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CHA Winter 2013: Sizzix

Reported by Deena Ziegler

Ready for a tour of the Sizzix booth from CHA Winter 2013? I’m thrilled to say that I can give you an insider tour of this booth, as I’ve been an in-house designer for Sizzix for six years! I’m so proud to work for such a prominent brand in the craft world.

This year, Sizzix deepened their partnerships by teaming up with some more of the best companies in the market: Hampton Arts, Doodle Bug, Echo Park, Prima, 7 Gypsies. The list will continue to grow in the future, I’m sure.

First up (on the left below) is Karen Burniston, and her latest “Pop and Cut” designs. She has a new label card and butterfly card that is just fabulous, as it decorates the inside as well as the outside of the card at the same time. This is one of three lines that I made all the samples and packaging for, so I’ve already had the chance to work with this wonderful product.

On the right below is the latest release from Scrappy Cat. This line offers some beautiful floral designs, and Debi did a beautiful display with touches of the sea with corals and teal.

sizzix 1

Of course, Tim Holtz delivered new designs that are already incredibly popular – like his viewfinder die and some great new alphabets.

Sizzix 2

New for CHA Winter 2013, Sizzix released a new line called Thinlits. Thinlits are chemically etched dies that yeild more intricate designs that any other die in the Sizzix line. I loved creating the projects pictured below with the new Thinlits. Susan Tierney’s “Susan’s Garden” line is also new to the Sizzix family. Her new dies make the most amazingly realistic 3D flowers. Susan’s line includes a tool set and other accessories to highlight her flowers.

Sizzix 3

Sizzix also continues to grow the Vintaj line of embossing and etching dies that make beautiful jewelry and metal work. Vintaj designers were in the booth every day doing demos. Sizzix UK was also represented with their new partnership with Prima Marketing.

sizzix 4

The lovely Brenda Walton has also partnered with Sizzix to bring a romantic french look. Her designs include a tea cup, a tiny shoe, and my favorite – a Bigz XL die with the word “bliss”. I’ve had the pleasure of briefly meeting Brenda before but I got the chance to spend alot of time setting up and working with her at this show, and she was a delight. Brenda embossed fondant and layered it over these cupcakes, they were stunning!

sizzix 5

Dena Designs’ new release had new designs in a Moraccan theme. Sizzix certainly doesn’t skimp on the displays for their booth! I love how the die lines are always showcased in themed displays. Another line I worked on for this show was the new Indie Craft Faire dies. This line includes my favorite product line: Embossing folders with matching Framelits.

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My friend and fellow Craft Critique staff writer Eileen Hull, who designs products for Sizzix, had a very successful release with her new Scoreboard dies. Her Mason jar was a giant hit with show attendees. It consists of a standard mason jar and a jelly jar that has a matching embossing folder! The collection also includes garden stakes, bird houses and a watering can that are all very cute! While I sure do love that mason jar, I may love the gate front card even more. Eileen always draws a big crowd when she is doing demos in the booth, probably because she is so genuine and sweet!

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And finally… I have a special place in my heart for the “A Little Bit of This and That” collection. Many of these dies are designs that I created! My pal at Sizzix Jen helped me fill in some, but these dies are so my style – banners, flowers, bows and all things girly.

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Look for all the new Sizzix lines to start hitting stores really soon. I hope you enjoyed my insider view!

CHA Winter 2013: Crafts for Kids

Reported by Cassandra Darwin

I’m happy to report that I saw a number of new and innovative craft products and kits at the CHA Winter 2013 show, geared specifically for the younger crowd.  The last time I went to CHA I was not a mom, so it was interesting seeing the new product offerings at the show this time from a different perspective.  I am always on the lookout for something fun to do with my toddler, and have a number of these items on my wish list now.

Do-A-Dot Art offers markers in the form of a dauber that look so easy and fun for kids to use.  I have seen these before at my local teacher’s store but was happy to learn more about them.  They have ink in them, not paint, so they will not get clogged up or dried out like a paint dabber.  They also have a felt tip applicator with a valve that does not allow the ink to flow unless the kids are pressing down, so the mess is kept to a minimum if the young artist gets a little wild.  I especially loved the glitter set and the coordinating coloring books.

Do-A-Dot Art

The same company also offers a kit called Glam Art that is geared for a slightly older age group (ages 5+).  It comes with three pre-printed images that already have adhesive on them that can be covered with colored sequins.  Kids peel away one section at a time to reveal the adhesive and use the included applicator to get the sequins perfectly positioned.

Glam Art

The end result is a sparkly masterpiece. I would guess that it might take a few sessions to complete each of the pictures, depending on how patient and focused your kid is, so it would be a great activity for rainy days or school vacations.

Glam Art

Another innovative product was a device that combines your iPad with Perler Beads.  The iPegboard from EK Success comes with a tray that fits over your iPad screen to create designs with Perler beads.  First you download the free iPad app, and then you can use the 50 free designs, buy additional designs, or customize designs before placing the tray over the screen to get started.

Perler i-Pegboard

Once you are done placing the Perler beads, you remove the tray from the base and iPad, then fuse everything together with an iron.  The i-Pegboard retails for less than $10, and opens up a whole host of possibilities for customizing your own designs.

Perler i-Pegboard

Something that I had seen online and really wanted to check out in person was the Amy Tangerine Travel Kit (from American Crafts).  I would love one of these for myself for scrapbooking on the go, but I also realized looking at it that it would make a great travel kit for a crafter in the tween years.  It includes all the tools you would need to create a mixed media journal or simple scrapbook – just add a small notebook and some pictures.  The only warning here is that I noticed it has a needle and thread as well as a push pin, so you would need to adjust the contents depending on the age of your young crafter.

Amy Tangerine Scrapbook Travel Kit

The “Lace and Play Hedgehog” set from Imagine I Can also caught my eye.  I love the simple designs on these sets and how they teach stitching in a fun and easy way.  And since you can stitch the pieces together over and over again in different patterns, it is a craft that is reusable.  I also appreciate that this is appropriate for the younger crafters with a 3+ age range.

Imagine I Can Stitching Kit

The Crafter’s Caddy from Creative Options is bright colored and just the right size for holding all the tools for children’s crafts.  It would keep everything contained and easy to find, and the pull out drawer on the bottom is great for smaller items.

Creative Options Crafter's Caddy

The Face-a-Day book: Doodle Your Mood journal is a great option for any young crafter.  It gives them an opportunity to write a bit about their day and draw a picture of their face to depict a mood.

Face-a-Day Book

This book would make a great gift, and would come in handy for those kids that have a hard time expressing how they feel.  You can see that the pages are guided so the author can write down meals, weather, and other tidbits about your day.  And each page has a different colored circle for drawing the mood/face.

Face-a-Day Book

And more exciting book news!  On June 18th the new “Martha Stewart: Crafts for Kids” book will be released.  It was on display at the CHA show, but the cover had not been finalized so I don’t have a picture.  I got to take a look at the inside and in true Martha style the crafts are well thought out with clear instructions.  I can’t wait for this book!

And as I was leaving the CHA show I was drawn into one of the most colorful displays there.  Take a look at this rainbow of tie-dye onesies and see if you could resist these happy colors!

Tulip Tie Dye Kits

Tulip offers a huge range of tie-dye kits and I think any kid would love to make a wearable piece of art.  To me, it is the quintessential summertime craft, so I have a few months to plan out some tie-dye projects.

Tulip Tie Dye Kits

So what CHA Winter 2013 kids’ crafts are you excited to try out?