I can’t believe three weeks have passed since I arrived in Orlando, Florida for the CHA Summer tradeshow. The memory of traipsing over loose cobblestones through the swampland of the International Ghetto Plaza Hotel, looking for the nonexistent elevator to my second story room, while a small but hearty frog hitched a ride on my 50 lb. suitcase, is still fresh in my mind. But that's another story for another day.
I’m sure everyone in the craft blogosphere has weighed in with their show observations and product photos by now, so I’m going to keep my observations brief and stick to my favorite part – the trend spotting.
If you aren’t sick of deco edges, owls, birds, woodland creatures, trees, robots, and monsters yet (and for the record, I will admit I am not), you’re in luck. They are still prevalent amongst several of the new releases. Variations of these tried and true designs cropped up at favorite manufacturers like Jillybean Soup, Sassafrass, Crate Paper, Hambly, Bella Blvd., Cosmo Cricket and American Crafts, just to name a few.
Jungle animals, a trend I noted at the winter show, were still roaming here and there (particularly those elephants I predicted would stick around – Katie spied a surprising amount of elephants on the show floor). Over at October Afternoon and Making Memories, their farmyard counterparts joined the animal fair. How long do you think until the other companies jump on Old MacDonald’s bandwagon?
Holiday themes, somewhat scarce at the winter show, were back in full force – notably, Christmas Halloween, and Valentine’s Day. I was pleased to see the less traditional color combination of pink and sky blue in more than one Christmas palette, and lime green, orange and chocolate brown added a colorful punch to some of the yuletide offerings as well (Making Memories and Kaiser Craft come to mind).
While there were still plenty of saturated hues to appease color mavens like myself, there was a definite upsurge of more subdued vintage palettes – dusty rose, terra cotta, blue-gray, and sage, often with touches of black. Vintage chic was the style du jour for many of the booth samples. Making Memories debuted a new line of Vintage Findings papers, embellishments, and embellishment kits, which I've already spotted for sale at Michaels.
Hand-drawn whimsy (the style that I’ve come to think of as Elsie Flanagan’s signature look) seems to be gaining steam despite the fact that Elsie is no longer designing for KI Memories (or any other scrapbook company, for that matter). My Little Shoebox, Crate Paper, and Fancy Pants all had lines with a cartoonish, Elsie-esque look.
One motif in particular that has sprung from that carefree, doodle-y style is clouds. My Little Shoebox and Crate Paper both had clouds featured in their latest releases. I am forecasting a definite chance of precipitation (in illustrated form) by other manufacturers at the upcoming winter show.
A favorite new trend of mine was old-school toys. American Crafts and Cosmo Cricket were both playing the nostalgia card with paper and embellishments that featured slinkies, Polaroid cameras, little green army men, Atari, and more. While it pains me that the 80s are now "old school", I am embracing the idea.
I noticed that a few of the latest offerings seemed to have been inspired by the fabric industry. Fabric designers like Amy Butler have crossed over to license their designs to scrapbooking manufacturers before, but what I saw was more of a reflection of general fabric trends among independent crafters. It was a logical step from the recent indie craft influence on the industry. My Little Shoebox and Sassafrass both sported designs that reminded me of Japanese fabric patterns. Sliced fruit was served up by a few different manufacturers (such as Sassafrass, October Afternoon, & American Crafts), mimicking popular fabric designs amongst the Etsy crowd.
Please enjoy the inherent charm of these sometimes blurry, sometimes dark iPhone photos, with the occasional blue haze from my cute, rubbery, Paul Frank phone cover that no longer fits properly and often partially blocks the camera. ;)