Post-Show Seminar Throwback Series: SEO & Blogging


As we head into the summer, we’re doing one, final throwback to the education you received at the 2016 CHA Conference & Trade Show in Anaheim in January.

Over the past several weeks, we’ve been featuring your favorite seminar speakers to remind you of the knowledge you learned and why it is important for your creative business.

This week, our final throwback is Ann Butler’s and Theresa Cifali’s seminar: SEO & Blogging – What the Heck is Google Looking For? Watch their recap video here and get a refresh on seven of the key indicators that influence your business’s post rank in Google’s algorithm.

Post-Show Seminar Throwback Series: Improving Your Social Media Strategy


So, you attended our Conference Program at the 2016 CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show in Anaheim earlier this year. You absorbed a ton of information on everything from basic blogging and social media to legal and finance management.

Over the next several weeks, we’ll be featuring your favorite seminar speakers to remind you of the knowledge you learned and why it is important for your creative business.

This week we’re doing a throwback to Amberly Dressler’s seminar: Improving Your Social Media Strategy.

Watch Amberly recap her seminar to learn how to improve your ROI on utilizing social media.

31 Days of Crafting: National Craft Month Giveaway

Featured


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.

2016 CHA MEGA Show Recap Told By Our Attendees


It’s hard to believe that the 2016 CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show was already over a month ago! Thousands of you, CHA members, creative product buyers, distributors, bloggers, designers and creative professionals joined us at the Anaheim Convention Center to take advantage of live, high-quality education workshops and seminars, and to see 12,000 new products from 370 exhibitors, representing 67 countries.

We could go on and on about how amazing the Show was, but we decided it would be more fun to share your experiences. Here are some of the videos, pictures and recaps we’ve seen online!

Hot Trends
Blitsy Crafts sought out the hottest trends for 2016. Watch this video to see the top five hot trends that the Blitsy team discovered on the Show floor.

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New, New, New
Watch these new product demo videos from PaperCrafter’s Corner, including a demo of the 2016 Hot Product Award winner for the Bead & Jewelry category, the Bangle Bracelet Weaver Tool by Beadalon.

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The People
Without the creative people in our industry, there wouldn’t be a Show! Here’s a great visual blog recap by Nancy Nally of Scrapbook Update, who visited some of her favorite people on the Show floor.

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Best Booth Displays
Jenny Barnett Rohrs of Craft Test Dummies paid a visit to the booth of the 2016 Critics’ Choice Booth Award winner, Lion Brand Yarn. Watch her interview with London Kaye, the artist behind the crocheted display! Jenny also got a personal tour of Plaid’s booth, which won the 75th Anniversary Booth Award in spirit of the Show’s 75th year.

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More Pictures!
Check out our official Show photo album on Facebook to relive the Show from start to finish.

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Top Tweets

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Want more details? Read our press release for a full recap of this year’s Show.

Visit chamegashow.org for the latest announcements about exhibiting at or attending our 2017 CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show, January 19-23* at the Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix, AZ.

*Education starts January 19, 2017. The Trade Show starts January 21, 2017.

The Countdown to the MEGA Show is on!


CHA MEGA Show

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!

Celebrating 75 Years of Creativity with Fairfield Processing


 

FAIRFIELDNAMETAGCHA 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.

The Poly-Fil® brand Fiberfill is a staple product in the craft industry. Did you know it has ties back to hats?

In its early days as a company, Fairfield Processing manufactured natural fibers that were used to make hats and other apparel. When Sam Young, the company’s founder, noticed John F. Kennedy did not wear a hat during his inauguration, he sensed a culture change and sought new opportunities for his business. Sam learned some of the locals in Danbury, Connecticut were using the then new invention of polyester to stuff the toys that they handmade. Ever since, Fairfield Processing produces Poly-Fil® brand Fiberfill and other products to serve all facets of the fabrics industry, including general crafts, quilting and home décor.

Join us and Fairfield Processing in booth 1427 in Anaheim for the 2016 CHA MEGA Conference & Trade Show to celebrate the latest craft industry products and innovations.

Read Fairfield Processing’s full story.

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.

CRE8TIME Do-It-Yourself


By Marjolaine Walker

Created Canvas

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Hello CHA friends! My name is Marjolaine Walker and today I have a quick tutorial using one of my new layering stencil sets that will be coming out soon. This is an easy project where you can quickly create a beautiful gift to give to a new mom to decorate her nursery. I hope you will give it a try!

Supplies:

Watercolor paper

Blending tool: Ranger

Sponge

Painter’s tape

Distress Ink: Ranger Ink

Ink: Tsukineko CO.

Created Layering Stencil Set: Twelve Stones Scrapbooking

Black cardstock: Bazzill

Adhesive: X-Press It Double Sided Tape

step1

Step One: Use painter’s tape* to tape down the first stencil over a 5”x8” piece of watercolor paper. Use a blending tool or sponge to apply the ink to the open area of the stencil. For more detail you can blend two inks together. Remove the stencil once complete.

*The painter’s tape helps to keep the stencil steady and does not tear the paper when removed.

step2

Step Two: Repeat step one with the second stencil to add the words. Make sure that the stencil is lined up properly to fit the words inside the silhouette. Use a contrasting color to make the words more visible. Remove the stencil when you are done.

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Step Three: Use the blending tool or sponge to apply ink around the silhouette, leaving a bit of white space around it to create a light effect. Repeat this step again with a different color of ink, blending both inks together.

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Step Four: With a brown ink and the blending tool or sponge, add shading around the piece of watercolor paper to frame the artwork.

Step Five: Adhere the finished piece of art to a black piece of cardstock.

Step Six: Repeat step one through six with the other two sets of words.

Step Seven: Adhere all three finished pieces inside a frame.

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Meet the instructor – Tammy Tutterow


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 Tammy Tutterow of Tammy Tutterow Designs!

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All buyers are invited to register for Tammy’s workshop, Made From Scratch Mini Album, to learn how to make a fun mixed media mini album, using fabric and chipboard, with interactive page elements and pockets, using pocket inserts and ephemera! Register for her workshop before online registration closes on January 3, 2016 at 5:00 p.m. EST!

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I live in southern Illinois just outside of St. Louis, MO. I live in a little yellow 1923 bungalow with my husband, who is a police officer, our daughter Emma, and our Boston Terrier Cracker Jack. I love to garden, and shop for antiques and vintage treasures.

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

I think I have been participating for about 10 years! I have attended in so many capacities, too! I have been as a small online store owner, a teacher, an employee of an exhibiting manufacturer, and now as a product designer!

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

I love to walk the Show and see all of the new products! As a creative person, it feels like Christmas time seeing so many things I want to have and create with. I also love working in a booth and visiting with store owners from around the world. It is so amazing hearing about what is working in their stores, and what types of creative projects and classes their customers are enjoying.

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

Workshops at the CHA MEGA Show are such a great opportunity to learn from manufacturers and experienced educators. It is the perfect opportunity to get products in your hands to try them before committing to buying them. You get to learn tips and marketing ideas. Also, it is a chance for store owners to get to be the student and create, something they don’t get to do often while running their stores.

Why should buyers and creative professionals take your workshop?

As an instructor, I always try to present a creative project that incorporates techniques. I love to give people “tools” that they can use again in other projects. For me it isn’t about copying a sample project, it’s about learning new things.

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?

Bring comfy shoes! You are going to be on your feet a lot and you don’t want your feet to give out on you. I bring a different pair for each day of the Show. I choose comfort over fashion so that I can keep going all day long!

What do you love most about the creative industry?

I love the feeling of community. I travel and teach. With each store I visit I hear customers share how much of a social hub their local store has become for them. I love that the people in our industry can come together, share their common interests in creating, and form long lasting friendships.

Where do you see the creative industry in five years?

More and more, I see people just creating and shedding labels. They aren’t just card makers or scrapbookers; they are branching out and trying new mediums and new surfaces. I hope that people will continue to experiment and be willing to grow in their creativity.

Register to take Made From Scratch Mini Album and our other CHA MEGA Conference programs before they sell out! Stay tuned on the CHA blog next week when we will meet Julia Benben of Chameleon Pens.

 

Meet the Instructor – Sharon Sowell


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 Sizzix Designer Sharyn Sowell!

sowell

Take her workshop, Sizzix Designer Showcase, to get a first, fun look at the newest products from Sharyn and her fellow Sizzix Designers Tim Holtz, Jen Long and Lori Whitlock! Plus, you’ll receive a special FREE V.I.P. swag bag loaded with Sizzix products! Register for her workshop before online registration closes on January 3, 2016 at 5:00 p.m. EST!

 

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

My favorite manicure is ink-stained fingers. When I travel I usually pack two outfits and a suitcase jammed with scissors, sketchbooks, inks, brushes, and a ridiculous number of pencils.

The light in my studio burns into the wee small hours because I forget to notice what time it is. Creativity is so energizing.

I’m thrilled to partner with some of the very best manufacturers to marry my art with their products. When I count my blessings the list is endless.

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

I can’t even remember when I went to my first CHA; it was that long ago! But every year seems better than the one before. Not only have I had the joy of seeing my designs featured on products from the best manufacturers in the industry, but I get to “ooh and aah” over new products all over the Show floor!

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

Best of all is getting to see my art come alive as product! It’s so wonderful to see people enjoying and crafting with what my scissors, brushes and inks began. Wandering the Show floor and getting to explore all the creative goodness in the form of crafting materials is like a shopping trip in the most amazing artsy shop on earth. It’s where I find the tools to fuel and inspire my further creativity as an artist and a designer.

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

Imagine sitting down with your newest group of friends – the most creative and gifted designers in our industry – to laugh, connect and craft together. That’s a live workshop!

I hope you will be attending my workshop because I’d love to meet and share my secret crafting tips with you!

Why should buyers and creative professionals take your workshop?

It’ll be a lot of fun! Yet, the real reason a buyer should attend is – bottom line – it will help you sell more product. I love the joy of crafting together, but the fact is that knowing more about the designer, the way they use the materials in ways that are fresh and different (and the fact that you’re rubbing shoulders with the top artists in the industry), will give you an edge and improve your sales figures.

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

Crafters want to feel like THEY designed the projects, and they want them to look absolutely fantastic. They want every dime they spend to bring more value to their crafting stash. This workshop will show you how to achieve that.

What do you love most about the creative industry?

I love being a maker. This industry offers me the tools I can use to leap in any creative direction I choose. There is a whole world of possibility in something as simple as a bottle of ink or pair of scissors. How could anything be more exciting than that?

Where do you see the creative industry in five years?

I’m not at all certain where this industry will go, but I know for sure that consumers will always be looking for the next wonderful tool to enhance their own individual creative journey. Manufacturers and distributors that offer the tools that appeal to a consumer’s “gotta see what I can do with THAT!” mindset will never lack an audience.

Register to take Sizzix Designer Showcase and our other CHA MEGA Conference programs before they sell out! Stay tuned on the CHA blog later this week when we will meet Tammy Tutterow of Tammy Tutterow Designs.