12/8/21

Pantone Color of the Year 2022

Pantone has announced the Color of the Year for 2022, Very Peri! According to Pantone, "Very Peri displays a spritely, joyous attitude and dynamic presence that encourages courageous creativity and imaginative expression."


All week, Pantone has been doing a recap of previous COTY selections by imagining them as soda cans. I love how they look together. That's 2021 COTY(s) Illuminating and Ultimate Gray in the top left with the 2010 COTY Turquoise in the bottom right. 


Here's the same graphic, but with a close-up of each color. Even though they are beautiful, I find it easier to focus on the colors without the backgrounds showing. 


What do you think of Very Peri? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Gingerbread Tags for Baked Goods

While I wouldn't blame you one bit if you kept an entire batch of gingerbread muffins for yourself, they do make really nice gifts. Bundle up a half-dozen and give them to friends and neighbors instead of (or in addition to!) a plate of cookies. The smiling gingerbread tag lets them know what's inside. 


To make your own, draw a gingerbread man on brown cardstock and then cut it out with microtip scissors. I actually cut the ears off the template I made for the torn paper bear and used that for my gingerbread man. Then I used a white colored pencil to draw the frosting onto the gingerbread man. I tested my various colored pencil sets to see which white was the most opaque and ended up using my Prismacolor Premier.  


I have another idea for using the same template that will let me test the opacity of more colors than just the white. Stay tuned! In the meantime, check out some...

12/7/21

Gingerbread Muffins

I love making up my own recipes, and I particularly love when they turn out exactly as I'd hoped on the first try! These gingerbread muffins have a pronounced ginger flavor, enhanced by a mix of spices and molasses. They're delicious right out of the oven and even better with the vanilla glaze. 

 

Gingerbread Muffins


Muffins:

   
                ½ c butter                                                     ½ tsp salt
                    ¾ c molasses                                               1tsp baking powder
                    ½ c milk                                                       ½ tsp baking soda
                    1 egg                                                            ½ tsp ground cinnamon
                    1 tsp freshly grated ginger                        ¼ tsp ground allspice
                    ½ c brown sugar                                         ½ tsp ground cloves
                    2 ½ c flour


Glaze:

                    1 c powdered sugar
                    2 T milk
                    ½ tsp vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 400°F. Melt the butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Add molasses, stirring until the two are completely combined. Add milk and egg. Mix in grated ginger, then add in brown sugar. Stir until the mixture is completely smooth and uniform.

Combine the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice, and cloves in a separate bowl. Add the dry ingredients to the liquid ingredients, stirring just until you can no longer see flour. Spoon the batter into 12 greased or lined muffin cups.

Bake 18-21 minutes. Remove to a cooling rack. Eat them warm as is, or let them cool for 30 minutes before glazing.


To make the glaze, combine the powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla in a small bowl. Whisk together until completely smooth. If the glaze is too thick to drizzle, add milk to thin. If it is too thin, add powdered sugar. Drizzle the glaze over the top of the muffins. The glaze will harden in about 30 minutes. 


12/6/21

Pantone Color of the Year 2022

Each year around Thanksgiving, I begin impatiently awaiting the announcement of the Pantone Color of the Year. It's interesting to me to learn what colors are trending and which Pantone is predicting will represent the upcoming year. I enjoying making my own guesses from a craft perspective (rather than a fashion or home decor point of view) and then seeing if the COTY does indeed show up in craft materials, such as scrapbook papers, inks, and specialty paints. 

While I am very curious about which color Pantone will name as COTY 2022, I’m going to be really annoyed if they name another pair of colors like they did last year. (Or, god forbid, more than two colors.) Traditionally, the color comes from the Spring/Summer Palette, announced in the fall. This year, they presented two different palettes. Each has ten main colors, plus five 'core classics.' 

This is from New York Fashion Week:



There are a few surprises for me, the main one being Basil / Fair Green appearing as a neutral on their respective palettes. Conversely, the coffee-inspired Coca Mocha / Coffee Quartz are not part of the neutrals but rather a featured color. Interesting. I see a lot of pastels and wouldn't be too surprised for one of them, perhaps Orchid Bloom, to take COTY. Two colors, including Northern Droplet and Poppy Seed, are on both palettes, which makes me think they're contenders. I don't know - Pantone has surprised me many times with their selection.

What are your thoughts? What do you predict for COTY and/or what do you hope is named COTY?

12/3/21

CHA to AFCI to NAMTA

Seven years ago this month, a dream of mine came true. After four years of working toward the goal, I finally qualified for membership in the Craft and Hobby Association (CHA). I consider December 2014 to mark my official transition from craft hobbyist to a professional in the craft industry. 

With my CHA membership came a lot of fantastic opportunities. Over the years, I've worked with a bunch of companies I love (these are my current affiliate partners), taken on many freelance writing and designing assignments, served as a brand ambassador, spoken at conferences, seen my projects published in books, and met some of my best friends. I can trace just about everything that has happened in my crafting career back to my CHA membership and the steps I took to qualify. 

Over the seven years I've been a member, a lot has changed with this trade organization. Membership categories came and went (I was a Creative Professional, then a Designer, then a Digital Content Creator, even though who I was and what I did hadn't changed). The organization rebranded in January 2017, when the name changed from the Craft and Hobby Association to the Association for Creative Industries (AFCI). 

For a variety of reasons, AFCI struggled. It was obvious to most of us that it was only a matter of time before AFCI would cease to exist. So it was no surprise in August when AFCI members were notified that we would be voting to merge with NAMTA (the International Art Materials Association). The merger became official last month, with NAMTA absorbing AFCI. My AFCI membership, due to expire at the end of this month, rolled over into a NAMTA membership. 


While AFCI focused more on crafts (including the scrapbooking / paper crafts, kids crafts, and edible crafts that I do), NAMTA has historically been exclusively for fine arts manufacturers and retailers. Until this merger, they didn't have membership categories for anyone outside of those two roles. They have added a Creative Professional membership and are doing a great job welcoming former AFCI members into the organization. Still, fine arts is not what I do. Sure, I've recently jumped into the world of professional-quality colored pencils, but I'm using them for crafts, not fine art. I'm struggling to decide whether or not continuing as a NAMTA member makes sense to me. 

One major consideration is the annual trade show, Art Materials World. For 2022, it has been branded "Art Materials World Featuring Creativation" and will take place in Orlando in April. 


While I know I would have a fun time, I don't know that it makes sense for me to attend. If it were on the west coast, I'd strongly consider going. But the travel time and expense in getting to Orlando, not to mention the hotel costs (during spring break!) and possible COVID issues, make me question whether I should sit out a year and reconsider for 2023. And if I do decide to skip the trade show, does it still make sense for me to maintain a paid membership? Probably, but I'd love to hear your thoughts.