Winter CHA 2013 ~ Spike’s Adventures, Traveling & Day 1

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.)

As you know from this post, I had accidentally ran into Peg at the Vancouver International Airport.


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.


At the John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana, Peg and Suzanne were there to pick us up. The gals are holding up their goodies, a customized coffee sleeve that Suzanne had made for each of us.

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.


Thanh, Suzanne, Peg and Me
Photo courtesy of Sparkle

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!


Spike, Sparkle, Suzanne, Thanh
Photo courtesy of Sparkle

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.


Elizabeth Crafts Designs Shimmer Sheetz

Then we quickly hiked it to the Greeting Farm booth to meet up with Jess and Peg. They both had booth duty.


Photo courtesy of Sparkle

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. :)


Spike, Peg, Suzanne, Jess, Sparkle, Lisa, ? , Kim, Thanh
Photo courtesy of Sparkle

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 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:


Spike as a Toon! What do you think?

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 :)

We realized that Eva was waiting intently in line. We discovered that Stacey Caron, the founder of Spellbinders was signing and giving away copies of…


So Peg and I lined up! ;)


So while we were waiting in line, we could soak in such fabulous Spellbinders samples.

CHA2013_Spellbinders Samples1

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!


Great to see Tim, his business manager Mario and Tammy Tutterow

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.


New paper lines by My Mind’s Eye

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! ;)


New paper lines by Authentique, we learned that every paper line has it’s own texture in the 12×12. We were fondling paper to see if we could feel each pattern. The sales guy encouraged it, honest!

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.


Simple Stories


Simple Stories, Designer Cardstock line. Love those honey combs!


Simple Stories, Signature Elements Line

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 was drawn to this wall of Dylusions design samples at the Ranger Booth


The New Distress Paints Line! Oh it was SOOOO tempting to do more than just look! ;)


All over the booth are samples. Samples everywhere! I didn’t have time to sit and take it all in but I’m glad I took a few pics!


These clear, dry distress stickles aren’t new. The new size is! The colour swatch is by using alcohol inks to color them. Customizing stickles is a dream!


More beautiful samples! These were underneath the Distress embossing powder swatches.


Dyan’s New Line of Rubber Stamps. I just love the water theme, the letters and her witty sentiments!


On the top left, is Dyan’s stamping block/ruler/wavy edge thingy. The next 4 stamp packages are outline stamps done in acrylic. (They had to be done in acrylic because stamps that size in rubber had problems.) I just love what she does with these! Below are 3 new stencils of hers too! Love, love, love these!


More of Dyan’s samples. I just love her funky, off beat work!


Even more samples! You can see the detail she added to those dress stamps. On the top right (with the pink dress), you can see the white circles in the background, that’s using her new white Dylusions semi-opaque ink spray.


Even more Dylusions samples :)


Display board illustrating the different sizes of tags. Beautiful artwork!


I just love this balloon stamp and enjoy seeing other ways to use it.


What caught my eye was the embossing folder on this tag.


Display board illustrating different surfaces


I haven’t gotten into Melt Art but from what I’ve seen at this show, I’m SO tempted! On the top is new textures and colours for Melt Art. (Melt Art = Melting pot + ultra thick embossing powder or enamel).
The middle two rows are Claudine Helmuth’s new stencils. Many artists are putting out their line of stencils and I love how they’re all different!
On the bottom row, it was great to see that Ranger now has a craft spinner extension kit! When slots for 8 tools just isn’t enough!

I stepped out of the Ranger area and wandered off to the Stamper’s Anonymous booth…


There was no way I could choose a favourite from any of these stamps! I just LOVE, LOVE them all!! The letters, tiny images (think INCHIES!), sentiments, large numbers (perfect for Birthdays), etc. Yup! Love them all! :) I would have taken more photos but I got into a delightful conversation and didn’t take any more as I would have liked.


Some samples using the new stamps


I just HAD to take a pic of this for Shirley back home! The moment I saw this card, I immediately thought of her! :)

Again, I wandered off and I came across the Vintaj booth. They feature brass jewelry and Ranger makes paints that work very nicely on metal. I was easily persuaded to partake in their make n’ take!


WAHOO!!! New earrings! The brass base was already embossed with the lovely detail. All we had to do was add the colour, then sand it down. The colour dried very quickly. All that was left was to  add the fittings. Easy Peasy! ;)

Of course across from the Vintaj booth, was another area of Tim’s… Idea-0logy!


SOOOOO, many samples! Such lovely samples!!


A snapshot of all the new Idea-ology! What fun!


These keys are pretty cool! I just love keys!!


I had to pick my jaw off of the floor when I saw this Configurations Print Tray!! Like OMG! There’s so much to look at and take in!! I just LOVE this! I wish I could be able to put something like this together from scratch. It would take me forever!


Here’s some new rub-ons. Personally, I’m not a fan of rub-ons because I never get all of the image transferred no matter how hard I try! I just think rub-ons and I are not meant to be friends!

Once again, I sauntered off to find the Hampton Art area with these great 7 gypsies Stamps and Donna Salazar Mixed Media Inx by Clearsnap !


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.

CHA2013_Tie Dye

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!


This is slightly out of my league!


This is way outta my league!


I’m just in awe!

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!


What a neat way to use an old book! Don’t you just love that picture wheel die?? I see many possibilities with that!


I love this!! Then again, I think it’s just that picture wheel die talkin’ again! lol


Here’s a bigger view of the new Alterations line by Tim and Sizzix. Cute rustic shack!

I seem to gravitate in the same area. Here’s a glimpse of what the Idea-ology/Ranger Booths looked like!


In the foreground you can see the Idea-ology area and in the background The Ranger Banner from the ceiling. All those lovely ladies at the table in the center are doing the Ranger make n take. There was a long line and I didn’t have any patience to hang out.

And well, when you’ve got Idea-ology and Ranger….who can’t be far behind???


Tim is hard at work demo’ing his new Distress Paints and they’re pretty skookum!


Tim is pretty funny and seems to be having a great time! It’s funny to see him working away, then pause, look up, lean toward the person standing beside him and give that Tim smile *FLASH* then go back to demo’ing without skipping a beat! It’s so funny to see!

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!


With Tim around, I knew Mario would be close by!

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! ;)


LOVE IT! Dyan getting all nice and inky!!

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!


If you’ve seen the Cars movie, you’ll recognize this shot of Radiator Springs!

I just thought this was too funny and couldn’t resist taking a photo of this R2D2/Mickey Mouse Hat!

And of course the Magic Castle at night! :)

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!


5 thoughts on “Winter CHA 2013 ~ Spike’s Adventures, Traveling & Day 1

  1. WOW!!! Looks like you gals had a GREAT time!! Thank you sooo much for all the pictures and updates while you were there – I particularly liked all the Tim Holtz ones :)

  2. OMG Spike, what a fun time you had, and boy I can understand your feelings when you saw the lay out of all the booths to visit, a bit intimidating to say the least. Loved the pictures of you gals. Bet you came home with a lot of goodies that are given out at conventions. Suspect things are still whirling around in your mind. Some of the stuff I would love to learn how to use. So glad you are home. LOL

  3. Pingback: Day 2 of Spike’s Adventures at Winter CHA & Dyan Video | The Blog that Spike Built

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