A Very Special Regional

Just wrapped up our last regional of the fall regional season here in Portland, Oregon—and it was a great way to end the season. The demonstrators were fabulous (they always are!), and meeting with them is always the highlight of every regional!

I continue to LOVE what we’re doing to “surprise and delight” those who attend the regionals. The afternoon snack (which was added this year) has become a favorite; the contest is a great way to share creative ideas (this contest was the hardest one to judge yet—I saw some incredible ideas!); plenty of Workshop Wows; and a pace that keeps things moving. In fact, I heard several demonstrators say they couldn’t believe the day was over, and that’s not always been the case.

I forgot to mention on earlier regional blogs that we’ve been handing out regional buttons with little statements and Stampin’ Up! art tied into the locale of each regional. I can’t remember any of them right now (I’ve got them all at home. . . ), but the one for Portland was “I’M A STAMP HUGGER” (a play off of Tree Hugger, of course). I’ve enjoyed seeing each new button, and I think our  attendees have enjoyed receiving them.

We also had a bunch of guests this weekend—more than normal—and were pleased to have more than a dozen of them join us! Inviting guests to attend a Stampin’ Up! event is always a great way for someone to get a taste of what Stampin’ Up! is all about.

Everyone seemed to like my project, although every once in awhile I ask myself how I could tell if they didn’t? Everyone is so gracious; I can’t imagine people actually saying, “Hey, Shelli, I’m a little disappointed in this project. Can you do a little better next time?”

This particular project actually came out of a project a friend of mine did last month; I asked her to make the ring boxes for the rings that I give the Advisory Board members. I fell in love with the box and decided to make one for me and for each of the girls as part of our fall holiday vignette.

 

Here’s the box, along with some patterns.

If you want to try and make it, I think the only measurements you need to know is that the top measures 4 inches by about 8 inches.

I told the regional attendees that I have an idea about how to use it and/or fill it, but I’m not sure how it will turn out. If it turns out OK, I’ll post that on my blog in the coming weeks. If you don’t see it, you’ll know that it looked a lot better in my mind than it did in real life—certainly not the first time that would have ever happened!

Finally, one of the things that really made this regional special is the fact that it isn’t just the final regional of the season, it’s the final regional for one of our beloved employees. Darlene Davie has been with Stampin’ Up! for more than 16 years, and she’s been traveling to our regionals much of that time, quietly hustling and bustling behind the scenes, taking care of us, making sure we all had everything we needed to do our thing, and always with a smile on her face. We’ve all grown to love and depend on her; in fact, several of the staff members call her “Momma.”

I cried when she told me she was retiring—but I was also excited for her. Hopefully she can fit some things into her life now that she hasn’t been able to do before (like water aerobics, something she mentioned she was looking forward to!).

At the end of the regional, we called her up on stage to honor and recognize her. Last night a few of us had gone shopping for the perfect gift—and we found it. The traditional uniform for our backstage crew is black pants, white shirt, and black apron, and Darlene usually adds a black sweater, because she’s always cold. Well, we gave her a couple of colorful sweaters and a scarf, because she no longer has to blend into the background!

After the regional ended, “the boys” (two of her closest coworkers) presented Darlene with flowers. Then the Stampin’ Up! crew, including Tom (our camera man) and Carol (our telepromptress—is that a word?), who aren’t full-time employees but are certainly part of our family, posed for a photo with Darlene! It was a bittersweet moment—Darlene, you will be missed!