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Tag Archives | Copic Markers

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!

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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.

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Scrapbook Update CHA Winter 2010 Top 10 Hot Picks

Well, it’s all over. The suitcases are unpacked, the photos are loaded in Lightroom, the jet lag is easing. After taking some time to analyze what I saw, and go over my notes and photos in detail, I’ve assembled this list of Scrapbook Update’s Top 10 Hot Picks from CHA Winter 2010:

1. BasicGrey

This pick may sound a bit redundant, because BasicGrey is such a force in the industry. But their last few show introductions have been somewhat underwhelming. One of my favorite companies was frankly, starting to edge toward getting stale. But with the introduction of Kioshi, Green At Heart, Capella, and Max & Whiskers, BasicGrey is starting to look more again like the company whose papers used to make a serious dent in my budget. I wasn’t the only one excited, either – I heard the same sentiment from many others on the show floor.

Another fabulous showing from the company at CHA Winter was their Basics line. Available in 3 colors (white, cream and kraft), it is a line consisting completely of text and ledger-style paper designs that make great backgrounds for building on. Ledger paper is incredibly popular – a whole collection of it is a dream for many scrapbookers.

2. EK Success Slimline Punches

It’s no secret that I’m a fan of the EK Success slimline punches. There will be plenty for everyone to love now, because despite the trend towards smaller product line introductions, EK Success is introducing 78 new designs of slimline punch.

A large number of the new punches are border punches, including some that create paper ribbon chains. For Halloween, EK was previewing a punch collection that included a new even larger size of border punch.Consumers are all about tools right now, and punches are used by scrapbookers and cardmakers. Expect the popular slimline punches to get even more popular with this huge introduction of options.

3. Melody Ross for GCD Studios

A few months after the news broke that the Ultra-Pro owned Chatterbox was defunct, founder Melody Ross is back in style with an amazing collection for GCD Studios. She’s obviously thriving in her new professional home, as this is the best creative work that we’ve seen from Ross in quite some time. Ross, who revolutionized the industry a decade ago with her work at Chatterbox, reclaims her position as one of the leading creative minds in the industry with her CHA Winter lines for GCD Studios.

4. Staz-On Metallic

Stamping is hot. Metallic is hot. So StazOn, the ink that stamps on almost any surface, being introduced in new metallic shades seems like a made-to-order hit for manufacturer Tsukineko.

The metallic StazOn ink pads come in four metallic shades: gold, silver, copper and platinum. The pads work in a similar fashion to the Tsukineko glue pad, coming with a pad and a re-inker bottle from which the pad must be loaded and then more frequently refreshed than a regular ink pad.

5. The Girls Paperie

Margie Romney-Aslett has definitely moved on to a successful new chapter after being let go by Making Memories nearly a year ago. Her new line with Advantus, called The Girls Paperie, was all the buzz at CHA in Anaheim.

The designs are in the beautiful vintage style that Romney-Aslett is known for, and include both papers and embellishments. There are two lines. One is travel-themed, and one is a classic feminine floral grouping.

6. Tim Holtz for Sizzix

Sizzix generated a lot of excitement with the announcement that Tim Holtz would design a line of dies for them called Alterations, and the products unveiled at CHA did not disappoint Holtz’s fans. Alterations is something of a departure style-wise for Sizzix, so it may attract a whole new group of customers for the machine.

One nice feature of many of Holtz’s die designs is that they are divided into many pieces. For instance, pieces from the butterfly die can also be used to create  a dragonfly or half butterfly design. The Alterations line also includes a group of embossing folders for the Sizzix machine.

7. Cricut Cake

While technically not exactly a scrapbook product, the Cricut Cake machine from Provo Craft is designed to extend a papercrafting product line to a new audience: bakers. This new version of the Cricut Expression machine is food safe and designed to cut sheets of sugar to use in decorating cakes and cookies. It will ship in May and retail for $399. Regular Cricut cartridges do work in the machine.

The machine can cut from two different thicknesses of decorating material. From the examples on display at the Provo Craft evening event in Anaheim, the Cake is capable of cutting quite detailed images. The images on the cake below come from a Cricut cartridge called A Child’s Year. The Cricut Cake generated a lot of buzz at CHA, and is a great opportunity for Cricut to extend its market base beyond just papercrafters. According to a representative for Provo Craft who spoke to Scrapbook Update at CHA, the Cake is just the start of some major development in the Cricut line – the company has five new machines in the pipeline for the next few years.

8. Copic Markers

The rise of interest in stamping has brought along a rise in interest in mediums that are used with stamps. There’s been a lot of buzz recently about Copic alcohol-based markers for use with stamps. Copic markers were hot sellers at the CHA Supershow in Anaheim (in fact, the booth with a great deal on them was the only one I waited in line at all day). There were examples on display in many stamping booths at the show that had been made with Copics, and Couture Cardstock was advertising its new bleed-proof Pure Silk blending papers designed especially for use with Copics.

9. Lily Bee Design

Lily Bee Design, a new exhibitor, has been attracting a lot of buzz with its vintage feminine designs. They’ve achieved something that usually seems to be difficult for a new company, by creating embellishment designs that are beautiful and noteworthy. Their chipboard flowers and 12×12 rub-on sheets are worthy accompaniments to the company’s beautiful papers, giving Lily Bee’s lines a depth that many new companies can’t match. These lines’ reasonable size and their quality means that a retailer doesn’t need to cherry-pick them to carry them.

10. Eco Green Crafts

Also in the new exhibitor section, Eco Green Crafts is making a timely entrance to the market when interest is building in “green” products. Co-founder Julia Andrus is a cancer survivor, and all of the company’s products in some way are designed to be environmentally friendly – from low VOC paints and inks to unmounted rubber stamps that save wood. The company’s line of inks are vegetable-based. Eco Green Crafts offers an extensive selection of colors of inks and paints, recycled paper board books, and a catalog of unmounted rubber stamps that are “steampunk” styled, among other products.

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