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Trend Watch: Decorative Tape

News flash: Tape is a hot, must-have scrapbooking supply.

For those of you who just said, “well, duh, Melissa,” let me explain. I’m not talking about just any old tape here. I’m talking about the fun, decorative, available-in-so-many-colors-and-patterns-that-it-makes-you-want-to-collect-them-all kind of tape!

Also commonly known as “washi” tape (from the Japanese word referring to a specific type of handmade paper), decorative tape is available to crafters in a dazzling array of colors, widths, and types of materials. Many Etsy shops and small online sellers offer imported washi tape made in the traditional Japanese style, and a large number of scrapbook manufacturers also produce their own varieties of similar decorative tape.

Scrapbook-specific styles of decorative tape are being designed to coordinate with new paper lines, such as American Crafts Mixtapes from the “City Park” and “Dear Lizzy: Enchanted” collections.

Making Memories has introduced patterned tapes for many of its new lines over the years including their latest travel release, “Panorama“.

Decorative tape fits right in with 7 Gypsies’ vintage, eclectic style, and they’ve produced it to coordinate with many of their lines such as “Lille,” “Avignon,” and “Venice.” The patterns are reminiscent of vintage ephemera – 7 Gypsies’ signature look.

Holidays and seasons are another popular design theme for decorative tape. Tim Holtz has some amazing designs in this area, including “Hobgoblin” (Halloween) and “Tidings” (Christmas) versions of his tissue tape.

American Crafts’ holiday-themed tape is also a strong entrant in this category. The “Dear Lizzy: Christmas” version features a gorgeous array of colors and patterns in a single package.

7 Gypsies has a fun Christmas set available in the form of their “Christmas Wrap” collection.

Not even Martha Stewart can resist the attraction of decorative tape, as evidenced by this sweet Valentine’s Day offering.

Many decorative tapes are also being produced as standalone products with no associated holiday or paper line. Perhaps some of the most popular of these are Tim Holtz’s tissue tapes – the timeless patterns and neutral colors of his designs (“Sketchbook,” “Nostalgic,” and “Journeyman” shown below)  make them perfect accents for all types of layouts, cards, and paper projects.

Tim even dreamed up a tape-gun style dispenser for his tissue tapes that’s now being produced by Advantus.

Pink Paislee has several styles of tape available in their Artisan line of generic embellishments, including the Bayberry, Green, Lime, and Red varieties shown below.

Martha Stewart has another entry in this category – the fresh and feminine “Vintage Girl” collection.

Hambly has jumped into the washi tape trend in a big way with their new tapes. Four new collections were debuted at CHA Winter 2011 and have been one of the most anticipated releases from the show.

Digital scrapbookers aren’t left out of this latest trend. Many designers are now including coordinating tape strips in their digital kits as well as offering standalone tape collections. “Patterned Tapes No. 1” and “Defined Tapes No. 1” from Designer Digitals are just two of the many, many styles available.

So what can you do with all of those beautiful products? Decorative tape is a supply that is as versatile as it is varied, and there are myriad uses for it on your papercrafting projects. It makes a wonderful base for embellishment clusters – just tear off a small piece and use it as a way to anchor your embellishments to each other and to the photo block at the same time. You can use it to completely cover die cuts and chipboard (instead of using paint or patterned paper). It’s a wonderful replacement for ribbon or paper strips, and it’s even great at adhering items (imagine that)! Amy Tan is a master at that last one and often uses copious amounts of washi tape in her travel mini albums (you can see one of her more recent works here). She also offers an instant download course at Big Picture Classes called “Get Those Creative Juices Flowing,” in which she covers her use of washi tape along with ideas for making your own.

Another use for washi tape? Fold it over baker’s twine and cut to shape for a fun spin on the pennant trend!

Supplies:

Cardstock: Bazzill Basics Paper (“Raven“)
Patterned Paper: Creative Imaginations (“Threepio “, “Blueprint” and “Storm Trooper” Die Cut)
Journaling Spot: Anna Griffin (“Darcy” collection)
Letter Stickers: American Crafts (“Poolside” white)
Punches: Martha Stewart Crafts
Baker’s Twine: The Twinery (Charcoal)
Spray Mist: Studio Calico (Calico White)
Decorative Tape: Tim Holtz for Advantus (“Journeyman“)

I’d like to take a moment to thank Japan – a country that has gifted to the world such cultural phenomenons as Hello Kitty, anime, and Nintendo – for giving papercrafters everywhere a trend that they can call their very own. Which reminds me…I found the cutest Hello Kitty washi tapes on Etsy and need to go order some right now!

The staff of Scrapbook Update would like to extend our sincere best wishes to the people of Japan as they work to recover from the recent earthquakes and tsunami.

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Product Review: Making Memories Paper Reverie

Making Memories products have been staples in my craft room for many years, and I’m delighted to see that they continue to produce products I want to buy and use. Their new collection called Paper Reverie is now in stores, and is one of my favorite new paper lines right now. What I appreciate about this collection, beyond the beautiful designs, is that it’s very neutral. These products can be mixed and matched with so many other items in my stash, and the classic look is one that will suit my crafting needs for a long time to come.

In other words- I’ll be investing in a lot of this beautiful product.

Making Memories Paper Reverie products used:
Stripe Paper
Text Paper
Gems & Glitter Tape
Butterflies
Shimmer Alphabet Stickers
Cardstock Alphabet Stickers
Gem & Brad Combo Pack
Baubles
other: pen, glitter

Paper Reverie is actually made up of four separate sub-collections (Brun Antique, Metallique, Noir, Sienne). Each has unique paper designs, but similar embellishment options. They all have a vintage and distressed feel, but are neutral enough in both color and style to be used on any number of projects.

I can envision holiday layouts, special meal place cards, lovely thank-you notes, everyday layouts, and home decor projects being created with these lines.

Above is one of my favorite papers from the collection. The glitter and the pattern are just so lovely.

The baubles are one of my favorite embellishment picks, although I really don’t think there are any bad choices from this collection’s options.

With hints of sparkle and glamour, and styles that work so well with many other lines in my stash, I see this collection as a fantastic fall buy. I’ll be creating with and enjoying this line for a long time to come.

Paper Reverie is now available at Scrapbook.com and twopeasinabucket.com.

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Vacation 2010: May’s Picks

Visit any scrapbook store on-line or in person, and there is one subject I’ll promise that you’ll find featured: vacation. I started as a child scrapbooking my summer vacations, and I know a great deal of other scrapbookers who were lured into this hobby by the desire to make scrapbooks about their vacations.

Has that changed for me? No way! I still love scrapbooking trips both big and small, and what I really appreciate is how the industry has gone from intensely themed and brightly colored product to more useful product, and to items that can cross over into other pages and subjects as well. While I utilize a great many items in my vacation scrapbooks that are not themed, I also am always on the lookout for the best of travel and vacation products available.

And from cruises to road trips, time at the beach to camping,  and just general travel, journey, and trip products…there is definitely a lot available. Here are six collections I think are fantastically useful, cool, and otherwise great buys:

I particularly appreciate the value in the Girls’ Paperie sticker book (just $4.99 for seven sheets of stickers!) Scrapbook.com | Two Peas

Looking for a great accent for your next travel or journey page? Try these tags from 7 gypsies.  Two Peas | Scrapbook.com

I also like this transparency from Teresa Collins Travel line. It could be such fun to mark on, paint, spray, and otherwise alter to suit my travels.

One stand out line this season that I mentioned above is Making Memories Panorama line. I love the tropical feel of the product, and that the colors are not too bright, and that any number of layouts could be lovely with the product – not just travel.

I created this layout about a vacation at our home – and I loved how easily it all came together.

Patterned Paper (die cut):  Two Peas | Scrapbook.com
Patterned Paper (background): Two Peas | Scrapbook.com
Making Memories Title Letters  Two Peas | Scrapbook.com
Making Memories Tickets Two Peas
Making Memories Journaling Card  Scrapbook.com
Making Memories die cut shapes Two Peas
Making Memories Wordfetti Two Peas

Evalicious flowers with buttons www.shopevalicious.com
other: white thread, rhinestones, black pen

I like vacation products that put me in a relaxed state of mind. I like products that have a style that I’d normally choose to use, and that can be used for all kinds of subjects. Words like laughter, good times, journey, and so many others that can be found in these products can be creatively put to use for anything! Palm trees and ocean waves don’t have to mean that you’re on a cruise – they can represent a summer’s day, or just a relaxing time.

What adventure will be next in my scrapbooking? I’ve got a few ideas, and you can be sure that I’ll be taking some of these fantastic products along with me to create and enjoy. Before I end this article here are a few more fun items to consider:

Canvas flip flops mini book by Quick Quotes: Scrapbook.com

Martha Stewart Border Punch: Scrapbook.com

Karen Foster metal decorative plates are so fun – perfect if you’re traveling or on a road trip in the USA.  Scrapbook.com

I could go all day! Bella Blvd has a great new camping line. EK Success continues to produce travel-themed Jolee’s Boutique stickers. By getting specific with what kind of vacation you’re having when you use search terms, you can find even more inspiration and fun. I hope you’ve enjoyed my look at some current picks for great vacation products.

[Disclosure: May is a member of the design team at The Girls Paperie, some of whose products appear in this article.]

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CHA Summer 2010: More of “May’s Must-Haves”

I did not attend CHA two weeks ago, but that certainly hasn’t stopped me from drooling over new goodies coming out. From where I sit, the scrapbooking industry is doing amazing things and I feel super inspired by all the products I’ve seen – and I know I’ve not nearly seen it all!

As I surf the internet and manufacturer websites I’ve been gathering some of my favorites. I shared an article before the show with some of my sneak peek favorites, and now I’m back with more. It certainly wasn’t easy to narrow down.  There are a lot of great things! A few I’m especially loving are Tattered Angels, Basic Grey, Cosmo Cricket, Bella Blvd, October Afternoon, and Crate Paper. They all have fantastic looking product coming out.

This article contains a few of my top picks. Oh yes – I have a whole new list of must-have items that are soon to be available. (And I hope it’s sooner than later!)

Continue Reading →

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Review: Making Memories Vintage Groove Jewelry

[Editor's Note: Making Memories has recently followed the lead of scrapbook company EK Success into the bead and jewelry segment of the crafts market. Contributing Writer May Flaum gave the jewelry a try to see if it will appeal to Making Memories' existing scrapbook customers.]

When I discovered the “Vintage Groove by Jill Schwartz” line from Making Memories at CHA-Winter 2010, I was instantly smitten. What you are about to read is a gushing review of the most unexpected find of the winter show. A scrapbooking company getting into jewelry? What sounds crazy at first makes a lot of sense to me. There is a lot of crafting overlap already, and I believe they’ve done an excellent job with this.

What appealed to me were the detailed vintage inspired pieces, the colors, and most of all the usefulness of the line. Once I saw how easy it was to use, and that even I could find success with the line I was sold. I have been working with some pieces from this new offering, and I’m impressed with the quality, variety, and how beginner-friendly this line is. There are a lot of items available, from monograms to charms, flowers to rhinestones – everything you need to make simple and amazing jewelry.

You only need jump rings and pliers to attach things together, and you can simply piece things together. Making Memories has a variety of chains and pieces that are able to link together, and I was able to start making things in minutes. I used to string beads to make necklaces when I was a child, but I have never been into making my own jewelry. This line has me re-thinking that and ready to buy a whole lot more.

I didn’t need to figure out “how”, just simply what I wanted. Choose a chain, choose some decorative pieces, and attach with jump rings.

I learned quickly (with a very sore thumb) that two pairs of pliers to twist the jump rings open is imperative. Making Memories has a video on their website demonstrating a quick and easy monogram necklace that demonstrates the how-to nicely.

Playing with these products, I found myself both dreaming up pieces for myself and thinking about the gifts I could create for others as well. I was really encouraged by how easy they’ve made this so that I don’t need to be an expert to put something pretty together. Above is a necklace I made in under 10 minutes. I confess, the hardest part is choosing what to use! That takes considerably longer.

I really like that no matter what you choose from the line, it’s going to go with everything else. Depending on your color and style preferences, you can make any number of looks, and it can be as tricky or simple as you like. In the above necklace I pieced together some charms, pieces of chain, and even some pre-made lengths of beads to create this funky necklace. I didn’t worry about matching things, and I love how this looks on me. Funky and fun – and totally one of a kind.

I showed the pieces I have to a friend who is very into jewelry making, and she was excited by how the charms and decorative beads and pieces could be used in her more advanced work. Because the line is sold in small affordable bits and pieces, you can really get the things you love, and not be stuck with items you don’t wish to use. I went wild with a multi-strand necklace (above) using the silver bead chain that is a part of the line. Having chains and strands of beads ready to go is so nice. I just get to play with the fun stuff!

What I am most excited about is how quickly I could start having finished pieces in my hands, and that if I made a mistake I could simply open the jump ring back up and start over. I am also very excited by how some of these pieces would translate beautifully into scrapbook and paper craft projects.

I already shop the bead isles at my craft store for unique embellishments, and I love that some of these are flat enough to work for me.

In the layout above (Making Memories princess sticker, alpha stickers, paper, and Jenni Bowlin button) I strung several pieces together along the bottom of my photo and removed the metal backing for the large blue flower. Normally I think I would just choose one or two special pieces to accent my layout, but I couldn’t resist.

Playing with these products has been a treat, and I look forward to seeing all of the products in stores soon. I’m told that a handful of select Target stores have the line now, and that it should show up the first week of April in stores that have ordered it. If you like the vintage look as much as I do, you’ll want to keep your eyes peeled for it.

I’m already looking forward to making another necklace and bracelet, not to mention some canvas and scrapbook projects.

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