Tuesday, January 22, 2013

CHA New Products: Spellbinders Media Mixage

I had the opportunity to attend the Spellbinders Media Breakfast Event so I got to see the debuts of their new products. In a word? Amazing!

The main feature of the event was the new "Media Mixage" products.  These new dies, bezels, metals and more are designed for jewelry making, home decor, art journaling, scrapbooking, mixed media projects, and more.

In the Media Mixage line, Spellbinders has teamed up with Susan Lenart Kazmer, a renowned metalsmith and jewelry artist, to distribute her unique and beautiful bezels, ephemera papers, and more.

Spellbinders founder Stacy Caron with Susan Lenart Kazmer
The other cool new product in the Media Mixage line is the new Artisan X-plorer. It is a cutting/embossing machine like the Spellbinders Grand Caliber machine, but the X-plorer is a high pressure machine for easier cutting and embossing of metals, artboard, canvas, and other thicker materials.

The new Spellbinders Artisan X-plorer
I am excited to try out these products. I don't make very much jewelry any more, but these new products may be just the thing I need to get started again. However, I am curious to see if the Artisan X-plorer machine is really that different from the myriad of other die-cutting/embossing machines on the market today. It will have to really do something amazing to stand out in the crowd.

For more information on the new Spellbinders products, check out their website.

Monday, January 21, 2013

CHA - New Paper Lines!

CHA is the place to go if you are a paper lover like me. The sheer amount of beautiful paper is almost overwhelming. I wish I had at least one sheet of each!
"Mia Bella" from SEI
"Diane" from SEI
Love SEI's velvet paper!
"Vintage Summer" from Little Yellow Bicycle
Cute projects from the LYB team
I don't have babies, but I adore this vintage baby paper from Kaisercraft!
More Kaisercraft baby goodness
Epiphany Crafts... love the post office boxes.
Adorable cards from the Epiphany Crafts team.
Beautiful vintage paper from Jenni Bowlin
Wall decoration from Jenni Bowlin

"Summer Love" from Cosmo Cricket
Cosmo Cricket's "Honky Tonk" -- Love this collection!
"TV Dinner" from Cosmo Cricket
Cosmo Cricket's "Sweet Disposition"
"Sweet Disposition" chipboard stickers

Me with the awesome Julie Comstock, owner of Cosmo Cricket
New travel collection from Lily Bee Design
Lily Bee Design
"Sun and Surf" from Bella Blvd.

Basic Grey's new release "Hipster"
More "Hipster"
"Mint Julep" from Basic Grey
Basic Grey's new boy line "Bow Ties"
Love the tools!
Close-up of the cars from "Bow Ties

BG's new girl line "Kneehighs"
New chipboard journal album from Basic Grey
Vintage goodies from 7Gypsies
"Modern Romance" from Webster's Pages
New "Composition and Color" line by Allison Kreft for Webster's Pages
Echo Park's "Photo Freedom" line in conjunction with Stacey Julian
Love the kitty paper from Canvas Corp.!
"About a Boy" by Lori Whitlock for Echo Park
More "About a Boy"

Sunday, January 20, 2013

CHA New Product Debut: Mod Podge Mod Melts

The best thing about CHA is seeing all the new products. One of the coolest new products is from Plaid: Mod Melts!
They look like candy molds, but are even better.  The Mod Melts resin sticks go in your hot glue gun. Once heated, just fill the molds with the resin. In just 4 minutes, you've got these cute little embellishments! The resin is white, but you can color it with paint, ink, Copic markers, and more.
Cathie Fillian shows off some finished Mod Melts!
Oh, and I couldn't resist getting my picture made with Glossy!
I just wish they made jars of Mod Podge this big!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

CHA: Notable New Products

Last Friday, my wonderful husband and I hopped on a plane and headed off to Anaheim, CA for the 2013 CHA Winter Conference and Trade Show.

(In case you don't know what CHA is, it stands for Craft and Hobby Association. The winter show is the big industry event where craft companies debut their newest products.)

My view out the plane window
When we arrived in Anaheim, I had to hit the ground running, as I had a ton of events and meetings to attend!

First on the agenda was the Innovations show. This show, only open to buyers and media, highlights the 20 best new products at CHA. My favorite product of the 20 was the new Tim Holtz Distress Paint.

This new paint from Ranger is a water-based acrylic paint with no fillers. Because it is water-based, it cleans up with just soap and water (or even just a baby wipe!), and since it has no fillers, it doesn't have a weird flaky texture when dry like most acrylic paints. It can be opaque or you can spread it with your fingers to give it a more chalky look.

Tim Holtz demonstrates his new Distress Paint
This new paint can be used on a variety of surfaces, including paper, chipboard, and even metal! The paints come in 24 of Tim's signature colors with more colors to be added in the future. I got a sample of Distress Paint and I can't wait to try it!

Following the Innovations show, I was lucky enough to attend the CHA Designer Sneak Peek. This show allows CHA designer section members a preview of some of the new companies and their products. I saw some awesome new products there, including the Envelop Punch Board from We R Memory Keepers and  CraftAttitude printable craft film.

The Envelop Punch Board is an an awesome new tool from We R Memory Keepers. It helps you make 80 different sized envelopes for your cards! It's so incredibly easy to use. I can see this being a must-have tool for card-makers. It will be available soon and will retail for $19.99.

Another super- innovative new product at CHA was the printable craft film from CraftAttitude. This film can be run through your printer and put on just about any surface you can think of: wood, fabric, metal, even shoes! I can see myself using this... maybe to make some Hello Kitty shoes?!

And thus ended my first day at CHA. Stay tuned for more CHA goodies!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

2013: One Little Word

A couple of years ago, I decided to join in on the idea of One Little Word. If you haven't heard of One Little Word, it's the idea of choosing one word for the year to become your mantra for a better life.

At the end of each year, I look back at all of the things I did throughout the last twelve months. I remember and enjoy the "good stuff", but I really examine the "bad stuff". It's the "bad stuff" that helps me learn what I want to change about myself in the upcoming year.

So after doing a lot of reflecting, I finally decided on my one little word for 2013:

Focus is something that is really difficult for me. About two years ago, I was diagnosed with adult ADHD. The doctor's diagnosis was just confirmation of what I knew. I have no attention span, I rarely finish what I start, and it is hard for me to concentrate on even the most simple tasks. Something that comes easy to other people, like cleaning a room, takes me about three times longer because I can't get my mind to cooperate. Working on a scrapbook page can sometimes be maddening: I love it and want to do it, but I get so distracted by a thousand other things that it takes forever just to finish it. The slightest things -- a noise that most people don't even hear, the thought of what I'm doing next, checking my email, an uncomfortable shirt -- derail me.

I began taking medication for this condition and I couldn't believe the difference. I was able to finish a conversation with my husband without wandering off track. I was able to concentrate long enough to organize my house. I could finally shut my brain off when I lay down at night. It was fantastic and I accomplished so much.

However, I began to worry. I read more and more articles about ADHD medications and potential side effects such as an increased risk in heart and liver problems. I have already experienced blood clots and a "mini-stroke" (called a TIA, or trans-ischemic attack) so the idea that this medication could cause heart issues scared me. So I stopped taking it.

And the downward spiral of ADHD began again.

The complete lack of direction, the inability to be in the moment, the complete chaos that I euphemistically think of as "multi-tasking" -- it all returned with a vengeance.

But that's OK. It's just one more thing about myself that I have to deal with... and this is the year to deal with it.

I know that to be a better person, a better wife, a better business partner, and a better crafter, I have to embrace the idea of focus.

So here I go. 2013 is my year to focus on becoming a better me.

P.S. If you are interested in working on your own "one little word" for 2013, Ali Edwards leads an awesome workshop over at Big Picture Classes. This workshop helps you to creatively and tangibly explore and embrace your OLW.
post signature
Images by Freepik