Where's Linda?

It was off to the big city of Chicago this last weekend to attend Janice Weightman's Spring Event. Talk about a fantastic trip and a fantastic bunch of girls! Couldn't have had a nicer weekend. Got to the Chicago O'Hare airport without incident and then the adventure began. My instructions read that I was to ask where the Van Galder bus terminal was. Only problem was, I couldn't find anyone to ask so I decided to just follow the transit signs. I ended up in the 'under-ground' where the trains were to take you into the city. As I was twirling around with papers in hand, looking confused, a gentleman came up to me and asked where I was going. Needless to say I knew that he was a 'pan-handler', but what the heck ... I needed to know where I was going and he needed a couple of bucks. So off we went ... around the corner ... just him and me and got into the elevator with him. I thought, "I'm going to get mugged! ... Oh well!" But he was a gentleman and took me right where I needed to go and then promptly encouraged me to give him a tip, which I did.

I waited for a couple of hours people watching, one of my favorite past-times until my bus arrived. After boarding the bus we rode for about an hour and half south of Chicago to a little town called Rockton, population just over 7,000. The bus pulled up to a McDonalds and the driver said this was our stop. I got off the bus, got my luggage and went into McDonalds to wait for my chariot.

Janice arrived with her van all decked out with her magnetized Stampin' Up! signs on both doors. Immediately I knew which vehicle was hers! Willow, their Wheaton Terrier was waiting to greet me upon our arrival to her beautiful home.

This is her great husband, Paul, who is not only a wonderful supportive husband to Janice, but a great cook and A/V guy!

Janice and Paul have the most amazing home out in the country with the most incredible view. I could live here easily. Their beautiful daughters greeted me warmly and Matisse gave up her Pretty in Pink bedroom to me while she slept on the couch. Thank-you again Matisse!

Time to see the Stamp Room. I've NEVER seen a stamp room like this in my life. Not even the art room at Stampin' Up! can equal this room. It was neater than a stamp store --- so organized and she has everything. This is a stamper's paradise! I promise to take her example and become more organized after seeing her room.

Check out that paper! And look at the ones that are going away ... BOOOO! But I'm excited for the new colors ... HORRAY!

Check out the view, both inside and out!
Thanks to all of my stamping buddies that greeted me so warmly at the event the next morning: Lisa Miller, Lisa Lou, JoAnn Bengtsen, Peggy Taylor, Karen Davis, Pam Peterson, Cherie Gustafom, Deb Schwemlein, Rhonda Salis, Lynne Miller, Nan Goerlitz, Tammy Neperud, Mary Smith, Christie Carter, Darla Wilson, Jessica Siebels, Dianna Richards, Cindy Carroll, Barbara Pisciotto, and of course Paul and Janice Weightman.

The event was absolutely AMAZING and I learned a ton of things of which I'm planning on sharing in Minneapolis with Teri Gaines and her group. So, I won't let the cat out of the bag and show you the projects until after Minneapolis. And I'll give credit where credit is due, girls. Your demos were spectacular and I've already tried them and they work!

What a wonderful day! And I don't know how Janice knew, but she took me to Trader Joes, a specialty grocery store. I LOVE to go to grocery stores and compare prices in other cities and buy things that are specialized to the region of the country. I bought a box of Wisconsin Mac and Cheese/Trader Joes! Can't wait to try it. And we went browsing at a marvelous scrapbook store and ate at two fabulous places. The food was divine and the company was even better. Thanks again Janice and Paul for a most memorable week-end! Love you guys!

O.K. ... now for some teasers ... You'll want to keep checking my blog because I will be making two BIG announcements in a few days. All I can say is that it's a BIG announcement and one you'll want to read all about. More later ... and see you in a few days!

Denver ... The Mile High City!

What an AMAZING event with Tara Bazata, a member of the Stampin' Up! Advisory Board and her Spring Stamposium event. The weather was perfect and it was a beautiful, sunny, warm day when Tara picked me up at the airport and took me to her beautiful home. She and her husband and three boys were the perfect hosts. They cooked me a lovely dinner and then I had the privilege of watching Tara 'create' in her gorgeous stamp room. I'll tell you ... a stamp room all your own is every crafter's dream. She had a place for everything and it was so well organized. It was fun looking at all of the new product and the new colors that will be coming out in July.

I'm sooo excited for the new color renovation. All I can say is, "It's about TIME!" We've needed a new, updated color line for quite a few years and this is an exciting change. Can't wait to get my hands on the new inks. What a great idea to include a sheet of the new colors in our Stampin' Success!

We had the most amazing stamping demonstrations - look at some of these gorgeous creations ... flowers made from fabric. Use them for pins, necklaces, embellishments on headbands, bracelets. You name it ... our presenter showed us how! I apologize for not giving credit where credit is due ... I've lost my folder with my program in it and I can't remember the presenter's names. BOOOO to me!

Check out this new set! Can't wait to get it!!!

This is one of my favorite Denver buddies --- Sylvia Simpson. I've known Sylvia and Cheryl Burnside for years and love them dearly. The first time I came to Denver they picked me up, showed me the sites around town and took me to the Mile High Stampers Event with Connie Ingram. We've had FUN ever since! Sylvia took me back to the airport, which gave us lots of time to gab and catch up with each other.

Me and Cheryl! We're going to plan an over-nighter at Cheryl's cabin in the mountains and stamp all day in our p.j.'s. Sounds like fun!

This is my lovely sister-in-law, Carrie, who lives in Aurora, Colorado. She came over to hear my presentation. So good to see family. I love her so much! They are the best parents and have such a good family. Their oldest is getting ready to serve a mission for our church. I can't believe that Jake is all grown up!

Look at Angie! This pic makes me laugh!!

Well ... it's fun looking at these wonderful pictures and remembering all of my wonderful 'sisters'. I have the best life and am so blessed with so many friends all over the world!

It's off to Chicago this weekend to visit Janice Weightman and her group. She's even going to let me borrow her dog so I won't miss Dieter so much! :)

On a sad note ... I shouldn't leave you with a sad post, but it needs mentioning. Our youngest daughter's father-in-law, who was only 55, died of a massive heart attack while exercising on the tread mill. We just visited with him on Sunday when Emma was blessed at church. We had a lovely dinner at Lindsey and Ryan's home after church where we visited with Blair and his family. He has two missionaries out in the field, who won't be able to come home for the funeral. One's in Germany and the other is in Washington State. He has another son who just left for Europe this week and is stuck in Europe due to the volcano in Iceland. He'll probably miss his Dad's funeral too. Life has a lot of hiccups in it, doesn't it? It's always sad when our loved ones are taken so soon and so early in life. I know there is a better place where he is, but it's still hard to have him taken so suddenly. Our thoughts and prayers are with Ryan and Lindsey! For you demonstrators, Ryan Martineau is your finance guy at Stampin' Up! He's responsible for you getting paid!

On a happier note ... hold on to your hat ... and mark July 23rd on your calendars for an evening event with me and some fellow stampers, for dinner and stamping and some very special guests. You won't want to miss out. More details to follow shortly!