Dawn DeVries Sokol



Wow! I can't even begin to describe the time I had at CHA. OK, I'll try!

I really wandered the HUGE, expansive floor for a lot of the time I was there. Thank God I wore my hiking boots. Seriously, I wish I had had a way to log my miles. It was that big...

I didn't take many pics because I felt weird taking them. I got some odd looks when I did. (Maybe it was me just being paranoid.) Also, as far as product, I didn't see anything that really WOWED me. There was nothing NEW. Nothing that really overwhelmed and excited me.

Elsie Flannigan had a cute booth:


Now, let me just say this isn't a great photo and part of it is because of the weird looks I got for taking pictures. (This was a booth that I really felt that weirdness.) Anyways, since I just love Elsie's style, I asked for a catalog. The response I got was less than friendly (it wasn't Elsie herself). A wayward glance up and down at my badge and I was told that they didn't give out catalogs to anyone who wasn't a buyer. WHAT?! Then what's the point of having a booth? I understand you're trying to sell the line, get it into stores, but to deny a catalog to attendees (I had a designer badge) totally screws the point of the show. That said, I think that her line was the one I was most jazzed about (other than the chilly reception). Here are some of the adorable layouts on the walls using her line:




Here are some of the papers:



The 7 Gypsies booth:


A couple of lines from Basic Grey that I totally love:



Other than that, it was all about meeting people. I lurked around the F&W booth, since they had author signings. I saw Claudine Hellmuth, who is always absolutely wonderful to chat with....Linda Woods of Visual Chronicles fame, who is probably one of THE nicest people I met at the show. OK, she IS one of the nicest. I could've chatted with her forever. Linda, you rock! And her fab designer, Marissa, was also on-hand for me to gush to. Marissa also designed Pretty Little Things by Sally Jean and many of the other tremendous Northlight books. She was also extremely sweet! :-) Carol Wingert is a sweetie, too! We chatted about shoes (Clarks and Born) and probably seeing each other in the past at Ink It in Gilbert (she teaches there). She's got a new book coming out with Tena Sprenger (Lifelines) and I missed getting a signed copy of her Artful Memories...I was bummed!

Jenn Mason, author of the upcoming The Art of the Family Tree, designed by yours truly, was at the Rockport booth. I SO enjoyed meeting her! She rocks! I hope to work with her again in the future...It's a FAB book...coming to stores in June. I talked with clients and anyone else who would talk with me! Everyone was extremely friendly, encouraging and wonderful with their compliments. I loved meeting them all...Also, I got to spend time with Cindy and Gary of The Paper Studio in Tempe. We met up at the airport, where unbeknownst to us, we were on the same flight! We even ran into each other on the show floor later that day and met up that night for the keynote.

Speaking of the keynote, I got to see Martha Stewart speak LIVE. Seems like so many I talked to on Sunday on the show floor said they just saw her, wandering the floor. Of course, I DIDN'T! But I enjoyed her keynote. What I didn't enjoy were the all-too chatty women sitting behind us at the keynote. Advice to CHA: do not serve free wine before a keynote. It causes those who can't control their liquor to giggle, laugh, sneer, chortle and whatever else during a speech that I paid good money to see and HEAR, as well as the other patient people around me. Even after being told to keep it down, they continued. Even to the point of: "Hee, hee! Oh, shhh, keep it down, SHE can't hear Martha!" What is this, high school? Grow up!

Anyways, it's great to be back home. Lucy seemed pleased to see me. Even though Grammy came over at lunch time to let her out while I was gone (thanks, Grammy!) And I was proud of myself...I stayed right near Disneyland and didn't break down and go. OK, I went to Downtown Disney because I was curious. I hadn't been there in years and had yet to see how the park expanded into other parks. Hey, I had a little free time... :-) Once a Disney freak, always a Disney freak...

And now, back to work!