Posted by: cassymuronaka | February 5, 2011

Demoing at CHA 2011

By now, most of the Midwest exhibitors and patrons of the Craft and Hobby Association’s winter show slowly have made their way home, though not without innumerable flight delays and the help of fully-loaded iPods.

Hopefully, the ones that weren’t able to immediately break out of Los Angeles — and that would be anyone from Chicago — eventually gave over and went native; slapping on a pair of wrap-around sunglasses and flip-flops, then heading for the Venice boardwalk to watch the parade go by, until they could finally get post-Blizzard-of-the-Century flights home.

Fortunately, all I had to do was drive 20 miles downtown and back. And that was a good thing, because I have been fighting some kind of tenacious bug for the last couple of weeks, which, judging by Facebook posts, slowly has been spreading like a plague over the Southland.

I certainly was not the only sneezer at the show. There were plenty of Typhoid Marys walking around in far worse shape than me.  But nothing keeps a scrapbooker down for very long.  And, as has been the case in the last several years, CHA was dominated by scrapbooking materials, rubber stamps and other related items.

This was the first time I did any kind of demonstrating at a show, which is a popular way for non-members of CHA to get the drawbridge lowered at the trade show so that they can roam the aisles, see what’s new on the market, chat up exhibitors and pick up samples.

I was asked to spend a few hours showing off what creatively could be produced using Lisa Pavelka’s line of polymer clay products.

Before the show, I wanted to better acquaint myself with some of those products, so I didn’t look like an uneducated jackass during my demonstrations. Lisa Lambright of JHB Int., which represents the Lisa Pavelka product line, generously sent me goodies with which to experiment. Among those were Magic-Glos, a UV resin.  I’m a convert to the latter now.

I had a pretty good time filling some of the pretty bezels that also were included, and there are some terrific new texture stamps which I’d like to acquire and use, when I can walk 100 feet again without feeling like I need a big nap.

My decision to demo this year was good timing, because Lisa Pavelka and Viva Decor have introduced a new line of clay. It  reminds me of a cross between Fimo Classic and Kato Polyclay, both of which traditionally have been very good for caning.

Aside from the enjoyment of employing new products, being on the other side of the demonstration table made for interesting people-watching. I did have to check my ego at the door and make an effort at not wincing involuntarily every time I heard, “Where’s Lisa?” in the middle of a demo.

Lisa literally was everywhere, including at her own booth. You just had to time it right to be where she was at a particular moment during the show. Judging by the usual schedule she seems to keep, this is par for the course and she apparently does not need sleep.

With the exception of the constantly-moving and marketing force of nature known as Lisa Pavelka, this was a very slow show. There were some pretty depressed-looking exhibitors who had nothing better to do than constantly check their cellphones for airport closure updates.  The only people matching Lisa’s energy and drive were the equally unstoppable scrapbooking fans, whose cheers could be heard all over the hall during raffles.



  1. LOL. I got the same thing at the Viva Decor booth where I was supposed to be “helping” Lisa and ended up being the headliner when Lisa was off to another
    venue or showed up a little late. It’s funny that I didn’t draw near the crowd she does. LOL

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