Welcome to a special edition of the Graphic 45 blog. Today we have a Design Team Alumni Artist Feature on the incredible and talented Candy Rosenberg. Candy has been creating off the page projects for G45 since the very beginning. In this post, you will get to take a stroll down memory lane to see all of the breathtaking mannequins she has created with our paper collections each year for us to showcase at our tradeshows. But first, we have our weekly blog contest winner to announce!
Weekly Blog Winner
This week’s prize package included a Floral Shoppe Package, a $49+ value. The Winner is…Kim Blank Rannells!
Kim had this to say on our Facebook page: "I adore this collection. My hands are itching to make an album with it."
We want to thank each and every one of you who left comments on our blog, Facebook, and Instagram this week. Kim, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to claim your prize.
Candy Rosenberg – DT Alumni Highlight
Where It All Started…
“My name is Candy Rosenberg and my journey in the craft industry cannot be told without including Graphic45. In early Fall of 2008, I received a phone call from my local scrapbook store. She told me to get to the store immediately after work and that I am not going to believe what she has.
Of course, I spent the entire day wondering and the day was very long but finally, the work whistle blew and I drove to the store as fast as I could. What she had for me was the October edition of Scrapbooking and Beyond. There on those pages was the story of this new up and coming company, Graphic45, I went through 6 plus pages of the most amazing paper and company I had ever seen. Now let’s back up for just a quick moment, in 2008 it was mostly Creative Memories, pastel colors and very traditional scrapbooking, so to see vintage theme paper was breathtaking. As I read the story about Graphic45, a new company that specializes in vintage scrapbooking paper and saw each piece unfold on those pages, I cried. I had stopped crafting because there was no product out there for me to use. I am a vintage girl, NO PRIMARY COLORS or traditional themes. I realized that I can scrapbook again. I was a happy girl. Without me realizing until many years later, as I stood there with my local store owner, I muttered the words, “I will work for them someday.”
Fast forward to January 2009, I was invited to the Craft & Hobby Association show in Anaheim, California as staff with Scrap n’ Art Magazine.
I worked on a small wire dress form, the only one I could find, I looked for months at thrift stores, home décor stores, craft stores until I found the wire dress form that I used to create my first paper dress form. I made the dress and carefully packed it into my suitcase to take with me to the CHA show. Once there I got a chance to find the Graphic45 booth, this was only their third show, so the booth was small. I met all the ladies including the designer of the papers, the one that I now lovingly call mom, Diane Schultz.
I didn’t want to bother them, so I waited until the show opened and then came by with the dress form. I just wanted to show it to them. They liked it and asked if they could put it on their table where they took all the orders, etc. It was small enough to fit there, so I said ok. I thought I was going to faint, to be honest. I could not believe they wanted to display it. I walked away with tears of joy in my eyes. Of course, I had to walk by every chance I got during the show to see it on the table, I must have looked like a crazy stalker.
At the end of the show, I picked it up and Aimee gave me a package of papers and asked if I would consider trying out for the design team call that will be out that February. I said thank you and yes and walked away with my girl. I still have her to this day and she is still intact.
I tried out for the design team and was chosen. Later that year, I became the design team coordinator and not long after was handling their marketing. I worked for Graphic 45 for nearly 3 years, at the time they were working on building a family business and the other daughter, Charee, was brought into the company. I trained her to take over what I was doing and will always be grateful for the time I had with them. I am where I am today because of this opportunity. Ironically, it wasn’t until years later that my scrapbook store owner told me about what I said that day. I did not even realize I had said that. So happy I put it into the universe!
Winter 2009. Anaheim, California
This was Graphic45’s second time at the Craft & Hobby Show and won Best Booth at the Summer 2008 show and what an incredible response. You can see that even back then the hallmark Graphic45 style was there. The show was buzzing loudly about this new company and their exquisite vintage papers.
This little wire dress form sat on the table where they had their catalogs and made orders, I heard people talking about it on the show floor, it was very exciting and what started this entire dress form madness. I have made a dress form for the Graphic45 booth every single year since. In the early days of CHA, there were two full shows each year, so often I made two dresses per year.
Summer 2009. Orlando, Florida.
The next show was in the summer in Orlando, Florida. I had to dig deep for these photos and finally found them in a blog post by Julie Fei-Fen Balzer from the 2009 show. The first photo was the Graphic45 booth at that show. It is fun to watch the booth grow each year. The second photo is a vintage metal plane that I decoupaged 90% of with Graphic 45 papers.
I was invited by Graphic45 to work at their booth at the trade show, all of us in their signature black. Now imagine, its summer in Orlando…and this hair of mine. Oh, the irony of it all. I finally had to bring my hair stuff to the convention center to get ready or I would look like a drowned poodle. During the show, it was my job to take people around showing them the different collections and handled the initial sales orders. It was funny because mom told me I knew more about the papers/collections than she did. It melted my heart.
Graphic45 Booth 2009. Orlando, Florida
Vintage Metal Plane. 3.5 foot. Decoupaged in paper.
This was the dress form I made for this show, it is the smallest one I had created. It showcased the Domestic Goddess (discontinued) collection.
The wrap up of the first show that I worked with Graphic45. I will never forget this day as it also when I got to meet my bestie, Michelle Vocke in person.
The original Graphic 45 design team.
Other projects made that year:
Hallowe'en in Wonderland – DCE will be back in stock Late August.
Winter 2010. Anaheim, California.
This is where the true steampunk began….
This was my first official Steampunk dress form. It was featured that year in a Stampington publication, Somerset Home. This was my first time of being published and working in the Graphic 45 booth was all so exciting. When the show ended and headed out to the lobby as they were rolling up the showroom floor, I literally fell to my knees in tears because of the whole experience.
Summer 2010. Rosemont, Chicago.
This show my ex-husband and I dressed in full Steampunk gear while we worked in the booth. This is my mini-me, she was made to look like my outfit.
Winter 2011. Los Angeles, California.
This was the largest dress I had made to date at nearly 4ft tall and took about 60 hours to create. It is one of my all-time favorites and lives with Melissa Forsythe, formerly of The Rubber Café.
Other projects made for the booth:
Summer 2011. Rosemont, Chicago.
Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz. The album that is in front was one of the workshops I taught in Australia in August 2011. She lives at the home of my best friend, Michelle Vocke.
This was the first official Graphic45 class that I taught in my hometown that same year:
Winter 2012. Anaheim, California.
I loved doing this little dress, lots of layers, details, and flowers that went with the booth and the Graphic 45 ladies.
Summer 2012. Rosemont, Chicago.
This little cutie went home with my super fan, Jewel Lee. Thank you, girl, for making me feel so special.
Winter 2013. Anaheim, California.
This dress is the first true mixed media dress form that I had made for the shows. I wanted to showcase how you could use bits and pieces of everything along with the beautiful Graphic45 paper collections. Lots of findings and baubles on this one. It included my signature chipboard wings that I will be producing again this year.
Summer 2013. Las Vegas, Nevada.
This was a completely new body style of dress form to work with. It was quite challenging. I decided to paint it black to showcase the papers and the details and make a bit different then what I normally do.
Winter 2015. CHA MEGA SHOW. Anaheim, California.
This was the first year that the show name was changed to the CHA Mega Show celebrating 75 years.
Winter 2016. CHA MEGA SHOW. Anaheim, California.
I changed it up quite a bit for this show, I love and collect old vintage clothes patterns and often include them in my work. I decoupaged the body of the form, then added it as part of the dress along with the Graphic45 pattern. Added buttons and May Arts and viola!
Winter 2017. Phoenix, Arizona.
This was my first full size dress form, she was over 5 ft. tall for the show. She was so fun to make but wow a lot of hours it took to create her, nearly 100. This dress form is an award winner.
Winter 2018. Phoenix, Arizona.
So how do I top last years full size dress? Cut her in half and make her a fairy! This is a half mannequin.
This brings us to the end of the dress form journey until January 2019. I have been truly blessed to not only work with this company but to feel like I am part of the Graphic 45 family. This is my G45 mom and my sisters, thank you for always believing in me and supporting me every step of the way. I love you with all my heart and hope to continue to make a dress form every year going forward. It has been an amazing journey that I have been given. I am truly humbled.
Wow! We want to extend our deepest gratitude to Candy for sharing your story and all these amazing dress forms, each one is unique and amazing. We hope you join us in the comments below with your own story and thanks. Be sure to get your paper stash and scissors out this weekend and try something new. As always, thank you for joining us and…