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Review: Pink Paislee Artisan Elements

Not only is this new product something unique, but they are acid free and a lot of fun to play with, too. Pink Paislee has come out with a new product called Artisan Elements, and in its debut they released three different items: sets of swirls, frames, and an alphabet.

product images above from www.pinkpaislee.com

I don’t know what the material actually is. Somehow it’s not only soft and flexible, but also acid free. So many scrapbook embellishments these days do not state they are acid free, so to see Pink Paislee come out with something so unique that is archivally safe (and fairly flat) makes this scrapbooker super happy.

The possibilities, it would seem, are bound only by the imagination. I’ve tried inking, stamping, misting, painting, glittering, gluing, using marker pens, gold leafing pen, and even debossing the material with the GCD ChipArt tool I reviewed a few weeks ago. Everything I have tried to make stick to this material works.

Above is a piece I experimented on heavily. Some mediums take a while to dry, but everything I’ve tried does indeed dry and stick to the surface.

In the example above I used Smooch inks (that have a liquid eyeliner type consistency and applicator) to paint the design. It took a few minutes, but it was fun to do – I felt like a kid with a coloring book.

While coloring in detail was fun, I find myself leaning towards just picking one color to decorate the pieces. Below I’ve used Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist in Timeless Lilac to color the flourish. Rather than spritzing, I dipped a small paintbrush into the Glimmer Mist and let the mist soak into the cracks of the design creating deeper color in the lines, and a lighter color along the raised portion. This is both quick and simple.

While acrylic paints do work, I found that thinning them out into more of a glaze-like consistency helped me keep the intricate detail showing up better on the more detailed pieces.

Spraying or spritzing the pieces to give a more uneven look is a lot of fun too, as seen below with a frame.

The material is very soft and easy to cut if desired. Below you can see pieces from the alphabet set. The Q is spritzed, while the question mark has been drawn on with a metallic marker.

I have only two complaints about this product. First, I wish the alphabet had more than one of each letter. Second, I wish there were a lot more designs to choose from. I’d love to see more fonts, styles, and individual elements such as buttons, flowers, leaves, butterflies, and other shapes that would be both useful and fun to use. It is my hope that we’re going to see a lot more of this special material in the future from Pink Paislee.

Supplies: Pink Paislee patterned papers, Artisan Elements, and journaling paper; Making Memories small letter and number stickers; American Crafts Thickers; Tattered Angels Glimmer Mists; Tim Holtz Distress Tool.

On this page, I used pieces from each of the sheets of Artisan Elements. The brackets shown above were spritzed with Strawberry Shortcake Chalkboard Mist, then lightly glazed with Mermaid Glimmer Glam by Tattered Angels.

I cut this frame in half to make more of a bracket to hold the date for my layout.

Finally, I used a paintbrush and paints taken to a glaze-like consistency to quickly decorate this large corner accent.

I feel like I’m just scratching the surface with this new material, and knowing that it’s flexible I am currently pondering the possibilities for altered arts and other off-the-page crafting.

Pink Paislee Artisan Elements are in stores now, and available through online stores such as Scrapbook.com and Two Peas In A Bucket.

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Top Ten Product Trends at CHA Winter 2010, Part 2

It’s time to look at part two of the top ten product trends from CHA Winter 2010! (In case you missed it, here’s part one.)

Please note that these trends are intended to take a look at the types of products that are being offered, not the specific design and style trends that were being applied to those products.

6. Fabric/Canvas

Top row, left-right: Studio Calico, Prima, Prima. Middle row (l-r): Adornit, BasicGrey, BasicGrey. Bottom row (l-r): Melody Ross for GCD Studios, Claudine Hellmuth Studio, Webster’s Pages.

Maybe it is a reflection of the homemade/vintage feeling that is sweeping scrapbooking, but a lot of CHA Winter products were created from textiles. Replacing the hard metal embellishments of a few years ago, fabric is both more versatile as a material and more affordable. There’s also less government regulation to worry about for manufacturers, such as issues created recently by the CPSIA.

Some fabric items, such as Donna Downey’s products for Prima, are a blank starting point for projects. Others, such as Studio Calico’s Fabrips borders, are full-featured embellishments designed to be incorporated into other projects.

7. Embossed Cardstock

Left-right: Jenni Bowlin Core’dinations, Bazzill, Tim Holtz Alterations.

Products that were either already embossed or for creating embossing are becoming quite common in the scrapbook market. All of the manual die cutting systems seem to offer embossing accessories, and Tim Holtz caused big buzz at CHA with his new Alterations embossing designs for the Sizzix machine. Many of the cardstock companies (like Bazzill and Core’dinations) seem to be entering a gray area between cardstock and patterned paper providers by branching into embossed designs. It’s also becoming more frequent for patterned paper companies to include embossed designs in their lines (K and Company has a long history of this, for instance).

8. Spray Ink/Mist

Left-right: Smooch Spritz, Inkadinkado, Chalkboard Glimmer Mist.

Ink of all kinds is a hot product right now. But spray ink, which has only recently gotten attention as a category, is the hottest of all the inks – attracting attention even from papercrafters who don’t own a single stamp. Tattered Angels offered up a big expansion of its Glimmer line at CHA Winter 2010 and many other companies also either offered the product for the first time or expanded existing offerings.

9. Fancy Buttons

Top: American Crafts Glitter Buttons. Bottom: Bazzill Vintage Buttons.

Buttons are back as part of the vintage trend, but with a twist from their classic scrapbooking incarnation. Instead of plain buttons we now have glitter buttons, textured buttons, and bling buttons. Gone are the days of companies selling color assortments of plain buttons to coordinate with their lines – now they must have extra detail of some kind. Offerings from companies like GCD Studios and Bazzill remind me so much of my grandmother’s button jar!

10: Die Cutting

Top row, left-right: Cottage Cutz, Sizzix eClips, Tim Holtz Alterations. Bottom row (l-r): Cricut Cake, Spellbinders, Craftwell eCraft.

At CHA Winter 2010, there was plenty of proof that lots of companies see both digital and manual die cutting as a viable market. Several new exhibitors were associated with die cutting, and some of the show’s biggest buzz was centered around the Cricut Cake machine. Besides the Cricut Cake, Sizzix and Craftwell also showed new electronic cutters, greatly expanding the options in that area for consumers. On the manual side, Cottage Cutz was exhibiting as an independent producer of dies, an indicator of the perceived strength in that market. Tim Holtz’s new collection of vintage style dies for Sizzix has potential to reach a new audience for their machine, which is known for a more graphic or cute style of design.

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