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Pantone Color of the Year 2019: Living Coral

It’s hard to believe that it’s almost 2019, but Pantone has announced their pick for Color of the Year for the next year already – and the winner is a warm, vibrant shade called Living Coral.

[Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links that pay this site a commission at no cost to the reader when a purchase is made after a click.]

The Color of the Year 2019 announcement is a landmark one, as it marks the 20th time that Pantone has made its trendsetting color prediction.

pantone-living-coral

Living Coral (PANTONE 16-1546) is described in the Color of the Year announcement as “vibrant, yet mellow” as well as “sociable and spirited”.

“Color enhances and influences the way we experience life,” said Laurie Pressman, Vice President of the Pantone Color Institute. “As a shade that affirms life through a dual role of energizing and nourishing, PANTONE 16-1546 Living Coral reinforces how colors can embody our collective experience and reflect what is taking place in our global culture at a moment in time.”

Color Codes for Living Coral (ink):

CMYK: 0 50 59 0

sRGB: 255 109 112

HTML: FF6D70

To see the full set of Pantone color codes for Living Coral, including for fabric, click here.

(Feel like painting a wall or two in Living Coral? Visit Apartment Therapy to get their suggested paint matches from 7 different brands.)

Like many color trends, the coral color trend has been slowly building for quite awhile. Living Coral is a natural complement to the turquoise shade that has been omnipresent in fashion and home decor for several years. It’s also been a popular alternative to pink for wedding color palettes for quite awhile. It’s now taking off as a trend in its own right.

Pantone’s shade of coral already made headlines once this fall, when it was one of the colors announced for the new iPhone XR. And in the world of celebrity fashion, actress Gina Torres’ coral dress at the wedding of her Suits co-star Meghan Markle to Prince Harry made news all the way back in May.

If you’d like to add some of the Pantone Color of the Year Living Coral to your paper crafting, here’s a few ideas of current products that seem to be a close match:

Living Coral scrapbook products

  1. Simple Stories Carpe Diem Posh A5 Planner
  2. Kaisercraft Paper Blooms
  3. Prima Finnabair Art Alchemy Acrylic Paint
  4. Prima Concentrated Watercolor
  5. Daniel Smith Watercolor Stick
  6. Crate Paper “Hooray” collection
  7. BoBunny Double Dot Designs paper
  8. Echo Park Traveler’s Notebook
  9. Ranger Tim Holtz Distress Oxide – Abandoned Coral

What do you think of Living Coral? Do you think it will catch on in scrapbooking?

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Make DIY Holiday Gift Tags with Cricut Maker

I’m a big fan of the convenience of gift bags for my holiday gifts. (And they are environmentally friendly too, since I reuse them year after year!) Extra special DIY holiday gift tags are the perfect way to punch up simple gift bags and turn them into something fabulous!

[Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Cricut.]

These wood DIY holiday gift tags that I made with my Cricut Maker machine each have only three pieces to cut. But with this much style, no one will notice how simple they are!

Cricut DIY Holiday Gift Tags

These DIY holiday gift tags are really simple to make, because what makes them special is the material that is used. With the Knife Blade, the Cricut Maker is able to cut Basswood and Balsa Wood that is up to 3/32″ thick. The look of natural material, and the dimension that can be created, takes these tags to a whole new level!

Supplies Used:

Start your DIY holiday gift tags by using your Cricut Maker and the Cricut Knife Blade + Drive Housing to cut out all of the wood parts from the projects.

Cricut Maker cutting wood

Cutting the 1/16″ basswood with the Knife Blade requires using a Cricut Strong Grip Mat. You also need to fasten your wood down to the mat with plenty of painter’s masking tape. Don’t skimp on the masking tape, and make sure that it is pressed firmly down!

(Don’t forget to slide the white rings on your rollers to the right to get them out of the way of your wood as it passes under the rollers.)

Cricut Maker cutting wood

When you are done cutting the wood pieces, switch to the regular blade and a light hold mat to cut the two patterned paper pieces for the DIY gift tags.

When you are done, you should have these three pieces to make the Christmas tree gift tag. Use a glue like Mod Podge to assemble them into a sandwich in the order shown.

DIY Holiday Tag parts

You will also have these three pieces for the Christmas ornament DIY holiday gift tag. Paint the ornament base with black chalkboard paint, and paint the frame red.

(Here’s a great idea to customize this ornament tag – Instead of using chalkboard paint, paint the base with regular paint and cut a photo to fit in the center of the frame!)

DIY Holiday Tag parts

Use glue again to assemble these pieces with the patterned paper on one side of the ornament base, and the red frame on the other. (The patterned paper is optional, but sure brightens up the back of the tag.)

After the chalkboard paint is cured, rub it with a piece of chalk to prepare the surface for writing. Then you can write on your tag with chalk over and over!

DIY Holiday Gift Tag with chalkboard

Since they are made of wood, these durable DIY holiday gift tags can be used again and again. Or, after you use them, hang them on the Christmas tree as ornaments!

DIY Holiday Gift Tag

Attach your DIY holiday gift tags with a  loop of baker’s twine or ribbon and enjoy all the compliments that will come your way!

DIY Holiday Gift Tags

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.

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Hit the Floor for Creativation 2019 Show Education!

Juggling schedules to fit in everything you need to do is one of the hardest things about attending a trade show! But help for crunched schedules that want to find some education time at the show has arrived, in the form of the Creativation Schoolhouse and Stage! 

[Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post on behalf of AFCI and the Creativation 2019 show.]

Creativation Show logo

At Creativation 2019, the Schoolhouse and Stage will allow show attendees to attend a slate of educational events without leaving the trade show floor. Pop right into your event or class, and when you are done, you are right back in the thick of things at the show, ready to go again!

Clover Needlecraft project – Creativation 2019 Class #W501

Sponsors of workshops at the Schoolhouse, which will be located at booth 2231, include Pink & Main, Catherine Pooler, Studio SN, and Ranger. On Monday, Clover Needlework is hosting two workshops at the Schoolhouse on some very trendy items: needlework & felting [W501, 10am-11:3oam], and macrame {W502, 12:30pm-2pm]. Each of these beginner level workshops is 90 minutes long, and registration is $20 for AFCI members. Rest your feet and learn some new skills!

Clover Needlecraft macrame project

The Creativation Stage, at booth 1324, will be home to a series of business seminars on the Saturday and Sunday (January 19th & 20th) of Creativation 2019. Marketing will largely be the focus of these free events. Attendees interested in email marketing can catch Lindsay Anvik on “Why Email Marketing Isn’t Dead” on Saturday [12:00pm-1:00pm] or you can learn from Kaylee Pope at 11:30am on Sunday “Why Your Email Newsletter Isn’t Successful” (and how to fix it). You can also learn how to write search engine friendly content, social media timesavers, and the results of AFCI’s latest State of the Industry survey at the Creativation Stage. Conveniently close to the concession area, the Creativation Stage is perfect for a “lunch and learn” opportunity! (See the Creativation University schedule for full Creativation Stage session details.)

Another event that will be hosted at the Creativation Stage is the AFCI Awards Ceremony [E405]. This ceremony will honor the 2019 Hall of Fame recipients Ken & Barbara Griffin, and John Laurie, along with other annual award recipients. Honorees will include the Meritorious Award of Honor recipient Richard Brown, the Industry Achievement Award recipient Tammy Browning-Smith, and Special Recognition Award recipient Doug Earle. (For more information on the award recipients, click here.) AFCIs new Retailer Awards will also be presented at this event. The ceremonies will take place from 5:00pm-6:30pm on Sunday, January 20th. A cash bar will be available. Come celebrate the industry’s best while making new friends!

Speaking of networking and the industry’s best….hands down, the best winter trade show event that I’ve ever attended was a panel discussion on the state of the industry that AFCI (then CHA) hosted a few years ago. A few of the industry’s most experienced and brightest minds answered questions and discussed amongst themselves the big issues facing the industry.

I’m very excited to share that AFCI is re-creating that previous event this year, with a larger panel of experts and a networking reception afterwards for attendees to continue the discussion. The experts include:

  • Lynn Lilly, CEO/Founder, Craft Box Girls
  • Mike McCooey, President/CEO, Plaid Enterprises
  • Bobbie Medema, CEO, Notions Marketing
  • Ryan Newell, President/CEO, Sprinrite LP
  • Stacey Park, Owner, Scrapbooking Made Simple
  • Anthony Piperno, President ​& CMMO, A.C. Moore
  • Jennifer Vanderveldt, VP Strategy & Analytics, The Michaels Companies, Inc.

This should be a very enlightening event, and chance to get some perspective from many different parts of the industry in one place. The Creativation 2019 Industry Panel Discussion will take place on Saturday, January 19th from 5:30pm-7:30pm and is free with Creativation badge.

Visit the Creativation 2019 show website to register for these events and others.

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What To Buy The Scrapbooker Who Has Everything

Are you making your list and checking it twice…and don’t know quite what to get that special scrapbooker in your life? Or are you a scrapbooker looking for ideas for your wish list for Santa? I’ve got just the ideas you need for perfect gifts!

[Disclaimer: Some of the links in this article are affiliate or advertiser links.]

What to Get The Scrapbooker Who Has Everything_


We R Memory Keepers “Label It” Label Maker

Great for: Project Life fans, 12×12 layout scrappers, Card Makers
Retail Price: $30-$35
Sources: AmazonScrapbook.comacherryontop.com

We R Memory Keepers Label ItLabels are a fun way to add titles, sentiments, or bits of journaling to just about anything paper crafters make. This recent tool by We R Memory Keepers is a take on an old fashioned office labeler that creates embossed labels. But with interchangeable font wheels, trendy tape colors, and a choice of a mint or pink case, it is a much more creative option than the old office standard!

(For a more budget option in this tool category, check out the Dymo Organizer Xpress Pro. The previous version of that label maker is a go-to in my tool box!)


Ken Oliver Color Burst

Great for: Mixed media fans, card makers
Retail Price: $25-$35
Sources: AmazonScrapbook.comacherryontop.com

Ken Oliver Color Burst

Watercolor is hot, hot, hot right now! No one makes watercolor more fun and more accessible for paper crafters to play with than Ken Oliver through his Color Burst line. These little bottles of powder create gorgeous watercolor effects with just a squeeze and a spritz of water!


Tim Holtz Glass Media Mat

Great for: Mixed media fans, stampers
Retail Price: $30-$35
Sources: AmazonScrapbook.comacherryontop.com

Tim Holtz Glass Media Mat

The rise of mixed media in scrapbooking means paint, ink…and more messes! The Tim Holtz Glass Media Mat has a central work area for holding a project, and a side palette area for holding materials. No matter what media you’re working in…this will stand up to it, and make clean-up easier.


Boutique Stamps

Great for: Stampers, card makers, Project Life, planner fans
Retail Price: $15-$20
Sources: Everyday Explorers, Kelly Purkey, Ink Road, Stamp Diva

The strength of the stamp industry is in the numerous small boutique companies that produce creative designs that never see mass market exposure. Often to buy these brands it is necessary to seek out the company’s own site or a small boutique retailer. If you are looking for a gift for a stamper, gifting stamps from one of these small companies can be both a unique gift and a way of supporting ongoing diversity in the industry.

Kelly Purkey Jenkins alpha

Kelly Purkey “Jenkins” alphabet stamps

Nobody does alphabet stamps like Kelly Purkey! Her beautiful, clean and detailed alphabets (like Jenkins above) are perfect for titles on scrapbook layouts, Project Life cards, and for customizing cards.

The Ink Road stamps

The Ink Road stamps

One of the things that boutique stamp companies can do that larger ones rarely attempt is to create stamps for niche themes…at The Ink Road you’ll find stamps for topics like blended families (above), Minecraft, and tv show fans.

Cat's Life Press stamps

Cat’s Life Press stamps

For fans of a quirky (and irreverent) vintage style, Cats Life Press is the perfect answer. Their little icon stamps are perfect for everything from Project Life to ATC cards! You can find their beautiful red rubber stamps both mounted and unmounted through small retailers like Stamp Diva.

Everyday Explorers stamps

Everyday Explorers stamps

If you loved Christina Herrin’s Wander kit for Project Life like I did, you’ll think you’re in heaven browsing her Everyday Explorers stamp store. Her clean and simple designs are perfect for Project Life, card making, and 12×12 layouts. As the name implies, travel is a heavy focus, but there’s plenty for other occasions (like the Thanksgiving set above) as well.

The above is just a sampling…there’s many more small stamp companies. Whatever the style, there’s someone creating beautiful stamps! Seek them out and support them!

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Easy DIY Holiday Cards with Cricut Maker

Hello Cricut lovers! The snow is flying up north and cooks across the country are prepping their Thanksgiving turkey menus, so that must mean it is time to talk DIY Holiday Cards!

[Disclosure: This is a sponsored post written on behalf of Cricut, but all opinions expressed are my own.]

Today, I’m bringing you two clean and simple DIY holiday card designs that, with the help of Cricut Maker and a few of my favorite Cricut tools, will make easy work of your handmade holiday cards without sacrificing creativity or style!

Cricut Merry Christmas house card

Supplies Needed:

The first step to making this handmade holiday card is to cut all of the pieces out on your Cricut Maker machine. The card base requires the use of both a Cricut pen and the single Scoring Wheel.

Creating Card Base on Cricut Maker

When you peel the card base off of the mat, some of the waste from those tiny faux stitching spots will cling in the holes. That just happens when a cut is so tiny. The piercer from the Cricut Papercrafting Tool Set is the perfect solution for getting rid of these hangers-on! Just use its tiny point to poke the pieces that need to be removed, and they will pop right out!

Using Cricut Scraper Tool

This homemade holiday card can be infinitely customized to create different looks using different cardstock and patterned papers…and it’s a great way to use up your scraps!

DIY Holiday Cards with Cricut Maker

Using the knife blade to cut basswood is simple if you remember a few simple things. It will cut up to 3/32″ thick, and your cuts can’t be smaller than 1/2″ in size. (That includes interior cuts in your shapes.)

To do the actual cutting, tape your basswood down to a purple (Strong Grip) Cricut cutting mat with masking tape. Make sure it is in the upper left hand corner of the measurement grid, but not outside it. See those little white wheels spread along the middle area of the steel roller bars? Slide those white wheels to the right so they are outside of the area where your basswood will pass under. Then you can load your Cricut Knife Blade in the adaptive tool system, and follow the on screen prompts in Cricut Design Space to select your material and load the mat into the machine.

Cutting Wood Veneer with Cricut Maker

After you have completed cutting all of your pieces, you should have all of these elements, ready to assemble your homemade holiday card! Layer your house together, and adhere it to the front of your card. Your DIY holiday card is complete!

DIY Holiday Card pieces

Mid-century modern, and the pastel Christmas that goes with it, is very trendy. The same techniques and Cricut tools that I used to make that cute country Christmas card above can be used to bring a taste of retro mid-century to your Christmas cards.

Retro DIY Holiday Cards with Cricut

Supplies Needed:

(If you like the design but aren’t a fan of pastel Christmas, try making this DIY holiday card with a dark background, and dark green or silver trees for a midnight on Christmas Eve look.)

To make this card, first cut out all of the elements of the handmade holiday card design using your Cricut Maker machine and the project file. (Follow the instructions above on how to cut out the wood tree from basswood for the left side of the card.)

Once all of the elements are cut out, paint the wooden tree with Plaid FolkArt Pickle Wash following the instructions on the bottle. (I chose that particular paint because it allows the grain of the wood to show through, so the person receiving your DIY holiday card can see that the tree is actually wood!)

Painting wood veneer for DIY Holiday Cards

While your paint dries, grab the Distresser tool from the Cricut Papercrafting Tool Set and get to work rubbing it along the edges of the tree with the sentiment on it! Distressing that edge gives it more dimension, and adds interest to that tree so that it can hold its own in the design with the other two elements.

distressed edge on diy holiday card

Once all of your elements are prepared, you can quickly assemble them.

Cutting the stars out of the Cricut Adhesive Foil means that these small items are easy to adhere. (Plus the foil cuts so beautifully at these miniature sizes!) The paper piercer from the Cricut Papercrafting Tool Set is your secret shortcut for getting perfect placement of tiny sticky items like this! No more getting them stuck to your fingers, or to each other… just pop the end of the piercer under them and use it as a tiny wand to lay them down with! Place them, put your finger on top to hold them in place, and slip the piercer out from underneath. (Do this carefully, because it is a piercer, after all!) Then just press and rub firmly to make sure the foil adheres well!

Cricut paper piercer

I can’t wait to see how you all customize these DIY holiday cards for your family and friends! Tag me at @scrapbookupdate on Instagram to share yours!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.

 

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Epson FastFoto FF-680W Photo & Document Scanner Review

Yesterday, I told you why I think it’s a good idea to scan your old photos. Today, I’m going to show you a machine that will help you get that project done, with my review of the Epson FastFoto FF-680W photo and document scanner.

[Disclosure: The Epson FastFoto FF-680W machine featured in this review was loaned to me by Epson for a brief period for review purposes. This article contains Amazon affiliate links.]

Epson advertises that this new addition to their scanner line-up will scan photos as quickly as one per second at 300dpi. But is the Epson FastFoto FF-680W user friendly? Let’s find out!

Epson Fast Foto FF-680W review

The last thing most of us need in our offices is another huge gadget. Considering everything the Epson FastFoto FF-680W can do, it is a surprisingly small package when it is all stowed away between uses. It’s just 11.7″ x 6.7″ x 6.9″ in size.

Epson Fast Foto FF-680W review

To use the Epson FastFoto FF-680W, you fold open the top flap to create the tray for loading your photos or documents on the top of the machine. Then you pull out the tray on the front of the bottom of the machine to catch them after they are scanned.

One very pleasant surprise came right away after I took this scanner out of the box. My previous experience with setting up new WiFi peripheral devices has been similar to a root canal in pain level. But the Epson FastFoto FF-680W was so easy to set up on my WiFi network that it was done in two minutes! It was so fast that I was actually convinced I must have missed a step or something! Epson Fast Foto FF-680W review

The Epson FastFoto FF-680W functions on your network similar to a printer. You communicate with it via your computer’s software and tell it what to do. The resulting files it creates are stored back on your computer.

To scan photos, they are loaded facing forward into the machine. Epson recommends not loading more than 36 at a time. You can scan multiple sizes at once as long as they are loaded into the machine with the largest size on the bottom of the pile, progressing to the smallest on top. Photos are scanned from the bottom of the pile to the top, so if the order your photos are scanned (and file numbered) is important to you, you’ll want to spend time reversing their order before loading them.

Epson FastFoto FF-680W Review

Two different pieces of software are used to run the Epson FastFoto FF-680W depending on whether you are scanning photos or documents.

For scanning photos, the software to use is Epson FastFoto.(The machine can also scan directly into Adobe Photoshop. But in our testing the quality was better using the Epson software, presumably because the proprietary Epson software knows better how to interpret the scanner data.) The interface is clean and quite simple to use. There are global settings that you can set for all of your scanning when you start. These include your file resolution, file format (jpeg or tiff), and an option to scan both sides of items.

Epson FastFoto Software

Then, for each batch (of up to 36 photos or other items) that you want to scan with Epson FastFoto, you have the option to select how you want them to be named when they are saved. You can select the year (including a “1980s” style option for each decade if you aren’t sure the exact year). There’s also an option for the month or season, and an area you can add text to describe the event. I do wish they’d add a day of the month number to these options.  All of this data will be used to create the file name.

You also have the option to create a new subfolder for this batch of pictures you are scanning, which will be named the same as the filename, but without an image number on it. I strongly suggest you select this option if you are doing large amounts of scanning. Otherwise you will end up with thousands of images all dumped into one folder!

Epson FastFoto Software

The Epson FastFoto software does not actually save your scans to file until you hit that you are done. After you finish your batch of 36 images, it will offer you to keep scanning or be done. I suggest saving after every batch. In my experience (at least on my Mac Mini) the software became unstable sometimes when I scanned larger batches and would crash. Then I had to rescan everything since the last save. Although, I did scan 600 photos in one batch successfully!

When you do tell the software to save your items, they will appear as previews in the software’s dashboard. You can navigate to view previous folders, upload them to cloud services (Google Drive or Dropbox) or hit the button in the upper left to scan more items. Epson FastFoto Software

Remember how I mentioned that you can tell the software to scan the front and back of your items? The software will only scan the reverse side if it detects that it isn’t blank. (You can set a slider to set how sensitive the Epson FastFoto FF-680W is at detecting markings on the back of items.)  If the scanner does detect something on the reverse of the photo, it will save a second file for that image. The file name will be the same except that it will end in “b”. This is a great feature for keeping track of names and dates written on photos!

Epson FastFoto FF-680W Review

Epson Fast Foto FF-680W review

While photos can be loaded directly into the machine, items that are odd shaped or torn or fragile can be loaded into a clear carrier. This carrier consists of two clear sheets that items are placed between, before they are put into the machine.

Epson Fast Foto FF-680W review

The clear carrier sheet was perfect for scanning these little memo book pages that I used as a travel journal for a trip to Paris when I was 11 years old. Below is the resulting scan. A few of the pages are a bit clipped – if I wanted to avoid that I could have run the pages through one at a time instead of all at once.

The clear carrier is also perfect for scanning children’s artwork without damaging it or leaving paint and crayon residue on the scanner.

The clear carrier can also be used to protect delicate antique paper items to scan them, like old pictures or family genealogy documents.

Once all of these items are scanned, not only are they able to be preserved in a cloud back-up, but they can also be used in paper or digital scrapbooking, and in other digital ways.

In addition to photos, the Epson FastFoto FF-680W is also a powerful (and fast) document scanner. Documents are scanned by placing them facedown on the scanner.

Epson FastFoto FF-680W review

To scan documents, the software to use with the Epson FastFoto FF-680W is called Epson ScanSmart. Like the photo scanning software, the interface is clean and simple. However, the workflow is somewhat reversed from the photo software. When scanning documents, you first scan, and then tell the software what you want it to do with the document. Your options include saving locally, saving to various cloud services, printing, or sending to software like email, Word, or Excel.

Epson ScanSmart software

The final step to scanning documents with the Epson FastFoto FF-680W is to name the file and select the file type you want to save.

Epson ScanSmart software

Once your documents are scanned, the Epson ScanSmart software can use OCR (Optical Character Recognition) to make your documents searchable.

Whether you are scanning photos or documents, the Epson FastFoto FF-680W scanner is lightning fast. It really does deliver on one scan per second. The quality of the scans is strong, although results vary of course depending on the quality and size of the original (as with all scanners).

The sheer versatility of this machine may be its biggest strength. The list of things you can scan is endless:

  • photos
  • Polaroids
  • travel memorabilia
  • receipts
  • tax records
  • legal documents (contracts, wills, etc)
  • medical records
  • school records
  • business records
  • genealogy documents
  • collections (postcards, stamps, etc)
  • business cards
  • planner pages

You can get more information on the Epson FastFoto FF-680W photo and document scanner on the Epson website, or buy one today on Amazon.com.

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