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Creative Leisure News
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The trends, the issues, and productive business strategies.

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Paper: The New Foundation

Allows scrapbookers to go beyond scrapbooking.

by Sandra Kay (November, 2003)

(Note: Sandra's email was one of many responses to the news that Crafts magazine is changing to Paper Crafts. Other responses may be found in the Business-Wise column and in the Nov. 3 issue of CLN.)

The decision for Crafts to change its name to Paper Crafts is a brilliant and forward thinking decision. For magazines the crucial factor is advertising dollars, and the advertising dollars from paper manufacturers is obviously there.

I frequent craft, scrapbooking/stamping, art, fabric, etc. stores. I listen to customers shopping, and solicit feedback during workshops I teach. I have a consumer's point of view.

Everyone loves paper! It has become the foundation for all crafts. The beautiful papers out there - just using them makes anyone feel like an artist. Crafters have become designers. Like one might take credit for baking a cake - when all she did was add eggs, oil, and stir - creative consumers take credit for beautiful art. Why? Because they have employed their own imaginations to make cards, scrapbooks, birdhouses, frames, etc, by applying beautiful papers/stickers in their own unique way to their given project.

Paper can serve as a foundation or an embellishment for an unlimited amount of surfaces.

Furthermore, as I've been saying and seeing for some time now, there is a growing population of scrapbook dropouts. I meet people every day who are frustrated because they've spent money on supplies they don't have time to use.

Making a scrapbook has become such an all-consuming, expensive project that only a small percentage of people with great intentions actually complete their albums.

A backlash is happening; people's lives are already so full and busy that making a scrapbook has become a burden, not a pleasure - an addition to everyone's already long list of to-do's.

What to do? Creative consumers have turned to quicker projects (greeting cards; adding paper/stickers to a lampshade, a light switch, a tabletop, a Mag Time Frame, etc.) using the same scrapbooking supplies.

Paper has a universal appeal for all ages and skill levels and decorating with paper is so do-able, so affordable. And now we are blessed to see great artists (watercolor, oil, graphic design, drawings) turn from the expensive framed canvas in galleries to the 12x12 paper section of crafts stores. For example, Thomas Kinkade papers are available now. So not only is paper universally appealing, it is the new canvas for talented and respected artists, and comes with advertising dollars available to back its growth.

Changing Crafts to Paper Crafts is a smart outreach program. Newcomers are reluctant to identify themselves as "crafty," "creative," or "artistic." Novice scrapbookers and stampers are shy about sharing their less-than-perfect page layouts, cards, and tags, but everyone is comfortable loving beautiful paper and this focus will serve to reach a larger audience. - Sandra Kay http://www.MagTimeFrames.com.

(Note: Has paper become the foundation for all crafts? Has scrapbooking become a burden, rather than a pleasure for some? CLN wants to hear, and will publish, ALL points of view. Email your comments - on or off the record - to mike@clnonline.com.

xxx

 

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