CHA Designers Team Up to Produce Free Digital Craft Industry Magazine


By Carol Heppner,

We rarely discuss one of the great advantages of being a CHA member and the wonderful relationships that form when attending the trade shows.   If you volunteer and support our organization, relationships deepen and initiate opportunities.

Such is the case with Ann Butler and me.  Ann and I were on Google + catching up on some CHA Designer-Section business when our discussion turned to our individual companies.   As craft-design business owners, we are constantly working with manufacturers and seeking to have the manufacturers’ products published.

During this conversation, Ann uttered those fateful words, “I wish we could develop our own publication.”   I looked at Ann and said, “We can.”   After a minute of thinking about it, Ann responded with, “But it has to be free to the reader.”   It was during these first few minutes that Bella Crafts Quarterly was born and our business model started to develop.

bcq-badge

We knew that we wanted to bring quality projects and topical craft-industry columns to readers who craft for business and for pleasure.   We wanted to inspire readers to craft, which would help the entire craft industry.   To that end, and in keeping with our belief, the first project in all our quarterly issues is always a Cre8time.org project showing readers that they can reconnect with crafting by making the project within minutes.

Creating a quarterly publication, while still running our individual companies, would be no easy feat and we would need help.  An undertaking this size needed individuals who are hard working, talented and craft-industry savvy.   Having worked with Lisa Rojas and Theresa Cifali on previous projects, they immediately came to mind as fitting the bill.

Although the four of us have our individual companies, we joined forces to work on this project.  Each designer brings unique skills that allow us to produce a bella-creative-teamquality publication to inspire crafters of all levels.  What is uniquely special is how well we work together.   In a competitive business world, where companies are looking to be one-step in front of their competition, it is rare that companies can come together and create a joint product.  Our ability to work well together may come from the many volunteer projects on which we worked for the CHA Designer Section.  Volunteering to help make CHA a better organization helps develop business relationships that are rewarding.

So, what is Bella Crafts Quarterly™?  It is the #1, free downloadable craft magazine published by four of the craft-industry’s top professional craft designers.  We create quality projects and are the bridge between manufacturers and the crafting public.  Our preview Halloween issue of Bella Crafts Quarterly™ ranked #8 on Magcloud’s Top 15 Popular Magazine

What will you find in Bella Crafts Quarterly™?

  • Artist to Artist – Interviews with our industry’s creative professionals
  • Blog Star – Creative bloggers share their experiences
  • Craft Projects – Craft projects designed to inspire
  • CRE8TIME.org – A quick craft project to help crafters reconnect with crafting
  • Photo Talk™ – Taking your photographs to the next level
  • Lessons with Lisa™ – Crafting advice to make a difference in the crafter’s life
  • Live Links – Our digital versions contain live links to send readers to products used in projects
  • Socially Sensible™ – Social Media advice to help your business
  • Sponsored Craft Projects – Craft projects brought to you by the industry’s manufacturers
  • Trending Thoughts – Trend and topical advice from CHA professional craft designers

winter-journey-cover-smallBella Crafts Quarterly™ is can be downloaded free on our website, http://bellacraftsquarterly.com and you can read it free online at Magcloud.com.  The print version is also available through Magcloud for a fee.

We are able to provide the free digital version of Bella Crafts Quarterly™ to readers by project sponsorship from manufacturers.  If you are Manufacturer and like more information, contact us at info@bellacraftsquarterly.com.

Wishing you very successful CHA 2013 Winter Show.

~ Carol

Become an official CHA Blog Guest Blogger!

The CHA Blog is currently seeking guest bloggers and blog posts. Any CHA member can submit a post! Basically, a blog post consists of either a video or photo of an event or experience and a short blurb. We want you to tell your story: what current trends do we need to know about? What is the one thing you look forward to the most at CHA shows? What crafty community service project are you involved with? If you’re interested, please submit your post idea, blog post, name and contact information to jbaum@craftandhobby.org.

All guest blog posts are the sole responsibility of the authors. They do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Craft & Hobby Association (CHA), its staff members, sponsors or exhibitors. The inclusion of a link or reference does not imply the endorsement of the linked site by the Craft & Hobby Association (CHA).

CHA Summer Conference and Trade Show – Designer Section Meeting Thanks!


The CHA Design Members hold their section meeting at the CHA summer and winter shows.  This summer was no exception.

However, before the start of our meeting, we were able to have some great products as door prizes for the CHA Design Members who attended our early morning meeting.

CHA Manufacturers are known for their generosity and the munificence gifts for the door prizes were breathtaking.

Beadalon® provided wonderful tools and supplies for jewelry making.

Impress Art® sent a great metal stamping kit which included their new hammer designed just for metal stamping.

ILoveToCreate.com® supplied a goodie basket filled with their fantastic products, which was wrapped beautifully.  They also offered a Tulip® ScreenIt™ to every CHA design section member who attended the summer show.  The designer had to register with ILoveToCreate.com® at the show in order to receive the machine.

Cousin® gave fantastic jewelry kits and their new Snap in Style® bracelets.

Die Cuts with a View gave a pretty container loaded with their magnificent products.

Sizzix® presented one lucky winner a Vagabond and some amazing dies. Design Section Member, Shannon Bielke, was the winner.

Velcro® sent a bag over filled with their superb fasteners for every need.

Westcott® loaded up lucky winners with excellent cutting tools that will make cutting a joy.

Beacon sent a bottle of Zip Dry for all the designers who attended the meeting, unfortunately, the box couldn’t be located during the section meeting. 

The Design Council and the Designer Members of CHA thank Beacon, Beadalon®, Impress Art®, ILoveToCreate.com®, Cousin®, Die Cuts with a View, Sizzix®, Velcro®, and Westcott® for all their support and generosity.

Andrea Currie, Winner of TLC’s Craft Wars, Tells All


By Andrea Currie, Guest Blogger


I have to start by saying thank you to my friends at CHA for naming me the “Official CHA Craft Wars Ambassador.” In return of the generous title I have compiled a list of the most popular Craft Wars questions that I received while I fluttered around the Chicago trade show.

Wait who are you and when did you start crafting?
Although I’ve been hooked on glitter and hot glue my entire life, I didn’t seriously start pursuing my creative dreams until about 4 years ago when I joined the Craft  & Hobby Association as a designer member. My goal at the time was simply to find like minded glitter obsessed crafters – and boy did I!

Eventually my dedication to the craft industry and hard work got me noticed by industry professionals but most importantly helped me groom invaluable relationships with talented designers and established companies. The most rewarding relationship created was with my Craft Wars assistant Lisa Fulmer!

Moving forward I hope to help companies enter into the craft market, license my library or designs and represent companies already established within the craft and hobby industry. Ohh and I want to write my very first craft book too!

How did you get onto Craft Wars?
I wish it was some fantasy story where a producer begged me to be on the show, but I had but one choice – audition tape! Once I found out I was on Craft Wars I was elated because I knew that win or lose the exposure would be a phenomenal thing for my blossoming creative career.

From that moment forward I vowed to keep my nerves in check by concentrating on having fun and following my creative instincts. A tactic that paid off in the end!

What did you make on Craft Wars?
In the pop craft challenge we were tasked with creating keepsake boxes using keys and locks. These odd materials inspired me to create a whimsical gnome home keepsake box which I constructed out of from foam core and covered in lot’s of felt!


The bling of the keys and locks were just the right touch to get me through to the master craft challenge where the remaining contestant and I were challenged to create something for a wedding in 5 hours using invitations, baby blankets, jeans and candle sticks! In the end I created a life sized modern whimsical wedding wishing tree which acted as a fun alternative to a cookie cutter guest book.

Did I mention we had to do this in 5 hours!?! Looking back (given the time) I would have done a few things differently but that didn’t stop the judges from naming me the Craft Wars winner!

What were the judges and Tori Spelling Like?
Even though we didn’t get any off camera time with the judges or Tori Spelling, I can assure you that they are just as fun as the crafters competing on the show. At first I was incredibly intimidated by all of their industry expertise but to my surprise they were very easy to talk to – which in turn softened the blow of their criticism. Judge Stephen Brown gives you a good idea of his approachable style in his CHA blog post here.

One of the most memorable moments was at the end of our episode when a teary-eyed Tori gave Lisa and I big hugs. I think she was touched by how emotional we were about our win.

What do you think Craft Wars means for the Craft Industry?
I’ve been taking an informal survey throughout the season and found that in my circle Craft Wars is being embraced by the younger generation of creative people who seem to be inspired and entertained by the faster paced unconventional approach to crafting. Hopefully, this concept, along with initiatives like Cre8time, will help strengthen the industry and ensure we have enough diversity to keep the future generations excited about crafting.

Other than winning what was the best part about participating on the show?
Crafting with my crafty sister Lisa is at the top of my list – followed quickly by the opportunity to  show off my skills on a national TV show.


Also it was quite nice to be able to craft my brains out and not have to clean up afterwards!

What are you going to do with the prize money?
I’m giving half of the money to Lisa and using my half to kick-start my next line of fun designs. Shoot me an email to be put on the first access list! Or just drop me a line to say hi!

Don’t forget to watch Craft Wars every Tuesday night at 8pm (7pm Central).

-Andrea

Email: Andrea@handmakemyday.com
Blog: http://handmakemyday.com
Twitter: #handMAKEMyDay
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/handmakemyday/
Lisa’s blog: http://lisalizalou.blogspot.com/

Become an official CHA Blog Guest Blogger!

The CHA Blog is currently seeking guest bloggers and blog posts. Any CHA member can submit a post! Basically, a blog post consists of either a video or photo of an event or experience and a short blurb. We want you to tell your story: what current trends do we need to know about? What is the one thing you look forward to the most at CHA shows? What crafty community service project are you involved with? If you’re interested, please submit your post idea, blog post, name and contact information to jbaum@craftandhobby.org.

All guest blog posts are the sole responsibility of the authors. They do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Craft & Hobby Association (CHA), its staff members, sponsors or exhibitors. The inclusion of a link or reference does not imply the endorsement of the linked site by the Craft & Hobby Association (CHA).

Cool2Craft and Julianna Hudgins Launch New Online TV Show at CHA Winter Show


While industry trade publications continue to decline across all sectors of the industry, online webcasts, webisodes, and the craft blogosphere have never been stronger.  Here is the latest news from CHA Designer and Media Members Cool2Craft.com and Julianna Hudgins.  Congrats on the new online offering. 

Cool2Craft TV ANNOUNCES “INSPIRATIONS BY JULIANNA HUDGINS” LIVE ONLINE TV SHOW

Featuring craft and home presentations on LIVE social media platformMetro D.C.  (November 29, 2010)   Cool2Craft LIVE TV is pleased to announce “Inspirations by Julianna Hudgins”, a new LIVE on-line tv show. The premiere episode will broadcast live from the CHA 2011 Winter Conference and Trade Show featuring products hand-selected by international spokesperson and industry expert Julianna Hudgins. “My focus is all about “livin’ life” and sharing new products and ideas to help inspire the consumer. From home décor to home business, paper crafting to jewelry, fashion embellishments and more, I love products that work in every aspect of the creative consumer’s life”, says Hudgins. “The features of live-streaming on-line television allows me to share unique finds, educate, inspire and communicate directly with the creative consumer within the social networking community.” 

Tapping into her 18+ years experience as a business owner, manufacturer and importer, coupled with her production, design, communication and media expertise, Julianna has a keen ability to understand the needs of manufacturers and retailers in building consumer brand recognition and customer loyalty.

Recognized and adored by fans worldwide, Julianna and has built a loyal following through her television appearances. Regular guest appearances on QVC as kids craft and lifestyle expert coupled with her sincerity and compassion and her genuine enthusiasm for the creative arts has built a loyal viewing and shopping audience for many years. Julianna Hudgins first became a household name in the creative industry with her thousands of appearances on shows such as TNN’s Aleene’s Creative Living, HGTV’s Carol Duvall Show, PBS Scrapbook Memories, DIY Scrapbooking, Discovery Channel’s Home Matters, Shop at Home TV, and the Home Shopping Network.

Cool2Craft TV Channel

Launched in October 2009, Cool2Craft TV broadcasts weekly live-streaming web TV shows featuring industry recognized hosts, reporters, designers, authors and manufacturers. Cool2Craft LIVE and on-demand episodes can be easily viewed on-line via Facebook or the web and archived demonstrations are viewed on the Cool2Craft YouTube channel. Visit www.cool2craft.com for current programming schedule.

For more information contact Julianna Hudgins at julianna@juliannahudgins.com

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Margot Potter Lands Gig with Jewelry TV


Congrats to CHA Designer Member, Margot Potter who landed a gig with Jewelry TV’s Jewel School…looking forward to the first episodes and her incredible designs and projects…see complete release below…

Jewel School & Margot Potter

Jewel School & Margot Potter

Designer Margot Potter Joins Jewelry Television’s Jewel School

Knoxville, Tenn. – (September 21, 2010) – Jewelry designer and bestselling author Margot Potter is the newest expert to join Jewelry Television’s Jewel SchoolTM, an immensely popular unit of the home shopping network. ®.  Margot, known as The Impatient CrafterTM, is the author of six books on jewelry making and design, and is an internationally popular blogger.

On Jewel School, Margot will design fresh projects and demystify the intricacies of working with wire, findings, beads, and tools. . As part of her commitment to spreading the joys of curiosity, Margot will also develop jewelry-making how-to DVDs. . Jewel School airs on Jewelry Television Sundays 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. EST.

When it comes to jewelry-making, Margot invites people to not only think outside of the box, but to tear it up, re-purpose it into something fabulous, and stand on it to reach for the stars.  She joins other Jewel School experts including Sheree Henry and Katie Rooke.

About Jewelry Television Jewelry Television® is headquartered in Knoxville, Tennessee and broadcasts live shows 24 hours a day, seven days a week that are available to 72 million cable households from coast to coast. As the largest retailer of natural gemstones in the world, the company sells gemstones and jewelry and beading supplies for jewelry makers via live television shows and online at JTV.com.

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