Forgive me if I was curious about Making Memories. Curious in a ‘so what is the game plan?’ kind of way. See, Making Memories has been a big industry player for a long time. They grew from a small store to a big chain of stores and a big percentage of the wholesale market as a manufacturer. And they were always very specialised in scrapbooking, hence the name of the company. The Slice portable cutting system seemed a big success. Then two years ago they debuted a jewelry line as a big part of their booth space, and buyers started to question – right there on the floor – if they were supposed to buy this for their scrapbook stores or whether it was for stores who specialised in that sort of thing. A year ago, they launched a line of paper rosettes and fancy prize ribbons, and again scrapbook store owners were a little confused about how this would sell in their shops when it seemed more in line with gift wrap. And then at the summer 2011 show? They just weren’t there at all.
But here they were, with a big booth on the show floor at CHA Winter 2012. The Slice was still a big item in the floor space, but there were new paper lines too. Paper lines that were definitely scrapbooking supplies. Though slightly different to things we have seen before. Let’s start with Children at Play.
Rather than their in-house designers, this is a licensed collection with art from Sarah Jane Studios designed to fit the standard line-up of Making Memories products: 12×12 and 6×6 papers, letter stickers, tapes, layered stickers and die-cut shapes.
The paper dolls are an interesting choice. Not at all like the paper dolls that were all over the scrapbooking industry circa 2002 and more like the classic paper dolls that came in a punch-out or cut-out book from childhood. Those of you with little ones: something you would add to scrapbook pages or cards? (And if you are a paper doll fan, have you grabbed a copy of the Black Apple Paper Doll Primer – because that is enough to make me think maybe I do need paper dolls in my life after all. But anyway, back to Making Memories.)
Lots and lots of pink in the girlish side of the collection of course. The album is especially sweet.
And everything also available in blue, with wagons and kites for a soft take on boy-themed scrapbooking. I’m wondering if the nostalgic design of these papers and embellishments make you think of scrapping current photos or older images? For anyone with a stack of mid-century black and white snapshots, this could be the most perfect collection ever – but most of us would have far more current pictures than those older treasures.
But it wasn’t all childhood nostalgia — how about Modern Millinery? A brighter collection with crisp black accents and inspiration from the world of textiles, florals and fascinators.
This reminds me more of the Making Memories collections from their most popular days, but with a touch more drama. Remember Noteworthy? I can see those same florals and mix of pinks, purples and turquoises here, and that was a collection I really loved.
Plenty of textile elements in this collection, plus those classic tiny letters are back at the bottom of a sheet that now includes words and phrases too.
So many lush flowers – but will you put them in an album or on something you can wear or gift? I think this might be a safer move – those last few collections make it seem that Making Memories wants to get into other markets, but this collection could get that cross-over while still being relevant to papercrafters. Perhaps a bit more useful to the bottom line.
And saving the best for last, this was my favourite thing from the Making Memories release: 12×12 lace papers that include a layer of lace, tulle or netting stitched to a cardstock background. I can’t see they would be very useful in pieces, because it would probably be cheaper to buy just the fabric if you wanted to use it in smaller sizes, but as a 12×12 background it gives a new look to the base layer of a page with a lovely texture. Looking forward to giving this one a try!
Opinions then: is Making Memories back on form? Are you excited to see them back on the market?
Since it has been a while since Making Memories has released a new collection, there isn’t a lot of MM in stores now, but you can find a few big bargains here should you want to grab a bit of classic MM before it disappears.05 February 2012