cha2014 recap – part 1…

hello!  we are back in the studio from an amazing cha show.  with the months of planning, prepping, kitting, shipping, etc. it’s always awesome to see everything come together as we turn a concrete convention floor into creative magic.  there is no doubt the days are long, hours of standing on your feet, talking, teaching, demoing, yet in the blink of an eye it’s all over.  i know it takes teamwork to do all we do, and i certainly couldn’t do it without these great friends so i want to start by expressing my sincere appreciation to my team: mario, paula, richele, and debbie who worked so hard to pull off an amazing show for all of the brands i design for.  special thanks to my business manager mario for keeping me on track, prepping kits, shipping logistics, and working endlessly via social media to share all of the BTS (behind the scenes) of the show with all of you.  also special thanks to my creative coordinator paula cheney for working with me and sharing many of her ideas and design influence with this launch of products as well as working with all of the designers who created projects for the booths.  i’ve decided to share my cha2014 recap post in two parts: today is about the booths, classes, and logistics of the show – then on tuesday i’ll share the creative projects, demo videos, and inspiration from the talented designers who created projects for the booths.  let’s get started…

when we arrive at the convention center, it’s a chaotic maze of crates and forklifts buzzing about.  for this show, i had new release products displayed in 6 different booths, so there was lots of work to get done in just 3 short days of set-up.  the most time consuming booth is definitely the idea-ology booth since it really represents so much of who i am, and is the largest area devoted to just my signature brand…


thanks to the great team from advantus (rana, tracey, lindsey, kathleen, angela, and molly) who were there to help get the walls and fixtures set, the product merchandised in the booth, and help unpack all of the vintage props – it seriously looked like an episode of “american pickers”…


i know many of you have seen the progress of the vintage windows our neighbor art, mario, and paula’s husband jay worked on to use as props in the booth.  well they turned out perfect including the hinged shelves, chicken wire, chalkboard & burlap background panels…


by the end of day 3 of set-up the booth looked amazing with everything in it’s place and ready for the show to open the following morning…


however this last day of set-up is always the most difficult one as we are all going in a million different directions to get everything finished in time.  in addition to getting all of the other booths displayed and set with project samples, we started our day at the convention center at 6:30am to set up for my first class which was for ranger.  i had 100 students for this hands-on fast paced class.  my students amazed me with their attention and creativity as we made three cards using a variety of new distress products from ranger including the mini distress ink pads, mini blending tool, distress paints, distress markers, and more.  the students got to keep all of the new product from ranger as well as received a couple of surprise gifts including the new distress marker spritzer and the new #hashtags stamp set from stampers anonymous – they were all super excited! (for more photos of my cha ranger class, visit ranger’s blog here)…


i appreciate my students so much for a great class and finishing early since i let them know i needed to rush out at the end of class to go and set-up for my next class which was for sizzix just 30 minutes apart.  with the help of my team we were able to get set up which was a completely different format as 75 students made their way through seven different project stations taught by various sizzix signature designers.  my project included the vagabond and the new frameworks and shadowpress releases from my sizzix alterations line.  it was like creative cardio since we had just under 15 minutes to create and finish the project before each group had to rotate to their next station – crazy i tell you, but totally fun…


then i was back on the show floor to set up a display for the new distress marker spritzer as it was chosen as one of the cha hot 20 products.  with the help of debbie and richele we got it all set up as we filled the bottom portion with hundreds of distress markers, the middle section with the spritzer in action, and the top portion with finished samples – it looked great.  next i was off to a press event where i demoed the spritzer for 2 hours to press/media and answer questions about it along with the other 19 amazing hot products chosen from various companies at the show doing the same…


as the first day kicked off, the excitement and energy from the attendees was wonderful.  the idea-ology booth had a cool make & take that the ever so patient debbie spent 3 days teaching to 300 people using the latest releases including the new “found relatives” – thanks again debbie…


however before the first day of the show opened we had a very early wake up call set to meet the amazing duo noell and izzy hyman from for vip access to film tours of all of the booths, share all of the new release products, share the wonderful projects, and do a couple of demos all before the show “officially” started.  thanks so much to both noell and izzy, they really do such a great job (and are super nice people).  you’ll see links to several videos we did together, but be sure to check out their site for lots of cha videos they did with other great companies at the show along with a cool q&a recap noell did following the show…


in addition to i also want to give a shout out and thanks to merek and the team at, christine and mark from, and sara from for taking time to shoot videos with me throughout the show.  mario and i started our mornings early each day (3 hours before the show opened) so we could film with everyone as well as on the show floor throughout the day – busy, busy, busy…

so it’s time to share some video booth tours from cha starting with the visual inspiration of idea-ology as you take your imagination on an expedition through vintage found treasures and creative possibilities – see for yourself…

the ranger booth includes numerous display boards that many of you saw us working countless days and hours on since christmas.  these swatch boards really showcase the various ranger products, their unique effects, and popular color palettes.  they are lots of work as you can image, but the end result is always worth it when all 25 of them are displayed throughout the booth…


each year ranger hosts a “designer challenge” where we invite a select variety of artists and designers in the industry to take part in.  for the challenge, we send each designer the same surface (in this case a canvas board) along with a specific product to use (which was distress paint).  each designer must work on this surface and include the assigned product, but can also incorporate anything else they choose.  the theme for this show was “how do you distress?” and the results were as individual as the designers who accepted the challenge – i must say it was our best year yet for versatility.  thanks again to all of the designers who participated.  check out ranger’s blog for photos of each entry, but for a video tour of the challenge, check out this video from noell at…

i was also busy demoing in the ranger and sizzix booths daily.  this would definitely be my favorite part of the show, sharing tips and techniques using the latest product releases as well as new ideas for the products many already have.  the most important thing by far in this industry is to continue to create, and inspire others to create as well…


a huge thank you to my wonderful talented friend e.l. who i work hand in hand with at sizzix to create and design all of the great alterations dies and embossing folders, i honestly couldn’t do it with her.  also thank you to my friend and talented designer debi adams for her remarkable creativity and help with making my areas in the sizzix booth absolutely amazing.  debi and i work together to create a concept to display the various products at the show, she works with the “prop genius” marty at sizzix to build each of these booth vignettes.  from the awesome layered book walls, the vintage shabby parlor setting, and the simplistic display for shadowpress, every detail in these displays are the innovative collaboration of debi and marty – bravo guys…


mr. & mrs. stampers anonymous create the perfect setting to showcase the latest collections of stamps and stencils.  this booth is always a great place to see a great variety of creative cards and projects featuring my new releases…



my eclectic elements fabric line made it’s cha debut at this show in the coats & clark booth.  they did a wonderful job showcasing all of the fabric assortments including the fabric craft packs, various cut bundles, along with several project ideas.  the booth also displayed a poster announcing the second collection of eclectic elements fabric launching at spring quilt market later this year…


i was excited to share the surprise announcement the first morning of the show about my recent collaboration with stella lighting to debut the new “industrial collection” of stella lights.  i absolutely love this lighting technology and think it is by far the best creative lighting system this industry had ever seen.  whether you’re a paper crafter, jewelry designer, quilter, or mixed media artist – this stella light brings you the most innovative lighting options that include bright LED, true color, and incandescent lighting all from the same unit.  the new “industrial collection” stella edge is remote controlled and can clamp on to just about any surface for the perfect lighting anywhere, anytime.  check out the following video demo of the new light along with a quick demo of the new tonic shears…


i hope you’ve enjoyed seeing and hearing about my latest product releases from idea-ology, ranger, sizzix, stampers anonymous, tonic, eclectic elements fabric, and stella.  the cha show is always filled with creativity and inspiration, but the best part is seeing friends in the industry and sharing in the fun of what we love to do.  thanks so much for taking this tour of cha with me, i’ll be back with part 2 on tuesday…t!m


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233 Comments to “cha2014 recap – part 1…”

  1. wow, I’m exhausted – I dont know how you do it all 🙂

  2. Rose Curtis says:

    Love love love all your new products! I wish I was at CHA again so I could more leisurely go through all your lines! I was pretty happy to see your 12×12 & 6×6 stacks of material! AWesome… I am always looking for remnants lol… and now I can just buy the 6×6 pack.
    So exciting! What we need now is a Tim Hotlz store so we can just buy it all in one place! =)

  3. sarah tench says:

    Can I just move into the idea-ology booth?

  4. Helen says:

    thanks so much for sharing!! What inspiration! I want it all!!

  5. isabelle M says:

    Awesome recap!!
    Wow! want to be there… thk U for share!

  6. Kerry says:

    Wow wow wow everything looks amazing, all the hard work you all put in is truly inspiring. Everything looks so exciting 🙂 Kezzy x

  7. Oh my word, the Designers Challenge pieces were simply AMAZING! Every single one is completely different from the other. Incredibly creative and a credit to all the Designers. Its also a credit to Tim and those fabulous paints because when we have a good product to work with, there is no stopping the flow of creative juices, lol. I loved each and every project the Designers produced. Lee x

  8. I have been taking a little time each day to drink it all in! The writing, the pictures,, the videos! I want to live in one of your booths. They are the most well dressed, detailed booths I’ve ever seen!
    Can’t wait to see day too!!

  9. An admirable collection of stuff I feel I’d need several lives to think up, if ever. But one spontaneous thought came across my mind the moment I saw those throngs of people: do you not get “robbed blind” in that huge crowd, where, so it seems to me, everyone could walk off with a little “trinket” and never be caught? I know, one shouldn’t harbor negative thoughts under such circumstances, but that crowd is frightful …

  10. Nancy Zunic says:

    Love all of the new products! Thank you for such a detailed review of CHA! I love looking at all the eye candy art pieces! Cannot wait to get my hands on these new products!

  11. Chelle K says:

    Loved watching the videos and seeing the new product. also my friend in one of the photos. #awesomenewT!mproducts

  12. Geraldine says:

    Thanks for sharing a peek into the set-up for CHA, can’t even begin to imagine all the work that goes into it. Loved all the new products and the videos sharing them. Off to part 2 now.

  13. Oh my goodness–loved the videos of all the new products and now I want it all! Might have to take out a loan–lol! Love Mario’s idea with the hash tag words–way cool!

  14. Carol W. says:

    WOW thank you for the CHA-14 recap!

  15. Paulette says:

    You saw Dee Gruenig! How fun. I loved her excitement on the Carol Duvall show. The stamping and die cutting industry has sky rocketed since then. Looks like you had a great time, in spite of all of the work.

  16. Sharon L-S says:

    Love all the new toys. My wish list is beyond my paycheck. Love the new frame-its, the die and embossing folder set, stamp & die sets, and the Stella Lighting. Just too cool. I saw it on your videos for Quilt Market last year – glad it is now going to get more visibility. The samples put together for all your booths are awesome. Another homerun out of the park for CHA. Love Mario and Mario 3’s addition to your line of products.

  17. Gina L Howe says:

    Incredible products & ideas. I love it when y’all share! You must be exhausted, but you’re never lacking enthusiasm!

  18. so much crafty goodness!!!!!

  19. Marisa says:


  20. Maureen sala says:

    Wowza! What a posting, reading through all of your new products. You stole the show, that for sure. Amazing


  21. Shelann says:

    The booth looks beautiful and all of those color samples made with love, really standout nicely! So many new fun things!

  22. Linda Polaretzki says:

    Since I couldn’t be at CHA – seeing all of your pics and videos is the next best thing!! I love all the new stuff – you outdid yourself!!

  23. DANEE says:

    So many amazing things, as always but that parlor vignette has my name written all over it.

  24. Krista Baginsky says:

    Wow! Amazing job…

  25. Brenda F says:

    Thank you so much for sharing CHA with those of us not there. Can you use your influence to get your new items shipped sooner than planned? :D…

  26. Terry says:

    Ohh my goodness, Tim and Mario, what a great post from you guys, loved the video’s, Mario getting on the film wohooooo love all of your new products and your Stella Light is amazing….and offcourse a Must have….Thank you so much for sharing all the fun, smiles and new and cool products. Loved the post thanks so much for sharing Hugs Terry xxxx

  27. Carol P says:

    I know it was a huge amount of work but it is nice to see that you looked like you were truly still enjoying yourself! Thanks again for all that you do on a daily basis to keep this industry thriving and exciting. The videos were fun and fantastic as usual.

  28. Pat L. says:

    Oh Oh Oh! I MUST have one of every new Idealogy release, and can’t hardly wait for the Sizzix Frameworks dies. And best of all, the new Tonic Sissors!!!

  29. Roxanne says:

    AWWWW! These pics are sooo cool! What fun! I love the video’s too….thanks so much for going to the trouble to show us all and letting us join in the fun! Thank you too Mr. Mario for BTS! You all are great…love those smiles! 🙂

  30. Trent Miller says:

    Looks like another year and awesome products, friends and artistic juices shared.

  31. Donna C. says:

    wow, your booths are fabulous. I wish I could attend CHA, but I am a buyer not a vender so that will never happens. BUT, to be able to buy all these new products just blows my mind. Thanks

  32. Emily Barker says:

    Thanks so much for sharing the good, hectic time with us. It certainly seems like an exhausting schedule, and you have to wear many hats. I would love to be a fly on your shoulder!

  33. Lisa Geraty says:

    I have had so much fun watching all of the paper clipping videos “CHA 2014” ha ha! I cannot wait to get my grubby hands on that distress marker spritzer! I was down at my LSS & got myself first on their wait list. Cannot wait! 🙂

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