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), 

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. 

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