Tuesday, September 22, 2015

A long summary of the final Founders days...

Clearly I was too busy socializing to keep updating y'all with my Founders Adventures.  So, now that I'm home I'll share the last couple of days.
I think I was up to Friday...
On Friday we headed out early to go to Kanab where Stampin' Up! has their manufacturing plant.  I had been two times before but I never tire of seeing the staff and environment there.  It's something like a 2 hour bus ride.
It's always such an amazing greeting.  The staff actually come up and applaud us as we approach in the bus.  They think we're great...we think they are pretty great too.  I don't think either of us ever forget that we are dependent on each other.

First order of business...stamping.  They had set up tables so we could do a little make n take.

I love the watercolor words set.  (item 138702) ( go ahead shop on my online store!) So glad I own it already!

I've never seen a more beautiful or clean manufacturing plant! While we were inside we saw the process of how they made photopolymer stamps, rubber stamps and ink pads. So cool!

On the second level there is a full apartment.  I believe it's used by home office staff if they need to do work at the plant for some reason.  It's also used by the Gardner family to enjoy.  Sara Douglass (interim CEO) said they came up on the 4th of July because in her words "there's nothing like celebrating the 4th of July in a small town"
Even the laundry room in the apartment is beautifully decorated. 

All us crazy demonstrators had fun lounging around the apartment like we owned it. 

Here's a picture with Sara and Canadian demonstrators. 
(We Canadians felt like we needed to bond together since we were surrounded by so many Americans.  Founders circle is for the top 100 US demonstrators and the top 20 Canadian demonstrators)

Here's a worker cutting the rubber into squares. Behind him are all the design plates for the rubber stamps.
The rubber is put onto the plates and burned in a very very hot oven.  Here are the plates after they have come out of the oven.  This man trims the excess rubber

The rubber is then mounted on the foam. 

The images are die cut and then put into boxes with the labels.

After a delicious lunch at the plant, we headed off to a local park that the Gardner family donated to the community.  Instead of rocks or sand on the ground there was the excess rubber! 
We all had fun taking pictures.  Some people got buried in the rubber just for fun! 

Canadians eh?

After that, we headed off to a local gift shop called Denny's wigwam.  There's something great about it not being my first trip.  I remembered from a previous trip that there was a little ice cream section in the corner of the store so I went there first and bought a chocolate ice cream to eat while I was browsing the store since it was hot outside.  The whole time people were asking me where I got the ice cream.  Hee hee.  :-)

I must have been sleep deprived because I found many things hilariously funny this time.  Denny's wigwam is NOTHING like the stores in Markham, Ontario.  The decor is...ahem..interesting.  I couldn't stop laughing and started telling my friends what I found so funny. I will show you pictures so you can try to get an idea. 

Why not sell real alligator heads? 


We finally headed back to the hotel and played bingo on the bus ride home.  (I won three stampin' prizes! )

The evening was an optional theater outing.  I bought a ticket to attend because I didn't want to miss the beauty of the outdoor theater but was worried because the last time I went a few years ago I had a really hard time staying awake.  I didn't need to worry this time.  The show was PHENOMENAL! It was all disney songs and amazing things happened during the show like waterfalls on the stage, a magic carpet in the air and more!  It was so magical being outside with the real stars in the sky.

Saturday was spent sitting in the hotel and crafting.  I just wanted to relax.  I had brought my holiday catalogue kits and sat and stamped tags and cards.  I was so happy just sitting and chatting and stamping and eating candy and ice cream.  (okay I ate one token peach to try to offset all the unhealthy eating I was doing). 

The final night event is always a mystery.  This year we were taken to a local art gallery and had a beautiful outdoor dinner. We were welcomed with flavoured Italian Ice Soda and a meaningful table gift. 

The evening finished with an amazing community theater showing of West Side Story.

The final evening event did not disappoint but was so bittersweet as we knew that this was the last Founders Circle for forever. 

Sunday we tried so hard to drag out the time before we had to leave for the airport.  I convinced my friends we needed to sit outside in the sun since we wouldn't get too much more sun in Canada with winter not far away. 

Even the hotel staff were sad about the last Founders Circle.  They gave us a parting gift.  For 8 years this hotel has been hosting Stampin' Up! 

Well, what else is there to say?  I didn't even show you all the pillow gifts and daily stampin' product gifts and so much more.  I wish you were all there with me.  Truly the best part of the trip is the ease of friendship with everyone.  
I think I'll just finish with the Stampin' Up! Statement of the Heart:
"To love what we do, and share what we love, as we help others enjoy creativity and worthwhile accomplishments...In this we make a difference"

Thank you for being a part of my stampin journey.  I do love what I do and I will continue to strive to help you enjoy creativity.  

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