CHA was very educational and inspiring for me. Gina and Melanie were awesome roommates. I had the 'hard' job of helping Gina pick out all sorts of new products to carry in her store. It was tough, but someone had to do it and I was up for the task! LOL!
It was fun walking the CHA floor together getting inspired by all the products and samples that were displayed at every turn. We both came away with ideas for a variety of new classes in the upcoming months in Gina's McFarland store.
I really enjoyed spending time getting to know Melanie - who is as sweet and adorable as all of those super cute animals she's drawn for Gina combined! Mel is an awesome illustrator and designer and it was a big highlight of my trip to spend time with her while I was in Chicago.
It was a real pleasure to meet some of Gina's other design team members: Cammie, Joanne, Kurtis, Michelle. I've admired all of their design team work - they are really talented and such nice people.
We were also able to spend time with My Favorite Things Owner Kim van der Saden and several of her design team members. They welcomed us into their group with open arms and it was really fun going out to supper with them the first two nights we were there. They are an amazing group of talented, lively ladies who are full of love for each other. Their friendship for each other was really cool to see and to be part of.
Vendors & Designers
One of my very favorite spots to hang out at was the Ranger booth. I spent a lot of time there learning some great tips and techniques specifically with their Distress Ink line. I was able to stand at the tables of two of their amazing designers - Tim Holtz and Wendy Vecchi and watch masters at work doing many different techniques with their amazing products. Watching them reminded me of why I love their products so much.
Another favorite booth of mine was the Copic one, where some of their top coloring experts demonstrated step by step their coloring processes along with blending and shading tips. Mish Wooderson, Marianne Walker, and Debbie Olsen all colored and even signed one of their demonstration samples before each one of them gave me one to keep! How amazing is that?
I met Kathy Sanders at our Milwaukee Copic Certification class so I was so excited to see that she was working the Copic booth as well. She gave several awesome shading tips as well. She told me that she has taught thousands of classes at her local stamping store in Milwaukee over the past 6 years and is just now beginning to pursue more teaching opportunities for other stores. She has written an awesome tutorial for Splitcoast Stampers on Alcohol Markers. Go check out the link to see it - you'll learn a lot, I'm sure! I'm just disappointed that I forgot to ask her for a sample with an autograph... bummer!
I also met another super talented lady whose work I have admired for some time. Her name is Cathy Matthews-Scanlon. She was working the EK Success booth and was so sweet to me showing me some tips to try out with their variety of pens and markers. I learned some great ideas from her - and was so tickled to keep on running into her during CHA... okay, maybe I was stalking her, but that's just between us, okay? heehee...
I hit the jackpot at the ScorPal booth. Diana is a genius and I was so thrilled to meet her and tell her in person how much I love all of her ScorPal products. I use them all the time at home and when I'm teaching at Gina's store. She was so sweet and gave me some products to encourage me to continue to use her products! I guess she knew that I can be bought! LOL!
Val Stangle worked the ScorPal booth and I was thrilled to meet her in person. She is one of my favorite Dirty Dozen Designer Girls from Splitcoast Stampers. Her style is so classy and I go to her blog and gallery often to be inspired. She is a Rock Star stamper in my book and I was so happy that I could personally tell her how much I've admired her work over the years. We ate lunch together on the last day of CHA and she even made me a box with the ScorPal. How lucky am I?
Overall, CHA was amazing. I learned so much and enjoyed meeting so many wonderful people from many different companies. I found a lot of great products while I was there and can't wait until the ones Gina decided to order arrive in her store.
Some of my favorite new products:
That's just what I can remember off the top of my head... wait until I get my hands on all the catalogs to help refresh my memory!
I couldn't write such a long post without including a couple of cards. I finally had a chance last week to pull out some of Gina's adorable Kindred Kids that she released last month. They are so fun to watercolor!
Card Details: Kindred Kids - At the Beach, Little Girl at Play; SU paper; Watercolor paper; India Ink; Nestabilities; Hero Arts gems; ribbon colored with copic; liquid applique; Koh-i-noor watercolors; aqua painter; buttons; fiskars handheld heart punch
Thanks for taking the time to stop by and let me talk your ears - I mean eyes off!