Monday, February 6, 2012

California in January

The Craft and Hobby Association (CHA) winter show is now only a memory, but I took 673 photos so I'd never forget it.
Carolina's Italian Restaurant. Yum!

The week started with dinner at Carolina's with Eileen Hull, Karen Burniston, Carla Schauer, Barbara Rankin, Laura Kelly and Jen Goode. We can't go to California without going to this wonderful Italian restaurant. The meal starts with some serious cheese bread and ends with the best spumoni I've ever tasted.

One of the flower carts at Universal. 

Barbara Rankin and I went a day early so we could go to Universal Studios before the show started and it was worth every penny...my first haunted house, my first 3D movie and  awesome memories.

We walked a lot, ate too much food and took home Cinnabon sticks and chocolate chip cookies from Mel's Diner.

The atmosphere at Universal Studios is just like at Disneyland: You can feel the magic.

We saw instant floods, experienced a simulated earthquake, watched a great animal show with one of the Marley pups and bought souvenirs which will eventually become art: film reels and canisters, skull necklaces and luggage tags. The entire day was so wonderful and I hated to see it end, but the next day's business seminars started at 8 a.m.

The show actually began on Saturday with lots of business classes and workshops. The photo at left shows the beautiful walkway that we took every day to and from our hotel and the convention center. We had wonderful weather the entire week, which made it hard to come home to Tennessee, but the day we left, Memphis was actually 5° warmer than Anaheim.

The first seminar I attended, the Designer Roundtable, was very well attended and the moderators of each table were very knowledgeable. I saw a lot of old friends, made a lot of new ones and learned a lot.

I had business seminars all day, ending with a great presentation separate from the CHA show by Brenda Pinnick, Karen Embry and Phyllis Dobbs on art licensing. These three women are so knowledgeable and so willing to share their knowledge, just like the entire designer section at CHA. It's very rare to meet business professionals who share experience and ideas with their competitors, but that's the way it is in this wonderful designer group.

Saturday night, Barbara and I made a mad dash back to Carolina's for more Italian before our evening classes. Did I mention how much we like that place?

I'll close for today, but plan to post at least three more times this week to report what I saw that I just can't live without.