Friday, July 25, 2014

Inspire. Create. Share. 2014: Awards Night and After Party


Ok, so I have a little confession to make. I had EVERY intention of going to Awards Night and being there from beginning to end, but I missed about three-quarters of the night because I got sucked into the City Creek Mall. We went there for a quick dinner at the food court (my roomies had to indulge in Chic-fil-A because there is not one in their town) and some quick shopping. I checked out a few stores and then realized I was experiencing child-free shopping!!! I could concentrate and take my time and not worry about a bored little four-year-old wanting to touch everything or hide in the clothes racks. I lost track of time and was super late for Awards Night. 

However, I still got to see some amazing women celebrate their amazing achievements. I was excited to hear that that the Getaway is going to be to Newport Beach, CA. And then it was exciting to see the new Artisan Team, which now includes members from all over the world. I'll be looking forward to seeing their amazing projects over the next year. 

Finally, they announced Founder's Circle. I saw lots of names I recognize because of their online presence, but I also saw my up-up-upline Karen's name on the screen and got super excited as she walked across the stage to celebrate her achievement. I watch Awards Night every year (oh wait, I skipped it one year. Ikea was calling my name), and I rarely get super excited, but seeing Karen make this great achievement was worth getting excited for. 

Ok, now on to the Awards After-Party, which I fully participated in. It was hard not to because it was just THAT amazing!


  The theme of this year's after-party was County Fair, and it was probably just as fun as all the county fairs I have ever attended. 

They party featured nachos, funnel cake-like fries, a live country band with line-dancing (and instructors), face painting, bull-riding, fishing, and just plain ole' fun. I've been to several after-parties, and last year's was my favorite, but this year certainly gave the last one a run for its money. And my roomies were great companions to this great party. 

 The energy walking into the after-party was high. The band was great, the food was good, and the company was amazing.
 This was early in the evening when people were probably still trickling in and throwing a munch before hitting the dance floor.
 My roomie, who I might add is 80 years old, drug us all out onto the dance floor. I want to be like her when I grow up.
 I totally felt like I was a 10-year-old girl with how giddy I got over the face painting.

 About 8 minutes later. Wa-la, I have a sparkly flower on my face.

I wasn't the only one that got my face painted. All of my roomies indulged in this fun event. 

I left the party toward the end, but not too late because I had a FaceTime Date with my daughter and husband, who were left at home to fend for themselves. Thank God for great husbands who hold down the fort when the mommy leaves.  

There you have it. I have now officially blogged all about my day 2 at Inspire. Create. Share. Stay tuned for more of my experience in the upcoming days. 

Happy Stampin' 
~Cita 

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Inspire. Create. Share. 2014: Afternoon of Day 2

Friday afternoon was all about the make-and-takes for me. I was excited how Stampin' Up! organized this year's M&Ts, and as of today, for the first time ever in my convention attendance history, I completed ALL my M&Ts before leaving convention. woo-hoo!

Before I jumped into M&Ts, I attended Bonnie Thurber's "We're Glad You're Here" breakout class. Stampin' Up! employees like Bonnie are one of the many reason I love attendee Stampin' Up! events. Every presentation Bonnie does I absolutely love. She could probably sit up there and read me her grocery list and I would love it, laugh at it, and be inspired. If you ever get a chance to see Bonnie's presentation, run, don't walk. :-)

After I stuffed my face with lunch during the breakout class and laughed so hard I had tears in my eyes, it was M&T time! Yahoo! My amazing convention roomies joined me through the afternoon. Stamping with others is so much fun and enhances the experience, in my opinion.

First M&T was the Kinda Eclectic Craft Journal. Super cute and super easy!



Second was the Seasonally Scatter Takeout Box using an upcoming stamp set from the Holiday Catalog. I can tell this stamp set is going to be one of my favorites. Because I was travelling back on an airplane, I just made my the tag to the box and will construct the box later.




I was looking forward to the last M&T because it was a Project Life Scrapbook Page. Are you onboard with Project Life? If not, check it out. It has made memory keeping so much simpler for me since jumping into this form of scrapbooking. It's perfect for the busy mom, business woman, or student.




After the mini M&T sessions I wandered around the Gathering Place and then ended up in the Inspire. Create. Share. Workshop Session 2, where we got to sit through a mock stamp club and create another amazing M&T. This one was super cute and I loved the simplicity of it.




While stamping, I accidentally plunged my finger into the Real Red stamp pad. My roomies and I were laughing at how much it looked like a really bad craft wound.




During the evening I attended the Awards Night and the oh-so amazing Create. Share. Celebration (aka after party). I'll write all about it in my next post.

Happy Stampin'
~Cita





Friday, July 18, 2014

Inspire. Create. Share. 2014: Morning of Day 2

I am so exhausted! It has been a very great and overwhelming (in a good way) day.

We began our day just like we always do: in General Session. As always, it did not disappoint. 

Remember how I mentioned yesterday how the Stampin' Up! employee greeting line was missing yesterday? Well, today they were present and I was super excited. I think it was the energy spark that I needed to fully wake up this morning (I had skipped my cup of coffee). This may seem silly, but I really look forward to my high fives from the SU! employees each year.


Ms. Sara Douglass greeted us this morning with a super fun announcement: The Grand Vacation is going to be a Mediterranean Cruise porting in Spain, Italy, and France. Seriously?!?! The video (which we watched twice because it was that good) portrayed a jam-packed, luxuriously exotic cruise. I want to go to there. 

Next, Donna Griffith came out to make me (and probably many other demonstrators) a believer in Blendabilities. Although I'm still a little intimidated by this super fun product, I am more confident in its abilities and am looking forward to playing with them when I get home. 

Donna talked about all the things you can use Blendabilities on. Here's a break down:
  • On Whisper White card stock
  • On colored cardstock
  • On mini muslin bags
  • On embellishments (we also got a word of warning for coloring embellishments - these may damage the tips of you Blendabilities).
  • On Window Sheets
  • On Cellophane Bags
  • On B&W photographs







At this point, I became a believer. 

After Donna, Rich Juntkins took the stage and decided to stamp his presentation. What a great idea. If I still worked for a corporation, I totally would be tempted to try ways to stamp in my presentations. PowerPoint is so overrated. Anyways, Rich even had this amazing shirt to help his creative juices flow.




During Rich's presentation, he quoted Rob Hill, Sr 
Sometimes when you think the storm is coming to rain on your parade
it's actually there to water your garden

I think this is my favorite quote now. 

This post is getting way too long. :-) Probably because the day was jam-packed with inspiration and all-around Stampin' Up! goodness. I'll continue my Day 2 highlights in another post. Till then, here are a few more pictures to highlight my morning.

Woke up early again to do some walking with the roomie. Today we found the Utah State Capitol building and walked around the beautiful grounds.

Hanging out with the roomies before this morning's General Session. 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Inspire Create Share 2014: Day 1

Inspire. Create. Share. 2014: Day 1

Phew. What a day! The official first full day of Inspire Create Share started (for me) at 545 am. Yes, that early. But only because I wanted to run in beautiful downtown SLC, and my roomie was so gracious to join me.
And then of course I wanted to get to the Salt Palace early to start swapping and stand in the (very long) line for General Session. 

General Session started a little differently this year. Usually, Stampin’ Up! employees cheer us as we enter the Main Stage area, but this year they were absent.  While waiting for General Session to start, I wandered around, swapping and making my way to the very front of the room to get a closer look at this year’s beautiful stage. 




Finally, with heightened anticipation, General Session started and I soon learned where all the Stampin’ Up! employes were hiding - they were back stage. For the opening, they went through the Statement of the Heart while introducing each department in between sentences. Global Operations, Human Resources, Demonstrator Resources, Training (I can’t remember all the official names of each department) - each department made their way on stage and we applauded them. For so many years, they have applauded us demonstrators as we started convention, and even though I missed that grand entrance, I felt excited to cheer for each Stampin’ Up! employee. I appreciate these people. They provide so much for me as a demonstrator and sometimes I take them for granted.  

Oh, and as each department exited the stage a few fireworks went off. I don’t remember pyrotechnics ever being present during convention, but it was a fun touch and added to hype of the opening. 

Finally, Shelli Gardner, Cofounder and CEO of Stampin’ Up!, rotated her way on stage and was beautiful as ever. I want to look like her when I’m heard age. 

As we were sitting down, we were surprised by a sneaky all-attendee giveaway. They didn’t announce it like they usually do, but rather just started handing out stamps. (It was a dream come true!) We each got one of six individual stamps. 



Shelli gave a great talk, encouraging us to Inspire Create and Share with all people around us. She included a story about a recent adventure she had while talking to strangers about stamping and hosting workshops. 

After Shelli, Ms. Pam Morgan took the stage and made me all giddy with excitement as she introduced us to the new Holiday Catalog, highlighting some of the new products, stamps, and ideas. Many people know that I get a little grumpy with new catalogs because I can get so overwhelmed, but I’m pretty excited about this catalog. 

Per Stampin’ Up! policy, I can not post pictures of the actual product, but I can post pictures of projects using the new products. I’m going to be an obedient demonstrator and just post projects. But you’ll get to see the cuteness and versatility of all the great products. Can you say box punch board? Snowflake embellishments? And lots and lots of framelits! 

Toward the end of General Session the amazing Becky Higgins joined Shelli onstage to talk more about Project Life and tell us more about herself. Have I mentioned that I love Project Life and I am so excited that we now offer Project Life by Stampin’ Up! It was great to hear from Becky and welcome her to the Stampin’ Up! family. 



The rest of the day I wandered through classes and the gathering place, where I took lots of pictures of the samples and product boards and even resubscribed to Paper Pumpkin. They allowed us to peek at the upcoming Paper Pumpkin kits and they are so great I just had to have them. We couldn’t take pictures. There was even a guard there. I didn’t want to lose my camera or my phone. 

Here are some more highlights from my day.  


One of my favorite places at convention is the Product Playground. If there is an item I am on the fence about purchasing, the product playground usually where I make my final decision. I didn't make it to the playground today because I got stuck at the display boards.


Hello!!! It's Elsa's dress. I think this has made it's rounds on Pinterest but it looks so beautiful in person. It took everything in me to not cross the barrier and steal it. (This is a joke, I don't steal from display boards.)



I love how they are doing Make & Takes this year. We sat through a workshop given by a fellow demonstrator and then made these two beautiful cards.

 Those are my swap in a cute Thirty-One Littles Carry-All, one of the my favorite Thirty-one product. Confession: I am also a Thirty-One consultant, but Stampin' Up! is my first love. This thing is great for holding swaps.

 Dinner with my random roomies. I came to convention alone because all the other Ladybug stampers had more important things to do than come to convention this year. So, I took a risk and met these ladies online who were looking for a fourth roommate. I have to say that these ladies are amazing and I'm so excited and blessed to be rooming and hanging with them. One of the MANY perks of being a Stampin' Up! demonstrator is meeting amazing ladies who all share the same passion for stamping and paper crafting.

 I didn't win this morning, but I still enjoy the heightened rush of anticipation as you wait for the presenter to call out the winning color. Send good thoughts to Crisp Cantaloupe.

 I loved this display of the new 2014-2016 In Colors. I wonder if my husband will allow me to CASE this display on our living room wall.

 I don't know how long I stood and admired this beautiful flower.

 Here's a little sneak peek of some of the upcoming Holiday Catalog products. I am really looking forward to this paper. A little secret, it's a one-sided DSP, but it's beautiful.

 Another sneak peak. There's going to be a tree set with a coordinating punch. It's going to be produce lots of cute Christmas cards this year, I just know it.

 During the workshop, the demonstrator demoed these cute, but super simple Thank You cards. I may be CASEing these in the near future.


Although running out of steam at the end of the day, I still found myself at the MDS Unplugged class taught by Holly Linford. She showed us how to make some of the beautiful decorative items featured in the Annual Catalog using MDS. She encouraged us to not be afraid of using the MDS digital downloads. I'm anxious to get home and use my e-cutter with some MDS downloads. 

I'm excited for tomorrow. Another general session. Another set of Make-and-Takes. Several more classes. More time in the Gathering Place. And I'm ready to party at the Awards After Party. Remember to follow me on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram for more real-time updates. 

Happy Stampin' (and good night), 
~Cita

P.S. I really need to go to bed, so I'm posting this without thoroughly proofing my text. Future employers, please disregard this post. I usually proof my posts. 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Inspire Create Share 2014: Day .5



I'm in Salt Lake City!

I'm here at Inspire Create Share 2014. 

After a delayed flight, a sprint across McCarran International Airport, and dealing with motion sickness on the flight to SLC, I made it to my beautiful room across the street from the Salt Palace Convention Center. 

Festivities started tonight at around 6 pm (I was late...thank you delayed flight) with the Check-In/Bag Pick-Up and then My Paper Pumpkin Night. I got to make a super cute Make-and-Take, have cake for pre-dinner (I hadn't had a real meal all day), and finally meet my roomies. Here's some highlights from tonight. 



I was notified that my flight was delayed before I left the house, so I took the opportunity and extra time to have a tea party with my daughter . We invited Bunny and Zelda the kitty. 

 I had a connection in Las Vegas. I said hello to the strip from the airplane and then sprinted to the other side of the airport to catch my flight.

 And on the flight I got to see the Hoover Dam. Yippee. 

Ok, so enough about my long trip. Let's talk about convention. 

Tonight was a My Paper Pumpkin Open House. There were all sorts of great facts about My Paper Pumpkin, an opportunity to sign up and receive a free gift, drawings, treats, and a Make-and-Take. 

 I kind of got that convention giddiness walking into the party. Music was thumping and the smiles were contagious.
 This was my dinner (not really, but I did indulge in some yummy carrot cake)

Here is the My Paper Pumpkin M&T, which is also a sneak peek at the September My Paper Pumpkin kit. This was super easy to make and the rest of the kit was super cute. I'm going to renew my subscription just so I can get this kit in September. It will make Halloween treats super easy. 

I took a break from the My Paper Pumpkin party to actually check-in and receive my convention goodies. As always, the convention bag is one of the many things I look forward to, and this year it does not disappoint. 

And while I was waiting in line, I met this great lady from Nashville who gave me my first swap, but it was an unfair swap because I didn't have my swaps on hand to properly swap with her, but she gave it to me anyway. Totally made my day because it is a cute swap. 



My roomies and I also exchanged gifts tonight, but I'll have to post those later because it's time to get rested up for all the great festivities tomorrow.

Remember to follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for the latest updates throughout the day. 

Happy Stampin' , 

~Cita 

Follow Me at Inspire Create Share 2014


There’s a party going on in Salt Lake City the next few days, and I’m anxiously sitting in the Sunport waiting for my delayed flight to arrive so I can join the excitement at Inspire Create Share 2014. Join me the next few days as I share with you all the sights, news, and excitement from this year’s Stampin’ Up! Convention. I’ll be posting at least once a day, but will be providing more real-time updates on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Follow me on all three networks and enjoy!

Twitter: @stampincita

Instagram: carmelitacita

Facebook: www.facebook.com/stampincita


Looking forward to sharing with you the next few days. 

~Cita