Monday, August 2, 2010

Home From My CHA Road Trip!

After a great week on the road with friends (I hope they still consider me a friend...after 7 nites and 8 days with four of us together in their 36-foot RV!), being overwhelmed with artsy stuff during three days of CHA, returning home by way of a portion of the 675-mile yard sale along Highway 127, and 170 pictures later, I am home!  What a great experience this was!  My DH does not like to travel, and I cannot recall us being away from home for an entire week during our 24-years of marriage; so this alone made this week away very special for me ~~ not to mention all that we experienced along the way.

So, to begin to break down of all that I saw, and share some of it with you is a difficult task, but here goes, with my best attempt.  The above photo is of Luminarte Twinkling H20s seen at the Creative Imagination booth at CHA.  This was one product that I knew I wanted to see 'in action," as I had heard of them, but truly wasn't sure about them.  They are wonderful ~~ one of those "gotta have" items for me now!  They are hard cake watercolor paints that have a beautiful glimmery, creamy effect.  I will order a small kit sampling of them initially, and then determine what additional colors I have to have, ;).

The morning of the first day of CHA, I had the pleasure of meeting this lovely lady, Suze Weinberg at the Ranger booth.  Suze was demonstrating Ranger's Melting Pot and Utee Products and, what I loved most, Collaging with Beeswax.  She was so kind to give me the sample she completed for our demo (pictured below), and I will treasure it forever (and most likely, incorporate it into a piece for my keeping, (;).  Also, please check out her blog (linked above) as she has done a wonderful job of recapping CHA!

Then there was Tim Holtz demonstrating his new Vagabond Die Cutting Machine by Sizzix . . . along with various other new "Tim" products.  The Vagabond will cut ANYTHING ~~ paper, grungeboard, cardboard, METAL, fabric ~~ you name it!  And the dies he released at the January CHA are to-die-for. 

Oh, how I love anything "Tim-ish," but my eyes were glued to his WATCH (pictured below), lol.  This terribly blurry picture does NOT do it justice; it was so cool and "steampunk-y!"  I assumed it was a watch, but it may have been a bracelet ~~ he was moving around so much with his demo'ing, but I was totally mesmerized by this piece of jewelry, and would have loved to ask him about it...if not for the mob of people surrounding him, and in front of me.

So, I moved on, in absolutely awe of all the fun "artsy toys" surrounding me.  My jaw must have been dropped during my stroll through the entire show!  This first trip to CHA was absolutely overwhelming, and my first day there, I wanted to take it all in, see everything, and experience all there was to take I left my camera in my bag, :(, as I zoomed from booth to booth...until Carl appeared to tell us there was a booth many aisle ahead that we HAD to see.  It was the Graphic 45 booth ~~ many aisles ahead of where we were.  I had heard of them, but never experienced their products.  OMG, what eye candy!  I took WAY too many pictures of their booth, and sample products, so I'll try to minimize it here:

Their product hangers were such a great touch ~~ eventually, I will try to make some of these!
And their Steampunk Hats were wonderfully bejeweled with all kinds of treasures! I could have spent all day at this booth. But there was so much more still to see and experience!

So, ... I moved on.  At this point, I realized there were "Make-And-Takes" going on at many of the boothes, but there was still SO much left to see!  I decided I would spend my second day doing "Make-And-Takes" as the first day was drawing to a close, and my eyes caught a glimpse of the perfect place to begin my second day ~~ Viva Decor's booth, housing two awesome artists, Brenda Abdoyan and Lisa Pavelka!

So we retreated back to our "home on wheels" in our lonely spot within a gravel parking lot perhaps two blocks from the convention center...that happened to be in the direct path of every plane leaving the Chicago O'Hare Airport, and perhaps 2 miles from the airport, lol.  I continuously thought of 9-11, as the planes seemed to be only inches from the us, and the buildings surrounding us.  But what great memories that we can laugh about for years to come ~~ "what did you say?!?"  We quickly learned to wait for the planes to move on before completing our shared thoughts, ;).

Then, there was Day 2 of CHA!  I was immediately on a mission to reach one of the last rows of exhibits where Viva Decor was housed...a booth that held two AMAZING artists.  First up, for me, was a two-hour wait to reach the Make-And-Take of Brenda Abdoyan, creator of Bajidoo Bangles.  Wow, was it worth the wait!  Here are two photos of what I created with Brenda...and I'm SO in love with this process that I bought a kit to make a second one at home, and I'm sure I will be ordering more kits from her in the near future!

Brenda was a lovely lady, with a tremendous background in Henna Art that inspires her work.  She was very helpful and inspiring.  She decorates the inside of her bracelets, as well as the outside, and you can see some of her awesome work on the link to her above ~~ please visit her.  Below is a picture of her and the assistant whom was helping her with the demo, whom was wonderfully helpful.

Brenda was such a happy soul, and so willing to share her experience and art form with everyone.  Here are a few pics of some of HER creations.

She even decorates the INSIDE of her bangles . . . with CHARCOAL and ink!   Imagine ~~ I would smear the charcoal terribly!

Okay, so this post has been WAY too long, but so much to share.  However, it's not complete without a picture of what was greeting me at the door when I arrived home after midnight on Sunday, while DH was fast asleep in bed.
Boomer, my greatest love and large, 3-yr old, black lab is obvious...and first at the door ~~ our first puppy love.  But, if you look closely, between his chin and the door, you can see Gracie's pink nose doing her best to weasel her way into the scene, lol ~~ she is the Yellow Lab we rescued only 7 months ago.  Such a welcoming sight to arrive home to!  Needless to say, they wiggled, pranced, and danced around me after I pushed the door open . . . and then wanted to know "where's OUR treat that you brought back from your road trip, Mom???"  Yes, they received mega treats and mucho love...while their Daddy slept quietly in the bedroom, ;), ... until the "normal" morning hours . . . when he patiently observed all of my treasures and  pictures, ;).

What a great experience this trip was, with so many happy memories that I'm so happy to reach out and share here in blogland.  This being a special trip for me, I hope I haven't bored you with the details.  There is much more to share from the experience, but I'll leave it to this....for now, and wish each of you a totally blissful week of love and creativity!  Hugs to each of you whom have made it through this post, and mucho happy creating to each of you!!!


  1. I love your blog and I had to follow you. I love you art and all you do! I hope you had a good time at your trip.

  2. Wow Jeanne, what an incredible week you've had. It's funny Emma Grace said to me a few hours ago, Mommy....Jeanne back in town!!!(O: So cute, we both missed you and are glad you are back safely and with treasures galore!! Thanks for all the wonderful details and photos of your trip. Those bangles are incredible!! Oh yes and thank you for visiting me today, welcome home!!

  3. Oh my goodness, this is overwhelming!! I loved every delicious detail, and speaking of the Highway 127 sale--the official start is on Thursday, and that's where I'll be!
    P.S. I LOVE your kids greeting you at the door :)

  4. How fun! What a wonderful trip you had!

  5. I can feel the stimulation of such a trip and I can also feel the wanting. Very very interesting. Even you phoitos make one feel like getting busy with some art.

    My DH also does not like travel much, it is not easy to travel with him, he is Ok but I always know he is thinking of getting back home. And yes the pets are so glad when we are back home.

  6. Hello from the Philippines! I've been going through your blog and you've got so many interesting things and people in it! It's great! Than ks for sharing! Patsy from