Hey friends. Hope you are doing well and enjoying this air of excitement and creativity in the air. I’ve been feeling so inspired lately and I’m so very happy to have a few days off from my jobs that pay the bills to be able to sit down, write and make pretty things.
So this is the official kickoff of my post-CHA coverage. (To see all of the CHA coverage so far, click here.) Over the next week or so, I’ll be sharing my favorite bits and pieces from the show and sharing a few stories along the way. Some products I love because they’re new or exciting, some because they’re very well-done and impressive and others because they’re full of meaning and have a story.
That’s one overwhelmingly awesome thing about seeing the lines in person; you get to talk to the people who made them. These are the people that got inspired, created, struggled with and had successes with these projects. For a lot of people bringing their own line or bringing an entirely new company to the show, this is not only their creative concept, but it’s also their livelihood and their big risk that they’re taking.
I’d like to start out coverage today by introducing you to a few new companies that either launched recently, are new to papercrafting or are new to me. These all knocked my socks off in different ways, and I love that each line comes from it’s own angle and inspiration. Note: click on the individual pictures to view them at full size for more detail.
Until I walked up to this booth, I had never heard of AHA arts before. Rachel Goldberg has already had some success in the art and licensing world, but this is her first venture into stamps. I was lucky enough to hear from her about the inspiration for her stamps. She wants to make stamps that not only work for stampers; she wants to make stamps for expressive mark-making. In her booth, she shows of the stamps used as patterned paper, on pieces of art on canvas and clean and simple cards. Her designs are inspired and like a fresh breath of air into the world of stamping. Rachel has something very good going on here.
My favorite pieces: Geometric Borders, Painterly Shapes and Girls & Co
Purchase here: AHA-arts.com
I was very excited about Chickaniddy Crafts before the show, but they very much impressed me in person. The company literally just launched, but it’s off to a fantastic start with two great collections. Date Night is a fairly unisex line about dating, and the inspiration was to create a line that’s not just about prom, dating, engagements and marriage but to create one that encompassed all of those things without being tied to Valentine’s Day. The concept worked out, passing with flying colors. Twirly Girly is a much more girl-centric line, but it provides a nice balance against the cooler colors of Date Night. While this pink, peach and grey collection may not be for everyone, I think it hits a nice sweet spot on the spectrum from younger to older girls and women.
My favorite pieces: Date Night – A Girl’s Best Friend patterned paper (middle of 3rd picture; the sketched diamonds are super on-trend), Awesome Blossom patterned paper (on the far left, 2nd picture) and Enamel Hearts (4th picture) – Twirly Girly – Tea Party patterned paper (third paper from right, 6th picture), Birthday Girl patterned paper (not shown) and Goldie Lox gold foil specialty paper (top left, 5th picture)
Hazel & Ruby
Hazel & Ruby is still newer company (they started business in October), and it’s all super new to me. They’re already branching over a little more from the general crafting world into the papercrafting sector, and their products are innovative and happy. That’s not even to mention the packaging; all of their packaging is fantastic. They started out with their Stencil Masks, well-designed, thick vinyl stickers that are completely reusable for DIY projects. Now, their line also includes washi tape (super wide and scalloped), Craft Paper Rolls (thin patterned paper, a bit thicker than standard tissue paper) and embellishments. Throughout the entire booth and product concepts, you see the theme repeated “what’s old is new again,” and in our Pinterest-inspired culture, Hazel & Ruby definitely has a place in the crafting market.
My favorite pieces: Blindside Alpha Stencil Masks (bottom center, 1st picture), Full of Heart Craft Paper (forth tube from left, 3rd picture), Crazy for Chevy – Teals 2″ Washi (not pictured) and Shine & Sparkle Sequins tubes (center, 2nd picture)
Purchase here: at Simon Says Stamp!
Okay, so Krazy Glue (by Elmers) is definitely not a new company or product. So why did it make this list? Well, I had a meeting with the team from Krazy glue and got to see a bunch of really cool crafts that have been done using Krazy Glue. You may not know this, but they have a special Craft formula of the glue (available in gel and liquid) with a built-in skin protectant that prevents the product from drying for 30 seconds. This gives you a little wiggle room but still allows you to do things that you may normally have to bring out the glue gun for. The gel formula is touted for being good for inclined surfaces, because it will hold up the object while the glue cures within a minute. I’m pretty excited to try out the gel craft formula; in the booth, they showed that you can glue just about any material to one another – metal to plastic, porcelain to glass, spray painted surfaces to plaster – the options are truly endless. It’s definitely time to get my DIY on with Krazy Glue.
My favorite pieces: Krazy Glue Craft Gel, Krazy Glue Craft with Extended Precision Tip and Krazy Glue Craft with Brush Applicator
Purchase here: Amazon
My final pick to share with you today is Little B LLC. They’ve been around for a little while and started out in the dimensional sticker world with a little “decorative paper tape” (for the sake of simplicity, I’m going to call it washi tape) in a proprietary dispenser that has a built-in cutting edge for easy dispensing. They are now branching out to the die cutting world and are releasing some really awesome Designer Dies, a placement tool called the Perfect Positioner and adding more washi, including a whole section of foiled washi tape. Although the washi tape is fantastic (see fifth picture), the die system is was really drew me in. First, the sizes of the dies are standardized. For example, with the circle set, you receive a .5″, 1″, 1.5″, 2″, 2.5″, 3″, 3.5″, 4″, 4.5″ and 5″ circles I love that. Second, their nesting dies also come with patterned inserts that you can use or not use depending on your project. You can also use the inserts alone; they don’t have an outside cutting edge. Third, all of their die sets come in an awesome magnetic folder about the size of a DVD case with the name on the spine. I love that they thought of storage for me so I don’t have to find another space amongst my die madness.
Their Perfect Positioner one a spot in the CHA Top 20 innovations showcase. It’s a tacky (think digital die cutting mat), clear, gridded surface that works with any existing die cut machine platform and lets you place your dies and paper on the surface. The tacky surface holds them in place without sticking too much to the paper. This can be used in conjunction with magnetic platforms for even more positioning power. The positioner does need to be replaced occasionally (depending on how often you use it + the amount of lint your papers leave behind), but the MSRP of $4.00 is totally reasonable for a useful product like the positioner.
My favorite pieces: Designer Cutting Dies (especially the packaging!) – Circles (1st picture), Scallops (2nd picture) and Bouquet (3rd picture) – Foil Washi Tape (5th picture) – Gold Foil Honeycomb 3mm (top row, right), Silver Foil Diagonal Stripes 3mm (top row, left) and Golden Foil Floral 25mm (middle row, right) – Perfect Positioner (4th picture)
I hope you’ve seen something you find new or exciting today. Please feel free to leave a comment below if you see something you really like or have a newer company in mind that I should definitely check out!
Thank you for stopping by! My next post will focus on my top 5 favorite collections from the show (and, oh boy, it’s going to be hard to narrow it down to that few). Please note that I have been having a few health issues this last week (nothing new – just dealing with existing conditions + job stress), so I’ll be working on these posts and will notify you via twitter, facebook and instagram as soon as a new post is up. Thank you for your patience and understanding!