Friday 24 February 2012

stitches {2012}

It only seems like a blink since the trade show last year, and here we are again, starting over with another round of vibrant, brand-new products to kick off 2012.

Trade shows are awesome, you get to see all the craft suppliers in one place releasing all their newest goodies. It's a good way of judging what is going to be big this year, and my money is on fabric! Lots of our suppliers have added fabric to match their paper, brads, buttons and more. We adore! No consistency of design style could be seen, it was a variety of bright-funky-crisp, some muted-dusky-vintage, but I love fabric however it comes! Quilting is where I started way back pre-kids - I always used to sew my own clothes thru high school and uni.... so mixing fabric with paper-crafting is right up my street! Go grab yourself a cheap sewing machine and let's do this! It's much easier than you might expect. And straight lines are a big no, no. So no expectations for competency at all in this lark! Ironic that Lin and I are coincidentally on a fabric kick for this June's ArtsyCrafts, but what brilliant timing as there are so many cool things we can incorporate into our June classes. Lucky for us and you!

This is our huge acrylic topped cardboard desk, with recent art samples loitering underneath. Love this desk!

Here is how our booth/stand looked the last few days. We generally cause a bit of a stir with our red cardboard creation. Its a product specifically designed for trade shows, we have been using it for several years now, you cna paint it paper it...whatever you wish. Its cheap, portable and looks so much better than racks! As it was raining heavily when we arrived, we kind of thought it might turn to mush - but I found some muslin and thin plastic on the floor, and we made it inside with no dramas!

New of course are the additional 24 paints which now have a fancy schmancy double height acrylic display rack - very POSH, and shows off all the colours perfectly! Light, medium, dark and super-dark shades in 10 paint families. Plus 4 glazes, black, white, gold, silver.

We also have another 4 stamps coming from Lynne Perrella, they won't be shipping for at least a month, but they will be closely followed by another 4!!! Even though we go to a trade show, we continue to add new things to our lines throughout the year, and we still have more new spring releases to come!! Schtumm for now though.

We have 9 new Hot Picks. Can you believe it was April 2010 that we launched these designs. 2 years on and we still release a design a month, although at times like this when we release a batch in advance we get ahead of ourselves. They are so popular - Mr PA does a grand job. I adore the new fishy themed ones. And the flowers are always useful for so many situations. The large bottles will be a fabulous element to add to any project. And with the London Olympics site only being a 12 minute train ride from PA HQ, we have added some plates with London elements to the collection too.

We also have 10 Vintage (Ink and the Dog) collection stamps available. If you haven't caught up with the update, we launched PaperArtsy with Ink and the Dog in 2003. This was pre-distress ink days! Can you imagine!! We are now cherry picking our favourite images from this collection, making them larger, as they were originally designed for ATC art, and re-formatting them onto A5 sheets. Once this process is complete, the small A6 plates will be discontinued. Our iconic Ink and the Dog line still has huge part to play in the enduring vintage trend, and with over 130 plates in the collection, it really is time to prune it back to a more manageable size for retailers with the most desirable images on one plate.

Each day of the show I taught to sold out classes of retailers. They made a fresco paint technique sampler to put on the wall in their shop next to their paint rack- they seemed thrilled with that idea and 6 painty tags in 45 mins was kicking some serious paint butt along the way!! We got finished 2 of the 3 days, so the girls (and boys) did good!! They did squirm when I said "no cleaning allowed" for 45 mins tho!! Mwahahaha ha ha.

So there you have it, the trade show is over, and we are shipping out orders from today!! Speedy huh! If you are a retailer and didn't make it to the show, all our show offers are online now in the wholesale website and available until March 11th. Contact me for details if you need more info. or phone 01277 212911

Lastly a big thanks to Lin who came and helped us write orders for the 3 days of the show. Her retail advise to other shops on our stand was invaluable for them and us, and she was a whizz with Mark's amazing iPad ordering app that impressed many. We so totes tek-o-noj-i-cal us Essex folk!! Lots of well jell exhibitors! LOL

For those of you wondering when all the new stuff will be on our retail site-I'm guessing 3 weeks. In the meantime, go to your local stamp store - we start shipping today!


Wednesday 15 February 2012


Someone's been using my desk to paint! And its not the usual kind of painting that's get done on my desk either!! We've been getting ready for another show. That will be 3 weekends in a row of events. Don't panic don't panic.....this is my mantra!! Lol. It'll all be fine on the day but we always seem to be doing things right till the last possible second to get ready. It's how we roll I guess.

I know the colour looks kind of pink in the tray, but it dries a lovely red. So we're are using it to touch up a few of the panels for the walls of the stand before the show.

I'm off to clear it up so I can finish off some other bits and bobs before the weekend is upon me!!

Don't panic don't panic.....

Don't forget to pop on over to Julia's to check out other peoples desks and to join in the fun !

 Look forward to seeing you next week when I'll be mega relaxed!!

Monday 13 February 2012

Amazing Stamperama Stampers

Where to start! Exciting. That's what the stamperama show was. Exciting for me to be there exhibiting for the first time since 2005, exciting to have Lin demoing on the booth, exciting for Mr PaperArtsy who got his last minute lights to work, exciting for all the customers who turned up not expecting to see Lin at all and who were thrilled to see us both, and exciting for those who knew we would be there and dropped by to say hi, and of course so exciting for you all to catch up with each other, shop chat, conceive new ideas, and have a great day out.
Yes it was a lovely show, with a really fantastic vibe, and a real pleasure to be there. My favourite type of show are those with a specific stamping focus because all the customers and exhibitors have the same specific interest in common. When you get a bunch of people all on the same page it works!
So I'd just like to say a big thank you to those of you who came, it was fabulous to see you all,  and if you couldn't make it, put Sunday August 12th in your diary for the summer Stamperama. It will be the day after the London olympic opening ceremony, but I hope that won't stop you from coming along!
Have a wonderful week! Stamp your socks off!

Friday 10 February 2012

Stamperama here we come...

Today we are packing up the van ready for the Saturday build up at Stevenage for Stamperama.

The show opens on Sunday, Feb 12th 10am-4pm (9.30am for advanced ticket holders & wheelchair users). You will find the hall just in front of the large Tesco's on Lytton Way. The Stevenage Arts and Leisure Centre.

We have lots of new items on the stand for the show, plenty of wooden bits and bobs (and the bugs - called willeez) to decorate, or use as embellishments
We have the full range of Fresco Finish chalk acrylic paint with loads of amazing stencils,including those just released at CHA in January.
We have the 6 brand new Ink and the Dog re-formatted plates, they are A5 size, and all the images are much larger than the originals - we are working through cherry picking our favourite designs.

And today we are expecting a delivery of Portfolio Pastels, and some new tags (the type Timmy likes to use).
As if that wasn't enough we also have Wendy Vecchi art parts, clearly for art, Tim's ideaology line, Ranger consumables like cut and dry, glossy accents etc. Plus Ten Seconds Studio tools, moulds, mixed metal packs, humungo adhesive.
All PaperArtsy A5 size stamps (Hot Picks, Lynne Perella, and Vintage) will be available EZ mounted, and we will have an unmounted selection from Squiggly Ink,  Ink and the Dog and Urban Snapshots collections.
And of course, we will have a wonderful, very talented guest demonstrator at the show, the lovely Lin Brown who will be on the stand from 10am-2pm demoing with  Leandra and lots of these lovely goodies. And Mr PaperArtsy will have a nice show special organised for you too!

So the snow has all gone, its cold, but it's all good, we'll see you on Sunday at Stevenage!

If you can't make it to the show, a lot of the new goodies have been put online in the PaperArtsy shop this week.

Take care


Wednesday 8 February 2012

WOYWW 140 - It was there last week...

My desk was here last week...I promise...but for now, all the demo boxes from being away at Bluewater are sitting on top of it waiting to be tidied up again ready for Sunday. Yes we have had the best part of the last 6 days away. But look....a whole heap of stuff dumped on my desk! Oh dear.
In 2 sleeps we are off again to set up for another event at Stevenage, 'studio' has become the drop off point while racks are re-organised, re-stocked etc.
I'm hoping I can get the elves to return it to normality by this time next week! We shall see!! But if you take a look at my last post you will see that my work desk while at the show (and Lin's) was extremely productive, so I'm hoping that makes up for this little hiccough.!

Have a great week, and maybe we'll see some of you at Stevenage on Sunday. I do like a good crafting get together! In the meantime, pop on over to julias to check out woyww malarkey.

Saturday 4 February 2012

Hobbycrafts at Bluewater

3 days of the show over all too fast, just tomorrow to go. The new venue for the Hobbycrafts show at the Bluewater mall, which is only 5 mins from the M25 at the Dartford Crossing seems to be a big hit with the customers coming to the show. At the entrance to the brand new glow events venue you will find several restaurants, and of course all the shops at one of England's largest malls. 

In the show upstairs is the stitches section with lots of fabric ideas, findings etc, and downstairs is the Hobbycrafts section where we are (stand BB42)
Lin and I have been doing lots of demoing with freso acrylic paint, new stamps, lots of lovely new wooden items and of course all the lovely embellishments that we like to use in the process.
Now I know that what we make might look complication, but it really isn't. For many years, I have always followed a simple procedure to create an item.
  1. Make a background. In this case it was often paint, with more paint stencilled on top.
  2. Stamp in archival. Either on top of the background, or on another piece of card painted in the same colour combination.
  3. Embellish. Wood items, tags, ideology, know how to do it.
So now you know the inside low down, here are some of the items we have made over the last 3 days.
A bit over embellished perhaps! Lol
Everybody loves this owl
Lin got busy stamping images onto fabric , heat set, then colouring them with layers of frescos.
This one is a bit of a book cover styled piece, also by Lin.
This one actually looks quite Christmassy.
This one uses a Lynne Perella stamp. All coloured with more frescos.
As was this house from the Hot Pick collection which really comes to life.
This sample from Lin is gorgeously and unusually pink.. I think claret has become on of our most used colours this weekend.
And of course, everyone loves a bit of crackle! Another Lin sample on a new block of wood that costs next to nothing. She stamped the image onto tissue and attached with glaze making the tissue transparent.

Right I need to go to bed, fingers crossed people brave the weather to come out and see us tomorrow, a little bit of snow down here so far all the roads are well gritted down this way. But follow me on twitter, we'll be driving to the venue around 8am, and can give you updates on the conditions then.
Have a great Sunday !

Wednesday 1 February 2012

WOYWW 139 - nada, rien, diddly squat

Pinch and a punch and all that......ha got ya!! Coffee is kicking in!

It has been another week of late nights and early starts. My eyes feel dry, gritty, and probably require a good concealer to hide the bags underneath! However I did find time to squeeze in a bit of rusty play, and we had a good old matter on twitter this weekend with Kim Dellow about the Rusting Powder she has been playing with. See her post on last weeks WOYWW here. So a bunch of us is now know as the 'rustyartytarts' - there's a name to live up to!

So quicksmart I ordered the rusting powder, and I had a bit of a play on wood, paper, painted surfaces as you do. These have been waiting for me to turn into samples to have with me on our stand at the Craft show this weekend - but despite my best intentions, this is still how they look!
Have pretty much only had 1 day at work this week cos yesterday was spent loading up for the Hobbycrafts show this weekend at Bluewater in Kent. So I was thrilled on Sunday, when after a day of hard yakka with the PA elves and munchkins here at our world of rubberville, my work desk looked like this. Tadaaaaaaaaaa. Impressed!! You should be! It's HUGE!
That is a miracle. Fact. As you well know, my piles of rubber for trimming have been bottomless for many, many weeks! The feeling is bliss. And look at the purdy spanking new demo desk we have for the show! Well acsh this is Lin's, mine is red inside, hers is blue....apparently it's so MrPA knows which desk bit goes where...anyway....we have these cool sliding drawer things and everything! Very posh, and it will be splattered with paint in about 5 mins flat. hey ho...its a WORKdesk afterall! At least you've seen the before pic, I should show an after next week!!
Shortly we are off to set up the stand at Bluewater, its not far, only 40 minutes,however, that 40 minutes can be 3 hours if the M25 Dartford Crossing is in a dysfunctional mood . explanation:(M25 is the London ring road . the Dartford crossing is a poxy, traffic-congested toll-controlled bridge over the Thames - well bridge-over in one direction, tunnel-under in the other) . Once you get past that bit, if you make it to Bluewater Mall, we will be there for the next 4 days, and you can see whats on my work desk Thurs, Fri, sat and Sun in real life if you wish. Do say Hi! It's so awesome to meet online peeps in real life,so make sure you tell me your a WOYWWer too!!!  I am so looking forward to doing a show close to home for once! My own bed at night!!! Bliss

Thanks for all your lovely comments last week, I got around quite a lot of people. I try to do a few at breakfast, lunch and then late evening, so by the end of the week I reckon I've got around 30% of the desks of other people who participate in this challenge. I try to pick randomly - no logic to my visits what so ever! If you don't know what i am talking about where have you been?? WOYWW stands for 'What's on your Workdesk Wednesday', the brainchild of the very witty, blogger extraordinaire, Julia D. Do go check her she is officially 'proper' famous cos she's featured in this month's Craft Stamper Magazine! We all bow before her in awe and we adore her as our great leader on high. I am sure she has a throne in her craft room, and a sceptre and crown....and ermine mink collared velvet cape thingy.....well she does in my head anyway!

Come and play with us, its so much fun!