Create Your Summer Bucket List With HotelStorm


Twenty-three days into everyone’s favorite season and we know what you’re thinking – time for a well-deserved vacation!

As the days are longer, the temperatures are warmer, and our attention spans are shorter, summer travel is at the forefront of everyone’s mind. Whether you’re dreaming of soaking up sun on a beachfront resort, or taking an adventure-filled excursion to explore a city’s hidden treasures – you’re in luck! CHA has partnered with HotelStorm to provide exclusive members-only hotel discounts to make booking a summer getaway a lot more affordable. Simply head over to HotelStorm and unlock worldwide hotel deals of up to 55% off other online travel agencies with the CHA member password. Find the password online on the Member Benefits page when you’re logged in to your CHA account. Questions on how to access this benefit? Call the CHA Membership Department at 201-835-1213.

Want to take advantage of the savings, but not sure where to go? Here are HotelStorm’s top three destinations where CHA members should add to their 2016 summer travel bucket list!

1. San Francisco, California

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Haven’t visited the Golden Gate Bridge? Make it happen this summer! San Francisco boasts a lively, diverse culture, many iconic landmarks and some of the most unique real estate in California. Some must-dos include visiting the infamous federal prison on Alcatraz Island; walking through the waterfront, tourist hotspot Fisherman’s Wharf; spending a relaxing afternoon at Golden Gate Park; and hiking at Twin Peaks. Book your next Cali getaway with HotelStorm here!

2. Austin, Texas

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Known as one of the most creative and art-centered cities in the country, Austin is definitely having its moment. If you’re looking for some motivation to get your creative juices flowing, this town should be the next stop on your summer bucket list. Some places to visit include Blanton Museum of Art, iconic 6th Street – the “Live Music Capitol of the World” – and Umlaut Sculpture Garden and Museum. Feeling inspired? Book a room in sunny Austin for your artistic getaway here!

3. Chicago, Illinois

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Voted as one of the top destinations for summer travel in the country, Chicago is a popular spot for people looking to explore everything the ‘Windy City’ has to offer without facing the harsh cold. Some must-dos include catching fireworks at Navy Pier; shopping on the Magnificent Mile of Michigan Avenue; attending a neighborhood summer festival; and visiting the popular Art Institute of Chicago. Make sure to book your next visit to Chicago in the summer here!

31 Days of Crafting: National Craft Month Giveaway


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


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.

Meet the Instructor – Cindi Bisson


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!

Cheers to 75 Years: Celebrating Linda Swingle


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 Carol Foldvary-Anderson


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.

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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.

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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:

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CHA Paper Arts+ Blog Hop – Day 2


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Welcome to Day 2 of the CHA Paper Arts+ Show Blog Hop!

All week we’ll be featuring exhibitors’ products created into projects by CHA Designer Section Members! Follow along to see which products the Designers used and the creations they came up with.

Don’t forget that there will be a “password” at the end of each designer blog post. Make sure you keep track of all of the “passwords.” At the end of the hop you’ll need to use the “passwords” to form a phrase.

The first two people to tweet us @Craftandhobby the correct phrase will win:

  • 1st Prize: $500 toward travel to the Paper Arts+ Show (trade only)
  • 2nd Prize: $25 AMEX gift card

Be sure to follow the #CHAShow hashtag on social media to share in all of the Paper Arts+ Show fun! Also, don’t forget to register for the  Paper Arts+ Show! Registration opens tomorrow, May 20 at 10:00 a.m.

Here are your stops for Day 2:

First Stop:
CLICK HERE to read how CHA Designer Carmen Flores Tanis used product from Paper Arts+ Exhibitor Pink and Main.

Second Stop:
How did CHA Designer Susan M. Brown use product from Paper Arts+ Exhibitor Little B LLC? CLICK HERE to find out!

Third Stop:
CHA Designer, Rita Barakat put together a great project using product from Bo Bunny. CLICK HERE to read about the project and how she created it.

Be sure to join us for more fun tomorrow. For the full schedule, click here.

CHA Paper Arts+ Blog Hop – Day 1


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We “hop” you got plenty of rest over the weekend because it’s time to win some prizes!

That’s right; nobody has a “case of the Mondays” this week because today we’re kicking off the CHA Paper Arts+ Show Blog Hop.

All week we’ll be featuring exhibitors’ products created into projects by CHA Designer Section Members! Follow along to see which products the Designers used and the creations they came up with.

There will be a “password” at the end of each designer blog post. Make sure you keep track of all of the “passwords.” At the end of the hop you’ll need to use the “passwords” to form a phrase.

The first two people to tweet us @Craftandhobby the correct phrase will win:

  • 1st Prize: $500 toward travel to the Paper Arts+ Show (trade only)
  • 2nd Prize: $25 AMEX gift card

Be sure to follow the #CHAShow hashtag on social media to share in all of the Paper Arts+ Show fun! Also, don’t forget to register for the  Paper Arts+ Show! Registration opens this Wednesday, May 20.

Now that we’ve gotten the formalities out of the way, let’s get started!

First Stop:
CLICK HERE to read how CHA Designer Michele Emerson Roberts used product from Paper Arts+ Exhibitor Graphic 45.

Second Stop:
How did CHA Designer Keri Sallee use product from Paper Arts+ Exhibitor Art Impressions? CLICK HERE to find out!

The fun continue tomorrow with:

CHA Designer: Carmen Flores Tanis 
Paper Arts+ Exhibitor: Pink and Main

CHA Designer:  Susan M. Brown
Paper Arts+ Exhibitor: Little B LLC

CHA Designer: Rita Barakat 
Paper Arts+ Exhibitor: Bo Bunny

For the full schedule, click here.

“Meet the Exhibitors” Blog Series: M-D Hobby & Craft


MeetTheExhibitors2The next exhibitor in our “Meet the Exhibitors” series is M-D Hobby & Craft, a recently created line of M-D Building Products. The M-D name is over 90 years old and has its roots in Oklahoma, where it started out of necessity during a dust storm. L.A. Macklanburg built his first form of weatherstrip in order to keep the dust from coming under his front door. He then built a brass-folding hand-crank weatherstrip machine and took his product to the Oklahoma State Fair. Together with H.M. Duncan, his lead salesman, L.A. incorporated Macklanburg-Duncan in July 1920.

MD-HOBBY-CRAFT-LOGOOver the next several decades, the company grew and became popular in the DIY community. Both Home Depot and Lowe’s have stocked M-D products since their inception. Macklanburg-Duncan, later renamed M-D, made a commitment early on to manufacture in the USA. It owns two domestic facilities: one in Oklahoma City, OK and the other in Gainesville, GA.

M-D has become well known for its variety of products, including weatherization, flooring tools, flooring accessories, digital levels and – now with its new line business – craft supplies.

What products are you most excited about featuring at the Paper Arts+ Show?
We are excited to begin distributing the Liquid Nails Brand into the Hobby & Craft Channel.

Why should people stop at your booth?
To check out all of our new products, of course!

Why should buyers come to Paper Arts+?
The Show is a great way for buyers to get a more personal buying experience with multiple vendors. It’s also a great opportunity for them to see new products before the big reveal at the CHA MEGA Show in January.

Beyond your products, how can you bring additional value to the buyer?
M-D Hobby & Craft has its own in-house design team, so we’re able to send buyers custom-made marketing materials for their store!

You can visit M-D Hobby & Craft at the Paper Arts+ Show in booth #401. Registration opens on June 3, 2015. For more information, visit www.craftandhobby.org/paperarts.

“Meet the Exhibitors” Blog Series: Art Impressions


MeetTheExhibitors2Art Impressions is the next exhibitor in our “Meet the Exhibitors” series. Art Impressions is a family-owned business, which opened in 1987. Since starting out primarily selling educational stamps, the company has grown significantly over the past 28 years. Today, Art Impressions is well known in the craft industry for its comical characters, whimsical designs and interactive stamping techniques. What makes the company stand out is its incredible diversity of images, each one created by the company’s sole designer and co-owner, Bonnie Krebs. All of Art Impressions’ products are made in the USA.

Art Impressions LogoWhat products are you most excited about featuring at the Paper Arts+ Show?
We will feature some of our brand new Watercolor releases as well as some new interactive stamping ideas! You won’t want to miss seeing our new Spinners and holiday images.

Why should people stop at your booth?
We love attending CHA shows and spending time with our customers. Whether you order from us or a distributor, we always want to support our stores in any way we can. Stop by for some free stamps, promotional products for your store, demos and make-n-takes!

Why should buyers come to Paper Arts+?
We attended Paper Arts+ in 2014 and loved the experience. Spending quality time with our storeowners is truly invaluable. Events and food breaks were contained to the Show floor, which gave us extra time to mingle. We can’t wait until July to do it all over again!

Beyond your products, how can you bring additional value to the buyer?
Many of our current storeowners know that we love to do whatever it takes to help our independent retailers. At our booth, we love to show off new product and give you the tools to better promote it. Also, you’ll have the opportunity to grab some freebies and promotional products, as well as literature and packets for upcoming wholesale promotions, including our semi-annual Catalog Party. In addition, we will include card samples, posters and window clings when requested with wholesale orders!

You can visit Art Impressions at the Paper Arts+ Show in booth #301. Registration opens on June 3, 2015. For more information, visit www.craftandhobby.org/paperarts.