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Best in Class CHA 2013 Header


For the last few days, I’ve been in a CHA state of mind. Here’s the lowdown. The Craft & Hobby Association Tradeshow, better known as CHA to all us hip lingo lovers, is a big ol festival of crafts. Hundreds of  vendors come together to show off their latest and greatest so that sellers, bloggers and crafters can drool over their goods. I am totally guilty of drooling a few times, and I’m here to give you the rundown on the products that caught my eye. I know there are many of you who would have liked to attend CHA, so hopefully this post will make you feel like you were there with me!

There are a ton of photos coming up along with lots of details on each product. If you have additional questions, leave a comment and I’ll get back to you!

So, without further adieu, let’s get this award show started!

2013 CHA Best in Show: Best New Kid On the Block


Allison Kreft is definitely no newbie to paper design. Allison has designed for Echo Park, Hambly Screenprints and now she has put her signature style to work with Webster’s Pages. Her collections: Composition & Color and Sweet Notes were among my favorites at the show! The paper is beautiful, but I have a special place in my heart for the patterned mini bags!

Ready for the remaining Best in Class winners? There are a ton of photos so you’ll have to click through to see who made the cut!

2013 CHA Best in Class: Best Dies


Paper Smooches is expanding their collection with the addition of dies…lots of them. I was blown away by the huge selection of dies coming up but there were a few that really caught my attention. The clipboard die, ampersand die and paint palette die are items that I will definitely be adding to my collection! They are unique and oh so cute.

2013 Best in Class: Best Stamp Set

Here’s the deal. If you make a stamp set about food, I will love it. If you make a stamp set about Chinese food, I will try to eat it and hope that it tastes like Mongolian Beef with a side of sauteed green beans. Lawn Fawn got everything about this stamp set right…but it doesn’t taste like Mongolian beef (they’ll need to work on that, part).  This set includes adorable sentiments for every occasion and there are coordinating dies available too! Love that. Thanks Lawn Fawn for creating the perfect set that speaks to my Chinese food loving soul.

2013 Best in Class: Best Patterned Paper Collection


They really know what they’re doing over at Pink Paislee. Their Luxe Collection will be available in March and you can preorder now. This collection is all about metallic, glitter, stripes & chevrons. How could you not love? The second I saw this collection, I may have screamed a little bit and said that I’d like to eat it up.

CHA Best in Class: Best Way to Add Color

Right next door to that yummy Pink Paislee paper, was the Heidi Swapp booth. Not only was the booth adorable and staffed by the sweetest design team ever, it was filled to the brim with vibrant and bold colors. You guys know I love color, so it only made sense that I’d love the Heidi Swap collections. Her Color Shine sprays are so much fun to work with and when you combine them with her Color Pop papers & embellishments, you sort of can’t go wrong. The Color Pop papers have a resist surface that is colored. When you spray them with Color Shine, you stain the non-resist surface, while the resist surface comes through. The result is a seriously awesome two toned pattern. And see those Color Magic adhesive letters in the photo above? They work the same way! The dots on each letter have a resist surface so you can spray them in any color, then let those trendy dots shine through. Coming from a person who’s not usually a fan of messy crafting – you gotta trust me on this…these collections are a must have! You can visit Heidi’s blog for more deets on these products.

2013 Best in Class: Best Ways to Washi

Recently, I wanted to make some washi stickers. My washi tape rolls were too thin for the shapes I wanted. I thought to myself that it would be great if someone would create sheets of washi. Enter: We R Memory Keepers! They are doing big things with washi and I am oh so happy about it. Considering that my collection of washi probably makes me eligible for an episode of Hoarders, I was especially pleased to see their Washi Dispenser. They also offer their washi sheets in a 6×6 pad that comes with an assortment of patterns. In my opinion, this is the right way to washi!

2013 CHA: Best Trend in Twine

Typically I have no business predicting trends, but this time I feel good about my chances. I’m predicting that hemp cording is going to take over the scene leaving baker’s twine in it’s dust! There! I said it! The Hemptique booth was chock full of brightly colored spools of hemp cording. The twine is a bit stiffer than baker’s twine and the color options are endless. I love the clean, smooth finish of hemp cording – perfect for clean and simple designs.

2013 CHA Best in Class: Best Organizational Tool

The Jinger Adams Craft Armoire may be the most buzz worthy item from CHA. This over-the-door organizational system weights 35lbs and measures 6.5 inches deep and 15 inches wide. Inside, you’ll find a pocket, pouch, drawer, slot or hook for everything you can imagine. The paper slots will accomodate 12×12 scrapbook paper and the outside features a corkboard for pinning notes and inspiration. This product will be available in May 2013 and will retail fo $250.00. Raise your hand if you’ll be adding this to your craft space!! **Hand raised**

2012 CHA Best in Class: Best Tool You Never Knew You Needed

Creating epoxy resin embellishments has never been on my to-do list…until I found out about the Plaid Crafts Mod Melts. They are seriously the mostest. Here’s how it works: Mod Melts look just like the inserts for your hot glue gun…except they are filling with awesome resin. Place the insert into your hot glue gun, heat it up then fill the mold with warm resin. In four minutes…yes FOUR MINUTES…you’ll have beautiful, perfectly shaped embellishments.  The resin is white, but you can color it using a variety of options. You can paint them or add glitter. You can color them with copics. Get creative!

CHA Best in Class: Best Die Cutting Tool

Okay. Some of you know me. Some of you don’t. When I win something – I lose my shizz. Seriously. There is screaming, jumping, shaking and general tomfoolery involved when I win something. Imagine the scene, then, when I won a Fiskars Fuse at the 2013 CHA. It was quite the sight to behold. Poor Stephanie Haman thought I was going to trample her!! (Which, for the record, is not completely outside the realm of possibilities).  I’m so excited to receive my Fuse in the mail, and when I do, I’ll be sharing all it’s awesomeness with you right here, with tutorials and projects. In the meantime, you’ve gotta believe me. This machine is definitely deserving of a Best in Class award. It’s a die cutting machine, a letter press machine, an embosser…and did I mention that it will cut through TEN sheets of cardstock at once! Nuff said. It’s also super easy to crank. The pressure you exert is exactly the same whether you’re cutting through one sheet or ten. Gotta love that, right!?

Welp! That just about does it for my favorites from the 2013 Craft & Hobby Association Trade Show! I had a great time scouring the floor for my must haves and I can’t wait to return to the summer show to see what’s new in crafting! In the meantime, thanks for putting up with all my Instagramming, Facebooking & Twittering over the last few days. It was really fun sharing every moment of my trip with all of you!

Now for the QUESTION OF THE DAY! Which of these products would YOU most want to add to your collection?


  • Did you leave a comment in the Paper Crafts Creative Card Challenges Blog Hop? If so…it’s time to see if you won!

Congratulations to comment #62: Betty Sue

Betty Sue – please contact me via email to claim your issue of this awesome magazine!


Keep on crafting with these other posts

49 thoughts on “CHA 2013: Best in Class

  1. Thanks Amber for all the pictures and new product updates.It looks like you had a ball just being there. I will be looking for these new products in my craft store . Welcome back …

  2. Congratulations on your Fiskars Fuse win! The mod podge melts looks interesting – not too messy to do, results look great! I love hemp too, gradually using it more than bakers twine at the moment!! Thanks for the great CHA report!

  3. I’m seriously thinking about going out and getting a Fuse tomorrow. It’s been a fabulous CHA experience! Thanks a bunch, Amber.

  4. Lucky you, Amber, to win a Fiskars Fuse! That is so awesome, and I know you’ll make Fiskars proud with all your gorgeous creations. Thanks for your thoughts on CHA and sharing your favorites!

  5. What a great report. The award shows need you for a writer. So much fun stuff to look at and drool over. Congratulations again for winning the Fuse. I know you will put it to great use. You new hubby may never see you again, you may never come out of your craft room.

  6. Usually the thought of BIG shows like CHA make me hyperventilate—too, too much to see–and it all begins to look alike! Your “tour” was just right!!! I LOVED everything you spotlighted (uh-oh!!!) I can’t wait to see your demo of your new Fiskars Fuse on your blog!!! That looks like it will be on my Wish List for sure. Thanks, Amber…for including us in your fun experience!!!

  7. Living in crafting wasteland I have been drooling over your post from CHA! What would I love to have, it’s a hard choce between the washi tape dispenser and the Fiskars fuse!

  8. You are such an enabler! My wish list just grew! Thanks for sharing all these wonderful goodies. I also won a FUSE (several months ago). I am really eager to see your tutorials and wonderful creations!

  9. Terrible, terrible! You are making me want too much :). Thanks for sharing. Looks like there are so really cool items coming out.

  10. I would have to say the over the door craft organizer! I think I might have to add this to my “must have that list”.

  11. Wow! Thanks so much for this post Amber! CHA sounds like the Mecca for crafters and I LOVE that you shared your favorites. The Fuse sounds absolutely amazing and I can’t wait to see what you create with it. Your blog is fantastic and you have such a great personality *Ü*

  12. I’m right with you on the hemp twine, I never quite got with the bakers twine, frays, to limp. I love the mod podge, how bad$$$ was the molds? Thank you for your tour, I can live through you. Congrats on your WIN, I would so knock someone down, but I would offer to pick them up, just saying.

  13. Fantastic post, Amber – thank you for sharing a little piece of CHA!
    Congratulations on your win, I got the slight impression you were a tad excited – :op
    I loved everything you highlighted here but the Mod Melts have me very intrigued 🙂

  14. Thanks for sharing these awesome products from CHA– so much to love! I love almost everything that you mentioned but my top three on the Mod Melts, Ginger Adams and the Fuse. Congrats on winning the Fuse; I look forward to seeing what you create with it.

  15. Thanks so much for all the info and pics from CHA! I’m seriously LOVING EVERYTHING, but I would have to say my fave is the Craft Armoire…What a great way to organize supplies and have them within arms reach!

    Congrats on your win ~ I can’t wait to see what you create with your new “Fiskars Fuse”!!! Thanks again for sharing with us, Amber…and welcome home!

  16. I love this post!! The pics & description were both educational & entertaining, LOL! There’s NO way I can pick a fav so I’ll go with my all-time fav of anything that Lawn Fawn cranks out. I love that washi dispenser BUT I’d need about 5 of them to properly store my addiction :/

  17. Thanks so much for sharing your excitement and info with us. If you ever had the feeling like someone was watching you from afar…it was probably ME! (lol). I can’t wait to get my hands on that Amoire, but I’m going to have to do some serious saving up. Gotta love me some Paper Smooches and those dies are certainly to Die For…punn intended. Girl you are Just the Burst of Fun I need in my day. Although we’ve never met, I can certainly imagine your reaction of winning your new Fiskars machine. Congratulations!

  18. I think that making my own embellishments would be super! So, that’s my choice. Congrats on your new machine…can’t wait to see what you create with it.

  19. The new Lawn Fawn stamps are cute…but since I’m already a fan of that product, I’d say the Mod Melts are my favorite “new to me” pick! I’ll be looking for them.

  20. What a wonderful post Amber! Congrats on winning that Fiskars Fuse. I remember all the yelling and laughter when you won at Stamp-a-faire! Can’t wait to hear how you like the Fuse. I’d love to have one too.

  21. I am in love with those resin embellishments… I absolutely adore cameos in so many forms, and the idea of being able to make my own cameo and floral embellies (I’m thinking scrapbooks, cards, jewelry pendants) is just fantastic! Do you have any idea where we can find this Plaid Resin?

    Also, that Fiskars Fuse sounds incredible. I can’t wait to read your thoughts on it!!

  22. Thanks for the great report! Looks like lots of fun, fun stuff to drain our craft budgets. Congrats on winning the Fuse; I’m anxious to hear how you like it.

  23. Glad that you had such a great time at CHA! I would love to go.
    There are so many things that I Would like – the Hemptique twine (I have some hemp twine and love it!!), the Pink Paislee paper, the Paper Smooches dies, etc, etc!!

  24. Thanks for the BEST of the Show…almost felt like I was there. I had to laugh when I read that you won the fuse…..It brought back great memories of you at Stamp-a-faire. We will have to hook up again when you go to the summer CHA assuming it will be in Chicago

  25. Congrats on winning and thanks for sharing all about CHA with us that stayed home 🙂 I’d love to have the Fiskars fuse, Lawn fawn stamps and the Plaid crafts in that order.

  26. The Hemp twines are definitely in line to to replace Baker’s twine at my house. I recently bought gigantic spools of both red and natural jute-would love to expand the color spectrum! AND the Fiskars Fuse might like to take a seat of honor on my craft table. Are they inviting ordinary folk to try one out? Pick me, pick me! I can hardly wait to see what you crank out with yours. Keep us posted!

  27. Amber, it was so nice to meet you!!! Thank you for the Heidi Swapp feature AND for the sweet comment about the team. We just love you and your awesome personality! xoxo

    – Jennifer Evans; Heidi Swapp Media Team Leader

  28. Amber my dear…it was such a treasure to meet you at the show. I do indeed hope our paths cross again. And thank you so much for the shout out for Heidi and our MediaTeam. We do indeed love that ColorShine. And you are a rock star for giving us some love.

  29. Thanks for the recap. I really do love Heidi’s color shine. She really hit the mark with this. 🙂 Also, I love that resin thing from Plaid! Totally awesome. And I’m knew to your blog. Will be adding you to my list!

  30. Ummm…you won a Fuse???? Lucky girl…;) It was so nice to meet you at the show! You are just the absolutely sweetest…so gorgeous, so talented, and so friendly…love ya, girl! (Maggie from the HS Media Team)…;)

  31. Wow! If I had to chose only one, I would take Ginger’s organizer. Now if I could chose one filled with everything from Heidi’s papers and paints to the Fiskars Fuse and of course the rest of the 2013 CHA’s best in class. That one be AWESOME.
    This was a great job on presenting these new products. Thanks Amber.

  32. You lucky lady! I have been eying that machine at Micheal’s for a few months now. I can’t wait to see what you do with it, I just know it will be out of the box and AH-MAZING!;)
    I don’t think I could choose just one product. So many good things to choose from. Thanks for sharing your CHA experience.

  33. OMG, You have no idea how impatiently I’m waiting for the Lawn Fawn stamp set to come out already so that I can buy it!!! And that paint palette die by Paper Smooches?! SO getting it, also!!!! 😀 What a treat this post was!!! Thanks for sharing all those awesome pictures!!! And congrats on winning that Fiskars Fuse!!! 😀

  34. I can only express a word of thanks. Because with the content on this blog I can add knowledge I, thanks have been sharing this information. Do not forget to visit our website to share information.

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