Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The First CHA Canada Designers Retreat

This post is a wrap up to the amazing event I attended over the weekend.
Officially known as the CHA Canada Designer, Educator and Creative Professional retreat.
Also known as CHA Canada DECP.  But that is an acronym hard to remember.
Earlier this summer we announced our first retreat.  
Our small committee of five knew we needed to have a special event to gather like-minded individuals.  Our committee included Brenda Greenwood-Vernem (Westcott), Audrey DeJong (Coast to Coast Events), Wendy Russell (Love Your Work Productions) Paula Jones (CHA Membership Coordinator & Canadian Representative) and  myself.  
Audrey is our Designer Committee Chair and was our site coordinator.  She did an amazing job with all the logistics and we moved from event to event with ease.
We selected Kempenfelt Conference Centre located a little east of Barrie, Ontario for our retreat.  The location meant we could have one whole building to ourselves for the weekend.
A truly generous bag of goodies was included with our conference kits from Westcott.
Let's just say no one will be buying scissors anytime soon.
Westcott also set up a wonderful play area for everyone to decorate their name tags and to just play with product.  They also opened our event with a "penny" themed ice-breaker.
Each delegate had the opportunity to set up a mini display of their work.  
These are just a few of the artist displays.
 I taught the first class Friday night.  My Jewelry Resin and Jewelry Clay introduction class was sponsored by Environmental Technology Inc.  
The pennies we used in our icebreaker were then incorporated into my class.
My students were so good!  
See that one gentleman on the left?  That is John Arbour, the Section leader for CHA Canada.  John is also the President of Coats and Clark Canada and they sponsored the social that followed my class!
 Saturday morning began with a fabulous workshop with Brother.  Another goodie bag was received and we got an introduction to the new Scan-n- Cut machine Brother just released.  
JoAnne Cockerton and Cathie Schnarr had us all wanting a machine by the end of the presentation.
We want one NOW!
 After Brother we had a painting workshop with DecoArt.  Our class kit was gorgeous and all we had to do was begin painting as our boards were all pre-set.
 The class was taught by Debbie Cotton, also a CHA Canada DECP member!
 After lunch we had our first Accreditation Session with Wendy Russell.  It was on Boothmanship and many excellent points were discussed and shared.
 The Powertex-Fabric Sculpture class was a huge hit.  It was taught by Brigette Thompson in a room that took hours to set up.  Everyone made outstanding pieces!  The class kit was phenomenal.
 From fabric sculpture to knitting.  This Coats and Clark sponsored workshop was lead by new CHA DECP member Leanne Schmidt.  Our class bag was filled with everything we needed.  Sadly, I was the only one unable to learn how to knit.  :(  Trust me when I say I may never live this down with this bunch.
 Happily, later that night a chocolate fountain appeared.  We spent a few hours playing and experimenting with almost everything we had learned to date.  The Scan-n-cut machines were available to experiment with, the knitters were finishing their projects, I was doing doming pours with resin and everyone was wandering and chatting.  It was hard to let the night end....and many lights were closed well past 1am.
Ann Butler, the CHA North America Designer Chair lead the second Accreditation workshop Sunday morning.  Ethics and Standards were covered and an excellent discussion took place.  We were so lucky to have Ann for the whole weekend.  She spent a significant portion of the weekend doing one-on-one chats with new members.  We made her an honorary Canadian member and asked her to join us on our private members Facebook page.
 Ecstasy Crafts sponsored our final paper crafting workshop.  Lead by CHA DECP member Marilynne Oskamp we were given yet another wonderful class kit.  
 Our retreat ended in a Think Tank and Summary Session with Paula Jones.  
The group has been assigned some homework.
Allow me to introduce you to the attendees of the inaugural CHA Canada Designers, Educators and Creative Professional Retreat.  
I sure hope I did not forget to thank someone!

If you would like to be a part of this group feel free to send me a note!