CHA 2013: The Hot List, Part I

By  Roberta Wax ( 

March is National Craft Month! Kick off this month-long celebration of all things crafty with a two-day recap of new paper-crafting products introduced at the Winter CHA Show. What's hot in paper crafting? Here's the scoop, fresh from the Craft & Hobby Association trade show held in January in Anaheim, California. First, let's check out new products, then do some trend-spotting.

  • March is National Craft Month
  • Products
  • 1. You'd think Spellbinders would run out of ideas by now. Not so. Working with ICE Resin's Susan Lenart Kazmer, they now offer jewelry bezels and metal blanks with dies to fit. Designs include hearts, triangles, rectangles, and more. There are metal texture plates and a super-strong embossing machine, the Artisan X-plorer. We were also wowed by the 3-D M-Bossabilities (which creates super-deep dimension) and the exquisite Imperial Gold dies; both are shown here. Check the website for great videos.

  • 2. Can we have too many dies and embossing folders? Apparently not. Everyone, it seems, has dies and embossing folders to make frames, pop-up cards, tri-folds, boxes, shapes, etc. Dies are also getting more intricate, as seen in the designs of Cheery Lynn Designs (shown here), Sizzix, Lifestyle Crafts, Ecstasy Crafts, and others.

  • 3. Sizzix, for instance, offers everythings from Thinlets (wafer-thin dies in simple to complex designs) and ScoreBoards (extra-large dies for chipboard or mat board) to Pop ‘n Cuts (3D pop-ups) and Stephanie Barnard's Flip-it Dies (scores and cuts so a piece of the card "flips" or moves.) Coming soon is a glam makeover for the Big Shot, which will come with an extended multipurpose platform.

  • 4. Hate "fussy cutting" images? Get dies that coordinate with stamps, such as 7gypsies, Graphic 45, Hampton Art, Doodlebug Design, Echo Park, Heartfelt Creations, Hero Arts (shown here), The Greeting Farm, Lawn Fawn and more. Lifestyle Crafts' new dies include a milk carton, lattice-work basket (shown here), and file drawer, while Paper Smooches' Hot Spots offer unique mix-and-match options, shown here.

  • 5. Tim Holtz added to his Ranger Distress line as well as his Stampers Anonymous stamps (we're wild about Blueprints!), Ideo-ology elements and Sizzix Movers & Shapers dies. Distress Paint is a fluid, water-based acrylic paint with a dabber top. Like Distress Inks and Stains, they react with water and work on paper, wood, metal, glass, plastic, etc. They have a matte finish and yes, you can stamp with them.

  • 6. Silhouette's Portrait electronic cutter is the little sister to the Cameo. The smaller size is ideal for card-makers and those with limited space.

  • 7. Craftwell's electronic (that's right, no cranking), large-format eBosser handles a whole 8-1/2"x11" sheet of paper or cardstock and has large embossing folders to turn out embossed tri-fold or A9-sized cards. A unique mechanism holds the plates in place so you can start the machine, go feed the cat, and the plates stay put.

  • 8. Love tools and gadgets? Head to We R Memory Keepers for the Envelope Punch Board and the Interfold Envelope kit, the Corner Mounter (creates corner slits to hold photos or layers), the Tab Punch (shaped tabs), and the Card Punch (creates 3"x4" card or photo shapes).

  • 9. KellyCraft's Get-It-Straight Laser Square uses a laser light to help align images. We also went ga-ga for Westcott's tiny scissors, great for detail cutting.

  • 10. Core'dinations, which makes the fun and exceedingly alterable colored-core cardstock, introduced Shattered, designed by Tim Holtz, with crackle lines already added. Also new this show was David Tutera's three-step system to make card-making so easy even my brother could do it. Buy the coordinating pieces (base layer, overlay, and embellishment) and you have cards in minutes.

  • 11. Stencils (and masks) abound. Besides the varied designs from Gourmet Rubber Stamps, Judikins (shown here), The Crafter's Workshop (shown here), Dreamweaver, Plaid, Stampendous!, etc., check out Ranger's oversized Dyan Reaveley funky designs and the whimsical stylings of Claudine Hellmuth, both shown here. Reaveley's fun female silhouettes include both the outside with the cut-out shape, and the cut-out itself, for a dandy mask.

  • 12. Reaveley's 9"x5" thin acrylic block is custom made for her Dylusions Couture Collection Clear Stamps, but the block's wavy edge is a perfect template for journaling lines or borders, too.