Sunday, September 29, 2013

Shelli at Convention

Each year at Convention in Australia I look forward to Shelli's stamping presentation. She always presents something stunning and inspiring and her down to earth and funny manner is very easy to listen to. The presentation she gave at the US Convention in July was all those things too! 

In her usual way she showed us loads of fun, fresh ideas and this time her samples focused on interactive cards; things that popped up or spun or moved. Her style is sweet and lovely, so classy!

This stunning photo of Shelli 25 years ago was featured in the Convention booklet and around the site. I think she wears the style of the time so amazingly! (She actually makes the 80's look good!) And she hasn't changed very much at all - put a shorter hair style and different frames on her and it could have been taken today!

One of the fantastic new product announcements we enjoyed at Convention was of the Undefined Stamp Carving kits. They are so much fun! Carve any stamp you want - just the way you want it! Here's a quick overview video from Stampin' Up!

The fabulous Shannon West demonstrated stamp carving in her Convention presentation - I love her ideas!

This 'breakfast set' that she carved has stuck in my mind - it's so Shannon! I aspire to carving as well as she does - fingers crossed we'll have the kits launched here very soon! I can't wait to do some carving classes and see what you all come up with! Shannon was so very talented, she was even able to carve a stamp of that iconic photo of Shelli.

I'm still not finished with Convention........see you again soon!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Stampin' Up! Convention Salt Lake City July 2013

Stampin' Up! Convention in Salt Lake City 2013 started with a bang! Literally!

Fireworks went off and the theme music started - sung by someone from the American version of The Voice about whom I still unfortunately have no clue - but the American ladies sure did!  You can see from my photos that there are a LOT of people there - nearly 6000! A fun way to start the 25th anniversary celebrations - and the fun just kept on coming.

Shelli Gardner (Co-Founder and CEO) welcomed us all and we got into some stamping! The presentations were all projected onto massive screens. The detail and originality of the projects we saw in General Sessions and breakout classes was phenomenal. Lots of new trends were highlighted and the inspiration we all took home will keep us going for a very long time! There aren't enough hours in my day to make all the projects I came home excited to make.

I mentioned yesterday that Ian and I met up with Beth Stewart and her sister Kate when we got to Salt Lake City. Here we are waiting for the first General Session to start. Ian had never been to a Stampin' Up! event before - so this was a pretty big way to start! He has always been supportive of my Stampin' Up! business and I'm so glad he had the opportunity to go this time. He tells me that he's much closer to 'getting' why I love SU now. He really was a good sport - there were very few gentlemen in the mob of 6000, but he wore the t-shirt, went to the sessions and even won Prize Patrol. I'll have to tell you that story another day. 

I hope you'll all get to come along to a Stampin' Up! event with me one day and experience Prize Patrol for yourself. It's so much fun to win a bundle of Stampin' Up! products, tied up with a bow. Often they're products that are really new or maybe haven't been released yet too! Beth has been going to Stampin' Up! events in Australia for 5 years - and had to travel all the way to Utah to win her first Prize Patrol! It was a very exciting moment!!!

I was very excited to receive a bundle of products from the Holiday Mini Catalogue - look out for a project or two using these next term - I have a project up my sleeve I'm working on using what I won.

 I mentioned yesterday that some lovely Mudgee ladies came over and helped me make the swaps I took to the US convention. Jayne asked if I could show them - sorry I forgot! Here's what the front of the card looked like. 

The design uses the stamp set "Oh, Hello" from our current Catalogue and also a sentiment from the 'Wedding Words' digital stamp brush set available on My Digital Studio. The colours I've used are Crumb Cake, Whisper White and Early Espresso, with a Gumball Green and Raspberry Ripple bloom. Don't you just love Whisper White Craft ink on Crumb Cake cardstock? I don't think I'll ever get tired of it!

Do you remember I mentioned before that Ian got right in at Convention and 'wore the t-shirt'? Well he did more than that.....he also did quite a lot of swapping for me! I frequently get caught up chatting with people I swap with (it's so lovely!) and so he just dove on in! He often came back with gifts of candy given by lovely ladies who thought he was so brave to be there! 

When I started going through my Convention photos and tried to cull to what I thought might be good to show you all I ended up with nearly 40! So rather than try to show you them all in one post I'm splitting them up (I can hear you all breathe a sigh of relief!). I want to show you some photos from Shelli's stamping presentation and from the 25th Anniversary Party and after that I'm so looking forward to showing you a little bit of the fun of Grand Vacation. So stay tuned! I'll be back soon!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Let's start at the very beginning......

It seems like an age has passed since I was excitedly preparing for my big trip to Utah. I've been back for quite some time, and it's taken most of that time to recover and to get some perspective and now I'm really keen to share with you all the amazing things that happened during my time in the USA. There's no WAY it will all fit into one blog post and I happen to have some time on my hands for the next few weeks so I'm going to start right at the beginning. Ready for some fun?

For weeks before I left I was busily making handmade things to take with me. A large part of Stampin' Up! culture and the fun of the events is giving and receiving 'swaps' - handmade cards, scrapbook pages or 3D items. I had two different swaps that I wanted to participate in. Swapping with people I met at the US convention and an organised swap that was planned for the Grand Vacation.

My desk looked like this for weeks.........

And when it was getting close to the end, I realised I wasn't going to have time to finish all the swaps I wanted to make for the US Convention. At this point, some lovely ladies came over for a night of coffee, chocolate and cardmaking and we did it!! Between 6 of us we made over 100 card fronts, all ready for me to take! It was a fairly late night but I think we had fun (?!) and the finished result looked great!

So with all of that done, we were ready to pack and go! Even before we left Sydney airport we were writing postcards to the kids at home. 

At the airport shop I finally found some clip on koalas to give as gifts - they all got a cute black chevron ribbon bow tie on the plane.

The first leg of our flight was Sydney to Los Angeles.

After that first 14 hours, we changed planes bound for Salt Lake City. A little four hour hop and we were there!

We knew we were in the right place straight away!

From the screens in the airport, to the flags on all the lampposts, and every business we visited in Salt Lake had Welcome stickers on the door. This one was on the door of our hotel. If you look closely you can see my lovely husband....wondering why I'm photographing the door..................

Once we arrived at the hotel (and had a hot shower and some dinner!) we met up with Beth Stewart and her lovely sister Kate. We had a few hours in the morning to do some exploring. 

We spent some time looking around the Mormon Tabernacle and its grounds. There were some amazing pieces of architecture and beautiful gardens. The streets in Salt Lake are very wide and the whole inner city was spotlessly clean and beautifully groomed. We would have loved more time to explore but Convention was calling us.......

That was the beginning! Convention here we come!