I know it’s a bit late, but I thought I would write a little re-cap of my trip to California last month.
The main reason for my trip was to attend CHA 2015. The Craft & Hobby Association (CHA) 2015 Conference & Trade Show (CHA MEGA Show) is the largest craft trade marketplace in the world and it took place January 9-13, 2015 in Anaheim, California at the Anaheim Convention Center. There were over 400(!) exhibitors and 3,000 buyers from 55 countries. It was basically scrapbooker’s/crafter’s paradise. To give you a glimpse of just how big this event was I took a timelapse video of me walking around on the show floor, which took 25 minutes in real time and I didn’t even cover all of the exhibits.
CHA 2015 timelapse from Olya Schmidt on Vimeo.
Like I said, the entire convention center was used and it’s huuuuuge. My mind was so (happily) overwhelmed on the first day that by 3pm I had to go back to my hotel room and take a nap. SO. MUCH. GOODNESS.
During CHA I got to meet some of my scrapbook idols that have been my inspiration for years. I met Amy Tangerine, Liz Kartchner from Dear Lizzy, Becky Higgins (creator of Project Life), Heidi Swapp, Shimelle and many other stars of the creative world. I also got to finally meet some of my Instagram friends in person, like Cathy, Vanessa, Laura, Abby, as well as some ladies from my two Design Teams: Citrus Twist and me & my BIG ideas.
If you have told me a year ago that I would get to meet all these wonderful ladies IN PERSON one day, let alone call many of them my friends, I would tell you that you’re crazy. I wouldn’t even dare to dream about this, and here I was living that dream. I can’t even grasp the fact that not only the people I’ve been looking up for years took the time to talk to me and let me ramble on about their significance in my life, they actually noticed me. Amy mentioned me as one of her “Five Cute Finds from CHA 2015” youtube video. Becky instagrammed the portrait of her dog Oreo that I gave her AND included me in her CHA re-cap blog post. Liz introduced me to Studio Calico team, who watched me sketch her Fine & Dandy booth on location. Heidi made me a gold foil print from her new Minc machine and talked to me about her life in Vancouver. Oh, to top it all Amy invited me over to her house for dinner and showed me around her studio. This is the kind of situation where one says “I can’t even..” I just feel blessed and grateful beyond measure.
After 4 incredible days at CHA in Anaheim I got a chance to explore Los Angeles. I got to see the Hollywood sign and sketch it from Griffith Observatory, had lunch in Beverly hills, spend an afternoon at the Santa Monica pier (where indeed I almost lost my shoe to the Pacific ocean while taking photos and thinking “i’ll just drop my shoes here, the waves are far enough and won’t reach me. *insert a laughing emoji here* those waves just kept rolling in, and once they did they took one of my shoes with them into the ocean. I promptly grabbed it, while trying to act all cool, and had to spend the rest of the day in wet and sandy shoes. Keeping classy since 1986, people). I saw the Urban Lights sculpture, walked on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, took the Hop On Hop Off bus on 3 different routes throughout LA and learned so much about that gorgeous city.
The weather was amazing and I had some serious California withdrawal for 3 days when I got back to cold, rainy Vancouver. This trip was nothing short of magical, amazing dream come true and I’m beyond thankful for this incredible opportunity.
P.S. Stay tuned for my CHA/LA project life album post.
P.P.S. If you’re still reading this, you get two golden stars and a cookie : )