What a year it’s been. We’re almost awestruck as the realization of another year closing is upon us, with CHA right around the corner and a whole new world of possibilities in front of us. We had some amazing things go on in 2015, from new machines and accessories coming out, to new dies from our licensed designers, to our first ever DIY Day as well as some awesome events that we attended and partnerships we formed- and of course Tim Holtz’s visit to our Sizzix Headquarters here in Lake Forest, California. Come reminisce with us as we look over this past year!
We welcomed some new members to our Sizzix machine family this year, and gave some of our beloved machines a little bit of a makeover. Our Big Shot Plus Starter Kit, which was featured on The Wendy Williams Show with Dr. Gadget as one of this season’s Hot Holiday Gadgets, quickly became one of our most favorite machines to date.. But the machine amazingeness didn’t stop there. The Texture Boutique and Texture Boutique Starter Kit reaffirmed to us how much fun embossing and embellishing were with its awesome new look and the added bonus of our award winning Inksheets™ being included in the Starter Kit. The Vagabond2, inspired by Tim Holtz, blew us away with its awesomeness. With a more powerful motor, and a stopping mechanism for when there’s too much pressure in the machine, the Vagabond2 created a commotion of excited employees here at Sizzix when we were able to finally try it out and craft with it. The Big Shot Pro and Big Shot Pro with Extended Accessories couldn’t be left out of the fun- with a new look and new extended accessories, both paper crafters and quilters alike can die cut with ease and without fear of having too much fabric or material taking up precious space. Our eclips®2 Starter Kit with Bluetooth® got a little bit of a makeover as well, with a new design, enhanced motor and speed and reduced noise- not to mention- Bluetooth capable! How awesome is that? SO cool!
A pop of color is a must when crafting, even if it’s just the accessories you’re using to create your craft. And we went wild with some fun colors for our Standard Cutting Pads. From Grape, to Mint, to Watermelon, to Apple Green, to Blueberry to Cherry Red and Java. Suddenly, we found die cutting even more fun than before (and we already thought it was REALLY fun) with these awesomely colored Cutting Pads.
Just when we thought we had everything perfected, the Precision Base Plate came along and proved to us that die cutting those intricate dies was almost heavenly with this new accessory. And for those feisty thinlits that just don’t want to stay put, our Extended Magnetic Platform enabled us more room to die cut multiple thinlits and made it easier for working with the bigger Sizzix machines.
But the most exciting accessories that joined our Sizzix family this year were our Inksheets™ and Inksheets™ Starter Kit- which won the Hot New Product award at CHA Winter 2015- and our Standard Transfer Pad for Inksheets™. These awesome sheets truly are the most incredible crafting must have. From Gold, to Black, to Silver and White, we couldn’t stop the color fun there. We now also have Green, Light Blue, and Red Inksheets™! (If you aren’t familiar with Inksheets™, we encourage you to learn about them on our Inksheets™ Week Adventure. We promise, you’ll have a blast!) It’s mind boggling to watch as our crafting accessories grow to incorporate things we didn’t even realize we needed!
We fell head over heels in love with both Stephanie Barnard’s and Stephanie Ackerman’s new dies that came out this year. Stephanie Barnard’s Happy Birthday Step-up Card and her Dragonflies Triplits were instant favorites, making us smile like happy little kids every time we went to craft with them.. Stephanie Ackerman’s Box & Card made for the most adorable way to share a sentiment with someone, and her Snowman & Tag was hands down perfect for this holiday season. We cannot wait to see what they have for us next year!
The excitement that runs through our Sizzix office here in Lake Forest, California is almost borderline funny when our Creative Director of New Markets, Jen Long has new dies come out. Hand-selected by Jen herself for this blog, she chose her adorable Jar Fold-a-Long Card and her Christmas Greetings Clear Interchangeable Stamps, and we couldn’t agree more with her choices- especially since the two lines seamlessly work together for year-round crafting awesomeness! The cuteness overload winner though, hands down, goes to Lori Whitlock. Her Purse Bag and Owl caused squeals of delight in our Art Department- seriously; we didn’t know that so much cuteness could be contained in a single craft. So much yes!
Whether you want to send a beautiful card, or make a fun paper craft, or even throw a beach themed party, Pete Hughes and Sharyn Sowell’s dies were the ticket there this year. Pete’s beautiful Delicate Wings thinlit astounded us with the gorgeousness we could add to our cards and paper crafting. Sharyn’s Nautical Lantern with Embellishments immediately made us want to start planning the most epic beach themed party ever- which Parties for Pennies helped make happen on our blog.
Wanderlust. Whimsy. Two words that perfectly describe the lines that came out this year by Eileen Hull and Brenda Walton. Throughout Eileen and Scotty’s Paper Trail Tour earlier this year, Eileen taught numerous classes using her now infamous and awesomely versatile Train Case Box- we were amazed with how uniquely different and amazing each project was when we saw pictures from her classes. Her newest die, the Cantilever Sewing Box, has had a similar outcome of absolute amazingness. Brenda Walton’s Favorite Things quickly became our favorite things. With her Flying Bird and Whimsy & Delight dies, we were hooked, unable to contain our eagerness for making anything and everything we could.
Crazy Birds. Crazy Things. Zombies, Winter Dwellings, Paper Punches… just pure awesome. Awesome is always the outcome with Tim Holtz and his dies. (And pretty much anything he comes up with.) Crazy Birds and Crazy Things took the crafting world by storm this summer, and we couldn’t have been more thrilled by the crafts they inspired! We had so much fun with them that we too might have gone a little craft crazy. But then, Halloween and Winter came around and once again our attention was diverted to more awesome with the Zombie thinlits and Winter Dwelling. (The author of this blog may have attempted to convince the Art Department to make a Santa Zombie to accompany the Winter Dwelling we created in house, but her attempts were rebuffed.) We were so excited to make our own Winter Dwellings in Tim’s class he gave while he was here at Sizzix for a visit…but we’ll get to that later. These dies were perfect for the holidays this year, and with the addition of Crazy Things for those Crazy Birds, now we can craft with some craziness year round.
From jewelry making, to usable paper crafts, to card making, Doodlebug Designs Inc, French General, Jillibean Soup and Vintaj definitely delivered on all fronts this year with their respective new dies. Doodlebug’s Notebook, Paper, Tag & Ticket die was absolutely adorable for making cards for any occasion, and Jillibean Soup’s Epic & Sweet thinlits add the perfect touch of cuteness to any paper craft project. French General’s Box with Drawer is one of the most adorable usable crafts we’ve seen, perfect for any trinkets or small items you want to store. Vintaj’s DecoEtch Engraved Flower beautifully etches its design onto a variety of materials, though our favorite use for it was on the Vintaj Blanks for making some truly killer jewelry pieces!
All things are bright with Rachael Bright, and this year encompassed that with her new dies. Her Happy Home Clear Stamps were perfect for adding that homemade touch to our crafts, and her Card Basics thinlits made some seriously awesome cards. With the arrival of our new Big Shot Plus, we knew we needed some dies to specifically go with it, and we couldn’t be more excited about these two new dies! Our Tall Bag with Scallop Flap was absolutely fantastic for making treat and favor bags, but our favorite one is the Cupcake Box- adorable as it is usable, and almost too cute to try and eat the cupcake inside!
What could be cuter than vintage cameras, mustaches, kittens and snowmen? Echo Park Paper Company and Debi Potter delivered on these trends this year with their respective collections. Echo Park’s Camera Bigz die and Kiss Mix lent to some seriously adorable projects, and even some cute Valentine’s Day cards for next year. Debi’s Let It Snow and Playful Kitten thinlits were so much fun to make cards and gift wrap for the holidays- and you can never go wrong with a cute Kitten Card no matter what time of year it is!
When it comes to fun and unique (and adorable...everything is adorable) quilting dies and ideas, Jorli Perine and Kerry Goulder (Kid Giddy) always come out with something awesome. With Jorli’s Flip-Flop die for the summer and her Snowflake die for this winter, we had year-round quilting and sewing fun! Kid Giddy took us back to the days of loving stuffed animals with her Hedgehog die and her newest Fox die. Cuddly, cute and perfect for giving as gifts to the kiddos in your life (or even for you when you need a moment), these animals are sure to bring a delighted smile to anyone who sees them.
We couldn’t help but be wowed by the dies that Victoria Findlay Wolfe and Missouri Star Quilt Co came out with this year for quilting. Victoria’s Double Wedding Ring immediately caught our eye and was quickly used for pillows and quilts that left us in utter awe. Her newest die, Rocking The House, got us super excited (not just because of the fantastic name) but because we had visions of an amazing quilt dancing- no, rocking out in our heads. We love the final result. Missouri Star Quilt Co’s Circle Magic die truly lived up to its name- we can’t even begin to count how many different pincushions we made- each one so uniquely different depending on the person who made it. Their Large Simple Wedge die was absolutely perfect for creating a gorgeous Christmas quilt for this holiday season.
This year was full of amazing events, one of which we held here at our Sizzix Headquarters in Lake Forest, California! Full of crafting, fun, networking and learning, each of these events gave us the unique opportunity to meet and craft with all of you!
We kicked off the year attending Craftcation in Venice Beach, California. This amazing conference was created for all the makers, doers and dreamers to come together to collaborate and inspire. We had the wonderful opportunity to host classes and did a few make and takes both during the early part of dinner and then again at happy hour. Crafting and being within eyesight of the beach made for a totally awesome time had by all!
We traveled to Utah a few weeks later to attend the SNAP! Conference, and can we just say- WOW. This conference was started for DIY bloggers from all over the world to come together to learn, craft, eat, and connect. Our booth was privileged with having Eileen Hull, Laura Kelly and Jo Packam demo their collection of Sizzix dies with attendees. But the real fun was when we threw an epic beach themed party- complete with karaoke. We are still so grateful to our Sizzix Design Team Members who helped us make our beach party be the splashing good time that it was!
Our next stop was close to home in Newport Beach, California where we attended the Elevate Blog Conference. This fun event was for bloggers and sponsors alike, to network, build friendships, and spread inspiration. We demonstrated some cute projects with our new Big Shot Plus and brought along other ready made projects to show bloggers what they could make with Sizzix products. But the tasty treat that we brought with us as a thank you to everyone at the conference definitely took the the cake. Or the cookie rather. We loved being apart of this awesome event, and meeting such amazing and wonderful women.
This- this event was the event of the year- and with it being put on by none other than Brit + Co- there was no way we weren’t going to Re:Make2015 in San Francisco, California. From all of the amazing booths and people we saw and met while there, to our Sizzix booth and make and takes (which included an awesome Feather Necklace, glitter tattoos, and Dog Tag Keychains which utilized our awesome new eclips®2) we found ourselves not wanting the event to end. We literally cannot wait to go back next year.
Our fabulous and amazing quilting team travelled to Houston, Texas prior to Halloween for the most epic quilting events of the year- Quilt Market & Quilt Festival 2015. During this whirlwind of quilting awesomeness, our team kicked off their time in Houston at Quilt Market, introducing 19 new dies from our Quilting Licensed Designers and participating in special sessions where Victoria Findlay Wolfe and Kerry Goulder (Kid Giddy) demonstrated their new dies, and Victoria’s new fabric. Next came the Quilt Festival, where shopping galore was the highlight for attendees- but our team was most enthusiastic about the Quilt Show. Hundreds of stunningly beautiful quilts were on display for everyone to see, showing the exquisite talent of each quilter at the show. So much quilting goodness!
This year was the year we started a new DIY tradition. We held our first ever DIY Day Event at our Sizzix Headquarters here in Lake Forest, California. Both Friday and Saturday of November 6th and 7th, we opened our doors and parking lot to anyone who wanted to attend, and awesomeness ensued. From demos, to make and takes, to food trucks, to giveaways and games, to discounts on products, to every type of crafting imaginable- we were so happy and so grateful to meet and craft and have fun with all of you who came out and joined us. Watch out for this epic event next year- it’s gonna be AMAZING!
This year was a year of some awesome partnerships (we prefer to call them friendships though) with some amazing people and companies. From having a summer filled with love to having the Queen of Unicorns and Imagination herself inspiring us, to seeing our machine and dies on the shelves of a huge retailer, this portion of our year was full of laughter, learning, and of course, crafting and quilting.
This summer was one of creativity, crafting and love! David Cruz from Finding-Cupid.com spent some quality time with us, sharing his love for all things romance and craft, bringing together the two for a truly spectacular Sizzix video series called Summer of Love. We got to make everything for the perfect Summer Love party: invitations, decorations, a handmade modern menu and of course, treats. This awesome friendship with David was super sweet and oh so lovely.
In all of the crafting industry, you will never meet a person like Rachel Faucett, the Founder and Frontrunner of Handmade Charlotte. Full of life, enthusiasm, imagination, and most likely part unicorn and part crafting wizard (we’re “triple cheeseburger serious”- she’s THAT awesome. We’re fairly certain she lives on a diet of sushi and glitter.) we immediately bonded with Rachel when she showed up to our Sizzix Headquarters office. We were blown away with the truly awesome crafts we made with her- Watercolor Wrapping Paper (the super secret way to wrap the most amazing way), a Crazy Top Hat, which came in handy for Hat Day here at our office, a Paper Lantern- perfect for party decor or just to add a pop of color and pizzaz to your home. And lastly, our favorite, Minty Wish Bubble Balloons- full of glitter, imagination and little tiny paper unicorns. We had SO much fun with Rachel for these projects- and the laughter we shared made our sides hurt in a good way.
Sizzix Quilting had an exciting year, and our biggest news was finally given the green light to be shared prior to Thanksgiving. It was like hitting the winning grand slam in a baseball game, or finding that lost piece of fabric you had been saving for a special project when we found out that Walmart would be carrying our Big Shot machine and select quilting dies. What excited us the most was having the opportunity to share quick and easy fabric cutting with a wider crafting audience and the chance to inspire people to develop their creativity and to complete fun, fantastical projects.
This year, Christmas came early for all of us here at our Sizzix Headquarters. Tim Holtz and Mario Rossi spent not 1, not 2, but 3 entire days with us the second week in October. Between Periscoping, doing giveaways, filming his Holiday Collection and other super secret things related to CHA2016, we felt like little energizer bunnies- ready and enthusiastic for the next thing. Little did some of us know, that next thing was a class taught by Tim on making his Winter Dwelling. Being taught by Tim is one of the most awesome experiences, not only learning how to correctly assemble some of his trickier dies, but also getting some tips and tricks that he’s learned first hand himself over the years. We had a blast during Tim and Mario’s visit, and cannot wait to see them again next month (in a few weeks!) at CHA 2016.
We are truly thankful to each and every one of you for helping us have such an amazing, awesome, superb, and noteworthy year. 2015 was full of fun, excitement, learning, laughing, meeting new people, forging new friendships, and of course, so much crafting. We hope you have a wonderful close to 2015 and a fantastical start to 2016. What are some of your favorite things that happened this year?