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
Monday, August 6th, 2012
At CHA we were captivated by the new paper lines from Basic Grey. The designs are wonderfully retro and illustrated with great images reminiscent of the fifties with lots of textures, florals and whimsical prints.
Basic Grey has always got a lot of things right from its initial launch range of Sublime which to my mind was one of the greatest paper packs every produced. It then progressed through lines such as Presh and Phunky, Lollipop Shop, Blitzen, Oxford to the new lines, Lucille, Soleil, Serenade and Aspen Frost. Check out the full range at Basicgrey.com.
Labels: basic grey, BasicGrey, florals, Helen Bradley, new, paper, retro, whimsical
Friday, August 3rd, 2012
Ranger, home of Tim Holtz and Claudine Hellmuth always has cool new stuff at CHA and great make and takes with these two artists. This Summer the big news was Stickles Glitter and Studio minis.
The stickles glitter is a range of fine dry glitter in colors to suit any project.
Also new is Claudine Hellmuth’s range of open stock Studio Mini Acrylic Paints and Mini Art Mediums http://rangerink.com/ranger-press/claudine-hellmuth-studio-open-stock-mini-paints-mediums/. Now you can grab your favorite colors and mediums without needing to buy an entire set of five. These come in handy .5 oz bottles ideal for sampling colors, they are travel size and you can easily take them to classes and crops. The bottles include a needle-nose applicator tip that makes dots, squiggles and lines, or you can use a paintbrush for wider coverage.
Labels: Claudine Hellmuth, color, crafts, Distress, glitter, Helen Bradley, ink, ranger, Ranger Ink, stickles glitter, Studio, studio minis, Tim Holtz
Wednesday, August 1st, 2012
One of the things that we saw a lot of at CHA was tools for sewing that don’t require you to know much about sewing at all. From We R Memory Keepers http://www.weronthenet.com/ comes the Sew Easy range of tools. These include stitch piercers in a range of designs from scallops to hearts, flowers and zigzag. All you do is run these tools across your cardstock and a pattern of holes for stitching is created automatically for you. You can then stitch in the design.
We R Memory Keepers has an entire range including a Sew Easy Starter Kit, packs with multiple colors of floss/twine in coordinating colors packaged all together. If you’ve ever gone to buy thread at the store you’ll know that buying small quantities is a pain and We R Memory Keepers has this all sorted out for you with their new Sew Easy product line. There is even a Sew Easy circle designer which lets you create circular designs using their tools.
There’s a lot that’s smart about this new range and sewers and scrapbookers alike are going to love it.
Labels: craft, Helen Bradley, keepers, memory, No-sew, sewing, starter kit, we r memorykeepers
Monday, July 30th, 2012
Twice a year the Craft and Hobby Association holds a tradeshow at which up and coming items are previewed. At the recent CHA show in Chicago we were lucky enough to see some of what is new and hot in the industry.
Today it’s a great new measuring tool from the folks at KellyCraft http://www.kellycraftinnovations.com/. Over there they have a Get-It-Straight laser square. It’s a square ruler with a laser sight built in. It’s all powered by a very small battery and it makes sure you get everything lined up all the time. If you’re using clear stamps then the laser light goes clear through them so that you can line up your stamps with precision.
Better still the KellyCraft folk are thinking one step ahead! The very next item on your shopping list once you’ve shelled out for the Laser Square will be something to bling the laser square with. They have a whole series of colorful LaserSkins you can buy to stick on your Laser Square to color coordinate it with your stash. Gotta love that thinking!
Labels: cha, color, craft, diy, Helen Bradley, Kelly, Kellycraft, laser square, skin, summer cha
Monday, July 23rd, 2012
Today’s pincushion is also inspired by Betz White the author of the book Warm Fuzzies.
This time, in addition to Felt Works felt for the spiral, I used more of my felted sweater for the final layer. I added some trim and finished with a pom pom made using one of the mini Clover pom pom makers.
I used to make pom-poms as a kid using cardboard doughnuts but this pom pom maker is easy to use and very very smartly designed. I loved them so much I bought a whole range of sizes, this is one of the mini ones so the pom pom is around 3/4 – 1 inch in size – try making that the old fashioned way!
Labels: Betz White, cup cake, felted, pin cushion, pom pom
Thursday, July 19th, 2012
I am a huge fan of Betz White, her designs totally rock and I bought a copy of her book Warm Fuzzies just for the cute cupcake pin cushions on the cover.
So here is one of the pincushions I made using her method:
I didn’t have a lot of felted sweaters but I did have one so the outside layer is made from the cuff of a hand felted recycled sweater. The middle layers are good old Felt Works felt – I love Felt Works felt because is it bumpy and full of wool felty goodness.
I wrapped two layers of Felt Works felt into a cone and stitched it to fix it. Then I wrapped the lot with a sweater cuff over sewn with some rick rack and pearls. The middle has a big faux pearl and a bead cap to finish.
It’s a fun project to make and I reckon it took me about an hour.
Labels: Betz White, felt, pin cushion
Monday, July 16th, 2012
This felt pincushion was pretty easy to make as I did it using some felted cord I got from Cost Plus.
So, to make it, cover a bottle cap – screw on type – from a soft drink bottle with brown felt. I sewed mine as the felt I was using wouldn’t be glued with Fabri-Tac as the glue came through the felt. I have since bought some Felt Works felt which is proper thick wool felt so this won’t happen again and I can glue it if I want.
Having covered the bottle cap, I filled it with fiber fill and sewed a mini cap on top of it. Then I took the felt cord and cut it up the middle so it flattened out quite a bit. This meant I had a wider cord and provided I kept the cut side pointing inwards it would all work just fine.
I wrapped the felt cord around and around capturing it with a stitch here and there to secure it. I continued until I had a good quantity of felt icing on my cup cake. I finished off with some long narrow beads to make the sprinkles for the cake.
Materials: bottle cap (screw on type), felt cord (also called rope, string), brown felt, beads, needle and thread.
Time taken: about 45 minutes – it is a bit fiddly.
Labels: felt cupcake, how to, pin cushion, tutorial
Thursday, July 12th, 2012
Continuing my bottle cap pin cushion theme here is a simple but oh, so cute! pin cushion.
All you need is some fabric, glue, fiber fill and a bottle cap. I matched the fabric to the bottle cap and didn’t bother covering up any of the text as it just looked fine as it was.
Time to make this little beauty is around 10 minutes.
Cut a circle of fabric about 2-3 times the width of the bottle cap, stitch loosely around it and pull the stitches up to make a little pouch. Fill with fiber fill, knot the thread and glue the fiber filled sack into the bottle cap.
Labels: pin cushion, tutorial