I had a blast at my first Summer CHA. As I said in a previous post, I’ve been attending the winter shows for about 6 years now, but have never made my way back East in July to attend the summer one. It’s true the summer shows are quite a bit smaller than the massive winter ones, but what they lack in size, they make up for in substance. I was impressed with the CHA staff members who really work hard to put on the shindig. There were some really wonderful opportunities for CHA Designer members who get their names and work out there amongst the Crafts Industry folks.
By far, my two favorite parts of summer CHA were the Crafty Couture dresses, made my crazy-amazing-talented Designer member peers, and the “Minute to Craft It” mixed media challenge up on a big stage. The stage and the dress display were right in the middle of the show floor. My other favorite part of the show? Catching up with my friends whom I never seem to get enough time to chat with at busy, busy, busy winter CHA.
The dress challenge was so much fun, particularly because I partnered up with someone who is soooo talented — my amazing artist friend Claudine Hellmuth. Neither Claudine nor I sew. Luckily it was a mixed-media challenge so we were able to conceptualize an art piece made of Claudine’s Sticky Back Canvas and her Studio paints, as well as some ICE Resin paper and bronze wire for the skirt structure. I may not have had a sewing machine, but I brought my jewelry pliers, mandrels and wire cutters and broke a sweat twisting and turning all that wire right there on the show floor. Claudine even learned some metal attachment techniques and was twisting wire like an old pro. She prefabricated the bodice out of Claudine Hellmuth Sticky Back Canvas before the show and made a ton of her adorable mixed media flowers using her canvas and Studio paints.
Making the dress with Claudine was loads of fun. We’ve been friends for years and go way back in the mixed-media art arena. The other cool part is that our dress was one of the five chosen as a Judge’s pick to be included in the Jan/Feb. 2012 issue of Cloth, Paper, Scissors magazine. Weeee!!! We also attended the CHA Award’s ceremony and picked up our winning ribbon.
(Funny little side note on the dress. We had to come up with a name for it months and months before the show. We knew it would have flowers so we thought we were being clever with the name “A Spring in Her Step.” However, once we got there and assembled it, we nicknamed her “dirty ballerina”. Much more fitting, no?)
Here’s a round-up though of the things I saw and experienced. First up, more dresses!
Julie Fei-Fan Balzer of Balzer Designs made this simply amazing art journaling dress on canvas. She won Fan Favorite in the competition and wow, she deserved it. Beautiful! (BTW, check out her clever post on summer CHA)
I love these dresses by my friends. The first is a recycled prom dress made with painted and re-purposed plastic garbage bags by Candice Windham. Also, LOVE this very spritely dress made by the Fab 4 – Carla Schauer, Jen Goode, Theresa Cifali and Suzann Sladcik Wilson. Both of these were also chosen by the judges and will be in the same issue of Cloth, Paper, Scissors magazine.
Onto my next favorite thing about Summer CHA. The “Minute to Craft It” mixed-media challenge where show attendees were plucked from the audience to come on stage and have 10 minutes to make a project out things like a Crafty Chica wooden shrine box, a plastic tube flowers came in, etc. I was asked to host a couple of the challenges and thoroughly enjoyed hamming it up. Many manufacturers were very generous and gave away full goodie baskets for the first, second and third place winners, not to mention so much free stuff to the audience members.
It wouldn’t be a CHA without cutie patootie Elena Lai Etcheverry with Charity Wings running all over the show floor in her glitttery tiara and wings. This girl is so much fun, and she’s awesome about promoting manufacturers, products and designers. All the money she raises goes to charity, and you just can’t help being inspired by her giving spirit. Here she is interviewing me for the CHA live streaming show. I made some necklaces using ICE Resin to give away for the streaming event and also the Ebay auction.
I have some more fun pictures of the event. Think I will add those at a later date. For now, it’s time to catch up on work that’s been piling up since being away. I hope you enjoyed this Summer 2011 CHA wrap up. If this is a topic that interests you, now is the time to do some google searches. I’ve already seen some fun blog posts from others with lots of crafty eye candy.