Meet the Instructor – Cindi Bisson

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

cindibissonThis week, we meet Cindi Bisson. Cindi will be teaching the Workshop, “At the Beach” Mixed-Media Canvas. Join her to create a mixed media home décor canvas, and learn various tips and techniques for using Makin’s Clay® tools, Makin’s® Push Molds and Texture Sheets, and other products in projects for all mediums and ages.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

For almost 15 years I’ve been lucky enough to have a career as a Mixed Media Designer.  I enjoy designing with paper, clay, resin, fabric, paint, metal and more to create mixed media, wearable art, paper crafts and a wide variety of other creative projects.  I love to experiment with combining mediums and using products in unique ways.

As co-host of the “When Creativity Knocks” online television crafting show (which will be exhibiting in the Consumer Connections Pavilion at the Show), I have been able to share my love of crafting with a worldwide audience.  My creative journey most recently led to the opportunity to represent a manufacturer on television on HSN.  I’m an active blogger and you can find me online on my blog – Cindi Bisson McGee – Behind These Eyes™, as well as on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and LinkedIn.  I’ve also been published in multiple books, magazines and online.

My motto is “Dare to be Different” and I believe there is no wrong in art – just ways to create things differently!

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

After years of watching Carol Duvall on television and daydreaming while she did her CHA Shows about how some day I’d love to experience one, I attended my first Show in 2006 in Las Vegas. Since then I’ve looked forward to each Show with anticipation!

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

I love exploring the new product lines from various manufacturers, and networking with fellow artists.

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

The workshops at the CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show offer a tremendous variety of projects for attendees to learn something new in almost any crafting medium.  They are a great way to learn from leading industry instructors about a wide assortment of products, or to learn new tips and techniques to ensure the future success of their creative businesses.

Why should buyers and creative professionals take your workshop?

Our Makin’s USA® workshop – “At the Beach” Mixed-Media Canvas – project is designed to teach attendees about the wide variety of creative options of using Makin’s Clay® and Makin’s Brand® tools in their projects. This versatile product line can literally be used in almost any craft project from children’s projects to fine art. We invite buyers and creative professionals to explore the many possibilities of designing with Makin’s Clay®.

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

Mixed media continues to maintain its status as a trend that is here to stay. Products that offer a wide variety of versatility are key and a great way for individual crafters or retailers to expand their creative options. Our workshop will show attendees some of the many ways that Makin’s Clay® can be used in not only mixed media, but in paper crafting, jewelry making, children’s crafts, fine art, and more.

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?

Take advantage of the many options that the CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show has to offer by selecting workshops or seminars to further your education, but also allow time to truly explore the Show floor and see the vast array of products being offered by displaying manufacturers. The Show is a great opportunity to network with fellow professionals in the arts and crafts industry – so also make time to take advantage of the different networking events offered.

What do you love most about the creative industry?

I love the endless creativity that those involved in the industry share with the world. Creative people think differently – we think outside the box.  We enjoy expressing our feelings and emotions through art, and many of us thrive on the opportunity to expand our own artistic knowledge, and share our creative ideas with others via teaching.  The CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show is the perfect way for us to achieve both those goals!

Where do you see the creative industry in five years?

The creative industry will continue to thrive. In my “perfect world” there would be a return of creative style programming to television so that the many options of “crafting” can be explored and discovered by new emerging artists of all ages. The Internet continues to be a great source for inspiration and education, so online opportunities for expanding creativity should also continue to thrive. The benefits of creativity go far beyond making pretty things to beautify the world; it can be therapeutic, can be a career, or can just be something that brings people together.

What do you love most about CHA membership?

Membership offers participating manufacturers and individuals a way to reach a broad audience of buyers, retailers, and creative professionals of all levels with which to share their product lines. The events and educational opportunities offer a wealth of networking options not found elsewhere.

Register to take “At the Beach” Mixed-Media Canvas and our other CHA MEGA Conference programs before they sell out! Stay tuned on the CHA blog next Wednesday when we will meet Marilyn Gossett!

Hot Product Showcase Success Story – Beadalon

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logoThe Hot Product Showcase at the CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show recognizes outstanding innovation, design and function in consumer craft products. In addition to getting eyed by thousands of buyers, these products are judged by a panel of media, celebrity and industry judges for a chance to earn the prestigious title of the Hot Product Award winner. The panel critiques products submitted in each of eight categories (Bead & Jewelry, Cake & Food Decorating, Fabric & Needle Craft, Floral Craft, General Craft, Kids Craft, Paint & Art, and Paper Craft), and ultimately selects the Hot Product Award winners from each.

So, how does being a Hot Product Award winner make your product hot? Here’s what Yvette Rodriguez, Event Manager & Marketing Coordinator at Beadalon, knows. Last year, Artistic Wire™ 3D Bracelet Jig by Beadalon won the 2015 Hot Product Award for Bead & Jewelry.

IMG_4044“It was a perfect opportunity to have a formal presentation to an influential group in the craft industry. Our company’s goal is to bring innovative products and beading supplies for the DIY jewelry making market in the craft industry, and having the one-on-one time was more valuable than just presenting it in our booth (which can sometimes be overlooked).

‘Hot Product’ is a honorable title to hold! It is a ‘badge’ that we proudly showed off to our wholesale customers and consumers, which helped with communicating that our new product was worth considering.

This program is a great platform where companies can present their innovative products to the industry.”

Submit your new craft product or prototype to the 2016 Hot Product Showcase by November 16 for a chance to be the next Artistic Wire™ 3D Bracelet Jig”. Stay tuned next week for more success stories from our Hot Product Award winners.

ENTER NOW!

Last Chance for Early Bird Hotel Specials at MEGA Show

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Don’t get spooked, but tomorrow is the last day you can take advantage of great early bird hotel rates* if you book with these hotels in CHA’s housing block. And since tomorrow’s Saturday, we highly recommend you book today.

hotel-travel

Hotel Rate
Stanford Inn & Suites $90 single/double
Clarion Hotel Anaheim Resort $99 single/double
Desert Palms Hotel & Suites $102 single/double
The Anabella Hotel $119 single/double
Hotel Indigo Anaheim $119 single/double
Embassy Suites Anaheim South $124 single/double
Hyatt Place at Anaheim $130 single/double

Book your hotel right here!

Be sure to add your hotel rewards number when booking to receive points for your loyalty program.

If you don’t see your preferred hotel available after searching for the dates you need, please contact onPeak at (855) 992-3353, Monday – Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. EST or email CHA@onpeak.com.

onPeak is the ONLY official housing company partnered with CHA. Beware of other hotel resellers contacting you soliciting Anaheim hotel room reservations; they are not endorsed by or affiliated with CHA. onPeak is the ONLY housing company that can guarantee your reservation and CHA’s guaranteed low rates. CHA advises all participants not to book through these other companies and to contact us if someone approaches you. Please email awilliams@craftandhobby.org if you are solicited by someone other than onPeak, LLC.

*RATES DO NOT INCLUDE TAXES AND/OR ANY OTHER APPLICABLE HOTEL FEES. PARKING FEES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE.

Cheers to 75 Years: Celebrating Linda Swingle

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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.

lindaswingleAs an entrepreneur and professional artist, Linda enjoys a professional journey filled with unlimited possibilities while working with the finest clientele and companies spanning the globe. She is the President of Linda Swingle Professional Art Services, and also serves as Editor and Columnist of the CHA Designer Section Trends Report.

How long have you been a CHA Member?

I first became a CHA Member in 2006 and continued with the membership until 2008. Life presented different plans in 2009, but in 2010 I renewed membership. Renewing my membership was the best move I made for multiple reasons. My journey with CHA continues to be an enjoyable one!

What’s the best thing about being a CHA Member?

As a CHA Designer Member, I enjoy close ties with designers, manufacturers, artisans and craft enthusiasts: all whom I consider my circle of creative homies! Volunteering and serving on CHA Committees provide tremendous opportunities for personal growth and development, in addition to benefits gained through business association. Serving as the Lead and Editor of the CHA Designer Section Trends Committee’s Trends Report brings tremendous joy to my creative soul. Combining a passion for art, writing, and a love for people is a remarkable experience, and it all started through volunteering as a contributing reporter back in 2013. Five years ago, I truly had no idea of the possibilities compared to what I now know.

LSPhoto20122Why do you love attending the CHA MEGA Show?

Oh my goodness! I can revert to fun times experienced during childhood while messing around with art and craft supplies – except this time, without being yelled at! Seriously, where else can one have so much fun? Playing with new products during the CHA MEGA Show beats playing at Disneyland any day of the week! I like to refer to the CHA MEGA Show as the “Cathedral of Creativity” . . . the inner sanctum of endless possibilities if you will!

What is your most memorable CHA Show story?

Honestly, singling out a favorite is a bit difficult due to the treasure trove of fond memories collected thanks to CHA. I would say exhibiting for the first time as a new CHA Designer Member in 2011 and participating in the Designer Showcase was an extremely enjoyable experience. The first Show opened doors as well as opened my eyes to the tremendous opportunities ahead! A funny story relating to a particular make-n-take always makes me chuckle. While participating during a quick painting class held on the Show floor, as I sat and applied techniques taught, the owner of the company, a kindly gentleman, leaned over and asked if I had ever enrolled in painting classes prior to that day. Sheepishly, I stated that I had not. He quickly commented how impressed he was by the natural talent possessed. After completing a quick painted rendition of a snow-capped mountain, the man took me aside to encourage me to pursue training as a painter and asked that I stay in touch with him. At that point, it was impossible to hold back a giggle as I handed him my business card with images of murals painted professionally for commercial installations. That day, we both enjoyed a good laugh, and yes, despite the teasing, the kind man and I remain friends!

Join Linda in the seminar, CRAFTING TRENDS: What’s In and Hot For 2016 & Beyond, at the 2016 CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show to have FUN and celebrate the latest craft industry products and innovations.

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.

Celebrating 75 Years of Creativity with Fiskars

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CHA 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.

Fiskars revolutionized scissors with the launch of the world’s first plastic-handled scissors in 1967. The now-iconic Original Orange-Handled Scissors improved ergonomics and provided a high-quality option at an affordable price, making the everyday tool more easily accessible for everyone.

fiskars

Join us and Fiskars in booth 2745 in Anaheim for the 2016 CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show to celebrate the latest craft industry products and innovations.

Read Fiskars’s full story.

“Meet the Instructor” Blog Series: Donna Salazar

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

This week, we meet Donna Salazar! Take on Donna’s Workshop with Scrapbook Adhesives by 3L®, Girlie Grunge Mixed Media Canvas, and create an amazing mixed media canvas masterpiece. You’ll explore new techniques using new products in adhesives and discover Donna’s signature “Girlie Grunge” look.

Watch this video to get more information about Donna’s Workshop and her favorite part of the CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show!

donna salazar

Register to take Girlie Grunge Mixed Media Canvas and our other CHA MEGA Conference programs before they sell out! Stay tuned on the CHA blog next week when we meet Wendy Watson!

Sing your way to the CHA MEGA Show: Lip Sync Battle Contest

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Submit your lip sync video of the official CHA MEGA Show song by November 30 for your chance to win one fabulous grand prize!

LipSync 810x300How to enter:

Step 1: Watch our lip sync video.

lipsync

Step 2: Download the song.

Step 3: Learn the lyrics.

(T-Rhythm)

Yeah! The CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show

The 75th Anniversary let’s go!

It’s coming up fast,

we’re counting down the days…

The best annual trade show in every way!

So come on down and enjoy the fun,

Celebrate the 75th with everyone!

Swing by the website to learn more…

chamegashow.org!

Step 4: Record a video with just you or a group. Make it fun. Make it crafty. Make it YOURS!

Step 5: Submit your video to marketing@craftandhobby.org.

One lucky winner will receive:

2 x tickets to Disneyland
$100 AMEX gift card

PLUS!
The winning video will be played at the Keynote Presentation at the CHA MEGA Show!

Good luck! We can’t wait to see what you come up with.

Hot Product Showcase Success Story – Sizzix/Ellison

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hotprodsThe Hot Product Showcase at the CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show recognizes outstanding innovation, design and function in consumer craft products. In addition to getting eyed by thousands of buyers, these products are judged by a panel of media, celebrity and industry judges for a chance to earn the prestigious title of the Hot Product Award winner. The panel critiques products submitted in each of eight categories (Bead & Jewelry, Cake & Food Decorating, Fabric & Needle Craft, Floral Craft, General Craft, Kids Craft, Paint & Art, and Paper Craft), and ultimately selects the Hot Product Award winners from each.

SizzixInksheetsSo, how does being a Hot Product Award winner make your product hot? Here’s what Cara Mariano, Art Director at Sizzix/Ellison, knows. Last year, Sizzix Inksheets by Sizzix/Ellison won the 2015 Hot Product Award for Paper Crafts.

“We entered the Hot Product Awards because we felt our Sizzix Inksheets complement our entire Sizzix product line and allow consumers to craft creative, inspiring projects.

We’re thrilled to have been recognized for product ingenuity and to have our Inksheets flying off the shelves! Due to growing consumer demand, we are releasing three new colors this fall and will continue to add additional color options.

The Hot Product Awards serves as a great platform for manufacturers to have their product seen by key market people including social media bloggers and major retail chains, which can result in fantastic opportunities!”

Submit your new craft product or prototype to the 2016 Hot Product Showcase by November 16 for a chance to be the next Sizzix Inksheets”. Stay tuned next week for more success stories from our Hot Product Award winners.

ENTER NOW!

Straight from the Bloggers – the Benefits of CHA Blogger Membership

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Bloggers play a critical role in creating awareness in any industry. The craft industry is no exception. That’s one of the main reasons why CHA created a membership for craft bloggers.

CHA Blogger Members receive all of the benefits that come with CHA Membership. How does that aid their businesses? We asked a few bloggers that question. Here’s what they said.

Nancy_Nally_profile1“I advocated strongly for the creation of a new membership category to serve the craft industry’s online publishers. Being a CHA Blogger Member gives me access to the CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show, networking groups, webinars, and information that CHA provides, all of which are important to my ability to succeed. But perhaps even more important is that being a member gives me and other bloggers a voice in the future direction of the Association,
and through that, the future of the craft industry.”
-Nancy Nally, Scrapbook Update

Bettijo B. Hirschi“Being a member of CHA helps keep our blog fresh and exciting. PagingSupermom.com features a lot of kids craft and DIY home décor ideas. We have found that being members of CHA and attending the CHA MEGA Show allows us to develop productive working relationships with our favorite crafting brands and to see the emerging trends in crafts. We also love to be among the first to see and experiment with new products. As crafting innovators, things can seem to get stale quickly and it can sometimes feel hard to come up with something new and creative; we always come away from the CHA Show inspired
and ready to create.”
– Bettijo B. Hirschi, PagingSupermom.com

Niki-Meiners_web“Being a CHA Designer and Blogger has given me the best of both worlds. As technology started to become more prevalent in the craft industry, I knew I needed to be a part of the change. About seven years ago, I started a personal blog and incorporated some of my designer work into it. Manufacturers liked having an extra outlet to showcase their newest products and I liked working with them. As requests for blog posts and creating content for specific companies became the norm, I decided I should build a website; www.365DaysofCrafts.com was my brand. My blog gives me an outlet to demonstrate all facets of my art, as well as my technology, marketing and public relations skills. I actively create projects for manufacturers for both their sites and mine. Plus, I consult several manufacturers on digital public relations and social media management. My involvement in CHA aided with me forming many of these relations. It helped me create 365 Days of Crafts, which has grown to have a very loyal audience who loves crafts and always come back for more.”
– Niki Meiners, www.365DaysofCrafts.com

Join CHA to amplify your voice in the craft industry, and attend the 2016 CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show for free. Join online today!

Celebrating 75 Years of Creativity with Carol Foldvary-Anderson

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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.

caroledited

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I began creating art at a very young age and was recognized early as a creative thinker. My background and first love was drawing and coloring, and later painting. I also enjoy thinking in 3-D and working in wood, metal and beads, and sculpting with paper! I have had the opportunity to have produced several public works of art in my career. I enjoy teaching and creating things of beauty. I find joy in sharing my experience in working with different mediums with my students in the many classes/workshops I offer.

carolcicleWhat’s the best thing about being a CHA Member?

I believe we are here to grow, share and make a difference in the world and in other peoples’ lives. Being a CHA Designer Member has been my vehicle for creating, sharing, teaching and producing art that sells. I have grown my business and watched designers move forward with their careers. It is rewarding to see their success and to have peers that support you and your efforts of involvement in the industry.

What is your most memorable CHA Show story?

Years ago, I met a CHA Member manufacturer/distributor who noticed my oil pastel works. It was at that time I realized I had something of value to contribute to education and the arts. Over the next few years, I developed a team of arts and craft product co-sponsors and presented OIL PASTEL SMUDGE to the craft and hobby industry.

I see the application of OIL PASTEL SMUDGE fitting into the emerging trend of mixed media – layering different mediums, and in the use on new and different surfaces.

Carol Foldvary-Anderson - collage 2Why do you love attending the CHA MEGA Show? Last year was the first year my 28 year old daughter was able to attend the Conference. I was ecstatic to finally share the experience with her. Her exact words were, “This place is like a craft store on steroids!”

I remember the very first Show I attended – I was on overload. I was so excited to be in a place that wherever you looked you saw all the products and materials you worked with every day. I was excited to be a part of the industry where I could share my work, ideas and art. That’s why I love attending.

Carol Foldvary-Anderson - collage 3

Join us and Carol Foldvary-Anderson in her workshop, Oil Pastel Smudge, in Anaheim for the 2016 CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show to celebrate the latest craft industry products and innovations.

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.

Watch Carol’s video on the OIL PASTEL SMUDGE technique:

CAROLVIDIMAGE