My Workshop of a Lifetime and a PPA Sneak Peek


I had the tremendous pleasure of opening my home this past weekend to Shelli Gardner (Stampin' Up! CEO and Co-Founder).  As part of a recruiting challenge last January, I earned the opportunity for Shelli to travel to  Tucson and personally do a workshop for a group of my customers.  Click to check out Shelli's Blog post on this event.


What an incredible time!!!  Beginning last Thursday, I was joined by members of the Stampin' Pretty Pals (left to right above:  Barbara Chatzkel, Kris Kilcoyne, Patti MacLeith, Shelli Gardner, ME, Mike Funke and Liz Hughes).  All traveled to Tucson to enjoy time together and share in the opportunity to meet Shelli. 


Enjoying a delicious breakfast and the sunny Tucson weather.


Liz and Kris on the tram to Sabino Canyon.


Busy production line of creativity with the Pals.


It's all in the details.  I'm the blurry one . . . must be because I'm working so fast 🙂


A chorus line of Stampin' Up! Fancy Favor boxes (created with Fancy Favor Bigz Die 115965).  Colorful M & M's were tucked inside to complement the Island Oasis Designer Series Paper (Summer Mini Catalog, 117173).


On Saturday, we kicked off with a small lunch meeting in my home with just the Pals and Shelli.  We spoke enthusiastically and candidly about Stampin' Up!, our businesses and new product ideas. Shelli is warm, sincere and has a delightful sense of  humor.


Patti and Mike's listen to the discussion attentively.


We were joined by my new Southwest Stampers demonstrator friends, who brought delectable treats.




Admiring this Incredible Edible fruit basket, sent for the Pals in
Tucson to enjoy by Stampin'
Pretty Pal
Linda Callahan (who
couldn't attend)

Getting a wonderful surprise (gift certificate to a spa) from my Stampin' Pretty Pals (snapped moments before I started to cry).  


Nine customers were the lucky witnesses to Shelli's fun and creative demonstration during a workshop at my dining table.  I kept thinking . . . "Is this really happening in my home?"  One attendee has already joined Stampin' Up! (as part of my Pals) and four plan to have workshops . . . hard evidence of Shelli's influence!


The Birthday Block (Summer Mini single stamp, 118084) pulls it's weight on this ?ber cool spotlight card  created by Shelli.


Elements of Style (Summer Mini Catalog, 118611 WM, 120045 CM) is so sophisticated.  Shelli's make and take card dazzled with Rich Razzleberry and showcased splashy effects produced by the Stampin' Up! Color Spritzer (107066).


Loved the little touches Shelli added to this hosting gift of ribbon


My Isabel sums up how I felt after this fantastic weekend!

Stampin up pals paper arts itty bitty bits tag punch Here's a sneak peek of my Pals
Paper Arts
Challenge for
tomorrow.  There will be a Stampin' Up! blog candy giveaway, too!!!  PPA
challenges are one of the
best ways to notch up your paper
skills.  The PPA Design Team showcases Stampin' Up! products in their
inspiration cards.  However, everyone is encouraged participate
and use
any brand of products they
.  Check out today's announcement of the the PPA Artist Picks of the Week.



  1. Way to go Mary! Looks like a weekend to love. Wish we all could have been there to help you enjoy!

  2. That must have been an amazing experience! Congratulations, Mary! So cool !!!

  3. Congrats! You deserve it!

  4. How awesome for you Mary!!! I wish I could of attended too. What an event to remember. Enjoy the SPA treatment. Hugs,

  5. Fabulous!!! I loved hearing and reading your fun experience. 🙂 Love from your SAM and friend, Max x

  6. To Sue . . . thank you for the heads up . . . I must have copied the wrong one. It’s working properly now. Hugs, Mary

  7. To Claudia: And I meant it . . . just drop me an email with a picture. . . I’m likely up . . . you can call, too. Hugs, M

  8. Hi Mary,
    thanks for sharing your great experience with all of us. I knew you would have a great time. It was so nice meeting you at the cruise during dinner with Dale. Remember you offered I could call you if my hubby is asleep when I want to show him a card… that was so sweet of you 🙂

  9. WOW, Mary! Thank you so much for sharing!

  10. Fun! Just wanted to let you know the link to Shelli’s blog is actually linked to your online store 🙂

  11. Congratulations Mary!
    It looks like you all had a full day full of fun
    and isn’t your Isabel so cute!
    I love your work!
    Thank you for sharing.

  12. Thanks for sharing your workshop with us. How exciting to welcome Shelli in your own home. Did you ever have the, “pinch me if this is real!” moment? I wish you continued success with your biz. You rock! WI lorijane

  13. Wow Mary, looks like you all had an awesome time! Congratulations once again!

  14. Oh Mary it sounds like the best of times, I am so happy for you. And what a great gift- going to a spa..

  15. Aww…Mary, thank you for sharing! How exciting for you to have Shelli come to your home, and to share with some friends! Love the cards she made, and those favor boxes…way to cute!

  16. Looks like you had a fabulous time 😀

  17. Wow, Mary how exciting to have Shelli right in your own home!! Your house looks amazing and I have to add, you look great too, love your short hair cut, looks so cute on you!!

  18. Congratulations on a fantastic workshop and week-end at your home. I’m sure you did a wonderful job as hostess. Everything looks so nice.

  19. What a wonderful time you had! I am so jealous. What an amazing accomplishment. Thanks for sharing your pictures. 🙂 Thanks again for all you do, I just love your blog. -Sue

  20. Congratulations, Mary! You are an inspiration to me. You and your team had a great day with Shelli.

  21. Looks like perfect memories for a very special scrapbook 🙂 Thanks for sharing the pics. It is so nice to put a name with a picture. Congrats mary – you soooo deserve this.

  22. Looks like an amazing time! Congratulations to you again Mary for the wonderful achievement you earned!!

  23. Hello Mary: WOW, how fantastic to meet Shelli Gardner. Looks like all of you had a fantastic time. How fabulous to be able to work with all of this great people. I wish I could have been there…….maybe if you still lived in Madison……Anyway, thanks for sharing all this wonderful pictures.

  24. I have been waiting with baited breath for you to blog about this. I was so happy for you when I hear you were one of the winners of the challenge. I read your blog nearly every day and I know how hard you work! Such an awesome opportunity to meet Shelli and to host such a fabulous workshop in your home. Thanks for sharing your experiences! 🙂

  25. Poor little Isabel – all of that excitement just wore her out 🙂 So glad everything went well – looks like you all had an awesome time!

  26. Oh this looks like so much fun! What a treat and honor have such awesome people in your home. Thank you for sharing in the fun by showing us the pictures!

  27. Thanks so much for sharing, Mary. I feel like I was there in spirit and loved each and every photo. Isabel, I just want to give you a hug! ;o)

  28. Wonderful pictures, Mary! Like Stephanie, I would have loved to attended. I am so glad that everything turned out perfectly!

  29. Mary, how exciting! Thanks for sharing your pictures of your beautiful home, great friends and family, and Shelli and the workshop! Congrats! The event was much deserved due to all of your excellent stamping and hard work! Oh, and I love the Puggy too!

  30. WOW WOW WOW! I visit your beautiful blog often Mary…..and I esp. enjoyed this post. (Note to self : must remember to have a word to Shelli at our convention next week about coming to do so Workshops Of A Life Time Down Under sometime soon!)
    Thanks so much for sharing your special day with us…….what a thrill it must have been :).
    BTW I have nominated you for a Beautiful Blogger awardxxx

  31. WOW Mary..This is just awesome. Looks like everyone had lots of fun. Great projects and to meet Shelli……wow. Neat.

  32. Stephanie Daughtrey

    Oh Mary, wish I could have been there! So glad you all had a blast.

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