Convention Recap!

I have only been a Stampin’ Up! (which I will refer to as SU) demonstrator for a year now, and solely as a hobbyist (anything for a discount, am I right?). At the beginning of this year my friend Zahra, from My Pretty Inkspirations, threw out the idea of us going to the annual SU convention together. I have to admit, I chuckled. My first thought was: an actual convention for stampers exists? My second thought was: If I’m going to go on a trip sans kids AND hubby it’s going to be to a resort…or a spa…or even better – a spa-resort! Some time had passed and she brought it up again. On a whim, I said SURE, Let’s DO THIS! Zahra and I go way back so I figured at the very least, I’d have fun with her. Many people have raved about convention, how amazing it is, how nice everyone is and so forth. I heard all of this, but what I experienced was that, and much, much more.

Before we made our way to Salt Lake City (home base of SU), I was encouraged to sign up for an organized swap. The one I signed up for was called the WOW swap. Hey…no pressure newbie, but please design and make a card that in one word is – well, WOW! Oh and you must make 51 of them. Gasp! 51 of the exact same card?!?!? There were some guidelines we had to follow; more than one layer, had to include embellishments, etc. The organizer said that if you weren’t sure your card qualified as “WOW”, you could email her a picture of it. Apparently if it isn’t up to par then you can get refused. These people are hardcore! Anyway, I am positive I spent 3 hours daily for 3 weeks leading up to the conference making my swap cards. And, if that wasn’t enough, I also made 45 general swap cards to hand out to other stampers you meet during the convention. (I also helped a certain someone assemble her swap cards for 5 hours on the plane..tee hee. They were beautiful so I didn’t mind). My point is, a LOT of hours were spent making cards people!

In designing my WOW card, I decided to go with the Talented Trio stamp set. I bought this set because I knew my daughters would love it. Cute, right?

Talented Trio Photopolymer Stamp Set by Stampin' Up!

Talented Trio Stamp Set

I also assumed that not many others would choose it. I was right! I must send a huge THANK YOU to Brenda D. who tied 60 bows for me out of the goodness of her heart. You saved me Brenda! I’m terrible at tying bows. I used tip top taupe, blushing bride and whisper white cardstock, the new elegant dots embossing folder, sponged the edges in blushing bride, and added glimmer to the ballerina tutus. Here is my WOW swap card (which was approved by the organizer ahead of time, whew!):

My general swaps were also a lot of work. I used the border stamp and a happy hello sentiment from the Tin of Cards kit, the dotted specks are from the gorgeous grunge stamp set and I made these butterflies in 4 different colours. Only melon mambo and bermuda bay are shown below however:

One of the highlights for me was the awards night and 1920’s themed after-party hosted by SU. They encouraged everyone to dress for the occasion and we sure did. It was so much fun learning dance moves from that era! It was also inspiring to see how successful people in this business can be. Here is a pic of Zahra, myself, and a few of our team members:

When we signed in, we each received a swag bag. It was literally a grey bag that included a notebook, pen and FREE stamp set from the new holiday catalogue. Not a bad way to start, eh? Oh and did I mention that I won a prize during Prize Patrol???!!! Ok, so everyone who attended won a prize this time 🙂 I won a brand new stamp set from the holiday catalogue (which will be available to the public in September) and the ornate tag topper punch (which I didn’t have yet). So yippee for me!!!!!

I have to include pictures of the Main Stage at the convention. G-O-R-G-E-O-U-S!

People have said that going to your first convention changes you…and now I see what they mean. I had an amazing time, and met so many wonderful and friendly people. I’m bummed it’s over but am excited for what fun lies ahead. I cannot wait to share everything I learned. What this means is that you can expect to see more classes, parties and workshops being offered by me. Hope to see you there!

Click on my Event Calendar to view my upcoming class schedule and stay tuned for a special Paper Pumpkin Party at the end of August.

I’ll end of with a picture of a little gem you must hit up if you’re ever in Salt Lake City. It’s called Eva’s Bakery and it has the most delicious croissants I’ve ever had outside of France. Go eat there!

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