Perfectly You Note Card

Another sneak at the Perfectly You set from the Holiday Catalogue to share today.  Once again it is one of the Make n Takes that we created at Home Office.

Sponged Hello There

I love this card – it is nice and simple, which means it’s quick to recreate.  But what I love most about it, is the sponging of colour over the Modern Medley Designer Series Paper!  I would never have thought to do this!!  The Modern Medley DSP is so classic and crisp in its original form, but add the splash of colour and it really sends it to another level!

And see those cool stripes on the envelope? A sneak at another new product – image stencils from the Build a Banner Simply Created Kit…I can’t wait to show you all the ideas I have for these!

Materials
Stamps: Perfectly You, Happy Days
Cardstock: Whisper White Note Cards & Envelopes, Modern Medley DSP, Gold Foil Paper
Ink: Coastal Cabana, Gold Encore Pad
Other: Hearts a Flutter Framelit Dies, Big Shot, Stampin’ Sponge, Build a Banner Simply Created Kit

 

More Perfectly You Sneak Peeks

I have another one of the Make n Takes from our visit to Home Office to share with you today.  I LOVE this cute project – quick, easy and so effective!  I especially love the little heart arrow on the front (thats a little peek at the new gold foil cardstock arriving next week!)

This is a little sleeve for a group of small note cards to slide inside.Arrow Box Closed

And then the group of note cards

Card set full

The little circles were stamped with the eraser on the end of a pencil – clever huh!?!!Notecard closeMaterials
Stamps: Happy Day, Perfectly You
Cardstock: Whisper White, Strawberry Slush, Gold Foil Paper
Ink: Coastal Cabana, Strawberry Slush, Gold Encore
Other: Linen Thread, Big Shot, Hearts a Flutter Framelit Dies

 

Utah Report Part 6 – Grand Vacation Final Day

After a bit of a sleep-in and another great breakfast we headed to a couple of the Outlet Malls in Park City.  We had heard a lot about the bargains from many others on the trip, so I just couldn’t miss out!  It was very much worth it especially for my tiny little feet as I was able to get a few pairs of shoes that fit and at a great price!

My lovely hubby was all shopped out after a few hours, so we headed back to the resort for a dip in the pool and just sat relaxing and chatting to some of the other demonstrators.

Before long it was time to head off to the mystery location for our final night event!  There had been much speculation about where we were going – Olympic Park, the top of a mountain, next to a lake……Where we actually ended up was Red Cliff Ranch in the Heber Valley!  Stampin’ Up wanted us to experience a true, authentic Utah evening and what a wonderful evening it was!!

Starting with drinks and nibbles, group photos and admiring the wonderful space:

IMG_4382 IMG_4393 All the achieving demonstrators from NZ along with our Country Manager Emma. L to R: Patrice, Helen, Jacque, Emma, Me, DelysIMG_4412Then it was time to take our seats for dinner!  All the tables were set up in the stables, with a table in each stall as well as a few outside.  The tables were decorated BEAUTIFULLY, continuing the burlap & flowers theme from the whole week:

IMG_1508 IMG_4404 IMG_4423 IMG_4433The dinner itself was themed ‘the best of Utah’, with locally produced trout, beef, fruit, vegetables and cheese all featuring on the menu – it was DELICIOUS!

IMG_1510 IMG_4428Dessert was S’mores and Flaming Doughnuts.  The S’mores were SO good!!!

IMG_4451 IMG_4459As the light started to fade, we headed into the pavillion where there was a great Country band & dancers.  The dancers led us through many line dances – it was fantastic fun and a really, really great way to end a fabulous trip:

IMG_4441 IMG_4472 IMG_4478On arrival back at the St Regis, another pillow gift was waiting – a GORGEOUS coffee table book about Utah!  It has the most incredible photos of Utah, and a lovely message from Shelli written in the cover – it will be a treasured reminder of our trip.

On Friday morning we had just enough time to catch a few more chairlifts up the mountain for a different view of the St Regis and Park City before starting the long trip home to see our beautiful daughters.

IMG_4538 IMG_4520The whole trip to Utah has been the most incredible experience – I have seen places I never would have seen, learnt so much more about Stampin’ Up! and it’s products, made wonderful new friends from all over the world and got to spend time with my lovely hubby – it really couldn’t have been any better.

I am so thankful to Stampin’ Up! for offering such great rewards to their demonstrators, and having seen the way the whole company treats it’s staff, demonstrators and communities, I am even more grateful & proud to be representing them.

I am also incredibly grateful to all of YOU, for all of the support you gave to get me on this trip.  I am blessed to know you all and to be able to share what I love with you – THANK YOU!

 

 

 

 

Utah Report Part 5 – Grand Vacation Day 4

The day started at 4am (YES 4am!!) and there was plenty of action to come, in what is now known as ‘the longest day ever!’  By 5.30am we were on the bus headed for Salt Lake City Airport (an hour away from the resort).  There, we boarded our plane to St George in Southern Utah – now I can say OUR plane because Stampin’ Up! chartered the whole plane!!  Crazy fun having a whole plane full of demonstrators all chatting excitedly!  The plane landing in St George was such a big deal that we even made the newspapers – you can read it here.

After the hour long flight we boarded buses again for the 2 hour drive to Kanab – we briefly crossed the state line into Arizona before cutting back in to Utah.  Here is some of the fabulous scenery from the drive – that’s Zion National Park you can see in the distance:
IMG_4116 IMG_4122 And this is what all of the travel was for – to get to Stampin’ Up!’s manufacturing facility.  Once again we received a very warm welcome from all of the staff:IMG_4133First up was a wonderful BBQ lunch:

IMG_4142And then it was time to break into groups for a tour of the factory.  First stop was watching inkpads be made.  First step is weighing the ink into the mixer with the firm foam pads:

IMG_4165Then they are mixed for a set amount of timeIMG_4168And this is how they come out ready to be added to the stamp cases.IMG_4171One person adds adhesive to the case, and another person adds the pad.  The completed inkpads are then sent to the labeling machine before being shrink-wrapped.IMG_4179Next was the cardstock section.  First they take the enormous sized sheets and trim all the edges before cutting it into the required sizes.  The guillotine machine cuts 400 sheets of card at a time!

Once cut to size the cardstock heads to the sorting machine which counts the number of sheets into correct pack sizes – it also sorts by colour for the colour collection multi-packs

IMG_4198Then they head along the line for shrink wrapping.  At the end of this line are 2 ladies who visually inspect EVERY pack of paper off the line and if necessary they will open a pack and remove a single sheet that is marked/bent/inferior and send the rest of the pack back for correction!IMG_4203And then came the really interesting part – how they make the rubber stamps!  The first step is to take the magnesium cast for a particular stamp set and burn several matrix plates.  The matrix plates are then used to ‘cook’ the stamp images into the rubber:

IMG_4212This is what the rubber looks like in its raw state:

IMG_4189The rubber is then cut to size depending on what stamp set is being produced. It gets laid over the matrix plates:

IMG_4218And then it heads into the oven.  Once cooked, the rubber is peeled off the matrix plates and left to cool while the next set of rubber gets fed into the oven:

IMG_4222Once cooled the rubber is trimmed and then adhered to the foam backing:

IMG_4241Next step is die-cutting all the stamp images, and I got to try my hand at this step, so here’s a little video:


The final step is packing up the stamp sets into their cases.  They let me loose on this bit too so apologies in advance if you receive a set with the wrong blocks!  At each part of the factory we were given a gift each – an inkpad each at the inkpad station, a pack of cardstock each at the cardstock section, and a stamp set each at the stamp section – so many fabulous goodies!

IMG_4261

What was most remarkable to me in the factory, was just how labour intensive the whole process is.  Most of the processes could easily be automated, but Shelli takes the role of 3rd largest employer in the town very seriously and automating would leave many families without an income, so they continue in this traditional way.  The staff are all lovely, lovely people – they love what they do, and were genuinely so happy to work there and to share what they do with us.  I will never look at my stamp sets in the same way again – knowing that they are handmade by these wonderful people makes them even more special!  This sign outside the entrance really sums it up:

IMG_4150

Having finished in the factory, we headed upstairs to check out ‘the apartment’.  This is where Shelli, her family, corporate staff etc stay when visiting the plant.  As expected, Shelli has certainly left her mark with her love of antiques evident throughout:

IMG_4281

IMG_4278

Before boarding the buses again there was just enough time to get our pic taken with ‘the other rock’

IMG_4306

Before starting the long trek back to Salt Lake City we were taken to Kanab’s playground which was donated to the community by Shelli & Sterling Gardner a few years ago.  Around the bottom is all the offcuts of rubber from the stamp making process – it makes for a nice soft landing!  Whenever the factory is ahead of schedule and doesn’t have work to do, the staff spend the time maintaining the park/ cleaning around the streets of Kanab/serving others and Stampin’ Up! continues to pay them – just another example of how SU put people first and why I am so proud to represent this company!

The 2 hour drive back to St George was super fun with SU President Rich Jutkins acting as tour guide, giving a history of the area as well as telling some great stories.  This was followed by bus bingo where we all won several prizes (Stephen has quite the stash of Stampin’ goodies now!).  Then it was back onto the plane (which was HOT after sitting on the tarmac in 40C all day) – we taxied out onto the runway and then sat there for 45 minutes while the pilots overcame some technical problems!  Finally we made it back to SLC and were handed these cute boxed dinners to eat on the bus on the trip back to the resort:

IMG_4379

It was close to 11pm when we finally made it back to our room – to be greeted by another pillow gift!  I can’t show you pictures of this one as it was a big sack full of products from the up-coming Holiday Catalogue!

So, a VERY long but absolutely awesome day.  I am so grateful for the opportunity to see how our products are made and meet the people who make them.  I have always loved our products, but now I will really cherish using them each and every day!

Utah Report Part 4 – Grand Vacation Day 3

After another yummy breakfast (did someone mention Pain Au Chocolate?) we loaded onto buses to head to Stampin’ Up!’s Home Office in Riverton, Salt Lake City.  I think all the demonstrators were super excited to be heading to home office, possibly not so much excitement from the husbands 😉

IMG_4080

And here is the welcome we received when we walked in the front doors  -ALL of the home office & distribution centre staff clapping and cheering for us.  It was completely overwhelming and humbling, and I know I wasn’t the only demonstrator with tears in my eyes.

IMG_3970

IMG_3985After the excitement of our welcome, we were separated into groups to be given a guided tour of the whole facility. Here’s the atrium in the main entrance of the building – this also doubles as the lunchroom for all the staff and is truly the most beautiful space!

IMG_3990The Legacy Rooms.  This is an area at Home Office that documents the history of Stampin’ Up! but also showcases the products and how they can be used with a series of themed rooms – the details in these displays was just amazing! Honestly I could have spent all day just in this area!

IMG_3994 IMG_3995 IMG_3997 IMG_3998 IMG_4001 IMG_4004 IMG_4006IMG_4055

I was in tears for the second time after seeing this cabinet.  Why? You ask.  Well inside this cabinet was the original cast, matrix plates and rubber for the very first SU stamp set I received when I joined the company 6 1/2 years ago.  It was one of those full circle moments – standing at home office and seeing where it all started for me – I was rather surprised by how emotional that moment was.

IMG_4047Some of the product development team talking about the process for designing new products/colours, how they name them and how the products get produced.IMG_4023The distribution centre where all of the orders for North America get picked and shipped.  When the picking line is in full steam they can pick over 13000 boxes an hour!IMG_4026 IMG_4032

We also met the concept artists who create all of the projects you see featured in our catalogues etc – WOW what an awesome job!  They have every single product in their office and spend all day creating!!

This is the ideas room – all the walls are lined with whiteboard so any and all ideas can be written up for future use!

IMG_4074

After the tour we enjoyed a fabulous lunch – pizza fresh from an outside pizza oven, salad, cake and more.  Once again SU had all the little details taken care of:IMG_1434After lunch it was time for the achieving demonstrators to do some stamping with the SU staff.  We created 4 projects and then had the opportunity to try out a new product line that will be launching here soon.  I will share the projects with you next week.

IMG_4076 IMG_1436While we were stamping, the partners were whisked off for their own secret activity – bowling:

IMG_1463Before leaving there was just enough time for the obligatory photo at ‘the rock’

IMG_4086and then a little farewell gift for each of us too – our own personalised stamp

IMG_1448It was at this point that it was announced that Shelli Gardner (Co-founder and CEO of Stampin’ Up!) would have to leave the trip due to an unexpected (but exciting) business development.  She was very upset about having to abandon the rest of the Grand Vacation so ensured that we all had the chance to chat with her and have a pic taken before she left

IMG_4093After a wonderful day it was back to the St Regis for a wonderful dinner, and another pillow gift.  This time it was a gorgeous Stampin’ Up! handbag:

IMG_4097What really struck me the most on this visit today, was how important people are to Shelli and how she has made that a part of the culture of Stampin’ Up! The home office has been designed with lots of natural light and nice vistas for the staff to look at, there are homely touches such as antique furniture and cabinets full of crafted items everywhere, the staff are treated well and genuinely LOVE what they do – it sure would be a wonderful place to work!

Part 5 (also known as ‘the longest day ever!’) coming up tomorrow!

Utah Report Part 3 – Grand Vacation Day 2

Each day of our vacation started with a wonderful breakfast buffet – seriously the Pain Au Chocolate were the best I have ever tasted and so wish I had them on hand here at home each morning 😉

Day 2 of the Grand Vacation was a leisure day – there were shuttles running throughout the day to take us to various places in Park City so we could choose where/when we wanted to go.  To get to the shuttle we first had to ride down the resort’s Funicular to get to the lower lobby:

IMG_3831 IMG_3767 IMG_3926Stephen and I decided to head down the historic Main St of Park City and do some window shopping. We loved the historic buildings all along the street – they have really gone to a lot of effort to ensure the town keeps it’s original features and feel.

IMG_3911

 Next we headed to Park City Mountain Resort where we rode the Chairlift up the mountain and then came back down on the ZipRider!  This was awesome fun!  It’s like an enormous flying fox except that you are strapped into a harness and you are travelling at 72kph and up 33 metres above the ski runs! Getting strapped into my harness:

IMG_3856

 Looking back up the Zipline from the bottom!

IMG_3859

 Then we rode the chairlift back up the top of the mountain and came down the Alpine Slide!  Not sure why I’m scowling so much in this pic -must have had the sun in my eyes or something.  The ride was great fun and you could get up some pretty good speed heading down!

IMG_1453 IMG_3838 IMG_3846

After our adventures at the mountain resort we headed back into Park City and took the Town Chairlift for a scenic ride.

IMG_3902

 After a bite of lunch we headed to the Park City Museum which had been recommended by our waitress at breakfast – it was a fantastic museum!  Covering Park City’s settlement, through the boom (and then bust) of it’s silver mining and then it’s re-invention as a ski-resort and host of the 2002 Winter Olympics and also the annual Sundance Film Festival.

IMG_3923After a full day out in the sun it was time for a rest and a dip in the St Regis pool – the perfect way to cool down!

The day finished off with the achieving demonstrators attending the Swaps & Sweets event.  We had all handed in 20 swap cards on day 1 of the trip and at the swaps evening we received a bag of 25 cards back – the cards were gorgeous, everyone had put so much effort into them!  I will share my swap and pics of the ones I received next week.  And of course you are probably wondering about the Sweets part of the evening – as if all those jars of candy weren’t enough right?!  The sweet part was cookie/ice cream sandwiches – we could choose 2 cookies and then a scoop of our choice of ice cream flavour was sandwiched in the middle – DELICIOUS (but messy!) One of the swap display boards:

IMG_1371On return to our room there was another pillow gift!  This time a sack full of lovely Stampin’ Up! product:

IMG_1369 IMG_1370

Utah Report Part 2 – Grand Vacation Day 1

Only an hour after Convention finished my lovely hubby arrived in Salt Lake City to join me for the Grand Vacation week.  It was so good to see him – having him join me for the week was the part of the trip I was most looking forward to! He supports me so much in my business, so the Grand Vacation was just as much a reward for him as it was for me!

We had a few hours on Sunday morning to explore before we were picked up to be taken to Park City, so we went for a wander around Temple Square, and watched the Mormon Tabernacle Choir & Orchestra perform for their weekly broadcast.
IMG_1304 IMG_1432

And then it was time for everyone on the trip to board buses and be driven the hour to Park City.  It was quite a climb up into the mountains and you could certainly notice the change in altitude as we climbed (Salt Lake City is already high at 1288M, but Park City is even higher at 2100m).

Here is the view of the St Regis Deer Valley Resort as we headed up the drive:

IMG_3788

IMG_1360

 We immediately checked into our room and my jaw hit the ground!  We knew the St Regis was nice, but we definitely weren’t expecting it to be this nice!  Our room was big, but seriously the bathroom was larger than our dining room here at home!  We even had our own fireplace (not that we needed it with the high-30’s temperatures we enjoyed all week!)

IMG_3752 IMG_3754 IMG_3756 IMG_3761

Stampin’ Up! are legendary for their pillow gifts on their incentive trips, and this trip was no exception with the first one in our room on arrival – a cute tray full of goodies to enjoy:IMG_3762

After checking out our room we headed to the Hospitality Room where we were greeted by members of SU staff and also other guests on the trip.  There were the most delicious sandwhiches, fruit kebabs, caramel chocolate popcorn and drinks to enjoy for lunch, plus jars and jars and jars of US candy & chocolates to help ourselves to!  The hospitality room was open for us all week and was a great place to sit and chat to other demos, enjoy the candy (all those jars were kept full the whole time!), plus play plinko to win great prizes! Here’s just one of the tables of candy – there were many more jars throughout the room!

IMG_1372

The afternoon was ours to explore the resort, rest, hangout by the pool, mingle with the other guests etc.  Before long it was time for the Welcome dinner which was held under a marquee on the Astor Terrace.  As you would expect at a Stampin’ Up! event the tables were decorated beautifully and the little finishing touches were just gorgeous:

IMG_1364 IMG_1365 IMG_3806 IMG_3807 IMG_3813IMG_3803

The four course dinner was DELICIOUS – in fact we had great food all week long!

IMG_3816After chatting with everyone well into the night, it was time to get some rest.  We were greeted in our room with mood lighting, classical music playing, the bed turned down, robes and slippers laid out for us, chocolates beside the bed AND another pillow gift – his and hers matching sweatshirts:

IMG_1367 IMG_1368

Stay tuned for part 3 tomorrow!

Utah Report Part 1 – North American Convention

Well I am back from Utah and truly it was the trip of a lifetime!  As you already know I wasn’t able to blog from the trip – this was mainly due to lack of time and putting sleep ahead of blogging.  The schedule for the trip was crazy busy with late nights and early starts!  BUT so you don’t miss out I am going to blog about it all of this week, starting with the North American Convention part of the trip.  This post is long as I am going to cover all 4 days in one post!

My trip really started when I arrived in Auckland and met up with a few other Kiwis heading to Salt Lake City – having friends to chat with sure does make all the waiting at airports a whole lot more fun!

IMG_1300L to R: Emma (NZ Country Manager -SU), Me, Rachel, Patrice

Thankfully I didn’t suffer too much jetlag so was out and about bright and early the morning after I arrived.  I explored the local area a little and then met up with several fellow Kiwis (and a token Aussie) to hit the shops for the day!

IMG_4433

Right next to my hotel in SLC was City Creek – a fabulous shopping centre spread across two blocks.  It is fully landscaped with a creek running through the middle of it, and also has several different water features including this fabulous fountain!

After several hours of shopping it was time to re-fuel at the legendary Cheesecake Factory – I had the most delicious BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwhich!

IMG_1317The following day was day 1 of Convention!  Starting with T-Shirt and name-tag pick up – which was eye-opening in itself!!  The Convention centre is MASSIVE and it was crowded with excited demonstrators!  I was lucky enough to bump in to several South Pacific demos who all looked equally as stunned as I did! Lookie – I even made it into the Convention booklet!

IMG_4437 IMG_1312

The afternoon was spent setting up my Demonstrator Booth ready for my presentation at the Opening Social event that evening.  And then it was time for the opening session!  Honestly, I just cannot put into words just how HUGE the main stage auditorium was!! 6000 people seated in one room – the photo below shows only about 1/6th of the room!  Even sitting in the room you really couldn’t comprehend how large it was until the video screens showed images panning across the whole room!  It was CRAZY big, CRAZY loud and a whole lot of fun!

IMG_1327

 

Next up was the opening social which meant showtime for me!  I demonstrated my 10-15 minute presentation 16 times over a 3 hour period with hundreds gathered around me constantly!  It was SO MUCH FUN and I was so honoured to be asked to present!  By the time I had finished packing up at the end of the evening it was well past 11pm and I was completely buzzing – it took a long time to get to sleep!

IMG_4444 photo IMG_4629

 

I will be sharing all of the projects I created for my booth next week – I had so much fun creating them and think they are some of the best work I have done, so I am looking forward to showing them to you all.

Friday morning started bright and early with another general session of great stamping presentations, prize patrols, all attendee give-aways and so much more!  The rest of the day was the Stampin’ Up! Expo with lots of different classes, make ‘n’ takes, presentations, product booths, display boards etc – you could choose what you wanted to do and when.  In all honesty I found the whole day completely overwhelming – it was visual overload with so many people and wonderful ideas everywhere you looked!  Here are just 2 of the thousands of projects on display – and yes they are made completely of paper!

IMG_4544 IMG_4545

 

One of the things that was wonderful was the Recognition Room – a room for only those that had earned awards in the last year – there were comfy couches, cute decor, free drinks and chocolates, and much needed respite from the crowds!  I met some wonderful people in here – the American and Canadian demonstrators were so welcoming and friendly!

IMG_1339

 

I also got to meet and swap with some of my stamping idols, Mary Fish and Becky Roberts, to name just 2:

IMG_4657 IMG_4654

 

Then it was time for a quick refuel at a great Italian restaurant before heading back for the awards night and 25th Anniversary Party.

IMG_4667 IMG_4666

The party was AWESOME!!! Aerial performers hanging from the rafters, roaming performers, games, sweet treats, birthday cake, party favours and most importantly a GREAT 80’s covers band called the Spasmatics!  I danced until the very end and then ended up being kicked out of the convention centre along with a rowdy group of Aussies – we were having too much fun dancing to leave!

Saturday was another early start with another General Session, followed by some wonderful stamping and business classes, and then ending with the final General Session.  I learned so much over the 3 days and it was wonderful to experience this milestone event.  I really can’t capture in words & photos just how big, busy and great it was, but check out the highlights video here for a better understanding (can you spot me??)

I’ll be back tomorrow with Day 1 of the Grand Vacation in Park City!

Create your website with WordPress.com
Get started