Today has been a most fruitful day. I have been to a lot of booths and we have managed to gather a large number of companies to join us in a Brand Education programme that Artfull Crafts has devised. It's really exciting and lots of your favourite brands are really keen to join with us!
First up on the show floor today was Core Impressions. We already stock a good number of their products, but there are some fun additions to their range. They have teamed up with Pink Paislee for a new 12x12 pad, a new spotty and dotty range along with a 6x6 pad, coloured and white tags, fab packs of card fronts that fit perfectly in embossing folders and for the fronts of cards (no need to cut them to size!), a fabulous new Tim Holtz Kraft Core range in 3 sizes, along with a Sanding/Dust Buddy combo pack.
Next up was Spellbinders. They have a great new innovation called the Fold and Tuck Dies. It's probably one of the coolest things I've seen on the show floor this year. They are a breeze to use - cut and then fold and tuck over the cuts :-) SMART TIP: To prevent your little pieces getting stuck in the dies, use wax paper for a first few times until the die naturally builds up a waxy surface. Now the little pieces will fall out. Now that's SMART! They also have new embossing folders that flip over and reveal another pattern. It's like having two folders in one! I love their new Edgeabilities and the fun Bitty blossoms that roll up into perfect little flowers.
Jenni Bowlin's stand was possibly one of the best ones I've been to this show. I love her style (even though it's not my natural scrapping style) but her products are simply perfect! They have a vintage, eclectic feel and at times when viewing her ranges online they can appear a little mis-matched, but they aren't in real life. Her Magpie range is simply a MUST-HAVE! She has the most wonderful collection of pockets, tags, buttons, spools, pins, bingo cards, tickets and more. Her husband is a super nice man and spent a lot of time chatting to us. Some of her new products include an easel, a hotel key holder, kraft die cut papers and new clear stamps. We really look forward to working more closely with Jenni to bring you her lovely products.
Fancy Pants is a popular brand and they have released another 4 ranges - Be You, Childish Things, Wave Searcher and Summer Soul. Their new brag book has a range of photo sleeves and teamed with the inner kit creates a great journalling book. These types of books are very popular at the show.
Basic Grey is a tried and truescrapbooking favourite and their 4 new ranges are pretty - What's Up, PB&J, Plumeria and Konnichiwa. They seem to have reduced the number of matching embellishments and now only design 12 papers - instead of 18. That's good for retailers! It was hard work finding space on the shelf for all their papers. They also have some lovely Canvas Art projects also on offer. I forgot to take photos! So I'll have to post them up tomorrow for you :-)
I fell in love with Maya Road again today. These guys don't have a big presence in NZ - but they deserve to be represented by someone. So with any luck we will try to introduce their products to you. They are producing top quality chipboard albums, elements and the cutest embellies you've ever seen! I love their burlap flowers, trinket pinks, bottle tops, dress form clips, felt flowers, wooden spools, bingo pieces, wooden rulers and more! Their chipboard elements were fantastic and I can't wait to get my hands on their sewing set. They also carry lines in fabric - beautiful brag books, flags, purses and more.
Jillibean Soup is a great place to go if you are hungry. These guys will satisfy your appetite - for crafting food! Their ranges are fun and I love Coconut Lime Soup the best. They have released SouthernChicken Dumpling Soup, Neapolitan, Heart Barley, Homemade Bean Soup, Game Day Chili and Sweet and Sour Soup! I love the names. They also have a fab range of embellies including popular flag pins, wooden buttons, stamps, chipboard and corrugated alphas and more. We look forward to bringing you more of their wonderful products.
Across the path was another company who we have only just started stocking - Lil Bee. The owners are lovely and we had a great time chatting to them. These guys have beautiful designs and we're excited about their new ranges - Handmade, Double Dutch, Buttercup and Victoria Park. They are also keen to be involved in our Brand Awareness programme. We look forward to working more closely with them. Their latest release Be Mine was very popular in the shop :-)
La La Land Stamps are fun and quirky. They are perfect for colouring and we have Teresa Abajo joining us at the end of March to teach Copic Colouring. We'll be using this brand of stamps :-)
Ranger Industries. Where do you start?! They are a big company that have a few brands under their wing - Inkessentials, Tim Holtz, Adirondack and more. Of course you just want to know about Tim Holtz. Well here he is....
Tim Holtz is in a few places during this show. Here he is at Ranger demoing the Distress Markers - basically a water marker that you can use to colour images - but also stamps etc. They are juicy and full of colour.
But he's also been at Sizzix working with the new dies and his own Ideology booth. The new dies look great and are proving popular. I particularly like the small movers and shapers dies. Perfect for card makers and scrapbookers.
Tim's new Ideaology line has a hot travel range (Destinations), new mini words (chit chats), alpha cards, wire pins, gem clips, pullies, faucets, gears and more. His new embossing folder sets also have diffusers - where parts of the designs can be kept free from texture - leaving room for a verse. And we can't leave out his new Compendium of Curiosities Volume 2 which is filled with great ideas, tips and techniques for how to use all his products.
We also love the new Storage Cases that open out like a fishing tackle box.
Ranger have put out a new water brush, ice stickle colours, liquid pearl colours (beautiful!), sticky glue sticks and a fabric medium. There new Studio 490 range (from Wendy Vecch) is exciting. The range is called Art Parts and I LOVE them! There is a big move to anything off the page - and these fab designs are really unique.
I've also been on the hunt for some good storage solutions - and I've found some at Cropper Hopper. They have a great photocase, totes, stamp books and storage paper units.
Next up was Cosmo Cricket. We had a lovely time here as Lowri has had some of her work featured on their blog this year (and it's her most favourite company). They remembered her immediately and I was able to give them lovely little mini books that Lowri had made for Eric and Julie Comstock and Lindsey Moore from their Design Team. They are looking forward to seeing more of Lowri's work and gave me some product to take home to her. Keep watching this space... Their new releases are great - Tea for Tow, Evangeline, 23 and Baby Jane. The have introduced some new element decks to their ranges, tiny text (super cool) and great washi tape designs. We look forward to working with them this year.
I headed back to the Prima booth to spend some more time with the girls - Sharon, Cari, Sherry and Jamie. They are all so lovely and so we couldn't resist another photo op. Their products are also really lovely - it was very hard to decide what to photograph! I'm pretty excited about their Doodle Deux range. It's a bit of a departure for them - but it's fun. Their wooden buttons and clock faces have been sell-out products this show.
Bo Bunny is one of our favourites and it was nice to meet up with them again. They have 5 new lines Serenity, On the Go, Ambrosia, Weekend Market, Alora and Country Garden. Matching them are new card kits with a lower price point and more product in them. Their basic range has been expanded with a Vintage double-dot cardstock range. I also love their Enchanted Black and White glitter which came out before Christmas. Fabulous for weddings.
Webster Pages have long been an industry favourite and their ranges this show are no exception. They have developed a new concept called Clean and Simple. It's a range of papers that coordinates with each collection for those people who don't like too many fussy designs. Their ranges are In Love, Palm Beach, Everyday Poetry, Game On and Sunday Picnic. Their new designer threads, sparklers, and push pins are lovely.
October Afternoon have splendid designs and we are really looking forward to stocking more of their product this year. We want to promote them more down here in NZ and so we're pleased to tell you about their new collections - Cake Walk, 9 to 5 and Woodland Park. They have some new products as well - washi tape, mini books with chapter pages and dividers and new mini market stickers that you will love...
SRM Stickers were really pleased to meet us and are really keen to work in with us to promote their product in NZ. They have a wonderful range of clear stickers and tubes. I can just imagine some of our DT girls having a field day with their products! They have also started a card kit which will be perfect for classes. They've even cut up all the paper... They have a great range of stickers with sentiments, calendars and loads of themed ones.
DCVW has finally won a CHA award. Their stalls have always been fabulous - and this year they have been recognised. Check out the peacock! I love their new Stacks too - Serenity, Tres Chic and Coral Couture. They have also released some fun chalkboard and fabric papers.
Next up was Queen and Co. I was really excited to see their releases - a great range of trendy tapes, twinkle motifs and borders, goosebumps, rhinestones, twine spools and cool buttons. Simply fabulous!
Doddlebugis a range that we haven't started stocking yet - but they are interested in some NZ exposure - so let's see what we can do for them! They have some pretty ranges, great kits, mixed pearls, glitter paper and their new Candy Dot papers. Their stamps are also great value.
Bella Blvd are another company with cute designs. I love their chipboard, new alphas sets (5 on a sheet), washi tape, buttons, flags (you'll love these) and their sophisticates papers. Their ranges are Baby Girl, Baby Boy, Sunshine Happiness and You're Expecting. They also team with Unity Stamps to produce high quality stamps.
Meeting the owners of Clear Scraps was a pleasure. They stock wonderful clear albums and tags and spent time telling us how the business got started. They have created an innovative product that made the top 20 of innovations at the shop this year! They are very excited about our new brand programme and gave us product then and there to get started! Betsy Clark is going to love their cards. They are made from a thin clear material and then you decorate them up as you see fit. You can sew the paper on for a great effect, as well as emboss it, ink it etc. There are 8 new designs and 3 of them have a tuck-in closure system which adds interest. We look forward to seeing more of their range.
NZ seems to lack a great range of storage solutions - so I sussed out some options with Creative Options. They showed me their top products and we've photographed them for you. We sure do hope to start stocking some of their products soon.
Stampavieis a company I hadn't heard of before - but I liked the look of their sweet stamps. I can imagine Louise and Betsy playing with these beauties. This company are also promoting another brand of alcohol ink markers called Pro Markers. I had a play myself and I was VERY impressed. They are cheaper than Copics and even though the end was a hard chisel, the blending was excellent. They are coming out in sets in March and we'll be seriously thinking about stocking them.
Trends I noticed today: There are loads of brag books/journalling books, vintage collections in lighter colours, sewing sets, coloured twine, bright cute designs (a lot of these), and anything for spring. The Americans are really into themed holidays and so Easter and Spring ranges are everywhere...
Whew! And that's the end of today! I think I deserve a good night's sleep now. Tomorrow is the last day of the show. I only have 2 more aisles to go - and then I will spend my time doing make and takes and chatting to the owners/designers again.
Please leave a comment on the blog if you are reading these posts. I like to know I'm being usefu! This one has taken 4 hours to prepare (no Disneyland tonight!).