CHA Mega Show 2016 Hot Products: Boye, Offray, Adtech

This year the “Hot Product” sneak peek at the CHA Mega Show 2016 was full of fun new craft products that had a wide range of age appeal. There were products for kids and adults that spanned from crocheting to cupcake decorating!

For those who love to crochet on the go, the folks at Boye have a new crochet tool called “Crochet on the Go.”

Crochet on the Go Tool from Boye

Crochet on the Go Tool from Boye

This is a pretty handy tool that includes 8 different hooks (4 on each side) that fold up into a tool the size of a multi tool pocket knife.  I have to say that using it does require a bit of getting used to it. Continue Reading →


Happy Valentine’s Day with Dymo [Sponsored]

[Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Dymo, and I am the social media manager at Photo Play Paper. However, regardless of the source of the products we use, we always strive at Craft Critique to provide you fun and creative projects that will inspire your own crafty endeavors. Enjoy these Valentine’s Day projects!]

Valentine’s Day is coming, and that means cards and gifts. But it doesn’t have to mean fuss! With the right tool, like the Dymo Organizer Xpress label maker, and a few creative shortcuts, you can whip up gorgeous cards and tags to tell share your Valentine’s Day message of love.

Dymo label maker

The Dymo Organizer Xpress is an updated version of the black embossing tape label maker that most of us have long been familiar with. Only now the tape is available in a rainbow of colors, in addition to black, and it’s easy to get a consistently clear impression without breaking your hand!

Strips are a great way to create a quick, colorful design on cards, layouts, or any paper craft project. And bonus – they match perfectly with the strips from the label maker! These strips look like the are randomly placed but if you look closer, they are actually arranged very carefully to balance the color placement. The circles at the top, for instance, balance out the stripes in the same color scheme at the bottom of the card. The black chevrons at the top balance out the black of the label strips. The floral placed near the top balances the flower sticker on the bottom.

Valentines Day card Continue Reading →


Simple Stories Carpe Diem Planner 2016 | Review

All items discussed in this Simple Stories Carpe Diem review were purchased by the author. Some links in the article may be affiliate links that pay a commission to support the operation of this site when readers make a purchase. Thanks for supporting us!
Simple Stories Carpe Diem Planner

The A5 planner world has a new player for 2016 with the introduction of the completely customizable Simple Stories Carpe Diem planner. The new A5 planner features a six ring metal binder with interior pockets.

The A5 size is new to the company, which previously produced their planners in a 6″x8″ three ring size that was the same as their SNAP album line. The new Simple Stories Carpe Diem A5 binder size is 8” w x 9.4” h, and it has a depth of 1.375” inches with six metal rings. The insert page size is 5.83 x 8.27 inches (around an A5 Size).
Continue Reading →


How to Choose a Planner for the New Year

2016 Daily Planner Collection and Review

2016 Daily Planner Collection

In choosing a Planner for the New Year, there are a lot of considerations you have to make in how to choose a planner that is right for you. There are so many choices out there, so I thought I would give a brief review on some of the planners I own to give you some insight into just a few planners.

2016 Daily Planners - Spiral Bound Planners Review

2016 Daily Planners – Spiral Bound Planners Review

The first thing you need to consider while shopping for a planner is what style you like and can work with. There are many types of planners, however below is a list of just a few: Continue Reading →


Organized Crafting With Dymo Labelmanager 160 [Sponsored]

[This post was sponsored by Dymo, but the content is solely the author’s opinion.]

Anyone who reads my writing here and on Scrapbook Update knows that I am, well, a tad bit obsessed with organizing. Especially when it comes to my craft supplies.

I’ve been in the midst of a long process (over a year) of completely reimagining my craft space from top to bottom. I’ll share the results soon but in the meantime, I want to share with you one of the tools that has been important in the final stage of my organizing process.
Dymo Labelmanager 160

I’ve been a fan of labeling for awhile, but had gotten really fed up with the one that I was using due to its limitations and the cost of using it. As I was about to chuck it, I received an offer from Dymo to try out their Dymo Labelmanager 160 (pictured above). Since I was already a fan of using labels, I couldn’t have imagined how it would broaden my usage of labels!

Before we get to how I’ve used it, I want to tell you what features I like about this particular label maker so much.

Form Factor: The Dymo Labelmanager 160 has a shape that makes it easy to hold with small (meaning female) hands. The form factor means that the QWERTY keyboard can be typed efficiently with two thumbs, an easy task for any experienced texter.

Cost: The Dymo Labelmanager 160 is way more affordable to use than a competitor model I had previously tried. The tape cartridges are cheaper and there is less waste produced on the ends of labels when printing.

Tapes: Tape is easy to find for the Labelmanager 160 in the small town I live in – the basic black print on white tape is carried at Walmart, a major convenience. But beyond that, Dymo offers a large selection of colors of tape and printing that can create a variety of different effects for different uses. It’s easy to switch cartridges in and out of the machine, so there’s no need to commit to using a single style of tape for projects.

Besides the selection and cost, I also like the body or weight of this tape. As long as the label isn’t overly long, it will maintain its stiffness while you are working with it to apply it. It makes it much easier to apply the tape smoothly and exactly in the position you want without errors.

Fonts & Characters: A huge library of special characters is available with the push of a button on the Labelmanager 160, making it easy to use symbols and punctuation on my labels. But one of my most favorite features of this label maker is that it gives me granular control over the font size you print in – there’s 6 different font sizes between 8 point and 24 point to choose from. In addition, it’s easy to create bold, italic, underlined, and vertical text with just a press of a button.

So, what have I been able to do with all of this functionality? Well, let’s start with the basic black on white label tape that comes standard with the Dymo Labelmanager 160. Continue Reading →


CHA Mega Show 2016 Trend Forecast

The countdown to the CHA Mega Show 2016 is getting shorter and shorter! Excitement is building to see the new product releases in January, along with the new trends for the 2016. But what can we expect to see in 2016? CHA Show Entrance Sign Let’s get the obvious out of the way first. It goes without saying that adult coloring will continue to be a hot category. This won’t be limited to just publishers, from whom we can expect to see plenty of coloring books of course. Expect to see scrapbook companies creating designs that can be colored (such as Adornit and Bella Blvd have done previously in various product lines), and stamp companies creating coloring friendly designs. And of course it is a huge marketing opportunity for the companies that make pens and paints – expect to see them taking advantage of this window in the market.

The trend for chalk paint has sparked a whole range of interest in home decor and furniture. Chalk paint certainly isn’t going away anytime soon, as more companies are expanding offerings of it and consumers are becoming more competent and less intimidated with it. With that segment of crafts growing, we can expect to see more products appearing that are intended as add-ons for chalk paint furniture makeovers: furniture sized stencils, transfers, and hardware like decorative drawer pulls. Continue Reading →