Wednesday, May 14, 2014

As Seen At . . . CKC Manchester 2014

Creative Keepsakes Scrapbook Convention - Manchester is always highly anticipated by the Pollard Family.  It's a terrific way to for us to scout out products that might not be carried locally by our independent retailers.  

In addition, it gives me, as a member of the Paper Arts Community, an opportunity to connect with vendors, local designers, and get feedback from our consumers from throughout our New England Region.

Saturday, May 3rd, 2014 started early by taking a critical look at our crafty stash.  My little angel is a The Stamps of Life Club Member, so she's reviewed her inventory sheets to see where she would like to fill in a few missing stamp sets that coordinate with her monthly subscription.

Rather than take an extra inventory sheet to the show, I took pictures of the Copic Markers I have on hand with my iPhone and take along the digital version instead.

The CK Scrapbook Convention Show Program was invaluable - it gave us an overview of the show floor, information about all the classes and events, coupons to be redeemed at the show, and information about how to find our local independent paper arts retailers.
We were greeted with a WONDERFUL free "Paper Pumpkin" gift from our friends at Stampin' UP! for pre-registering.  The packaging was so inviting, we hardly wanted to open it - but open it, we DID!  It included a cling stamp set, mini ink pad, and a full Real Life Journal Kit complete with tabbed pages, stickers, rings and embellishments - a $19.99 value FREE!

Our first stop on the show floor was to visit Stephanie Barnard of The Stamps of Life.

It's always a treat to see Stephanie at CKC events while she's demonstrating {NEW} products.

Jill Tarayao was so gracious as she worked up the "Flip-its" cards for the Make-N-Take.

Stephanie and I were celebrating all that's inky with our friends from Butterfly Reflections.

We continued the Make-N-Take extravaganza at CKC Bookstore with our new friend, Colleen.  She was featuring the uber-popular We R Memory Keepers Envelope Punch Board.  I'm happy to share we had complete success making envelopes the very first try ~

I jumped in with Ashley as she showed my all the exclusive-to-the-show CKC Bookstore kits.  **NOTE many were sold out by the time we arrived, so get there EARLY!

CKC Bookstore Card Kits

CKC Bookstore Project Kits

CKC Bookstore Album Kit

CKC Bookstore *LOTS sold out**

Club SEI, a long-time CKC favorite, had a great selection of kits on hand, as well.  I really appreciated the packaging.  I'm not saying I do, but if it DID have a big stash, these kits would stack easily in my craft room ~

Club SEI had a great offering to fill my segmented pocket pages (you know you love 'em . . )

This pack of 3 assorted kraft envelopes jumped right off the shelf & into my cart!  Considering the stack of treasures that the kids bring home from school every week, I wish I'd gotten 10 ~

The Eyelet Outlet is based right here in Stratham, NH.  The coordinating embellies are irresistible!  The "brick" pattern (the design might have made us think of Legos) in both brads and washi tape was a big hit.  **This family-run business is A+ in our book!

Better than candy, our Copic Marker demand was satisfied at Scrap-mart.  If you haven't tried the fluorescent colors yet, you SHOULD!

The BEE Creative booth was humming.  NH designer, Khirsten Foss, was back at the Make-N-Take table again this year with alcohol markers by Spectrum Noir.

YES!  The Paper Loft had really unique scrapbook layout kits for us to peruse.  We were thrilled to find camping/scouting themes for us that offer a distinctive look.  They had a masculine collection that was not to be missed.

Doo Dilly Designs has a GREAT selection of distinctive layouts and embellishments.  I mean GIGANTICALLY great.  Sports, racing, BMX, music, theatre, pets . . . They had it all.  All the stuff your family is in to for hobby and lifestyle, they offer a terrific selection - but it's ONLY available at the show!  No online sales available!  Save your cash for this one, peeps, you're gonna need it ~

Keller's Creations is offering something entirely different - owner Kim Hyde designs her own graphics as well as embellishments and product selection.

Kim of Keller's Kreations even created a whole scrapbook kit for Scrapbook Girl.  Isn't that funny - we spend so much of ourselves investing in our memory keeping and she's the first one to launch as scrapbook themed paper line.  But Scrapbook Girl knew what we needed and she offers a perfect example of why we attend CKC events.

One of the best parts about CKC events are the classes.  This year, a huge amount of buzz coming from event attendees was relating to mixed-media.  I've been covering the mixed-media trend for a couple of years and it was obvious at the convention that it has really hit the consumer.

I was engaged over lunch discussing mixed-media with convention-goers, and attendees were LINED UP getting in to the mixed media classes that were offered.  It certainly has been wholly embraced by the scrapbooking community and I was thrilled to see that consumer demand satisfied with  CKC's programing.

In the end, we had a very successful day a CKC-Manchester.  Meeting with industry insiders, local artists and designers, maxing out on Make-N-Takes and stocking up on hard-to-find scrapbooking supplies was a day well spent.  Be sure to check their online schedule to see when the NEXT CK  Convention is coming to a town near YOU!

" . . and they stamped all the way home . . . "

Craft On, Laurel

Laurel Lee Pollard, Online Publisher, Promoter
New England Paper Crafts
"Ensuring the inspiring world of paper crafts continues to bloom."

Let's connect!  Find me at:

Thursday, March 27, 2014

BIG Paper Crafting Weekend, people!

Wowee Kazowee!  What a {HOT} weekend! 

I'm teaching tomorrow at The Collins Group Showa trade show strictly designed for our independent retailers (Read: to the trade, only).

I'll have the pleasure of working with Kellie McGowan, Customer Service Director at Momenta/Little Yellow Bicycle to introduce some of their {NEW} products.  In addition, we'll be exploring innovative ways to expand into mixed media to enhance our paper crafting projects.

Be sure to be on the lookout at the {NEW} Momenta/LYB products coming to an independent retailer near YOU.

** But that's not all . . .  All the greats are coming to Massachusetts for The Collins Group Show.  While they're here in New England, some of our favorites have planned stops to see US along the way:

Oh, the #PaperTrail, has set the bar high, my friends.  Eileen Hull kicks off her whirlwind tour TODAY.


Karen Burniston "Pops Up" again!  She's partnered with our long-time friend and die-cutting enthusiast, Els Van De Burgt of Elizabeth Craft Designs.  What a dynamic combination.  She's at Kept Creations in Whitman, MA, TODAY, from 6-9pm.

**There are other fantastic paper crafting opportunities that are happening this weekend, too:

Joanne Sharpe has a weekend full of classes at Right at Home Scrapbooking. Oh, goodness, have you seen Joanne's {NEW} book, "The Art of Whimsical Lettering?"  Right at Home offers us the perfect opportunity to glean inspiration directly from the acclaimed artist, herself.
  • Friday, March 28th - Decorative Doodling
  • Saturday, March 29th - Whimsical Drawing
  • Saturday, March 29th - Power Pens and Perfect Pages
  • Sunday, March 30th - Artful Alphabet Tag Book & Sampler

And the online paper crafting powerhouse that is Lain Ehmann is hosting her {FREE} online scrapinar TODAY.  "Ribbons & Lace: From Glam to Grunge with Donna Salazar" can be beamed directly into your home.  And don't we all just love Donna?  **Many thanks to our friends at Paper Camellia Scrapbook Kits for sponsoring this free event**


For those that want to fully immerse themselves into a full weekend retreat, you can join our friends at Scrapbook Summit, being held in Simsbury, MA.

Wowee Kazowee!  What a {HOT} weekend!  Be sure to schedule some #Cre8time for yourself - let us know what you have planned.  We'd love to hear about it.

Craft On, Laurel

Laurel Lee Pollard, Online Publisher, Promoter
New England Paper Crafts
"Ensuring the inspiring world of paper crafts continues to bloom."

Let's connect!  Find me at:

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Preparing for My "Life"

Tell me, is there any scrapbooker that isn't currently doing some sort of skew on Becky Higgins® Project Life®?  Beck has certainly created a design phenomenon - and no wonder!

I watched her design debut with American Crafts unfold at the Craft & Hobby Association show last year and I was totally hooked.  Having an active family with two young children, she obviously has the scrapbooking answers I am looking for.  Her product line is:

  • Quick
  • Easy
  • Trendy and
  • Clean
Quickly, I bought two different sets of the her Core Kit (one for each child) with extra journaling cards, albums, photo pocket pages of all description.  I love, love, love my Project Life products!  Even the packaging is sleek, stylish and best of all, organized.

I have a wonderful way to use her organizational features found on her website to help you get a jump start on your Project Life layouts:

First: From the "Freebies" tab on her homepage, I printed out the two-page "Project Life Photo Pocket Page Design Reference" on card stock.  I wanted to add it to a dedicated 12 X 12 album, so I overlaid Becky's pocket page onto the printout to use it as a template.

I outlined where the holes needed to be punched.

Viewing the Design Reference side-by-side allowed me to see the whole collection in one glance.  I punched the holes out so I could use them as a "book view."

I added all the different Project Life page layouts I had into a dedicated 12 X 12 Project Life album, each under a separate tab, and added the hole-punched Design Reference sheets to the front, and highlighted the type of layouts I had on hand on the Design Reference.

Next, I considered which photos were absolutely necessary to the layout that I wanted to create.

Laying out my "must have photos" with the design options in view, I could easily begin to see which layout would be most appropriate for my "must have" photos.

I flipped to the back of my album to pick the pocket page layouts I wanted to use.

Lastly, I did a quick check of my layout by using the Project Life pocket page as an overlay to my photos.  I began by adding my "must have" photos first, then I plugged in some additional favorite photos where appropriate.

Once I had a dedicated album of:
  • my stacks of different Project Life pocket page layout designs organized and tabbed, 
  • and the Project Life Design Reference pages printed and highlighted with the pocket pages I had on hand,

it was smoooooth sailing after that!  Treat yourself by making a Project Life Design Reference book of your own - you'll be smooth sailing, too, before you know it!

Tell me, what's the best way you stay organized with Project Life?

Laurel Lee Pollard, Online Publisher, Promoter
New England Paper Crafts
"Ensuring the inspiring world of paper crafts continues to bloom."

Let's connect!  Find me at:

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Special Announcement: Mixed Media Madness

Two of my active "Inspire! New England Paper Crafts" Cre8time teammates have worked up an INCREDIBLE independent project that I'm thrilled to be able to share with you today.

Catherine Scanlon, of Catherine Scanlon Designs, and Kim Parkinson, of Kept Creations, have collaborated on working up an inspiring weekend art retreat.

Mixed Media Madness is being hosted Friday night, March 21st through Sunday, March 23, 2014 at the historic John Carver Inn and Spa in Plymouth, Massachusetts.

The latest information from Kim Parkinson sounds AMAZING:

"Get ready for a total immersion in art, techniques and classes!  Two fabulous artsy classes with published artist Catherine Scanlon, one assemblage class with Mandy Fariello and a fantastically messy class with Kathie DeLuca!  

Each attendee will get their own space in the community room to be able to take advantage of precious "creative alone time" that is perfect for:

  • working in your art journals, 
  • finish up some projects you might have or 
  • work up {new} project by taking advantage of inspiration garnered from other creatives joining you at the event.  

We'll have raffles, goodie bags, trunk show, food, fun and art!  What more could you want from a mixed media weekend?"

I've just learned that Mixed Media Madness has extended their registrations. 

Kim said, "If you've been waiting for those taxes to come in, this is the time. Sign ups have been extended to March 15th or until we are sold out. Call or click on link to sign up today."

** 02/25 Update: A La Carte Retreat Options can be found at
Friday night (6-8PM) mini class and hors d'oeuvres - $25
Mandy Fariello's class - this includes part 1 from 8-11PM on Friday night and part 2 from 2-5PM on Saturday - $100
Saturday Breakfast (7-8:30AM) - $20
Catherine Scanlon's class:
Saturday AM from 9AM-12PM - $60
Sunday AM from 9:30AM-12:30PM - $60
Both Saturday and Sunday classes - $100
Luncheon (12-2PM) - $20
Saturday evening mini class (7-8PM) - $20
Kathie DeLuca's Saturday night class (8-10:30PM) - $50
Sunday morning Breakfast and mini class (7-9:30AM) - $35

There's no doubt in my mind that this event will be a sell-out.  Great work, ladies!

Craft On, Laurel

Laurel Lee Pollard, Online Publisher, Promoter
New England Paper Crafts
"Ensuring the inspiring world of paper crafts continues to bloom."

Let's connect!  Find me at:

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Momenta's on the MOVE!

MomentaNew England's largest paper crafting industry supplier, headquartered in Portsmouth, NH, is packing up and heading to the Craft & Hobby Association's Mega Show, happening THIS weekend, July 10 - 14, 2014, in Anaheim, California.

When craft retailers and designers from around the world stop in to the Momenta Booth #813, they'll be greeted by some of the most knowledgeable people in the business:

(L-R) Michael Barker, President; Kellie McGowan, Sales and Customer Service Manager; and Jackie O'Connor, Art Director and twelve-year member of the Momenta team ~
Kellie (middle) not only supports sales representatives and
retailers, but she's the real, live person that answers consumer
questions at Momenta's 800 customer service number!

I got to fly through their studios for a sneak peek before all the {NEW} goodies were packed up for the show - and I'm sharing the piccies with YOU!  First on the list is the wonderful selection of stickers, for which Momenta is famous for ~

They pay particular attention to ensuring they have a great mix of textures within the selections, from gloss finish, to glitter, and foil ~
Next up are the "thicker stickers."  Already mounted on solid foam core with an adhesive backing, doing all the "fussy" work for you. 

Look at the detail in these foam core embellishments.  I almost made off with those owls, I'm telling you.  Unbelievably cute - and the colors are right on trend.

The layered embellishments have so much detail ~

These dimensional stickers were absolutely gorgeous.  There's a mini-album right there, right?  

Yes, the Momenta team appreciates the consumer demand for quality wooden rubber stamps - and they're taking them to the next level.  See the doily and frame stamp sets?  These are nesting stamps that separate into three individual sizes, while being able to stack together into the space of one.  It is a huge help for storage and organization in a studio.

Oh, the paper stacks - I think this is the segment of their product line that truly shows the amount of professional design, trend-tracking and consumer responsiveness that Momenta puts into each item they bring to market.

When you hit the Momenta booth at CHA Mega Show, there's a reason you're going to be remarking about how attractive their product line is.  They've done their homework, well in advance.

I've saved, what I believe, is the best for last:  Momenta introduced these cut-and-emboss dies last year and they are expanding on the selection.  The dies cut the shapes and each comes packaged with interchangeable inserts if you wish to emboss the shape with different reliefs.  Or, as another option, you can take advantage of just using the embossing pieces separately.  True customization for your project.

So there's Momenta's 2014 CHA Mega Show Sneak Peek!  What was your favorite item of the preview?

Momenta invites retailers and designers to join their continued success in Booth #813 as they celebrate the recent acquisition of an acclaimed boutique paper crafting brand, Little Yellow Bicycle (read more about that HERE).  **BUYERS: be sure to ask Michael, Kellie or Jackie about Momenta's SHOW SPECIALS!

I can't WAIT to see where the Momenta team takes that in 2014!

Craft On, Laurel

Laurel Lee Pollard, Online Publisher, Promoter
New England Paper Crafts
"Ensuring the inspiring world of paper crafts continues to bloom."

Let's connect!  Find me at: