Aug 28, 2014

Scrapbooking Trends for 2014

I have noticed some hot trends in the crafting industry.  There are thousands of videos posted on YouTube about the latest inventions in the craft world.  Luckily, these new trends are geared towards making crafting easier for the average person.  It is nice to see things being done to include more people.  I feel we all have a little artist inside all of us just waiting to create something wonderful.

First, Color Sprays are growing in popularity in 2014, and they come in just about any color one can imagine.  Color sprays add vibrant color to mixed media, paper flowers, greeting cards, and scrapbooks. The paints make things so much easier for us to be even more creative than before.   Anyone can paint now even if he or she has no painting experience.  Just get some color spray and color your world!

Gorjuss stamps are adorable and have been on the market for a few years now.  In 2014, Gorjuss is still more sought after than ever.  Many scrappers are using these stamps to add charm, sunshine, and fun into scrapbooks, greeting cards, and tags.  There are different styles available, and new stamps come out every year.  Easy to use, Gorjuss stamps are like coloring books for adults.  We just stamp and color in between the lines!

We R Memories Punch Boards are also exploding in popularity this year.  The first punch board was for envelope making.  Now We R Memories has punch boards for flowers, gift bags, gift boxes, pillow boxes, and candy boxes.  These boards are a real money saver because we no longer have to buy these items, but we can make them!  We also have more choice and options in that we can use any color or style of paper we choose.

StampinUp is the place for stamping needs, and the organization has grown tremendously over the years. StampinUp offers the crafter a wide variety and selection of stamps, punches, dies, and other crafting tools. I like StampinUp because this company offers the buyer a choice between clear-mount and rubber-mount stamps for many designs.  Many crafters are shopping with StampinUp this year, and this is why I have included this company in my hot trends list.

Last, is the Chalkboard trend which has been around for a while.  Personally, I love the chalkboard, and I love decorating this piece with lovely paper flowers.  I have also seen one crafter embellish a chalkboard with colorful, cheerful flag banners.  Craft retailers are even selling lovely chalkboard stamps with beautiful designs.  I believe the chalkboard is very popular this year because this item takes us back to our school days when life was not so complicated.

The 2014 is going away fast!  I wonder what new things next year will bring?

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Aug 24, 2014

Which is Better Joann or Michael's?

Many crafters shop at both Joann and Michael's Crafts Stores. What is the different between the two stores, and how are the stores the same?  It is important for us crafters to know this information so we can save time and money while shopping for supplies.

Joann and Michael's are the same in that both stores carry crafting items like rubber stamps and scrapbook paper.  In addition, both stores also sell yarn and painting supplies.   When it comes to operating practices, both stores are open seven days a week with regular business hours.  I would also like to mention that prices seem to be similar between Joann and Michael's.  Save money by shopping only during sales, and this holds true no matter what craft store you choose.

Now that we know the similarities of the two establishments, let's examine the differences.   First, Joann is the place to go for fabric and sewing needs. In my area, about 50% of the store is devoted to fabric and other sewing supplies.  At Joann's, we can find patterns, sewing machines, and dress forms.  In addition, we can buy other sewing notions like interfacing, tape measures, elastic, needles, and velcro.

Michael's sells mostly the arts and crafts supplies.  In fact, that store is stocked with these items.  It is very easy to overspend at Michael's, and the shopping experience there is quite overwhelming.  I have even lost track of time while shopping there.  The Michael's store in my area also provides custom framing services and craft classes for the public.

So Which is better Joann or Micheal's?   Well, both stores are great.  Just remember Joann sells more fabric and sewing supplies while Michael's sells more arts and crafts supplies.

Hobby Lobby, AC Moore, and Ben Franklin are also good craft stores.   I do not have a Hobby Lobby in my area, but I have purchased rubber stamps online from this company.