I wish I had more time for a detailed report on CHA-W, but I am fighting deadlines (what else is new?) and must keep my head down and work, work, work!
A couple of things to share:
First, Scrap Time was nice enough to film a little demo of Pop 'n Cuts at the show:
Here's what I can tell you about the ship date . . . dunno. (I know! Frustrating!)
Sizzix has an "official" ship date of June, 2012, which is the very LATEST they will ship. We are actually working on moving that ship date forward, perhaps (but no promises) as early as April! Whoo!
If you recall, I mentioned that these dies have to be manufactured with incredible precision so they will always cut perfectly, and so that the inserts (sold separately) will always fit/function inside the base. They are just making sure that the manufacturing is perfected before going into full production, and although it kills me to wait, I definitely approve of the high quality control standards at Sizzix/Ellison.
You can PREVIEW (not order yet) the entire Pop 'n Cuts collection on the Ellison website here. (Thanks to Gretchen for finding that link!)
The MSRP for the Base A2 Card kit is $49.99, which comes with your first pop-up insert - the Circle Label Pop-up. Think of it this way - it's a $40 Bigz XL base + a $20 Pop 'n Cut insert = $60 NOPE - only $50!
After you've purchased your Base A2 Card Kit (#657802) then you can purchase additional inserts for $19.99. Every time you sink one of those $20 inserts into your Base Die, you've created a $40 die for half the normal price and a quarter of the storage space!
Feel free to use these logical points to explain how much you SAVED, not spent, to your significant other. Heh.
In other news, I also did some design work for Echo Park. With the help of my buddy Lance Anderson, who put the whole deal together, Echo Park released two blank chipboard interactive albums that I designed. For many years now, Lance has asked me to design classes for him to teach. One such class was called Inner Circle, which was the project these albums were based on. Believe me, this is going to be WAY easier than cutting and assembling the album by hand.
Here are photos of the decorated samples from the Echo Park website. I would love to credit the fabulous designer who decorated these, so please let me know via e-mail or comment which amazing Echo Park Design Team member to thank.
EDITED TO ADD: Just heard back from Echo Park, who told me that Jen Gallacher decorated these albums. Thank you Jen, for making them so spectacular!
Last piece of news and it's not about me. It's about my dear, dear friend Gretchen Schmidt. (The "g" in gscrapbooks!)
Gretchen's friendship has meant so much to me that I can't even put it all into words. Because of her and her family, our family settled right in to our new life in Texas and felt the comfort of having their support. She's right around the corner from me (actually 7 corners and 4 stoplights, but who's counting?) and she's on speed dial for my entire family.
When I wake up to a text at CHA from John that says "Mom cut her finger and needs stitches. Gretchen is taking her to the urgent care" my first thought is "That deserves a CALL, not a TEXT!" and my second thought is "Thank goodness for Gretchen!"
She's THAT type of friend - the one that will come let your dog (make that dogs) out when you're away. The type that can see you and your house at its messiest. The type that will take your visiting mother-in-law to the emergency room to get her finger stitched up, or give a handy assist making class kits while calling it a hang-out, or help you mass-produce giveaway cards for CHA in the final hours after gently reminding you for weeks that you really ought to start that project, already!
In short, I love Gretchen.
Did I mention that she's a hell of a paper crafter? So I move to Texas, meet a friend who "gets" me, and (BONUS!) she rocks my dies! I've learned so much from her about crafting. She has this clean, focused style that never feels under or over-done. Me, I'm a space-filler, but by studying Gretchen's work, I've discovered a new ability to edit. (A little.) More is, in my case, unfortunately, sometimes just more.
Want to learn what it's like to learn from Gretchen? You get the opportunity, no matter where you live, because she is one of the teachers for True Scrap 3! Click the banner below to link to Gretchen's Blog, learn about True Scrap 3, and discover a great coupon opportunity:
This event looks amazing and I, for one, am definitely signing up! Gretchen mentioned that the link you take to get to the sign-up page is unique to each instructor, so definitely link from G's blog if you want to join me for this fabulous online event! I can't wait!
EDITED TO ADD: Small world alert . . . Jen Gallacher (who decorated the Echo Park albums above) is also teaching at True Scrap 3!