Ever since I started scrapbooking, CHA was one of those dreams that I never thought I'd get to see.
After all, at the end of the day, it's a retailers/manufacturers event. However, saying that, there is so much hype each year about the new releases that are coming out and all the people who are going to be teaching/demoing etc etc there that it became a dream of little ole me to go along and see it for myself. Be part of it. See the new releases as they are released etc etc. And this year, I got to be a little part of it.
To say I was excited about going along was an understatement, but to then realize I was going to be one of those people doing the demoing was something else altogether. Especially having taught at Prima's Art Venture prior. But I'm getting ahead of myself.
Let me set the scene.
CHA was held at the Anaheim convention centre. It's a huge place. Inside, much like a warehouse which can be changed up to suit anything that needs to go on there. If you've been to the Brisbane Scrapbooking Expo, it's the same sort of thing.
From the event centre's front doors, you look down through a fountain, towards the Hilton on the left hand side. It's a huge hotel. And possibly the closest to the event centre. It's also where the Prima Art Venture was held.
Once you go inside it looks a bit like this:
You know you've come to the right place right from the get go.
This is the lobby, and there are a billion doors that you can choose to go through to get into the actual CHA floor. Once inside, there are what feels like a billion different 'stalls' that you can visit to see what is their latest and greatest. Walking in for the first time it looks like this:
Why yes, that is Prima just over there. Grin.
Do you want to see what Prima looks like close up?
This was a new range from Sandra Evertson. A gorgeous selection of antique styled artifacts that can be easily coloured or changed to suit a project. Pretty cool. See down the end there, that's Frank Garcia's new line. It's called Archivist and is pretty darn cool!
So back to the make n takes I did. I created the gorgeous little mini albums that I've taught before. This was a wonderful idea for retailers to take back to their shops to teach their students, and at the same time is a cheap way to impress as it only uses one piece of paper.
When I got there, I saw this sign. And it had my name on it! Hehehe....
Lisa Bearnson. I was asked to do an 'errand' for a friend, and I have to say it was one of the best errands I've had to do in a long time. Find Lisa, have a photo and collect something to bring home! Easy!
I even managed to chat to Tim Holtz during one of his demos.
Yes, his signature really does look like it does on all his packaging!
I also got to meet the lovely Marisol from Prima. If you're into the Julie Nutting dolls you will know that there is a new doll this release called Marisol. It's named after this lovely lady!
So yes, I got to see and do a ton of stuff that I never thought I would. But, and here's the weird part. It was just like any other show you and I go to here in NZ and Aussie. SENZ is a great show here in NZ. CHA was just like it, but bigger and with manufacturers instead of retailers. But it's the same vibe. The expos in Aussie are the same.
So yes, you get to meet people that you wouldn't normally. And you get to see products IRL that haven't been released yet.
Yes, there were some things that you don't get to see unless you are there. So it can be quite eye opening. I don't know if that is a good thing? Do you really want to know/see all the 'messy' bits of your favourite brand?
But I think we are getting wonderful events right here in NZ that are equal to similar ones in bigger countries!
So if you're feeling a little bereft cause you didn't get to go. It's ok. Just make the most of the next big event here in NZ. I assure you, you won't be disappointed, and you'll even get to use all the new products that were seen at CHA.
As a final note, I thought I'd show you this amazing decoration that tickled my fancy...