Thursday, June 14, 2007

Field Trip

I had so much fun tonight- it's the closest I've come to my dream, attending CHA. (Craft and Hobby Association show) I've had a few cool scrapbook experiences through working with some companies, but this was one of the best.

I was able to attend a party/preview of American Crafts new lines and products that will debut at CHA next month. I have made some kits for a new company called My Creative Life, and through my friendship with Robin and the president Mike Casperson, I was invited to attend tonight. I wish I had brought my camera, although I doubt that would have been allowed. We toured their warehouse and it was so pleasing... The aisles of shelves just stocked full of their ribbon was the most pleasing sight to me. I had to keep running my fingers over it all.

They are definitely one of the leaders in the industry, and their new stuff is no exception. Having been on a fairly strict scrap-buying sabbatical for the last 6 months, this was intense. A showroom with all their new lines as well as old and existing favorites. It was a little overwhelming to view the paper selection as I have purposely avoided seeing much of it for months to ease the pain of abstinence.

Let me just say- they have a new gift wrap line that is simply unbelievable. Remember when Chatterbox tried to do that a couple of years ago with their Art Paper? ( I think that's what they called it.) It was overpriced, too small to work with much, and nothing really eye-catching. (Has anyone else noticed Chatterbox kind of fading into the background lately?) Well AC went with this full-throttle. I was simply amazed. They have 5 lines of gift-wrap that include various wrapping paper that is very well-priced (move over Target-) along with paper curling ribbon, paper bows both large and small, boxes and gift bags of all shapes and sizes, ribbon of course, gift tags, label stickers... They are all in the American Crafts style that we have all come to know and love increasingly over the last couple of years. I was awe-struck. It is rare that there is something in the industry that is completely original and inspiring. Most of the time people are trying to make improvements and variations of existing products, but AC has been a front-runner in innovative designs and products. It was exciting to say the least. I was gasping all over the place.

The best part- I got a goodie bag! I couldn't thank Mike enough. I heard rumor of a goodie bag, and I expected something small and pleasing. Oh. Once again American Crafts exceeded my expectations and made me catch my breath- several times over. Check out this loot:



Notice the beautiful gift bag and those amazing paper ribbons! There is a huge stack of many of their new papers, 3 packages of ribbon, rubons, 3 packs of stickers, house embellishments... Well- see for yourself! I can't imagine the retail value of this stuff, but I am very grateful. I consider it an early birthday present. I love new supplies, but even more, I LOVE being inspired. I love this business, I love this hobby, this art, this passion of mine. I love all things textile and beautiful. I want to be able to turn my passion into more than just my own gratification... Maybe I'm one step closer to CHA and scrapbook celebrity.

p.s. Go to American Crafts' website and you can download beautiful wallpaper for your computer. It's under Creative Juices> It's for Fun. And it is.

8 comments:

Hannah said...

Wow. That is a ton of freebies. So jealous my friend.

michelle said...

Woohoo! I'll bet they had no idea how much you were the perfect recipient of that goodie bag, considering your long self-imposed scrap fast and your passion for this stuff. I can't wait to see the wrapping paper! That is brilliant, and it combines two of my loves, scrap supplies and wrapping paper. I wonder why no one has done that before? I am jealous too!

cjw said...

How much fun! That sounds like quite a treat and the scrapbook bag (sounds like a Christmas stocking of sorts) seems to me to be a reward for staying committed to your fast. Kudos! I can't wait to come out in a week!

Robin said...

I'm so glad you were able to come, Jessie! I could tell you were on cloud nine the whole time we were there. You know me - I don't do a whole lot of scrapping, but man their stuff is so pleasing to look at! Definitely a fun night!

Also, I am glad you loved your "shwag bag." I knew if any of us would appreciate it, you would. (: I did get some things after Mike took the other one home for his girls - I better get started on making cards and such!

Karli said...

Jessie-

So. Jealous.

Dang girl, that is such a great opportunity! Not only the grab bag, but just the whole experience. The drinking it in of the amazingness that resonates from AC... You'll definitely have to get that down on a journaled scrapbook page. I know you are talented & just keep it up and you may find that scrapbook fame you're looking for! Would love to see what you come up with from the freebies!

Lucky you!
Karli

mom said...

Okay, where is this CHA show? Is this the one in Las Vegas that Michelle has talked about? Are there various locations? Why can't we go! I'm all about trade shows and I'm sure I can get us in! It could be a trip for the planning! Everything looks good for sure and I'm so glad you were able to attend. It sounds pretty exclusive! I have no doubt you will be published someday. I have learned lately that you just have to be out in front of the publicaitons constantly marketing yourself. It pays off if you persist. Two of my projects will be published in important magazines in the fall! Don't stop submitting!Everyone in my office loves my four generation "mother" foldout. Find out the info and let's make a long range plan.

Amie said...

Oh, I am jealous. Such cute stuff (I love this brand). What a treat, I am also staying out of the stores so have no idea what's new...

Please show us all the goodness you make with your new stash!

Jill said...

What a shock to find I'm actually behind on your posts! How delightful. That goodie bag is something else, I adore American Crafts and am now giddy about the thought of affordable, cool wrapping paper. I love their rub-ons too and have bought tons of them and made oodles of cards with them. I hope you'll start posting your projects and pages again soon, I miss seeing your genius mind at work.

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