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Entries in Claudine Hellmuth (2)

Friday
May102013

Ranger U - Day 1

The day finally arrived, Day 1 of 3 at Ranger U! Ranger had suggested the hotel that we stayed at because they said it was within walking distance for us. We asked at the front desk at the hotel where Ranger Headquarters was and they didn't have the slightest clue as to what we were talking about, so we map quested it on our phones. It was 300 feet from where we were standing. We look up and there is a sign out in front of this brick building with everyone taking turns getting their picture taken in front of. It was like Disney Land for us crafters.

We entered through the side door into the education room. They had 2 long rows of tables with 24 spots and 2 tv screens up front that gave us an arial view of the teachers workstation. Laying in our workspace was our binder with instructions and a pretty intense curriculum.

 

Once everyone arrived, we went around the room and introduced ourselves. This was amazing, there were 24 students from 10 different countries with a large variety of backgrounds. There were store owners, designers, bloggers, distributors and educators all in attendance. It was really nice to put a face to some of the names and blogs that I already followed. After introductions was the warehouse tour. The moment most of us were waiting for and wondering what was on the other side of those doors. This is the only place that we were not allowed to take pictures, so this is a picture that Mario took while we were on the tour.

Our first stop was the production line. Tim compared this section of the warehouse as Willie Wonkas Factory and it truly was. Let me just tell you it was totally not what I was expecting. For example the stickles line. I figured they had machines of every color with conveyer belts running all over producing all the colors at once. Nope. They produce one color at a time and 85% off it is still filled and packaged by hand. It was great to hear that most of their products are produced right here in the USA in order to keep the great quality of product that Ranger is known for. I truly have a new understanding and appreciation now knowing and seeing how the products are produced and how many people handle that particular item before it is in its complete form that we stock on our shelves. Then it was time to head back to the classroom and jump in with both feet and get started on our 90 techniques in 3 days.

 

First up was Tim Holtz with 3 hours of techniques using perfect pearls, embossing powders, stickles, loose glitter and liquid pearls. I gotta say I'm more in love with my perfect pearls. There are so many cool different techniques that you can do with them and one little jar should last you a lifetime unless you drop and spill them on the floor, it wasn't me. Then is was time to break for a hour for lunch. Mario worked very hard making sure everyone was well feed and had enough chocolate to keep us going.

When we returned to the classroom Patti had switched over all of our supplies and it was now time to explore the world of Vintaj Patina with Mackie. In this 3 hour time block we completed 2 pairs of earrings, 1 necklace and 1 bracelet. We learned how to mix patinas to create a marbled effect on the metal pieces and glazes to give it a vintage look. This part got me a little behind. I kept shooting and dropping the jump rings across the table, but don't worry I was the only one.

 

After another short break and another switch over of supplies, it was time for Tim Holtz again. This time he dove into the world of Melt Art with us. All I have to say is that I love my melting pot now and it will be a staple on my craft table. We started our pot off with clear UTEE and by just adding a pinch of this and a dash of that we learned lots of techniques and created 7 more amazing pieces. This is a must have for all of you mixed media artist out there. Who would have know that you can use this amazing little pot of hot liquid to create image transfers, porcelain flowers, shrink plastic, agates, jewelry pieces and even textured embellishments.

We ended the first day with a BBQ hosted by Ranger's owners and designers. Here they treated us like royalty making sure we had enough to eat and drink. It was fun to visit with other students and learn more about their stores, blogs and creative endeavors.

 

Saturday
May042013

Checking off my Bucket List.

This year I decided I needed to quit saying I'm going to do something and just do it. One of the items that has been on my Bucket List forever, was to attend Ranger University that Ranger Ink offers once a year to 24 lucky students. For those of you that don't know what Ranger U is, this is how they describe it on their website. "This will be an ideal experience for store owners, teachers and designers who want to learn more about how to teach and sell Ranger’s extensive product lines. We will be hosting a full 3-day program that has so much to offer: Tim Holtz, Ranger’s Creative Director will teach hands-on techniques with Perfect Pearls, Melt Art, Inks, Paints and Embossing Powders. Claudine Hellmuth, Mixed-media collage artist and licensed designer, will provide creative insight and teach the versatility of her signature Studio line. Our newest designer, Dyan Reaveley will introduce you to her signature Dylusions line of products with a spin on art journaling. Mackie Mullane, Designer and Educator for Vintaj Natural Brass Company will show you how to achieve a variety of beautiful effects on metal using Vintaj Patinas, Glaze, Embossing Powders and UTEE."

Ranger receives hundreds of applicants each year and I never took the time to apply since I thought I had no chance in the world of making it and there was a long application to fill out with an essay to write. Back in early March they posted on their website that they were now accepting applications for the 2013 Ranger U, so I decided it was now or never. I felt like I was applying for a job and I wanted to put my best foot forward. I filed out the Ranger U application, wrote the 100 word essay of why I felt I was the best pick to attend Ranger U, shared my website and blog and submitted samples of my work. Then came the waiting time, 2 weeks before we knew anything. Like I said, I didn't think in a 100 years that I would make the cut my first time applying so I tried not to pump myself up too much. On March 24th I checked my e-mail late that night and in my in box I had an e-mail from Tim Holtz that just said "Ranger U 2013" in the subject line. I thought to myself, well here it is my let down letter. I knew what it was going to say "Thank you for applying to Ranger U 2013, but we have numerous applicants each year and you didn't make it into this years class please apply again next year." I almost didn't want to open the e-mail, but I did. My heart started racing, I screamed and all most cried.

CONGRATULATIONS!

"You have been accepted to attend the April 2013 Session of Ranger U. We are excited to be sharing a weekend of education and creativity with you. I wanted to provide some basic information about planning your visit for your weekend here at Ranger U in April 26-28, 2013." I couldn't believe it! I made it into Ranger U and was 1 of the 24 amazing people selected. I immediately confirmed my attendance and got online to book my flight and hotel.

I will post later my day by day breakdown of each of the amazing days spent at Ranger U.