It's been a rather wet kind of day here. I was kept busy for a while this afternoon taking care of my Shih Tzu, Zorro, who is afraid of loud noises and keeping the other Shih Tzu, Bernie, from annoying Zorro while he was trembling. Fortunately, the lightning and thunder didn't last too long.
Today's post is about a unique experience I had at Convention 2015.
One of the most amazing things that happened to me at Convention 2015 was that I was asked to be a part of a group of 5 demonstrators to participate in a challenge during the first General Session of Convention. Our task was to create Project Life pages in 45 minutes using a Project Life kit from the Holiday Catalog; product we would not see until it was time to work with it. Our instruction prior to arriving at Convention was to bring approximately 20 photos of Halloween, Thanksgiving and/or Christmas. So I looked through my digital photos and found some pics for the three holidays, sent them to the local drug store to be processed, and packed them in my carry-on bag with my Convention Swaps.
The morning of the first General Session we were asked to meet Stampin' Up! staffer Lynden Wood and were taken inside the Main Stage hall at the Convention Center to be shown to our seats and received a brief overview of what would happen. The cool thing was that we were at the front of the Main Stage area and were able to see the "thundering hoarde" enter the area for the first General Session. What an experience! It's a wonder no one gets hurt!
Then the session began and we waited for our turn. We were introduced on the Main Stage, the audience was briefed on our task by Bonnie Farley and Spencer Willis, and then we were led to a backstage area that was set up for us to work on our pages. As I mentioned before, we had never seen the product we were using. All we had with us were our photos. No pressure there...
When we arrived at the work area, we each had a work station that contained the Seasonal Snapshot 2015 Project Life Card Collection and Accessory Pack, the Project Life Seasonal Snapshot 2015 stamp set, Classic Stamp pads in coordinating colors (Cherry Cobbler, Crumb Cake, Island Indigo, Old Olive, and the new Archival Basic Black), two Stampin' Write Markers (Old Olive and Island Indigo), a Project Life Corner Rounder, the Kraft 6" x 8" Project Life Album, a Variety Pack of 6" x 8" Photo Pocket Pages, a package of Project Life 6" x 8" Envelope Pages, a package of Project Life Journaling Pens, a package of Project Life 3" x 4" Grid Cards, acrylic blocks, Stampin' Pierce Mat, a Stampin' Trimmer, Paper Snips, and Fast Fuse. We also shared use of a Big Shot and the Project Life Cards & Labels Framelits and the Project Life Paper Clips Thinlits. It was kind of overwhelming at first, but there were lots of Stampin' Up! staffers backstage (like Sara Douglass, Brian Pilling, Bonnie Farley, Carrie Cudney, Shannon West, and Spencer Willis to name drop a few) to help us unwrap the packaged stuff and get right to work.
The Convention attendees were able to see us at work via periodic video feeds. At the end of the 45 minutes were were invited back on stage to present a couple of our completed pages. I was able to complete a Halloween layout and a Thanksgiving layout. I shared the Halloween layout.
A big thanks to Catherine Harwood for taking the photos of me while I was on stage.
My grandson, Aiden, is featured on these two pages. Aiden lives with his mom in Ohio and we don't get to see him very often. However, in the days before Facebook his mom was always very good about sending me photos of Aiden during the year and at holidays. I included a photo of his daddy (Batman) at about the same age for contrast. I liked the photo of Aiden scooping out his pumpkin and proudly showing off his pirate ship pumpkin. He sure is a cutie!
I decided not to share the Thanksgiving layout on stage but wanted to share it with you here. It was a very bittersweet event in my life. The last time my parents were together with all of their children. A few days later my father had an event that effectively took him away from us. He died a couple of months later.
At the end of the first General Session we returned back stage to gather our photos. We were told then that we would be taking everything that had been placed at our workstation. Holy Cow! We were given a tote bag to pack up our very generous haul and in the tote bag was the Project Life Hello December 2015 stamp set! All this for 45 minutes work! (There was so much I had to ship it all home!)
While I was pretty nervous about going onto the Main Stage in front of thousands of Stampin' Up! Demonstrators (at the convention center and on-line watching via live stream), once I started working I relaxed and enjoyed the experience! I also got to meet some pretty nice ladies who shared the experience with me: Lisa vanGoor and Emily Tull from Colorado, Kathy Spencer from Oregon, and Debbie Schlomer from New Jersey. The other cool thing was that whenever my name was mentioned on stage, I had a shout out from my 3-2-1 Stamp Team members and my Stampin' Addicts buddies. How cool is that??!!??
And all of this because I entered my name in a random drawing. Thanks, Stampin' Up!