January 11, 2016

CHA Mega Show 2016 = FUN!

B E S T   D A Y   E V E R ! ! !

Yup - that was my day this past Saturday when I went to the CHA Mega Show 2016 at the Anaheim Convention Center.  CHA is the Craft & Hobby Association, a business community for creative arts and hobby professionals.

As a member of CHA, I get to go to the convention for free. And I can even bring my employees (or friends who like crafting) for free too!

There were all sorts of informative class sessions and round tables, and although I planned to attend some of those, I didn't.  I went to the show floor with the booths of the various industry suppliers.

Even though I write mostly about jewelry and related crafts, all sorts of yarn, glitter and craft goodies get me excited. And the show floor area was huge!

Here's a quick rundown of some highlights for me.

Yes, I know this is a pile of assorted tubes, but it's the only thing I bought at the show (it's not a show for buying, it's for wholesale ordering or product information), but somehow I still managed to buy this silly bag of miscellaneous tubes.

Why would I want such a thing.  Eh - who knows.  Mandrels to wrap wire around is the main reason, but I can actually imagine other uses as well.

I believe it's primarily brass tubing with some copper and steel. It's mostly round tubes, some square and some rods too.  Remember, I'm one of those people who gets thrilled by the little things (last year it was a gross of packages of jump rings).

My next highlight was the ParaWire booth where I was thrilled to see all the glorious colors and sizes of wire in person.  I've never used ParaWire and I guess my enthusiasm convinced them that I deserved a couple of samples.  I chose the hematite in 24g.  I really wanted hematite in 20g, but since they didn't have it, they gave me an extra roll of silver in 20g

I went right to work yesterday trying out my new rods and coiling up some of the parawire.  The parawire is soft like copper - possibly even softer which doesn't make sense since it is copper core wire.  I'll have to play with it a little more.

I've been working on some earrings like the mosaic bead earrings in this post, so I compared the new coil to the brass coil I was making.  It's slightly larger, which means the smallest rod in my bag of goodies is probably 16g. I think I can still make it work.

The absolutely BEST part of my day was finding the booth for Nunn Design.  (Insert angels singing here)

I had never seen their products in person before, only in magazines, and when I saw the entire collection - WOW!  It is beautiful!

This was probably another of my over-enthusiastic moments at the show (the other one was at ParaWire).  I was so excited to see this gorgeous collection of findings and completed jewelry.  I find it hard to believe I have never bought any Nunn Design components or findings - or knowingly run across them before.  Really high quality finishes, unique designs, and Becky Nunn was so nice to talk with. I'm definitely hoping to work with some of these components in the future.

One more highlight was the booth for F&W Media, the parent company of Interweave who publishes Step by Step Wire, Beadwork, etc.  They were giving away the most recent issues of several crafting publications for free - as well as some catalogs of recent and upcoming craft book releases.

I love crafting books of all sorts, so I offered my services as a reviewer for new releases.  Who knows if anything will come of it - but I tried.

Besides my free goodies and discovering Nunn Designs, the show was the perfect place to learn about products.  The booths provided demonstrations or make and takes - it was a great educational experience on so many levels.

Sadly, next year they are moving the show to Arizona. I'm glad I was able to go.  There are so many ideas swirling in my head!

One more quick thing before I go.

A new-to-me craft site - CraftGawker. My friend was always telling me about it - but I've finally checked it out AND successfully submitted a couple of projects. It's a must see if you love crafts.

I think the best way to describe CraftGawker is a curated version of Pinterest, focused on tutorials and great pictures. Since all submissions are reviewed prior to publishing (and from what I understand - many are not accepted), the pictures are higher quality and the links actually go to the content you see on the picture.

So far, no broken links and lots of free tutorials for a wide variety of crafts and household projects. (And not that we're keeping track, but I'm 2 for 2 on submission acceptance!)  See my heart up there in the bottom center?!!

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  1. There are some good tutorials and projects on Craftgawker but i find a lot of it is just crap but with beautiful photos!

    1. I have seen some of that. But hopefully people I can add to the part that isn't crap. :)