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. 

12/2/21

Magic the Gathering

Like many teens, Trevor enjoys playing video games. He is also a big fan of board games and card games. When he was 12, one of his fellow Scouts introduced him to Magic the Gathering (MTG) and he was instantly hooked. 

Magic the Gathering (affiliate link)

I had a lot of fun making this layout. The background paper is actually a sheet of white cardstock; you can't see it because I pieced the brick paper to cover it completely. (The brick paper had rooftops along the bottom that I didn't want on my finished layout.) For my title, I printed the MTG logo onto the cardstock I've been using for colored pencils. I journaled on metallic silver paper; I was pleasantly surprised how well the Micron pen worked on it. The final touch was adhering two very inexpensive Magic cards to the layout as an embellishment. 

If you have a tween or teen in your life who might be interested in MTG, I asked Trevor to put together this list of ideas for a beginner. Thanks, Trevor!


12/1/21

Poinsettia Gift Tags

Homemade gift tags add an extra-special touch to Christmas gifts. They take only a few minutes to make and are an excellent excuse for pulling out the colored pencils for a little bit of relaxing during a busy time of year. (Or, if your kids are younger than mine, an excellent task to keep them busy while you get something done!) Obviously, you could use any image for any occasion. I wanted to use this poinsettia stamp so that I could experiment with the texture of the basket, shading the greenery, and adding cast shadows. 

You can simplify the tags by not backing them with colored cardstock. You can make things even easier on yourself by starting with pre-made tag blanks. Affiliate link here and below. 
 


Poinsettia Gift Tags



Materials:



Steps: 


Cut the white cardstock to the size and shape of tag you want. (I'm not a fan of measuring unnecessarily, so I eyeballed mine. I don't care if the tags aren't all precisely the same). Stamp the poinsettia image on each tag, then use colored pencils to color them in. 

To back your tags, you could measure and cut. That's not what I do (see above). I cut a piece of colored cardstock to the rough size and shape as the tag. Then I adhere the tag to the back, and use the trimmer to cut the backing so that there is an equal amount along each side of the tag. 

Punch a hole through the backed tag with the Crop-a-Dile, then add a coordinating piece of embroidery floss to hang your tag. (Surprise! I don't measure that either!)

11/30/21

My Colored Pencil Wishlist

If you'd told me six months ago that 95% of my Christmas wishlist would be related to colored pencils, I would have been surprised. Since September, I've discovered a whole new world of colored pencils and accessories that I can't wait to try out. Fingers crossed that I find some of these items beneath the Christmas tree! Each of the photos below is an affiliate link; click it to learn more about the product. 

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Cindy's Colored Pencil Wishlist


The three things I want more than anything else are a set of Caran d'Ache Pablos (I love my Prismacolors, but these hold a much sharper point for detail work), this pencil organizer, and the precision eraser.

           


These are the coloring books and technique books I most want: 

          


There are a lot of accessories I need, like a good eraser set, drawing gum, and Sarah's recommended handheld sharpener

        


I'm going to need pencil extenders soon. And you can never have too many erasers or white pens - I use both regularly for all sorts of crafting. 

      

Is there anything on my list that you've tried? Anything that you want? And finally, is there anything else I should add to my list?