Friday, September 30, 2011

Emmy Gift Lounge Wrap-up With Some Candids

This is the last of my Emmy Gift Lounge write-ups. I think I will just post a few candids that we received thanks to our incredible photographer Eric! Most of these photos were a surprise to us. I certainly had no idea they were being taken.

America Fererra
I had the pleasure of meeting America once before at the Sundance Film Festival. She remembered me from the last time which is very nice. I guess she doesn't often get told that someone's favorite movie by her is "Real Woman Have Curves" and is instead always associated with Ugly Betty, maybe that was why she remembered. 

She is such a soft-spoken person. America does not like to take photos with products which is fine but if you ask her to pose with you she will. I remember upon meeting her at Sundance she asked if she had to take photos and I told her no so when we met her again we didn't ask her to take a photo and instead used our valuable time to talk with her about the group.  

Next is Nia Peeples. Again she remembered me and I had mistakenly mixed up her friends but she made a joke and we had a good laugh about it. At these events we are only supposed to have around 30 seconds to a minute with each celebrity but Nia stayed a very long time with us. I think she picked up everything on our table and from her messages and Tweets to us it seems she has to fight her daughter for some of the gifts we gave her.

Nia Peeples and Valerie
I love this photo! This is Valerie and she is showing Nia a wristlet made by Tina Dean Designs. The look on her face was just as she was told that it is made out of VHS tape...

and this was after when she was showing everyone in the room.

Actress Beverly Mitchell was also very into our group and was kind enough to send one of our members a personal email. This is Beverly learning about "Plarn". The first photo is her trying to figure it out and the second is when she realized the purse I was showing her was made out of grocery bags.

Dot-Marie Jones of Glee visited our booth and loved the smell of Bellaroma's Banana Grapeseed facial scrub that she passed it around and she wasn't the only celeb that liked our members bath and body products!

Glynn Turman and his wife
In case you were wondering what the look on Glynn Turman's face was all about, I just told him the sundae I am holding is soap from AJ Sweetsoap!

So as I wrap up the final post I will leave you with a few celebs that liked our whole group so much they held the whole bag for a photo-op! So thank you to all the celebs, press, and talent that passed by our table and stopped to talk with us and thank all of you for reading along as I shared some stories.

Rex Linn and Joe Mantegna 

Tony Denison and P.J. Byrnes


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

HUGE Blog to Blog Giveaway!

Yup you read that right and I am participating in this incredible giveaway so click above to read the rules and  Good Luck!


Monday, September 26, 2011

Stories From GBK Primetime Emmy Gift Lounge

I have a few more stories to share from behind the scenes at GBK's Primetime Emmy Gift Lounge. Are you ready? (of course you are or you would have already closed the page) I will also unveil my most treasured photo at the very end

James Woods and Ashley. Ashley is wearing Seeing Is Believing's ceramic pendant

James. I did enjoy meeting him. Valerie had met him ages ago and they chatted a bit about that. (Valerie's husband just loves her James Woods story when she shares it and I am sure he is happy to hear I have one now too ;) After I told James about our group we got to talking about the pendant around my neck, it was a tiger, hand painted by me on canvas paper and set into a bronze pendant. He told me that he has some miniature paintings from France, painted on a turtle shell and from the 1700's. Quite honestly I could have talked to him all day, he is an intriguing personality.

Michael Trucco with Autumn Bradley Designs

First I would like to thank Autumn for sending this necklace to the show. Valerie got to put the necklace on and I got to take it off. All kidding aside though Michael is a pleasure to talk to. He remembered both of us from the Golden Globes and was excited to see what we had on the table. He chatted for a bit and I forget how it came around but he said he was old. I am not sure if he will stumble upon this but if he does, I was right, I am older than you and besides, you are a guy and guys always look better with age. Do cylons even age at all?

Alan Cumming
Alan Cumming, you have no idea how excited I was to see him on the list. No really you don't. He has to be one of the best character actors there are (and regular one too) and I waited all day for him to come into the room so I can meet him. (I did see him once before, about two years ago when he floated by me on a Macy's Thanksgiving day parade float) I saw him arrive because our table was right next to the photo wall but he had walked past the door without coming in. This does happen from time to time so all the celebs do not have to wait if a room is busy and ours was pretty busy the whole time. It was a good 2-3 hours before he made it to our room (which is a very long time as most celebs are in and out quickly)

When he finally came into the room Valerie and I shook his hand and I said how I was waiting to meet him. Alan is every bit as gracious as you would think he would be. I then told him about TAG and he ended up choosing Elle Moss Photography's self portrait to pose with. When he picked it up he said "She is absolutely stunning" and we absolutely agree

Elle Moss Photography and Alan

and now for my most treasured photo:

While the above photo is one I will always treasure because I admire Alan so much it is not the most treasured photo from the weekend's events. This one is.

Our waitress heard that we were getting together to celebrate our birthdays and surprised us with this.
All four of us blew the candle out together.

"Huh?" you might be saying. "This is the most treasured photo out of all the celebrities and excitement? I don't get it."

Well here is why, it is not so much the picture of the dessert that makes it my most treasured but what it revolved around.

Both Valerie and I as well as two friends who live in California happen to have birthdays that fall with-in a month of each other. (from August - Sept) This year I changed my birthday as the day my real one was on was one of the worst days I have had in a while. I won't go into it because quite honestly I do not want to even think about it so I decided the day after my real birthday to change my birth date temporarily to Sept 16th to make up for it.

After the show was over we all walked a few blocks down to Beso. I have been waiting to order the fried banana split since looking at the online menu for the past month. I had to make sure I tried everything but didn't fill up so I had room for dessert.  The evening consisted of a delightful dinner, fun conversation about the days events and quite a bit of laughter so I just want to say thank you ladies for giving me a fun night out and some smiles, it made up for everything. I had a great time and I am hoping to do it again at the next show.

Valerie and me...thanks for the fun time!
Stay tuned and I will share a few candid shots our wonderful photographer took as well as a few more stories for you very soon...


Friday, September 23, 2011

Stories From GBK Primetime Emmy Gift Lounge

Sorry for the delay as I know you have been waiting for pictures. Both Valerie and I have spent the last two days uploading, tagging, tweeting and sharing the photos with our members and now I have the time to write a little blog post about the experiences we had.

Héctor Elizondo
First I have to say how honored I was to have people start to remember me not just by face but some by name as well. It is a pretty darn good feeling especially when you have met people maybe once or twice. I found myself getting pulled into photographs and not because I asked to be there but because they wanted me there. (anyone that knows me knows that there are giant chunks of time, sometimes years that go by where there isn't one photo of me anywhere) What could I do but hop in and smile (though I think I shall plaster a bit more make-up on next time) I made sure that any photo I got in did not taint another artist's photo op. I know how upset I would be if I got a photo of my product and saw the rep in it. So I was careful and happy to say that both Valerie and I managed to get every single member of our group at least two celebrity photos with their work and some as many as four! Pretty good feat since we had 30 members represented at the event!

Another good feeling was that people were recognising my work on the table. Actor A.J. Buckley, whom I have had the pleasure of meeting before chose my illustration to pose with but as he picked it up he said "This one is yours right?" and he was right.

 A.J. Buckley took a photo alone and with me
Robert Morse was another celebrity that remembered Valerie and me from the Golden Globes. I had handed him a dog for a picture and as I was walking away he grabbed my arm and I found myself in a picture again. He then posed for a photo with just Wags And Wiggles cute little dog and squeaky toy.

Robert Morse
One thing that neither Valerie or I expected was the amount of guys that appreciated hand-made items and how long they stayed at the table talking with us. Three guys in particular were very into our group, Jeff Probst, Jason Isaacs and Jordan Bridges. Jordan's wife is a jewelry maker herself and Jeff and Jason just really appreciated everything. While my friend Margaret would have died to be able to meet Jeff Probst I thought is was quite surreal to be speaking with Lucius Malfoy. All three men were a delight.

Jeff with Sweet Stella's, Jason with Joy Bots and Jordan with Papermuse Designs 
The day was very fast paced as always but the events are becoming more like a get-together. There is nothing like big smiles from Rico Rodriguez, his family and agent. They are a blast to hang around and while Rico was making his rounds to the other tables I stood and talked to his sister Raini. I told her I missed her at the Kid's Choice Awards event and she said she was filming for Disney! Very excited for her! Just as Rico was being ushered out of the room to go to the next he ran back in and gave me a big hug.

Always a pleasure to see, Rico Rodriguez
I have plenty more stories to come but I think I will stretch them out a bit so stay tuned. Besides, don't you want to see the picture I treasure the most?


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Emmy's Whirlwind Part Two

GBK and Tic Tac Event Wall waiting for the celebrities to arrive

Well now here comes the hard part, beyond the coodination, recruiting, organizing and actually making the product that goes into the gift bags, it is waiting for the photos to arrive. Yup, that is the hardest part next to waiting to see if the Spalsh Magazine interview you gave didn't make you sound like a total bumbling idiot (I did fine as I practiced in my head but then he asked me a question and my thought process flew out of the window and I became a mumbling fool) So since I am waiting for photos to share and stories to tell I will instead share some really great things that were happening yesterday.

First lets start with this:

Nia has been wonderful to us from the second she met us, she is a bundle of smiles and fun. When she came into the room we gave her a little background on our group and she asked questions, picked things up and had a great time. I got to spend a little time with her daughters who I have to say were adorably dressed. They took a liking to one of our members Zipper Bracelets and I let them each pick one out to take home. We are so happy she liked us enough to Tweet us several times as well as share our Holiday Guide to all her followers but the biggest surprize came when she tweeted one of our members, Deb Soromenho of A.W.E. Shop and said that she was wearing her earrings that she gifted in an upcoming episode of Pretty Little Liars!

We also received word from Beverley Mitchell who was just as radiant and nice as she appears on tv

Beverley also took the time to contact one of our artists Ilene Price of Ilene Price Design with a personal email saying her products embody everything she stands for. Yes the Tweets, emails and excitement were flying yesterday so much so it was hard to keep up! What a great feeling though and I am so happy that all the hard work everyone did paid off better than our wildest imaginations!

OH! and I almost forgot this:

Janina had picked Gary's Joy Bots as her favorite thing in the whole gift lounge! The WHOLE gift lounge and let me tell you that duffel bag was HUGE! What an honor and congratulations goes out to Gary!

If you would like to see more great press from The Artisan Group follow along on Facebook or our Blog and of course we have our very popular Event Guide and our Press Release online for you to see as well.

Stay tuned for photos of the event, hopefully they come soon...


Monday, September 19, 2011

What A Whirlwind! Part One, Meet And Greet

The W Hotel - Hollywood, California
Months of planning, recruiting and organizing has come to a close as GBK Productions Primetime Emmy Awards Gift Lounge has finally ended and oh what a rush! When Valerie and I first arrived at the event in the W Hotel in Hollywood there were people scurrying around with glue guns, flowers, lighting and a whole plethora of fun things that will later make the event into a beautiful, warm hallway filled with pink trees and Tic Tacs!
A rather lage sign made of Tic Tacs welcomes attendees to the Gift Lounge

Yes that is a Tic Tac Dress and it took 3 people with glue guns all day to do it!

Finishing Touches
Our table was lucky enough to be placed in the very first room with the event sponsers as well as CNN Heros, The Cravory and Haan Therapeutics. The best part was that we could see the antics that went on while the celebs posed for photos at the staging area. Nia Peeples, who is always such fun ended up laying down on her side as she hammed it up. We were also thankful to have a 10 foot table so everyone's displays had room to shine. Set up didn't take very long to do being we had a giant 5 foot banner to piece together (I am the putter-together-er as this is not a thing Valerie, um, I guess I can say enjoys, She does the budget which is something that throws me into a lobotomized state)

Our Display Table
With our table set up we could walk around and see what others were doing so we walked along the hallway and got to meet everyone. Some of the sponsers I remembered from past events like the Wine Chateau and it was nice to say hello to them. Some sponsers ran up to us and told us they heard about us and couldn't wait to see our table! It was quite a surprise and an honor. 
Walking around I noticed a table with these beautifully illustrated books on them. I got to chat with their rep and learned about the book, the more I learned the more I fell in love with the whole concept surrounding it so if you ever get a chance, pick up a copy of "Just Like You" written by Robert Kroupa and pass it along to every child you know.
While we were getting to know some of the sponsors, we had the pleasure of trying some very tasty h'orderves. My favorite was a skewer with avocado, mozzerella drizzed with balsamic, an olive and black, red, or yellow tomatoes. Music was playing and excitement was in the air but the night had to end and Valerie and I headed upstairs to our room.
That is a quick little behind the scenes for the first night. Our celebrity pictures should be arriving soon. I know our members are so excited to see them and as soon as we share them with The Artisan Group Members I will share them with you too and all the stories that go along with them...

...but before I go here is a little look into the event just after we set our table, don't mind the music or quality as I had a little point and shoot to film with

To read about other members experience visit here


Sunday, September 11, 2011

Today We Remember

I don't often stray from art topics but today I am going to make an exception, I hope you don't mind.

Today is a somber day, yet it is also a day filled with hope. 10 years have passed but for some, time has not moved at all. I can play that day perfectly in my head almost second for second and I am sure that it will always be there with me. If I close my eyes I can still smell the smoke that lingered even days after. I remember clearly the posters that lined the fences in downtown Manhattan and low-life vendors trying to make money with their T-shirts and memorabilia. I remember the eerie quiet of the week where no planes flew and I remember standing in Liberty State Park a week later, looking over at the smoldering buildings and not having any words, no one had any words.

I passed under the World Trade Towers quite often, went to events there, shopped there and had clients that worked there. I passed the globe many times and went back to see it not long after they allowed people in the area.

It is hard to explain to those that do not live in the areas where these acts happened. It is something that we have lived with every single day since the World Trade Towers came down. Not one day has passed where there isn't a news story pertaining to 9/11, it is always here, always a reminder and proof of that came just a short time ago when many people panicked as an Earthquake hit the East Coast. Many flashed back to that day and the fear was very real. Normally being exposed to things for a long period of time you would become numb or desensitised to it but quite the opposite happens. I have a very hard time with footage from that day, even now as I write this there are tears in my eyes. If you did not know someone that died that day, you surely knew someone that did and quite often several people that did. Many also knows someone that responded that day and years later are fighting for their lives from being exposed to the toxic dust.

Yet here it is 10 years later and from the ashes life rises again. Buildings are starting to form a new skyline, a memorial is being finished and a lone survivor that has stood amongst the rubble, removed to be nursed back to health will again take it's place where it stood before.

I am not sure if I will make it to the museum, maybe some day I will. I am not sure of the emotions that will inevitably come while walking there though I am sure I will not be alone in the sadness. I think if I do go it will be something that just happens and not planned upon.

I do ask one thing, please. I do love your comments but if you wouldn't mind leaving anything political out. Everyday politicians use this event for many reasons. I don't want to taint the people's memories that have lost their lives, whether in the attacks, fighting overseas, or suffering from diseases because of the toxic dust. Let this be a day we remember them and only them and hope for a future of peace.


Saturday, September 10, 2011

A Gentle Breeze/A Raging Wind

Well it seems as if most of you are interested in how I come up with designs, or what inspires them so what better time to start than with my new(ish) Pinwheel design.

I had actually drawn this several weeks ago on a scrap piece of paper while at work. There wasn't much happening, barely any customers and everything was straightened so to pass the time I got a piece of paper and started to doodle. I had stuffed the drawing in my pocket and when I got home tossed it on my pile of ideas and it sat there for quite a while.

Fast forward a bit to where Hurricane Irene was making its way up the East Coast. I didn't want to risk damaging my computer so I decided to go through my pile and see if I could entertain myself with a painting. I have to laugh a little now because as my basement was flooding and the trees were whipped to a frenzy I sat and inked out, then painted a simple little pinwheel. A little toy that relies on a gentle breeze to entertain. Funny how those things happen sometimes.

meow ^..^ meow ^..^ meow ^..^ meow ^..^ meow ^..^ meow ^..^ meow ^..^ meow
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