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Review | Hero Arts-Sizzix Stamp & Emboss and Stamp & Die Sets

As I wrote about in the staff blog hop recently, I use Sizzix dies, because I know they are a great quality and long lasting. I also use a lot of Hero Arts rubber stamps as they also are high quality and long lasting, and have a great library of images too. So as a fan of both companies I knew I had to check out their new collaboration.

There are two types of product sets that Hero Arts and Sizzix are producing together:

 

The first is a stamp plus Framelits die set. These are sets of decorative images that you stamp onto paper, then die cut out. The second type of set consists of a background stamp plus an embossing folder. These combine to create a larger stamped image that is embossed to highlight the design.

To get an idea of how these products work, check out the video: Continue Reading →

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Letterpress | Sizzix Ink-Its

For this next installment of Scrapbook Update’s (mini)series on home letterpress systems, I’ll be taking a look at an option that adds on to a tool that you might already own: a manual die cut machine. Ink-Its letterpress plates by Sizzix are designed to work with the majority of  manual roll-through die cut machines and are an inexpensive (the plates range in price from $6.00 to $8.00 US) way to add the elegance of letterpress to your projects without a lot of extra expensive or bulky new tools.

Many of our readers are probably already familiar with Sizzix’s line of popular embossing folders, and Ink-Its plates work on the same principle – the pressure of rolling the paper and the plate/folder through the die cut machine impresses the shape of the raised portion of the folder or plate onto the paper. The major difference is that while embossing folders raise an image from the back of a sheet of paper, causing the relief to be clearly visible from both sides of the sheet, Ink-Its deboss or “push in” the design from the front of the sheet, making it recessed instead of raised. Ink-Its plates are also one-sided (whereas embossing folders are double-sided) and thus only apply the design to one side of the paper.

Ink-Its plates are made of heavy 1/8″ plastic (much heavier than that used in embossing folders) and are available in both background (5 7/8″ x 8″) and border (3″ x 8″) sizes in a variety of patterns.

Continue Reading →

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Trend Watch | Fashion & Home Decor Motifs for Halloween

Fashion and home decor motifs have completely invaded Halloween, and I love it! I first noticed the trend toward sophisticated patterns in last year’s crop of Halloween lines, and this year many releases from CHA Summer 2011 have taken it to the next level with some truly stunning collections.

Newcomer Authentique kicks off our tour of eerily elegant Halloween designs with their Glowing line. Damasks and fleur de lis reflect the home decor influence in this collection, while the harlequin (diamond) pattern gives a nod to the fashion industry.

Continue Reading →

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CHA Summer 2011 | Ranger, Stampers Anonymous, and Sizzix

You’d better sit back and relax for this post, because I’ve got more than a hundred photos from the Ranger, Stampers Anonymous, and Sizzix booths to share with you!

Ranger is well-known and respected in the industry for their huge assortment of inks, stains, embossing powders, and a host of other color mediums. Distress inks and embossing powders are a huge favorite amongst all kinds of paper crafters and mixed media artists.

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Stickles, whether regular, Distress, or Ice, and Perfect Pearls are available in every color of the rainbow (and then some).

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Distress Crackle and Distress Ink re-inkers give crafters an even wider variety of mediums to choose from.

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And then there’s Distress Stain! It’s been generating a huge amount of buzz for CHA Summer 2011 since Ranger announced that it was being released in the full line of the Distress Ink colors, completing the limited set that debuted at CHA Winter 2011.

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Ranger showed off a few new shades of Stickles, as well.

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Jenni Bowlin’s line of inks and paint by Ranger have been very popular, and for this show they expanded her line to include three new colors – Weather Vane, Lavender Sachet, and Speckled Egg.

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Tim Holtz’s products from his Advantus District Market and idea-ology lines were also on display in the Ranger booth…

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…including new Kraft Resist pads in Halloween and Christmas themes!

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Tim also has new Halloween and Christmas dies in his Tim Holtz Alterations by Sizzix collection (more on those in this post when we get to the Sizzix booth).

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Fans of the now-retired Suze Weinberg will be happy to know that a series of stamps by Ranger senior educator Dyan Reaveley is now being produced by Stamper’s Anonymous and distributed by Ranger.

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I absolutely love these banner stamps!!

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Here’s a glimpse at Wendy Vecchi’s Art Parts line by Stamper’s Anonymous. I’ll share more photos of these along with some stunning projects at the Stamper’s Anonymous booth a little later in this post.

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Tim Holtz released several new additions to his cling mount stamp line from Stamper’s Anonymous.

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Ranger is one of the companies adopting QR codes on their packaging to link customers to further information about their products.

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And of course you can’t stop by the Ranger booth without taking some time to browse through the dozens of beautiful sample projects on display.

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Tim Holtz himself stopped by the booth while I was there to give a demo of some of the new products, and he brought along one of his new storage boxes! It is designed to hold all of the Distress mediums.

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This smaller version is the Trinkets box, and it has lots of small compartments to hold all your tiny treasures.

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Tim asked the crowd what they’d like to see demonstrated first, and when nobody spoke up for a few seconds, I chimed in, “Kraft Resist!”

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Not only does Tim have Kraft Resist paper, but there’s a set of Kraft Resist letters, as well!

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Here’s Tim giving a demo of distress stains on Halloween Kraft Resist.

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And then he broke out the Picket Fence Distress Stain to show that it’s very opaque when first applied but quickly becomes more transparent as it dries and soaks into the paper.

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Picket Fence Distress Stain also softens the look of Distress Inks that are applied on top of it.

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Tim also demonstrated a marbling technique using Picket Fence Distress Stain.

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And then he showed how ribbon could be recolored with any shade of Distress Stain.

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Let’s continue our Tour de Tim at the Stampers Anonymous booth with a close look at his new Halloween and Reflections stamps.

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Stampers Anonymous is another booth that’s full of gorgeous projects.

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Dyan Reaveley’s “Dylusions” stamp line was well represented by projects in the Stampers Anonymous booth, as well.

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Art Gone Wild has a set of circle stamps in their collection that are unlike any designs I’ve seen before.

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Inky Antics had some adorable images in their section of the Stampers Anonymous booth, including a cute penguin!

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I also found the honeycomb paper packs fascinating – these could be used to make so many cute projects!

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Wendy Vecchi’s Art Parts line by Stamper’s Anonymous is a huge favorite among collage artists, as are the accompanying Studio 490 stamps.

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And, of course, Stampers Anonymous had a generous number of sample projects for this line on hand, as well!

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Sizzix is our last stop for this post, and they had some great new products debuting at this CHA!

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Framelits are Sizzix’s new collection of nested dies, available in a variety of shapes.

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They’re also introducing eight new Eclips cartridges, two of which are pictured below.

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Sizzix manufactures Tim Holtz’s “Alterations” lines of dies and embossing folders, and there are several new items on tap for consumers this time around.

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This damask pattern is gorgeous, and also a huge trend in the industry right now.

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Several popular previous shapes are being released now as smaller “mover and shaper” dies, like the bestselling flower and the jalopy design:
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And, of course, there were many, many sample projects on hand. The Sizzix booth was literally a wonderland of crafting ideas!

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I personally loved these bright, colorful examples of what could be created with distressing and aging products.

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There were so many walls like this one in the Sizzix booth – a complete treasure trove of inspiration!

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Here I found another corner stuffed full of Tim Holtz’s Alterations dies, including several new items.

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Everywhere you look, there is more sample project eye candy!

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Sizzix has also started producing letterpress plates that are compatible with the Big Shot and Big Kick die cutting machines. Keep an eye on Scrapbook Update in the next couple of months as I review these in-depth along with other home letterpress options!

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This was perhaps the most gorgeous piece in the whole booth – the entire surface of the table is tiled in embossed (using Sizzing embossing folders) metal sheets!

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If this post isn’t enough to satisfy your collage and mixed media craving, Scrapbook Update will be bringing you another roundup of similar booths sometime in the next few weeks. Stay tuned!

Dresses from Shabby Apple

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

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Scrapbook Update CHA Winter 2011 Top Ten Hot Picks

Many thanks to Contributing Editor May Flaum, who contributed extensively to the creation of this article.

Here it is finally…the Scrapbook Update CHA Winter 2011 Top Ten Hot Picks!

For those new to Scrapbook Update, our CHA Top Ten Hot Picks list are our picks for the products and companies that we saw at CHA that are sure-fire winners, heavily buzzed-about, or groundbreaking in some way.

Making the selections this time around took a long time because it was surprisingly difficult, much more difficult than it usually is after a CHA show. As we discussed on the Roundtable show at CHA, the show felt somewhat muted. There wasn’t a lot of buzz about very many things. The choices weren’t as obvious as after a lot of CHA shows when the air is just electric with excitement about things.

Also, some of the clear standouts were companies that have been heavily featured on recent Top Ten Hot Picks lists from CHA shows. We didn’t want to sound like a broken record, but we also didn’t want to penalize companies who have been consistently on top of the industry lately.

Ultimately, we came up with a great list of products, and it is full of a lot of familiar names. I think that says something about where the industry is right now: We have some companies that are simply dominating certain categories of products from both a market and quality standpoint.

So let’s take a look (in no particular order) at who and what made the Scrapbook Update CHA Winter 2011 Top Ten Hot Picks list!

Tim Holtz

Ok, let’s just get the obvious one out of the way…Nowhere on the show floor are the crowds bigger (except for the big Provo Craft giveaways) than for anything that Tim Holtz does. He is the arguably the most marketable name in scrapbooking right now, with his name on products by Advantus, Ranger, Sizzix, Stampers Anonymous, Core’dinations, and Tonic Studios.

Tim’s workshops have sold out almost immediately at all of the recent CHA shows and this time was no exception. On the show floor, his demos were always surrounded by huge crowds.

Holtz’s products sales are spurred by his marketability and gift for teaching, but also by his brilliant market placement: he exists in an area between mixed media and scrapbooking, enabling him to reach an audience in both markets. His booth displays always contain a mix of everything from scrapbook layouts (including some at CHA Winter 2011 by Scrapbook Update’s own Contributing Editor May Flaum) to shadow boxes and jewelry and other three dimensional decor items.

Perhaps the flagship introduction of the new Tim Holtz products at CHA Winter 2011 was the Distress Stain, a whole new category of Distress colorant from Ranger. Available in 12 Distress palette colors, the Distress Stain comes in 1 oz bottles with a dabber top, similar to walnut ink many scrappers and stampers may have used. Distress Stain is a water-based dye that soaks into porous surfaces like paper. It’s not blendable like the Distress Ink pads are. In CHA demos, Holtz showed its usability for covering large areas (like a tag background) with color and for creating soft ink effects, like a watercolor look, with stamping.

Two of the other new Tim Holtz items at CHA Winter 2011 that look destined to be extremely popular with consumers are his new Kraft Glassine paper (pictured in use with an embossing folder above) and the Core’dinations Distress cardstock pad (photo below shows Tim demonstrating the monochromatic contrast between the outside and the inner core).

His two new patterned paper pads, including one that is kraft colored with resist ink designs on the pages, will also be wildly popular. But in reality, I expect most of his product lines from this show to be top sellers, with a few exceptions.

Core’dinations

Speaking of Core’dinations, it isn’t just their Tim Holtz products that attracted a lot of attention at CHA Winter 2011. This company has been lining up licensing arrangements right and left, taking part in one of the industry’s hottest business trends, and their introductions in Los Angeles were their best to date.

In addition to the Distress and Adirondack pads, they introduced pads for Graphic 45, BasicGrey, and a host of other companies. Perhaps most amazing were the Core D’Amour collections of papers designed by Teresa Collins and Jenni Bowlin. Those papers featured both embossed and printed design elements, with the contrasting color core for distressing. The result is absolutely beautiful. Photos don’t do the depth of the effect justice (a close-up of one of the Jenni Bowlin papers is below).

With all their licensing arrangments, Core’dinations is bringing a lot of design punch to what used to be a boring scrapbooking staple. In the words of Contributing Editor May Flaum, “They’ve made cardstock sexy!”

Cosmo Cricket Glubers

This is one product that I knew instantly when I saw it would be a hot pick! It was one of the few items I heard buzz about in Los Angeles.

Like most of the best ideas, the idea behind Glubers is deceptively simple: it is a giant round dot of adhesive. The brilliance is in the application of that giant dot of adhesive. Cosmo Cricket is marketing Glubers (available in packages of 12 for $4.99 and multiple sizes from 2″ to 3″) as the basis for creating custom fabric flower embellishments, a look that is currently extremely trendy. Booth samples showed fabric, ribbon and other items being used to create large decorative flowers.

Uniformed Scrapbooks of America

There is a huge market for military scrapbooking supplies, but there tends to be little innovation in that market. Heather and Charles Lovern have brought something new with Uniformed Scrapbooks of America, a new exhibitor at CHA Winter 2011 that sells scrapbooks that have covers that appear as if they are made out of a military uniform shirt.

The product was originated when Heather decided to make a scrapbook for her ex-Marine husband, Charles. She sewed a cover for the scrapbook out of one of his uniform shirts…and a new product line was born. The company is licensed by the US Armed Forces. In addition to the album covers, the company also sells customizable embroidered name tapes that adhere to the album cover “shirts” in the appropriate places, and rank insignia to adhere to the shirt collars.

Something fresh like this should be a big hit in communities with a lot of military families who are sick of the same old, same old in military themed scrapbook offerings.

Technique Tuesday

This company revamped their entire offerings for CHA Winter 2011, with dramatic results. Technique Tuesday eliminated virtually all of their alphabet stamp designs from their catalog, and redesigned their packaging to be much smaller. Instead of being packaged on 8.5 x 11 storage sheets, sets are now packaged on 4 x 6 sheets. This will mean stores will need to devote less display space to sell the products. Technique Tuesday has also lowered their price points, important to be more competitive in a market that is flooded with clear stamp designs.

Balancing the shrinking of their alphabet catalog, Technique Tuesday unveiled a large expansion at CHA Winter 2011 of their most popular offerings: their Ali Edwards signature collection. The five new mini sets of sentiments in Edwards’ distinctive handwriting, with an MSRP of $2.99 each (one is pictured above), will certainly be popular. Love, travel and other theme sets round out the stamp set offerings. The company also introduced new paper designs by Edwards in its Perspectives collection.

The company also expanded their popular class kit offerings, including offering a new kit that capitalizes on the trend towards large dimensional flowers in scrapbooking. The “In Bloom” by Technique Tuesday class kit creates 9 flowers and can be taught over one or two class sessions.

Bella Blvd: Sophisticates by Stephanie

Since its inception, Bella Blvd has consistently provided scrapbookers a bright, cheery look without going 100% over into the cute style dominated by companies like Doodlebug and BoBunny. Existing in a middle ground has allowed the company to draw from a wide range of scrapbook customers.

The new Sophisticates by Stephanie collection introduced at CHA Winter 2011 will certainly continue that wide appeal. Consisting of 11 monochromatic patterned papers, 4 embellishment papers, cardstock alphabet stickers, and chipboard alphabets & embellishments, the collection provides good usable basics in Bella’s signature happy color palette.

Bella Blvd is now including their Blooms a Bella flower embellishments as part of the Sophisticates collection, and introduced a new, smaller, size with buttons in the center to the collection.

Jenni Bowlin

Jenni Bowlin showcased an all-star line up of releases at CHA Winter 2011. At the last show she partnered with Ranger and released high quality inks and paint dabbers, and now she’s returned with even more amazing designs and all new products that all vintage loving paper crafters will need. While she has a new paper line, the real star of the show is all of the trinkets and treasures she released that mix so well with any of her current or past products – and that will also appeal to the growing group of papercrafters who are dabbling in mixed media projects. The hidden genius in this release is how simple it is. Packages of little rosette ribbons, colored plastic bows with rhinestones, additions to her Core’dinations cardstock collection, and trend-forward silhouette rub-ons are only a few of the things coming from Jenni this year.

Bowlin is expanding her usual array of goods that go so well with card making, scrapbooking, and altered arts by also adding vintage inspired tins (shown above – projects above and below by Ranjini Malhotra for Jenni Bowlin Studios), as well as vintage inspired wooden thread spools (shown below). These items have any number of uses for home décor and mixed media work. They are fresh additions to the market as well as simple enough to be user friendly.

For those who aren’t into altered items, Jenni has released more of her popular bingo cards. She is also introducing three Hodge Podge mini books that work as a mini book, or can be taken apart and used in other paper craft projects. The materials featured vary from board book to transparency, and they include brass rings to bind them together.

Bowlin now also offers some stamps, as well as more chipboard shapes, flag banner stickers, and even some rhinestone charms. It is obvious that Jenni Bowlin Studio has put time and effort into a release that should be a winner with consumers. These products build on her existing line of products, complementing and adding new dimension to them while at the same time they’re fresh, new, and must-have items.

EK Success Smash Books

These were one of the most buzzed-about items at the show (if not the most buzzed about, period). These fun journals are designed more in the style of “old-fashioned” scrapbooking – to capture the random scraps of our lives – but are very modern in design.

In addition to the four spiral-bound journal designs (which come with a double-ended ink/glue pen), the Smash line includes accessories like date/phrase stamps, page markers, decorative tape and paperclips. The Smash book pages are heavily designed – this product is obviously intended for a young (or at least hip) audience. This isn’t your grandma’s scrapbook!

We R Memory Keepers Lucky 8 Punches

At CHA Summer 2010, We R Memory Keepers caused a buzz with the Sew Easy tool. This time around it was the Lucky 8 border punches that had everyone talking. This company is quickly becoming the company for tool innovation in the scrapbook industry.

The Lucky 8 punches, available in 6 designs, turn any sheet of 12 x 12 paper into die cut paper. Since the punches can cut an outer edge design, an inner edge design, or both designs at once, they can create three different effects from the same punch. Additional effects can be created by punching fewer than the 8 punches needed to do the entire outer edge of a sheet of paper, to create a partial die cut effect (for instance, just doing opposite corners with the inside cut design).

The Lucky 8 punches have an MSRP of $29.99 each, but compared to buying die cut paper at $3/sheet, the savings of using the punch can add up quickly.

Webster’s Pages

They’ve been reliably producing beautiful vintage collections for several shows now, but this time Webster’s Pages hit every note just right with their five new collections. In particular, their new Trendsetter collection is very eye-catching, calling on a more modern period for its look than most of Webster’s collections while still echoing their romantic look.

In particular, some of the collection’s smaller patterns and its embellishments seem to be very usable – even for scrapbookers who aren’t necessarily into Webster’s signature flowery look. Trendsetter may bring a new audience to Webster’s Pages with its more modern, yet still classic, look.

With designs containing butterflies, dress forms, birdcages, and silhouette portraits, Trendsetter’s name is very accurate. It hits on many of the most prevalent trends on the CHA Winter 2011 show floor, while presenting them with Webster’s Pages own signature style.

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39

Scrapbook Update CHA Summer 2010 Top 10 Hot Picks

It’s that time once again…time to run down the list of ten items that Scrapbook Update thinks will be sure-fire winners from the CHA trade show introductions! Not all of them are groundbreaking, or even a departure for the company making them, but we think they are guaranteed to be bestsellers for the companies that make them and the stores that sell them!

(You’ll note there aren’t any holiday items on the list. Due to the relatively short shelf life of seasonal items compared to tools and non-seasonal items, we are doing separate themed lists to make seasonal picks.)

So, in no particular order…

1. Pink Paislee Parisian Anthology by House of Three

Shortly before CHA Summer 2010, Pink Paislee announced they would be releasing a collection of signature designs by the House of Three. House of Three is made up of designers Rhonna Farrer, Heidi Swapp, and Janet Hopkins, and their designs had previously only been available in digital form.

Parisian Anthology’s papers are double-sided, white tone-on-tone papers featuring very trendy text and journal styled designs. Rhonna Farrer’s signature swirl elements are present as well. Part of the designs are printed in resist ink, providing a beautiful background for using all the spray inks and other inking techniques that are so popular right now. Photos simply cannot do these papers justice to how they look in person. The image above shows the paper in its original unaltered form, and then the darker circle is what it would look like with ink on it, revealing the resist design.

An interesting background note: some of Heidi Swapp’s last products with her signature line with Advantus were papers using a similar resist ink design technique. They debuted at CHA Winter 2009, but for that product the resist ink was printed on a plain white background, not layered on top of a print.

2. Jillibean Soup: Alphabets & Pasta Fagioli collection

To put it simply, Jill Yegerlehner just knows alphabets. Her company’s previous release of corrugated alphabets made our CHA Summer 2009 Hot Picks list, and Jillibean has done it again with their CHA Summer 2010 alphabets. The font is an excellently usable choice for coordinating with both vintage and graphic layouts, and the prints are perfect for the small form factor of an alphabet.

The letter size is perfect for everything from medium-sized tags to large layouts, and the colors are great basics.

Another offering from Jillibean that beautifully straddles the line between graphic and vintage (thus reaching a wider market of customers) is their new Pasta Fagioli collection.

Several of the prints are extremely graphic in style, but many of them (such as the small flowers, the script text, and the toile) will appeal to fans of vintage. This collection’s wide appeal – from scrapbookers to cardmakers, and vintage to graphic fans – should help make it a bestseller.

3. BasicGrey Curio collection

Once again, BasicGrey proved they have thrown off the aura of mustiness that had settled around them and returned to the excellence that scrapbookers have expected from them for so long. According to staff in the BasicGrey booth, Curio was their most popular new collection, and it is easy to see why. The embellishments are absolutely gorgeous vintage and incorporate several trendy design elements such as birds, butterflies, and antique labels.

This collection achieves something very difficult – both the papers and the embellishments are absolutely exquisite. In most collections, one element or the other is stronger. This collection is the rare “must buy” in both areas.

4. Tim Holtz Vagabond by Sizzix

Yes, the MSRP is $250. (As with most things, street price will likely be lower shortly after its release.) But once you get past the sticker shock, the marketing power of the Tim Holtz name can’t be argued with. He’s arguably made manual die-cutting cool again at a time when scrapbookers were becoming obsessed with electronic die cutting machines. Several of his Sizzix Alterations dies that were introduced at CHA Winter 2010, eons ago in scrapbook product time, are still on the bestseller list at Scrapbook.com as of today (July 31st). And this machine has an innovative marketing program attached to it.

See those stickers all over the outside of the case? Owners of the Vagabond are supposed to collect them at various different events and then decorate the case themselves with their personalized sticker record of their scrapbook travels. This makes the Vagabond not just a tool but a participatory program that gets its users interacting with the company on an ongoing basis to collect more stickers.

The Vagabond has more going for it than marketing and Tim’s name, however. It excels in several key areas that are very likely to appeal to modern crafters.

First, there are the Vagabond’s looks. While looks are only skin deep, many crafters are obsessive about the appearance of their work spaces. (Reference the recent marketing of the Cricut Cake first in “kitchen” red to match Kitchen Aid appliances, and then by Martha Stewart in neutral creme “to match any decor”.) The Vagabond is by far the prettiest die cutter in its category, and to a certain market segment that counts for a lot.

Then there’s the fact that it has an electric motor. That’s very appealing to two important market segments – aging crafters who may be losing hand strength  & dexterity, and professional crafters cutting large quantities of items.

Last but not least, the strength of the electric motor is an important factor in the machine’s potential success. Sizzix does already make a die cutter with an electric motor (Big Shot Express, $108.95 at Amazon.com), but Tim greatly increased the size and power of the motor in the specs for the Vagabond machine, as seen below:

The Vagabond motor is on the left, with the Big Shot Express motor on the right. More power, a full horsepower, means the Vagabond can cut a wider range of materials, such as cork and fabric, that appeal not only to scrapbookers but also to general crafters. Given that Tim’s work is more in the general crafts arena than scrapbooking (although his products are loved by scrapbookers), this will give the machine a very wide market appeal.

5. Teresa Collins Stampmaker

This machine, which lets crafters make their own clear stamps, has actually been on the market from British company Photocentric for several years, but didn’t generate much buzz until Teresa Collins put her name on it for a relaunch at this show. It was runner-up in the Innovations award at the show, and the demo area was packed. It consistently was mentioned by attendees as a show “must-see”.

The machine, actually a light oven, uses a multi-step process involving (among other things) packets of photopolymer. The process really has to be seen to be understood, so check out the launch video below.

Even at a price point of $160, I predict papercrafters will snap this up. Participants in the Scrapbook Update live blog who were polled seem to think the price was about right for the product, and buzz at CHA seemed to contain no concern about the price.

6. Core-dinations Core Impressions Stacy Julian Happy Colors collection

It seems like everything that Core-dinations does these days is a winner, with all the licensed Core Impressions collections that they’ve introduced at the past few shows from names like Cosmo Cricket and Jenni Bowlin. (For those who don’t know, the Core-dinations cardstocks have a contrasting inner core color so when they are sanded, the distressed area is very visible.) This time around, they introduced collections by Graphic 45 (which is gorgeous and deserves honorable mention in this Hot Pick) and Stacy Julian.

Stacy’s collection is called Happy Colors and contains papers in bright colors that are embossed with “happy” words (a different assortment on each color sheet), or an all-over dot design.

The word papers are available by the sheet as well as in the stack. Some of the word papers have the words embossed in rows, while on some the arrangement is more criss-crossed and random looking.

These papers play into several current trends. The bright colors go with the current trend away from muted and dark colors into a brighter palette. The use of text as an all-over design is a massive trend right now. Core Impressions lend themselves very well to using techniques on, a style that is rising in popularity. And finally, the papers are excellent for card making, which is also gaining in popularity.

Some of the booth samples showed the versatility of these papers, and how they can be used to create very affordable word embellishments by snipping out pieces of them:

7. We R Memory Keepers Sew Easy tool

Hand stitching has been gaining in popularity as an embellishment. Bazzill tried to capitalize on this with their stitching templates, but it looks like We R Memory Keepers has really come up with the killer app: the Sew Easy tool.

The tool is a simple roller with a handle that pokes a pattern of holes in paper when it is rolled across the paper.

The roller has interchangeable heads that can make different patterns of holes for different types of stitching. Each head’s pattern can be used to make at least three different stitching styles. With an MSRP of only $7.99 for the tool and $2.99 for the extra heads, it is a very affordable way to quickly make perfect stitching! The tool needs to be used on a foam mat to work correctly. A 7 x 12 mat has an MSRP of $7.99.

We R Memory Keepers is also offering extra-think skeins of floss and needles with extra large openings.

The floss and tool together looks to be very popular with both card makers and scrapbookers. The show floor was buzzing about the tool’s possibilities and affordable price point – a big selling point in the current economy.

8. Crate Paper Restoration collection

After a couple of only so-so collections, Crate Paper is back in the form that long-time fans expect from them with their CHA Summer 2010 release. Especially hitting the mark is the Restoration collection, a warm and welcoming collection of vintage patterns and embellishments.

Restoration is a vintage collection in a slightly unusual color scheme, and the patterns and embellishments are not only beautiful but usable. With borders, banners, and text & journaling elemets, it hits all the notes that scrapbookers want in embellishments. Overall, it will definitely stand out from the crowd of vintage that is available right now: part of the trend but with its own distinctive style.

9. My Minds Eye Lost & Found collection

This collection was huge at CHA. And I don’t just mean the buzz about it. I mean the collection, especially by the standards of recent releases in the industry, was actually massive. It’s really four collections in one, containing four sub collections called Portobello Road, Market Street, Madison Avenue and Union Square.

The collection is elegant, usable vintage with all the embellishments that typical scrapbookers love. It hits on several trendy designs of the moment: the Eiffel Tower, banners, birds, text and sewing. This collection will move fast when it hits stores, and will find its way into lots of layouts and projects once it moves out of stores into scrapbookers’ hands.

10. Echo Park Paper

For a company that was only formed several months ago, Echo Park Paper is sure making a splash! Many items from their first three collections are currently on Two Peas In A Bucket’s “What’s Hot” section, a big accomplishment for a brand new company. Their small booth was heavily trafficked and they were much buzzed-about on the CHA Summer 2010 show floor.

Their latest collection of licensed designs, Life is Good, is already shipping to stores. To see Echo Park Paper in action, check out May’s review of their first collection. Echo Park’s impressive debut sets high expectations for the larger CHA Winter 2011 show for the company.

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