Reflections on Crafts and Crafterscomments (7) January 29th, 2009
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Reporting from CHA
January 25-28, 2009
This week we are reporting from the Craft & Hobby Association Winter Convention and Trade Show in Anaheim, CA.