Welcome to CHA Armchair Attendee Week! I'm Vivian, and I will be your host this week. As most of you know, the Craft and Hobby Association’s winter trade show is taking place this week in Anaheim, CA. Companies that manufacture craft products -- including our beloved papercrafting products -- show their new releases in booths visited by retailers, who place orders for the new products. Lots of other folks figure into the mix as well, as craft publishers are represented, design team members help to staff booths, and celebrities usually figure into the mix. (I still have my piece of Paris Hilton scrapbook paper, signed when I met none other than Paris herself at CHA a few years back. Rumor has it that our own Marnie Flores may cross paths with Tori Spelling this time around.)
I’m not at CHA this year, but have been having a lot of fun following all of the hoopla online and am excited to share some of that fun with you this week. Here’s the plan for this week:
Monday: Introduction and Trends, Part I: Patterns and Motifs
Tuesday: Trends, Part II: Themes
Wednesday: Trends, Part III: Products
Thursday: CHA give.away.day. (yes, that’s right, as in goodies straight from the show floor!)
Friday: Write.Click.Scrapbook. team members’ “must haves” from CHA
Getting on with our introduction…some of you may be wondering what it means to be an “armchair attendee.” How can you “attend” the show if you’re not there? Well, here’s my process.
- In the weeks ahead of the show, I regularly frequent websites that compile manufacturers’ sneak peeks. Most manufacturers “sneak” their new releases prior to the show via their company’s blog/website, Facebook, Twitter, etc. and that can be exhausting to follow without the aid of websites that do the work of compiling sneaks for you. Three good websites for this are Scrapbook & Cards Today, Scrapbook Update and The Scrap Review. Each presents the sneaks a little bit differently: Scrapbook & Cards Today provides clickable links by manufacturer, Scrapbook Update provides a clickable list by date of sneaks, and The Scrap Review blogs sneaks as they appear.
- As I look at sneaks, I make sure to check out both official product images as well as any projects showcasing the new products. Often a line or a product that doesn’t grab me at first looks different when I see it on a layout or a card.
- Once the show starts, I watch online for photos and videos from the CHA show floor. Not all companies do sneak peeks or extensive sneak peeks and seeing new products together with projects made with them in the booth can inspire. You can try searching #CHAshow on Twitter, check magazines' and manufacturers' Twitter feeds/Facebook pages/blogs, or follow targeted CHA forums (like the CHA Winter 2012 forum at Two Peas in a Bucket or Studio Calico's CHA forum).
- Most important, I make my wishlist! That was made much easier this year by Pinterest. I started a CHA Winter 2012 board and every time I looked at sneaks I pinned ones that grabbed my attention. (Don't worry, I won't buy it all!)
Trends, Part I
Now let’s take a look at trends in patterns and motifs. I am not going to attempt to be comprehensive here, but have selected three trends that have caught my eye and will share those with you. Beware, lots of images forthcoming!
The first trend I want to share with you is chevron. Chevron patterns started appearing recently in scrapbook products, but they have really taken off with this show. While chevron up until now has been primarily a single color chevron stripe paired with a neutral, this time around it seems to be “chevron with a twist.” Let me show you some examples.
This paper from Lily Bee's Buttercup line features a text-print chevron pattern:
This paper from My Mind's Eye On the Bright Side line features a fun multi-colored chevron pattern:
How cool is this quilted chevron from Pink Paislee's Prairie Hill line? When I first saw this sneak I had to stare at it for a bit to figure out all that was going on here!
Let's move on to look at another trend: clouds. I don't know about you, but cloud patterns just make me happy. I'm seeing a lot of patterned clouds this year.
This fun paper from GCD Studios' Oh Happy Day line features chevron clouds.
This sticker sheet from Echo Park's Hello Summer line features three different patterned clouds - one with a text print and the other two with different grids:
This piece of paper from Bella Blvd's Sunshine & Happiness line combines polka dot and chevron clouds with solid clouds, some with tiny hearts:
This paper, from My Little Shoebox's Happy Go Lucky line, features polka dot clouds, clouds with a doodle swirl pattern, and, while it's hard to tell from the sneak image (one of the limits of being an armchair attendee!), I think some of the clouds have text:
One more pattern/motif trend that is popping up all over the place: honeycomb/hexagon.
I first noticed this trend with these two stunning papers from the My Mind's Eye Follow Your Heart collections (note that these papers also follow the quilted trend that we saw earlier in the Pink Paislee chevron pattern):
Another interesting take on this trend are the Jenni Bowlin Quilted Stickers, which come in four different designs:
Hambly also has an interesting take on the honeycomb/hexagon trend (and more chevron!) with one of their patterned cardstocks:
I could continue commenting on pattern/motif trends and pasting examples here for days, but hopefully this will give you a taste of what's out there and coming to stores soon.We'd love to hear from our readers - which of these three trends is your favorite? What other patterns and motifs are you seeing across sneaks?
Stay tuned for tomorrow's Trends, Part II, which will focus on product line themes seen across companies.