AFCI Staff’s Favorite Products & Trends From Creativation

Creativation is a big, bright playground for creative professionals to see, touch, test and buy the best new creative products. While AFCI Staff members, Donna Cennimo and Raquel-Alexa Brizzi work on Creativation from 9 to 5, in their down time they are passionate crafters who share the joy and inspiration that attendees feel experiencing the event.


Raquel (left) and Donna (right) in the Plaid Booth at Creativation 2018.

Donna and Raquel walked the 2018 trade show to discover their favorite new products based on their personal interests in crafts. After two months of experimenting and playing, here are their five favorite craft trends for 2018:

1. Back to Embossing

Heat embossing has been a popular practice among stampers and card makers for decades. Designer, Seth Apter and Emerald Creek Craft Supplies teamed up to invent an amazing product that makes embossing new again. The product, Baked Texture comes in seven varieties of thick powder, each of which creates a unique range of vintage, rusted, textured effects on your art. Seth’s booth demos gave attendees tons of techniques to try at home and in retail stores.


Raquel’s art journal using Baked Texture.

When it comes to heat embossing techniques, Stampendous remains a leader. Stampendous Founder Fran Seiford’s book, Embossing Powder Techniques from A to Z, is a must-have no matter how long you’ve been embossing. The company’s new stamp releases make a big statement on your art, especially their Deep Impressions Chunky Embossing Enamel and techniques.

2. Sparkle & Shine

Who doesn’t love some sparkle and shine? We all do! But, at what cost? Glitter tends to get everywhere. Plaid created a solution for this problem by releasing two new FolkArt paint lines that help you achieve sparkle and shine without the mess. The Glitterific brand paints feature suspended fragments of glitter in a clear base, while the ColorSHIFT brand paints come in solid bright metallic shades. Each paint comes in 10 new colors. Donna and Raquel completed make-and-takes at the booth.


Raquel’s art journal using Glitter Kiss.

The ladies at the Ecstasy Crafts booth showed AFCI’s crafting duo another shimmering product without the burden of loose powder. Glitter Kiss is a jarred product (manufactured by Creative Expressions) that can be used to add dimension and sparkle to embossed papers, but doesn’t require adhesives. This water-based product sticks directly to your page.

3. All Things Art Journaling

When it comes to art journaling, anything goes! Just about any products at Creativation can be used to create in an art journal. Donna’s greatest find was Ranger’s latest Dina Wakley Media Journal in its new Large size (10” x 14.25″).


Donna’s full Dina Wakely Media Journal after two months of playing with new products from Creativation 2018.

Prima Marketing released several new washi tapes, which are lining the pages of Donna and Raquel’s journals.


Raquel’s art journal using Prima’s new washi tape.

Stamps aren’t just for card making. Visible Image has an incredible selection of abstract clear stamps that are amazing for journaling. Their newest line for 2018 features each of the Zodiac signs in geometric designs and constellations.

4. Hand Lettering Happenings

Hand lettering and modern calligraphy are still top trends that many of the exhibiting companies showcased. Donna and Raquel spent time at the Sakura booth experimenting with their white Gelly Roll pens released in new sizes (05 08 10 mm).


Raquel using Gelly Roll pens.

Crafter’s Companion came out with a new line of Spectrum Noir dual-tip metallic markers. You won’t be able to resist these shimmering brush pens.


Raquel hand lettering with Crafter’s Companion’s Spectrum Noir dual-tip metallic markers.

Raquel sat and lettered in the Uchida booth learning the versatility of their Le Plume II dual-tip watercolor markers from blending tricks to stamping tips.


Raquel hand lettering with Uchida’s Le Plume II dual-tip watercolor markers

The Artisan Fair was also a worthwhile stop on the show floor where the Calligraphic Society of Arizona taught calligraphy using a multitude of pens, markers and styles.

5. Wrapped Up in Jewelry

Donna enjoyed stopping by the Ranger booth to talk wire-wrapped jewelry and Ice Resin with designer, Susan Lenart Kazmer. Ranger’s latest releases to the Ice Resin line include new Jewelry Wires, 3 shades of shimmery Lusters, and Rune Bezels, which are replicas of Susan’s own designs.

Donna and Raquel have loved playing with many of these new releases. See some samples of their creations below!

Join us at Creativation 2019, taking place January 17-21 at the Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix, Arizona. Education begins on January 17. The trade show opens January 19-21. AFCI members attend for free. For more information about attending or exhibiting, visit

About Donna and Raquel

Donna is no stranger to crafting; she has been creating her entire life. Her varied interests include painting, jewelry-making, collage, sewing, and most prominently art journaling. Donna’s work can be characterized by bright colors, deep textures, layering and abstract patterns. Find Donna on Pinterest: @blkmoondesignz

Raquel is a lifelong doodler who has recently taken up hand lettering, card-making and art journaling. While she was always creative, it took exposure to AFCI members’ products and techniques along with Donna’s knowledge and guidance to bring her creative hobbies to the next level. Find Raquel on Instagram: @raquelcreates

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