Well, I'm back from a fabulous few days at the 2011 Stampin' Up Convention - close to home this year in Melbourne. What a wonderful event!
Yesterday I caught up on some family time and snuggles. Monday means school, kinder and work for John and the kids, and for me some time to unload the camera and share a little convention excitement with you. (Probably better unpack too!)
Better grab a cuppa - long post alert!
The theme this year was ......
...... and that very nicely sums up Convention 2011 for me.
Around 450 demonstrators and guests from Australia and New Zealand shared the excitement, oohs and aahs as we saw techniques, projects, and sneak peeks at exciting things just ahead.
I loved sharing convention with 3 Think Ink girls heading along for their first one - Tina, Toby and Lyndall ......
(That's Tina, me and Toby.)
..... plus the most fabulous bunch of stamping buddies a girl could wish for. (Here's a few of them.)
Plus you meet heaps of new faces too. Everyone is so friendly that you can guarantee many smiles, laughs and chats are shared over the 3 days.
With our orange and pink convention bags - even when we wandered next door into DFO or were walking to and from our accomodation - we could easily find who was a fellow convention goer!
The staff from the US, Australia and New Zealand shared their talents during the sessions, along with some fabulous homegrown demonstrators. Waving a hello and saying a thanks to all of them for all the wonderful projects and techniques you shared. I think I have enough inspiration to last a LOOOOONG time.
That's the 'oh so funny, had us all in stitches' Bonnie Thurber sharing a fascinator a la Princess Beatrice at the royal wedding.
I got this pic while the super talented Teneale Williams was setting a new record for eliciting wows from the audience!! Every time she got ready to hold up a completed card, a sea of cameras would go up in the auditorium.
By the way - don't you just love the staging. Did you spot the eyelet border and scallop trim punch bits at the sides and the huge stamps and tags and what not? Gorgeous. Speaking of gorgeous - here's the co founder and CEO of the company - the always gracious and positive, Shelli Gardiner.
Convention was over 3 days this year and I loved that this meant we had time between sessions or of an evening to catch up with friends and share some laughs.
There were sessions to help us with ideas for sharing some of the creative techniques and projects at a Stampin' Up workshop or party, and sessions with ideas for sharing all the fun of becoming a member of the crew as a demonstrator.
Stampin' Up in their usual generous manner shared not only ideas for using products but some products themselves in Prize Patrol. We all got a wrist band at check in with various different designs printed on. When it was prize patrol time they'd flash the prize up on the screen ....
Then up would come the winning wrist band design and those who had that one would jump up and wave and holler excitedly ......
... until along came a smiling staff member giving out the prizes.
Tina and I were excited to win the bundle 'Clearly For You' and 'Hello Blossoms' after watching Shelli herself create a bunch of gorgeous things with them - a bookmark, box and cards.
No one went home disappointed as during the last session on Saturday they gave us ALL a Simply Sent pack, PLUS a terrific stamp set. You probably heard the whoop whoop when they announced we were all sharing in the winning feeling!
Hmmm what else is there to tell you. On Thursday evening those of us that are managers and above were invited to a special reception. It was my friend Genna's first one and my second and we were both very excited.
After a session with Shelli and the Stampin' Up staff, we went in to another room for delicious nibblies.
Here's Genna, my upline Claire and me enjoying the reception.
There were gifts for us all to take home ....
That last pic is of the beautifully packaged up fortune cookies we got - except they looked so delicious I ate half a one before I remembered I wanted a photo! The slip of paper inside reads "Share what you love."
I've still got all the excitement of our dinner and awards night to share but I'd better leave that for another post.
I'll close off this one with a very special photo - one of the Helping Hudson team who worked together with the help of the craft community last year to raise over $15,000 for Tina's son Hudson, for a KidWalk and other aids. (We're just missing Gardenia and Jo from the coordinating crew pic.) How perfect to have a "Share What You Love" tag as background. Convention reminded me that sharing what we all love can bring so many rewards - not just creative ones but friendships, common bonds and so much more. Stampin' Up has enriched my life in ways I could never have imagined.