Okay, my laundry is finally under control so I can get down to uploading the hundreds of pictures we took at CHA. Are you ready for this? Or are you asking, what the heck is CHA?
CHA - the Craft and Hobby Association - puts on a trade show for craft retailers twice a year. What does that mean? Tons of craft manufacturers in one room (well, two floors, actually) showing off their new lines and products to your local (and online) craft retailers. Oh, and did I mention tons of gorgeous samples? Well that's what I went for anyway. A once-in-a-lifetime chance to experience all the best of the craft world (and all the best designers) in one place. I know!
As a first-timer, the entire show was magical for me. I soaked in the creativity every moment. I did make and takes and scored a little swag. We even spotted a few celebrities (like Tim Holtz, Stacy Julian, Margie Romney, Rhona Farrer, Heidi Swapp, and Lizzy Kartchner with Lola!). And I had a great time seeing it all with this girl and this girl.
It was overwhelming and inspirational and wonderful. But I was also surprised that there were very few new or different ideas between scrapbooking/papercrafting vendors (where I spent most of my time). It almost seemed the same ideas (some of them from previous years) popped up in each booth, just made over in that manufacturer's style. Although I have to admit I was happy to see many of the trends from last year had endured. Here are what I think the trends are for 2011 (some old, some new):
Jenni Bowlin Studio
*framed quotes and accessories
The Girls Paperie
The Girls' Paperie
My Cute Stamps
*birds / birdcages
The Girls Paperie
*banners / pennants
My Little Shoebox
*bottle caps (we did multiple bottle cap necklace make and takes!)
My favorite booths and new product lines:
*Smash books by EK Success. This was one product that really did seem new and original. Check out this video. But beware--you're going to want one (or four).
*Everything by Crate Paper. They nailed it with all four of their new lines. Even if they weren't totally new ideas, the designs and accessories were a home run. I need them all. And I'll need multiples of the vintage buttons. Gaaa!
This little album was spectacular. Look for pics of all the pages in the slide show at the end!
*My other favorite new item was Silhouette's fabric stabilizer. That's right--we can now cut fabric with our Silhouette machines! You know there are going to be some good tutorials coming up. . .I can't wait to get my hands on some!
*October Afternoon was also fabulous (as per usual). Loved the new Rocket Age line for boys, and the vintage 5 & Dime! Plus their Sprinklers opaque ink sprays were very cool.
*Cosmo Cricket, in addition to their awesome new lines (Upcycle was my fave!), had an innovative new product called Gloobers. These are going to be a must-have in my flower supply arsenal!
My Mind's Eye is still in my top 3 favorite companies. They've expanded the Lush line to include new colors (love the orange!), and their Stella & Rose line is absolutely delicious (I need the doily stamps!).
*Jilly Bean Soup's Blossom Soup was completely adorable. We got to use it for the make and take and I'm in love! I was also blown away by this cool thread spool wreath.
*7 Gypsies' booth was over the top. It was completely decked with vintage goodness. Loved the Lille collection and the printed tissue paper (they decoupaged the walls with it!) There are tons of photos in the slideshow of this booth!
*Graphic 45 was total eye candy. I could hardly take it all in!
*Loved The Girls' Paperie booth, too. It was over-the-top amazing. Gorgeous, sweet, innovative. Margie had an altered book that made my heart skip a few beats.
Check out this kite! Amazing!
*Studio Calico not only had pretty papers but AMAZING samples! They always have great designers.
*Pink Paislee's Daily Junque and Soiree were to die for! It's designed by the three cool cats at House of 3.
Other favorites: Bella Blvd's Mr. Boy, Little Yellow Bicycle's Elizabeth Park, and Basic Grey's Sweet Threads. Among so many others!
Here's the slide show of our photos. I made them move semi-quickly, so click pause if you want to linger on a photo a little longer. Enjoy!
share this on »