Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Stampin' in da U.P.!!

Be forewarned: this is a very long post as I have several photos I'd like to share with you today.

Hubby and I returned home late Monday night from a five-day get away to our beautiful Upper Peninsula (U.P.) where I attended the 2nd Annual Michigan Stampin' in the U.P. event on Friday and Saturday in Baraga, Michigan (right on the shores of Lake Superior). It was a good nine-hour drive there, but it was so worth it to see old friends, as well as meet new friends and spend some quality time together with other stampers "who get it"!!

First, I have to show you the stunning view from our hotel room looking out onto the Keewenaw Bay. It had rained that morning, and when we opened our draperies, this gorgeous rainbow awaited us:

One of my all-time favorite songs is Somewhere Over the Rainbow. I especially love the lyrics from the second stanza:

"Somewhere over the rainbow
Skies are blue,
And the dreams that you dare to dream
Really do come true."

On Friday, Sharon Johnson had a few of us over to her home for a delicious lunch and a fun time of chatting and laughter. It was here that I met new friends Joan Fricker and Jackie Abigt. Joan and Jackie have been friends for 37 years (isn't that the coolest??) and traveled all the way from Indiana. These two wonderful ladies greeted me warmly with hugs as we arrived in Sharon's driveway at the same time. After just a few minutes with them, I felt as if we had been long-time friends as well. Here's Joan (right) and Jackie (seated) pictured with our wonderful hostess, Sharon (left), on the front porch of her beautiful centennial home.

And here I am pictured with Joan and Jackie:

I was so glad that Deb Saaranen was also able to join the festivities. Here she is pictured with Joan and Jackie at the dining room table (Deb had to leave before the front porch pics were taken):

If you're checking in Cindy, I did remember to give Deb that hug of thanks from you!

After lunch, we had a little bit of time to spend in Sharon's stamping room before we were off to the hotel for the stamping event.

Deb and JoAnn Mleko (JoAnn also served on the H&M Stamps design team with me last year) did such a fabulous job putting this event together. I was so happy to be able to finally meet JoAnn in person. Here's JoAnn on the left posing for a picture with Lisa.

Here's a photo collage from the Friday night challenges and shoebox swap projects on Saturday:

We were given three challenges Friday night: a sketch, color, and ways to use it challenge. I must admit that I find on-the-spot challenges tough. I feel a lot of pressure to get my cards done within the short time frame we're allotted. It literally takes me hours to make most of my cards as I agonize over each step of the process. However, I did finish each challenge card, which I was happy about.

Here are the cards I made for these challenges.


We had to incorporate buttons into our ways to use it challenge card. This is the Merry & Bright set from Stampin' Up, and the designer paper is SU's Bella dp.

For the color challenge, we were to use 3 of the 4 colors provided in the designer papers. I chose to color these cute owls from Gina K's Owl Always Love You set.

This was the sketch design we were given. I chose to use paper tole on my Embrace Life flower.

On Saturday, Deb Saaranen spent literally HOURS providing Copic lessons to groups of threes. She guided us while we colored this watering can image (below) from Our Daily Bread Designs. I learned so much from Deb on how to use various colors of markers for blending and achieving the rustic patina affect on this can. Thank you so much, Deb!

After we colored the image, our next step was to go over to another room where Sharon Johnson would help us complete our card. Sharon provided us with packages containing cardstock, designer paper, and beautiful....and do I mean BEAUTIFUL!!!!....May Arts silk ribbon. This silk ribbon is so exquisite to the touch and easy to tie. Sharon gave us a demonstration on how to use the Bow Easy. So many of us fell in love with the Bow Easy and bought it!

This lovely lady is Helen, known as Lucy's MOM on SCS. Helen handled the registration table and has the sweetest smile and personality:

This is a group photo of Amy (AMY@MTU), Lisa, Barb (GrandmaUpNorth), and I:

Here I am with Sue (aka Sueza). Sue works at the hotel and helped to coordinate a lot of the logistics----great job, Sue! She is quite a corker and bustling with energy. I also discovered that Sue still owns a home, where she use to live, not too far from my home! Next time she "comes down under the bridge" (that's the great Mackinac Bridge), we hope to get together for coffee or lunch!

Sharon and Joan also have on-line stores where they sell a variety of products for stampers/scrapbookers. Sharon and Joan brought several of their products for us to purchase. I finally bought some items I've been wanting for a long time, such as the ScorPal, the Bow Easy and some May Arts silk ribbon, and a JustRite Monogram stamp set. Here are some pics of Sharon and Joan hard at work:

One of the last things JoAnn did was draw our names to come up to the table where each of us donated a handmade gift of some sort. I donated this clear pail I altered with designer papers, ovall all punch, circle Nestabilities, the Sizzix daisy die and ribbon. I filled the pail with small spools of ribbon, clear dollar stamps, trial size bottles of Aleene's tacky glue, and some salt water taffy.

When my name was called, I chose this beautifully decorated door knob hanger and clothes pin which was made by none other than the fabulously talented Sharon Johnson!!

Well, that's just about it. I wish to thank all of my U.P. friends for organizing such a wonderful event and thank you, again, Sharon, for a wonderful lunch!

I wish to also thank my sweet husband, Terry, who accompanied me on the trip and waited ever so patiently for me to be done each day, never complaining once. We took our meals together, and I shot this picture of him in the restaurant in the hotel, which has a beautiful view of the bay.

My sweetheart


Sharon (notimetostamp) said...

Oh how fun! I just cruised -- I'm making cheese now - I'll be back later to read in full!!! What a nice set of pics!!! TFS!!!

jdmommy - Anne Harmon said...

What fun, and what wonderful things you made. Would you be surprised to know that I loved the snowman card with the buttons??????? Glad you had such a good time! thanks for filling us in!!

Dawn B. said...

This is so awesome Charlene. How fun to meet all those great ladies. I really like the card you designed. Thanks for sharing..

Cindy Haffner said...

Oh what fun Charlene, thanks so much for sharing with us!!!

Pat (mspfd) said...

Sounds like a wonderful time. Wish I was there. Fantastic photos -- love the rainbow! What a way to greet the day!

Tosha Leyendekker said...

Oh Charlene..I'm so envious!! From the gorgeous rainbow to start your day, to the fabulous time you had meeting such wonderful women!! Love your fantastic project that you donated!! And the cards you made so quickly are fabulous!! I so can't stamp in a group, so I woulda been fumbling all over the place!! Your skill is impressive to say the least!! I'm so glad you had such an awesome time. Thanks for taking the time to share all these wonderful photos!!

Stef H said...

ohhhhhh i wish i was there! what fun and what great pictures (and hubby is hot, hot, hot). so glad you had such a good time and the cards are fabulous, and i would have been LMAO all the time. how wonderful for you. and thanks soooo much for sharing. it's nice to see a face to the names!


Julia Aston said...

What a fun fun time you had Charlene! and how great to meet all these fun stampers! I've been ordering from Joan for quite some time now - love all the great cards you made!

StampOwl said...

No wonder you have been so quiet lately LOL ... now I know ... great cards and glad you are having so much fun

Traci M said...

I am just a little jealous, but so happy for you Charlene!! I am mostly jealous cuz I like salt water taffy and I wanted it!! :)
I love all the pictures, Sharon is one of my favorite stampers, and I've visited Joan's blog too...lucky for all of you to meet each other! Your projects are all awesome, so proud of you for altering an item, and it looks awesome!
I love seeing your pretty face and all the amazing projects, your cards are great, and you did that in a group...I'd be frazzled for sure.
So glad you had a great trip...and thanks for sharing it with us!
Hugs, Traci

Tammy Hershberger said...

Wow, what a fabulous time you had! I'm so jealous! Thanks for sharing all the wonderful pictures!

Stacy Morgan said...

The cards and project look great. From the pictures sounds like you had a great time! So glad you got to go and thanks for sharing the pictures!

Dawn said...

what FUN Charlene!! just a tad jealous!! tfs

C said...

Oh, Charlene...I devoured every word and every card! I think you did MUCH better than going to CHA. To stamp with Sharon and the other ladies would be like pure heaven...I'd be awestruck and oh so humbled.

I need a bow easy lesson. I have mine, I've read the instructions, watched the videos and still make stinky bows, course I can't tie that darn knot in my jewelry making class either. :-) Great cards in record time and that husband of yours is a real keeper.

Mothermark said...

Charlene! How fun you took us through your fun weekend! From start to finish! And Terry, you rock! You are the bestest hubby ever......

You guys made some really cool projects and I am sure just had a blast doing it! What wonderful pictures of everyone!

Thank you for giving Deb a hug for me! I didn't know if you had gotten my message before you left or not! You look good girlfriend! Where is that big butt you claim to sport?????

Thanks for sharing.....I am happy you had so much fun with your with your buddies!!!

Mothermark said...

Sharon makes cheese? Oh yeah, she would, she is on a dairy farm! I forot! Silly me!! Hee!

Oh yeah, about the view.. Wowee! Looks like a Christmas tree!

Joanne (jojot) said...

Cutie.....Bertie.....BBB.....I am so glad you had a wonderful time....and that you shared it all with us in such wonderful detail....fantabulous

now....we need to get to work on OUR group meeting......wouldn't that be a real hoot!!!!

Ann said...

Charlene you looked like you had a blast!! I drove right through Eaton Rapids last week and was going to look you up - but you wouldn't have been around!!

Joan Ervin said...

Holy Moley, gf...what a wonderful trip!!!! The swap looked like a lot of fun and how fabulous to actually go to Sharon's home...you will have lots of awesome memories, for sure!!!!! Your sweetheart is quite a hunk, too....a real keeper, for sure!!!!

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