Monday, July 21, 2008

Cha Cha Cha! Lucky Me, Attending CHA

How lucky I was to attend the International Craft and Hobby Association's summer trade show Saturday in Rosemont, IL! I represented Hannah Grey Curiosities and Dry Goods as a member of their design team. The show had 400 vendors in four exhibition halls with over 5,000 attendees expected. This is the trade show for manufacturers and distributors to unveil their latest products to buyers for large and small scrapbook and craft stores.
While buyers for Michael's and Archiver's attend, so did the owner of my own local stamp store, Jan Biehl of Stamp-N-Toys in the tiny town of North Webster, IN. I even managed to run into Lisa Dawson, a fellow ZNE  Art member and owner of Your ATC Store.
The show was both overwhelming and frustrating- everything is for show only; nothing is for sale. Samples were few and far between, but I did come home with a few paper samples, including two packs designed by my friend Angela Hoffman of Gemini Angel's Art for Dream Street Papers. There were some amazing new products, a million and one paper patterns and rubber stamps, and I thoroughly enjoyed the F+W Media booth where some of the latest and greatest altered art books were on display. I got to see the lovely yet-to-be-released book from Kellie Rae Roberts called Taking Flight as well as blog friend Jean Yates' new book, Links.
I also was lucky enough to get to the F+W booth just in time for the free book/book signing by Traci Bautista of Collage Unleashed, which I had already studied with the ZNE Book Club earlier this year. I brought Traci greetings from Shoshannah, Mike and Heather, owners of Hannah Grey, and from another fellow Californian, the ubiquitous Miss Vicky. I later sat down with Traci at the Duncan booth to make a collage with her new papers and decoupage medium, which is already being sold at Jo Ann Fabric's (look for Traci's picture on the bottle). I'll be taking a class from Traci this October at Art and Soul, Portland, when I attend with blog bud Michelle Geller of  Hold Dear. So excited for all that!
While I was sitting at Duncan, trying to give my feet and arms a break (from schlepping my heavy bags of catalogs), I was chattering away with Jennifer before I even realized it was Jennifer Perkins of DIY TV fame and of the upcoming book The Naughty Secretary Club: The Working Girl's Guide to Handmade Jewelry.
I also got to meet Danielle Forsgren of Diva Craft Lounge at the Unity Stamp Booth. Danielle will be interviewing me July 30 on Blog Talk Radio at 3:05 pm EST, so it was great to meet her in person! She's a new Blythe collector as well.
My last burst of rubbing elbows with the famous and published- outside of staring at Tim Holtz up close- was chatting with Claudine Hellmuth, she of many books and a Martha Stewart show appearance, at the Ranger booth. Claudine has an exciting new line of products coming out, including 12 x 12 adhesive canvas paper, her own line of paints and a multi-purpose mixed medium, which she was demo-ing.
All-in-all, it was a day of mixed media and altered art heaven!


Lilli said...

Wowza, I would've loved to have been there! I'm sure you're suffering from inspiration overload :)

Tizzalicious said...

Oh wow, I would have loved to go there!

Joanne Huffman said...

How cool that you got to go to CHA. I'm envious that you got to see all the really cool stuff that will be coming out later.


Anonymous said...

you are one lucky chickadee!! looks like you had a blast! hugs

sarah said...

What a fun blog! Glad I found you.


I know you had so much FUN. Wish I could have been there surrounded by all of that talent and eye candy. Thanks for letting us take a peek.


m i c h e l l e said...

What a fabulous experience that must have been! Your pictures are terrific and oh LOOK AT YOU hanging out with all the cool kids! But you are pretty dang cool yourself so it makes sense. And I can't wait to hear your interview on Diva Craft Lounge on July 30! Awesome!!!!

Mrs.Kwitty said...

Now THAT is some seriously spectacular elbow rubbing!! Wow, sounds fantastic! Good for you. I would just love to attend one of those events...someday when my ship comes in....... *grin*
Smiles, Karen

Rebecca Ramsey said...

What fun!
Now I'm all revved up for craftiness with no where to go!
I must dive in my craft drawers and find a project!

Heidi said...

Gina! WOW!!!! You have been a busy lady - somehow that does not suprise me ;) You still make me tired (LOL) What fun though!!
Good Gosh - talk about networking -you go Girl!!! I saw the box with the porcelain doll head on your blog - those are so fun!! My dad's wife just made a bunch with old composition doll heads - way too cute!!! I wish I was going to the convention in Aug :( I am aiming for next year though!! xo - Heidi