January 29, 2010

Five for Friday: It's So Not Just About the Product

Happy Friday post-CHA friends! I'm back from my adventure after doing pretty much nothing but editing photos and Facebooking all day yesterday. Talk about a zero energy day! True confession: after literally not being able to get to sleep until after 4:45 AM the night I got home because I had so many ideas running through my head, I didn't even get out of my jammie pies on Thursday whatsoever. I'm hoping to be recovered from the brain drain today, but I'm takin' it slow.

Friends, we had an absolute b-l-a-s-t at CHA this year starting with the Consumer SuperShow on Friday and ending with a mad dash to see as many products as possible before our flight home on Wednesday afternoon. And even though the very reason we go to CHA is to see what's new so we can bring you the freshest content possible in the pages of Paper Crafts magazine, it's also very much, and perhaps even more importantly, all about the people we get to meet and greet along the way.

I don't recall a time when we've had the occasion to meet so many brand new friends as we did this year:

...and it's always so wonderful to see the people who live inside my heart as the years go by:

It's an absolute thrill to get to rub elbows (or cheeks!) with the geniuses behind the products we all love so much:

...and we know that the connections that run between the members of our team are rare, strong, and deep:

But perhaps the newest and most wonderful thing of all was that I got to share it all with you for the first time ever on the Moxie Fab World Fan Page on Facebook. As we walked the floor together in a virtual world of instant photographic bliss, you and I, I really did feel like you were with me. Your reactions and comments made the experience so much more special--for everyone on the Paper Crafts team. In fact, we found ourselves gathering over the warm glow of my iPhone screen each time I stopped to post wondering who would think what of whatever it was I was offering up next.

So thanks to all of you who "liked" or commented during the 6 days we were gone. You made the experience all the more richer, and I'm honored to have had the opportunity to get to know each one of you better at CHA as well:

Let's do it again in Chicago, shall we? :)

Well, I'd better skeedaddle, Moxie Fabbers! I've got loads to prepare for CHA Week next week where I'll be showing you as much moxie fab goodness from the show as you can possibly STAND! I'll have one more must-see product from CHA Summer for Moxie Monday and then the moxie fab parade will begin! Oh--and I will have a new Tuesday Trigger for you, so be sure and get them loaded up before then!

Have a moxie fab weekend, friends. I'm secretly hoping for it to go by really fast so we can get to the yummies that much faster!

Chomping at the bit,

~Cath

PS I'd like to say a big "thank you" to my pals Brandy and Kelly for helping me out with the posting this week. I couldn't have done it without you, you chic chicas! You're the moxie fabbiest of them all!

January 28, 2010

Editor's Choice: Kelly Smith's Secret Love Affair with Buttons

I’m so excited to be crossing over to the moxie side today. Many of you know me as the host of the Paper Crafts Connection blog. While I stay super busy keeping that train going, I love hopping over to see all the amazing trends and products that Cath showcases each week. Talk about moxie fab!

Today I’d like to confess my secret love affair with buttons. Has there ever been a more versatile paper crafting accent? Whether your style is fun and cute, clean and graphic, classy and elegant, or shabby vintage, buttons can be incorporated into all card making styles...and almost effortlessly.

Last summer in our 2009 Gallery Idol competition, our Week Four challenge was themed buttons. Our Top 5 finalists blew me away with their creativity! When Rae Barthel submitted this jaw-dropping creation, we had a hunch she would go on to win the whole competition. And she did! (Click on the link above to see all five amazing button cards!)

And buttons are not just found in craft rooms. As I began to explore the realms of fashion and home d├ęcor, I was pleasantly surprised to see these happy little disks popping up all over the place.

I’ve always loved decorative pillows, and let’s just say there’s no shortage of pillows that use buttons as either an embellishment or as the star of the show. I stumbled across this How to Make a Beautiful Button Pillow post on CraftStylish.com and was instantly mesmerized. Some say I have a lot of patience, but I’m not even sure I could pull this one off. The instructions call for 600 buttons! And they’re ALL hand-sewn on!

And Christmas may be long over, but how cute is this button stocking from Crate&Barrel?

Like many women, I also love shoes, handbags and jewelry. These items can turn any good outfit into a great one. And no matter what your size, they always fit! I love these knee-high button boots from Etsy’s furbabiesboutique:

...the bright, funky buttons on this handbag by Etsy’s IVANandLUCY:

...and this flower necklace with vintage buttons by Etsy’s JustLiv:

If you’re looking to add to your button collection, head on over to The Button Drawer. You’re in for an eye-opening experience. No, make that an education. Their fashion button collection currently features 2,689 different styles, which are then catalogued into 80 subcategories. Yowsa! That’s a lot of buttons! And each is as unique and beautiful as the next one.

One of my favorites was taken from the “Vintage Style of Bygone Eras” category. I simply fell in love with the Vencencia – PK button. I realize the “PK” most likely stands for pink, but since this is also my nickname, it most definitely spoke to me.

How do buttons speak to you? Leave a comment by midnight MST on Sunday, January 31 and Cath will pick one lucky winner to take home some Vintage Buttons like these from Papertrey Ink:

Have a button-filled day!

~Kelly

January 27, 2010

The Card Creations: Start to Finish Challenge Winners

While Cath and the rest of the Paper Crafts team are soaking up the trends at CHA, my pregnant self [Brandy J.] is holding down the fort. :) I can’t complain. I’ve been able to get lots of CHA peeks on the Paper Crafts and Moxie Fab World Facebook pages and I’ve also been elected the lucky lady who gets to hang out with all of you today! I had so much fun looking at all your Card Creations: Start to Finish submissions. Your talent and creativity never cease to amaze me. Limiting my picks to 5 was tricky, but I think I’ve done it. So without further ado, let’s reveal our winners…

Outside:

Inside:

All Things Grow Card by Karla Kroese

Moxie Fab Alert: Karla did an amazing job of tying the outside and the inside together by placing her tree on the edge of the card. The rolling hills and soft blue sky are also great elements that appear on the outside and the inside to create a truly moxie fab and cohesive project!

Outside:

Inside:

Home Sweet Home Card by Julie Campbell

Moxie Fab Alert: I love the way Julie used the same supplies on the outside and the inside while still managing to make the inside simple enough to add your own note and signature!

Outside:

Inside:


Moxie Fab Alert: Humor is always moxie fab! If that isn’t enough, Heather also split up the sentiment so the entire thought wasn’t just on the front. This way the sentiment inside is like a little treat (and a good laugh) for the recipient.

Outside:

Inside:

Flowers Bloom Often Card by Jimmi Mayo

Moxie Fab Alert: By designing and placing the sentiment in the same manner on the inside and the outside, Jimmi’s card flows beautifully. She also carries design elements, like the scalloped edges and the patterned paper, from the outside to the inside for one moxie fab creation.

Outside:

Moxie Fab Alert: By simply using the same basic colors and shapes on the outside and the inside of the card, Silke created one beautifully breathtaking project.

I'd like to thank everyone who gave this challenge a try. Like I said earlier, all of the submissions were excellent! Winners, please send Cath your addresses in an email to cedvalson@papercraftsmag.com with "Card Creations: Start to Finish Challenge Winner" in the subject line and she'll get you your "I'm Moxie Fab" badges (if you don't already have one) and send you your prizes. And don't forget to pick up your copy of Card Creations: Start to Finish on sale now.

Sending hugs from the finish line,

Brandy

January 25, 2010

Moxie Monday: Cupid Collection from Pink Paislee

Fun and flirty, feminine and demure, your heart is about to be captured by the Cupid collection from Pink Paislee. Check it:















Pierced by his arrow, I think I'm undeniably in love.

If you were to win this collection, what would you make first out of which of these materials for whom and why? Let me know by midnight MST on Sunday, January 31 and I'll give two lucky random winners the opportunity to do just that.

I'm CHA-in' it as we speak! Make sure you click here for all the latest updates!

Have a GREAT day,

~Cath

PS Speaking of CHA--I'm a-hoppin' and a-boppin', a-schmoozin' and a-choosin', and won't have time to post tomorrow's Winnerday or a new Tuesday Trigger. So sit tight on these until next week when I'll have winners for the last two weeks' worth of Moxie Fab World prizes--and for those of you who haven't had a chance to give this week's trigger a try, you just got an extension. :)

January 22, 2010

Five (x2) for Friday: The Top 10 Ways to Experience CHA Vicariously

While CHA is a ton of fun and all, and I'm super excited to see all the new products, and I can't wait to catch up with all my industry peeps, there are more of you who aren't going than are. So, I've compiled a list of the top ten ways that you can experience CHA vicariously. If you do these things, it will be almost like you're actually there.

10. Pack a carry-on suitcase. Fill it full of your logo shirts, matching bling, moxie fab shoes, and nest it in a larger suitcase so you can schlep 200 catalogs home.


9. Color hair at the last minute. Annihilate any slight offerings of gray. And I'm sorry, but no embarrassing photos of me in a freaked-out frenzy of foil will be offered, either.

8. Walk around in dress shoes for 8 hours.
Sit down a complete total of 2 times. Then do it again for 5 more days. In a row.


7. Buy a bottle of water. Don't drink it because you're so busy talking to everyone you know. Treat the resulting chapped lips. Feel bad about using a disposable bottle.


6. Eat a greasy hot dog. Or a flavorless sandwich. Or a fattening burger. Wish for healthy snacks on the showroom floor. Hope you don't gain 3 pounds after eating all those empty calories. Do not, under any circumstances, run out of breath mints.


5. Charge all technical devices. Worry about losing battery power on your iphone. Hope the 3G network there is strong. Hope your texting skills on a touch pad will magically improve.

4. Take an umbrella. So walking to and from will feel less like swimming. (It's been raining cats and dogs in Anaheim this past week!)


3. Smile your head off. Know your face will hurt at the end of the day from all that grinning. A moxie fab problem to have. :)

Cindy Smith, Susan Opel, Anabelle O'Malley, Bippy Girl, Maren Benedict, and Jessica Witty at CHA Summer 2009

2. Watch for photos from our 4 booth events on Facebook.
Become a fan of Paper Crafts Connection to see what we've been up to.

...and the number one way to experience CHA vicariously...is that a drum roll I hear?...

1. Become a fan of the Moxie Fab World on Facebook and come to CHA with me!
See all the moxie fab fun as it unfolds! I'll be posting updates as often as I can!


See you at CHA--I'm so glad you could come!

~Cath

PS How are your Start to Finish Challenge cards coming along? You have until Monday night at midnight to load them up. And since I'm going to be so busy at CHA, our managing editor and my dear friend, Brandy Jesperson, will be handling the judging. She may have left you a comment already. So start what you've finished--or finish what you've started--as the case may be. Winners will be posted on Wednesday!