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Tag Archives | Ali Edwards

Update | Michaels, Hobby Lobby, Celebrities, Layoffs, Jobs & More

Crime. One of the culprits behind the 2011 payment card data breach at some Michaels Stores pled guilty recently to two charges related to the crime, which involved installing 88 counterfeit PIN pads at 80 Michaels Stores locations in 19 states. As many as 94,000 cards were believed to be compromised in the breach.

According to a press announcement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey, Angel Angulo pled guilty in Federal Court in Camden, NJ on June 20th to conspiracy to commit bank fraud and aggravated identity theft. The conspiracy to commit bank fraud charge carries a potential sentence of 30 years in prison (plus a $1 million fine). In addition, the identity theft charge carries a mandatory 2 year sentence, which must be served consecutively to the bank fraud charge sentence. Sentencing in the case is scheduled for September.

Another conspirator in the fraud, Crystal Banuelos, pled guilty in 2015 to similar charges, and is still awaiting sentencing. She also consented in her plea to a forfeiture of $480,300 which is believed by prosecutors to be proceeds of the crime.

Crime II. Ivette Rodriguez, an attendee at Stampfest in Orlando over this past weekend, is being hailed as a hero by exhibitor Marco’s Paper and Crafts after she caught two people attempting to shoplift in their booth. Later in the day, in perhaps proof that the arc of the universe bends towards justice after all, Rodriguez won one of the event’s door prizes – a gift certificate to Marco’s Paper and Crafts.

Celebrities. Does your favorite Etsy seller have a secret – famous – identity? According to several news stories this week, Etsy apparently has some celebrity crafters lurking among its store owners. Singer Adele told a Wembley Stadium crowd recently that she has a secret hobby of making pom poms and selling them on Etsy. Also, Tila Tequila recently opened her own Etsy shop to sell her paintings through. (And of course, it’s not new…but who could forget Snooki’s Etsy shop?)

Celebrities II. Julianne Hough, of Dancing with the Stars fame, had her wedding shower last week for her wedding this Saturday to hockey player Brooks Laich. The event was thrown in Hough’s native Utah by her sister Sharee, who brought in Heidi Swapp to help plan and design the event. Hough’s blog contains an extensive recap of her wedding shower, including details on how Heidi incorporated her Design Boards and Instax products.

Books. Proving that trend is still going strong, designer Erin Bassett has a new book coming out September 5th called [Amazon affiliate link] The Art of Bible Journaling. The book is being published by Get Creative 6, an imprint of Sixth & Spring, which is a division of SoHo Publishing.

Layoffs. Etsy, for the second time this year, has announced that it is laying off staff. This second round of layoffs will include approximately 140 positions (or 15% of its workforce), making a total of 230 (or 22%) of its workforce laid off in 2017 based on end of 2016 employee numbers. The current round of layoffs will primarily be of marketing and product management staff as well as general & administrative positions. Most affected employees will come from the ranks of the company’s Brooklyn headquarters.

Etsy has not fared well with investors since its IPO in April 2015. Debuting at $16/share, the company briefly traded over $30/share before beginning to drop in value. Trading below $7 at one point in early 2016, the stock has been making a volatile climb back up. But as of today, it is still trading at $14.63, well below its IPO value 27 months ago.

Travel. If you are traveling to Creativation in Phoenix in January 2018, and your driver’s license is from Kentucky, Maine, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, or Washington, you will need an alternate form of ID in order to travel home by air (starting on Jan. 22nd, 2018). Starting on that date, state ID from those states will no longer be valid for use for Federal purposes such as entering TSA checkpoints in airports, due to those states’ failure to implement the Federal REAL ID law that was passed on recommendation of the 9/11 Commission. Residents of those states will need to supply alternate ID, such as military ID, a green card/permanent resident card, or a passport, to be able to pass through airport security when traveling. It is recommended that if you need to apply for or renew a passport in the coming months, that you do so early, as the State Department expects a higher than normal level of applications due to REAL ID implementation in 2018.

Fees. Photobucket, in a stealth update to its terms of service, implemented major changes that now limit the ability to link to images hosted on the site from 3rd parties. This ability – which was previously available to all accounts, including free ones – is now limited to the service’s “Plus 500” level of account, which costs $399/year (or $39.99/month).

Linking to graphics hosted on free Photobucket accounts has long been a popular way on the internet of displaying message board images, and of hosting blog graphics to circumvent bandwidth and storage limits on blog hosting accounts. This change by Photobucket has resulted in a millions of images all over the internet now displaying instead as a Photobucket error graphic – being referred to as a ransom graphic by some. In many cases, the refusal of PhotoBucket to serve hosted images that have been linked has totally destroyed the usability of the associated content on blogs and message boards. In the crafts industry, this is especially true of one of the most affected sites – Etsy – where listings without photos are virtually useless.

Changes like this are why I always recommend to bloggers that their graphics be hosted on their own blog host. Linking to graphics on 3rd party sites carries the risk that those links could be cut off at any time. Especially risky is linking to images on accounts controlled by other people, such as design team members, who may choose to delete those accounts or images at any time for any reason.

Events. Ali Edwards has announced a second Story Camp in Eugene, Oregon fot October of this year. Registration opened  on June 27th, but bad news if you are interested in going – all 35 slots are already sold out!

Settlements. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York announced yesterday that it has filed a civil complaint against Hobby Lobby, alleging the company smuggled Iraqi antiquities into the U.S. in 2010. According to the government, Hobby Lobby spent $1.6 million in Dec. 2010 to purchase 5,500 antiquities from a dealer in UAE. The company proceeded with the purchase, allegedly, despite having been warned by a consultant they had retained about several red flags in the transaction that indicated the antiquities may be looted Iraqi objects. The antiquities were then shipped to the U.S. without proper customs paperwork, and labeled as “ceramic tiles” or “clay tiles (sample)” that originated in Turkey. Some of the shipments were seized by U.S. Customs, and further shipments originating in Israel were seized the following year.

cuneiform tablet forfeited by Hobby Lobby

International law enforcement agencies are highly interested in stopping illegal trade in antiquities from Iraq and other locations in the Middle East because selling looted antiquities is widely believed to be one source of funding for the ISIS terrorist network.

In a stipulation of settlement that was filed with the complaint, Hobby Lobby agreed to forfeit thousands of artifacts it had illegally imported, and pay a $3 million fine to settle the case. In addition, the company agreed to implement changes in the way it will acquire future antiquity purchases and to submit quarterly reports to the government of their purchases for the next 18 months to ensure that such transactions are legal. “We should have exercised more oversight and carefully questioned how the acquisitions were handled,” said Hobby Lobby President, Steve Green. “Hobby Lobby has cooperated with the government throughout its investigation, and with the announcement of today’s settlement agreement, is pleased the matter has been resolved.”

Jobs:

 

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Update | MISTI, Project Life, Etsy, Jobs, Events & More!

The post-winter show doldrums sure are over! Lots of companies have been busy with the result being lots of news to share!

[Disclosure: Some links in this article are affiliate links that pay this site a commission at no cost to you if a purchase is made after a click.]

Endings. The Project Life partnership with Stampin’ Up! is ending. Project Life branded products will continue to be sold (while supplies last) through Stampin’ Up! demonstrators until the end of the current catalog year on May 31st, 2017.

Patents. My Sweet Petunia, the manufacturer of the popular MISTI stamping tool, was granted their application for a U.S.MISTI patent on March 21st. The original MISTI tool took the stamping world by storm in 2015 and 2016, and the new Mini and Mega sized versions together won the CHA Hot Products Award for Papercrafting products at the 2016 Mega Show.

The MISTI patent had first been applied for by My Sweet Petunia on January 13th, 2015, but was initially denied in the summer of 2016. The company was able to secure approval of the MISTI patent last month after making a revision of their original patent application.

Winners. Etsy was honored as a finalist in the first-ever “World Changing Ideas Awards” sponsored by Fast Company magazine. The online marketplace for crafters was recognized as one of the top 24 finalists out of over 1000 submissions for the idea “Economic Security for the Gig Economy“, a method of ensuring freelance and self-employed people (like their marketplace participants) have stable access to items like healthcare and retirement savings.

Extensions. Tim Holtz has announced a new line of jewelry products that will be exclusive to Jo-Ann Stores called Tim Holtz Assemblage. The line is in Tim’s signature vintage style, and many elements are recognizable as adapted from metal elements designed for his papercrafts line. The line is available now – at 50% off – on Joann.com.

 

Changes. Megan Hoeppner is leaving her role as Editor-in-Chief of Scrapbook & Cards Today magazine for personal reasons. She will, however, continue with the magazine as its Pic Tips columnist. The Editor-in-Chief position is being filled by Susan Opel, who is familiar to many in the industry from her time at the now-defunct Papercrafts & Scrapbooking magazine.

Megan Hoeppner

Megan Hoeppner (on left) and I together at SNAP Conference in 2016.

Changes, part 2. Etsy has named Rachel Glaser as its new Chief Financial Officer. She replaces Kristina Salen whose intended departure as of March 31st was announced last fall. Glaser will start work on or around June 1st, and Karen Mullane (Vice President, Corporate Controller) will serve as interim CFO. With 30 years of executive experience in finance, Glaser comes to Etsy from Leaf Group, a consumer media and marketplace company whose brands include Society 6, Livestrong.com, ehow.com, cuteness, and Techwalla.

Events. AFCI (formerly known as CHA) is partnering with SPC (Sierra Pacific Crafts) to put on a Mixed Media buying event in Salt Lake City this summer. Education will be on July 17th, and the show floor will be open July 18th though July 20th. Exhibit space is selling fast, and attendee registration opens on April 19th.

Events, part 2. It may feel like you’re barely over your jet lag from this year, but exhibit registration is already open for the 2018 Creativeworld show at Messe Frankfurt in Frankfurt, Germany. Book before April 13th for an early booking discount. More than 130 exhibitors were already signed up as of the end of March, according to Messe Frankfurt.

[Note: Messe Frankfurt and its Creativeworld show are a Scrapbook Update sponsor.]

Considering whether to go for the first time? In case you might have missed them, here’s my show reports from Creativeworld 2017:

Documenting. Ali Edwards has announced that the next “Week in the Life” project will run the week of April 17th. New digital and physical product kits are available for the 2017 project on the Ali Edwards webstore.

Teams. Graphic 45 is skipping their usual design team call for 2017, and instead have announced a group they call the 2017-2018 Graphic 45 Brand Ambassadors. The company promises that the design team call will return in 2018, but for this year, the new team includes lots of returning names from last year, with a few new ones mixed in.

Jobs:

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Update | Pantone, Etsy, Pinterest, Jobs, Calls & More!

The summer shows are over, and it’s hard to believe it but the industry is already ramping up for Christmas and winter shows. Where did 2016 go?

Consolidating. Canvas Corp has announced that the 7 Gypsies and Tattered Angels brands have been consolidated under the single company of Canvas Corp. The three brands were previously separate companies. All of the brands will continue to be marketed, but can now be ordered together from one company.

HOME by Becky Higgins logo

Expanding. Project Life founder Becky Higgins has announced the launch of a new brand called “HOME by Becky Higgins“. The lifestyle brand is launching with an initial product offering of four designs of all-occasion premium wrapping paper. Although she’s known professionally for her work in the scrapbooking industry, Becky’s popular blog often features her home and her style is frequently the subject of admiring comments and questions from readers. Higgins’ move is not unprecedented – it takes place against a backdrop of a changing scrapbook market in recent years that has sent many of the major scrapbook segment companies (such as My Minds Eye, Teresa Collins, Heidi Swapp, and American Crafts) looking for new markets in markets like stationery, party goods, and lifestyle products.

Launching. Ali Edwards will be launching pre-orders for 2016 December Daily kits on September 1st. The designer reveal will begin next Monday, on August 22nd. (Hmm, maybe I should finally finish that 2013 album….)

Mobilizing. Pantone has launched a new iOS app called PANTONE Studio. The app takes mobile the ability to build and share color palettes using Pantone color tools, and apply colors to various designs and surfaces as a visualization tool. Users can also access Pantone trend information. A free limited version of the app is available, or the full version can be purchased for $7.99/month or $59.99 for an entire year.

Linking. Etsy is partnering with Intuit to offer a special Etsy version of Quickbooks Self-employed. Etsy storeowners will be able to download their Etsy sales, as well as transactions from other providers such as Square and Paypal, directly into the accounting software. The software will be available the first year for $5/month, or for $12/month with a TurboTax bundle.

Curating. Pinterest announced some feature changes to its site design today, including a new preferences setting that will allow users to stop the presence of “Picked for You” pins in their feeds. Pinterest, in their announcement, said this feature was added at the request of users. Personally I find the “Picked for You” pins to be a great way to find interesting content, but it seems that a vocal segment of Pinterest users disagree. If a large portion of Pinterest users take advantage of this new feature, it could impact site traffic and account growth for users whose pins are favored by the Picked for You engine.

Changing. Instagram’s new Stories feature has a lot of users wondering what to make of it. Abby Glassenberg of While She Naps has an interesting perspective on exactly how disruptive Stories is to the direction of Instagram.

Sharing. I’m pleased to announce that I will be serving another term on the design team at the Layout-A-Week blog run by Jennifer Priest. My first layout of the new term is a summer garden layout featuring Simple Stories and Quick Quotes products.

in the garden layout preview

Events, part 1. Registration is open for the Designer Day portion of Bella Blvd’s event in Milwaukee on October 20th. Workshops may be purchased ala carte from a schedule that includes Shanna Noel, Jill from Jillibean Soup, and Julie Johnson.

Events, part 2. Prima is launching a planner line, and they are having an event in Temecula, California to celebrate. Tickets are $120 per person for the October 15th event, and include a goodie bag with a planner, a workshop, lunch, demos, and more.

Events, part 3. Altitude Summit, the popular social media and blogger conference for creatives, has a call for speakers out for its 2017 event. The conference will take place in Palm Springs, California from January 31st to February 3rd, 2017, a week after Creativation (and overlapping with Creativeworld).

Returning. The Craft & Hobby Association is advertising a list of previous exhibitors that will be returning to the winter show (now named Creativation) after a break that includes Darice, Walnut Hollow, Coats and Clark, Springs Creative, TrimCraft, Modern Store Fixtures, Prym Consumer USA, and Crescent Cardboard.

Jobs. The following craft industry positions are currently advertised as available:

Calls. The following calls for designers are currently open:

Moving. My company Nally Studios has moved business locations and has a new address. Please contact me by email at nancy@nallystudios.com if you need our updated address information.

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Update | Faber-Castell CEO, Design Team Call, CHA

January is just jam-packed with news as the new year gets off to a busy start with shows and companies embarking on new endeavors.

Anton-Wolfgang von Faber-Castell

Passages. Faber-Castell has announced the passing of its CEO, Count Anton-Wolfgang von Faber-Castell, who had been at the helm of the family-owned company for nearly 40 years. He leaves a wife and four adult children after his death in Houston on January 21st at age 74.

Brain Trust. The Craft & Hobby Association has announced a new membership category: CHA Emeritus. This membership, which can be purchased for $50/year, is intended for retired industry members, to allow them to keep up with the industry and participate in CHA events. Eligibility for the CHA Emeritus membership requires previous participation in the industry for a minimum of 10 years. Continue Reading →

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Update | Forever Live, Jobs, Design Team Call, Closures, & More!

After a brief period of quiet while everyone was busy with the summer shows, the news has picked back up! It’s time for another Update column!

Ali Edwards has joined the growing list of scrapbook industry names extending their brands outside of craft supplies. Epiphanie, a boutique maker of women’s camera bags, has announced that it will be carrying an Ali Edwards branded camera bag. The boho styled bag is made of leather, available in several colors, and retails for $249.

Ali Edwards Epiphanie Bags

The internet has been alight the last week with photo posts from scrapbookers taking part in one of Ali’s most popular franchises, Week in the Life. Judging from the flood of photos, participation was high. Continue Reading →

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Update | ICE Resin, Tammy Tutterow, SPC, more

Another wave of news has hit, and that means it is time for another Update column!

By now, most everyone in the industry has heard the sad news of the tragic death of Heidi Swapp’s 16 year old son Cory on July 10th. My family joins the entire scrapbook industry in sending its love and support to the Swapp family at this difficult time.

If you’d like to share your message of support with the Swapp family, two different options are available. Becky Higgins is coordinating a collection of 4×4 cards to be placed into albums for the family, and Persnickety Prints is accepting mail at their address for the Swapps as well. (The address is in the graphic below.)

Screen-Shot-2015-07-12-at-9.42.47-PM1

New Products. While Heidi is taking some time off to deal with the loss of her son, the Heidi Swapp media team has taken over running the social media promotion for Heidi’s recently announced big product launch at Target. The DIY Marquee line is debuting in Target stores. The products appear similar to the Marquee letters previously released under Heidi’s brand, but are made of plastic instead of paper. Continue Reading →

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