Two weekends ago I put my craft hat on and headed to the CHA Mega Show at the Anaheim Convention Center. CHA is the Craft and Hobby Association and this show is a conference and trade show for the country’s largest craft vendors. This is where shops come to do their buying, designers come to show off their new collections and everyone in the industry comes to learn via workshops. It is enormous! I attended as “media” and was super excited to find some awesome new discoveries that, I’m sure, will take my crafts to the next level. I had been invited to a workshop at the Swarovski booth and that was how I started my day. I have never had the pleasure to work with their crystals before but YOU GUYS! they are absolutely even more stunning in person.
I made that cute little compact mirror right there. And, of course, I am already dreaming up ways to fit more Swarovski Crystals in my life. See that little pointy tool peeking out from behind the bag? That is a Crystal Katana and it is magic. The tip is made of a rubber material that makes picking up and placing the crystals crazy easy. I don’t know about you but my fat fingers just get in the way when trying to do delicate work. The Crystal Ninja (maker of the katana) and Swarovski gifted one of these tools to each of us. Score!
The workshop was hosted by Erika Domesek of P.S. I Made This and if you didn’t know, stripes are where its at. She is an ambassador for Swarovski and chatted with us throughout our workshop. She is super nice and really interesting to listen to. Super excited that she will speaking at Alt Summit later this week so I can try to gain a little more of her business knowledge (not only is she creative, she has really made a name for herself in the business world and I think she is close to world domination…)
Later on in the show I found the Crystal Ninja booth and this huge sparkly Crystal Katana. Of course I had to have a picture with it. Do you see the TV behind me?! Everything looks better with crystals…I wonder what my husband would say if he came home from work to find out TV like this…
The booths were full of inspiration. I can’t remember which booth this is (great recap Sharon!) but how awesome is that huge scarf?! And those yarn balls instantly made me think that I’m probably going to need to recreate this for a future party. Those balls would make perfect seats don’t you agree?
The Plaid booth (you know, they make Mod Podge, Martha’s products…) had custom artwork hanging all around their booth and this pegboard fox cross stitch was amazing!
I love the Xyron sticker makers but I loved this DIY Plinko game, that was in their booth, even more! I won a travel sticker maker but also will probably have to recreate this at some point too. It was fun to see some familiar companies in a more human way. Some really made their booths fun while others played it a little more serious. There is something about seeing the people behind the company that makes you want to be even more brand loyal.
Some of the smaller, design focused companies put together some really lovely booths. Allison Kreft Designs makes freaking adorable papers and had this rad marquee heart decoration that instantly drew me in their booth.
How pretty is the Heidi Swapp booth? This one really stood out to me. It was really well designed and the products (memory planners) are really fun. I LOVE her branding.
They also had the BEST little stencils! It is hard for me to find things that I really like at craft shows because things tend to be overly cute or shabby chic but these are totally modern and cool. I am definitely going to be checking out all of their product offerings.
Some old favorites were at the show as well. I have used Fiskars paper cutters forever! And I love them. When I heard they had a rotary cutter (great for cutting fabric) with an attached ruler I thought my head would explode. Genius! They demo’d it for me and I HAVE to have it. I’m a bit clumsy so with regular rotary cutters I always feel like I may lose a finger. But this is completely safe. Fiskars also debuted some new scissors. I was sent home with a pair that is designed for mixed media which means it will cut through really thick things like cork, as well as metal, etc. And I heard from some other bloggers that attended the show the next day that they also came out with a pair that won’t gum up when being used with adhesives. GREAT idea (said the girl who ruined her pretty metal Fiskars scissors with adhesive when making the fabric heart pillows…).
Duck tape has all kinds of things that make crafting awesome. I’m sure you have seen their patterned Duck Tape at your local craft stores – there are a gazillion awesome patterns. But they also have colored masking tape! I use a lot of masking tape for my blog posts, for hanging garlands and things so I don’t ruin my walls with nails, etc. I am loving that they have so many colors to choose from. I know they will get worked in to my photos rather than worrying about it showing in the edge of the photos.
And you all know I love Nerds so when I saw this tape I knew I had to have it. They are always coming out with new designs (hint: those tapes in the background haven’t even been delivered to stores yet) and they aren’t afraid to stray from the tried and true. They have fabric tapes out now that are really cool and give a totally different feel to a project (I didn’t mean that literally, I meant that they aren’t shiney, the designs are a bit more feminine, but it does also feel nice).
I have a hard time finding scrapbook papers that I love the design of whether I want to use them for crafts or styling posts. Cosmo Cricket is awesome! I’m excited that I found a brand that pretty closely fits my aesthetic. They have some great craft items but also fun things that would be great for homemade party decorations. I will be sharing more of their items in a post soon!
This Brother Scan N Cut machine is really cool and easy to use. Not only does it come with shapes but you can use custom shapes that you create on a computer program too. It seems pretty user-friendly and works with fabric and paper.
I was SO excited when I came across Ashley Goldberg at the show. I had first seen her work at Alt Summit last year when Land of Nod put her adorable girl drawing on a goodie bag. Turns out she has a whole line of stamps and I will be starting to collect them all. Her art is colorful and bold in a subtle way (if that makes any sense…) Her stuff is a touch edgy and modern and I freaking love it. And she is an absolute sweet heart. This was definitely a highlight of the show for me!
I spent a fair amount of time in the 3Doodler booth. It is a pen, kind of like a glue gun, where you feed in these colored plastic rods and they get melted. Then you “draw” all kinds of shapes with it (flat or 3D style) and the plastic hardens. How insane is that?! It is hard to tell from this picture but there is a huge ferris wheel in the background and a plane both made with the Doodler!
I could not come up with a reason why I would use it. But I really want it. I watched the reps create tons of cool things including this little guy standing up right here. So cool! I was also told that it helps to repair things. And oh my gosh I just realized this would totally fix part of a toy car that got broken that we were all very sad about! If you ever get the opportunity to see this in action, do!
We R Memory Keepers is awesome. But they have a ton of other great products as well. I am dying over these Instagram sized albums. They would make the sweetest gifts. It is like a mini life scrapbook and they sell the clear sleeves for the photos as well as small-sized quotes and illustrations to create your whole book.
They also make some pretty amazing tools for crafting. This Flower Punch Board makes creating paper flowers super easy. I watched a rep demonstrate this and it is really neat. I’m probably going to end up with a few of these tools. They also have an envelope board that makes creating envelopes of all sizes a breeze. That is awesome. I’m really looking forward to learning more about this company.
After touring the floor and checking out every single booth, I had a few hours to spend with some awesome local bloggers who were also at the show (DIY Inspired, Life with Lovebugs, Pandora’s Craft Box, Chase the Star). We sat and chatted about blog things and I can see many a craft night in our future. Then after dinner we headed over to the Hilton for a blogger networking party thrown by Fave Crafts. I didn’t take any photos but it was one of the best blogger parties I have been to. They thought of all the things bloggers would want and what the craft brands would want and worked it all out in one great party. It was the perfect way to make contacts and get a chance to talk about possible projects with them. And of course, no party is complete without goodie bags…And I left with 4 huge ones! I’m excited to get crafting and share these products with you!