31 Days of Crafting: DIY Tips & Tricks from Trimcraft

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.

It’s always a crafty month at Trimcraft. Throughout National Craft Month, the team will be inspiring creativity through a variety of fun and exciting craft tutorials. Their schedule for March is an exciting one, showing crafters everywhere how to DIY with a few tips and tricks on the Trimcraft blog. Not only will they be sharing exciting product previews, but they will show new and innovative ways to celebrate the Easter season by using bunnies and bright colors!


Their goal – encourage crafters everywhere. Their hope – their projects help this love and excitement for crafting last the whole year!

Follow Trimcraft on social media by searching the hashtag #NationalCraftMonth so you can see the new projects they are working on. Plus, you can use the hashtag to share what you are creating!

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.

What you can expect at the CHA Canadian Chapter’s Designer, Educator & Creative Professional (DECP) Retreat

The CHA Canadian Chapter Designers, Educators, Creative Professionals (DECP) Retreat is an annual three-day business, networking and creativity focused hideaway featuring industry leaders in the creative business. The event takes place May 13-15,2016 at the Kempenfelt Conference Centre, Barrie in Innisfil, ON.

Roberta Profile Sept 2015Recently, we caught up with CHA Member Roberta Birnbaum to tell us about her experiences as a previous DECP Retreat attendee and what you can expect as an attendee this year.

How long have you been a CHA Member?
I joined CHA in October, 2013.

Why did you join CHA?
I thought about joining for a few years simply because I was enamored with the MEGA Show and was really envious of people who were able to attend, but I kept putting it off. I finally joined because I wanted to attend the first Designer, Educator & Creative Professional (DECP) Retreat in November of 2013. I really didn’t know much about the organization at that point.

How have you taken advantage of the benefits that CHA offers?
Once I became a member I poured over the CHA website looking to see how I could best take advantage of my membership. I have watched several webinars and requested industry reports — all free! I continue to check out the (growing) number of on-trend, relevant, and helpful webinars, series, and seminars made available. I just signed up for about seven of them! I also regularly use my Staples discount for printed materials. I was thrilled to attend the CHA PaperArts+ Show in Chicago this past summer and I attended the CHA MEGA Show in Anaheim in January – free admission for CHA members.

You attended the CHA Canadian Chapter’s Designer, Educator & Creative
Professional (DECP) Retreat. How was your experience?

DSCN0661Yes I did, and I haven’t looked back! Attending the retreat truly changed my life. I first heard of the retreat through a Facebook post by my friend Carmi Cimicata. It looked like a lot of fun and a great opportunity to meet other creatives and get a LOT of crafting done in one weekend. I was amazed at the quality of the workshops, the variety offered, and the generosity of sponsors. The food is excellent and plentiful. The diversity of participants and presenters creates a buzz of possibility and is also a great equalizer when it comes to our different skill levels. Over the years we have had the following workshops: painting, sewing, encaustic, Powertex, jewelry, resin, textiles, knitting, and mixed media, to name a few. Everyone has to operate outside their comfort zone at some point so it’s not like we’re all experts in every area, and this leads to a wonderful calming, nurturing, and liberating effect, completely removing one’s fear that they’re ‘ no good at this or that’. It allows you to have fun and not fear ‘failure’.

How do the workshops/seminars offered at the retreat help your business?
sat night workshopsThe seminars are full of important and useful information for everyone. Some topics have been boothmanship, understanding technology, and the importance of SEO for your blog or website. The workshops introduced me to many new products and skills, and most are incorporated into my productivity when I get home. I always leave inspired and full of so many new ideas. For me this is the most important aspect of the weekend; that, and the invaluable connections and networking. I have made some excellent contacts and forged working relationships because of it. The networking component has been very successful for me.

Why should people attend this event? Swag 2
I remember first looking at the title of the retreat and thinking, ” ..but is this me? Am I ‘good enough’ to go? Do I even belong at this?” I have come to learn that the term DECP can include every creative soul. So even if you are a craft store owner, or manufacturer, or a craft teacher who teaches in the community, this could be for you because you are a creative professional. Perhaps you are a distributor, or you have a craft line and are looking for qualified designers to work with your product and build a team; this is the perfect venue to introduce your line (either by presenting a workshop or providing product to try). If you want to experience a craft-filled weekend full of fun, education, great food, networking, lots of chocolate, great swag, and wonderful memories, then come to the DECP Retreat. You will arrive with anticipation and leave full of passion and possibility.

Click here to view the DECP schedule and register.

Creative Expression’s Impact on Job Performance

By Andrej Suskavcevic
President and CEO, CHA

Employers are good at providing information, suggestion and incentives for their employees to take care of their physical health. Guidelines on eating right, exercise routines, etc. Insurance companies even offer premium discounts for participation in company sponsored fitness programs or showing that you don’t smoke. What about mental wellness? Crafting and other forms of creative expression are proving to have a major impact on ones recovery from the stress of people’s job and daily life.

A recent study by San Francisco State University organizational psychologist Kevin Eschleman published in the Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology showed that expression also helped improve job performance beyond your traditional forms of recovery. “It can be rare in research to find that what we do in our personal time is related to our behaviors in the workplace, and not just how we feel,” Eschleman said.

If employers can incorporate a mechanism to address mental wellness through creative expression as they do for physical wellness we are looking at a happier and more productive workforce. I would bet we’d see a rise in the degree of innovative output employees are producing as well.

If you’re looking for ideas on creative expression activities for your employees just contact us at the Craft & Hobby Association. We can connect you with right people to help take your employees to the next level.



Kept Creations Mails-In Support of CRE8TIME


Kept Creations, owned by Kim Parkinson in Whitman, MA, recently joined CHA, having only been in business for a few months. Kim heard about the CRE8TIME Movement and the call for support from CHA Members. The message resonated with them on a personal level and they decided they HAD to support in some way!


On May 4th, they held a FREE Mail-Art CRE8TIME Social Event.  The event was hosted by Mandy Fariello, in order to build awareness of Mail-Art and celebrate creativity with CRE8TIME. Mail art (also known as postal art), is visual art pieces sent by mail. Mail-Art can be anything that you send to friends, relatives or even to others that just want to receive art.


During the Mail-Art Social, Mandy had CRE8TIME signage posted around the store and large pieces of paper that participants contributed art to.  The Collaborative Art is what you see acclaimed artist, Catherine Matthews-Scanlon, working on.  As a finishing touch, after the social the participants received a piece of the project in the mail.  What a great reminder to CRE8TIME every day!


Be sure to CRE8TIME on Saturday, June 1st from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm, for an encore of Kept Creations FREE DeNami Designs Make-N-Take CRE8TIME Event at the Kept Creations store.

The address is:
15 South Avenue
(Route 27)
Whitman, MA 02382

For more information about this, and much more, Kept Creations art news, check out their website at: www.KeptCreations.com.

CHA Celebrates Innovation at the 2013 Winter Show

The CHA 2013 Winter Conference & Trade Show drew 3336 buyers and 928 networkers, totaling  4264 attendees; of which 790 were international, joining us from 56 countries including Canada, Japan, Australia, the United Kingdom, Mexico and Germany.


While the temperature was down, the energy was up. Despite the unusual California weather being as low as some 30 degrees, exhibitors and attendees were all in good spirits yielding positive results. For some, this Show was the most successful it’s been in years.


“We’ve been exhibiting at the Winter Show for the entire life of our company – seven years that is – and 2013 was our best Show ever! Our booth was busy literally the whole time. We’ve always seen the Show as – primarily – a way to build brand awareness and network with distribution partners. But this year we worked with a lot of independent retailers and wrote a lot of orders. We did more international business than ever before, picking up new distributors and retailers in Australia, South America, Europe, and Far East.” Sara Davies – Sales Director, Crafters Companion

“This year’s CHA Show was the best in years for us. Not only was it a great forum to see many of our current customers in one place, but it also presented an opportunity to meet new buyers from the international community.”  Ryan Newell – President, Spinrite LP.


“The CHA Conference & Trade Show is the only event on the planet where we can greet hundreds of customers in three days. We cannot imagine choosing not to be there. The 2013 CHA Winter show was our best show ever; the quantity of customers, the quantity of leads and the sales dollars written were all record numbers. The CHA Winter Show was a great start for a new year!” Bobbie Medema – Marketing Director, Notions Marketing

Another key contributing factor to the positive momentum was the launch of the CRE8TIME industry consumer awareness campaign and the new CRE8TIME.org website.  CRE8TIME is a movement funded by the CHA Foundation, designed to encourage creativity by getting participants to pledge 8 hours per month to doing something creative. CRE8TIME.org serves as the hub of the CRE8TIME social movement. It is a community where “CRE8ERS” share their crafts, pledge their hours, get inspired, stay informed and learn how to reclaim 8 hours a month.


“The positive energy from both exhibitors and attendees is very encouraging and speaks volumes to the vibrancy and momentum building for the industry. We look forward to carrying that excitement forward with all the new programs we are launching in 2013.” Andrej SuskavcevicCAE, President and CEO, Craft & Hobby Association.

Every year CHA gives out awards to select exhibitors for outstanding work in product innovation.  Those receiving awards for their products include: Innovative Product Award – Katy Sue Designs/Flower SoftSilicone Molds (www.katysuedesigns.com); Attendee Choice Award – Spellbinders Paper ArtsImperial Gold (www.spellbinderscreativearts.com); and two Honorable Mention Innovative Product Awards – June TailorT-shirt Transformation Ruler Center (www.junetailor.com) and We R Memory KeepersEnvelope Punch Board (http://www.weronthenet.com).

CHA accepts nominations annually from members throughout the industry with the purpose of identifying individuals and companies making significant contributions to humanity, the industry, and the Association. This year Creative Leisure News’ Mike Hartnett was the recipient of the Meritorious Award of Honor. This is the highest award recognition the Craft & Hobby Association can bestow upon an individual past or present member, and is given for significant contributions made to the Association. The Special Recognition Award went to Mari Eriksson and the staff of Fusion Beads, a retail store in Seattle Washington. This award is presented to a person, group and/or company for their extraordinary contribution in an activity showcasing the craft and hobby industry in a positive way.

In 2014 the CHA Winter Conference & Trade Show will return to Anaheim, California January 10-14 to celebrate the 73rd edition of the Show.

Enter to Win $500! CHA 2013 Winter Conference & Trade Show Video Contest

Create a short video (1-4 minutes) promotion for the upcoming CHA 2013 Winter Conference & Trade Show. It’s that easy!

The winning entry will receive a $500 AMEX or VISA Gift Card and their video will be played prior to the General Session at the CHA 2013 Winter Conference & Trade Show in Anaheim, CA.


To participate, visit the Official CHA Facebook Fan Page and click on the CHA 2013 Winter Conference & Trade Show Video Contest Tab

OR – Upload your video to YouTube and send the link to your video to jbaum@craftandhobby.org

You can also mail a DVD of your video in Quicktime or .mp4 or .mpeg file format to Craft & Hobby Association, ATTN: Jason Baum, 319 E. 54th St., Elmwood Park, NJ 07407. Mailed entries must be received no later than October 24, 2012.


Creative Video Format — you can perform interviews within your business, have a store mascot narrate, make a music video or comedy…there are no limits! The only rule: Your video must promote the CHA 2013 Winter Conference & Trade Show in some way.

We will take video submissions through October 31st and the winners will be selected by November 5th.

You must be a CHA member or current exhibitor to participate. One video submission per company please.

Have fun with it and we’ll see you at the Show!

Need Inspiration? Watch as CHA Staff prepares for the 2013 Winter Conference & Trade Show in our “CHA 2013 Music Video”: