LIFE: CHA Mega Show 2015 and Career Goals

Sunday (and if you've been following me on social media) I mentioned attending the CHA Mega Show 2015. For me that's this Friday through Monday, though the event is longer than that. Both of the companies I work for will be there, but what's most important is that I'll be representing Craft Test Dummies while there. Jenny is generously bringing me to report on trends, fashion applications, and new products. This is something I enjoy doing on both Jenny's website Craft Test Dummies and my own blog. I'm looking forward to do this type of work, and also seeing many familiar crafty people I've become friends with over the years. I joke that it's like craft camp...but I've never been to camp. It's more than that to me, and I'm grateful for all the work Jenny has done to make this possible. Look for future posts about attending as a 1st timer as well as the other things I mentioned.

Attending CHA is something that I've wanted to do for a few years, but never felt I was established enough to do so. I reached out to Jenny mid-year to apply to write for her site. While waiting for a response, I had a meeting with a dear friend about my creative goals (several of which I haven't discussed with many people), and figuring out how to make this all happen. Thankfully shortly after Jenny responded and I joined the Craft Test Dummies team. Being able to work for a craft blog, instead of an art blog (Skull-A-Day...which lead to me writing tutorials), has improved my experience in an art I needed it in...CRAFTS! I've been a crafter all of my life, among other things. My career goals are in the craft industry, which is a huge passion for me. One of my goals is a product line (here is me sharing), but I haven't figured out what I want contribute to the craft industry. Being able to review products outside of my normal range (and some inside), helps me figure that bit out. I haven't been public about that, as it's a long term goal and I've barely scraped the surface of figuring that out. This is also where attending CHA helps. I want to see what's available and how it's used. Jenny has helped greatly with that, as I'm able to attend some press and VIP events while there. I'm very business minded, so though I'm looking forward to the social aspect of seeing amazing friends, I'm really there to get work done.

Moving on to another goal, I want to write a series of craft books catering to goth and industrial crafters. This genre probably comes as no surprise to anyone who knows me well. I've loved macabre stuff for well my whole life. I've always been that weird kid, that only my best friend understood...and well she's been my best friend since we were 7, so that's saying a lot. I'm embracing much that I recently ditched a lot of colorful clothing from my closet. These are things I hadn't worn since I quit working in a corporate job. My style lately is a pretty skirt (that's where the color is normally), a black top (favoring t-shirt because they are easy to craft in), leggings (fleece because it's COLD), fun socks (paired with boots outside) and a cardigan or sweater. This gets me from work to teaching to meetings just find. If I'm feeling fancy, I'll put on some jewelry. If you follow me on social media, you've seen me wearing dramatic makeup. That's for my League of Space Pirates character "Chroma", and not what I normally wear. Though lately if I go out at night with friends, I find it easier to put on that character makeup than the softer stuff I used to wear. Even my husband (and a few other people) said that people have become so accustom to seeing me like that (and I always get positive feedback), that they expect me to look like that when they met me. I might bring some more dramatic makeup with me...but I like to refer to that as attempting day drag. Grey contouring isn't exactly day's partying in space and at night wear. I'll see what I can do. I'm packing today, so hoping I can fit everything, clothing, makeup, shoes...etc.

I'm getting way off topic, back to the book thing. This has been something I've had as a goal for several years, but it wasn't until December that the theme came to me, and I jotted down a few book titles with coordinating info to cover. These sprung to me when I finally figured out what theme to do for my YouTube channel concept...a big reason why it wasn't a priority yet. I want to focus on "Dark DIY", using normal high quality craft products to create gothy crafts. I'm not talking Halloween 24/7, but chic things that many people would like. I've been writing about gothic fashion and creating related projects for several years now. It's time for the next steps, YouTube, books, product line...and who knows what else. At CHA, I want to find a company that can relate to my vision and who wants to work with me to make it happen and I can't be certain if that will happen, but at least I can try. Back to the YouTube videos, I want to have guests. I know a lot of artsy people who I could collaborate with both in RVA and across the USA. Hoping this all works out.

For now, I need to get back to finishing sewing hanging tabs onto my students' art quilts, so they can be hung and displayed the day after I get back. I also need to get my shaggy hair cut and give it a color makeover...hello bleach! ...and brighter red so people can spot me from across the convention center...ok not really, but it needs some help from drab to fab. Maybe purple next...but that's for another post. I hope you all have a fabulous week. See you on the other side...of the country.


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