Friday, July 22, 2011

Convention 2011!

The Stampin' Up! Convention is truly a highlight of the year! I always look forward to going because I connect with old friends that I only get to see at Stampin' Up! events because we live all over the United States! Seeing the snow-covered mountains and all the beauty that Utah has to offer is another reason why I love to go!
My sister and I (Pam is in the back left) jumped in a shuttle and made some new friends on the way to the hotel! Sorry, gals, I don't remember your names, but we were all so excited about attending the convention and spirits were high!
One thing we all look forward to at the convention is going through Memento Mall. Memento Mall features all kinds of Stampin' Up! logo merchandise that is usually only available at the convention. There is always a tremendously long line waiting to get into Memento Mall. This picture shows you only one small section of the line! It weaves around forever and you feel like you are never going to get to the front of the line! I spent a pretty penny in Memento Mall, but came away with some really cool stuff that I'm glad I have!
Once inside Memento Mall, there is always a shopping frenzy! You want to take everything home with you - and I pretty much did! Now I've got to face that stinkin' credit card charge!
Here's my sister, Pam D'Urso, Kirsteen Gill, and Vicky Skillman showing their loot from Memento Mall. I outdid all of them put together, I think! Don't tell Randy - he'll kill me!
Here's Jennifer Gulch and Elizabeth Hurst! When Jennifer checked in, she was told that she's a Rising Star, a very prestigious honor with Stampin' Up!, so she got one of those coveted bags that you only get as a Rising Star or as a Demonstrator of the Year! Lucky me, I got one of those bags, too, for Demonstrator of the Year! Jennifer and I will be traveling to St. George, Utah, for the Founder's Circle trip!
One of our favorite things to do each night is hang out in the hotel lobby and visit with demonstrators from all over the United States. You make so many friends that way and the sharing of information is phenomenal. Here is Kirsteen in the hotel lobby working on one of her swaps!
On this particular evening we walked to Murphy's Pub, which has become one of our favorite places to visit while in Salt Lake City. The food is good and the atmosphere is fun! There are usually men throwing darts in the back, which is so unlike any of us! I guess that's why we like Murphy's!
Here is a quick shot of the entrance to the Salt Palace Convention Center, which is where the convention was held.
From left to right are: Heather Klump - Artisan Award Winner of 2011! You have seen me case many of Heather's things. She is an incredible artist and we LOVE hanging out with her in Utah! Julie Kasper is next to Heather. I met Julie several years ago at a convention and we have been best friends ever since! We love to meet up at the convention and hang out together for the week. My sister, Pam D'Urso, is next to Julie. What fun to meet my sister in Utah and be roommates for the week! Having Pam join Stampin' Up! has enriched my association with Stampin' Up! even more! Then there's Pat - one of Julie's recruits. We had such a good time with Pat that we are all hoping she'll be attending the next convention! It wouldn't be as much fun without Pat! Next to Pat is Kirsteen Gill! I loved having time to spend with Kirsteen! That doesn't usually happen in Katy - we have to travel all the way to Utah to spend good time together! It was such a fun week!
A nice shot of the mountains as you're coming out of the convention center. It's so pretty in Salt Lake City. Everywhere you look is something pretty to admire!
This is one of my greatest friends, Judy Garza, from Victoria, Texas. Everytime she and I would attend Stampin' Up! events, we'd always see each other at the Houston airport. We have become the best of friends and Judy is very special to me! As you can see, I'm giving her a kiss! She is a sweetheart and I'm so happy she's in my life! Judy made Founder's Circle, too, so we are looking forward to a good time in Utah in September.
Me, Kirsteen, and Pam got to go across the stage for our recruiting efforts this past year!
We were among the first to see the new Holiday Mini Catalog! You can tell that Vicky Skillman and Tammy Davis, members of The TOPICS!, are absolutely thrilled with it! It is going to knock your socks off - and get ready to write some BIG checks! I want every single item in that mini, and so will you!
Each day we would meet for lunch in the convention hall! Here's a big table of us enjoying discussing what we saw and learned that morning!
Jennifer Gulch and Elizabeth Hurst waiting for the General Session to start! Our group took up an entire row!
The huge Stampin' Up! banners that were all over the place! They were huge, as you can see from the picture!
This is one of my sweet uplines, Denise Waddell! I only get to see her at the big Stampin' Up! events. She is so much fun and I enjoy any time that I get to spend with her!
Here's a picture I caught of Heather Klump dancing! Before the General Session starts, the music is playing really loud and everyone is dancing and clapping! It is such a fun time and it gets you ALL REVVED UP - as it did Heather here!
Here is my sister, Pam D'Urso, walking across the stage for being with Stampin' Up! five years! I'M SO PROUD OF YOU, PAM!
Vicky Skillman won a new stamp set and a coordinating punch from the Holiday Mini Catalog! Can you tell she's excited?
For our last night together, I wanted to treat The TOPICS! to dinner on me at Buca di Beppo! We had a wonderful evening - I had the best Tiramisu I've ever had in my life (the Mojito wasn't bad either) - and it was an evening of laughing, laughing, and more laughing! I love these gals - they mean so much to me - and thanks to Stampin' Up!, they're part of my life! Think about attending the convention next year! You'll be so glad you did!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Two Wild and Crazy Gals!

There are people in your life that you really enjoy and then there are people in your life that you are CRAZY about! For me, that would be these two gals, Susie and Lori! They saw my post this morning about making Founder's Circle and they are so happy for me! They have certainly made me laugh today - but they are right - they DID help me get to Founder's Circle, as did so many of you! Thanks, Susie and Lori, for being happy for me! You two gals have enriched my life so much and I am eternally grateful that our paths have crossed! You brighten my day on a regular basis and your stamping enthusiasm inspires me and keeps me going! You two are the best and I can always count on you to give me a good chuckle - just keep those Bahama Mamas coming!

Did I Make Founder's Circle?

I have received so many emails and texts from my friends asking if I made Founder's Circle again this year! YES, I DID! My apologies for not getting the news to you sooner! I've been super busy since returning from Salt Lake City with delivering orders, returning emails and phone calls, and then of course the countless piles of laundry that accumulate when you're gone for a week! I have lots of fun photos to post about our convention experience, but just haven't had an opportunity to yet! But YES, I did make Founder's Circle again - I was #41 this year, and it is quite an honor, indeed, to be in the top 100 for Stampin' Up! That means that I'll be taking a very nice trip to St. George, Utah, this September! I don't know if any of my convention buddies took a picture of me on stage, but here are the pretty flowers I received for being #41! THANKS to all my wonderful clients who placed such nice orders that helped me reach a sales goal of over $60,000 in sales for the year - something I have never done before or ever thought possible! Of course, you know, that raises the bar and, well, puts the pressure on to try to outdo myself this year, but I'm just going to try to relax (yeah, right!), enjoy my stamping events and stamping friends, and let the chips fall where they may this next year! The next incentive trip is Fiji - AND I SO WANT TO EARN THAT TRIP (Randy wants me to earn it, too!), so I'll be staying busy to make sure we get to go! Thanks for all your well wishes and kind words! I consider myself to be THE luckiest demonstrator in the world! I have people JUST LIKE YOU who make what I do so much fun! I LOVE YA'!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A Promotion Celebration!

WOO HOO! Aida Pabon, a member of The TOPICS!, has promoted to a Senior Associate! We always get excited about promotions because it means that members of our group are rockin' and rollin' with their Stampin' Up! businesses! Kudos to you, Aida, for reaching your first promotion - and I am sure there are many more to come for you! You are ALWAYS positive and happy, and everyone loves to be around people JUST LIKE YOU! Run with it, my friend! You are an awesome stamper and the world is yours! Show 'em how to stamp and they'll love you! All the best to you as you move upward and onward! We're all cheering for you!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Pennant Parade Card Sample!

Here's the last make-n-take I offered at my New Catalog Open House! It gave everyone an opportunity to try out a new stamp set, a new punch, new colors, and the new ribbon! I think they all enjoyed making this card! We had an awesome time at the open house - and a big THANK-YOU to all of you who came and celebrated with me! You never let me down and I had a fabulous afternoon with you! STAMP ON!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Best of Everything Card Sample!

Here's another make-n-take I offered at my New Catalog Open House! I've already told you that I'm in love with this little bird and I'm so glad he's come to live at my house! We've having a good time together. I like how fat and chubby he is. We also used the new In Color Pool Party for the base of this card - LOVE IT! Makes me want to go swimmin'!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Pretty Postage Card Sample!

I had my New Catalog Open House last Saturday and this is one of the make-n-takes I offered. That beautiful color is called Wisteria Wonder and I know I'm going to like using it this year! Are you lovin' that ruffled ribbon? YES! This is a direct case from the catalog, but things look so much cuter when you have them RIGHT THERE in person in front of you! We used the Pretty Postage stamp set on this card, too! Enjoy!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Inspired by Nature Card Sample!

You already know that I love the "simple" things when it comes to stamping. I needed some quick thank-you notes and came up with this. I used the Inspired by Nature stamp set to get the beautiful daisy. The "thank-you" greeting was punched out with our oval punch and pop-dotted up in place. I used our white notecards. I really like the way it looks! Have a fun day!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Hello, Doily Card Sample!

When everyone returned from the Alaskan cruise, Stampin' Up! sent all of us this thank-you card! Can you believe that? They were thanking us for our hard work and effort in earning the cruise. I think Stampin' Up! is who should have received a bunch of thank-you cards! They made the trip incredibly special and I have beautiful memories that will last me a lifetime! Thank YOU, Stampin' Up!, for all you do for us!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Birthday Cards I Received!

More amazing birthday cards I received! The card on top was stamped by my friend, Jennifer Gulch; the card in the middle was stamped by Carolyn Gray; and the card on the bottom was stamped by Dena Neal - both members of The TOPICS! Y'all were so sweet to make cards for me! The cards were REALLY better than getting presents! You all made my birthday so special to know you were thinking of me! THANK YOU!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Birthday Cards I Received!

More birthday cards I received! Aren't I a lucky gal? The card on top was stamped by Patty Schnell; the card in the middle was stamped by Judy Sumner (and those little flowers on the top were cut out!); and the card on the bottom was stamped by Dawn Stark, all members of The TOPICS! Thank you Patty, Judy, and Dawn for sending me your beautifully hand-stamped art! It was so much fun to open up all of these cards!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

A Promotion Celebration!

I am proud to announce to you that MARY LEE SHERMAN, my recruit and a member of The TOPICS!, promoted to a Senior Associate on June 30th! I don't have a picture of Mary Lee to share with you, but I think promotions are something to be recognized and celebrated, so I'm announcing her promotion even without her picture! Mary Lee is one of the kindest people you will ever meet. She has ALWAYS been sweet and sincere to me and I think the world of her! I know she loves to stamp and she has lots of enthusiasm for Stampin' Up! Every time I see Mary Lee, she has a BIG smile on her face, and she is certainly a pleasure to have around! I look forward to the opportunity to get to know Mary Lee even more in the future and I'm so excited and happy about her promotion! THANK YOU, Mary Lee, for being a member of The TOPICS! I wish you continued success in your Stampin' Up! business - and I wish you many happy hours of stamping fun!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Birthday Cards I Received!

More beautiful birthday cards I received! The card on the top was stamped by my friend, Michele Smith, from Brenham. The card in the middle was stamped by Dorothy Erdely and the card on the bottom was stamped by Kirsteen Gill, both members of The TOPICS! Aren't they wonderful? Thanks Michele, Dorothy, and Kirsteen for adding a special touch to my special day! I LOVE YOUR CARDS!