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CHA Summer 2011 | Innovation Showcase Favorites

Today was the start of the Craft and Hobby Association Trade Show Conference and we got a peek at some new products at the Innovation Showcase. Celebrity judges Terri O (PBS-TV’s Super Simple With Terri O), Ana Araujo (WhenCreativityKnocks.com), Maria Nerius (FaveCrafts.com) and Torrie Nelson (Creative Retailer Magazine) judged the CHA’s 20 Hot Products; a great start for this year’s show. Each show, the Innovation Showcase features some of the most unique products about to hit the craft aisles.

Here are just a few of the products that caught our eye and we can’t wait to put to the Craft Critique test…

Little Pink Ladybug has come out with the Brilliant Bowmaker Ultimate Kit. With 19 templates, 3 instruction booklets, and a stapler, this kit has everything you will need to make almost any kind of bow. This system is designed to achieve bow making simply and quickly, allowing crafters to mix and match templates creating a distinct bow style.

With the popularity of die cutting systems, it is no surprise that we selected this next product as one of our favorites. Paper Layerz from Worldwin Papers is crafting paper that makes coordinating die-cut shapes and layers from any die-cutting machine faster, cheaper and easier. This paper is lightweight enough for your machines but strong enough to layer and use dimensionally.

The C Thru Ruler Company’s Let’s Face It stencils are not just for illustrators or artists, these are going to make drawing faces for art journals, mixed media project, and more a breeze.

When you say the name Tim Holtz, people’s ears perk up. Well, here’s his new Picket Fence Distress Stain by Ranger Ink. This stain will turn fluid water-based dyes for papers and other porous surfaces, into unique opaque colors.

Here is a little video demonstration of just what this product can do…

Organizing your craft stash has always been a challenge; here’s a new product with a great solution for all those ribbons you’ve been collecting. The Ribbon Carousel by Cropper Hopper will organize and dispense up to 54 spools of ribbon. And the coolest part is that each layer spins independently to assist you with finding the perfect one for your project.

We know how the kids love their Silly Bandz, but we think these Twistz Bandz are definitely gonna give them a run for their money. This cool kit creates rubber band links in a variety of styles and designs. This will be a hit with kids and adults alike.

Faber-Castell has some new Mixed Media sets, as well as colored pencils and artist pens that are going to catch the eye of all kinds of crafters. Whether you are an illustrator, mixed media artist, scrapbooker, or cardmaker, these new tools with their wide array of colors are going to get those creative juices flowing.

Epiphany Crafts has added charms to its already wildly popular Shape Studio. With handmade jewelry being all the rage, this easy-to-use product makes it simple for anyone to make rings, charm bracelets, and necklaces.
And finally the product we were most excited to hear about is the perfect marriage of tech and craft. STKR.it Stickers allow crafters to use QR codes on their projects so that they can attach digital memories to all their projects. Whether you have a great video of the event, audio, or just more photos that won’t fit on that scrapbook layout, this little sticker will allow you to include them all. With your smartphone, media tablet, or computer, people can access this additional data allowing you to include every part of that special memory.

And here’s STKR.it to explain how it all works…

So, that’s a few new products to get us started with our CHA coverage. Remember to check back daily for all of our articles; we will be bringing you the best of the show! And we can’t wait to test out these products firsthand and let you know what we think.

So what do you think? Which of these products are you most excited about? Which would you like to see us test drive for you?

Event Review & GIVEAWAY!: Great American Scrapbook Convention Review

Every year at the end of June, the Great American Scrapbook Convention (GASC) comes to the Washington, DC area.
In the past 10 years I have been attending, it’s been interesting to watch the evolution of the show. No matter how it is, I always spend money. They love me there!
This year, some of the regulars were missing. A lot of the larger companies that used to display are  selling off excess inventory to discount type booths. I love a deal as much as the next person but this is not a show where you will find lots of new product. But that’s OK with me! That’s what CHA is for.
There was a line to get tickets when I arrived on Friday about an hour after it opened but not sure how the traffic was the rest of the show.
There were LOTS of people there and they were buying. In fact, I had to wait in line at several booths. I don’t remember that happening last year. The aisles were narrow but there were no strollers allowed for which I was grateful (now that I am not pushing a stroller). There were considerably fewer vendors than there have been in the past- just another sign of the times I guess. In looking through the show schedule, I was surprised to see how many classes were being offered and they all looked pretty good. Next year I plan on taking a few.
On to the show…
Some Prima goodness caught my eye right off the bat.
Watched a demo by Epiphany Crafts– now kicking myself that I didn’t buy that little gadget!
Stopped in to see Jenni Bowlin’s booth because it was so so cute, complete with a vintage children’s oven and all kinds of cool little doodads. I was waiting to ask Jared, who was busy at the register, if it was OK to post pictures of the booth and into the booth walked Jenni! She is a delight and I was so happy to meet her and have the chance to talk a little.
One of my favorite booths is Dollar Scrapbooking, owned by Kristi Coy. She and her two daughters took a minute to pose for me. I love the new look of her booth and got lots of fun stuff in there, as always.
Here’s Mitra… owner and designer of Impression Obsession stamps, wielding her cool Mega Mount block designed to stamp large images. What a great idea- you can’t really see in this photo but it has a handle and is curved to get a good impression every time.
I always have to stop and drool at Melissa Frances’s booth. Love her little chandeliers and pretty display. Melissa was not at the show but I had a nice chat with her beautiful daughter Breigh.
The Original Scrap Box display really caught my eye. What a cool piece of furniture and so well thought out. The brochure is so clever- it actually opens out like the Scrap Box does and the outer cover looks like the front of the cabinet! Genius! I am actually considering buying one of these- it can hold a ton of stuff and the price is quite reasonable.
I had a great time at the the show even though I only spent half of my $100.
GIVEAWAY
Our pals over at Dollar Scrapbooking are giving one of our lucky readers a $40 gift certificate! How cool is that? Not only do you win but you will win whatever you choose from her great website. In order to be entered to win, you need to answer any of the questions below in the comments section of this article. One entry per person, please.
Have you attended a Great American Scrapbook Convention? What were your thoughts? Do you attend any crafting events? Which ones?
Contest ends Sunday, July 17th at 6pm CST. Good Luck Everyone!

Epiphany Crafts Winner

Hope you loved the reviews and the cool projects created with the Epiphany Crafts Button and Shape Maker. The winner of the prize pack is…

Hoo’s Crafty! said…
I saw these EC punches at CHA last summer. They look so amazing, but I have yet to get ahold of one. I love the pics you posted of the ring and magnets, I would LOVE TO MAKE the magnets for teachers gifts. These epoxies are just the neatest thing!! I’d love to win and use them on everything!!!!

If you are our winner, please email your name and address to info@craftcritique.com. Please put Epiphany Winner in the subject of your email.
Thanks and Congrats!

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