A decade ago I headed along to my friend Leanne's card gathering where the talented Claire Daly showed us the gorgeous range of colour coordinating Stampin' Up! products and I had my first proper look through the catalogue. I was so excited by all the beautiful products that I couldn't concentrate and stuck my card together all wonky. I had to pull it apart when I got home and fix it up. (Actually - sticking things on straight has never been a skill really!!)
I wanted everything in the catalogue and after a quick chat with John (who didn't have the faintest clue what I was raving on about) I joined on the spot.
Before I knew it I was unpacking my starter kit and getting stuck into the inks, papers and stamps. I hadn't really done much in the way of stamping before - apart from a few headings for scrapbooking with some alphabet stamps. Despite this lack of expertise, I held my first card party a little while later with some willing victims relatives.
A couple of weeks later I started my blog. It is still there - I changed platforms a couple of months later to this one. Right from the start I loved blogging and writing newsletters and just waffling on to the world, and sharing my creations. I often suspected I might be talking mostly to myself but that didn't bother me - still fun. Click here to have a look back in history at my first blog post: Sue's Blogging Debut (- with one of my first spam comments I just noticed - ha ha.)
And my first Stampin' Up card: Sue's First SU Card Blog Post
A month or so later I started running classes from home. Did you know one of my first class attendees Cecile is still coming to class 10 years later? I had no idea what I was doing but we muddled along and classes became one of my favourite parts of my Stampin' Up world. I really miss my class regulars when I have a month or two off.
Look how little the kids were back then. My class regulars, newsletter subscribers and blog followers have watched them grow up.
One of the first stamp sets I bought was Stem Silhouettes and I think it is still one of my all time favourites. It never made it into my retired stock box but sits with a few other treasures in the cupboard. Here's one of my early cards with it.
I gradually got to know my way around my inks and stamps and worked on my card photography. Props now - snazzy!
Two years of hard work later and thanks to my gorgeous customers, class regulars and terrific team, I earned the Stampin' Up Incentive Trip to Hamilton Island. It was so lovely to get away for a week with John on an all expenses paid trip. We were stoked. He was not minding craft supplies invading the dining room now - ha ha.
Here's a recap of that trip: Hamilton Island Incentive Trip
John was an experienced Stampin' Up husband by then and helped me assemble my swaps - ha ha.
Three years of card parties, classes, markets, team building, blogging and newsletter writing later I earned the trip of a lifetime - the trip to Stampin' Up's head office in Salt Lake City, Utah. We got to go to the Stampin' Up 25 year convention with about 5000 or so others, then we had a terrific week at the St Regis Resort, Deer Valley. Head to June/July 2013 on the blog to see more if you're interested. There's a bunch of posts.
One of the highlights was a tour of the head office - so so so gorgeous. You can see the details of that day here: Head Office Tour
Even more fun with friends ....
L-R: Kathryn, Kylie, Me, Genna and Claire - it was great to share the trip with my upline Claire and my team member Kylie and lots of other South Pacific friends. We're a close community.
Seeing how our stamps were made at the Kanab manufacturing plant was exciting too: Kanab Tour Day
We even got to help out ....
Another highlight in my time as a demonstrator has been the opportunity to present at our Melbourne one day events and at convention.
In 2013 I was one of the presenters at our one day Melbourne MDS event and showed how the program (since discontinued) could be used for family history projects such as this one I made of family weddings.
In 2015 at our annual convention I was chuffed (and a tad nervous!) to do a short presentation with tips on holding a catalogue launch. Over two sessions there were 500 or so in the audience. Stampin' Up has definitely helped me stretch my wings and take on new challenges.
Over the ten years I've gotten to build up a rather snazzy collection of great products, have sent out 138 monthly newsletters, have racked up a large collection of blog posts, have built up a wonderful crew of customers, class regulars, newsletter subscribers, and blog followers, have grown a friendly, totally terrific team (we call ourselves Think Ink) and made met a load of great friends - both online in our team facebook groups and in person at our events. My Stampin' Up business has enabled me to remain part time in my other job - as a teacher. I love the flexibility it gives me to work around family commitments.
Hands down the very very BEST part of the ten years has been the beautiful people it has brought into my life, bringing a big dose of fabulous. A big 10 year thanks to all of you for bringing such colour, creativity, and friendship into my world.
What an epic 10 years. Looking forward to the next 10.
Thanks for joining me in a little (long!) trip down memory lane.
PS: Want to start your own epic experience? Head on over here and holler if I can help with any questions. So glad I took the plunge.