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Tag Archives | Julie Fei-Fan Balzer

Paperclipping Roundtable #84: So Cute Today

This week on the Roundtable we took on a topic not often talked about…scrapbooking our parents. Debbie Hodge and Julie Fei-Fan Balzer joined the Roundtable for this discussion of family and memories.

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Noteworthy | 9.09.2011

As the first full week of September comes to a close, it seems education is a big theme this week. Not only are the kids back to school, but new craft classes are popping up all over the place! This week three very different classes make my noteworthy list, as well as some great tutorials and a sale that you don’t want to miss.

Christy Tomlinson announced that she has a new workshop coming this fall: She Art Workshop #2.

 In this workshop, I delve more into the smaller details on how I make my She Art girls, including their hair, face, clothing,plus some really fun technique to make those even more unique!  PLUS I will go into how to create simple faces on your She ARt Girls!

The class begins November 7th, and registration is just $35 when you sign up during September. There is also a discount for those interested in signing up for this new class and the first She Art class. More information and registration is available on Christy’s blog.

Designer Digitals is having their quarterly sale – and with the entire store priced at 30% off, it’s noteworthy indeed! Shown above are just a few of the 39 new items just posted that are of course included in this weekend’s sale. With a lot of new product from Ali Edwards, and with such a huge selection, both digital and hybrid crafters do not want to miss out on the opportunity to save big. The sale ends at 3am EST next Wednesday (9/14) morning.

Get it Scrapped! announced a brand new digital scrapbooking class with Jana Morton called “Blending and Beyond”:

Jana  Morton has a passion for preserving memories, and she pursues this passion with a unique and appealing style. Jana breathes new life into everyday photos using the tools available in Photoshop. In “Blending and Beyond” you have the opportunity to look over her shoulder while she works and, thus, understand the techniques and artistry that are a part of her signature style.

Students will have an “over the shoulder” view of Janna as she creates six digital layouts over six weeks. To see the class schedule, get more information, and to register for this $65 class ($55 if you register before 9/16) visit the Get it Scrapped website.

The Crafter’s Workshop templates are hot – they made Scrapbook Update’s top 10 for CHA, I did a video post about them, and they are popping up all over the place! Scrapbook.com is having a buy two, get one free sale on them right now, and that’s not even the noteworthy part today! The real exciting news is that Julie Fei-Fan Balzer is doing a series of tutorials on her blog that focus on her templates with the Crafter’s Workshop. “Stencil-a-palooza” looks to be a great resource and chance to see get new ideas for these stencils.

Welcome to Stencil-a-Palooza!  Several days a week for the next month or so I’ll be featuring one of my eighteen stencil designs for The Crafter’s Workshop!  Each post comes with a giveaway.  Leave a comment answering the question-of-the-day and you might be the winner of that day’s featured stencil in both 6×6 and 12×12!

With videos, loads of project images, and the added bonus of give-aways this is the start to an amazing series I am really interested in. So far she has done a Chevron post, and a Herringbone post, both of which are exceptional. Watch her blog for more!

There is a cool tutorial up on the Ormolu blog this week, showing how to make this unique hybrid scrapbook page. Creative team member Kaitlin Sheaffer shares the how-to as well as some tips and her inspiration behind the page. Her design process as well as combining digital and traditional into her title is really neat.

Jenny Doh announced that she is bringing back her first on-line class “crafting my best life” this fall.

Crafting My Best Life, Class of 2011 is the same quality content that the founding class experienced, being offered to a brand new group of students. The curriculum helps us get real, dig deep, and explore the answers to these questions which are complex and multi-layered. It’s a curriculum based on a belief that in order to be the best that we can be, we have to roll up our sleeves, and work hard to deliberately face who we are, and to identify our values, so that we can map out our best life strategies.

Class begins October 3, and the $98 fee includes a kit that is mailed to students upon registration. For more information, to see Jenny’s video about class, and to register visit the Crescendoh site.

Shimelle is known for her informative posts on her blog, and her Camera School series is definitely one you don’t want to miss. Rather than making my head hurt with technical lingo, she breaks down information in a format and style of writing that makes sense and is helpful.

I promised I wouldn’t make this technical. I promise to keep that promise. And that’s because my entire process for taking a picture is about stripping away as much of the technical as I can. Basically if you can totally figure out just a couple basics, then the rest gets really easy.

Her lesson 2: let ISO set you free post that she posted on Thursday is a great installment, and I look forward to more. All of her Camera School posts are listed here.

Finally, in new and exciting product news, Simon Says Stamp has all of the new Tim Holtz stamps (wood mounted and cling!) as well as some of his new idea-ology products and some seasonal die cuts in stock now. Over at Scrapbook.com the much anticipated new Studio Calico lines are in-stock this week as well.

“Noteworthy” is a new regular weekly column at Scrapbook Update. Have something new & noteworthy to share? Feel free to leave a comment, or if you have something you would like considered for next week’s column, email may@scrapbookupdate.com with a link or press release.

Check out May’s latest class at Big Picture Classes:

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Check out May’s new book, Scrapbook Workshop!

We are so happy and excited to share with our Scrapbook Update readers that Contributing Editor May Flaum has authored another book!

May’s new book from Memory Makers is called Scrapbook Workshop: The Best Techniques From Your Favorite Scrapbook Bloggers. It features May along with 25 of the industry’s most amazingly creative bloggers showcasing their favorite techniques through tutorials and layouts. Both digital and paper techniques are included, so there is something for everyone no matter what kind of scrapbooker you are! Scrapbook Workshop is available in print, Kindle, and iBook versions.

Among the bloggers featured in the book are Julie Fei-Fan Balzer, Katie Pertiet, Tammy Tutterow, Wendy Vecchi, Doris Sander, Sharyn Tormanen, Debbie Hodge, Becky Olsen, and Dina Wakely, along with a host of other familiar and not-so-familiar names.

And there’s another reason we’re excited around here, because Scrapbook Update Contributing Writer Melissa Stinson is one of the book’s featured bloggers as well! I’m so inspired to try out her fun technique from the book after reading it just now!

Congrats to May and to Melissa on this big accomplishment for both of them!

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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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CHA Summer 2011 | Tsukineko, Faber Castell, Crafter’s Workshop, Canvas Corp, and Basically Bare

I thought I’d take a break for a moment from the purely scrapbooking posts and do another roundup of mixed media, art, and collage medium manufacturer booths from CHA Summer 2011. All of these items would be wonderful additions to any scrapbook, of course, but they are also great for more “artsy” projects such as decorative canvases and art journals.

Tsukineko is the first stop on this little tour, and the Scrapbook Update team found several things here to be excited about, including new shades of their Fireworks craft ink spray.

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Scrapbook Update editor Nancy Nally took some time to play at Tsukineko’s make and take table and found that the Fireworks sprays not only give great coverage, but they also dry very quickly!

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Tsukineko’s Goosebumps texture spray is now available in two new finishes- matte and shimmer. Both of these new formulations and the original Goosebumps spray dry quickly and can be used to give your art projects a slightly “bumpy” surface.

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Delicata is a new formulation of gold ink that dries quickly on porous papers (the smudge in the sample image is due to a non-porous surface being used, but I was told that a heat gun will set the ink on a slick surface) and is advertised as never losing its luster or tarnishing.

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Tsukineko introduced two new colors – Ivory Black and Roast Coffee – to their popular StazOn Opaque collection at this CHA show.

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Brush Stix are also new with this release. These brushes have firm, slightly flexible dense foam tips and are perfect for those who want to paint with their inks.

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Art supply giant Faber Castell introduced several new items at the CHA Summer show, as well as expanding several existing lines.

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Their “Mix & Match” system allows artists to mix mediums easily by providing samplers and kits that have been specially selected to coordinate.

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Faber Castell’s Stamper’s Big Brush Pens will be popular with scrapbookers, cardmakers, and anyone looking to color directly onto their stamp before making an impression (versus using a traditional ink pad).

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Faber Castell introduced a new Neutrals set to their PITT Artist Pens.  These India ink pens are archival and can be used on a variety of surfaces, including canvas and wood.

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Art GRIP colored pencils provide rich pigment color to any project – these would be absolutely perfect for art journaling!

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The PITT Artist Pen Writing Set from Faber Castell provides the same great features found in the regular PITT Artist pens, but with an unltra-fine nib perfect for journaling.

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The next stop on our mixed-media blitz is The Crafter’s Workshop, home of plastic templates in a huge variety of styles and sizes.

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Scrapbook Update carried the news earlier this year that Julie Fei-Fan Balzer was signing on with The Crafter’s Workshop to bring her signature designs to their line, and both she and her new templates were on hand in the booth for a make and take session. Nancy Nally took part in this project and spent some time using the templates and a variety of mediums to create a tag (I admit that I hung back solely because I was afraid of getting paint on my shirt!).

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Canvas Corp’s huge range of kraft papers caught my eye as soon as I walked into the booth.

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The reason I wanted to include their booth in this roundup post, though, was because of the sheer variety of canvas items they carry- perfect for all your altering and mixed media needs!

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Eventually the kraft paper pulled me (and the camera) back, though, because if there’s anything that all of us at Scrapbook Update can agree that we love, it’s kraft!!

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I can see these kraft clocks being used in a Week in the Life album.

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This damask pattern is set on black paper instead of kraft, but I couldn’t help including it in all of it’s fuzzy flocked glory.

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Canvas Corp had Halloween kraft on hand…

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…and Christmas kraft as well!

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Post card motifs are a hot item right now.

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Aren’t these damask and text patterns simply elegant?

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Canvas Corp. also offers plain corrugated sheets. These have so many uses – mini album covers, die cutting, and even layout backgrounds!

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I spotted a festive Fourth of July kraft set in one corner of the booth.

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These tissue paper sheets are full of possibilities, too! We inquired, and they do take ink well, meaning they can be stamped or distressed.

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Even though I visited on the last day of the show (and in the afternoon, no less), the Basically Bare booth was so packed that I could barely get in to take photos. This was one popular place at Summer CHA!!

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It’s no wonder that they were so busy – just look at all those awesome shapes, including an adorable set of cupcakes!

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These chipboard gears will satisfy steampunk and grunge fans.

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Basically Bare had a great selection of chipboard and corrugated die cuts following the home arts trend we’ve been seeing the last several CHA shows, with buttons and dress forms in several sizes and colors.

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The pennant banner trend is still going strong, if Basically Bare is anything to judge by!

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And, of course, the booth was filled with lovely sample display projects.

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Did you see anything in that mixed media feast that caught your eye? Anything you think will be a hot trend, or that you personally just have to have now? Leave us a comment and let us know what you’re thinking! We’ll be back later – there are still many, many booths to share with you!

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