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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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
Wednesday, 19 October 2011
Wow! What a fabulous time we had in Fiji! I think I am still on "Fiji Time"..... and anyone that has been to Fiji will understand that means I am still pretty relaxed, and even a few days after my return I haven't completely succumbed to my frantic lifestyle. And in their usual style, Stampin'Up made us feel very special... I guess you could say spoiled... and I so love being involved with a company who go to so much trouble to make sure we feel valued and rewarded for what we do. It's an amazing thing.. and I am so glad to be part of that!
So... here is a summary of the first couple of days of our trip. This year my travelling partner was Denielle Bernauer, and to say we had a good time together would be the understatement of the century. Denielle is in my wonderful team of demonstrators, so its great to get along so well with someone that you also work with! Our flight was due to leave at 11am on the first day so we had stayed at an airport hotel the night before.. Simon and Vanessa Webb collected us from the hotel and we boarded our flight very excited to be on our way. I haven't been through customs or anywhere that requires a passport for quite a few years, so it was a real adventure for me. I love airports, flying and everything about the actual trip... so I was already happy. The fact that I got to share the flight with many of my demonstrator friends made it extra special.
The very first thing you see and hear in Nadi airport when you arrive is the troupe of strumming, singing Fijians welcoming you to Fiji! I love those guys! We had only a short transfer to our gorgeous hotel.. the Sofitel on Denarau Island. What a gorgeous hotel... its right on the beach, and everything is just beautiful. The weather was warm but not too humid - it feels tropcial, and storms nearly every afternoon, but it was perfect. Here are a few pictures of where we stayed:
View out the window
We were told to wait in our rooms to be collected for the welcome Dinner on the first night. But there was a mix-up with the rooms and we waited, and we waited, and waited. Finally they found us! We were only 45 mins late... our "collection party" consisted of two big Fijian men in their war paints and costume... who introduced themselves with a loud and somewhat scary "BULA!!!" Denielle nearly jumped out of her skin! I was worried about being late... but one of the men assured me that "No-one is ever late in Fiji!" Hmmmm.... I think I could learn to like that philosophy!
Of course our dinner was amazing... there were some wonderful Fijian specialities to try, and we were serandaded by a great group of Fijians during the meal:
One of the fun things was giving Shelli her first birthday gifts from us all.... her birthday was the day before the trip... so Denielle had made a couple of sets of her gorgeous Beveled Window Frame jewellery for her.. and Shelli loved it, so that was fun. We also had the singers do a Fijian version of "Happy Birthday" which was loveLy. We were given a talk by a Fijian gentleman who gave us the "do's" and "dont's" in Fiji.. the "Dont's" really stuck with me... they are:
1. Dont Rush
2. Dont Run
3. Dont worry
The other thing he explained were some useful Fijian words, and how to say them. "BULA" is the main greeting... and everyone says it to everyone! And you aren't supposed to say it quietly either. :-) "Vinaka" is "Thanks".. or "Vinaka Vaka Levu" is "Thank you very much". We used those a LOT.
After such an early start we were all pretty tired so that was the end of our day... and we had to be up early for the following morning's River Rafting Adventure!!! More on that one later! But I was pretty excited to get back to our room anyway because there was of course waiting for me the first of my "Pillow Gifts":
My "Baravi" Bag (Beach bag)... which I took nearly everywhere with me whilst I was in Fiji. I'm sure it's going to get lots of use! How lucky are we... I loved all our gifts each day! I'll try to show you all the stuff we got (except for the upcoming product that I'm not allowed to show you just yet ;-)
I'll be back soon with another installment... glad to be able to share this one with you!
Friday, 14 October 2011
I had prepared a great post for you when I was in Fiji... but then I couldnt get my photos to upload on the Hotel Computer (that would be user error I'm thinking). Never mind... I'm back on deck today, and will be uploading photos from the trip for you over the next few days.
So just a quick one today.. I promised I would show you my swaps when I could... so now that I have handed them out, here they are. I used the beautiful Mocha Morning paper of course (RRP$24.95) to create these cards... how can you go wrong when you use gorgeous paper like that? And yes, there is flocking on the paper, so they not only look good, they feel good too :-)
Suffice to say that I had a wonderful time.. the weather was humid but not too hot, just lovely. The highlight so far for me (although its hard to pick just one!)was our River rafting adventure down the Upper Navua river on Thursday... I truly felt as though I was in another world. I promise to come back and post photos for you to see... truly amazing!
For now, here are my swaps, and I will pop back with more when I can. xxx
Here is the card closed:
This is one of my favourite card folds... sometimes you will hear it called a "Joy Fold". The next two pics show how it opens up:
And now completely open:
I hope you like it! They were lots of fun to make :-)
Tuesday, 11 October 2011
Well I'm off to Fiji in less than half an hour to be part of this year's Stampin'Up Incentive Trip! (We don't fly til tomorrow morning, but I'm heading down to Sydney now and staying the night)'I am busting to show you all my swaps for the trip, but dont want to spoil the surprise for the other girls on the trip so I wont show you for a few days.
But in the meantime I can show you what my Stamp Club girls got up to last month... these are the new Petal Cone die, made up into a little box. But what makes them special is that there are covered in fabric! And not just any fabric either... this particular one is the new "Timeless Portrait" fabric that just happens to match our lovely Designer Series Paper pack by the same name. I love how everything matches don't you??
These were actually pretty easy to make. First you adhere your fabric on to a piece of our Multipurpose Adhesive sheets. Then peel the back off the adhesive sheet, and attache a piece of cardstock the same size. Then you run the whole thing through the Big Shot in whatever shape you wish... I used the Petal Cone because its my new favourite die (this month anyway!). And then I just folded along the pre-made score lines (yes the Big Shot does that for you too) and made it into this cute box.
Finally those that came to classes and workshops last month will remember that I ran a little competition to win a $50 voucher. (Every $50 spent in September got you another ticket in the draw) And today I have drawn the winner and it is.... (drum roll please....)
Congratulations Patricia!!! Well done!
I'll be in touch when I get back from Fiji and you can let me know what freebies you would like to "spend" your $50 on!
Thanks for everyone that ordered last month.. it was a great month for me and a great way to celebrate my 5 year anniversary with SU! Thank you to all my lovely customers and team... without you guys I wouldnt get to do wonderful things like go to Fiji. :-) Who knows? Maybe I will be able to make it to next year's trip to Broome! Fingers crossed!
Here are a few more of the Fabric Petal Cones that the girls made... in all different colours! I thought they looked great together so had to take a photo. Enjoy!!
Thursday, 6 October 2011
Ok... its Ribbon Share time again. This time I have picked two of my new favourite ribbons... the Seam Binding ribbons, and the In-color Ruffled ribbons. You can see the gorgeous Seam Binding ribbon used on the above card... this one is in "Cherry Cobbler" - its just yummy! One of the best things about it is how easily it ties! I'll pop up a photo of the ruffled ribbons for you real soon.
Here is how it works. You love the new ribbons.. I know you do! ;-) But you hesitate because you dont really need the 9.1m of ribbon that is on each roll... and how on earth will you decide between all those gorgeous colours, and if you buy each one, wow that's a lot of money. Well.. with a ribbon share you avoid all those issues, and end up with all the colours, but for a fraction of the price. If you want to see the ribbons, turn to page 138-39 of your new Idea Book and Catalogue. Or click HERE to see a new catty.
I will divide the ribbons up for you... this time we are going to do a quarter-share of each ribbon colour. Which works out to be approximately 2.27m per colour.
The Seam Binding Ribbons (all 7 colours) will be available for $24 (approximately 2.27m of each colour). This figure includes postage.
The Ruffled ribbon (all 5 colours) will be available for $25 for each quarter roll, including postage.
Or buy both the Seam Binding share, and the Ruffled ribbon share for $45, and get a good deal!
So who's in? Please contact me at email@example.com to be part of the share. Let me know whether which share you would like to receive, or both. I need 4 people for each share to get started. I will order these ribbons over the next couple of weeks and wind the share up before the end of October. Please note that I will email you back to confirm that I have received your email - I would hate you to miss out on this. This means if don't respond, I haven't received your email.
Now don't forget that I will be in Fiji on the Stampin' Up! Incentive trip next week from Tuesday 11th October and back on board on Monday 17th October. So I wont be able to reply to your emails during this time. I will be placing another order before I go, so please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have anything you need. Oh... and dont forget too our fantastic Simply Stocking promotion this month! Click HERE for more details about that! Love it!
Saturday, 1 October 2011
In October we have a fabulous promotion for you to all share in. Introducing the "Stitched Stockings" stamp set, and co-ordinating punch! You will be able to purchase these items in October ahead of its release in the next Mini Catalogue in December. Or, if you host a workshop in October with sales of $450 or more you will automatically receive both of these items for free! Woo hoo!!!
I've quickly whipped up a simple little card here for you so that you can see what they look like... but for a better look at all the stamps and punch, click HERE. The wood-mounted set will retail for $53.95, and the clear-mount will retail for $42.95. The punch will be $33.95. So for you girls who are already booked into my diary.... how cool is that? Because you guys have the opportunity to get them for free. :-)
We will be using these stamps and punch at next week's stamp-a-stack on Wednesday 5th October at 11am, and I still have spots free at this point if you would like to join us. Contact me at email@example.com to reserve your spot.
I also wanted to issue a last call for anyone out there wanting to be part of the Big Shot club, or the Accessories club. I currently have one space left in each club... we are starting this next week. There are heaps of benefits to being in the club... click HERE to read more about it. Or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.