CHA Spotlight: Richard Garay

Here’s another highlight from the CHA MEGA Show:

Richard Garay

Richard Garay

Designer Richard Garay’s catch phrase is “make amazing happen,” and he does that with his new collection of stamps, dies, papers and accessories.

You may have been introduced to Richard through his Celebra’tions™ line, first shown via Spellbinders. He’s expanded the line and also branched out into several different looks, from spritely florals to outdoorsy lumberjacks.

“I don’t want to get locked into one style,” he explains.

For Richard, it’s all about the party! Check out this fun look from his booth:

Richard Garay

Richard Garay

The Celeba’tions™ line has everything you need for a party, from balloons and banner stamps and dies to a fun new box die for party favors or gifts.

And check out these flowers!

Richard Garay

Richard Garay

Lumberjack Days is more than just plaid shirts and manly beards … it’s all about outdoor images, include trees, flowers, animals, etc.  One fun set is the Great Outdoors die, which punches out pieces perfect for a 3D scene or a child’s school diorama. The Knitted Pattern and Pine Needles embossing folders caught my eye for next winter’s cards.

The Make Amazing Happen Collection has some great affirmative phrases, such as Brave You, Make Amazing Happen, and Be Amazing.

Noteworthy, with a slightly vintage flair (what he calls “modern vintage”), is built for corresponding with cute envelope, telephone and other designs, including some fabulous paper in shades of khaki and black.

As for accessories, I like the matte finish enamel dots as a little change from the shiny ones. They’d be great on more masculine cards.

Check out more on Richard at

CHA Highlights — We R Memory Keepers

The engineers at We R Memory Keepers  deserve medals for constantly coming up with the best crafting tools I didn’t know I needed. Let’s look at a few that debuted at the 2016 Craft & Hobby Association MEGA Show (and some old ones that need to be noted).

Two on my must-have list are the Alphabet Punch Board and the Goodie Bag Guide.

WeRMK alphabet punch board

WeRMK alphabet punch board

The Alphabet Punch Board (coming in February) creates any letter or number up to 3×5 inches in size with a few simple punches. (Don’t worry, there’s a guide book.) Use them for signs, cards, on scrapbook pages or create a banner. For banners, you’ll also want the Link Punch, which punches out a paper link. Here’s a great video link.

Goodie Bag Guide: This acrylic tool looks a bit like an oddly shaped ruler. It guides you in tearing and folding goodie bags. And if you want to add food to the bag, make it from their food safe, grease resistant glassine paper. It’s a treat you’ll want to repeat.

WeRMK party bag finished

WeRMK party bag finished

The Magnetic Staple Board (coming in April) let’s you staple ANYWHERE! The board comes with a small, medium and large stapler. You move the magnetic board into position on your paper, insert the desired stapler in the slot, and press away.

WeRMK anywhere stapler

WeRMK anywhere stapler

And here are some random things I love:

I love the look of letterpress, but hate using the thick oil-based letterpress ink. Ta da! Letterpress ink in a pad! Be still my heart! There are even gold and silver inks. Can’t wait to try this.

Get your foil on with the Heatwave tool, a battery-operated wand-like tool that lets you apply foil in your designs, using heat to transfer foil. Simply go over the foil, drawing your own designs or working through a stencil. Magic.

Confetti Punch – I don’t know why I need this, but I do. Have you ever spend hours punching out tiny bits of confetti? This punch makes it easier because it punches out multiple dots of various sized pieces. Shaker cards anyone?

Another kit I didn’t know I needed is the Mini Piñata. Especially the donkey.

Other cool tools include the Laser Square and Mat, a boon for perfect aligning (coming in March); a gem die that cuts out two gem shapes, a popular trend today; lots of 3D projects; more Next Level deep embossing folders; a snappy storage system (literally – there’s a bar and snaps and you just snap on the containers); ruler décor (yes, you create wall hangings with these rulers); and … maybe the oddest thing … a DIY teepee kit.

Thanks for stopping by!

CHA, Sizzix Part Deux!

Welcome back! Yesterday I started to highlight some of the new designs from Sizzix, but there are so many cool things, I need another post.

First, let’s continue with our designer highlights.


Eileen Hull® is such a delight! Here she shows off her new Twist & Style™ Tool (coming in May) which makes it über easy to twist wires, make cording, etc, and is so easy on the wrists. In the background you can see some of her fun designs. (Eileen has the cutest little trailer she uses to tool around the country … do check out her site.)

siz charyn sowell IMG_1649

I love the beautiful, romantic, detailed dies from Sharyn Sowell. At the booth, she showed me how to cut them apart to use smaller pieces. So pretty!

siz jill mackay IMG_1652

If jewelry is your thing, Jill MacKay’s Movers & Shapers ™ Magnetic Dies will cut pretty leather pieces, while the DecoEmboss™ dies nicely impress metal blanks.

There was so much more, with designers for every aesthetic. For instance, if you like to cook and bake, check out the Where Women Cook™ dies from Jo Packham, which not only has lots of treat boxes and bags, but some clever food-related decorating dies, such as the Bread album, which cuts out, yes, slices of bread-shaped material.

Get your ooh la la on with Kaari Meng’s French General designs; have some fun with Brenda Walton’s pretty posies; get back to nature with Jen Long’s outdoorsy dies and designs, including owls and acorns; and enjoy the whimsical doodle-like designs from Stephanie Ackerman.

For home décor enthusiasts, there’s the Big Shot™ Plus, with a 9-inch opening to handle larger dies, sized perfectly for home décor. The Tool Caddy attaches to Big Shot machines and offers a handy place to stash your scissors, pencils, etc.

Tim Holtz has upgraded his Vagabond to the Vagabond 2. There are upgraded adapter pads to keep the machine from jamming on sandwiches that are too, er, meaty. AND … he has some new dies… see more at his site.

And last, but certainly not least, are the 3-D Textured Impressions Embossing Folders, which give a nice, deep emboss. Here’s a sample:

Sizzix embossing folder

Thanks for hangin’ in there and stay tuned for more in-depth coverage of the hobby show.




CHA Report — Sizzlin’ Sizzix

It’s been about a week since I returned from the Craft & Hobby Associations MEGA Craft Show in Anaheim and I’m still sorting through my notes and catalogs! So much crafty goodness in store.

Over the next few weeks, I will share some snippets from the show, including new products, new tools, and all the cool stuff coming our way. There were lots of people there, sharing videos and Periscopes through out the show, so I hope my posts can add to the coverage and share a little of the magic that is CHA!

siz coloring wall IMG_1651

Today, I’ll start with a rather long post featuring Sizzix, makers of the Big Shot™ and other die cutting machines and accessories. One of the fun things at the Sizzix booth was this coloring wall, above. How clever is that for a crafty show? And it ties in with the company’s upcoming coloring books:


One thing I definitely can’t wait to get my hands on is Paper Leather, which actually does look and feel like the real thing — but better. It is easily die cut with both steel rule and chemically etched dies, as well as electronic cutters. It can be stamped, cut, embossed, inked, foiled, painted … just about anything you can do to paper, you can do to Paper Leather. It even goes through a printer. (Note: I have not had a chance to play with it at home, so it will need to be tested!) And it comes in several colors, including pastels.

Sizzix also highlighted its talented licensed designers with their own spots. It was such fun to meet them! If you love cute mini boxes and bags, you’ll have a plethora of choices, with each designer bringing a unique perspective.

Take a look:

sizzix steph barnard

The ever charming Stephanie Barnard® always has the cutest card making dies. Here she is showing off another cute one, a mini half card. (A larger version makes an A2 size.) I love how her cards are so interactive.

sizzix designer

Lori Whitlock designs the great dimensional dies, like the adorable birdhouse and lantern shapes:

siz lori boxes IMG_1646

These are so stinkin’ cute I want to have a party just to use them on my table. (These will be out in April.)

There’s so much more from Sizzix that I need to split it into two posts! So come back tomorrow for Sizzix, part deux! And do check out the Sizzix Web site for more detailed info.



CHA Sneak Peek — Hearts

Some of my favorite companies have been releasing sneak peeks of upcoming products. Since Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, let’s open our hearts … to stamps and dies!

I already love and want Technique Tuesday’s heart strings die — two dies that cut out hearts on a string.

BRAND NEW - Heart Strings - Jan 2016 (Shipping 1/15)

How cute is that? And this one:

BRAND NEW - Together Hearts - DIY Steel Dies (Shipping 1/15)

You can see more of the new offerings in a video tour of the CHA booth. While you’re at the site, check out the new Garden Club stamp — a crocus — and the cute robot stamp set.

I also love the Hero Arts offerings, including:


And this layering one, which cuts and scores and creates a cool dimension:








Thanks for stopping by!







New Year, New Toys

As the winter holidays come to an end, and the new year begins, it’s time for crafters to look ahead to another celebration – the Craft & Hobby Association’s MEGA Show in Anaheim, where manufacturers debut the latest crafty goodness.

One of the highlights of the show is the CHA Hot Product Awards. These products are selected by *media, celebrity and industry judges who pick out some of their faves in several categories, including bead & jewelry, fabric & needlecraft, general crafts and, my favorite, paper crafts.

Here’s a sneak peek at the three finalists in the paper crafts category:


Mega MISTI & Mini MISTI by My Sweet Petunia  

This hinged tool allows for multiple stamping, getting a perfect registry every time. The MISTI accommodates both red rubber cling stamps and clear stamps. Making multiple cards? Use the MISTI to get perfect placement every time. Stamp didn’t print well? Get a perfect do-over with the MISTI. Very clever and useful! This is definitely on my wish list. Check it out here.

The next cool tool is the new Silhouette Mint:


The Silhouette Mint by Silhouette America, is a custom stamping system.  You can create your own stamps (limited by the size of the machine). The machine’s “thermal printing” creates 3D reliefs of custom designs on Mint stamp sheets. Get more info here and watch the video. Can’t wait to see this in person.

And the third nominee is the TODO, a multi-functional machine that does hot foil, die cutting, embossing and letterpress. It works on all papers, card stock, fabrics and leather. One more machine I may need!

(*sorry, company has requested that I remove the photo.)

I have not tried any of these, but I hope to when I attend CHA next week. Stay tuned for my reports!

In the meantime, check out the entire list here.

Happy New Year! I intend to spend the day creating. How about you?

*I was among the media judges.