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Tag Archives | Bazzill

Trend | Travel

So many scrapbookers begin the hobby with scrapbooking a big event. A wedding, baby, or big vacation gets a person inspired to pick up some papers and stickers and start recording their memories. At this CHA show, we saw a huge revival of themed product – most especially travel. Today I want to share some of the best travel lines that debuted at CHA Winter 2012.

Studio Calico | Abroad

“Abroad” is filled with great useful patterned papers, but they go above and beyond with garlands, fabrips, letter stickers, and shaped stickers that utilize map print. They also have die cuts and wood veneers of each state (USA), stamps, and more. The blues, greens, and neutral colors will be so versatile and would mix well with other brands as well as perfectly coordinate with existing Studio Calico products. Continue Reading →

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Valentine’s Day Scrapbooking Paper Lines Roundup

The scrapbooking world is emerging from a barrage of Christmas projects just in time to start crafting for the next holiday: Valentine’s Day! Believe it or not, it’s time to start thinking about what paper line(s) you’re going to use for your Valentine’s Day cards, since the big day of all things pink, hearted, and mushy is a mere six weeks away! Be sure to give yourself plenty of time to shop for your supplies and make your cards without feeling rushed.

After my roundup of Christmas scrapbooking lines went live here on Scrapbook Update, I received many, many requests to do a similar article for each holiday. I can’t promise that I’ll do one for every special day on the calendar (there just aren’t that many paper lines for Talk Like a Pirate Day, you know?), but when there are enough themed lines to warrant a roundup, I’ll be sure to post them to keep you all informed!

As with the Christmas roundup, I’m listing all the Valentine’s Day paper lines that were released either at or after CHA Summer 2011 and have scoured the vastness of the interwebs to bring you representative photos of each. They’re listed in alphabetical order, and, since there aren’t nearly so many of them as there were Christmas lines, I’ll also give a little commentary on each.

Ready to start seeing pink? Let’s get going!

Basic GreyKissing Booth

Kissing Booth is a mix of basic patterns (I spy doilies and herringbone in the mix) and sweet watercolor images. This line uses brown as a contrast color and is one of the few cream-based collections in the roundup.

Continue Reading →

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Kit | Back To School by May

[Editor's Note: Welcome to a new regular feature here at Scrapbook Update! Every 4-6 weeks, our creative staff will be assembling a kit to share with you, and showing you what they have done with their own design. We hope you enjoy this new feature that shares the talents of our staff in a new way.]

It’s a wonderful time of year, and I find myself so inspired to create in the little time I have carved out for myself and my scrapbooking during the days filled with school activities, soccer, and getting out of a summer lazy routine! Today I have my Back to School kit to share with you:

Red and yellow are the colors that come to mind when I think of Back to School scrapbooking, and I kept that in mind as I added additional colors and unusual twists to that classic combo in my Back to School papercrafting kit. My inspiration was to gather some papers and a few other details that I could grab and use to quickly scrapbook my September and the beginning of a new school year with ease.

I kept things simple, mixing up products from a wide variety of brands. I love the possibilities I see with these goodies! I did not intend for this to be a kit where I use products only from the kit . This kit is a foundation. I intend to build on it, to add products and details from my own stash as needed for my projects. My real goal is to use it to leap out of my summer routine and hop back into more crafting!

Here is a full list of products used to create my Back to School kit:

Patterned Paper:
Blissful – Prosperity (Authentique)
Finally Fall – Quadrants (Bella Blvd)
Finally Fall – At the Patch (Bella Blvd)
Happy Days – Bottle Caps (Echo Park)
Happy Days – Diamonds (Echo Park)
Lost & Found 2 Sunshine – Forever Classified (My Mind’s Eye)
Nantucket – Crab Cakes (Pink Paislee)
Nantucket – Oyster Bar (Pink Paislee)
Sunshine Broadcast – Kindle (Sassafrass Lass)

Cardstock:
Tim Holtz Distress Wild Honey (Core’dinations)
Tim Holtz Distress Tumbled Glass (Core’dinations)
Celtic Green Dotted Swiss (Bazzill)
Kraft (Bazzill)

Embellishments:
Family Smashpad (K&Co)
Uncommon Petite type circles alphabet stickers (Authentique)
Finally Fall Alpha + Bits Sticker Sheet (Bella Blvd)
Lost & Found 2 Rosy Ordinary brads (My Mind’s Eye)
Inkssentials Kraft tags (Ranger)

What kit is complete without “add-ons” to play with? Here’s some additional items I suggest that would coordinate well with my Back to School kit:

Thursday I will return to finish this back to school series with a first day of school layout! For now, I leave you with this video explaining my kit, and making suggestions for adding to it. If you have questions – please feel free to leave them here in the comments!

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Margie Romney-Aslett joining Bazzill

Margie Romney-Aslett has announced that she is joining Bazzill as its new Art Director.

Romney-Aslett departed Authentique Paper only a week before its launch at CHA Summer 2011 under murky circumstances. In April, Romney-Aslett had announced that she was leaving her signature line at Advantus, The Girls Paperie, to join the new start-up.

Bazzill is a natural landing spot for Romney-Aslett. She started her scrapbook career working at Scrapbooks Etc, the Mesa, Arizona retail store owned by Doug and Marti Jones, who also own Bazzill. Since that time she has maintained a close relationship with the Jones’ both personally and professionally.

So what does Bazzill, known for their industry-dominating textured cardstock, need with an Art Director known for designing vintage patterned papers? Her new role at Bazzill is described by the company as “designing, managing artists and helping Bazzill as it continues building its product lines.” Facing stiff competition in the cardstock market the past several years from Core’dinations and American Crafts, Bazzill began expanding their line of offerings beyond basic cardstock into embellishments. At CHA Winter 2011, they took that expansion a step further and introduced lines of patterned papers and coordinating embellishments. Romney-Aslett’s talents will almost certainly be used (among other things) to breathe life into these lines that to date have not made much of a splash in the marketplace.


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Events | CKU, Creative Escape and Spark Updates

The new frugal consumer is, not unexpectedly, making leisure travel a harder sell in the past couple of years, and the experiences of recent industry event organizers seem to be reflecting that.

Creating Keepsakes ended their CKU (Creating Keepsakes University) events in 2009, amid declining interest. Donna Downey recently downsized Inspire from an annual large scale conference event, and moved it into her new studio as a small group event that takes place more frequently.

Now, however, CKU is back – for at least one more go-around. A CKU Reunion event to celebrate the event’s 10th anniversary is scheduled for Oct. 27th-29th, 2011 in San Diego, CA. The three day event will cost $295 in tuition. Album tracks will be taught by Teresa Collins, Darcy Debord (Technique Tuesday), Megan Hoeppner (Creating Keepsakes), Michelle Hill (Polka Dot Whimsy) and Jodi Sanford (Fancy Pants). Core classes, taken by all attendees, will be taught by Stacy Julian, Christy Tomlinson, and Jen Cushman & Kristen Robinson.

CKU Reunion will take place at the Hyatt Regency La Jolla at Aventine in San Diego. A special group rate has been set of $129/night rate for double occupancy rooms during the event. Parking is $20/night (self park) or $25/night for valet.

While one event is coming back (however temporarily), another is ending. Creative Escape, the event which bills itself as “the ultimate scrapbook indulgence,” has announced it will not be returning after its Aug. 25th-27th event in Chandler, AZ.

Registration for the three day event costs $749, and includes six meals. Creative Escape is put on by Bazzill, and 2011 featured instructors include Ali Edwards, Heidi Swapp, and Janet Hopkins. It takes place at the Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort and Spa. Rooms are available at a special rate of $119/night.

Creative Escape has appeared to be having trouble meeting its quota of room bookings at the host hotel for the event. As recently as August 3rd, a posting on the blog of Margie Romney-Aslett (a long-time supporter of the event due to her relationship with Bazzill) was offering half-price tuition to 15 people who agreed to book a minimum of two nights at the host hotel. This followed two other giveaway and discount offerings on Bazzill’s Facebook account and another blog that also carried conditions regarding hotel booking.

Will the new CKU event do better attracting scrapbookers than Creative Escape has apparently been able to do this year? Its price point – around half the price of Creative Escape – will likely help. But it faces stiff competition for Utah-area participants (or anyone else within driving distance of Lindon) from Spark.

Spark No. 3, which takes place in Lindon, UT a week earlier from Oct. 21st-22nd. Spark registration costs $350, and featured instructors include Amy Tan, Christy Tomlinson, Donna Downey and Emily Falconbridge. Spark was originally formed,  and the first two were run, by Margie Romney-Aslett, Liz Kartchner (Dear Lizzie), and Rhonna Farrer. This year, however, Spark No. 3, is being run by Romney-Aslett with three new partners: Christy Tomlinson, and April Meeker. (Alissa Holland was also a part of that team but was forced to bow out of the event recently by what was described as “health issues going on in her family.”  Her scheduled teaching slots are being filled by Cathe Holden.)

In a sign that Spark, like its competitors, may also be encountering difficulties with attendee budgets, the event announced on August 3rd that they are offering a payment plan (3 monthly payments of $120 each) as a way for participants to pay their registration fee.

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New iPhone Apps for Scrapbooking

A whole slate of new iPhone apps from scrapbooking manufacturers have come out recently. Here’s a look at all of them together in one place!

iTunes doesn’t seem to know what to do with scrapbooking apps – the first app below appears in the Lifestyle section, while the others are in the Photography section. And not all of the apps can be found by searching “scrapbook” either. So it seems there is no easy way to keep up-to-date on available scrapbook apps in the store.

CSS Daily by Clear & Simple Stamps ($4.99)

This app is – to me, anyway – absolutely gorgeous in its simplicity.

CSS Daily functions essentially as a “page a day” calendar, with a new project idea every day made with Clear & Simple Stamps. But you don’t have to have a huge collection (or even any) of the company’s stamps to get inspiration from these ideas.

The project screen starts by displaying the project sample at the top. However, if you scroll down there is a button that will take you to a second screen with instructions and a supply list (including direct links to items on the Clean & Simple Stamps website for purchasing them). The projects I’ve seen in the several days that I’ve had the app are beautiful examples of cards that definitely fit the “clean & simple” style, but which could also be created with supplies on hand.

Besides the project idea function, this app only has two other tabs: one that gives a brief profile of the company, and one that lists the company’s social media and web addresses.

Users will likely have two complaints about this app. First, it may be somewhat overpriced for an app of simple function that is basically a marketing tool for the company that created it. The average listed price of a paid app in the app store is $3.63, according to recent analysis. Three-quarters of the apps that are downloaded are free apps, however, and the average price has been falling in the app store.  iPhone users are very intolerant of high prices and this app may be overpriced for their taste.

The other possible complaint about the app is that there is no way built into it to store the daily ideas for later use. One idea is available each day, and then it disappears and is replaced by another. Perhaps this would be good functionality to add in an update. In the meantime, users can hack half a solution to this problem by using the screen capture feature on their iPhone to capture the image of any item they really love to save for later in their phone’s camera photo roll. This could even be done with supply lists, although of course the purchase links won’t work in the screen captures.

(To do a screen capture with your iPhone, click the home and power button at the same moment and release them quickly. You will hear a click and see a flash as the content of your screen at that moment is captured and sent to you camera roll of photos.)

All in all, it is fun to see on a daily basis what this app will have in it for inspiration. Checking it on my phone provides a stolen scrapbooking moment in the middle of other tasks or errands. With a few improvements, it could be a truly great app, and in the meantime it is still fun.

Bazzil Basics Paper by Paul Schreiber ($9.99)

Paul Schreiber, who is listed as the seller of this app, is the IT Director at Bazzill. The app is designed as a reference guide to the palette of Bazzill cardstocks, and as a tool for matching a photo to coordinating cardstock colors.

This app, with its reference libraries of all of the colors that you’d think could replace Bazzill’s hefty swatch books, almost has the potential to be incredibly useful. But it runs up against a problem: the technical limitations of the iPhone’s screen and camera. The screen isn’t capable of displaying fine color differences, especially in lighter colors. A good example of this is the Classic palette, where four colors display on the screen as visually white although on close examination of their details their RGB codes are slightly different:

The concept of the color matching to a photo was great but I was unable in working with several photos to get a palette that looked like it was anywhere near accurate to the actual photo as I saw it on the screen. In one photo, trying to match items that were pink and orange on the screen resulted in suggestions of bright red cardstocks by the app.

The most useful part of this app may be that it supplies the RGB and CMYK codes for each Bazzill color, making it easier to match a printed item like journaling to a cardstock that you may be using. This matching of course will be limited by the color accuracy of your printer in producing the code that you put into it, but having the right code to start with will at least give you a good starting point.

Another useful feature is the suggested palettes that are built into the listings for the individual colors. There are suggestions for monochromatic, complementary, triadic, analogous, and split-complementary palettes. Favorite palettes can be named and saved to a library for later reference. The individual color listings also have a link to an image that shows the texture of the paper – a good reference for use ordering online, although some of the images are better than other at conveying the actual appearance of the texture.

The Bazzill app, with its $9.99 price tag, is another one that potentially will run afoul of the price sensitivity of app store customers. Its scope is ambitious but until the display and camera technology catches up with the design, its usefulness is handicapped.

eScrap by Die Cuts With A View ($1.99)

The most reasonably priced app of the three reviewed here, this is also perhaps a case of “you get what you pay for”.

eScrap has two major functions (besides a hugely prominent button linking to the company’s 300dpi.com site). Both the functions are ways to design miniature scrapbook pages for use as iPhone wallpaper or for sharing on social sites. Pages can be created from scratch using different paper sets in the “Design A Page” section, or using pre-designed templates in the “Quick Pages” tool section.

The design tools are actually pretty user-friendly and the library to work with is quite nice – with one exception. The photo management and manipulation in this app is almost unusable. Photos are often inserted distorted in the wrong aspect ratio. In the Quick Pages, you get one attempt to insert a photo. If you change your mind or it inserts wrong, you have to start completely over. In the Design A Page section, attempts to move a photo to a new position than where it was automatically inserted often result in the photo disappearing to a position behind the background (from where I was never able to retrieve any of them).

DailyDigi by Point About, Inc (Free)

This free app is by the Daily Digi website. Like the CSS Daily app, it keeps its function simple. It basically has five different pages that offer different types of content for browsing. The Daily Digi blog and Twitter stream occupy two of the slots. Two others are filled with projects for inspiration from various sources.

A final section is filled with the excerpted feeds of a large selection of scrapbook and photography-related blogs (Scrapbook Update included) with the most current entries at the top. A click on the brief excerpt takes the reader to the full article on the actual blog if the user finds a headline they want to read the full story of.

Items in most of the sections can be emailed, tweeted or viewed in a browser instead of the app if desired.

This is an aesthetically beautiful app, and doesn’t stumble over overly-ambitious design. It just flat out works and it aggregates good content into a fun and easy way to browse through it. DailyDigi also gets the pricing right by setting it at free for an app that largely contains their own content that could also be consumed free on the web. They seem to correctly recognize that the app is a marketing expense that will pay off by keeping users more engaged with their site and their content, instead of using it as a direct profit-maker.

iPhone apps are gaining momentum in the scrapbooking market. These (and the Scrapbooks Etc app released last summer) are just the beginning.

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