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Coats & Clark, Tim Holtz Announce Line of Quilt Fabric

Fans of Tim Holtz who also take part in sewing and quilting activities will have something to celebrate soon as Tim announced today a new partnership with Coats & Clark that will have him designing that company’s debut fabric line.

Coats & Clark is well-known to sewers and quilters for their thread and sewing notions, and lovers of knit & crochet for their Red Heart yarn and their Susan Bates brand needles & hooks. But fabric will be a new endeavor for Coats.

The new line, called Eclectic Elements, will feature 24 SKUs of fabric designs that will be familiar to Tim Holtz fans from his paper lines. Some of the designs are being produced in two different color tones, taupe and neutral (seen below). The 100% cotton fabric is 44″ wide and will be available on 15 yard bolts. For quilters, the fabric will be available in fat quarters, design rolls, 5” and 10” charm packs and fat eighths, while it is being marketed for papercrafters in 6″ and 12″ fabric crafting packs. Continue Reading →

Welcome to Craft Critique’s New Home!

Some of you may have noticed things look a little different around here…it’s because we are now on WordPress instead of Blogger finally!

My apologies to any of you who may have experienced weirdness or errors last night with the site or feed during the transition. Feed subscribers may also unfortunately may have gotten a few old articles pushed to them during the transition due to a glitch.

But the new Craft Critique website is all up and working now! Please pardon our dust while we add the finishing touches to it now that it is live, and watch for new content coming next week from CHA!


Announcing….the new Craft Critique team!

It’s time to announce the new Craft Critique team! (Our apologies for the delay in the announcement – it is difficult to reach people this time of year and we wanted to wait for responses from all the new team members before making the announcement.)

I’d like to thank everyone who applied. The amount of talented applicants that we got was overwhelming, and made the decision very difficult. We are very excited to start sharing the talents of our new team with you!

So, without further ado…I’d like to introduce you to our new staff reporters:

  • Patti Sokol
  • Jennifer Ingle
  • Linda Neff
  • Deena Ziegler
  • Kory Kight
  • Amanda Marks
  • Chel Micheline
  • Angela Butler-Carter
  • Deborah Fox
  • Kortney Gold
  • Maria Soto
We’re also welcoming back some returning members of the Craft Critique staff:
  • Maria Del Pinto
  • Dana Vitek
  • Cassandra Darwin
  • Christian Tamez
  • Eileen Hull
  • Fabrizio Martellucci
Thank you again to everyone who applied and congratulations to the new team! I look forward to working with you!
Click on the link at the top of the page to visit Craft Critique for comments, giveaways and more!


Become A Craft Critique Reporter!

As part of the Craft Critique relaunch, we’re freshening up everything about the site – including our staff! Some familiar faces will be back, but we have room for some fresh ones too. So if you’d like to get craft products in return for doing honest, in-depth reviews of them, and get some great promotion for your personal brand too – apply to become a Craft Critique reporter!

The deadline for the call is Midnight eastern time on Friday, December 7th. The new team will be announced on Friday, December 14th.

[THE CALL IS NOW CLOSED! THANKS FOR ENTERING!]

Click on the link at the top of the page to visit Craft Critique for comments, giveaways and more!


A New Era For Craft Critique

Welcome to the new era of Craft Critique!

For those of you who don’t know me, I’ll introduce myself. I’m Nancy Nally, the owner of Nally Studios and the editor of the websites Scrapbook Update and Card Annex. As of today, I am also the new owner/editor of Craft Critique.

I’ve been working in the scrapbook industry professionally for 13 years, but like most of you, I’ve been a crafter all my life. I grew up with a mom and grandmothers who sewed, stitched, knitted, crocheted, quilted, and did all sorts of crafty things. My grandmother and aunt even owned a quilt store together in my hometown when I was growing up!

At one time or another, I’ve tried what seems like everything. I think my earliest memory of crafting is weaving potholders on a metal loom when I was a kid in the 1970’s. Some of them stuck (like the cross stitching that I did for years, and the sewing I do on occasion) and others (like my attempt at knitting a scarf that turned out looking like ocean waves) became enjoyable but comic failures. Although my primary passion is paper crafting these days, I still turn regularly to crafting for decor and gift projects. I truly believe that there is nothing more satisfying or personal than “I made it myself.”

I believe in the mission of Craft Critique as it was created by Sarah Moore, and I’m here today because I want to see the site continue to bring the craft community product reviews that are reliable, honest, and comprehensive. I hope that you all share that vision with me!

We have great plans for Craft Critique at Nally Studios in the coming weeks and months. We will be relaunching the Craft Critique website on a new platform with some new features we think you’ll love. We also will be issuing a call for reviewers for the site, so if you are interested in sharing your opinions with the craft world, please check that out!

Thanks for being a part of the Craft Critique community and for letting me be a part of it as well!

If you would like to contact me about Craft Critique, my email is nancy@nallystudios.com.

Click on the link at the top of the page to visit Craft Critique for comments, giveaways and more!


Celebrating Movember

During November each year, Movember is responsible for the sprouting of mustaches on thousands of mens faces around the world. The aim of which is to raise vital funds and awareness for mens health, specifically prostate cancer and other cancers that affect men.

You can sponsor the growing of said facial hair of friends and family and be part of a fun event to make a difference as 1 in 6 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer.

In honor of this being the month of Movember, I thought it would be a good time to introduce our readers to some of my favourite Male Crafters.

Fabrizio Martellucci


1. What do you enjoy about being creative?
I enjoy the distraction of it, I can lose myself for hours paper crafting and when I look at the clock I realise that I spent a whole afternoon crafting. It’s healing for me as I would just sulk otherwise because I’m indoors all the time due to agoraphobia and other issues.

2. What is the most frustrating thing about being creative?
Not being able to create what you have brewing in your head. I might have an idea that sits there for weeks then when I’m finally ready to create, it doesn’t come to fruition; I usually get totally disheartened but sometimes out of that original idea something completely different might come up and that surprises me.
3. Where do you look for inspiration?
I’m an avid blog hopper for my own linking website papermood.com as I’m always on the lookout for that ‘wow’ handmade greeting card, I also like to read paper crafting magazines: especially the card making ones. Funnily enough my best ‘lightbulb’ moments came using sketches/pagemaps I really dig how you can apply any sort of papers, embellishments and ribbons, using various layouts, which seems to have taken the guessing work, out of the equation. Sketches are real time savers. 


4. What do you love about your favourite pieces of artwork?
It’s something I like to share with other crafters like myself, in a way it’s a bit of a legacy on my best work (I’m really a hit and miss so I’m not proud of all my stuff lol); I always hope that someone who’s sitting on the fence about paper crafting might decide to start crafting because they see my creations and that would be really cool to think that I’ve inspired someone else.

5. Do you find any differences being male in your creative field?
I think male crafters are still standing out like sore thumbs because there aren’t that many of us. Mind you, I can see more men cardmakers popping up everywhere now than it used to be only a few years ago. I do like the attention I get being male as with my foreign name, it makes me stand out from the rest.

6. What would be your favourite words of creative wisdom to others?
Don’t buy everything you see as we only use 20% we own to produce 80% of our output (using the Pareto principle here), I believe that some of us have hoarding tendencies and that can be a problem if space is at a premium in your own dwelling. My best tip is also to give your creations only to people who will appreciate them, don’t spend time trying to convert the ‘only shop bought’ cards brigade: you’re only wasting your time. 🙂

You can see more of Fab’s work at his site: http://www.kimtag.com/fabrizio

Aaron Morris
1. What do you enjoy about being creative?
I enjoy being able to channel the creativity that I have inside me into things that make me and the ones I love happy.

2. What is the most frustrating thing about being creative?
I always find it frustrating when I lose my mojo. I hate having the desire to be creative, but having trouble creating something that I am happy with. Sometimes, I get frustrated when I have too much inspiration, knowing that I will likely not get to everything I want to do.

3. Where do you look for inspiration?
I find inspiration all around me. In a store, in nature, looking at other layouts (both paper and digi). I mostly get inspired to create things by my family and the memories we create – when I have memories to scrap or great photos I get inspired to create.

4. What do you love about your favourite pieces of artwork?
As I’ve spent time scrapbooking, my style has changed. I am most happy with my style as it is now. I love layering and clustering elements, and I love adding surprising elements to my pages. I also love having layouts that I can share with my family.

5. Do you find any differences being male in your creative field?
Not usually. Some people are surprised when they “find out” about me, but people are usually great about it and love having a man that shares their hobby.

6. What would be your favourite words of creative wisdom to others?
I think I would love to remind people that there is no “wrong answer” in creativity. Often we get caught up in what is trendy and what others will like and forget that creativity is supposed to be something that is original to each individual. My best work comes from the times that I forget what I think is the “right thing” to do, and do what I feel works the best.

You can see more of Aaron’s work at his site: http://www.sirscrapalot.com/

Andy Skinner
1. What do you enjoy about being creative?
Finding out new techniques, experimenting with new mediums and loosing myself for a few hours!

2. What is the most frustrating thing about being creative?
Never being totally happy with the artwork I create. Unfortunately we are all our own worst critics.

3. Where do you look for inspiration?
In absolutely everything including my dreams! I take a camera with me wherever I go and take pictures constantly for reference.

4. What do you love about your favourite pieces of artwork?
This is different for so many pieces as I dabble in many techniques, styles and media. I think, however,  for my Steampunk and assemblage items, it is the ability to produce realistic faux metal, rust and aged effects to fool the viewer. It’s so funny that my father spent most of his spare time restoring old items to make them look new, I on the other hand do the complete opposite, it’s much more fun that way!
5. Do you find any differences being male in your creative field?
Not really, I do sometimes feel a little out numbered as men are definitely the minority in this field it has to be said, but I have always got on far better with women having grown up in a female- dominated house and having all daughters.

6. What would be your favourite words of creative wisdom to others?
This one is simple for me, its from Albert Einstein “Imagination is more important than knowledge”

You can see more of Andy’s work at his site: http://andyskinner.org


I hope you have enjoyed this little introduction to some awesome crafters and that you will support Movember’s quest!

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Goodbye Katie…

It is with great sadness that we share the news that our friend, Katie Renz, lost her battle with Cancer yesterday.  You can read more about her touching story on her blog, My Paper Haven.  Our prayers are with Katie’s family today, especially her husband and children.

Letters of sympathy can be mailed to:

The Renz Family
PO Box 5913
Bellingham, WA 98227-5913

Hug your kids, and tell your family and friends you love them…

Click on the link at the top of the page to visit Craft Critique for comments, giveaways and more!