Author Archive | Dana Vitek

What is CHA anyway?

Those of us who have been around the crafting block for a while know that the Craft & Hobby Association’s Winter Conference and Trade Show is full of magic and sparkles, but for the new readers among us, here’s a quick overview.
CHA (pronounced C-H-A, each letter, not CHA, like cha-cha-cha) is like the Prom for craft manufacturers. Held twice a year, the Winter Show is the THE place to be for buyers for retail chains, independent craft stores, and media looking for the newest, coolest stuff in crafting. Manufacturers bring out their latest and greatest, the buyers order it, and in a few weeks’ (okay, sometimes months’) time, you, the consumer, can find it on your favorite stores’ shelves. And we here at Craft Critique get to report on it all!
The show isn’t just about what’s new, it’s also about what’s happening in the world of craft. There are tons of educational opportunities, workshops, and classes available. Add that to the speakers and other crafting rockstars who frequent the show floor, and we’re all in for a real learning experience.
Craft Critique is proud be among the media who report directly from the show; as we see it, you’ll see it. New tools, trends, and techniques… we walk the show floor all day, and then write about it all night.
Once the show starts on January 29th, hold on to your hats; we’ll be reporting all the best stuff for you to drool over.To follow along with all the news from the show floor “like” us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and even follow our new Pinterest Pin board.

Leave us a comment and let us know what *YOU* want us to report on: favorite manufacturers, product lines, anything you’ve heard about through the grapevine and want a closer look at.

The Martha Stewart Show: Impressions from the Audience

Reported by Dana Vitek and Sarah Moore

Before you read about our adventures with Martha be sure to enter the three amazing giveaways brought to you by Plaid, EKSuccess, and Provocraft

We were thrilled to get the invitation to visit the Martha Stewart Show live and in-person. Martha’s staff was amazing, and we got lots of special perks for being in Martha’s “Tech Section.” We got a special tour of the set, premium seating (we got a lot of camera time!), and permission to blog and tweet during the show.
Craft Critique hosted a tweetchat, which you can find here (#mscraftwk), which was fast-paced and very fun! Our friends from BurdaStyle, CRAFT, and Handwerk BKLYN joined in the fun from the audience.

Nora from BurdaStyle and Sarah from Craft Critique

The set was full of energy – staff members buzzing around making things look perfect, camera guys capturing all the right angles, and Joey Kola keeping the audience hopping during the commercial breaks. Between all the off-camera activity, the quick set changes, and our furious tweeting and blogging, it was almost bewildering at times. That hour sure went quickly!

Joey warms up the crowd before the show

The staff at the Martha Stewart Show couldn’t have been more gracious or accommodating. These kind folks always had their game-faces on, and we could tell that they all thrived on the fast pace and close quarters.

The studio is very large and spacious… bright too!
We were given a tour of the show floor. Here is Brooklynn Morris from Craftzine snapping some shots
Sneaking behind Joey during the tour!
Everything in the studio is usable… And so lovely.
Martha has all her Plaid paints very organized.
The view from where Martha stands. How about those bright lights?!?
Check out Martha’s shoes! Those are some high heels!

Last but not least we snapped a picture with Martha herself! She was super nice and cheerful and we were so grateful she took the time. We don’t have a copy of the pictures yet… But when we do we will post them here!
Thanks all for sharing in our adventures!


American Crafts -are you our WINNER?

We hope you enjoyed all the great American Crafts articles this week! And now for the winner of a prize pack from American Crafts…

Kayla and Samuel said…

I like to add a little extra to my cards and scrapbook pages, pretty boring. I make my own Christmas cards so this is great. I have been pretty in the dark about embossing options though, so thanks for a great review. American Crafts always exceeds my expectations, whatever they come out with I love!

Congrats to Kayla! Just email your name and address to “” with “American Crafts Winner” in the subject line. Thanks!