Thursday, October 28, 2010

A Girls' Weekend!

I'm heading off to Canberra tomorrow for a Girls' Weekend. It's Canberra Regional Training (I can't attend Sydney training as it's on our Haemophilia Camp weekend) and we're also celebrating a good friend's 40th (you may know HERE to send her birthday wishes ;o)

I still have to get things organised (not for me - that's easy - but for my family's weekend without me!) so I'll make this a quick one. I had the pleasure of making a baby card to welcome a team member's little one a few weeks ago. It was the perfect opportunity to ink up a new Jumbo wheel and play with some new colours too:

How cute are these little jumpsuits? So much fun to watercolour too. I used an Aquapainter and inkpads on Whisper White cardstock.

Materials (all Stampin' Up!)
stamps: Teeny Tiny Sentiments, Baby Tees Jumbo Wheel
ink: Marina Mist, Daffodil Delight, Pear Pizzazz, Black Stazon
card: Marina Mist, Daffodil Delight, Pear Pizzazz, Whisper White
other: Polka Dot Embossing Folder, Big Shot, Clips assortment, Daffodil Delight Taffeta Ribbon

Monday, October 25, 2010

Free Ribbon anyone?

Stampin' Up! are running a "Dress Up Christmas" Promotion until the end of November. When you purchase one of 4 bundles, you get to choose a free roll of ribbon! None of this ribbon is available in the catalogue, and some of the DSP in the bundles is also not in the catalogue. The only way to get your hands on this delightful stuff is by purchasing one of the bundles:

DescriptionWood Mount Item / PriceClear Mount Item / Price
Gifted Bundle
Gifted Set and Jolly Holiday Designer Series Paper

124041; $66.90

124042; $56.90

Welcome Christmas Bundle
Welcome Christmas Set and Christmas Cocoa Specialty Designer Series Paper

124045; $69.90

124046; $59.90

Season of Joy Bundle
Season of Joy Set and So Swirly Stampin’ Around Wheel

124043; $67.90


Delightful Decorations Bundle
Delightful Decorations Set and Ornament Punch

124044; $72.90


And you can choose your FREE roll of Ribbon:
Mistletoe Ribbon Originals (value $21.95)
Sleigh Bells Ribbon (value $15.95)
Riding Hood Red 1-1/4″ Striped Grosgrain Ribbon (value $19.95)
Real Red 3/4″ Polka-Dot Grosgrain Ribbon (value $19.95)
Email me if you would like to order a bundle and get some free ribbon!
This offer is available until November 30, or while stocks last.

CASE-ing the Catalogue

One of the first things that I do when we get a new catalogue (after I've sat down in a quiet space for hours and drooled all over it) is to CASE a card or two. To avoid have to think at all, it's fun to copy a card exactly as it is in the catalogue. This one is from page 88: You can view the Supplies List for the card ingredients HERE
Once I'd warmed up, and the juices were flowing, I then decided to make my own version:

I've kept the layout the same, but changed the colours and stamp set.
So, next time you're stuck for ideas, grab your catalogue and CASE away!

Materials (all Stampin' Up!)
stamps: Punch Pot Pourri (Level 1 set) , Occasional Quotes (Level 3 set)
ink: Marina Mist, Crumb Cake, Night of Navy
card: Marina Mist, Night of Navy, Whisper White
other: Marina Mist Satin, Mat pack, Paper Piercer, sponge daubers, Full Heart Punch, Boho Blossom Punch, Basic Pearls

Monday, October 18, 2010

Craft Sale this weekend!


My team and I are getting together to have our third Annual Giant Craft Sale Day. We have cleaned out our cupboards, and have lots of Craft Goodies that need to find new homes. There are retired stamps and scrapbooking supplies, ribbons, embellishments, plus handmade cards and gifts too (perfect for Christmas!), and lots lots more!

Everything will be priced to sell, so come along and grab a bargain! We'll also have Lucky Door Prizes to be won.

When: Saturday, 23rd October 9am -1pm

Where: The Church Hall (Blacktown East Presbyterian) Corner of Heffron Rd and Gallop Gve, Lalor Park

Please spread the word to anyone who may be interested, and I hope to see you there!

Incentive Trip Day 4

We were lucky enough to wake up to more sunshine on Saturday - our last full day on Hamilton Island. After brekky we headed down to the Marina for a 3 hour return Trip around the nearby Whitsunday Islands. It wasn't a Stampin' Up! activity, but there were about 20 of us on the 2 boats. The tour company warned us of strong winds and swells, so were were a little apprehensive waiting on the dock. Here's Alisa, Jayne and I: Thankfully our fears were not realised, and the trip was more the up and down bumpiness, rather than the swaying and rolling that had made everyone feel ill. It was actually heaps of fun zooming across the water with the wind in our hair. Here's Joanna and I, and you can see our Hotel (the taller building) in the background:
We arrived at Chalkies Beach first and did some snorkeling off the beach. Visibility was a lot better than it had been on the Reef on Thursday, and we saw lots and lots of fish and some amazing coral formations. Next we made a 5 minute boat trip across to WhiteHaven Beach, recently voted the Number 1 Eco Friendly Beach in the World. I can see why -it has 7km of the purest white sand I have ever seen, and is completely unspoilt. Here's Dave and I at WhiteHaven:

We returned back to Hamilton Island and just had a light lunch (not wanting to spoil ourselves for the final night dinner, which is always spectacular). We washed the salt and sand off, and spent a leisurely afternoon in the Hospitality Room, spinning the wheel for the last time (I ended up with 2 rolls of ribbon, a gel pen and Shimmery White cardstock from my 4 spins) and helping to finish off the candy (a tough job but someone had to do it).

Joanna and I discovered we have very good taste in clothes (and both shop at the same exclusive boutique):

I thought that it might mean that we would be paired up for our afternoon adventure, but no. We all had to gather in the Reef View Lounge for instructions at 4:15pm. Names were drawn out of a bowl and we were put into teams. We were with Angela and Paul Sargeant, and we named our team The Bluebottles (we were all in blue, and one of our first stops was to pick up some liquid refreshments in blue bottles, plus a BlueBottle is also a type of jellyfish). Here we are in front of our buggy:

We were given instructions on driving the golf buggies around the island, and we had to answer questions and pick up clues along the way. Here we all are listening intently:

It was heaps of fun exploring the island for the next 2 hours. There were plenty of stops to make, questions to answer, and SU! staff members to find (who had gifts for us - we scored a pack of 12x12 cardstock, an inkpad, Rhinestones and a new stamp set), and plenty of time to take scenery shots as well. Our last stop was back at the Reef View, where we were given a little bag of alphabet stamps. We had to spell out the name of our dinner location using the stamps. It was CUHATYLB, with the clue to use one letter twice - YACHT CLUB. Once everyone had finished, we hopped in our buggies to the Yacht Club. It's an amazing looking building on the Marina, and we enjoyed aperitifs outside on the balcony watching the sunset.
me, Theresa, Yvonne, Kim, Liz, Bec.

Our tables for dinner were beautifully set with floating candles and shells, and at our place setting was a Fijian mask and a card saying "See you in Fiji". We were seated with Alisa and Craig and Pam and Dennis for the 3-course meal (Craig wearing the Fijian mask):
Now, last Incentive Trip I got in trouble for making people hungry while reading my blog, so this year I've been careful not to show you photos of food, but it wouldn't be the same if I didn't show you here's my entree, an amazing cucumber salad, decorated with tiny edible flowers:
Even the plate was amazing! So, at least I showed you something healthy ;o)

When we returned to our rooms, we found our last pillow gift, a bag to match the purse and bag tags:
Quite appropriate that it was turquoise, to match the water! We all looked very stylish the next day at the airport.

Here's one last shot of the turquoise Whitsunday waters from our Hotel Room, as it looked on our last day (much better than it was looking on our first day!):
Thanks for re-living the trip with me. I hope you've enjoyed experiencing it vicariously. If you are thinking that you'd love to go on the next Incentive Trip, I really encourage you to try. Seeing Jayne's account of her first trip was what inspired me to aim for it, and you have nothing to lose by trying! It really is an amazing experience, and well worth all the hard work to get there. I'll be in Fiji, and I'd love to share it with you!

Incentive Trip Day 2 (continued) + Day 3

Thank you for all your comments :o) It really does keep me motivated to blog when I get some comments! OK, now that you've all come out of the woodwork to let me know that you really do want to hear about the trip, here goes...

On Thursday night, Skinny Shrek (thanks Karen, your nickname was perfect and has now stuck, although Dave says it wasn't what he had in mind!!), and 7 companions (amongst them Jared -Gareth's accidental re-naming by Cameron; Brad - our re-naming for Cameron; and lovely couple Terence and Tonya - a bit like Kath and Kim, only classier) went in search of a meal. We settled on the Gourmet Pizza place, but had to kill some time at the Tavern until a table was ready for us. We purchased liquid refreshments to kill the time:

We're all glowing from our day on the reef... that's my story, and I'm sticking to it!

There are 9 restaurants on Hamilton Island - an Italian Place, a Seafood Place, a Steakhouse, the Tavern, Gourmet Pizza Cafe, 2 Hotel Restaurants, Koala Wildlife Cafe and the Very Fancy Yacht Club, plus a Bakery, Deli Cafe and Fish & Chip Shop. We didn't quite get time to try them all.Make sure you try the Pumpkin, Feta and Rocket pizza if you go to the Pizza Place. It's to die for! We had a really fun meal there, overlooking the Marina. When we got back to our rooms, we found our pillow gift. It was a decorated tin containing a NEW stamp set (from the new mini) an inkpad, 2 markers, buttons, mini library clips and a punch. All supplies for our make-and-take session the next day.
We woke up on Friday to bright sunshine and sparkling turquoise waters. Most of us chose to have breakfast in the Reef View Hotel each day, so there was always someone to chat to over brekky. Then some of the hubbies headed off to play golf on a nearby island while the girls had make-and-takes. Here we are, all chatting and stamping:
It was rather warm and very humid, so Jayne and Teresa found some handy sweat-blotters in our make-and-take packs (actually backing from the Window Sheets). The make-and-takes were really cute, and playing with new stamps (I LOVE the set we used!) is always heaps of fun, especially when all the hard work has been done for you!
Here's our table of happy stampers:
Ngaire, Jacque, Jayne, Joanna, Teresa and me.

There were a few of us dressed in Turquoise that morning, so we gathered for a photo:
Jennifer, Emma, Angela, Linda, Ngaire, me.

There was also a group photo taken, but that's going to be emailed to us, so I don't have it yet to show you.

We also swapped cards. It's such a relaxed swapping environment, compared to the frenetic swapping that goes on at Convention. This is what my swap looked like:

I've used the set "Growing Green" and tried to give it a Tropical feel using Marina Mist, Pear Pizzazz, Sahara Sand and Baja Breeze. I used the Petal Card Punch to make a mini envelope, and there are 3 little tags with "Hamilton Island 2010" printed on them to slip inside. I did the background by dabbing a Baja Breeze inkpad on Marina Mist cardstock. The Squares are made using the 2 square punches and layering Whisper White on Whisper White. There were 19 Aussie Demos on the trip and 4 Kiwis, plus 3 guest Demos and Aaron and Emma also made swaps for us, so I now have 27 gorgeous new samples.

It was also the perfect time to get a quick photo with Shelli, overlooking those Turquoise WhitSunday waters:

After make-and -takes we were so hot that we decided to stay in and order room service to the Hospitality Room, where there are lounges and air conditioning! The Room is a real gathering place, and there was always someone to chat to, as well as loads of jars of American Candy to nibble on. It's also where we got to spin the wheel every day and win a prize, always cheered on by Angie and Kellie Sue, the wonderful organisers of our trip:

That afternoon was a good afternoon to explore the Island shops a little more closely (while I was a golf widow). When the boys returned a group of about 20 of us headed out for dinner at the Steakhouse, but again found ourselves at the Tavern when the Steakhouse couldn't fit us in. This time we just stayed there until we could no longer keep our eyes open!
We arrived back in our rooms to find another Pillow Gift, this time a clutch purse to match the luggage tags we were given with our Trip tickets....feeling very spoilt by this time!

Home Again!

What an amazing holiday we've had!! We were totally spoilt, as usual. It's always back to earth with a thud after Incentive Trip...washing, grocery shopping, prepping for classes, cooking dinners, etc. I've also come home to 2 sick kids. They are both home with nasty colds today.
Sorry that I didn't get past blogging Day 2. I didn't get comments from many of you, so it seemed that not many people were very interested? I can blog the rest of the trip if you would like me to, but you'll need to leave a comment and let me know, otherwise I feel like I'm talking to myself!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Incentive Trip Day 2

We woke up this morning to sunshine and just a light breeze, so all looked good for our Barrier Reef cruise. After enjoying the Hotel's buffet breakfast, we boarded the bus down to the Marina. We all hopped on board the FantaSea. Dave and I started off outside, but the hot sun forced us indoors pretty quickly. It was all good until we got outside the protected waters of the WhitSundays. As soon as we were out to sea, the wind and 2m swell caused a LOT of rocking and rolling... for the next 1 1/2 hours. Dave and I were both OK, but many others suffered really bad sea-sickness. I think the boat used a lot of barfbags today!! The crew handed out ice for us to suck on, and cool towels to try and alleviate the symptoms. We distracted ourselves as best we could...trying to talk with ice cubes in our mouths was one activity that passed the time. Here's Teresa entertaining us all:

You can see a few people looking rather poorly in the background!
It was quite a relief to arrive on the Pontoon, and escape the eau de vomit!! All looking a bit cheerier here:
Warren and Kim Gavarra, Jayne, me, Jo, John and Sue Madex, Yvonne.
We donned very glamorous Stinger suits to go snorkeling in:
Tanya wriggling into hers, my rear end, and Teresa. And here Tanya and Teresa look more like they are trying to BE jellyfish than trying to avoid them!
Dave reckons he looks like a superhero in this shot, with his undies on the outside:

I'm not exactly sure which Superhero he thinks he is though!
The reef was spectacular, and our tummies settled down enough to enjoy a delicious lunch out there too. The boat sold lots of Travacalm tablets for the return journey, and I think most people fared a bit better. It was nice to place our feet on solid ground again, although I still feel like the room is moving a bit. We've just had lovely hot showers, and now we are about to head to the hospitality room to spin the wheel, and then have dinner afterwards. I think we'll all sleep well tonight!!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Incentive Trip Day 1

I'm sipping champagne in my Coral Sea View Room in Hamilton Island at the moment (sorry, I just had to rub it in a little for those of you sitting at home! I'll try not to do it again...NOT!). We left home bright and early this morning, and had brekky at Sydney Airport with some other fellow travellers. It's always like a big reunion and catch-up session....a big part of the fun! All the Melbournites, Canberrans and Sydney people were there, and we hopped on our flight with Guy Sebastian (yes, really!!) and arrived in not-very sunny Hamilton Island a couple of hours later. Our Hotel is only a few minutes drive from the airport, in fact everything on the island is only a few minutes drive. There are no cars here, just a few courtesy buses and lots of golf buggies. Here is the view from our room:

Not bad!! Hopefully we'll get a sunnier day so we can see the sea looking really blue.

After dropping off our bags, we stocked up on US candy in the Hospitality Room and spun the Prize Wheel (Shimmery White paper for me!). Oh, and we also browsed through the NEW Summer Mini ....OMG Lots of gorgeous stuff coming!!!

Then it was time for some lunch. Here I am with Teresa, Miriam and Claire, having lunch by the pool:After lunch, the plan was to head down for a walk along the beach, but Tanya ran into people carrying lots of chocolates in the lift, so of course we had to investigate! We found a Food Convention being packed up, so we helped them clear some excess stock!!

After unloading our booty, we headed for the beach, only to be thwarted by heavy rain. Plan B was to hop on the Courtesy bus and take a tourist trip around the island. Here we are looking gorgeous and very touristy in the bus:

The sun did come out, so we were able to go for a walk along the Marina.
Pre-dinner drinks were in our room. Here are the girls, all looking glam:
Emma, Tanya, Teresa, Jo, Jayne and me

Then over to the Outrigger Restaurant, which was gorgeously decorated for us. We were even treated to a Fireworks display on the way, along with a Parade of dancers and drummers (which was all part of the Food Convention thing, but we were happy to enjoy it anyway!)
This was our table at dinner:
Jennifer and Dave Baugh, Donna and Jeff Calley, Teresa and Tanya.
Lots of laughs and chat over a really yummy dinner. We were even entertained by a cheeky possum. Here's the possum:
Just kidding - that's Kim, climbing on her chair to avoid the possum. Here's the possum, running away to avoid Kim:
After dinner it bucketed down, so we had to make a mad dash back to the Hotel. But worth it, when you find a pressie on your bed! Here's me, aka drowned rat, with my gift:
It's a special waterproof bag to take on our Surprise activity - a Reef Cruise tomorrow! Inside are underwater cameras and snacks to take with us. Let's hope the weather improves!!
It was getting late by this time, but we couldn't finish the day without singing Happy Birthday to Tanya. Teresa even brought her a slightly squashed cake from Canberra :o)

Now I really must get some sleep. It's after midnight, which is after 1am Sydney time. I've been up since 6am this morning and have a 6am start tomorrow too!
I'll be back with more hopefully tomorrow


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