(Seattle Friday 2nd May - Monday 5 May, 2008)
Friday night saw me attend my first and hopefully not last World Largest Shoe Box Party stamp camp. Every attendee brings a project for everyone to complete, this year there were 35 of us so we got to do 35 projects, I completed mine in the nick of time, I was doing a lot of talking, bonding, napping and got 2 massages in as well.
After meet and greet, Theresa Dalzell-Wells escorted me up to my very sparse room of barely 18inches between the two single beds, with my 2 suitcases on the floor, there was no leg room at all, no time to unpack or anything. Down stairs to meet Michelle A-Z for registration, get my Las Vegas purse with goodies in it like gambling chips, name tag and more play money. Put my name in for the gorgeous Brooke Box lucky draw (that woman can bead). Collect my water bottle with my lovely hand made name tag on it.
Photoshoot against giant playing cards coming out my ears (can't wait to see all the photos). Off to be introduced to people and find a seat. Have no idea whats in store at this stage. Tables are set out with projects and decorated with a Las Vegas theme of playing chips, cards and confetti in the shape of hearts, spades and diamonds (someone did a lot of shopping).
Elvis impersonator Kelly Morrison from PWA did a grand job with pillow help and that twitch of her Elvis mouth and gyrating hips and deep sexy voice (boy from looking at her photos I had no idea she had such a husky sexy voice).
Then the real Elvis came on (I mean the one thats alive), another deep sexy voice, I had no idea he had a lisp but he sang really well. It was great to dance with him, wasnt game to jump on the table to dance but have always wanted to do that, I wanted to enjoy my holiday without a visit to the hospital at $1000 a pop. Debbie Warren and I gave him our room keys while he was serenading Ann Margret (Karen Slusher) I think, she was not a happy gal and nearly tore my eyes out especially after I gave Elvis $50 Australian Dollars, the funny guy thought I was seriously giving him money to keep, but after he realised it was foreign money he said "I can't take this". So I got $50 more to spend.
Debbie Warren and I were the first to tackle 2 projects around 10pm while everyone else was playing casino games. Then it was off to bed to get some sleep.
Food was ok, still not used to American style breakfasts, tried to eat as little as I could and eat more salads with my favourite Ranch dressing.
Saturday got stuck into projects with organised games and raffles in between. Multi tasking with projects and bonding was awesome. Got a 1/2 hr massage from Linda Greenwood which was awesome, got some of that travel stiffness out.
Saturday night I demonstrated the decorated CD to everyone and showed them how to use the O'So sticky using the cuttlebug and nestabilities shapes. More projects completed and off to bed at 10pm, I discovered that I was over stimulated each night and I could not get to sleep straight away with all the noise and voices in my head, after 4 hours of tossing and turning I managed to get to sleep at 2am only to wake up at 5 or 6 am each day and it wasnt because Debbie Warren snored in the room beside me.
Sunday was more projects and another 1/2 hr massage for me, more games and prizes, bonding with other attendees. Then at 5pm it was sad goodbyes. Vicki Chow, Michelle McCarthy and I had Japanese for dinner and about 24 of us tootled along to Friends and Company www.friends-n-company.com who organised a make and take done by Diane Radishat (it was great to finally meet you Diane). Got myself a bargain scorpal which is just awesome and so light, $30 instead of the usual $40. I was so happy to get it I almost peed in my pants.
(after 5 days here my stomach is still not well, not sure if I am missing home or husband and girls or jetlag is having my stomach do turnovers)
Now I swore before I left Australia that I would not do inchies, well after coming here and seeing all the samples in the shops I am hooked, especially when they make the inchies from board in black and white all ready to decorate on. So I bought a box of each colour, a few pages to hold inchies I am going to swap on a personal basis with new found friends and play with all the new inchies stamps I bought.
Monday morning was the bus tour shopping trip organised by Penny Wise Arts that is always on after the shoebox. 7am start and no breakfast (hopefully some weight will be lost prior to the cruise so I can eat cruise food that people say is so awesome). First stop was Starbucks for those coffee drinkers then it was onto Stampin in the Rain www.stampin-in-the-rain.com which is such a cute little shop in a cute village, the sun was out and it was a glorious day. Did a make and take and found some awesome cute stamps that used vegetables and were designed to look like clothes. It amazes me how many new stamps I can see that I have never seen before back in Australia, one could go mad shopping here if one had a bottomless credit card. I also found a stamp that said CREDIT CARD HAS LIMITS mine certainly has reached its limits LOL.
Lasting Memores www.lasting-memories.com was the next stop, more of a scrapbooking store but I found mats for my cutting machine which was $5.99 compared to $22 back home, what a bargain so I bought the store out, also found cutting blades for it so bought that out too which was $5.99 compared to $15 back home.
On to lunch at a Teriyaki place that wasnt even open but the door was, I almost had to go into the kitchen to cook for us. So it was Hawaiian lunch for us, I had ribs which was yummy and the yummies cold slaw which had an awesome creamy mayonaise on it. Then onto Jo-Anns where I found my Gelly Roll pens which I fell in love with after doing Theresa Dalzel-Wells project of inchies (lady you got me hooked you know - with inchies and gelly roll pens).
Off to Creation Station http://www.creationstationinc.com/which is the equivalent of a Reverse Garbage back in Australia, I got some miniautre mirrors to put on my inchies.
Amuse www.amuseartstamps.com another make and take of a cute box but I had to leave mine flat so I could transport it, have instructions to finish it off at home. Got a wondeful finger scalpel knife which is so easy to use and a lovely edge punch which looks like theatre curtains, more inchie stamps and wonderful ribbons.
Archie Mcphee's http://www.mcphee.com/ was next, I bailed out, was over tired and did not want another thing to buy so I figured if I didn't see it I would not want it. Stayed in the van and had a good bonding talk with Kathi Hall and Nicole Gunther.
Off to dinner at Johnny something (forgot the rest of the name), had a hamburger but wasn't the same as a real hamburger I had tasted when Michael took me to in Arizona or Texas.
Impress Rubber Stamps http://impressrubberstamps.com/ was the next stop and I saw some gorgeous stamps I had never seen before as well, there was a make and take but I was all crafted out and just wanted to look and run, well a basket full later I was done (beginning to talk American now because I never say I'M DONE, its always I'M FINISHED or I'VE HAD ENOUGH must be all that ranch dressing I've consumed).
So by concensus we decided to cut the bus tour short by 2 hours which was welcomed by all especially our wonderful patient and diplomatic driver Kelly Morrison and her partner in crime Annette Lanker, tour entertainer. They both did a wonderful job keeping us in line. I highly recommend the bus trip, no matter how tired you are (Georgia Wood are you listening!).
I am so glad I had the opportunity to get to WLSBP, I hope I can come back some day to do it all again. For those of you who live here, you don't want to miss it. I would be coming every year, not for the projects as much but for the friendships you forge and the entertainment and excitement of biding at auction (I reckon I bid too high for the stamps sets that no one else wanted LOL, I've just realised that now that I've woken up to my stupidity but you know I have always wanted that SU set which is only a hostess gift in Australia and no longer available).
What was fun was putting faces and personalities to emails that do not give a hint of what a person is really like, surprises for me were Julie Imsland and Lisa Heusler, your emails come across to me as being quiet and demure hee hee. Georgia Wood and your cheeky emails belie your quiet nature. Kelly Morrison what a closet queen you are, that deep husky voice and all those antics up your sleeves, you are a born leader.
Thank you to Vicki Chow, Michelle McCarthy, Theresa Dalzel-Wells, Debbie Warren, Leola Johnston who looked after this beddraggled, jetlagged lost sheep and kept an eye on me constantly so I would not fall over from lack of sleep and pure excitement. To those of you who shared your breakfast/lunch and dinner table with me and kept me informed and welcomed constantly as if I lived there. Linda Greenwood's wonderful therapeutic massage hands.
Lastly Suzanne Glazier and her wonderful elves for making this occasion each year so we can come and enjoy it, you did a wondeful job and I am impressed. This has set a precendence for me as a stamp camp and as my first one thats a good thing.
Goodbye Seattle, my next post will be about the Tim Holtz cruise from May 11 -May 18th and I will be posting from Phoenix Arizona in about a weeks time when I get internet again.
Love you all PWAers www.pennywisearts.com