Sunday, September 21, 2014

Home for the Holidays day 4

With all the free time during the retreat, there are often people who organize different outings.  This year I knew I wanted to get into the great outdoors because Southern Utah is known for its magnificent scenary and landscape.
I decided to join a group that was doing a hike to Kanara Falls.  I was at first hesitant to join in since I am not the hiking nor athletic type.  I was reassured that I would not die (since that was my first concern) and that athletic ability was not necessary for this excursion.
It was a great treat.  A fellow demonstrator Jackie B had two daughters going to school in Utah so they drove and acted as our guides. I will let the pictures speak for themselves.  I wouldn't say the hike was "easy" but the view was worth it!

"For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities-his eternal power and divine nature-have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse."

This verse from the bible kept coming to my mind as well as the word: MAJESTIC! 
The pictures do not do the experience justice!

After we returned from the hike, there was a short time frame where I tried to organize my swap cards, sit by the pool and visit and then get changed for the final night event. 

The final night event is always a mystery.  I was a little nervous because we were told it involved crafts.  I know many of you will groan when I say this but I am not the crafty type.  By that I mean I don't enjoy all kinds of crafts and I am certainly not the Martha Stewart type that can turn any household item into a gorgeous centrepiece.  I just like taking advantage of all of Stampin' Up!'s co-ordinating products and stamping and glueing something cute.  I worried we would be painting or doing pottery or making some sort of group quilt.  
It turned out that our final event was to work together to create 3 beautiful, decorated Christmas trees that will be donated to an auction where the money raised will benefit a community Children's Hospital. It was unbelievable what our group of 100 demonstrators could accomplish.  We were assigned different tasks based on our team.  This is what our group was in charge of creating:
(picture courtesy of Patty Bennett)

The box stars are from a kit that will be released in October. (stay tuned for a special holiday supplement in mid-October!)  The girls on my team told me that the kit was super easy to use and was FULL of amazing product.  
I was involved in making the twine ornaments which were super easy.  No stress at all!
Another group was in charge of taking the creations from the different groups and putting it on the tree.  
Doesn't our tree look great?

After our fun and relaxing crafting time, we went to another room for dinner.  Once again the decor was amazing and themed for the holidays.  We had a tasty turkey dinner with all the fixings and an elegant and delicious dessert. 

At the table were several elegantly wrapped gifts.  We of course assumed that these gifts were full of Stampin' Up! product as that has been what we've come to expect this week! 
We played the white elephant game where person 1 chooses a gift and opens it and then person 2 can decide to steal #1's gift or choose their own.  
I was first to play the game.  I picked the gift that was wrapped in the silky lost lagoon ribbon. (so beautiful!) but imagine my surprise when I opened the gift and found this:

Everyone at the table wasn't quite sure what to think.  As each person started choosing and opening their gifts, the laughter was erupting all around the room.  
My team mate Susan Elise received this gift:

This set me off.  I could not stop laughing.  Then when Becky Roberts got a plastic banana slicer shaped like a banana and Patty Bennett received a scented donut journal, I was beside myself.  (I decided not to share the picture I have of Patty sniffing her journal as I don't want to damage her reputation)

After such an enjoyable final event, it was a bit sad to think of going home to the regular routine.  Many of us tried to drag the evening on by hanging around the hotel lobby and talking.  I went outside and sat by the gas firepit and hung out with the girls there. 

It's such a treat that the whole hotel was only for Stampin' Up! the past few days.  
Back at my room, my final pillow gift:

A charm to add to the bracelet I received at Founder's last year. 

I'm heading to the airport soon and can't wait to see my family.  I feel so refreshed and rested and THANKFUL for the relationships and people that being a part of Stampin' Up! has brought to my life.  

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Home for the Holidays Day 3

I had been waiting in anticipation for yesterday.  It was the day we were scheduled to go to the Stampin' Up! manufacturing plant in Kanab.  Demonstrators had decided that we wanted to recognize and honour the hard work that those fine people do making our great products so we planned to all bring some treat packages so that we could hand them out to the staff while we were there.  It would be especially meaningful because traditionally when we go to the plant, the workers are so excited for us to come and usually greet us as soon as the bus pulls in with much applause and cheers.  They always let us know that they appreciate us.  So this year we wanted to turn the tables a bit and make sure that they knew we appreciated them just as much.
Here's a sampling of the goodies I brought down with me.  Several of the Team S.T.I.C girls got in on the fun and made these cute packets. (all filled with candy of course)

My new friend Rose Marie Coleman from Calgary brought these little treats using the new, super cute curvy keepsakes box.

Here they are, clapping for us as we pull in.

Here's Spencer, the man who cuts the rubber for the stamps, enjoying his little treat. 

One of the highlights was learning the process for making our new photopolymar stamps.  It is certainly a long process!  The floor was super sticky from the photopolymar goop too!

After the tour of the plant, we had a great BBQ lunch and then headed off to the park that Shelli and Sterling donated to the Kanab community.  Instead of sand or rocks around the playground equipment, it was covered with pieces of rubber!

Here's the Canadians in the group.

We had fun just horsing around at the playground.  Here's myself, Rose Marie Coleman and Krista F. 

We enjoyed the ride back to the hotel by playing Bingo (for Stampin' Up! prizes of course) and observing the gorgeous landscape. 

Then on return to the hotel, I hit the hospitality room to check out what's new. We received these Christmas packets full of homemade caramel corn. It smelled delicious!

And of course play the trivia game where the answer doesn't matter as much as the prize. 

After dinner a beautiful gift was waiting for me in my room.  All our pillow gifts have been Christmas themed to go with the retreat theme.  The beautiful tag and packaging just MAKES the gift doesn't it? (gotta buy myself more of that wide cherry cobbler ribbon!)  If you need to buy any products to make your Christmas packaging cuter than ever, make sure to shop on my online store! 

I am having a great time talking with other demonstrators.  I know I will have some exciting new class ideas coming your way after all the inspiration I've received here!  Stay tuned! 

Friday, September 19, 2014

Home for the Holidays day 2

The hospitality room was decked out with Christmas decorations and treats.  This cute sign let us know that we could take a mug and fill it with treats.

Of course the treats were in beautiful containers and every single jar had a different beautiful tag created using Stampin' Up! products. 

I spent most of the day sitting in the hospitality room, listening to Christmas music and chatting with friends and eating.  I admit I ate all day.  I had a big breakfast, then ate candy then they brought an unbelievable cheese, cold cut and nut platter.  The hotel staff told me that the almonds came from Spain.  They sure were the most amazing almonds I have ever eaten. 

What's fun is that even the hotel staff dressed for our theme.  

Did I mention the beautiful handmade tags everywhere?

The true highlight of the day was the evening swap.  We all stood in a giant line taking over most of the main floor of the hotel.  In an organized fashion, we all traded cards with each other one at a time.  The swap cards were AMAZING!!!   (Please make sure to RSVP for my Sweet and Simple Class on Sept. 25th 7pm and you'll get to see some of these cards in person!!!)

After the swap we enjoyed milk and cookies.  

Of course there were a few gifts during the day.  I love the cute packaging on this one!!

I am having such a blast here.  If any of the projects inspired you, make sure to buy all you need on my online store

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Home for the Holidays Day 1

Here's some highlights from yesterday, the first day of the retreat.  Stampin' Up! picked the Christmas theme of Home for the Holidays so all the activities, decor and treats were related to beautiful holiday things.

Here's the beautiful landscape as we're flying into St. George, Utah.  It's still summer weather here!  yea!
Here's how we were greeted at the hotel: beautiful decor and a Stampin' Up! staff member to greet us and give us our room keys. 

We had a yummy lunch (grilled cheese sandwich bar) and then off to the hospitality room to play a triva game where the answer doesn't matter as much as getting the prize. 
There were homemade cookies, candy and beautiful decorations to help us feel like we were Home for the Holidays. 

Meeting up with friends. 

Hanging out by the pool.  Here's my friend Cynthia who has wasted no time and turned our All is Calm Snowflake Embellishments (item 137383) into pretty earrings.

I was assigned into the Fa la la la la group and our group get to know each other activity was to make a gingerbread house.  We were given all the candy we wanted and lots of retired Stampin' Up! embellishments to decorate our creation. I attempted to help but was often seen eating the gumdrops. 

The beauty of our creation was not as important as the prize for playing.

Inside our beautifully wrapped box with the silky taffeta lost lagoon ribbon (already backordered due to its popularity) (item 135841) :-) was a new package of petite cafe gift bags and Tag a Bag Accessory Kit.

After our group activity, we were treated to a beautiful "Christmas dinner" complete with bread pudding. 
My pictures from the dinner were not great.  I was also obsessed with the amazing cheesy potatoes and the yummy sparkling apple cider and did not take many pictures.  
Check out my Fa la la la la team member's blog who took much nicer pictures.

Well, that's it for yesterday.  Can you believe Stampin' Up! updated the clearance rack while I was en route to St. George?  Check out the clearance rack and also all the goodies from the holiday catalogue on my online store.
Don't forget, I'm still keeping up with my customer loyalty card program so for every $50 order you receive a punch on your card.  After 6 punches, you receive a $15 gift certificate from me! 

A big thank you to all of you who support me in my Stampin' journey and allow me the pleasure of such a beautiful retreat. 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Today is the day!

Today was the day I left for a stampin up retreat. There has been lots of preparation for this day...
Such as getting my toenails done. 
(When son number one saw my toes he said"do not mess them up before founders circle" how did he know?)

Making swap cards with friends and Team S.T.I.C girls...

Celebrating Kevin's birthday (his birthday is actually on the 17th ) but knowing I would be leaving, we went for a quick getaway to Stratford.  We went out for dinner, watched a play and stayed at a quaint bed and breakfast.

And I couldn't leave for my trip until I had finished designing the cards for the upcoming stamp camp.  Boy did I ever have fun playing with my stamps and paper. 
This amazing Wonderous Wreath stamp set and matching framelits are really amazing and super fun to use. 

Boy, I have so much more to share but my eyes are literally falling shut after a long day of travel.
You'll hear more tomorrow!  
p.s. the clearance rack has been updated with a few new items.  Get online and check it out.