My reviews are based on my personal experience with a product or event. I am not a professional product tester nor do I get paid for any of my blog posts.

The items that I post reviews on, have either been purchased on the internet or through a local vendor. Additionally I will review items that I got on sale, as a gift or as a sample from either the manufacurer or some other source.

Note: always read the manufacturers directions on how to properly use a product and craft carefully. Additionally, I am an Amazon Associate and may earn a few cents (literally) from your clicking on my Amazon links. Since they raised the minimum payout from earnings to $10 I haven't seen a credit for a while but eventually I will get one.

Every penny counts when trying to set a budget to get supplies to use for my reviews, tutorials and hauls. However, you do not have to use my links. You can use your favorite search engine to find the best price for your budget.

The iLoveToCreate Booth: CHA 2014 Mega Show

I think that one of my favorite booths this year was the iLoveToCreate booth at the CHA Mega Show because of all the cool displays, like Mel Hoppe's cosplay costumes, and decorated mannequins that they had on display.
Mel Hoppe (The Wind of the Stars).
The mannequin below was hand painted by Celery Jones with the new line of body paints.
by Artist Celery Jones
Here is a close up of this fabulous piece.

I got to watch Pattie Wilkinson decoupage a mannequin with magazine photos throughout the show.
Pattie Wilkinson

Pattie Wilkinson
Here is how the mannequin looked by the end of the show.
Magazine Decoupage Mannequin made by Pattie Wilkinson
Here is a close up this piece.

Additionally, they had some cool art on display like this piece created by Suzie Shinseki, she painted

Suzie Shinseki
these eyes with Tulip Soft Paints and added dimension by using Tulip 3D Paints.

They also had this cool lamp that was made using tie dye, plastic wrap, white tissue, Aleene's Tacky Glue and some other iLoveToCreate products.

It looks really cool with this wall piece that was made using decoupage, colored paper and more.
Tie Dye Tissue Lamp and decoupage Wall art
Crafty Chica (Kathy Cano-Muriilo) was also on hand to demonstrate making cool art with her product line.

She also painted this cool table.

I am so thrilled that I got a chance to talk to all of these wonderful designers about their products and designs.

They are an inspiration to speak to and every so generous with their knowledge.

Cosplay Costume Designer Mel Hoppe and Designer Mark Montano: Craft & Hobby Mega Show 2014:

The "I Love To Create" booth at the CHA Mega Show had some wonderful displays this year that featured cosplay costumes from Cosplayer Mel Hoppe, and a home decor & dress project from Designer Mark Montano.  Mark Montano shared his story on how "Creativity" affects everything in his life and displayed some of his work.

I love that Mark wrote his story on the fabric and incorporated the story pattern into his dress design.

The "I Love To Create" booth also had a wonderful display of Cosplay Costumes.  If you like Cosplay

then you are probably familar with some of Cosplayer Mel Hoppe's costume designs.

Normally I would have to attend one the cosplay events to get to see these in person. 

Soul Caliber II - Cassandra Alexandra

Having them on display at the CHA show was a great opportunity to see these pieces up close and

Sailor Moon - Princess Serenity
enjoy the various details that she puts into these costumes.
Sailor Moon - Princess Serenity
Dynasty Warriers 6 - Zhen Ji
Dynasty Warriers 6 - Zhen Ji  

Dynasty Warriers 6 - Zhen Ji  
Mel shared how "Creativity" affects her life and her designs.

This was a wonderful opportunity to see some of the cool details that she puts into her costumes.  I really enjoyed getting to see these pieces in person.  Hopefully there will be more cosplay costumes on display next year.

Craft & Hobby Show 2014: Prime Publishing CHA Blogger Networking Event

Stuart Hochent and Simone Collins

The Prime Publishing CHA Blogger Networking Event made a big impact for myself and other bloggers at the 2014 "Craft & Hobby Association" (CHA) show.  Not only did we get to see some of the new craft products being introduced, we also had a chance to speak directly to manufacturers.  This was all a result of the hard work by the folks at Prime Publishing, LLC.  They set up a fun social hour for us bloggers to get a chance to talk to each of the co-sponsors present, off the show floor. We got to spend a few minutes with their social media representatives along with some of the members of each company's staff.  You may wonder why this is important, well for me it was a chance to ask each company some questions regarding particular products and product lines.  I also wanted to find out what products they would be releasing in 2014, as well as to speak to some of their product designers (like Rachel Faucett of the Handmade Charlotte line at Plaid).

We also got to speak to some celebrity designers, like Vickie Howell and Michele Muska.

Vickie Howell and Michele Muska
Along with Cathie Fillian, and the editorial director - crafts, Simone Collins.

The folks from Elmers Glue Products were on hand to introduce us to their CraftBond Fine Line Glue Pen which allows the user to dispense a fine line of glue.
 It features a roller-ball point tip that allows it to dispense the glue in a more precise manner.  This is a really neat pen and I will be doing a product review on it later this month.

Plaid was also on hand to show some old and new craft products.  I am a huge fan of Mod Podge and was thrilled to get a 2 oz sample of the  Plaid Mod Podge Gloss Lustre 8 Oz.   I will be testing the Mod Podge out and writing a review on it at a later date.

The folks at Plaid also gave me a 2 oz. sample of the Folk Art Multi-surface paint.  This paint is supposed to paint on almost anything and I for one can not wait to see how it looks.    The projects in the photo below are from the display at the CHA show floor, and are all finished with various Mod Podge products.

Fiskars had their new line of scissors called the Fiskars 170810-1001 Amplify Razor Edge Fabric Shears, 8-Inch on display.  The scissors come in three sizes.  The Amplify technology is supposed to sense blade

separation when the scissors are used to cut thick materials, it forces the blades back together to get a clean cut. I tried the samples they had on their table and they worked quite well.
Fiskars Amplify Shears
I Love To Create was well represented by both product and a great staff. You are probably more familar with their "Aleene's" glue line.  This year they released some fun products that I will cover in a later blog post on both Craft Critique and this blog.

I also got to speak to the Folks at Design MasterColor Tool, Inc. to find out more about their products and how to best utilize them. They had these great fabric flowers on display that had been tinted with their line of soft paints called "Tint-it".  These paints can have a nice pigment which can place a lot of color on a product yet it stays soft to the touch.

Coats & Clark was also on hand. I took a moment to talk to them about their new Tim Holtz line of fabric and accessories.
Tim Holtz Electic Elements from coats & clark

I also spent some time at the Sculpey table discussing ideas for using sculpty in kids projects and

finding out about other products from their company, like their Premo Brand polymer clay.

Leisure Arts had some great books and products on display. I was especially interested in some of their jewelry making books.  Like the "Paracord Crafts" book that has some great knotting tutorials and projects.
Leisure Arts Paracord Craft Book

Lion Brand Yarn was also on hand to answers questions about their new line of yarns for 2014.  One of the yarns that caught my eye is their "Keppi" line.  It is a novelty yarn that come in cute colors and complimenting textures.  They are all in one continuous strand so that you do not have to deal with the time consuming problem of switching yarns.  The "Bonbons" yarns continue to be my favorite because they are color coordinated and just enough yarn in each set to make one project.
Bonbon Collection by Lion Brand
Rit Dye was also present.  I had a great time talking to the representative about not only their fabulous powdered dye products but their liquid line too. The product is pretty neat, it is a treatment you can do
Rit Laundry Treatment and Rit Liquid Dye.
at home to apply to any natural fabric item to color it gently. I saw it being used on fabric and paper
flowers.  It was easy to apply and the finished look was pretty cool.  Rit Dye has a fun web site that offers some great craft projects and tutorials.

Projects that have been colored with Rit Dye.
Krylon was also in attendance.  They were also co-sponsors of the event and had very helpful representatives on hand who were able to answer all my questions about their product line.

With chalkboard art being so popular on Pinterest, I had to take the opportunity to learn more about Krylon's fabulous chalkboard paints.  My kids love chalkboard paints and we have applied them on just about anything (including our refrigerator).  Unfortantly, the lighting in the meeting hall was difficult to get a true color shot so I decided to visit the Krylon booth and get better pictures of the projects they had on display using their chalkboard paints.
Projects made with Krylons Chalk Board paints.
Krylon also had their Krylon Mystery Box challenge going on where bloggers were challenged to create a craft project using the items in the black bag and their favorite Krylon products.

Michele Muska with the Simplicity Creative Group, showed off some of their fun products and invited
Michele Muska
me to check out their booth on the CHA show floor.

Sizzix was also on hand to talk about their new product line and answer questions on their current line. I have a soft spot for Sizzix because the "Big Shot" remains one of my most used tools.  I still love the fact that it is portable and does not need batteries.  They obviously could not bring their very large
Sizzix Stephanie Barnard Triple Fancy Frame Flip-its.

product line over to the meeting hall.  They did invite me and the other bloggers to visit their booth on the CHA show floor and see the new products in person.  One of my favorite new lines is Jo Packham's new line of Sizzix Dies.
Jo Packham's New Line with Sizzix.
By the way, Jo Packham has a new book from WWC Press that publishes through Quarry Books.  The book is called The Artisan Food Entrepreneur (Where Woman Create Business).  Jo signed a copy of the book for me and I will be doing a book review on it soon.  The book is not a traditional recipe book, in fact there are no food recipes in the book.  Instead it is written as a recipe for creating your own story by seeing how other's have chased their dreams and created their own success stories.  Jo is a talented writer and her books are always so well thought out.
Jo Packham's new book "The Artisian Food Entrepreneur" from Quarry Books.
Shur Tech/Duck Brand had some of their new duck tape craft product line of Duck Tape with patterns
Gummy Bear Patterned Duck Tape
on display.  They also invited the bloggers to check out their booth on the show floor and see their 31 foot Green Duck Bus.
Macaroni & Cheese patterned Duck Tape.
The bus showcases the various Duck Brand products and has a great display of projects made with Duck Tape.   They even have an official "Duck Tape App".
Glitter Duck Tape and the New "Washi" Duck Tape
The Red Heart yarn company was on hand to show off some of their new yarns as well as to introduce us to their Blogger Network. For those who have never visited their website, Red Heart offers patterns,

information on their yarns and a link to their blog.  The Red Heart Blog features patterns, ideas and other interesting topics.

Prime Publishing also sponsored some great opportunities for bloggers to publish their projects and reviews which included a chance a win some money.

Prime Publishing has quite a few online sources for craft project ideas and inspiration.  They provide

bloggers a venue by which to share some of their tutorials and projects with a larger audience.  The editors at Prime Publishing, LLC work together with bloggers and crafters to create some wonderful content on their websites that would appeal to a variety of crafters.  The sites have tutorials, craft projects, patterns, and links to some great videos.  They have quite a few free e-books, like the one below that shows "How to Make a Purse."
This book has some great easy to follow patterns for some fun purses like the one below.

Their sites include:,,,, and so many more.  You can visit their site at to see a bigger selection of their other websites.  My favorite is, not only because they have some great content on the site but they have also featured a few of my own craft tutorials.  Favecrafts also features tutorials and projects by some pretty well known craft designers and I highly recommend visiting the site if you need some ideas or inspiration.