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Archive | June, 2010

Papercrafters and Altered Arts

Today’s guest blogger is Scrapbook Update reader Ibis Arrastia.

Ibis Arrastia is a scrapbook layout and altered art enthusiast who enjoys teaching new techniques and designing projects that have an element of texture through inking, embossing, adding fibers or embellishments. She is heavily involved in local civic organizations dedicated to promoting crafting and creativity through workshops and community events. To learn more about Ibis, visit her blog.

Papercrafters are relishing in the excitement of new and exciting projects through the world of altered arts. Whether it’s home decor, gift, or found antique items, altered arts projects are a great way to use one’s papercrafting techniques and products in a fun and new way. There is so much that you can do. It’s just limited by your creativity.

There are very few rules in altered art. All you need is an object of some kind, and your papercraft supplies. This object can be just about anything. Try transforming a vase, a pillar candle, a picture frame, a candy tin, or any other item into something of your own design. There is no limit to what you can do.

The results may surprise and delight you. Once you add your own style and techniques you transform an item into something unique and often simply fabulous! You are free to express your personal creativity and represent that in an altered arts project all your own.

I recently had the pleasure of redecorating a room using altered arts. I found some patterned paper that matched my accent wall color and used it, along with some lace ribbon and some bling, to alter a vase, my sconces, and a blank canvas. With just supplies that I had at hand, I was able to redecorate without spending any money! And the best part is that next month I can change my mind and redecorate again!

There are just a few tips to keep in mind when working on altered arts projects: Use strong liquid glue to create a longer lasting bond, even if your supplies already come with adhesive backing. If your item will sit by a window or be exposed to much sunlight, consider spraying it with a UV protective sealer. Buy multiple sheets of your favorite paper designs so you have enough for large projects, or multiple coordinating projects.

Consider an altered art project when designing your next project, class, or event. It is a great way to combine the papercrafting skills you already have, with a fresh new item you may have never worked with. You may be surprised with how much fun you will have!

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A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to My Perfect Life…

Today Scrapbook Update welcomes the return of Tami Morrison as guest blogger. In today’s post, Tami reminds us what an important tool that humor is in coping with life, and shares how to put that perspective in our scrapbooking as well.

Tami Morrison is a mom of four who lives and laughs in Orange County, California. She is a member of the Ella Friends team at Ella Publishing and an instructor at Big Picture Scrapbooking. Her latest BPS workshop, Kidding Around: A Mom and Me Scrapbooking Escapade, is full of summer scrapbooking fun for kids of all ages, and is open for registration now.

Tami blogs at http://bcre8uv.typepad.com and tweets at http://twitter.com/bcre8uv.

As Dr. Seuss once penned, “Funny things are everywhere.” The famed whimsical writer also said, “Humor has a tremendous place in this sordid world. It’s more than just a matter of laughing. If you can see things out of whack, then you can see how things can be in whack.”

Things don’t always go as planned, or meet our sometimes unrealistic expectations. I am a big believer in using humor to get over life’s little (and big) hurdles, and I am also a big believer in letting my scrapbook pages reflect this part of my personality. I routinely laugh at myself, my kids, and my assorted daily predicaments, so why not lighten up and scrapbook these experiences with the same authentic levity?

Whether I’m telling the tale of my oldest daughter running out of gas…

…or recounting my little one’s cheekiness:

humor helps put it all into perspective.

Some situations are inherently comical…

…and sometimes we have to hunt for the humor in the stuff that would otherwise drive us nuts.

Either way, becoming the comedy writer of our own life can be the key to turning frustration into appreciation for our unique experiences, and coping with the curveballs life tends to throw.

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Jo-Ann Stores To Exhibit At CHA Summer Craft Supershow

The Craft & Hobby Association announced this week that Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores will be exhibiting at the CHA Craft Supershow in Rosemont, IL next month.

Jo-Ann Stores joins other big-box stores Michaels and Archivers in attending the Supershow in Rosemont. The company will occupy a 40 x 50 foot space at the show that will includes inspirational craft ideas and make-n-take projects.

“As more people discover the joy and creativity of sewing and crafting, Jo-Ann is especially pleased to be part of the upcoming CHA Shows in Rosemont,” explained Riddi Kline, senior vice president, marketing, Jo-Ann Stores, Inc. “The CHA Craft SuperShow is in line with our own goals of providing consumers with a wide array of fabrics, sewing, and crafting supplies, while inspiring customers with knowledge, helpful service and value. The Show will help us better understand how to inspire our customers as they interact with various products.”

The CHA Craft Supershow will take place at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, IL on July 30-31st, 2010.

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Paperclipping Roundtable #24: I Did It But I Hid It

I sadly had to miss the Roundtable this week for personal reasons, but the discussion was all about journaling and Scrapbook Update’s own May Flaum sat in!

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Show Notes:

This episode of Roundtable is sponsored by Big Picture Scrapbooking! Click here for a promo code for Paperclipping Roundtable listeners to use to save 10% on any class at Big Picture Scrapbooking!

The Panel

Picks of the Week

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Sandylion sold to Trends International

It was announced Monday that Markham, Ontario-based Sandylion Sticker Designs has been sold to Trends International, a Mississauga, Ontario-based firm that specializes in licensed consumer products.

Both companies have been active in the licensed products market, and some of their licenses actually overlap, such as Canadian Olympic Team and the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, Spiderman, The Last Airbender (an upcoming movie), Disney, and Urban Vocab (a graffiti artist).

Sandylion Sticker Designs was founded in 1982. Their packaged stickers (marketed recently as the “Essentials” line) were an industry staple at the start of the scrapbook boom ten to twelve years ago. They later introduced full scrapbooking collections but in recent product cycles had greatly thinned their offerings to focus mostly on their licensed lines featuring characters from companies like Nickelodeon, Sesame Street, and Disney.

The company had shown signs of distress for some time. At CHA Summer 2009, Sandylion was using what it called an eco-friendly booth that seemed also a likely economizing move, given its simplicity and extremely light weight. One of its key product promotions at that show was also a 3D line of papers in conjunction with the Toy Story 3 movie – an odd choice seeing as how the movie didn’t come out until Summer 2010. The company had also switched from offering open-stock paper lines to selling paper in pads, limiting their number of SKUs.

Trends International was founded in 1987 and according to a recent press release has products in 10,000 retail locations. The company has offices in Mississauga, Ontario and Indianapolis, IN. It produces a wide variety of licensed consumer products, including posters, stickers, calendars, coloring kits and stationery. In additional to traditional printed items, Trends International also produces some licensed 3D effect printed items, such as calendars and posters. Major licenses that they hold include Disney, Marvel, Nickelodeon, MLB, NBA, NHL and NFL. Their home page currently features a banner promoting their licensed products for the upcoming Toy Story 3 movie.

In April, Trends International announced the launch of a brand called Sticker Xpress, which it described as “a brand-new comprehensive lineup of Sticker and Sticker Activity products.”

A rep for Trends International told Scrapbook Update that Trends will continue to market products under the Sandylion brand name, and that the company will “continue to develop new licensed SKU’s for the scrapbook market.”

Although both companies have exhibited at CHA in the past, neither company is listed as an exhibitor for the upcoming CHA Summer 2010 show in Chicago.


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Boutique Shop Embellishments

A growing force in the scrapbook industry, small boutique shops are opening up and adding new shopping choices all the time. Instead of creating a company that sells on a larger scale wholesale to other shops, they are making scrapbook supplies to sell direct to consumers. These aren’t companies you’ll usually find in your local craft store or favorite on-line shop, but rather small independent companies. These are women (and some men, I’m sure) who are creating treasures every day.

Some have their own websites, while others rely on sites like Etsy to host their stores, but they all have one thing in common: they’re little on-line shops making things for us scrapbookers to use in our pages and projects. With the rise of the internet and sites like www.etsy.com, it’s become easy not only to set up shop, but to find great things on-line. Today I’d like to share some lovely bits and pieces that I’ve found in my searches over the last few weeks.

At $5 for a set of six, I find these pastel crepe paper flowers from the Shabby Pea Designs shop tempting.  The shop has an eclectic mix of handmade embellishments, plus a few other treats as well.

The Crescendoh shop has all kinds of stamps, kits, and special supplies designed to bring out the inner artist in you. This set of stamps in particular caught my attention, and I know I’ll be back to browse more.

FuDi crochet is tempting me with a number of handcrafted flowers and crocheted shapes. These flowers, just $1.99 are one of many items I’m considering adding to my stash.

I have been addicted to Evalicious ever since discovering her shop via Ali Edwards’ blog a few years ago. I love the dictionary paper + button flowers and her felt circles with buttons so much. I use them frequently!

I’ve ordered from Tessa Ann before, and many times I’ve browsed her shop and sighed with longing. The buttons she creates are truly little works of art! This camper set sells for $6.50, and she will also do custom batches of buttons to order – a great thing for sure!

Pretty Little Studio is a shop I’ve been sucked into – and can’t stop looking! Filled with vintage inspired flashcards (image shown is part of a set - $5.99) and other paper goodies, it’s heaven.

Sweet Vintage 78 is based out of Australia, and the shop is filled with lovely things, including this trio of doilies that are available for $2.75. I really like that she cuts and custom dies these from vintage tablecloths, and that she lists ideas and notes that they are colorsafe.

These rosette flowers in the Sugared Songbird shop are lovely, but at $5 each I would be more inclined to choose them for a very special project like mini-book cover or photo frame that will be prominently displayed.

Those are just a few of the shops out there, and some of my favorites (including shops like Elle’s Studio, Ormolu, and Shabby Chic Crafts) I didn’t even get to! When looking to buy things for yourself I have a few suggestions:

  • Get a recommendation from someone who’s ordered with them before, or if it’s an Etsy shop, view their rating to see if customers are satisfied with purchases from them.
  • Read the fine print! That bargain lace that you’re buying might only be 1/2″ wide, or 1/2 a yard long, thus making it not quite such a bargain. Know exactly what (and what size) you’re buying.
  • Search! Just type in some key words (on Etsy search) and you’ll be amazed at all the treasure you can find based on what you’re looking for.
  • Check and see if the shop will do custom orders. Sometimes small boutiques will let you mix & match pieces, or will custom create things to your needs. This can get you exactly what you desire, and most do not charge extra for such a service.

Above all, enjoy! It’s a beautiful thing that thanks to the internet we’re able to enjoy the work of so many creative people in this way. I’ve only scratched the surface with this article – I won’t even get into finished art pieces, sewn treasures, jewelry, kits and supplies, and all the other goodness that is out there waiting for my wallet to find the money for!

If you have a favorite shop or site for boutique supplies, please feel free to leave a comment here on this post to share with the rest of us. After all – enabling others is the best part of finding new goodies.

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