Tuesday, May 3, 2011


Whew...isn't it amazing what a good night's sleep can do?  As promised, here are some of my highlights (and techniques) from Day 1 of Ranger U.
 This is a very unassuming door...but don't let that fool you.  It was our Ranger U door every morning...but it is also the doorway to a crafter's paradise!  RANGER INDUSTRIES is incredible!

  From the time I walked through this door, a real sense of "family" ensued.  Not just our motley crew but the Ranger Company.  It is a family owned business and their employees may not be related by blood but they are still very much "family".  They care about their company, the quality of their products, and good customer service.
Many of you may already know Patti Behan from the technique tutorials she posts online.  She is a very talented artist and was instrumental in coordinating Ranger U.  There were lots of behind the scenes Ranger folks who made Ranger U happen.  A huge shout out of THANK YOU to them!  Your hard work made our experience PERFECT.
This is Sheila.  She is such a sweetheart!  If you've ever called Ranger for customer service, chances are you've talked to Sheila...another of the Ranger "family".  I would liken her to "the  gatekeeper". Very dear lady.

Every morning....waiting for us was fresh coffee, soft drinks, water, juices, snacks and ....
Dunkin' Donuts!  This was just one box.
Our first morning, we were given a tour of Ranger Industries by the co-owners of the company, Alain and Justin ... and yes, they are family.  We did not take pictures inside the manufacturing portion of Ranger for obvious reasons but I can tell you that I was totally amazed at the facility.  You talk about an efficient, product control, attention to every detail company...Ranger U is it!  To see some their wonderful products actually being made from start to finish certainly gave me a whole new understanding of the essence of Ranger...the company and the products.  

Then, onto our work room.  There was inspiration everywhere!!!
This alphabet wall was made by various Ranger Designers and Employees.
 I had these two beautiful smiling faces sitting across from me every day at Ranger U...Linda Ledbetter and Yvonne Blair...simply the best!  We all got situated and then....
The magic began.
 Tim Holtz began to teach!
 He told us to grab some stamps to work with.  They were all wood mounted, lots of vintage, well used and any design you could want!  Oh my gosh...that stamp wall was like crack to an addict!  We were all drawn to it.  We had free access to it.  We just had to touch them, feel them, look at them and yes... USE them we did!
See what I mean.....CRACK!

We started with Perfect Pearls.  Honestly, I thought I knew quite a bit about Perfect Pearls.  Good thing I went to Ranger U because what I found out that first morning was "you ain't see nuthin' yet!"  I was blown away with the technique tags we made and the many uses for Perfect Pearls.  This is the first technique tag I did at Ranger U...using one technique of Perfect Pearls.  Just a tag...not a project.  But, I fell in love with Perfect Pearls all over again.
 We attached every technique we learned on a tag so that we could have a wonderful reference tool.  It by itself is art....even though we were focusing on technique, not a project.
Here are the Perfect Pearls tags and techniques.  All simple and just amazing fun! My picture doesn't really do justice to the vibrancy of the iridescent color.  Just yummy!  In this first session, one product in particular started making us feel all warm and fuzzy inside!!  SERIOUSLY!!  Just wait until you try this technique....you'll get it, too!  It is not a Perfect Pearl.  But, when you use it and THEN put Perfect Pearls with it........MAGIC!
I know...you love hearing all about Ranger U and seeing pictures from it.  But you want..... 

TECHNIQUE TIME....This is called Faux Suede!
And this is Ink Refresher in a WHOLE NEW LIGHT!

1.  Take a piece of plain black cardstock.
2.  Spray it with Ink Refresher...YES, INK REFRESHER... until it is completely shiny and wet on top.  Don't saturate the paper...just get it completely shiny wet on the top.
3.  Wrinkle the cardstock up in your hands and massage the Ink Refresher into the paper.  The paper will begin to change its properties from a paper feel to a fabric feel.  It is amazing.  This process make take about 30 seconds-"ish", depending on your technique.  
4.  Then smooth your paper out but leave those cool high and low ridges because THAT, after adding the Perfect Pearls is what makes it look and feel like suede.
5.  Dust the cardstock (using the larger of the Perfect Pearls brushes) in various places with the Perfect Pearls colors that will create that luminous faux suede look.  I used Perfect Copper and Perfect Gold and probably some Perfect Bronze as well.  
6.  Heat set it using your Ranger Heat it Craft Tool or let it air dry.  
Just imagine the card background you could create with this when you are struggling with a background for a masculine card.  And Steampunkers......Mwaaaaah!!!!!!!!

After the morning session of Perfect Pearls, we moved into the afternoon session of Melt Art.  

It was a lot of fun as we learned ways to use a Melting Pot and UTEE to create all sorts of shapes, colors and textures.  We made 10 different things using Melt Art.

  1.  Turn the Melting Pot to the UTEE setting and cover the pot to preheat it BEFORE pouring clear UTEE into it.
2.  Pour clear UTEE powder into the pot.  You don't need a ton, but enough to be able to dip into.  Put the lid back on the Melting Pot and let the UTEE completely melt.  Don't stir it as that creates bubbles.  Just be patient!!  It doesn't take that long to melt.
3.  Attach a thin wire to a paper flower.  The ones we used were from Prima.
4.  Dip the flower into the melted UTEE by holding the wire.  Completely coat the flower.
5.  Lift the flower out of the pot and allow the excess UTEE to drip off of it and then rotate the flower.  If you get any little "hairs" of thin UTEE, you can gently brush it on the side of the hot metal pan and it will instantly melt.  The color of the flower becomes much more vibrant.  And the gold you see on the tips of the flower....they just appear because it was in the paper...just not evident until you coat it with UTEE. 

And here is the beauty of UTEE.  If you lift your flower out and it's all funky and gunky or you just don't like your result for some reason, just dip it back into the hot UTEE and let it melt off and then try the whole technique again.  How's that for an easy and mistake free technique?
You should see this flower in person....AMAZING color and the various gold tips...MAGIC!!!
(Linda, Candy Rosenberg, Suze Weinberg, Claudine Hellmuth, Michelle) 
At the end of the first day, Alain and Justin hosted a wonderful barbeque for us on the property.  We had hamburgers, hot dogs, salads, chips and a lot of fun getting to know each other a little better.  Suze Weinberg and her adorable husband, Lenny and Claudine Hellmuth joined the fun as well. 
 (Thanks to Linda Ledbetter for the use of a couple of pictures from the day).
Then it was back to the hotel for a good night's rest and get ready for Day 2!  Claudine Hellmuth and DISTRESS!!!!!


  1. Wow your Ranger experience sounds fabulous and love the techniques. Nice to meet so many lovely people too and to see the behind the scenes to the company, wow. Thanks for the insight. Tracy x

  2. We love seeing all the tags and all the pics of the fun you had at Ranger U but THANK YOU for sharing your technique with us for those of us who were not fortunate enough to join in all the amazing fun!! :)

  3. It's so much fun reading each members experience, congrats on your new ranger status :D x

  4. Wow Candy! I love that you are sharing with us! It's so cool! And amazing! I'm so excited! I told you I love to learn new things! Thanks so much for sharing your wonderful experience with us!

  5. Thank you for sharing these great experiences and for the techniques, adore that flower. Will definitely try that. Annette x

  6. Awesome pix! Was really great to meet you! Shame we don't live closer... Can't wait to see Day 2 and Day 3! Hugs! Ellen xx

  7. Amazing fun shots! Your favs were the same ones that I loved best!!!
    The flower is wonderful...love it!


  8. Oh my word Candy, I bet you thought you had gone to stamp heaven, look at al those wooden stamps, I am so enjoying reading everyone's experience of being at Ranger U ... I'm sure you will remain on a high for some time to come. Congrats my friend. x

  9. What a great post, Candy! You brought it all back, and I'd love to just re-live that day over and over. You know, like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day! ;-)

  10. Wow Candy, what an amazing time... I loved seeing your pics and the techniques you shared... thank you... The faux suede tag is fabulous...

    Jenny x

  11. Wow, Candy this looks awesome! LOVE the faux suede technique, now to go buy some ink refresher! lol!

  12. What a such experience..... I am so jaleaouse !! ;-)

    I am discovering your blog and I am so impressed, I love all. How can I suscribre to the newsletter, I did not find how to on your blog.

    Have a good day


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