Saturday, July 28, 2012

Convention Gifts

Each year for Convention, I have a fun gift for members of my downline team and some close friends.
This year, I created a special journal in My Digital Studio for them  to use for notetaking and ideas.
Here's a photo of the cover:

I started with a pre-designed template and changed almost all of it to fit the Convention Experience. The ticket element says 2012 and Every Day is a new Adventure. The line of numbers running across the cover has a block around the days of Convention 18 - 21 and the Stampin' Up! tagline - inspire. create. share is on the Modern Label Punch image that was stretched to fit the words. I used the digital Antique Brads for highlights on the strip of tickets running from top to bottom.

Here's a look at the spine:

A simple inscription of "i am..... Stampin' Up! Convention 2012.

For the back, I used the Convention logo from the Demonstrator website and saved it as a .jpg photo file. It was easy to add to the journal and I simply changed the shape of the photo to get the oval.
Our Statement of the Heart is below the logo and a special inscription to my downline is in the banner below that.

For each team member and a few special friends, I created a hybrid card with MDS and traditional stamping supplies:

The  sentiment was an MDS download and I simply changed the color of the words to match the colors used in the journal. I printed out the MDS card front 4 to a page on my home printer and added them to a layer of Riding Hood Red cardstock on a card base of Soft Suede.
I used Not Quite Navy Ribbon for the wrap and bow and finished it off with a real Antique Brad. The inside of the card is stamped with the balloon image from the new You're Amazing stamp set.

As a team leader, I was so proud of my team members for taking time out of their lives to attend Convention and make a larger commitment to their Stampin' Up! businesses. It was a fantastic week and I hope they got much out of their experience.

Want to know more about My Digital Studio? You can check it out on my Stampin' Up! website and Online Store. There is a FREE 30 Day Trial and coming SOON is the upgraded My Digital Studio 2!
Here's the link: Robin's Online Stampin' Store
Simply click the Shop Now button at the top right corner to find the information on My Digital Studio. 

Let me know if you have questions or need assistance. MDS is a fantastic tool for all our paper crafting and I'm learning to embrace all that it has to offer us! I'd love to share that with you too.


Friday, July 27, 2012

Olympic Inspiration

Today's the DAY!

The London Olympics officially start TONIGHT!!
7:30PM est on NBC.
I can't WAIT!

I was driving Emma home from skating the other day and I mentioned to her how excited I was that this Friday is the Opening Ceremony for the London Olympics.
Now, this didn't necessarily excite her, nor may it send chills of anticipation running down your spine either, but I LOVE the Olympics. Winter, Summer, doesn't matter. I am riveted to the tv for those two weeks in time.

When I was a girl, the Olympics were a BIG event in my home. We only got three tv channels without the help of wire, aluminum foil and sometimes a speedy squirrel and thankfully, they played out on network tv. We didn't have to "pay per view" or "subscribe" or upgrade our cable - heck, there was no cable - to watch some of the worlds greatest, most passionate people have the privilege of participating in their chosen sport.

The fact that it only happened every four years made it "must see tv" in our home. And unlike that other event that happens every four years, the Olympics were a great source of pride in our country that brought us all together to cheer on the athletes who represented us. They made our hearts swell with emotion as we heard their stories, watched their competition and heard our National Anthem played when that elusive Gold Medal was earned.

So, I got to thinking.
Thinking about those athletes and musing about what got them to that particular moment in time. And when Emma asked me why I loved the Olympics so much, this is what I told her.

These athletes are the best each country has to offer and they all share one thing regardless of nation, race, religion, sex or education.

They all have a passion for what they believe in, for what they truly love and are made to do.

For these athletes, their talent is unmistakable.
Everyone talks about how talented they are, how gifted they are. They are called superhuman in some cases, incomparable in achievement. It's truly amazing to watch them in action.

But talent alone does not get them to the Olympics.

You can be the most talented ever at something, have it all come oh, so naturally to you. Seemingly effortless sometimes.
But without heart, courage, sacrifice, persistence and a dream, your talent alone will never be fully realized.

The athletes who make it to the Olympics (and many who don't), have taken a long, difficult journey to reach this pinnacle moment. Many sacrifices have been made along the way to pursue their passion - that thing they were made to do. And when, if, they do reach that golden moment, all the years of work, persistence and sacrifice make it all the more special because they know that they gave it their all and earned their ultimate prize. If that doesn't give you goosebumps then I don't know what will.

Now, consider this:
What is your passion?
What is your dream?
What do you believe in?
Do you know?
Do you work at it every day? Consistently? Persistently? Sometimes sacrificially?
Have you written it down?
Do you make it part of your regular thought patterns?

While we don't expect to earn an Olympic Gold Medal, we can reach the dreams, goals and desires we have in our hearts to reach.
Just like those Olympic athletes.
We can set measurable, concrete goals and work towards them consistently. Persistently.

Like those Olympic athletes, we will have bad days, difficult days. But, if we know our passion and are working towards our dreams and desires, the ultimate outcome of success is possible - even probable if we don't give up. And that in a nutshell is it - Never Give Up.
If you are truly doing what you are meant to do.
If you believe in yourself and embrace the knowledge that you CAN do anything you put your mind to.
If you work at it, yes, really work at it, then you can get there. You can reach that dream you have in your heart.

So, as we watch the best of the best these next few weeks - living their dream, pursuing their passion - let them inspire you to live yours.
And determine in your heart to Never Give Up.
You can do it.
Believe it.

See you tonight by the tv!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Convention Pics - Product Display Boards

One of my favorite things to look at during Convention are the display boards created by the Stampin' Up! creative team. They always come up with such unique ways to show off our products - it just blows me away.

Here are photos of the display boards and close ups of some particular items on them. The page numbers next to the titles refer to pages in the 2012-13 Stampin' Up! Catalog.
If you need a New Catalog and aren't currently working with another Stampin' Up! demonstrator, contact me. I'd be happy to fill that role for you.
To see a larger view of the whole board photos, just click on it and it will appear in a new window.

I thought the stuffed paper birds were really cool. They were sewn together, but could easily be done with Tombow Multi Adhesive as well.
The little banner of baby onesies was just too cute. What a great baby shower decoration!

Speaking of banners, check out the two banners in the Comfort Cafe Suite below. The new Oval Accent Bigz Die was used to cut the designer paper out then the pieces were folded over baker's twine.  


I really loved the gift packaging on this display. There are close ups of those pretty bows and fun packages below the large photo.

The Fan Fair product suite is by far my favorite in this year's catalog and I loved all the project displayed on this board. I know I have close up photos of some things, but I can't find them! When I do, I'll post them here too.

My favorites here were the big poufy flowers to the left of the title, the wreath below it and the bouquet at the far right. Bright, fun and scrumptious!

You guys are already familiar with Twitterpated, it was in the Occasions Mini earlier this year. Take a look at some more beautiful projects done with this very versatile suite of products.

The colors in the Summer Smooches just scream beach to me. I love the bright combinations! The large monogram "M" would be a fun project to do and I think I'm just gonna do it with the large "R" I have in the studio.
That button display would be a neat addition in that room too.....

If I had to pick a second favorite product suite this year, then International Bazaar would most likely be it. I love these combinations of patterns and colors. The two 12 x 12 layouts really caught my eye, but really, I liked everything on this board.

These paper lanterns are oh, so easy to make and really fresh with this designer paper.

I hope you enjoyed just a glimpse of the creativity that abounds at Convention. There's tons more to show you so stay tuned.
I've got a special post planned for you tomorrow and next I have some projects of my own to share.
See you here tomorrow!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Convention Pics - Creativity Overload!

If you ever want to be literally BLOWN AWAY with creativity - you need to attend a Stampin' Up! Convention with me.
Display after display, project after project - way to many to ever fully take in all of them.
But man, do we ever leave with inspiration!

 I'm showing you a lot of photos today and honestly, I don't know who most of the artists were because the displays aren't marked for us.
If you are one of them, please let me know and I'll do my best to credit you.

Birthday Ribbon (Michelle Suit)

Love this Canvas project!

Isn't this a cool way to scrapbook family photos?

I am making this storage box - so cool!

Great fall placecard project by Shannon West

Cute baby projects and Christmas stocking

Love these rosettes and flags from Memento Mall

Super framed family project by Max Conrad

Isn't this a cute party ensemble?  (Michelle Suit)

Just loved these gift projects (Michelle Suit)

I don't sew, but that Owl makes me wish I did!
Love the frame too!

I am making this, I am making this, I am making THIS!!

Unbelievable artistry!

Close up of the AMAZING wedding cake made by my downline Michelle Suit

Here's the whole thing:
She told me she had 46 hours of work in that cake alone. yeah. wow!

More of Michelle's cute projects.
Can you tell I'm a proud Mama?

And one more of Michelle's projects!

Ok, that's it for today!
All those ideas should hold you til tomorrow!

See you then,

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

More Convention Pics - Awards Night!

Happy Tuesday!

Well, the family is all back in the fold and last night we had some long overdue snuggle, tv and dessert time. Did I tell you how good it was to be back home?? :)

BUT...being at Convention with so many of my SU! family was awesome too. I already miss these gals so much, especially my bff Tiffany.

Today's convention pics concentrate on Awards Night and all the crazy fun we had there.
Most of you know that Tiffany has this huge honkin' camera that will practically cook your breakfast for you, so there isn't much need for me to have mine when she's with me. (that's really a good thing because I get so busy socializing that I forget to take the pictures!)

Anyway, she loves these crazy cool photo ops and here's our first one - in the bathroom of the hotel room after we got ready. Check us out!


It's kind of cool that we have reserved seating - kind of special when you're used to sitting in the back!

Here's Tiffany with her "date" our friend Michelle Thieriault; and me with my "date", another one of my besties Tara Bazata.


So many of us wore Royal Blue - we even matched the scenery! Apparently Lyssa didn't get the memo, but her soft green dress was lovely and perfect for her. (l to r: Brenda Marshall, Tiff, Lyssa Zwolanek, Me)


This year the stage set up didn't change for awards night, but I really love the shabby chic look of the set.

Tiffany is really excited about earning Fiji! 
Not so much about the long plane trip.....

Part of the fun of earning Founders Circle Honors (Top 100 company wide) is the unique bag we all recieve. Here's Diana Gibbs with hers:

I was pretty happy to have earned Founders Circle again this year...


Here is the group of 10 I was called to the stage with:

L to R Bottom Row: Ruth Bingle, Me, Jo Golden, Susan Elise Morton, Shelli Gardner
L to R Top Row: Sharon McNeely, Jennifer Gulch, Connie Stewart, Jan Burnett, Lori Staley

And yes, I do love my bag! Just so glad that Tiffany didn't take a photo of me dancing with it right after this one! LOL!

Here I am with my friend Melissa who works for SU! I met Melissa the year I presented with Karah Crosby at Convention and I just love her - she is always so upbeat and fun! On check-in day, she was the one who gave me my notice that I'd earned Founders Circle and the little stinker told me later that she knew it before she called me up to her booth. She did a good acting job because I had no clue! 
Tonight, she got all dressed up for Awards Night and she was drop dead gorgeous!  I love this photo:

I was blessed to have one of my downline and one of my honorary downlines at Awards Night with me. L to R: Me, Michelle Suit and Rose-Ellen Eastman.

Now for the good stuff - dessert!
How do you choose???

Apparently, you don't!

So, a la Academy Awards, we had our own "Red Carpet" for Awards Night. Tiffany turned her camera over to a stranger (gasp!) to get our photo together:

For a couple of gals who are pretty non-diva we faked it pretty good!

It's just the best thing in the world to have a great friend who gets you in every way and who you can completely be yourself with. I'm a very lucky gal.

Shelli opened convention on Thursday morning with this quote and I'll leave it here with you:

Have a wonderful, THANKFUL day friends!
More pics tomorrow!