I just got back from the 2014 Craft and Hobby Mega Show in Anaheim, California. Normally I would have stayed about 3 days longer, but I had a second show to hit up, so I busted through this one in only 2 days. I was amazed at how much I was able to do and all the people and products I was able to see. There are so many new things coming down the line, it's excited to be a part of the creative community that comes up with these awesome new trends, tools and products for the DIY creators out there. Im pretty sure there are more than 25 things… but it looked like a nice manageable number, so I used it.
This time around I did not exhibit nor host any kind of designer display. Instead I attended the show as a designer and creative blogger – that's creative blogger folks, not mommy blogger. My kids don't call me a mommy… I'm not that nice!
I went to a number of events that focused on upcoming products and partnerships and I was able to pick up on a few trends. Here's some things to watch for:
CHA 2014 started off with a fun block party. It was a great time to reconnect with friends and get a little food. I had the Classic from Viking Dog – super nice guy running the show there and pretty tasty brat!
The next morning I went to the annual business meeting and breakfast and heard an inspiring keynote. Make it happen… it's up to us to strive for what we want and to make our own success. Work together, work hard and make it work. That was what I got from the message shared.
I went to a few sessions and learned a little, networked a little and gain a bit of insight and information.
I stopped to check out the Banners of Hope. A great booth inspiring visitors to stop and make a banner using a variety of materials to inspire and encourage hope.
I participated in the Designer Challenge hosted by Charity Wings. I was so nervous I would make something completely ridiculous. Then I got up there and got a ridiculous list of supplies… I couldn't go wrong. What do you make when you're given a sheet of Styrofoam, a bottle of craft paint, some decorative plastic, glue and twine? Not much I say. So I went back to my roots and my instincts took over. I drew with the paint by squeezing it out of the bottle as I drew… voila, Monsieur foam head. Yes, that's a Styrofoam nose that's attached by my pounding the lid to the glue into the foam – ha!
I met some great people while I toodled around the show floor.
Jaderbomb – I've followed her creativity on facebook and instagram for months!
Lorine Mason – I love this girl's sewing creativity.
Rachel Faucett from Handmade Charlotte – she is spunky and fun and she brings that personality into her creations, love it!
Joe Rotella – I love this guy. He is definitely a ray of sunshine. To take this photo, I had to hold the phone while Joe pushed the camera button… teamwork at it's best!
Jonathan Fong – creativity is in this man's DNA, he amazes me with his perspective and artistic hand. I love how he is serious and silly all at once. We then walked away with 4 ginormous bags of craft goodness. Here's the box I shipped back home filled with all this creative fun. I'll share what's in side later.
I also went to the I Love to Creative Refresh event. It was beautiful and relaxing, this company knows how to treat the creative mind! I love this logo they created for the show this year.
I helped out a little at the Designer Showcase. The new format they set up for the displayed looked like a pretty art gallery, it was really nice. I hope more designers exhibit in this space next show, I think it was lovely.
Spending time with brands at CHA
There are a ton of brands that attend the show. Here are the brands that sponsored this year's show… all fantastic and all with great new ideas and creative inspiration to share.
The Marvy Uchida booth had some cool new products and I love this hand drawn art using their chalk bistro markers.
Buttons Galore launched a new brand and a new craft kit line that I helped with. I designed the logo and the packaging for the new BGM Creations line.
I spend some time helping visitors find their color fun at the Rit Studios Maker Space – oh my gosh that was so much fun! A little color and a microwave can do amazing things.
I snagged a robot from the Maker House table while I was helping at Rit and I decided to dye the little man with Rit dye. I have more ideas to decorate this bot, I'll share what I come up with as soon as I finish.
Finally I met with Duck Brand to check out what new things they are working on. They have a whole pile of patterned tapes – which you may have already seen in stores in your area. There's more to come! I also got to hear the history of the original duct tape… who knew it started with the military!? So cool.
I could have easily spent another 2 days just walking around the show floor and checking out all the yummy craft goodness. Too bad I had to go so soon. There's always next year, right!?