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Author Archive | Nancy Nally

A Look at Micro Trends at Creativation 2019

It’s easy to spot the big trends while walking the Creativation show floor. When there’s a unicorn or cactus in every booth you go into, it’s pretty apparent that is a headline trend. But one of the more important things you can take away from visiting the show floor is not the big billboard trends (although that is important too). Instead, assessing the micro trends of the industry is a task that should not be overlooked during busy show days.

[Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by AFCI and the Creativation show. Some links in this article may be affiliate links.]

AFCI Creativation 2019 entrance banner

Micro trends, like the micro in their name suggests, are small scale trends. They aren’t industry-consuming like macro trends are. They aren’t “in your face”. But they are noticeable little blips in the flow of the industry.

Why are micro trends important? For one, micro trends are usually cutting edge. Do you or your customer like to be on top of the latest colors or style icons? Micro trends are where you will find that, because the cutting edge comes and goes so quickly that its elements don’t have a chance to become macro trends. If they do stick around long enough to, then they are no longer really cutting edge.

The fact that some micro trends do become macro trends, becoming the next big thing, is another important reason to search down industry micro trends. What today is just an interesting thing being done by a handful of companies might tomorrow be the next industry saturation trend. Identifying that trend early helps you get on board with it- or carve out a position to counter it! Paint pouring, llamas, gold foil, succulents…they all started out as just an interesting product a few brands were doing. And then they took over everything!

Micro trends can be hard to spot because they aren’t at saturation level. At the show, immersed in the new product displays and the industry goings-on, is by far the most effective way to identify them. Reviewing products over a period of weeks, or months….they may not stand out. But at the show, when you realize that shade of yellow looks familiar from earlier in the day, or a discussion you are having is a repeat of one from this morning…you’ve possibly stumbled into a micro trend.

Here’s a few examples of some micro trends that I found at Creativation 2019:

Art Deco:

Hero Arts Deco in the City stamp

Hero Arts 6″x6″ Deco in the City stamp

Hero Arts has released a significant release of Art Deco style stamps and stencils recently, such as this 6″x6″ Deco in the City background stamp. But they aren’t the only ones to dabble in the retro style of Art Deco in the industry – it’s been lurking around for awhile. In 2017, Tim Holtz released an Art Deco styled alphabet as part of his Sizzix line of dies. At the same show, Graphic 45 debuted a heavily Art Deco collection called Vintage Hollywood. (While their lines frequently allude to that period, this particular collection was very up front with classic signature elements of the period.) Both of these brands are known for vintage products however and so it’s not entirely surprising to see the style from them.

Then in late 2018, we saw Art Deco start to show up from companies that didn’t specialize in hardcore vintage. BoBunny released the Something Splendid collection. And then at Creativation we got the new Hero Arts stamps and also a paper collection from Lawn Fawn with Art Deco style scallops. Given that it has escaped its vintage roots and is showing up elsewhere now, it will be interesting to see if Art Deco continues to grow as a design presence in the industry.

Space:

Photo Play To the Moon

Photo Play Paper To the Moon And Back

Whether it was the total eclipse in 2017, America’s impending return to manned space flight, or the raft of recent space themed movies…space seems to be on the mind of a significant number of product designers. Photo Play Paper did an entire space themed collection in December called To The Moon and Back. Meanwhile, other brands like Hero Arts and Doodlebug are doing moon and space themed stamps, and Sizzix has a new set of space themed dies.

Mustard Yellows:

Lawn Fawn No 2 Pencil

Lawn Fawn No 2 Pencil cardstock

The release of the spring lines is usually the time that we see yellow shades turn lemony after having been more brown in the fall lines. Instead, some of the spring lines are showing more mustard tones of yellow. Companies such as Paper House, Simple Stories, BoBunny, Authentique, and Photo Play all showed at least one line that used a more mustard tone of yellow. This micro trend is definitely approaching enough saturation to be called a macro trend!

And in a hint that they think it may stay for awhile, Lawn Fawn has released a cardstock pack they are calling “no. 2 pencil“. Is mustard no longer just a fall seaonal color? The fashion world seems to think so, and now it appears that scrapbooking is following suit.

Card Sentiments:

Altenew Mega Greetings 3

Altenew Mega Greetings 3 stamps

Another micro trend that jumped out while walking the show floor was the number of stamp companies releasing sentiment-only stamp sets. Hero Arts refreshed their line with multiple new staple sets. Stampendous, Altenew, Heffydoodle, Honey Bee, Spellbinders, BoBunny and several others all have released or upcoming sentiment only stamps. While these are an industry staple, the volume of releases at once is perhaps an indicator of stamp companies shifting their sole focus back to card making as scrapbooking and planner stamp sales both decline.

What micro trends did you detect at Creativation? Tell us in the comments!

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Scrapping with Photo Play Paper’s new Belle Fleur collection! [Giveaway]

Today I’m playing with the gorgeous new Belle Fleur collection by Becky Fleck for Photo Play Paper…and I’m giving one away to a lucky Scrapbook Update reader, too!

[Disclosure: Some links in this article are affiliate links that pay this site a commission when a purchase is made after a click. Some product used in this article was provided by Photo Play Paper, Cricut, and Plaid but this is not a sponsored article.]

As soon as I saw the Belle Fleur collection from Photo Play Paper in the Creativation sneak peeks, I knew I wanted to use it to scrapbook some pictures of my daughter! It was perfect for this favorite photo of my daughter modeling a fascinator I made for my Chasing Dust Bunnies website. (Click here to visit Chasing Dust Bunnies and learn how to make it!)

Beautiful layout with Belle Fleur collection

Supplies Used:

To learn how I made this layout, including how I used my Cricut Maker machine and the new Mod Podge Ultra spray, watch the video below:

So, now that you’ve seen how much fun I had playing with the Belle Fleur collection, who wants to win one of their own? Thanks to Photo Play Paper, I’ve got one of these beautiful collection kits to give away to a lucky reader!

Photo Play Paper Belle Fleur Collection Pack

How To Enter: All you have to do to have a chance to be the lucky winner is leave a comment on this entry before 3:00 AM US eastern time on Monday, February 25th, 2019. 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 text of the comment, where it will be visible to the public – just in the line labeled “email” in the form where only Scrapbook Update staff can see it). We will need it to notify you if you are a winner. Winners will be drawn by random drawing from all eligible entries. One entry per person. Sorry, US delivery addresses only.

Best of luck to all who enter, and happy creating!

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2019 Spring & Easter Scrapbook Collection Round-Up!

With Valentine’s Day over, that means it’s time for two things…buying Valentine’s candy at 50% off and Easter candy! And of course, you’ll probably want to get started on spring and Easter scrapbooking, too. So, to help you find the supplies you’ll love to use, here’s the 2019 Spring & Easter Scrapbook Collection Round-Up from Scrapbook Update!

2019 Easter Spring Scrapbook Collections

[Disclosure: Some links contained in this article are affiliate links that pay this site a commission at no cost to you when a purchase is made after a click.]

What are the trends for Spring & Easter 2019?

For the most part, the few companies doing spring and Easter collections for 2019 have stuck to their signature styles and colors. A few things stick out, however.

The gingham and plaid trends that have been evident in scrapbooking design for some time are still being seen in spring and Easter collections. Virtually all of the Easter-specific collections also include all-over prints using tiny carrots. (Use them for garden pictures if they are leftover after Easter!)

Most of the collections are very bright and graphic in style, but fans of vintage style have a few choices that lean that direction. Authentique’s “Abundant” collection brings brown and blue vintage style to Easter. For a lighter vintage touch, “Spring Farmhouse” by Simple Stories interprets a largely graphic spring style in more vintage tones of green, yellow, pink and faux wood.

Only Photo Play (under its Color Play brand) has chosen to create an overtly religious Easter collection. Designed by Becky Fleck, Easter Joy combines crosses, lilies, and stained glass with touches of ecclesiastic purple.

2019 Spring & Easter Scrapbook Paper Collections

The collections below are arranged alphabetically by company:

Authentique Paper: Abundant

Shipping: now
Wholesale: Authentique Paper
Retail: Scrapbook.com, Amazon, Simon Says Stamp

Authentique Abundant

Doodlebug Design: Hoppy Easter

Shipping: March 2019
Wholesale: Doodlebug Design
Retail: Scrapbook.com,

Doodlebug Design Hoppy Easter

Echo Park Paper: Easter Wishes

Shipping: now
Wholesale: Echo Park Paper
Retail: Scrapbook.com, Amazon, Simon Says Stamp

Echo Park Easter Wishes

Echo Park Paper: Spring Fling

Shipping: now
Wholesale: Echo Park Paper
Retail: Scrapbook.com, Amazon, Simon Says Stamp

Echo Park Spring Fling

Lawn Fawn: Spring Fling

Shipping: February 2019
Wholesale:
Retail: Scrapbook.com, Amazon, Simon Says Stamp

Lawn Fawn Spring Fling

Photo Play Paper: Bunny Trail

Shipping: now
Wholesale: Photo Play Paper
Retail: Scrapbook.com, Simon Says Stamp

Photo Play Bunny Trail

Photo Play Paper: Easter Joy

Shipping: now
Wholesale: Photo Play Paper
Retail: Scrapbook.com, Amazon, Simon Says Stamp

Photo Play Easter Joy

Simple Stories: Bunnies & Baskets

Shipping: now
Wholesale: Simple Stories
Retail: Scrapbook.com,

Simple Stories Bunnies and Baskets

Simple Stories: Spring Farmhouse

Shipping: now
Wholesale: Simple Stories
Retail: Scrapbook.com,

Simple Stories Spring Farmhouse

Simple Stories: Springtime

Shipping: now
Wholesale: Simple Stories
Retail: Scrapbook.com,

Simple Stories Springtime

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Update | Cuttlebug, Copic, Hobby Lobby, Michaels, JOANN, & More!

With the start of the new year and trade shows happening, we have lots of catching up to do with the craft industry news! So let’s get started!

[Disclaimer: Some links in this article are affiliate links that pay this site a commission at no cost to the reader when a purchase is made after a click.]

Cricut Cuttlebug

Cutting. Cricut has made two big product announcements recently. Fans of the Cuttlebug will be disappointed to learn that the die cut machine and its accessories are being discontinued. Those still wanting one (or supplies for one they already own) can shop while supplies last at Cricut.com.

Files from one of the most popular sources of SVG files for use on die cutting machines are now available in Cricut Access. Miss Kate Cuttables has launched several new collections in Cricut Access, including Spring Has Sprung, Springtime, All You Need Is Love, Be Mine Valentine, Love Letters, and Valentine’s Day.

Closing. Furniture chain Hemispheres, which was founded in 2001 by Hobby Lobby’s David Green, will be closing. The company’s vendors have been told the store will be placing no further inventory orders. Hemispheres’ eight stores in Texas and Oklahoma will close later this year after selling through existing and already-purchased inventory.

Closing 2. Impress Cards + Crafts has been serving Seattle-area paper crafters since 1987. But on February 23rd it will close its University Village store in Seattle, leaving only its Tukwilla location.

Closing 3. Scrapbook Store & More in Greenfield, Wisconsin will be closing their doors on March 31st. The owner, citing health problems and a changing scrapbook market, has announced plans to open a craft retreat house in late spring or early summer 2019 that will sleep 10-12 people.

Every store closure is a loss to the industry, of course. But this particular store is noteworthy as the store that started the scrapbooking career of a young Stephanie Hunt (aka Stephanie Smokovich) – now known to scrapbookers worldwide as the founder and designer of Bella Blvd.

Changes. In yet another sign of the decline of the popularity of pocket cards, Kelly Purkey has announced changes to her  monthly subscription club. The subscription traditionally included pocket cards and an exclusive stamp set. A second subscription option will now be made available moving forward that includes only the stamps, without the cards. The new stamp-only subscription will cost $16/month for a 12 month subscription.

Direct. Too Marker, the manufacturer of Copic markers, has announced that they are discontinuing their distribution agreement with Imagination International in the United States for the popular markers. Instead, the company plans to sell the markers directly themselves to the U.S. market.

Channels. Tonic Studios announced this week that they are changing channels. The company, which has long partnered with Hochanda for TV shopping sales, is jumping to Create and Craft TV starting in March 2019. Click here to see the full announcement.

Legal. After settling their patent infringement lawsuit against Tonic Studios in July, My Sweet Petunia moved on to another target in October: Stampin’ Up. In a widely anticipated move, My Sweet Petunia filed suit against Stampin’ Up in October 2018 alleging the company was infringing its patents on the MISTI tool by selling its Stamparatus tool. Stampin’ Up! has filed counter-claims against My Sweet Petunia challenging, among other things, the validity of one of My Sweet Petunia’s patents.

stamp-n-storage magnet sheets

Stamp-n-Storage magnet sheets in use

Wholesale. Stamp-n-Storage, which produces storage options for scrapbookers and card makers, is entering the wholesale market with its popular magnet cards for storing thin metal dies. All four sizes of Stamp-n-Storage magnet cards (5×7, 6×7, 8×7 and 8.5×11) were on display to retailers at the recent Creativation show in Phoenix. The company had previously marketed its products only via its own website and at consumer craft shows such as Stamp & Scrapbook Expo.

Adjustments. Facing a shrinking market for her company’s core Project Life products, Becky Higgins has shared with fans some major changes being taken to help ensure the health of the company moving forward. The company’s physical office space has been shut down, with all staff working from home now. The Good Life product line – the company’s foray into lifestyle products – is also going away. And they are also stopping exhibiting at consumer shows and shipping product internationally from their online store. Finally, they are discontinuing their affiliate marketing program.

In the email to consumers discussing the changes, Becky promised fans would see more video content containing Project Life projects soon, along with more online courses for the Becky Higgins classroom. The company also is planning what she described as “an adjustment in how we offer / package the Project Life product,” which may be a welcome change to many scrapbookers if it includes fewer duplicates of the 3×4 cards. Too many duplicates of those cards is a common complaint among Project Life core kit purchasers.

Chains. Michaels has announced it is closing all of the 36 Pat Catan’s stores in Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. The company acquired the Pat Catan stores three years ago when it bought Lamrite West, the parent company of Darice and Pat Catan’s. At the time of the acquisition, Michaels’ public statements pointed to Darice as the motivation for the acquisition, so the announcement of the retail stores’ impending closure is not particularly surprising. Michaels says it intends to rebrand up to 12 of the stores as Michaels stores and reopen them in the 2019 fiscal year. The company will also continue to maintain a warehouse for its wholesale business in Strongsville, Ohio.

“After a comprehensive review, we have decided to close all of the Pat Catan’s retail stores. We expect to rebrand and reopen up to 12 stores as new Michaels stores in fiscal 2019, and we will continue to maintain a support center and distribution center in Strongsville, Ohio to support our growing wholesale business. We believe these changes will provide more value for customers and shareholders by enabling us to leverage a more consistent merchandise assortment and eliminate duplicative retail operating expenses,” says Chuck Rubin, Chairman and CEO of The Michaels Companies. “This was not an easy decision, and I am grateful for the contributions of our Pat Catan’s Team Members. As we work through the closing process, we intend to provide employment opportunities or transition support for all Team Members.”

People. JOANN Stores has a new CEO to replace Jill Soltau, who left for JC Penney in October 2018 – and it’s a familiar face. Wade Miquelon, who had been serving as interim President and CEO since Soltau’s departure, was appointed last week as her permanent replacement. He was also given a seat on the Board of Directors as well. Miquelon joined JOANN as EVP and CFO in March 2016, and came to JOANN from The Walgreen Company.

Cruising. Michaels is partnering with Carnival Cruise Line to be their exclusive arts and crafts provider for their fleet of 26 cruise ships. Onboard ship, Carnival Cruise Line customers will have access to a variety of “Make It With Michaels” craft experiences that will rotate seasonally. And this spring, Michaels will host Carnival Cruise-themed classes in their stores.

“As we continue our mission to make it easy for parents to provide their kids with more mindful, screen-free fun, we are excited to partner with Carnival Cruise Line to inspire creativity at sea,” said Steve Carlotti, Michaels EVP of Marketing. “Carnival carries more than 5.2 million guests every year, including 800,000 kids, and this program will give guests of all ages a new and creative way to interact with our brand. As the number one player in the arts and crafts space, we are the preferred destination for making and creative play, and this new partnership is another way we are solidifying our leadership position.”

To celebrate the program’s launch, the companies are giving away five Carnival Cruises between now and April 30th. You can enter to win on the Carnival Cruise website.

Dates. Speaking of getting away, Jenn Shurkus has announced the 2019 dates for her Creative Journey Art Retreats on Cape Cod. The spring retreat will be April 27th-28th, and the fall retreat is November 2nd-November 3rd. Registration for the spring retreat opens February 17th at 9am ET.

Sold. U.K.-based Coats has sold its North American Crafts business to Spinrite, the Canadian manufacturer of yarn brands such as Caron, Bernat and Lily Sugar n’ Cream, for initial cash consideration of $37 million. The acquisition brings brands like Red Heart, Susan Bates, Aunt Lydia and Coats & Clark to Spinrite.

Reading:

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Make a Decoupage Bracelet with Mod Podge Ultra

Love Mod Podge? Then you’ll be really excited about this new product announcement by Plaid at Creativation 2019. New Mod Podge Ultra is coming…and it’s a spray!

[Disclaimer: Some links are affiliate links to Amazon.com and other sources. These links pay this site a commission at no cost to the user when a purchase is made after a click. Plaid provided some products to me as part of their blogger program but this is not a sponsored post.]

About Mod Podge Ultra

Mod Podge Ultra is available in two finishes, gloss and matte. And it comes in two sizes as well: 4oz and 8oz. It’s the same Mod Podge you know and love  – water clean-up, dries clear – with a few added bonuses. The spray Mod Podge Ultra shows no brushstrokes, dries non-tacky, and can be used on indoor or outdoor projects. And the hold is super strong, enough to hold and seal mosaic tiles and other heavy items!

Plaid Mod Podge Ultra

The ability to spray on a thin coat of Mod Podge Ultra sounded like the perfect way to do decoupage, so I decided to give it a try on a wooden bangle project!

How to Decoupage a Bracelet with Mod Podge Ultra

Supply List:

I started out by sanding my bangle with a very fine sandpaper. Then I painted it with some Plaid Multi-Surface paint in Wicker White. Painting the bangle meant that I didn’t have to worry about covering the entire surface of the bangle. It also kept the wood grain from showing through the decoupage paper’s design.

Decoupage Bracelet Step 1

Once the paint was dry, it was time to play with the Mod Podge Ultra! I tore up some pieces of collage paper before I started to make the decoupage work easier.

Mod Podge Ultra for Decoupage

The decoupage work went really fast! To see the Mod Podge Ultra in action, and how easy it made my project, watch the video below of the decoupage process:

(or click here to visit YouTube to watch the video)

After the initial layer of Mod Podge Ultra decoupage on my bracelet was dry, I applied a second coat of spray over the entire bracelet. This layer will serve as a sealer, since a bracelet is an item that can get some wear & tear.

Mod Podge Ultra decoupage bracelet

Although I specifically tore out and placed just this Paris postmark separately from the other designs, it doesn’t look pasted on. The white background of the collage paper has basically vanished and the designs are all melded together. The torn edges blend seamlessly into the background too, held in place with the coat of Mod Podge Ultra.

Mod Podge Ultra decoupage bracelet

Looking closely, you can see that there are no brushstrokes from the Mod Podge Ultra spray. (There are a few visible from the acrylic paint layer.) And the Mod Podge provided just the right amount of dampness for the collage paper to be worked over the bracelet’s curves with no wrinkles!

Mod Podge Ultra decoupage bracelet

I loved my first experience decoupaging with Mod Podge Ultra! I can’t wait to try using it for more types of projects, and to wear my new bracelet, too!

Mod Podge Ultra decoupage bracelet

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Design Team Call | Simple Stories (2/15/2019)

For our readers’ convenience, Scrapbook Update publishes the full text of select design team calls, with the company name and deadline in the header.

To see a page listing all of these published calls, visit the Design Team Calls category of Scrapbook Update.

To have your company’s design team call published, contact nancy [at] nallystudios.com.


Simple Stories 2019 design team call

This design team call originally was posted online by Simple Stories.

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