Warning - this is a long one. You might want to grab a cuppa!
We had a yummy Gourmet BBQ dinner on Friday night - marinated chicken, steak, salads, potato bake, caramelised onions...yummo! The best bit was that we didn't have to cook OR wash up!
We all stamped until the wee hours on Friday night, and woke up to kookaburras, a yummy breakfast and a pressie on our tables, left by the Stamping Fairy:That stamping fairy sure is clever, finding classy black-capped water bottles, and dressing them up in their own little Stampin' Up! aprons...and how did she know we would all need chocolate and a sugar hit after our late night? ;o)
We voted for the Mystery Box winner at 11am, and the winner was Kari, with an amazing card that had a Sweet Treat Cup filled with teeny tiny handmade cupcakes made using the Boho Blossom punch. Kari very kindly gave us all an impromptu lesson on how she made them on Sunday. As the winner, Kari got to choose the Sketch that everyone had to work with for the Invention Test. For this challenge, they had to use the Sketch along with 1 stamp set, 2 punches and 3 colours from the "pantry". The challenge closed at 6:30 before dinner.
Lunch on Saturday was gourmet open sandwiches. Honestly, these were the best sandwiches I've ever had. The chicken and avocado on pumpkin bread was my favourite. Yum!
We had 4 Presentations throughout the day on Saturday. Nikki wowed us all with the Black Magic technique, then Kerry made us all long for the Ornament Punch. Liam showed us her amazing Waterfall Backpack, and Robyn demonstrated some gorgeous Traditional pop-up cards. Clever, clever, clever! I had to masquerade as Juliette, who was stuck in hospital with a broken ankle :o( and demonstrate her gorgeous Top Note purse.
Our dinner on Saturday night was a Christmas in July theme. I set an extra Challenge to bring something Christmassy along to the dinner, so we had a table full of gorgeous cards, tags, decorations and gift ideas. We had a yummy Roast Pork dinner with all the trimmings, followed by Christmas pud, custard and ice cream.
In between dinner and dessert, it was the perfect opportunity to play some Stampin' Trivia. I had them stumped on some of the questions! Just when I was about to let everyone go back to the Hall, Joelle surprised (and embarrassed!) me by saying a big thank you on behalf of everyone and presenting me with a sash (complete with handmade rhinestone pin) and tiara. On the sash was written in sparkly silver glitter "Best Demonstrator in the Universe". Isn't she so sweet?! (if a little prone to exaggeration!!) And then, as if I wasn't embarrassed enough, they MADE me sashay up and down wearing my sash and tiara. You all know how much I love the limelight...NOT. Very red-faced, I was!
When we were all back in the hall, we voted on the Invention Test entries. The Top 2 would face off in a Pressure Test against a Celebrity Crafter! It was a close contest, but our Top 2 were Kari and Amanda. They had to immediately come up the front for the Pressure Test. Their Challenge was to recreate Teneale's gorgeous Convention swap...in 25 minutes. Quite a challenge, since one of them had never even embossed before! Add to that my impersonations of George, counting down the minutes (on a clock drawn on the Whiteboard) bouncing on my toes, yelling "Come on! Get something on the plate!" and it was heaps of fun. They both managed to do a really good job - in the allotted time too. I put their cards up on the stage, one marked "Blue" and one "Red" with Teneale's perfect one in the middle, and we went up and put a blue or red punched circle in the voting box.
To draw out the suspense, I did all the thankyous next, for the Presentations and Shoebox Swaps. They all got a voucher to use on New Catalogue goodies. Everyone who did a Christmas Challenge entry also got a cute little box filled with a chockie and some bits and bobs. Then I awarded the Mystery Box and Invention Test Prizes, and finally announced the Top MasterCrafter.....Amanda! Amanda was crowned, and given a Certificate and a voucher to spend on some new goodies, and she will also get a Guest Appearance on my Blog...so stay tuned for that!
After all that excitement, another late night followed. On Sunday morning the very busy Stamping Fairy had been again (where does she find the time??). These were on our tables:
She even made an escape hatch for the lollies:Sunday was a much more mellow day, spent finishing off projects, and with people leaving as they needed to. We had a farewell Morning tea. We had all brought along slices and cakes for the weekend and there were tons still left, so we had a feast on Sunday. It was Robyn's suggestion to do this, but little did I realise, she had an ulterior motive. While we were all chatting over a cuppa, Robyn presented me with a box of thank you cards made by everyone there, and what she said was a "small" gift. I opened it to find...to my shock..an Ipod nano!! How sneaky are they??? I was just gobsmacked (and a blubbering mess). I'm sitting here listening to my hot pink Ipod right now :o)
So, if you've made it this far, you can see why I said it was an amazing weekend. I'm still trying to catch up on my sleep, and they're already asking me when the next one is!