And it's MORE than a little sad. It was very, very hard to say goodbye to my awesome downline and stampy friends this year. I had the biggest downline group ever go with me and they are FANCY. Many thanks to Bev Gerard, Carla Goodlace, Kelli Hull, Dana Keith, Katherine MacDonald, Christine Orecchio, Ceal Pritchett, and Jen Treadway for an AWESOME team week. Several I had met for the first time and it was SO fun to get to know them, even though I'd seen them each week on our Sunday video calls. There's nothing like real life.
They certainly made the most of the week!
Kelli got a recruiting leadership award and got to hang out in the Recognition Room, where we took a picture with my beloved Sue Farrant.
Jen and Kelli BOTH had cards featured on the My Paper Pumpkin boards.
It was a red letter convention for my whole group for a lot of reasons. We arrived on Monday and got two days to just chill and enjoy each other's company and hang out in one of my favorite cities.
The Unwind Retreat we had on Wednesday was amazing - thank you so much to everyone who came - I was so excited to meet so many of my imaginary friends and get to stamp with them in a very leisurely, fun day. My amazing team - the "sherpas" - worked so hard all day (as well as for months before the retreat - thanks Christine, Mel and Melissa and Jen) to make it all run smoothly - thank you ladies!!
The incomparable Melanie Hopes kicked off the retreat with her Zentangling class so that we could REALLY unwind. Her artwork is unbelievable and she taught us a lot more than Zentangling.
If you attended, I'd love to hear what your favorite class or project was or see links to your own photos. Here are some more of the photos from the retreat:
For those of you who couldn't come to convention this year, I will be having an online version of the retreat as well as a real live version for those of you near Austin. :) So stay tuned if you missed it.
Then on Thursday convention started, and I had the incredible honor of doing a stamping demonstration on main stage as part of a Stamps, Ink and Paper class. I had the stamps section, Michelle Zindorf had the ink section and Michelle Suit had paper. These two women are amazing and it was so cool to get to team up for this event. Stamping in front of nearly 4,000 people is just a LITTLE different from teaching my monthly card class :). The backstage team at Stampin' Up! is absolutely amazing and incredibly professional. Every conceivable detail was planned out, and everyone was so warm and sweet and really took all our nervousness away. It was SO much fun, and I am extremely grateful for this experience.
While we were waiting between presentations, I had a little fun backstage with a napping Shannon West while Chad looked on approvingly.
Aaannnddd maybe in Temple Square
I can't wait to see you in Orlando for Leadership - ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU RIDE THE TOWER OF TERROR WITH ME! So excited that we will have the place to ourselves for Manager's Reception.
So want to see what I demonstrated onstage?
The first technique was one I call stamp etching, and it's based on the Edward Gorey books I loved when I was little. I loved his simple, detailed pen and ink illustrations and used that as the inspiration for my first technique.
It's very simple - you just use the fine point of a Basic Black marker and a slight flicking motion to add tapered lines to each petal of Blended Bloom. Completely transforms the image and really makes it look nothing like what it looks like in the catalog, which was my goal.
Isn't that striking? It's amazing how simple it is. Perfect for people who don't like to color but still want a dramatic effect.
I just love it and I find the process soothing. I used the Lovely Lace embossing folder for the background and added some Sweet Sadie washi tape.
So what do you think?
A poster Melanie made for the retreat really summed up this week for me. We all flock together once a year to learn a squillion techniques and tips. One class I took gave us THIRTY techniques in two hours - it was amazing. You come home home with tired, full brain, but you're just DYING to create something.
My presentation during demonstrator theater was all about finding ways to surprise people with stamps after you've learned the traditional ways to use them.
So it was sort of serendipitous that she hand lettered this sign that Ilina Crouse ended up winning at the retreat as a door prize. I could not love it more.
Thanks for hanging out with me this week.