Archive | February 12, 2010

A Look At Elle’s Studio (And A Giveaway!)

‘Tis the season for love, and I’m happy to bring you a review of a lovely line of paper products that inspire love and happiness in my crafting.

Last year I discovered a shop called Elle’s Studio. They specialize in unique journaling papers, but also have digital files, stamps, mini papers, tags, and other sweet paper goods available. I have had excellent experience with the quality of their products and customer service, so when Elle asked me if I’d like to review their latest release here on Scrapbook Update, I accepted happily.

I always look forward to what they’ll release next, and this was no disappointment. This new release is focused heavily on love and Valentine’s, but what I really love is that so many of the products will translate to other subjects and multiple craft projects as well. They pulled in a lot of turquoise (2010’s hot color) to go along with the pinks and red, and I really like how playful and fun the line is.

Elle’s Studio releases product about four times a year, and have been in business since 2007 when Elle started the company. When asked about her company’s beginnings she said:

I couldn’t find special journaling papers for my layouts, so I started making my own. After making some for family and friends they started encouraging me to start selling them online. Over this last year we have expanded our lines to be complete lines with mini papers, die cuts, stamps and more!

I started out by making a fun wrapper for a chocolate bar. I wrapped a sheet of cut outs around the bar, then secured with a tulle bow and valentine tag. A quick way to make a little gift extra special.

Another fun item are these coupons, and can see so many uses for these from handwritten gift certificates to card insert to making a bouquet or arrangement full of them to give.

I taped a number of tags and things onto thin wood skewers and arranged them in a little cup. This idea would be wonderful to add into a fresh or silk flower arrangement as well. I can’t wait to fill out all the details and surprise a loved one.

Something I appreciate with the products is that they have some signature pieces like these flash cards that they release in new themes with each release. I also like how well their stamps and digital products coordinate and work with their paper products.

Beyond Valentines, this line will be quite useful in my everyday scrapbooking as well. I paired up some of the die cuts and papers with a border stamp in this layout.

I cut out a paper heart and placed it in the center of the page as a mask and spritzed glimmer mist before removing the heart. I also stamped one of the border stamps around the edge of my heart in addition to glittering the inner edge.

page supplies: Elle’s Studio paper, flashcardjournaling paper, and stamp; Core’dinations cardstock, Basic Grey bling, Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist, Martha Stewart Glitter and Butterfly Punch, Jenni Bowlin felt butterfly, K&Co brad

I hope you’ve enjoyed my look at this new release from Elle’s Studio. Something I really appreciate about this company is that they not only release cute products and have great service, but they are also active online. I follow their blog where you’ll find occasional free downloads and ideas galore. In addition to their main website, you can find Elle’s Studio on facebook, twitter, and etsy.

Want to try Elle’s Studio yourself? I have four cute items (pictured above) from this new release to give away right here!

To enter, just leave a comment on this entry before Midnight U.S. eastern time next Sunday night, February 14th. (Note: If you are reading this post via an email or RSS subscription, click on the title at the top of the post and it will take you to the giveaway post on the  Scrapbook Update website where you can fill out the comment form to enter.) Make sure you include your email address in the line reserved for it on the comment form (for your own protection, don’t put it in the body of the comment, where it will be visible to the public – just in the line labeled “email” in the form where only Scrapbook Update staff can see it). You will need it to verify your identity if you are a winner. One entry per person.

Good luck and Happy Valentine’s Day!

Top Ten Product Trends at CHA Winter 2010, Part 2

It’s time to look at part two of the top ten product trends from CHA Winter 2010! (In case you missed it, here’s part one.)

Please note that these trends are intended to take a look at the types of products that are being offered, not the specific design and style trends that were being applied to those products.

6. Fabric/Canvas

Top row, left-right: Studio Calico, Prima, Prima. Middle row (l-r): Adornit, BasicGrey, BasicGrey. Bottom row (l-r): Melody Ross for GCD Studios, Claudine Hellmuth Studio, Webster’s Pages.

Maybe it is a reflection of the homemade/vintage feeling that is sweeping scrapbooking, but a lot of CHA Winter products were created from textiles. Replacing the hard metal embellishments of a few years ago, fabric is both more versatile as a material and more affordable. There’s also less government regulation to worry about for manufacturers, such as issues created recently by the CPSIA.

Some fabric items, such as Donna Downey’s products for Prima, are a blank starting point for projects. Others, such as Studio Calico’s Fabrips borders, are full-featured embellishments designed to be incorporated into other projects.

7. Embossed Cardstock

Left-right: Jenni Bowlin Core’dinations, Bazzill, Tim Holtz Alterations.

Products that were either already embossed or for creating embossing are becoming quite common in the scrapbook market. All of the manual die cutting systems seem to offer embossing accessories, and Tim Holtz caused big buzz at CHA with his new Alterations embossing designs for the Sizzix machine. Many of the cardstock companies (like Bazzill and Core’dinations) seem to be entering a gray area between cardstock and patterned paper providers by branching into embossed designs. It’s also becoming more frequent for patterned paper companies to include embossed designs in their lines (K and Company has a long history of this, for instance).

8. Spray Ink/Mist

Left-right: Smooch Spritz, Inkadinkado, Chalkboard Glimmer Mist.

Ink of all kinds is a hot product right now. But spray ink, which has only recently gotten attention as a category, is the hottest of all the inks – attracting attention even from papercrafters who don’t own a single stamp. Tattered Angels offered up a big expansion of its Glimmer line at CHA Winter 2010 and many other companies also either offered the product for the first time or expanded existing offerings.

9. Fancy Buttons

Top: American Crafts Glitter Buttons. Bottom: Bazzill Vintage Buttons.

Buttons are back as part of the vintage trend, but with a twist from their classic scrapbooking incarnation. Instead of plain buttons we now have glitter buttons, textured buttons, and bling buttons. Gone are the days of companies selling color assortments of plain buttons to coordinate with their lines – now they must have extra detail of some kind. Offerings from companies like GCD Studios and Bazzill remind me so much of my grandmother’s button jar!

10: Die Cutting

Top row, left-right: Cottage Cutz, Sizzix eClips, Tim Holtz Alterations. Bottom row (l-r): Cricut Cake, Spellbinders, Craftwell eCraft.

At CHA Winter 2010, there was plenty of proof that lots of companies see both digital and manual die cutting as a viable market. Several new exhibitors were associated with die cutting, and some of the show’s biggest buzz was centered around the Cricut Cake machine. Besides the Cricut Cake, Sizzix and Craftwell also showed new electronic cutters, greatly expanding the options in that area for consumers. On the manual side, Cottage Cutz was exhibiting as an independent producer of dies, an indicator of the perceived strength in that market. Tim Holtz’s new collection of vintage style dies for Sizzix has potential to reach a new audience for their machine, which is known for a more graphic or cute style of design.