Wednesday, August 4, 2010

My First CHA Experience

Hello! Today I'm going to talk a little bit about my very first CHA Experience. And I'm going to explain it to the 'NEWBIE', someone who has either never heard of CHA or has heard of it, but has never been to one themselves. I'm going to do it this way, because most bloggers talk about CHA like the rest of us in blog land know what they are talking about. I discovered by reading forums about CHA on that most of us don't really understand what CHA is. So here goes. CHA stands for 'Craft and Hobby Association'. I 'think' they do a 'summer' show and a 'winter' show (If I'm incorrect, someone let me know). The first part of their show is open only to people in the craft and hobby business (i.e. people who own a store or an on line business), the second part of their show is for everyone else (like me) and is called the 'The Supershow'. You have to buy an admission ticket to attend ($15.00 to $30.00 dollars), and once inside you will see a 'sea of booths' representing many different craft companies. At these booths you can purchase product at amazingly low prices and also do 'make n takes'. Most of the make n takes are free, but some charge a minimal fee between $1.00 to $3.00 dollars. You can also sign up (in advance) to take classes. These classes are about $20.00 each. The best way to describe the CHA Supershow would be 'A Giant Rummage Sale for Paper Crafters'. I had a blast and spent my entire paycheck there and have no regrets. The prices were much more cheaper than they are at my local scrap booking stores because they are not 'marked up'. Also, many of my favorite on-line companies were there like MFT and Papertrey Ink, so I could buy things and not have to pay postage and handling. I've always wanted to attend a CHA before, but never could because they are held in a different city every time all over the USA. This year was my lucky year, because it was held in Rosemont, ILL. only 9 miles from my daughter's new apartment. Ashley was dieing for me to see her new place, and when I saw how close the convention center was to her apartment, I thought it was the perfect time to go! So we left the 'boys' at home (they took the train to Chicago to do some exploring on their own) and we spent the entire day at CHA together and had such a fun time. We were there from the time it opened to the time it closed, just crafting and shopping all day. I can't remember the last time I had so much fun. My only regret was that I didn't see any of my on line friends. I knew they were there, because they all told me they were, but I never saw any of them. So that was a bummer. I did see some 'famous faces' like Beate from SCS, Sherry Cheever, Sharon Harnist, etc.' but I didn't say 'hi' to any of them because I didn't personally know them. Kim from MFT did my make n take and so did Michelle Wooderson from Papertrey. That's about it. It did feel a bit 'odd' to seeing all these people who's profile pics and blogs I've seen/read for years. I was like 'Oh my gosh, they are a REAL person! There they are!'.

Well enough blab, now I have some pics to show you. The convention was held at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center. It was gorgeous! One of the best convention centers I've ever seen. Here is the sign greeting all of us crafters from the parking lot. Now my favorite part of CHA was all of the make n takes. I literally did make n takes all day and came home with a bag load of FREE goodies. Some companies like 'Coordinations' even gave us FREE STUFF! Coordinations gave us a free package of card stock to take home, and "me and my big ideas' gave us free stickers! In the picture below is my MFT make n take. Its a name tag. I had so much fun making this!
At the Flower Soft booth they gave us these free picture cards. We practised putting Flower Soft on the picture. Although I've used Flower Soft a little, I was pretty much a novice, so this was a good booth for me to attend. I learned how to use the product a little more effectively than I have been. I also discovered the 'Ultra Fne Flower Soft' to use for sand or grass. I used the Ultra Fine on the sand in the card I posted in yesterday's post. I can now cut these images I worked on at the booth out and put them on a card.

This butterfly card I made at the Archiver's Booth where they were demonstrating a new machine that is really pretty and looks like a purse. It only embosses, it doesn't cut.

This fun card was made at an EK Success booth sponsored by JoAnn's. I loved how we made the 'space background'. Would you believe that is just a circle punch! Its just punched randomly all over the card to make it look like outer space!

Papertrey had two make n takes. One was a card, shown below, and the other was a felt pin. I did both make n takes, but only the card is pictured. Papertrey Ink had one of the nicest booths at CHA and I think I spent the most money there too! I bought all the stamp sets I've ever wanted, a bunch of paper, and some dies! I just love their product and their style!

I made this card at the 'Slice' Booth. I kept hearing about the 'Slice' but didn't quite understand it. Its basically a portable die cutting machine so you don't have to drag your gigantic Cricut around.

This scrap book page was made at the Coordinations Booth sponsored by JoAnn's Fabrics and Crafts. All the paper is Coordinations and the stickers are 'Me and My Big Ideas'. I had so much fun at this booth, and I couldn't believe all the stuff I got for free!

And the last make n take I'm going to show you is a Digital Scrap Book Page of me and my daughter. There were many Digital Companies at CHA, this one took our picture and then showed us how to create a digital scrap book page on the computer. It was so fun and interesting and then we got to keep this beautiful page for FREE!!!!! What a memory of the special day my daughter and I spent together.

And finally, as we waited for my husband to pick us up, we took some pictures of us at the fountain outside the convention center. This is my daughter Ashley.

And this is me. The smile on my face truly says it all. I had a wonderful, wonderful day and was so sincerely happy.

Now, many of you are asking 'Would you go again?" Yes! In a heart beat. However I don't think I'd be like most of the women there. Would you believe most of the women there 'flew in' from all over the country and stayed the whole weekend. I don't think I'd go that far! I don't have that kind of time or money. But if it ever comes to the Chicago or Minneapolis area again, or any state that's near Wisconsin, I sure would go again! I had a blast!
Have a great day! Amy


  1. OOOO Amy thanks for sharing all this great info on CHA I have never gone and have always wanted too...I probably could of drove the 5 hours this time but I knew I needed money...LOL!!! WOW what great projects and fun stuff you created during your visit..So glad you got to spend some time with your dd too!!!! Looks and sounds like you had a TOTAL BLAST!!!!! big Hugs

  2. Oh this sounds like sooo much fun! Lucky you with your daughter being so close and I appreciate your great explanations and showing the make n takes you made. I think I need to start planning for next year!

  3. Hi Amy! Thanks so much for a wonderful and informative post on CHA. I have always thought it was for owners only! Now I will know that there is a time that I CAN go, and will plan a trip some year. Your photos are so nice, and you explained things very well. OMG, I'd love to have met Michelle Wooderson! You are so lucky!!! And girl, your daughter is jaw dropping gorgeous (she looks like you!)... Have a great day...

  4. Wow! Sounds like you had a great time! Quality mom & daughter time and free crafting goodies! What could be better? Thanks for the pics and peaking my interest for next year! :) Tracy

  5. Thanks for sharing! I would love to go someday!!!

  6. OMG Amy I am so happy for you that you were able to go there. This was the first year I ever clicked on the convention thread on SCS and sadly when they were on the last day. I only live about 3 hours away from chicago. I do hope they come back to chicago again sometime and when they do, hubby is going to take me there.
    Thank you so much for all of your information. I loved reading it, and now I finally understand what it is all about, cost, etc.
    Enjoy all of your new goodies!!

  7. I totally agree with you! It was amazing and I was there last year! I think I enjoyed this year's more because I felt more comfortable knowing what I was doing (sort of lol) I did get the nerve to tell the "biggies" who I was and they all said they had hear of me (yeh right lol!) but I totally spent this year's Christmas budget but no regrets here either!! So glad to hear you had a great time!!

  8. Oh what a fun time you had! Getting to see DD and go to CHA- lucky you- you so totally deserve it!

  9. Thanks for sharing all the fun projects! So glad you got to go and had a great time! :o)

  10. FANTASTIC!! I'm so jealous .. but glad you were able to go and have such a wonderful time! WOW what awesome STUFF!! Thanks for sharing it all with us!!


Thank you for leaving a comment. I love feedback from my readers. If you have a blog, I always return the love by visiting within a week whoever leaves a comment.