Author Archive | Betsy Burnett

Charity Wings holds Charity Event Live from CHA Show Floor

Charity Wings started the 2011 year by holding their first ever “Live at CHA” event during the CHA Winter 2011 Conference & Trade Show in Los Angeles. They invited crafters that were not able to attend the show to catch a glimpse through Ustream of the manufacturers and their new products, and let them travel the show floor a bit to see the booths and even win a prize or two. Industry personalities like Jenni Bowlin, Anna Griffin, Teresa Collins, and Melissa Forsyth & Candy Rosenberg (from the Rubber Cafe, pictured below) stopped by to take part in the live event.

For a $48 fee, Live from CHA participants received a bag filled with 5 make-n-takes and goodies from event sponsors. Charity Wings also raised money for Crops of Luv at the event through manufacturer and designer-donated items that were put up for auction on ebay during (and after ) the Live from CHA event.

Charity Wings volunteers (such as Karen Poirier-Brode, pictured below) also helped out in the Westcott booth with make-and-takes. Westcott, a Charity Wings sponsor, features the Charity Wings logo on their product packaging and helps raise money for the Charity Wings Fund to cover operating costs for the organization.

This year also marks an increased partnership between Charity Wings and Scrapbook Expo, with Charity Wings agreeing to host all of the crops for Scrapbook Expo’s 2011 season.

For Charity Wings founder Elena Lai Etcheverry, all of this started from having a willing heart to help raise money at a Susan B. Komen breast cancer crop. She had so much fun with the crop she decided that she needed to help with the next one – and even joined the committee to help run the event.

It was after this experience she realized charitable work was something she wanted to do all year long. Scrapbook Royalty was born. With a talent for motivating crafters and having a wide network of crafters, retailers,  and manufacturers to work with, Etcheverry decided she could really help organize and creatively inspire crafters that might not know where to start raise money for their favorite charity.

Scrapbook Royalty’s first event in 2006 for the American Heart Association raised $2500. Participants enjoyed the event so much they immediately started planning the next one…and then another, and another.  American Heart Association, Susan B Komen foundation, Autism awareness/research and Crops of Luv are just a few of the organizations Scrapbook Royalty has helped to raise money for.

Realizing that Scrapbook Royalty was becoming something greater than its founder had imagined, the organization applied for non-profit status in 2008. In 2009, Etcheverry was joined in her work by another charitable crafter, Sheila Goldsberry, and they changed the organization’s name to Charity Wings to encompass all types of crafters and better describe their mission.

In 2010, the 100% volunteer-run organization lent a hand with 37 events across the country that raised money for over 27 different charities. According to Charity Wings’ figures; the organization has raised over $347,000 for various charitable causes during their 5 year history. Their participation in events can range from coordinating the entire event and finding sponsors, to just helping to advertise the event. In addition, they hold online raffles, do “fairy fly-bys” (giveaways) at events, and even have a monthly “do good” challenge with their “Club Royalty”. These challenges for the most part encourage members to use their crafts in some way to help the charity’s cause of the month.

To learn more about Charity Wings and their upcoming events, visit the Charity Wings website.

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Video: Ebosser by Craftwell

Traditional die cut and embossing users got a sneak peek of a new machine at the CHA Winter 2011 show in Los Angeles recently. Craftwell, the makers of the eCraft electronic die cut machine, gave retailers a preview of a prototype of their new machine called the eBosser.

This upcoming machine,  which weighs just under 15 lbs, is an electronic embossing and die cut machine that accepts most other manufacturers’ traditional/thin dies and embossing folders. Users just need to select the right “sandwich” combination for their die, similar to other systems.  The eBosser can accept embossing folders up to 8 1/2 x 11 or A 4 size, and it can cut through materials up to 3mm thick – including thin leather. The machine is expected to make a formal debut at the CHA Summer 2011 show in Chicago, and is rumored to retail for under $200.

For a better look at the ebosser check out the video below.

Want to stay up-to-date on all the latest scrapbook news?


The Things You Do For Swag

Editor’s Note: Swag is not only a big part of trade show culture. It’s a big part of trade show marketing. Guest blogger Betsy Burnett toured the CHA Summer 2010 show floor for Scrapbook Update, to find out who was doing what. Given the marketing budget cuts brought by the current economy, Betsy found a surprising amount. Here’s a look at who was doing what.

The crowd was gathered in the booth, waiting expectantly for the prize drawing to start, when the announcement of a company VP’s birthday starts the group singing. Then came the announcement of  “The first person to kiss him on the cheek will get a prize.” A lady in the crowd took them at their word and ran to kiss the birthday boy on the cheek much to the amusement of the crowd (and embarrassment of the recipient.) The reward for her efforts? A new Cricut cartridge.

The author kissing Provo Crafts’ VP of Sales Brad Brusa

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Fiskars Celebrates 360 Years With Disney Bash

Editor’s Note: Fiskars was one of the companies that joined the trend of not exhibiting at the CHA trade show, choosing instead to invest their budget in an off-site event for a select group.

The following is a guest post from Fiskateer and CHA Educator/Demonstrator member Betsy Burnett. Many thanks to her for sharing her experiences at the special Fiskateer event with Scrapbook Update’s readers, so that we can all better understand the impact that these companies get from hosting these special events.

How do you celebrate a 360th birthday? If you are Fiskars you take 50 Fiskateers, throw in some crafting celebrities and a heaping dose of Disney magic and you wind up with the birthday bash of the year.

When Fiskars first announced that this would be their 360th year, numerous suggestions were tossed around about how to celebrate. 360 crops held on the same day? A huge party at the Fiskars U.S. headquarters in Madison, Wisconsin? A large crop at the Waussau, Wisconsin warehouse complete with a private warehouse sale? Nothing seemed quite right until the news of CHA-Summer being in Orlando started sparking ideas.

As Stephenie Hamen, Fiskateer legend and the Design & Consumer Education Manager at Fiskars, said: “We wanted Fiskars’ 360th birthday to be magical, and what is more magical than Disney?”

50 Fiskateers met at the VIP gate of DisneyWorld’s Epcot theme park on Monday, July 27th, and were escorted to a private party room. Upon arrival, the Fiskateers sat at tables, decorated with orange and green balloons, orange Fiskars 360 water bottles, and more importantly orange mouse ears! After decorating t-shirts designed especially for the occasion, the real fun began.


Breaking up into teams lead by the five Lead Fiskateers, the groups then went on a wild scavenger hunt that lead them through the entire Epcot Theme Park. When they arrived back at the party room it was time for presents!

At each person’s seat was a gift bag filled with a fabulous assortment of Fiskars tools, paper products and embellishments. Attendees were then given the option to participate in make-in-takes and spend time cropping, or just visit. Not much scrapbooking happened due to the fact that many of these ladies had just met in person for the first time and wanted to socialize.

Fiskateers are a group of crafting ambassadors. Sponsored by Fiskars, this group of 6400 brand ambassadors (from 70 countries) is more than your typical online community.  Fiskateers enjoy being able to have a say in the development of new Fiskars products (and product improvements) through chats and surveys with the people lovingly dubbed “Fiskaneers” (the Fiskars engineers.) More importantly, whether it’s through sewing, paper crafting, gardening or jewelry making, Fiskateers are united by not only by their passion for crafting but a desire to impact their world around them through their crafting. (For more background on the creation of the Fiskateers program, read Scrapbook Update’s previous profile of the program: The Genius of Fiskateers.)

This shared passion is what had turned this room filled with people that just knew each other by screen names and avatar photos into instant friends. Laughter was contagious as hugs were exchanged and photos were snapped. Things did settle down (at bit) when Disney’s own Mickey Mouse came to help Fiskars present a very special award!

Mickey with the lead Fiskateers

Mickey with the lead Fiskateers

Each year a person (or persons) is selected by Fiskars for most representing all that Fiskateers stands for. This year Maxine Hodges was presented with a 3 foot pair of Fiskars scissors declaring her “Fiskateer of the Year.” This announcement was met with much cheering, more hugging and the collective flash of no less than 48 cameras all at the same time.

Mickey wasn’t the only special guest. We saw Kathy Cano-Murillo (the Crafty Chica) and her daughter Maya. Margie Romney-Aslett, (along with Brooke and Meg Aslett) from the Girls Loft also came to party.  Even Sarah Hodsdon from Sarah-n-Dipitous Designs joined in on the fun.

After Mickey departed, the Fiskateers were instructed to head downstairs for “Fiskars’ Finest,” a party celebrating the leading stores Fiskars does business with. After catching a private bus to the event, store owners and their guests were escorted through the park to the party room, complete with an open bar, desert stations, a sundae bar, and the most delicious looking (and tasting) birthday cake.

desert bar

Store owners and Fiskateers were in for the surprise of their lives when Danielle Forsgren (from the Diva Craft Lounge) arrived with crafting legend Carol Duvall. Carol amused everyone by offering this advice: “Even with all the fancy cutting machines and systems out there, I still tell everyone they need to know how to do what they were taught in kindergarten and that’s cut with scissors!”

Fiskateer Suzanne, Carol Duvall, & Fiskateer Stephenie

Fiskars' Suzanne Fannig, Carol Duvall, & Fiskars' Stephenie Hamen

As the evening was drawing to a close, guests were escorted to a private viewing area to watch Epcot’s fireworks presentation, “IlluminNations: Reflections of Earth.” As the fireworks were ending, Fiskateer Laura Casey was moved to tears as she said “this day has been so amazing…I can’t believe that my crafting has brought me here!”

the group shot epcot

Photo Credit: Fiskars, Inc.

And amazing it was. It was Fiskars’ birthday, but those of us that attended felt like we were the honored guests. Just one more reason to understand why Fiskars has been around for 360 years. So Happy Birthday Fiskars, here’s to 360 more!