You may have heard of The Craft & Hobby Association (aka CHA). You may know that it’s an incredible (and HUGE) organization, but maybe you’re unfamiliar with what they do. They’ve created an incredible, powerhouse, worldwide community of artists, crafters and hobby pros, and are a hub for all to learn, innovate, and succeed. What luck that the CHA Megashow celebrating their 75th Anniversary happened to be taking place in Orange County this year, at the Anaheim Convention Center. I signed up immediately.
With a name like “MegaShow”, I’ll admit, I was expecting BIG, and let me tell you, the CHA Megashow did not disappoint! Upon entering, it was almost, (almost!), too much for my eyes to take in. There before me, in glorious splendor, were all my favorite art and craft brands, with complete presentations of their product lines, in the most creatively produced displays I’ve seen. (I realize I got a little dramatic there, but I have this thing for art supplies).
There is absolutely NO WAY I could cover this event in just one post, so here are the highlights, according to, well, me!
CANVAS CORP BRANDS
Canvas Corp is dear to my heart. I love their fun, distressed style of products, they fit my design aesthetic, pretty much perfectly. I was thrilled to have a dear friend on their design team, Donna Budzynski, who had several of her amazing creations on display in the show.
Here’s my friend Katie, she made this gorgeous pin using some of their fun spray colors and canvas flowers, and there’s my creation on the end!
But the best part of all was having Lisa Kettel from Canvas Corp fall in love with one of MY pieces, it’s my Bohemian Chic headpiece!! What an honor to have this gorgeous lady wearing my creation. I couldn’t have designed it better for her.
One of my favorite highlights from the CHA Megashow was the team with Everything Mary. This company offers fun and whimsically patterned totes, caddies and storage solutions, but the best part about Everything Mary, is….MARY! She’s one very cool lady, and she has pink hair, which puts her at the top of my cool list. Had a great time making a fun tote bag at her space, and can’t wait to use her organizing totes for my whole staff when we set up events. There’s a pocket for everything!
I love pens, markers, watercolor paints, sketching pens, pretty much all things that make markings on paper. Tombow pens are COOL. I love their dual tip brush markers, and how well they blend. Tombow’s display amazed me for the sheer number of products I didn’t realize they carried. A favorite new find was their Xtreme Tabs, they’re these incredible adhesive gel squares, they’re pretty awesome, and had serious stick-factor! Goodbye hot glue, and hello easy-street! http://tombowusa.com/school-office/adhesives/adhesive-tabs.html I loved seeing my close friend Laura Kelly demonstrating in the Tombow booth using her Sizzix dies, the line was long to get in on the crafting fun with Laura!
Little B. is an innovative company offering incredibly unique labels, tapes, and punches; their products never fail to add a unique, boutique-y feel to my work. Their display of paper flowers was a showstopper, (that palette!). One really cool addition to their product line was tiny wood characters. I LOVE tiny things, (love, love, love them!) The Little B. team offered a darling make and take station where guests could create their own little scene with the wood offerings. Tiny people, vehicles, even a narwhal, this new selection is quite possibly going to be the end of me. (In a good, never leaving the studio because TINY THINGS way.)
Floracraft is a staple in my day to day creations. I use their foam products for everything from flower arrangements to mixed media wall art. Last Halloween, I had some of their specialty Halloween carved heads displayed in jars on my mantle. (Don’t ask… )
Floracraft had a majorly impressive wall of their Styrofoam heads, backlit by color changing LED Lights. Photos couldn’t really capture how cool this was, so you’ll have to trust me. It was COOL.
I participated in a super-fun make and take activity with Floracraft, coloring a Dia de los Muertos Calavera, with none other than Kathy Cano-Murillo, Crafty Chica! I had a blast coloring away on my own project. Admittedly, it’s not as good as Kathy’s, (because hello, Crafty Chica), but I do love the lipstick I added, very representative of my style!
EILEEN HULL, THE PAPER TRAIL
Eileen Hull is just talented on top of talented. Her 1976 vintage trailer “Scotty” was the centerpiece of her breathtaking display, and her booth was crowded ALL weekend long. There were many make and take opportunities in Eileen’s space, given her talented Paper Trail Design team, boasting such names as Jonathan Fong, Debra Quartermain. I was lucky to participate in a darling activity with my friends Midge and Madge, of Midge and Madge Mingle; they were instructing on how to create a darling tea towel using Laura Kelly’s Sizzix heart and cupcake die cuts of fabric in adorable patterns, as well as her bright buttons. Donna Budzynski also had some of her gorgous creations displayed, using Eileen’s box and trailer die cuts. Aren’t they charming!?
I have to admit, I have an addiction to spray painting things. Specifically, gold. I “gold” everything, from glassware to plastic animals. I also upcycle furniture and wood accessories, and I stain things. Also, I glitter things. Lots of glittery things.
What do all of these activities have in common? Rust-oleum – it is my ONLY choice when it comes to my projects. That huge chalk wall in my house? Rust-oleum Challkboard Paint. My gold spray painted items? Yes, Rust-oleum. I could go on, but I think we’re on the same page. This is a brand I’m passionate for. Their display took me to a place I like to call “LEVEL UP”. (insert high five here)
Rust-oleum has introduced a groundbreaking product, and it’s Flexi Dip Removable Rubber Coating. See this vase? I make things like this all the time for my events.
Here’s the amazing part. This was made with spray paint, which, in the past, would mean that you’re now the owner of a permanently pink striped vase. This gets expensive. Also, I’m sometimes indecisive. (My husband would say more than sometimes, but this isn’t his blog, now is it?) But now, you can PEEL OFF the spray paint when you decide you want a new look. Which for me is always. I’m freaking out a little just thinking of the possibilities. Okay, I’m freaking out a LOT.
Rust-oleum also offers a gorgeous selection of chalky-finish paints for furniture and accessories, called “Chalked”, (not to be confused with chalkboard paint, but that’s another blog post), and a beautiful array of wood stains. I was so excited at all the fun products on display, before I knew it the whole Rust-oleum team was getting in on the fun.
I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I say I’m kinda the number one die-hard fan girl for Rust-oleum.
SIZZIX, WHERE WOMEN COOK DIECUTS
I was thrilled to see my friend Jo Packham, creator and editor of Where Women Create, Where Women Cook, and Where Women Do Business, sharing her incredibly cute collection of Dies for Sizzix. Jo had an eyecatching display of assorted tiny party hats, fun favor boxes, tags, labels and cupcake toppers. She had glittered tiny animals to join in on the fun, (remember my love of tiny things), it was one of those displays where the more you look, the more you see, and will be even more fun to make for using in my own events! Pictured here are Jo and my dear friend Laura Kelly, an uber-talented licensed artist who also happens to be a designer for Sizzix!
There were so many more incredible displays, I wish I could share them all! Here are just a few more photos for you!