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CHA Winter Show 2013

Happy January!

Seems that the holidays just buzzed by and by the time I got my holiday stuff packed up and put away it was time to head out to Anaheim for the Winter Craft and Hobby Association (CHA) show. All I can say is that it is a good time to be an artist!

I know that I am always saying that “I don’t want to suffer for my art” anymore, and it seems that the manufacturers are hearing that from artists everywhere. New products that make our life easier and art more fun abound! Online education, social media and videos are unfolding at an incredible speed.

The trade floor is divided by category and includes a section for Designers to showcase their own talents and this year it was larger than I had seen in the past. Artists set up a tabletop display with portfolios and samples of their designs that are seen by manufacturers, publishers, licensing representatives and even chain store and “how-to” show executives. It is a great way to get yourself “out there”.

Glass painting and glass jars are on the “HOT” list this year and Loew-Cornell was busy showing their Ball® Branded Vintage Jars and special lids. Everyone seems to have at least one jar in their booth for organizing, crafting, gifting, painting, and stacking. They were painted with glass paints, chalkboard paints, embellished with stickers, glitter, scrapbook tags and papers and cut out wood shapes. The new daisy lid insert and flower frog insert opened a whole new way to think about jars.

Mixed media was all over the floor. Watercolor pencils, pastels, markers, inks and embossing powders showcased easy ways to incorporate other media in your artwork. Wooden boxes, cardboard shapes, clay, wire, buttons, metal and bead findings, and textiles like ribbons, cording, laces, zippers, etc. are all being used to modify and enhance works of art. The Simply Art™ line from Loew Cornell is available at your local JoAnn’s stores and includes pastels, charcoal drawing pencils, watercolor pencils and other media items that can be used in your mixed media projects.

Tools that modify mudboard, paper, clay, glass and metal are making it easier to work with other mediums. Embossing folders, cake decorating products, texture mediums and machines that can cut out paper, wood, cork, and other substrates demonstrated how easy it is to create your own designs. All surface paints and mediums were introduced at the show and I can’t wait to get my hands on them. Chalkboard and metal paints were also showcased in many different ways.

Nature, birdcages, owls, elephants, botanicals, and butterflies are current trends. Stickers, papers, sticker shapes and cutouts strongly supported this trend. Most booths stayed within the 2013 color trend line but I was happy to see “carnival” themed and large botanical print papers included in many of the displays.

Our own booth featured 4 new and innovative specialty brushes that were designed to make art more effortless. The“Loop” brush makes snow, clouds and drybrushing a breeze. The new Mesa™ brush’s thicker base and tapered chisel is a basecoating dream-with a bonus of easy clean-up! The new, Long Filbert is also part of the line and carries more paint than a traditional filbert. And…(drumroll please), the Flora Round™, not only makes triple loading, strokes, leaves and petals easier, it is an incredible liner too! I can’t wait for you to see them. Our video demonstrations will be online soon, and a limited quantity will be available at Creative Painting in Las Vegas next month.

Also new this year to Loew-Cornell are stencils and paints along with new lid inserts and wooden tags to be used with mason jars. I envision wonderful decorations that accompany my canning efforts this year and make my love of using jars for organization so much more fun!

I was excited to see that the CHA has unveiled its very own “CRE8TIME” program. The idea behind it is that everyone has time to create and they want to get crafters to rediscover their passion for crafting, painting, sewing, etc. They are asking artists, manufacturers, demonstrators, etc. to join forces with videos, product knowledge;, community crafts events and online efforts. I love working with other artists and new crafters so I can’t wait to see how this effort progresses. Consider how you can be a participant in this movement. Visit for more information.

This show whets my appetite for new products and gets my mind reeling with new possibilities but I know that many of the new products shown won’t be available for purchase yet, so I will be mentally preparing and sketching in anticipation.

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