Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Phew... Another Cape Cod Creative Escape in the Books!

Hello there! It's Wednesday and we just wrapped up the fourth (!) Cape Cod Creative Escape this past weekend. I think three days later, I've finally recovered!

I never got a real good shot of our room with everyone in it... but imagine this little ballroom filled to the max with creativity and a bunch of super creative women... yup, that about sums up my weekend.

We had a great time -- 60 attendees, and loads of helpers. We had a "Home for the Holidays" theme this year complete with presents under the tree, Christmas music and a big Gift Giveaway to wrap it all up. Here are a few highlights from the weekend.

This was how the table looked when they arrived... one of the perks of Cape Cod Creative Escape is a goody bag filled with $50 worth of brand new Stampin' Up product. Since we had a "Home for the Holidays" theme we decided to wrap each one of those goody bag items and put it under the tree! So fun to see all the wide-eyed faces as they arrived :)

This was the Gift Giveaway/Prize Patrol tree. Each time I called someone's name they got to pick a present from under this tree. It was super fun to watch them lift and shake all the presents -- for those that don't like surprises (or didn't want to get something they already owned), I told them they could turn the gift over to reveal what was inside!

Throughout the weekend Cape Cod Creative Escape attendees get "pillow gifts" - hand-stamped gifts just to spoil them. This welcome "pillow gift" was certainly a good one -- the lovely Joanne made over 60 pillow boxes using the pillow box die, while Miss Anna volunteered to make dozens and dozens of homemade cookies (each attendee got three!) -- and they were yummy!

 This was pillow gift #2 - one of two product-themed pillow gifts...

Cape Cod Creative Escape isn't designed for weight loss, unfortunately. Pillow Gift #3 included some yummy Kettle Corn Popcorn... a yummy after dinner snack.

Of course in between pillow gifts and presents there were classes and make and takes... above was a shot of one of our make and take sessions and below was some "posing" during the Hello December album class.

Pillow Gift #4 was a challenge -- those that took the challenge were required to make a Christmas tag using all of the elements included in this cello bag. Each person got a different tag (we split up the product in the Oh What Fun Tag Kit in the 2015 Holiday Catalog). It was really fun to see what everyone came up with. Unfortunately, I never took a photo of the full table of tags. I think my niece did so I'll have to update this post with her picture!

We also had some "Make in your Seat" projects that everyone could do with just the products included in their goody bag and a few basic tools like adhesive and black ink.

Two of the amazing Cape Cod Creative Escape helpers -- Helene & Joanne. It was thanks to them that all the presents got wrapped!!

Another yummy treat! Saturday night I brought in some delicious double-dipped pretzel rods from Stephanie's Sweet Treats. Oh gosh were these good! (I had to do quality control, you know :)

Sisters Marie & Barbara enjoying their pretzels!

On Sunday we did a Last Chance Gift Giveaway where we had some amazing products to give out... including a full set of Marvelous Markers, several bundles and the Watercolor Wishes card kit - among other things... so fun!

Pillow Gifts #5 and #6 were also product-based goodies... Unfortunately, the weekend had to eventually come to an end (I must admit I was a bit ready for that -- I only slept 12 hours in three nights!). Overall, though, another successful event. As much work as this event is and as tired as I get (staying up until 3AM and getting up at 8 catches up with a girl as she gets older!), it is truly one of my favorite events. We have so much fun spoiling everyone and my favorite part is being together in one room for three days... it's always great to catch up with these amazing ladies... some of them I don't see but this one time each year!

So thank you all for attending Cape Cod Creative Escape -- and watch your inbox for details and dates for the Spring edition in March or April. What? You're not on my mailing list?? Well, let's fix this... just click on the "Sign up for My Newsletter" link in the right hand column and you'll be "in the know!"

Okay... I've got lots of thank you cards to catch up on and a team meeting to prep for... so I'm off for now!

Be sure to visit again soon...

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Stampin' Up Founder's Circle Event: Swap Card

So I promised I'd come back and share with you the swap card I made for the Founder's Circle event last week in St. George, Utah. I felt there was a little pressure with this as it's the top 100 demonstrators in the country! And while, I normally make cards for classes and events that are easy to copy and duplicate, this one I wanted to "step up" a bit.

So here it is...

I used the new Lighthearted Leaves set from the 2015 Stampin' Up Holiday Catalog. It is my new favorite for sure. If you love to color, then this set is for YOU! It's so beautiful. I thought I'd share a few more swaps that I received that also used this set:

The one above is designed by Kelly Acheson. It doesn't show all that well in the photograph, but all the black parts are black embossed. And I'm totally in love with the new corrugated paper. Have you see it?

This colorful one was designed by Linda Heller. I love the layering. And the Cherry Cobbler baker's twine layered on the Hello Honey linen ribbon? Beautiful... and something I would have never thought to do!

Finally, below is one more card... this was actually my Founder's Circle "reject" card. And while I don't hate it, it just wasn't "enough" I guess for me swap with the top 100. It must be because the coloring wouldn't have been so intense... or perhaps because it would have been waaay easier! ;) I still really like this one, too, though:

What do you think? Did I make the right choice? I don't know... now that I'm looking at it again, I kind of like this one, too. And, I don't really think it would have been too much easier -- that white embossed frame would have had to be hand cut!

Anyway, you can find all the supplies I used on my Founder's Circle card below (the top card in this post).

Built for Free Using: My Stampin Blog

Friday, September 25, 2015

Stampin' Up Founder's Circle Event: Day 2

So it was over a week ago now that I actually jumped off a cliff in St. George, Utah. Jet lag really had me down for the count this week. I've been struggling with vertigo and just a general sense of I don't want to do anything. That is problematic when you've got a full schedule!

Anyway, I probably won't give you a full play by play of the rest of my trip -- since I've already been home for almost a week - and it would probably take 14 posts. And who wants to read all of that?? But I did want to share a few more things (mostly because I want it documented for when I get to my Project Life album for Founder's Circle!) so hopefully you'll stick around...

Anyway, on my first full day at Founder's Circle I decided to jump off a cliff! Well, not really, I ziplined across a gorge...same thing, right? It was funny because Tami (in the black) was the first to zip across and I was sitting on the rock (maybe in the fetal position) waiting for my turn. When she was finished, I just yelled, "I'm next!" Because I knew if I didn't do it then and had to listen to the guide say things like "Don't touch this" and "Don't do this or you'll pull Matt off the cliff" two more times that I'd never get up the nerve to do it!

I don't know how often I've talked about it here since we don't really have any snakes to be worried about in the Northeast, but I actually have a pretty severe phobia of snakes. So when we first step out of the truck and started climbing up the mountain, all of our instincts were to go to the edge of the gorge and see how far down it was. Well, Todd, one of our guides (and the owner of Paragon Adventures), said you're all making me nervous so close to the edge, especially with it being rattlesnake season and all... umm, what? That would have been nice to tell us BEFORE we left the safety of the office!! I'll tell you what, though. One way to get a bunch of women to listen to what you have to say... tell them it's rattlesnake season! I don't think any of us strayed more than a foot away from them for the rest of the adventure!

Well, the best way for me to tell you the rest of this story is for you to watch my video (yup! We got a video -- how cool is that!). Now, when it appears that I "trip" over a rock... that was actually me noticing a whole in the ground (snake-size) and jumping over it saying, "What is that hole??" I told you, I have some serious concerns around snakes... particularly snakes that can poison me. The guide thought it would be helpful to tell us that we have a 50/50 chance in getting a no-venom bite. Um, not the time I want to gamble, Todd. :)

So here you go... check it out!

So for the remainder of day 2, we just "hung" out (ha ha) and chit chatted with each other and checked out the hospitality room (full of treats all day, every day!) until it was time for the pajama party swap and business share.

First let me show you the hospitality room:

Crazy, right? The candy and display items were up 24/7 and that special treat table changed every day... this day it happened to be a table of meats, cheeses and fruits.

That night, as I said, was pajama party and business share night. We each made a swap to share and then a bunch of the demonstrators stood up and share business tips. We even got a little booklet of tips that each of us shared with Stampin' Up upon learning we were among the top 100 demonstrators. That's a gold mine of information let me tell you (you can see it in the photo below). So here's some photos of the swapping, meeting and of course, the treats after the event!

The long line of swappers "snaked" all the way through the lobby, down the hall and around the hospitality room! There were 110 of us after all!

It was pretty exciting, too, because I realized last night that I made it to Shelli Gardner's blog, too (Her daughter Sara is the interim CEO and President and attended Founder's Circle, so she was the one posting). You can check that out here! So exciting.

Well that's probably enough babbling for one day.... I'll share my Founder's Circle swap with you next time... Thanks for sharing this with me... can you tell I'm so excited that I earned this opportunity... AND I get to do this all again on the Mediterranean Cruise in May! Honestly, joining Stampin' Up was the BEST DECISION I EVER MADE! You should consider joining me!

Monday, September 21, 2015

Stampin' Up Founder's Circle Event: Day 1

 I don't even know where to begin to document my four days in St. George, Utah for Stampin' Up's annual Founder's Circle Event. It's an exclusive all-expense paid trip to southern Utah for the top 100 demonstrators in the country. And I am still pinching myself that it actually happened. It was a little bittersweet as this was the last year to earn this incentive event so it was my first and last time to Founder's Circle.

Even so, it was truly a once-in-a-lifetime event. I'll admit it got off to a little bit of a bad start. This picture was of me on Wednesday evening. I was supposed to be joining my fellow achievers at a pool-side party to celebrate our achievement. Unfortunately, my plane got delayed in Providence so I didn't make it in time to catch the bus to St. George so I had to wait for a shuttle to take me instead. Fortunately, the wonderful Jennifer Kruse stayed with me (I wish I got a picture with her!!) and I arrived to the hotel just in time for the first timers meeting, where we each shared what we thought we did differently that got us to this point in our business. It was really fun to get to know these other "newbies." In fact, there were 14 of us that earned Founder's Circle for the first time this year.

I can't even get over how awesome everyone was... it was not "clique-y" at all. Whether it was their first or 14th (yes, there were actually two demonstrators who have earned the trip all 14 times!) time at Founder's Circle they were so welcoming and willing to share. I just wish I had more time to spend whether everyone so I could have met and chatted with each and every person.

The friendships and networking were really the best part of this trip, but boy does Stampin' Up know how to spoil you! After the first timers meeting I came up to my room to find this HUGE piece of yummy chocolate cake and my hand painted "place card" from the pool party table. I guess they thought I needed some extra chocolate after the long day I had! :)

Of course, every night of Founder's Circle includes a little pillow gift, too! It's so fun to go to bed each night to race upstairs and find what is waiting for you. For night one it was a bag of goodies from the not-even-released Occasions catalog. I can't show you what was in there, but this is a picture of the presentation...

Isn't it cute? The hotel was awesome, too. We stayed at the Courtyard Marriott in St. George, Utah. I would definitely recommend you stay there if you're ever there. It was a great hotel and they were so sweet. The housekeeping staff left us little notes each night (whenever they switched housekeepers) and when we left the management even gave us a little "pillow gift!" It was a cute little key chain flashlight and chocolate.

My claim to fame for the whole weekend was being "the one who came late" as apparently they announced me as a first timer at the pool party, but of course I was not there to stand... it's okay, though, it was a great ice breaker! Here are a few more photos from my first day in Utah... I'll be back to share more soon.

The first housekeeper mixed up the notes... I had my friend Angela Waters note, she had mine... still a sweet gesture, though! :)

Hey look! That's me! :)

Hope you had a nice weekend. Today was a pretty fall-ish day here on the Cape. I hope that doesn't stick around yet. I'm not quite done with summer yet!

Before I go, just want to let you know that the October Paper Pumpkin kit will be in an adorable bright pink box and will support Breast Cancer research with every active subscription. Stampin' Up will donate $1 for every active subscriber next month AND $2 for every NEW subscriber to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. So if you haven't joined, you'll definitely want to! Who doesn't love a fun pre-designed, pre-cut crafting kit in their mailbox every month! Click here to join before the cut-off date, October 10.

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