Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Project Life at CHA

 I did not put any American Crafts up on my Facebook feed because of the sheer vastness of the collections. There was not time to do it all justice.
Pocket page scrapbooking is something I've experimented with, as a way to do some events with a lot of photos vs documenting my everyday. Even taking a photo a day is more challenge than I can handle most times. (So, you're asking me about a future topic - Layout a Day. I must be mad, I've signed up again for that; and, yes, that project has always been a real challenge. An invaluable experience, though!) As usual, I am digressing from the topic at hand, Project Life.
I think you will see here lots of new products and a nice versatile mix. I think these products can find their way into most memory keepers stash, whether pocket scrappers or traditional page makers. Attractive and useful.
The photos pretty much speak for themselves. Not only was I able to get images of the products but I have some great page examples for you from the show as well. Enjoy!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

So much to review

 Yes, I'm unpacking and going through my photos. It's almost as overwhelming as being at CHA itself.
Lawn Fawn had an item I loved that will be coming out in a few months. Dinosaur stamps with companion dies. these and the speech bubble die to the right is of these is a favorite, too. That with a sentiment stamp and two papers could make a simple effective card. Of course, one could get very comic book, too.

Lots of cute new stamps with companion dies. That globe with its companion die is another stamp that caught my eye.

I like those polka dot card bases and the packs of multi-color sequins that coordinate with their collections.

Alas, the 49ers have lost to Seattle so must end this post to drive my son back home. Would have liked San Francisco to win but the Seattle and Denver fans in the family will really enjoy the Super Bowl. I'm happy for them. 

Friday, January 17, 2014

Heading Home

 Almost have everything in suitcases, took some nutrition so just need to get dressed and ready for the day and pack those last few items. Home by this afternoon.
Had to buy another large duffel bag suitcase. I did have some items from CHA but Play is where Imreally stocked up. Wonderful scrappy play things from so many manufacturers. You'll be seeing  these showing up on the blog as I create with them over the next several weeks.
Yesterday was Disney. I did it without a scooter and my joints know it today. Just took a Motrin and am lying down a bit waiting for it to kick in, which is giving me a moment to blog. Have to take advantage of all opportunities.
It was fun to share it with so many wonderful women from Big Picture Classes. The entire group spent a leisurely time together taking pictures and chatting. Chantelle ( not sure I've spelled that correctly), a young woman who owns a scrapbook store in Regina, was willing to go with me to some of my favorite rides. She had not been to Disneyland since childhood and wasn't sure what to try. I like a mix of campy ones like Jungle Ride to the Star Wars Tour and Buzz Lightyear and the gorgeous design of It's a Small World.  No roller coasters for me.
I then went promptly to sleep,when I got to my hotel. So, getting up early today did not cause sleep deprivation. I wondered if I could get everything packed up without problems, but all seems well.
I'm reflecting on what some of the main themes of CHA were and even on the themes of Play's products. Those products are very new and very appealing. Pocket Pages really are dominant. I think a number of folk are very happy to keep their memories with this approach and the variety of products can really make each person have their own style and make a very personal album without much fuss.
On the other hand, those of us who are embellishment crazed layering fans could find a lot to work with. The tiny embellishments for the Project Life scrapers who like a little dimension can add so much interest to a traditional scrapped page. Lots of choices for that, plus the cards themselves can work well as a base for,a cluster.
Die cuts for embellishing are available in abundance. They make great negative space cut out shapes and plenty of those are available on cards for similar looks for pocket pages.
Stencils and stamps to suit every taste from woodland creature, silly sayings to strong graphics and geometries.
Color was everywhere and not just at the fabulous We R Memory Keepers and Doodle bug. From soft water colors to intense saturated hues, it was there. The muddier grungier colors were much less obvious but vintage and grungy lovers do not despair. There is product for you too.
Time to get this wrapped up as I still have things to do before I head home.
Have a happy day folks!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Positive Attitude

 Yesterday is best forgotten.
Too much happened. I was involved in a sad and unfortunate mix-up and while I resolved my part of it all, I felt upset. Packing up was more stressful than I had imagined. Just wondering how I'll get everything home. Moved to a new hotel which was under renovation. Sigh! Some things are unfortunate and the hotel is making things up with a reception for my group. Not all was bad. I met so many nice folk yesterday. Truly, I feel blessed to meet so many wonderful folk. Alas, I am allergic to latex and balloons were everywhere at the event I attended. Major asthma problems! Sitting outside of the room was not fun at all. I hope they saved some goodies for me as they were handing out a lot of nice product. I went up to my room where my breathing was considerably better and had a good cry. My husband is the sweetest, he made me laugh and feel better and my Facebook friends were a great help.
Today, Fingers crossed - no allergens and I hope to be able to participate in some fun classes.
It was the end of CHA yesterday, which I thought was a great show. CHA has changed a lot over time, for the better, really. There was a time when stores brought many of their customers, screaming mobs of folk would gather at various booths and there were frenetics announcements and a sense of urgency and chaos. It's much more business-like and much smaller in crowds these days. Sure a lot of folk gathered often at Ranger, especially when Tim Holt was teaching. The first day quite a few people were gathered at Graphic 45 checking out the new lines and I did not get around everywhere to check out all booths at the early part of the day to see more. After the first part of opening day there were fewer people and no crazy buzz. Sizzix did gather folk for an excellent magic show which had good sales info as well as entertainment value.
I did not get all the photos I wanted, missed DCWV booth which had some cute decorated panels on the outside walls of a booth filled with shelves of product which I would have liked to explore. Unfortunately, I never made it back there.i missed Chic Tags, too and I loved their booth last show. I'm hoping to find other sources on the net that feature these sites so I can check them out. I'll provide links. Don't forget, product is featured in the sneak peaks on Scrapbook Update on-line for those who want to see new product in better detail.
My favorite booths for scrapbook product yesterday were My Mind's Eye and Pinkpaislee. My Mind's Eye has a way of pulling in all the latest trends but making them a bit less edgy so they appeal to a broad base. Pinkpaislee rocked the red, white and blue with their Pen Pals line and the Hello Sunshine product line just made me feel happy.
I did not post my photos of some booths to Facebook, yet and please click on my FB link to check out what I did feature, to date. American Crafts in total was wonderful with all of their brands, as usual. Very much good solid but up-to-date staples and some bold new designs. Love them but those will need more time to process.
I'll talk more later dear readers.
Today is a new day. Hope no more earthquakes - yes, I felt that rolling jolt in the wee hours. It topped my day!
I'll be back when I can with more thoughts. Have a great day, everyone!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Color, fabric, journal art

Yes, classes today on some of the themes I have been discussing. I need to go back to Spellbinders today and Get a better FB photo of Alison Kreft's line for Echo Park. Have the trusty DSLR with me but no computer. Hope you have all been checking out my iPhone photos on Facebook.
The Gala was a splendid event with lots of tributes to the pioneers of the craft industry. Crafters have lots of fun but are extremely caring and generous folk and that was honored, too.
So, I start today hoping to learn a lot and eager to fill the time between classes with exploring the show floor. I will continue to look for the popular themes and techniques of 2014 crafting. Feel free to ask questions here or personal message me on Facebook if you want some specific topic investigated.
I've got a breakfast date in an hour with a good friend and must be off. That's another great thing about the craft industry -friendships! I believe this is the 11th show I have attended. I started CHA shows in Orlando when Fiskars was celebrating its 360th Birthday. 365 years old this year. They are constantly innovating. It's always fun to check out their product line. Another photo spot today I think.
So people to see and places to go! I'll do my best to keep you informed.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Thoughts before Day 2 CHA

 I was really tired, I slept in. So, just a few notes. Last night at the International Group  reception several manufacturers were featured and I did take photos and gather info for later posts. General themes are details. The embellishments I saw were either intricate dies or detailed art for embellishments. Texture is big in Europe as it is here. I know I was going to look for techniques yesterday and layering and texture are both obvious. I've mentioned the use of bright clear pigments being featured and fabric and layers. Excited to see what becomes obvious as I explore more booths in detail today. For those of you who love vintage there still are some muted and distressed lines and the pastels are around and could work well with your style, though many pastels are in the more contemporary designs. I promise to look at as much as I can.
As many of you are aware, I adore fashion. I shopped my closet for trends before I came here. I'm also going to see what influences are translated. Some may be curious to what current trends I picked. The main themes for me were skinny jeans, op art, metallics, glitter and tribal. (Bummer that I lost a cool op art earring yesterday, a turquoise feather with a black and white spotted feather on top.) Sketchy hand drawn graphics, radiant orchid as well as some violet, cobalt blue, pleats and peplums pretty much rounded out my choices. Some of these like peplums may be on the way out for the more fashion forward crowd but some ideas are very solid for 2014. Of course, crafts are a little slower on trends, some don't translate well to paper and seasonal influences are stronger in crafts. Some trends don't easily translate well to certain segments of the market. So, trends is part of my mission today, too!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

And the one word for CHA today is...

 Gilt! Gold was a prominent theme that popped up all day as I roamed around the floor at CHA. Other  things that caught my eye were red, white and blue color schemes in papers, bling, fabric papers, pocket page cards, wood veneers, and dyes and paints.
There are a number of boy lines which is a pleasant change as those used to be rarities. As the mother of 2 of my own boys and 5 step-sons and the proud grandma of 3 grandsons, this is something I notice right away as I tour a booth.
I wish I could post photos to my blog post from my iPad but I have not figured that out yet. So, I have not taken many photos. I plan to do so tomorrow and will post those toward the end of this month. Due to "stuff" at home that required a number of phone calls this am I did not make it to the breakfast business meeting but I did scooter over shortly after the doors to the show floor opened and I started riding around the venue.
Everything just looks better in person. Somethings just did not appeal to me when I saw them in sneak peaks on-line but got my nod of approval as I zipped by. I'm hoping to be more  systematic and specific in my observations tomorrow. I noticed a nice mix of products. It seemed a show or two ago there was an emphasis on clear stamps. Of course, there were a few stamp-only companies  which obviously were all about the stamps. However, in companies that carry a number of products, the line seemed quite comprehensive. Maybe I'll notice an over-whelming pocket page emphasis tomorrow when I look in more detail. While those items caught my eye today and were a lot of places on the floor,  they did not seem disproportionally dominant.
The yarn companies featured a lot of whimsical designs both to be worn and some, like Lion Brands creation of the Seven Great Wonders of the World in yarn, to illustrate the variety and versatility of the product.
Fiskars celebrates it's 365th birthday this year and I made it over to their booth right at the time of a small birthday party complete with original orange handled scissors and orange frosted cupcakes. Fun! Happy Birthday, Fiskars!
I took a class with Eileen Hull this afternoon. Eileen designs great products for Sizzix and has a wonderful set of box dies. These little boxes are delightful to make and to decorate for artistic expression or for creative gift packaging ideas. She also has some inks and stamps as new offerings. I found the ink a little difficult to work with when using a stencil, though, I loved the final result and the colors are wonderful.
This evening I went to the International event. Thirty-three percent of CHA members are from outside the USA. Crafting is alive and well everywhere. I will try to post more about this tomorrow. Right now the business of the day is getting to me and I need to fall asleep.
Always lots to talk about at CHA.

Trends, techniques and trade show talk at CHA

 Looking forward to today when the show opens. The sneak peaks have been out and you can check Nancy Nally's blog at but, seeing things in person adds such a nice element to the reveals. It will be fun to see what designers are doing with the product, too.
Yesterday was a day of learning about trends and how those apply to the craft industry vs fashion, home decor, etc. and how crafting is influenced by trends in other industry.
Using social media in business was the topic at lunch and my day was rounded out with a panel discussion of DIY and a great class on decorative lettering which featured Tombow markers and Peerless watercolor dry sheets Both of these supplies have beautiful transparent qualities and are such portable convenience. I will need to play more and see if I can post designs I come up with. I think these will work well in my cards, mixed media and scrapbooking. Joanne Sharpe is a great teacher and I can easily recommend her to anyone looking for an instructor for classes on lettering, journaling or watercolor graphics.  Everyone in the class made their own creation, and I learned in the DIY class that classes where people learn techniques and get guidance to make their own design are more satisfying and successful than ones where you make a cookie cutter duplicate of  a class sample. I will vouch that is very true from that real life experience of the day.
Today, I will be looking to see not only what is available in the market (and we can hope that some of the best gets purchased by our local scrapbook stores); but, also how trends are influencing how some of the products are used. After all, some companies are producing staples in the industry, like Tombow and Peerless do, and we want to know new ideas for using these products in our designs.
So, my main objective today will be to not get overwhelmed by all the eye candy and attemp to get some nitty gritty observations. It may be too much to hope for, as this is a trade show where companies need to go all out to attract savvy business folk to buy their product to in turn sell to folk like you and me. A non-business person like myself is easily swept up in it all. Still, designers need to be analtical. I'll do my best.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Preparing to be awed by CHA

 I must admit that I was tempted to go to CES this year vs CHA. Those acronyms are Consumer Electronics Show and Craft and Hobby Association. Cameras and computers make me as breathless as stacks of pretty paper and embellishments. Pretty ended up trumping electronics.
I'm looking forward to learning more design over the next few months and just know all of CHA will be inspirational. I'm hoping to take an analytical approach to what I see so I'll learn something. I suspect, I'll be standing there ( or perhaps on a scooter, I think I'm stronger than in the past but not sure how these joints will hold up) with big eyes saying "Ooooo!", in Awe.
I love how clever everyone can be and how quickly they seem to put everything together.
Before I left home, I tried putting together a process video of a scrapbook page. No special page, nothing fancy. I thought that getting my process down would be a help to me more than a help to others, though I did illustrate a few points. Always a teacher!
Now, will you see it posted here? Not sure. I will post the LO when I get home and I'll likely film more and try to edit the footage, so to speak. It just may be too bad to show. I know, it wouldn't be the first bad You Tube video and it would be a first one done by me and could be forgiven. Still, I did not realize just how disorganized I can be when crafting nor how clumsy. It's not just the wonky left arm which did cut short a bit of the filming one evening. Maybe I should go for a comedy version? I may just need to "scrap" the project and try again.
As, I said, it's a learning experience. I know for sure I'll be watching the tutorials here to see if
I can pick up pointers. More likely, though, I'll just be gobsmacked with all the beautiful designs and awesome creativity.
I'll try and post a few highlights of the event in real time on the blog. It's not easy to do so in the middle of everything though. I may just end up with a summary post after the show is over.
Take care folks. Best wishes for a great 2014! (Nope, never did get the cards sent out, LOL!)

Montreal - A Girdled Porcupine (reflections on a reunion in 2013)

Forty years, unbelievable and yet, a reality; that it's been that long since I graduated from McGill with my M.D.;C.M. and a l...