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Living the creative life is an extraordinary experience but sometimes you have to work for it. Luckily for me, I only had to work a little bit (and had a lot of fun), in order to attend the Craft and Hobby Association Winter convention (CHA) this year. CHA is the big show where scrapbook store owners, designers and instructors get to see all of the new craft products from the manufacturers.

Thanks to one of my friends, I was able to work for a while in the Melissa Frances booth and the Petaloo booth. And, I also had time to walk the show floor and take pictures of the new products and say hello to friends.

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Melissa Frances

I started my day in the Melissa Frances booth. I LOVE Melissa Frances products. Her product line includes gorgeous, vintage-inspired papers, trims, sparkling embellishments, miniature cloches and now chalkboard canvases. The time went by so quickly and I wish I’d been able to spend some time getting to know Carolyn Peeler. Luckily for me, Jenny and Aaron of Everyday is a Holiday were in the booth and we got to talk a little bit in between chatting with customers.

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I’ve known Jenny and Aaron of “Everyday is a Holiday” since I met them at a creative event in 2011 and they’ve become two of my favorite people. Not only are they super talented, but they’re down to earth and have really big hearts. I’m so happy for them that despite having a tough year they’ve persevered and have created some awesome opportunities for themselves.

Everyday is a Holiday

Recently, they released an amazing book, “Mixed-Media Masterpieces with Jenny & Aaron” which I ran out to buy as soon as it hit the shelves.

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They also designed a line of hand-painted (vs created on a computer) product for Melissa Frances called The Sweet Life. I can’t wait until their scrapbook papers, journaling cards and other coordinating embellishments are in my local scrapbook store!

Are you ready for some Authentique Papers?

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After my quick shift in the Melissa Frances booth I had a couple hours to walk around and see the new products from my favorite crafting companies. My first stop was at the Authentique Paper booth and they had some gorgeous papers and projects on display.

Next, I hit up the Sizzix booth.

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Designer Eileen Hull has some wonderful new dies to create Artist Trading Blocks (like Artist Trading Cards, but with more dimension!).

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And I always love to see what designer Tim Holtz has been working on. (And I figured out why I can’t find vintage trophy cups in vintage shops anymore!  They’re all in Tim’s displays!)

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Designer Brenda Walton has added 8 enchanting new dies to her collection, including flowers, leaves, a butterfly gift card, cupcake stands, a heart pendant, and also some textured impression embossing folders. I met Brenda for the first time at the French General Soiree on Sunday evening and she is a lovely, talented artist!

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The latest news in the Sizzix booth is the line of incredible dies from Jo Packham, the editor of “Where Women Create” magazine and an amazing, modern renaissance woman. I had a chance to chat with her about her new line for Sizzix, “Where Women Cook”, on Sunday night at the French General Soiree. I’m excited to see how crafters will use her new dies to create gifts, favors, party supplies, and packaging for their home made baked goods.


Next, I had the opportunity to help CHA attendees create some beautiful Make and Takes in the Petaloo booth. If you haven’t checked out their beautiful blooms in your local scrapbooking store, you must! They have every size, shape and color you could ever want to embellish your projects!  We started off making beautiful bracelets featuring gorgeous Petaloo silk rose petals and blooms and ended the day creating some gorgeous vintage-inspired mini valentines.

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My friend, Julie Weller, worked the shift before me and our friend, Susan Shintaku, happened to visit the booth while we were both there.

Thank you so much for joining me for this field trip. I’ll have more pics to share soon!


Christine Barker