Tag Archives | CHA

Update | 11.12.2012

Wow, the news has been coming fast and furious this past week! We’ve got a little bit of everything – including new products, a big sale, a design team call, and a big industry retirement – to talk about.

(And did you notice the new name? Noteworthy is now “Update”!)

In case you missed our big announcement last week, Nally Studios is the new owner of Craft Critique, the craft industry’s leading product review website. We have exciting plans for the website and hope that both existing Craft Critique readers and our Scrapbook Update audience will like what they see as we grow the site.

Digital diva Renee Pearson is having a creative team call for 2013 for her online education website. Creative team members will gain free access to classes and workshops, and participate in creating layouts, photographs and projects to be used as class samples. They will also be expected to take part in promotional activities via blogs, social media and other venues. Deadline for applications is November 20th. Continue Reading →


CHA Announces Selection of New CEO

The Craft & Hobby Association has announced the selection of a new CEO to replace Steve Berger, who departed in May 2011 in the middle of his contract. Berger had been CHA’s top executive since 2003. Tony Lee, CHA’s Vice President of Meetings & Expositions, has been serving as interim CEO during the search for a permanent replacement for Berger.

The association’s new President & CEO is Andrej Suskavcevic (Shoosh-kav-chev-itch), who had previously been the CEO of the Commercial Finance Association since 2007. His resume also includes a position as Vice President of Operations at Financial Executives International, and serving as Chief Operating Officer at Zepter International, an international cookware and tabletop company.

Suskavcevic is a Certified Association Executive, and a member of the American Society of Association Executives. His educational background includes a bachelor of science degree in finance from Montclair University and a master’s of business administration from New York University’s Stern School of Business. Continue Reading →


Big CHA Releases, Small Budget: What To Do?

Twice a year the scrapbook industry reveals it’s latest and greatest. CHA is not only a huge event for buyers and manufacturers, but those of us watching from home get to see all kinds of peeks into what is coming to stores in the near future. Seeing all of the sparkly new scrapbook supplies through blogs and twitter, not to mention video tours of booths from the show floor, can be overwhelming – both visually and to my budget! How is a crafter on a budget to choose without having to take a loan? Today I have some tips and tricks that I utilize, and that I hope you’ll find useful.

By taking some time to look around and see what is coming, and what is available, from various manufacturers and educating yourself on what your choices are, it becomes easier to resist impulse spending. Knowledge is power – and often by looking around you’ll find lines that complement each other, or are very similar, and products that truly are your “must have” items.

Here are my six rules for scrapbook supply shopping on a budget:

Rule #1: Be picky. Perhaps this sounds too simple – but when you find yourself in love with a particular line of products, it’s often the impulse to buy one of each. Instead, stop and pick no more than 2- 3 items from that given brand or line. Pick your absolute favorites that will be most useful rather than binging on any one brand or line.

Rule #2: Watch for the great bargains. The above sticker sheets from Tim Holtz and The Girls’ Paperie have an MSRP of $4.99 for seven sheets of stickers. Not only that – but the sticker designs showcase many of the best design elements from the lines so that you get a lot of value (not to mention a ‘sample’ of the entire lines) for a great price.

Rule #3: Beware of patterned paper. While seemingly inexpensive, sheets of patterned paper can add up quickly. Often new papers, while lovely, can be substituted out with older versions of similar designs. This especially goes for ledger, stripes, dots, gingham, and other classic designs. Choose carefully, and keep your existing stash and your personal creative habits in mind.

Rule #4: Invest in classics. Cardstock is a great example, or ink pads, or useful stamps or basic punches. When a product comes out that is clearly going to last a long time and be a timeless classic in your stash – it’s worth spending money on.

Rule #5: Keep an eye out for new designs that will blend nicely with your existing stash. Studio Calico (pictured above) has some items this release that I know already will work well with other brands and lines I want to work with. When choosing items, I try to be aware of what I already have, and what will complement (vs repeat) what I already have on-hand.

Rule #6: Beware of repeats! There were several lines at this CHA that reminded me a lot of lines from a few years ago. Before you invest in new stuff, check out your own stash to make sure you’re not causing history to repeat itself.

By putting thought into your purchases, and carefully selecting the few items that you love the most, you can infuse the latest and greatest into your craft projects while using up what you already have in your existing stash of supplies.

[Disclaimer: May Flaum has done design work for both Tim Holtz and The Girls' Paperie.]

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


Organization: Digital Totes

Remember when I said that scrapbooking wasn’t really tote-able anymore? Oops, I meant paper scrapbooking wasn’t really tote-able anymore. But there’s another kind of scrapbooking that is still completely portable for a large portion of its practitioners: digital scrapbooking. And I’ve got the bags to prove it.

If you’ve got a laptop, you’ve got portable digital scrapbooking. The question is, how do you haul it with you? And what accessories do you need to take along? I’ll tell you what I use to haul my digital creative tools.

First, let’s talk about the all-important tote. I have several for my MacBook. (I actually own more camera and computer bags than I own shoes. Seriously.) Which bag I use depends on the situation.

My workhorse bag is by geek favorite Timbuk2. The San Francisco-based company makes premium bags that are functional and durable. Mine is a discontinued model called the Hacker, a vertical messenger bag which features tuck-away backpack straps as well as a messenger-style shoulder strap. It is very similar to the Blogger bag (the major difference was the backpack straps) that the company still offers, although the Hacker doesn’t have the TSA-compliant feature that version 2 of the Blogger has. The Blogger is available in several different colors. List price for it is $110 but it’s available for as little as $88 on depending on the color.

This bag has some features that I really like. It is very weatherproof (ever seen what a summer rain storm looks like in Florida?) when it is wet outside. There are lots of small pockets to corral my various small items like card readers and earbuds. And the laptop compartment is incredibly well cushioned and lined in lush, sturdy corduroy to protect my machine.

(Note for trade show attendees: I also have Timbuk2’s Hidden Tote, a zip-away tote that is made from fabric created from recycled plastic bottles. It is fabulous for throwing in my trade show roller bag and using for carrying the overflow of catalogs and handouts that I pick up over the course of the day.)

As much as I love my Hacker, however, it isn’t the perfect bag to take everywhere with me. When I fly, I am usually carrying both my dSLR camera and my laptop. There are advantages to being able to keep them with me in the same bag, so I have another bag  for my laptop when I fly: the Kata KT DR-467.

This bag is great because it keeps all my gear together but still fits under most airline seats, and gives me a little extra room for in-flight comforts. (When I don’t have my laptop with me, I frequently use this bag for hauling my camera gear on theme park day trips. The empty laptop compartment can hold souvenirs such as t-shirts or spare supplies for my daughter. It also comes with a foul weather cover in case we get caught outside in a shower.) The updated version of the bag (the Kata DR-467i Digital Rucksack) has a feature I really like – a tripod attachment – and sells for $89.90 on Amazon.

And of course, if you’ve ever seen me at CHA you know I also have a rolling bag for my laptop as well. Currently I’m using a Swiss Gear one that is styled like a catalog case. It would make a great companion if I wanted to attend a crop hybrid-style, with some digital and some paper gear.

All of these bags are functional, but they look, well, functional. So for the rare occasion when looks really do count, I have a leather bag that I picked up at an outlet that isn’t very practical but carries my laptop and lets me look good doing it. Sometimes we must suffer for fashion, right?

What goes in these bags is surprisingly minimal, at least as it relates to my creative pursuits. I have a Belkin Mini Surge Protector Dual USB Charger, a Sandisk MobileMate SD Plus USB Card Reader, and my power cord. I don’t carry a mouse, or other external devices. Occasionally I carry a Western Digital My Passport external hard drive for back-up purposes. I know some serious users will carry a small tablet device (you can even buy a case for some of the smaller Wacom ones). But for me I just stick to a trackpad when I  am on the go (and most of the time at home too). It keeps things simpler.

Using this system of bags keeps me pretty well equipped to be creative digitally anytime, any place!

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

Subscribe to Scrapbook Update in a Reader
Subscribe to Scrapbook Update on the Kindle
Subscribe to Scrapbook Update via Email

Also, don’t forget to subscribe to Scrapbook Update’s newsletter mailing list to receive breaking news alerts and a weekly newsletter with exclusive content!


CHA Asks For Supershow Input

The Craft & Hobby Association would like to hear feedback from Scrapbook Update readers who participated in either or both of the two CHA Craft Supershows in Orlando and Anaheim in the past year.

They’d like to know what you liked or didn’t like, whether your expectations for the show were what was provided, what you’d like to see done the same or different in future Supershows – anything you’d like to tell them about what you think your experience.

Thanks for helping to improve the Supershows for future attendees! Consumer shows are important events to continuing to develop the crafts market, and scrapbooking as a segment of it.

Please use the comment section of this post to leave your feedback. (Email subscribers: Please click on the words “CHA Asks For Supershow Input” at the top to get to the entry on the website where you can leave comments.)


CHA Issues Call For Board Nominations

The Craft & Hobby Association has issued a call to its members for nominations for candidates to serve on its Board of Directors starting in January 2011.

Terms on the CHA Board of Directors are for three years. Members serve on a voluntary basis. CHA Board meetings are held quarterly.

Nominations must be received by June 1st, 2010. Nominated individuals will need to submit a Board Nominee Profile Form by June 15th and be available in Rosemont on July 26th, 2010 for an in-person interview with the 2010 Nominating Committee.

To submit a nomination:

CHA Members can download the Board Nomination Form by visiting the “Members Only” section of or they can request a copy by email or fax by contacting the CHA Member Services Department at (201) 835-1206 or emailing Any CHA member may nominate the name of an Association member or submit themselves as a candidate to sit on CHA’s governing body beginning January 2011.