A Few More Incentive Trip Thoughts and Photos. . . .

I’m back in town and realized that when Sara guest blogged last week about our international incentive trip, we didn’t post some of the pictures from our first evening and welcome reception. I wanted to share those photos and I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to personally recognize and thank our international demonstrators for all they do!

I loved spending some time with them, and was disappointed when I had to leave the party early! Thanks, ladies, for understanding and for your great enthusiasm and hard work.


I’ve had a few people ask about where I went and what opportunity we were exploring. Not ready to talk about it yet, but it was a productive few days that definitely helped us identify ways we can be creative and innovative about sharing Stampin’ Up! with others.


Welcoming Demonstrators to the West

Note: At convention last week I mentioned that we are committed to being creative and innovative in sharing Stampin’ Up! with new people. This week, Stampin’ Up! had an unexpected opportunity to do something innovative and exciting, and because of the nature of this opportunity, the only time we could explore it was this week/weekend. Consequently, I ended up leaving our international incentive trip early. The departure was unplanned, and I was disappointed to not be able to spend this time with our international demonstrators, but they were very kind and understanding. I asked Sara to guest blog about the incentive trip for me. . . .

We said goodbye this morning to our international demonstrators who had earned this year’s incentive trip to Utah! What a great few days we’ve had with them!

Many of them arrived in Utah early to attend Convention 2013 last week. Those who didn’t come early were all here by Sunday evening, where we gathered at the gorgeous St. Regis in Park City for our welcome dinner on an outside deck of the hotel. The dinner was spectacular—yummy food, amazing surroundings (hotel in the mountains), and the best company ever!

Monday and Thursday were both free days, which our demonstrators filled with shopping, sightseeing (a river trip, Olympic Park, walking through historic Park City, etc.), and relaxing. These ladies know how to shop—many bought an extra suitcase just to take home all their goodies (pillow gifts, convention prize patrols and giveaways, and shopping finds)! Monday night was a swap, which included more visiting; it was great to see our demonstrators from all over the world getting to know each other better.

Tuesday and Wednesday we had organized day trips—Tuesday we visited our Riverton home office and Wednesday they flew to southern Utah to tour the Kanab facility. Many of the demonstrators commented that those two trips were highlights for them. They were greeted at the Riverton home office by employees cheering them as they walked through the door. . . an emotional welcome for many. They toured the home office, did Make & Takes, and got to visit with our employees and put names with faces.

On Wednesday, we chartered a flight to St. George (made the news—it was the largest plane to land in the St. George airport!) and then drove our demonstrators to Kanab, where they got to tour the manufacturing facility and see where our stamps begin. They also enjoyed a BBQ in Kanab and got to fly over several southern Utah parks and sightseeing destinations.

Thursday night was a fantastic final event at a ranch in Heber—the perfect Western setting for our last event together. We had “Utah” food (Utah-grown beef, Utah trout, Utah heirloom tomatoes. . . everything raised or grown in Utah), fried doughnuts and s’mores over the fire, country music, and line dancing—we had a ball! 

I enjoyed catching up with demonstrators I’d met before and meeting other demonstrators for the first time. They were an amazing group—so gracious and appreciative and friendly. Their energy was high, and they clearly love what they are doing!

Mom and I were especially excited to host our demonstrators here in Utah, a wonderful opportunity to show them our home. They got to see so much that Utah has to offer. . .gorgeous mountains, awesome red rocks, our roots in Kanab, and our home in Riverton. And even more importantly, two amazing groups of people—our Stampin’ Up! demonstrators and our Stampin’ Up! employees—got to get to know each other a little bit better.




What a Party!

What a fabulous, fun 25th-anniversary party!

We had a wonderful time. I don’t want to try to capture everything, because as soon as I start mentioning specifics, I’m sure I’ll forget someone and something important. But everything from the decor and entertainment to the presenters and prize patrols (WAY MORE than we’ve ever had before—every demonstrator received a prize patrol PLUS four all-attendee giveaways), Convention 2013 was amazing!

I had talked before about how we were going to change things up for this event, and I was tickled pink at the new and innovative things that were planned—I thought our staff did a great job! We didn’t do everything perfectly, and we’ll be relying on surveys and feedback as we plan for next year’s convention, but it was definitely a wonderful 25th-anniversary celebration.

We had almost-6,000 demonstrators and guests (even some from our international markets) join us; we honored the 25 demonstrators in attendance who have been with us the longest. We set a world record and participated in a service project and danced and sang karaoke and recognized high-achieving demonstrators and watched great presentations and tried new products. . . and on and on. I won’t go into any more detail—I’ll let the photos (and there are a LOT!) do the talking—but thanks to all for the fun time!







Let the Party Begin!

We just finished the opening session of Convention 2013—almost 6,000 demonstrators here in Salt Lake City gathered together to help us celebrate our 25th anniversary. It was extra special because our entire family (girls, spouses, AND grandchildren) joined us for a special opening. The grandchildren loved experiencing it all for the first time. . .

I am so excited for the next two days as we all party together. I’ll let you all know how it went on Sunday!



Another Q&A

Way past time for a Q&A, isn’t it? As always, suggestions for new products, ideas for opening new markets, and information or questions for demonstrator support have all been passed on to appropriate departments.  And if you’d like to make sure those types of things get passed on faster than I do it (since I don’t do Q&A’s very often), you’re welcome to e-mail Stampin’ Up! at ds@stampinup.com anytime. Now let’s get to those questions. . .

You talked about intense muscle therapy and have not updated that process. The hope is that it continues to work in all the right ways. And your horse had a sore leg; what's the update there? Not good to leave us hanging!

I’m still doing the intense muscle therapy, usually twice a week. I can fix my own hair and dress myself and do most of the yoga postures, so I can’t complain. And Kadie is also doing much better as well. I’ve taken her out on several shorter rides, and the vet has given her a clean bill of health. So I’m happy with the progress both of us are making. . .

Is Kadie an Arabian? And what does an endurance ride entail?

Yes, Kadie is an Arabian. And endurance rides vary in distance, length, and location, and are put on by different ride managers. I do the limited-distance rides (25 miles a day); real hard-core endurance riders do 50-100 miles a day. Sterling and I prefer to do the multiday rides, but we don’t ride on Sundays. I have loved getting into endurance riding, and I can see us doing this for years!

So sorry to hear about your shoulder pain; is this a stamping/ repetitive motion injury?

I don’t know exactly when or how this injury occurred. Just started hurting one day. It’s definitely not a result of repetitive motion. In fact, more than once I’ve been told that shoulder injuries are often emotional injuries, from “carrying the weight of a burden you don’t want to handle.” I don’t know that I’m carrying any burdens any heavier than anyone else. . . in fact, I’ve always felt incredibly blessed. So I don’t know if there’s any merit to that type of explanation, but I am feeling much better!

Lake Powell looks like so much fun! What is the water temperature there—it must be so cold! Can you all fit on one household?

Lake Powell is fabulous—the best vacation ever! We usually go in June, when the water temperatures are in the low ‘70s; this year was particularly warm and the temps were in the upper ‘70s. The temperatures don’t usually get much warmer than that, but it’s perfect. . . never too hot, never too cold, just the right temperature to be refreshing in the hot summer sun!

We no longer fit on one houseboat—we need two. Works out great. . . we have one boat for the early-to-bed, early-to-rise crowd (adults and babies) and one boat for the late-to-bed, late-to-rise crowd (our older kids). It’s the perfect solution. . .

What camera do you use?

I’ve been asked this before, and once upon a time, I knew the answer. For years, however, Jon and Sean have been taking most of my photos, and they use all kinds of different cameras. When (and if) I take a  picture, I just take it with my iPhone.

I noticed one of the projects you shared with us was a scrapbook page. Since Stampin Up! doesn't carry albums and page protectors anymore, how are you storing these pages?

We only discontinued our albums in this current Annual Catalog, so we’ve carried albums for years (although the sizes we’ve offered have varied). And currently, we offer a specialty album in our Holiday Catalog, and have offered specialty albums regularly through the years.

I’m hoping we’ll continue to offer those specialty albums—I have no desire to buy one from anyone else! The decision to continue to carry albums depends on sales, so I’m just hoping we’ll sell enough albums to warrant carrying a least a small line of albums! Help me out!

I’d love to hear about your creative process. Do you have ideas pop into your head and then translate them to paper easily? Or do you have to fiddle a lot with your projects? I’ve love to hear how you create. . .

I am definitely a believer in CASE-ing! I see things I love and copy them—and don’t feel guilty about it at all! Imitation is the greatest form of flattery, you know. When I do CASE something, I try to always give credit where credit is due if I share it, and I often modify things a bit; I seldom CASE exactly.

For my Stampin’ Up! presentations and assignments, I often work with a concept artist; most of us do. We share ideas and brainstorm, and then the concept artist creates the project, and I’ll often “fiddle” with it a bit.

Where is the "No Matter What" stamp from (shown on a card in the first batch of projects from the South Pacific convention)? I’ve looked everywhere and can’t find it.

It’s from the Petite Pairs Stamp Set in our annual catalog.

I just bought the Ex Libris stamp because I loved your card so much (also from the first batch of projects shown from the South Pacific convention). How did you get it to look like a worn book?

I always follow the same process when I want something to look distressed or worn, which is often. (I love that look!). First, I make sure that I don’t ink the stamp thoroughly; I’ll just tap the stamp on the pad off and on so it’s not completely inked. Then when I stamp, I don’t press firmly on the whole stamp; I apply uneven pressure on the stamp. Sometimes, if I’m using dark ink, I’ll stamp off first. That’s always the process I follow to create a worn look. . .

I haven’t noticed any So Shelli Collection products lately. Have you discontinued marking your favorite products with your signature heart?

You’re observant! I think we announced the discontinuing of the Shelli Signature products in a current update, but it’s been quite awhile. I enjoyed choosing those favorite products, but it ended up being quite a lengthy process. I had to identify products quite far in advance because of the packaging and marketing requirements and I had to limit myself (which I hated—if I had my way, those hearts would have been on half the products in the catalog!). We had to make sure there was a diverse number of products (stamps and accessories) and even a variety of styles. Ultimately, we just decided that it wasn’t worth the effort. So if you’ve got a Shelli Signature product, it’s a keeper!

I am interested in working with Stampin' Up! Where would I find out about job openings?

All our job openings are listed on our website; here’s the link: http://www.stampinup.com/home/employment

Loved the idea of the biodegradable pots for your spring baskets for the grandchildren. Where did you find those baskets, and how did you attach the handles?

I bought the pots at Home Depot, but I’ve seen them at several home and garden stores. And I stapled the handles onto the baskets. Glad you liked the idea!

That's it for this round. Thanks for reading and asking questions--I love to your comments!


New in 2013 Creative Challenge

It’s been months since I stopped posting a monthly creative challenge, but when I announced that I would no longer be having a monthly challenge, I mentioned that I may still have occasional challenges when the opportunity presented itself. Well, what better opportunity than the release of a new catalog and TONS of fun new products to play with? So I thought it was the perfect time for a New in 2013 Creative Challenge.

For those who have participated before, you know the drill. For those who don’t, it’s simple: Create a project using something from our new annual catalog, then share it as a comment (be sure to include a visual or link) on the blog so we can all be inspired together.

I’ll keep the challenge open until the end of the month, then choose a few winners. Winners will receive a free stamp set of their choice from a current catalog in their market. Let the creating begin. . . .

A Perfect Way to Celebrate

Yesterday was a special day—Shelby and Ashton got baptized and confirmed members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints!  

We had a family luncheon afterwards—it’s been quite awhile since we’ve had the family together at our house. We missed Megan and Nate’s family, but everyone else was there, along with several extended family members, including grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins.

Spending time together was the perfect way to celebrate Shelby’s and Ashton’s choice to follow Christ. The service was brief (less than an hour) and sweet. Teenagers from our ward (congregation) said the prayers, led the music, and gave the talks; I loved seeing these young people do such a great job in such important roles.

We’re proud of all our grandchildren, and were excited to honor Shelby and Ashton! (Loved the photo—cutest pic ever, right?)

Best of Shelli Projects--Round 2

Here is the 2nd round of projects featuring this month's "Best of. . . " stamp set, which happens to be the best of some of my favorite images through the years.

See the first batch and read more about my thoughts about this set here.

And then check the set out itself here.

In the meantime, enjoy these projects ideas. . .

Sharing a Personal Belief

Sterling and I attended the funeral for his niece’s husband a few days ago, and I wanted to share a few thoughts I had. My intent is not to offend but to share a few personal beliefs on my personal blog; I trust you understand.

First of all, the funeral was a beautiful tribute to an outstanding man. Steve died quite young—he was only in his early 50s. He had suffered from health problems his entire life, and most of his adult life he was both blind and deaf. Despite these challenges, he worked hard to create a successful career and, even more importantly, an exemplary family. He had three children—all grown now—who spoke at his funeral, and each of them spoke about what an amazing father he was and how much they learned from him.

In fact, all the speakers commented on how positive Steve was; how despite his health challenges, he didn’t complain; how he taught them to never give up and to make the best out of whatever life situation they found themselves in. And that’s certainly one of the things I learned from Steve. He truly did exemplify enduring to the end like few people I know. He lived with constant pain, chronic disabilities, and lifelong challenges, yet he managed to stay faithful and upbeat. . .

The second thought I had was how grateful and humbled I am to know that life doesn’t end at death, that we will see and be with those we love even after this life. Steve’s family—his wife, his children, their spouses, and his five grandchildren—will definitely miss him and, even with the knowledge that they will see him again, grieve him. But as they grieve, they will also be comforted with the knowledge that Steve is in a better place, in a perfect body, seeing and hearing his grandchildren for the first time!

That’s an amazing thought, and I felt so much comfort and peace this weekend as I reflected on my beliefs that, after this life, our bodies can be made whole and our families can be together. Just wanted to share. . . .