Monday 30 January 2017

What's on!

Hello everyone, thank you for popping in. Today starts a serial of posts over the next few months whereby I bring you news about the art and craft world, Challenges  Competitions, Art Calls, Exhibitions and more. 

Inspired by the current run of Trade Industry shows, worldwide, and how they are shared through video and Social Media, and how It's taken me a long time to navigate myself around; being totally self taught it's easy to miss much of what's out there,  not just for professional artists but for amateur ones as well. If you are beginner, a seasoned crafter, or a budding artist, or anyone interested, I hope these posts will bring a collection of useful information and articles of interest. 

You can read it here on the blog as well as subscribe to my newsletter which you are able to download and keep, included will be a copy of each month's events. It will build into a catalogue which can be used for ongoing information. Many of the curators that organise events and art calls do so annually, so you always know when to expect them. So, come follow me around this creative industry as I share what has been useful, as well as what interests me.

Okay so onto my first post in the series which I will name
Full on Drama!

January sees the start of the Craft Product industry's round of shows, with CHA or AFCI as it is to be known from January 2017, kicking off with Creativation in Phoenix Arizona, just last week! 

                                                                                                 Screenshot of webpage

I have created a calendar of the dates this year which you can download of get from my newsletter. (Coming soon!)

This is a floor plan  from their app. You can download the app from the App Store for Apple , I didn't check whether android had the app. 


AFCI is committed to insuring that the craft industry is a healthy industry which enhances the quality of people's lives. As a therapist I know the benefits of participating in regular creative activities, as it produces hormones in the brain such as Serotonin, which increases pleasure and health.  It also reduces harmful stress hormones such as Cortisol, therefore, creating actually improves happiness. But we all know that don't we?

So what is it all about? 
In a similar way to retail craft shows, the industry shows, showcase the new products the manufacturers have developed for this year. It's focus is on educating the retailers about their products and enticing them to stock their shops with all the new trends. The show is full of all the big names out there in the crafting world, and I'm sure you have come across lots demos all over Social Media tempting you  all, the consumers, to start writing your 'cannot live without' lists lol. Yes I'm guilty of it too!  Here is a link to the AFCI blog where you can read about them and what they do. Below is what they say about themselves. 

'As an organisation, AFCI strives to deliver innovative high value services as we support our Members who provide products and services 
to educate, entertain, and inspire creative consumers. Our Members include the manufacturers, retailers, distributors, designers, educators, digital content providers, professional makers and DIYers, and other creative professionals that comprise the $40 billion+ creative arts industries around the globe.'*

The different manufacturers at the show also offer mini workshops to the retailers and educators, teaching them about their products and demonstrating ways to use them. This filters down and forms the basis of many of the workshops offered by retailing shops to you  the consumer. 

For those of you who are Paper Artsy followers, of which I am one,  you can see where their booth was situated below. It's marked in Red and has a tag you are here! I wasn't! Again this is a screenshot of the app.


Getting back to the Show, it calls itself it's the ultimate crafting Industries event, and by the size of it I guess it must be true!

Another focus of the show is networking. Connecting all areas such as suppliers, designers, makers, and bloggers. It is a Social must for anyone wanting to start their own small business!

Well!  you might say, that's fine if you can afford to travel to Arizona but what if you are in Europe? What's out there for you? Good question! There are smaller shows in Europe, Germany being the next one, which started on  Saturday the 28th January and runs until the 31st. The next in the Diary is The Stitching, Sewing and Hobbycrafts show - Manchester U.K. which starts on the 2nd of February. 

A little later in the month there is CHSI- Stitches which runs  19-21 February 2017 at the NEC Birmingham. This is the biggest show in Europe. 

So you can see why I call full on Drama, it is such a busy time for the manufacturers creating enough stock to fill orders as well getting ready for the shows. Of course they also so have the retails shows to attend which I will also provide on the diary. I hope to have the diary up and running in a couple of days and will keep it as a featured post. I will update it as we go on.

Your feedback is so helpful so please let me know, is this of interest? Do you want more of this sort thing etc! Is it too dry? Not enough photos etc. I'd also like to know what other areas you would like to read about. 

Signing off for tonight, but I will see you soon,
Take care
Hugs xx




  1. Wow! Fab post Debs. Definitely interested in your newsletter! 😊

  2. Very interesting post Deborah. I don't know how you have the time given all the lovely things you have posted on Facebook lately and the move etc.


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