Hello Kitty has invaded Michaels, and she brought a small army of scrapbooking supplies along with her.
I first heard that the iconic feline had set up residence at the crafts mega-retailer on this thread on the 2Peas board, singing the praises of the new Hello Kitty date stamp, and had to dash off to see it for myself.
Okay, so perhaps I didn't exactly "dash," but a few days later Darren and I were running errands in the very same shopping center that a shiny new Michaels store (our second one in town, no less) had just opened up in two weeks prior, and of course I had to go in and check it out.
It only took about a minute and a half to find this...
...and I was smitten. I mean, can't you hear it? Can you not hear that chorus of kawaii angels ringing down from saccharine clouds? This is Hello Kitty. On scrapbooking products. At Michaels!
Some of the items in this display might look a bit...familiar...and I'll touch on that in a minute.
Of course the date stamp is the first thing I picked up (and actually my plans for next year's massive stashbust have already affected my shopping habits since I only bought two things from the entire display), but you could have guessed that, knowing about my love of the things, right? :)
I took a more detailed photo of the stamp once I got home (I only had my iPhone on me while at the store) to show you a closer view of the sentiments on the roller (you can click through the image to see a larger view). The really cool thing about this date stamp? The year goes all the way back to 2008, so it can be used on past, current, and future pages!
Next up I spotted the washi tape. Oh, be still my heart...Hello Kitty washi tape! There are three patterns available, and unfortunately they were really hard to take close-up photos of in the packaging- the glare was awful!
I did buy the airmail version, though (my only other acquisition from the collection), and again took a better picture when I arrived home. And I'm really trying hard not to go all squee again over Hello Kitty airmail washi.
Let's take a look at the rest of the items on the display, shall we?
If you'll recall, I said that some of these items might look a little familiar. In fact, they seem to be exact replicas of items from the popular Smash line from K & Company. I actually checked the packaging to see if EK Success was behind the production of this collection, but the only brand I found on the back of each item was for "The Horizon Group." I don't know if that means that EK Success is quietly producing these items for another company or if another company has simple lifted the idea for the Smash line without EK's involvement. You really can't tell by inspecting the packaging.
But there's no mistaking it- these little journaling books are definitely styled after Smash pads.
And the assortment of clips, tabs, and bands in the Smash line? They're here, too.
And, yes, even the iconic glue pen and accessory pockets.
And you can't have a Smash style line without Smash books, right? And there are no fewer than three Hello Kitty themed journals to choose from!
I love how the designers have paired the bright colors and bold patterns that are hallmarks of Hello Kitty with kraft accents. The kraft both tones down the vivid colors and also makes it all feel just a touch more grown-up.
Unfortunately those kraft accents don't seem to have carried over to the majority of the internal pages of the journals. The three spreads photographed below are all from the second album in the series above and have a decidedly white base to them.
Beyond the Smash style journals, there is also a small selection of traditional scrapbooking supplies including a 12x12 paper pad, a scrapbooking kit that includes an album, and a die cut mat stack shaped like Hello Kitty's head.
Just a few feet away from the Hello Kitty display, I spotted something else that was very, very interesting to me. Michaels has been stocking K&Company's Smash collection for several months now, but their newest arrival looks to be their own foray into the popular journals. The display of Smash-looking books below is actually not an exact replica of K&Company's products, though.
Instead, Michaels has released a set of journals featuring a binder mechanism in place of of pre-bound pages, and the binders come in a variety of styles and sizes. I have to admit that I like this binder idea even more than the Smash books since it allows more flexibility.
Michaels is also offering a range of embellishments to coordinate with the new binders, and again these aren't exact replicas of the Smash line, so hooray to Michaels for doing something just a bit different!
I'm thinking that those Hello Kitty journals are going to find their way into lots of Christmas stockings this year, and the new Recollections binders would be perfect bases for those embarking on December Daily or Journal Your Christmas journeys. In any case, it's great to see something just a little new and different being made available at a mass market retailer!