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Tag Archives | Echo Park Paper

Trends | Return of the Hexagons

Long ago at a CHA far, far away…

Okay, so maybe it wasn’t that long ago or even quite that far away, but there was no denying that at CHA Winter 2012, the hexagons were back! I’m not quite ready to call this trend a staple yet – it’ll take at least one more show to tell – but scrapbooking manufacturers of all styles have certainly embraced this shape and put their own spin on it. If you want to see examples from last summer’s show be sure to check out my Trend Watch article on Hexagons, Honeycombs, and Lattices from last October, but right now I want to take a look at some photos from the CHA Winter 2012 show floor and look at just what this trend had to offer this time around.

I have to admit that the Jenni Bowlin booth was one of the last places I would have expected to see hexagons at CHA Winter 2012, but she totally surprised me by putting her own signature (and lovely!) vintage spin on the shape. The hexagon paper (from the Magpie collection) and Quilted Stickers shown below are perfect examples of how a company can be trendy and still stay true to their roots.

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Trend | Tags

From small to large, plain tags and journaling tags have been around for quite a while. At this CHA however, I’m noticing an emerging trend of more pre-decorated tags and with so many fantastic options being released, I wanted to share my picks from the CHA show floor.

The most exciting tags for me, are the Pink Paislee printed shipping tags. The printed style that they do can be accomplished at home with a plain shipping tag and digital kits, but it is time-consuming and difficult to get perfect printing all the way to the edges. These are beautifully done, and I can not wait to get them in my hands and create with them.

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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.

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Noteworthy | 9.23.2011

As we enter the nice time of peacefulness as school is back in session and before the madness of the holiday season descends, the craft industry is anything but peaceful and quiet! With holiday product lines hitting shelves and new releases being unveiled, not to mention crafters gearing up for the upcoming holiday season, it’s all hands on deck!  I’ve got a full line-up of great things for you today:

Echo Park Paper unveiled their newest collection on facebook this week. “Times and Seasons” has a distinct antique flair and a great balance of muted colors and patterns. Perfect for a number of subjects, the paper line manages to be timeless and trendy all at the same time. Times & Seasons begins shipping to stores October 6th, so watch for it coming to a scrapbook store (or site) near you soon!

EK Success announced that they are partnering with Operation Christmas Cards, hoping to contribute 9,000 of the 175,000 cards the organization hopes to send to US and Canadian troops deployed overseas. According to the announcement, for approximately half of the card recipients this will be the only holiday correspondence they will get:

All of EK Success Brands’ four office locations—Chicago, Clifton, NJ, Kansas City and Wyomissing, PA—will host office events for employees to take part in the card making, as well as sponsoring a local school in each city with supplies to create and collect cards.

Ready to jump in and help? We have a FREE, self-paced online class available NOW if you want to learn a few new techniques in card making or just get some inspiration

The free class is through spottedcanary.com, and according to the site you will learn several techniques and is video-based broken down into short segments. You can read the whole EK Success post here, and you can check out Operation Christmas Card directly at their facebook page.

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CHA Summer 2011 | Scrapbook Update Top Ten Hot Picks

It’s finally here! After lots of discussion with my staff, debate and agonizing on my part….I’ve made the final decisions and here are the Scrapbook Update Top Ten Hot Picks from CHA Summer 2011!

These are the lines that were truly new, that were fresh, that were buzzed about at the show, that were in demand by buyers, and that Scrapbook Update believes consumers are going to be clamoring for in the next few months.

So, in no particular order…let’s get started!

Lily Bee Design

Like I mentioned in my previous article about Lily Bee Design from CHA Summer, this company achieved something rare for a show release – an entire batch of new collections that are all home runs. All four of the company’s new lines for CHA Summer 2011 are downright usable, an important difference from some lines that are beautiful to look at but difficult to actually execute using.

Memorandum is especially notable because all of the backsides are office paper designs, a theme that has been trendy but that is also becoming something of an industry staple. Paired with classic, elegant vintage designs on the front side, this collection could have a long shelf life.

The other “general purpose” line is called Head Over Heels, and while probably technically intended for the valentine’s day market, it can serve as a beautiful vintage look for a wide variety of projects and topics. The color palette is very trendy and the floral design that unites the palette of all the patterns is just beautiful. The line’s other patterns include a full range of currently trendy elements: damask, doilies, sheet music, stripes, lace and dots.

Fans of Lily Bee’s cardstock alphabet sheets won’t be disappointed, as the new releases are accompanied by some beautiful coordinating alphabet options. Of particular note is the floral alphabet option that coordinates with the Head Over Heels line:

The rest of the line’s embellishments are just as beautiful, and the 6×6 paper pads will make these patterns – in their scaled down form – indispensible to card makers.

Lily Bee’s fall and holiday themed lines (Harvest Market and Jingle) are also extremely versatile (one of Scrapbook Update’s favorite words). They will be perfect for everything from layouts to cards and decorations.

Echo Park Paper

No surprise here, because they consistently put out great stuff, but Echo Park Paper just about entirely nailed their CHA Summer 2011 collections as well. They were one of the companies that chose to do two separate holiday themed lines with two very different looks to appeal to a wide range of crafters.

Echo Park is one of the many companies that debuted beautiful brad assortments at CHA Summer 2011 (watch for an article soon from Scrapbook Update on that topic!), and their large assortments coordinating with their holiday collections are sure to please crafters of all kinds of projects.
The Halloween line, Apothecary Emporium, has incredible possibilities as well. These were demonstrated beautifully by the samples in the booth:

Echo Park’s mid-cycle release, Victoria Gardens, that is just hitting stores, is full of pastel vintage goodness that will be snapped up by papercrafters for a variety of everyday uses.

My Mind’s Eye

How does this company keep putting such massive releases that are so beautiful? Their releases are always among the largest on the show floor and yet rarely contain many items that fall flat. Like Echo Park (mentioned above), My Mind’s Eye was another company that decided to cater to the huge Christmas market by introducing two holiday collections, one vintage (“Lost and Found Christmas”) and one bright in style (“12 Days of Christmas”).

But the real star of the show for My Mind’s Eye was Lost and Found Two, the sequel to the stunning Lost and Found collection. Another huge collection like the original, this collection follows beautiful in the style footsteps of the original and is sure to be a hit with consumers.

My Mind’s Eye also committed fully to the trend for 6×6 paper pads in the papercrafts market, introducing a collection called Six by Six that consists of twelve paper pads exclusively avaiable in the 6×6 size.

Basically Bare

New exhibitor Basically Bare specializes in producing die cut items from chipboard, acrylic and corrugated material that can be used in all types of papercrafts and mixed media projects. Their booth was absolutely packed when I visited it on Thursday.

While the concept of their products is simple (and not completely new), the scale of their products is larger than competitors and well-suited to the new mixed media projects that are becoming increasingly popular. Also, corrugated cardboard is becoming quite trendy due to the rise of mixed media and they offer a wide range of corrugated, including mini albums sure to be popular with consumers looking for a different type of surface to experiment with.

Bella Blvd – “Making The Team” collection

Sometimes, I hear so much about a single collection from a company that it warrants its own spot on the Hot Picks list. “Making The Team” from Bella Blvd was just such a collection at CHA Summer 2011. It invariably seemed to come up when I asked anyone what they had seen so far at the show that excited them. The big excitement seemed to be that “Making The Team” is a sports collection that is unisex, great for making projects for boys or girls, and that it is flexible across a lot of sports as well.

Why all the excitement about a themed line? As much attention as is paid to the non-themed trends such as vintage, a sizable segment of the scrapbook market still creates in a heavily themed way.  A line like “Making the Team” that seems to instantly speak to scrapbookers as filling a niche they’ve been missing will find a large market easily.

Amy Tan for American Crafts

This line was heavily buzzed about at the show by attendees excited to see it debut. American Crafts has had huge success previously with a signature line from Liz Kartchner called “Dear Lizzie”, and it looks like history is about to repeat itself with the introduction of Amy Tan’s “Amy Tangerine” signature line.

“Amy Tangerine” is a perfect fit for American Crafts’ fun, graphic style, and Amy Tan brings an avid fan base to the table both within and outside the crafts industry that will move her product in stores.

One of the most heavily buzzed-about items in the Amy Tangerine collection was the new mixtape (already a popular item for American Crafts) designs that accompany it.

Studio Calico

This company has fast become an industry powerhouse since debuting as a wholesale company at CHA Winter 2010. This may be the most solid release yet from Studio Calico, anchored by the Classic Calico line of neutral brown basics that are sure to have a long shelf life and be used – and reused – by crafters of all kinds.

It wasn’t just Classic Calico getting the buzz, however. Show attendees seemed just as enamored with “Memoir” and “Autumn Press”. These collections will be pleasing to fans of both the vintage and graphic styles that seem to be dueling for dominance in the industry at the moment – which is perhaps the ultimate secret of Studio Calico’s success.

The accompanying embellishments are what Studio Calico has been known for since their kit club days – their signature twist on graphic, making it somehow elegant and even somehow vintage. Their new partnership with Hero Arts has brought rubber stamps into the collection, and they continue to produce embellishments that are simple but have impact (like the wood items from previous shows). This time around it is die cut kraft stickers, labels, and beautiful alphabets getting all the buzz. Well, almost all the buzz – the company’s new 6×6 paper pads were crowd favorites as well.

October Afternoon

Their heavily western-themed booth made a statement on the show floor, and October Afternoon’s collections made an impression on show attendees as well.

The western-themed line “Sasparilla” charmed many attendees, and stood out among the heavy crop of Halloween and Christmas products that populated the show. Despite the line’s seeming to have heavy theming, all of the patterned papers have at least one side that is actually usable for a wide range of generic topics, making the line versatile for both retailers and consumers while still providing some fun.

Very different from “Sasparilla” but still in October Afternoon’s signature style was “Sidewalks” – a beautiful, bright and happy line for scrapping children and back-to-school. 

One heavily buzzed-about product at October Afternoon was the Sprinklers. In a market saturated with spray ink products, their products are attracting a lot of attention for both their color palette and their pigment ink formulation.

The Crafter’s Workshop

As papercrafters are experimenting more with mixed media techniques, their interest in products like templates to use with mediums like inks and paints has grown significantly. The Crafter’s Workshop has quickly become the industry’s template of choice, and at CHA Summer 2011 they added a strong new pull to their catalog – designs by Julie Fei-Fan Balzer.

Balzer (seen above using her incredible talent for teaching in The Crafter’s Workshop booth) brings an artsy, offbeat design aesthetic to a product that could otherwise be staid and boring. Through her template designs, she is bringing a new dimension of style to the papercrafting world – one that seems to be being well-received, and which may open the industry to a whole new market of crafters.

Jillibean Soup

And last, but not least…there’s Jillibean Soup! This is yet another company that consistently turns out good, reliable product lines that both consumers and retailers can come back to time and again.

Their holiday line “Christmas Eve Chowder” contained a popular icon for this show: Penguins. We predict that the bright, colorful line will be popular in both its full-size version and in the 6×6 paper pad version for making cards and other small holiday projects.

Jillibean also previewed another holiday line that was heavily buzzed about – for Valentine’s Day. “Hearty Barley Soup”, with a palette of pink and red and white on a kraft background, was a heavy favorite of show attendees.

The company’s several other lines, all in bright colors, were also buzzed-about heavily at the show as crowd favorites for various seasons. Jillibean released lines that spanned summer to Valentine’s Day – a wide range of options to choose from.

But perhaps above all, the star of Jillibean’s introductions was their embellishments. They made a small, important change to their paper embellishments (cardstock alphabets and stickers) – they are now printed on matte finish paper for ease of writing on, inking, distressing, etc. The company’s button assortments are beautiful, and along with their soup label sheets, are sure to be popular with the growing market of card makers in the industry.

So…there they are…the Scrapbook Update CHA Summer 2011 Hot Picks list! It was a difficult decision, and there were many successful companies and products that didn’t make the list since we can only pick ten. But we believe that these are the true standouts in the crowd…and we can’t wait to see what they and everyone else will bring to Anaheim in January 2012!

[Editor's Note: Many thanks to Scrapbook Update Contributing Writer Melissa Stinson for contributing the fabulous photography for this article.]

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May’s Product Picks: Vintage Halloween

[Editor’s Note: Increased focus on Halloween as a holiday has led to an explosion in the offerings of Halloween-themed scrapbook supplies the past few years. This year, it seemed there were as many Halloween lines on display at CHA Summer 2010 as there might have been Christmas lines five years ago. Halloween is hot – even if you don’t live in Florida like I do! In this piece, May brings together two huge trends – vintage and Halloween – to show off red hot (or is that smouldering orange) seasonal picks!]

One of my favorite aspects of scrapbooking holidays is that vintage inspired products are easy to put to use with my photos easily. Thanks to twists on tradition, color combinations that work for a variety of photos, classic designs, and new ideas the scrapbook market is filled this year with vintage inspired bliss. I can’t wait for Halloween to be over just so I can have more photos and reasons to scrapbook!

Today I have five picks to share with you:

Graphic 45′s “Halloween in Wonderland”  [Scrapbook.com] is probably the Halloween collection I’ve heard the most buzz about. The designs are so much fun – it literally is “Halloween in Wonderland!” My personal favorites, though, are the more neutral (black and cream) pieces that could easily lend themselves to many of my non-holiday scrapbook needs.

Anna Griffin’s “Esmerelda” collection [Scrapbook.com] is a dream come true. I usually find her product to be stunning – but my photos never seem quite formal or fancy enough to work well with the product. In this case, I feel like the intricate designs are perfect for any eerie, pumpkin filled, or spooky Halloween photos I might take.

Jenni Bowlin’s chipboard buttons [Scrapbook.com] are a wonderful addition to any stash! I love the jack-o-lanterns and children pieces mixed in with the labels.

Echo Park Paper’s digital Apothecary collection [at jessicasprague.com] combines a classic spooky Halloween look with patterns and designs that could be useful beyond the 31st of October. I love the damask and polka dot pieces especially.

Finally, I may be on the Girls’ Paperie design team, but even if I weren’t I still love their new line Toil & Trouble. It is vintage inspired Halloween product at it’s finest. It doesn’t matter how many projects I make with it – I still adore it! The Crepe Paper embellishments and the stickers (a great value!) are among my favorites – but you can’t go wrong with any of it.

Supplies used on layout:
Girls’ Paperie Ghost Story Paper  Scrapbook.com
Girls’ Paperie  sticker market Scrapbook.com
Girls’ Paperie crepe paper flower market   Scrapbook.com
Girls’ Paperie stamps   Scrapbook.com
Girls’ Paperie  metal glitter charms  Scrapbook.com
Girls’ Paperie flower market Scrapbook.com
Tim Holtz  distress stickles in spiced marmalade  Scrapbook.com
Ranger enamel accents  Scrapbook.com
Ranger UTEE in Platinum
Other: buttons, pen, white cardstock

I could go on all day – My Mind’s Eye’s [Scrapbook.com], Tim Holtz [Two Peas], and Pink Paislee [Scrapbook.com] all have  fantastic offerings as well just to name a few more. There is so much great product to choose from – whether you want elegant or grungy, spooky or whimsical, or something in between you’re sure to find the perfect product for you.

Do you have a favorite supply for Halloween scrapbooking? Feel free to comment here and share with us…

Check out the latest e-book from Ella Publishing by Angie Lucas & Kelly Jeppson:

Journaling that Matters: Simple strategies for finding the right words (by Angie Lucas and Kelly Jeppson)

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