CHA-W 2008

you know that scrapbooking is about 1) preserving memories, 2) the pictures, and 3) shopping, right? (and pretty much in that order, too.) which means that one of the biggest events of the year is the craft and hobby association's winter show, where manufacturers showcase their new products (it's like fashion week for the scrapbookig biz). most attendees are buyers, but i got a guest pass from my best friend who works for an arts supply manufacturer.

needless to say i was giddy to be attending. after all, you get to see the new products weeks and months before they hit the stores. i went on the first day, which is usually hectic, but it wasn't as bad as i expected (my aforementioned friend predicted the slump in the economy would affect sales). the scrapbooking section seemed to be the most active since there were crazy scrappers and store owners walking around pulling carry-on bags behind them. i'm guessing they need roll-y luggage for all the catalogs and freebies they get, but i'm still not sure what's in their luggage.

it took me more than several hours to browse just the booths i was interested in. i also took some time to do "make-and-takes," simple projects you make at the booth with a company's products.

by far the most product-heavy make-and-take i did was from little yellow bicycle, deja views' new line. it was an acrylic mini-album using the zach's life collection; they even let us take home the left over stickers, labels, and tags from the sheets we used. well worth the 30 minutes i waited in line for my turn.

i also had fun at the fiskars' booths make-and-takes :: a notebook and mini chipboard keychain album. for the notebook i used the new scallop border punch, which i really like.

as for product, i, of course, loved the new stuff from american crafts (i always do) and i was bummed they didn't have any make-and-takes despite their huge booths. chatterbox's new papers are darling, especially the happy day line. i'm looking forward to the heather bailey line from autumn leaves. the new lace cardstock from ki memories is super-cute too; my faves are the apples and stars. there were tons and tons of other stuff i looked at, but i can't even remember a fraction of them. since i'm not a retailer i refrained from taking any catalogs (i don't think they would've offered any to me anyway); it'll come back to me once the new products start showing up in magazines and stores.

it's unfortunate i won't be able to buy most of this new stuff, but it was fun just looking. however, i have to say that nothing i saw totally wowed me; nothing completely new and innovative that i've never seen before. the peek-a-boo chipboard+acrylic albums from tinkering ink are pretty cool, though. sadly, i didn't see these in person; i found out about them after the fact from someone else's blog. there were just too many booths and too many products to see in one day. now i understand why people attend all four days.

as expected, i also glimpsed some scrapbook "celebs" :: ali edwards, donna downey, elsie flannigan, heidi swapp, jenni bowlin, shimelle laine, laura kurz, and my friend, mary grace abuzman. i took a class with mary grace over a year ago at scrapbook oasis but she still remembered me when i peeked into the fontwerks booth (i guess it helps that we're friends on facebook). she came right over to me and gave me a big hug; she's so sweet and friendly. i stayed to chat for a bit, did a make-and-take with their new branching out stamp set, and saw mark montano (from tlc). the only other person i had hoped to see but didn't was kristina. i saw that she was teaching a class with nisa on the first day but i didn't know about it in time to sign-up. bummer.

anyway, that's my cha recap. i wouldn't mind going again ... this time with my camera (even though the rules are emphatic about absolutely no photography, everyone was snapping away). and maybe with a resale license. hee!

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