Create Your Summer Bucket List With HotelStorm

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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!

Time to Start Being the Change

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By Laura Kelly-Walters

My creative life is a never ending journey and one that causes great joy for me and many others.  I started on this path when I was first pregnant and that baby is now TWENTY.  After 20 years of doing the same things (all things that I love like doodling, painting and making), I decided it was time to keep doing these things but also make a big change.

I love licensing my art and am proud of my relationships and partnerships in the craft industry, including with Sizzix, AdornIt, Tombow, Sculpey and Kunin Group.  With so much growth, I decided that it was time to start sharing my designs in a bigger way and to change the way I thought about social marketing myself and my works.  I have been doing everything on my own for 20 years.  I decided that I was ready to change and be the leader of a team, a design team that is all about me and my mission.  I wanted to create a team that would support these manufacturers through the sharing of my doodles and designs because when it all comes down to it, we are in this together.

I put an application out there and was floored at the crazy huge number of responses.  More than the shock and excitement, I was empowered and honored.  I thought this change would be challenging, but truth is, it has been a blast.  I struggled to choose who to put on the team and wish I could have chosen them all.  It is like I created a big creative party with a team of amazing and talented colleagues who not only support me 100% but also each other.  We are a winning team filled with love, passion and creativity.

I am convinced that my journey starts with me. If I want change, I get to cause it. I guess that is why I love Gandhi’s quote so much…”BE the change you wish to see in the world.”  I accessed my courage and caused change for me and the members of my team.  I am now BEING change and it is awesome sauce.

Meet the inaugural Laura Kelly Design Team and learn how they will be sharing different ways to make Laura Kelly products, designs and doodles part of your life.

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Laura Kelly-Walters
Licensed Doodle Artist/Designer/Project Maker/Mom/Tombow Senior Ambassador
www.laurakellydesigns.com

 

31 Days of Crafting: National Craft Month Giveaway

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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.

The Countdown to the MEGA Show is on!


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The CHA MEGA Show floor will soon be bustling with educational demos and inspiring make-n-takes. The schedules linked below include just some of the amazing opportunities for Show attendees to try new products and learn a few tips and techniques. Bring on the creativity!

Saturday Exhibitors

Sunday Exhibitors

Monday Exhibitors

Tuesday Exhibitors

Designers in Action

Paper Trail Designers

Don’t forget to use the official #CHAShow hashtag on social media to follow and join in the festivities!

Meet the Instructor – Julia Benben


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

Last, but certainly not least, today we meet Julia Benben!

Has your store hopped on the adult coloring bandwagon? Take Julia’s Workshop, Color Therapy – Learn How To Use Chameleon Pens to Drive Sales In The Growing Trend Of Adult Coloring, to learn how Chameleon Pens are great additions to your product line for this growing customer base.

Plus, Julia will lead a second Workshop, Coloring Faces and Hair – Blending Made Easy With Chameleon Pens, where you’ll learn how to master difficult coloring techniques and more about Chameleon Pens’ ability to blend colors.

Keep reading for more about what you will take away from her Workshop.

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Tell us a little bit about yourself.

My name is Julia Benben. I’ve been in the art and craft industry for almost 20 years. I started out as an on-air craft presenter on QVC for toys, home décor and crafts, but quickly fell in love with and got hooked on the craft side of the business.

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

I attended my first Show back in 1999 when it was HIA. I have attended pretty much every year since!

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

The MEGA Block Party! Just kidding J. As much fun as the MEGA Block Party is, I actually love the fact that I get to meet up with all the great creative and like-minded people in the industry, and share new products, ideas and techniques in person! So much of what I do with the folks I work with is over Skype or email. There is no substitute for the personal face-to-face interaction.

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

Workshops are well worth attending for your business. They give you an opportunity to learn new and creative things about craft products and projects. Also, they offer a chance for you to chat about industry trends as well as what is working for your peers! Between seeing new things, finding out what is on trend and connecting with your industry counterparts – and doing it all in one place – they’re very efficient, and fun!

Why should buyers and creative professionals take your workshop?

Buyers need to understand the hands-on experience of the products and projects their customers are buying. This knowledge makes them more capable of troubleshooting, understanding the key benefits and structuring selling to the end user; plus, it gives them ideas on how to cross promote with other products that they currently sell.

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

We really keep a close eye on what is trending by following social media conversations and talking to all our buyers and distributors. This helps us create projects that are timely for what the customer in your store is looking for!

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? 

Get in there and TRY some stuff! Don’t prejudge an item by what others might have said. Experience products for yourself and make your own call on what you like and dislike about items. I hear people chatting in the aisles, “Did you see anything exciting”…“No … not really” – that is their view. I know when I walk around, when I really take the time to look, I find cool, creative and innovative stuff everywhere. You just have to be open to it and take the time to look closely.

What do you love most about the creative industry?

The creativity, innovative ideas, pioneering spirit and dedication of the people involved.

Where do you see the creative industry in five years?

Chugging along and coming up with new stuff every year. As technology and trends change so does the sort of things people do for crafts and creative outlets.

What do you love most about CHA membership?

Nadine. The staff is great to work with!

Register to take Julia’s Workshops, Coloring Faces and Hair – Blending Made Easy With Chameleon Pens and Color Therapy – Learn How To Use Chameleon Pens to Drive Sales In The Growing Trend Of Adult Coloring, and our other CHA MEGA Conference programs before they sell out!

Thanks for tuning in for our Meet the Instructor blog series! Click here to read all of the blog posts in this series.

You can win $650 in the “See You at CHA” Blog Hop!


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Are you ready for the biggest, most epic blog hop ever? Nearly 60 CHA members from around the world are coming together to help us celebrate the CHA MEGA Show’s 75th anniversary for a whole week – Monday, December 7 through Friday, December 11.

Each blogger will highlight something special about the upcoming CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show. It could be a sneak peek of their new products being released, details about their workshops and make-n-takes, an inspiring project tutorial, or what they are most excited about doing and seeing at the Show.

You’ll have plenty of chances to enter to win our $650 Visa gift card each day of the hop, on any of the participating blogs. Everyone is eligible to win, whether you’re in the U.S. or international.

Here is the master schedule of bloggers. Happy hopping all week long!

Monday, December 7

Buttons Galore

DecoArt, Inc.

Eileen Hull LLC

Finders Keepers

Lorrie McCullers

Roberta Birnbaum

Santana Designs

Scrapbook Adhesives by 3L

Scrapsome!Scrapsome!

Seth Apter

Spellbinders Paper Arts

Technique Tuesday

Teri Anderson

 

Tuesday, December 8

Anita Scroggins

Beth Watson Design Studio

Carol Heppner LLC

Debbie Cole Designs

Einat Kessler

John Bead

PaperCrafter’s Corner

Stamps And Scrapbooks

Therm O Web

Fabric Editions

 

Wednesday, December 9

Charity Wings

Fairfield Processing

Jennifer Davey

Linda Ledbetter

Lisa Liza Lou Designs

Marjolaine Walker

Scrapbook Update

I Love Resin

SMBdesign

Stampendous

The Buckle Boutique

 

Thursday, December 10

ComposiMold

Deflecto

Julie McGuffee

Marilyn Gossett Designs

Marjie Kemper Designs

Rita Barakat Designs

The Creative Makery

The Digiscrap Geek Podcast

Tammy Tuterow

 

Friday, December 11

Annmakes

Crafty Card Gallery

Joe Rotella

EyeConnect Crafts

Laura Bray Designs

Lindsay Obermeyer LLC

Mothership Scrapbook Gal

Paper House

Craft Critique

Terry Ricioli

varyCarol Arts

 

 

 

 

Meet the Instructor – Marjie Kemper


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 Marjie Kemper of Marjie Kemper Designs, LLC!

Interested in mixed media? Marjie’s Workshop, ‘Live Creatively’ Mixed Media Canvas, is for you! Register for it to create a custom piece of wall art using paint, ink, paste, stamps, stencils, and more that you can display in your store.

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Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’m a mixed media artist, workshop instructor, and craft blogger from New York. Back in 1999 I started out as a scrapbooker and since have worked my way through all sorts of paper crafts, stamping, collage, painting, art journaling and mixed media.

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

This will be my third year attending as a Designer Member of CHA.

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

Networking! It is so great to meet people in person who you’ve developed relationships with online over the years. There are loads of opportunities to get together both formally and informally at the CHA MEGA Show.

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

The workshops can be quite fast paced as instructors want to share a whole lot of ideas and inspiration in just a few hours. I recommend getting there early to get settled so you are ready to roll the minute the class begins.

Why should buyers and creative professionals take your workshop?

Mixed media and stencils are so hot right now, and customers want to learn how to play with all the new products. I’ll be teaching a fun project using DecoArt’s Media paints and mediums on a Claybord™ panel that is rich in texture and color. We’ll also be stamping and stenciling. It’s sure to be a hit for sales of paint, paste, stamps, stencils and embellishments.

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

In addition to the mixed media focus of my project, empowering sentiments are quite popular and the ‘live creatively’ sentiment will appeal to store owners and shoppers alike. Notice the ‘dream’ sentiment on my metal key earring as well. The addition of metal and the surprise word are sure to make you smile.

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?

My best advice is to plan ahead, make appointments well before you leave home, and (most importantly!) try to stick to your plan on-site. The days will fly by and you’ll need to stay focused on your main goals. Now’s the time to make lists of the things that are most important to you about attending the Show, because the holidays will come before we know it and you probably won’t have a lot of planning time in late December.

What do you love most about the creative industry?

I’m a believer in the saying that ‘a rising tide lifts all boats’, and it’s been my experience in the creative industry that most artists feel the same way. Mentoring someone and even sharing what’s worked (or not worked) for you in an online forum is a great way of lifting all the boats.

Where do you see the creative industry in five years?

I see a rise in handmade home décor art in the future, and I wonder what the ‘hot new thing’ will be. Many things that are trending now were popular 10-15 years ago (for example, hand lettering, doodling, etc.), so perhaps we’ll see a comeback of something we’ve all put on the back shelf.

What do you love most about CHA membership?

The networking and relationship building with other members is a huge benefit of CHA membership. I also really enjoy and learn a lot by attending the business sessions at the MEGA Show.

Register to take ‘Live Creatively’ Mixed Media Canvas and our other CHA MEGA Conference programs before they sell out! Stay tuned on the CHA blog next week when we will meet Sharyn Sowell!

Meet the Instructor – Marilyn Gossett


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.

marilynThis week, we meet Marilyn Gossett! In the spirit of the Show’s 75th Anniversary, Marilyn will help you create amazing event signage using a variety of mixed media along with Deflecto message holders and frames. Sign up for her Workshop, “Create | Display | Enjoy™” with Deflecto, to experience this fun filled session complete with cupcakes and inspirational ideas to use for any celebration!

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I am Marilyn Gossett. I have worked in the craft industry for 25 years as a freelance designer, product developer, consultant and teacher. I am a wife, mom and guardian of two fur babies.

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

23 years off and on. I joined as a CHA Designer the first year that CHA opened up the category for membership.

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

My favorite part is seeing all of the new products and designs. It is inspiring and overwhelming all at the same time. Almost equal to that is seeing old friends and catching up!

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

It is an exciting opportunity to get hands-on knowledge of the product and a fun time; Plus, they will have a finished sample to take back to their store or business!

Why should buyers and creative professionals take your workshop?

Deflecto is new to the craft industry, but has been around as a worldwide office supplier/manufacturer for many years. We provide innovative storage products and craft surfaces to showcase any medium and support all craft supplies. We are planning new products all of the time. It is great to have access to new surfaces to be creative with.

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

Deflecto has product appeal to many different genres of art: photography, paper crafting, and general crafts; and, who in this industry doesn’t need innovative storage solutions, surfaces and displays?

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?

Pack a pad and pencil for taking notes; attend some workshop, and visit all of the make-n-takes for business education and fun!

What do you love most about the creative industry?

New products, kindred spirits and lots of fun!

Where do you see the creative industry in five years?

I see a resurgence of grassroots companies starting up in the United States. People are looking for less clutter, more useful and repurposed items. Paper crafting will take on a new edge with the introduction of 3D printers. People are always looking for faster and easier ways to create something they love; handmade gifts, memory keeping, and home décor all seem to be trending with a down-home appeal and return to simpler days. Burlap will be around for a while. Parties will never go out of style!

What do you love most about CHA membership?

One word – ACCESS!

Register to take “Create | Display | Enjoy™” with Deflecto and our other CHA MEGA Conference programs before they sell out! Stay tuned on the CHA blog this Friday when we will meet Yana Smakula!

 

Cheers to 75 Years – Celebrating Scott Remmers


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.scottremmers

In 2002, Scott Remmers and his wife Wendy opened Brea Bead Works in Southern California to offer a broad selection of quality gemstones, crystals, handmade glass beads, and other beads to crafters. In addition to selling beads, the team educates and inspires customers through offering jewelry making workshops. Brea Bead Works has been recognized by Bead Style magazine as one of the best bead stores. More recently, Scott and Wendy helped to establish the CHA North America Bead Association (NABA) Section. He has been the leader of NABA since it was founded in 2013, and is an advocate of bringing bead industry professionals together.

How long have you been a CHA Member?

My wife Wendy and I have been CHA Members for 10 years.

What’s the best thing about being a CHA Member?_67a9590

The best thing about being a CHA Member is learning and being inspired by others in and out of the bead industry. Seeing what others in the craft industry are doing creatively is just amazing! Gathering with members at various CHA events just makes us want to do better in our store as creative and business professionals.

A few years ago, a group of brick-n-mortar retailers, vendors, and designers joined together as the CHA North America Bead Association (NABA) Section. NABA was started to get a conversation going between all the parties on what could be done to better the industry, whether that be through consumer awareness, B2B relations, or something else. While the Section has had some growing pains (what group doesn’t?), it has been able to move forward with the support of CHA. We encourage any bead retailer, vendor or designer to join the Section to share their ideas and make their industry stronger.

Why do you love attending the CHA MEGA Show?

I love interacting with everyone! You can’t get that when talking on the phone or through an email. It is vital to everyone, especially a store owner, to invent in taking a class, learning something new, or enrolling in a seminar to listen how to make his/her business better. There is always something to take away from a seminar to better your business.

What is your most memorable CHA Show story?

It’s embarrassing. Two years ago at the Show, everyone recognized Wendy and me from the photo on the front cover of CHA’s Craft Industry Today magazine. We had a story in there about our store, and the start up of the NABA. We would be at vendor booths, walking the Show floor, or whatever and people would just blurt out, “I saw your picture!” It was fun and brought up great conversation!

Join Scott and Wendy 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.

Community Events Engage


by Ruth Garcia, CHA SoCal Chapter President, Curacao

Social media is a great tool for engaging the community and the content of your posts are the ones that keep your organization going. At our CHA Southern California (SoCal) CHA Facebook page, the participation is definitely there when we post pictures of our activities.

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The event around the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles and Orange County increased our reach to current members and brought us new members. The more interesting content we share, the more we can involve our members and evolve our chapter. Check out our recent Facebook page activity in these charts:

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