California dreaming

Hello lovelies, I am a little bit late with this post, but better late than never, right? For the past years I have been following the CHA via internet and YouTube and now actually being able to go there for the first time was pretty amazing for me! What a start for 2015!! I got my badges, flight ticket and luggage all set – well the luggage was kind of last minute. I only did that the day before *smiling*.

Then the long flight with all kinds of controlls started and yes, I apparently have an appearance that makes border controllers think I´ve got something to hide, as I had the pleasure of doing all the extra bits both ways. This photo was taken pretty early just before boarding the plane in Vienna, still looking pretty fresh and excited ;-).

The flight was long as we had delays in Germany and I was not able to sleep AT ALL in the plane on our way there. So stepping out of the plane I probably looked pretty much like a junkie with my horribly red eyes – no wonder they made all those extra controlls *grinning*.

I remember listening to a podcast just before Christmas by Julie Fei-Fan Balzer and (I think) Cheryl Boglioli. They spoke about their first time at the CHA and how they had been all shy/afraid and/or excited about seeing all the renowned designers. Well, that is EXACTLY how I felt being there. I was first of all really excited as I was about to meet some of the people I work for/with at the convention, but I was also a little bit terrified. Now what do you say to someone that well known (did not want to embarrass myself right in the beginning)? „I love your work/I admire what you do“ and then what? Luckily, the people I met and spoke to, were really nice, funny/silly and that made it a lot easier for me to talk to them.

Like these lovely people on the photo – I am so lucky to be able to work with/for them. Btw. I borrowed the above photo from here ;-). They all are such a nice bunch of ladies who immediately did their best to make me feel comfortable amongst them (thank you Cheryl, Jaime, Rebekah, Julie & Lynne!!) And in case we all look a little bit tired in this photo (happy, but tired), it is just because this was taken on day 4 -> we had gone thru some looong days already before this picture was taken…

Annnnddd…I also met Zoey! Only wish we would have found more proper time to chat (and I can´t believe we didn´t get a photo)!! At CHA time truly flies. Once the doors open, you find yourself running from one thing to another and before you know it is closing time again. If you are not well organized, and I suppose many of the first timers are not, as they just don´t know what to expect, you will have trouble keeping up with everything going on. I went to some interesting lectures, took some crafty classes and watched demos, went to meetings and tried to absorb as much as I could. Talk about a busy schedule!

I was also able to chat a little with Nathalie. Here she is standing next to her brand new stamp designs at the Stampendous booth. Can´t wait for those stamps to arrive!!

I also wish I would have had more time to talk and hang with Trina and Keren too! Was nice seeing you IRL!! Here is proof that we met – even though just very briefly. We tried to organize an evening meeting, but sadly I had to rush to another event :(. Better luck next time!

I also met some of my favorite Finnish scrappy friends there (Minna, Elina & Nanna)!! So cool to meet you again – funny how we always have to travel somewhere to meet each other, isn´t it!! And did some fun make ´n takes with the lovely Nanna, who said some really nice things about my karma <3. Hope to see this bunch soon again!!

Another highlight was being able to visit the Prima headquarters and take a class by the lovely Finnabair. Always great to visit her classes! This was now my third time already and it is always very inspiring. Sorry for the bad picture..

I had an absolutely lovely time in Anaheim – even though it even rained for about 2 days!!! But hey, the weather back home sure was not better!! The part of waking up at 5 a.m. every morning (time difference needs some getting used to) was not that nice. When you wake up that early, you are bound to be drained by 9-10 p.m. already. But next time I will be better prepared :-D!

What was most memorable for me about the convention? The people (quite obvious, when you take a look at the photos on this post). I really enjoyed meeting various people, talking to them and having a couple really good laughs with them. Of course seeing new product was also interesting and exciting, but honestly, as a first timer it was almost too much and totally overwhelming for me to try and absorb it all in in such a short period of time. Thus I took quite a pile of photos (if you are interested, I´ve uploaded quite a few HERE) which I will be going back to and studying during the next weeks. I am just first starting to recover from it all (not to mention the time difference) and starting to realize the things that happened during that week or so :).

And of course, while there, we also had to visit Disneyland. We sacrificed one convention day for that – next time I will be wiser and add a day or two for sightseeing. I mean when you travel that far, then you should, right?

It was a great adventure and experience, but I was also happy to be back home and have some peace and quiet around me – the first days after arrival I immediately went to work again, but the past days have been a good pause for the soul. Just what I needed, some peace and quiet to sort my thoughts and re-live the trip.

After arriving home I was pretty worried as I didn´t even go to my studio for almost 4 days. It was just too much.Then, yesterday (I think it was yesterday) I had a really nice skype chat with a few of my scrappy friends and it helped. Sorry, girls, for being so quiet and mainly listening, but you really helped me alot. I even did some creative work today again. Yay, not all hope is lost :-)! I think it is quite a intensive experience to everyone who attends the show and after a week of merry-go-round everyone needs a little time for themselves to reload the batteries.

Still, an amazing experience and I am very happy I was able to make this trip! So many impressions! What a journey!! Would definitely do it again!!

So now it´s back to daily life again – and in between I am going to do some California dreaming – it was as I expected it to be: intensive, amazing, busy and I will probably realize it´s amazingness after a few weeks have passed :).

xxx, Sanna