Ranger U 2012 Graduate!

That’s me – now a part of the most recent class of Ranger U graduates!! It is an education program for store owners, teachers, and more – one that you have to apply for months in advance (and then cross fingers) and that is filled with an incredible mix of people. From local store owners to designers, buyers for major retail chains to instructors – everyone is unique and it is very much an international affair! We were given LOADS of information and instruction – which of course I’m now welcome + encouraged to share. If interested, you can find out more about the program here.

It was a phenomenal event put on by all of the wonderful people of Ranger. From the Ranger employees who kept things running so smoothly to Mario who was busy working and keeping us all well fed to the instructors and more. Incredible.

I went in not too sure what it’d be learning exactly, or how it would work precisely. It was NONSTOP create. learn. ask questions. eat. learn more. go. go. go. Most importantly, it was incredibly positive.

I couldn’t help having a donut each morning (we don’t have Dunkin’ donuts here, nor do I eat donuts at home EVER!) You’ll see some of my donuts in the video below. I thought sharing a video would be the best way to share the photos I took of the event. I didn’t take NEARLY as many as I thought, nor did I catch everyone I wanted to. I even forgot to take a photo with Tim!

Here’s a video of my photos…

[link to youtube]

Some random Ranger U notes:

> Walking over to Ranger U from the hotel, I never knew who was going to pick me up! Some days it was Mr. Tim Holtz himself. Or Mario, or Alain (owner of Ranger) – seriously awesome how hard these guys worked!

> the Men in Black donuts (seen in video and above) with secret chocolate filling were fabulous.

> Everyone picks the seats in the back! I didn’t want to be the girl who ran up and sat in the front… but that’s the seat nobody seemed to want and so I finally took it. I consider it a score! It was great.

> I had a great time getting to know people I’d never met before. I spent most of the weekend with people I’d never been in the same room with, very few whom I even knew of prior to this event.

> Taking a class from Dyan Reaveley is all I hoped it would be. The woman is known for her bright color – and her personality matches that. She’s such an inspiration – I’m glad to know her a bit better now.

> Alcohol Ink use is about commitment. I haven’t been aggressive enough. I will explain later.

> Claudine Hellmuth is adorable + I love her products and have a few new tricks for them now. yay!

> Walking around THE Ranger facility and seeing where all my favorite beloved products are made… serious crafty wonka-land. We got to pluck a stickles bottle right off the line, and as we were ending our tour got to do the same with the NEW distress ink set. Oh my… that was a moment. Of course I wanted to grab the distress ink stickers (lid labels) and slap them on myself. I had to hold my own hands to prevent myself from touching everything. Also hard to resist not fondling product on warehouse shelves and running around like a giddy kid. I’m proud of my self control.

> I wrote 30 pages worth of possible sketches, ideas, and more on my flight home. Ideas to share with all of you.

My final note is that I’ve concluded that I need a Tim Holtz app (like Siri, but SO much better) on my phone. After 3 solid days of creating with Mr. Holtz right over my shoulder, I missed him tremendously yesterday! Not just his great personality – but his deep understanding of the products + techniques of Ranger products. I kept having questions yesterday as I tried some things here in real life… and I kept looking up to ask only to remember I’m HOME NOW. No Tim in the room. Darn! I’ve worked out my own answers of course, but Ranger U was an experience that I won’t forget.

80+ techniques and possibilities and very dirty hands and a full brain later… wow. Thank you to everyone who helped make it an incredible event – and a shout out to the bloggers I met (and have blog addys for)!

Kaz, Kate, Neil, Charlie, and Chelle were all in class with me and are totally awesome. I know other Ranger U-ers have blogs but I don’t have the addys! I need to look into finding them. Ok, so other Ranger U related blogs to check out – Dyan, Tim, Claudine, and Ranger. In fact right now featured on the Ranger site there’s a video [youtube link] to Distress Markers with Tim that is a lesson he taught us in class.

I will share about my NYC day, some of my other notes, and of course you can expect some MAJOR technique explorations and teachings from me for many months (years?) to come.

It’s good to be home – and it’s time to figure out how to put what I learned into use with what I do…

11 thoughts on “Ranger U 2012 Graduate!”

  1. This is a great review of an amazing time! I wish I could attend as it sounds incredible – all the tutors give so much, time expertise etc etc. Thanks for sharing your story. I’m off to watch your photos – and listen to Wham – again!!

  2. Great video crazy May
    You made Ranger U come to life and your music selection is outstanding!
    Bless your heart for sharing with the rest of us!

  3. May, it sounds like you had an absolutely fabulous time. I am delighted to hear that you learned so much because that means you will be passing it on to us. I can imagine that you have been in your craft room nonstop since you returned home. I know I would be. Btw I love the canvas you did. Really cool.

  4. It looks like a truly inspiring experience. I can’t wait to see what you do with the alcohol inks. Thanks for sharing with us.

  5. Hiya, was great to meet you and share this awesome experience with you! My brain is still spinning and just beginning to calm down to create, I just want to go back and do it all again! Looking forward to staying in touch!

  6. WOW! what a time you had – can’t wait to learn stuff from you, with a fab May spin on things! And I totally would’ve had a donut too… don’t usually eat them either, but sometimes a special trip requires you try everything 😉

  7. Thanks for the peek into your week at Ranger! It looks like you had a fabulous time. Can’t wait to see everything you have to share with us. I noticed the sample boards on the walls at Ranger. I would love to see a close up of all of these! I have a question for you….at about 1:25 into your video there is an awesome looking altered book…can you share more about it??

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