Melissa’s CHA Winter 2012 Sneak Peek Picks

We’re mere days away from the start of the crazy, fun, gorgeous, inspiring event that is the Craft and Hobby Association’s semi-annual trade show, and the sneak peeks of all the upcoming new products have been pouring in faster than my fingers can enter them into Scrapbook Update’s CHA Winter 2012 Sneak Peeks page! One of the great things about having the task of keeping up with the new releases this season is that it’s literally my job to look through page after page of lovely new products.

Of course, I’ve developed some favorites as I’ve been browsing around, and when I really like something I find it hard to keep it to myself. I’ve compiled a list (in no particular order) of the items that I’m most excited to see in person at the show, and since a list like that is absolutely useless without pictures, I’ve pulled together plenty of eye candy to go along with it! So sit back, relax, grab a cup of tea (and maybe a notebook to jot down any of your favorites, as well), and let’s take a tour of what I think will be some of the hottest items at the show.

Rhonna Farrer’s gorgeous Follow Your Heart collection from My Mind’s Eye is filled with so many of my very favorite things. Kraft accents, hexagons and honeycombs (those are everywhere again this season), and a stunning aqua and yellow color palette are the key components in the “Be Amazing” portion of the line, while the “Be Happy” side of the collection trends towards pinks and pastels. One of the best parts of this line? Rhonna’s signature attention to detail is on display in everything from the papers to the embellishments!

With Buttercup, Lily Bee Design has taken a similar aqua and grey color palette and spun it into a warm, inviting line that has a decidedly quilt-like feel to it. The small, tight patterns make these papers versatile and easy to use for so many different types of pages and projects. And of course Lily Bee has included their signature grid paper in coordinating colors along with their standard element and letter stickers- their tiny alphas are some of my favorite letter stickers in the industry!

I’m nearly at a loss for words as to how to describe just how much I love everything in all three of Studio Calico’s new releases. They’ve taken color, style, and design to an entirely new level, and it’s my opinion that with this release they’ve truly solidified their position as an industry leader. Take, for instance, the Take Note line. I’ve never seen a set of papers that’s so versatile in a single collection – they took that awesome eclectic mix that they put into every kit on the kit club side of the business and made it into a paper line. And those woodgrain butterfly stickers make my heart go aflutter!

Studio Calico’s Abroad collection is the perfect travel line: varied colors, amazing prints and patterns, and to top it all off it coordinates beautifully with many of their older releases such as Documentary. It’s also apparent in this line that Studio Calico is already benefitting from their new partnership with American Crafts. They’ve greatly expanded their line of embellishments, adding items like Thickers (I adore that map design), small alphas, and decorative tapes to the mix.

How does a company follow up a smash hit like the original Classic Calico line? You make a sequel, called Classic Calico Vol. 2! This set of nine new papers and coordinating masks and Mister Hueys features trendy patterns in a subtle kraft, cream, and gray color scheme.

Pink Paislee is known for their luxurious designs, and their new Spring Jubilee collection (licensed from House of 3) is no exception. This line features a perfectly bright, bold spring palette and includes a stamp set and some new embellishments to the Pink Paislee family: layered tags and flash cards! I am on Pink Paislee’s creative team, but even if I wasn’t this line would still definitely end up in my shopping cart!

Keeping with tradition, October Afternoon has offered only small teaser images of their upcoming collections. They still have me hooked, though! 9 to 5 looks like it will offer some great office supply themed product (I’m hoping for lots of grid papers), and Woodland Park had me at the first sight of those little peacock embellishments!

The Sunday Picnic line from Webster’s Pages pulled me in immediately with all those bright, fun colors, but what I love even more is that Webster’s is now offering a companion Clean and Simple line with each of their new collections. They are of course also releasing coordinating embellishments and trim in their signature heavily-detailed style.

The Fabrications collection by Teresa Collins is an excellent example of something that I’ve noticed again and again while looking at all of the new releases – many designers and manufacturers are returning to the use of smaller prints and more classic patterns on the front sides of the papers and not just the back (I know I’m not the only B-side scrapper out there). I, for one, am glad to see this return to more versatile designs and hope that it continues!

Long known for it’s vintage loveliness, Crate Paper doesn’t disappoint with their upcoming Pretty Party line. While at first glance this may look like a strictly girls’ line, many of the patterns when used individually could serve for any number of subjects. Crate is another manufacturer that is reaping the benefits of being part of the American Crafts family, and they’ve added several new types of embellishments including decorative tape to their lineup this season.

Hambly Screen Prints is debuting several new patterns and a new coral ink at this CHA show. Once again this company is right on trend with their honeycomb print (note the lattices and chevrons inside the hexagons) and their inclusion of maps and travel icons.

The title of “Company That Most Surprised Me” at this show goes to Making Memories. My jaw nearly hit the desk when I saw the gorgeous floral embellishments in their new Modern Millinery line. For a company that many nearly wrote off after the last show, they’ve certainly come back with a strong offering for this season! I’m loving the unusual pairing of aqua and plum in this collection, and I can’t wait to get my hands on all the sparkly bits and baubles that go along with it.

Speaking of bits and baubles, Donna Downey has designed another round of Sculpture Flowers for Prima. I loved these embellishments from her last line and look forward to picking these up on a future shopping trip, as well!

Sketchbook is Amy Tan’s much-anticipated second signature line with American Crafts. The papers and embellishments themselves are painted in soothing and engaging watercolors, but what really caught my eye was the camera print 12×12 D-ring album! I’ve been searching for the perfect home for my Project Life album this year, and I’ve definitely found it here! You can bet that as soon as it’s available I’ll be picking up one…or three!

American Crafts has also added to their wildly popular line of Thickers alphabet stickers with a new DIY version. Yes, that’s right! These new Thickers feature a strong adhesive on the face of the letter that can hold flocking powder, microbeads, glitter, and a host of other color mediums. No longer do you have to worry about running out of all the e‘s in a certain color, since DIY Thickers are available in all of American Crafts’ most popular fonts. When you run out of a letter you can simply open another pack and color away!

I’ve saved some of the best for last (though, again, this list is not in any particular order). Tim Holtz has already peeked his amazing range of new releases, and I had an instant case of the “I Must Have Its” the second I laid eyes on that awesome Honeycomb Texture Fade from his signature line with Sizzix. The same thing happened a few days later when he unveiled a set of Stamper’s Anonymous background stamps containing a coordinating hexagonal pattern. I must have both of these items!

I’m also very, very intrigued by Tim’s new Distress Markers by Ranger. These promise all kinds of new detail options when working with his incredibly popular Distress Inks, and I’m hoping to catch a demo of him using them while I’m at the show next week.

Spellbinders rounds out my list with one of their new products that will be officially debuting at the show: M-Bossabilities embossing plates. These double-sided metal plates remind me very much of Papertrey Ink’s Impression Plates, but at $7.00 US MSRP Spellbinders’ version is about half the cost of the Papertrey option! You may recall my review of the Papertrey Ink plates as letterpress tools last fall, and I’m betting that the Spellbinders plates can do the same thing. I intend to find out at the show!


There’s a lot to look forward to from the upcoming manufacturer releases this season! Be sure to stay tuned to Scrapbook Update throughout and after the show for in-depth coverage of this exciting event! We’ll have four reporters who will be posting reports live from the show floor multiple times per day, so make sure to stop by and get all the latest Updates!

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10 Responses to Melissa’s CHA Winter 2012 Sneak Peek Picks

  1. Heather Carter Leopard January 26, 2012 at 5:00 pm #

    Great round-up, Melissa! I can’t wait to get my hands on the new collections!!!

  2. Carol Douglass January 26, 2012 at 5:10 pm #

    That was an awesome report….like giving a drink to an alcoholic. LOL

  3. Bunnyfreak January 26, 2012 at 5:29 pm #

    If you catch Tim demoing the markers be sure to share what you learn here.

  4. Ruth G January 26, 2012 at 8:16 pm #

    I agree with you on many levels but especially with how amazing the Making Memories collection is! I’m lusting after those embellishments like nobody’s business!!! TFS!

  5. KateT January 27, 2012 at 5:48 am #

    I’m salivating over the idea that we might be able to colour stamped images (like Magnolia) with the new Distress Pens, as we currently do with distress inks/re-inkers. Please find out how well they work and report back for us!!!!

    ** Kate **

  6. Mary January 27, 2012 at 11:13 am #

    Welcome back making memories!! This line is SMORGEOUS!!

  7. Kelly L January 27, 2012 at 9:13 pm #

    Love the camera print 12 x 12 album! I want one!! The DIY alphas are a great idea!

  8. Diana Daijogo January 28, 2012 at 10:53 am #

    Thanks for a FABULOUS review! You picked all of my favorite peeks!! Can’t wait to pick up all this YUMMINESS!!

  9. Patti C January 28, 2012 at 1:42 pm #

    All these are just beautiful! Thx for sharing.

  10. PjP January 31, 2012 at 7:19 pm #

    “Follow Your Heart” was the first sneak peak I saw this year. I’m a devoted fan of Rhonna’s work and I check her blog on a regular basis, so that’s where I caught my first glimpse of her new line for MME. It was love at first sight, of course! Despite having seen every sneak peak linked to SBU since then, and all of the updates from CHA since Sunday, I still have to say that “Follow Your Heart” is going to be the first new line I purchase this season, just because it’s the one I love the best. Keep on rockin’ Rhonna!

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