenzy!

We plan to have fun the rest of the weekend too…tomorrow, we’re offering a full Media Mixage® workshop with Bezels and ICE Resin from Susan Lenart Kazmer™ the class is “Personal Stories” and I am so excited…a few of the students brought their vintage photos tonight…I loved what I saw!  I can already tell our class projects are gonna rock!

Ken Oliver On the Road

Thank you again Clipper Street for a REALLY fun night of card making!

Til next time,



May 24, 2013

It’s Off to Canada!


It’s off to Canada today…I’m leaving from the Phoenix airport bright and early on my way to Clipper Street Scrapbooks in Langley British Columbia!  (It seems like I haven’t even recovered from my last trip to Scotland before I am off and at it again!)

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We have a full weekend of Spellbinders fun planned…tonight, we’re offering a card class that will feature masculine cards, just in time for Father’s Day…

Masculine Cards

And tomorrow it’s a full day of Spellbinders™ Media Mixage™ with Susan Lenart Kazmer ICE Resin™ It promises to be an amazing weekend.  Tomorrow’s class is one of my favorite classes.  We teaching “Personal Stories.” Each student is asked to bring copies of personal photos and personal ephemera, and we transform them into beautiful bezels filled with ICE Resin that let us share our memories in a very unique way!


I can’t wait to spend the weekend with Deanna, Stacey, Laurie and everyone at Clipper Street!  I have been there a few times before, and I gotta tell you….THEY ROCK!


I’ll share some more photos and postcards from all our fun this weekend…

Til then, see ya on the road!