Tuesday, January 26, 2010

CHA Recap

I spent the last 48 hours up in Anaheim at CHA and this was the first year that I was completely on my own (no promoting for someone else!) and I was on a mission to research, network and answer some big questions in my creative life! If it is not already obvious on my blog- I don't quite fit into the traditional areas of the industry- I am always looking for ways to not fit and break the rules- this philosophy has presented me with lots of rejection and challenge to find where I go next with the many ideas that I have. This year I decided not to take things too serious and simply go to CHA with an open mind and meet new people, look for products and things that I could use to put my own twist on! I am happy to say I had a great time and a productive trip and despite the fact that it is VERY clear that I don't fit into traditional "industry" I still found lots inspiration, wonderful people and new ideas!! Here are the highlights that got me excited....

Saturday night I participated in the the Scrapbook Royalty Crop charity event and got to do a canvas flower make&take and raffle off some of my hand bags and auctioned off one of my original canvas collage pieces from my Somerset Workshop article. I don't get many opportunities to be a part of the scrap book world and it was BLAST!

i heart elena
If you don't know Elena from Scrapbook Royalty you are missing out!! She is fabulous, high energy, crazy (in a good way) dedicated diva behind raising money for charity through craft and art events! I will be participating and collaborating with her on some future projects that I can't wait to share!!

I stopped to see what Claudine was up to at the Ranger booth and to my glee she was making Sticky Back Canvas bracelets. Claudine is a wonderful and generous artist and as you know I LOVE her line of canvas and paint. In my opinion her paint line is up there with some of the best and the Sticky Back Canvas is one of the most versitle and BEST products out there right now!

I am not a knitter (well I'm a beginner!) but I LOVED seeing all of the yarn creations from Bernat (maybe I can talk my mother in law into knitting this outfit for me?!)

And these AMAZING knit creature from Lion Brand Yarn

Jenny Doh was all over CHA inspiring and promoting Crescendo.com - her new project which I am blessed to be a part of this summer!! I ran into her when I was chatting with Cheryl Waters (lead fiskateer) and we were lucky enough to get a sneak peak at the Crescendo website which will going live VERY soon- it looks wonderful!

Speaking of Jenny Doh- I also got to preview her new book (with Jo Packham) Where Women Create Book of Inspiration at the Lark booth!! This book goes behind the scenes of 25 women to learn about their studio, art and inspiration (and one of them is me!!!) I can't wait to share more with you later about this project!

One of the highlights of my trip was actually meeting Kathy Cano-Murillo (aka Crafty Chica in person) we have connected online but getting to meet her in person was wonderful!! You know how there are just some people who you know immediately are a kindred spirit? Kathy is one of those people- she exudes peace, kindness and creativity! She gave me an advance copy of her new book which I cannot wait to read!

Kathy was demoing at the I Love to Create booth which is always my favorite booth- in my opinion they are a company that is willing to take risks and do some creative things with their products and ideas! I loved this newspaper dress that they had displayed-

complete with matching shoes!

The product that I am the most excited about this year is Tulip's Fashion Graffiti products! They came up with a non aerosol spray paint that is AWESOME! Finally there is a crafting option for those of us who use lots of spray paint techniques!! Now we are not limited to using icky spray paint! I will share more about this new product and some inspiration VERY soon!!

Check out the video of Traci Bautista using the graffiti line!

Speaking of Traci- I heart this girl- she is another creative kindred spirit who THANKFULLY loves graffiti, making a mess and taking risks just as much as I do!! We made time to sit down and have lunch together and did some more brainstorming for future collaboration and creative plans- so keep your eyes peeled for us pairing up sometime very soon!!

I was lucky enough to be invited to C&T Publishing Stay and Play Cafe Event where I we got to experiment and try out all kinds of new products! And who came and sat down at my table? My new friends Diva Danielle and Rayme Royale of Diva Craft Lounge!

One of my favorite products out there is C&T's canvas books- if you want to experiment with making books out of painted canvas but don't want to have to sew everything together- this is the product for you!!

I was also super excited to work with Walnut Hallow's creative metal and tools for embossing! I use Walnut Hallows tools for ll of my hand carved stamps and I was really excited to get to draw and doodle on metal- I have some really great ideas for using this product in my work!!

my flower drawings on metal that I painted

We also got to play with Lutrador a really neat product that feels a little like a cross between interfacing, a dryer sheet and hand made fiber paper! You can paint, draw and sew with it and it is another product that I now have lots of ideas of ways to use it that I will be sharing soon!

After the C&T event I attended Provo Craft's event to launch their new product Cricket Cake- a super DUPER cool, easy-to-use electronic cutter that cuts gum paste, frosting sheets and much more. WOW!! Do those Provo Craft peeps know how to throw a party! I met SO many fabulous people (I still need to go through all my pics and business cards to get everyone's names!) at this event and was super inspired by the many different ways PROVO is reaching different artists and crafters! I am hoping to find a way to work with them in the future!!

While walking through the lobby of the convention center I heard my name and I turned to see one of my most favorite people resting her feet- Tracie Lyn Hunskamp!! Tracie and her mother in law Marilyn- are truly another pair of kindred spirits! I sat with Traci for a long time in the lobby and had the best conversation- that honestly I needed- we talked frustration, creativity, planning and more! The biggest change in my life after quitting my job has been discovering what it is like to work alone and I often feel isolated- so getting to talk, brainstorm and share challenges and success with other like minded people feels profound to me these days. Tracie seeing me and yelling my name across the lobby was just what I needed Sunday afternoon!

Traci is an amazing artist and teacher, she has a beautiful book- Nature Inspired out and will very soon have a line of fabric!!

And finally the best for last- I got to meet Julie Balzer in person (and the wonderful Lucy Edson) while she was demoing at the Sakura booth! Recently, after coming across Julie's blog I fell immediately in love with her creativity- I am convinced we may share a similar creative gene because just like me, she has her hands in all kinds of stuff- fiber, drawing, breaking rules, recycling and pushing the boundaries of traditional craft and I LOVE THAT!!! I plan on keeping in close touch with Julie and maybe collaborating sometime in the future ;)

Overall, taking time to attend CHA this year was a success and while I am still in trying to figure out where I fit, what path to take and where to go next with my career in art and craft I was thrilled to be able to connect, meet and discover new things about the industry and myself! Now its time to head back to the studio and splatter a little paint!


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