It’s time to finish out Scrapbook Update’s CHA Top Ten Hot Picks list!
To see all the hot picks posted so far, visit this link. I’ll also publish a summary list for easy reference after this article goes up.
So here, last but not least, is the final hot pick for CHA Summer 2013 (aka Create-n-Connect)…
As time passes after a show, you get perspective on what you saw on the show floor. The reality distortion field fades, the blinding glare of “shiny and new” goes away, and you start to look with a more practical eye at what you’ve seen.
It’s under that practical gaze, the one that looks at what is eminently usable from the new products as you are filling your own shopping cart, that the CHA Summer 2013 products from sister companies Echo Park and Carta Bella stand out.
So let’s start with the Echo Park offerings…
First up, Echo Park added to their collection of Mini Themes, with several more designs in the bright and cheery style they are known for:
They’ve also expanded their Photo Freedom pocket scrapbooking line of products, with Photo Freedom II, which released in July and followed the style and color palette of the original Photo Freedom:
There’s also another new kit that is dually themed for fall/thanksgiving, as well as a wedding kit (not pictured).
Echo Park hasn’t historically done vintage that often, but when they do, they do it amazingly well. This makes them somewhat unique in the industry, having the ability to span a huge range of styles and doing it as well as they do. It’s rare to be able to do such a wide range so well.
At Create-n-Connect in Las Vegas, Echo Park has really dived headlong into vintage in a way that they haven’t before. It starts with their Photo Freedom licensed lines, from two companies that are well-known for their signature vintage styles: Graphic45 and Jenni Bowlin.
But where they really let their vintage side shine is in the new collection from the fabulous Lori Whitlock.
“Reflections” is a triple collection that covers the fall/winter holidays, as well as an all-purpose collection of wonderful classic vintage looks.
The all-purpose collection, called just “Reflections” features a dozen double-sided papers as well as six solids, and includes two sticker sheets along with brads and chipboard accents. By Echo Park standards, this is an extremely large collection – but is so gorgeous it still leaves you wanting more.
“Reflections: Fall” is the sub-version of the collection themed for fall and the fall holidays. In lovely autumn shades of gold and brown, the collection features acorns, foliage, plaid and other seasonal looks on its six double-sided patterned papers.
“Reflections: Christmas” is a slightly non-traditional vintage spin on Christmas, including maps, and a slightly turquoise shade of green alongside more traditional elements like sheet music, holly, and nordic snowflakes. This, again, is a large collection with a dozen double-sided patterned papers and six solids, along with brads, chipboards, and stickers.
As always, the brads with the new collections prove that Echo Park does brads better than almost anyone in the industry. The attention to detail in the designs is stunning.
But Echo Park wasn’t content to stop with one beautiful Christmas collection – they decided to put out two! The second is by Cassandra Cooper, and is called “Tis the Season”. This collection is more contemporary and trendy than “Reflections”, with a gray-infused color palette and touches of chalkboard effect and icons such as scottie dogs. It’s the perfect balance to the vintage of “Reflections” in their offerings.
After all that, we must be done with the booth, right? Wrong. Because they also squeezed in some offerings from Carta Bella Paper Company, Echo Park’s sister company, all from well-known industry designers.
Samantha Walker designed a boy-themed line called “Rough & Tumble”. It was interesting to me to see this one branded as Carta Bella because to me it seemed much more in line with Echo Park’s signature look than the more romantic look that has been Carta Bella’s brand. But whatever brand is on it, this fabulous collection from stalwart designer Walker is sure to fly off shelves. This was another large collection, with a dozen double-sided patterned papers, stickers, and chipboard.
Next up is “Happy Haunting” by Deena Rutter. This mini collection is a good solid basic Halloween collection with six double-sided papers that will serve uses for everything from party decorations to scrapbooking your spooky fun times on the day itself. Notable is how toned down the spook is compared to a lot of recent Halloween collections…this collection is largely suitable for using for layouts with small children or for those for whom the holiday is more about candy than creep.
As if two lovely Christmas collections under the corporate roof weren’t enough, Carta Bella has a third one to add – “So This Is Christmas” by Carina Gardner. This very traditional collection features saturated, rich colors, traditional icons like trees and Santa, and just a touch of some trendy colors like light blue and kraft. Twelve double-sided patterned papers will give enough designs for even the largest holiday projects!
For a company to release this much product, and have it all be practical and fundamentally usable (instead of just pretty to look at), is an incredible achievement. Echo Park and its sister Carta Bella definitely deserve a good hard look this time around, especially for their holiday releases!
Don’t forget! Today (Friday) is the last day to get in on the Silhouette promotion!
Get this great promotion on the stamp kit bundled with the Silhouette Cameo and Portrait machines, when you use our code UPDATE. These are great deals you can’t get anywhere else!