Saturday, July 28, 2012

My first ever CHA!!! The experience & all the pretty things I saw :)

I apologize this is a week later than I thought I'd get this posted, but wow, I've been busy!

I wanted to get a bulk of my projects done since I'm leaving on ANOTHER trip next Friday! It's a family vacation this time, and we're headed to Portland and Seattle! (and guess what? I get to see Jin from Under a Cherry Tree again! SUPER EXCITED!)

Anyway, I wanted to share my first ever CHA experience! (I apologize about the low quality photos (taken from iphone) - I was not going to carry my big camera around!)

Here's me, at the airport - my first ever trip without my hubby or my kids!

I flew into Chicago airport pretty late last Tuesday night and I was pretty freaked out about having to take a hotel shuttle to where I was staying with Tamara, from Happy Life, Crafty Life.  After I hung up the phone asked the hotel shuttle to come get me, I was thinking... oh, gosh... how am I supposed to find my way around this place? Then I turned around... and guess who was there?

Yup! Tamara! That made me SUPER HAPPY! We've been friends for almost two years now, and FINALLY - I got to meet her in person!!! I love the fact that she wanted to surprise me there - how lucky am I? 

Don't we just look AWESOME together? It's like this friendship was just meant to be :) She's pretty, friendly and VERY funny - just how I thought she would be.  I LOVE HER!

We talked and talked (until 2 in the morning! Yeah, we're such party animals! lol... actually we had so much to talk about, we forgot to even drink water!)

Leo and Mary from SVG Cuts came to pick us up next morning, and took us to CHA! Fleurette (Fleurette's Fine Art Studio) from the design team met us there as well!

Not a very good photo, but yeah, can you see we're totally excited to see each other?

It was strange... I mean, we literally 'talk' among us on a daily basis, and we're used to looking at the little square FB  profile photo... and now, to see these people as 'real' humans! It was SO COOL!

For me to attend CHA was my dream... I knew that this wasn't open to the public, so I never would've thought that I would be actually going to this!


When I walked into the convention center... all you see is booths and booths, all decorated with pretty papers, embellishments and beautiful projects.  I was in awe.  I took A LOT of photos, and I can't possibly share them all, but here's some things that caught my eye!

So the first booth that I saw when I walked in was DCWV. Just look at this! All dressed up for Halloween already! I was just amazed at how detailed everything was - how much time and creativity that goes into setting up each booth.

Here's some pics that I took of various booths of things that caught my eye!

 Crate Paper

 Cosmo Cricket

SUPER cute things here! I just love the camping collection!

American Crafts

I am in love with that colored paper twine... I think that's on my 'shopping list' :)

So fun to see so much festive papers! Halloween and Christmas is definitely my fave holidays when it comes to crafting, so it was total eye candy for me!

We LOVE Dear lizzy line - the papers of course, but the designer Elizabeth Kartchner. She is just gorgeous and super nice! Mary even got to interview her, too! (Click to see video here!) (Can't you tell she's ECSTATIC to be standing next to Elizabeth? I think we all were!)

This is Leo getting all ready to film the interview!

(YIKES! All those white eyes makes us look SCARY!)

I even got a shot with her and did a make n' take!

Studio Calico 

I'm just loving all the wooden embellishments!

Carta Bella

You see the adorable round Christmas tree box?  That is made by Tamara!!! SUPER CUTE!

I think that this has got to be my FAVORITE Halloween line.  Definitely am going to get it!

Echo Park

For those of you that know me, you know that I LOVE Echo Park.  I use their papers in about half of my projects! ... but I didn't take any pics! I must've been SUPER excited to see it, I forgot to take a shot!

Here's one though with Lori Whitlock (she designs many of their paper lines - SUPER TALENTED!) and Corri Garza (Bug Lover Cards). Corri is the newest design team member for SVG Cuts, so we were very excited to meet her!


Back to school collection! Unique color combo makes it special :)

I got to meet Emily Lanham, from Create Serendipity!

May Arts

I'd die if I had this much ribbon... would be so fun to make a project and then come here to try pick out the perfect ribbon.

Farmhouse Paper Company - it's a new paper company... a touch of vintage, a touch of modern... love the texture of the papers!

October Afternoon

Okay, I think that this company has got to be my favorite out of all the amazing paper companies.  This carnival collection is super cute!

Glitz Designs 

I've never tried their papers, and usually don't catch my eye, but Tamara and I agreed that this was pretty cute :)

Jenni Bowlin 

I just love all the vintage ephemeras that they had for their display.. I would've loved to have any of these to use as my photo back drops! So pretty!

Sizzix/Tim Holtz

LOVED this Halloween display! I was inspired for sure!

Yay! Mary also got to interview Tim Holtz and Tammy from Sizzix! They were super friendly! 
(Click here to see video)

Maya Road  

Love those trims! Vintage, yet clean and simple - totally fits my style!

Simple Stories

I've been loving all the new lines that have been coming out... and I just couldn't believe how many projects from the design team was there. It was so pretty to look at all together!

Graphic 45

It's not my style, but I can see the appeal...  This probably was the most amazing booth.  The projects from the design team was just outstanding, and you know that there was SO much effort put into this booth.

Mary getting ready to interview with Diane :) (Click here to see video)

I met a few more ladies from my CHA trip!

Some amazing fellow Unity design team members - these girls are amazing - wish I had more time to hang out with them! I totally missed Angela Magnusson - and I was super sad :(

Carisa Zglobicki (Lady Guinevere's inky fairies)

Andrea Dewsbury-Murdock (My Stamping Heaven) and Jennifer Buck (The Buck Stamps Here)

Julia Sandvoss (Craft Mom).  She's our design team coordinator for Epiphany Crafts! She is the sweetest lady ever!

... and Teri Anderson (a bit of this. a bit of that.) known as the Paper Crafts Go-to Gal! We were in the Twisted Sugar Twine design team together!

So, that's my day! So much to see, and so many people that I have met! 

It was definitely a fun experience and also fun to see all the new collections together in one place.

I cherished every moment of it, and just wanted to say special thanks to Leo and Mary for making my dream come true :) They really are the sweetest people around - so lucky to be on their design team!

Stay tuned for another post... the rest of my Chicago trip with the SVG Cuts gang!

Lots of fun pics to follow!


  1. What an amazing trip Thienly. I really enjoyed your photos!
    I am hoping to go in January next year too - not sure I could pack everything in though!
    Thanks for sharing :-)
    Lowri :-)

  2. Wow! Amazing photos! Thank you for being our eyes!!! I loved all the pics of you and the girls, how sweet! And, of course, can't forget our dear, sweet Leo! So glad you got to meet them all! How exciting!
    I sure did love the DCWV halloween display.
    Carta Bella's ALL HALLOWS EVE paper is my favorite!
    I would have felt like I just stepped into heaven if I had been there!!!
    Thanks, again, hugs, Debra

  3. Wowsers, Thienly, how totally exciting your trip was!!! And meeting your MB friends! Tooo cool! TFS all of the pix w/ us!!

    Aren't Leo and Mary the cutest couple, ever??!!! :-)

    Looks like you had an absolute ball!! So happy for you that you were able to go! :-)

  4. WHAT a FUN post!!! And, seriously how cute you all are! Thanks for sharing!

  5. Now how fun are these pics?!!!

  6. Thanks for sharing all your pics Thienly! Maybe someday I'll have the opportunity to go to CHA, looks like an amazing event!

  7. *sniffle* makes me miss you all so much!! It was a BLAST meeting you! Totally fun and I wanna do it every year! LOL! We need to have little SVG Cuts reunions! ;) You are a total doll and a beautiful person inside and out, so happy to have met ya!

  8. How exciting for you.. One day I need to take the leap and join you!! Love all the photos!! And both Authentique photos had my layouts!! Awesome!

  9. I'm so glad you had an awesome time! O'Hare is a huge airport and even though that's the airport I've used for 99.9% of my life (I live in northern Illinois) I think I'd be intimidated to fly into it all by myself (and I've gotten off track trying to find my way into and out of it by car, too!)
    You do an amazing job on the design team and I love that SVGCuts is less than 1/2 an hour from where I live! It's good to hear that Mary and Leo are wonderful because they really inspire and amaze me on what seems like a weekly basis! Thanks for sharing!!!

  10. What a great trip you had! I'm sure you all tore IT Up! Wasn't your brain just Fried after seeing everything? Love love love!



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