Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Day Five - Graham gets his education...

Day Two of the show is now over. We started out in the morning with a great business seminar about the economic forecast for 2012. America’s seem reasonably positive about the outlook – even if the stats don’t line up!! 

By 10am Graham and I were off to the shop floor to catch up on some of yesterday’s work. My camera had died just after lunch and so I needed to go back and get some photos taken! I banged into Jodi from Scrapaholics in Auckland and she’d teed up a meeting for us with Donna Downey’s husband Bill. We had a great time with him and have some special events planned. More to come on that later. We caught up with the lovely Sharon Laakonen from Prima again and I gave her a little kiwi gift. She told me she’s back on the team for the Roadshow in October – yay!

Sharon then took me over to the Ranger booth to introduce us to Tim Holtz – but he was deep in the middle of some great demo and there was a large group of ladies around him. So we got a photo with Mario his business manager instead! We’ll go back to the booth and get a shot with Tim another day. We didn’t stick around in the stall to see the new innovations – we’ll do that later too (keep you reading these blog posts!)

Next up was off to Teresa Collins. We love her ranges and have all new 5 collections on pre-order. We’ve chatted before in Brisbane and so it was great to have another photo taken with her and to chat about a fun kit concept I am developing and a possible trip to NZ sometime.  More on that another day!

My Mind’s Eye is a great company and their products are ALWAYS stand-outs. Interestingly they had loads of guys on their stall – so Graham fitted in perfectly! They stood and chatted about hand and feet wounds they had received… Meanwhile, I was busy checking out the gorgeous new collections. – Miss Caroline. Follow Your Heart, Kraft Funday, On the Bright Side and Lost and Found 2. Their Kraft Funday range looks fantastic.

La Blanche Stamps are the most beautiful detailed stamps on the market with a huge range of pretty designs. They are made from a light-weight product with a foam block for use of use and a silicone-type material for the stamp. You can also pour hot utee onto them and create amazing resin shapes embellies.

One of my favourite companies is Simple Stories. They have a great style and they have finally released their wonderful albums that work in with their papers. All their ranges have a lot of little tags that you can cut out – and now we have the albums to slide them in. It’s a way of simply putting together an album with photos and tags with minimum fuss. There are a range of basic products which match all their paper collections for use in the albums too. Their new ranges Year-O-Graphy, Documented, Awesome and Fabulous are all great.

Imaginisce always put out quality collections and this show is no different. Their newest most innovative product is the ribbon cutter. I LOVE this new tool. It’s basically a small hot wire that cuts through ribbon slightly melting the edges so it doesn’t fray. Imaginisce also showed off some of their products (distresser, petal roller, coloured foam tape, Click it blade, Cut bright and the i-top etc). Their new ranges are called Sole Sister, Hippity Hop, making Waves and Hello Cupcake.

Making Memories had a HUGE stall! I love their new Children at Play ranges and the cute fabrics. The Modern Millinery range is great for cross crafting (home décor etc). Their Cabochon packs of mixed embellies were beautiful and I liked their 8x10” journal album – smash book style. It has protectors and pockets, envelopes etc. 

Graphic 45 is a VERY popular brand in the industry and so far I would award them the Best Stall award. But I haven’t even got around half of the stalls…! They have released Kraft Reflections, Old Curiositie Shop, Tropical Travelogue (already on our shelves) and Little Darlings – a runaway success. This range is the most beautiful baby line I’ve seen in years!

We love the Glitz Girls and here we are at their stall enjoying their 3 new ranges – French Kiss, Pretty Glitz and Happy Travels. They also have some new stones, layered stickers, 6x6 pads, and a chipboard album to add to their collections. The Glitz girls are also going to be working with Artfull Crafts on a fun kit concept.

Magnolia Stamps are certainly cute but I couldn't chat with the man on the stall as he didn't really speak very good English and they didn't have a colour catalogue or price list either!  But the stall looked great :-)

Little Yellow Bicycle is a great company. Lowri did some guest design work for them last year and it was lovely to meet the head of the Design Team. They spoke very highly of Lowri and they loved her work. Their new ranges are Hello Spring, Escape, Splash and Swoon, Saturday and Paradise.

Artbin have a wonderful array of storage bins and they have designed a new container for holding your Spellbinder dies with magnetic sheets. We think this will be a popular product. They also have a cricut cartridge storage set up too.

Pink Paislee is another company that Lowri was a guest artist for this year. They also commented how much they love her work and we think it’s exciting that there’s a kiwi out there getting so much exposure in the international market place. Lowri is a hard worker and gets more than 10,000 hits to the blog a day... so you should go and follow her! Pink Paislee’s releases are beautiful and I’m in love with the new ribbon spools in the London Market range, the well-sized ephemera packs, and the gorgeous tags in Indigo Hill and Prairie Hill. They also stock a great range of wooden alphas at an excellent price. Finally they re-released their Mistables collection due to its popularity at the last show. It’s a range of products that you spray/ink/stain to reveal the pattern underneath.

My Little Shoebox is a company we haven’t stocked before – but they have some lovely ranges and a fabulous set of great value alpha stickers and roll-up die-cut papers we think you’ll like.

Just Rite stamps are phasing out their ribbed block stamps and are joining in the trend of cling and acrylic stamps. But they have teamed with Spellbinders to create a range of 5 dies that match many of the Just Rite stamp ranges. They were most impressed with Betsy’s card work for Kaisercraft – so there may be an opportunity for her to display some work here too. 

We are Memory Keepers is always coming out with great new products. These guys released the Sew Easy system last year and experience great success. They have now put out a Stamp Easy system along the same lines. The head is interchangeable and rolls along the page. Their new stack packs are fab value and we can’t wait for the Lucky 8 punches. We saw them months ago in Brisbane and have been waiting for them to be in stock. They are MASSIVE punches with the ability to create up to 3 different effects around the edge of 12x12 cardstock. You can make your own die-cut papers at your house!

Melissa Frances had a beautiful stall and we think you’ll love some of the items she has on offer. Her 3 new ranges are c’est la vie, Fifth Avenue and Attic Treasures. But most exciting are the cute mini houses and churches kits. They look great decorated up. She also has fun glass domes, banner stickers, envelopes and the hottest seller for them at the show is the mini hangers!
Juanita will be thrilled that they have released cute Cat and Dog albums – where you get to write in their details as they get older…

Finally I ended up at the HeartFelt Creations store. These guys are teaming with Spellbinders as well to create die/stamp packages. Some of these designs are pretty special – and we suggested Betsy would be a good fit for them as well!
There is soooooo much to do and see at this show – but I think I’m on target to complete the whole circuit before it shuts on Wednesday at 2pm. I just might not get to do any make and takes!!
Today the emerging trends appear to be resist papers, a LOT of off-the-page projects, and Spellbinders teaming with different stamp companies to make matching sets. There’s a big trend back to home décor pieces too.

So while I was walking around the show floor, Graham was sitting in on seminars. Lots of them related to Social Media interplay and website information – which is timely as our website is just waiting for its overhaul to speed it up and make your shopping experience better and quicker.
There will be loads of work for us to do once we get back home. What fun!
Take me to the Photo Gallery to see more photos.

Take me to more product preview Sneak Peeks.

The evening ended with Jacob's 40th birthday dinner. The family and us went out to a restaurant for dinner and then spent the rest of the evening at Ray and Sue's enjoying the laughs and company of the extended family. They have 3 children, 8 grandchildren and a dog named Sam - so there was plenty to laugh about! We gave Jacob some more lollies and chocolate and 8 cans of L&P! And we all indulged in the new Cadbury Mousse chocolate. The verdict was a big thumbs up (look at all the kids hovering around Rachel while she opens it up!). Now it's past midnight and my eyes are dropping to the floor! Enjoy the read :-)

Betsy - With last Blog for January

Hello all  - Betsy here today to follow Liz's blog entry for yesterday.
I'm afraid it is a little mundane after reading all the exciting CHA news. Great to be keeping up with the excitement though!

Another two cards to show you  - do hope you're not all too bored with cards!! I haven't branched out yet into scrapbooking or off the page projects - afraid I have a one track mind!!
Maureen's 70th birthday card was made with the VERY latest DCWV, The Coral Couture matstack - just released at CHA. The die I used was a Marianne Creatables. I really love this colour range! No hand made flowers on this card - all Kaisercraft.

For this card I used the Kaisercraft, Sweet Nothings collection. Using my Garnd Calibur, I cut out the base card, then some paper and after attaching it, sewed round the edge with my sewing machine. Then of course, I had to sponge it with sepia ink. Cheery Lynn Doily die was used to cut the green card, a doily was sponged and adhered over it. I cut out a framed circle, in green, with the Spellbinders die. The label and the group of flowers were from the collectables in this range.

Well that's all from me today - looking forward to the next instalment from CHA.

Happy crafting,


Monday, January 30, 2012

Day Four - Let the Show begin!

The first day of the CHA show is over - and I'm glad to be sitting down for a couple of hours to tell you all about it! The show has 10km worth of aisles - that's quite a walking circuit. Fortunately there is carpet and really, really kind retailers upgrade their carpet and also use thick squishy underlay. So it's not as bad as it could be. My back is aching because I am a show novice... I didn't want to take a backpack (I would bump into people) and I didn't want to take a trolley (who wants to put that in their suitcase) and so I went with a small shoulder bag - just enough for my notebook, drink and camera. FOOL! Within 3 stalls it was crammed with catalogues. Fortunately some kind person gave me a bag (with some cute freebies) and I loaded that up instead and hung it over my shoulder. After 20 stalls I was walking pretty lopsided - so I checked them in with the Baggage Service. At the end of the day I saddled up and walked the 1km back to the motel - feeling like a Granny. I am going to take Graham's little suitcase tomorrow :-)

The show takes up a number of exhibition halls and today I made it
through just more than a third of the Scrapbooking Stalls. There is
about the same number of general craft stalls that I hope to be able to
visit too. I decided that I wasn't going to do Make and Takes until the
last day, but rather walk around, takes notes, talk to designers,
collect catalogues and take photos. I just decided to start at the
right-hand side and work left during the weekend.

What a pleasant surprise when the FIRST stall I arrived at was Kaisercraft! I was hugged and welcomed like an old friend and it was a thrill to see OUR work on display! We've been holding onto a secret and it's time to reveal it. Miss Betsy has been doing cards for Kaiser for a few months now - but this month I had the privilege of working with their Tiny Woods and Technologic ranges! I have been published in the February Kaisercraft Workshop magazine (yippeee!) - although you may laugh when you see the spelling of my name (Geoffry!?). I can assure you that it's my work - and we've had a few giggles over it. Anyway, here are some of my projects on display at CHA:

Not only that, Lowri McNabb has worked on projects for Technologic & Fine and Sunny and she'll be featured in upcoming issues of the Kaiser workshop magazine. Yay! Here are some of her creations (banner, magnet board, photo display)

And of course, our lovely Miss Betsy who keeps making the most delightful cards. Her work was EVERYWHERE on the stall!

My impression from walking the floor all day is that Kaisercraft is well established in the craft market. A lot of their Beyond the Page projects were being used by other big companies to show off their designs. Kaiser's designs are top quality, professional and we love being New Zealand's biggest supplier. Yay for Kaiser!

I moved on and found myself at Echo Park. Their new mini theme 6x6 pads and paper collections are super exciting and I LOVE the new chipboard albums. They are interactive - with pull out pieces. They have 5 new collections - This and That Charming, This and That Graceful, Note to Self & Hello Summer. Lowri did some guest designing for them recently and we are pleased to continue stocking their products.

Next up was the Best Creations stall. Sandy Ang from our Design Team is also on their team and it was fun looking around for her projects on display. These guys are bringing out a fab new range of World Traveller papers and we've got the Europe ones arriving this week!

The next stall also had Sandy's work on display - Ruby Rocket. The Artfull Crafts Design Team all seemed to have their work down this one aisle! They spoke highly of Sandy and they LOVE her work (and so do we). You can see Sandy's cards on display behind us in the photo. These guys have released 3 new paper collections and a fun new bling range. We already stock their Wedding range in store and we hope to expand into some others soon.

At the end of the first aisle was Tattered Angels (who have just been purchased by Canvas Corp). They have released 3 new ranges of mists called Plain Jane. None of them have any glimmer in them. There's Baseboard (an opaque chalkboard), a Stain and a Sheer mist.

Opposite them were Canvas Corp and this one probably excited me the most! It's not a brand I had ever heard of - but they are HUGE in America. They cross over into card-making, scrapbooking and off-the-page (which I love). Most of the products are brown, white, black or cream and as their name suggests many products are made with canvas. They also use hessian, calico and most of their papers are printed on kraft card. Their stuff is super cool and has been designed to be used with other companies decorative products - like mists and flowers, paint and ribbons. Their range includes placemats, aprons, bags, mini books, banner, pillow cases and more. We are planning on getting some of their products instore. Canvas Corp have also purchased 7 Gypsies and they are a perfect fit.


Fab Scraps is a relatively new company on the scene (a year ago) and they are everywhere in South Africa. Their ranges are along Vintage, Shabby Chic lines and I particularly liked these wooden buttons.

GCD Studios embellies are very popular and their new paper ranges are fabulous. We may have to start stocking their products again! They are looking for a new Design Team - applications close 1st Feb though - so be in quick!

Nikki Sivils was an award winner in the morning ceremony for her philanthropic work after a devastating tornado hit her hometown. She organised a Scrapbook pickup and it ended up being a massive operation with over $50,000 of donated goods. She got to deliver them to ladies who had lost their entire craft rooms. Nikki doesn't have much coverage in New Zealand and so we'd like to team up with her and start stocking her products. She has a lovely style and we think you would appreciate her designs. She has 4 new ranges - Noah, Audrey, Exit Here and Messages.

I saw some fun transparencies at the Hambly Screen Prints stall - perfect for cardmakers and some great colours of washi tape. This stuff is very versatile...

At this point it was only 2pm - but my camera ran out of battery after only 200 photos. I was pretty gutted - so I picked up the pace, collected catalogues, speed chatted and visited another 30 stalls. You'll have to wait for another day to hear about those ones!

Some popular themes and trends appear to be kraft papers, washi tape and anything vintage.

I'm looking forward to tomorrow. Graham gets to join me for a couple of business seminars and then onto the exhibit floor. He can't wait...

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Jan Wrap-Up, Feb Challenge, LOVE Kaisercraft!

Hi Everyone - Lowri here.

Well - January has kind of gone - and that's pretty scary! School starts for us on Tuesday and I am both looking forward to it and dreading it at the same time! HEAPS to share today so grab a tea, coffee, glass of wine or whatever takes your fancy and read on!

Manufacturer Focus - Kaisercraft
Each month we are gong to be focusing on one of the manufacturers we stock, telling you about them, their collections, offering some great deals and showing you some fabulous examples of what you can create with their products. Of course we are starting with Kaisercraft!

We have the largest selection of Kaisercraft products in stock in New Zealand - and if we don't have it - we will get it for you! They are the only scrapbook company in the world releasing two complete collections a month as well as having a fabulous range of core products they add to on a regular basis.

This month they released cardstock in an amazing range of 64 colors and we have it at the even more  amazing price of $1 per sheet. You can order them individually or buy all 64 at an AMAZING price of $55.

January Challenge
We had a small number of entries this month but a couple of new people sent us their projects - and that always makes us REALLY excited! Take a look at these:
Dita Russell

Morgan Southgate

Dita Russell

Michelle Durdle

Tanya Watson
The winner for the First Entrant prize is Michelle Durdle and the Overall Winner is Dita Russell.
Congratulations Ladies -  please contact us to claim your prize

February Challenge

This month the Challenge is: 


We don’t just want to see your Valentines projects (though we want to see them too) we want to see anything and everything that you love! Layouts about LOVEd ones, Cards made for someone you LOVE, Maybe you LOVE to do BTP projects, A layout about how your kids LOVE pizza, Maybe you LOVE Cosmo Cricket, Or you LOVE the colour orange...

Entering the Challenge
To enter the challenge - send a picture of your project to us.
Email us a picture of your project and PLEASE name the file you send with your full name as this makes it a lot easier for us to administer the competition! Send your entry to entries@artfullcrafts.co.nz

If you can - please remember to include the following :
  1. Your name! (You would be surprised how many people forget this :-))
  2. Tell us if this is your first time entering - (if it is you are eligible for the First Time Entry prize too)
  3. Your blog (if you have one)
  4. If your project has a special story behind it - we'd love to hear it!
You can send us as many entries as you like. We will be featuring all entries at the end of the Challenge and you can find all the entries on our Competition Gallery.

Please post a comment if you have any questions - we really look forward to seeing your entries!

Lowri :-)

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Day Two - Prima Party and Dinner with Friends.

Hi everyone.
Liz here - posting from Los Angeles. Click here to see the Day Two in LA blogpost. A fun day at the Prima Headquaters and dinner with friends.

Chat tomorrow
:-) Liz

Friday, January 27, 2012

Two Days in one and double trouble!

If you want to find out what we've been up to in Los Angeles today, then click this link and read all about it!

Let's just say, there had been a missing pink coat, trouble with customs in America, some religious promotion and some wild Disney rides...

Also check out Liz's photo gallery to see what they have been up to and then click here to see more craft sneak peeks that will be revealed at the show next week! We've dedicated a whole section of our website to the CHA show. You can click here to go to it, or access if from the Artfull Crafts homepage.

:-) Liz and Graham
Your LA foreign correspondants!

Louise - Some Cards....

Have you been to the shop and seen the bag a bargain packs?????  If not you should definitely check them out.  My first 2 cards are made with Cosmo Cricket (one of my very favourite companies) Material Girl papers and my sewing machine.

aren't they cute! I also used my sewing machine on paper (arghhhhhhhhh) a personal first for me as I always feared wrecking my precious sewing machine, but now I have started, I LOVE IT! I worked out you still need to backstitch just like on fabric.

Next up is a lil' primrose card, made with a 6.5x6.5 pad.  The flowers are from my stash and the leaves were punched.  The cage and bird were cut on my cricut.

You can see I made this card before I discovered the joys of "real" sewing, although the faux stitching looks great too and is very therapeutic when we are nearing the end of the school holidays :) 

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Christine - Hummingbird Cards

Hi everyone Christine here with another couple of Cards to share.

 I have tried to use a few more colours together using the Hummingbird Collectables and 6x6 papers from Kaisercraft.

I think I succeeded with this first card  and can count about 5 of the colours in this range!

 Not so good with this second card!

 Enjoyed layering up the hearts!

 Supplies used: Kaisercraft - Hummingbird  6x6 paper pad, Collectables,  Rhinestones.
                        BakersTwine,   Tim Holtz mini stapler, 

Have a great day and happy crafting!


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Betsy - Random Cards

Goodmorning everyone.
Betsy here today with some more cards that I have made using three different collections from Kaisercraft.

The Kaisercraft Lil' Primrose collection is absolutely lovely for little girls but I decided to make a sympathy card as a trial. The flowers are from the collectables, so it was relatively quick to put together. Maybe it's a trifle fussy for a sympathy!! Nothing like giving things a try!

Kaisercraft Hummingbird range is fun to work with. The card was cut out using my Grand Calibur and again the collectables do make an easy card. Three Kaiser flowers just complete it, I think. A bright and cheery colour range.

Well, anyone would think I was paid to promote Kaisercraft, wouldn't they!!
Yes, this card is made with the Madame Boutique range. I love the trellis effect - I used my Cheery Lynn Lattice die, then after glueing it to the script paper, sewed it with my sewing machine. Martha Stewart punch for the border with rub-ons from the collection, down the folded edge. The two gold roses were made using the Marianne Rose die - the remaining flowers are of course, Kaisercrafts. I must say I do get a lot of pleasure out of using all their goodies - I love them all and find them so easy to work with.

In closing, I must add another card I made using the Lil' Primrose. As the collection has cups, saucers and teapots included, I made a ' Time For Tea' card as well, just using the collectables. There is an amazing choice with each collection.

The challenge at Artfull Crafts for this month is ' All The Best', hence my Kaiser cards! Don't forget to enter, as you never know, you could be a winner and we love seeing what you do, as the previous post shows us!
Love the cuckoo clock Dita!

Off to Timaru now to catch up on Liz before she heads off on the big CHA trip. Should be fun to see all the new products etc, as the sneak peeks we've had, sure 'wet ones appetite'! Dare say we'll have to exercise a little patience though, I'm thinking!

'Til next time,
With blessings and love,