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Tag Archives | October Afternoon

From Trend to Staple | Decorative Tape and Baker’s Twine

Trends have come and gone ever since the advent of modern scrapbooking, but sometimes a trend sticks around long enough to move out of the fad stage and become a staple. We’ve seen it happen with many supplies and motifs over the years (clouds, woodgrain, and bling are just a few examples). Thinking back to what I saw at CHA Winter 2012, it’s apparent two more once trendy supplies have firmly cemented their staplehood: baker’s twine and decorative or washi tape. These two items were found in many, many booths on the CHA Winter 2012 show floor and will be plentiful this season on store shelves.

You know an item has become a staple when We R Memory Keepers adds it to their lineup of basic embellishments. This season both tape and twine join the ranks of brads and other staple items on We R’s rainbow wall of embellishments.

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Noteworthy | 3.9.2012

It has been a quiet week around the scrapbook world – no major announcements or huge batches of new products hitting store shelves, but it’s been an inspiring week never the less. I believe that many creative people are gearing up for winter’s end and the beginning of spring, while store owners make room for the massive amounts of new product that may be arriving as I type this.

Yes, with the new CHA goodies hitting store shelves and spring break approaching, blogs lighting up with pastels and Easter ideas and flowers beginning to grow – it’s hard for me not to love early March. Here’s a look at some inspiration for you this week:

On Jenni Bowlin’s JBS Mercantile blog this week designer Ranjini Malhotra shared a how-to for taking metal tart tins and turning them into cute Easter baskets. There are a lot of variations that could be created, and with the holiday being less than a month away now, it’s that time of year to be looking at inspiration! Continue Reading →

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Trend | Buttons

It’s hard to call buttons a trend, as they’ve been a staple for many years in scrapbooking. What I will say is that buttons were going new creative places and popping up in all kinds of interesting ways at this CHA show. Today I am going to take a look at some of the exciting new offerings that were seen at CHA.

The photo above is from the Crate Paper booth, a company that is known for their amazingly detailed and beautiful offerings, and they’ve added some new designs into their mix this show as well.

Here are four new fantastic neutral button sets. Clockwise from top left we have Wendy Vecchi Studio 490 for Blossom Bucket, We R Memory Keepers, Jillibean Soup, and Basic Grey. I really like the unique textures and designs of each set, as well as the fact that they are neutral so they will work with any colors. Continue Reading →

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Noteworthy | 9.23.2011

As we enter the nice time of peacefulness as school is back in session and before the madness of the holiday season descends, the craft industry is anything but peaceful and quiet! With holiday product lines hitting shelves and new releases being unveiled, not to mention crafters gearing up for the upcoming holiday season, it’s all hands on deck!  I’ve got a full line-up of great things for you today:

Echo Park Paper unveiled their newest collection on facebook this week. “Times and Seasons” has a distinct antique flair and a great balance of muted colors and patterns. Perfect for a number of subjects, the paper line manages to be timeless and trendy all at the same time. Times & Seasons begins shipping to stores October 6th, so watch for it coming to a scrapbook store (or site) near you soon!

EK Success announced that they are partnering with Operation Christmas Cards, hoping to contribute 9,000 of the 175,000 cards the organization hopes to send to US and Canadian troops deployed overseas. According to the announcement, for approximately half of the card recipients this will be the only holiday correspondence they will get:

All of EK Success Brands’ four office locations—Chicago, Clifton, NJ, Kansas City and Wyomissing, PA—will host office events for employees to take part in the card making, as well as sponsoring a local school in each city with supplies to create and collect cards.

Ready to jump in and help? We have a FREE, self-paced online class available NOW if you want to learn a few new techniques in card making or just get some inspiration

The free class is through spottedcanary.com, and according to the site you will learn several techniques and is video-based broken down into short segments. You can read the whole EK Success post here, and you can check out Operation Christmas Card directly at their facebook page.

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Trend Watch | Baker’s Twine

I’ve been scrapbooking long enough (and I’m sure that many of you have, too) to remember a time when “fibers” were all the rage. Whether brightly colored or muted, sleek or fuzzy, thick or thin, fibers could be found in almost any color and made with nearly any material imaginable. The fiber craze eventually gave way to the sleeker, more elegant ribbon trend, but recently a more sophisticated type of “fiber” has emerged as a new scrapbooking must-have: baker’s twine.

Baker’s twine can be purchased in massive spools (that are literally measured by the pound rather than by length) at baking and restaurant supply stores, but many scrapbooking and crafts manufacturers are producing this new staple product in both smaller quantities and a larger selection of colors to cater to those who need a bit more variety (and a smaller size) than, say a 10 pound spool of nothing but red and white twisted cotton string.

Some stores such as The Twinery have popped up in the last year or so and offer baker’s twine as either their only product or their main product. Twine from The Twinery is available in fourteen different colors with new additions occasionally being made (Stone, Buttercream, and Denim are the most recent new colors to join the lineup). Consumers have the option to buy The Twinery’s twine in either large 240 yard single-color spools or in a smaller sampler pack that includes all of the company’s colors in less expensive (and easier to store) 15 yard skeins.

Divine Twine is another all twine, all the time seller with a selection of twelve different colors. They carry both the traditional color/white twist variety of twine as well as a specialty “Air Mail” spool with a red, white, and blue color scheme. Divine Twine is only available in large 240 yard spools from their online store, though a search on Etsy turned up several sellers offering the colored strings in shorter length variety packs.  Continue Reading →

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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 | Echo Park, My Mind’s Eye, and October Afternoon

Photographing booths at CHA is a bit like trying to photograph a hyper toddler. That is, if a hyper toddler was made of paper and stickers and constantly surrounded by people. Bending, leaning, and otherwise contorting to shoot around crowds of buyers (that you don’t want to disturb as they’re the main reason the show exists) is elevated to an art form over the course of the convention, and however hard you might try to capture every little thing in every single booth, it’s just not possible.

All that aside, booth photos are the best way that the crew at Scrapbook Update has to share with you the experience of actually being at the show. They’re not comprehensive, but they give a glimpse into the presentation of each company’s offerings. For full product photos, refer to manufacturer web sites or to Scrapbook Update’s own CHA Summer 2011 Sneak Peek page. For some serious booth eye candy, keep reading!

Echo Park has not one, but two new Christmas lines debuting at the show! Holly Jolly Christmas is a bright, cheery line with pops of pink and turquoise, and Season’s Greetings sports a more traditional red and green color palette.

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2010: A banner year

Editor’s Note: A few days ago Scrapbook Update identified banners as one of the key product trends at CHA Winter 2010. Now, Contributing Writer May Flaum takes a closer look at that trend.

A few months back, I noticed banner patterned paper in a Studio Calico kit. I’ve also noticed digital brushes and other files from Rhonna Farrer at House of 3 that I like a lot. The more I think about it, the more paper banners make sense in scrapbooking. I am not sure why, but it would seem 2010 is destined to be a year of banners in scrapbooking. This is one trend that is picking up speed quickly!

{image above from American Crafts CHA booth – the Dear Lizzie collection}

Banners were all over the sneak peeks for CHA-Winter, and once on the show floor I noticed them everywhere – both decorating the booths and on product as well. Here are a few examples:

Melody Ross (above) has chipboard that could be turned into a decorative banner, mini book, or so much more. Webster’s Pages (below) has incorporated banners into their paper and ribbon.

The Dear Lizzie line from American Crafts (above) held banners in all forms from paper embellishments and patterned paper to stamps. October Afternoon (below) has a lovely banner sticker in their new “go fly a kite” line.

Making Memories (above) has a whole set of travel stickers full of banners and colors that make me want to take a vacation to somewhere warm. Jenni Bowlin (below) introduced make-your-own banner stickers. I think these are clever, and because they are paired with alphabet stickers on the same sheet, you can make titles or decorative accents for your projects as well.

Maya Road, The Girls’ Paperie, and several other companies also have products with banners coming out. There’s so many choices! Now, as products become available in stores, the next question is – how will I incorporate this trend in my crafting? My number one suggestion is that you make sure that your banners aren’t just floating around on your project. Ground them to the edge of a photo, to the edge of the paper, to an embellishment, or to some other element on your page.

To make your own banners, I have two suggestions. First, try cutting out squares of patterned paper and then cutting from the bottom center up to the top corner of each side. This will give you a pretty triangle like the example I’ve shown below.

My second suggestion is that you use a triangle punch, or if you want a different feel you can use a circle punch and cut it in half and string the pieces together.

Here is a layout I created with the new Jenni Bowlin banner stickers:

supplies: New Jenni Bowlin stickers and buttons, October Afternoon patterned paper from Thrift Shop line, Prima flowers and rhinestones, American Crafts pen, unknown trim, cardstock, and buttons

I went for a relaxed imperfect look to my banner, and I really like how these stickers come with little alphabet letters. The neutral colors will work well for a number of page subjects.

I look forward to seeing banners incorporated in more pages as these products hit the shelves. From every day occasions to birthdays, I can see a lot of possibilities here. Across the top, in the center, for titles, over a corner, at the bottom, or any other way you cut it – I am loving this new trend!

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