Through My Eyes – My First CHA Show


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?!  In Los Angeles?!  Less than 2 hours from my home (well, when the traffic cooperates)?!  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!   (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!)  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.  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.  I had made a list ahead of time of companies I knew I wanted to visit, but WOW, I was completely overwhelmed  by the sheer number of companies listed in the directory!  After a bit, I had to put the directory down, and I just watched all the people busily walking around.  People were so friendly!  Several different people came and sat in the chairs near me for a little break, and the conversation came easily.  Eventually Jenny arrived, and we were able to check in – in a special room just for “press” attendees!  How exciting!

And then my “job” began…and it never stopped.  Really.  Just ask my sore feet!  Three days FILLED to overflowing with talking crafts, craft products, blogs, social media, marketing, product reviews, new releases – my mind was literally spinning.  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.  Every where I turned my head, there was art.  Beautiful creations that designers had poured their hearts and souls into.  THIS was what I wanted to see at CHA.  This was a dream come true.  Being surrounded by such amazing talent and seeing the possibilities in all of the new products being released.  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!  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!  They really have some fantastic designers who did a fantastic job of showcasing their three new paper lines!  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.  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.  The designers really outdid themselves…I was in total awe!  The things you can do with the new ATC die – it’s most definitely on MY wish list!  And I loved all the Configurations done by the designers.

The GCD booth – they had made a ferris wheel – OUT OF PATTERNED PAPER!  (The new State Fair line.)  It was amazing!!  And they were giving out little paper bags of  candy, too.  SO cute!

The Plaid booth – can you say, “Lights, Camera, Action!”?  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.  Margie Romney-Aslett has three gorgeous lines she is releasing, and the booth was decorated just beautifully.  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.  Oh, and did I mention there were not one, but TWO exhibition halls?!  It was unreal!  I’ve been home now for 2 full days – and I am still in “recovery mode.”   But stay tuned – you will definitely want to see all the great things we have in store for you over the next couple months!!

Jenny Rohrs, Lisa Pavelka, and Jen Clark


  1. Nancy says

    How exciting to hear from a first time experience, nice job describing it! Can’t wait to read more!

  2. hilli says

    i can feel your excitement coming through the words. i am so glad you were able to go and tell us your impressions. great opportunity. waiting to hear more.

  3. Kathye says

    Jen What a perfect opportunity for you. You are such a talent. Can’t wait to see what inspired you.

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