Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Craft and Hobby Association is Coming….

MME Follow Your Heart
MME Follow Your Heart
I have been working on some Digital artwork for Valentine's Day using Photoshop Elements and digital products from Rhonna and Jessica Sprague.  I hear the Heidi Swapp and Jessica Sprague might be releasing some Valentine products soon.  Did you see that?  That was me doing my happy dance.  Rhonna has promised some Valentine artwork as well and I am so anxious to see it.   Yesterday she announced a collection with My Mind's Eye called Follow Your Heart that works with her digital line A Year to Follow Your Heart.   The MME collections come in two color ways: an aqua, coral, and pink collection and a blue, brown, and yellow collection.  They both include the standard issue embellishments-brads, stickers, chipboard stickers, stamps, twine, etc.  I LOVE the images on both of two clear stamp.  I think I already own all of the images as digital brushes but there are many times that it just isn't practical to add a digital image to a piece of work.
CHA is at the end of this month in CA.  CHA is the Craft and Hobby Association trade show that takes place twice a year- at the end of January in sunny California and the end of July in my favorite town, Chicago.  As with any trade show, the craft companies get together to showcase their latest releases, new products, new ideas, etc.  Not only do we get to see what great stuff that will be showing up at your favorite local craft store in the next 6 months, but CHA is also a forum for some pretty terrific artwork.  The bigger companies spend a lot of time decorating their booths to communicate the message or vibe they are trying to send to consumers.  For example Tim Holtz always goes industrial steampunk and 7 Gypsies has a vintage vibe that I love.  Every year it gets better and more fun to see the amazing and creative projects made by some amazingly talented individuals.

I am just beginning to understand how this all works. And by "this" I mean the industry that is crafting.  The scrapbook-type companies have in house design teams to design their products but most, if not all, use "design teams" (DT) to create projects using their products.  Each company has different requirements and compensation for their teams ranging from reasonable to ridiculous and generous to you-have-to-be-kidding.  The perfect set up would be something like DT member receives a big huge box of free goodies the company wants highlighted.  The DT creates 1-2 projects a week and then blast social media with the project- Blogging, Facebooking, and Tweeting about it; in a sense advertising the company's products by using social media.  The DT member is often asked to troll the company's message boards to answer questions and comment on their customer's projects.  The best DT members at some companies get to play a role in the CHA booth- whether it is designing the entire booth or submitting 1 or more products.  They can't blog about or Tweet pics of the exact products and projects before CHA but after the show ends we will start to see the coolest stuff hit the web.  

The Paper Trail
1 Lucky Day
I love to see the booth projects.  Paula at One Lucky Day wrote cryptically about her 2012 CHA booth projects on her blog but because one product was made with products already on th market she did provide a picture of the sweetest little vignette she called "fly".  Though the picture doesn't show it, this charming little pillow and butterflies go under a cloche.  I can't wait to see what else Paula and Deb made for the 7 Gypsies booth.  Laura from The Paper Trail posted here about receiving her box of Tim Holtz's new stuff.  No I'm not Envious at way…uh uh….not me.  I originally found Laura via a convoluted route after seeing a photo of a clock (at right) she made using Tim's Configuration boxes for his CHA booth.  Speechless….   Who sees a clock in a box of chipboard boxes?

7 Gypsies
 Paula from One Lucky Day posted pictures of last year's  7Gypsies booth including before and after's.   To see the entire set go here.  She has a lovely blog about the entire process of seeing new products, designing booth and making it all happen here.  I'm sure you could Google and find 1000's of different examples of CHA booths but I wanted to show a few to give you an idea of the differences in the booths and the incredible creativity.
Doodlebug's booth from last year would be hard pressed to be any more different from 7 Gypsies' booth.
Copic Markers
Copic markers are known for turning stampers into nutzo coloring fools obsessed over the expensive little coloring sticks.  The object is to collect all 1 million of the iconic white plastic magic wands that come in so many colors it makes one dizzy.  Ok, so they only come in 346 colors to date.  At $7 per marker that is only $2422.   Nice…you would think their booth would be more colorful.  They have really exploded in the last year or two so I imagine their booth this year will be better.  
Ice Resin
Ice Resin by Susan Lenart Kazmer is all the rage right now as well.  I am hoping to play around with some soon.  I love their booth.
Ice Resin by Susan Lemart Kazmer
Up close... I love her ribbon pendants.  I always love Susan's work…very fun…a little industrial…a little steampunk…fab.
Graphic 45
Graphic 45
Graphic 45 had a terrific holiday themed booth.  I love the look.  The Graphic 45 papers are very distinctive, very busy with an vintage edge.  They are beautiful but sometimes I think that they are so busy there is no place for the photos.  Here the projects allow the papers to shine and look terrific. 
Ranger always has the best products, especially if you are talking about pigments, paints, inks.  This is a just a portion of their booth.  Tim Holtz is the creative director of Ranger..enough said.  
Ranger Products

Ranger makes a wide range of products including:

  1.  Claudine Hellmuth Studio paints, mediums, and Stickyback Canvas.  She also has a line of foam and clear stamps and paint brushes
  2. Jenni Bowlin: Inks and paint dabbers
  3. Tim Holtz: Large variety of amazing products including:  Distress...Embossing Powders, Crackle paints, Inks, Stickles, and Stains; Adirondack Pigment Ink, Pigment Pens, Dye Inks, Embossing Powders, Paint Dabbers, Dimensional Pearls, Metallic Mixatives, Alcohol Inks, and Color Wash
  4. Inksenntials: Glossy Accents, Enamel Accents, and Crackle Accents
  5. Archival Inks
  6. Stickles: Glitz, Ice and Distress
  7. Melt Art Line:  Ultrathick Embossing products and a melt pot
  8. Memory Glass
  9. Watermark Resist products
  10. Perfect Pearls. 
Whew, that is a lot.
Another part of Ranger Booth
There are many more pictures from recent CHA events but enough is enough already.  You can find tons of videos on YouTube showing the various artists, instructors, and owners demonstrating their products.  Most of the videos show either a product demonstration or a small make-and-take product.  while it can be fun to see what to watch the new products being used the background noise on all the videos is annoying.  

Over the next few weeks leading up to CHA you will see the companies begin to roll the new products on their blogs.  I am hoping to go to CHA in July as part of the Things Crafty website.  The summer show is in Chicago which is an easy trip from my house.  



  1. So informative, helpful and fun to read. Anticipation of what is new in crafting is always exciting.

  2. Ok so if your planning on Chicago we should get together because I'm plannig on going too! I wanted to go to Cali so bad but it's not gonna happen. anywho we should talk about CHA-S. Great post.


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