Guest Blogger: Crafty Chica’s checklist for CHA!


I leave this Saturday for CHA. It will be my tenth visit (three times as a newspaper reporter, seven as a professional crafter), but I’ll be doing something new this time – helping to set up the iLoveToCreate booth from scratch!

The show doesn’t open until Tuesday, so that means our team will have two days to transform our space from concrete to craftabulous. That’s 48 whole hours! However, being a reality show junkie, I know those minutes will disappear faster than a tube of squeeze glitter in a kindergarten classroom. I’m bringing my Flip Video to film all the action. I know there will be plenty, I can smell it already. I’m preparing for this gig in many ways. I’ve already bought a pair of cushiony insoles for my sneakers. Not just any insoles, these were labeled “WORKER” for construction and factory workers!

Let me fast forward to my crafty checklist for when the show actually opens. I’m there to demo in the iLoveToCreate booth, teach a class at the Super Show Craft Academy, do a live web broadcast with Cool2Craft, sneak in all the make-and-takes I can, and of course mingle, chat, hug, joke, play and HAVE FUN!!

To reach my MHP (Maximum Happy Potential), these are the things I’m bringing. In no particular order:

Scissor necklace. This is a cord necklace that has a mini-set of scissors attached to it. You never know when you need to cut something! However, I learned at the last show that scissor necklaces are more sought after than the One Ring. My last set was misplaced. Somehow, some way, I’ll score a new one in time for the show.

Permanent markers. There are plenty of crafty people walking around asking for artful contributions to their clothing, books, fabric swatches, emergency signs, suitcases, etc.

Portable handiwipes.
I have this bad habit of trying to walk from Point A to Point B, but get sidetracked with the awesome make-and-takes going on. So I’ll sit down and speed craft and then I have to remove the evidence from my hands before I get back to my assigned workstation. Handiwipes are perfect for this! They are also good because many times I’ll come across a fellow crafter who needs one badly, and it always feels good to help out!

Batteries for my Flip Video. They are so expensive at the hotel! I buy a big package before I leave.

Handmade goodies to give away and trade. I always make a batch of items to give away to people I meet, or to favorite friends, or even the clerk behind the coffee stand. One year I made bracelets. I’ve also made magnets, pins, rings, etc. It’s kind of an unwritten ritual that crafties do at this event. It’s a fun way to show camaraderie and a love for our community. It’s a great way to give shout outs when people ask “Where did you get that?”

Handmade show pieces to wear. I always like to wear new jewelry I made, or clothing items. Everyone does this, it’s a great way to express yourself and share your talents without even saying a word! They make great conversation pieces.

Crafty 911 Kit. Needle and thread, buttons, Band-Aid, glue, safety pins.

An artful apron. There is glitter, glue, and paint flying from every direction sometimes, it’s good to have an apron to protect your fancy wearables. (I make sure the apron has secret pockets to collect stuff!)

The Comfiest Shoes in the World. Heels – no. New shoes that need to be broken in – nada. Flip flops – nil. The best way to soak up all that the convention has to offer is to feel light, airy and springy like a ninja, and that only comes from good shoes.

Lots of business cards. Not just any business cards though. I make sure they are up-to-date and relay my “signature story,” so people will remember me long after the show has ended.

Press kit.
You just never know who you will meet in the ladies room or in the coffee line. Editors, producers, retail buyers, movie stars, etc. I don’t suggest huge press kits though, people like sleek and light. Edit it down so it packs a punch!

One almost empty carry-on. This is because I always have gobs of samples, books, projects, and supplies to bring home.

Makeup to go. Lots of talking is going on, as well as pictures with friends that end up on Facebook and blogs. Lipstick wears off fast, so does eyeliner. I hate seeing pictures after the show, and thinking – “Geez! Why didn’t I freshen up my makeup?”

Mini-notepad. I always get inspired for craft ideas or for the novels I write. I also pick up many tips from my crafty comadres and know if I don’t write them down, I’ll forget.

Phone charger in my purse!
I’m an iPhone addict for everything and I begin to twitch and itch once the battery goes below halfway. I plug my baby in wherever I can.

Okay, that’s it. Did I miss anything? What are your must-take items?

P.S. My publisher is sending a box of my new crafty-themed novel for me to give away all next week. Mention it to me, and I’ll give you one!

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