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Scrapbook Update CHA Winter 2011 Top Ten Hot Picks

Many thanks to Contributing Editor May Flaum, who contributed extensively to the creation of this article.

Here it is finally…the Scrapbook Update CHA Winter 2011 Top Ten Hot Picks!

For those new to Scrapbook Update, our CHA Top Ten Hot Picks list are our picks for the products and companies that we saw at CHA that are sure-fire winners, heavily buzzed-about, or groundbreaking in some way.

Making the selections this time around took a long time because it was surprisingly difficult, much more difficult than it usually is after a CHA show. As we discussed on the Roundtable show at CHA, the show felt somewhat muted. There wasn’t a lot of buzz about very many things. The choices weren’t as obvious as after a lot of CHA shows when the air is just electric with excitement about things.

Also, some of the clear standouts were companies that have been heavily featured on recent Top Ten Hot Picks lists from CHA shows. We didn’t want to sound like a broken record, but we also didn’t want to penalize companies who have been consistently on top of the industry lately.

Ultimately, we came up with a great list of products, and it is full of a lot of familiar names. I think that says something about where the industry is right now: We have some companies that are simply dominating certain categories of products from both a market and quality standpoint.

So let’s take a look (in no particular order) at who and what made the Scrapbook Update CHA Winter 2011 Top Ten Hot Picks list!

Tim Holtz

Ok, let’s just get the obvious one out of the way…Nowhere on the show floor are the crowds bigger (except for the big Provo Craft giveaways) than for anything that Tim Holtz does. He is the arguably the most marketable name in scrapbooking right now, with his name on products by Advantus, Ranger, Sizzix, Stampers Anonymous, Core’dinations, and Tonic Studios.

Tim’s workshops have sold out almost immediately at all of the recent CHA shows and this time was no exception. On the show floor, his demos were always surrounded by huge crowds.

Holtz’s products sales are spurred by his marketability and gift for teaching, but also by his brilliant market placement: he exists in an area between mixed media and scrapbooking, enabling him to reach an audience in both markets. His booth displays always contain a mix of everything from scrapbook layouts (including some at CHA Winter 2011 by Scrapbook Update’s own Contributing Editor May Flaum) to shadow boxes and jewelry and other three dimensional decor items.

Perhaps the flagship introduction of the new Tim Holtz products at CHA Winter 2011 was the Distress Stain, a whole new category of Distress colorant from Ranger. Available in 12 Distress palette colors, the Distress Stain comes in 1 oz bottles with a dabber top, similar to walnut ink many scrappers and stampers may have used. Distress Stain is a water-based dye that soaks into porous surfaces like paper. It’s not blendable like the Distress Ink pads are. In CHA demos, Holtz showed its usability for covering large areas (like a tag background) with color and for creating soft ink effects, like a watercolor look, with stamping.

Two of the other new Tim Holtz items at CHA Winter 2011 that look destined to be extremely popular with consumers are his new Kraft Glassine paper (pictured in use with an embossing folder above) and the Core’dinations Distress cardstock pad (photo below shows Tim demonstrating the monochromatic contrast between the outside and the inner core).

His two new patterned paper pads, including one that is kraft colored with resist ink designs on the pages, will also be wildly popular. But in reality, I expect most of his product lines from this show to be top sellers, with a few exceptions.

Core’dinations

Speaking of Core’dinations, it isn’t just their Tim Holtz products that attracted a lot of attention at CHA Winter 2011. This company has been lining up licensing arrangements right and left, taking part in one of the industry’s hottest business trends, and their introductions in Los Angeles were their best to date.

In addition to the Distress and Adirondack pads, they introduced pads for Graphic 45, BasicGrey, and a host of other companies. Perhaps most amazing were the Core D’Amour collections of papers designed by Teresa Collins and Jenni Bowlin. Those papers featured both embossed and printed design elements, with the contrasting color core for distressing. The result is absolutely beautiful. Photos don’t do the depth of the effect justice (a close-up of one of the Jenni Bowlin papers is below).

With all their licensing arrangments, Core’dinations is bringing a lot of design punch to what used to be a boring scrapbooking staple. In the words of Contributing Editor May Flaum, “They’ve made cardstock sexy!”

Cosmo Cricket Glubers

This is one product that I knew instantly when I saw it would be a hot pick! It was one of the few items I heard buzz about in Los Angeles.

Like most of the best ideas, the idea behind Glubers is deceptively simple: it is a giant round dot of adhesive. The brilliance is in the application of that giant dot of adhesive. Cosmo Cricket is marketing Glubers (available in packages of 12 for $4.99 and multiple sizes from 2″ to 3″) as the basis for creating custom fabric flower embellishments, a look that is currently extremely trendy. Booth samples showed fabric, ribbon and other items being used to create large decorative flowers.

Uniformed Scrapbooks of America

There is a huge market for military scrapbooking supplies, but there tends to be little innovation in that market. Heather and Charles Lovern have brought something new with Uniformed Scrapbooks of America, a new exhibitor at CHA Winter 2011 that sells scrapbooks that have covers that appear as if they are made out of a military uniform shirt.

The product was originated when Heather decided to make a scrapbook for her ex-Marine husband, Charles. She sewed a cover for the scrapbook out of one of his uniform shirts…and a new product line was born. The company is licensed by the US Armed Forces. In addition to the album covers, the company also sells customizable embroidered name tapes that adhere to the album cover “shirts” in the appropriate places, and rank insignia to adhere to the shirt collars.

Something fresh like this should be a big hit in communities with a lot of military families who are sick of the same old, same old in military themed scrapbook offerings.

Technique Tuesday

This company revamped their entire offerings for CHA Winter 2011, with dramatic results. Technique Tuesday eliminated virtually all of their alphabet stamp designs from their catalog, and redesigned their packaging to be much smaller. Instead of being packaged on 8.5 x 11 storage sheets, sets are now packaged on 4 x 6 sheets. This will mean stores will need to devote less display space to sell the products. Technique Tuesday has also lowered their price points, important to be more competitive in a market that is flooded with clear stamp designs.

Balancing the shrinking of their alphabet catalog, Technique Tuesday unveiled a large expansion at CHA Winter 2011 of their most popular offerings: their Ali Edwards signature collection. The five new mini sets of sentiments in Edwards’ distinctive handwriting, with an MSRP of $2.99 each (one is pictured above), will certainly be popular. Love, travel and other theme sets round out the stamp set offerings. The company also introduced new paper designs by Edwards in its Perspectives collection.

The company also expanded their popular class kit offerings, including offering a new kit that capitalizes on the trend towards large dimensional flowers in scrapbooking. The “In Bloom” by Technique Tuesday class kit creates 9 flowers and can be taught over one or two class sessions.

Bella Blvd: Sophisticates by Stephanie

Since its inception, Bella Blvd has consistently provided scrapbookers a bright, cheery look without going 100% over into the cute style dominated by companies like Doodlebug and BoBunny. Existing in a middle ground has allowed the company to draw from a wide range of scrapbook customers.

The new Sophisticates by Stephanie collection introduced at CHA Winter 2011 will certainly continue that wide appeal. Consisting of 11 monochromatic patterned papers, 4 embellishment papers, cardstock alphabet stickers, and chipboard alphabets & embellishments, the collection provides good usable basics in Bella’s signature happy color palette.

Bella Blvd is now including their Blooms a Bella flower embellishments as part of the Sophisticates collection, and introduced a new, smaller, size with buttons in the center to the collection.

Jenni Bowlin

Jenni Bowlin showcased an all-star line up of releases at CHA Winter 2011. At the last show she partnered with Ranger and released high quality inks and paint dabbers, and now she’s returned with even more amazing designs and all new products that all vintage loving paper crafters will need. While she has a new paper line, the real star of the show is all of the trinkets and treasures she released that mix so well with any of her current or past products – and that will also appeal to the growing group of papercrafters who are dabbling in mixed media projects. The hidden genius in this release is how simple it is. Packages of little rosette ribbons, colored plastic bows with rhinestones, additions to her Core’dinations cardstock collection, and trend-forward silhouette rub-ons are only a few of the things coming from Jenni this year.

Bowlin is expanding her usual array of goods that go so well with card making, scrapbooking, and altered arts by also adding vintage inspired tins (shown above – projects above and below by Ranjini Malhotra for Jenni Bowlin Studios), as well as vintage inspired wooden thread spools (shown below). These items have any number of uses for home décor and mixed media work. They are fresh additions to the market as well as simple enough to be user friendly.

For those who aren’t into altered items, Jenni has released more of her popular bingo cards. She is also introducing three Hodge Podge mini books that work as a mini book, or can be taken apart and used in other paper craft projects. The materials featured vary from board book to transparency, and they include brass rings to bind them together.

Bowlin now also offers some stamps, as well as more chipboard shapes, flag banner stickers, and even some rhinestone charms. It is obvious that Jenni Bowlin Studio has put time and effort into a release that should be a winner with consumers. These products build on her existing line of products, complementing and adding new dimension to them while at the same time they’re fresh, new, and must-have items.

EK Success Smash Books

These were one of the most buzzed-about items at the show (if not the most buzzed about, period). These fun journals are designed more in the style of “old-fashioned” scrapbooking – to capture the random scraps of our lives – but are very modern in design.

In addition to the four spiral-bound journal designs (which come with a double-ended ink/glue pen), the Smash line includes accessories like date/phrase stamps, page markers, decorative tape and paperclips. The Smash book pages are heavily designed – this product is obviously intended for a young (or at least hip) audience. This isn’t your grandma’s scrapbook!

We R Memory Keepers Lucky 8 Punches

At CHA Summer 2010, We R Memory Keepers caused a buzz with the Sew Easy tool. This time around it was the Lucky 8 border punches that had everyone talking. This company is quickly becoming the company for tool innovation in the scrapbook industry.

The Lucky 8 punches, available in 6 designs, turn any sheet of 12 x 12 paper into die cut paper. Since the punches can cut an outer edge design, an inner edge design, or both designs at once, they can create three different effects from the same punch. Additional effects can be created by punching fewer than the 8 punches needed to do the entire outer edge of a sheet of paper, to create a partial die cut effect (for instance, just doing opposite corners with the inside cut design).

The Lucky 8 punches have an MSRP of $29.99 each, but compared to buying die cut paper at $3/sheet, the savings of using the punch can add up quickly.

Webster’s Pages

They’ve been reliably producing beautiful vintage collections for several shows now, but this time Webster’s Pages hit every note just right with their five new collections. In particular, their new Trendsetter collection is very eye-catching, calling on a more modern period for its look than most of Webster’s collections while still echoing their romantic look.

In particular, some of the collection’s smaller patterns and its embellishments seem to be very usable – even for scrapbookers who aren’t necessarily into Webster’s signature flowery look. Trendsetter may bring a new audience to Webster’s Pages with its more modern, yet still classic, look.

With designs containing butterflies, dress forms, birdcages, and silhouette portraits, Trendsetter’s name is very accurate. It hits on many of the most prevalent trends on the CHA Winter 2011 show floor, while presenting them with Webster’s Pages own signature style.

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Positions Available: EK Success Brands Inside Sales

EK Success Brands Inside Sales: New Jersey

EK Success Brands, a division of Wilton Brands Inc. and a creative consumer products company has an immediate and exciting opportunity for an energetic and driven Inside Sales Representative.

Responsibilities include:

  • Contact assigned territory customer base for orders as well as established new business
  • Manage your own territory and grow sales volume through tele-sales, heavy liaison between the customers and the various internal departments.
  • Communicate price and product features and benefits.
  • This position relies heavily on phone sales.

Requirements:

  • AA or BA degree with 3-5 years inside sales/prospecting experience is preferred
  • Must be computer literate with MS Office products
  • Desire to meet and exceed clients needs and expectation is a must
  • Must have strong communication skills with demonstrated ability to work independently and problem solve
  • Exceptional time management skills a must
  • Interest in crafts &/or scrapbooking a big plus

*Please note that Scrapbook Update is in no way associated with the companies and the positions listed here.  Please forward all questions or comments about the job listings to the offering organization via the links provided with this article.  Thanks!

May’s Product Picks: Stars

When I think about shapes commonly found in scrapbook supplies, one of the most universal that comes to mind is stars. They can work on pages for boys or girls, vacations or special events, and with any color, size, or materials you want to use. Whether you’re focusing on a future star, an all-star, or whether it’s a patriotic symbol to you – there certainly is plenty of product to choose from.

What I really appreciate is how many companies are coming out with useful products that can be used on anything from county fair to picnic to just because layouts, and everything in between. Today I’d like to share some recent favorite finds that feature one of my favorite scrapbooking shapes: stars!

We R Memory Keepers has a great line called “Old Glory” that looks especially useful. I like the paper pad available for the line (shown above).

I also think the embellishments like this glitter lace would be easy to use – and so fun.

Bo Bunny has a fun new line called Block Party that is filled with warm colors and star-spangled inspiration.

If you search digital sites, you’re bound to find all kinds of fun things. One of my favorites has to be these star flourish brushes by Katie Pertiet of Designer Digitals.

EK Success has a photo corner punch with star cut-outs that looks like a lot of fun.

Last but not least, Pink Paislee has a collection called Starlight that is filled with stars and potential. I especially love the sticker sheet, but really it’s all fantastic to use. Here is a layout I created with it:

I am having so much fun with this line, I picked up extra at my local store! I really like the yellow and all the different blues in the Starlight line because it lets me expand the subjects I can use it on that much farther. Not to mention it has one of the best sticker sheets I’ve had the pleasure to utilize in a long while. Every piece is wonderful!

Supplies: Pink Paislee patterned paper, sticker sheet, and letters; Ranger enamel accents (white);  American Crafts pen; Scrapbook Adhesives by 3L EZ-Runner

If you have a favorite star product, or use for stars in your scrapbooking, please feel free to share!

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Paperclipping Roundtable #25: Jen McGuire Gets Her Fix

Want to know how to use those older products you have laying around? Noell & I talked with Jen McGuire and Ana Cabrera about how to make everything old new again on this week’s Roundtable!

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To listen to this week’s episode, you can use the player embedded above, right-click on this link to download the file to your computer, visit the Paperclipping Roundtable web page or to make things easy, you can use this link:

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Show Notes:

This episode of Roundtable is sponsored by Big Picture Scrapbooking! Click here for a promo code for Paperclipping Roundtable listeners to use to save 10% on any class at Big Picture Scrapbooking!

The Panel

Picks of the Week

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Wilton Makes Chairman Permanent CEO

Wilton Brands Inc. announced today that Chairman of the Board and interim CEO Jerry Levin has been appointed as the company’s permanent CEO. Levin will also continue as the company’s Chairman.

Levin has been interim CEO since Wilton’s previous CEO, Richard Conti, resigned in October 2009 shortly after a settlement with the company’s creditors kept it out of bankruptcy court but placed it under new ownership.

Wilton is the parent of scrapbook brands EK Success, K & Company and Martha Stewart Crafts.

Mr. Levin had this to say about his new role at the company: “Since serving as Chairman and interim Chief Executive Officer I have been impressed with Wilton, and its great products, brands, and people. I am enthusiastic about the opportunities that exist at Wilton. I am looking forward to working with the Board and the Company’s employees to continue Wilton’s successes.”

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Scrapbook Update CHA Winter 2010 Top 10 Hot Picks

Well, it’s all over. The suitcases are unpacked, the photos are loaded in Lightroom, the jet lag is easing. After taking some time to analyze what I saw, and go over my notes and photos in detail, I’ve assembled this list of Scrapbook Update’s Top 10 Hot Picks from CHA Winter 2010:

1. BasicGrey

This pick may sound a bit redundant, because BasicGrey is such a force in the industry. But their last few show introductions have been somewhat underwhelming. One of my favorite companies was frankly, starting to edge toward getting stale. But with the introduction of Kioshi, Green At Heart, Capella, and Max & Whiskers, BasicGrey is starting to look more again like the company whose papers used to make a serious dent in my budget. I wasn’t the only one excited, either – I heard the same sentiment from many others on the show floor.

Another fabulous showing from the company at CHA Winter was their Basics line. Available in 3 colors (white, cream and kraft), it is a line consisting completely of text and ledger-style paper designs that make great backgrounds for building on. Ledger paper is incredibly popular – a whole collection of it is a dream for many scrapbookers.

2. EK Success Slimline Punches

It’s no secret that I’m a fan of the EK Success slimline punches. There will be plenty for everyone to love now, because despite the trend towards smaller product line introductions, EK Success is introducing 78 new designs of slimline punch.

A large number of the new punches are border punches, including some that create paper ribbon chains. For Halloween, EK was previewing a punch collection that included a new even larger size of border punch.Consumers are all about tools right now, and punches are used by scrapbookers and cardmakers. Expect the popular slimline punches to get even more popular with this huge introduction of options.

3. Melody Ross for GCD Studios

A few months after the news broke that the Ultra-Pro owned Chatterbox was defunct, founder Melody Ross is back in style with an amazing collection for GCD Studios. She’s obviously thriving in her new professional home, as this is the best creative work that we’ve seen from Ross in quite some time. Ross, who revolutionized the industry a decade ago with her work at Chatterbox, reclaims her position as one of the leading creative minds in the industry with her CHA Winter lines for GCD Studios.

4. Staz-On Metallic

Stamping is hot. Metallic is hot. So StazOn, the ink that stamps on almost any surface, being introduced in new metallic shades seems like a made-to-order hit for manufacturer Tsukineko.

The metallic StazOn ink pads come in four metallic shades: gold, silver, copper and platinum. The pads work in a similar fashion to the Tsukineko glue pad, coming with a pad and a re-inker bottle from which the pad must be loaded and then more frequently refreshed than a regular ink pad.

5. The Girls Paperie

Margie Romney-Aslett has definitely moved on to a successful new chapter after being let go by Making Memories nearly a year ago. Her new line with Advantus, called The Girls Paperie, was all the buzz at CHA in Anaheim.

The designs are in the beautiful vintage style that Romney-Aslett is known for, and include both papers and embellishments. There are two lines. One is travel-themed, and one is a classic feminine floral grouping.

6. Tim Holtz for Sizzix

Sizzix generated a lot of excitement with the announcement that Tim Holtz would design a line of dies for them called Alterations, and the products unveiled at CHA did not disappoint Holtz’s fans. Alterations is something of a departure style-wise for Sizzix, so it may attract a whole new group of customers for the machine.

One nice feature of many of Holtz’s die designs is that they are divided into many pieces. For instance, pieces from the butterfly die can also be used to create  a dragonfly or half butterfly design. The Alterations line also includes a group of embossing folders for the Sizzix machine.

7. Cricut Cake

While technically not exactly a scrapbook product, the Cricut Cake machine from Provo Craft is designed to extend a papercrafting product line to a new audience: bakers. This new version of the Cricut Expression machine is food safe and designed to cut sheets of sugar to use in decorating cakes and cookies. It will ship in May and retail for $399. Regular Cricut cartridges do work in the machine.

The machine can cut from two different thicknesses of decorating material. From the examples on display at the Provo Craft evening event in Anaheim, the Cake is capable of cutting quite detailed images. The images on the cake below come from a Cricut cartridge called A Child’s Year. The Cricut Cake generated a lot of buzz at CHA, and is a great opportunity for Cricut to extend its market base beyond just papercrafters. According to a representative for Provo Craft who spoke to Scrapbook Update at CHA, the Cake is just the start of some major development in the Cricut line – the company has five new machines in the pipeline for the next few years.

8. Copic Markers

The rise of interest in stamping has brought along a rise in interest in mediums that are used with stamps. There’s been a lot of buzz recently about Copic alcohol-based markers for use with stamps. Copic markers were hot sellers at the CHA Supershow in Anaheim (in fact, the booth with a great deal on them was the only one I waited in line at all day). There were examples on display in many stamping booths at the show that had been made with Copics, and Couture Cardstock was advertising its new bleed-proof Pure Silk blending papers designed especially for use with Copics.

9. Lily Bee Design

Lily Bee Design, a new exhibitor, has been attracting a lot of buzz with its vintage feminine designs. They’ve achieved something that usually seems to be difficult for a new company, by creating embellishment designs that are beautiful and noteworthy. Their chipboard flowers and 12×12 rub-on sheets are worthy accompaniments to the company’s beautiful papers, giving Lily Bee’s lines a depth that many new companies can’t match. These lines’ reasonable size and their quality means that a retailer doesn’t need to cherry-pick them to carry them.

10. Eco Green Crafts

Also in the new exhibitor section, Eco Green Crafts is making a timely entrance to the market when interest is building in “green” products. Co-founder Julia Andrus is a cancer survivor, and all of the company’s products in some way are designed to be environmentally friendly – from low VOC paints and inks to unmounted rubber stamps that save wood. The company’s line of inks are vegetable-based. Eco Green Crafts offers an extensive selection of colors of inks and paints, recycled paper board books, and a catalog of unmounted rubber stamps that are “steampunk” styled, among other products.

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