I'm finally back home after my ten day trip to California! For some reason this trip seemed especially long - all good and fun - but I think it's because I moved around the state so much and packed a lot into the trip. It was really nice to sleep in my own bed last night! I'm so grateful to Valerie who shared a room with me at the Hilton in Anaheim, to Jeremy and Becca who shared their guest room with me in Milpitas, and to Michelle (and Daphne) who gave a bed at the White house! :)
What DID I do during this trip? Well, I went to the trade show, shopped for products for new classes, saw lots of friends, made new friends, went to the Rose Bowl Flea Market, went to a class and soiree at French General, went to see Jeremy and Becca up in San Jose, taught a weekend of classes at Paper Tales, enjoyed all the sunshine and wearing flip flops, and got to see Brandon for a few minutes at the airport in Washington DC on my way home. I'll start with the trade show and make my way through all the fun...
CHA (the craft and hobby trade show) has changed a lot in the twelve years that I've been going to the show. Back in the "old days" you could barely walk the whole show in four days, but now the industry has changed and there are a much smaller number of companies, and that makes the show so much smaller. The changes in the economy have made it hard for everyone - the manufacturers, the retailers, and the consumers. I found a lot that I liked but not a lot that was "wow". It seems like it would be a great time for a savy new company that would make more than just paper and stickers. (I know I'm generalizing - but most companies are playing it safe with just doing more and more of the same thing, in my opinion.)
My favorite new exhibitor was a new stamp company called AHA arts stamps. I'm not much of a stamper or art journaler but these stamps made me want to do it! I may try them out for a class sometime. I thought the designs were whimsical and fun!
I thought these sanding "q-tips" were pretty cool in the new exhibitor section, too.
Of course, Tim Holtz's booths are always amazing and I found lots of things for new classes there!
He always the most amazing samples that designers have made to show off his products...
I love anything miniature, so his new mini ink pads and blending tools must be MINE! :)
Tim's Sissix booth is always amazing too. (I know my friend Debi - who I think I was separated from at birth - has a big part in making it so beautiful!)
Brenda Walton's Sissix display is spectacular!
Even this little table is a die...
I liked a couple of Basic Grey's new collections...
I LOVED Maggie Holmes new Styleboard collection for Crate Paper. You will definitely find it in an upcoming class from me.
American Crafts has a new collection called DIY Shop with basic "parts and pieces" for adding to any project.
Amy Tan's new collection, Plus One, is really fun - I love the font of the Thickers and plan on using them in a class soon.
I loved this new postal collection from Pink Paislee but it won't be out until later in March, so I'll have to wait and use it in a future class.
Heidi Swapp has two new collections - I like the ephemera from this one...
This travel collection from Webster's Pages is really cute (but doesn't come out until later this spring.)
I love this summery, beachy collection from Echo Park but again, it doesn't come out until April, so I have to wait to use it sometime in the future.
They had a cute travel line too...
A Gilded LIfe has a new die cut and jewelry line with Spellbinders which is just gorgeous. They had the best chocolate bar too!
Ruby Rock-It has a pretty new collection that was designed by Sally Wilson from Australia, who I met many, many years ago at CHA when she was there with her company Delish Designs. I'm so happy to be working with these collections for something very special ???? :)
American Tag had a great new display and lots of new things that I'll be using soon!
That is just a glimpse of all the things I saw there...
Tomorrow I'll share pictures and some stories about the friends I saw there!
Thanks for your patience while waiting for a new post here - it's so hard to keep the blog up when every night is late and every morning is early! Hope you are having a great day! :)