I visited Denmark this weekend, and while I was there, I stopped off briefly at the Karen Marie Klip Store in Grasten. Karen Marie is one of the BIG European scrapbooking paper designers and retailers. Her papers are typically Scandinavian, meaning, the designs are crisp and clean. I'm more of a Basic Gray person, but even so, I was excited to visit and see what was on offer, especially as scrapbooking is not all that widespread in the north of Germany and art and craft stores carry only a small selection of papers and stuff.
The Karen Marie store is a large (800 square metres) warehouse type store divided into lots of little themed boutiques. Each of the boutiques carried a theme, either a topic or a color scheme, and the items were beautifully presented. It was fun to poke around and discover papers and combinations. They even had their Christmas line in stock.
My plan was to take a look around to see what was available, purchase a few little things, and then return with a friend to do some serious shopping at a later date. The photo shows what I bought: Two large sheets of double-sided card stock, a pack of four 12x12 in the same pattern, a couple of single 12x12 sheets, a stamp, and two sets of chipboard pieces: one set of shapes and one of letters.
I'd been warned that Denmark was expensive (which it is), but I was pleasantly surprised to find that even the full-price scrapbooking sheets were no more expensive than in Germany, and many of them were slightly cheaper. Another bonus was the wide range of papers. Scrapbooking stores this side of the border stock only a small selection of the available papers and products.
The big bargains are the end of line sales, though. Dotted around the store were mountains of last year's papers, many of which were being sold off for what worked out at 25-50 cents a sheet. The other surprising discovery were the chipboard elements, which are also marketed by Karen Marie's German distributor, Rayher, but which I've not seen in the stores here. They were much, much cheaper than I'd ever have imagined. I'll certainly pick up several packages of those on my next trip.
I found the background stamp on a bargain shelf, and it worked out at only 7 euros, which is an unbeatable bargain. Here in northern Germany, it would retail at around 20 euros... if you could find it, which is highly unlikely.
The only disappointment was that I had hoped to find more rubber stamps and possibly a wider range of scrapbooking embellishments, which wasn't the case. In particular I'd been hoping to find book screws, but I drew a blank on those, too. I'll have to visit Berlin at some point this year to stock up on things like that.
Overall, it was wonderful to be in a "paper place" again, even if only briefly. With luck, I'll be able to visit again in the near future. One of my friends -- the one who told me about the Karen Marie store -- works in a local craft store and would be wowed by the selection of papers I saw. I think it should be easy enough to find two more women to fill her car (read: share the high cost of petrol through four of us) and make the trip to Denmark to do some serious paper shopping.
Links (in Danish. No english pages available)