Tag Archives | Julie Fei-Fan Balzer

CHA Summer 2013 | Hot Pick: The Crafter’s Workshop

Welcome to Scrapbook Update’s CHA Top Ten Hot Picks list!

To see all the hot picks posted so far, visit this link. At the end, after I’ve published all ten of the picks, I’ll publish a summary list for easy reference.

So here, in no particular order, is the next hot pick for CHA Summer 2013 (aka Create-n-Connect)…

Like the previous pick (Lawn Fawn), this is another company that grabbed this honor for their continued upward motion in the market and for showing increasing signs of being a mature company with a completely solid offering and development program.

The Crafter’s Workshop now has a stable slate of four big-name signature designers, and their efforts for CHA Summer 2013 showed how all these names mesh together, complementing each other without really competing.

Ronda Palazzari’s new stencils really stood out because of the nature of their design. Her style I’d describe as outgoing, in contrast to Julie Fei-Fan Balzer, whose style is more introspective. This distinction is reflective of their backgrounds, with Ronda’s work focused more on layouts that cater more to an audience, and Julie’s more focused on art journaling (which to most is private and personal).

These stencils of Ronda’s have multiple designs on them, making them quite versatile:

Ronda Palazzari stencils
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CHA Summer 2012: Balzer Designs for The Crafter’s Workshop

I knew Julie Fei-Fan Balzer would be doing make-and-takes with her new products on Tuesday and didn’t want to miss it. Luckily, I made it to The Crafter’s Workshop booth while she was still there.  Jennifer Wilson and I made lovely canvas necklaces with Julie!

Julie is just as much fun and enthusiastic as you would expect based on her blog and appearances in places like the Scrapbook Soup series that she co-hosts!

While I was there, I was able to check out some of her new templates, too. Below are the Life Strips and Pattern Strips designs:

These Life Shapes (in Small and Large) are sure to be popular with Project Lifers:

Chevron Arrows (below) combines two of the currently most trendy patterns!

Look for these products soon at a retailer new you!

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Noteworthy | 5.18.2012

Welcome to another week of Noteworthy! It was a relatively quiet week this week in the scrapbook world compared to the flood of releases and big news the past few weeks, but we still have lots of fun stuff to talk about! So let’s get started…

The biggest announcement this week arguably came from Becky Higgins, and it was about Project Life, of course. Details of the announcement are a bit sketchy because Becky’s announcement video is currently unavailable for viewing. However, the brief summary points that she posted underneath the video indicate the following big changes are coming soon to the Project Life core kits:

  • Project Life core kit production is being shifted to the U.S. from overseas. This will cut down on out of stock time as production is much faster, and the print and paper quality will be much better.
  • Packaging is changing to a large flat package that includes a plastic tray in which all of the cards will lay flat. All of the new packaging is 100% recyclable.
  • Kit contents will be changing: There will now be 500 journaling cards in each kit, with “filler” designs on the back, plus 40 bi-fold cards (up from 24). The title cards will be horizontal designs on the front and vertical on the back (the same designs, just shifted in orientation).
  • Another change that is coming to the kit contents: stickers are being eliminated, for now. Becky says it is too expensive to produce them here in the U.S., so they are eliminating them from the core kits, and looking at options to produce them as a separate item that can be purchased as an add-on for Project Life in the future.
  • The original Project Life kit is coming back! As part of the new U.S. production, all of the Project Life core kits are being reprinted: Clementine, Cobalt, Amber, and Turquoise – and the original kit is coming back as well! It will be called the “Cherry” edition.
No precise word from Becky on when we’ll see these changes in action in the product shipping to customers.
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Giveaway | Scrapbook Soup

Last week I had the pleasure of traveling to Ohio to take part in the taping of the upcoming new season of Scrapbook Soup that starts airing in July on PBS stations around the country.

Prepping for a tv segment is nerve wracking and time consuming, but ultimately a lot of fun! (Although I did look a little ridiculous with two suitcases for a one-night hotel stay….)

Here’s a peek inside the studio at what goes on!

The set looks like a small intimate space on TV…but it’s in the middle of a huge studio!

This is a view from a similar angle to what the host and guest see. The lights in your face make it easy to forget you’re in a huge studio since they blind you and you can’t see past them really. Here, Rachel Carlson (left) is working with host Julie McGuffee and producer Kathie Stull to set up one of her segments for the taping.

You can see the segments that Julie and I taped together on the new season of Scrapbook Soup that will start airing in July! (Yes, that’s my iPad on the table…curious to find out what I used it for? Tune in!)

If you missed season 1 of Scrapbook Soup – or want to watch it again, you’re in luck! I have a DVD set of the 13 episodes of season 1 of Scrapbook Soup, hosted by Julie McGuffee and Julie Fei-Fan Balzer, to give away to one lucky Scrapbook Update reader!

You can also view Scrapbook Soup episodes on the show’s website, one episode per week! A new episode goes up each Friday!

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 Midnight U.S. west coast time on Sunday night, April 29th. 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. Entries limited to US and Canadian residents only please.

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Noteworthy | 4.13.2012

Well, it’s Friday the 13th…here’s the latest news that you should know before you run screaming to hide from things that go bump in the night!

New mid releases, like hordes of undead zombies, just keep coming! This week we’ve got new announcements from Pink Paislee and Authentique Paper.

Pink Paislee’s new line is a patriotic theme timed for Memorial Day and July 4th called Declaration. It will be shipping in May 2012, and for  a closer look at the individual elements you can visit the Pink Paislee blog.

Authentique’s new line, shown this week on their Facebook page, is a feminine summer one:

Carefree from Authentique Paper will be available in stores on May 1st.

If you haven’t done enough shopping already with all of the new CHA releases hitting stores, KI Memories has something for you: an online warehouse sale! The online “pop-up” store for the KI Memories warehouse sale will be open through April 20th.

Highlights from the sale include the company’s calendar papers, tape, brads, puffies, pockets, and stamps, as well as some patterned papers.

Julie Fei-Fan Balzer, co-host of the Public Television series Scrapbook Soup (formerly Scrapbook Memories), has a great peek on her blog behind the scenes of her preparation leading up to the taping of a new season of the show in Cleveland next week. If you’ve ever wondered what it takes to bring scrapbooking to television, check it out!

Hobby Lobby is advertising for a Graphic Designer to work with their Scrapbooking Team on product/packaging design at their Oklahoma City, OK headquarters. A Bachelor’s Degree in Graphic Design is required, as well as 3 years of professional experience. No relocation assistance will be provided. For more details or to apply, visit the Hobby Lobby website.

Hambly’s eagerly-awaited new lines from CHA Winter 2012 are finally shipping to stores this week. Check your favorite local scrapbook retailer or online store for all the new products!

Have something new & noteworthy to share in our weekly noteworthy column? To be considered for next week’s column, email with a link or press release.

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Trends | Return of the Hexagons

Long ago at a CHA far, far away…

Okay, so maybe it wasn’t that long ago or even quite that far away, but there was no denying that at CHA Winter 2012, the hexagons were back! I’m not quite ready to call this trend a staple yet – it’ll take at least one more show to tell – but scrapbooking manufacturers of all styles have certainly embraced this shape and put their own spin on it. If you want to see examples from last summer’s show be sure to check out my Trend Watch article on Hexagons, Honeycombs, and Lattices from last October, but right now I want to take a look at some photos from the CHA Winter 2012 show floor and look at just what this trend had to offer this time around.

I have to admit that the Jenni Bowlin booth was one of the last places I would have expected to see hexagons at CHA Winter 2012, but she totally surprised me by putting her own signature (and lovely!) vintage spin on the shape. The hexagon paper (from the Magpie collection) and Quilted Stickers shown below are perfect examples of how a company can be trendy and still stay true to their roots.

Ever trendy Hambly showed up at CHA Winter 2012 bearing hexagons aplenty. They took the shape and filled it with trendy patterns such as chevrons and quatrefoils in both their new printed paper line and their new honeycomb screen print.

Heidi Swapp’s triumphant return to the scrapbooking industry was one of the biggest stories in Anaheim in January. I want to take a close-up look at just one paper right now, though. See the print at the bottom right of the Color Magic display? Yes, those are indeed hexagons, ready and waiting to be misted, inked, and colored to your heart’s content!

Lily Bee’s paper lines always feature small, tight, almost quilt-like patterns, so hexagons are a natural fit for this company’s style. Their just-shipped Victoria Park collection includes a multi-colored, multi-layered honeycomb pattern.

Hexagons were all over The Crafter’s Workshop’s new releases. Some of them were in the form of these chicken wire templates, which are available in both positive and negative images in either 12×12 or 6×6 sizes. Julie Fei-Fan Balzer also released a new multi-patterned background template that includes a hexagon pattern among its designs.

Authentique put a fun spin on the honeycomb pattern with one of the prints from their Loyal collection. They left some of the shape’s sides open to create joins between the centers – quite the cool effect!

Rhonna Farrer’s Follow Your Heart line for My Mind’s Eye includes vintage ephemera and pattern inlaid hexagons on some sheets while other prints in the collection feature a more subtle honeycomb design. Even the stamps in this line have honeycombs!

In Spellbinders’ new collections, I discovered this fun hexagon patterned M-Bossabilities folder. This particular folder is called So Trendy because it features another hot design on its reverse side – chevrons!

Little Yellow Bicycle has put hexagons right inside some of the fish on this paper from their Splash collection.

Webster’s Pages new sports-themed line, Game On, includes plaid and checkered patterned hexagons on one of the patterned sheets.

The hexagon paper in Basic Grey’s Plumeria collection is unfortunately right at the very right edge of my photo, but you can definitely spot the trendy pattern!

Echo Park’s new Note To Self line includes a shape that, while not exactly a hexagon, is definitely hexagon influenced. The geometric print below features a six-sided shape with the added twist of having two of the sides elongated.

Tim Holtz also caught on to the hexagon trend and included it not only in one of his Stamper’s Anonymous background stamps, but also in one of his new Texture Fades embossing folders from Sizzix! Unfortunately the folder was a bit hard to photograph in the booth, but you can catch a closer look at it here in my pre-show picks article.

I’ll end our look at hexagons with Studio Calico. Their latest addition to the Classic Calico line, Classic Calico Vol. 2, includes hexagon prints not only on some of the papers, but on one of the washi tapes, as well!

I, for one, am happy to see the abundance of hexagons in the latest round of industry releases. As a scrapper who has trouble working with the more free-form look of circles, hexagons give structure and definition without being completely…well…square! They have a slightly funky vibe that keeps things interesting, and I’m hoping that at CHA Summer 2012 we’ll see that this trend has indeed moved into staple-hood.

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