The Christmas Love Campaign

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By The CHA Designer Section Committee 
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‘Creativity is our Business’ is the slogan of The CHA Designer Section.  CHA Designer Members are the connecting piece between manufacturers and craft enthusiasts providing professional services that markets, educates and inspires consumers.  The CHA Designer Members are a group of giving and caring individuals as well.  One of the many crusades and campaigns that Designer Members lead is Susan Weckesser’s yearly endeavour of the Christmas Love Campaign.

Susan tells us about why she created the campaign six years ago:   Susan Weck

“My father had recently passed away and I wanted to do something meaningful in his memory.  Two of the most important memories of my father was the message to follow my dreams and that he was always helping other people.  I approached Canadian Scrapbooker magazine and pitched an idea that became a theme for an article and grew to become so much more.  In the article the call went out to all crafters, scrapbookers, artists, quilters, with the message of ‘create for kindness.”

Susan believes in the power of CHA’s Designer Members working together for the better of the community and drew upon their skills for a media campaign as an effective link to many of the manufacturers in the craft and hobby industry. When Susan Weckesser called upon the ‘wider’ crafting community to come together to make a difference, she received support from manufacturers to designers and creative professionals of all skill levels and positions in the craft and hobby community.

While it seems as though Christmas is many months away, for creative souls it is never too early to begin.  Susan explained that the concept for anyone to join in the campaign is simple.  All you have to do is to create something – anything – then give it to a random stranger or neighbor, just to spread some love.  Susan said, “After six years I am SO thrilled to say that the campaign has been amazing; a real success!  It is worldwide and through the campaign we have raised donations for the Cancer Society, helped Alberta flood victims, and sent packages of art & craft supplies to people rebuilding their lives.

We have had many wonderful designers contribute to the blog and Christmas Love Campaign  Claudine Hellmuth, Mark Montano, Kelly Marie Alvarez and many more amazing artists.  Please feel free to add a hot link in the comments section to share your own Christmas Love projects.

Christmas Love has been blessed with sponsorship from many of the manufacturers.
Ranger Ink provided inks and aprons to campaign participants and Westcott Brand sent supplies to a lady who needed help after the Alberta Floods.  The past year sponsor lineup included: American Crafts, May Arts Ribbon,  Fancy Pants Designs, Interweave, FW Media, ilovetocreate.com , Clearsnap, Core’dinations, Canvas Corp., Lawn Fawn, Scrapbooks andCards Today, Big Picture ClassesProject Life – Becky Higgins and Unity Stamp Co just to name a few.

Social Media is a huge part of the Christmas Love Campaign, Twitter, Facebook, Vine, Cameo and instagram are wonderful ways to connect with people, share things going on with the campaign or how individuals have joined in.

Our hashtags for the Christmas Love Campaign are:

#craftuplove    #tagsoflove    #christmaslovecampaign

The Susan K. Weckesser Inc. Christmas Love Campaign runs every year from November to January. Sponsors and designers are always welcome to sign up to be part of the program, please send an email to: susiebeestudios@gmail.com. Remember sometimes all it takes is one kind gesture to make the difference in someone’s life! “

We asked some of the designers who participated to share with us a little about their contributions. Please feel free to add more links in the comments section on this post of your own contributions.

kenKen Oliver: I was really happy when Susan asked me to contribute to the Christmas Love Campaign. After learning that she’d lost her father to cancer, I wanted to help her memorialize her dad, and wanted to share our holiday tradition of handmade gifts.I created hand soldered ornaments using photos and images of my grandparents and then gave them to my parents and brothers as Christmas gifts. 

 

AmyAmy Anderson: I joined in the campaign because I really love Susan.  She has such an awesome spirit and always spreads the love!  I thought her series idea was brilliant, especially during that time of year.

I participated by sharing some things I was thankful for in addition to some of my favorite Mod Podge Christmas ornament projects. I had a great time writing that blog post because it’s not typically what I write.  A little variety is fun!

behappyMargot Potter: I joined the Christmas Love Campaign because I truly believe that small kindnesses have big impact.

Susan asked us to contribute something creative that reflected the message of Simple Acts of Creative Kindness, so I wrote a short essay on the rapid disappearance of common courtesy in our technological age and the importance of moving out of ourselves enough to be kind to others.

The CHA Designer Members are the bond between manufacturers and craft enthusiasts, professional crafters and artists, and creative DIYers of many levels.  CHA Designer Section members provide professional services in a range of marketing fields, social media, developing tutorials and editorials that support delivering product knowledge and inspiration to create.  or ‘Creativity is our Business’.

To connect with CHA Designer Section Committee Members click here.

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.

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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).