Saturday, 24 December 2011
These are this year's bottle tags... I made them up with the Petite Pocket Die, and added some simple decorations. The little heart Decoration and Candy Cane I purchased elsewhere but all the rest is Stampin'Up product... oh except for the bottle of wine! Have to say I am really pleased with how they turned out... I included them in the projects at the recent Christmas Gift Class.
Sometimes it's the simple things that make the best presents...
Happy Christmas Eve everyone!!!
Sunday, 18 December 2011
I've been busy of late making quite a few gifts for friends... for both Christmas and birthdays. I'll try to show you a few of them over the next week or two. Today's is actually a gift I made for a friend... so simple and yet so effective! You really cant go wrong with the Mocha Morning paper. I removed the glass so that the butterflies' wings could be popped up higher, and added half-back pearls in the centre of each butterfly.
This was actually one of our projects at my recent Christmas gift class... and as far as I know everyone enjoyed making it, and loved the result. A few of my participants told me there wont be giving it away, but prefer to keep it for themselves...:-)
I used the same idea for the other project (the one you see below)... it's just a different kind of frame. They look great though don't you think?
If you are looking for a quick and easy but effective gift, I would recommend these. You will just need the mocha morning paper, vellum, butterfly die and of course a frame. Decorate to your heart's content. xx
Tuesday, 13 December 2011
There is a belief out there that cards for men are tricky to do. Actually I think that if you have the right stamp set, and the right colours, then it becomes relatively easy. Add some twine for texture, or some metal for strength.... and the job becomes even easier.
With the release of our Summer Mini this month we have the awesome stamp set called "The Open Sea" which is great for guys. And to streamline it even further, there is a matching Patterned paper pack :-) How simple is that? And today's card shows them off beautifully.
In fact this is one of the projects from my Mini Launch... I have two launch events... one tonight (13th December @ 7.30pm) and one tomorrow (14th December @ 11am). I can squeeze one or two people in to each if you have a spare few hours to get creative.
To place an order to be back before Christmas (I am placing my last orders this week) or to book in for the launch, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I am also doing beautiful gift vouchers (value of your choice) if you have crafty friends in need of Christmas gifts... take the hassle out of deciding what to get, and just get them a gift voucher. :-)
Monday, 12 December 2011
In 2011 I ran 3 different stamp clubs. Two day clubs and one night club. (These are different to the Big Shot clubs which are virtual clubs....I'll be starting new Big Shot clubs in the new year) In a Stamp club we actually get together to make a different project each time. I love them for a few reasons... for example they are a good source of regular income for me, and we get the chance to make a project each time that is a step above what I would be prepared to do as a normal workshop project.
But for me the very best thing about Stamp Club is that I really get to know each club member a lot better, and I also have the privilege of watching some really lovely friendships form in each group. Pretty much every year I have seen tentative quiet groups at the beginning of the year, and as the year progresses, the groups tend to get a bit louder as they relax and become more comfortable with each other.
Around this time of each year I start looking for expressions of interest from those people that would like to be in a club. This year all my groups have decided to continue on into 2012, although there are a couple of members that are unable to continue due to other life stuff. So I am looking to fill those spots, and if there is enough interest, then I will also start more groups.
So what is Stamp Club all about? They are run either monthly for a minimum of 6 months, or Bi-monthly for 12 months. We need 6 members to begin. At each get-together all members place an order which is at least $50(rrp) in value, meaning that we always have an order value of at least $300 each time. Each member takes their turn at being the hostess. So when you are the hostess, you get the hostess benefits that month, which is a minumum of $50 (in free products of your choice. Hostesses are allocated in the order that they join the club. For the day club, the hostess also brings along lunch for us to share, and for the evening club, the hostess brings supper. Clubs are held on the Central Coast of NSW, and I hold them in my home.
Having run these clubs for several years now, I can tell you they are one of my favorite things about being a demonstrator. If you think that being in a club is for you, please email me at email@example.com I will be starting new clubs in the new year.
The card you see on this page is the most recent project I made with Stamp Club... its a "Centre Step card" and I was inspired to make it after seeing a similar idea in one of our Demonstrator magazines. As far as I know everyone liked it. :-) We don't always make cards.. this year the clubs have done some great 3D projects as well. I do hope that you enjoy this one though, and I am really excited to find lots of new projects to share with my club groups in 2012.
Wednesday, 7 December 2011
Just a quick post to show you the second card we are making for this Friday night's class (9th December 2011). It's really a very simple card.. but I've used the new glimmer paper on it for bit of impact! :-) I was inspired here by a card I saw on Patty Bennett's blog in the US.
You can see that I've used the red glimmer paper, and also the silver... but if it looks a bit greenish.. thats because I've coloured it to suit my card. I'll be showing you how to colour the silver Glimmer paper to suit whatever project you are working on.. doesn't it look cute?
If you would like to join us I do have a couple of spots left. At this class you will make 6 Christmas cards (3 each of 2 different designs) for a cost of $15. All materials and light refreshments are provided. Classes are held on the Central Coast of NSW.. so if you would like a night out to be creative, and make some handmade Christmas cards, please just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I can give you all the details.
Please note that this is my very last SAS of the year. Other events are listed on the right hand side-bar of my blog. I hope to see you at one of my classes soon :-)
Tuesday, 6 December 2011
Last weekend we belatedly celebrated Ben's birthday with a pool party. I made the decision to just invite all his kindy class mates... this is the only time I will be able to get away with that as Im sure politics will set in over the next couple of years. Luckily this is an age where they are a lot more accepting, don't you think?
The party went really smoothly, and all the reports were good. Ben's words were "This is the best day of my life!" So I would say that's worth it wouldn't you? At the end of the day, I gave out lolly boxes for his friends, and I thought you'd like to see them. I made 20 boxes on the day in under an hour - gotta love the Big Shot Machine for that! :-)
Friday, 2 December 2011
Here we go with two great new promotions coming your way:
1. Our new Summer Mini Catalogue is here! Click HERE to view it online. And dont forget that I am running two Mini Catalogue launches this month - a day event and an evening event. I do at this point have spots left in both. Over the coming days I will be showing you some great projects using some of our new Mini Products! I love getting to play with new stuff!
2. December Frenzy is now svailable for you too. Some items on the list are marked down by up to 50%... woo hoo! And just in time for your Christmas shopping. :-) Click HERE to see which items are on special. To order any of our great specials this month all you need to do is to email your order me at email@example.com It's that easy! I accept credit card or direct deposit, and I can have your order sent to you anywhere in Australia for a small postage charge.
I have lots to show you in the coming weeks, so stay tuned!
Tuesday, 29 November 2011
Well we are officially into the last month before Christmas and the count down is on. I have been busy making Christmas cards and enjoying our last few Christmas card classes. Also tomorrow (30th November) is the last day to order selected Big Shot Dies and Embossing folders at the special price as well as the Big Shot Bundle on sale too. Click here to see them.
Coming up in the next few weeks I have the very last Christmas Stamp-A-Stacks for the year, as well as the Mini Launches for our Brand New Summer Mini Catalogue. There are some beautiful new products I cant wait to show you. And of course we are coming into the SAB (Sale-a-Bration) promotion that starts in the last week of January. The offerings this year are FABULOUS! And as always, for every $100 you spend between January 24th and the end of March, you will receive a free SAB item. For the first time in Australia this year's freebies are not just stamp sets! And the they are beautiful!
And if all that wasn't enough, we have December Frenzy about to start! Watch my blog in the next few days to see what's on sale. Or you can also check the Stampin'Up website after the 1st December to see the new specials. Just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to order your products ahead of Christmas, or to book into any of my classes.
If you are wondering what the pictured project is all about, I promised that I would pop up a couple of sneak-peeks of some of the projects from my Christmas Gift Class to held in December.. so here is the first one for you. Although I do have a different colour scheme in mind, I wanted to show you the concept anyway. This one is a great little desk-calendar. It was quick and fun to make. Unfortunately I am completely full for this particular class, but I still have spaces in the Stamp-A-Stacks and mini launches at this point.
I've had a great November.. so thanks to everyone who has helped it to be a really successful month!
Sunday, 27 November 2011
Ok.. so its not my usual card. But then it hasn't been a very usual week this week either. Last Saturday, so just over a week ago, I was at the beach with my kids and managed to break my foot. So I have spent quite a lot of time sitting around this week, in between running classes (thank goodness for a job where I can mostly work from home!) and coming up with unusual ideas.
This one is certainly unusual.. but I think you can see where I drew my inspiration from for this Get Well soon card. :-) It's completely top-heavy, totally impractical and a bit unbalanced... just like me. Hoping I wont get to use the card anytime soon though... unless I send it to myself. Although I do know a couple of people who have recently injured their feet and/or ankles....
So this week I head back to the hospital to visit the Fracture Clinic and they will tell me what happens next and how long I need to be off it for. Hoping to have it off in time for Christmas... but I guess I will find out. Life is never a dull moment around here.
Friday, 25 November 2011
How cute is this card? Simple cards are always my favourite... but this one is simple AND fun. I came up with it after browsing through a grocery magazine. There was a little box in the mag... and I thought... ooooh... that would make a cute card. So I made it, and cant wait to share it with you at the next Christmas Stamp-A-Stack. I have two SAS dates left for 2011.. they are Tuesday 6th December @ 11am, and Friday the 9th December @ 7.30pm. Cost to attend the class is $15, and you will make 6 cards to add to your Christmas card stash (3 each of 2 different designs). Light refreshments and all materials are supplied. Just come along for a lovely couple of hours escaping the madness of our busy lives while you get to exercise those creative muscles. :-)
If you would like to join us then please just email me at email@example.com
I do also have places left at the Mini Catalogue launches. The dates are Tuesday 13th December @ 7.30, and Wednesday 14th December @ 11am. Cant wait to show you what's coming in our lovely new catalogue. Lots of fun stuff, great Christmas gifts and also some gorgeous masculine style stuff. You're really going to enjoy these new goodies.
One last thing.. the Christmas Gift class is now completely full! Thank you to all those who have booked. Where possible I would love to receive pre-payment for this class (it helps with budgeting for all the products I need to pre-purchase), but I will not see many of you beforehand, so I do understand. I'm looking forward to sharing some great gifts with you. :-)
Because classes do fill quickly, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to come along. Please dont reply to the feedblitz email that appears in your inbox.. I wont receive it. Just email me directly instead.
Looking forward to showing you lots of exciting stuff in the next few weeks.
Tuesday, 22 November 2011
I still have a couple of Ribbon shares left over from last month's share if anyone would like to take advantage of this deal. There are two ribbons on offer... a quarter roll share of the seam binding ribbon (7 colours, approx 2.3m of each colour) for a cost of $24, and the other deal is a quarter roll share of the Ruffled ribbons (5 colours, approx 2.3m of each colour) for a cost of $25. Or buy both shares for $45.
They are both lovely, but the Seam Binding ribbons are my new favourites.... the photo above shows them all together. They are soft so lend themselves to lots of different techniques - but most importantly they are easy to tie into great bows.
Email me at email@example.com if you would like to take one of these last shares.
Thursday, 17 November 2011
Next week I am running my Ribbon Techniques class again.... I ran this one as a night class last week, and the girls that came told me that it was a great class. So this time I am running the same program, but as a daytime class. You will make 3 projects, for a cost of $15, and I am showing you different ways to ruffle ribbons, how to use ribbons with your Big Shot, and how to tie the perfect bow.
The ATC above is one of our projects.
If you find yourself with a spare day next Tuesday (22nd) please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org Classes are held on the Central Coast, and I can give you the address when you book.
Hope you can join us!
Monday, 14 November 2011
OK... so its late and you'll have to excuse my clumsy night photography... but I wanted to post this photo of one of the cards we are making at this week's Christmas Stamp-A-Stacks. If you've been following my blog you will remember that I put up the other card a few days ago (click HERE to see it) so now you know what they both look like. :-)
You get to make 3 cards in each of these 2 designs for a cost of $15, so that you go home with a total of 6 lovely Christmas cards. I always run these classes as both a night class and a day class so that as many of you can attend as possible. At this point I do still have spaces in both tomorrow night's class (the 15th November at 7.30pm) or Wednesday's class (the 16th November at 11am). Light refreshments and all materials are supplied. To grab yourself a spot, simply email me at email@example.com.
Dont forget if there is anything you wish to order, you dont need to wait for a workshop. Just email me your order anytime and I will see that it gets to you. I place orders at least once a week, so the turn-around time is very fast.
I hope you enjoy the card... I only just got my hands on the "Merry and Type" stamp set, and so its been getting a workout. :-) I also used the "Petals-A-Plenty" embossing folder on this card.. it works really well for Christmas cards, because the flowers resemble Poinsettias. And dont forget that this embossing folder and various other Big Shot folders and dies are on special this month. To see whats on special, click HERE.
Friday, 11 November 2011
Just a quick post today to remind people that I still have a few spots left at the two Christmas Stamp-a-Stacks I will be running next week. At Stamp-a-Stacks you get to create 6 cards (3 each of 2 different designs) and of course this means that you have 6 more cards to add to your Christmas card stash. Which is becoming a pretty good idea now that its only 6 weeks to Christmas! Aaaaargh! I really need to get my act together and get organized! (Every year I say that!)
Ok.. so here are the details if you would like to join us for a creative session:
When: Tuesday 15th November @ 7.30pm OR Wednesday 16th November @ 11am
Where: My place @ Narara on the Central Coast - address supplied when booking.
All materials and light refreshments provided.
I've posted one of the cards we will be making. We'll be breaking out the Gold Embossing powder for this one :-) Hope you like it!
Saturday, 5 November 2011
I still have two more days of our Fiji trip to share with you. (Sorry its taken me a couple of weeks.. Im almost there now!)
The final day of the trip dawned bright and clear again. The Saturday of the trip is always ours to spend how we like, although the Farewell dinner is held on that last evening. Some of the girls and their guests lazed by the pool, and some went on various daytrips. When Denielle and I went down to a leisurely breakfast we ended up chatting to Shelli and Sage who had just returned from an early morning Hot Air Ballooning adventure... they raved about it! For me, I was just happy to have a day to chill out and do very little!
Our breakfast spot right by the lilypads:
But right AFTER breakfast, Shelli said they were planning to go Sky Diving! Talk about packing in lots of adventure into one day! Me? I had a booking at the Hotel Spa for a pedicure. Well actually they called it a "Foot Ritual"... it was an hour of foot massage and pampering, and was soooo relaxing. I love being able to treat myself to the occasional pampering session!
Here is the spa:
Then we had a beautiful lunch with Mango Cocktails at Salt Restaurant.. and ended up sharing a table with Shelli and Sage again!
Here is the table at Salt:
Denielle and myself:
Then the four of us went for ice creams (really really good icecreams by the pool!) before wandering up to the Hospitality suite for some more American "candy" and a wheel spin. I forgot to mention the wheel spins in my earlier posts. I think this year's prizes were even better than previous years. My favourite prize was a gorgeous Baja Breeze cardi, with the SU logo on the sleeve. Just lovely... it's getting lots of wear! Each year I have really enjoyed catching up with the girls in the hospitality suite... lots of chit-chat and lounging around. It's so lovely to be around people whose company you enjoy in such a relaxing atmosphere.
Teresa, myself and Denielle on the balcony overlooking the pool:
In the afternoon, Denielle and I did a bit of souvenir shopping in the local Port village. The Australian dollar works out very well right now in Fiji, so its a good time to be buying a few bits and pieces to take home. I bought some gifts for the kids, and also a couple of souvenirs for me too. Each year I try to bring back something for the house so that I can have reminders around me of the various trips I have been able to take.
That night the dress code was "Smart Casual" and we firstly enjoyed mocktails and nibblies out on the verandah, before being asked to make our way down to the beach for a spectacular "Firedancing" display. My photos of this came out very poorly I'm afraid. Then we headed back to the main hotel to into a beautifully decorated room for dinner. Each table place had an Oyster shell with our name card (the shells were from Broome to encourage us to earn next year's Incentive Trip!). Dinner was of course a wonderful meal, and we were just about to start dessert when a choir of schoolchildren from one of the local schools entered the room to sing to us. They were mesmerizing! I don't think there were many dry eyes in the room by the time the children had finished singing. The last item that they performed was the traditional Fijian "Goodbye Song" and even though I didn't of course understand the words, the emotion in the song is unmistakable. It was completely beautiful, and such an honour. Shelli of course spoke to us all, and each time I listen to her, I am very sure of the message that she has... that as demonstrators we are so valued, and that they are very interested in us, and in how are businesses and growing here in Australia and New Zealand. I find her very inspiring!
Here is dessert:
The funny thing is that I was so enthralled with the children singing that I actually forgot to eat my dessert! When I came back to the table it was gone! Never mind... I had enough food in Fiji to last me a lifetime!(Note that I didn't forget to take a photo of it though!)
Here is Shelli, myself, Denielle and Sage at dinner:
Our final night pillow gift was a wooden Kava bowl and even a packet of "Kava mix"... I haven't actually made it up, but I looooove the bowl:
So ended another wonderful day.
The final morning we needed to be up bright and early to head back to the airport. Our breakfast was served in the hotel lobby and we selected our pastries and fruit to fill our take away boxes with. Coffee was also supplied.. yay for that! We were at the airport in plenty of time, and did some last minute duty-free shopping before boarding our plane. We were seated all quite close to each other so we were able to chat a little about our wonderful trip, and I have to say the trip passed quite quickly for me.
Before we knew it, we were back in Sydney and collecting our bags. There were some sad goodbyes and hugs, and then back to reality!
I have enjoyed each and every Incentive Trip that I have been honoured to earn in my career with Stampin' Up!.. but as unbelievable as it sounds, this was my favourite one so far! Fiji is just a magical place, and I would love to go back again... and I would really love to take the kids because they would just love it. So I just might have to start saving my pennies!
I can't thank SU enough for the way they spoil us and make us feel valued. It makes it all worthwhile, and I feel so very lucky! Thank you for reading about my adventures... I hope you enjoyed reading as much as I enjoyed writing about it.
Wednesday, 2 November 2011
November is such a busy month.. everybody is starting to think about shopping for Christmas gifts, so why not do some of your gift shopping with me? Not only do we have lots of wonderful gifts for crafty people, I also do gift vouchers for any amount so that your giftee can choose their own gifts. This is especially great for the guys... if they just dont know what to buy, put them in touch with me and we can organize a gift voucher so that you can get what you REALLY want for Christmas!!
I also have a couple of extra classes this month... with Christmas around the corner I have a couple more Christmas Stamp A Stacks.
As my little November special, if you attend any class this month and spend $50 or more at the class, you will get your class at 50% off.
Stay tuned for details of my next project class, and the Christmas gift class which will also be announced shortly.
Enjoy this beautiful Spring weather... I treated myself to a coffee and a browse through the windows in East Gosford this morning. I love these kind of days!
Tuesday, 1 November 2011
Welcome everyone! We have a great special for you this month... if you are a Big Shot owner.. (or other die cutting machine)... or maybe you were thinking about buying yourself a Big Shot for Christmas? Well now is the time!
During November, get 10 percent off select Big Shot dies. Use these exclusive dies to create fabulous shapes, embossing, and more!
Here are the dies on special for you:
10% Off the Price of these:
Scalloped Heart of Hearts Embosslits Die (rrp $21.95) now $19.75
Flower Burst Embosslits Die (rrp $21.95) now $19.75
Manhattan Flower Textured Impressions Embossing Folder (rrp $14.95) now $13.45
Petals-a-Plenty Textured Impressions Embossing Folder (rrp $14.95) now $13.45
Elegant Lines Textured Impressions Embossing Folder (rrp $14.95) now $13.45
Buttons #5 Sizzlits Die (rrp $9.95) now $8.95
Pillow Box Bigz Die (rrp $36.95) now $33.25
Beautiful Butterflies Bigz Die (rrp $39.95) now $35.95
Scallop Square Duo Bigz Die (rrp $39.95) now $35.95
Mover & Shapers Punch Windows (rrp $54.95) now $49.45
Tasteful Trim Bigz XL Die (rrp $69.95) now $62.95
Petal Cone Bigz L Die (rrp $59.95)now $53.95
Don't have a Big Shot? Get 10 percent off the exclusive Big Shot Bundle! The Big Shot Bundle (item 128944) includes the following:
Big Shot Die-Cutting Machine
Scalloped Heart of Hearts Embosslits Die
Manhattan Flower Textured Impressions Embossing Folder
For this bundle of items you would normally pay $186.85, but for the month of November pay only $168.16.
I will be making sure that I am demoing lots of Big Shot stuff all month so you can play with all these items (I have most of them, and I guess its safe to say I will have them all myself by the end of the month because we get our Demonstrator discount ON TOP of the other discount!). And the Big Shot demonstrations will kick off this weekend as I am heading out to the Penrith Papercraft Festival. The festival runs from the 4th to 6th November, so if you are looking for a fun day out please come along, and dont forget to visit us at the Stampin'Up! stand. You can even sit and make a card with us. :-)
To order products, including this month's great specials, please just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or if you wish to attend any classes or events, please also contact me via email. I am on the Central Coast, NSW, and very happy to assist you will all your papercraft questions and product needs. Products can be shipped to anywhere in Australia for a small postage charge.
Enjoy the specials!
Monday, 31 October 2011
I still have a couple of spots left for this Wednesday's Christmas Stamp-A-Stack at 11am. If you would like to come along just email me at email@example.com. Here are the details:
Date: Wednesday 2nd November 2011
Cost: $15 - you'll make 6 cards (3 each of two different designs), light lunch and all materials supplied.
At this time of year we are busy making oodles of Christmas cards.... I do all the hard work for you... designing and cutting... all you have to do is turn up, stamp and put them together... and enjoy the process :-)
You can see one of the two cards we are making up above... the colours we use may differ slightly. And I used a Mojo Monday sketch to create my card... I love sketches when you are feeling short of inspiration!
Hope to see you on Wednesday!
Sunday, 23 October 2011
Day 3 of our trip (Friday) was a little less eventful... as we started to get into "chill-out mode". My room-mate Denielle had planned a visit down to the Coral coast to visit some old friends, so she was up reasonably early and off for the day. I took the opportunity to sleep in a little, read a book and do my own thing. I took it easy at breakfast (the huge buffet selection made it difficult to choose quickly anyway) and then headed to the poolside "V" bar which was the location for our Make and Take session. But first... swaps!!!! The Incentive Trip swap is my favourite swap of the year and it's such an honour to be part of it. Not only is the quality of the swaps mind-blowing, but many of the girls do wonderful projects that are much more than a card... this year there were pennants, notebooks, mini-albums and lot of other amazing creative ideas. And of course gorgeous cards! The last couple of years I have found a ton of good ideas for my classes right there amongst the IT swaps. Glad to see that this year is no exception :-) Thank you to all my fellow demonstrators who swapped with me!
Here they are....
Here is our morning tea:
Vanessa waving at our table, with Dave, Jennifer and Lisa in the background:
Our table group:
(That's Kim, Me, Ness and Lisa in the back row, and Jennifer, Dave and Patrice in the front row.)
After swaps, we got into the make and takes for this year. And although Im not allowed to show you them just yet (because we used as-yet-unreleased products)I can tell you that they were fantastic! You are going to love our new mini catalogue - it's due out December 1st. Creating projects with lots of other demonstrators that you admire and enjoy the company of is such a privilege! And of course we got to spend time with Shelli, Dave, Aaron and Emma too (from the various Head offices) so it was just a wonderful morning. We also presented Shelli with a beautiful album that contained 6x6 cards or scrap pages from each of us... Simone Bartrum co-ordinated that effort and she did a great job putting it together and also decorating the album. Beautiful work Simone!
After the Make and Take session everyone wandered off to spend the rest of the day doing whatever they felt like doing. I wandered around the hotel a bit, and ended up finding a lovely hammock on the beach to read my book in. I read a bit, dozed a bit, read some more and slept a bit. And managed to fill in a couple of hours doing completely nothing. Im not sure how long since that has happened!!!
That night Denielle arrived back from the coast, and Simon, Ness, Denielle and myself headed by "Bula Bus" to the local Port village. We were looking for a Fijian restaurant to sample some local cuisine... and we found exactly what we were looking for. I had Mussel chowder, a whole Lobster and a glass of wine all for around $50! (Australian)... we were pretty impressed.
Then we headed back to the hotel and cocktails at the bar before heading back to our rooms... another pillow gift!
Here's what was inside:
Love these Pure Fiji products! I've never smelled so good! :-)
Thank you SU!
Another great day at the office :-)
Friday, 21 October 2011
We began Day 2 of our trip rather rudely with a 4.30am start! (And let's not forget that Fiji is an hour in front so that was 3.30am NSW time!) Breakfast was in the hotel lobby... Coffee, (ahhh, that's better) fruit and various pastries that we could take with us if we chose... we boarded the bus bound for the Upper Navua river. It was quite a drive.. several hours by two different buses - we had to change into two smaller mini-buses in order to negotiate the dirt roads through the Fijian highlands. I have never been to Fiji before and the Coral Coast scenery is just magnificent. It's relatively untouched but for various resorts that nestle along the beachfront.
We stopped for morning tea (banana bread) and then continued into the rainforest. One of the girls (Marelle I think?) was heard to mention that they should have mentioned that we might need our sports bras for the trip (to say it was bumpy was an understatement!) but we finally disembarked and collected our paddles and life jackets. We got the "scare talk" before setting off on a 20 minute hike through the jungle down to the riverfront. To be honest, that was the hardest part of the whole day... that hike was pretty full on, and I wished I had been more consistently doing my regular walking program at home because we needed a reasonable level of fitness to make it comfortably. So getting into the boat was actually a relief by the time we got there.
We were assigned a guide (oarsman) and it was 4 people per boat. I was really lucky to be sharing with Ness and Simon and Denielle. Our guide was named Noah! Isnt that appropriate? We were obviously in safe hands :-) These guys are from the local highland villages and they really know what they are doing. The way they guide the rafts through the currents and between the rocks is just amazing.
It was the most amazing experience! I don't think I have ever laughed so much. And we were rowing for 5 hours... so that's a long time to laugh! My stomach was sore from laughing at the end. Suffice to say you get to know your fellow crew members in ways you never did before!
I don't think we were going for more than 10 seconds when we got stuck on a rock! And we all had to bounce up and down to get ourselves off.. it was so funny! Here are a few snaps to give you an idea of our day...
The walk down to the river
Whew! We made it to the river!
Looking really glamourous here:
Because of the rain we had to have our lunch at an alternative spot... so we lunched in a cave:
I lost count of the waterfalls, but they were just amazing!
It wasn't rough at all.. in fact the "rapids" were very gentle. So it was great for someone like me who was a complete beginner. Denielle overcame her fear of rafting completely... it took only a few minutes for her to realize that it really wasnt so bad after all! I am so proud of her, and really so glad to have been able to take her with me to have such an amazing experience!
We experienced all the seasons pretty much on the way.. we started in brilliant sunshine but then it came over cloudy and misty, and then it poured, and then there was a storm. All the while the temperature remained warm and comfortable.. I think it was a really good time of year to do a trip like this. You can see how pristine and gorgeous it was... apparently this is the river that they filmed one of the Anaconda films. Not that they have those there... I probably wouldn't have done it if I thought there was any chance of that! But Im so glad I did.
At the end we helped get the boat out and deflated in the pouring rain, which funnily enough didn't matter at all... we were already so wet it didn't make one bit of difference. I have never been so wet through in all my life. And trying to change into dry clothes in a tin shed in the jungle with the rain pouring so hard that you cant hear anything.... well that was an experience. We were offered afternoon tea in a Fijian village.. which was lovely too. It all added to the experience of the day.
Then back on the bus and most of us were so tired that we dozed on the way back home. That night we headed off to bed pretty early. Although first Denielle, Ness, Simon and I had a lovely meal at "Salt" - one of the hotel restaurants. It was really lovely. I had to tell my 5yo son about it... that there were frogs hopping around the floor of the restaurant whilst we were eating. When I told him, he couldnt beleive it, and announced "Mummy! I would love to go there and hug all those frogs!" Cute!
Back to our rooms to discover of course our next pillow gift! This time Im allowed to show you the outside, but not the inside of the box.... because of course there were some lovely new products from our soon-to-be-released Summer Mini Catalogue. Here is the box:
You might recognize it as one of our lovely new Big Shot storage boxes from our latest catalogue. I'm rather liking that!!! It was quite full of some great new stuff for us to play with.
So another wonderful day. I have to say that the River Rafting experience for me was one of the best things I have ever done. I would love to go again one day if I have the chance... although Im not sure I will ever get there again. But that's one of the aims of these group activities... SU try to engage us in activities that you wouldnt normally do. It was simply mind-blowing. Thank you Stampin Up! I am so proud to be associated with a company that values its demonstrators like they do.
I'll be back with more Incentive trip chat soon. xx