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Tag Archives | CHA Summer 2011

CHA: Making Useful Buys

Retailers shopping at CHA to stock their stores are searching for the best, the items and lines that will sell the best. But what as consumers should we be looking for? It is easy to get caught up in the hype and the glamour of fresh new product, but it’s important to stop and look at what will be useful, vs. what will look good in your stash. A few months ago I wrote an article about maximizing your budget, and today I will share some tips for what to look for in new products to help you pick items that will be useful and add something good to your crafting.

1: Beware cute packaging.

This one gets me every once in a while, but I try to be good! Sometimes the marketing is just brilliant and things are packaged up so incredibly cute that I can’t help but buy them! The downside? I get home, remove the packaging that was so adorable and I’m left with average product that I wouldn’t have otherwise bought. This isn’t true in every case – but before you buy that adorably packaged item, ask yourself what is inside that package, and if it’s worth it without the great wrapping.

2. Ask yourself how you would use the item.

This is key! Whether it’s paper or a new tool, ask yourself how you envision utilizing it. If I can’t think of at least three situations I’d use it in right off the bat, I don’t even consider it. If your answer is “oh I don’t know but it’s just so fabulous!” then step back, and do not buy.

3: What does the item remind you of in your own stash?

Sometimes, you’ve already got something that is similar, or that could be substituted out for this new product, and it wouldn’t actually add anything unique or special to your crafting supplies. If this is true, then you can skip it and go to something else. Unless of course, it reminds you of a product you’re constantly running out of, and the fresh look will be welcome!

4: Useful papers vs difficult papers

Paper is a big thing in scrapbooking (ahem, it’s the base of all my pages!), and if I ask most any paper crafter, it’s paper that they have more of than anything. It’s important! It sets the mood, it should enhance your layout and photos, and so much can be done with a sheet of paper that it’s arguably the best value you can get! That said, the cutest pieces of paper are not necessarily the best choices. Papers that look more like they should be framed, that you can’t envision cutting up or covering with photos should be left behind. I love a good busy paper filled with elements and bold design – but it’s not easy to use and I don’t use them often. Small patterns, repetitive motifs, and papers that have fewer colors are much easier to make work into projects that I love.

5: Easy on the themes.

I know…I get excited about themed product. Show me a stack of new Halloween product, and I’m squealing and grabbing. But wait! Just how much theme product do I need, and what should I choose? My first article here on Scrapbook Update was in fact about picking holiday supplies, and I also have a new series of articles planned soon that will showcase getting the best of the crop of themed supplies coming this fall!

My top tip for you though, is to look at the projects you’ve been doing. What “must haves” from 2011 that you purchased have you been using, perhaps even re-purchasing? What patterns of paper, colors, designs, and looks work for you? Also take a minute to look at the projects you’ve made recently and see what direction you are going in. While you might love a trend or look, will it work for you and your paper craft projects? Staying true to your own style and making projects that are uniquely you are the biggest trends in the papercrafting industry at the moment. And isn’t that great? Not only are the choices exceptional right now – but you’re also encouraged to do be your authentic self.

Pre CHA Product Sale at Two Peas in a Bucket. Get 15%-75% off Select Products. Sale runs July 14-22, 2011

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Melissa’s CHA Sneak Peek Picks

It’s the most wonderful time of the year for scrapbookers as the staff here at Scrapbook Update gears up to cover CHA Summer 2011 in Chicago next week. We’ve been busy packing our gear (my photography equipment takes up an entire suitcase on its own), prepping our schedules, and poring over the great new stuff that’s been previewed so far, and, man, are we ever excited to get there and see it all in person!  There’s a ton of work involved, but today I’m convinced that I have the best job in the entire world, because today it’s my assignment to share with you my favorites of the hot, new products that have been sneak-peeked all over the web for the last month or so. So grab a cup of tea, a Starbucks, or a Mountain Dew (especially if you’ve been staying up as late as we have lately) and prepare to be wowed by some serious eye candy!

I’m an unapologetic paper addict (and aren’t most of us?), so I’m naturally drawn to hot new color combinations and patterns in my favorite scrapbooking supply. Studio Calico doesn’t disappoint in this department – their new Autumn Press and Memoir lines are infused with fresh, vibrant color combinations and patterns that are a wonderful mix of classic and graphic. And the Mister Huey lover in me has totally flipped for all the new color mists that Studio Calico is bringing to market – five new colors for each of their new lines!

I’m also excited for the new Classic Calico collection. I sometimes think that Studio Calico has been singlehandedly responsible for the explosion in popularity of kraft cardstock in the industry, and I’m happy to see that they’re coming out with an entire collection of neutral prints. Classic Calico is reminiscent of the very popular Basics line from BasicGrey, but with the definite signature graphic flair that Studio Calico is known for.

Nantucket from Pink Paislee completely surprised me with its soft color palette and classic patterns. The line is beach-themed, but the patterns are so versatile that they could be used for a number of other scrapbooking subjects. It’s also one of those rare collections whose papers would work equally well in small bits on a layout or as the background of an entire page.

Echo Park’s Victoria Gardens has a very similar look and feel as the Nantucket line, but with slightly bolder colors and tighter patterns overall. This is another extremely versatile line whose use of single-colored patterns makes it great for both embellishing and backgrounds.

Newcomer Authentique Paper has been generating a lot of buzz in the industry lately. My favorite of their new releases is the Blissful line. The grey and yellow color combination caught my eye immediately. I’ve been seeing a ton of this combination over the past year or so in home decor (this bedding line by Dwell Studio for Target comes to mind), and it looks like it’s finally made its way into scrapbooking as well.

Yellow, while perhaps not so dominant as in Blissful, is a common color across many of the new lines coming out this season. Glitz Design has done a stellar job of pairing it with turquoise and purple for their Dance in Sunshine line, and also with a stunning navy that provides a wonderful contrast in their Vintage Blue line. I’m also a huge (understatement of the century) fan of Glitz’s Teeny Alphas. They’re so perfect for pairing up with a larger font (Thickers, anyone?) to use for longer titles or subtitles, and I’m thrilled to see that some great new colors and fonts are making their way to market soon.

Lily Bee’s Memorandum line is a great combination of ledger and office themed papers on one side and classic styles and colors on the other. This is one of those rare sets that will most likely entice me to buy two of each sheet since I love the colored sides, but I also love to use ledger papers as page backgrounds in place of plain cardstock. I’m going to want to have plenty of this in my stash!! And the coordinating ABC Stickers are not to be missed. These alphas are awesome if you need smaller letters but still want to have that letter “shape,” and they’re also a great bargain with eight sets of stickers on each 12×12 sheet.

Yellow is once again a dominant player in Sunshine, part of My Mind’s Eye’s massive Lost and Found 2 release. I just love the slightly aged yellow paired with patterns such as vintage ad prints, damasks, and ledger papers.

My Mind’s Eye also seriously rocked the decorative brads on this release. Lost and Found contains no fewer than eight new sets of their gorgeous brads, with each set featuring a wide range of colors, patterns, styles, and even a little layering. I purchased all of the brads from last CHA’s Stella and Rose release, and they’ve been one of my most used supplies since then. You can bet that I’ll be picking up a pack of each of the new ones!

The holiday releases weren’t forgotten on the brad front, either! The Mischievous and Lost & Found Christmas lines also sport their own sets of themed brads, and I can think of several paper lines that I already have in my stash that these would coordinate with. Purchasing the occasional (or not so occasional, in my case) set of new embellishments like this is an easy and economical way to breathe some new life into supplies you may have purchased years ago.

I’m not quite through with the My Mind’s Eye releases! I’m totally smitten with the bright, funky colors (and, of course, the brads!) in their new 12 Days of Christmas set- but then again I’m always a sucker for a good non-traditional color palette when it comes to Christmas paper. I think it’s the turquoise in this line that makes me happiest!

Prima’s Christmas release, North Country, knocked me flat the moment I spotted it, and totally in a good way! It reminds me of everything I loved about some of the old BasicGrey Christmas lines (such as Dasher and Blitzen) – the color palette, the designs, the overall feel – and the addition of pure white (no distressing here!) to the patterns gives this line such a clean feel.

I’m in love with Crate Paper’s Christmas line, as well! Peppermint takes a somewhat traditional color scheme (still lots of reds and greens here) and adds a bold blue and some yellow (there’s that yellow again!) to the mix. And, of course, it includes a warm woodgrain pattern, something that’s almost become a signature in Crate Paper releases of late.

While we’re on the subject of Crate Paper, I’m totally digging the slightly retro vibes in both the Farmhouse and Random lines. These releases are spot on with their color combinations and the perfect amount of distressing- just enough to give everything a common feel and help it blend together. I can see Farmhouse being used for so many fall photos – and how cool is the “ruler” twist on the woodgrain sheet in this set?

It’s impossible to say from just a peek, but if the teasers for October Afternoon’s Farmhouse and Sidewalks lines are any indication at all, these are going to be home runs as well. I’m definitely hoping for more Miscellany packs from them, as these have been my favorite items from their last release!

Maya Road always has new and innovative embellishments to share, especially in their chipboard and kraft cutout lines. I’ve not seen any little chipboard banner ribbons like these before and can think of so many ways to use them on cards and scrapbook pages!

I predict that this last pick is going to be one of the hotter items to come out the show. Tim Holtz has again teamed up with Core’dinations to produce a signature line of cardstock, but this time there’s a twist – it has kraft in the middle! I spy some great shades of paper in this collection, and I think that Kraft-Core is going to be a must-have for many a papercrafter.

Now that I’ve combed through all the sneaks and chosen my favorites, I’m more excited than ever to get to Chicago and see it all up close! And I’m also curious to know what your favorites are of the new lines. Please leave a comment and let me know what you think is hot this year, and also if you have any requests for a specific booth or vendor you’d like me to make sure that I visit and cover. I can’t promise to get to all of them, but your input will definitely help us plan and strategize our time at the show.

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CHA Summer 2011 Returns To Rosemont

The Craft & Hobby Association has announced that the CHA 2011 Summer Conference & Trade Show will once again be returning to the Donald E. Stevens Convention and Conference Center in Rosemont, IL. The trade show will take place from Tuesday, July 19th through Thursday, July 21st, with the conference beginning on Monday, July 18th.

“At CHA, we pride ourselves in our ability to listen to our members and develop meaningful trade shows and programs that contribute to our members’ success and growth in the industry,” explained Steve Berger, President and CEO, CHA. “After examining the success of the recent Summer Show and evaluating the results of the 2010 Summer Show Post-Show Attendee and Exhibitor Surveys, it becomes easy to see that our members and attendees overwhelmingly support, attend and exhibit at our Show in Rosemont.”

The announcement of the return to Rosemont, the show’s traditional home, for a second consecutive year after the experimental move of the show to Orlando in 2009 came with a caveat for Rosemont fans from CHA, however. According to the association’s announcement, “While the Summer Show will likely remain in Rosemont for the next few years it is also likely that CHA will move the Summer Show once every three to four years to keep it fresh and to keep negotiated rates as low as possible.”

CHA also shared some statistics in the 2011 show announcement about the CHA Summer 2010 show, including:

  • Square Footage: Up almost 9% from 2009, to 74,698 sq. ft.
  • Exhibitors: Up 10% from 2009
  • New Exhibitors: 31% of exhibitors were new
  • Attendance: 16.7% increase in total attendance, and 38.5% increase in buyers, over 2009
  • International: 11% of buyers were international

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