Sydney Convention 2010

I can't believe it's already three weeks on from convention - although having said that, it feels a whole lot longer ago - and if you're into reading stampin' blogs at all, there's a very good chance that you've already found out all the good bits about Sydney 2010!

I've finally had a chance to edit some photos from our time away, having received our camera back in the mail last week (thanks again Mr Businessman!), so if you're at all inclined to know what goes on at a Stampin' Up! convention (and don't mind wading through some happy snaps from the family holiday that followed...), read on for my version of Sydney 2010!

We decided that we would make this year another family holiday/convention extravaganza, the last one being Brisbane two years ago and let me tell you, the two years difference between travelling with an 18 month old as opposed to a 3.5 year is vast.

In a very good way!

tim-and-girls-ap

The first day of convention - in fact the first five minutes - is quite often the most fun for me, as it's when I get to see many of my gorgeous stampin' friends again for the first time in a year.  I am so lucky to have expanded my circle of friends by huge amounts through nothing other than a mutual association with Stampin' Up! and for that, I will be forever thankful.

This year, convention kind of started the evening before the official beginning, at the Managers' Reception.  It's a chance for a number of demonstrators titled Manager and above to get together in a smaller setting with each other and also with Shelli.

Following a brief talk from Shelli herself, we were ushered into a room where there was a table filled with fish bowl sized mugs adorned with the sweet Share a Cup stamp image from the Autumn/Winter mini.

Alongside the table were several convention centre staff ladling melted chocolate and warm milk into the fish bowl sized mugs and handing them out to us all...

with-marelle-and-cups

Despite the fact that the cup posed a couple of social issues in that taking a sip from it obscured the immediate area and any conversation partners from view, as well as the more cosmetic concern of having chocolate deposited across one's forehead and through one's eyebrows, the number one topic of conversation in the room was how we could lick them clean enough to tuck in our bags to take home...

Thankfully, this conundrum was solved upon leaving the room where there was another table filled with the mugs, this time gift wrapped in cellophane and with the matching stamp tucked inside :)

The first official day of convention started with the usual throng of demonstrators lining up to register, as well as mad swapping, hugging, chatting, photographing and general merriment.

with-sj

The gorgeous Sarah-Jane Kalé was there for her first convention and it was great to hang out with her all weekend.  I'm lucky enough to live just a couple of suburbs from SJ in Perth, so we have got together on several occasions, kids and all.  During convention weekend she was without her own precious poppets, so mine were happy stand in whenever SJ felt the need for some poppet love :)

SJ was an honourary member of my A Klass Act team for the weekend, speaking of which, here are the rest of the team gals that came along....

team

Louise is holding one of the little bags that I made up for my girls that attended convention this year - sort of a convention survival kit - something I love to do as a little token.

Here's what was inside:

team-bag

The two days of convention went by in a blur of fun and informative classes, fantastic presentations by both the home office staff and our local star demonstrators, gorgeous make and takes (that I can't actually show you as they involve stamp sets from the  upcoming Idea Book & Catalogue!) and more than a smattering of wonderful new friendships formed.

The weekend culminated in the awards dinner which is always a highlight and a great opportunity to get into a bit of finery and celebrate some amazing achievements by Australian and New Zealand Demonstrators.

One of the things that I love about convention is how much of a production it is, with a theme running through the whole weekend, and sound, lighting, video and photography all professionally taken care of.

The awards dinner was no exception and was set up as an Oscars type event, complete with a red carpet, paparazzi and screaming fans (aka Stampin' Up! staff) upon our arrival.

paparazzo

with-sj-dinner

with-teresa

with-marelle-dinner

Of course, no Stampin' Up! event would be complete without a photo opportunity with the ever gracious and smiling Shelli...

with-shelli

And not to be outdone, Tim simply wouldn't rest until he had managed to get 'Sterlo' in a picture...

tim-and-sterlo

By the end of the awards, I was hoarse from screaming and my hands were raw from clapping - there were some amazing achievements.

My dear friend Marelle Taylor stormed the stage on at least five occasions, one of which saw her named the number four demonstrator in Australia, and the wonderfully talented and all-around lovely Claire Daly was popularly announced as number one!

Go Claire!

I was equal parts surprised and delighted to have been called out at number 13.

At the end of the night, we hit the stage for a shot of our whole posse, including Fiona at the far left, who was SJ's roomie and part of our crew for the weekend.

crew-stage

After the awards dinner, we headed out into Darling Harbour, which was for the most part uneventful, aside from SJ being picked up at a bar, but that's a story for another time ;-)

Here we are doing our best Sex and the City movie poster impersonation...

satc-walk

As ever, it was over far too quickly, so the news that next year's convention would be three days instead of two was met with rapturous applause!

Do YOU want to join me for three days of stampin' fun in Melbourne next year?!

There's a FANTABULOUS promotion on at the moment with 20% off the Starter Kit, which is great value considering what you get in the kit, and better yet, what you get out of being a demonstrator.

Head to the Join My Team section , or contact me for more information!

Alrighty, if you're still with me, still conscious, and vaguely interested here are a few snaps of what my family and I got up to once the stampin' was done...

hannah-and-ella

girls-and-nanny

carousel

big-wheel

mini-tourists-1

new-inmates

secret-garden-1

secret-garden-2

rod-glass

paper-storage

qvb-window

plum-tuckered

with-hannah

And here ends my not so quick account of what was a wonderful week in Sydney!

If you're still with me, I commend you on your stamina and hope you enjoyed reading my account of our Sydney 2010 adventures :)