My day at CHA and other reasons to never grow up!

I recently learned about CHA … and I have to admit, I wondered what all the fuss was about.  I mean really, haven’t I already seen it all already?  (I know, those of you who have been to CHA are laughing hysterically at me right now.)

What is CHA?  Yesterday, and for the next two days, the Craft & Hobby Association is presenting their Mega Show, a conference and trade show “that features a dynamic marketplace in which to do business, opportunities to network with and learn from other industry professionals, and more!”.

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As a member of the Charity Wings Art Center I was given the opportunity to attend CHA this weekend with the important responsibility of representing Charity Wings in an effort to raise awareness of their programs and seek out both corporate partners and individual sponsors.  I love connecting people this way… I smiled and shook hands, shared the 10 second ‘elevator speech’ to those who would listen, collected some business cards and hopefully helped garner some interest in a very worthy cause.  I am truly looking forward to hearing more about the connections made, and see them come to fruition.  

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Taking pictures with my phone was not an ideal way to capture the day but I didn’t really feel like toting around the much larger, heavier digital camera.  So, please bear with me and my low-res images (some of them fuzzy – sorry, I was so giddy I couldn’t hold the phone still) as I recap what we saw, experienced and thoroughly enjoyed yesterday at CHA in Anaheim, Ca.  ::: please, and thank you!:::

We arrived early, found a stellar parking space, got a map of the show floor and looked for the individuals we would be volunteering with.  The longer we hung out in the lobby, waiting for the show doors to open, the louder the crowd and anticipation built!  Buyers, exhibitors, volunteers, staff and security personnel were standing elbow to elbow.  My friend Sandy was with me (this was not her first CHA rodeo)… we people-watched, talked to strangers and pondered how long it took for these bling-ed out scissors to be completed.

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Promptly at 10 am the show room doors opened and it was all fast forward from there… I tried to come up with a game plan for navigating our way to our exhibit… but once those doors opened that plan went out the window.  The below image, while “photo journalistic” in style is very blurry… like my head was at the moment.  Thank you for understanding.

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We found our way to our exhibit and got to work.  Elena Lai Etcheverry, Founder and Executive Director of Charity Wings, is a celebrity at CHA.  Literally.  Elena, as seen here wearing wings by Designer Marisa Pawelko, streams live both from the exhibit and as she flits about the show room floor.  Over the years Elena  has built an immensely supportive network of partners in this business… and has made friends all over the world because of it.

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If you want to join the streaming video, where you can watch LIVE  the inspiring designer throw-downs and one-on-one interviews.  Today’s (Sunday, 1/12/14) streaming will continue begin again at 12 pm through 5 pm (Pacific time).  Click here to join the party for FREE:  –>  LIVE STREAMING FROM CHA

The photos below were taken during the  Michelle Frae Cummings vs. Jen Goode throw-down… good stuff happening here!  So much spirited fun!

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So… who did I meet next?  Oh my crafty goodness, I met and spoke with and got a free autographed book from Mark Montano!!!  For about an hour yesterday morning he was in the E6000 exhibit signing and giving away his craft books… and I was one of the lucky recipients!

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(As I’m writing this, the book is sitting next to me… many of the pages dog-eared for future reference.  Big crafty hugs to you too, Mark!)

I was so inspired to watch and partake of the make and take (below), sponsored by Beacon Adhesives.  I learned a new way of making flowers out of felt.  And I’m in love.  The top flower was pre-made out of grosgrain ribbon.  But the bottom two flowers were made by yours truly.  And I carried it around proudly…

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And next I’m going to include various shots from around the show room floor.  This spot, right here, was where Tim Holtz was going to be in a few minutes (yes, lots of people wanted to meet him.  and yes the line was too long to wait in.). But I took the picture because I love the use of the books in the bookshelves… a unique display, for sure.

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And then we spent quite a bit of time inside the Tim Holtz booth… just soaking it all in.  Wow… the words are hard to find.  So much attention to detail, both in the sample crafts on display and the displays themselves.  All together, so much inspiration.

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Yes, I continued to take bad pictures on my phone as I walked around.  Thank you, for bearing with me for this post… these are blurry, yes.  But if you could only see the ones I haven’t used here… you’d be thankful.

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I love the banner made from photos…

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Oh, what an inspiring, tiring, challenging, fun day this was!  I learned new techniques, played with some toys I’ve never had my hands on before and met some awesome people!

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I woke up today with a dozen new designs floating around in my brain… but all I really want to do today is work through my task list.  Laundry, giving the dog a bath, throwing open the windows and enjoying a beautifully warm winter Sunday… I’ll come back to the crafts when my brain has decided what to do with all this inspiration.

I love what I do… because of opportunities like this!

6 thoughts on “My day at CHA and other reasons to never grow up!

  1. …..that sums it up! What a perfect post about such a fantastic day. ….and great photos ……..blurry or not!

  2. Lori, thank you for your fabulous post. I was not there in person for W.H.O.A but was there in spirit cheering you all on. Your photos are great and give a wonderful feel for what goes on at CHA.

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