cha 2014

CHA 2014: Featured on the “Today” Show

We are big time now, fellow crafters! The recent CHA show {Craft and Hobby Association} held in Anaheim, CA was featured on the “Today” show on NBC. Here is the video clip:

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Unfortunately, scrapbooking wasn’t one of the crafts featured but you can catch glimpses of a few of “our” booths. Man, wish I had known Rupert from “Survivor” was there manning the tie-dye booth. I would’ve tried to meet him!

CHA 2014: Adventures of a Newbie at Scrapbooking’s Biggest Event (Quick Look Part 1)

So now that I’ve done the INTRO POST, today I want to say, “CHA: Day One”.

But.
There was only
one day
for me.

Sooooo . . . “CHA: First Part of THE Day.” See? Doesn’t sound as impressive. Oh well. Here we go.

On CHA Day, I woke up at 3:30am. It was like I was 8 and it was Christmas morning. I did need to get up early but that was RUH-DIK. I left my house at 5:20, prepped with a full tank of gas and a large coffee. There were some very good omens that signaled a great day. When I turned my car on in the morning, the radio was playing the beginning of a Journey song. Dude. So awesome. {If you’re new here, I’m obsessed with JOURNEY}. And I got to watch the sun rise over Santa Barbara.

IMG_3279

Later, as I drove through Hollywood, on the other side of the freeway there was a cascade of bougainvillea hanging over the tall cement wall, like these.

And they were in a heart shape :) {I’m so obsessed with HEARTS, they also have their own Pinterest board}.

Yeah, I felt like it was going to be a very good day indeed.

I arrived in Anaheim around 9:30. The convention center is right by Disneyland and normally I would’ve been SO sad that I couldn’t join all the people going there. But, hey, I was going to Scrapbooking Disneyland and that’s even better! I was so excited that I totally forgot which direction the parking lot lady said to go so I went straight and it all worked out. Phew! After parking (again, still so excited I forgot to note which section I was in = regret later), I asked the guy entering the stairwell before me, “Which way do we go, up or down?” and he said, “I always just follow the light so that means up.” I thought that was a good match for my feelings of the day: I was going toward the light. {The sound of angels singing}. I was about to enter scrappy heaven!

The conference center lobby is huge so I just followed people who looked like craftsy types, LOL. Lots of people had brought rolling tote bags, which is wicked smart. I only had my purse and, like a dummy, I had even downsized it so it would be lighter. {I would later regret this, too}. I checked in which you don’t even have to talk to a real person for! The week before CHA, they e-mail you a QR entry code and, using the CHA app, you just hold it up to the machine. I got my badge, checked out the big board, loving how everything was so bright and cheerful and the scene was buzzing!

IMG_3293

IMG_3294

Note: I’m apologizing now. Most of my photos were taken with my iPhone because I was having camera problems. The photo quality is not great; I realize that and I’m sorry! But like I said in my LAST ENTRY, there are TONS of great CHA photos and videos online. My goal is to share photos that illustrate my day and so I can reference scrapbook products I’m commenting on. I hope that’s not too much of a bummer!

I stopped to take a few pics as I walked into CHA for the very first (and hopefully not last) time! And who was there, front and center??? MARTHA, of course! It’s always Martha, Martha, Martha!

IMG_3295

First, I decided to take a cruise around and get the lay of the land, and note the booths I wanted to go back to.

IMG_3296

IMG_3299

IMG_3300

IMG_3301

IMG_3302

IMG_3303

IMG_3304

IMG_3305

IMG_3306

IMG_3307

IMG_3311

IMG_3309

IMG_3312

IMG_3313

IMG_3314

Okay, I’m going to stop photos here for now. As you can see, the place is massive. All these scrapbooking companies are interspersed with other crafts – beads, sewing, yarn, paints, etc. You get a workout, that’s for sure! I made use of that charging station area because my iPhone died and, as I was counting on it to be my camera, that was NOT acceptable, LOL! There were plenty of food vendors right in the CHA area; I got a fruit cup for $5 but they had lots of good-looking hot food, too. I got an Aquafina from a vending machine for $2.50 (just giving you an idea of prices for when YOU go :). I was surprised that the Fancy Pants booth was so small but it was cute!

Okay, I’ll have more “quick look” photos next time, then we’ll start getting in depth with specific companies in the posts after that. Talk soon!

CHA 2014: Adventures of a Newbie at Scrapbooking’s Biggest Event (Intro Post)

YES! I got to go to CHA* for the first time!!! And it was absolutely amazing! Scrapbook Bucket List item checked off! I could only go for one day (Saturday) but I’m so grateful even for that. It’s like Rome or Disneyland – there is NO possible way to see and do everything you want to in one day. So I ran around like a scrappy chicken with my head cut off and crammed as much as I could into 7 hours.
*Are you wondering what the hay CHA is? Check THIS out.

There was so much greatness packed into those 7 hours that I can’t put it all in one blog post. I’ll do a series over the next week or two and that way I can be more detailed (maybe TOO detailed but humor me, LOL!) Simple Stories and Basic Grey might take 2 posts each. We’ll see how it goes. But I want to share the experience with you of being a total geeky newb in the Emerald City. I must say, Oz was extremely welcoming :) And no flying monkeys. BONUS!

Pinch me. I still kind of can’t believe it. OUCH! Jeez, I didn’t mean ACTUALLY pinch me. It was a figure of speech. Sheesh. That’s okay, it didn’t hurt that much. Between CHA yesterday and the Golden Globes and The Bachelor tonight, I’m in heaven anyway. I still love you <3

IMG_3295

For an idea of what’s to come, below are some of the booths I went to and people I met.

I got a tour of these booths, met some wonderful people, and got you some good intel:
BASIC GREY – Talked to one of the owners, Rachel Brenchley, and briefly met Kelly Purkey
SIMPLE STORIES – Met the owners Kevin and Amber Crowell, and Jodi, Sue, and Layle Koncar
ECHO PARK / CARTA BELLA – Met Andrea Smith
WEBSTER’S PAGES – Met Allison Kreft and Shimelle
PROJECT LIFE – Met Becky Higgins
CHICKANIDDY CRAFTS – Met Heidi Sonboul’s husband
MAMBI (Me and My Big Ideas) – Met Shelby Strichard

These are booths that I quickly visited and got photos of:
BELLA BLVD
BAZZILL
WRMK
AMERICAN CRAFTS
KAISERCRAFT
COPICS
CHIC TAGS

Who I saw from afar but didn’t talk to, darn it:
Noell Hyman from PAPERCLIPPING.COM
AMY TANGERINE from American Crafts
TIM HOLTZ from . . . Tim Holtz
HEIDI SONBOUL from Chickaniddy Crafts
ELISE BLAHA CRIPE from enJOY It.com

As you can see, I’m a Paper Girl. If you’re looking for inks and stamps and tools, I’m not your gal. I mean, all that stuff is awesome but I had to prioritize so I went for my first love: PAPER!!! I’m a confessed PAPER SNIFFER from way back, remember? I’ve always been open with you about that. Don’t hate.

IMG_3296

I also got to meet Nancy Nalley from SCRAPBOOK UPDATE and we had a quick fun convo at the end of the day. I hope I remembered to mention every person and booth I visited. If not, I’ll include them later, swear!

Overall, I will say that my photos will not be the best you’ll see out there (camera problems so most are iPhone photos). I didn’t take a TON of project photos because I know each manufacturer posts those on their blog, etc. My focus will be on telling you the story of the day, how amazing and fun it was to be there, the conversations I had with some of my favorite companies, what I’ll do differently next time, and hopefully some insider information that you won’t hear anywhere else. The posts will be LONG. I’m verbose. Deal with it.

I did offer those I interviewed the chance to do a run-through of our exchange before I post it. I don’t have the greatest memory and I’d feel HORRIBLE if I misquoted someone. I also don’t want to share any details they’d rather keep under wraps for now, or anything too personal. They are businesses, just real people making a living, and I totally respect that. But if there’s a delay in posting anything, that’ll be why – just wanted you to know ☺

So please come back to read more about my adventures at CHA 2014. If you want to make sure and not miss a post, you can sign up for updates in the top right corner. That way, you get an e-mail every time I post.

In the meantime, if you’re Jonesing for CHA product and project photos, I encourage you to check out all the vendor blog links in my Blogroll on the lower right. If you go to their blogs, you can usually find a link to their Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook where they’re sharing photos from CHA and/or products debuting at CHA. Also, in my post above, anything that’s bolded is a link to their blog or website.

Another way to see amazing pics from the floor of CHA is check out Melissa Stinson/Scrappy Jedi’s FLICKR FEED. She has a nice camera and her CHA photos are wicked good. I was hoping to meet Melissa @ CHA but never saw her, dangit! I’ve followed her blog for years and am a big fan.

Sorry no pretty pictures this time. I’m still downloading and editing them – I took almost 500 total. In 7 hours. Yikes. Excessive much?

Hope to see you soon for more CHA dish!