I apologize for not posting this sooner. It’s taken me a while to put together because I just didn’t know where/what/how to start! I guess when in doubt chronological works the best! (WARNING…there’s a ton of photos and my musings!! I suggest you grab a cuppa then read on :) )
(For those of you who don’t know, CHA is the Craft and Hobby Association. January is THE huge convention which takes place in Anaheim, California and trade show where vendors showcase their new products for the coming year to distributors, store owners, media and designers. There is also a summer convention which will be in Las Vegas this year but won’t be as big as this show.)
Talk about our paths crossing! It was too funny as I wasn’t supposed to see her until 6 hours later in California!
After she left, not too long after, my fabulous travel companion Thanh arrived! She made these fun YAY signs for our entire group.
I was a little tired from the planning and anticipation. I had planned to get a cat nap or two on the plane. Instead I embraced some quiet time to write out some cards while Thanh napped. The flight was good overall.
We were going to pick up Sparkle at the airport too but had a few hours to kill before her flight arrived. We were starving so with smartphones and GPS we found our way to an In-N-Out Burger. Fries were okay, the bun was toasted quite nicely. It was a good fresh burger different from the usual fast food!
Back to the airport we went! After we picked up Sparkle we got (Sparkle and Peggy) checked into their hotel and then off to the convention center to get registered!
AWWWWW…Well we realized that it closed earlier than we thought so we looked around the lobby a little.
YUP! GULP! That’s the floor plan of the show!! Glad I brought my comfy shoes! It was my very first CHA and going with a few veterans helped! ;)
That floor plan and show guide was quite intimidating! I had planned to develop a strategy that night. (It didn’t work out, as sleep got the better of me!)
After dropping into the convention center, we walked around the area looking for a place to have dinner. We landed at California Pizza Kitchen.
One thing we hadn’t anticipated was the ccccccold weather!! Now I know what y’all are thinkin’ (Suzanne has a wonderful accent and I’m trying to channel her here ;) )!! It was 10C in Anaheim which is a lot warmer than the rest of the country but it caught us all by surprise. Glad I brought a couple of hoodies and a toque!
We got off to a quiet start. We found ourselves gabbing ’til the weee hours of the morning so we slept in a little and made sure we picked up some coffee. We’re so glad there was a Starbucks in the lobby of our hotel and that the Hilton is right beside the convention center! Here’s a pic of the wonderful coffee cup sleeves Suzanne made for us all!
We quickly registered, grabbed our S.W.A.G. (stuff we all get) bags and walked in.
One of the first things I saw was the innovations showcase and what caught my eye was the Elizabeth Craft Designs Shimmer Sheetz.
Being new to CHA I’m slowly discovering the wonderful friends that one meets up with time and time again at CHA. Many crafters make friends online and are from all over…the world! CHA is where you renew those friendships and even meeting those online friends for the first time in person! Which is why you see many photos from CHA are filled with smiling faces. :)
Now at this point we learned of something fabulous happening at the Clear Stamp booth! We spent a bit of time here waiting in line. Clear Stamp had an experienced caricature artist from Eventtoons.com drawing caricatures of attendees. Then Clear Stamp would make the caricature into a clear stamp and send it to us to use!
Here’s the cartoon version of me:
Afterwards, I think we split up from the group and Peg and I found ourselves at the Spellbinders booth. We ran into the absolutely, amazingly talented Eva Dobilas (I wish we had taken a pic or two!). Peg and I got our design team start at the same time as Eva at the now defunct Cuttlebug Challenge blog. It was great to see her as we all reminisced a little :)
So Peg and I lined up! ;)
So while we were waiting in line, we could soak in such fabulous Spellbinders samples.
More wonderful samples! Nothing beats seeing them up close!
What a great surprise, when we got our book signed we also received some really unique dies from Spellbinders. One is the Spellbinders “S” and the other I don’t remember. (I searched high and low for the dies so I could take a pic for you but I put them in a VERY safe place! I’ll make something with it after I’ve found them ;) )
Wandering around we came across the Tim Holtz’s Alterations booth at Sizzix and Tim was there but was cleaning up. :( Tim’s business manager Mario was there, as well as tutorial guru Tammy Tutterow. If you’ve never seen Tammy’s tutorials before, be sure to check it out and then subscribe to her blog!
We just wandered through the aisles chatting away about life and the universe and came across My Mind’s Eye with a few new lines.
Then came across the Authentique booth. We were both admiring the upcoming lines, I was taking a picture when a sales rep. told us about the new textures on the 12×12 sheets. Each line will have it’s own texture. Interesting. It does feel great and with the texture it feels like there’s a little more weight to it. They still have the 6×6 paper packs with their regular texture. One thing that’s new is the 8×8 paper pads, again no texture. But when you’re finding that the 6×6 isn’t big enough to cover those 5×7 cards, now there’s a solution. Their designs are just really great, I would want them in ALL sizes! ;)
We couldn’t miss the Simple Stories booth. There was a HUGE “OH, SNAP” banner hanging from the ceiling over the booth. Below are a few pictures of some new paper lines.
Peg had to run off to the booth to see if Jess needed a break and I found myself on my own. I do well roaming on my own (my husband can attest to this, often I tend to wander off) and the gals gave me the moniker, “the Lone Wolf”. lol
So where do I wander off to???? SURPRISE, SURPRISE!
I went to grab a drink, dropped back in and snapped these pics! It’s the Craft and Hobby Association, remember? There were other crafts there along with this lovely tie dye WV camper van! On the other side was a tie dye make n take.
If you’ll remember, I had marathon knit a scarf for my brother for Christmas. I’m just a basic knitter. It’s the knit stitch all the way!
After ogling the knitting, I came across the Sizzix booth once again and I couldn’t resist taking a picture of these two great samples!
I seem to gravitate in the same area. Here’s a glimpse of what the Idea-ology/Ranger Booths looked like!
And well, when you’ve got Idea-ology and Ranger….who can’t be far behind???
As I looked up, I saw Mario walk by. I stopped him, introduced myself as Spike. He smiles and says…HEY!! I KNOW YOU! and gives me a great big bear hug! Too fun! I have been known to once in a blue moon Tweet, Instagram and Facebook with Mario. A wonderful friendly fella!
In the Ranger booth are four corners and there was something happening at every corner. It was great! Tim was on one and a few steps away was this lovely lass! Dyan Reaveley! What’s really great in this photo, check out the school bus in the foreground! Talk about really cool! Well, it was built by Jim also known as The Gentleman Crafter who’s also in the photo in white beside Mario! Jim is on Dyan’s design team. If you haven’t checked out his work on his blog…you should! ;)
As much as I wanted to stay and hang out longer in the Ranger Booth, I had a date!!
Sparkle, Suzanne, Thanh and I had planned to go to Disneyland Saturday evening! We had an amazing deal (Twilight Pass, good after 4pm) only available to conference attendees. So we all bundled up (remember it was FREAKKIN COLD!) and off we went! I don’t want to bore you with Disney deets but have a couple of highlight pics! :)
I had no clue what to expect but I LOVED the new Cars exhibit! It was surreal walking around in Radiator Springs! We waited 75 minutes in line to get on the 5 minute ride but it was SO worth it!
With that I’ll sign off for now! If you’ve lasted this far, thanks so much for hanging out reading about my day’s adventure at CHA! I’ll hopefully have Day 2 for you tomorrow! ;) Have a great day!