Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Hawaiian Grand Vacation Blog Hop

Hello My Friends

Today I am thrilled beyond compare to take part in a blog hop with a whole crew of terrific and talented colleagues.  They are all Stampin' Up! demonstrators who, like me, were blessed to achieve the Hawaii Grand Vacation.  We had an absolute BLAST in Hawaii and were thoroughly pampered by Stampin' Up! with the pillow gifts they gave us each day.  So today, we are featuring projects that were inspired by one, many or any of the pillow gifts.

The open-ended theme for this blog left me in a bit of a quandary since I loved everything I received.  I had a difficult time deciding on what project to make, but then I looked back at all my gifts and had a moment of inspiration......All of our goodies came in plain, kraft-coloured bags with a cute tag on each (I highlighted some of the tags previously on my blog and facebook page).  
Bag Containing Pillow Gift

Cute Tag on the Pillow Gift Bag

Eureka!  A project based on our pillow-gift-packaging was born.  

I loved the fact that each of the tags included a coconut shell flower trinket, and a 'wise saying'.  And the bags each had a lovely silhouette of some palm trees on it.  I think I managed to recreate that packaging, more or less, here, don't you?
I started off by using our wonderful Kraft cardstock and the Mini Treat Bag Thinlits Die to make an extended treat bag/box.  Serene Silhouettes was stamped using Early Espresso ink to simulate the palm trees that were ever-present on our Pillow Gift bags.
My Mini Treat Bag/ Pillow Gift Bag

Close-Up of my "Mock" Pillow Gift Tag

I needed a wise or witty cliche for the tag and I think this one, from Oh My Goodies fits the bill.  Next a Pansy-punched flower that I distressed to look more like coconut shell, and pretty soon, my Gift Bag/box was complete!  The final touch was 2 thin "handles" cut from the edge of some of the discarded Kraft cardstock.

I can't wait to give this to someone soon.  I think I'll add in a traditional puka shell necklace from Hawaii!!  What a fun way to pass on the blessings I received such a short time ago!!

Have you hopped through the rest of the blogs yet to see everything that is there?
Many of our hoppers created projects that were truly just "inspired" in some fashion, by our pillow gifts.  Others, like me, chose to sort-of re-create a pillow gift.  Well, sort of, at any rate!

I hope you are loving all the creations you are seeing.  You probably just arrived from the blog of the very talented Vanessa Webb.  Isn't her project just beautiful?
Next in line, you really want to visit Genevieve Ko's blog to see how creative she is,  You won't be sorry.  Trust me!

The full list of hoppers for today's little adventure is below.   I'm on my way myself to see the rest of the gorgeous creations that I know must be waiting for me!

Have fun.  Have a wonderful evening and God Bless,     ~Cynthia    <><

Blog hop list

Product List

Saturday, 16 May 2015

Pillow Gift #3 and #4 in Hawaii

Hello Friends
Quilted make-up bag

So Stampin' Up! is continuing to shower us with goodness!

Yesterday they gave us these gorgeous quilted make-up bags.

And today we got something ALL demonstrators love.....BRAND NEW PRODUCT!!  

I have been wanting to start up a scrapbook club, and a Project Life club, and this might just be my motivator.  SU! gave us a Project Life stamp set, the accessory pack, and the coordinating cards.  Can't wait to see all the cute pages I can create with these!  The "This is the Life" might just be featured in a Hawaiian scrapbook....

I also love the tags that have been coming with the gifts.  Cute little coconut embellishments on tags with words of wisdom. 

I didn't realize that in addition to hello and goodbye, aloha means love and affection.   Did you know that?

Day 3 tag

Day 4 tag

Stampin' Up! goes out of its way to make us feel special and boy oh boy do they ever do a good job!

Tomorrow morning they are going to allow us to help with a Service Project (packing hygiene kits and lunches to be brought to a Shelter) and let me tell you - I have looked forward to the Service Project ever since they let us help rebuild and clean-up the hospital in Fiji.  Let's face it, we are a very blessed group and the chance to make a difference in the world, even in a small way, is wonderful!!

I am going to see if I can get some pictures ready for you to see later family went on a WONDERFUL catamaran and snorkel adventure today and we got to see and experience some things that totally blew our minds.  If I can get some of the pictures to load properly, I will share them with you too.

Until then, have a wonderful day and God Bless you all!   ~Cynthia   <><

Friday, 15 May 2015

Hawaii Incentive Trip - My Swap Card

Hello My Friends

Just a quick post to show you the swap card I made to exchange with other demonstrators here in Hawaii.

Very similar to the Thank You card I made for everyone who put in an order during the month of April - except there is an extra layer in this card.

I thought of adding a few rhinestones.  
Or pearls.  
Or twine or ribbon or dimensionals or embossing or something.  Anything.  But honest-to-goodness, sometimes the simplicity of something is the piece de resistance.

And that's definitely how I felt about this card.
Less is more.  And this card is stunning all by itself.  Just some tone-on-tone sponging on top of the embossed flower and voila --> It was good to go.

Another lovely thing about swapping in Hawaii....?  I only had to make 26 copies of this card!  You might recall I had to make 125 copies of my Founder's Circle card.  So 26?  Ha!  That was a piece of cake.

I am so, so, so looking forward to receiving 25 copies back of various cards by various Stampin' Up! achieving demonstrators later this week.  And I can't wait to share some of them with you too.  Don't forget to check back later to see if I have news about those swaps.

In the meantime, I hope you have a wonderful day.  
God Bless,    ~Cynthia    <><


Thursday, 14 May 2015

Day 2 - The Pillow Gifts!!

Hello My Friends

Glad you came back!!

You know how Stampin' Up! is always treating us right...right?  Well sometimes they really nail it for us!

Take our pillow gift this evening as an example.....

My family had decided to go to Hanauma Bay to go snorkeling tomorrow, and we were bemoaning the fact that we do not have any sort of a bag to carry our "stuff" in.  No beach bag, no knapsack, no nothing.

In fact, all week while we've been going to the beach, we've brought nothing (except maybe one towel) with us since we've got nowhere to put anything.  And the wind is just a little too brisk to leave anything just sitting exposed on the shore.
Beach Bag and matching, over-sized wallet!!

Well SU! must have known exactly what we needed since tonight this was the gift that they left on our pillow....a marvelous (and sizeable) burlap beach bag!

My kids are happy.  And I am ecstatic!  Not only 'just the thing' to carry all our miscellaneous stuff from now on, but also a gorgeous piece to match the burlap over-sized wallet they sent me with all my travel documents in it.  

And SU! attends to all the little details.  The cute tag on the bag has a lovely little coconut carving on it, along with an invitation to try surfing.  

Pretty nifty since my husband and kids already tried their hand at surfing on Monday morning.  And LOVED IT by the way  (different story, different time, but all 5 of them successfully got up and a few of them had good, long, solid runs!).

At any rate, our Hawaiian adventure continues and thanks to Stampin' Up! we are now completely ready for tomorrow's snorkeling excitement!

Check back later tomorrow night for an update on how that went!  
Until then, have a fantastic day.
And God Bless you all,    ~Cynthia  <><

Hawaiian Incentive Trip - Day 2 With Stampin' Up!

Hello My Friends
Hawaiian Dancers

We certainly had a treat today.  We knew that Stampin' Up! was going to bring us to the Polynesian Cultural Centre today, but we didn't quite realize that they were going to rent out the entire park for us and close it down for the morning to the general public!!  
Tahitian Dancers

Representatives From Tonga

As my daughter said when she found out....'I have a feeling Stampin' Up!'s motto is - "Go Big, or Go Home!"'

Not quite my dear, but it sure feels that way when the bless us so richly, doesn't it?!?
The New Zealand Float

Dancers From Samoa

The Polynesian Cultural Centre has volunteers working at it from every different Polynesian country and they showcase the culture from the various regions in an entertaining and wonderful way!
Fijian Dancers

One of the highlights was the Canoe Pageant, where dancers from each country float past on 'barges' and sing and dance in  makeup and costume to emulate what their native people would have looked like several hundred years ago.

Totally wonderful.
Totally entertaining and exciting!

I am so glad my kids got to see this.

King Kamehameha Re-enactment

The "Royal" Barge

My favourite?  The Tahitian dancers who proved, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that some things move faster than the naked eye can see!

Check back later to see what our amazing Pillow Gift was this evening!

Until then, have a wonderful day and God Bless,    ~Cynthia    <><

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Day One - Stampin' Up! in Hawaii

Hello My Friends

Well, Stampin' Up! arrived today - in style of course!!  Despite 3 already-wonderful days here at the Sheraton Waikiki, the level of elegance went up today as Stampin' Up! arrived and started treating us like royalty!

We got back to our hotel room to find that a new Aloha-Stampin' Up! plaque had been added to welcome us back to our room each night.

And no Stampin' Up! trip is ever complete without pillow gifts.  We enter our room each evening to find they have blessed us in some way with a gift and tonight might have just been the crowning pillow gift of all (and it's only day 1...).  Scott and I each got an eyeglass case and eyeglass pouch and a voucher to go and pick a pair of Maui Jim sunglasses!!  Scott already picked his.  I'm getting mine tomorrow.  Can you say "totally blessed"??

Early morning tomorrow as Stampin' Up! takes us for a private tour of the Polynesian Cultural Centre.  Gotta sleep now so I can pay attention in the morning.

More news tomorrow about our Hawaiian adventure.  Until then, God Bless you all,    ~Cynthia  <><

Monday, 11 May 2015

Walking With Royalty

Hi Friends

Just a quick post here in the land of sun and surf.  

The Stampin' Up! part of this trip doesn't officially start until tomorrow....but over the last few days there have already been some other SU! demos showing up in droves.  Today I ran into Stampin' Up! royalty!!

Mary Fish is arguably one of the most successful SU! demos there is.
What's more?  She is really really nice!  Quiet.  Unassuming.  And modest.  But an absolute star in the Stampin' Up! world.  I got to have quite a nice chat with her and her husband today - also, as it happens, a Scott.  Great minds think alike.  Her hubby has a great name, don't you think?!

At any rate, things are about to get exciting here as Stampin' Up! descends on our hotel tomorrow!!!!

I can't wait.  But I'll keep you posted, never fear.
Until then, have a wonderful day and God Bless,     ~Cynthia   <><

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Happy Mother's Day

So what do you do at 7 in the morning on Mother's Day?  Why you surf, of course!!

No, not me.  Are you kidding?!?!?  I'd kill myself.  But the view from our balcony this morning is a gorgeous ocean with some waves and little itsy bitsy dots way waaaaay out there.  And those are surfers!

Seriously, I have the zoom on my camera phone so that is as big as I could make them!    :)  Regardless of how crazy THEY are, my Mother's Day has started in a a way I never dreamed possible.  I am in Hawaii.  Honest-to-goodness in Hawaii.  Pinch me folks!

When we go to our room yesterday my son was beside himself with how beautiful everything was and how luxurious our hotel is.  Silly boy - he doesn't realize how extravagant Stampin' Up! is.   When they give us an incentive trip they go all out and bless us in unimaginable ways!

So here we are, in idyllic Hawaii, starting our day (long after yours has started.  We are 6 hours behind our Ottawa friends), enjoying Mother's Day on an island paradise.  

The Stampin' Up! part of the journey doesn't begin until Tuesday.  We paid to come out a few days early and enjoy some family time here first.  So glad we did.  Worth every penny we spent.

I am so happy! 
And blessed!!

I hope all of you are looking forward to a day that is equally wonderful (if not equally exotic).  May you be blessed today, and always, with sunshine - if not in the skies, then at least in your hearts!

Happy Mother's Day and God Bless,   ~Cynthia     <><

Saturday, 9 May 2015

Hawaii - Bound !!

I have been a bad blogger.  No - I mean a *REALLY* bad blogger.  I have neglected you and left you high and dry.
Well my friends, that ends NOW.

You see, I am on my way to Hawaii, with my family, thanks to a little thing called the Stampin' Up! incentive trip.  And I have you, my friends and customers and supporters and resident cheerleaders, to thank for it!

So over the next few days I hope to let you into my world so you can get a glimpse of exactly how I have been blessed by this company -- and by *YOU*.

Until then.....I am leaving' on a jet plane and Hawaii-bound.  Aloha Waikiki!!  I'll see you soon.

Enjoy your day my friends.  God Bless you all,   ~Cynthia    <><