"Art is my vehicle through life; may we share the ride together." Ron Wickersham

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Organizing Paper Scraps

My thoughts always turn to organizing at the beginning of a new year And, goodness knows, my art room certainly needs it!

I think paper is the hardest to organize.  I have my 12x12 and 8 1/2x11" cardstock stored nicely in paper towers and file drawers by color.  If I use a portion of a piece of cardstock, I try to cut the remainder into as many 5.5x8.5" pieces (card base size) or 4x5.5" pieces (card front size) as I can so they will be ready for cards. The remaining scraps are stored in file folders by color in a file cabinet beside my desk so I can reach for them easily. I find this works really well and I actually use alot of these scraps before cutting into a new sheet of paper.

My problem, however, is the patterned papers. The full sheets are no problem as I store them like the cardstock but in theme and season categories. The problem comes with all the scraps and, yes, I hoard these like everything else. About a year ago I found this organization system from Betsy Veldman and it sounds perfect. I rediscovered it on Pinterest today here: http://www.papercraftsconnection.com/blog/2011/07/groovin’-with-the-go-to-gals-the-scrap-basket-challenge/

Betsy cuts the papers into 6x6" pieces and files them by predominant color. She also has a second container for stripes, florals, dots and neutrals. She discards any remaining scraps. And the container is so cute!

I'm thinking I might try this. Currently my patterned scraps are in a large box and they seem to multiply!    This seems to be a more manageable system. I just need to overcome my urge to keep them all and learn to discard anything smaller than 6x6."

How do you store your cardstock, patterned papers and scraps? I would love to hear from you to find out what works or doesn't!

I won't be posting again for several days. I'm off to Albuquerque to babysit this little guy. Can't wait to cuddle and love on him!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Fun Displays at CHA

Many of the CHA booths are very elaborately and whimsically decorated. I thought I'd share some of the cute ideas.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

New Mixed Media Products

Being a mixed media artist, I am naturally drawn to paints, inks and other mediums.  I was excited to hear that Creative Imaginations has changed their focus from paper (which they will still continue to offer) to mixed media products. They now carry several products from Viva Decor which are repackaged with labels in English! No more guessing what these products are. The company has also changed their name to "Splash of Color" to indicate their new direction. Their booth had lots of fabulous samples using these products.

A new company, Art Anthology, has also released new paints and sprays in yummy colors. The "Velvet" paints are dimensional with a velvety, matte finish while the "Sorbets" are multi-dimensional, translucent, shimmery and sparkly. The Colorations sprays are matte and pure color without added glitter or iridescence. The "Dimensional Crystal" is a glaze with glitter and mica. We did a make-n-take tag using the products and I loved them!

Tomorrow I'll share some of the cool displays at the show.

Friday, January 18, 2013

More new products

There were so many new products to see at CHA that I forgot to mention a few others.

First up is Tim Holtz's new Dimensional Cutting Pad. You really have to see this in action to fully understand it, but essentially it is a square, clear cutting pad with a beveled indentation down the center. This allows you to cut something out of the center of a card or other paper keeping the center of the cut image intact. Because it's square it will work either horizontally or vertically. Here's a photo that shows the pad on the left, a movers-and-shapers butterfly and the cut cardstock.

Ranger's Rock Candy DRY Glitter has been so popular that they came out with a much larger jar  - 8 oz! This is a totally clear glitter with no iridescence. You can add it to your project and then, if you want it colored, just apply alcohol inks over it. When dry the sparkle remains.

SPRAY E6000! Yes, you heard that right. The same great qualities of this glue but now in a spray. Same industrial strength! It's also non-toxic (no solvents) and can be sprayed inside in your studio! We saw a demo and it's fabulous. Here's a short video I found on YouTube for more information.

I'm excited about some little stamps from Prima that come in sets of two and are patterns for stamping your own washi tape. You could also use these for stamping on ribbons or even for borders. I love all the patterns. Don't they look cool in colors?

There's a new personal rotary trimmer on the market which wesaw demoed. It's the CutterPillarPro and looks promising! It will cut several sheets of paper or cardstock, chipboard, metal and acrylic. The blade is safely enclosed in a housing and they say it never needs replacing. The way it slides against the metal edge of the cutter supposedly sharpens it each time.  And the measurements are in sixteenths. There is a battery-operated LED light the entire length of the cutting edge for backlighting so you can see exactly where you are cutting. There's also a cute little drawer recessed under the cutter for extra batteries or papers. We tested it to see if it would cut a tiny sliver of paper and it did, perfectly straight. It's a little pricey, retailing for a little over $100, but it looks like it may be a great trimmer.

Another new tool is the Get-It-Straight Laser Square by KellyCraft. I didn't investigate this too closely because I don't need another tool which is pricey and takes up space but for some it might be very useful. I think it's about $50-60. It is basically a 90-degree angle with a laser for aligning items on a layout.  Here's a video on YouTube explaining more.

That's it for today!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

New Products for 2013

There were several new products released at CHA this year.  One that I am very excited about is WeR's new Envelope Punch Board.  It's small - approximately 6"x8" -  and creates many sizes of envelopes. The board has measurements silk-screened along the top edge and a "cheat sheet" also silk-screened on the board itself to show you how large the sheet of paper needs to be to create whatever size envelope you want. It also tells you at which measurement you need to place your paper to start. From then on you just punch the indent at center top (turquoise button below) and score from there to edge of paper, turn paper 90 degrees and repeat, continuing on all four sides. The turquoise button is also a corner punch to round the corners of the envelope if desired. 

This is a handy little tool which I can't wait to add to my personal stash (and it takes alot for a tool to impress me now that I have so many) and will be great for making cute little envelopes for layouts, books or cards as well as possibly using up some of my old papers for actual envelopes for sending cards! No more searching for an odd size!

Samples of all sizes the board will create
Another "home run" by WeR is their introduction of new punches to coordinate with their popular Mini8 corner punches.  The designs match the various Mini8 designs and can punch between the corners punched by the Mini8 punch, thus creating many sizes of decorative-edged papers. The punch is triple duty as it will also just punch a straight border or, by changing a lever on the underside, punch a double-sided strip as seen below.  A must-have even if you don't have a Mini8 punch! And I love that it does more than just one thing. 

Samples of decorative edged paper and double-sided punched strip

 Of course, the big buzz this year was about Ranger's release of the Tim Holtz Distress Paints. These are water-reactive paints (while wet) that match the Distress line of products and are more fluid than the Paint Dabbers.  They are semi-opaque, but are very versatile as you can layer them to be more opaque. They dry with a matte finish and can be used on a variety of materials, including metal, glass and plastic.

Here are the 24 colors just released. I'm betting the remaining distress colors will debut soon!

Sample of tag created by Tim Holtz with new Distress Paints

Also from Ranger, six new colors of Dyan Revealey's very popular Dylusions Ink Sprays.  What I'm most excited about is the White! It's slightly different from the colors as it's semi-opaque. So many things you can do with that and I can't wait to get some and play. Dyan also came out with her own acrylic stamp block which is very large to accommodate her large stamps. It also has a curvy edge on one side which can be used for drawing borders or frames or even journaling lines and a ruler on the other side - love the multiple use tools!

Another new product is Wendy Vecchi's metallic Embossing Pastes. Last year she released the white and black but now a Metallic Silver and Metallic Gold have been added to the lineup. Can't wait to try these too!

Every company seems to have their own version of acrylic blocks for stamping, but I was impressed with these new blocks from Lawn Fawn.  They have an incised grid for lining up your stamps and also cool indentations along the side for comfortably gripping with your fingers.

Lawn Fawn acrylic block

Next up are these ingenius little squeezable storage containers. They are clear so you can see what is stored inside, they come in many sizes and are very inexpensive. The tops come in an array of colors and either smooth or matte finish.  Here's a photo of one from their website though it's hard to see. And below that is Miss Tracy with Viewtainer's rep, Tracy, showing how the viewtainer "smiles" when you squeeze it to open. 

I'm happy to report that Christy Tomlinson has introduced several new rubon and stencil designs as well as printed coffee filters. And, Pink Paislee has decided to reprint her extremely popular and sold-out line of papers from last year! Her first beautiful doily stencil (also sold-out) will also be available again.  Check out her new products below.

New Christy Tomlinson products

Quick Quotes has introduced 6 new colors of their PowderPuff chalk inks. I'm so excited that they have finally listened to consumers and have released a WHITE ink pad!

Quick Quotes new PowderPuff Chalk Inks
This is by no means all the new products from CHA, but what caught my eye while I was there. Of course, there were many new lines of papers and embellishments and dies and stamps and... The list goes on but hopefully they will be popping up in stores soon.  I just wanted to share my favorites.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Trends for 2013

I noticed quite a few new (and some returning) trends at the show this year.   

Doilies are still going strong. I saw many doily stamps, papers, stencils and rubons.

Maya Road stamp set

Feathers were everywhere - wood embellishments, stamps, rubons and actual feathers in every color imaginable. 

Feather assortment from Bella Blvd

Mustaches are still popular and bows are a new trend.

Even Tim Holtz had a mustache die this year
Lifestyle Crafts die
Just about every company had their own line of stencils.

Dies are still extremely popular - lots of companies had them - especially the thin dies.

Cameras were everywhere, also in many media (stamps, rubons, wood icons, and even stencils).

Stencil by Ronda Palazzari for The Crafter's Workshop

Mason jars are a new trend also. 

Stamp set from Lawn Fawn

As for colors, we saw alot of brights for spring and summer. Many paper companies were pairing teal, yellow, pink and grey.  We also saw more masculine-themed papers.  Chevron patterns are still very popular.

And every paper company seems to have hopped on the bandwagon of divided page-protectors and "project-life"-type papers and embellishments that Simple Stories was so innovative in introducing about a year ago.  Why is it that someone comes out with a unique idea and the next year everyone does it?

Other trends I noted: washi tape still going strong and most companies had cute little vellum or glassine envelopes and baggies.

Lastly, mixed media is continuing to grow in popularity with the paper arts and scrapbooking community. We saw lots of paints and "lotions and potions" being used on layouts and there were many samples of mixed media canvases and mini albums.

Come back tomorrow and I'll share some of the new products!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Back from CHA

What a goofball I am! I had drafted the last post and never clicked the publish button.  Anyway, we returned late last night and had a blast. We had record cold temps in LA while there, but we were inside most of the time and it never bothered us.

Here are a few fun photos from the weekend. 
Anaheim Convention Center

Waiting for doors to open first day

Having fun at a "lotions and potions" make-n-take at the Art Anthology booth

One way to get a photo with the Timster!
Oops he saw us!

With sweet Jenni Bowlin

And darling Heidi Swapp

Wish this stuff came in this size!
In the next few days I'll share some of the trends I saw and also favorite products.