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Kaisercraft Feels Effects of Australian Floods

Leading Australian manufacturer Kaisercraft is feeling the effects of the massive floods that are currently devastating the state of Queensland.

Although the company’s offices are based in Victoria, they have two factory outlet stores in Queensland areas that are affected by flooding. Kaisercraft’s outlet stores do not sell current product lines. Instead the outlets sell outdated product stock, samples, and seconds. Proceeds from the sales of the samples and seconds go to support children’s charities overseas, including kindergartens in Fiji and children’s homes in Sri Lanka and the Phillipines.

One of the Queensland outlets is located in Toowoomba, the town that had an “inland tsunami” go through it, flooding the whole town of 130,000 people in only a matter of minutes. Kaisercraft’s media representative, Alison Wood, tells Scrapbook Update that the store in Toowoomba is closed because the whole town is flooded and she reports that unfortunately the outlet has water trickling in the door.

Kaisercraft’s other Queensland outlet is in Browns Plain. That outlet is also currently closed, according to Wood, because closed roads are making the store inaccessible to staff.

The company hopes to reopen the outlet stores sometime next week, depending on the safety of local road conditionss.

Each of the outlet stores has four staff members. Wood told Scrapbook Update that unfortunately at least some of their staff members have experienced varying amounts of personal property damage in the flooding.

Kaisercraft will be exhibiting at the Craft & Hobby Association show in Los Angeles at the end of the month in booth #3014. Sneak peeks have not yet been shown of the company’s new products.

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Review: KaiserCraft ‘Beyond The Page’ [Giveaway]

KaiserCraft is a company based in Australia that has quickly become one of my favorite imports from the land down under. They make great scrapbooking and paper crafting products, and I always look forward to see what they’ll do next. I don’t spend a lot of time on altered projects. Instead, most of my time and energy goes into scrapbook layouts. That said, I really do like the idea of altered projects, and I love a good product that can help me be creative and save time. It’s for these reasons that I have really grown to love KaiserCraft and their ‘Beyond The Page’ line of products.

shown above: Holly Wreath, Stocking Garland, and Love Monologue

The wood items are easily covered, painted, or otherwise decorated. All come with a small photo of the finished item, but instructions are not included. For some projects it has taken me a bit of time to work out the best way to put it together, but for the most part the pieces I’ve selected are simple enough that it is immediately clear what to do to assemble them.

What I really do enjoy with these projects is that I can choose how easy or hard, how detailed or simple, I want to make them. To start off with, I decorated this tree.

To cover the wood, I used green cardstock (and a light coat of liquid adhesive). Then I cut it apart, and used the KaiserCraft Be Merry elements and their ’Tis The Season’ acrylic holly leaf stamp. Very soon, I had tied this tree together and was ready to hang it up! I used Tim Holtz Distress Ink and Distress Embossing Powder (with the holly stamp) as well as edging this piece in Distress Ink.

A few items I’d recommend when working with this line include a good adhesive/sealant such as PPA by USArt Quest, sanding tools such as the Basic Grey sanding tool set, and plenty of patience. Whether you’re painting, misting, or paper covering (or some of each) your piece, you’ll want to allow it to dry thoroughly in between sessions to ensure the best possible final product. Whenever I rush I end up with smears, mistakes, and other problems. I also recommend using adhesive all the way to the outer edges when covering with paper so that the edges won’t lift away from the base.

All of that advice is really true for any altered project, and while the tree above only took two sessions, the one below took quite a bit longer than that.

This tree took a number of hours (over a few weeks), but it’s actually a simple enough project. I used paints, mists, and everything else I could think of to make this ultra colorful tree – which is soon to be centerpiece on my buffet.

key supplies used in making of this tree:
KaiserCraft Large Flourish Tree
Smooch Pearlized Accent Inks
Acrylic Paint (KaiserCraft or other brand)
Glitter Glues (Stickles, or other brand)
Making Memories red brads and rhinestones
Distress Crackle Paint in Tarnished Brass
Fiskars squeeze punch (bird wings)
PPA by US Art Quest (adhesive/sealant)
Liquitex irridescent/pearlescent medium

I have seen this particular tree done very simply (and beautifully) in a single paint color, glittered, or otherwise done a lot quicker than I have here. However, I really just wanted to play and have fun. I kept painting on layers of color, testing different products, and if I didn’t like something I simply covered it (once dry) with a new layer. So much fun!

My best advice when working with a large project like this is to frequently take breaks so you don’t burn out or get sloppy. Just relax and enjoy yourself! I chose to work with paints, inks, and other similar mediums so that I could easily layer over color and change things as I went. I didn’t apply the white paint edging to this piece, or the glitter glue, until I was very comfortable with my nearly finished piece.

I have been having so much fun with these pieces that I have found myself looking over the current selection available and thinking about purchasing more items to play with! I recommend the pieces, like these two above, that are very simple in design and have only a few pieces at the most. They are the easiest to use, sturdiest, and the most fun in my opinion. I count the many mini-book options among these. They are exceptionally sturdy books in all shapes and sizes that could be oh-so-fun to customize.

That said, I’ve also enjoyed some of the more intricate pieces available. Above is a screen shot from the KaiserCraft website of their advent calendar. I really appreciate how many projects and images they share both on their blog and the website itself.

The Advent Calendar has a lot of pieces – so expect to spend some time cutting apart and securing all the bits and pieces. What I love most about this piece is that it has a large center area that you can decorate, and also use as a shelf to add little trinkets and holiday cheer.

I chose to paint mine, and decorate the center portion (on the back/base) BEFORE adding all the cubbies and such. I felt this made for much easier decorating, and I didn’t have any pesky paint lines at edges because I was able to work with the individual pieces vs a pre-made piece.

As you can see, I still have some work to do on this project, but I wanted to share these “in progress” photos with you. I am using Crafty Power Tape (by Scrapbook Adhesives by 3L) to hold the chipboard boxes in place and also on the paper that I’m adhering to them. A strong double sided tape works great to both hold the boxes together and secure the paper.

In this project, I am using one of KaiserCraft’s two holiday lines (Tis the Season) for my Advent calendar and WOW! I sure do love this line. It’s so full of damask, holly, sheet music, and vintage Santas – it’s just my thing. I’m looking forward to using it a lot in my holiday crafting.

I look forward to utilizing a lot more KaiserCraft wood alterable items in the future – for both home decor and paper crafting projects. The prices are reasonable and the results are great every time. I have had a lot of fun sharing a bit about these projects with you and I hope they’ve got you in the mood to put your scrapbooking stash to work “beyond the page”!

We have a giveaway to share here today as well – KaiserCraft has generously provided a box full of goodies from both of their holiday lines as well as a Funky Wreath that one lucky Scrapbook Update winner will win.

How To Enter: All you have to do to be the lucky winner is leave a comment on this entry before Midnight U.S. eastern time on Wednesday night, November 24th. Make sure you include your email address in the line reserved for it on the comment form (for your own protection, don’t put it in the text of the comment, where it will be visible to the public – just in the line labeled “email” in the form where only Scrapbook Update staff can see it). We will need it to notify you if you are a winner. Winners will be drawn by random drawing from all eligible entries. One entry per person. U.S. mailing addresses only please.

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Top Ten Product Trends At CHA Winter 2010: Part 1

At every trade show, trends emerge about what kinds of products manufacturers are introducing. Scrapbook Update has identified the top ten trends in new products that showed up at CHA Winter 2010 in Anaheim, and we’re going to take a closer look at them in a two-part series.

(These trends shouldn’t be confused with design trends, which will be addressed in another article. This article just deals with what types of products are being introduced, not what style they are.)

So, in no particular order…here’s the first five of the top ten product trends from CHA Winter 2010:

1. Banners

This trend is actually a product and a design trend. Banners were everywhere at CHA Winter. They were for sale as products, and handmade ones were used as booth displays to show off new products. But here, we’re only concerned about the products. There were canvas banners, banner board books, banner stickers & paper, and banner stamps:

Clockwise from top left: Canvas Home Basics, Canvas Home Basics, October Afternoon, Maya Road, Webster’s Pages, October Afternoon.

2. Decorative Tape

Tape has been around for awhile in a limited sense – I personally own a huge collection of the Heidi Swapp and Making Memories designs and love using them on pages and cards – but now tape is popping up everywhere. There was even a new exhibitor at CHA Winter called Love My Tapes that sells nothing but tape.

Tape is appealing for several reasons to both buyers and sellers. It can sell at an affordable price point for a large quantity. It also has use to a wide range of crafters, from scrapbookers, to cardmakers and beyond.

Clockwise from top left: Love My Tapes, Pink Paislee, Pink Paislee, 7 Gypsies, Tim Holtz idea-ology, Making Memories.

3. Felt

Felt has been around for awhile as well but it is becoming increasingly commonplace. The retro craze has made it especially popular. It’s being used for a wide range of sticker-type embellishments, as well as by companies like Queen & Co. for ribbon-style borders.

Clockwise from top left: Prima, Making Memories, Dear Lizzy by American Crafts, BasicGrey, Kaisercraft, Queen & Co.

4. Artist Trading Cards

ATC’s have been on the fringe of the paper crafts industry for awhile but lately they’ve been growing in importance as companies like 7 Gypsies have been releasing products aimed squarely at that activity, and stampers and scrapbookers look for more things to do with their supplies.

At the CHA Craft Supershow in Anaheim, one booth was doing brisk business in selling ATC card blanks from specialty papers by Strathmore. At the trade show, companies as diverse as Tim Holtz and Making Memories both introduced ATC supplies. Many stamp designs were being sold that were obviously influenced by the ATC aesthetic, which is infiltrating mainstream scrapbooking.

The bottom example here is of the most importance in illustrating this trend. It is of the Shabby Chic version of the new Tim Holtz idea-ology paper pads. It includes pages that are 12×12 as well as pages that are designed to be cut into smaller sizes. There’s some 6×6, some tiny squares, and then some pages that are a combination of ATC’s and borders. This is a big development in the market, selling a product that is designed assuming that most buyers are interested at least somewhat in ATC’s as well as more traditional scrapbooking and card making.

5. Unmounted Rubber Stamps

The use of acrylic stamps has been exploding in the scrapbooking industry. There are several reasons for the growth of unmounted rubber: Concern about the design limitations of clear stamps, a desire to attract hardcore rubber enthusiasts as customers, or the need to compete with the price of clear stamps.

Clockwise from top left: Eco Green Crafts, Hero Arts, Stampendous, Lizzie Anne Designs, Stamper’s Anonymous, Unity Stamps.

Stay tuned for part two, coming soon!



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CHA-Winter 2010 Color Palette Predictions

CHA-Winter 2010 will be here in less than three weeks! And the big question is, what will the major show trends be?

One major trend indicator to watch at each show is what the color palette is. The dominant color palette is a good way to judge what direction the style trends are moving, since certain colors will be associated with certain styles.

Twice a year, Pantone issues color trend forecasts for the upcoming fall or spring fashion season. These trends aren’t always carried into the scrapbook market, since the colors don’t always translate to the needs of scrapbookers. (neon scrapbook paper, anyone?) Pantone’s Spring 2010 color forecast looks like this:

The background on the graphic is all turquoise because Pantone has declared that 2010 is the year of turquoise. Scrapbook Update Contributing Writer May Flaum and Rhonna Farrer both wrote on their blogs agreeing with Pantone’s forecast, and the early peeks from CHA-Winter 2010 are in fact heavy on turquoise.

So what other colors will we be seeing alongside turquoise? Here’s a few predictions, based on fashion in stores, Pantone, and the early sneak peeks:

  • Navy Blue: Brown will be replaced as the dominant neutral by the warmer and richer navy blue. In fact, all the blue tones will be warmer and richer, in contrast to the past several years of more grey or baby blue tones.
  • Lavender/Violet: Purple will be making a comeback in lighter tones.
  • Red: Rich, vibrant reds will be a popular accent color. Spring/summer reds will be brighter than the cranberries that we saw for the holiday lines.
  • Earthy Greens: Green tones will be even more earthy, vintage and grey in nature than the subdued tones we already saw dominate the holiday lines for 2009.
  • Candy Pink: The innocent, happy look of candy pink is back strong.
  • Lemon Yellow: Another bright, happy color tone that is back for summer and to provide a lift to people.

What does this palette look like in action?

Melody Ross’s Homespun Chic line for GCD Studios incorporates a lot of this color palette:

Kaisercraft’s upcoming Gypsy Sisters collection is also a good example of the trendy palette in action:

Many of the other lines that have already been sneaked also feature touches of many of these colors. Some even feature them as dominant themes, like the Independence line from GCD Studios, which heavily features a deep rich navy blue:

So, that is just a sample of the rainbow that CHA will be bringing our way for spring and summer 2010!

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