Saturday, January 02, 2021

What I learned in 2020

Remember last January when World War III nearly broke out? I remember thinking, "Oh this could be bad..." but so much has happened since then that I honestly can't even remember why I felt that way.

I vaguely remember murder hornets because each of those words on its own is terrifying but when you put them together it makes a special kind of nightmare. 

Black Lives Matter made a huge impact on me because it reminded me that no matter how not racist I think I am, I'm still a privileged white girl who has no idea what people of color really go through on a daily basis and I'm horrified at what I've learned. 

I am now more politically educated than I've ever been in my life but I haven't decided if that's a good thing or not. I generally don't discuss my political opinions because that's a divisive topic and I tend to avoid conflict at all costs. Besides, I really don't fit with any of our major political parties so I just smile, nod, and pretend to be Switzerland. 

And then there's Covid-19. That's a topic that has become almost as divisive as politics, I guess because the two got so tangled up in each other. And even though I just said that I don't like to discuss divisive topics, I'm going to make an exception here knowing that not everyone will agree with me and that's okay. I promise to be respectful of your opinions and I hope you'll do the same with mine. I'm also going to talk about Jesus, yet another divisive topic, so feel free to tune out now if you don't want to hear it.

I do think the pandemic is real and I think that our country has not handled it as well as it could have. I'm not sure that a new president is going to fix all that but I am hopeful that things will improve over time. I'm tired of our new normal but I'm trying to be patient, knowing it will take some time for our lives to return to pre-pandemic normalcy and I believe that following the CDC's guidelines will help.

I've never been fond of large gatherings so that wasn't a problem for me until my daughter's wedding had to be cancelled. I was not okay with that but we had no choice. 

Social distancing isn't a problem for me since I've never been fond of sharing my personal space with anyone else. 

I wash and sanitize my hands more often now than ever before and I tell everyone that's why they're so dry and crusty and wrinkly, even though the truth is that they're just regular old-lady hands. 

I have to wear a mask all day every day for work and I truly hate it but I wear it, I wear it properly, and I will continue to wear it for as long as Dr. Fauci tells me to.

I don't wear the mask for myself since I have no fears whatsoever of catching Covid-19. That doesn't mean I don't think I'll catch it, I very well could. But I doubt it will make me very sick because I don't get sick. Ever. Well, hardly ever. I get a little upper respiratory thing about once every 4-5 years and that's it. I've never had the flu and never had a flu shot. But I never leave the house without my mask and 2-3 backup masks because I live in fear of catching Covid, not realizing I have it, and accidentally making someone else sick...really sick. That would destroy me.

I love my Jesus and I try to imagine what he would do if he was in our shoes. Well, obviously he wouldn't have to wear a mask because he can't get sick. But would he go maskless to show everyone that he's the son of God and immune to earthly diseases? Or would he wear one anyway to show that he's also human and he walks alongside us in good times and bad? Knowing what I do about the character of Christ, his humility, and his love for every human on earth, I think he would mask up. Since my goal in life is to be more like him, that makes it easier for me to put on my mask.

Following the CDC guidelines about wearing masks and avoiding crowds is not easy, especially when we, as Americans, are very protective of our individual rights and freedoms. Plus I'm a native Texan and in general we really don't like to be told what to do. But this year I learned that as much as I value my right to do pretty much as I please and my freedom to make my own choices and even be a little rebellious now and then...I value YOUR health more. 

That's why I will follow these rules for as long as necessary. And that's why, even though I have reservations about the new Covid vaccines, I will roll up my sleeve and get vaccinated as soon as it's my turn. That's also why I will continue to wear a mask all day every day even though sometimes I neglect my personal grooming since my face is covered every day so sometimes I pull my mask off to discover that I've grown a full they're hot, they're uncomfortable, and they make me feel like I can't breathe.'s a small price to pay to keep someone else from truly not being able to breathe. 

Friday, October 21, 2016

Shannon Green's Abandoned Treasures & Mini Spinner Rack

I've been a little busy over the past few months including moving to NW Arkansas and adjusting to some pretty major life changes. But I know things happen for a reason and in the end it's all good!

Over the years I've had lots of requests to sell my creations or excess supplies and I've done a little of that on Etsy from time to time and will continue when I can. But I recently came across another opportunity that I'm very excited about!

I work part time for Canvas Corp Brands here in NW Arkansas which has been a blessing, a source of fun and inspiration, as well as a learning experience as far as the craft industry goes. The CCB warehouse and manufacturing facility contains quite a bit of inventory that is discontinued, outdated, scrap pieces, items that were misprinted or cut incorrectly, surplus merchandise from other companies, weird random stuff that everyone forgot about, etc. In other words...treasures!!

I have been allowed to dig through these treasure boxes to search out things that inspire me or that I find useful. Most of the time there is so much of it that I am able to offer it for sale at deeply discounted prices. This is VERY exciting for me because it's almost like we're all shopping at a thrift store together!

The things I find that I feel are worthy of offering up will be available in the Canvas Corp Brands online store under the ByShannonGreen brand label. They are called Abandoned Treasures and will include scrap packs, project kits, ephemera packs, tools and supplies, storage solutions, and random stuff that we can figure out together. Everything is hand-picked and curated by me. I'm not just sticking my name on stuff, I'm much too picky to allow that!

When you order over $5 from the CCB online store you will receive free shipping in U.S. CCB will also ship internationally but you will have to pay the shipping charges on those orders. Keep an eye on my Facebook page for new products, projects, and classes(!) that will be coming up soon.

The first item in my Abandoned Treasures collection is this Mini Spinner Rack I found tucked away inside a forgotten crate.

It's great for storing and displaying your craft supplies, projects, works-in-progress, craft fair goods, finished art pieces, or anything else that can be hung from the hooks. You can also paint or decoupage the plastic pieces to match your decor. Watch this video for more information, a demonstration, and assembly instructions:

There are quite a few of the spinner racks available but once they're gone, they're gone for good. Stay tuned for more goodies on the way!

Monday, June 06, 2016

Canvas Corp Brands New Social Media Team

I have some exciting news!

I got a little part time job that I wasn't even looking for! It sort of found me and I swear we are a match made in heaven.

I am now the Social Media Connector for Canvas Corp Brands, LLC. No, that doesn't mean I get to play on Facebook all day long but it does mean that I get to do what I already do and use what I've already learned to help a company that I've fallen in love with. Everybody wins.

Canvas Corp Brands (CCB) is the parent company of 7gypsies, Tattered Angels, and Canvas Corp (or Canvas Home Basics). It is based in Springdale, Arkansas and owned by Randy and Christine Meier. Most of the products they carry are made at their facility in Springdale while a few things are sourced globally for more variety.

CCB has a fantastic blog that provides a daily dose of inspiration, an online shop where you can pick up one of each of all their product lines, and an actual outlet store there in Springdale where you can find some incredible bargains on craft supplies or attend classes and workshops such as Ken Oliver's very first Pop-Up Workshop featuring his incredible Color Burst Watercolors

I joined CCB's design team (The Creative Crew) last fall and got to know their products a lot better. I was impressed with the quality, style, and variety of their offerings. Then in the Spring I met Randy and Christine at NAMTA's Art Materials World trade show here in Houston. That's when I learned more about the company, their philosophy, ideas and the way they do things. Again, I was impressed.

Through a series of unexpected and fateful circumstances, I recently found myself part of Christine's new plan for a social media team. Here is the team and all of our roles:

Christine Meier - Team Leader and Storyteller
Shannon Green - Social Connector
Lynne Forsythe - Projects Champion
Marie Johansson - Game Runner
Jorunn Langås and Lena Holmström - Gypsy Brand Warrior
Marie Heiderscheit - Canvas Brand Warrior
Erin Reed - Angel Brand Warrior

Together we make up CCB's Social Media Brandwagon...or as I like to call us "The Crazy Eights"! Heh.

We have some exciting things planned including lots of challenges, giveaways, contests, and games that anyone can participate in.

(I dangled that participle on purpose, don't judge me.)

If you're worried that this might change some of the things I'm already doing you can rest easy. I will still be making YouTube videos and carrying on my own social media antics as usual. This is just an opportunity for even more antics!

You won't want to miss out on all the fun so make sure you follow/subscribe/stalk all the brands on all their social media outlets. I'll provide a nice tidy list of links for you below. Then fasten your seat belt for what comes next. We're making this up as we go along so there's no telling what could happen! 

Blog (The Creative Studio):

Facebook Page:

Facebook Page:

Facebook Page:

Facebook Group (The Collective):

Facebook Page:

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

DecoArt Easy Abstract

Get ready for the easiest awesomeness ever! Okay maybe that's overstating it a little bit but this video shows how you can get spectacular results with minimal effort and just a few inexpensive DecoArt products:


Here is the list of supplies used this video, all from DecoArt:
DecoArt Media Gesso-Black
DecoArt Media Gesso-White
Crafter's Acrylic-Tutti Frutti 
Crafter's Acrylic-Pure Pumpkin
Americana Acrylics-True Red
Americana Neon-Sizzling Pink
Americana Neon-Thermal Green
Americana Neon-Scorching Yellow 
Andy Skinner Stencil-Hippy Chic
Craft Twinkles Writers-Gold

You will also need:
Text weight paper, any size 
Inexpensive 2" chip brush like these
Sponge or other applicator for stenciling
Optional: Americana Stencil-Scribble

Talk about a lot of bang for your buck! What you do with your finished piece is up to you. I'm using mine as journal covers but you can collage with it, frame it as abstract art, use it in a scrapbook layout or on an art journal page, decoupage with it, use it on handmade greeting cards or embellishments, make ATCs, inchies, twinchies, DaVincis, whatever!

Pick up your supplies in the DecoArt Online Store and don't forget to browse through the categories. You might accidentally find some hidden clearance items if I haven't snatched them all up already.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Some of my favorites (and not so favorites) from #NAMTA

I was very fortunate to have been able to attend NAMTA's Art Materials World here in Houston last week. It's a trade show similar to CHA but caters more to those in the fine art world. The show was held in conjunction with CAMEX, the Campus Market Expo for college stores. NAMTA occupied one exhibit hall in the George R. Brown Convention Center and CAMEX filled up the other four so there was lots to see.

The amazing folks over at Canvas Corp Brands had a booth at NAMTA and so graciously allowed me to attend with them. I helped them to set up and tear down their booth as well as demoed some products and helped out where I could. I've pimped myself out for way less than that so I think everybody won!

I thoroughly enjoyed spending some time with CCB's Randy and Christine Meier as well as all my other best friends who I just met. Erin Reed and Heather Kindt were on hand to help in the booth and I had a great time getting to know them. Ken Oliver Crafts shared booth space with us which means I got to hang out with Anita Houston and John Cox. I know, try not to be jealous.

I took some pictures which you can see in my NAMTA album on Flickr and I filmed a few short videos that you can find in my NAMTA playlist on YouTube. There are a few companies I want to specifically mention because they stood out for one reason or another.

Amodex is by far the best product I've ever used to get paint and ink stains off my hands. I don't ever want to be without it. Amodex is a family owned company and I got to visit with two of the family members: Beverlee and Marica. Can I just say I love them? I truly do, they're incredible women!

Mauricio Velez in the Hemptique booth taught me more about hemp than I probably wanted to know! I honestly had no idea how strong hemp is but now that I know I will be binding all of my books with hemp rather than waxed linen.

Did you know that you can buy hemp paper? And there are crocheted and knitted items made with hemp that are as soft as cotton but much stronger and heavier. Plus hemp is available in any Pantone color. There's just no reason not to use it.

Casting and mold making really caught my eye for some reason so I was drawn to the ComposiMold booth where Stan and Shawn were showing off their heat and pour mold making compound that is reusable. Let me repeat that. It's REUSABLE! I kid you not. You make a mold, use it all you want to and when you're finished with that mold and don't need it anymore you just stick it in the microwave to melt it down so you can make a different mold from the same material. And as if that isn't awesome enough there is also a ComposiMold YouTube channel. I knew I liked these guys!

Go ahead, ask me about frontal polymerization, I dare ya. Thanks to Dr. John Pojman I can now hold my own when the topic comes up at dinner parties. I could have visited with Dr. Pojman all day long without losing interest for a single minute, and y'all know how tiny my attention span is. His company is called Pojman Polymer Products or 3P...which makes him the 3P CEO. Get it?? And if that isn't delightfully cheesy enough for you he also rocks a bow tie and boasts the world's largest collection of pocket protectors. Plus I repeatedly called him Mr. Pojman because I didn't realize he was a Ph.D. and he didn't correct me one single time. Walter White wishes he could be as cool as this chemist! 

Pojman Polymer Products makes 3P QuickCure Clay which is a little tub of magic. You can mold with it or you can mold from it. You expose one end of your clay piece to a heat source and within a matter of seconds the remainder of the piece starts generating its own heat so after a minute or two the entire piece has literally baked itself.

After his demonstration I went back to the CCB booth and told Anita what I had just witnessed. That girl rarely abandoned her post at the demo table but she literally dropped everything and went to visit Dr. Pojman. When she came back we both agreed that we love him.

I will have more demonstrations of these products coming up soon but in the mean time I hope you will visit their websites, subscribe to their YouTube channels, follow them on Facebook, etc. They all get the Shannon Green Stamp of Approval...whatever that's worth!

One company did not get the coveted Shannon Green Stamp of Approval. I'm mentioning it here with the hope that they will see this and take steps to improve their customer relations. There was a product in the Filofax booth that caught my eye and the nice girl in the booth gave such a good demonstration of it that I was dying to feature it in a video where I could encourage 20K of my closest friends to rush out and buy this product with me.

I asked Demo Girl if she would mind repeating her whole speil so I could film it to share on YouTube. She was delighted to do just that but felt like she should run it by the boss first. That was totally understandable so I waited while she asked The Boss in the back of the booth. I didn't think there would be a problem since no one ever turns me down when I ask to feature a mass produced retail product. Videos are often prohibited in stores that sell handcrafted items but manufacturers of mass produced items usually jump at the chance for free advertising and promoting.

That wasn't the case with Filofax. The Boss apparently was not "the boss" and felt like he needed to call corporate before giving me permission to make a video where I tell people to go buy their product. Okay seriously?! My jaw literally dropped open and I was speechless for maybe a whole second or two. When I recovered I told him that was fine and maybe I would stop back by later. I had no intention of doing so and I did not. I have no desire to endorse a company who has created an atmosphere where the person in charge of their trade show booth can't grant permission for free advertising on social media without asking corporate first. That's just messed up.

Filofax is one F-word you won't be hearing on my YouTube channel.