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Tag Archives | Martha Stewart Crafts

CHA Summer 2011 | EK Success: Martha Stewart, Jolee’s, K&Company, Inkadinkado, EK Tools, and Smash Books

EK Success, the umbrella company for a number of popular scrapbooking brands including Martha Stewart, Jolee’s, and K & Company (just to name a few), displayed all of their new products as well as returning back catalog items in one massive booth at the CHA Summer 2011 show.

The Martha Stewart Crafts display was the first part of EK Success’ booth to catch my eye, thanks in part to this display of the new “Modern Damask” papers. I had May Flaum’s recent Scrapbook Update article highlighting the color plum on the brain, and the purples in many of the papers and embellishments in this line certainly fit that trend!

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Martha Stewart Crafts also offers baker’s twine (another hot industry trend) in several colors. These have been available for quite a while on smaller spools, and it’s nice to see them in a larger package.

DIY parties are a hot trend due to the economy, and this lovely display of DIY party ideas attracted a lot of attention over the course of the show!

Martha Stewart Crafts’ new Christmas lineup was also on display in the EK Success booth, and it featured a range of new stickers, ribbons, buttons, glitter, stamps, and paper.

The lovely gray snowflake print in this paper pad immediately pulled me in!

Martha Stewart Crafts is also debuting a more traditional Christmas paper pad, as well.

Snowflakes, a major staple of Martha’s 2010 Christmas line of stamps and punches, are back in a big way with new stamps and a lacy snowflake border punch thrown into the mix.

A whole new lineup of decorations and DIY party items is also being introduced for the Christmas season. It’s always a treat to see what new designs will be in this seasonal line!

The Jolee’s Boutique brand has practically reinvented itself in recent releases, coming up with a massive range of relevant and usable embellishment stickers covering a variety of papercrafting themes.

Their Christmas and winter lineup is simply lovely, featuring everything from snowflakes to Santa.

Jolee’s “Around the World” line takes crafters on a jaunt through such locations and England and France and features icons such as Union Jacks and Fleur de Lis, among many, many others. (Scrapbook Update’s Anglophile editor Nancy Nally totally flipped for the floral Union Jack icons below!)

The “Steampunk” line from Jolee’s Boutique puts a feminine and fanciful spin on the genre.

Colorful birds, gears, butterflies, and hot air balloons are just a few of the whimsical options to be found here.

The sample projects in the Jolee’s section of the EK Success booth did not disappoint!

K & Company is yet another scrapbooking manufacturer that opted to release both a bright and a traditional Christmas collection at this CHA show. “Secret Santa” contains the bright pink that’s been so popular lately with nontraditional lines, while designers Elizabeth Brownd (product not pictured) and Susan Winget submitted more traditional red and green collections.

EK Success’ stamp line, Inkadinkado, was present in a big way and showed off dozens of Christmas and holiday stamp designs in both clear and cling mount formats. Some are back catalog items (in fact, I recognize a few that I have in my own collection) while others are new releases for the show.

EK Success is also making some additions to its popular line of punches under the EK Tools brand. Snowflakes are a popular theme here, as well, along with many other Christmas and winter icons.

Smash books are a K & Company brand, but they’re so popular that I felt they deserved their own section on this tour (they actually had their own section of the booth, as well).

Smash fans will already recognize many of the items on display…

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…but K & Company is also releasing a new travel version of their popular books!

Mini Smash journals are new for this release, as well.

We’re nearing the end of our massive CHA coverage with only a scattering of booths left to cover. Stay tuned for more to come!

Want to stay up-to-date on all the latest scrapbook news?

3

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.

10

Adhesive Review: The Good, The Bad and The Tacky

Today Scrapbook Update welcomes guest blogger Molly McCarthy for a comprehensive review of scrapbook dot adhesives.

When not testing adhesive, Molly McCarthy teaches Cricut and Photoshop classes at Treasured Memories Scrapbook Store, Inc. as well as serving as a marketing consulting within the scrapbook industry. She resides in Oak Park, CA with her husband and two kids who provide endless story and photo opportunities for her scrapbook pages. To learn more about Molly, follow her on Twitter.

In need of a new adhesive that holds your paper and photos together on your next layout? Scrapbook Update has tested eight everyday-use adhesives and is reporting back on the good, the bad and the tacky!

The good news is that adhesives have improved tremendously over the years. The eight adhesives tested did a commendable job adhering paper-to-paper and paper-to-photo. They were tested on both flat and textured cardstock (i.e. Bazzill) and all held items together, though some did a better job than others on the textured cardstock.  The best application for all of these adhesives is on flat cardstock or photos but it’s nice to know that the industry has tried to address one of paper crafters’ biggest complaints regarding adhesive’s tackiness and the ever-popular textured cardstock lines.

If all of the adhesives worked in a straight line on flat cardstock, then what is there left to talk about? For this review, I added three other factors that are useful in an everyday adhesive. These included the ability to move around curved shapes, ability to remove stray adhesive, and the ability to reposition an item once it was adhered down.

Best Overall Adhesive
Scotch Adhesive Dot Roller (49 feet)
This is the best overall adhesive for day-to-day use. It goes on smoothly and evenly, and it goes around curves with ease. Because of its tiny dots, it’s easy to remove stray adhesive and it’s forgiving enough to rearrange paper or photos on the page. The dots stay put, making it easy to reapply paper/photo. It also gets high marks for a dispenser that has been created using 65% recycled material.

Best Around Curves
American Crafts – This to That Dots (32 feet)
This adhesive has the tiniest adhesive dots. Because of the thin line and the tiny dots this adhesive can go around a curve like Mario Andretti at the Indy 500 and not lose any of its adhesive. It’s ergonomic design makes it easy to tell the correct way to hold it. The protective cap is not attached, though, so I worry about misplacing it while working.

Easiest to Remove
Tombow Mono Adhesive DOTS (49 feet)
Tombow DOTS were the easiest to remove with a gum eraser or a finger. This works well when you get a bit crazy with the adhesive.

Most Tacky
3L Scrapbook Adhesives E-Z Runner (33 feet)
This adhesive wins hands down on tackiness (the good kind). If you have two items that you never want to be separated, then this is the adhesive for you! The E-Z Runner holds two items together like they are in a vise.

Most Innovative Design
Martha Stewart Crafts Tab and Roll (32.8 feet)
The Tab and Roll adhesive is designed to be two adhesives in one. When in stamp mode, you will get a small tab of adhesive – which is great for those who want to conserve their glue. It can then be switched to a roller mode for longer adhesive strips. In either mode, it works best on flat paper on a flat surface. The bulky cartridge makes it difficult to keep the unit flat when in roller mode, so some adhesive dots don’t adhere correctly. It’s also unfortunate that adhesive is wasted when switching between the tab and roller modes. Keep trying Martha!

Most Difficult to Find
Kokuyo Dotliner (52.5 feet)
Last year when Kokuyo announced it was discontinuing its American distribution of the popular Dotliner, scrapbookers began to stockpile this beloved adhesive. While it can be found on several specialty online sites in its Japanese packaging, it’s not sold in mass distribution as it used to be. For those who love this adhesive, the Scotch Adhesive Dot Roller is almost the twin sister of the Kokuyo brand. It works and functions pretty much exactly like the Kokuyo. Note: Don’t confuse the Kokuyo Dotliner with the Dotliner POWER. They are completely different adhesives.

Widest Adhesive
Kokuyo Dotliner POWER (32 feet)
At 10mm, this adhesive is the widest I tested. It is super tacky and will hold your project together tightly. It works best in a straight line. The adhesive case is huge and difficult to hold, not to mention difficult to find at your local scrapbook store. A good substitute is the Scrapbook Adhesives E-Z Runner. It’s not as wide but it definitely has the tackiness to hold a project together.

Quietest Adhesive
The Duck (27 feet)
If you’re working in “stealth” mode late at night, the Duck will adhere your items with quiet ease. They’ve changed the adhesives’ shape from dots to lines so it’s no longer possible to erase stray adhesive, but if you’re working into the wee hours and don’t want to wake your family this is a good choice.

For a complete guide to the features of all the adhesives that Molly tested, download our PDF comparison chart of dot adhesives!


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23

Organization: The Small Things

The littlest pieces of our scrapbooking stash can often be the most time and space consuming when it comes to storage and organization. Paper, stickers, brads, photos, and buttons – scrapbookers have dozens, if not hundreds, of these items they need to keep someplace. Today I am sharing my thoughts on storage and organization of these small items.

Perhaps one of the most debated topics in storage is patterned paper. By color? Style? Manufacturer? What’s the best way?

I believe vertical storage to be best, both for keeping paper from being damaged and for the ease of sorting through and finding what I want. Depending on your goals and what kinds of papers you keep, your needs for storage can vary greatly. Once upon a time I relied on a paper taker by Crop In Style for all of my paper. I have kept my cardstock in vertical storage by color for several years now, and I like the ease of use and being able to see when I’m running low in any given color at a quick glance.

While I like sorting my cardstock by color, I prefer to sort my patterned paper by brand. I find the vertical paper holders by Cropper Hopper to be phenomenal. Some of the ones I use today are the originals I purchased over five years ago – I’ve yet to replace any. To keep things from sliding around I keep them in a milk crate. This also allows me to store random papers between the files.

I used to keep my paper by color and patterns (polka dots, stripes, etc). However, I found that method to be a lot more work, and in the end more time consuming. When I would look for coordinating papers from a specific line or brand, I might have to look through all of my paper to find them. As you scrapbook, think about what would make things easier for you, and let that guide you in how you organize your supplies.

Next, let’s talk about stickers.

For the most part stickers and rub-ons get put into either a drawer or a small plastic tote (standing) where they’re easy to sort through. Lately though, I’ve been putting sticker sheets onto binder rings (available at any office store) and hanging them for storage. Being able to flip through the sheets quickly is a bonus, and I’ve found it to be a great way to keep new product out where I’ll see and use it.

The down side of the binder rings is that often you have to keep the stickers (or other items) in original packaging or punch a hole yourself. My solution has been to move them off of the binder ring and into a drawer or bin once they’ve been used a few times or no longer stay put well on the ring.

What about all those little bits? Rub-ons, tags, journaling papers, and other paper bits that need a home? To be honest, I’m not entirely happy with where I am at on this particular area of organization, but what I have for now is some very small drawers.

They are divided into small tags, journaling papers, and rub-ons. What I like about this is that it keeps things orderly, but I do not find digging through everything to be convenient for creating. I would consider either plastic bags (bound together with hole at top for binder ring) or perhaps a shoebox-sized container to keep the tags and papers in at this point, but I have hesitated because I’m not convinced either of those will be a better solution.

(Important to remember: Here in the real world, after the photos are taken, things are going to get used. Messed up. Worked with. Just because highly organized systems sound good, doesn’t mean that they work well.)

Next up is photos, and for me this is an easy one. I keep (fairly chronological)  Cropper Hopper Photo Cases full of my photos, as I choose to print any photos I want to keep. I consider digital files of my photos to be a back up, rather than my primary storage solution.

There are photo boxes of so many sizes and shapes, and some like the Memory Dock one pictured above come with a number of dividers to allow you to further organize your photos. While I like this concept in theory, once upon a time I tried to do this and found the set-size plastic photo holders to be too limiting. Sometimes I needed just a portion of one section for an event and then what? Do I add another event in? Leave the space blank? I wound up frustrated and wasting space. I like index cards in between events/dates in my photo storage boxes because they fit right in while allowing me to customize the amount of space taken by any given event.

I also keep a smaller box filled only with photos I’m wanting to scrapbook. Divided or open like the Martha Stewart box pictured above, it is a great way for me to keep photos grouped by layout, and access them quickly.

Finally, what about all those tiny items? Brads, buttons, pins, charms, photo corners, and other little bits can be frustrating because if they’re not stored in a easy-to-use fashion, you’ll spend a lot of time looking for that one special item. My first tip to you is something I learned from Tim Holtz: take stuff out of its packaging! By removing product from it’s packaging you’ll not only save space, but when you go to look for something it’ll be easier to find an item that will work for you.

Storage by type or by color are both equally effective in my experience. Stacy Julian has an excellent video blog series on her color storage system going on that I highly recommend watching to see embellishments stored in that way.

If your space is limited and you crop a lot, I cannot recommend the Urban Stamp Tote by MiMi enough. I purchased mine when it was brand new, and I’ve loved it ever since.

Don’t be put off by the name – I find it to be more useful for tiny bits than stamps of any kind. It can be kept open at home, then folded up, put in its tote, and hauled off to a crop. I consider it one of the best splurges I ever made in craft storage and organization.

Another choice for more compartments and a more permanent solution are boxes like this one by Craft Design. They are fantastic for tiny items, especially because keeping them in a shallow drawer makes them easy to access. Before you purchase a crafting one, though, visit your local home improvement store and look in the garage storage area. Storage boxes for nails, drill bits, and other small home improvement items are often a fraction of the price of crafting items if you don’t mind utilitarian colors like gray. Here’s one from Home Depot. Another great place to look is fishing or outdoor supplies. Tackle boxes are fantastic!

I keep color drawers for buttons, and I also put random bits and tiny chipboard by color in these drawers as well. What I love about a container like this is that the drawers come out. So if I am needing a number of green buttons, I can pull the drawer out and work with it, then return it to it’s spot when I am done. I choose not to organize everything by color though. I keep pins, charms, brads, and many other items according to item type. It’s a personal choice, and it works for me because all of my small bits and pieces are kept within my set of drawers here.

Jars are another great storage option for small pieces. Doodlebug has a series of jars available. I use some glass jam jars (purchased at the grocery store) that are wonderful. If plastic is a better option for you just look in the storage (or kitchen) departments of any store like Target. I keep my flowers in a plastic tub and dig through it when I want some, and I have used small jars for sequins, beads, and other small accents as well.

The bottom line? Personal preference, space, and style all need to be considered. Keeping things simple, and easy to both use and keep organized is key. One final tip I have to share is that I suggest avoiding lids. For some items in jars I think they’re fine, but in my experience when I use boxes, totes, or small containers with lids I end up throwing them (the lids) out. Why? I want ease of use, and for me sliding drawers or items with no lid is a step easier.

I will be sharing a third article on Friday covering the miscellaneous bits and pieces of my stash, along with a number of posts on my personal blog this week as well. If you have questions or comments I welcome them here, or I can be reached at may@scrapbookupdate.com

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7

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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Paperclipping Roundtable Martha Stewart Glitter Giveaway!

As promised in episode two of Paperclipping Roundtable…here is the giveaway for some Martha Stewart Crafts glitter!

The glitter set that I talked about on that Paperclipping Roundtable that I bought Thanksgiving weekend and am liking so much was the Martha Stewart Essential Colors 24 piece Glitter Set.

Paperclipping Roundtable listeners can win, courtesy of EK Success, a three pack of the same glitter in shades of trendy turquoise. The set is called “Ocean Glitter”:

How do I enter to win the giveaway?

All you have to do to be one of the lucky winners is leave a comment on this entry before Midnight U.S. eastern time next Monday night, January 18th. (EMAIL SUBSCRIBERS: DO NOT HIT REPLY TO THIS EMAIL TO ENTER. Click on the title of the entry and it will take you to the giveaway on the  Scrapbook Update website where you can fill out the comment form to enter.) 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 body of the comment, where it will be visible to the public – just in the line labeled “email” in the form where only I can see it. You will need that email address to verify your identity if you are a winner. Limit one entry per person!

The winner will be announced on episode 3 of Paperclipping Roundtable next week!

Want to make sure you don’t miss Paperclipping Roundtable? There are two ways to subscribe:

You can visit the Paperclipping Roundtable web page

– or –

you can use this link: Subscribe to Paperclipping Roundtable on iTunes

Good luck to everyone who enters!