Meet the Instructor – Cindi Bisson

Featured


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

Featured


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

Featured


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

CHA Paper Arts+ Blog Hop – Day 2


PA+BlogHop1000x288

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


PA+BlogHop1000x288

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.

Online Education at Your Fingertips


EducationHomePageBanner.noclickhere

The Craft & Hobby Association has a new focus on its education offerings this year. That focus is on your success, by whatever means necessary. We’re going to be providing you with different formats to easily access the can’t-miss education you’ve come to expect from CHA, without ever having to leave the comfort of your home or even your business. All you need is a computer and internet connection.

Here’s what’s available today

eCourses
craftandhobby.org/ecourse
Deep-dive online courses that are set up in a series of one-hour sessions where you will have the option of learning live, or at your own pace, through recorded sessions. eCourses are an easy and efficient way to expand your business knowledge throughout the year. Programs include the following:

Recorded Seminars
craftandhobby.org/recordedseminars
Did you miss any seminars at the CHA 2015 MEGA Show? Here’s your chance to catch up!

Webinars 24/7
craftandhobby.org/webinars
Education at your fingertips! Join our 60-minute educational power-hour webinars conveniently scheduled, recorded, and archived for your access anywhere, anytime of the year.

Thought Leaders
craftandhobby.org/thoughtleaders
Each quarter, interviews will be conducted with top business leaders from within and outside of the craft industry. These thought leaders will answer your questions in addition to providing advice and insights through a web-streamed interview. Here’s the schedule:

ThoughtLeaders


Coming soon in 2015

Online Workshops
craftandhobby.org/onlineworkshops
An exciting new opportunity to learn projects and skills at your convenience, CHA’s online workshops are video craft classes filled with creative inspiration and art instruction. You’ll learn a variety of techniques that you’ll be able to implement immediately in your store or business.

If you are a designer or supplier member of CHA and you are interested in presenting an online workshop, or are an instructor interested in teaching an eCourse, please contact education@craftandhobby.org.

CHA remains committed to providing our members valuable education to keep your businesses ahead of the competition. For more information visit www.craftandhobby.org.

“Meet the Exhibitors” Blog Series: Meet Stampendous


MeetTheExhibitors2CHA is returning to the Chicago area for the Paper Arts+ Show, July 21-23, 2015 at the Renaissance Schaumburg Hotel & Convention Center. Once again, the Show will host exhibits featuring the industry’s leading manufacturers. We will highlight this year’s exhibiting companies in a blog series called, “Meet the Exhibitors”.

Over the next several weeks, we will introduce you to some of our Paper Arts+ Show exhibitors so you can learn more about the companies, products and what you can expect to see at the Show.

The first exhibitor in our series is Stampendous.

Stampendous has been in business for over three decades under the sole ownership of Fran Seiford, CEO & Chief Artistic Stampendous_Logo_450X350Officer. Fran’s first investment in the craft industry was a $25 order of custom rubber stamps made from her own illustrations. Soon her investment developed into a wide range of craft tools and products to help others in their creative expression.

Today, Stampendous is the manufacturer of products including Fran•táge Embossing Enamels, Essential Elements, Wood Mounted Rubber Stamps, Perfectly Clear™ Stamps, Cling Rubber™ Stamps, Class A’Peel™ Stickers, Stack Art, Creative Palette, Glitzy Glitter, PEARLustre™ Embossing Powder, Fuzzy Fun Flock™, and Stuftainers™, 86 percent of which are manufactured in its facility in Anaheim, CA. In January 2015, Stampendous purchased Dreamweaver Stencils, a line of stainless steel stencils along with Embossing Paste and Tools. Stampendous’ licenses include House-Mouse®, Nathalie Kalbach and Andy Skinner.

What products are you most excited about featuring at the Paper Arts+ Show? 
A new line of Halloween, Fall, Christmas and Winter Stamps, Dies and Stencils, with traditional, whimsical, inspirational and nostalgic designs. We’re also excited about our new Holiday House-Mouse® designs and Board of the Month programs and surprises!

Why should people stop at your booth?
We will feature amazing models by our talented design team to inspire how to use all of the new products. Attendees will learn new techniques as we demo in two areas using our new designs in Stamps, Dies and Stencils.

Why should buyers come to Paper Arts+?
Fourth quarter sales are the most important time for any retail store. Buyers must entice consumers to make their store their holiday shopping destination. Buyers should not miss the opportunity to see the very latest in what creative new products are being introduced at Paper Arts+ to lure shoppers into their stores.

Beyond your products, how can you bring additional value to the buyer?
Stampendous is teaching a workshop and providing two demos every day, all day, in our booth. Also, we also cross merchandise our product with other manufacturers’ products that will be exhibiting. Our stamp line and accessories are not just for paper crafting, but enjoyed for jewelry making, painting on canvas, wood and fabric, clay designs and all types of mixed media.

You can visit Stampendous at the Paper Arts+ Show in booth #402. Registration opens on June 3, 2015. For more information, visit www.craftandhobby.org/paperarts.

Thoughts of a day job survivor


By Durga Walker

DayJob

A day job is not a chosen profession or career. A day job is something you do to earn money because you can’t survive doing what you really want to do. There’s nothing inherently evil about day jobs, although we do tend to blame them for everything. But the truth is that they can be enormous pains in the behind and enormously depressing, if we let them.

— From the introduction to The Day Job Survival Kit

Day jobs come in all shapes and sizes. Creative people have been grappling with them for centuries. Whether you’re building a business or working for it, even in an industry you love, like this one, earning income away from your art is a day job. And day jobs make us cranky.

But there’s another side to this. As a creative person, you bring a lot to the table. Your artistry has taught you the skill of vivid visualization. It’s taught you to act fearlessly on a wild idea, and to live with great uncertainty while you wait for the outcome.

This is a very short list of what lifestyle teachers call success skills, and people pay a lot of money to learn them. Yet they are the very skills that artists and craftspeople use every day to make art and build creative businesses. For folks already active in the artistic world, these principles are low-hanging fruit.

I’m a case in point. Artist, writer, crafter, day-jobber—you name it, I’ve struggled through it. When I started studying the so-called success principles, I recognized them as the tools I’d been using for years to weave, paint, write, and generally make beautiful things.

I wrote The Day Job Survival Kit to explore these very helpful ideas, but specifically for creative people. Beyond looking at the creative process and goal setting, I’m also curious about what’s at the core of discipline, how we act with intention to bring things about, how we can create time to create, and how we can use our day jobs as fodder for our artistic mills. I also look at the great bugaboos of not enough space or time, and I even give a passing glance to the dreaded Money Monster.

The ideas in this book are not new, and they’re not original to me, which is why I can tell you how wonderfully effective they are. I wrote this book in this way because I believe that creative people already have the skills to create better lives. We just need to look at it in the right way.

While I can’t promise you the moon and the stars, I can promise that if you unlock the potential of the creative process you’re already using and apply it to the rest of your life, everything will change.

The Day Job Survival Kitpublished by Archangel Ink, is launching on Amazon on March 25th, in Kindle and paperback.

durgaDurga Walker is living proof that day jobs need not stand in the way of creative dreams. She currently lives in Missouri, where by day she’s a reporter on a small-town newspaper. By night and weekend, she writes, paints, and builds a creative freelance and craft business. Durga has an M.A. in communication arts and training in creativity coaching.