Thursday, 21 November 2013

Convention Team Swaps

Evening all!

Remember me? I used to write this blog! Life has been a bit busy recently, and I've not had much time to keep in touch on here.  I'm due to start a new job soon too, so that will take a bit of getting used to after working where I currently work for the last ten years. It's all exciting stuff though, I'll let you know how I'm getting on.

This evening, I'm in Manchester for the 2013 European Stampin' Up! Convention, and it's my first one ever! I've been a demo for about two and a half years now and I've not managed to go to convention yet.  I was a couple of places short of booking on last year, and left it too late and it was full.  Living in Leeds, I had no excuse not to be the first in the queue this year as it's just a train ride away. I can't wait to share some pictures with you, and tell you all about what I get up to.

There was a few things we had to make to bring with us.  Team swaps, general swaps and a gift for our room mate if we're sharing a room.  I'm sharing with my friend and downline Kylie.  Today I'll be sharing pictures of the team swaps I made.

It's always tricky deciding what the perfect swap will be, and it took me ages to decide what to do.  I decided to make candles, with a Christmas image from My Digital Studio (MDS).  This seemed like a great idea, and I made the first one.  It looked great.  Off I went to Ikea, to buy enough for the 32 ladies who have opted in to the team swaps.   I realised then, that my idea may not have been such a good one after all!  I bought the 32 I needed, as well as a few extra, and by the time I had lifted all 50 candles on to the till, I was bright red and wondered what all the people in the queue behind me thought I was doing with all these candles! The man right behind me congratulated me on my dedication to lifting them all.  Then I realised I had to transport them all to Manchester! Oh well, it was too late to change my mind.

I printed the image from MDS onto normal printer paper, to make sure I had the size right.  After a few adjustments, I was happy with my image, and I then printed the image onto tissue paper which had been taped onto a piece of card with masking tape.  I then cut out the image and used a tiny bit of glue on each corner to stick it lightly to the candle.

 I then wrapped a piece of tissue paper around the candle and gently heated the image using a heat gun.  The heat melts the candle just enough to melt the tissue paper into the wax giving a smooth finish.

 I love this technique and it can be done with any stamped image or printed image. I then wrapped the candle in cellophane and tied a small length of Linen Thread to secure the cellophane then tied a length of the lovely Cherry Cobbler 1" (2.5cm) Stitched Edge Grosgrain Ribbon around into a bow. 


I really hope my team like their gifts, and I can't wait to see what lovely things they have made.  It's been fun seeing everyone's updates on our Facebook page, seeing the hours they have spent crafting away, and the excitement building!

Here's a picture of the swaps altogether...see why I realised how heavy they were going to be! The next picture of the candles in the box is just over half of the full lot! My suitcase was very heavy, and one of the wheels broke as I got off the bus in Manchester, and had to drag it down the street to the hotel.  Thankfully I don't have to take them back with me to Leeds!