Trends for 2018

Dear Fellow Crafters,

There’s a famous quote from the movie “The Devil Wears Prada” in which one of the main characters says:

‘This… stuff’? Oh. OK. I see. You think this has nothing to do with you. You go to your closet and you select… I don’t know… that lumpy blue sweater, for instance because you’re trying to tell the world that you take yourself too seriously to care about what you put on your back. But what you don’t know is that that sweater is not just blue, it’s not turquoise. It’s not lapis. It’s actually cerulean. And you’re also blithely unaware of the fact that in 2002, Oscar de la Renta did a collection of cerulean gowns. And then I think it was Yves Saint Laurent… wasn’t it who showed cerulean military jackets? I think we need a jacket here. And then cerulean quickly showed up in the collections of eight different designers. And then it, uh, filtered down through the department stores and then trickled on down into some tragic Casual Corner where you, no doubt, fished it out of some clearance bin. However, that blue represents millions of dollars and countless jobs and it’s sort of comical how you think that you’ve made a choice that exempts you from the fashion industry when, in fact, you’re wearing the sweater that was selected for you by the people in this room from a pile of stuff.”

While many of our crafts do not involve fabric, the fact is that trends influence our crafting into each year. The other “driver” is color. Pantone Institute says that Violet is the color of 2018. Many crafting professionals also indicate that the color trend will be combining pastel tones of metallic and glitter elements to create projects.

Paper crafting has  become a versatile craft which now offers quilling, origami, di-cutting, card making, stenciling, rubber stamping, water coloring, and adult coloring books as different options for crafters.

Several trends that developed last year will carry into 2018. They include

a) Paper Craft flowers: while there have always been silk flowers of all sizes and colors available for crafters, many of us like to create our own. I watched a fascinating program on HSN last year that featured Anna Griffin and a new die to use in making flowers. So of course…. I now make many mini flowers!

b) Personalization: Everyone, it seems, wants a personalized gift or home deco piece that makes an everyday item into something special.

c) Scandinavian style: This style encompasses not only wrapping paper and cards but 3-D paper houses, battery-powered tea light lanterns, sweaters, home décor and ornaments. I noticed it a lot at Christmas and liked the various colors which made interesting borders on my cards.

d) Geometric: Different shapes add texture and interest to paper crafting. Take a look in any Hallmark store these days – those cards are amazing.

e) Going natural: Several crafts have taken advantage of their surroundings by using leaves, feathers, wool, ribbon etc.

It’s going to be an interesting glittery violet year!

Happy Crafting,


Adventures in Card-Making · trends

Wood embellishments

Dear Fellow Crafters,

Years ago, when I taught rubber stamping at my local Joanne’s, I always tried to incorporate the different departments into the paper crafting section. It boosted sales for the store and crafters liked exploring the different items that they could use for their paper crafting adventures. I would show the stampers how to use tiny bows or ribbon and how to stamp on candles (tissue paper and a heat gun). I also used tiny wooden embellishments. The fad disappeared and I forgot about wood embellishments until I started making my Mason Jar Luminaries. I mostly used wooden ornaments with the lid toppers but was suddenly surprised when I saw a card at my local Hallmark Store with a wooden dove on it.

It seemed that wood was making a comeback – wood was everywhere! Pinterest had cards with wood and Paper Craft magazines featured wood embellishments. So I checked out the wood section of my local craft stores, photographed some cards at Hallmark (for ideas) and scoured Pinterest boards. Some of the ideas are below.

Have fun crafting,


Here are two articles that I found really helpful:




Adventures in Card-Making · trends

Pinterest trends

Dear Fellow Crafters,

… so inquiring minds want to know – what is trending in Pinterest for the winter? Well, I did some research and found that some familiar fabrics and tools are making a comeback. Have you ever heard that old saying “everything comes back”? Bow-tied blouses are now back in style. I will be dating myself, but I wore them in the 70’s!  Also, a 21st century version of the light box is made now by Memory Keepers and sold on HSN. So here are some new (old) crafts to try:

Vintage wallpaper notebooks

Burlap mittens with gift cards

Lacy bows


Mr podge notebooks

Zipper jewelry

Candle art

Wood slice ornaments

Hoop art


Painted rocks





New ink pads

Dear Fellow Crafters,

Below is a review of new ink pads that I found on Splitcoaststampers. Enjoy!


ColorBox® INK Premium Dye Mini Inkpads
Brought to you by Clearsnap
Twelve easy-to-hold mini ink pads

Beautiful color saturation

Juicy pads for crisp, bold images

Premium dye dries quickly on paper

Easy clean up with water

Manufacturer Description

At Clearsnap®, we love color! And finding new ways to help our customers add color to craft projects is our passion. From our beginnings in a garage workshop more than 20 years ago, we’ve grown into a leading US manufacturer in the paper crafts industry.

With the ColorBox® line of ink pads, Clearsnap introduced many features common on today’s ink pads, such as the raised inking surface which allows the use of any size ink pad with any size stamp. Cat’s Eye® inkpads brought high quality inks to the market at an affordable price. Petal Point® and Paintbox® inkpads offer removable plates or petals in a multi-color palette.

Clearsnap uses only the finest quality materials in our products. When we develop a new ink pad, applicator or embellishment, we put it through its paces. We invite some of the best, most experienced and demanding artists to test it for us. Products that survive and shine through this process make it into our catalog and onto our website.

Product Description

Dye inks look, feel, and behave a bit like water. They are clear and brilliant; they soak right into the project surface, and they dry in a heartbeat. The are perfect for last-minute card making emergencies. Consider them the workhorse of the ink world. ColorBox® dye inks offer:
Consistent color saturation for images that POP
Fast-drying and crisp stamped images
Blending versatility
Translucent properties – perfect for watercolor effects
Luscious, acid-free colors


Small, but powerful pads

By Ilina Crouse
When the ColorBox® INK Premium Dye Mini Inkpads arrived I literally squealed when I opened the package. I just love their size, they are 1″x 2″ which is larger than the ink cubes that are usually sold and the pad is raised so it’s perfect for any size stamp.

The mini inkpads come in 12 wonderful colors and proved to be very versatile. Because they are a little larger than the traditional ink cubes that you often see, they are easier to hold. Out of the box, my favorite colors are: Teal and Limon.

The next step was to play with them…actually that was my favorite part. If you know me, you know I love ink, and in general color.

I started by the simple techniques of stamping an image or sentiment. They stamp nicely; right from the start they give a smooth and bold image. These inks don’t lack in pigment, trust me! And the colors are bold and bright even when they dry. They dry almost instantly which prevents you from smearing your stamped image (which I am prone to do.)

Next I moved to more advanced techniques. Stamping an image using multiple colors using a stamp positioner (MISTI). Their small size allowed me to have more than one color on one image. Perfection! I stamped a butterfly in Aqua, Limon and Jelly. I was able to achieve nice transition from one color to the next without getting some yucky color in the transition area. I determined that these dye inks are awesome for single color image stamping and perfect when you want to stamp an image in multiple colors.

Now, why stop with simple stamping. There are so many other things you can do with dye inks, like watercoloring.

In my next experiment I took 3 ink pads and a large clear block and I applied rectangles of color without overlapping them, so I would not cross-contaminate the color on my ink pads. Again, the mini size came in very handy, and made it so easy to apply the ink on the acrylic block. Next I sprayed the block with water and “stamped” the wet block onto watercolor paper (or you can put a piece of watercolor paper on top of the block if acrylic block is large enough). I let the wet acrylic block and the paper sit together for 10-15 seconds, and then lifted it up. I was amazed how bright and saturated the resulting watercolor wash was. I could have played around all night with this technique creating these beautiful backgrounds.

Next, I tested the inks for straight up watercoloring. Again, their small size provided to be very handy in creating my palette. I used a Teflon sheet (you can use any non-porous material) to create your palette by simply “stamping” the pad directly to my sheet, then picking up color with a paint brush. As in my previous experiment the colors were bright and saturated and blended with water just beautifully to give great watercoloring results.

Small, but powerful color!


Bright and Cheerful Color

By Angela Bode
This past month I have had the privilege of featuring Clearsnap ColorBox Premium Dye Ink on several of my projects. When I opened the box and the inks tumbled on to my table my first thought was, “How adorable!” This line of inks are a great size for travel, and the lids stay tightly closed so they won’t come open en route.

For my first three projects, I was so inspired by the fun colors that I pulled out my solid flower stamps and simply inked up stems and petals. This is a fast drying ink so it’s easy to stamp a collage of images without the danger of smudging. For one of my cards, I stamped flowers with a trio of ink colors: Jelly, Aqua and Limon! The color combo is gorgeous and I was thrilled with the bright and cheerful results!

I used the MISTI Marbling technique on a couple of my projects where I stamped the images in a lighter color then picked up ink in a darker tone with my finger and tapped it on the edges of leaves and flower petals. The finished result was striking with varying shades of color.

I also created a watercolor background with the inks by stamping them on a craft mat, spritzing with water, then swishing card stock through the watery ink. The finished result was a magical winter sky made up of Indigo, Jelly, Aqua, Ballerina, and Fog. For my last project, I used a stencil to sponge on two of the softer colors. The ink glided onto the paper beautifully.

Included in this line of inks is a black ink called Coal. I stamped my sentiments with Coal and really like how dark and bold the sentiments look, which is exactly what I want in a black ink.

I enjoyed getting inky with this line of Clearsnap ColorBox Premium Dye Inks. I will be featuring them on many more projects in the future.

I Believe in Transparency

By Lydia Fiedler
I am quite sure I squealed when I opened the package containing these inks. They were just so…. ADORABLE! They come individually wrapped, so that no lids come loose during shipping, but I found as I worked with them that one of the things I really like about them is that the lids snap securely on with a pretty tight grip. I never found myself picking up an ink pad and having the bottom half fall onto my work surface – I love that. Nothing like dropping an ink pad on a card you’ve worked on for two hours. My one wish for the lid is a flat, or stackable top. But you can fit two of these side by side in both the Stamp-n-Storage and the Organize More ink pad storage systems, so you can save a lot of space.

The size is beyond perfect. I use ink cubes a lot because they are less messy in the MISTI than full sized pads, but what you lose in a cube is ink blending – the cube is too small to use a stencil brush or blending tool effectively. I think these are the PERFECT size for a stencil brush, and you’ll see a brushed sample in my gallery. Absolutely ideal size.

Now to the ink itself. When I sit down to test a new ink – and I do this quite a bit actually – I always do five things: 1) Stamping with photopolymer and rubber, 2) ink blending with a stencil brush, 3) watercoloring, 4) a “smooshing” technique using a Ranger Craft mat, water and watercolor paper, and a 5)reactivity test. These inks stamped beautifully with both stamp types. The Heck Yes sample in my gallery is photopolymer (ombre) and the ombre Deck the Halls is rubber. No difference except the expected one with a linen pad and photopolymer – you need to use a MISTI and overstamp a few times. The results are both great. Blending with a stencil brush was great – again, the perfect sized pad for a brush. That’s my giraffe sample. Loved the smooshing.

With some of these colors – notably Indigo – you get a color separation with a lot of water – COLOR SEPARATION IS MY FAVORITE – especially in the blue range. This one reveals a lovely pink with water droplets. The Jelly is absolutely my favorite color of this selection. It’s a perfect violet-hued orchid, and you’ll see it on the bow on the present on my monkey card – that color is the bomb. I also used it on my galaxy / snow background on the hugs card, combining it with Indigo and Aqua for a stunning night sky.

The Coal ink pad is sort of unicorn. It’s a water reactive black. So on my monkey card, the deeper shadows are with black. Typically dye ink lines make their black waterproof – but this one is water-soluble and I LOVE having a black ink to watercolor with – it’s pretty rare.

All in all, I’m thrilled to add these to my ink war chest. I love the transparency of dye ink in my daily arsenal, and these most definitely are A players.

Pretty Ink – Petite, Practical Packaging

By Dina Kowal
My favorite feature of the ColorBox® Premium Dye Mini Inkpads is their size. I have small hands, and sometimes I have a little trouble hanging on to a full size ink pad. These little pads are 1-1/2″ x 2-5/8″ at the base, and very easy to grip, especially with the recessed bottom of the base. The size of the felt pad is ideal for quick swipes on a background, tiering 2 or 3 colors for a Wrinkle-Free Distress background, or using the inks directly on cardstock or watercolor paper.

The colors are vibrant and unique, with plenty of room for additional colors in the collection. The ink is wonderfully reactive with water, in some cases breaking into beautiful component colors to enhance backgrounds and painted areas. For one card, I created a small palette by tapping ink onto an acrylic block – it was very easy to lift with a wet brush, and use as a watercolor medium. These dye inks are also ideal for use with Copic markers – no bleeding! On other cards I brushed and sponged the inks, and they performed beautifully.

Pretty inks, in a petite and practical package!

Perfect Fit

By Cheryl Scrivens
As soon as I received my box of ColorBox® INK Premium Dye Mini Inkpads, I opened each ink pad, lined them up…and smiled. Simply put, they are adorable! The ink pads fit so well in my hand, and the lids are easy to open and close. I have had problems trying to open some ink pads, but not ColorBox® INK Premium Dye Mini Inkpads. They are not too small, and yet they are large enough. The colors are beautifully displayed on the lids, and the names are on the bottoms. The names are equally adorable to the small pads, with names like Mud Pie for brown and Jelly for purple. I felt like a kid again and decided to get to work…and play.

The inkpads are juicy, and I started by swiping a piece of cardstock with each pad and marking the names of the colors. Next I smooshed each ink pad on a craft mat, sprayed some water, and then used a water brush to make color swatches. The water made the colors come alive. I loved seeing the range of colors I was able to achieve on watercolor and glossy paper…and to see them move so well.

I love to color, and I immediately thought of water coloring. But first I wanted to try another experiment! I do a lot of Copic coloring, so I stamped an image and used a medium-colored marker to test whether it smeared…it did not. I also printed a digital image using the inkpads for watercolor with the same excellent result that I had with Copic markers. I can hardly wait to color more. (Note: When I watercolored a stamped image with the ColorBox® INK Premium Dye Mini Inkpads, I did stamp my image with another ink that is not reactive to water.)

Next I wanted to see how well the ink covered with direct-to-paper stamping. I stamped several solid-image stamps and was very pleased with the coverage. The results were similar to what I have experienced using ColorBox Chalk inkpads. It was solid and even, but it dries instantly. I also used the inkpads to sponge using several stencils with beautiful results.

I have found a home for these inkpads a small plastic case available at office supply stores, and they will be a good traveling kit when we are away, and I want to do some water coloring. Given the size and color names, I think these inkpads would be a great gift to introduce a young person to stamping or watercoloring. This set would be a lovely gift to a friend along with some stamping supplies to get her started making cards…perhaps in a nice gift basket. The possibilities are endless. I look forward to playing more with the delightful and adorable ColorBox® INK Premium Dye Mini Inkpads!