ScrapbookIndustryNews: pretty paper. true stories. {and scrapbooking classes with cupcakes.}: CHA Winter 2012 :: French General

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CHA Winter 2012 :: French General

CHA Winter 2012 :: French General
CHA Winter 2012 :: French General
Every once in a while there is a little surprise at CHA that you could miss entirely if you don’t look carefully. This time that surprise was a collection called French General.

It’s inspired by an actual store, with the same name, filled with carefully curated vintage finds and Parisian chic wares by Kaari Meng. A look at the shop website will give you every confirmation that the store could easily translate to a craft line. Certainly. (And Moda already makes a French General fabric line.)

But what I didn’t see coming was the label behind it all. This is the new look for Jolee’s Boutique – the same branch of EK Success that has been making layered, themed embellishments for years. The same company that sells a tiny paper replica of Tower Bridge. That’s who is making this. And that’s why it was my biggest surprise.

CHA Winter 2012 :: French General
Overall, this is a button line. A dramatically elegant and stylish button line, but I do mean the vast majority of the product consists of buttons. All sorts of vintage buttons recreated so they can be available easily and consistently, so you don’t have to book a trip to Portobello Road to sift through every market stall in search of something right for your project.

CHA Winter 2012 :: French General
Buttons… but also paper. Lots of small paper options. Stacks of it – 64 pieces in the pack.

CHA Winter 2012 :: French General
Coordinating tags and twine – perfect for party decor and gift giving. Could work beautifully for the right kind of wedding too.

CHA Winter 2012 :: French General
Prettily packaged ribbons – again reproductions of lush vintage pieces. (Spotlights in product booths: you are not my friend.)

CHA Winter 2012 :: French General
These button cards are designed so everything except the outside plastic is part of the product – so you could use the buttons alone or you can use the small card they are on or you can use the larger card that holds the small cards. You never knew you needed so many layers of button-holding-papers, but suddenly you do! If only because it’s very, very pretty.

CHA Winter 2012 :: French General
Memo-board collections of ephemera – I’m not sure on this one, as I always get a bit confused with reproduction ephemera. Do I want real tickets in my scrapbooks? From things I have actually attended? Or should I have pretty paper versions of things that possibly didn’t even happen in my lifetime? I know some artists will make beautiful things with these – I’m just interested to see how they use them!

CHA Winter 2012 :: French General
There are full variety packs that can be used as page kits – or I think you could use one spread throughout a full album to add the French Market touch to things you’ve made with your existing supplies.

This collection really reminds me of Rebecca Sower and the days when she was scrapbooking prolifically – she had her own line of supplies (with EK Success) and wrote some very beautiful books and had this very homespun and heartwarming style to her work. Her embellishment line was flat paper that looked like it had real buttons and felt and all sorts of things. I know this line is the work of the French General team, but there is a dreamy part of me that thinks there is a natural link to Rebecca’s work from those years and this evolution to the days when flat scrapbook pages are quite rare. (I remember far too clearly the days when we had discussions about the dangers of putting buttons on pages! Rebecca was a daredevil by those terms!)

CHA Winter 2012 :: French General
And onto seeing these products in action: all those layers of paper and card behind the buttons. See, we do need them after all!

CHA Winter 2012 :: French General
Of course my scrapping desk always looks this beautiful with my supplies just waiting to be put to use. Oh. Wait. Maybe it doesn’t. But it could?

CHA Winter 2012 :: French General
CHA Winter 2012 :: French General
CHA Winter 2012 :: French General
A little preview of pretty things that can be created – but I think we’ll see more come from this once the product is out there and ready to be mixed and crafted in any style, of course. But I’m still a little shocked that this is Jolee’s Boutique. Did not see that coming.

CHA Winter 2012 :: French General
Determined to include a shopping trip to see the real thing next time I’m in California… but look for all these products to hit stores in March.

08 February 2012

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48 Comments for CHA Winter 2012 :: French General

  1. soapHOUSEmama Says:

    oooh, how fun! And surprising! I am interested in those little paper packs….

  2. Miriam Prantner Says:

    These are beautiful. Thanks for sharing! I haven’t seen pictures of any of this yet. I love those buttons!

  3. Carly Says:

    These are so pretty! I am always putting buttons on my pages so I am really excited for these.

  4. Rebecca Lovell Says:

    I think these are lovely!! I can’t wait to see them in person!

  5. KarenScraps Says:

    Oh my! These are very cool — and a departure from the typical Jolee’s look. Thank you so much for “spotlighting” these (couldn’t resist:). I’ll be on the lookout. PS I miss Rebecca, too…

  6. Cyndee K Says:

    All those buttons look amazing!

  7. Bunnyfreak Says:

    Love the vintage style buttons. Would be interested to see what you desk really looks like when you are working (not just when filming a video)

  8. Sara Says:

    Oh, I am a long time fan of French General and Rebecca Sower. I still have some of her designs in my stash. Jolee’s new French General line looks lovely. I’m sure I’ll become a collector.Thanks for such good coverage of all things CHA.

  9. Andrea R. Says:

    those buttons are so pretty! Thanks for showing them off!

  10. Caroline Says:

    I’m completely gobsmacked by this range, such a huge departure from Jolee’s usual style (a style which, I confess, I really dislike). I adore this range and the packaging on the ribbons and buttons is a masterstroke. I will certainly be looking out for this range once it hits the stores.

  11. chel Says:

    Wow- I’m impressed and intrigued!

  12. rosie Says:

    I can’t wait to see these in the stores. I really like vintage buttons. The ephemera is really nice also.

  13. Jacky S Says:

    I love these….and can’t wait to get my hands on some.

  14. NancyLee Says:

    Holy buttons! I love them all and all fr Jolee? I have a few bits and pieces of their embellishments but these buttons are definitely must haves. Beauty….

  15. SusanB Says:

    Shimelle, you’re killing me with your fabulous recaps. I’ve been adding so many things from your posts to my wishlist and some French General goodies are now on that list too.

  16. Kristin A. Says:

    So many pretty things. I feel like I’ve just browsed through a fabulous flea market. Thank you for sharing.

  17. Julia Says:

    Shimelle I’m really enjoying all your updates from CHA. Thanks for sharing them. Have to say this one has me very excited! It’s just gorgeous!

  18. LindaHAZ Says:

    such lovely packaging and looks so much fun to play with. Thanks for sharing this company will definately be on the lookout for this line.

  19. Debby B. Says:

    Love the packaging that could make some really great minibooks. Perhaps you could turn the idea around and put in buttons from favourite clothing that is now no more? Hmmm.

  20. Sharon Hunt Says:

    I could have a lot of fun with all that packaging alone!

  21. saycindy Says:

    Wow I loved Rebecca Sower too. I bought a huge assortment of those flat embellishment cards of hers from QVC. At the time I was like, what am I going to do with so many of these. Guess what, I used almost all of them. Bet I can still hunt one or two down from my stash too.

    Love this new line French General, can’t wait to see and use it. I love anything vintage style, it reminds me of my home town and going to the rural flee markets.
  22. Kathy R Says:

    The little bits of paper look interesting along with those beautiful buttons and the cards they are on. Will definitely be watching for these.

  23. Kelly Says:

    What a gorgeous line. Stunned that it could possibly be Jolee’s. I definitely “need” some of the button cards to add to my stash.

  24. margie visnick Says:

    I love everything vintage-how gorgeous is all of this!

  25. linda Says:

    wow, very cool that it’s inspired by a real store :)

  26. marianne Says:

    I think these look wonderful!

  27. Lisa-Jane Johnson Says:


  28. Natalie Says:

    I’m probably on my own when I say that I really like the traditional Jolee’s embellishments! I find them really cute and they are a fun add-on to themed pages. I know it’s not trendy and I should be decorating LOs with woodgrain and chevrons (and I do!), but I love a cute little layered sticker as well!

    Back to this new line – love the buttons and the packaging that can be used. Am with you on replica emphemera – but I suppose they would make cute accents on a vintage page?

  29. AllisonLP Says:

    I’m not big on buttons, but I do like twine. Intersting line….

  30. Therese A Says:

    Thank you so much for your wonderful and thorough coverage of CHA. I can always count on your blog to see what is coming out and the best of the show. You are the best! thanks!!!

  31. Natalie Says:

    These are really pretty, but I have a feeling that if I were to get some, I would just hoard them and gloat over their prettiness rather than use them ;-)

  32. Candy Says:

    Wow, I didn’t think I’d ever say “I need Jolees” again. They are beautiful.

  33. LisaE Says:

    This collection has fantastic packaging, you could do a lot with that as well as the product.

  34. Julia M. Says:

    very pretty things!

  35. Debra Says:

    I love your product reviews because you always add other thoughts other than the obvious. I love the history-of-the-industry bits you add in too. I remember Rebecca Sower…oh yes, back in the day. A look at the French General shop would be fab – I’m sure it is. I think I’ve seen it in one of those Where Women Create books? Anyway, nice. I was surprised the line was by Jolee’s too.

  36. Lisa M. Zepponi Says:

    I am so excited about this new line by jolee!!!

  37. kate Says:

    Oh YUM! Love this collection, the taggy tags are gorgeous. However, I love the original Jolees too! Do you know if they continue to make them?

  38. nothingprecious Says:

    I’m not very shabby and vintage but this look so so pretty

  39. Angela Hathikhanavala Says:

    French General is one of those stores I’ve admired from afar — now I can bring little bits of it home. Nice!

  40. Jill Says:

    Very cool! Tags, twine, buttons!! love it!

  41. HeatherC Says:

    This is another one of those lines that if someone just told me about it I would say no way — but seeing it there are bits and pieces that are so pretty. Love the tags!

  42. April W Says:

    Wow, what gorgeous buttons!!

  43. Marian Says:

    How fun and exciting. All the buttons are so pretty.

  44. ruth tacoma Says:

    LOVE the button cards!!

  45. Breeze Says:

    Completely surprised by this line! Who would have thought.. I can see lots of this working with some of my existing stash. Thanks for sharing!

  46. Debra Stoner Says:

    Oh dear…being a francophile I am doomed…must add another drawer for these…have always loved their fabrics n lovely bits n pieces.

  47. Maja Says:


  48. scrapbooking Says:

    Its really wonderful how i wish i can have all of that. What is you’re favorite among those collections Shimelle? You and Cha is the best!!!

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