Hello everyone! I am thrilled to have you visit with me and I hope you enjoy your stay. I absolutely love company, sharing, and making new friends so I hope you find something here that inspires, motivates, or just pleases you in some way.

Of course, I love to visit and be inspired also. So if I don't already drop in on you, please let me know where I can find you and I'll hop on over to see what you're doing or to just say "hi".

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In the meantime, relax and make yourselves at home... you're family here!!!

I'll be seeing you!

Monday, July 25, 2011


Hello everyone!!!  I prayed I'd come back to everyone well and happily crafting!!!  I hope you are!

Without going into any details (long story), all I'm going to say is I, among many, am not very fond of CHA at this particular time!  Unfortunately, I did not attend the last day of the convention as intended although I did stay the weekend for the JF&A/SuperCraft show -- another long story!!!

As I did not attend the last day of the trade show, I ran into a few trade members/exhibitors and other attendees at my hotel that were leaving the convention heading back to their perspective homes, and I tried to get some feedback.  However, I couldn't judge by their conversations how things went for them nor could I read anything in their facial expressions, and I'm not a person to just come out and ask for information not volunteered.  I do hope, for their sakes, the convention went better than the "Super" Craft Show.  I hate to say it but the craft show was truly a huge disappointment!!!  Both the craft exhibitors and buyers were extremely upset with CHA, and complaints were flying all around like crazy-- wow, is CHA going to get an ear FULL!!!  I have to agree, however, CHA was not very nice this year and this was not a "super" craft show and should not have been referred to as such even with the word "section" attached to it!

The craft section was located in the very back of the Convention Center in a small "tight" corner.  The booths were about 3-4 rows deep with not more than a total of about 30 booths, and surrounded by and behind the cafeteria area.  It was as though they were being hidden away!!!

Of course, the JF&A show covered the entire front and surrounding areas and had thousands of people flocking to it, but the tiny-tinny craft section was basically empty.  Compared to the rest of the floor, I don't think many people even realized there was a craft section.  To make matters worse, there were not many happy faces among the craft buyers and/or exhibitors.   Many of the exhibitors were upset and felt as though CHA had "dropped the ball on them" (an expression one of them offered me) and the few crafters I spoke with expected  much more of CHA too so, therefore, were very upset as well.  Just to give you an idea, take a look at the exhibitor at this booth:

She looks happy, huh?  Or, this poor guy:

And how much crafters/buyers-attention did the craft section get?  Well..., this was about the most people I saw all together at one time at a booth for the entire 3 days I was there!

Now, take the picture below, add it before the picture above and imaging counting back about 3 rows -- that was the "super" craft show!!!

From left to right, one picture is the ending wall and the one directly above is the beginning wall.  The other side of the blue rug behind the roped off section of the above picture is the cafeteria area.

Another of the complaints among the few crafters/buyers was that more than half of the exhibitors were companies most of us  probably aren't even very familiar with.  Many were small stamping companies but, I thought, very nice.  I think the most well-known names there were Archivers and Splitcoast Stampers, who was there giving cardmaking instructions only.    Actually, there were very few make 'n takes, no craft classes and only a few giveaways/contests this year!  Other familiar exhibitors were Flower Soft and Crafters Companion.

For the small number of craft booths, there were some nice projects on display though:

As for me, as much as I didn't want to enjoy the JF&A show, I had a blast!!!  I felt as though I was a trader to my fellow crafters/companies but that show was fun.  JF&A carries everything you can imagine other than just jewelry -- clothing, beauty accessories, designer sunglassess, purses, shoes, etc.!!!  I had a free make-over, got my hair styled for free on Friday and sweated it out by Saturday...lol!!!; got a glitter tattoo on my arm (don't panic, it eventually washes away)!!!  And I even had my eyes done with glitter eyewear although I immediately went and washed my face of it; and I had characters painted and rhinestones placed on my nails which I've also already removed -- but it was just all so much fun!!!

Of course being a crafter, I didn't walk away from the craft section empty-handed either -- I couldn't walk away from craft accessoriess if I wanted to -- no matter what!!!  I made the best of that situation too (so I didn't feel so much the trader as I could have had I purchased nothing).  I found some things I needed and some I wanted.  Here's some of the damage I came home with:

Here are a couple more bags of stuff I tossed in for good measure -- Buster decided he wanted in the picture too as he was sticking around being nosey!  LOL!

So, after a huge disappointment and being most upset with CHA after my first day fiasco, I did manage to end up leaving last night with a smile:

Well, I've shared as much as I dare!  After I catch-up on some things missed after being gone from home these last several days, I'll be back to visit and share some crafts using some of my new treats!!!

Glad to be back, missed you all, and can't wait to join you again!!!

I'll be seeing you!


Monique Barr said...

I am so sorry that this was like that. This is the second post I have read like this.

ScrapCrazyyyy! said...

I am sorry it was not what you were expecting, but I am glad you found some goodies to purchase! Did you see the new Silhouette? What did you think? I have the Silhouette SD and I love it but I really don't think I need the 12", I haven't missed it since I have been using the SIL instead of my Cricut.

Welcome back - you look awesome in your jeans!!! ;-)

MyCuriousCrafts said...

Audrey, glad you made it back safely and that you were able to turn that frown upside down. ~Shen

Sandy from Ukiah said...

Oh how disappointing.. :-( CHA looked so empty of people in your pictures.. BUT it sounds like you had a BLAST at the JF&A Show... Well know that you were missed and I can't wait to see what you create with all of your goodies. You have been one BUSY lady this summer. When do you take off for your vacation? sending you big hugs

Barb's Boys Inspired said...

Oh, that's too bad that CHA was a disappointment Audrey. I'm like you, I would have pretty high expectations for such a highly publicized event. Sounds like it wasn't much better than our local Scrapbook Expo that we have in Utah twice a year.

shari said...

Audrey, I'm so sorry your trip was a disappointment. I have always wanted to go, and it would have been quite a surprise to see what you described. I'm glad you made the best of it. Good to have you back. Shari (cricutrookie)

Jean said...

Glad to see you are back. Sorry about the issues, but it looks like you did get some good stuff.

Cricut Couple said...

Oh Audrey, I am so glad that we didn't have time to go. I would have been so disappointed to spend that much money and see such a small show. I used to go to the convention center every year for the All Candy Expo and it was almost the entire facility. I know how large that place is and it sounds like the craft side was pretty much non-existent. That's so sad. I guess it's a good thing we all have each other on our blogs to enable when we find good products! Hee! Hee! It sure make shipping seem like a bargain. Hee! Hee! Thanks for the info! It would have been worth every penny to have gone and had dinner with you!

Besthobbyeva said...

Wow what a bummer! That is awful, when you have your mind set and ready to go and so excited. I am glad you got some goodies though! I love the picture with your dog in it, so cute! Great picture of you!!!


Maria said...

Thanks for sharing your pictures. I hope you show off your goodies soon. Get some rest

Rhonda Emery said...

looks like you had fun.

Sandy Ang said...

Thanks for your post. It'll probably be the closest I get to going to CHA so it's fantastic to get first hand (real life) crafter's insight and thoughts.

PinkBlingCrafter said...

sorry to hear that it wasn't what you expected:) I'm glad you found some goodies and can't wait to see your projects with them:) Glad you made it back safe!

Brenda said...

Oh I feel so bad you didn't have a grand time. I am glad that you had a little fun though...I missed you, so that should make you feel a bit better too. LOL
Glad you are back safe and sound
I would be honored if you came to see my blog here

WAM Family said...

Thanks for posting your pics to share. Sorry it wasn't up to expectations. I am waiting to see you show off your new goodies.


McVic said...

glad you found some crafty goodness while you were there!! Sorry it wasnt what you would have liked, I cant believe it was that small! Crazy! I would LOVE to be able to go this winter... to CHA. Never been...a girl can dream right? lol. Thanks for stopping by today!

lovemypaper said...

Look's to me you have a very good time glade you made it back safe.Have fun with your new goodies.

The Archiving Angel said...

Hello sweet lady. So glad you are back but sorry to hear some of the disappointing news. Although, you made a nice time of it and that is what makes you special. I hope you managed to have some fun anyway & can't wait to see what you fun things you picked up.
Maybe you can post a video of your haul.
Take care!
Crafty best,

~BridgetL~ said...

Welcome home my friend. im sorry your experience wasn't what you thought it would be :( I have to say you look really good :) Cant wait to see what you come up with, with all those goodies. Hugs :)

Sheila aka SassyLady said...

Well it sure doesn't look crwoded at all. Sorry that it wasn't what you expected this year. But you always turn things to a positive and that is what we love about you! TFS

Audrey Frelx said...

Hi, guys! Thank you all for stopping by and leaving such wonderful comments!

Scrapcrazy! No, I didn't see the new Silhouette, it wasn't on display at the "Super" Show. I would have loved to have seen it though!

Sandy, I think we'll be leaving for our first scheduled vacation at the end of August, and then for our trip south in mid-September when hopefully it won't be too hot; our cruise I know won't be until after hurricane/tornado season, so that'll be in February.

McVic, a girl can definitely dream!!! As long as she dreams BIG!!! LOL!

Love you all, see you soon!

Susan said...

Hi Audrey!

That's such a disappointment. You have to wonder what in the world were they thinking? Well, I'm glad you were able to get some supplies to play with though. You better watch out, Buster has a look on his sweet little face that implies mischief! LOL...he's too cute!

I'm off to see your newest post now. It looks like you may have already started to put those goodies to use!


Cher~ said...

Oh Audrey, I would also be disappointed in the SuperShow. I didn't get to stay for that. I was able to attend the CHA Trade Show and was so encouraged and learned quite a bit. Most of the consumer shows I've been to the last 2 years have been disappointing. I have yet to make it to a CK convention, but I hear they are better. I keep thinking of attending one coming up in Jacksonville, but I have a lot going on and haven't decided. I am also sad that we didn't get to meet IN PERSON. It would be so great to meet you. You don't know how much it means to me that you stop by my blog and say hi. Hopefully soon we can actually meet. Take care of yourself, girl.

Staying Crafty said...

Sorry to hear the show wasn't more lively. We have a stamp expo here every year that's gotten so sad my friends and I might not go again next year. I would have had great expectations for CHA as well. Glad you found some goodies!

DonnaMundinger said...

Well I guess I'm not so sorry I missed it, although meeting up with blogging friends would have been nice. In January they didn't even have ANY crafting "section" this year. Bummer, but you still looked like you did a bit of damage. LOL xxD

Curt in Carmel said...

Hey there! I'm so sorry that your trip wasn't as good as hoped for. I'm really surprised at CHA. Every time I've heard about CHA, I get the impression that it is the biggest event ever. I'm glad I didn't go because my expectations would have been so high I would have been in for a downer. . . And I must say, have you lost weight? You look fabulous!!!! Glad you are home! Best, Curt