Blogs, Facebook and Twitter are bursting with squeals and shopping lists after all the new product was revealed last week at CHA, and I’ve been reading every post I can find. It’s always interesting to see what rises to the top of the popularity heap – and why.
Our own Susan R. Opel will be covering the entire floor for you right here in two photo-laden posts next week, and Kerri Miller will be sharing her observations as well. For now, in case you’ve missed it, our Go-to Gals have been sharing their finds over on the Moxie Fab World blog this week. Oh, and don’t forget our photo album on Facebook, either. We zig-zagged our way around the floor to fill it with photos of what you told us you wanted to see most.
Speaking of zig-zag, it was the first thing that struck me as a still-dominant pattern as I worked the floor. And it’s expanding into herringbone and Missoni-inspired treatments as well. We saw it in almost every booth – both on product and in project designs.
Giving zig-zag a run for its money, I saw a growing focus on the hexagonal shape family – from honeycomb patterns to chicken wire. As a design element that works for vintage, modern and everything in between, it was definitely one of the favorite new patterns at this show.
I was positively giddy to see that natural fibers and materials were woven into almost every collection – I’m a big fan. Linen, burlap, canvas, hemp, cotton fabric & twine, wood, leather, denim, and cork popped up as accents as well as entire collections. Patterns based on natural materials were used frequently in paper collections, too – from chipped paint and distressed wood to cork and denim.
Leading the way on the natural side and proving that it’s here to stay, kraft’s popularity is not waning either. Manufacturers are showing its versatility in all style categories from fun and cute to shabby chic and elegant. It’s found everywhere – patterned paper, embellishments, chipboard, tags, stickers and more.
A prevailing color palette isn’t always easy to spot because the CHA Show floor is a spectrum feast for the eyes, but there were a number of color stories featuring blues and yellows accented with gray. Windy Robinson noted the frequent appearance of navy blue in her Moxie Fab World post, and the blue/yellow combos I saw ranged from turquoise and lemon to steel and citron.
Washi tape seems to be a must for every new collection. Decorative tape in general has been up and coming for the past few shows (fabric tape, lace tape, patterned packaging tape) and it’s safe to say this falls into the paper crafting essentials category now.
Personal die-cut machines continue to evolve, and partnerships abound with stamps being paired with matching dies or electronic cutting patterns. Spellbinders continues to partner with a number of companies (including Unity Stamp Co.), and Sizzix is working with Hero Arts on a combined collection of Framelits. Sizzix also debuted its new Stamp 2 Cut series with Tim Holtz – a set of electronic die-cutting patterns for the eClips machine featuring matching stamps.
And finally, a thought about what I saw in small glimpses that might blossom into a new design element at CHA Summer: subway art. I’m going out on a limb, powered by hope because I love anything typographical, and saying it will get traction in the next few months and we’ll be seeing more really soon.
Stay tuned next week, because Susan has literally HUNDREDS of photos gathered to share with you. There’s so much more to come in showcasing the fun new products we look forward to seeing in your upcoming creations!