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CHA Winter 2012 :: Creative Imaginations

CHA Winter 2012 :: Creative Imaginations
CHA Winter 2012 :: Creative Imaginations
I have to be honest and say I miss the days when Creative Imaginations was producing the Narratives line of scrapbooking products and since that line went into an indefinite hiatus, nothing there has really inspired me to craft.

However… because something totally kooky caught my eye, I decided it was worth a look around and I ended up taking more photos than I expected.

Of things like a brand new range of 4-H branded papers.

CHA Winter 2012 :: Creative Imaginations
4-H will make no sense here in England, but as someone who grew up in Kansas, I can heartily put my hand up and sing along with ’4-H, for youth, for America, 4-H!’ How do you describe 4-H? Like scouts but it’s girls and boys together? With an emphasis on farming rather than camping? But also on all things handmade, with projects that teach you to bake and sew and craft. And every year’s learning leads to the county fair, where you enter what you’ve created or grown or taken care of all year long and hope to win a prize ribbon. The 4H idea stands for head, hands, health and heart, but that doesn’t explain anything. Basically, it’s a homegrown youth organisation that is most popular in areas with lots of agriculture but has grown to cover all sorts of special interests. Does that make sense?

CHA Winter 2012 :: Creative Imaginations
And long story short, there are now special 4-H themed papers for scrapping all that goes along with the 4-H experience. This is smarter business than many might realise, as the end-of-year assessment book that 4-H members put together to win awards is essentially the first way I scrapbooked. That’s one way to sell a lot of scrapbooking paper to people who don’t know they are scrapbooking!

CHA Winter 2012 :: Creative Imaginations
CHA Winter 2012 :: Creative Imaginations
There is also this doodle line, which is mostly black and white and designed to be coloured in to suit. We’ve seen this come and go over the last fifteen years of the industry, but I think this is the first time we’ve seen it in a very youthful style.

As an aside, it reminds me of a pair of shoes I had in the sixth grade that came with special colouring pencils. A pair of shoes that may have landed me in trouble for colouring on my feet when I was supposed to be listening to a lesson on cell walls in plants. Why oh why do I have remember the details of such things? Moving on.

CHA Winter 2012 :: Creative Imaginations
Wait, wait: what’s this?

CHA Winter 2012 :: Creative Imaginations
Why yes: it’s an Alice in Wonderland collection! It’s under the IOD Designs label and ships in March.

CHA Winter 2012 :: Creative Imaginations
CHA Winter 2012 :: Creative Imaginations
CHA Winter 2012 :: Creative Imaginations
CHA Winter 2012 :: Creative Imaginations
CHA Winter 2012 :: Creative Imaginations
Admittedly, I have a drawer full of Alice in Wonderland party pictures and I’m still not sure I could use every single thing in this collection, but it’s so pretty and dreamy. It’s nice to see an Alice collection that is light and airy – I have found a few other Alice-themed designs to be very dark or very cartoony, so this is a happy medium.

CHA Winter 2012 :: Creative Imaginations
CHA Winter 2012 :: Creative Imaginations
CHA Winter 2012 :: Creative Imaginations
CHA Winter 2012 :: Creative Imaginations
CHA Winter 2012 :: Creative Imaginations
The same artist also has a Raggedy Ann and Andy line, at which point the Creative Imaginations booth really started to do crazy things to my mind, as my bedroom as a toddler was decorated entirely in Raggedy Ann and Andy, so between doodle shoes, 4-H papers and this, I was a little overwhelmed in memory land!

CHA Winter 2012 :: Creative Imaginations
And then I was brought back to the modern day with butterflies. Hurrah.

CHA Winter 2012 :: Creative Imaginations
But are you ready for the real crazy? This was the line I would ask people if they had seen yet and they would just look at me in amazement and say ‘surely not’. But yes. I bring you a scrapbook collection based on… Awkward Family Photos. A website entirely based on laughing at old photos that now seem very strange. And the collection looks like this:

CHA Winter 2012 :: Creative Imaginations
CHA Winter 2012 :: Creative Imaginations
CHA Winter 2012 :: Creative Imaginations
CHA Winter 2012 :: Creative Imaginations
Somehow… I’m not convinced. I mean yes, it’s a funny idea. But I’m not convinced.

And then there’s the ultimate scrapbooking gag gift:
CHA Winter 2012 :: Creative Imaginations
Yes. A premade album ready for you to add your own collection of awkward family photos.

CHA Winter 2012 :: Creative Imaginations
Complete with themed divider pages with excerpts from their book/website.

CHA Winter 2012 :: Creative Imaginations
CHA Winter 2012 :: Creative Imaginations
The baby themed divider? Includes a baby posed with head in hands who just happens to be throwing a rather rude gesture toward the camera as a result. Seriously? For scrapbookers? Exactly what kind of store is going to stock this item? It seems like the sort of thing you would find in a joke shop… but joke shops don’t really attend CHA. And I think it would take a special kind of scrapbook store owner to stock many of these alongside supplies for the serious crafter.

So points for making me laugh? Yes. Dollars for making me order? Not so much.

Now you’re all going to send me one of these for Christmas, aren’t you? I can see it now: Journal your Awkward Family Photos 2012.

Sigh.

CHA Winter 2012 :: Hambly Screenprints

CHA Winter 2012 :: Hambly Screenprints
CHA Winter 2012 :: Hambly Screenprints
I love how some things become such a trademark and these paper lamps covered in Hambly transparencies? They are a total tradeshow trademark now. Hambly always have a small but perfect booth and as soon as I can see the lamps, I know there is good stuff to be found.

CHA Winter 2012 :: Hambly Screenprints
You need to know that Hambly also have awesome customer service and because they are small, they have this small team that talks to people so personally and they are just extra welcoming. So I walk up and they say ‘Stop right there: we know where we have to start. Let me show you this…’ and that ‘this’?

It’s CAMERA PRINTED WASHI TAPE.
Be still my heart.

I may have told them if I have to give up clothes and start dressing as a mummy, I want to be a mummy clad in camera-printed washi tape. True story. (Obviously I’m talking Egyptian wrapped-in-bandages mummy. Not British mother of small children mummy. I don’t think they generally change their clothing habits that dramatically.)

So yes, let’s focus. There’s new washi tape and that collection includes a camera print, and also a larger size with labels, perfect for adding right to a photo or for attaching an overlay to your layout. Nice.

CHA Winter 2012 :: Hambly Screenprints
Some pretty-pretty pages from the Hambly design team.

CHA Winter 2012 :: Hambly Screenprints
Brand new mini overlay sheets, perfect for adding transparent layers to divided page protectors. Love these, and will be stalking the new products at Two Peas for their arrival day as I’m sure they will be gone in no time. May have learned that one by experience.

CHA Winter 2012 :: Hambly Screenprints
The mini overlays also include labels. Cut apart then attach to your project with tape, staples, stitches, brads or clear adhesives like spray glue or a Xyron machine. (Or if you’re adding more layers, use your regular adhesive and just hide it with something else on top.)

CHA Winter 2012 :: Hambly Screenprints
Six new patterned papers in a different look for Hambly – two with very colourful prints and four with just one main colour, including a chevron for good measure.

CHA Winter 2012 :: Hambly Screenprints
And these look very fun indeed – mistable papers with a resist pattern – in clouds and hexagon prints (and a couple other patterns). Just add mist or ink over the top and the pattern will stay white but you can customise the background colour.

CHA Winter 2012 :: Hambly Screenprints
Which means even if you want to make the sky behind those clouds blue, you can do so with your own amount of colour and shading, and create pretty faded looks like this example with blue at the top but the pale paper at the bottom.

CHA Winter 2012 :: Hambly Screenprints
Eeep: do you see what I see? Map print overlays? Indeed!

CHA Winter 2012 :: Hambly Screenprints
In fact lots of things that are relatively travel-themed. Clouds…

CHA Winter 2012 :: Hambly Screenprints
Airplanes…

CHA Winter 2012 :: Hambly Screenprints
…what I’m convinced looks like the graph paper they use with a seismometer? I could be way off here, but it’s fancy graph paper. Let’s go with that.

CHA Winter 2012 :: Hambly Screenprints
And non-travel things too, like two different chevrons and a hexagon design.

CHA Winter 2012 :: Hambly Screenprints
Diagonal stripes and herribone – all four of those will be really easy to use for plenty of themes.

CHA Winter 2012 :: Hambly Screenprints
CHA Winter 2012 :: Hambly Screenprints
And the map!

So do excuse me if you see someone dressed as a mummy in camera-printed washi tape holding a see-through map trying to find her way around town. Sadly there is just something about the unique products that Hambly creates that causes me to go a little less than normal.

In more acceptable terms, let’s hope we can get these products and use them on craft projects. Screen-prints are made to order so the shipping times will vary, but look for these to start hitting stores in late March.

Click here to shop for Hambly products, including select designs at 25% off.

CHA Winter 2012 :: Dylusions from Ranger

CHA Winter 2012 :: Dylusions from Ranger
CHA Winter 2012 :: Dylusions from Ranger
If you’re a big-time Ranger fan, you will have already sought out all things Tim Holtz and so on, so do forgive me for not showing you the entire booth. I’m really boring when it comes to inks and I like Distress Inks for the edges and Jenni Bowlin inks for stamping and that’s pretty much where I stop.

But pretty sprays in bottles? That does catch my attention.

CHA Winter 2012 :: Dylusions from Ranger
Dylusions is new to the Ranger family but not really new to many crafters here in England. Dyan Reaveley has been crafting at Art from the Heart in Yorkshire for ages, and has brought very cool innovations to brightly coloured papercrafting, with her own ranges of papers, stamps, paints and mists. Having been appointed as a signature designer for Ranger, her fabulousness gets to go global. Very exciting.

CHA Winter 2012 :: Dylusions from Ranger
CHA Winter 2012 :: Dylusions from Ranger
This debut line of products includes beautiful mist colours and a wide range of masks, with her signature style and lots of freedom in the designs. The perfect remedy for anyone stifled by too many straight lines!

CHA Winter 2012 :: Dylusions from Ranger
CHA Winter 2012 :: Dylusions from Ranger
CHA Winter 2012 :: Dylusions from Ranger
Plus all these stamps! Lots of hand-drawn goodness and stamps that layer together for collage effects. A very different style to some of the other products I’ve highlighted from the show, and it’s for that very reason that I was happy to see this collection appear. Good to know that we’re still very much an industry about creative freedom and inclusion, even when there are perhaps fewer collections and manufacturers than a few years ago. I love the energy in this line.

CHA Winter 2012 :: Dylusions from Ranger
And my favourite thing is how bright the colours are in the Dylusions mists! The colours are sheer but layerable, so the right side shows you the difference a second coat can make, along with a mask. For a long time I thought Ranger was all about the earth tones, so when they release products with bright colours it makes me smile – and these are their brightest tones yet.

CHA Winter 2012 :: Dylusions from Ranger
CHA Winter 2012 :: Dylusions from Ranger
CHA Winter 2012 :: Dylusions from Ranger
CHA Winter 2012 :: Dylusions from Ranger
CHA Winter 2012 :: Dylusions from Ranger
Here you can get an idea for Dyan’s own creative style and how these products look when used together in altered art and art journal pages. So very different to my own projects and yet I could look at them all day, peering at the tiniest of details!

CHA Winter 2012 :: Dylusions from Ranger
But in case you’re not quite convinced just yet, there are certain elements hiding in this collection that might be right up your street even if you’re not working in layers of technicolour mist – like these phrase stamps (and also the journaling lines and bunting to the left). Perfect for scrapbook pages and cards – and adaptable to any style and colour combination you fancy! I love looking for treasures like this.

The stamps are shipping now and mists and masks ship later in February, so look for them to hit stores soon.

Click here to shop for products from Ranger, and today find a few Dylusions stamp sets for 50% off!

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.

CHA Winter 2012 :: Cosmo Cricket

CHA Winter 2012 :: Cosmo Cricket
CHA Winter 2012 :: Cosmo Cricket
Cosmo Cricket has had an interesting year, shifting from an independent company wherein the designers were the same people doing all the other business involved in a paper company – sales, marketing, production and fulfillment – to being acquired by Advantus, a parent company that covered the older Heidi Swapp brand and The Girls’ Paperie, along with their ongoing brands like Cropper Hopper organisation and Ideaology by Tim Holtz. In theory, this would allow the designers to focus on their true strength and create great paper collections without so much of the worry from other sides of the business. So perhaps this show was a bit of a test of that partnership.

CHA Winter 2012 :: Cosmo Cricket
I’m thinking they definitely passed. Cosmo released four new collections, and they are some of my favourites since the days of Early Bird and Girl Friday (my two favourite Cosmo collections of all time).

CHA Winter 2012 :: Cosmo Cricket
Plenty of pretty samples and clever booth design with drawers and suitcases as shelves. Lovely!

CHA Winter 2012 :: Cosmo Cricket
CHA Winter 2012 :: Cosmo Cricket
CHA Winter 2012 :: Cosmo Cricket
They’ve long had tiny letter stickers in the Tiny Text line, and added phrases with the releases last summer, which sold out quickly… so perhaps not a surprise to see further expansion here. Plus layered stickers, which are something new for them.

CHA Winter 2012 :: Cosmo Cricket
This is Evangeline, the most formal of the four collections. Cardstock stickers, chipboard pieces, 6×6 papers and a journaling notepad.

CHA Winter 2012 :: Cosmo Cricket
I think that grammatical error is just added with a printer, not from the product line. I hope. Because otherwise I love this card. So charming.

CHA Winter 2012 :: Cosmo Cricket
CHA Winter 2012 :: Cosmo Cricket
Tea for Two feels a bit more like a country kitchen. Soft reds and blues with fabric-inspired patterns.
And yes, washi tape for each collection. It’s 2012, after all. Must have washi tape!

CHA Winter 2012 :: Cosmo Cricket
CHA Winter 2012 :: Cosmo Cricket
CHA Winter 2012 :: Cosmo Cricket
I thought the embellishments were nice and then I saw that layout with the bouquet of chipboard flowers and decided they needed an upgrade to lovely.

CHA Winter 2012 :: Cosmo Cricket
And we shift to more muted tones and perhaps the Cosmo take on the Pantone colour of the year with this bookish line called Twenty-Three.

CHA Winter 2012 :: Cosmo Cricket
CHA Winter 2012 :: Cosmo Cricket
Pink, grey and something that is a step back from tangerine. Interesting… and I like it.

I may have been swayed by all the old cameras.

CHA Winter 2012 :: Cosmo Cricket
CHA Winter 2012 :: Cosmo Cricket
Or this lush cut-apart caption paper.

CHA Winter 2012 :: Cosmo Cricket
Or some lush layouts.

CHA Winter 2012 :: Cosmo Cricket
CHA Winter 2012 :: Cosmo Cricket
Or the idea that pinwheels and numbers and stripes are all elements that are very easy to use. I wonder what other collections this will get mixed with on layouts – the grey will tie it to other things easily for those who love to mix and match.

CHA Winter 2012 :: Cosmo Cricket
Last of the four collections is Baby Jane – something quite bright and versatile, so don’t let the ‘baby’ in the name fool you!

CHA Winter 2012 :: Cosmo Cricket
The papers definitely aren’t baby-themed – great for all sorts of scrapping in red and turquoise. (A colour combination I love!)

CHA Winter 2012 :: Cosmo Cricket
CHA Winter 2012 :: Cosmo Cricket
CHA Winter 2012 :: Cosmo Cricket
In the embellishments, you’ll spy a few babies and prams, in a Victorian style, but plenty of florals and sewing motifs as well. And measuring tape in washi form.

These collections ship to stores in March! Which is your favourite? And is this a return to form from Cosmo Cricket? I’m excited for great things to continue now their designers can focus on their creative energies with papers that will be so versatile.

Click here to shop for Cosmo Cricket products, including some great 50% off deals while they last!

CHA Winter 2012 :: American Crafts

CHA Winter 2012 :: American Crafts
CHA Winter 2012 :: American Crafts
In addition to their designer brands Amy Tangerine and Dear Lizzy, American Crafts had quite a few new products in their classic branding, so let’s start today with a look at all that, shall we?

CHA Winter 2012 :: American Crafts
Fresh Squeezed is a summery home-themed line, with plenty of kitchen and fruit motifs mixed with a Scandinavian vibe.

CHA Winter 2012 :: American Crafts
CHA Winter 2012 :: American Crafts
Lots of red, brown, yellow and turquoise.

CHA Winter 2012 :: American Crafts
Sorry about this slightly rubbish photo, but I wanted to show you that last b-side paper – patterned quadrants! One of my favourite ways to mix patterned papers except now it’s already done. Perfect for quick scrapping.

CHA Winter 2012 :: American Crafts
Thickers in a lush spring green, plus layered and flat stickers. The phrases on the flat stickers would be particularly useful for cards, as the reverse includes quite a few things that would work well as greetings.

CHA Winter 2012 :: American Crafts
Recipe cards. Quite pretty and could make a lovely gift.

CHA Winter 2012 :: American Crafts
And hurrah: paper pinwheels are still here. Even if even lighting is not. Win some, lose some.

CHA Winter 2012 :: American Crafts
AC’s new DIY line is something for anyone who ever wanted Thickers in a particular colour or style that wasn’t in the line up… now you can make them yourself.

CHA Winter 2012 :: American Crafts
CHA Winter 2012 :: American Crafts
Start with your choice of font – these are all styles we know from previous Thickers collections.

CHA Winter 2012 :: American Crafts
CHA Winter 2012 :: American Crafts
Then customise with your choice of sparkle, including extra-fine and chunky glitters, tinsel (like glitter in little strips) and microbeads. There were also samples that were heat embossed with embossing powders and coloured with markers, though I’m not completely sure how the colouring with markers works if there is an adhesive layer on the top. Will investigate that further sometime soon.

CHA Winter 2012 :: American Crafts
Chromatics is a new marker line out this spring, and basically American Crafts’ answer to Copics and Promarkers. Chromatics are alcohol-based inks that blend gorgeously with ease. I gave these a try and they do shading and faded colour so very well on the very first try, so these are promising if you’re in the market for markers. Plus there is something they have done that is oh so smart:

CHA Winter 2012 :: American Crafts
They come packed in threes of perfectly picked shades for fading from one colour to the next. No more looking at a zillion markers and wondering which ones will work best or where to start. Choose a colour of the rainbow and then the shades are already ready for you. Smart.

CHA Winter 2012 :: American Crafts
Glitter Tape was a new focus where American Crafts would usually have an entire new section of ribbon. Perfect for adding sparkle that won’t fall apart on the page and has no mess. It comes in half-inch and quarter-inch widths and the colours, like those in the bottles of glitter, match the American Crafts cardstock colours.

Which of course led me to ask ‘is there kraft glitter?’ to which I was looked at with bemusement. Um… apparently if you make kraft metallic, it’s essentially gold.

I may not have thought of that when I asked.

CHA Winter 2012 :: American Crafts
CHA Winter 2012 :: American Crafts
There are, at least, shades of gold and silver so there really is one that is perfect for kraft and not overly yellow. Disaster averted.

CHA Winter 2012 :: American Crafts
Then we have Gardenia, a garden-themed spring that doesn’t go anywhere near the pastel shades. The Thickers for this collection have a new hand-drawn look.

CHA Winter 2012 :: American Crafts
I especially love that green swirl! I must admit gardening lines make me a little wistful from my little flat with no grass to call our own, but on closer inspection these aren’t overly themed and can be used for any number of topics. Just treat them as any other floral or polka dot or butterfly.

CHA Winter 2012 :: American Crafts
Plenty of layers in the embellishments, and again one particular pack that seems well-suited to cards.

CHA Winter 2012 :: American Crafts
These two are must-haves: a really versatile thank you stamp and plain wooden buttons that can be left as-is and look great tied with brightly coloured threads or you can paint them to match your project. You can even sparkle them with some glimmer mist.

CHA Winter 2012 :: American Crafts
Cute printed clothes pegs, but a bit big for most scrapbook pages. Handy for mini books and all other sorts of things that don’t require packing into a page protector. Or break them in half to use them on a layout for the illusion of a whole peg.

CHA Winter 2012 :: American Crafts
The printed die-cut shapes from the original Amy Tangerine collection were so popular the idea is now cropping up in several AC collections. Plus there’s an additional flat alphabet sticker set in the right colours for these papers.

CHA Winter 2012 :: American Crafts
And a few projects from the AC in-house designers to illustrate that Gardenia is useful for far more than gardening photos!

Ship dates: The glitters (called Wow, Pop and Spark) and DIY Thickers ship right now. Glitter tapes and Fresh Squeezed ship later in February. Chromatics markers and Gardenia ship in March.

Click here to shop for American Crafts products.

CHA Winter 2012 :: Echo Park

CHA Winter 2012 :: Echo Park
CHA Winter 2012 :: Echo Park
Echo Park is an interesting one. They have a different business model than most every other company out there. A new collection ships to stores every six weeks, and it’s almost entirely paper. Each collection has a 12×12 sheet of stickers and one of letters, and then some collections have a small group of embellishments like these – but that’s just for something special. And for the past year, we’ve seen so many styles from Echo Park as they introduced new designers for almost every collection, meaning the look could change dramatically from month to month.

Let’s keep that in mind and see what you think about their release here at the winter show.

CHA Winter 2012 :: Echo Park
This & That is actually two collections – this colourway is called ‘Charming’ and there’s a more feminine colour scheme called ‘Graceful’. But I’m not going to pay any mind to this being a boy and a girl collection, because look at this! Vintage cameras and globes? I’m totally in.

CHA Winter 2012 :: Echo Park
Echo Park only feature a few projects on their booth each show. I would love to see more! But what they do have is really lovely. This layout is by Amy Heller. So here’s an example of Charming…

CHA Winter 2012 :: Echo Park
…and this is from Graceful. Pretty rose tones with plenty of aqua.

CHA Winter 2012 :: Echo Park
CHA Winter 2012 :: Echo Park
And that’s mostly it in terms of example projects!

CHA Winter 2012 :: Echo Park
CHA Winter 2012 :: Echo Park
Embellishments and papers from the Graceful version of This & That include florals, silhouettes and hot air balloons. I like this but I would have loved more cameras with the pink too… but then I never tire of camera images.

CHA Winter 2012 :: Echo Park
So let’s take a closer look at stickers and paper, shall we?

CHA Winter 2012 :: Echo Park
CHA Winter 2012 :: Echo Park
CHA Winter 2012 :: Echo Park
CHA Winter 2012 :: Echo Park
CHA Winter 2012 :: Echo Park
CHA Winter 2012 :: Echo Park
CHA Winter 2012 :: Echo Park
Yes, that is definitely my favourite. I’ll take a whole pack of twenty-five, thanks.

CHA Winter 2012 :: Echo Park
CHA Winter 2012 :: Echo Park
The border sheet is quite lush too! Love the same motifs but all lined up in a row. I am easily pleased.

CHA Winter 2012 :: Echo Park
Then there’s a third collection: Note to Self. Just one colour scheme with this no embellishments – just 12×12 papers plus two 12×12 sticker sheets. But I can sum up my excitement for this collection with one photo.

This:
CHA Winter 2012 :: Echo Park
View.Master.Reels.

It’s one of those things I never knew I needed, but I instantly loved. Viewmaster reels on a patterned paper make me very happy indeed, and I have no intention of staging a photo session with my Viewmaster just to use this paper, but rather plan to just use it as a vaguely photographic-themed paper to go with pretty much anything.

CHA Winter 2012 :: Echo Park
Don’t worry: there is far more to this collection than Viewmasters, I promise. Lots of themes that would work well with all sorts of everyday scrapping.

CHA Winter 2012 :: Echo Park
Cut-apart cards for writing and captions.

CHA Winter 2012 :: Echo Park
The two sticker sets include motifs on this sheetand another with alphabets.

CHA Winter 2012 :: Echo Park
CHA Winter 2012 :: Echo Park
Echo Park have also added two new colour schemes to their dots and stripes collections, which are great packs for getting more pages from your other favourite collections, provided you can find a good colour to coordinate. So this should add to that library of options.

Now here’s what came of those thoughts from the very beginning. Throughout the past year, Echo Park featured many different designers with many different styles. Although they made the same types of products with each collection, the look wasn’t particularly similar from collection to collection. Yet at this show, the designs on the floor look very consistent. But that’s an easy explanation: the three collections all share the same designer in Lori Whitlock. Whether this is something EP will continue with throughout 2012 I really don’t know, but I do think these lines are strong and form a recognisable look for the brand. I would love to see continued lines from Lori – but perhaps it is easier for me to say that when I’m not looking at their other collections at the same time. Is there another collection’s style that you’re missing from this line up?

EP also announced something called Mini Themes, but I couldn’t get photos of these as buyers needed to get pretty close to the display to get all the details – and every time I walked by there were plenty of buyers doing just that. There are sixteen different themes represented, and rather than the style of the big collections, these are very traditional themes like birthday, baby, dance, baseball and camping. Those are sold as packs with six 12×12 papers and one 6×12 (I think?) sticker sheet. You can have a look at those here.

Ship dates: This & That and Dots & Stripes ship to stores in February. Note to Self and the mini themes ship in March, and there’s a summer line to follow that in April.

Click here to shop for Echo Park products.

CHA Winter 2012 :: GCD Studios

CHA Winter 2012 :: GCD Studios
CHA Winter 2012 :: GCD Studios
When I happened buy the GCD Studios booth, they had just greeted buyers from two of the biggest players in the retail market so I did my best to stay out of the way but it also meant I didn’t get to talk to anyone here so I don’t have lots of lovely back story on these collections. Instead you’ll just have to go with plenty of photos and a few quips on what I did and didn’t love!

CHA Winter 2012 :: GCD Studios
Since the last time I saw their booth, GCD have really stepped up the game with the quality of the layouts displayed on their booth. Not that they weren’t good before – but they were really lush this time and made me want to get off the show floor and back to cutting and sticking paper!

So how about a closer look at all that pretty?
CHA Winter 2012 :: GCD Studios
CHA Winter 2012 :: GCD Studios
CHA Winter 2012 :: GCD Studios
CHA Winter 2012 :: GCD Studios
CHA Winter 2012 :: GCD Studios
CHA Winter 2012 :: GCD Studios
CHA Winter 2012 :: GCD Studios
CHA Winter 2012 :: GCD Studios
This is all from the Splendor line, designed by Heather Tozzi.

CHA Winter 2012 :: GCD Studios
Pinks, turquoises, birds and woodgrain. It wouldn’t be filed under brand new innovation, but it would be easy to use and like all those projects demonstrate, it’s very pretty in project form.

CHA Winter 2012 :: GCD Studios
CHA Winter 2012 :: GCD Studios
CHA Winter 2012 :: GCD Studios
That zig-zag was a little different than all the others on the floor. It reminds me of the jersey fabrics a few years back that had a similar pattern – a sort of variegated chevron.

CHA Winter 2012 :: GCD Studios
CHA Winter 2012 :: GCD Studios
CHA Winter 2012 :: GCD Studios
This bit of gorgeousness is the new Oh Happy Day line by Heidi Sonboul, with roses and clouds and chevrons.

CHA Winter 2012 :: GCD Studios
CHA Winter 2012 :: GCD Studios
Sometimes at the same time!

CHA Winter 2012 :: GCD Studios
Such a pretty arrangement of colours. I love that the spring lines this year were all rich colours and no one felt compelled to work in sickly-sweet pastels. I find those colours look lovely in a sweet jar but it’s hard to make them work well with photographs. These colours, on the other hand, will work well with all sorts of pictures.

CHA Winter 2012 :: GCD Studios
Interestingly, there were several lines that had the same feel – a red and blue line called Flower Child, a green and blue line called Bonjour and a red and teal line called Country Charm, but then one line that was very different – Storytime, with a youthful focus. An interesting choice, and after much discussion at the show that themed products do well in the remaining traditional stores but are less popular with the online shopping audience, I wonder if this is one of those dividing lines. I shop online and would definitely go for Splendor or Oh Happy Day, but I wonder if this line sold well to traditional neighbourhood stores.

Curious minds want to know… but I can only guess of course!

See the GCD website for stockist information.