Friday, August 22, 2014

2014 CHA Paper Arts Show - Part VI

Hello, Gorgeouses!

Welcome back to the Sizzix Booth at the 2014 Craft and Hobby Association Paper Arts Show, held July 29 - 31st in Atlanta, Georgia.  If you want to check out ALL the action from the show, you can begin by touring the show with me at New England Paper Crafts' CHA Part I by starting HERE ~

My second stop in the Sizzix Booth was truly remarkable.  Oh, how fantastic it was to be able to gain inspiration from Sizzix Designer, Stephanie Ackerman!  Her "Homegrown and Handmade" line really speaks to me, and I believe it will resonate with many of my fellow New England crafters, as well.

Stephanie explained to me that she designed this line as a broad-spectrum "creative foundation" for a wide variety of crafting projects.  She takes advantage of Sizzix's steel-ruled dies in order to cut dynamic foam designs . . .

. . . which she uses to create these versatile projects.  What a terrific opportunity to be able to prepare your own foam stamps with Sizzix's steel ruled dies - on demand, anytime, and as many times as you need them (Read: prepping classes)!

LOOK at what can be interpreted with Stephanie's "Homegrown and Handmade" when artists and crafters look beyond die cutting paper and use her dies to their full potential.  Consider them "doodle tools."

Stephanie was one BUSY lady as she demonstrated at the show.

Her dies were getting a workout as she worked up numerous projects from her "Homegrown and Handmade" collection with felt.  Can't you just see these designs worked up for our young ones in *NEON?*  My babes would {LOVE} Stephanie's fresh designs, too ~

Can you see that needlework in the background?  Stephanie used her stamps from her "Homegrown and Handmade" collection to transfer the design onto fabric as a pattern for her customized work.  What an heirloom piece it is, now ~

Sizzix's steel ruled dies are incredibly versatile - well past the paper arts.  As many of our Indie Paper Arts Retailers move toward incorporating other art forms into their offerings through mixed media, Sizzix will continue to be a strong brand.

Stephanie Ackerman's work releases Sizzix's design potential throughout her website dedicated to "Homegrown and Handmade" style, including interpretations though doodling, mixed media and stitching.  I encourage you delve into it - and don't forget to check out her online classes, featured over there too!

I have much MORE from the Sizzix booth at the 2014 CHA Paper Arts Show coming up - I'll meet you right back here at New England Paper Crafts with more designs and insights you are just going to LOVE!

Craft On, Laurel

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

Let's connect!  Find me at:

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

2014 CHA Paper Arts Show - Part V

Hello, Gorgeouses!

There has been so much CHA Paper Arts Show to report on New England Paper Crafts.  You can start at the beginning of my report from Part 1 HERE.

The final day of the CHA Paper Arts Show began with CHA Paper Arts Section hosting the "Jumpstart Session: Paper Trends - Taking it Off the Page."  The retailer-to-retailer open roundtable discussion was a fantastic opportunity to have a generous dialogue about "what's working and what's not."

The discussions were moderated by Paula Jones, head of CHA International Membership and go-to industry insider for the CHA Paper Art Industry Leadership Team.  

There was an enlightening discussion relating to the success of offering kids' classes, how to make the most of working through the local school systems.  Conversations relating to paper trends, such as Zentangle and the demand for custom work for local colleges' Greek communities were enlightening. Many thanks to our generous sponsor, Sizzix/Ellison, for making this event possible.
Photo Courtesy: Paula Jones, CHA Internat'l Membership Coordinator

Following the Retailer Roundtable, my first stop of my final day at the Paper Arts Show was, in fact, the Sizzix Booth.  The wide breath of their product line is extensive, to say the least.  Moreover, I believe that their product line offers incredibly versatile tools, and that the work that Sizzix does is a true service to Makers across the broad spectrum of the crafting industry.

Coupling these points with the fresh design inspirations Sizzix had on display at the show, and the amount of designers that were so gracious to share their time and valuable insights, I will be taking the next few photo-heavy posts to cover the Sizzix Booth ~

Immediately upon entering the booth, I caught up with CHA guest blogger, Terri Burson, the very talented crafter from Mountain Plains Crafters . . .  and introduced her to . . .

. . .  Sizzix Designer, Eileen Hull!  Eileen is a favorite in our region, drawing crowds as she kicked off her inaugural tour of her #PaperTrail3 in New England this year.
Eileen's *NEW*  "Loaf Pan" ScoreBoards Die is a basic
necessity for ANY baker, if you ask me ~

Eilen took the time to lead me through her {NEW} line for Sizzix, Vintage Kitchen.  This collection, which begins shipping in December 2014, is PERFECT to maximize the versatility of her ScoreBoards Dies.  ScoreBoards Dies are designed to cut and score matboard and chipboard, making sturdier projects in a SNAP!

I love the idea of making paper garlands year 'round - so festive!

Eileen told me that her Vintage Kitchen designs were the timeless style she appreciates . . .

 . . . and that her products remain attractive and practical. . .

. . . like her "Canister Set," shown here.

Her "Make It 3-D" tray die is a TERRIFIC way to use any of its three-sized options in order make a presentation piece out of just about ANY design you want to incorporate (seen here with her "Cookie Jar").

Remember, Eileen Hull has an entire #PaperTrail3 Education Tour starting September 2nd, which will be FULL of inspiring Sizzix ScoreBoards ideas!

Didn't Eileen do a remarkable job taking die cutting to a higher level?  My *NEXT* post from the Sizzix Booth will be introducing you to Sizzix Signature Designer, Stephanie Ackerman.  She offers a different perspective of what die cutting tools are able to offer Makers of the twenty-first century . . . don't miss it!

Craft On, Laurel

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

Let's connect!  Find me at:

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

2014 CHA Paper Arts Show: Part IV

Hello, Gorgeouses!

I'm back with more from Craft & Hobby Association's Paper Arts Show that enticed independent retailers to the wonderful city of Atlanta from July 29th to July 31, 2014.  You in case you missed any of them, you can find Part I HERE, Part II HERE and Part III HERE.

Penny Black is a wildly popular paper crafting vendor here in New England.  Going to a trade show for our independent retailers is a MUST because this is the first opportunity to view their *NEW* offerings.  Penny Black does not disclose product previews in advance, which preserves the integrity of the trade show experience.

I'm going to lead with my personal favorite *NEW* release from Penny Black, "Berry Merry Christmas" . . .

. . . the designer used a technique with the "Winter Watercolor" Collection that makes it really distinctive.  I hope loads of indies work up this technique, because it's gorgeous ~

Penny Black project boards incorporated plenty of color this season . . .

. . . and the details were amazing.

Including this poinsettia design.  It's a must-have.

I was grateful they had their designs cut for the show.  It was a big help envisioning what the die cuts would look like . . .

 . . . and offered a blank canvas to consider ways to interpret them.

Lastly, Penny Black had our darling Chickadee.  What a wonderful tribute to the wonderful bird that braves the Northern Winter with us here in New England.  Can you even STAND how gorgeous this design is?

Oh, my goodness, what a wonderful time I had getting to know Judi Iperma at the show.  She's the owner and amazing designer from Instant Impression of Orland Park, IL, where she specializes in event design.  She was the one who introduced me to these "Box Cards."   She mentioned that the 3-D design for the box is readily available online . . .

. . . and the beauty of the 3-D box design is that it folds flat to be able to fit into an envelope.  So smart.  The irreverent Art Impressions carries stamp sets that coordinate beautifully with them.  Thanks for the tip, Judi!

Doodlebug was next up on the schedule.  A perennial favorite in our region, the booth was hopping the whole show.

Here's a little peek at what you can expect in your local independent paper arts retailer this fall ~

Goodness!  Don't we just LOVE Doodlebug's coordinating product line?

I was loving the introduction of purple to the winter blue collections at the show this year, and Doodlebug captured the trend nicely with "Frosty Friends."

Little B was a *NEW* product line at the CHA Show.  Their booth was certainly busy throughout the show.

Little B started the show with a well-thought-out bag stuffer to introduce their brand to show attendees.  I can tell you, every single one of these little presents was appreciated by a grateful audience ~

Little B's signature pull bows were given out as gifts from their booth.  Later, they were spotted being carried carried by innumerable show attendees as they worked the show floor.

While their product line was quite diverse . . .

. . . which included my personal favorite, dies, . . . 

.  . . . and their embellishments were VERY distinctive . . . 

 . . . and their packaging was clean and fresh . . .

 . . .  and they had a mountain of designs in every category to choose from . . . 

 . . . that went on and on . . . 

. . . which had details to DIE for . . . 

 . . . ALL the talk at the show was Little B's washi tape! **This particular package design has the tape cutter built right in.**

Walls and walls of washi tape!

I'm going to post these photos extra large, which might skew the placement on this blog post, but I really wanted to give you a view of the trendy designs and sizes and material Little B was offering in washi tape.  

Like many of you, I can LOADS of washi tape, so I dearly appreciated the ability to purchase individual rolls.  It affords me the opportunity to buy exactly what I want without overloading my storage space with items that I'm not totally in love with.  Unfortunately, there's little from Little B that I'd be a able to pass up ~

Never fear, my crafty friends, there's MORE to see from the Craft & Hobby Association's Paper Arts Show, coming up NEXT, which you can find HERE!

I'd be interested to hear what you think of the Craft & Hobby Association's Paper Arts Show.  Leave me a comment and let me know what's peaking YOUR interest.

Craft On, Laurel

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

Let's connect!  Find me at:

Friday, August 8, 2014

2014 CHA Paper Arts Show - Part III

Hello, Gorgeouses!

I'm BACK with the third installment from the Craft & Hobby Association's Paper Arts Show.  You can find Part I HERE and Part II HERE.

On the Show floor, I caught up with Prima Marketing Design Team Member, Delaina Burns.  That's her work - on the right, directly above our heads.

Of course, Prima is known for their wide collection of trendy flowers . . .

. . . and it doesn't get any more trendy then doilies, does it?  Well, yes, they've got your design needs covered.

Prima coordinates the trim and bling, thankfully.

I was really interested in the *NEW* pinwheel stencils that coordinate with their "Bethany" textures.  Unfortunately, Prima did not have the product samples available at the show, but you can see the Prima pinwheel stencil video by HERE.

More *NEW* intricate Prima stencils

A couple of Prima stencil projects to offer inspiration ~

More introductions to Prima's "Bloom" line by Jaime Dougherty . . .

. . . which already included a coordinating Watercolor Paper Pad.  Won't this look inviting on the retail sales floor?  Makes me want to run and get my brush.

Prima's oversized stamp blocks (which we need with all the glorious oversized polymer and cling stamps on the market today) come in two sizes: 4" x 8" and 6" x 8".

Their distressing tool continues to be a favorite with their customers, allowing for easy scrubbing, scratching . . .

 . . . and even using the tip for rub-ons.

The highlight of the Paper Arts Show, for *NEW* product line introductions, had to be Finnabair's (AKA Anna Dabrowska) THREE new mixed-media product lines for Prima Marketing.  

Finn's *NEW* Prima Marketing collection begins with "Art Basics," including Gesso, Gel and Pastes that are appropriate for both mixed media and fine art designs ~

and continues with "Art Extra_Vagance," texture pastes (think: rough sands and crackles) . . .

. . . and continues with (*I think this is the best part*) a full spectrum of "Art Ingredients," including art sugar, mica, micro glass beads and (yes, real) glass glitter . . .

. . . and, of COURSE, a full collection of Glitter Sets!

Finnabair was demonstrating to a packed house, reinforcing her approach that art mediums are not sophisticated, and with Prima's color-coded packaging, Finn's mixed-media product lines become approachable for everybody ~

 . . . and who wouldn't want to learn insights from an artist that is capable of creating something a imaginative as this?

Finn created plenty of samples for the show, with numerous interpretations, to inspire the Maker in all of us ~

I'm totally scrap lifting this one: instead of using my craft mat as a palette (and getting my hand stuck in it later) I'm going to be using Finn's technique of utilizing a disposable cup to mix her Prima Art Basics Thick Moulding Paste and and Art Ingredients Glitter.

Black gesso - Who knew??

It was an absolute joy to share in Finnabair's is excitement as she launched her distinctive mixed media product line.  Check out her video introduction HERE.

Next, I'm heading over to one of New England's favorite vendors, Mitra Friant of Impression Obsession.

Impression Obsession is the company that pioneered the use of megamount background stamps.  Yes, Mitra has the PERFECT mounting block to work with them, too.

Samples of her *NEW* designs.  Personal fave: "Candy Cane."  The bold, graphic design could certainly be used year 'round.

Aren't these samples AMAZING?  Each are created by layering her background stamps - and YES, she has the "recipes" for these designs posted on her website, so we can create them at home ~

Impression Obsession carries the work of a wide variety of artists.  Of course, we want to know what's *NEW*, right?  Well, in the IO booth, it was easy - when I asked Mitra as we toured the booth, she gave a wide wave of her arm and announced, "All of it!"

That's a total of 350 *NEW* stamps from Impression Obsession. WOW!  Her collection includes what has become a New England staple - Zenspirations.

It really is amazing with these designs can be turned into.  Checking her sample boards was an "A-ha!" moment ~

But Impression Obsession has more than stamps.  Her dies come in classic designs.  Check out that "Woodie" with the surfboard . . .

. . . and the birch trees with the cardinals.  Perfect for us here in New England, and BEYOND.

Here's you're sneak peek into her fall product line.  It's so new, the sample die cuts weren't even available yet.  IO is such a popular line for us in New England, I'm posting Mitra's *NEW* 2014 mid-year die introductions here:

I hope you have enjoyed the peek into the 2014 Craft & Hobby Association's Paper Arts Show with Prima Marketing and Impression Obsession - I know I did.  Be sure to check back because I'm excited to show you MORE introductions for #PaperArts ~

Craft On, Laurel

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

Let's connect!  Find me at: