This year, additional coverage of the CHA Winter 2011 show was provided by Jen Clark of MyCraftyFriendJen. Read on to see her impressions!
When I saw the tweet go out several months ago, I couldn’t believe my eyes…Craft Test Dummies was asking for a blogger to go to the 2011 winter CHA?! Â In Los Angeles?! Â Less than 2 hours from my home (well, when the traffic cooperates)?! Â I immediately sent a reply back saying I was available, though, to be honest, I didn’t check my calendar, nor did I check with my husband…I just knew this was the opportunity of a lifetime! Â (It took a little convincing after the fact to help my wonderful husband come to the same conclusion…I’m still not sure he’s quite there!) Â I just knew I was going to get 3 whole days away from home, surrounded by thousands of people who, like me, are totally passionate about crafts.
So off to CHA I went. Â The first day I was there, the show floor was not open yet, and I arrived a bit earlier than Jenny, so I had some time to sit and look through the CHA Show Directory. Â I had made a list ahead of time of companies I knew I wanted to visit, but WOW, I was completely overwhelmed Â by the sheer number of companies listed in the directory! Â After a bit, I had to put the directory down, and I just watched all the people busily walking around. Â People were so friendly! Â Several different people came and sat in the chairs near me for a little break, and the conversation came easily. Â Eventually Jenny arrived, and we were able to check in – in a special room just for “press” attendees! Â How exciting!
And then my “job” began…and it never stopped. Â Really. Â Just ask my sore feet! Â Three days FILLED to overflowing with talking crafts, craft products, blogs, social media, marketing, product reviews, new releases – my mind was literally spinning. Â I don’t know that I’ve ever talked SO MUCH in a 3-day time period in my life!
But the real excitement was seeing so much art. Â Every where I turned my head, there was art. Â Beautiful creations that designers had poured their hearts and souls into. Â THIS was what I wanted to see at CHA. Â This was a dream come true. Â Being surrounded by such amazing talent and seeing the possibilities in all of the new products being released. Â Here are some of my favorite booths…
Donna Downey’s booth was amazing – I could just move right in to her booth and live there! Â Her ability to combine fabric, color, paint, paper, stamps, and words…and to encourage others to pursue their own creative dreams…inspires me.
The Graphic 45 booth – all I can say is WOW! Â They really have some fantastic designers who did a fantastic job of showcasing their three new paper lines! Â I especially love the “Once Upon a Springtime” line…the colors are gorgeous, the prints on the paper are super fun (I love the fairies!), and I think there are just so many possibilities for this line.
The Advantus (Idea-ology) booth and the Sizzix booth…oh my. Â I’m a HUGE fan of Tim Holtz, and I was just blown away by the art work done using Tim’s new Sizzix dies and his many new Idea-ology releases. Â The designers really outdid themselves…I was in total awe! Â The things you can do with the new ATC die – it’s most definitely on MY wish list! Â And I loved all the Configurations done by the designers.
The GCD booth – they had made a ferris wheel – OUT OF PATTERNED PAPER! Â (The new State Fair line.) Â It was amazing!! Â And they were giving out little paper bags of Â candy, too. Â SO cute!
The Plaid booth – can you say, “Lights, Camera, Action!”? Â There was a LOT going on at Plaid, and they had an amazing set-up!
Ranger – Yes, I loved all the Tim stuff…but this time I’m giving a shout out for The Girls’ Paperie part of the Ranger booth. Â Margie Romney-Aslett has three gorgeous lines she is releasing, and the booth was decorated just beautifully. Â The garlands (which I saw in many booths!) were just gorgeous, and the tinsel-adorned projects were whimsical and vintage all at the same time.
I could have spent a week at CHA just looking at the art, and still not have had enough time to take it all in – that’s how huge it was. Â Oh, and did I mention there were not one, but TWO exhibition halls?! Â It was unreal! Â I’ve been home now for 2 full days – and I am still in “recovery mode.” Â But stay tuned – you will definitely want to see all the great things we have in store for you over the next couple months!!