Post-Show Seminar Throwback Series

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So, you attended our Conference Program at the 2016 CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show in Anaheim earlier this year. You absorbed a ton of information on everything from basic blogging and social media to legal and finance management.

Over the next several weeks, we’ll be featuring your favorite seminar speakers to remind you of the knowledge you learned and why it is important for your creative business.

This week we’re doing a throwback to Tony Passey’s seminar: Digital Marketing Strategy for 2016.

At the 75th Anniversary Craft & Hobby Association MEGA Conference & Trade Show, Tony Passey, Professor of Digital Marketing and CEO of Firetoss, spoke about changes and updates you need to make to your digital marketing strategy for 2016. The slides from his presentation can be found here.

Take a few minutes and watch while Tony recaps some of what he spoke about at the Conference. The content you produce is vital to your digital marketing, and here are some guidelines for how you can be more effective in your distribution and promotion of content. Also, Tony talks about mobile optimization for search results and how it is affecting your website.

If you would like to take a little deeper dive into these subjects, watch the bonus videos that Tony provided below.  Additionally, you can reach out directly to Tony Passey on Twitter, @tonypassey, if you have any questions about the topics presented here.

Bonus Videos:  

 

Post-Show Seminar Throwback Series: Inventory Management 101 and Rejuvenating Your Inventory Mix

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So, you attended our Conference Program at the 2016 CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show in Anaheim earlier this year. You absorbed a ton of information on everything from basic blogging and social media to legal and finance management.

Over the next several weeks, we’ll be featuring your favorite seminar speakers to remind you of the knowledge you learned and why it is important for your creative business.

Are you turning over your inventory every 90 days?

This week we’re doing a throwback to Lee Kellogg’s seminars: Inventory Management 101 and Rejuvenating Your Inventory Mix.

Watch this video for a recap of what Lee says are the top three ways you should be managing your store’s inventory.

Post-Show Seminar Throwback: Evernote: Your Brain on Steroids

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So, you attended our Conference Program at the 2016 CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show in Anaheim earlier this year. You absorbed a ton of information on everything from basic blogging and social media to legal and finance management.

Over the next several weeks, we’ll be featuring your favorite seminar speakers to remind you of the knowledge you learned and why it is important for your creative business.

Have you started using Evernote yet?
CHAMEGAShow_evernote
This week we’re doing a throwback to this seminar: Evernote: Your Brain on Steroids, taught by Charlene Anderson. Charlene told her seminar attendees everything there is to know about Evernote, including how to use it to make your work and personal lives more efficient.

Click here to download her seminar recap, or read her recap below.

Evernote: Your Brain on Steroids
By Charlene Anderson

In the age of information overload, there are thousands of software programs, books, tools, and courses that claim to help you organize your work and your life. Standing heads and shoulders above all of these solutions is Evernote, what I like to call “my brain on steroids.”

What is Evernote? It’s a cross-platform tool to help you manage your life. Evernote is a website; it’s an application for your desktop computer and an app for your smartphone and tablet. All of these pieces of Evernote work together seamlessly to keep all your information at your fingertips. Using Evernote means you don’t have to remember those thousands of details that are part of our lives. If it is in Evernote, you can access it from any of your devices.

What can Evernote do?
What can you do with Evernote? And more importantly, why should you do it?

Evernote captures information in a variety of ways. You can drop a PDF or other file (including movies) into Evernote. You can snap a picture of a sketch or project idea right in Evernote. You can take notes right in Evernote, or import documents, like Word files or Excel spreadsheets that others have sent you. Using the Web Clipper, two mouse clicks will bring any web page into Evernote, graphics and formatting intact.

Evernote can be your digital file cabinet, note-taking tool, project management system, craft pattern-keeper, daily journal and more.

What does it cost?
There are four pricing tiers for Evernote.

  • Free
  • Basic: $24.99 per year
  • Premium: $45 per year
  • Business: $120 per user per year

A free Evernote account is how most users start, but to truly unlock the power of Evernote you’ll need one of the paid levels. I recommend the serious Evernote user have a Premium account. At 12 cents a day, it is an incredible bargain.

How do I get started?
If I’ve convinced you to give Evernote a try, you are probably wondering how you get started. It’s easy! Go to www.evernote.com and sign up for your free account. Next, download the application for your computer and the Evernote app for all of your mobile devices. I also recommend that you install the Web Clipper into each of the web browsers on your computer. Remember, you can upgrade to a premium Evernote account at any time, but starting with the free version will allow you give Evernote a good test run.

What kinds of things do people keep in Evernote?
Evernote’s ability to manage a huge variety of information is what makes it a brain on steroids. You don’t have to remember things if they are stored in Evernote.

Since I use Evernote in my business and personal lives, I use it to store a wide variety of information, including:

• Wholesale catalogs and price lists
• Pending orders and receipts
• Product sourcing ideas, including photos
• Color palette ideas
• Instruction manuals and how-to guides
• Copies of business documents (tax licenses, etc.)
• Postage and shipping charts
• Photos of eyeglass and medication prescriptions
• Locker combinations
• Knitting patterns
• Craft project instructions
• Home decorating ideas and gardening plans
• Recipes and take out menus
• Car service history
• Meeting notes and agendas
• Client notes and progress reports
• Travel plans
• Gym class schedules
• Motivational quotes
• Bucket list

How can I share my content?

Evernote makes it easy to share notes with others. There are several ways to share:

You can copy and paste a public link (URL) to a note and share it via email or text. Every note in Evernote comes with a unique URL you can copy and paste to any application.

You can use Evernote’s Work Chat to send messages, notes, or notebooks to anyone, whether the recipients use Evernote or not. When you share in a chat with others you can easily exchange ideas and solicit feedback about what you’ve shared.

You can also email a note to someone, and you can even share an entire presentation right in Evernote. When you’re in a group setting or at a meeting, you can use presentation mode to share a full-screen version of your notes on your desktop or laptop computer, or secondary monitor.

How can I be more productive with Evernote?
As with many things in life, the more you use Evernote the more ways you will find to use it in your daily life. I have a few tips to help you quickly integrate Evernote into your work and personal life.

• Commit to using Evernote; then it will become a habit.
• Use Evernote on all of your devices.
• When in doubt, put it in Evernote.
• Set up notebooks that make sense to you.
• Use tags to aid in search.
• Periodically archive or trash items you don’t need.
• Regularly check the Evernote website for updates, blog posts, add-ons, tutorials and more.

Where can I learn more?
Not surprisingly, the Evernote website is a wealth of information about using Evernote. On the site, you’ll find videos, hints, suggestions and real world case studies. Also, be sure you check Amazon for free (and paid) Kindle books about Evernote. My favorite Evernote book is Master Evernote by S. J. Scott.

Also, there are numerous blogs and podcasts about Evernote. Just do a Google search on “Evernote” and you’ll find pages and pages of results.

I really hope you’ll give Evernote a try. It can help relieve you of information overload, and make your work and personal life more organized and efficient.

Post-Show Seminar Throwback: Tips for Better Email Marketing

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So, you attended our Conference Program at the 2016 CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show in Anaheim earlier this year. You absorbed a ton of information on everything from basic blogging and social media to legal and finance management.

Have you implemented what you learned to better your business yet?

Over the next several weeks, we’ll be featuring your favorite seminar speakers to remind you of the knowledge you learned and why it is important for your creative business.

This week we’re doing a throwback to this seminar: Capture Their Attention and Leave ’em Wanting More – Tips for Better Email Marketing, taught by Lisa Fulmer and Carolina Moore.

Read their seminar recap below and watch this quick slideshow to remember the key points discussed.

Seminar Recap
By Lisa Fulmer and Carolina Moore

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You may have heard that email marketing is, at worst, dead…or at best, old-school. But email is still very much alive and still totally cool, even in this age of social media, texting and instant messaging.

Email marketing is an integral part of your overall sales and marketing efforts. Email helps you capture quality fans and followers who are more likely to become paying customers. By creating customer-centric emails that support your brand, you can build more loyalty.

Successful email campaigns are like a favorite TV show. If you produce great “can’t miss” stories with characters they love, your customers will want to watch every episode, then tell their friends…and they can’t wait for the next one!

Here is a quick slideshow on the topic that we gave in a seminar at the 2016 CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show. If you missed it, here are some of the key points we discussed:

  • Email is vital for bringing customers through each stage of the marketing funnel and it augments your customer service.
  • You can attract new customers, deliver exceptional value and generate repeat business with email campaigns.
  • Email allows you to provide exclusive, subscriber-only content that helps you build stronger relationships and makes your customers feel special.
  • You can craft more commercial messaging with email than you can with social media to build revenue – just make sure you comply with CAN-SPAM laws!
  • Email marketing is highly measurable with many automation features, plus you can test and target by demographics and interests.
  • Many email services are free at first, then fees kick in as your subscriber list and/or email frequency grows. Most can be fully integrated with your customer database and social media platforms.
  • There are many tactics for making your emails more engaging and effective – an easy way to start is by taking note of the mass emails you receive from the lists you subscribe to. What do you like or not like about them, what impression does the email give you, how compelled are you by the message and visuals?
  • Content is king – whether you’re sharing inspiration, special offers, company news or funny trivia. Give them great reasons to look forward to your emails.

Let us know if you have questions or need help with your email marketing!

Lisa Fulmer

Carolina Moore

Let’s talk insurance!

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AHP

What you might not know is that CHA is part of a national pool of over 300 national associations, which allows us to offer our members special health and business insurance plans and rates through our partner, Association Health Programs.

Our year-round health and personal insurance programs are off to a big start in 2016.  Many of our members are saving as much as 50% on their premiums!  The program is a great opportunity for members who don’t have health insurance or can’t afford the very expensive plans offered through Healthcare Reform.

Visit www.associationpros.com/cha today to learn more!

In addition to regular health insurance, there are 5 basic types of personal insurance.  Many people don’t realize that incorporating at least one of these can help alleviate a financial hardship later on.

  1. Disability Insurance provides you with a monthly payment which replaces part of your lost income due to an illness or injury. It allows you to maintain your standard of living if you are disabled or unable to work.
  2. Critical Illness Insurance pays you a lump sum amount on the first diagnosis of a serious medical condition (such as cancer, heart attack, etc.) covered by your policy. The payment allows you to cover additional costs incurred by the illness or to use for any other purpose during or after your recovery.
  3. Long Term Care Insurance provides payments if you require care in your home or in a facility, and allows you to cover some or all of the cost of long term care instead of using your savings. As a reminder, Medicare does not cover long-term care.
  4. Life Insurance pays a tax-free lump sum amount to your named beneficiaries upon your death. This allows your beneficiaries to pay off your debts and maintain their standard of living after you die.
  5. Supplemental Health Insurance covers a remaining portion of health care costs not covered by your regular health insurance, including Accident, Dental and Travel Insurance. These give you and your family access to health care you may need at home or abroad.

If you’re interested in learning more about CHA’s Health or Business Insurance Programs, contact Jason Baum, Director of Membership, today at 201.835.1218 or jbaum@craftandhobby.org.

 

 

Post-Show Seminar Throwback Series

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So, you attended our Conference Program at the 2016 CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show in Anaheim earlier this year. You absorbed a ton of information on everything from basic blogging and social media to legal and finance management.

Have you implemented what you learned to better your business yet?

Over the next several weeks, we’ll be featuring your favorite seminar speakers to remind you of the knowledge you learned and why it is important for your creative business.
This week we’re doing a throwback to Kizer & Bender Speaking’s seminar: Feed Your Brain: Engage Customers and Take Your Sales to Insane New Levels. Rich Kizer and Georganne Bender taught you all the things you have to do to be connected to your customers online – listen, interact, react and sell.

Watch this video for a quick recap of key online marketing techniques for your day-to-day business activities.

Time to Start Being the Change

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By Laura Kelly-Walters

My creative life is a never ending journey and one that causes great joy for me and many others.  I started on this path when I was first pregnant and that baby is now TWENTY.  After 20 years of doing the same things (all things that I love like doodling, painting and making), I decided it was time to keep doing these things but also make a big change.

I love licensing my art and am proud of my relationships and partnerships in the craft industry, including with Sizzix, AdornIt, Tombow, Sculpey and Kunin Group.  With so much growth, I decided that it was time to start sharing my designs in a bigger way and to change the way I thought about social marketing myself and my works.  I have been doing everything on my own for 20 years.  I decided that I was ready to change and be the leader of a team, a design team that is all about me and my mission.  I wanted to create a team that would support these manufacturers through the sharing of my doodles and designs because when it all comes down to it, we are in this together.

I put an application out there and was floored at the crazy huge number of responses.  More than the shock and excitement, I was empowered and honored.  I thought this change would be challenging, but truth is, it has been a blast.  I struggled to choose who to put on the team and wish I could have chosen them all.  It is like I created a big creative party with a team of amazing and talented colleagues who not only support me 100% but also each other.  We are a winning team filled with love, passion and creativity.

I am convinced that my journey starts with me. If I want change, I get to cause it. I guess that is why I love Gandhi’s quote so much…”BE the change you wish to see in the world.”  I accessed my courage and caused change for me and the members of my team.  I am now BEING change and it is awesome sauce.

Meet the inaugural Laura Kelly Design Team and learn how they will be sharing different ways to make Laura Kelly products, designs and doodles part of your life.

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Laura Kelly-Walters
Licensed Doodle Artist/Designer/Project Maker/Mom/Tombow Senior Ambassador
www.laurakellydesigns.com

 

31 Days of Crafting: Challenging Your Crafting

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March is National Craft Month! All month long we will be sharing stories from your peers about what they are doing to celebrate and how they are encouraging others to discover the benefits of creativity.

“Isabella is seven years old and enjoys crafting on a daily basis. She learns how to make various things using Youtube Rainbow Loom tutorials. Most recently, she took on creating a Star Wars C-3PO character using Rainbow Loom elastics.

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This year for National Craft Month Isabella is going to spend her crafting time challenging herself to see what else she can create using her Rainbow Loom.”

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Listen to Isabella share with us how she is celebrating!

That concludes our 31 Days of Crafting series for National Craft Month!

Keep us informed of your events that encourage creativity all year long. Tell us your story by emailing marketing@craftandhobby.org or using the hashtags #WeAreCHA and #CRE8TIME on social media.

 

 

31 Days of Crafting: A Unique Craft Coming Soon to Ridgewood, New Jersey

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March is National Craft Month! All month long we will be sharing stories from your peers about what they are doing to celebrate and how they are encouraging others to discover the benefits of creativity.

CHA staff member, Alison Muldoon, found her creative inspiration when she least expected it:

“I wish I had the crafting spirit and talent of my neighbors, Leslie and Stephen Kolvek! One recent Saturday, Stephen showed up on our door step and asked if we had any extra wire hangers; my mind was immediately racing. What for? A closet project? A problematic clog? What could the Kolvek’s be up to now?

I made it my business to visit them later that afternoon to discover the most heartfelt and inspirational crafting project just beyond my own front door.

Leslie Kolvek serves on the Conservancy for Ridgewood Public Lands and is helping to organize the third annual Daffodil Festival in Ridgewood, to be held on April 17. This festival celebrates so much within the community. It’s an arts festival and spring celebration all rolled into one event. And the planting initiative of daffodils around the Village of Ridgewood is just one small part of this special day.

And it is here where my moment of craft awe and inspiration happened…

My neighbor and her husband are creating giant daffodils by repurposing wire dry cleaning hangers and covering them with crepe paper. After searching the Internet for a picture and crafting inspiration, Leslie created her own larger than life wire framed daffodil.

Below are pictures of the frame in process, and of course the finished product! These daffodils on my suggestion could even be a fundraising vehicle of sorts. They are so photo worthy, what parent wouldn’t think twice to pay to have their munchkin peeking out from that crepe paper craftiness?

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Leslie and Stephen are crafters who immerse themselves 100% into their crafting moment. They give their projects their all, absolutely love crafting, and in this case are giving back ten-fold to the community!

The Kolvek’s are my crafting inspiration. I hope to one day watch my crafting ideas flower like theirs!”

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Stay tuned for more stories and tips on the CHA Blog and all of CHA’s social media channels.

Keep us informed of your events that encourage creativity all year long. Tell us your story by emailing marketing@craftandhobby.org or using the hashtags #WeAreCHA and #CRE8TIME on social media.

31 Days of Crafting: Prepping for the Paper Trail

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March is National Craft Month! All month long we will be sharing stories from your peers about what they are doing to celebrate and how they are encouraging others to discover the benefits of creativity.

To celebrate National Craft Month, CHA Designer Eileen Hull is getting Scotty and Big Daddy ready for Paper Trail 9!

Scotty-rides-again

In 2013, Eileen bought a vintage trailer and outfitted it as a mobile studio. Since then she has been touring the country in Scotty and teaching classes in independent stores, art galleries and at events, retreats and trade shows. You may have spotted the pair on the Show floor at the CHA MEGA Show in January doing #Cre8time make and takes! The projects were designed and taught by many well-known CHA Designers using products generously donated by the Paper Trail sponsors: SizzixCrescent CardboardThermOWebCrafter’s HomeGraphic 45ClearsnapSakuraBeacon AdhesivesLittle BDecoArt, and M-D Hobby and Craft.

One of the highlights of the Paper Trail 9 is the Quartermain House Creative Retreat. CHA Designer members Lorine Mason, Cheryl Boglioli, Marie Browning and Laura Kelly are headed north to Fredericton, Canada for an art retreat at fellow designer friend Debra Quartermain’s B & B. The cost of $350 includes a Friday night reception, two full days of workshops (all supplies included), and lunch both on Saturday and Sunday. All are invited to attend!

Read more about Eileen’s journey on her blog.

Stay tuned for more stories and tips on the CHA Blog and all of CHA’s social media channels.

Keep us informed of your events that encourage creativity all year long. Tell us your story by emailing marketing@craftandhobby.org or using the hashtags #WeAreCHA and #CRE8TIME on social media and we will share it!

31 Days of Crafting: Aunt Maureen’s Art Club

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March is National Craft Month! All month long we will be sharing stories from your peers about what they are doing to celebrate and how they are encouraging others to discover the benefits of creativity.

Nothing gives Maureen Walsh, CHA’s Vice President of Membership and Marketing, more joy than spending time creating with her nephews and nieces. Read about the “side business” she runs after work and on the weekend, where she gets paid in paint, smiles and sugar crafts.

“I’ve always been the ‘artsy’ one in the family and enjoy sharing my talents with the next generation. I started sharing my love of all things creative many years ago with my first two nephews, Jack and Alec, who are now college age and fabulous people! I’ve continued to invite my nieces and nephews to join me for creative projects and lessons.

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My siblings are quite happy to send the children to Aunt Maureen’s Art Club, where they learn painting and drawing techniques, or often choose a new and interesting creative process to explore. We will be gathering this March for an official meeting and mosaic project!

Last Spring we made our Club official, painted a sign, elected my nephew Tyler as president, and got down to some serious acrylic painting. Another meeting involved shamrocks, glitter, glue, clay and 3D St. Patrick’s Day cards for Grandpa and Grandma!

Since that time, I’ve watched my niece Katie and nephew Tyler blossom into talented young artists. Tyler has his own sketch pad and draws regularly; Katie has won an award for her work. A bit like Cezanne in technique, certainly the most passionate about creativity, Tyler told me he likes that you can ‘design anything you think of and make it into something beautiful.’ His words, not mine.

And recently, my nephew Liam drew an amazing sailboat for his Grandma as a gift. While my nephew Dylan is more into sports than artwork, he too has been part of our Club and shows his stellar intellect and talents in everything he does, especially when he convinces me his time would be better spent watching hockey and calling the play-by-play! He’s a better artist than he realizes!

Generally, Art Club is a sleepover event and involves some sugar craft when we’re done with our projects, which generally ends with sprinkles, icing and frostings smeared on faces and fingers and walls and gigantic smiles on all the Art Club members.

This family creative adventure has become so important to all of us and is as much about sharing love as it is about sharing our imaginations and creative energy. I have seen my very special group grow in confidence, self-esteem and pride as we come together to make stuff! This year we will welcome two new members, Ainsleigh and Brendan, who are just old enough to put on their smocks and get busy. Ainsleigh already loves purple crayons, especially on the wall. And we have another little one ready to join us next year, Gracie ‘Van Gogh’. Her first art project from day care is already framed and hanging in my living room.”

Stay tuned for more stories and tips on the CHA Blog and all of CHA’s social media channels.

Keep us informed of your events that encourage creativity all year long. Tell us your story by emailing marketing@craftandhobby.org or using the hashtags #WeAreCHA and #CRE8TIME on social media.

31 Days of Crafting: Crafting in the Kitchen

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March is National Craft Month! All month long we will be sharing stories from your peers about what they are doing to celebrate and how they are encouraging others to discover the benefits of creativity.

When CHA employee Keli Bell-Cole isn’t in the office, you may find her at home doing something creative in the kitchen. Read about how she involves her family in her creative hobby, no matter how busy the week may be!

“With the world being enamored by technology, I try to involve my family in hands on activities as much as possible, despite our crazy schedules! I have never met a craft supply that I didn’t like; my love is in baking and cake decorating. Lucky for me, my daughters (ages 16 and 6) love to help, so it is an easy distraction from iPads and the Disney Channel.

I love how baking is a science and very left brain, but decorating can be whatever you want it to be and very right brain. It’s an opportunity for them to experience both worlds and have fun in each.

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I often get caught up in my projects and have to force myself to go to bed. These are usually the more technical projects that the girls can’t help me with…yet.

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So in those times I will give them blank canvases and let them have their own fun; no rules, no expectations.

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This month we will have to check our craft supply wish list to see what we will purchase to increase our decorating fun. New cutters, molds, edible paint? Who knows? We enjoy the journey, no matter where it leads!”

Stay tuned for more stories and tips on the CHA Blog and all of CHA’s social media channels.

Keep us informed of your events that encourage creativity all year long. Share your story by emailing marketing@craftandhobby.org or using the hashtags #WeAreCHA and #CRE8TIME on social media.

31 Days of Crafting: Pipe Cleaner Flower Pots

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March is National Craft Month! All month long we will be sharing stories from your peers about what they are doing to celebrate and how they are encouraging others to discover the benefits of creativity.

Several of our stories this month have demonstrated how creative activities bring people together. This story is no different.

CHA employee Lidia Diaz had the pleasure of joining her daughter at her Girl Scouts meeting, where the group was celebrating National Craft Month.

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They had a lot of fun making colorful flower pots, using pipe cleaners, playdough, and ice cream sticks.

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Here are some of the final pieces, just in time for Spring!

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Stay tuned for more stories and tips on the CHA Blog and all of CHA’s social media channels.

What are you doing to celebrate National Craft Month? Tell us your story by emailing marketing@craftandhobby.org or using the hashtags #WeAreCHA, #CRE8TIME and #NationalCraftMonth on social media and we will share!

31 Days of Crafting: DIY Chalk Paint Floors

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March is National Craft Month! All month long we will be sharing stories from your peers about what they are doing to celebrate and how they are encouraging others to discover the benefits of creativity.

CHA Membership Director Jason Baum is exploring DIY projects in his house this month. Keep reading to learn about the project that his and his wife are currently working on.

“My wife and I are doing work on a spare bedroom in our house. The walls are painted, the blinds are up and we just tore up the old stained carpet left by the previous owners. Throughout our house we have original maple floors; they need refinishing, but having them exposed really adds character and charm to our 100 year old house. Although, we discovered the floors in this spare bedroom are not in great shape. They had paint stains all over.

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We searched all over for ideas and we landed on the following, which we’ll be taking on during National Craft Month:

Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint can transform old concrete and wooden floors, even if they’re varnished. All you have to do is apply two or three coats of the Chalk Paint, and then apply Annie Sloan Lacquer with a sponge roller, for added durability.”

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Stay tuned for more stories and tips on the CHA Blog and all of CHA’s social media channels.

What are you doing to celebrate National Craft Month? Tell us your story by emailing marketing@craftandhobby.org or using the hashtags #WeAreCHA, #CRE8TIME and #NationalCraftMonth on social media and we will share!

31 Days of Crafting: Crafting With My Grandkids

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March is National Craft Month! All month long we will be sharing stories from your peers about what they are doing to celebrate and how they are encouraging others to discover the benefits of creativity.

Society of Decorative Painters employee Sheryl Born coordinated a craft day with her six grandchildren. You heard that correctly – six grandkids, with number seven on its way! Read about her craft day below to get a free project that you can use in your store or for your next family gathering.

“Crafting is a wonderful way to hang out and connect with the most creative group I know – MY GRANDKIDS! Celebrating National Craft Month with them is a good way to share what I enjoy doing – exploring and having fun with crafts!

My grandkids, in Wichita, KS, are between the ages of 17 months to 3 ½ years. I wanted to do a craft they all would have fun making without getting frustrated. It had to be simple, colorful, and a way to explore textures and shapes. So, I decided to make colorful butterflies and flowers with them.

PREPARATION
Preparing the project ahead of time keeps it simple for the toddlers.
Step 1: I designed the butterfly and flower patterns, and used the templates to cut the pattern out of foam paper and glitter paper.
Step 2: Cut out the center of the pattern.
Step 3: Peel the back off the contact paper and press the pattern on sticky side up. Trim.
Step 4: Cut up various lengths of ribbon and different shape from the paper scraps and place in a bowl or in the center of the table.

LET’S CRAFT
I gave my grandkids the butterfly and told them to stick the ribbons or shapes onto the contact paper in the center of the butterfly. They did not need much help unless they asked.

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The older toddlers started sticking on the ribbons right away. The younger toddlers explored their project, getting their hands stuck to the contact paper, examining the ribbon rolls, and dumping the shapes on the project and the floor. (Nothing wrong with that, I consider that creative exploring and part of the activity of crafting.)

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When done, we taped the finished craft to the sliding glass door to admire with the light shining through.

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As you can tell, they had a lot of fun and they did a great job! I love doing things with my grandkids; they have a lot of creative energy and a great imagination that I love to be around. It’s fun to play in crafting!”

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Stay tuned for more stories and tips on the CHA Blog and all of CHA’s social media channels.

What are you doing to celebrate National Craft Month? Tell us your story by emailing marketing@craftandhobby.org or using the hashtags #WeAreCHA, #CRE8TIME and #NationalCraftMonth on social media and we will share!

31 Days of Crafting: Aviation Creation

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March is National Craft Month! All month long we will be sharing stories from your peers about what they are doing to celebrate and how they are encouraging others to discover the benefits of creativity.

Our International Sales Director Andrew Morton has always been an avid aviation enthusiast. Read on to find out what his passion inspired him to do for National Craft Month.

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“At one stage of my life, I was learning to fly; however, rising costs and family life curtailed this pastime. Recently, I started to make aircraft models again, a pastime that I thoroughly enjoyed in my childhood. So, this month, I will be making a Typhoon Fighter jet model. Making models is a great stress reliever and, for me, the fact that the model I am making is related to aviation enables me to dream……..Could I have been the next Top Gun?”

Stay tuned for more stories and tips on the CHA Blog and all of CHA’s social media channels.

What are you doing to celebrate National Craft Month? Tell us your story by emailing marketing@craftandhobby.org or using the hashtags #WeAreCHA, #CRE8TIME and #NationalCraftMonth on social media and we will share!

31 Days of Crafting: Helping Our Veterans Heal

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March is National Craft Month! All month long we will be sharing stories from your peers about what they are doing to celebrate and how they are encouraging others to discover the benefits of creativity.

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Help Hospitalized Veterans is a nonprofit organization that distributes therapeutic arts and craft kits to military personnel and their families and caregivers as a means to help them heal and rebuild their lives. Watch this video to learn what the organization is doing to celebrate National Craft Month and how your business can help veterans heal.

Stay tuned for more stories and tips on the CHA Blog and all of CHA’s social media channels.

What are you doing to celebrate National Craft Month? Tell us your story by emailing marketing@craftandhobby.org or using the hashtags #WeAreCHA, #CRE8TIME and #NationalCraftMonth on social media and we will share!

Why Only 31 Days of Crafting?

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March is National Craft Month! All month long we will be sharing stories from your peers about what they are doing to celebrate and how they are encouraging others to discover the benefits of creativity.

For CHA employee Donna Cennimo, every day is a reason to craft something! Right now, Donna’s craft of choice is art journaling. Read about the project

“With the amount of crafting I do, you would think every month is National Craft Month! For the official National Craft Month, I’m journaling every day! As you can see in the pictures below, I’ve taken a blank journal and turned it into a piece of art! I’ve created backgrounds for all of the pages, and will continue journaling and really bringing them to life throughout the month. I’ll also try out some new techniques that I’ve learned from Pinterest and watching YouTube videos.”

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Stay tuned for more stories and tips on the CHA Blog and all of CHA’s social media channels.

What are you doing to celebrate National Craft Month? Share your story by emailing marketing@craftandhobby.org or using the hashtags #WeAreCHA, #CRE8TIME and #NationalCraftMonth on social media.

31 Days of Crafting: Crafting With Our Future

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March is National Craft Month! All month long we will be sharing stories from your peers about what they are doing to celebrate and how they are encouraging others to discover the benefits of creativity.

Society of Decorative Painters employee Miho Halsey organized a craft day at her son’s school on March 9. She created a step-by-step painting and paper crafting project for 11 year olds. She taught two classes with a total of 67 students.

Click here to watch a recap of Miho’s craft day. Read her story below to see how craft day ended up being a learning experience for her, just as much as it was for the students.

“My son and I always do craft projects together, so I made the assumption that other kids his age would have the same skill level. That was a big mistake!

I learned that some kids do not have the coordination to hold a pair of scissors to cut a simple circle. They told me that they never cut a circle by hand because they can get a perfect paper circle in stores or their parents have a machine that they can use to cut shapes. My son’s teacher even seemed shocked to learn that they could not use scissors property.

This made me sad. When I was their age, I always used scissors for craft projects. My school had an art class every week in which the art teacher taught students how to use scissors, x acto knifes, wood burning equipment and other crafting materials. My school also taught students how to paint, draw and sew.

Today, many schools have cut their art programs for young kids. Many families do not have the time to do crafts at home. Especially after seeing how some kids struggled with the project at first, I was glad this craft day was an opportunity for these kids to truly focus on a creative activity – something that they might not get to do regularly.

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Another observation I made was that kids were concerned when their project did not look like the sample I showed them. I told them it was okay because everyone creates differently. I told them each project should look a little bit different based on everyone’s unique characteristics and personality.

It took some time and assistance, but once the students really started to focus on the project I could tell they were enjoying the activity and, more importantly, learning from it. Their teacher even said, “Wow, I never thought you guys could be so quiet in my class!”

At the end of the day, the kids loved their minions.

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The craft day was also a learning experience for me. Parents and teachers need to make time and find ways to keep kids encouraged and interested in creative activities.

“We cannot lose our future artists and crafters.”

Stay tuned for more stories and tips on the CHA Blog and all of CHA’s social media channels.

What are you doing to celebrate National Craft Month? Share your story by emailing marketing@craftandhobby.org or using the hashtags #WeAreCHA, #CRE8TIME and #NationalCraftMonth on social media.

 

31 Days of Crafting: Mother Daughter Painting Night Out

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March is National Craft Month! All month long we will be sharing stories from your peers about what they are doing to celebrate and how they are encouraging others to discover the benefits of creativity.

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CHA employee Nidia Negron and her eldest daughter try to have a mother daughter date night each month by doing some type of craft project. To celebrate National Craft Month, they had a social painting night out!

“We’re both so busy and, as you can imagine, trying to schedule a date with a twenty-something-year-old can be challenging. Yet, she says I have more of a life than she does! Our mother daughter dates are something that we both always look forward to. It’s our time to connect, be creative and do what we love.”

Stay tuned for more stories and tips on the CHA Blog and all of CHA’s social media channels.

What are you doing to celebrate National Craft Month? Share your story by emailing marketing@craftandhobby.org or using the hashtags #WeAreCHA, #CRE8TIME and #NationalCraftMonth on social media.

31 Days of Crafting: First Home Signage

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March is National Craft Month! All month long we will be sharing stories from your peers about what they are doing to celebrate and how they are encouraging others to discover the benefits of creativity.

First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes the mortgage! CHA employee Kristen Farrell and her now husband Jonathan got married this past September. Now, they’re buying a house!

Conveniently, their closing date is in March. So, to celebrate National Craft Month Kristen is making items for their first home.

“Our house is in a lake community and has a deck with a gorgeous waterfront view. Jonathan and I are looking forward to spending a lot of time on the deck together, as well as entertaining family and friends.

To give our deck a homey feel, it needs some homey décor. In this blog post, I am sharing my first, first home craft project. I purchased all of the materials at Michaels, which cost only $25. Many, many more DIY projects are in my future, during National Craft Month, and beyond!”

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Stay tuned for more stories and tips on the CHA Blog and all of CHA’s social media channels.

What are you doing to celebrate National Craft Month? Share your story by emailing marketing@craftandhobby.org or using the hashtags #WeAreCHA, #CRE8TIME and #NationalCraftMonth on social media.

31 Days of Crafting: Reusable, Recyclable & Charitable Crafts

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March is National Craft Month! All month long we will be sharing stories from your peers about what they are doing to celebrate and how they are encouraging others to discover the benefits of creativity.

Niki Meiners, founder of 365 Days of Crafts, turned 44 this month. To celebrate her birthday and National Craft Month, Niki held a girls night to create reusable hygiene products for women in third world countries. Visit the blog to learn how her charitable project relates to crafting!

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Stay tuned for more stories and tips on the CHA Blog and all of CHA’s social media channels.

What are you doing to celebrate National Craft Month? Share your story by emailing marketing@craftandhobby.org or using the hashtags #WeAreCHA, #CRE8TIME and #NationalCraftMonth on social media.

31 Days of Crafting: Join the Maker Revolution with Brother

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March is National Craft Month! All month long we will be sharing stories from your peers about what they are doing to celebrate and how they are encouraging others to discover the benefits of creativity.

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Brother’s designers are offering ScanNCut2 project and accessory bundle giveaways, plus tips and tricks throughout the month. Visit their blogs to participate!

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Also, Brother wants you to join the maker revolution now. Watch this video to learn how the ScanNCut2 is perfect for artists.

Stay tuned for more stories and tips on the CHA Blog and all of CHA’s social media channels.

What are you doing to celebrate National Craft Month? Share your story by emailing marketing@craftandhobby.org or using the hashtags #WeAreCHA, #CRE8TIME and #NationalCraftMonth on social media.

31 Days of Crafting: Feeling Lucky?

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March is National Craft Month! All month long we will be sharing stories from your peers about what they are doing to celebrate and how they are encouraging others to discover the benefits of creativity.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Follow the rainbow – we mean CHA on Pinterest – to find a pot of our golden, holiday craft picks that will put you in the good ol’ Irish spirit!

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Stay tuned for more stories and tips on the CHA Blog and all of CHA’s social media channels.

What are you doing to celebrate National Craft Month? Share your story by emailing marketing@craftandhobby.org or using the hashtags #WeAreCHA, #CRE8TIME and #NationalCraftMonth on social media.

31 Days of Crafting: Spring Cleaning

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March is National Craft Month! All month long we will be sharing stories from your peers about what they are doing to celebrate and how they are encouraging others to discover the benefits of creativity.

MichelleCummingsCHA Member Michelle Cummings is celebrating National Craft Month by getting rid of the craft clutter in her home and studio! Her studio is getting what she describes “a long awaited purge”, making an environment in which she can freely create. Also, she is rejuvenating old furniture to wake up her living room, and jazzing up old pots with a few coats of paint and new blooms to give her garden a fresh look.

Stay tuned for more stories and tips on the CHA Blog and all of CHA’s social media channels.

What are you doing to celebrate National Craft Month? Share your story by emailing marketing@craftandhobby.org or using the hashtags #WeAreCHA, #CRE8TIME and #NationalCraftMonth on social media.

31 Days of Crafting: CHA Craft Day with Little B

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March is National Craft Month! All month long we will be sharing stories from your peers about what they are doing to celebrate and how they are encouraging others to discover the benefits of creativity.

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Last week, Dale Nicholson from Little B visited the CHA headquarters in Elmwood Park, NJ for a Craft Day with the CHA staff. Dale walked our employees through two projects that used some of Little B’s newest washi tapes.

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Little B is happy to share these projects with you too so you can get imaginative using its new washi tapes to create gift décor. Make these projects, then “craft them forward” to inspire your friends, family or colleagues.

Download the Project Instructions

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Stay tuned for more stories and tips on the CHA Blog and all of CHA’s social media channels.

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What are you doing to celebrate National Craft Month? Share your story by emailing marketing@craftandhobby.org or using the hashtags #WeAreCHA, #CRE8TIME and #NationalCraftMonth on social media.

31 Days of Crafting: National Craft Month Challenge

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March is National Craft Month! All month long we will be sharing stories from your peers about what they are doing to celebrate and how they are encouraging others to discover the benefits of creativity.

CHA Designer Member Carol Heppner is challenging you to create her Spring Dress Card from her column in Scrap and Stamp Arts magazine. Visit her site to grab your copy of the magazine, and then share your creation on Twitter using the hashtag #ScrapandStampArtsDress. Carol will retweet your creation to her 74,600+ followers!

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Stay tuned for more stories and tips on the CHA Blog and all of CHA’s social media channels.

What are you doing to celebrate National Craft Month? Share your story by emailing marketing@craftandhobby.org or using the hashtags #WeAreCHA, #CRE8TIME and #NationalCraftMonth on social media.

31 Days of Crafting: Creative Crocheting

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March is National Craft Month! All month long we will be sharing stories from your peers about what they are doing to celebrate and how they are encouraging others to discover the benefits of creativity.

Janice Ogata likes to encourage people to use materials other than yarn to step out of their comfort zone and be creative. Janice is the founder of the Pasadena Crochet Group in California. The group has been meeting on the first Saturday of each the month at a local bookstore for the past seven years. These crocheters have used wire, plastic grocery bags, cut-up t-shirts and VHS tapes, just to name a few of the non-traditional materials that they’ve experimented with. They’ve yarn bombed an entire museum in Los Angeles with hundreds of Granny Squares, and the historical Alex Theatre to celebrate its 90th Anniversary.

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“A lot of people get bogged down thinking what they’re making has to be perfect. I try to keep them motivated, and reassure them they can just call a tiny mistake a ‘design element’ and move on, instead of ripping apart their whole project. The joy for me as a teacher is seeing the look of satisfaction on my students’ faces when they complete their first project. I teach all ages, men, women and children, and almost everyone has the same reaction. They can’t believe they crocheted something!”

JaniceOgata2Janice also teaches at Needle in a Haystack on the third Saturday of the each month. Her patterns have been published in Craft Ideas Magazine, and she is a blogger for Red Heart Yarns.

If you want to crochet creatively this National Craft Month, you can contact Janice at janiceogata@gmail.com.

Stay tuned for more stories and tips on the CHA Blog and all of CHA’s social media channels.

 

What are you doing to celebrate National Craft Month? Share your story by emailing marketing@craftandhobby.org or using the hashtags #WeAreCHA, #CRE8TIME and #NationalCraftMonth on social media.

31 Days of Crafting: Embossing Powder Techniques from A to Z

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March is National Craft Month! All month long we will be sharing stories from your peers about what they are doing to celebrate and how they are encouraging others to discover the benefits of creativity.

Stampendous is really excited to be celebrating National Craft Month this year. The company just released its first book about crafting, Embossing Powder Techniques from A to Z, by its owner Fran Seiford. Fran and the staff love educating crafters about one of its specialty products and all the amazing ways they can use it to create mixed media art pieces as well as traditional greeting cards and scrapbook pages.

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From March 21 – 25, the company’s Design Team will be sharing some of the wonderful techniques from the new book on the Stampendous Blog. There will be many opportunities for visitors to win some products to try on their own!

Stay tuned for more stories and tips on the CHA Blog and all of CHA’s social media channels.

What are you doing to celebrate National Craft Month? Share your story by emailing marketing@craftandhobby.org or using the hashtags #WeAreCHA, #CRE8TIME and #NationalCraftMonth on social media.

 

31 Days of Crafting: Three Ways to Celebrate with Prime Publishing

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March is National Craft Month! All month long we will be sharing stories from your peers about what they are doing to celebrate and how they are encouraging others to discover the benefits of creativity.

Each day in March, Prime Publishing will be sharing a new craft tutorial on its blog, CraftPaperScissors.com! Check out the 12 tutorials that it has already shared, and stay tuned for 19 more!

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Also, the company is holding six giveaways throughout the month – five sponsored giveaways and one grand prize! Here is the list of giveaways, so you can learn more about how to participate.

Lastly, the company will be using Periscope to tape live craft projects daily throughout the month! Join the team at 3:00pm CST on each day to see a new craft video.

Stay tuned for more stories and tips on the CHA Blog and all of CHA’s social media channels.

What are you doing to celebrate National Craft Month? Share your story by emailing marketing@craftandhobby.org or using the hashtags #WeAreCHA, #CRE8TIME and #NationalCraftMonth on social media.

31 Days of Crafting: DIY Tips & Tricks from Trimcraft

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March is National Craft Month! All month long we will be sharing stories from your peers about what they are doing to celebrate and how they are encouraging others to discover the benefits of creativity.

It’s always a crafty month at Trimcraft. Throughout National Craft Month, the team will be inspiring creativity through a variety of fun and exciting craft tutorials. Their schedule for March is an exciting one, showing crafters everywhere how to DIY with a few tips and tricks on the Trimcraft blog. Not only will they be sharing exciting product previews, but they will show new and innovative ways to celebrate the Easter season by using bunnies and bright colors!

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Their goal – encourage crafters everywhere. Their hope – their projects help this love and excitement for crafting last the whole year!

Follow Trimcraft on social media by searching the hashtag #NationalCraftMonth so you can see the new projects they are working on. Plus, you can use the hashtag to share what you are creating!

Stay tuned for more stories and tips on the CHA Blog and all of CHA’s social media channels.

What are you doing to celebrate National Craft Month? Share your story by emailing marketing@craftandhobby.org or using the hashtags #WeAreCHA, #CRE8TIME and #NationalCraftMonth on social media.

31 Days of Crafting: How to Make Crafting Your J-O-B

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March is National Craft Month! All month long we will be sharing stories from your peers about what they are doing to celebrate and how they are encouraging others to discover the benefits of creativity.

Online education company CreativeLive is launching a series of blog posts and an infographic about crafters who have turned their creative hobbies into businesses.

Each Tuesday in March, Creativelive will share tips with insights from influencers from across the industry, including Vickie Howell, Katie Hunt, Lisa Jacobs, Marlo Miyashiro, and more!

The team will also be releasing an infographic developed in collaboration with Kari Chapin. The goal of the infographic is to help crafters decide if crafting as a job is right for them.

Creativelive supports crafting for both work and play, and the prompts within the infographic will help viewers decide which track is right for them. Check out this teaser shot of the infographic.

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Stay tuned for more stories and tips on the CHA Blog and all of CHA’S social media channels.

What are you doing to celebrate National Craft Month? Share your story by emailing marketing@craftandhobby.org or using the hashtags #WeAreCHA, #CRE8TIME and #NationalCraftMonth on social media.

31 Days of Crafting: The Great Northwest Paper Chase

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March is National Craft Month! All month long we will be sharing stories from your peers about what they are doing to celebrate and how they are encouraging others to discover the benefits of creativity.

The Northwest Paper Chase is celebrating with its annual three-week event for scrapbookers, paper enthusiasts and general crafters who want to have fun and support their local creative community!

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This year, 28 stores in Washington and Oregon will be participating in the “chase”, which runs from March 4 through March 20. The goal of the chase is to drive customers to local stores.

To participate, “chasers” purchase a passport and travel from store to store. At the end of the chase, chasers win prizes from event sponsors based on 1) how many stores they visit; 2) the amount of money they spent, and 3) the numbers of pictures they posted on social media. Participating stores offer discounts, exclusive page kits, make-n-takes, themed photo ops, giveaways and more!

Learn more about the “chase” and how to participate.

Stay tuned for more stories and tips on the CHA Blog and all of CHA’S social media channels.

What are you doing to celebrate National Craft Month? Share your story by emailing marketing@craftandhobby.org or using the hashtags #WeAreCHA, #CRE8TIME and #NationalCraftMonth on social media.

31 Days of Crafting: Greetings from Plays Nicely with Paper

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March is National Craft Month! All month long we will be sharing stories from your peers about what they are doing to celebrate and how they are encouraging others to discover the benefits of creativity.

CHA Member Aliya White of Plays Nicely with Paper LLC, a market research company, is sharing her love of making greeting cards with the people she cares about, plus more! Watch this video to learn about what she’s doing to celebrate!

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Stay tuned for more stories and tips on the CHA Blog and all of CHA’S social media channels.

What are you doing to celebrate National Craft Month? Share your story by emailing marketing@craftandhobby.org or using the hashtags #WeAreCHA, #CRE8TIME and #NationalCraftMonth on social media.

31 Days of Crafting: Therm O Web

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March is National Craft Month! All month long we will be sharing stories from your peers about what they are doing to celebrate and how they are encouraging others to discover the benefits of creativity.

Each week, Therm O Web will be sharing amazing design inspiration, exciting prizes, and special savings on popular Therm O Web products.

Therm O Web debuted hot new Deco Foil products at the 2016 CHA MEGA Show in January. If you missed them, watch this video to see the new Deco Foil Adhesive Pen and Designer Stencils in action!

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Stay tuned for more stories and tips on the CHA Blog and all of CHA’S social media channels.

What are you doing to celebrate National Craft Month? Share your story by emailing marketing@craftandhobby.org or using the hashtags #WeAreCHA, #CRE8TIME and #NationalCraftMonth on social media.

 

31 Days of Crafting: Gifts Galore

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March is National Craft Month! All month long we will be sharing stories from your peers about what they are doing to celebrate and how they are encouraging others to discover the benefits of creativity.

March also happens to be the birthday month of Jenny Barnett Rohrs of Craft Test Dummies! Jenny is treating her subscribers to a ton of birthday gifts, including product reviews, “scopes”, and giveaways! Watch the video below to get inspired and participate in the fun!

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Stay tuned for more stories and tips on the CHA Blog and all of CHA’S social media channels.

What are you doing to celebrate National Craft Month? Share your story by emailing marketing@craftandhobby.org or using the hashtags #WeAreCHA, #CRE8TIME and #NationalCraftMonth on social media.

31 Days of Crafting: National Craft Month Giveaway

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March is National Craft Month! All month long we will be sharing stories from your peers about what they are doing to celebrate and how they are encouraging others to discover the benefits of creativity.

In celebration of National Craft Month, Marjie Kemper is giving away a free seat in her online class with Craftsy called Inventive Ink: Colorful Mixed Media Effects. Watch this video to learn how you can win!

Read more about this class on Marjie’s blog.

Stay tuned for more stories and tips on the CHA Blog and all of CHA’S social media channels.

What are you doing to celebrate National Craft Month? Share your story by emailing marketing@craftandhobby.org or using the hashtags #WeAreCHA and #CRE8TIME on social media.

31 Days of Crafting: Spring Crafts Crafternoon

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March is National Craft Month! All month long we will be sharing stories from your peers about what they are doing to celebrate and how they are encouraging others to discover the benefits of creativity.

Today we’re featuring CHA Member Rita Gonzales, and her business Mothership Scrapbook Girl.

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Rita will be hosting a Crafternoon for Spring Crafts on Sunday, March 6 at Packinghouse Brewery in Riverside, CA. Attendees will make three craft projects, enjoy a yummy snack bar, and receive a crafty SWAG bag to take home!

“To inspire creativity, I am always open to new opportunities to share my crafty skills with local businesses in my community. For Valentine’s Day, I asked my local art store if I could be in the store during Arts Walk, a local community event, to demo products and make mini Valentine cards. The store was excited to have me provide an activity for customers during Arts Walk, and I was happy to try out new product!”

If you’re nearby, celebrate National Craft Month at Rita’s Crafternoon and try new crafts and products.

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Stay tuned for more stories and tips on the CHA Blog and all of CHA’S social media channels.

What are you doing to celebrate National Craft Month? Share your story by emailing marketing@craftandhobby.org or using the hashtags #WeAreCHA, #CRE8TIME and #NationalCraftMonth on social media.

National Craft Month – 31 Days of Crafting

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March is National Craft Month! All month long we will be sharing stories from your peers about what they are doing to celebrate and how they are encouraging others to discover the benefits of creativity.

First up are our friends at Blitsy! From hosting a blog hop to an Instagram challenge, Blitsy is doing “virtually” everything they can do to engage their customers in their National Craft Month celebration.

Watch this video to learn more about what they are doing!blitsy

Stay tuned for more stories and tips on the CHA Blog and all of CHA’S social media channels. Get inspired and participate in the fun!

Share your National Craft Month story. Email marketing@craftandhobby.org or use the hashtags #WeAreCHA, #CRE8TIME and #NationalCraftMonth on social media.

What you can expect at the CHA Canadian Chapter’s Designer, Educator & Creative Professional (DECP) Retreat

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The CHA Canadian Chapter Designers, Educators, Creative Professionals (DECP) Retreat is an annual three-day business, networking and creativity focused hideaway featuring industry leaders in the creative business. The event takes place May 13-15,2016 at the Kempenfelt Conference Centre, Barrie in Innisfil, ON.

Roberta Profile Sept 2015Recently, we caught up with CHA Member Roberta Birnbaum to tell us about her experiences as a previous DECP Retreat attendee and what you can expect as an attendee this year.

How long have you been a CHA Member?
I joined CHA in October, 2013.

Why did you join CHA?
I thought about joining for a few years simply because I was enamored with the MEGA Show and was really envious of people who were able to attend, but I kept putting it off. I finally joined because I wanted to attend the first Designer, Educator & Creative Professional (DECP) Retreat in November of 2013. I really didn’t know much about the organization at that point.

How have you taken advantage of the benefits that CHA offers?
Once I became a member I poured over the CHA website looking to see how I could best take advantage of my membership. I have watched several webinars and requested industry reports — all free! I continue to check out the (growing) number of on-trend, relevant, and helpful webinars, series, and seminars made available. I just signed up for about seven of them! I also regularly use my Staples discount for printed materials. I was thrilled to attend the CHA PaperArts+ Show in Chicago this past summer and I attended the CHA MEGA Show in Anaheim in January – free admission for CHA members.

You attended the CHA Canadian Chapter’s Designer, Educator & Creative
Professional (DECP) Retreat. How was your experience?

DSCN0661Yes I did, and I haven’t looked back! Attending the retreat truly changed my life. I first heard of the retreat through a Facebook post by my friend Carmi Cimicata. It looked like a lot of fun and a great opportunity to meet other creatives and get a LOT of crafting done in one weekend. I was amazed at the quality of the workshops, the variety offered, and the generosity of sponsors. The food is excellent and plentiful. The diversity of participants and presenters creates a buzz of possibility and is also a great equalizer when it comes to our different skill levels. Over the years we have had the following workshops: painting, sewing, encaustic, Powertex, jewelry, resin, textiles, knitting, and mixed media, to name a few. Everyone has to operate outside their comfort zone at some point so it’s not like we’re all experts in every area, and this leads to a wonderful calming, nurturing, and liberating effect, completely removing one’s fear that they’re ‘ no good at this or that’. It allows you to have fun and not fear ‘failure’.

How do the workshops/seminars offered at the retreat help your business?
sat night workshopsThe seminars are full of important and useful information for everyone. Some topics have been boothmanship, understanding technology, and the importance of SEO for your blog or website. The workshops introduced me to many new products and skills, and most are incorporated into my productivity when I get home. I always leave inspired and full of so many new ideas. For me this is the most important aspect of the weekend; that, and the invaluable connections and networking. I have made some excellent contacts and forged working relationships because of it. The networking component has been very successful for me.

Why should people attend this event? Swag 2
I remember first looking at the title of the retreat and thinking, ” ..but is this me? Am I ‘good enough’ to go? Do I even belong at this?” I have come to learn that the term DECP can include every creative soul. So even if you are a craft store owner, or manufacturer, or a craft teacher who teaches in the community, this could be for you because you are a creative professional. Perhaps you are a distributor, or you have a craft line and are looking for qualified designers to work with your product and build a team; this is the perfect venue to introduce your line (either by presenting a workshop or providing product to try). If you want to experience a craft-filled weekend full of fun, education, great food, networking, lots of chocolate, great swag, and wonderful memories, then come to the DECP Retreat. You will arrive with anticipation and leave full of passion and possibility.

Click here to view the DECP schedule and register.

2016 CHA MEGA Show Recap Told By Our Attendees

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It’s hard to believe that the 2016 CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show was already over a month ago! Thousands of you, CHA members, creative product buyers, distributors, bloggers, designers and creative professionals joined us at the Anaheim Convention Center to take advantage of live, high-quality education workshops and seminars, and to see 12,000 new products from 370 exhibitors, representing 67 countries.

We could go on and on about how amazing the Show was, but we decided it would be more fun to share your experiences. Here are some of the videos, pictures and recaps we’ve seen online!

Hot Trends
Blitsy Crafts sought out the hottest trends for 2016. Watch this video to see the top five hot trends that the Blitsy team discovered on the Show floor.

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New, New, New
Watch these new product demo videos from PaperCrafter’s Corner, including a demo of the 2016 Hot Product Award winner for the Bead & Jewelry category, the Bangle Bracelet Weaver Tool by Beadalon.

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The People
Without the creative people in our industry, there wouldn’t be a Show! Here’s a great visual blog recap by Nancy Nally of Scrapbook Update, who visited some of her favorite people on the Show floor.

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Best Booth Displays
Jenny Barnett Rohrs of Craft Test Dummies paid a visit to the booth of the 2016 Critics’ Choice Booth Award winner, Lion Brand Yarn. Watch her interview with London Kaye, the artist behind the crocheted display! Jenny also got a personal tour of Plaid’s booth, which won the 75th Anniversary Booth Award in spirit of the Show’s 75th year.

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More Pictures!
Check out our official Show photo album on Facebook to relive the Show from start to finish.

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Top Tweets

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Want more details? Read our press release for a full recap of this year’s Show.

Visit chamegashow.org for the latest announcements about exhibiting at or attending our 2017 CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show, January 19-23* at the Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix, AZ.

*Education starts January 19, 2017. The Trade Show starts January 21, 2017.

The Countdown to the MEGA Show is on!

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CHA MEGA Show

The CHA MEGA Show floor will soon be bustling with educational demos and inspiring make-n-takes. The schedules linked below include just some of the amazing opportunities for Show attendees to try new products and learn a few tips and techniques. Bring on the creativity!

Saturday Exhibitors

Sunday Exhibitors

Monday Exhibitors

Tuesday Exhibitors

Designers in Action

Paper Trail Designers

Don’t forget to use the official #CHAShow hashtag on social media to follow and join in the festivities!

Celebrating 75 Years of Creativity with Fairfield Processing

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FAIRFIELDNAMETAGCHA teamed up with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History to pinpoint Places of Invention in the creative arts and craft industry. To celebrate 75 years of creativity at the 2016 CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show, we are sharing our members’ stories of how they made their mark in the history of our industry.

The Poly-Fil® brand Fiberfill is a staple product in the craft industry. Did you know it has ties back to hats?

In its early days as a company, Fairfield Processing manufactured natural fibers that were used to make hats and other apparel. When Sam Young, the company’s founder, noticed John F. Kennedy did not wear a hat during his inauguration, he sensed a culture change and sought new opportunities for his business. Sam learned some of the locals in Danbury, Connecticut were using the then new invention of polyester to stuff the toys that they handmade. Ever since, Fairfield Processing produces Poly-Fil® brand Fiberfill and other products to serve all facets of the fabrics industry, including general crafts, quilting and home décor.

Join us and Fairfield Processing in booth 1427 in Anaheim for the 2016 CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show to celebrate the latest craft industry products and innovations.

Read Fairfield Processing’s full story.

Meet the Instructor – Julia Benben

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Registration for the 2016 CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show is open! Over the past several weeks, we’ve introduced you to some of our Workshop instructors so you could hear about their live classes and what you could expect to learn from them.

Last, but certainly not least, today we meet Julia Benben!

Has your store hopped on the adult coloring bandwagon? Take Julia’s Workshop, Color Therapy – Learn How To Use Chameleon Pens to Drive Sales In The Growing Trend Of Adult Coloring, to learn how Chameleon Pens are great additions to your product line for this growing customer base.

Plus, Julia will lead a second Workshop, Coloring Faces and Hair – Blending Made Easy With Chameleon Pens, where you’ll learn how to master difficult coloring techniques and more about Chameleon Pens’ ability to blend colors.

Keep reading for more about what you will take away from her Workshop.

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Tell us a little bit about yourself.

My name is Julia Benben. I’ve been in the art and craft industry for almost 20 years. I started out as an on-air craft presenter on QVC for toys, home décor and crafts, but quickly fell in love with and got hooked on the craft side of the business.

How many years have you participated in the CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show?

I attended my first Show back in 1999 when it was HIA. I have attended pretty much every year since!

What is your favorite part of the CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show? 

The MEGA Block Party! Just kidding J. As much fun as the MEGA Block Party is, I actually love the fact that I get to meet up with all the great creative and like-minded people in the industry, and share new products, ideas and techniques in person! So much of what I do with the folks I work with is over Skype or email. There is no substitute for the personal face-to-face interaction.

How would you describe a live workshop at the CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show to someone who has never attended before?

Workshops are well worth attending for your business. They give you an opportunity to learn new and creative things about craft products and projects. Also, they offer a chance for you to chat about industry trends as well as what is working for your peers! Between seeing new things, finding out what is on trend and connecting with your industry counterparts – and doing it all in one place – they’re very efficient, and fun!

Why should buyers and creative professionals take your workshop?

Buyers need to understand the hands-on experience of the products and projects their customers are buying. This knowledge makes them more capable of troubleshooting, understanding the key benefits and structuring selling to the end user; plus, it gives them ideas on how to cross promote with other products that they currently sell.

How does your workshop relate to emerging trends and the current state of the creative industry?

We really keep a close eye on what is trending by following social media conversations and talking to all our buyers and distributors. This helps us create projects that are timely for what the customer in your store is looking for!

What is the best advice you can offer about attending the CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show, whether someone is attending for the first time or is an industry veteran? 

Get in there and TRY some stuff! Don’t prejudge an item by what others might have said. Experience products for yourself and make your own call on what you like and dislike about items. I hear people chatting in the aisles, “Did you see anything exciting”…“No … not really” – that is their view. I know when I walk around, when I really take the time to look, I find cool, creative and innovative stuff everywhere. You just have to be open to it and take the time to look closely.

What do you love most about the creative industry?

The creativity, innovative ideas, pioneering spirit and dedication of the people involved.

Where do you see the creative industry in five years?

Chugging along and coming up with new stuff every year. As technology and trends change so does the sort of things people do for crafts and creative outlets.

What do you love most about CHA membership?

Nadine. The staff is great to work with!

Register to take Julia’s Workshops, Coloring Faces and Hair – Blending Made Easy With Chameleon Pens and Color Therapy – Learn How To Use Chameleon Pens to Drive Sales In The Growing Trend Of Adult Coloring, and our other CHA MEGA Conference programs before they sell out!

Thanks for tuning in for our Meet the Instructor blog series! Click here to read all of the blog posts in this series.

CRE8TIME Do-It-Yourself

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By Marjolaine Walker

Created Canvas

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Hello CHA friends! My name is Marjolaine Walker and today I have a quick tutorial using one of my new layering stencil sets that will be coming out soon. This is an easy project where you can quickly create a beautiful gift to give to a new mom to decorate her nursery. I hope you will give it a try!

Supplies:

Watercolor paper

Blending tool: Ranger

Sponge

Painter’s tape

Distress Ink: Ranger Ink

Ink: Tsukineko CO.

Created Layering Stencil Set: Twelve Stones Scrapbooking

Black cardstock: Bazzill

Adhesive: X-Press It Double Sided Tape

step1

Step One: Use painter’s tape* to tape down the first stencil over a 5”x8” piece of watercolor paper. Use a blending tool or sponge to apply the ink to the open area of the stencil. For more detail you can blend two inks together. Remove the stencil once complete.

*The painter’s tape helps to keep the stencil steady and does not tear the paper when removed.

step2

Step Two: Repeat step one with the second stencil to add the words. Make sure that the stencil is lined up properly to fit the words inside the silhouette. Use a contrasting color to make the words more visible. Remove the stencil when you are done.

step3

Step Three: Use the blending tool or sponge to apply ink around the silhouette, leaving a bit of white space around it to create a light effect. Repeat this step again with a different color of ink, blending both inks together.

step4

Step Four: With a brown ink and the blending tool or sponge, add shading around the piece of watercolor paper to frame the artwork.

Step Five: Adhere the finished piece of art to a black piece of cardstock.

Step Six: Repeat step one through six with the other two sets of words.

Step Seven: Adhere all three finished pieces inside a frame.

final

 

Cheers to 75 Years – Celebrating Donna Cennimo

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To celebrate 75 years of creativity at the 2016 CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show, we are profiling our members and sharing their stories of how they made their mark in the history of our industry.

Today, we are not featuring a member, but rather a CHA employee who many of you likely know by name. Meet Donna Cennimo, Operations Coordinator, who commemorated her 21st anniversary with CHA this past Sunday. A fun fact about Donna – she can name the CHA MEGA Show locations for every year she has worked here in order!

donnanametagHow long have you worked at CHA?
I started working at CHA in November 1994 – before there were sections on the CHA MEGA Show floor! The company was the Hobby Industry Association (HIA) at that time. My first role was an office assistant. I answered the phones and helped each team in any way that I could. There were no cubicles in the office back then. The open space created a great learning environment. With my colleagues all around, I was able to listen to their conversations and catch onto the job pretty quickly.

What’s the best thing about being part of the CHA community?
The people. We work in a great industry. I’m proud to be part of it.

2016 will be the first time you attend the CHA MEGA Show. What are you looking forward to the most?
There’s so much that I am looking forward to! It’s the Show’s 75th anniversary and its last year in Anaheim. I can’t wait to meet everyone who I’ve spoken to by phone and email over the years – putting a face to the name.

Also, I’m a crafter who represents all craft categories. I’ve crocheted, sewed, scrapbooked, painted, and made jewelry; more recently, I’ve been into art journaling. I’m excited to see the new products in person and come home with a ton of new project ideas!

IMG_4298What is your most memorable CHA moment?
Honestly, there are too many moments to list. A memory that comes to mind is one year when we were preparing a shipment for the Show. An 18-wheeler truck showed up, which is kind of funny if you’ve seen CHA’s parking lot. There was no way the truck was going to fit. So, the staff formed an assembly line to carry boxes and load the truck. The perfect word to describe this – teamwork!

Join Donna at the 2016 CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show to have FUN and celebrate the latest craft industry products and innovations. Say hi and give her a high-five when you meet her!

Register today!

Share your “Cheers to 75 Years” story and we’ll feature it on the CHA Blog leading up to the 2016 CHA MEGA Show! Email marketing@craftandhobby.org or share it on Twitter using the hashtag, #WeAreCHA.

You can win $650 in the “See You at CHA” Blog Hop!

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Are you ready for the biggest, most epic blog hop ever? Nearly 60 CHA members from around the world are coming together to help us celebrate the CHA MEGA Show’s 75th anniversary for a whole week – Monday, December 7 through Friday, December 11.

Each blogger will highlight something special about the upcoming CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show. It could be a sneak peek of their new products being released, details about their workshops and make-n-takes, an inspiring project tutorial, or what they are most excited about doing and seeing at the Show.

You’ll have plenty of chances to enter to win our $650 Visa gift card each day of the hop, on any of the participating blogs. Everyone is eligible to win, whether you’re in the U.S. or international.

Here is the master schedule of bloggers. Happy hopping all week long!

Monday, December 7

Buttons Galore

DecoArt, Inc.

Eileen Hull LLC

Finders Keepers

Lorrie McCullers

Roberta Birnbaum

Santana Designs

Scrapbook Adhesives by 3L

Scrapsome!Scrapsome!

Seth Apter

Spellbinders Paper Arts

Technique Tuesday

Teri Anderson

 

Tuesday, December 8

Anita Scroggins

Beth Watson Design Studio

Carol Heppner LLC

Debbie Cole Designs

Einat Kessler

John Bead

PaperCrafter’s Corner

Stamps And Scrapbooks

Therm O Web

Fabric Editions

 

Wednesday, December 9

Charity Wings

Fairfield Processing

Jennifer Davey

Linda Ledbetter

Lisa Liza Lou Designs

Marjolaine Walker

Scrapbook Update

I Love Resin

SMBdesign

Stampendous

The Buckle Boutique

 

Thursday, December 10

ComposiMold

Deflecto

Julie McGuffee

Marilyn Gossett Designs

Marjie Kemper Designs

Rita Barakat Designs

The Creative Makery

The Digiscrap Geek Podcast

Tammy Tuterow

 

Friday, December 11

Annmakes

Crafty Card Gallery

Joe Rotella

EyeConnect Crafts

Laura Bray Designs

Lindsay Obermeyer LLC

Mothership Scrapbook Gal

Paper House

Craft Critique

Terry Ricioli

varyCarol Arts