I'm up on the Flying Unicorn Today post with an update on the Craft and Hobby Association (CHA) Mega Show in Anaheim, California. The CHA Mega Show is the biggest scrapbooking tradeshow of the year (though there is much more on display than just papercrafting paraphernalia, from beads to yarn and a couple you really wouldn’t expect).
I came down to Anaheim a couple days early to attend the two day Prima Artventure, with six classes taught by Jamie Dougherty, Nathalie Kalbach, Steff Miller, Anna Dabrowska (Finnabair), Frank Garcia and Limor Webber featuring some of Prima’s brand-new 2014 releases. I was a bad girl and didn’t take any pictures, but I can tell you this – my big suitcase is overflowing with Prima goodies (literally) and my clothes are all crammed into my carry on suitcase. I do have completed projects to share once I get home, as well as a couple projects needing finishing touches.
Five Flying Unicorn CT members were in attendance at CHA this year: myself, Erica, Jen, Keren and Limor. It was great to catch up with Jen and Limor in person again and to spend two great days with Erica; I only met up with Keren briefly but she is a sweetheart and I am excited to get to know her better!
CHA itself started out with a day of classes, and Erica and I were lucky to get to do a Faber-Castell class taught by Limor.
Faber-Castell has some great new projects out, including a Glass Bead Glitter Gel that is to die for and Gelato “Double Scoops” – a larger format with more than 2 times the Gelato per tube. (To celebrate they gave away cups of real Gelato on the show floor – yummy!)
Friday night CHA hosted a block party; a great chance to enjoy the warm LA weather and to meet up with scrappy friends.
One of the great things about CHA is getting to see people’s work in real life. So much is lost when projects are presented online in 2D, and as I freely admit, I’m a toucher. I like to get up close and personal and fondle people’s projects; understand how they accomplished different effects and notice those details that are lost online.
Here are a couple projects by familiar crafters – I’m sorry if you can’t see every little bit of loveliness, but wanted to showcase these ladies’ fabulous work.
Jen at the Maja Designs booth.
Former CT member Adrienne at Prima Marketing's booth.
Product Educator Limor at Prima Marketing's booth.
Keren at Prima Marketing's booth.
Jen and Shona at Fabscraps' booth.
Lynne at Lindy’s Stamp Gang's booth.
Some of the booths at CHA have to be seen to be believed. The Graphic 45 clock tower is a beacon for lovers of altered art.
I am ready to move into the Spellbinders booth – shabby chic amazingness!
There were some ingenious new products that caught our eye:
The Spellbinders Tool-in-One is a must-have for all of your die-cutters out there. It has 4 different heads (and space to store them all inside the handle). The black bristle brush on the end is to run over the backside of your die after you’ve used it to clear out all the little pieces that cling and take forever to push out with a paper piercer. For the occasional straggler there is a piercer, and an ingenious little flexible spatula that you run between your intricate die and the die cut paper to gently separate the two without tearing your diecut.
Erica and I each won a role of designer Duck Tape, maybe we’ll just have to whip up one of these Duck Tape dresses that was on display (along with top hats, lamp shades – as I commented to the sales rep, who would have ever thought Duck Tape would have a design team?).
My must-have list is a mile long, but I will tell you about a couple collections that caught my eye that I can’t wait to get my hands on:
Prima came out swinging this time. So many of their new releases are must haves: Stationer’s Desk (ah-mazing!!!), Cartographer (designed by former Flying Unicorn CT member Frank Garcia), Something Blue (I didn’t expect to like it but I really did), Jamie Dougherty’s Bloom collection (I was lucky enough to get my hands on 3 of the stamps already – they are so much fun to color and thanks to Jamie I discovered Faber-Castell’s Aquarelle watercolor pencils, which are not new but I need!), the new Julie Nutting stamps (there are a ton of them, but notable is that they have released some smaller stamps with sentiments perfect for your average-sized card) and the metal stand-alone frames.
Webster’s Pages has some nice new collections, including this one, Party Time.
Maja Designs papers are absolutely amazing in real life! Can’t wait to play with some.
Lindy’s has a new release of Chalkboard sprays designed by Limor.
Tim Holtz has released Mini Distress Inks and a Mini Inking Tool – how perfect is that?
And speaking of Tim Holtz, of course no trip to CHA would be complete without watching Tim Holtz demo.
Seeing one of Tim’s tags in person is amazing – he literally whips them up and the amount of depth is breathtaking.
Erica, Tim and I. Eat your hearts out, crafty ladies!
It's hard to believe that after all those months of planning, the CHA Mega Show ends today. I'm tempted to say I can cross that off my bucket list, but the truth is, once you've gone to a CHA show I think you're always going to want to continue to go. In addition to all of the inspiration, the opportunity to connect with other crafters in real life is amazing. So maybe I'll just have to pencil "2014" next to "Attend CHA Mega Show" on my bucket list, and add "Attend 2015 CHA Mega Show (and Prima Artventure)" to the bottom of the list ;)