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!!

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