Create-n-Connect, the summer trade show sponsored by the Craft and Hobby Association, tantalized crafters with a tempting array of nifty new artsy toys and inspiration.
Here’s the first of our two-part, exhaustive look at what’s new, hot, and enticing, from trends and tools to inks, stamps, and more.
First, we did a little trend spotting. Remember when washi tape was the hot new thing? We still can’t get enough. Whether you call it washi, masking, or decorative, it’s tape-tastic, with much variety.
Scotch, for instance, has shipping, masking, washi, and “magic” tape you can write on, in playful patterns and colors. We cooed at: Little B’s darling tapes, stickers, adhesive labels, and intricately cut sticky notes; We R Memory Keepers cool chevron-cut tape; and boy-centric designs from Queen & Co. There’s more at Doodlebug Design, My Mind’s Eye, Bazzill Basics Paper, and others.
Love dies? Love stamps? Love dies that match stamps? You’re in luck. There are dies to create pop-ups (Art Gone Wild, Ecstasy Crafts, Sizzix), movement (Stephanie Barnard/Sizzix® Flip-its), boxes, bags, and more.
We’re loving Spellbinders new Nestabilities® Enchancing Elements, which cut, emboss, deboss, and stencil, enhancing existing dies in the line. There are also new embossing folders, embossing plates ideal for Media Mixáge, and hat pin bezels. Check out the Web site for inspirational videos.
Dies are now sophisticated enough to make the most intricate cuts. Explore dies and stamps by Elizabeth Crafts (we’re ga-ga over the ribbon-cut Christmas tree), Penny Black (see delicate birds perch on a branch), Hot Off the Press, Impression Obsession, Taylored Expressions, and others. Lifestyle Crafts has wonderful nesting dies, embossing folders, letterpress plates, and more.
A close cousin to dies, stencils are also plentiful; they are great for backgrounds and various techniques. The Crafters Workshop has many sizes, including big and bold; Ranger’s Dyan Reaveley and Tim Holtz contribute funk and grunge; Dreamweaver, a long-time leader with brass stencils, has shapes perfect for Zentangle designs, paste, ink, chalk, etc., plus adorable die/stencil combos.
What crafter doesn’t love tools and storage? We found some doozies. We R Memory Keepers wowed with its Fold-Down Craft Table. It’s a wall unit with a chalkboard and storage. No, it’s a desk. No, it’s both! Don’t even get me started about the stylish wall shutters for cards, photos, etc. The company continues innovating with Punch Boards, like the Envelope Punch Board, which scores envelopes in just a few turns and punches. The new boards make it easy to create boxes and bags. Check the Web site for more cool tools.
The new Sizzix Sophisticut is the cutest thing. Shaped like a purse, it sits on your desk, all demure, but pop open the doors and you have a lean, mean cutting machine. Although limited in scope (it only cuts steel-rule dies, has a limited 3”-wide platform and doesn’t emboss), it is so darling and lightweight you might not care.
Sizzix introduced a magnetic base for its standard cutters and added more delightful dies for everything from weddings, parties, and home baking, to baby, boxes, and bags, not to mention Tim Holtz yumminess.
Want to emboss an entire 8-½”x11” piece of cardstock? Craftwell’s eBosser does it at the push of a button. Large embossing plates are fun, fun, fun.
Xyron’s new 3” Disposable Sticker Maker gives 20 feet of permanent adhesive. Also new: Double-Sided High Tack (as strong as red liner tape, but hand tear-able) and Adhesive Dots. Need a crafty gift? Check out Teresa Collins Class Kit in her signature pink box with magnetic closure. It has a sticker maker, adhesive eraser, tape runner, double-sided tape, foam squares, and clear dimensional glue/glaze. You’ll want to use up everything just for the box.
Imaginisce’s new i-rock Pro has a vacuum suction to pick up and place hot-fix gems, plus an LED light for visibility. Also new: a reverse-tension tweezer with LED light and the Score ‘n’ Pierce, a four-pronged retractable piercing tool.
We saw a prototype for Layer Creator, a tool designed by Cindy Echtinaw for Spellbinders for no-measure layering. And although it has nothing to do with stamping, we are intrigued by Bottle Cutting Inc’s Kinkajou bottle cutter that lets you turn bottles into goblets, dishes, and more.
Check out part II of this CHA Recap in Great Finds Friday on August 30th to read about inks, dyes, paper, and stamps. Visit the companies mentioned in the Resources list for more information on new products.
American Crafts www.americancrafts.com
Anna Griffin www.annagriffin.com
Art Gone Wild www.agwstamps.com
Art Impressions www.artimpressions.com
Bazzill Basics Paper www.bazzillbasics.com
Bottle Cutting Inc. www.bottlecutting.com
Canvas Corp. www.canvascorp.com
Doodlebug Design www.doodlebug.ws
Echo Park/Carta Bella www.echoparkpaper.com
Ecstasy Crafts www.ecstasycrafts.com
Elizabeth Craft Designs www.elizabethcraftdesigns.com
Hot Off The Press www.hotp.com
Impression Obsession www.iostamps.com
Lifestyle Crafts www.lifestylecrafts.com
Little B www.littlebllc.com
May Arts www.mayarts.com
Maya Road www.mayaroad.com
My Mind’s Eye www.mymindseye.com
Penny Black www.pennyblackinc.com
Queen & Co. www.queenandcompany.com
Some Odd Girl www.someoddgirl.com
Something Tattered www.somethingtattered.com
Stamper’s Anonymous www.stampersanonymous.com
Taylored Expressions www.tayloredexpressions.com
The Crafter’s Workshop www.thecraftersworkshop.com
Tim Holtz www.timholtz.com
We R Memory Keepers www.weronthenet.com
Whimsy Stamps www.whimsystamps.com
World Win Papers www.worldwinpapers.com
by Roberta Wax (http://www.creativeunblock.com/)