Blog: CHA

Photos from Creativation 2017 in Phoenix

Last week I went to the Creativation Show in Phoenix. Creativation is a tradeshow, former called CHA for creative arts products industries. I thought I’d share with you some pix from my time there and what and whom I saw :)

Here I am demoing with my stamps in the ArtFoamies booth. I had such a good time with Emmie and Ian, the owners, and I loved seeing a lot of people coming by to check out the designs and the new Clay and Pottery Versions too.

Here is a short video that Craft Test Dummies recorded of me in the booth …note that I am really sick …to be honest I have no idea how I made it through the show

I also have no idea how my sweet friend Birgit Koopsen made it through sharing a room with me ;) I hope she didn’t get sick when she returned home. But we had an amazing time!!! Here we are at breakfast – with one of my art mugs :)

On the way to Phoenix I met Seth Apter at the gate in Newark, which was so much fun , extra chatty time for us – and here he is demoing with his products at the Spellbinder booth.

Here are two things that I found and have already ordered – cannot wait to get them. These are by Masterson Art Supplies, a company that was in the new exhibitor section , but is actually already around for over 40 years.

On the top you see the Rinse Well which consists of a plastic bottle that holds 28 ounces of fresh water, a durable plastic base with a well in the center for brush cleaning and a reservoir to hold the used water. Simply pressing the button at the front of the Rinse Well drains the used water into the storage base and automatically refills the well with a clean supply of water. I have to try this – hopefully it saves me a couple journey to the sink :)

On the bottom of the photo above you see Masterson’s Sta-Wet Palettes. The palette is supposed to keep acrylics and other water-based paints moist on the open palette for hours. Once the lid is closed, the paints will stay in workable condition for days, even weeks. A unique sponge and special permeable palette paper provide the paint with a constant source of moisture. I cannot wait to try it and will let you know if and how it worked .

I visited the Stampendous booth shortly, they are still carrying some of my stamp lines and it was fun to see Andy Skinner and Tracy Weinzapfel do their shenanigans.

And we ran into the amazing MaryBeth Shaw and had a fun chat and laughed a lot. Thanks MaryBeth and Carol for the trail mix…that saved Birgit and me from starving later ;)

Above is Anna Dabrowska, who showed us her new patina paint set, which was really fun- I liked it a lot!

One of my favorite new supplies is brought to you by the sweet and awesomely talented Dina Wakley! Her new Media Journal has different surfaces inside including burlap, canvas, cotton rag, watercolor paper, and kraft paper. OMG  I so cannot wait to get that puppy art journal into my hand. On the left she is showing some of the amazing pages that Creative Squad team member Cheiron Brandon created in the new album. On the bottom right you see some experimenting by Birgit with Dina’s new Scribble Sticks– they are a lot of fun!

Another booth that made my heart sing, was Aladine. Aladine is a wonderful company from France with different paint products in bright and coordinating colors. From inks, to calligraphy inks, to stamps pads and acrylic paint …they have it all in the yummiest color. But I was especially intrigued by their Textile paint, and paste – which you can see both on the top . I cannot wait to try it out with my stamps and stencils and will let you know how it went soon .

Another highlight was seeing those two beautiful faces!!! Rae Missigman and Mou Saha . I could hang out with them all day. They showed this fun new Tea Stain Dye by Faber-Castell . I loved the muted colors and I already bought some plain sari silk ribbon and cannot wait to play with that a bit.

I know that this seems a bit geeky but I love the new Adhesive Lines by Scrapbook Adhesive- I am a sucker for good adhesive :)


As always I visited my friends from the Alumilite booth and I loved their samples with resin and molds – still on my to-do lists- there I shout it out to the universe I will do some stuff this year – hold me accountable ;)

Vicki Boutin came out with a fun Scrapbooking Line with American Crafts in yummie colors and designs. I really liked her new pens in various colors that had a super nice feel to them and seemed to write easily on acrylic paint. I have to play a bit more with those- you can never have enough awesome journaling pens!


Bright and happy colors were everywhere this show- as you know that makes me happy.

Here is a photo of Marjie Kemper (Marjie- so sad it was just a short moment I saw you ) and Seth

and here is a little break with Rachel Greig from Darkroom Door and Birgit. Always fun to spent time with Rachel! The three of us might have hashed out some plans for 2018 …psssttt ;)

my girls – it was the best to spent so much time together this show!

and of course a dinner with these sweet friends outside (under a heating lamp- boy it was cold in Phoenix) was the best of this trip!


I spent some more time at the ArtFoamies booth …and don’t ask me what Julie is doing there to me…LOL

And here is us together with Emmie and Ian in the ArtFoamies booth – love you guys!

That was it. The show was shorter than usual but I do have to say I really enjoyed it. I saw some interesting things, met a huge amount of people and …the most important thing, spent time with my peers and had awesome conversations. I cannot wait to play with all kinds of different new things and share them with you.

What did you see posted about the show that is new and excites you ?

+ Expand this article

Comments (8)

  • Marjie Kemper


    Awesome pics! So glad to see you if only for a moment. Congrats on your new releases!


    • Nathalie Kalbach


      Thank you Marjie! Yeah- next time I hope to see you longer. Stay warm today on this snow day :)


  • Marie-Anne Raeman


    Hi, i’m so curieus what you and Birgit been cookin for 2018 ….with Rachel… yummie stamps maybe….


    • Nathalie Kalbach


      LOL- not stamps …although that is what all three of us have in common ;)


  • Nancy Faulls


    I absolutely LOVE my Rinse Well!

    Can’t wait to hear what you think of Sta-Wet. Been thinking about it for a bit.

    Thanks for sharing all the pics…looks like a blast.


    • Nathalie Kalbach


      Hi Nancy, that is so cool to hear. I just got it and set it up. Did you use it with acrylic paints yet too? I dabbled in watercolor yesterday and that worked very well :) I will let you know about the Sta-Wet – I got it as well but haven’t been painting yet. Cannot wait though! Have a gorgeous week :)


Leave a comment

12 Days of California Part III: CHA 2014 Trends & Observations

As every January Winter CHA was a must-go for me to see and observe trends and new products , for meetings and seeing friends. It was four days of insanity but I love it :)

Here are some of the trends I spotted:

  • Die Cuts with matching stamps or other products they can work well with  – Dies are hip and everywhere. Often times they accomplish an already existing product by a company – like Elisabeth Crafts Designs (Shimmer Sheets etc.) with the new licensed Karen Burniston Dies or Lawn Fawn Stamps with matching Dies
  • Wooden and other natural looking embellishments
  • Globes, Typewriters, Maps, Location Signs
  • Everthing Project Life related: Paper, Tags, clear bags, small alphas
  • Vellum and Washi Paper
  • Mixed Media products- paints, stencils, media – everything that can be used with Paint Products
  • Cork, Chalkboard, Canvas, Burlap

Another visible trends was that several companies were approaching the market differently –Several companies did not do the typical Scrapbooking Products,  it was more about accessories for Scrapbooking, homedecor and DIY  – like Hazel & Ruby with their Wall Stencils and gift paper wrapping, or Cosmo Cricket with beautiful Mason Jar additions and gift bags or Mon Ami Gabby with their natural versatile looking ribbons, rhinestone mats, crepe paper.










My Personal Faves at CHA2014

Lumi – Solar Printing at home- it was so much fun. I visited a class too and there will be a blog post about it coming soon :)


Mon Ami Gabby had rhinestone mats which can be used with die cut machines. I do hope they will get  better website- but I do love their products and the booth was beautiful!




Tsukineko – now Imagine Crafts Irresistible Sprays – Resist Texture Spray- do I have to say more- yum!Cannot wait to get my hand on those and play with them


Loved this paper – it was my fave…and like a total beginner I have no idea which company it was because I didn’t write it down nor did I take a photo of the label..if someone can tell me- I would be happy- LOL :)



  • Other than the paper above and some of other papers, most of the paper was a bit disappointing for me – the color scheme seemed to be throughout the same as well as the clipart – very few exceptions.
  • Spray paints with and without texture – Prima’s new Spray Paint- I will post about it soon, Imagine Crafts – it seems still on the up
  • The two main trends are Project Life and Mixed Media and everything seems to revolve around these two trends.
  • Lots of chalkboard muted matte pastel paints e.g. American Crafts- or the Earth Safe Booth
  • a lot of companies were not at CHA this time – Big booths like EK Success and other companies like Maya Road were missing totally. UPDATE: It was brought to my attention that Maya Road was at CHA. I missed their booth apparently totally and when I was talking to others they said also they didn’t see them- I should have fact checked this of course- so I do apologize. I am a fan of Maya Road- so having me pointing this out was a matter of sadness – happy to hear though they were there!
  • I had the feeling that the booths were in general less project and more product driven – there was way more creative output the years before and all in all the booths were a bit more plain then the years before. I am not sure how I feel about this because the art and design work usually made me most excited about the products.
  • Meeting people is the best about CHA – it is the time to talk, celebrate and network and I would not want to miss it anymore


JumpStarter Joe Rotella and Birgit Koopsen and I at breakfast






JumpStarter Dina with her new paint line- so proud of her and cannot wait to try them!



JumpStarter Julie Fei Fan Balzer and Birgit Koopsen – since Birgit is my bestie she is on a lot of photos ;).


Birgit with JumpStarter Catherine Scanlon




Denny from Prima who did such a fantastic job organizing the event and a little photo bomber- lol- that would be Limor Webber  NatKalbach_CHA2014_16


The amazing Suze Weinberg- another JumpStarter – visiting me at the Stampendous booth – she is sooo cool!


JumpStarter Pam Carriker, Birgit Koopsen and Mary Beth Shaw – we had so much fun trying to get a photo of us jumping…you cannot see a thing in that blurrr- LOL




I will be dabbling on some of the products I found at CHA here and there in future blog posts. I am looking forward to next year already!

The next posts from California will be about our mini vacation doing arting with Birgit Koopsen, Jenn Mason and Julie Fei-Fan Balzer – watch out for crazy posts ;)

Have a gorgeous day



Comments (7)

  • ruby t


    I did an image search on google and came up with another woman having ta similar image of a booth with those designs that were at the Houston Quilt Market Nov 2013.
    She does not indicate which company. So it is a company who produces fabric and paper…narrows it down just a little…
    Another woman at CHA says the exact thing that Natalie says…I forgot to write it down:
    She says she *thinks* it is AdornIt
    At least you have the name Woodland Critters
    that is all I have got


  • Andrene


    OK-I spent, I know, 2 hours searching every paper company I could think of and watching all the CHA peek videos I could find to no avail. I haven’t a clue who makes that adorable collection! So if you find out, please let us know because I will be all over it!
    As for this releases papers & collections, I think there are some really nice ones coming out. The new Prima’s are gorgeous. Finnabairs new collection “Cold Country” is beautiful (gotta have it). And I’m loving Lawn Fawns stripes and dots. Thanks for the photos – I need to look out for those irresistible sprays!


  • SusanJane


    “Other than the paper above and some of other papers, most of the paper was a bit disappointing for me – the color scheme seemed to be throughout the same as well as the clipart – very few exceptions.”

    I’ve noticed this trend, too. What are all these companies thinking? I cannot imagine this homogeny is going to be profitable. It certainly demonstrates shortsighted planning. I’ve only bought a few sheets of paper this past last year and none of them were the “in” colors and patterns.

    Is it declining sales that are making these companies get pallet conservative?


  • Katia


    Thanks for showing us so many beautiful things!


  • Laura Strack


    I enjoyed your take on CHA! Thanks so much. I keep hearing that Scrapbooking is on the decline. I can’t help but wonder why? What can we do about it? Maybe more folks are going digital, IDK, but what can we do to get the younger generation involved and loving it, is the question?
    Hugs, Laura


  • morningdove


    loved your post – since never been so fun looking into CHA thru your eyes. looking forward to your posts on products. CJS is amazing this year and I am on fire. so funny when I printed out my list sheet of daily workshops I also go Jan 22, transparencies and giveaway on the list. like Santa I am checking off my list to make sure I try all the teachers tech and do the givewawys. great job nat.


  • scrapinsue


    I enjoyed this post so much Nat. Thanks for taking the time to give us the details. I have to say that most of the scrappy stores within an hour drive of me have closed at this point. My friends and I see that the scrapbooking (in the more traditional sense) seems to be on the decline. Mixed media and products for home decor are on the rise around here. So at least we are on the same page as CHA. LOL


Leave a comment

12 Days of California Part II: My Stampendous Stamps Debut at CHA



Seeing my own stamp designs and my photo at the Stampendous Booth was sooooo cool.



I came into the Convention Center a little bit before my class started and took a peek at the booth…(the show wasn’t open to the public yet)


I was all by myself and I was looking at this in disbelieve- it honestly felt unreal as if the alarm clock would ring the next minute to make me wake up and realize this was just a dream. Instead my alarm went off that I would have to run to my first CHA class ever- 50 Retailers – waiting to play with my Stamps and other Stampendous Products.


It was a fun class- and after an uncomfortable two seconds realizing that someone hung a microphone on my clothes “FREAK- I never had a mic while teaching” I got the hang out of it, as I already started loosing my voice after teaching the last two days six classes at ArtVenture. I was also happy to see some familiar faces from either working together before or students that took my ArtVenture Class- that was fun!



Teaching Retailers is definitely different. A lot of my students in this class did not come because they love Mixed Media- but because they wanted to get educated in Mixed Media and learn about it because they realized there is a huge demand for it in their stores. It was a very different approach in this class when my usual let loose and get creative.  I enjoyed when some of them that never played with paint told me they liked it a lot and get their costumer love for it :) Right on ;)



And btw not every teacher at CHA as a good friend like JumpStarter Joe Rotella who comes with a chef hat into your class to deliver lunch because he knows you never eat right at CHA ;) Thank you Joe- that made me laugh so hard…too bad I had a mic – my already loud laughing must have scared my students a lot – LOL



I learned a lot  by teaching this class and hopefully there will be another opportunity for a CHA class in the future. I loved seeing my stamps being used – it made me all giddy :)








Thank you Liquitex, Speedball,  May Arts and Imagine Crafts(Tsukineko) for sponsoring my Stampendous Class!


I demoed also a couple days at the Stampendous booth…until I lost my voice totally – but hey…I sounded really interesting- LOL




And I loved having friends over and Cindy Bundy from the Stampendous Designteam showing me her sample


Thank you to all of you who took my CHA Class and came to see my demos ! Thank you also to the awesome Stampendous Staff who did such an amazing job behind the scenes and helped me during and after my classes!

I am going to add a list of the stores that cary my stamps to my website here soon – they are already available and I know some stores have them already in the house :)

More about CHA and which trends I observed will follow :)

have a gorgeous day

huge hugs



Comments (21)

  • MarjieKemper


    I bet that display made your heart sing! Great seeing all these beauties in person. Massive congrats!


Leave a comment

Unleash Your Creativity or…Why I have been biting off my tongue

It has been an insane year already with the move overseas and if you are waiting for an email…bear with me – I am drowning in emails, setting up a cozy home, workshops and … I have been biting off my tongue for many months now because…I have also been working on a huge secret project..which is tied up with something else…and here it is …Can you spy the bigger news that are included in this already (big for me) announcement?




I am so thrilled and it was hard to not tell anyone…but the biting is not over ;) I so cannot wait to show you the designs when it comes closer to CHA. They are so me and I am very excited about them. Thank YOU my readers for your encouragements over the last years and support – without you, this would have never happened. I have been dreaming of this FOREVER and as some of you know I have been VERY close once to this a couple years ago but alas…it wasn’t supposed to be. But this time…it is – I am holding my babies in my hand already  :) If you are a retailer and interested in taking my class sponsored by Stampendous and Liquitex at CHA – you can sign up starting today November 12th (the CHA website crashed when the registration opened this morning- so they have to fix this)! All others…don’t be sad, there will be lot’s of fun coming up the next months :)

Sending a super big hug with a huge almost-around-the- face-if-not-there-were-ears-smile on my face to you




Comments (24)

  • Anna-Karin


    Wow, I am so happy for you!! I can’t wait to see your stamps, I know they will be wonderful. It must have been so hard to keep quiet about!! Big Congrats!!


  • susan salyer


    congrats to you well earned I know . have fun and enjoy your special time!
    susan s




    Congrats, Nat…you have stepped with the right foot in US!…hope the best with all those conquers!….sorry i am not retailer…nice day!


Leave a comment