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CHA Mega Show 2015 | Scrapbook Update Top Ten Hot Picks

It’s that time again….CHA Top Ten Hot Picks!

So what, exactly, are the Hot Picks? The Hot Picks are the Scrapbook Update equivalent of a buzz report from the show. On this list, you’ll find the scrapbooking products that were most talked about among show attendees on and off the show floor in Anaheim. (My personal picks from the show will be featured in a separate article.)

Let’s get started! What were the Mega Show attendees buzzing about in Anaheim, and more importantly – why?

Ranger’s Tim Holtz Distress Color of the Month Program

Distress Color of the Month IMG_4717-EditRanger is releasing 12 new Tim Holtz Distress colors this year…but nobody knows what they are! The company is introducing a new program that will release one new color to the Distress line every month – but won’t announce the color until each month. Consensus on the show floor is that Ranger’s “kit club” approach to their release is brilliant. Instead of cherry picking their favorites from a huge new release twice a year and then ignoring the rest, consumers will be prompted to make a purchase each month, and speculation about what the color will be – and the announcement of it – will build marketing buzz. Retailers will be provided a sign to add a sticker of the new color to each month (pictured above), and the new releases come in a countertop display perfect for checkout sales. The first color release was Cracked Pistachio, signaling that perhaps the Distress palette will be getting a bit brighter in 2015.

Hero Arts

IMG_4738 IMG_4739Two completely separate products at Hero Arts were receiving a lot of word-of-mouth attention from show attendees. The first was the company’s new ombré ink pads. Ombré is really hot right now but really hard to create. These stamp pads are a shortcut to quick and easy ombré effects with small to medium sized stamps.

IMG_4743 IMG_4754New signature lines often attract a lot of buzz and Kelly Purkey’s new line with Hero Arts, Clearly Kelly, was attracting a lot of attention – especially since she has a proven history of designing products for retailer Simon Says Stamp. Clearly Kelly is clearly designed to appeal to pocket scrapbookers, and has a hip young vibe that is badly needed in the marketplace.

Marion Smith Designs Color Lab

IMG_4935 IMG_4937Do you have an inner chemist hiding alongside your inner scrapbooker? If so, you’ll love Marion Smith’s new Color Lab kit, which comes with  pigment powders, a measuring scoop, and recipes for mixing them to make an entire rainbow of spray mists. The kit will make a whole assortment of spray mists for the crafter willing to experiment with DIY color.

Simple Stories Life Documented Planner

IMG_4999IMG_4986Planners are hot, and none was hotter than the Simple Stories Life Documented one. I heard it mentioned over and over by show attendees, despite the fact that it wasn’t really “new”, having been previewed some time ago in preparation for the new year. Among the planner’s appealing features are its modular format – each section is sold as a unit so you can build a custom planner – and its coordinating collection of scrapbook supplies. Unfortunately, the collection got stuck on the dock in California for weeks due to a labor issue, but was cleared and arrived at the Simple Stories warehouse earlier this week to be shipped to stores.

Project Life Photo Sleeve Fuse

IMG_5122 IMG_5123Project Life has a new tool for modifying pocket page protectors. The Photo Sleeve Fuse has two uses. First, it can fuse extra pockets (sold separately, available as 3×4 or 4×6 sizes) onto your pocket page. The other use is to seal closed existing pockets, either to seal in contents (like glitter or other loose items) or to create a new edge after cutting a page protector to a custom size to hold a memorabilia item.

Minc by Heidi Swapp

IMG_5180 IMG_5181Another new tool in the American Crafts family of brands was the subject of a lot of buzz – the Minc machine from Heidi Swapp. The machine, which looks somewhat like a laminator, applies foil to anything that is printed with toner when a sheet is run through it. The technology the machine uses isn’t actually new but it being affordable and marketed to crafters is a new development. Heidi Swapp is selling pre-designed sheets to use with the machine and foil with the color of your choice, or the machine can be used with laser printer or copier prints.

Chameleon Markers

IMG_5370IMG_5369Alcohol markers, and the shaded look they create, are extremely popular with stampers. Unfortunately, the beautiful shading effect comes with a learning curve that is difficult for many to master. Chameleon introduced a self-shading marker at CHA that aims to make shading techniques easy and approachable for everyone. The technique works by touching the built-in blender to the marker tip before coloring. The color starts out light and then darkens as you color and the blender dissipates. If Chameleon is successful at getting scrapbookers who previously did not use alcohol markers to use their markers, it could create a trickle down effect to stamp companies as consumers buy stamps for coloring that they previously were not in the market for.

Ken Oliver Crafts

IMG_5511 IMG_5512Popular designer Ken Oliver was launching his new product line at the CHA Mega Show 2015, and received a lot of attention for his efforts. Hi lines showed the depth of his talent, ranging from bold watercolor florals to detailed vintage in a subtle color palette. In addition to papers, the lines featured clear stamps, snap together alphabet stamps, and ink pads. Ken also has a new adhesive product called Stick It.

Hazel & Ruby

IMG_5526 IMG_5531Everything Hazel & Ruby seems to do is hot! New paper designs – with foil – and washi were just some of their offerings in Anaheim gathering buzz. Getting the most attention was the wide washi options, big enough to use for home decor projects and covering albums. The wide chalkboard washi seemed to be the most popular new addition to the line, with show attendees buzzing about a wide variety of possible uses for it.

Create & Craft TV

IMG_8210 IMG_8211It’s not exactly a product, but it sells products. Create & Craft TV’s presence broadcasting live from the show floor, along with their recent U.S. channel launch, was quite possibly the hottest topic at the CHA Mega Show. Everyone wanted to see what they were doing, make contacts, and promote themselves or their product for future association with the channel.

19 Responses to CHA Mega Show 2015 | Scrapbook Update Top Ten Hot Picks

  1. gabmcann January 17, 2015 at 3:16 am #

    Great picks – thanks Nancy! I love the idea that Tim has with the one colour per month. And I really like the first colour. I’m also very excited about Kelly Purkey’s new line with Hero Arts. Thanks for your summary

  2. Cindy deRosier January 17, 2015 at 12:00 pm #

    Great picks! Releasing one ink shade a month is genius and I love the giant washi rolls.

  3. vintageplaid January 17, 2015 at 12:10 pm #

    As always, thanks for the great info! I am looking forward to reading your personal picks because I always like the things you recommend…costs me money (e.g. Burlap & Bouquets), but worth it!!
    It was nice to hear you on PRT this week also.

  4. Juli Wiley January 17, 2015 at 12:48 pm #

    Loved seeing Ken Oliver and his line. The Hometown Collection is great! Also the Project Life Photo Fusion. Great additions-the ladies are going to love them all

  5. Lyneen Jesse January 17, 2015 at 1:41 pm #

    Love your top picks from CHA!!!!

  6. Janet Axtman January 17, 2015 at 4:28 pm #

    Hi Nancy! I’d like your opinion on what you saw/know about sequins for embellishments. Are the flat sequins more popular now than the traditional cupped and are smaller or larger sequins more promoted? Did you see anything new in the sequins? Thanks for sharing your trip to CHA. It was great fun to see what was going on there.

  7. lola Fields January 17, 2015 at 10:49 pm #

    Some good picks but I can’t believe Teresa Collins was not picked.

    • Nancy Nally January 18, 2015 at 12:29 am #

      I personally love Teresa’s products (listen to my December Roundtable appearance for proof of that!) but there’s only so much room on the list and other stuff had more buzz at the show despite her having a strong release.

  8. Jean Heming January 17, 2015 at 11:56 pm #

    hey How about Karen Burniston!!! Ive seen her new dies for Elizabeth crafts…AWESOME!!!

    • Nancy Nally January 18, 2015 at 12:26 am #

      There’s only room for ten on the hot picks list and that always means not all the cool things can be on the list. 🙁

  9. Margie Visnick January 18, 2015 at 9:43 am #

    Great picks-really interested in that Minc from Heidi after listening to the roundtable!

  10. Diana2050 January 18, 2015 at 2:44 pm #

    I really like the Project Life Photo Sleeve Fuse idea and already have lots of ideas for using it – hope to get one verrrrry soon.

  11. Marai January 18, 2015 at 3:53 pm #

    Did Teresa Collins release any new scrapbooking lines? I only saw glimpses of the bags and phone and tablet covers?

    • Nancy Nally January 18, 2015 at 3:55 pm #

      She did have one small travel line.

  12. Lorraine R January 19, 2015 at 6:10 am #

    Interesting that the ‘Hot Picks’ included (and so many videos l’ve seen) only talk about Heidi Swapps Minc, when I believe there was another brand of virtually the same thing. (My understanding of a very quick glimpse on a video at SSS). And also the Becky Higgins version of the Fuse – a bit of a kick in the teeth for WRMK when it is their machine, and it is just rebranded under her name. Apart from the Tim Holtz land hero Arts lines I’d say none of these things are anywhere near my top ten list! I think both these machines are a bit faddy and will have limited use for their price.

    • Nancy Nally January 19, 2015 at 1:49 pm #

      The Hot Picks are a “buzz report” – I shared the things that I heard people talking about and excited about. If there was another machine like Heidi’s on the floor, I didn’t hear anyone talking about it (and I didn’t see it, either). Same for the WRMK version of the Fuse – didn’t hear one mentioned by anyone and didn’t see it in their booth either.

      If you want to know what my personal favorites were from the show, I’ll be writing about that later in the week.

  13. Karen B January 19, 2015 at 11:34 pm #

    Thanks for this report – now to wait until these products arrive in New Zealand (so of them probably never will!)

  14. tinacampbell January 20, 2015 at 8:37 am #

    Mmmm like the PL fuse thing 🙂 I’ll be getting that one for sure 🙂

  15. April January 23, 2015 at 11:40 pm #

    To me the color of the month program is just frustrating. The stores local to me carry the same 6 distress colors they’ve carried for the past several years so I know they’re not going to add a new color each month. This just makes it more difficult for me to order them online. The new color IS very pretty and if I had a store that I knew would carry them, I probably would be visiting each month to see the new release.

    I’m very intrigued by the new camelon pens I’ve dabbled in a few alcohol markers but haven’t found the right ones yet. Needing to buy fewer pens to achieve a blended look is a big plus!

    A great report, I love hearing all the news from CHA. Now that there are only slow moving big box stores in my area (a major city), following the CHA new is the best way to find out what’s available in the market. Thank you!

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