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

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

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

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

Beadalon® provided wonderful tools and supplies for jewelry making.

Impress Art® sent a great metal stamping kit which included their new hammer designed just for metal stamping.® supplied a goodie basket filled with their fantastic products, which was wrapped beautifully.  They also offered a Tulip® ScreenIt™ to every CHA design section member who attended the summer show.  The designer had to register with® at the show in order to receive the machine.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Andrea Currie, Guest Blogger

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Twitter: #handMAKEMyDay
Lisa’s blog:

Become an official CHA Blog Guest Blogger!

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

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

CHA 2012 Summer Show Recognizes Excellence In The Craft Industry

The 2012 Summer Show hosted 172 exhibiting companies filling 61,028 net square feet of exhibit space. The Show attracted 3,111 attendees representing over 600 buying companies from 43 states and 34 countries. Fifteen percent of Show attendees were internationally based with the greatest number coming from Canada, Brazil, Japan, Mexico and Norway.

Despite the declining numbers in attendance, the smaller Show delivered substantial foot traffic to exhibitors’ booths and valuable product recognition was received through product launches and the Show awards. Show floor activities such as the daily “The Next Iron Crafter Challenge” a fast paced, high-energy crafting competition which challenged audience members to create a mixed media project in under 10 minutes using a mystery product, kept both exhibitors and attendees engaged and created buzz and excitement on the Show floor.

“CHA Summer 2012 was better than expected” says Sonia Viteri, Assistant Product Manager of Tombow, USA.  “With so many opportunities for exposure such as the workshops and the product showcases, and the great number of people visiting our booth, it was definitely worth our time and investment. We look forward participating in the upcoming CHA 2013 Winter Show.”

During the Show, CHA member companies were recognized for their outstanding Trade Show achievements. The following awards were presented:


The Innovations Showcase brings together the newest ideas and most innovative products from exhibiting companies.

  • WINNER – Majestic Elements by Spellbinders
  • HONORABLE MENTION – All Natural Cake Kit for Dogs by K9Cakery

Press kits arejudged based on design, content and creativity.

  • GOLDEN PRESS KIT – Sizzix/Ellison
  • HONORABLE MENTION – Avatrex/Scrapbooking Attitude
  • DESIGNER PRESS KIT – Sara-n-Dipitous Designs by Sara Hodsdon


The CHA Exhibiting with Excellence Award is presented to exhibitors as the gold-standard of exhibiting. Winners were selected by CHA’s Trade Show Consultants, Competitive Edge – an exhibitor education, training and consulting firm. Booths are judged based on: Exhibit Design, Product Merchandising/Demonstrations and Exhibit Staff.

  • NEW EXHIBITOR BOOTH AWARD WINNER – Little Darlings Rubber Stamp

“Congratulations to all of our award recipients, they each represent creativity and innovation and are valuable assets to the industry” said Andrej Suskavcevic, President and CEO, CHA.

Cre8time, the CHA Foundation’s new consumer awareness initiative and industry-wide movement, was announced at the 2012 Summer Show. For more information on Cre8time, watch the video below or contact Keri Cunningham.

For more information on CHA, the recent 2012 Summer Show or the upcoming CHA 2013 Winter Show being held from January 12-15, 2013 in Anaheim, California please visit