Whew!! I just got back from spending several days doing one of my favorite designer activities—participating in the annual Winter Craft and Hobby Association (aka CHA) trade-only show in Anaheim, CA. It's like Christmas to me to get to see all the "latest and greatest" products that will be coming out to stores in the coming year and getting to visit again with all my friends and clients. This year was a little sad, as you could definitely see how the current economic situation has affected companies and buyers alike and the show was less attended than I've been used to seeing over the past 9 years. So I didn't get to see my friends as much as I had hoped to, but I did manage to squeeze in quick visits with buddies Noralee Peterson and Sande Kreiger.
On the flip side, Katie got to come with me for the first time to experience a little better what I do as a professional designer. She's been begging to come for the past few years, but had to wait until she was old enough to be admitted. We had a great time together and I was pleasantly surprised to see how well she behaved and her patience as I visited with various people throughout the day. I think the "magic" ingredient to her happiness was all the free candy many of the booths were offering as snacks. She cheerfully told me on the first day that "You get to get your own samples (meaning the free product I was collecting), and these are mine!" She also loved getting to try her hand at "make-and-takes," which are mini projects some booths offer so you can try out new products. Among other things, she painted a gorgeous winter scene, and made a really cool ring and a pendant at the Ranger booth (with the awesome Tim Holtz that all the ladies seem to drool over).
But the highlight of Katie's trip was that she got to meet PARIS HILTON!! She was debuting her new craft line and made a special 1 hour appearance at the show. We waited in line for about 40 minutes and then Paris arrived "fashionably" late from the opposite door of what everyone was expecting. So there was a mad dash to get to where she was and we ended up being way in the back. But then I saw that there were several people crowded around the booth in a special section and I encouraged Katie to run over and join them to try and see if she could snag some pics. Turns out that section was for Press only, but we didn't know it at the time—we just knew we *had* to get some pics! LOL Well, within a matter of minutes, Katie was swallowed up by the press crowd and I couldn't tell what was happening to her. Eventually, she made her was back out and with a glowing face, told me that she had been pushed forward and ended up only about two feet away from Paris and managed to snap about 30 photos. Then we went back to stand in the line of people that were waiting to get an autograph. Since I knew it would take a long time to get to our place, we decided that I would walk the floor some more and then come back for her. Well, when I came back about 20 minutes later, it was to discover that the frenzy was over and Paris had departed—but not before giving Katie and a few other young girls a HUG!! She had stopped giving autographs about 10 people before Katie's turn in line, but when she saw that they were so disappointed, she stopped and gave them each a hug as she was leaving. And I wasn't there to snap the killer pic!?!? ugh!!! Katie was so thrilled at meeting with a famous person, she claims she's never going to wash the jacket she was wearing since Paris touched it. She couldn't wait to call Ashley and her other friends to share the excitement, but Ashley wouldn't believe her until we came home to show the photos to prove it. Hee-hee!
We also got to spend a night playing together at Disneyland, which was just a few blocks down the road from the convention center. We made it there just in time to eat an early dinner and watch the hilarious Hillbilly Revue show, which is one of my favorites. We rode Space Mountain three times, Thunder Mountain twice, and got dizzy on the Teacups. The bags under my eyes the next morning weren't very pretty, but it was so worth it! ;-D