Sunday, February 26, 2012

cha winter 2012 | behind the scenes

Finally, finally, finally, I'm getting around to posting pictures of something other than pretty paper and stickers from CHA Winter 2012. I wanted to get the "business" end of things out of the way before I jumped into other fun stuff, since this is more of a personal post. There are definitely things here that need to be documented!

One of the great things about attending this show was that I got to hang out with this amazing girl.

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May Flaum and I had been emailing, chatting, and Skyping for more than a year, but this was the first time we actually met in person. She's so completely awesome that I secretly (or not so secretly now :) ) want to move her next door to me. But, alas, she lives on a completely different coast. ::sigh::

There are definitely more photos of me at this show than from the summer one. Part of that's because miss May was around a bit to take photos for me, and the other part is because I looked for opportunities to take them myself...like this one I shot in a mirror at the Sizzix booth. :)

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I also had the chance to meet designers like Elizabeth Kartchner for the first time. Liz is an absolute sweetheart, and I adore the new additions she's made to Dear Lizzy!

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I met Amy Tan at the summer show, and I was happy that we had the chance to catch up again in Anaheim. I love that she's so down-to-earth and just plain approachable! I can't wait for her new Sketchbook collection to be released next month.

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May introduced me to Margie Romney-Aslett at the Bazzill booth. I was quite excited to meet her since I'd adored her designs for The Girls' Paperie, and I'm happy to report that her new collection with Bazzill is just as gorgeous!

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I didn't see nearly as many Tim Holtz demos during this show as I did at the last one, but I love this shot I got of May using her iPhone to photograph him in action. I got completely lucky that her phone's screen was in such sharp focus!

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Sunday afternoon we attended a media event at the EK Success booth, and the "beer o' clock" jokes started. One of the servers caught me taking photos of the spread and arranged the bottles for me. :)

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Speaking of food photos, I had a total scrappers' experience when I went to dinner that night with May and Shimelle. I have to say that Shimelle is as absolutely adorable in person as she is in her videos- loved hanging with her!

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You see, when you're at a table full of scrapbookers, nobody bats an eyelash when you pull out a camera to photograph your food before eating. In fact, they'll pull out cameras of their own and then proceed to help you arrange everything nicely and clear away clutter before you all start shooting.

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Many thanks to the staff at California Pizza Kitchen for not thinking we were total weirdos. And for the amazing fried macaroni.

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Monday at the show May had a book signing...where I completely embarrassed her (on purpose). It's okay...she got me back for the entire rest of the show. :)

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I almost missed getting to catch up with the Scrapbook Circle girls because we never seemed to be roaming around in the same place, but luckily they caught me while I was eating lunch and we were able to chat a bit and take a photo at the Ranger book.

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Dinner Monday night was a bit more low-key. May and I headed down to the lobby bar and ordered up appetizers to split. Soooo happy to find out that she and I have the same taste in food- it makes ordering and sharing so easy!

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Tuesday morning I just happened to end up sharing an elevator with the Education Coordinator for EK Success, which led to May and I being in invited to a make and take session at their booth that morning. Much to our surprise (and May's delight), we were able to meet the owner of French General while there, as well! Yes, May went totally fangirl for a minute. :)

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Being fab at the Jenni Bowlin booth.

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And also being silly at the Jenni Bowlin booth. :)

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Please ignore how tired I look in this photo with Celine Navarro. So, so happy to meet her, too!

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And also one of May and I. In which I look even more exhausted (truly, I was nearly zombified at this point in the show).

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May went home Tuesday night, so on Wednesday it was pretty much just me on the show floor. I ran into Noell and Izzy of Paperclipping as they were shooting a video at EK Success. So cool to see them in action!

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Post-show I trotted down to the hotel's food cour and snagged a shrimp taco salad from Baja Fresh. Sooooo good!

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And I also clicked off a few shots of the hotel...which I actually wasn't too pleased with. I mean, what $200 a night hotel charges $14 a day to use the gym? Seriously. Will not be staying here again.

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And then flew back home. And, boy, was I ever glad to be there!! As much as I loved meeting everyone in person, I'm not sure I have it in me to do another trade show- at least not anytime soon! This girl has totally decided she's more "designer" than "industry" material, and I'm happy with that. But I wouldn't trade the experiences at either of these shows for anything and, who knows, maybe I'll feel like going again a few years in the future,