Wednesday, August 29th, 2012
Cute isn’t going away any time soon if the folks from Cosmo Cricket have anything to say about it. The new lines from Cosmo Cricket include S’More Love and Jolly Days are all about cute.
There’s Santa and Dancer in the new Jolly Days line and plenty of cute forest animals in the S’more Love line. The colors are great – think some retro colors and blue and gold included with the holiday papers and the designs are smart.
We’ve always liked Cosmo Cricket papers and I have fond memories of its Dutch Girl collection which I still have some papers from in my stash. These new paper designs are equally as good as any the company has ever made.
Labels: colors, cosmo cricket, cute, Helen Bradley, Jolly Days, new, paper designs, S'More Love, style
Friday, August 24th, 2012
While I first encountered Washi tape in Japan quite a few years ago and well before it became popular here there’s still something super cool about Washi tape that just makes you want to go and grab a roll or two.
Queen & Company better known for cut felt embellishments and buttons is now well and truly a player in the Washi tape business. Sourcing their tape from China they covered their booth at CHA Summer with stripes and full rolls of Washi tape.
If you’re in a market for Washi tape then check out their cool range – they have something for every season, holiday and style including some cool Christmas and Halloween ones.
Labels: cha, cha summer, crafts, Helen Bradley, japan, queen and company, tape, washi, washi tape
Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012
One of the hot design trends at CHA Summer and one that we’ve already nailed here in our studio is chalkboards. Everywhere across the CHA show floor were things painted with chalkboard paint and covered with all sorts of messages.
We saw everything painted with chalkboard paint from old recycled doors to repurposed metal trays. The surfaces were used as places to leave notes, signposts for make and takes and booths and just about everything in between.
If you haven’t delved into this trend, perhaps it’s time to do so. At Michaels recently we discovered chalkboard paint in black and green and Rustoleum has a range of colors in its line of paints. All you needs is a couple of good coats of paint and when dry season the surface by rubbing it with chalk, wipe clean and you’re ready to go.
We liked love the idea of painting chalk onto mason jars to label things in our studio or kitchen, painting it onto glass and canvas and repurposed tins but really there’s practically nothing that won’t take the paint that you can’t find a cool use for.
Labels: cha, chalk board, chalkboard, chalkboard paint, craft, Helen Bradley, personalize, trend
Monday, August 20th, 2012
One trend I saw at Summer CHA that’s not entirely about crafting but is certainly one that’s all about cute is the use of small model cars to decorate workspaces. In no less than three booths I saw cute vintage toy cars being used as display pieces. If you haven’t already encountered the trend then check out your nearest antique shop for cool vehicles that you just can’t live without. I have a series of metal biplanes on my office wall but these cars were so cute I can’t wait to find one for my desk.
Labels: cha, decorate, Helen Bradley, inpiration, model car, vintage, vintage toy cars
Friday, August 17th, 2012
While die cut machines have been around for a while now and almost everyone has at least one, we fell in love with the Sizzix Vagabond, inspired by Tim Holtz. This briefcase size machine looks like a well-traveled briefcase and it opens to reveal a portable die cut machine.
Plug it in, choose your die and you’re off and ready to cut and emboss paper and other materials. The Vagabond works with the smallest of the Sizzix dies all the way through to the big 6″ wide plastic-backed dies and embossing tools. I think it is just so cute that I’m adding it to my Christmas wish list.
Labels: briefcase, die cutter, Helen Bradley, portable, portable die cutting machine, sizzix, sizzix vagabind machine, Tim Holtz, vagabond
Wednesday, August 15th, 2012
Clover clamshell purses
We love products from Clover. This sewing notions manufacturer has always come to the party with good quality products that answer a range of needs. Personally I have a stash of its pompom makers which make making pompoms even down to a small three quarters of an inch in size an absolute breeze.
New in the Clover line is a set of plastic shapes that allow you to create a clamshell purse. You’ll use three of the plastic shapes of the same size for each purse. Cover them with fabric, sew them together and they snap automatically closed to hold coins and other small trinkets. The purse pieces are available in a range of sizes.
What is great about Clover products is that you get to “do it yourself” but the products make success almost guaranteed and you can customize the look by using fabrics and ribbon that you like.
Labels: clam shell purse, Clover, craft, customize, diy, Helen Bradley, purse
Monday, August 13th, 2012
Hot Of The Press www.hotp.com has always been a company that’s been more about paper than anything else. The new Hot Off The Press Color Me Resist Papers are something we haven’t seen a lot of before but they look really great.
These papers are printed black and overlaid with a white shiny almost embossed surface impression. The result is a surface that can be inked and you then wipe away the excess ink from the shiny surface which resists it so it doesn’t dry. With just a few dabs of ink or a dust of chalk you get a multidimensional effect with just a sheet of paper.
Another thing in the Hot Off The Press line is its Color Me Toppers which are plain card printed with a black raised design that you can ink or color. They’re great for scrapbooks and for card making and we love the fact that you get to color them yourself any way you like.
And before we leave things that can be colored and inked I want to look at another trend from CHA – great markers and pencils. Those that we particularly like are the markers from Tombow www.tombowusa.com and their hard to pronounce but love to have Irojien color pencils. Can you believe they even have a neon set that glow in the dark and the boxes they come in are to die for.
Labels: color me resist, color me toppers, color pencils, crafts, Helen Bradley, Hot off the press, irojien, make card, paper, tombow
Friday, August 10th, 2012
I trawled CHA in Chicago Summer to see what was new and what really caught my eye was the preponderance of hot air balloon images. I also got to spend a few minutes chatting with Claudine Hellmuth and told her what I was seeing, she told me that she has a hot air balloon image in her new range for QVC!
In addition to Claudine’s commitment to hot air balloons I saw lots of other hot air balloons in stamps, papers and designs. The Fair Skies paper range from Farmhouse Paper Company http://farmhousepaper.myshopify.com/collections/fair-skies is a cute vintage style paper range with designs that include a hot air balloon paper, clear stamps and other elements such as chipboard shapes including a balloon.
We also found balloons in other manufacturer’s lines and designers were also using them as you can see here.
Labels: balloons, craft trends, crafts, Helen Bradley, hot air balloons
Wednesday, August 8th, 2012
One thing that we think the craft industry has been missing for a long time is Kits. Just recently we see that the need is being answered and a number of manufacturers are coming to the party with good quality craft kits.
One manufacturer whose products we love and use as much as we possibly can is EK Success with its FeltWorks brand. There is a huge range of Dimensions felt kits which include everything that you need to use to make super cute projects including felt monkeys, a cat, dog, a penguin, bird and hedgehog.
If you want to get started in felt and want a challenging but all in one packet of fun then you need look no further than the new FeltWorks felting kits.
Labels: craft kits, everything included, felt works, felting, fletworks, Helen Bradley, kits