I made it! I'm here at Ranger U! I've got a little time before heading over for Day 2 so I wanted to do a quick post to capture my experiences so far while they're still fresh. It's a completely overwhelming experience (in a *good* way!) so I'm sure by the end of the day today I will have forgotten some of the detail...
I got here on Thursday, no problems, and met up with Jim (the Gentleman Crafter) Hankins' friend Zandra. We went to "collect" Jim from the airport, and then we headed over to Scrappers Cove in Milltown, NJ! Awesome store with lots of our favorite goodies, and of course we *had* to support the local economy, right? Here's me and Jim... he's such a sweetie!
Then we drove back over to the Ranger area and met up with Marjie Kemper and Annette Green for dinner at Applebee's. It's so awesome to finally *meet* the people you see in blogland in person. Both Marjie and Annette are so, so nice. I'm happy to be sharing the Ranger U experience with them! Here we are at dinner... (from L to R: Zandra, Jim, me, Marjie and Annette).
After dinner we all headed back to our hotel rooms to get plenty of rest for Day 1. Was so cool to come into the classroom and find all of our curriculum binders all laid out for us.
The first thing we did was take a 45 minute tour of Ranger's warehouse and factory! OMG... I am a *huge* fan of shows like "How It's Made" so I was in heaven! To see a line of stickles, going from a huge blue vat and being pumped into a machine where all the little bottles are lined up like soldiers, getting "Holly" stickles pumped in, applicator tip applied, lid screwed on, and sent on down the line into another huge bin for packing and shipping. COOL!!! And we all got to take a little bottle right off the production line! :) Mario took a few pix in the warehouse portion of the tour...
Then it was back to the classroom to get started! We started out working with perfect pearls. We dusted, painted, spritzed and sprayed lots of different samples, learning about all the ways they can be used either dry or wet.
Then it was on to embossing... learning about ultra fine, regular and Ultra Thick embossing powders and how each type will give a different result, depending on what you're working on.
Then we got to play with the girls from Vintaj and their brass pieces combined with Ranger's patinas. LOVE. We worked at a very fast pace and I had to finish some of my pieces back in the hotel room. Trying to work fast with tiny little jump rings was not a good combo for me... kept dropping my teeny tiny jump rings on the floor - oops! I'll take pix of the finished pieces when I get home - phone pix just aren't doing them any justice at all, but they are gorgeous. We did faux enamel pieces using the melt pot, learned about some of Vintaj's other tools and reliefing blocks.
Had a lovely lunch of deli sandwiches and ate outside at the picnic tables.
And the afternoon was all about melt art! Molds, cookie cutters, stamping, texture treads and more! Again, there wasn't time to take pix during the class so I'll have to update you on the details when I get home. But here's a shot of our foursome with our agate UTEE hearts... hard to see the detail but trust me... they rock!
And, finally, we ended Day 1 with the Ranger BBQ. Burgers, GOOD NJ hotdogs, salads, cookies, beer and wine (yay!). A great time was had by all and it was nice to be able to visit with some other students and learn about their part in this awesome industry. We've got people from Korea, France, Spain, Holland, Australia, New Zealand, and of course the US. I love the international component.
Will *try* to take more pix today - promise! Better get moving - meeting up with Jim, Marjie and Annette for coffee and breakfast in 10 mins! Yikes!
More to come - stay tuned!