Well, I’m back from the Craft and Hobby Association (CHA) after dropping Iris and Jen from Polyform off at the airport this morning and driving home.  The show was REALLY small and really quiet by the end of the first afternoon.

Trends?

chalk – EVERYONE was pushing chalk paint, chalk pens for any and all surfaces

airbrush – we saw a LOT of lower-end airbrushes, with most designed to accomodate an alcohol pen

stamps! – some new stamp vendors including several from Europe.  It’s nice to see last years trend of stamps returning to the show continue!

Mason Jars – I”m sure TSA at the Los Angeles area airports will be scratching their heads about why anyone would be going to a canning convention!  They were used frequently in both MITIs and booth decorations.  Polymer clay artists can have a field day with these!

Not a lot of resin this year, which was a trend from the last couple years.  Almost no floral.  The boa booth wasn’t there – what’s up with THAT?

A Small and Intimate Craft Gathering

Tim Holtz was buzzing as usual.  The 3D pen you may have read about was kind of a disapointment.  I saw some really great improvements to the Spectrum Noir alcohol pens: they can’t roll off your table anymore and they have a paint brush tip that can be inserted.

As noted already on Facebook, no clay companies had booths.  But that doesn’t mean that we don’t have some exciting new products coming this Spring! (Okay, zipping my mouth shut NOW)

Interesting thing about the MITIs – with the exception of the gal doing the Martha Stewart stencil MITI, none of the other people talked about their products during the demo.  There is at least one MITI we did that I still don’t even know what product it was supposed to be highlighting!

Of course all the people attending who don’t live in California were LOVING the weather and just the opportunity to walk on sidewalks without snow and ice.  Including Iris and Jen here at our traditional TuTu Tango dinner dining all fresco!

We also attended an event for bloggers which was AMAZING.  The energy level in that room was off the charts!  The bloggers had an opportunity to meet and greet with several different companies, including Sculpey.  You could have had a top security Defcon 3 meeting anywhere in that room and NO ONE would have heard you from a foot away.

I ran into my great friend Terri O (Terri Ouellette) at this event.  Terri was the face of CHA for several years.  She and I first met at a CHA and I did a couple segments on her TV show in Arizona.  She did a craft/home decor show at her home where she did the actual projects to her home!  I just remember she and I doing Raku vases in her kitchen and laughing and having a great time – while the cameras rolled and our young sons played together in another room.  She currently has a new show on PBS called Super Simple with Terri O that plays in several PBS markets.

CHA is always a great place to meet up with new and old friends.  Had a great time catching up with Lee Kellogg from Santa Fe, who I swear is a small business genius!  She solved a nagging issue for Iris in about 20 seconds flat.  If you are ever in Santa Fe, stop by her store StampaFe (Guadalupes Fun Rubber Stamps).  http://www.stampafe.com/retailstore.html

Oh! How small was the show?  Even walking it all day, my FitBit didn’t reach my 10,000 step level until I hit the bar that evening to meet some other clay artists!

Did you go?  See anything that interested you?  Did you notice that the “color of the year” Wild Orchid wasn’t exactly abounding?