I'm sorry about the lack of blog posts for so long! I had no internet on my laptop while I was in Phoenix for a week and then came home on Tuesday with a horrible cold that landed me in bed for a couple days, but now I'm feeling better and am online again! I have lots of photos to share from the craft and hobby trade show so I'll divide them into two posts.
I think this was my sixteenth winter trade show - I think my first show was in 2001, when I was on the Mary Engelbreit design team for a new company called Creative Imaginations. It seems like a million years ago! The show has usually been held in Anaheim, California, but has now moved to Phoenix. Change is always hard - some people liked being near Disneyland and said that the hotels near the Phoenix convention center are more expensive - but I liked this new venue. The convention center workers were so friendly, the food court was great, and parking was easy and relatively inexpensive. I'm there to work, so I don't really mind that there isn't as much to do as in Anaheim. I was very fortunate and blessed to be able to stay at a friend's guest house for the week.
The best part of the show is catching up with friends from around the world - Italy, South Africa, France, Norway, England, Spain, Puerto Rico, South America - people come from all over the world to shop for the next year for their stores, classes, and events.
I was so surprised to run into Lori from Timeless Menagerie in Fredericksburg, Texas! She recently closed that shop but still has her bed and breakfast locations there (one of them is the ranch where I had my retreat a couple years ago) and is exploring possibilities for what she'll do next. It's always great to catch up with her!
I also ran into Carine from Version Scrap in France, who I didn't know was going to be there. She decided to come to the show at the last minute and see what the trade show is like in the US. I'm happy to say that I'll be teaching at Version Scrap Paris in April for the seventh time! It's the 10th anniversary of that event, and I just couldn't miss it! It will be my 10th time teaching in France, too.
The show is much smaller than it used to be - there are so many fewer companies to fill the hall with - but there are still lots of great things. After feeling sad about it for a bit, I gave myself a talking to and think that there are still plenty of pretty things to create with and that we either need to make the best of it or get out of the business! It's still about creativity and preserving our memories and telling out stories and having fun doing it! (That's my moment on a soapbox! :)
At the show I mainly take photos of things that I want to remember - to keep in mind for present or future classes or for inspiration - so here we go...
I know they are cutesy, but I love this little yellow typewriter!
One of the hot new things at the show was this sewing machine by We R Memorykeepers. They make twine that it will sew with and it does different stitches. I love the pink! It comes out in April and will retail for $150. I would say that it is about the same size or maybe a little larger than my vintage black Singer Featherweight machine that I use.
One Canoe Two is a new brand for American Crafts... I love the little globes! You may find them in a future class!
I had already purchased the products for four new classes before I went to the show - it's already lining the shelves of my kit room! Not every class will be at every store or event - you'll have to watch my Upcoming Classes blog for that info as I announce each new class. I've updated my schedule through July in the sidebar. One of my tasks at the show was to decide what to do with each of the collections! I was very thankful to find something fun for each class.
One class is with this Simple Life collection from Pebbles. We're using a new 7gypsies journal for that class.
Another new class is with this Tealightful collection in an altered book with some Doodlebug Designs included.
I love this new Maggie Holmes collection, of course, and we're going to be mixing it with some Tim Holtz products to make a shabby chic album.
I also love this Oasis collection from Crate Paper and am using it in a Simple Stories album for a vintagy, beachy class.
I need to get to work, designing these classes! :)
Webster's Pages had pretty, new paper...
The next several photos are from Echo Park/Carta Bella. They had the most new collections that I thought were really well done. Not everything is available now, but you might see some of this in a future class... some of the collections are designed by Steven Duncan who used to design for October Afternoon. Can you guess which ones are his?
I need this sheet of Italy paper!
Over at the Bella Blvd. booth I loved this Make Your Mark collection. So bright and happy!
I'll be back with photos from Tim Holtz Idea-ology, 7gypsies, and more!