Monthly Archives: August 2013

Salt Lake City Grand Vacation Part Five

On the final night of the Grand Vacation we had a Grand Farewell Party at a working ranch in Utah.

Dinner was served in the stables… once again, superbly decorated down the finest detail.

Then we moved outside for a live band, line dancing lessons, smores and flaming donuts! A lovely, lovely way to end an amazing holiday.

I’ve talked about how spoiled we all were but one thing that I haven’t yet mentioned is the pillow gifts.

Each night when we got back to the hotel we’d find a new gift, wrapped in a hessian sack and tied with a ribbon and a tag.

The gifts included a logo jacket, a book on Utah, loads of product…

And this gorgeous bag…

It even has the Stampin’ Up! logo!

I had to add this little moose I bought in the local township of Park City. I love moose (what’s the plural of moose?) and they have them absolutely everywhere in Utah.

Would you believe that all of this came home from my trip? And there are only 2 items in the whole pile that I bought – from Memento Mall at Convention.

It was certainly a trip to remember. I may have been to Utah before. I may have been to Stampin’ Up! events before. But there is nothing that will ever compare to the excitement, wonder and pure indulgence of this trip. Thank you Stampin’ Up! And thank you to all my customers, hostesses and team members who helped me get there.




New Holiday Catalogue has arrived!

Who’s ready to get stuck into their Holiday crafting? Fantastic, because I have just the thing to help – the new Stampin’ Up! Holiday Catalogue 2013!


Click image to view online!

29th August 2013 – 1st February 2014 

If you’re in Australia and would like me to post you your very own copy to have and to hold (because I know you’ll cherish it) just let me know!



Salt Lake City Grand Vacation Part Four

Almost as exciting as the Home Office was seeing the Stampin’ Up! factory. This is another purpose-built facility, this time in Kanab in Southern Utah, but it’s usually off-limits to demonstrators. It was fantastic to see how all our inks, stamps and cardstock are created. And once again they spoiled us rotten, allowing us to take home samples from almost every stop. An ink pad here, a stamp pad there!

They even let us have a go at various roles around the factory. This is me having a go at the puzzle that is picking all the right size wooden blocks and fitting them into the boxes. Someone out there now has a stamp set that I put together for them!

After the factory they took us on a surprise trip to a local playground. Why? To show us what happens to all the rubber off-cuts and seconds. It makes for a very bright and bouncy surface to play on – and it matches the scenery too!

Kanab is so far from Salt Lake City that Stampin’ Up! chartered a flight to take us there. And there were so many of us – somewhere in the region of 200 I think – that the charter plane broke records for being the largest passenger plane to ever land there. It even made the local news!

It was a long, hot day but true to form Stampin’ Up! took care of us by having beautifully presented packed dinners waiting for us at the airport in Salt Lake City so we wouldn’t be hungry on the coach ride back to the hotel. They even had senior staff members dotted around the airport to make sure none of us got lost!

I think there’s enough left to share for one more post so will be back again shortly with the final details.



Happy Birthday Blog!


Just thought I’d take this opportunity to celebrate my blog’s 1st birthday!

Happy Birthday Blog.

Many happy returns.

And I hadn’t found a reason to share this card featuring the Elegant Butterfly punch and the Whisper White Organza ribbon. So here it is! 




Diamond Fold Cards and Scrunchy Flowers

At Stamp Club this month one of our projects was a Diamond Fold card:

This looks like a complicated fold but once you get down to it, it really isn’t. But it certainly looks amazing!

I used the Sketched Birthday set for the greeting. You can make things easier on yourself by using the matching Bitty Banners framelits to cut it out with the Big Shot.

Sketched Birthday
Wood (130423) $42.95
Clear (130426) $41.95

The scrunched flower is made using the 1-3/4″ Scallop Circle punch and breaking down the fibres with a bone folder before separating the layers and scrunching them up together to give it depth. And then a little glitter to highlight.


You can just see in the inner folds the stamp from the Morning Meadow hostess set. This comes as one stamp but because I got this set in clear mount I was able to cut the rubber in half. This means I can use each half separately, as I have here, or mount them together on a clear block and use them as intended.

Morning Meadow Hostess
Wood (129675) $24
Clear (129678) $19

And then I made a bright, sunny Daffodil Delight version for my mum’s birthday!

 THE PRINTABLE PHOTO RECIPE CARD IS AVAILABLE TO MY NEWSLETTER SUBSCRIBERS. Subscribe for free today and let me know you’d like this one.

It was very similar except this time I added one of our new Frosted Finishes Embellishments to the centre of the scrunchy flower.

 Frosted Finishes Embellishments
(132150) $11.95

12 pieces. 1.9cm

 Love that extra bling!





Salt Lake City Grand Vacation Part Three

Well it’s no surprise that THE most exciting day of the trip was our visit to the Home Office. This is the purpose-built Stampin’ Up! headquarters in Riverton, Utah. And this is where the magic happens.

I expected it to be exciting but I don’t think any of us were prepared for the welcome we got when we arrived. All of the staff lined the balconies and clapped and cheered continuously while we all stepped inside. It was breathtaking, and completely overwhelming. It was an incredible honour to be there, but to be applauded for being there is another thing altogether. And to be able to share it with Tanja was amazing. What a buzz!

Here are all the other lovely ladies from Australia who made it:

Shelli Gardner is the co-founder and CEO of the company and an amazing woman. Of course a highlight of anyone’s visit to SU HQ would be a photo opportunity with the lady herself. So glad I was brave enough to ask for one!

Next up was a tour of the building. We saw the creative engine rooms…

…and got to speak to the artists at work.

Then we headed across the atrium to the enormous warehouse…

…and got a rush seeing all those Big Brown Boxes whizzing by. How exciting knowing that they would soon be on their way to make someone’s day!

If you’ve ever seen any videos of the Home Office you’ll have seen the Legacy Room. This place is actually a series of rooms that they regularly update and revitalise. There are bits of Stampin’ Up! history as well as showcases of current and upcoming product. I could have stayed in there for hours and still not taken it all in.

I really love the sentiment behind everything Stampin’ Up! does. And the fact that they wear it so proudly:

Then it was time for lunch at the base of that stunning atrium. And who should Tanja and I get to share our table with? Not just Shelli, and husband Sterling, but their daughter Sara and her husband Sean as well. It was like dining with royalty and a rare opportunity for informal chat. We were so in awe we didn’t even take a photo!!!

After lunch we were ready to get creative and headed over to the Inspiration Room:

And what better space to get busy with our make and takes than these tables in the atrium. What an inspiring place! I’ll show you the projects we made in another post.

After everything we’d already been given, we were surprised by our parting gifts. We each received our very own personalised stamp:

It was such an amazing day that it almost made me forget I was suffering terribly from altitude sickness. I couldn’t decide if it was unfair that I was so sick on THAT day or if I was better off because there’s no way I could let feeling rotten get me down in a place like that. By the end of the day though I was struggling so they kindly arranged for a driver to take us back to the hotel and skip the arrangements for dinner. Our lovely driver stopped and took a picture of us by THE rock on our way out the drive. Yes, we’d definitely been there!

If you want to see more of the home office, check out this video included in my very first blog post!

That’s all for now. I’ll be back soon to show you our trip down to the Stampin’ Up! factory.



Salt Lake City Grand Vacation Part Two

So after the chaos of Convention we headed out of Salt Lake City to the nearby mountains. This was the start of the Grand Vacation proper. My first, but hopefully not my last. Some of the more experienced girls told me these trips are addictive and they were right.

Perched on top of a mountain is the St. Regis Deer Valley. This is the most luxurious hotel I’ve ever seen, let alone had the privilege of staying in!

It was utterly breathtaking in every aspect.

And because it was built as a ski resort our room had it’s own fireplace. Shame it was up around 40 degrees most days!

I was flabbergasted to find this sign posted in our room. The rate is simply jawdropping!

But when you see that the hotel even had it’s own private funicular to take guests up and down to the street you can begin to understand why.

And on top of all that Stampin’ Up! pulled out all the stops to make us feel so welcome. We had a lounge to hang out in with yummy US lollies to try and daily games for prizes.

Our first night welcoming dinner on the terrace was sublime. The attention to detail was amazing, with centrepieces, cutlery holders, and even decorated chocolate boxes that matched the tablecloths!

Day one certainly gave us a taste of what was to come!

I’ll be back again soon with more.



Best of…Shelli

Who better to choose her favourite stamps for Stampin’ Up!s 25th Anniversary than Shelli Gardner, the co-founder of the company herself!

This set will be available until 30th April 2014 unless sold out earlier.

The August set is the inspiring

Best Of Shelli:
133488 Best of Shelli
(available in clear-mount only) $25.95
*Flower coordinates with 3/4” Circle Punch (item 119873). 
Clear Block advice: D, C & B
Let me know if you’d like to purchase this set
or order it online using the direct link below:

Remember ‘Best of Flowers’  and ‘Best of Butterflies’ are still available too!



Salt Lake City Grand Vacation Part One

Well I promised to share some of my adventures from my Grand Vacation and what better way to do than with a sampling of the huge number of photos I took. I’ll split it up into a few posts, but I’m warning you, none of them will be short.

For those who don’t know, I earned the Stampin’ Up! Grand Vacation. And this year, to celebrate the 25th Anniversary, all the South Pacific and European achievers were flown to Salt Lake City, Utah, the home of Stampin’ Up! We were also invited to attend this year’s US Convention in Salt Lake City before heading off to be spoiled rotten at a 5 star resort in the Utah mountains.

Wonder Hubby was unable to attend so I invited my friend, and former upline, Tanja. She was the one who introduced me to Stampin’ Up! so seemed the perfect choice to bring along.

When we were shown our options for flights one of them was via San Francisco. We jumped at the chance to add an extra couple of days exploring that beautiful city on our way to Salt Lake City.

Despite it being the middle of summer, the weather wasn’t kind to us in San Francisco. We even needed to buy jackets so we wouldn’t freeze on the boat over to Alcatraz.

It was a flying visit but we saw the major sights and had a ball. And it was so much nicer to break up the journey too.

We then headed over to Salt Lake City just in time for Convention. In Australia this year our Convention had around 700 people. This one had almost 6000!!!!

It was incredibly busy but the crowd was buzzing and it was so exciting to be a part of it. We international interlopers even got a special mention and welcome from Shelli herself at the opening session!

In addition to the general sessions there were all sorts of additional displays, classes and activities. And giveaways, did I mention giveaways! On the first night there was an expo with ongoing demonstrations, product playgrounds, and a karaoke competition to give the place a party atmosphere.

One of my favourite events was the attempt at a Guiness World Record for the most number of greeting cards sent from a single location. We only had three hours to participate but Tanja and I both managed to make it to the front of the queue and play our part. I sent a card to a lovely friend back home who’d been in an awful accident the week before. Tanja sent one home to her daughter who was having a birthday while we were away. This is us with the postie and his van before they headed off to get all those cards on their way!

And, yay! We set the record! I can’t remember the exact figure but I think it was in the region of 3000!

Everyone we met treated us so well and made a big fuss of us coming all that way. It was a really welcoming atmosphere.  We met lots of people while queuing for various activities and bizarely amongst all those people we managed to keep running into the same ones.

There was even an Achiever’s Room we could go to for a little break from the chaos of so many people. This is me with some new US demonstrator friends, Kristin Kortonick, Sherill Graff and Mary Ellen Byler.

Another exciting part of Convention was getting sneak peeks at some of the new products. Some of what we saw probably won’t make it to Australia but some of it definitely will. One of my favourites is the new Undefined kit. It has tools and rubber and some templates so you can really get creative and make your own custom stamps. With my first chance to play I made a door stamp for my team, The Stampers Next Door! I can’t show you any of the products yet but I can show you what I made with them.

I have so many more photos of the displays, the classes, the presentations, the people, and the spectacle of the whole event but I’ll finish up here with one of me and Tanja at the Awards after party. This event was amazing, there were acrobats hanging from the ceiling, a live band, delicious treats, all sorts of games and competitions, green screens for professional photo opportunities and so much more.

US Convention was three exhausting, action-packed days with thousands of like-minded and enthusiastic people having a ball. It’s an experience I’ll never forget. And it was just the beginning. The very next day we boarded a coach to begin the real Grand Vacation part of our trip!

Back soon with the next installment.



Celebrating 5 Years with Stampin’ Up!

It’s now been 5 years since I joined the Stampin’ Up! family and I’m simply amazed at how fast it’s flown by and how far this journey has taken me! I would never have thought that I’d have the lovely team of demonstrators that I do, that fellow demonstrators and customers would become wonderful friends, that I’d be whisked away to the US to celebrate Stampin’ Up!s 25th Anniversary or that it would be such an important part of my day each and every day!


I’m also really thrilled that I managed to achieve a long held ambition to reach $100,000 in career sales by the time I’d been a demonstrator for 5 years. For the first three years I didn’t quite make the $20,000 mark so I’m so excited that the last couple of years I’ve been able to make up the difference.

Thanks so much to each and every one of you who has supported my business, as a customer, a hostess, a downline, an upline, a sideline, a friend. And thanks to his awesomeness and his two mini-me’s for enduring the interruptions that Stampin’ Up! regularly means for our family.

I love what I do and hope I can continue to share what I love for a long time to come!



AUGUST CLASS – Peekaboo!

Who’s ready to play Peekaboo?

 With this die you can create all sorts of fun projects with hidden surprises!

In this class we’ll be making two cards and two surprise gifts:

Thursday 8th AUGUST

8pm – 11pm


$20 per person


Friday 9th AUGUST

10am – 1pm


$20 per person

Children able to entertain themselves in the next room are welcome!


Sunday 11th AUGUST

2pm – 5pm


$20 per person

Click here to book now

We’ll be making two cards…

The first one uses one of the butterflies from the new Best of Butterflies set…

You can choose to add whatever greeting and sentiment you like! Peekaboo!

Thanks to the one and only Shelli Gardner (co-founder of Stampin’ Up!) for the inspiration for this one in her US Convention presentation!

The second card features one of my favourite combinations from the new In Colours – Pistachio Pudding and Crisp Canteloupe:

And behind those shutters, is it a window….

No! It’s a cupboard full of special things!
And the final project is a couple of little gift items:
You could let your imagination run wild with your choice of fillings and sentiments, but this time I chose to make them as baby announcements…. and kept all bases covered.
These would be the perfect way for new grandma’s or aunts to reveal the breaking news to their friends!
 Click here to book now




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Genna Gifford Independent Stampin' Up! Demonstrator, Melbourne, Australia

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The content of this website is the sole responsibility of Genna Gifford - Independent Stampin’ Up! Demonstrator. It is not endorsed by Stampin’ Up!
The creative projects displayed are the work of Genna Gifford unless stated otherwise. I will attempt to attribute inspiration and guidance where it's due but apologise for any omissions. Stamped images are copyright Stampin' Up! 1990-2012 unless otherwise stated.
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