Tuesday, February 1, 2011

CHA Show in Review

I was lucky enough to attend the Craft & Hobby Association's Winter show in L.A. these last few days and O - M - G: so much stuff to see!!

We really did see some great, amazing new product; a TON of super cute new scrapbook lines; some innovative new stamps and embellishments; ideas for new tools and cardmaking; craft kits; the list goes on.

In this blog I want to include just a smattering of what we saw (which is still a lot!). I do not have pictures of any of the scrapbooking lines because there were just too many to choose from and I wanted to share pictures that showed off some of the great vendor displays. But if you get the chance, check out websites for Cosmo Cricket (Social Club collection), My Minds Eye (Lush Collection), and Pink Paislee (Hometown Summer) for a look at my favs.

The show definitely ranged from the outlandish and gorgeous displays (dresses above) to the simple and innovative ideas. By the way, they said the dresses above were made with the help of a curling iron. . .an idea to try!

One of the first booths we saw, Canvas Corp, had some great basics including chalkboard surfaced tags and place cards, cork you can cut (w/ adhesive backing), and tiny bags. Simple, but great ideas! And check out the packaging in their little cork rounds (left): adorable!

Speaking of adorable, the new Martha Stewart lines are just that (above). Their new punches and especially their embellishments are very springlike. The collage above is a very small peek of what's to come. Luv the cake! EK Success also had a great punch that you can use, then weave ribbon (right) into your project. . .awesome!

In addition to some favorites, there were also quite a few new companies showing some innovative product. We really loved the creativity behind a stamp maker out of Germany called La Blanche. Their display was like walking into the pages of Alice in Wonderland. Their product had a certain sense of whimsy mixed with the cerebral. It will be interesting to see how this company evolves. This smartly dressed rabbit (right) visited their guests. They also had a display that I previously posted on Facebook.

Another new company (at least new to us) was Hot Off the Press out of Oregon. They had an innovative paper called Color Me Paper that had a raised design that allows artists to ink the background, wipe off the color, leaving the raised design in the color. They also had some great templates and paper jewelry kits that I hope to carry someday soon (no pics, sorry).

Kan Ban was another new company out of England that had some interesting, high quality card kits and some pretty papers. I loved the coffee card kit and the butterfly paper, pictured above.

Two companies that we have always loved: Hambly and Stampedous did a great job of showing how traditional papercrafting techniques can be applied to home interiors. Stampendous smartly embossed these vases and Hambly used their papers to jazz up lamps from IKEA. We had previously blogged about this idea, but it never gets old and it's so easy! And, yes, they had the infamous washy tape. And, yes, I saw how awesome it was. But, no, they weren't giving out any samples. :( But it ships in March and we'll be one of the first to have it!

And speaking of favorites, I hope you saw the amazing quilling I posted on Facebook. The quilled image to the right was also on display in the Quilled Creations booth. It's hard to see in the photo, but the petals are quilled too! They have some neat tools to assist in projects like this that I hope to carry soon, along with some impressive quilled jewelry kits. They are really, really neat! In addition to the necklaces pictured here, they have kits for tiny quilled roses that are very pretty too.

We also saw a lot of great craft kits, especially for kids. They are coming out with a line of American Girl craft kits which has something for the child and a match for the doll, like this set of felt teddy bears. Too cute!!

There were some also really neat ideas for basics like this Create a Card spinner. It's a collection of simple mix and match designs that makes cardmaking accessible to all skill levels. I really liked the design and colors in this concept.

One of the "ah ha" products that we saw was something called a Gluber that is being developed by Cosmo Cricket. This is essentially a giant glue dot but it's so genius we had ourselves asking what has taken so long to get something like this. It will be sold separately and in kits designed by Julie Comstock (who we met and she's great!). There's many uses of the Gluber but the most obvious is making quick and simple paper or fabric flowers. We made one in less than a minute and it was fabulously cute. This last picture shows a form covered with the rosettes that were made with the kits. Luv it!!

I know this is a lot of photos crammed into a small amount of space. And they were taken from my phone and are not the highest quality. But hopefully you see the fun and innovation that is coming our way and you are as excited as me to see it. Thanks to all the vendors for showcasing such great stuff! --Kim

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