Saturday, July 31, 2010

CHA - Trade Show Day 3 & Super Show Day 1


Thursday was the last day of the trade show and I spent a lot of time going around and picking up flyers and order forms from various companies on behalf of Custom Crops. I found a new line of paper called Lillie Bee  that I really liked, the new e-craft machine (the new die cut machine that does not use mats), the Spellbinder's new really big cutting & embossing machine, and peel-offs - awesome gold and silver card or page embellishing strips.  There were so many amazing products.  I found some "must have" tools and the papers - OMGosh!  The papers were so pretty, so varied, and so amazing.  And the papers were used in such creative ways, like this "store" with it's paper flowers.

I love this Christmas banner - the glitter and elegance of the design.



The trade show ended at 3:00 pm and then it was time to set up the booth for the Super Show.  The staff at Custom Crops did a super job of setting up the booth - it is open but has lots of product.  It has the most unique and fabulous paper, wood, and tag tree.  I just love it.  It is truly a work of art and I would love to take it home.  I suspect the airline would not be as excited about the trees.

One of the elements of the "Centers" theme booth layout (or stations if you prefer - DVD Stations, Demonstrations, Pink Stamper, Retail lines, and make and take area) that I particularly like is the Framed Photo area.  There is a Custom Crops contest for those who use the frame and post photos to the Iternet.  Below the uber-talented Amy Chomas and I are goofing in the photo booth while we were trying to get it into position.


Thursday night included dinner out with part of the Custom Crops group; I just hated that Maria couldn't be there because she is so nice. Kelly took us out for authentic Chicago pizza and it was FABULOUS!

( Maria McGuire, Me, Donna Mundinger, Diane Campbell Payne [Capadia], and Melanie Brown.)

Friday morning I had a two special treats - I attended the Cricut Circle gathering.  It was really nice to see so many Circle folks present.  Mike from Provo Craft spoke for quite some time attempting to dispell rumors and such.  I have enjoyed getting to know him this week.  He is such a nice guy.

(Me, Joy Tracey, Diane Campbell Payne and Melanie Brown circling.  I loved spending time with these three women.  Diane was my roommate and Melanie & Joy are just fabulous!)

We had a special guest at the circle gathering and he was so amusing:  The Cricut!  The photo below was taken on the floor of the show but he was so cute I decided to use this photo instead of one from the gathering.


My second treat on Friday morning was my friend Peggy from home was in Chicago for a few days and she was able to join me at CHA for a few hours of shopping and make & takes!  It was so nice to be with a good friend and she had fun seeing the new products and viewing all of the booths.  As a HUGE bonus, Peggy took two large shopping bags full of products home so that my luggage will not go over weight and my carry-on will not dislocate my shoulder.  While Peggy was here, of course I HAD to photograph her with the Cricut!  You cannot come to CHA and miss the Cricut!


We also had to visit the Custom Crops photo booth!


I purchased a two of these AWESOME stamps, but I wanted to purchase more! 



After Peggy left, I helped out in the Custom Crops booth.  The CC booth was one uber-busy place!  Each of the five areas was constantly packed.  It was awesome.  The next few photos are from the booth:






And now I am off to day two of the Super Show and then tonight I fly home.  If all goes well I will be in my own bed tonight!!!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

CHA Day 3



Yesterday was the second day of the Trade Show.  This place is HUGE.  I still have not made it to all of the paper crafting booths yet... and I wonder if I  will get to see them all.  I did spend a lot of time at the Provo Craft booth.  The booth is really whimsical in appearance and I like it a lot.  The photo above is just the stage portion of their area.  I love the huge 3-D house on top of the storage area. 

 

I cannot remember if I mentioned yesterday but there is a special Cricut Circle Members only section - a secret room where you go in a meet a couple of the PC designers.  While there they gave us Circle lanyards (because you MUST wear the badge at all times at CHA) and we got to look at albums full of cuts from future cartridge.


A word about being a Circle member and being here in Chicago.  99% of the Circle memeber who are attending the trade show are store owners, designers for stores (like me with Custom Crops), or are manufacturers of their own products (like My Pink Stamper and again like me).  It costs about $100 to get into the show and the CHA membership is about $150.  So those who feel that all Cirlce members are not equal (on theMB), please remember that some circle members are business members of CHA.
 
I share the above paragraph because there were some unhappy feeling regarding those of us who were invited to the Gala receiving a Cricut Imagine machine for free.  Most of those in attendance were store owners, etc who will demo the machine in their stores so it was an investment in future sales for PC.  In my case I spoke with Brad, PC VP and he told me that they expect me to have projects made uising the Imagine posted on my blog so that everyone can see what this machine can do.


In the photo above Donna Mundinger and I are posing with Suede from Project Runway.  He used a new machine, E-CRAFT to cut the dresses displayed being us.  I must share that I think the e-craft is an AWEDOME machine.  One of my jobs here is to help Custom Crops find new product to see in their store.  This machine is a MUST HAVE for the store.  It is another die cut machine but it does not use mats and the software comes with the machine.  I  suggest you check this machine out if you would like to add to your cutting machine stock.


Finally Diane (Capadia, who is my roommate here at CHA) and I went to dimmer with about 15 women from the message board.  I had such a great time and met some truly nice women. 


In the photo above I am posing with Chirsty from Provo Craft.  She a Jim Colby joined us at the dinner.  They were SUPER NICE and we had a great time.  In fact, Christy picked up the bill for all of us and that was an unexpected treat!!


The photo above shows the group that attended, all but Dawn, Nurse Viper, who had already left when we pulled out the cameras. Below Diane and I posed for a silly photo with our empty glasses.


When we returned to our room were were joined by Joy and Melanie from Everyday Cricut for some girlfriend time.  I do not know when I have giggled so much.  I just wish my BFF girlfriends from home could have been here too.  They would have loved this.

And with that said, I am now a half hour late for today's show so I have to run......... 

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

CHA - Tuesday - Long & Awesome Day


Today was the offical first day of the Trade Show at CHA.  And tonight was the Provo Craft Gala.  All I can say is:  OH MY GOSH!   I met Joy, Melanie, and Diane IN PERSON today.  I speak with each of them on the telephone regularly so meeting in person was awesome.  They are exactly like they come across on their blogs - wonderfully warm and humerous.

The Show is amazing. There is so much to see and I have only made it about 1/3 of the way across the floor.  SO it is a really, really good thing that I have two more days to go. I did have a photo taken at the Doodlebug booth - because it was soooo adorable.


We all rushed back to the hotel and changed clothes to attend the Provo Craft Gala.  And again I must say, OH MY GOSH!  The gala was great.  Drinks and appetizers while we mingled.  And then we went into the Gala.

Provo Craft officially released their new machine, Cricut Imagine.  It sounds like a really interesting machine.  It can use all of the current cartridge plus a new line that will be made just for the imagine.  Cricut teamed with HP to create a machine that prints and cuts.  How cool is that?


I was able to get some fun photos.  After we arrived at the Gala we were joined by Glenda (from the Cricut MB) as well as Mandy Ferg!!!   This is a photo of Diane, Joy and Glenda.


Clockwise from the back left we have Melanie, Mandy, Glenda, Joy, and Diane.  We were having so much fun.


And the Custom Crops group - from the left Susan T., Amy Chomas, ???, Maria McGuire, the infamous Donna, Kelly, and Libby.  Super sweet women!



Provo Craft hired a fantastic performance artist to entertain us at the Gala.  This man was sooo amazing.  He danced and painted to the music of his DJ.  He could complete a painting in  7.5 minutes.  The photos below are from the performance.  John Lennon, Martin Luther King, Mick Jagger, and Einstein.  I so wanted to take the Lennon and Einstein home with me! 


Martin Luther King, Jr


I completely forgot to mention that he also painted the cricut head at the top of this post.

Near the end of the evening, Provo Craft presented anyone with an invitation to the event a gift back that contained a certificate for a free Cricut Imagine machine!  We also each recieved a new cartridge, a t-shirt, sunglass.


I had a photo taken with Jinger -  above.  And below, check out her cool shoes.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

CHA - Monday - Education Day

(Lori from Imaginisce posed for a quick photo with me)

Wow!  What a long day!  My morning began with room service at 6:30 am.  I kept justifying this to myself by thinking, "It's really 7:30 EST."   I had my first class at 8:00 am, Holiday Cards with Flower Soft.  The class was not a ball of fun (did I mention the 8 am start time?), but the techniques were awesome and there were tons of door prizes! I learned everthing that I have been doing wrong with my flower soft!  How awesome is that?


The second class was by Imaginisce and used their new Birthday Bash paper line.  The sales rep for southeast were excited when I shared that I had used this same line (which was released in the last month) on the project Birthday 2 on my DVD.  Our class project were a birthday reminder calendar with cards to change for each month, and a really, really cute birthday card.  There are materials and instructions for at least 4-6 more cards in my package.  They also gave us printed phrases, in color, that match the paper line, that can be printed and cut to match for the inside of the cards.  This class was so much fun - lots of prizes, though I did not win anything - and a super fun teacher and teaching assistants.  Can't wait to take their class again in January!!



My last class of the day was by My Little Shoebox.  It was all of the materials needed to create an album, including the album.  Also we received lots and lots of additional packages of adhesives - 2+ packages each  of three types of adhesives.   Great products and class.


(layout using the I-Rock tool)

I assisted Custom Crops with their Cricut for Beginners class yesterday afternoon. Maria McGuire taught the class.

And finally I ended my day being taken to dinner, along with Donna Mundinger, by Kelly - the owner of Custom Crops.  What a super-great dinner!   I could write a full paragraph on what I ate... It was such a nice place and the food was fantastic!

It is already Tuesday... the show opens at noon so I should get moving.  Tonight I am invited to the Provo Craft Gala and will then be able to tell you about the cool, cool product they are releasing.  START SAVING NOW!!!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Safely in Chicago!

Today was my travel day to CHA.  I arrived early afternoon to a lovely 80 degree, breezy, LOW HUMIDITY day.  I stress the low humidity because in SC low humidity means it is only 75% humid that day.  And 80 degrees for a high.... Not since early April!

I picked up my registration info and got the lay of the land, before returning to my hotel room, ordering dinner and passing out.  I had hoped to get four hours of sleep last night, but ended up with only three.  I was working to get the last of the DVD sets ready for Doug to mail on Monday, and then I realized that I should pack before going to bed. 

It was such a good thing that I did go ahead and pack.  Doug, the wonder-man, did not remember that I asked him to wake me at 7:00 am and he let me "sleep in" until 7:45.  I had to leave for the airport by 8:20!!!  I think we left the house at 8:25, but I was showered and completely ready!  As a bonus, I managed to only forget two things, but one was my tool kit (I have three classes tomorrow).  I do have some adhesive and my paper trimmer so I guess I will be a doing a lot of borrowing. 

I am very excited about my first class tomorrow -- Holiday Cards with Flower Soft.  I have seen some of the cards the FS designers have created and all I can say is WOW.  I have some flower soft, but feel that I do not use it well.  So hopefully that will change.

I will try to give you daily updates while I am here.  I do have one personal message to send: MFK!  Guess what this hotel stocks in your room?  In addition to the coffee maker, there is a wine center.  Wine glasses, cork remover, cloth napkin and an ice bucket that could serve as a wine cooler.  I thought of you IMMEDIATELY.  And yes, Toby!  I did take a picture of it for Kathy!  Miss you!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

DVD Set Update and Another Vegas Layout


While in Vegas earlier this spring, one of the many things I noted was a Disney-like attention to detail.  Any of you who have visited one of the Disney theme parks will immediately understand what I mean by Disney-like attention to detail.  That is actually a phrase we use at our house to explain near perfection in attention to detail.  My husband and I have actually looked at one another and whispered, "not quite Disney-like" when visiting an attraction.  Well let me assure you (and thank the Vegas designers), Vegas had a Disney-like attention to detail!


In this layout I used photos taken in and around The Venetian.  I LOVED The Venetian.  Very, very nicely done. And our favorite meal of the week was in the mall area of The Venetian. 


I used subtle colors for the basic layout, but picked up on the deeper hued water and brick for accent color.  I lucked upon some matching brads in my stash.


DVD UPDATE: I wanted to offer an update to those of you who have pre-ordered the It's A Kid's Life DVD set.  The pdf files are being written and tweaked and video files have reached the "burning" phase.  I am pushing to get everything to the post office by Saturday as I will be at CHA all next week.  Worst case, they will ship on Monday (by my production staff:  my dh, dd, and MFK - my friend Kathy)!!!  I apologize for missing the Wednesday ship date I had hoped to meet, but I was called into my real job a bit more than anticipated after two weeks of "unwellness".   The good  news is everyone should have their dvds before I get home from Chicago! 

Monday, July 19, 2010

Feeling Unhinged? BBTB2 Challenge with Shelly's Stamps


Got Bath?  As a young bride whenever I became stressed my husband would suggest I take a bubble bath to relax.  Little did we realize that he was starting a practice that would endure for the next twenty-eight years, though today.  With this story in mind, I knew as soon as I spotted this digital stamp titled "Pamper Yourself" that this would be my BBTB2 project this week.


The challenge cut at BBTB2 is a hinge on the Fabulous Finds cartridge.  We also have a sponsor, Sally's Images, who provided us with our stamped images.  As I said above I chose the Pamper Yourself stamp.  Shelly’s Images store offers a variety of digital stamps for your paper craft projects. Please visit the store at http://www.shellysimages.com/.


I used copic markers and light blue stamping ink applied with a dabber from Stampin' Up to color my image.  The ink was great for the water in the tube, especially when highlighted with copic markers.  I finished the card with the "Got Bath?" circle stamp.  I added pop dots and created my image in three layers.  The elements which are visually closest to the viewer have the most layers so that they do, literally, pop out at you.


As a quick reminder, this is the last day to pre-order my dvd set at the pre-order discounted price.  Tomorrow the price will increase.


Have a great week!  And remember to relax a little.