CraftStylish Reports from CHA

CraftStylish Reports from CHA

Reflections on Crafts and Crafters

comments (7) January 29th, 2009     

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Jen_W Jennifer Worick, contributor
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Diane Gilleland interviewed Fran Ortmeyer at the Clover Booth about new products and blogging.
Erika Kern restyled a CraftStylish tee for Michaela. Naturally, it was the hit of the show the next day.
Im not gonna lie: I have a crush on Crafty Chica Kathy Cano-Murillo. She is a doll wrapped in glitter.
Diane Gilleland interviewed Fran Ortmeyer at the Clover Booth about new products and blogging.

Diane Gilleland interviewed Fran Ortmeyer at the Clover Booth about new products and blogging.

Photo: Jennifer Worick

I’m writing this as I wing my way back to Seattle after an exhausting, enriching, and insightful few days at the Craft & Hobby Association (CHA) convention/trade show. Closed to the general public, the show was a marvelous way for a crafter/author/blogger like me to get the skinny on what’s coming down the pike. The CraftStylish booth was staffed with Taunton folks and fellow bloggers, and it was the little moments in between that I found so satisfying.

There was the slumber party where Diane Gilleland taught Michaela and Jessica Aframe to crochet. Jeffery might have been in on that too, but I was too busy marveling at Erika and Kayte’s embroidery projects. Erika restyled Michaela’s CraftStylish T-shirt with a few different embroidery stitches and the result was a gorgeous and individual take on our show uniform. I attempted to remake my shirt as well, but I only succeeded in cutting out the neckline and adding a sloppy chain stitch.


Diane Gilleland took time at the end of a long day to give a crochet lesson in Michaela's room.

Jessica Aframe took to crochet like a house on fire.

Erika Kern restyled a CraftStylish tee for Michaela. Naturally, it was the hit of the show the next day.

Kayte Terry is working on an embroidered art piece of overlapping circles. Love it.

And I was fortunate enough to walk the show with Diane, who was gathering materials for her CraftyPod podcast by asking crafters and manufacturers topical questions about the state of crafting and where the online community fits into it. I wandered around with Michaela, who is a true force of nature and one of the savviest women on the planet. Watching her connect with people, even sitting on the floor and teaching a young girl how to fold a magazine to create wall art like the CraftStylish booth, blew my mind.


Diane Gilleland interviewed Fran Ortmeyer at the Clover Booth about new products and blogging.

Michaela Murphy plopped right down in the CraftStylish booth to show a burgeoning crafter how to fold a magazine like the ones on our wall display.

Jeffery Rudell gives a little attitude before his paper flower demo.

I was able to talk one-on-one with crafters during my Prairie Girl book signing.

I had a book signing for The Prairie Girl’s Guide to Life and once again found my prairie peeps, one of whom got teary-eyed as I described my inspiration behind the book (my childhood in southwest Michigan). She could relate.


Vanna White talked about the designs during the Lion Brand fashion show featuring her yarn.

That’s what I want crafting to be to me—a way to connect with my past and with others—but that’s often lost to stress, deadlines, and the single life. While Paris Hilton, Vanna White, Jane Seymour, and Deborah Norville were all at the show promoting their craft brands, I was much more geeked to meet Crafty Chica Kathy Cano-Murillo and Sarah Hodsdon, Facebook friends whom I hadn’t yet met in person but whom I admired tremendously. Talk about tears. Along with my CraftStylish bloggers (I heart Jeffery’s insouciant genius, Kayte’s mad style, Erika’s wackiness, Diane’s calm charm, Deana’s savvy insight into the craft market, and pretty much everything about Michaela), chatting, connecting, and seeing the generous spirits and big personalities of these women is what keeps me going and keeps me inspired and charged up.


Yep, that's Jane Seymour demonstrating her watercolor abilities.

I'm not gonna lie: I have a crush on Crafty Chica Kathy Cano-Murillo. She is a doll wrapped in glitter.

Sarah Hodsdon of Sarah*n*dipitous stopped by our booth with her cardboard dress, which was almost accidentally thrown out by show staff! Her booth, which was constructed completely out of cardboard, won an award at the show.

We celebrated our first anniversary!

If only I could figure out what to do for my next tutorial. I don’t know where to start…

For more reflections on the show, check out my blog Prairie Tales in the coming days.

In the future, you can find me at my website or blogs, Things I Want to Punch in the Face and Prairie Tales. My new book, Backcountry Betty: Crafting with Style, is in stores now.

posted in: cha, Paris Hilton, vanna white, authors, bloggers, celebrity, jane seymour, trade show, writers

Comments (7)

paperrain writes: Oh, this is so cool! I can't wait to get my invitation next year. I will send over my snail mail and that way we can have that out of the way!

It looks like it was lots of fun. Happy Birthday to Craftstylish, and many happy returns of the year!
Posted: 3:30 pm on February 5th
TROLLBYrm writes: There's something comforting in seeing that celebrities still do regular constructive, fun stuff, too. I always get excited when I hear about running backs who needlepoint on planes.
Posted: 12:46 am on January 31st
sarahndipitous writes: Holy Smokes Batman!!! Not only was it amazing to hang out with you all in the booth, but to leave there completely inspired and totally wanting to create was an incredible gift. I was floored by the amount of talent and the pure passion you all have for crafting a better world. I wish you continued success and crazy amazing good things to just randomly present themselves. You all have a home here in Michigan and a friend for life :) XOXO Sarah
Posted: 12:46 pm on January 30th
crafty_gal writes: Jen! It was so wonderful to meet you. I'm so glad we got to hang out at the show :) I'm still working on my granny squares...i'm obsessed! I can't wait to show everyone in the office my new ring...an awesome jeinner worick original! THANK YOU!!!
Posted: 9:53 am on January 30th
Not_So_Plain_Jane writes: Hi! I came by your awesome booth at the show and could not wait to join your site. I saw Michaela's shirt and all I can say is I heart Erike Kern!!! I also heart Jeffery's paper flowers, and well all of you:) Do you have any pics of the t-shirt? Thanks so much--CraftStylish was a big highlight of CHA for me!!!
Posted: 5:33 pm on January 29th
JenniferStern writes: Thanks for the recap Jen...It brought back lots of memories from my experience last year at the CHA. I can't believe it's been a year already, I guess time really flies when you're having so much crafty fun!
Posted: 9:57 am on January 29th
LAURAMCHUGH writes: WOW Looks like all had a great time. Wish I was there as well. Thanks for sharing all the photos and good times.
Posted: 6:21 am on January 29th
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