This past weekend we (me, Aaron, Katie, Peter, Baby Graham, and Paolo) ventured down to Anaheim for a day at Disneyland before the start of the Craft & Hobby show (CHA).
We love Disneyland.
We always start with the corn dogs close to the end of Main Street. Always.
As for rides this time, we began with Splash Mountain and then made our way over to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.
Aaron, sitting next to me outside the frame, was freaking out that I was holding my phone out like this. Worth it.
One of my personal favorites is Tower of Terror. We've been known to ride it multiple times in a row but this time it was just once. Front row for the win.
Lunch at California Adventure. I love that place.
Our crew was joined at Disney by Pam Garrison (if you don't know Pam click over and check out her beautiful artwork) and a few of Katie & Peter's friends that live down in Southern California. Disney is so, so fun with friends - especially that evening Mad Hatter Tea Party at California Adventure with the glowing ice cubes.
It's been a few years since I've been to CHA. The last time I went was in 2013 (Katie and Aaron came along on that trip too - it's one of our most talked about trips because we had such a ridiculously fun time at Disneyland).
It was good to be back.
I'll be venturing into the wholesale product arena later this year/next year so it was a chance to chat with potential buyers and retailers about some of our initial plans (if you are a retailer and want to receive more information when we have products ready to order you can email [email protected]) and to catch-up in person with so many friends.
My business, Ali Edwards Design, Inc, is part of the Studio Calico family of brands which includes Big Picture Classes, Baby Boy Bakery, The TomKat Studio, CourageWorks and A Beautiful Mess so we shared a booth with a few of those brands who will be offering wholesale products this year. I brought a bunch of my albums - including Story Kit™ layouts, December Daily®, One Little Word®, and Week In The Life™ - to share as examples of the kind of projects and products I create. It's such a fun experience to see people flip through my albums in person and get to talk about these projects that make up a big part of my life.
Having my own brand represented at the show felt really good. I'm excited about this next phase and continuing to expand my line of intentional memory keeping products and projects. I'm generally a slow-and-steady kind of person and this felt like the right time for me to start moving in this direction.
In past years I spent quite a bit of my time at CHA walking around and seeing what other people were offering. This year I spent more time in our booth and really just enjoyed chatting with people who stopped by - new and old friends. It felt right.
And yes, there was a photo booth in our booth. We took full advantage of it during our two days at the show. I'm sharing just a few of the many photos taken with this super cool contraption below:
Katie is back to work! She's my right hand, one of my best friends, and as always an awesome travel companion. It was so cool to see her and Peter working together with their new baby (who did great traveling). I love these guys so much. Getting to share my working life with them is something I am truly grateful for every day.
Cathy and I figure that the last time we saw each other in the same room was sometime in 2007 or 2008. It doesn't feel that long since we iChat pretty much once a week at least. So glad she really did get on the plane to make the trip out to California.
This is Christy. She's my Marketing Coordinator. She's the one who takes care of and organizes a whole lot of things behind the scenes related to my projects. She's taller than me (I'm 5'9) and she also loves Disney and she makes things happen. Super thankful she is a part of the team.
A bunch of the awesome people who make up the Studio Calico/AED/Big Picture Classes team.
Joy from Joybells Scrapbooking in Australia. She's been a long-time positive supporter and it was so great to have her stop by. Thank you Joy!
Love you Vicki.
Cathy & Sam.
Wendy you are rad.
And Heidi. On Instagram I wrote that there were a million things I could say about her but the bottom line is that I'm just so thankful to know her. She is a creative genius and a pioneer and someone who cares deeply about encouraging others to document their lives.
I was telling someone last weekend the story about the first time I went to CKU (a scrapbooking event that's no longer in existence) which was in Vancouver, BC in 2004 I think. I went as a student and took classes from Stacy Julian, Cathy Zielske, and Heidi Swapp among others. It was my first time meeting these wonderful people, in addition to Jennifer McGuire, all who I consider special friends today (ask Jennifer about my red coat). For me it was the beginning of a wild and crazy passion for memory keeping. We've all been through a lot - within the industry and within our personal lives. Mutual respect, friendship, cheering each other on - that's what we do.
And then there's this guy.
He's so, so great. It was, as always, awesome to have him along for the ride. For support and smiles and water breaks and just to look over and see him standing and chatting with people who came to visit the booth. And he wore a sweater and a collared shirt, which I love.
Next year CHA is moving from Anaheim to Phoenix which means we'll have to get our Disney fix another way. Stay tuned.