Thursday, January 29, 2015

Feeling Inspired!!

Today I went to look at Kathy Orta's blog, Paper Phenomenon, and guess what!?! One of the projects I posted on her Facebook group had been picked as an Inspiration post.  See the blog post here.

The box is from her Everyday Kit Club #12 and is the bonus project from July.  I used Bazzil cardstock in Bahama blue and Heidi Swapp's Sugar Chic for the pattern paper. And the flowers on the top are by Prima.  Here are a few more pictures of the box.

 Kathy's tutorial can be purchased here. It has directions for the box and a cute little mini that fits inside the box.

 Or you can come to my class on April 26 to learn a Mother's Day themed version of the box at Custom Impressions in Los Alomitos (phone: (562) 430-8100).  I will post the sample for the class and more information soon.

Monday, January 26, 2015

CHA 2015 Wrap Up Part Two: Papers & Stamps

Now that I have shown you my favorite tools from CHA 2015, lets move on to some musings about papers.

Graphic 45
If you know me you know I adore Graphic 45's style and generally love their papers, staples and all other products. So I won't spend too much time gushing about their new products and will try to stick to my three favorite new items. (But definitely go to their website and check out everything!) Of the three new paper lines (Artisan Style, Treasured Memories & Home Sweet Home) and two reprints (Once Upon a Springtime & ABC Primer), I am most looking forward to Artisan, I love the Art Nouveau look that incorporates architecture,  peacocks and text. And the colors are amazing. Stand by for seeing a few products in this line on the blog!  And the stamps are to die for. Check out the gold embossing on the new black tags!
And speaking of that another of the new announcements I am really excited about is that many of the staples are now coming out in black. From all sizes of the tags to the new multimedia albums and shadow boxes. And I am going to have to go with the shadow boxes and my third choice for best new items from G45 this year.
 They are so cool and come in two styles: a row of three boxes and a square of 4 boxes. I saw some amazing samples made with the shadow boxes.Check out the Vegetable stand Laura Denison made with a shadow box and the Home Sweet Home paper! OMG I want it ALL!!

The Year to Wander
There seem to be multiple lines called Wanderlust this year.

The first one I saw was by Heidi Swapp, It is a very pretty floral paper and I quite like it. But I don't really get a travel theme from it which is what I imagine a line name wanderlust to be.  But I do have to sat the big cabbage roses are gorgeous and could totally go shabby chic.

The second Wanderlust line I saw is by Kaisercraft. It is muchmore the travel line the name conjures up. But less of the flower and pretty I expect with Kaisercraft and more neutral or even masculine. 

The third Wanderlust line is more of a rumor I heard that one of Teresa Collins' new lines would have that moniker, but alas I did not see it.

UPDATE: Teresa Collins did post about her Wanderlust line on Instagram after CHA.

Teresa Collins
Speaking of Teresa Collins, she had a very nice booth that showed off a lot of her new products. She had customizable stamps, cell phone cases, new dies and embossing folders, even totes, But her paper lines were nowhere to be seen.
As she explains in her blog, somebody took all her samples. She also shared a photo of the galleys (?) of her three new collections: Glam Factor, Collector's Edition and Project Pink.  I am looking forward to seeing her new lines in person, her stuff is always great!

Prima/Frank Garcia

After the success of last year's Cartographer, Frank Garcia has designed a new paper line for Prima called Archivist.  It has a beautiful neutral palette with a vintage flair. I think this is the type of line that can stand on its own or be mixed in with another line. This line will come in multiple sizes from 12x12 to ATC sized cards and has some lovely matching embellishments.  Frank is also releasing a line of embellishments designed specifically for mini albums and a set of three different mini album blanks called Memory Hardware. This may be my go to paper for masculine projects this year.

The thing that impressed me the most about the Chickaniddy paper is the weight. It is one of the thickest weight papers out there. It could easily make a card with out any base. And whoa the way it would work in a mini would be amazing. This sweet and colorful paper will help make quick cards and projects without a cardstock base.

Bo Bunny
 Bo Bunny has added alot of cool new item this year. But lets start with one of their new paper lines, Carnival. I love circus and carnival themed paper and this one is awesome. With an old school side show font and muted primary colors thjere is just enough color to make it fun and vintage to make it work for kids and adults alike. It comes in 12x12 and 6x6 with many different embellishments.
Bo Bunny has also added more multimedia items including pearl pens, glitter paste, stencils, foil rub ons and laser cut chipboard. I was lucky enough to get in an open spot for their make and take which featured many of the new products.

So lets talk stamps!

I adore the Gorjuss stamps. They are uber cute and feel kind of modern and vintage at the same time. They are made by a British company and distributed in the US by Do Crafts. I spied six new Gorjuss girls in the Do Crafts booth. And they are adorable, romantic and whimsical. All six come in sets with matching frames or accessories.  I always gotta have my Gorjuss girls!

Indigo Blu
Another British company, Indigo Blu makes some fabulous stamps with tons of details. This year I was stunned by their stamps of women's heads.
And how they used them with multimedia techniques. In fact they make some really cool papers and mixed media elements like their flakes.

LaLa Land Crafts
As usual LaLa Land Crafts had some super adorable stamps.  I was lucky enough to get to try many of the stamps and dies in their make and takes.  I really love the baby and flamenco collections Irina designed this year.
But my two mush have faves are I love you Marci and the square headz models. OMG so cute. Really want to decorate a Square Head!

So that is My report on (some) of what I saw at CHA, honestly there is a tone more I could write about, but we would all be here until April if I did.  I hope some of this information was helpful! Keep on crafting! <3 L

Sunday, January 18, 2015

CHA 2015 Wrap Up Part One: Tools

For the third year I was lucky enough to attend CHA. This year I went with Custom Impressions, my home store and the location I teach at. (We are doing the G45 Celebrations layout classes there soon!!) I thought I would share some of what I saw and did at this year's CHA. So in no particular order here are the products and techniques I found intriguing, exciting and beautiful.

So, let's start with some cool tools:

Sizzix Inksheets
These really cool sheets that allow you to use your dies and embossing folders as stamps are pretty awesome. The come in black, white, gold and silver. I got to play with them in a  card class with Stephanie Bernard and on the show floor. They even won an award for being the hottest product this year! I have a feeling we will see many cool uses for these ink transfer sheets! (To use them with your wafer thin dies you will also need a transfer platform for your machine.) Gotta get my hands on these.
Sizzix Precision Plate
I have known about the advantages of using a metal shim with detailed dies for a while. In fact I bought one with my eBosser. But this platform for the Big Shot is the right thickness to replace one of your regular cutting plate and seems way more durable than others I have seen. Watch a video with Tim Holtz using the Precision plate here. If you use thin dies like i do this seems like a no brainer to buy.

Tim Holtz Idea-ology Remnant Rub Tool
This is a jeyal tool with a stylus on one end and a round angled chiseled end on the other. It is amazing for tranfwring rub ons (which were super popular this year.) And i have a feeling a metal stylus will have more than one use. Should be a good addition to my basic tool box.

This is a cool little gadget to help you in the shadow deboss folders that Tim started releasing last year. The folders are of different words spelled out in the shadows of the letters, and would look very cool in cards, layouts or multimedia projects. Requires a brayer. I am very curious to play with this tool.

 These are alcohol markers that have a blending solution end that you use to dilute/lighten the color so you get a gradient when you color.  This allows you to get more out of less markers. I was really fortunate to try these out at the Some Odd Girl booth on the Gwen cat lady stamp. I really liked the way the blacks look.
 They worked really well, once I got my mind around coloring from light to dark. (I tend to go from dark to light with Copics.) They will work alongside Copics or any other alcohol based marker. I am dying to get alone with these makers!

Water Based Markers
 The manufacturers/importers of the most popular alcohol markers (Copics and Spectrum Noir) are broadening their horizons with new lines of water based markers. These will be joining the water based markers already on the market which range from Timmy's Distress markers to Crayola Markers.  The markers from the Imagine Int'l booth are named Kirarina. They have 2 shades of the same color in the same pen, a darker fine point and a lighter wide point. They are also apparently scented.

The markers from Crafter's Companion are called Spectrum Aqua. They have a Japanese style brush at one side and a very fine point at the other. When I was at the booth, they explained that the pigment is blended with the water previous to being poured into the marker barrel as opposed to being blended as it is added to the barrel. This is supposed to avoid the color separating. As much as I love my Copics I am leaning toward the Spectrum Aquas.

Prima/Julie Nutting Watercolor Pencils

Along with her 2015 stamps (OMG love the decades ones!) Julie Nutting is introducing her own line of watercolor pencils through the Prima brand. I was lucky enough to get a chance to play with them at a make and take station and they are quite nice to work with. They go on very smoothly and you have alot of control over how light or dark your marks go on. And when water is added (with Prima's new water brush if you like.) the penicil takes on a lovely painterly quality as you can see in my sample.  I was able to create dark to light gradients easily.
 This was most noticeable on my Friend Julie's Doll when she used just the black pencil and it looked just like satin. (I really wish I had a picture.) The pencils will be sold in sets of 12 sorted by themes like flesh tones or neutrals. I don't currently have a set of watercolor pencils, but am pretty sure I will soon.

The Cutterpillar is a trimmer that you either love or hate. I love mine and want to drag it with me to crops and friends homes etc.  The Crop version is built to be light and portable, but it still has features like the light source at the cutting edge and self sharpening blade. I get pretty good accuracy from this trimmer, but again you should try out trimmers and find the one that matches your needs. The Crop was also partially funded by Kickstarter, so this popular trimmer is manufactured by a smaller company and will be harder to get your hands on right away, I think they have started pre orders on their web site.  I really want one, but think I need to wait to have some extra pin money first.

We R Memory Keepers are like the king of tools. So I can't make a post about the newest CHA tools without mentioning them.  This year they added a banner maker and a 3 in 1 (envelopes boxes and bows) to their punch board collection. And they expanded the punch board idea with the Template Studio. This allows ypou to make gigatic envelopes, bags, flowers etc. How freaking cool is that? I want to make the envelope boxes for gifting 12x12 paper. Although it does look like it needs some surface space to use. And lastly, one of the items i saw I  loved were the new style of rolling bags with cabana stripes. Wish my current roller bag wasnt in such good shape lol.  I better figure out a way to get my desk cleared off to use the Template Studio cos that may be coming home with me..

 My Next Post will cover Papers and Stamps from CHA 2015, including Graphic 45 and Prima!!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Fixing a Few Snafus....

I have recently noticed some images aren't loading. I am in the process of fixing them. Im sorry for any inconvenience. Laurel