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A Look Inside Creativation 2019

Creativation 2019 passed in a whirlwind of travel and long show days! Here’s a look at what I did and saw during my three and a half days in Phoenix to attend the show.

[Disclaimer: This content is sponsored by AFCI and the Creativation 2019 show. I am a member of the Plaid blogger program.]

Creativation Show logo

To get to Phoenix, I left Daytona Beach before dawn on a 6am flight. It made for a long day, but with some quick footwork through Atlanta Hartsfield airport it got me on board a flight to Phoenix that landed before 11am!

Atlanta Hartsfield airport

When we left Atlanta, the crew announced that our arrival in Phoenix would be their very first time arriving at the just opened new terminal in Phoenix. The new terminal, while it might feel small to people more familiar with massive airports like Atlanta, is gleaming and beautiful. With excellent shopping and plenty of restaurants, travelers will find everything they need. (Especially if that thing is coffee – I counted no less than three Starbucks between curbside and my gate!) Being a modern terminal, it also has plenty of power outlets for gadget recharging and even laptop workstations. All in all, it is a vast improvement over the massive construction zone that has greeted Creativation attendees the past two years!

Phoenix Convention Center

The Phoenix Convention Center consists of three huge buildings, taking up several city blocks. The one on the left hosts Creativation.

The building on the right was hosting a a Harley event, among other things, during Creativation this year. People staying at the Hyatt Regency, Renaissance and other hotels walk through that building as a shortcut to get to where they are staying. There’s also a popular Starbucks that can be reached by walking through that building.

People driving to the show location on Sunday morning this year may have encountered another event that Phoenix was hosting during Creativation – the Rock n’ Roll marathon. It closed a couple of streets a few blocks from the convention center for a time early Sunday morning.

The first two days of Creativation are education days. Many classes were sold out, and attendees lined up early to get their pick of seats. Attendees in the photo below were lining up for an Altenew class on Friday that was scheduled to start shortly after I took the photo.

Friday Altenew class

One of the best reasons to take a class, even if you are an experienced crafter, is to learn a new technique. Sara Naumann taught a packed class on Friday how to do various techniques with WOW! embossing powders.

Friday Sara Naumann Wow

Mixed media is taking over the paper crafts industry. Judging by attendance at Dyan Reaveley’s art journaling class for her Ranger Dylusions line that I visited, lots of industry people are interested in learning more about it!

Friday Dyan Reavely class

Another popular mixed media education event was the Jane Davenport “workalong”, where attendees learned how to use Jane’s product line from Spellbinders.

Friday Jane Davenport workshop

Calligraphy is the up-and-coming hot thing in the industry. World famous calligrapher Paul Antonio, who has a product line with Spellbinders, drew a crowd of aspiring calligraphers in his class.

Friday Paul Antonio class

Just as important to running a successful craft industry business as creative education is business education. A variety of business classes were on offer for show attendees, including seminars for store owners from the ever-popular Kizer & Bender. Below, 2019 AFCI Industry Achievement Award honoree Tammy Browning-Smith teaches a class called “What to Share: Sponsorships, Endorsements & Interests”.

Friday Tammy Browning-Smith class

Friday evening, the traditional New Product Showcase took place. This year the showcase was in a space on the back of the show floor. Since construction was still going on building booths, showcase attendees walked down an aisle that had been draped off on both sides to reach the showcase. The showcase area was curtained off on all sides as well to screen unfinished booths from view.

The early part of the showcase event was wall-to-wall (curtain-to-curtain?) people, as attendees fought to weave their way through the crowd to the showcases for their first glimpses of what might be the next hot product.

Friday New Product Showcase

Once some of the crowd filtered out for dinner, it became a bit easier to get a view of the various different products.

Friday New Product Showcase 2

If you missed the Facebook Live that I did from the New Product Showcase after the crowd thinned out, you can view it below via YouTube:

Saturday morning arrived, and with it, the opening of the show floor for business! Entrance to the hall was via an entrance that was decorated to look like a house, declaring the theme “Home is where creativity is!”

AFCI Creativation 2019 entrance banner

Once the show floor opened up, attendees quickly filtered throughout the hall to their chosen destinations and the hall that had held a hushed quiet moments earlier began to buzz with activity!

Creativation 2019

Creativation 2019

Some attendees, of course, headed straight for their favorite companies’ booths to start looking over products and placing orders. (Echo Park is shown below.)

Echo Park Creativation 2019

My Facebook Live from the Echo Park booth shows how busy they were – I kept running into people while running around trying to film!

Many booths were offering make & takes, and so that is where a lot of attendees headed when the doors opened. The chance to try a product out before they order, and create a sample to take home to their stores, is invaluable to many store owners.

Here, attendees take part in the Tim Holtz idea-ology make & take while others wait their turn in line.

idea-ology Creativation 2019

(And yes, that cap and those bare legs can only mean one thing…that’s the one and only Mario Rossi keeping an eye on the whole operation from in the aisle.)

In a different area of the hall, Lynn from Spellbinders had show attendees die cutting, stamping and coloring at the make & take she was running.

Spellbinders Creativation 2019

Over at the Hampton Art/Jillibean Soup booth, show attendees participated in a make-n-take that created a trendy embroidery hoop wall art project.

Jillibean Soup Creativation 2019

Seth Apter had his make-n-take students at Paper Artsy getting so mixed media ink and paint happy that aprons were required for everyone’s protection!

Seth Apter Creativation 2019

For those who wanted to get hands on with the latest stamps, a demo area in the Creativation Stamping Village provided a variety of make & take options throughout the weekend. The stamping village also included a large social area (behind the demo area in the photo below) to rest your tired feet between turns at the make & take table, or to peruse catalogs before handing in your order at nearby booths.

Stamping Village Creativation 2019

While there were many make & takes on the floor that were “drop in” opportunities, some educational events on the Creativation show floor were more scheduled. Some, like the classes taking place in the Plaid booth, required signing up for a seat in advance. A few lucky show attendees got to fill extra seats by lining up to replace last-minute no shows (like a certain scrapbook news blogger who completely lost track of time Saturday morning while doing a Facebook Llive and suddenly realized I’d missed my scheduled class….whoops!)

Plaid Creativation 2019

It wasn’t just exhibitors offering scheduled education on the show floor. AFCI was offering offering an organized slate of education at both the Schoolhouse and the Sweet Spot. The Sweet Spot education, as its name implies, was for food crafting while the Schoolhouse offered business education sessions.

Saturday schedule Creativation 2019

The Schoolhouse was a really convenient venue for attendees to get education right on the show floor (and the events were free). This session on Sunday by Kaylee Pope on email newsletters – an important topic for most industry businesses – was well attended by industry professionals eager to learn how to improve their newsletter usage.

Schoolhouse Creativation 2019

For some show attendees, scheduled educational events in the booths extended outside show hours as various companies hosted early morning events for buyers and/or media. In the photo below, Plaid Senior VP Debbie Henley talks to members of the Plaid blogger program about the company’s new Mod Podge Ultra product on Sunday morning.

Plaid Creativation 2019

One of the quasi-scheduled items on the show floor is always the appearances in their various booths by popular designers. Many of them have to bounce between multiple companies where they have products so you have to pay attention to the schedule to know where to catch them when.

Calligrapher Paul Antonio, a relative newcomer to the Creativation celebrity guest scene, could be seen in the Spellbinders booth promoting his product line.

Paul Antonio Spellbinders Creativation 2019

And of course, Tim Holtz attracted a crowd at Ranger as usual. This year he was demonstrating his new Distress Oxide Sprays.

Tim Holtz Creativation 2019

Knowing the schedule so you can get to a celebrity designer’s demonstration right when it starts (or even before) is very important. It’s the only way usually to get a front row seat. This is especially important if you want to film – and it seems these days, everyone does.

Increasingly, demonstrations on the show floor, especially of the most popular companies, look like the one below by Seth Apter. Designers face a wall of cameras, and within minutes of it ending a half-dozen versions of their demonstration will be online for the public to view on Facebook, YouTube, or other video services.

Seth Apter Creativation 2019

It’s not just demonstrations being filmed, either. Christine Urias and her husband Mark Giles of ScrapTime have long been known for their high quality booth tours from the show, and now the genre has become a industry standard for anyone producing video content.

ScrapTime Creativation 2019

A few companies even bring in major tech for their Creativation filming, like this crew I ran into in the Hero Arts booth.

Creativation 2019

And of course, I can’t forget to mention the original livestreamer from the show floor…Elena from Charity Wings! She was doing her usual livestream this year with a new assistant, her adorable son Devin. It seemed everyone at the show wanted to meet Elena’s “baby unicorn”. And who could blame them – he was the cutest thing at the show!

Charity Wings Creativation 2019

And why did so many people want to meet Baby Devin? It’s because crafting is a community, and through our journey in it we make so many friends of other people in the community. Creativation is a chance to come together with those friends and share our journeys, wins and losses from the last year. It’s a chance to get inspiration from each other, learn from each other, and even find new partnerships to build.

(Now if I could only get someone on the show floor to teach me how to take a better selfie…)

Cynthea Stephanie Creativation 2019

This community is why the day doesn’t end when the show doors close. There were plenty of events to attend after hours at Creativation this year – the Prime VIB blogger party, a Hero Arts event, and a social event hosted by Simon Says Stamp, to name a few – but I opted instead for quiet dinners with what I consider some of my industry mentors. There is something to be said for sitting down and talking about where you are at, where you are going, and what your challenges are with just a few trusted compatriots.

Doing this meant taking advantage of some of downtown Phoenix’s wide assortment of restaurants. I think my mom nearly disowned me when I texted her this picture of her basketball idol’s restaurant – and then told her we weren’t stopping.

Majerles Phoenix

But we were headed to another kind of burger joint, called The Counter. Here, there are so many options of ways to get your burger (including even what kind of patty and bread) that they give you a paper form to fill out checking off what you want! So yes, if you want to have grilled pineapple and bbq sauce on your burger…you can totally have it! I did, and it was delicious. And the fries were amazing. And the root beer float made the perfect dessert!

The Counter Phoenix

But if steak is more your speed, The Arrogant Butcher is the hip place to be in downtown Phoenix. This prime rib practically melted in my mouth, and the flourless chocolate cake was so rich I couldn’t even finish it!

arrogant butcher phoenix

arrogant butcher phoenix

Stay tuned for more reports on Scrapbook Update about Creativation 2019…and if you missed it, be sure to check out the Scrapbook Update Creativation 2019 Top 10 Hot Picks!

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Quick Card | Stamped Watercolor Butterfly Hello Card

Sometimes when I’m working on a project, another one will happen by happy accident as I’m playing and experimenting with materials. This stamped watercolor butterfly card is one of those happy accidents, a bonus project that grew out of work I did while creating another butterfly card that I made for Buttons Galore awhile back.

[Disclosure: Some links in this article are advertiser courtesy links or affiliate links that pay a commission at no extra cost to our readers when a purchase is made after a click.]

Watercolor Butterfly Card

Supplies:

  •  card blank
  • Bazzill “Walnut Cream” Smooth Cardstock [Sb.com, Amazon, ACOT]
  • Amy Tangerine “A Sweet Life” 6×6 paper pad
  • Hero Arts “Newsprint Butterfly” stamp [Amazon]
  • Hero Arts “Layering Butterflies” stamp set [Sb.com, Amazon, ACOT]
  • Ranger Tim Holtz “Abandoned Coral” Distress Ink [Sb.com, Amazon. ACOT]
  • Ranger Tim Holtz “Worn Lipstick” Distress Ink [Sb.com, Amazon. ACOT]
  • Ranger Tim Holtz “Faded Jeans” Distress Ink [Sb.com, Amazon. ACOT]
  • Scrapbook Adhesives by 3L Foam Adhesive [Sb.com, Amazon. ACOT]
  • water spray bottle

This card has a super simple background – it’s just three strips of patterned paper, with the sentiment stamped on one of them.

The centerpiece of the card is the butterfly, which the card was actually designed around. I created the butterfly while playing with my stamps and inks to see what effects I could get while creating the other card . When I created this particular butterfly, I first dabbed the stamp with a combination of Abandoned Coral and Worn Lipstick Distress Ink. Then I spritzed it with water before stamping it. The effect was a blotchy liquid look that eliminated the newsprint design filling the butterfly but I thought was still really cool. So I decided to cut out the image and ink the edges and create a card base for it.

Sometimes happy accidents are the happiest way to create! This fun little butterfly will be flitting someone’s way to say “hi” soon!

Stamp a watercolor butterfly card in 15 minutes | from www.scrapbookupdate.com

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Grab Some Hello Gorgeous for Mother’s Day!

This time of year is always full of pretty floral product releases that are great for girl pages, Mother’s Day cards, and other feminine projects. One of my favorites this year is “Hello Gorgeous” by My Mind’s Eye, a great mix of patterns and pink florals.

[Disclosure: Some links in this article are affiliate or advertiser links. My company Nally Studios also provides social media manager services to Buttons Galore. This post is not sponsored and no one besides myself had any editorial control over the content or products used.

Hello Gorgeous Mother's Day Card

The “Hello Gorgeous” 6×6 paper pad, together with the sticker set from the collection, combine to make great cards. All it takes is the addition of a few punches to create custom embellishments from the paper pad! Continue Reading →

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CHA Mega Show 2016 | Succulents are Hot!

The CHA Mega Show is a great place to distill scrapbooking trends and craft trends, with so much of the industry and its products in one place for the show. Walking the show floor, patterns and themes become easily apparent – trends!

One thing that kept popping up as I walked the floor of this year’s CHA Mega Show was succulents for crafts! This trend, an outgrowth of the general 1970’s trend in crafts, fashion, and home decor, started to manifest in 2015, but really became prevalent at this show.

Several companies were using real live succulents in their booth decor as a touch of green:

Webster's Pages planner display with succulents

Webster’s Pages planner display with succulents

Continue Reading →

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Update | Michaels Stores, Lia Griffith, May Flaum, Bella Crafts and more!

Wow, the news has been coming like crazy, and we are overdue for an Update column! Here’s what you might have missed!

In case you missed it last month, Stampin’ Up! has discontinued their Blendabilities line of pens. The alcohol markers suffered from quality issues with the attaching of the tip during manufacturing that could lead to the marker drying out. For information on receiving a refund if your markers are defective, visit the Blendabilities FAQ.

Bella Crafts Publishing, publisher of Bella Crafts Quarterly, has made several big announcements in recent months. They have rebranded, announced a new publication (Craft Techniques) and also a new event!

The event, called Bella Crafts Connections, will take place September 24th-27th at the Mall of America. This is a similar time frame as was previously occupied by the Archiver’s Scrapfest at the Mall of America, before the Archiver’s bankruptcy and store closures. The Bella Crafts event is planned to be huge, and not just for scrapbooking. The company is promising 60-70 craft workshops in areas like mixed media, jewelry making, ice resin, needle arts, as well as more. Over 20 teachers, including Lisa Pavelka, Seth Apter, Gina K, and Eileen Hull, are planned for the event. Continue Reading →

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CHA Mega Show 2015 | Nancy’s Picks

The Scrapbook Update Hot Picks bring you the buzz from CHA shows, but sometimes my personal taste varies from what is “hot” or there isn’t room to include all of the things that I think are exciting.

So in honor of Valentine’s Day, let’s do “Nancy’s Picks”, my personal list of what I fell in love with at the CHA Mega Show 2015.

First up is one of my favorite Instagrams from the show! I’ve always loved the concept of Faber-Castell’s Gelatos, but the color palette of brights and primaries left me really cold. Now though, they’ve released a palette of pastel colors for the line that I believe will increase the product lines usability for me (and a lot of other people). Plus it makes for very pretty rainbow pictures!

Gelato Rainbow Continue Reading →

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