Friday, July 22, 2011


I just got back from Summer CHA in Chicago!  I've been a traveling fool!  For the last month, I've been to Italy and now Chicago!  I still need to post my time in Italy because I have tons of photos and fun stories, but today I'm going to share my favorites of CHA!

This was my first time at the Craft and Hobby Association's show! I was super excited to go and represent Faber-Castell's new Design Memory Craft line!  Being on the DT there, I knew that I'd have a blast teaching others how to use the fabulous products!  I really do LOVE LOVE LOVE them! Plus, I couldn't wait to meet all of the other girls!  So off I went on Monday to Chicago...
Niagra Falls from the air! On my way to Chicago...

Cool slumped glass and art in Chicago's O'Hare Airport

More glass

Welcome to CHA!
Faber-Castell's DMC booth #1607

I was asked to work in the DMC booth and the people at Faber-Castell are so generous to bring all the DT girls here.  I designed the make n' take project that we would do.  Here's a photo of the mini banner we did with visitors to our booth and more booth shots:
ART banner with lots of techniques

My yellow banner!
 A few of my projects for the booth.  I made this bag using all the products and some gel medium and modeling paste.

 A traditional opening with bag pipes and drums! They walked up and down the aisles and played on the first morning.
 Melissa Elsner visiting me!  I was so excited to meet her in person.  We had only talked online and it was so cool to see her! She is super fun and I wish I had more time to hang with this girl!
 I roomed with Mou Saha. What a talented and nice person to share my first CHA experience with.  She was so patient with me and we enjoyed lots of conversation and laughs.  I helped with her workshop for DMC in which participants got to play with the new products and make a mini album.

 Next up, I had projects in Nikki Sivils booth!  I got to meet her and the other girls for the first time in person.  They are as sweet and wonderful in person as I thought. Her new booth is gorgeous!  Here are a few shots of the booth and some of my projects.

 Here we are with Susan Mintmire!  Susan was the one who brought  me on board with DMC and I'm so grateful to her.  I loved meeting her and can't wait to see her again in other endeavors!
 Silly photo ops everywhere!  This show seemed big to me, but I hear that the winter CHA is 4 times larger!  WHOA!  Maybe I'll get there someday!

Chicago lit up at night!
I have to say that I got to walk around very little.  I was so busy and missed tons!  But I did find a few of my favorite things in the new releases!  Here is a top 10 of sorts in no particular order:

1.  Crafter's Workshop templates... Julie Fei-Fan Balzar has designed some of the new line and they are so fun!  I love the punchinella and woodgrain the best but can't wait to get my hands on many others!
2. Prima's Printery Line... OMG> Completely up my alley... black, cream and white colors.  Lots of fun letters, artsy stuff!  I love their nests too.  I guess I still have an obsession with Prima and their booth was lovely.

 3. Maya Road Kraft tags and shapes, trims, and more!  WOW... this booth was fun of fun things.  I walked around for a bit and loved the gorgeous trim so much.

 4. Tim Holtz!  Love his new birdcages, pocketwatch, and papers!  He was demoing his distress inks in a bottle and I was hooked instantly!  Lots of possibilities!  He was also staying at our hotel on the SAME floor!  We rode the elevator up with him!

 5. Hambly screens!  I love this lattice one and the cameras!  They have rub ons that are the BEST in the industry! I had a great conversation with the owner and designer, Allison!  She did some hot glasswork that I admire and I'm doing some fusing with kids this year so we had a fun time discussing that! She is super cool!
 6. Studio Calico!  OMG OMG OMG... this was my FAV!  I loved ALL of their lines!  The basics, the Autumn line and all the embellishments that went with them.  They have stamps that they paired up with Hero Stamps and are fabulous!
Die cut papers

I have to have the entire line!!!  Amazing colors and details! 
 7. Felts.  This was a total surprise!  This booth was next to the DMC booth and I loved the colors and soft fuzzy feel. I love felting but it takes forever.  They have products that are already done and ready to use.  I bought some of the felt balls, sheets, and needle to make the leaf scarf with.  I'm in love... so cozy!

 8. Amy Tangerine for American Crafts.  Those of you that know me, know that I have a fetish with Thickers.  I love them, hoard them, and collect them.  These are awesome from her line... adorable fonts, great colors... fun!!!  I also love the papers and embellies too!

 9. Webster's Pages bling and new lines!  It's funny because I would love these lines even if I didn't know the designer personally!  I went to school with Brandin all the way from Nursery school (preschool) through high school.  We were best buds growing up.  We found our cliques in jr. High but still were friends.  I love this girl!  She is genuinely the NICEST person.  I am so happy that she is so wildly successful in life because she deserves it.  Brandin was always involved in so much but found the time to be friendly to every one.  She is talented, beautiful and the sweetest person I know!  I was so glad we got to see each other and I hope we can keep in touch!  This was the highlight of my trip!

Brandin and I! We've known each other since nursery school!  It's great to be able to catch up!

 10. Now, I have to say that Nikki Sivils and Faber Castell are two of the best companies to work for!  I am truly blessed to be working on the DT of both.  Here I am with Nikki's DT coordinator and right hand woman!  It was great to meet you girls!  So happy to be able to hug you all and see the booth in person!  Dan and Nikki are the real deal and so sweet to boot!

I am serious when I say that the DMC products are my absolute favorites!  I can do so much with them and LOVE promoting them and teaching others to get excited over what they can do!  In my book, they are truly innovative and high quality art supplies.  I will never get tired of using them!

Well, if you've hung in this long, I hope you will let me end this with a heartfelt thanks!  I had the best time hanging out with the FB DMC girls and my roommate, Mou.   We braved crazy cab drivers, 100 degree heat, and long days on our feet together but it was the most amazing 1st CHA that I will ever have.  I am so happy to have been able to attend and work with these girls!  I know I missed so much that I will just HAVE to have but these are my favs from what I saw. Hope you enjoyed them!  If you leave a comment, I'll pick a winner for a few of the DMC Gelatos !   I'll pick a winner next Friday and I'll be back to blog about the rest of my Italy trip and share some of my CHA projects soon!


Anonymous said...

WOW - Love what you shared from CHA! So glad you got to spend some time with Brandin - she really is a sweetie - cannot believe I could have been your sixth grade teacher too! LOL! Sounds like you had a wonderful time - wish I could have been there. Come by for a wine, while i recuperate. I'd love to hear and see more from CHA and ITALY!
Bon Bon

Melissa Elsner said...

Jen it was so great meeting you and YOU are the sweet one! And I KNEW that house at the Nikki booth was yours. I took a photo of it too because I loved it so much. LOL.

Pam said...

OMG Jen! What a wonderful time you must have had! So jealous! It sounds like you had lots of fun, and to meet all of those talented people like! You actually rode in the elevator with Tim Holtz-heaven! Love your top picks. You've had an incredible month, and deserve every moment of it! Thanks for sharing.

connie said...

Sounds like alot of fun! thanks for sharing!

shelley said...

so glad you had a good time lil momma. you earned it and deserved to be there. our girl hit the big time! winter CHA here you come!!! maybe i'll get to join you this time!!! miss you!!! <3

Jen said...

Your art is so pretty! I saw your bird banner in a magazine ad for DMC. I love it! I've picked up a few gelatos and pitt pens. I've been having fun playing around with them.

Jennifer Priest said...

Sounds like you had a blast! Wish I had been able to catch up with you at the show. At winter, right?! Hope you make it there :)