About Association For Creative Industries

The Association For Creative Industries (AFCI) is an international non-profit trade association consisting of thousands of member companies engaged in the design, manufacture, distribution and retail sales of craft products worldwide. For more about AFCI, the value of membership, or its Creativation Show, please visit www.afci.global

31 Days of Crafting: Creating Tradition


March is National Craft Month! All month long we’ll be sharing stories from your peers about what they are doing to celebrate and how they are encouraging others to discover the benefits of creativity.

This is a guest post from AFCI Staff, Keri Cunningham.

Every month is craft month in our house!  Crafting with my three year old daughter, Mae, is one of my favorite things to do.   We started crafting as soon as she could sit up straight in her highchair.  I’ve always had an interest in creative activities and was excited to be able to pass that along to my daughter.

She has quickly grown into a spunky toddler full of curiosity which still makes crafting a perfect activity.   Currently she loves to paint and make things out of Play-doh.

keri2.jpg

We will be celebrating National Craft Month by using the craft kits she received for her birthday. We are also excited to try some DIY slime making.  Wish us luck!

Keri3

Keri1

Keri coloring with Mae when she was a baby!

Stay tuned for more stories and tips on the AFCI Blog and all of AFCI’s social media channels.

What are you doing to celebrate National Craft Month? Share your story by emailing aarmeni@afci.global or using the hashtags #WeAreAFCI, #CRE8TIME and #NationalCraftMonth on social media.

31 Days of Crafting: Neighborly Inspiration


March is National Craft Month! All month long we’ll be sharing stories from your peers about what they are doing to celebrate and how they are encouraging others to discover the benefits of creativity.

This is a guest post from AFCI Staff, Alison Muldoon.

Well…it’s that crafting time of year again…and time again for me to check in with the crafting Kolveks of Ridgewood!

I wondered what my neighbors were up to in 2017. I made a quick phone call and was greeted by my neighbor at her door. Leslie had that crafting twinkle in her eye… I realized immediately   she was in the middle of another epic crafting project and I couldn’t wait for the big reveal!

With much anticipation, we walked downstairs to her crafting studio…aka…the “craft haven”, and there they were…fairy houses made out of bark and other recycled ecologic materials. Leslie had created these adorable crafted condos using $1 bird houses, recycled bark, moss, pine cones and a glue gun. The structures’ destinies are kid inspired planters, along with live plants such as lemon cypress, maiden hair ferns, pink polka dot plants, and maybe even a fondant crafted garden gnome or two! The finished product is a most unique and whimsical Fairy Garden! This is a craft idea that is truly worthy of recognition!

Picture

Leslie is a member of the Woman Gardeners of Ridgewood, a dedicated nature lovers group that sponsors a children’s craft program in Ridgewood, NJ called Green Kids. This program is offered by the town’s community education and introduces children to the topics of science, ecology and nature through guided craft projects each year. Green Kids touches the lives of children in many ways, one of which is to introduce the beauty and wonder of nature through these original and one of a kind crafting projects.

And it’s my neighbor who is the very heart and soul of this program. Leslie conceptualizes these projects by channeling her inner crafter. With unmatched enthusiasm and passion, she shares her talent and love of crafting year round with so many in the community.

I truly believe Ridgewood NJ is one lucky community…and, Leslie Kolvek…you are my crafting inspiration!

Stay tuned for more stories and tips on the AFCI Blog and all of AFCI’s social media channels.

What are you doing to celebrate National Craft Month? Share your story by emailing aarmeni@afci.global or using the hashtags #WeAreAFCI, #CRE8TIME and #NationalCraftMonth on social media.

31 Days of Crafting: Tech-Crafting at AFCI!

Featured


March is National Craft Month! All month long we’ll be sharing stories from your peers about what they are doing to celebrate and how they are encouraging others to discover the benefits of creativity.

We were fortunate enough to have AFCI Professional Maker/DIYer Member, Natasha Dzurny of TechnoChic, come by today and craft with us for #NationalCraftMonth!

We made flashing bow ties and flowers using her tech-craft kits.

Have a look at some of the pictures taken today!

Stay tuned for more stories and tips on the AFCI Blog and all of AFCI’s social media channels.

What are you doing to celebrate National Craft Month? Share your story by emailing aarmeni@afci.global or using the hashtags #WeAreAFCI, #CRE8TIME and #NationalCraftMonth on social media.

31 Days of Crafting: Scrapbooking for a Cause

Featured


March is National Craft Month! All month long we’ll be sharing stories from your peers about what they are doing to celebrate and how they are encouraging others to discover the benefits of creativity.

March is a busy month for AFCI Affiliate Member, Crops of Luv. Crops of Luv is a nonprofit organization that makes scrapbooks for families with critically ill children.

They are hosting one of the largest crops they’ve had during the year where they will complete over 20 scrapbook albums for families who have critically ill children that have been granted a wish.

crops of luv3

As one can imagine, it is a huge undertaking! It requires tons of hours of prep time in order to get all of the album’s and embellishments ready for transport to their event venue in Tucson from their studio in Phoenix.

It is a great event with an amazing scrapbooking group called the Pantano Christian Scrapbook Chicks – a group of over 120 scrapbookers that get together monthly. Once a year they host a crop in Crops of Luv’s honor.

Crops of Luv has been able to not only make scrapbooks but raised over $2,500 each time they had one of these crops. This is their sixth year having this event.

Jody McNeilis, Cofounder of Crops of Luv, states “We are very grateful for the opportunity we have to not only complete our albums for these deserving families but to raise much-needed funds to continue our mission.”

crops of luv4

Stay tuned for more stories and tips on the AFCI Blog and all of AFCI’s social media channels.

What are you doing to celebrate National Craft Month? Share your story by emailing aarmeni@afci.global or using the hashtags #WeAreAFCI, #CRE8TIME and #NationalCraftMonth on social media.

31 Days of Crafting: “It Runs In the Family”

Featured


This is a guest post by AFCI Staff Member, Kristen Farrell.

Most of you have probably heard and/or used the idiom, “It runs in the family.”

My great aunt, Kathleen Sullivan was a fine artist. Art was not her full-time job; yet, she painted whenever she had the time and inspiration, and even sold some of her pieces. Two generations have come and grown, and I’m sorry to say her talents have not been inherited. However, she instilled an appreciation for art in my family that will never be lost.

Almost one year ago to the day, my husband and I closed on our first home. About two weeks ago, we finally got around to hanging pictures and several of my great aunt’s paintings (or as my husband would say, “we finally gave in to putting holes in the walls”).

kathleen-sullivan

For National Craft Month, I’m celebrating my aunt’s artwork. I’m proud to share her creativity and have it serve as a daily reminder for me to make time to do what I love.screen-shot-2017-02-26-at-6-42-27-pm

I’m also hopeful for another family artist. Over the past few years, many of my cousins have had children. Who know, maybe there will be another artist among us sooner than we think.

Stay tuned for more stories and tips on the AFCI Blog and all of AFCI’s social media channels.

What are you doing to celebrate National Craft Month? Share your story by emailing aarmeni@afci.global or using the hashtags #WeAreAFCI, #CRE8TIME and #NationalCraftMonth on social media.

31 Days of Crafting: Instagram Photo a Day Contest

Featured


March is National Craft Month! All month long we’ll be sharing stories from your peers about what they are doing to celebrate and how they are encouraging others to discover the benefits of creativity.

To celebrate today, we invite everyone to join Therm O Web’s Instagram NCM Photo a Day Contest.

towinstagramncm

Each day, post a picture and tag #thermoweb with your photo that goes with that day’s challenge theme. They’ll be watching for your responses and, in turn, they have some absolutely amazing prizes to give out to you for participating! They have fabrics from Moda, papers from Photo Play Paper, books by Erin Schlosser and Amy Friend, kits from Maya Road, Art Impressions Stamps, Blend Fabrics, Deco Foil products, HeatnBond and much, much more. But here’s the thing . . . you won’t know what day they’re giving those prizes out. So the best way to win . . . is to participate and share as much as you can throughout the month!

Stay tuned for more stories and tips on the AFCI Blog and all of AFCI’s social media channels.

What are you doing to celebrate National Craft Month? Share your story by emailing aarmeni@afci.global or using the hashtags #WeAreAFCI, #CRE8TIME and #NationalCraftMonth on social media.

31 Days of Crafting: Roll-up Checkerboard

Featured


March is National Craft Month! All month long we’ll be sharing stories from your peers about what they are doing to celebrate and how they are encouraging others to discover the benefits of creativity.

For AFCI Designer Member, Betsy Burnett aka #CrazyShoeboxLady, March is a DOUBLE CELEBRATION! She celebrates National Craft Month as well as being involved in the Quality Craft Item of the Month – a time where year-round collectors from all over the world collect items to put into shoebox gifts. Betsy coordinates a group of charity crafters that calls themselves the #CrazyShoeboxCrew and they collect items to put into the shoebox gifts for Operation Christmas Child (OCC).

OCC is an international charity that sends gift filled shoeboxes to children in need all over the world. Shoeboxes are filled with: Personal Care Items; soap, toothbrush, comb, washcloth, School Supplies; notebook, crayons, markers, notebook, pencils, pens, gluesticks, rulers, toys, clothing items, a stuffed animal and more!

After creating and collecting items all year they have a huge shoebox packing party the first Saturday in November.

According to Betsy, Operation Christmas Child typically receives the least amount of boxes for children in  the 10-14 year old age range. With this said, she created a roll-up checkerboard to fit the bill!  The roll-up checkerboard is perfect for a boy or a girl it can even be personalized by the colors you choose, or the items you use for checkers.

Let’s see how Betsy put together her project!

Supplies Needed:
Fabric placemat at least 12” x 18”
“Checkerboard” stencil from Plaid Crafts “Farm Life Collection”
Acrylic Paint (Folk Art Acrylics Shown)
Stencil Brush
Masking Tape
Paper Plate
Peel and stick Fabric Adhesive Tape Therm-o-Web
24” length of Ribbon

Markers, Buttons, tokens (12 each of 2 different colors)

Optional:

Iron
1” velcro pieces

Directions:
Make sure placemat is clean and ironed flat if necessary.
With placemat facing you lengthwise, position the checkerboard stencil on one end of the placemat and tape stencil in place using masking tape.
Using stencil brush, apply paint to the stenciled areas, remove stencil and allow to dry.
Apply 2- 2 inch pieces of Fabric Fuse to the non painted end of the placemat. Fold non painted end of placemat up to the checkerboard to form a pocket. Apply firm pressure to taped areas to make sure the adhesive bond is secure.
Fill the pocket with the pieces you have decided to use for checkers and roll up board. Mark area on back side you wish to place the ribbon tie. Remove checkers. Apply 1 1/2 inch piece of Fabric Fuse to middle of ribbon (you might have to trim or fold over the adhesive depending on the width of your ribbon.) Place ribbon unto area marked, and apply firm pressure to secure adhesive.
To play: unroll mat and remove checkers
For storage: place pieces inside of pocket and roll up. Tie ribbon to secure.

Optional:

Once rolled up most normal sized tokens being used for checker pieces should stay in place for storage. For bulkier pieces apply a piece of velcro along the edge of the pocket using fabric fuse.

Would you like to learn more about Operation Christmas Child and how you can pack your own shoebox gift for a child in need? Check out their website for more information.  How to pack a shoebox!

Check out the #CrazyShoeboxCrew on Facebook.

Stay tuned for more stories and tips on the AFCI Blog and all of AFCI’s social media channels.

What are you doing to celebrate National Craft Month? Share your story by emailing aarmeni@afci.global or using the hashtags #WeAreAFCI, #CRE8TIME and #NationalCraftMonth on social media.

31 Days of Crafting: Suminagashi and DIY Tech-Crafts!

Featured


March is National Craft Month! All month long we’ll be sharing stories from your peers about what they are doing to celebrate and how they are encouraging others to discover the benefits of creativity.

To kick off National Craft Month, we are featuring two extremely creative and kid-friendly projects recently done by AFCI Designer Member, Carol Heppner.

Suminagashi Candle Holder

Carol’s first project is a candle holder… but not just any ordinary candle holder. Carol used Suminagashi marbling, an ancient Japanese marbling technique where ink floats atop the water and then transfers to plain paper, to create vibrant designs. Instead of using marbling inks, Carol use enamel paints from Testor Corporation for her project. The enamel paints also float on water and are able to dry quicker than inks. She then hand washed the finished marble glass with a soft cloth.

The finishing touch to the design is by Kool Tak’s Shiny Foils.

Let’s get started!

When creating this candle holder:

  • Follow the manufacturer’s precautions listed on the bottle of paint.
  • Cover your work surface with a plastic tablecloth.
  • Use craft gloves to keep your fingers clean.
  • Have long hair?  Use a hair tie to keep hair from falling into the marbling mixture.
  • Protect your clothes when working with paints.

 

carol heppner 3

Tools

  • Craft gloves
  • Plastic tablecloths
  • Low-tack masking tape
  • Disposable aluminum pan filled with water
  • Toothpicks
  • Glass candleholder, jar or vase

 

cool heppner 2

Supplies

  • Testors Paints  #1127 GL Orange and #1169 FL Yellow
  • KoolTak.com Ultra Clear Tape, 1/8”
  • KoolTak.com Sea-Tones Shiny Foils

Instructions

  • Place the masking tape onto areas of the glass that will remain unpainted.
  • Put on the craft gloves.
  • Add about an inch or so of room temperature water into the disposable aluminum pan.

 

carol heppner 1

  • Place a tiny drop of paint onto a toothpick and then touch it to the surface of the water.
  • Use another toothpick to place the second color of paint onto the surface of the water.
  • Continue to add the paints a few more times.
  • Leave some of the paint as drops.
  • Drag some of the paint in different directions with a new toothpick.

 

carol heppner party favor q

  • Dip and then roll the glass into the paint on top of the water.  Make sure to cover all exposed areas of the glass.
  • Remove the glass from the water.
  • Let the paint dry on the glass.
  • Remove the low-tack masking tape.
  • Wrap the Kool Tak Ultra Clear Tape, double-stick tape, around the glass.
  • Apply the dull side of the Shiny Foils onto the Kool Tak Ultra Clear Tape.

Note:  Do not discard this paint/water in sinks because the paint can stick to the sink. Use a piece of paper to scoop all remaining paint from the water.
Carol Heppner glass for party and weddings 1_edited_20170222165237580 (1)

carol-heppner-glass-favor-for-party-wedding-shower_20170224182255748

 

TechnoChic DIY Tech-Craft Kits

Carol Heppner technochic flower 2

During the Creativation Show in January, Carol met with AFCI Professional Maker/DIYer Natasha Dzurny, creator of TechnoChic DIY.  One of her goals is to inspire more women and girls (age 8 and up) to use electronics in their creative endeavors.  Natasha gave Carol a DIY light-up paper flower to make with her ten-year-old niece.

The TechnoChic DIY paper flower kit is a great entry-level project for young girls.  The kit comes with paper flowers, an LED light, a battery and a brooch pin.

Carol Heppner technochic flower 3

 

The DIY light-up paper flower kit also make an awesome party activity.  Each kit makes ten LED flowers.   The kit’s step-by-step instructions are easy to follow and the finished flower will bring a sense of pride for the maker.

Carol Heppner Technochic flower 1

Stay tuned for more stories and tips on the AFCI Blog and all of AFCI’s social media channels.

What are you doing to celebrate National Craft Month? Share your story by emailing aarmeni@afci.global or using the hashtags #WeAreAFCI, #CRE8TIME and #NationalCraftMonth on social media.

Creativation Wrap Up


This is a guest post by Angie Holden, The Country Chic Cottage.

Did you attend the Creativation show in Phoenix this year? I explored the show floor all three days to bring you a fabulous wrap up of the events. My name is Angie and I blog at The Country Chic Cottage about crafts, DIY, home décor, and even recipes. I have attended the CHA show for several years and was excited for this year with all of the changes. The first change was that the show moved to sunny Phoenix. Or they say it is usually sunny…

cha2017-002

For most of the show, it was cloudy and even raining! That did not seem to dampen the spirits of the attendees this year however. I thought the show had an amazing energy and vibe this year. I really felt it was the best show I have ever been to!

cha2017-001

Maybe the announcement during the show of the name change from the Craft and Hobby Association (CHA) to the Association for Creative Industries (AFCI) had everyone charged with excitement. Perhaps the amazing booths just jump started their creativity. After all, a walk on the show floor is sometimes all you need to inspire an entire year’s worth of creative projects. The following snap shots are from DCWV and Rustoleum.I loved the colorful message in both of those booths and just had to get a picture of them.

cha-collage-2

If you did not get a chance to visit the bakery on the show floor, you really missed out! I loved seeing all of the edible art and sampling the best fondant on the planet, Satin Ice.

cha2017-005

Scotty also made an appearance on the show floor. Scotty is the traveling mobile studio for Eileen Hull. She travels around the United States sharing her creativity and designs with Sizzix and Clearsnap.

cha2017-018

Didn’t attend Creativation this year and want a tour of Scotty? I found it empty one day and did a Facebook Live with a little tour just for you! Watch below!

 

The Innovations Center held 25 groundbreaking ideas and products. Each one had a display where you could chat with the inventors and even complete a make and take in some instances. The Ultimate Pitch contest was also held on Monday and five innovations pitched for the chance to win $10,000! I really enjoyed exploring the area and learning about some of these innovative ideas.

cha-collage-7

The star of the show however is always the products in the booths. I picked just a few of the products that were featured this year. These are all things that stood out for me on the show floor or overall trends that I saw when exploring the booths. I will start in the Pulsar booth just because I fell in love with this backdrop. They are bringing cross stitch back in a really creative way and I love it!

cha2017-009

I am still in love with the Deco-Foil from Thermoweb! It is not new however they have some new colors this year and it is still a hot product judging by the crowd at their booth!

cha2017-029

I was happy to see tons of organization products on the show floor. I love pretty organization for my craft supplies so each of these booths made my heart pitter patter. The following pictures are from Deflecto and Crate Paper.

cha-collage-5

Big chunky knitted blankets are all over my Instagram feed so I was drawn into the display for the WOW yarn from Lion Brand. Just look at that scarf! So amazing!

cha-collage-6

The lover of farmhouse style in me found a home in several booths on the show floor. From rustic galvanized metal to gorgeous wood finishes, there were booths that made me want to load up my shopping cart! The following pictures are from Walnut Hollow and Jillibean Soup

cha-collage-9

There was plenty of eye candy for the DIY lover as well just in case you thought that there were only craft products represented. I saw appliance painting kits and industrial sized glue guns. The following images were from Adtech where I loved testing out that caulk gun!

cha-collage-4

Need to create a mold for some casting? There were a couple of new products that I can’t wait to get my hands on! The first is ComposiMold which is a reusable product that you can remelt to create molds over and over again. The second is FastCast from ETI that sets in just 10 minutes!

cha-collage-3

Everywhere you turn there were succulents and cacti! The following are from Darice, Pulsar, Spellbinders, and Sizzix.

cha-collage-10

If the show floor is any indication, the adult coloring trend is here to stay! I am sure I missed some of the booths as there were just so many products geared towards the trend. Shirts, pillows, ceramics, embroidery, Vera Bradley coloring books, cards, canvases, and more! There are even erasable markers from MultiCraft.

cha-collage-11

A trend that seems to be climbing is fairy gardens. There were displays at Darice, Midwest Design Imports, and Plaid that were amazing.

cha-collage

You can get up close and personal with the Darice display in my Facebook Live video below!

 

The new exhibitors area is always full of great finds for me. I loved the Threads inkjet printable fabric! It was so soft right out of the printer and machine washable. Amazing! The Photomatic app seemed to be the talk of the show and I just had to try it out for myself. Another area of the floor that seemed to be busy was the MakerSpace where there were demos and classes each day. I hung out there on Saturday and admired the 3D printers.

cha-collage-8

Since each person seems to be drawn to different things on the show floor, I thought it would be fun to include a couple of wrap up videos from a few other bloggers that attended. First up is Carolina Moore with 30 Minute Crafts and Always Expect Moore. She also was part of the pair that won the Fashion Fusion challenge. On Sunday night, she showed off her look in an amazing fashion show!

cha2017-026

Watch Carolina’s tour video for Creativation 2017 below.

 

Jessica Hill with Mad in Crafts was a first time attendee so I thought it would be fun to include her perspective as well. Here are her thoughts on all three days of activity on the show floor.

 

Overall the Creativation show was a huge success in my book! I am now busy following up with contacts that I made and crafting with the new products that are hitting the market. I can’t wait until 2018! Will you be there?

Exhibitors: Who’s New at AFCI’s Creativation for 2017

Featured


By Amanda Formaro, Crafts by Amanda.

There were plenty of new exhibitors at the 2017 Creativation show in Phoenix, Arizona. A full alphabet of new faces, from AFA Inc. to Zorbitz Inc. and plenty of letters in between. I had an inside look while on the show floor and was impressed by the variety of innovative product offerings. I went live on Facebook and took viewers through several of these exhibitors during the show if you’d like to walk along with us.

blog

My first stop was at the Ann Williams Group booth where I chatted with Colleen. I should probably say that I’m a crafter and a painter, I don’t do any sort of needlework (yet). However, I love the idea of the Loop de Loom fast weaving loom that allows you to craft scarves, bags, and even stuffed animals in a much shorter time than traditional looms. The Loop de Doo bracelet maker would be ideal for tween girls and I think would be especially sought after by camp directors and scout leaders. Products available cover a wide range of ages, starting at age 6 all the way into adulthood. With brands like Craft-Tastic, Craft Crush, and Loopdedoo among others, there seems to be something for everyone!

blog1

I’ve seen plenty of DIY projects out there that show you how to change out your drawer hardware, but I’m loving the idea behind Cameleon Hardware’s design plates. These easily changeable plates are made from recycled Capri Sun and candy wrappers collected from schools. The concept is simple. Glue anything you like to the design plate and change out your drawer handle hardware any time you want. Leave the hardware in place and change out the plates as your kids grow and your tastes change. A very affordable way to change out your décor and style!

Next I visited Susan from Masterson Art Products where I learned about the Sta-Wet Handy Palette. As a painter that uses acrylics, this product piqued my interest. It’s made up of a thin sponge and special palette paper that provides a layer of moisture to help keep your paint hydrated, preventing it from drying out prematurely. This product comes in several sizes and replacement sheets are also available. Susan also showed me the Rinse Well which provides painters with access to fresh water without having to stop and head to the sink every ten minutes. The Rinse Well flushes the dirty water and refills the well with clean water. Finally, we had a look at their newest product, the Sta-New brush holder. Masterson says this allows brushes to properly dry by hanging them bristles downward. This forces the water to run down the bristles instead of into the handle, extended the life of your brushes.

blog2

I stopped by the Wilson Enterprises booth to have a look at their Birch Wood product line. All their birch wood is harvested from the upper peninsula of Michigan and is all kiln dried. Their items are used for a variety of things including ornaments, coasters, vase filler and photo plaques. They are used in scrapbooking, stamping, painting, carving, wood burning, screen printing, deco paging and plenty more. Many of their beautiful items have become quite popular for weddings too. From large slices of birch wood stacked to make a wedding cake stand to tiny slices of birch wood branches used in candle lit mason jars. Their products can be found in over 2,000 retail stores including big craft stores like Michaels and Hobby Lobby.

I know a lot of crafters and seamstresses that will love this next one. I stopped by the Scissorfobz booth where I could check out their line of products. Pretty hand-beaded scissorfobz come with a protective cap adorned with ornamental jewelry. All are different and unique making them great gifts. They even come with an extender chain for your larger scissors. Their scissor covers are made with their proprietary scissor gripper material inside. When you put your scissors inside the sleeve it grips your scissors so that the cover does not come off until you take it off. These covers come in a 4-size value pack and are available on their website as well as in their Etsy shop.

I came upon some of the cutest crochet, knitting and sewing kits at The Crafty Kit Company booth. If you followed along on Facebook live you know I spent quite a bit of tie in their booth gushing over all the adorable kits available. Aside from the individual kits, they also have themed sets (polar set, African set, forest set, etc.) that are geared toward the kids. There’s a special token included with the sets. Once your child has completed all the animals in the set they send the token back to the company and will receive a scene in the mail to match their set.

blog3

Another source for darling kits for kids was the Haan Crafts booth. Sabrina Cassidy of Haan Crafts told me that they are a leading educational kit manufacturer with kids’ growth and development in mind. They offer adorable bagged felt craft kits that come in a variety of animals including a penguin, elephant, owl, cat, hippo, dog, tiger, raccoon, pig, and a monkey. They are packaged in resealable bags so kids can keep their project inside while it’s still in progress. Each kit has preprinted felt with stitching, placement and cutting lines on every piece. The kits include all the supplies needed including stuffing, needles and floss. Each package makes a 7-inch stuffed animal and a matching key chain animal. Their materials are made in the US from recycled plastic bottles.

blog4

Talk about a blingy booth! Brightz are lights you can use in crafting, in jars, as accents, tucked into flowers, threaded with ribbon, woven through bicycle spokes… you name it you can probably do it! Be sure to check the packages for details first, but I even witnessed lights submerged in water in a flower vase (not the battery pack of course). A great way to add some sparkle to weddings, an anniversary celebration or holiday party. Brightz are widely distributed and can be found on amazon, in mass merchants, craft stores, basically all over.

blog5

One of my favorite product additions at this year’s show was Colorwear. Introduced by The Mountain, Colorwear is a new concept of coloring t-shirts. This shirt manufacturer out of New Hampshire dyes the shirts and then prints the designs onto the shirts that you can color with Tulip brand fabric markers (included in the kit). Each shirt is hand dyed with eco-friendly water based inks and dyes and then printed with gorgeously detailed coloring book designs. You won’t find these in the big box craft stores though. If you have a favorite boutique store you like to visit check with them, or browse their 50 different designs on Colorwear.com.

blog6

If you knit or crochet you know the struggle that is the traveling yarn ball. Kate, the founder of YarnIt, was working on a knitting project aboard an airplane when her yarn ball rolled off her lap, under the seat and all the way up the aisle. When she finally retrieved it, her beautiful white yarn was covered in grime and crumbs. That’s when she came up with the idea of the Yarnit. This plastic ball with locking plug holds your yarn keeping it from falling and rolling across the floor. A new design is also in the works for skeins instead of just balls of yarn that they hope will be available by Mother’s Day 2017. And here’s a handy tidbit. The Yarnit has a removable silicone base that is perfect for holding small items such as tiny scissors and other notions.

At the U-Paint Metal Crafts booth I found myself surrounded by hundreds of paintable metal designs. Turns out, the Frank Morrow Company offers over 6,000 different designs! These paintable molded metal items work great as sun catchers, on wind chimes, as lapel pins, refrigerator magnets, and ornaments. They are per accessories for a scarf or handbag as well. With 6,000 different designs there’s definitely something for everyone, including boys! Sometimes it’s a little harder to find things the boys will enjoy, but I don’t think you’ll have that problem here.

blog7

Enter the world of Diamond Dotz. Seriously, the gorgeous bling in this booth was overwhelming. One of my favorite things about crafting is intricacy. I get lost in the zone as I concentrate on tiny details. If you are the same chances are you will love these Diamond Dotz. The company offers kits, big and small, which uses a polyester fabric coated with special adhesive and a stylus which has chemical reaction with their dots. You use the stylus to pick up the dot and place it onto the designated area of the canvas using a code that identifies the colors of each dot. In the end, you’ll have a dazzling piece of artwork only available at  Needleartworld.com

blog8

Finally rounding out my tour of the new exhibitors I stopped by the Giani booth. For about $80.00 you can buy a kit that will transform your entire kitchen. It’s true! There’s a little preplanning involved of course. If you have cats that like to jump on the counters, you may need to block off the room during your project. You’ll need to allow your counters to dry for 24 hours before you can use it at all, and then allow 3 days before you put anything significant on it. There’s a 14-day waiting period for heavier items like a microwave. The kit comes with everything you need to make over your kitchen. You can visit their website or stop by Amazon.com.

There was a dazzling array of new exhibitors this year at Creativation, you can see the full list of them here. I am excited to try out some of these “new to me” products and hope you will too.