Wednesday, April 18, 2007

What's Hot For Crafters This Season?

(MS) - What person hasn't dabbled in a craft project at one point in his or her life? From woodworking to needlepoint to decorative painting, the term "craft" is all-encompassing and bestowed on many genres of art.

In a broad sense, many people think of church bazaars and knitting parties when crafts are mentioned. But thanks to better innovations in products, crafts are getting more elaborate and more personalized than ever before.

Crafts have always been a method of self-expression, but today's crafters are taking it a step further. Many couples are opting to make their own wedding invitations, while handmade, personalized gift cards and stationery are very in vogue. Consumers are looking to express their individuality and are driving the personalization and customization trend, says the National Craft Association (NCA). Everything from urban style, popular culture, fashion and even world events are influencing art and craft design.

So what's hot for 2007? NCA says that there are a number of emerging craft trends that can be applied for personal enjoyment or to turn a profit.

· Metal crafts, whether they are stamped, sculpted, punched or embossed, are growing in popularity.

· Pink - a favorite in the fashion world this season - is overflowing into the realm of home décor crafting. Other cheerful, bright colors are apt to follow.

· Also in home design, "shabby chic," replete with peeling paint and an "antiquey" feel is being replaced with a more modern look that is clean and finished. Warmer tones with color and texture are very popular.

· Needlecrafts, crocheting and knitting are still growing by leaps and bounds thanks to the extra exposure offered by celebrity endorsements. Plus, it's not just about baby blankets and scarves - these handcrafted designs are also moving into home décor. Similarly, quilting has become more of an art form than a craft. Quilts are adorning walls, and the trend has also been carried over into papercrafting, where "quilted" looks are hot.

· "Mixed media collage" have become buzz words in the world of crafting. These terms blur the lines between fine art and crafting and are fueled by scrapbooking, papercrafting and other ideas about adding embellishments to art.

· In a similar vein, embellishments in general - most notably beading - are current everywhere, from fashion to home decorating.

· For those who dabble in sewing and fashion design, the preppy look is back, giving a nod to simple motifs, embroidery and monograms. And for patterns, stripe and polka dots are quite popular, while modern graphic prints are being joined with romantic and nostalgic prints to give them a modern flair.

CAPTION: Knitting is still popular, thanks in large part to celebrity interest.

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