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Weekend Adventures At CHA 2016

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 ClassesBaby Boy BakeryThe 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. 

On Saturday night we had dinner with CathyTara WhitneyKelly Purkey, and Pam Garrison. Lots of laughing and stories and catching up. And more laughing. 

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. 

I also loved getting to see and hug Tim & MarioMaggieBeckyLiz and Amy. To be honest I didn't take a whole lot of photos because I was just so happy to see and talk with these friends in person. 

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

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43 thoughts

  1. delia says…
    01/13/2016

    All of my favourites together as friends. Lovely to see. So glad you had a ball. The lot of you inspire the rest of us constantly. Thank you.

    Reply 0 Replies
  2. jillybeanw says…
    01/13/2016

    You and Aaron are the cutest ever. Thanks for sharing your life with us, I have only met a handful of the wonderful people you mentioned in this post but as I look at the pictures I think of you all as friends because you are so open and talented and wonderful.

    Reply 0 Replies
  3. mtercha says…
    01/13/2016

    Glad to hear things expanding for you, you deserve that. It's awesome, and happy that it feels right for you. Can't wait to see the new things. I'm sure everything will be awesome and I'll want it all, which isn't any different from now. :) You look great, too. I haven't been around as long but this is real nice to see. Michelle t

    Reply 0 Replies
  4. JustMel says…
    01/13/2016

    Ali this is so fun! Thanks for the recap! I'm excited to see what's ahead for you this year, I've always loved your work and I'm happy to see your brand flourish and grow!

    Reply 0 Replies
  5. kate_adderley says…
    01/13/2016

    just wonderful to see you catching up with treasured friends Ali, thanks for another inspired post, love your work always, happy that your work and life is starting to feel whole for you, l can see why you choose that word for this year, thanks so much for being a memory keeper and sharing it with us

    Reply 0 Replies
  6. Debora_Prass says…
    01/13/2016

    I've been meaning to tell you something... I have been following you work and your life for a few years now, and even got to take a class with you ate CKU (loved it, btw). For the last few months you seem different in photos, more relaxed, your smile looks bigger. I guess you seem happier... and it makes me happy for you! It's funny how we can feel close to someone we barely know. I hope that's how you're feeling! :)

    Reply 2 Replies
    1. AliEdwards says…
      01/13/2016

      Thank you - I am feeling that way :).

    2. mtercha says…
      01/13/2016

      I thought the same, thing, Ali, though I've not been around near as long, and Debora had put it into words perfectly. I'm happy for you. Thanks also for your help this am.:)

  7. virginiegoujon says…
    01/13/2016

    Congratulations Ali. Love to see your brand grow! (Don't think my wallet is ok with that ;) )
    Love to see your smile!!!
    This photo of you and Aaron in the photo booth is so great! Aaron is a funny guy (hi Aaron).
    Thank you Ali for sharing your CHA adventure with us.
    Virginie

    Reply 0 Replies
  8. krystyn says…
    01/13/2016

    I'm pretty sure that Katie and Christy have the best jobs ever!!! Working for you looks amazing and insanely fun. I'm going to have to apply for your next opening!! (And then move cross country). Love your products Ali - always have, always will. Can't wait to see what's coming!!! :)

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. Bspannbauer says…
      01/13/2016

      I know right!!? I have been thinking the same thing! Could you imagine working for Ali?? I think that it would be like to old saying goes "find something you love to do and you will never work a day in your life"

  9. hgauvin says…
    01/13/2016

    Great photos with great people! What's better than that?! I can't wait to hear all about your wholesale adventure. How exciting!

    Reply 0 Replies
  10. noreenlynnshaw says…
    01/13/2016

    I love that you went early to go to Disneyland!! I'm a super Disney nerd and I would have done that same. It looks like you had a great time at both and I love your pictures.

    Reply 0 Replies
  11. nicolemann9 says…
    01/13/2016

    Looks like such a fun weekend! Thank you for sharing :) And super excited to watch your brand grow! You and your products have been a major reason I have started getting some important stories told, and I am so grateful :) Thanks for all of your inspiration!

    Reply 0 Replies
  12. LilyandTwig says…
    01/13/2016

    Looks like such an amazing time and what an incredible and inspiring group of friends! Thank you for being such an inspiration!!

    Reply 0 Replies
  13. barefootscrapbooker says…
    01/13/2016

    It is very exciting to hear that you are expanding your brand - congratulations! I absolutely love your products and your approach to memory keeping. I can't wait to see what comes out of that talented brain of yours!

    You and Aaron are so cute together. It is so great to see such happiness on your face and in your eyes! :)

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. AliEdwards says…
      01/13/2016

      Thank you!

  14. Beejay22 says…
    01/13/2016

    Just wanted to say how great it was that I encountered upon you via Brene Brown's ecourse via Oprah. I have loved all the classes you have and love the items in your shop and can't wait to see you grown your brand. Congratulations and yes I love Disney too.

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. AliEdwards says…
      01/13/2016

      Thank you! Love Brene :).

  15. cruisin_ali says…
    01/13/2016

    This may sound a little weird but the picture of you and Katie at California adventure - WOW! You have never looked so relaxed, happy and beautiful.. or maybe you just look whole?! thanks so much for sharing your experience and photos. Looking forward to supporting your ongoing endeavors!

    Reply 2 Replies
    1. AliEdwards says…
      01/13/2016

      Thank you! I've been feeling good and really trying to take care of myself - all of me :).

    2. Bspannbauer says…
      01/13/2016

      It's not weird, I thought the same thing! Ali you are simply glowing :)

  16. Northrigg says…
    01/13/2016

    Thanks for this post. I'm always intrigued about cha and seeing what's new.

    Reply 0 Replies
  17. Debg says…
    01/13/2016

    So excited for you (and me) about the product expansion! So happy for your happiness/wholeness!

    Reply 0 Replies
  18. UshaMuthiah says…
    01/13/2016

    Looks Like you had a lot of FUN Ali!Happy for You!Somebody had mentioned how relaxed and happy you seem in the photos I agree you look Happy Now Wishing you More of It!!!

    Reply 0 Replies
  19. tm_erin says…
    01/13/2016

    Big Thunder Mountain is my FAVORITE. High-five for getting that shot! I'm with Aaron though...I would have been freaking out too. :)

    Reply 0 Replies
  20. NatashaP says…
    01/13/2016

    Loved seeing all these photos and reading the stories behind them. I love the fact that even though you guys are all in the same business of memory keeping (therefore competitors) that you are all good friends. What a great industry we are all apart of.

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. AliEdwards says…
      01/13/2016

      I love that too!

  21. Carolly says…
    01/13/2016

    Yay so fun for brand growth!!!! Love all of your photos!!!

    Reply 0 Replies
  22. Bsthlf says…
    01/13/2016

    Great Recap! You all rock!

    Reply 0 Replies
  23. studioK says…
    01/13/2016

    LOVE LOVE LOVE!! I can't wait for the next chapter of your story!!

    Reply 0 Replies
  24. Cookingmylife says…
    01/14/2016

    Doing what you love with the people you love...how perfect is that! It's so happy making to see this happening for you. <3

    Reply 0 Replies
  25. angymuse says…
    01/14/2016

    first of all. the pic of you and Katie at California Adventure... you look SOOOOOOOO amazing in it! <3 and its really nice to see you so happy doing what you love with people who love and support you too. xoxox

    Reply 0 Replies

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