Thursday, July 26, 2012

Chistmas in July

With the CHA show last week in California, many of my favorite companies introduced a selection of new lines.  For us paper addicts, CHA provides a brand new high!  I have always loved the summer show because it is traditionally when companies introduce their Christmas lines.  So today, I am playing Christmas in July.  Here are my TOP TEN holiday lines for 2012. (In no particular order)  I can't wait to get my hands on them!

Home for Christmas by Fancy Pants Designs
This & That Christmas by Echo Park
Sleigh Ride by Crate Paper
Christmas Joy by Imaginisce
Christmas Cottage by Teresa Collins-I see countdowns coming on!!!
Aspen Frost by Basic Grey
Nutcracker Sweet by Graphic 45
Festive by Authentique
Winter Wonderland by My Mind's Eye
A Very Merry Christmas by Echo Park


Monday, July 23, 2012

A "Tiffany" Blue Photo Shoot

Throughout the years, Becky has always been my "best cousin".  I looked forward to our trips to Grandma's because they always included lots of stories, laughter, performances and mischievousness with Beck!

This last weekend, I had the pleasure of taking photos of her beautiful family. I must say, a lot has changed since our summers spent picking raspberries and imagining princes.  Time really does fly!
It is always a little tricky to coordinate three kids of different ages, but the girls did great and they looked extra adorable in their coordinating Tiffany blue outfits.  It was especially great to utilize the soft evening light of summertime. If you can believe it, we finished this shoot around 8:30pm.  Thanks to Becky for letting me play at photographer for the evening.  It was a great chance to learn and work on my skills.

Here are a few of my favorite shots.



Monday, July 9, 2012

Fiskars Fuse Review

Today is one of those days I really love my job! For my segment on Studio 5,  I have been playing with the new Fuse machine from Fiskars.
The Fuse is a durable new crafting tool that allows you to die cut, deboss, and my favorite...letterpress! You can see a quick overview of how the machine works and what it does here:

Letterpressing has long been one of my most coveted art forms.  I love the look of rich ink pressed in to thick cotton paper.  For those of you not familiar with letterpress, you have most likely run into it before on a wedding invitation.  Traditional letterpress is done using the highest quality ink and paper.  Letterpressing is acheived by inking a plate and then pressing the inked plate into the soft paper.  Although letterpress experts may argue that the Fuse doesn't provide high quality, traditional letterpress, it is still a fun technique to add to your crafting skills. 
Although I like the Fuse, the coolest part about the new release is that even if you don't purchase or own the actual Fuse machine, you can still use the new letterpressing feature in many of the existing die cut machines.  All you have to do is figure out the correct layering pattern for your individual tool.  Many of the new Fiskars dies are also steel roll, which means they will cut chipboard and thicker materials like foam!  

With the release of the machine, Fiskars has put out a variety of dies and letterpressing templates to use.  Again, remember...you don't have to have a Fuse to use these dies.  If you have a die-cut machine that accepts steel roll dies, you should be able to use the new letterpressing system in it.
The machine comes with one die, two letterpress templates, two cutting plates, and one black ink pad.  You can add color to your letterpressed images by using different ink pads or markers.  Fabric pads work best and if you want to use markers, you will need one that isn't permanent and dries slowly.  

The machine starter kit is roughly $300 and dies and letterpressing sets range between $20 and $30 each.  Overall, I feel that the machine is well made and functions nicely.  I love the letterpressing feature and the variety of dies available.  I also think the versatility is the machine/dies greatest feature.  For those of you looking for a new great machine, I think the Fuse should be a strongly considered option.  If you have an existing machine, enjoy using the fun new templates and techniques in the machine you already own.


Monday, July 2, 2012

Summer Lovin' the new Graphic 45

I've never met a Graphic 45 product line I didn't like, but I really love their new summer release.  In fact, "Bird Song" kindof makes me want to tear up my China scrapbook and start all over again. Here are a few of my favorite pieces from the new line, which is set to start shipping in August.

I also love their brand new Christmas line, which is Nutcracker themed. This line also has a few great Ballerina prints that could be used all year round for recital and class photos.  I am so excited to see this line in stores starting in August as well.