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Archive | May, 2010

Spring 2010 Mid-Release Products Report

It seems to me that the “mid-release” concept is a growing trend in scrapbooking. It used to be that most products were debuted at one of the trade shows before release. However in recent years, and 2010 in particular, I have seen a rise in items being released in the spring that were not shown at the winter CHA show back in January. These “mid-releases” are small offerings of a few select new goodies that we will see in stores long before the next trade show crush.

I find it delightful to discover these new treats from favorite companies, and today I’m going to share some of my picks from the crop of Spring 2010 mid-releases with you, as well as a few layouts.

American Crafts has several mid-releases that should be hitting stores any time now. Several new alphabet Thickers, some additional fabric paper, and additional colors of the very popular rose ribbon (from the Dear Lizzy line) so it will be available in six colors.

BasicGrey is jumping in with two new collections, Oliver and Olivia, to be released in June. The image below is the sneak peek shared on their website.

There’s also a whole new company on the scene called Echo Park Paper, and the product peek on their homepage is intriguing:

Pink Paislee has released a collection called Starlight that you will see featured in an upcoming article here on Scrapbook Update. The red, blues, and buttery yellows make a really nice subtle color palette for a variety of projects.

Teresa Collins has released Travel Ledger, a line that is neutral enough in color, and subtle enough in patterns, to be used for most any vacation scrapbooking.

Jenni Bowlin has debuted several new papers for her line as well as rub-ons, stickers, and a few other items. What I appreciate the most about Jenni’s new lines are that they seamlessly tie into her older product. Rather than becoming a whole new collection, these items will work with papers and stickers I have from a few years ago as well as they will with each other.

The bold yellows and reds in Jenni’s aptly named “Play Date” papers seem to be the perfect choice for summer, and I love that they are useful for any number of subject matters. I decided to try out some of the new products with some pony ride photos.

Supplies: Jenni Bowlin patterned paper, chipboard and sticker butterflies, journaling card, banner stickers, and coordinating core’dinations cardstock; Fiskars scallop border punch; Martha Stewart bakers twine; Scrapbook Adhesives by 3L EZ-Runner; Sakura pen; unknown thread

The new banner stickers and the butterfly shaped stickers are so much fun, and I’m glad to see this trend continuing. I am looking forward to utilizing the large butterfly rub-ons as well.

Another company with a stellar surprise is Cosmo Cricket, with the new collection called DeLovely. When I first saw the images of this on-line, I was thrilled! This bright aqua, pink, and yellow dominated line is just the thing for warm weather fun pages.

I tried out this new line with a new favorite photo taken outside our local fair. I think that mixing black, white, or some really dark colors that coordinate with a line help bring a better contrast and overall look to my projects. A very dark aqua or pink might be fun…in fact, I think I’ll have to try that!

Supplies: Cosmo Cricket patterned paper, 6×6 paper pad, Chipboard stickers, sticker sheet, alphabet stickers in pink and aqua, and flowered patterned paper (cut out flowers); American Crafts rose ribbon; unknown thread.

Visions of a pool, summer sunshine, popsicle eating, and general warm weather fun all come to mind when I view this line. I love how feminine it is while still being a rainbow of bold colors. You can expect to see more from me using this line for sure.

I’m looking forward to working more with these new products, as well as discovering more new favorites and enjoying my classic staple supplies as well.

(See something you like? Most of these products that I’ve mentioned today are available now in stores, and those that aren’t will be within a few weeks.)

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Paperclipping Roundtable #20: This Is Stacy

Paperclipping Roundtable #20 is available for listening!

The panel this week consisted of: me, Noell Hyman, Izzy Hyman, Stacy Julian, and Renee Pearson. We chatted about chronological scrapbooking and home party sales (and of course tons of other stuff).

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Show Notes:

The Panel:

Picks of the Week:

Other Links:

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Update on Spellbinders vs Quickutz

Recent activity in the patent infringement case that Spellbinders has filed against Quickutz indicates that the case isn’t likely to be decided any time soon, or even this year.

In January, Quickutz indicated in their court filing responded to Spellbinders’ suit that they intended to file with the US Patent & Trade Office asking for a re-evaluation of the original granting of the patent they are being sued for allegedly violating. This filing has now been accepted by the PTO, and on May 4th was assigned to an examiner by evaluation. No time frame is set for the completion of the re-examination process, which could be lengthy. If the patent were to ultimately be declared invalid, of course, then Quickutz cannot be sued for violating it. Continue Reading →

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What is the Cricut Circle?

And it is time for the summer madness to begin. Specifically, the latest viral marketing campaign for a new Cricut product.

Love or hate them and their products, you have to respect Provo Craft’s ability to build viral buzz in advance of new Cricut product introductions. (Although, in some cases, as with the Gypsy last year, this can have unintended consequences when the lack of details provided about the Gypsy in its campaign lead to a lot of consumer concerns about how it handled cartridges.)

Die cutting, both manual and electronic, is going to continue to be one of the most hotly contested product categories in the industry for the foreseeable future. So what is Cricut bringing to the battle at CHA Summer? I have no idea. But this splash screen is now up on their website at a subdomain called circle:

So, let the speculation begin…


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Fiskars Merging Distribution Centers in Mississippi

Fiskars announced Thursday that it is consolidating all of its warehouse and distribution operations for its Garden and School/Office/Craft divisions into a single new center in Southaven, Mississippi later this year.

Two warehouse/distribution facilities in Wisconsin will be closed to allow for the consolidation in Mississippi. The company’s Sauk City, WI facility will be closed by the end of 2010, and the Wausau, WI facility will close by May 2011. A total of 115 employees in the two locations were notified Thursday that they will be laid off due the facilities closing. Fiskars is offering severance packages and transition programs to the affected workers.

The merger of the distribution facilities is part of an ongoing effort by Fiskars to merge their Garden and School/Office/Craft divisions to maximize the efficiency of the company and improve its order fulfillment for its retail customers. The effort began last year when the business operations of the two divisions were moved into a single facility in Madison, WI.

The company will begin occupying a 260,000 square foot facility in Southaven, Mississippi in September 2010. The facility will host some light assembly and the distribution functions, employing 100 people in two shifts.

The Mississippi location was selected for the consolidated distribution center because of its proximity to serving Fiskars’ major retail accounts, which include Michaels (Dallas), Wal-mart (Arkansas), Home Depot (Atlanta), Lowe’s (North Carolina), and Office Depot (Florida).

“The new location is in closer proximity to many of our retail partners’ distribution centers allowing us to provide improved customer service,” Fiskars spokeswoman Julia Prohaska told Scrapbook Update. “The merging of our garden and craft distribution also allows us to combine orders in single shipments.”


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ANW/Crestwood Buys Creativity Inc. Scrapbook, Decor Brands

ANW/Crestwood, the parent company of brands such as Paper Adventures and TPC Studio, has announced that its deal to acquire most of Creativity Inc’s brands is now final. Creativity Inc. brands Westrim Crafts, Autumn Leaves, DMD, Crop in Style, Hip in a Hurry, Room Relish and Paper Bliss are all now a part of ANW/Crestwood.

Creativity Inc. had previously announced in February that it was selling its scrapbooking brands and its Hip In A Hurry brand to ANW/Crestwood. Shortly before that announcement, Creativity Inc. was seen clearing out the remaining inventory for those brands at CHA Winter 2010 and had indicated to Scrapbook Update it planned to shelve the brands.

Creativity Inc. is retaining the rapidly-growing Blue Moon Beads brand.

At ANW/Crestwood, the Paper Bliss brand will become part of the TPC Studio product group. The rest of the newly acquired Creativity Inc. brands will be made into a new ANW/Crestwood unit called CreativityWorks. This unit will be based in the Los Angeles area and will operate in parallel to the company’s existing consumer units, TPC Studio and The Paper Company. Executive Vice President Nick Lazarou and Vice President Abbey Blaszczyk will run CreativityWorks for ANW/Crestwood.

For 2010, an agreement between the two companies will have product shipping continue out of the Creativity Inc. location in Van Nuys, CA. By the end of the year, however, ANW/Crestwood anticipates consolidating shipping for all of its units in one location. CreativityWorks will continue to operate a Hong Kong procurement office as Creativity Inc. has historically done for the purchased brands.

In a statement, ANW/Crestwood President and Co-CEO Mark Caliguire said, “We have acquired a business with a long history in the craft market, with brands that have been mainstays for years, but more importantly, this new company is comprised of a group of people with energy, creativity, product knowledge and a desire to continue to broaden into a number of new markets while expanding our core craft business”. He added, “I am excited about the sourcing expertise we have acquired and how well this will integrate into our current product teams.”

EVP Nick Lazarou stated, “The owners of ANW/Crestwood bring a new commitment to energizing this business. We have been given the green light to take this to another level with the commitment of the financial and creative resources necessary to make CreativityWorks a consumer products company to be reckoned with.”

Added VP Abbey Blaszczyk, “We have been working on designs, licenses and sales strategies to execute in anticipation of the finalization of this deal, and we are ready to hit the ground running with numerous product presentations in an array of consumer retail channels”.

ANW/Crestwood has a large booth (#1623) reserved for CHA Summer 2010 in Chicago.

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