Wow, it has been an amazing experience to fly half way around the world with a couple of additional stops along the way, all in the name of Prima!! So much to share, so I will start at the beginning! I left Adelaide on the 9th January at 6.30pm and flew to Singapore, quite literally walked from the gate I arrived at in the terminal to the gate I had to exit from, just in time for the final call for my flight to Japan! Yeah, no direct flight here, more like a world trip! On the upside I got to experience flying in one of the huge A380 planes, and that is a BIG plane, better still I had a row all to myself! Arrived in Narita airport Japan around 7.30am.
A 10 hour layover in Japan, so I cleared customs and decided to see a little bit of Japan, well Narita city at least. At the airport I was advised to take the train to Narita and given a map to where there was an old temple and gardens. The walk from the train station wound along a cute road flanked with market style shops all displaying their goods. From dried shrimp, clothes and bottled snakes, to restaurants and spice stalls. Just walking to the gardens was a fabulous experience of sights and smells of Japan.
Dried Shrimp - it actually looked quite pretty! Pity about the smell.
Yep some weird stuff in their shops!!
Then onto the beautiful gardens....
The gardens were so beautiful and I walked for almost 5 hours around them, taking pictures and soaking in the beauty of the place. Yes, I walked around for 5 hours in 4 inch heels! Didn’t quite think that one through! I sucked up the pain as I watched elderly Japanese people climb up 100 odd steps time after time to get to the next level. I marvelled at their tenacity as most Australians of a similar age (many were hunched over with old age) would not attempt such a challenge. The beauty of Japan was quite breathtaking and I would love a chance to go back and visit! I flew out around 6pm for LAX.
I am not a sleeper on flights, so I arrived at LAX very tired and weary around 11am on the 10th. I finally got to meet the gorgeous Pom who owns Prima. We then hunted down Nic Howard as she was arriving the same time as I was on her flight from NZ. So good to catch up with Nic again, and then
later Anna arrived also and we were all staying at Poms home like a fabulous slumber party!! When I crawled into bed around 11.30pm that night, I dropped to sleep in an instant! Never had lying flat in a bed felt soooooo good!!
Next morning it was off to the Prima warehouse!! Seriously that is like being a kid in a candy
store!! So much gorgeous Prima all in front of you with little holes in big boxes, when you poke your hand in, you can pull out packets of Prima loveliness!! I may have had a lot of fun seeing what was
inside some of those boxes!! Codes mean nothing to me on the outside cardboard, it is all about the contents!! BTW this picture is only a tiny portion of the warehouse, there are rows and rows more just like this bit!!
We then headed out to Anaheim Convention Centre for the final touches of setting up before the onslaught of CHA!! Here I got to meet up with Sharon and Cari again, love these girls! Then I also got to meet the uber talented Jamie Dougherty (I seriously tried to capture some of
her talent while I was there), Frank Garcia and see all the projects set up in the booth.
Frank and Anna messing around with this fun canvas that Anna made especially for taking fun photos!!
Next day….CHA!! Woohoo!! The best part of CHA was getting to meet so many wonderful people I had known while on the Prima DT!! I got to catch up with Stacy, Emeline Seet, Julie Balzaar, Nat Kallbach, Birgit Koopsen, Julie Nutting, Jodie-lee Patterson and Marion Smith. Also catching up with Brandin, Trisha and getting to meet Leeza Gibbons. Yep, it is a good life I have!!! I also had a lot of fun doing make and takes using Julie Nuttings new stamps! Oh they are just so much fun to use!!
The gorgeous Stacey Cohen with Nic and I.
Yep, Leeza Gibbons with Nic and I - she was really lovely and has an amazing memory and can recall stuff later on that you spoke to her about which is quite incredible considering the number of people she would have met during her time at CHA!!
On a sad note, poor Nic had to rush back home 2 days into her trip after her MIL passed away. My heart went out to Nic who had to make the decision to return home to her family while still trying to process what had happened. I can not imagine how hard it would be in her shoes, to not only deal with such a loss but also that sense of not finishing what you started, but she made the right decision as family should always come first.
Loved meeting Jodie-Lee and enjoying her Aussie accent while surrounded by American accents!
Speaking of Aussies..... nothing like going half way around the world and catching up with a local South Aussie girl!! Always fun to catch up with Louise Nelson!!
Then the gorgeous Trisha
Finally beautiful Brandin - she is just soooo lovely!
Now it may all look like fun and games but I can assure you I worked my butt off while I was over there! The fun part of working was making giant balls from all the velcro used around the booth to hold up the product and projects - yes it all has to be taken off before packing away the booth walls etc. Let me gloat that I had an enormous black velcro ball!!! Yes I did do silly things with it and other Prima peeps may have incriminating photos of these antics!!
Next up was Art-Venture - more working back at the Prima warehouse between CHA and Art-Venture, helping with finishing touches of kitting up kits, preparing goody bags and getting it all ready to be shipped to the venue. All 13 pallettes of goodies!! Yes I did say palettes, not boxes! You can not believe the amount of work involved in getting an event of this magnitude sorted out, so many things go on behind the scenes before people arrive for registration it is mind boggling!!
Those attending Art-Venture were truly showered with Prima products! Not only did the kits contain a heap of Prima products but during each class there was a Prize Patroll, where Shannette would hand out Prima products to all those in the classes. So if you attended all 6 possible classes over the weekend you got 6 product packs!! Loads and loads of Prima flowers!! Everyone was buzzing with how much fun the event was and how good the classes were, so that makes me a very happy girl! If you were on the verge of going this year but didn't, I can assure you it is well worth it if Prima hold another event, make sure you go, you will not be disappointed!!!
My classes ran smoothly and we had so much fun! There was talk of tree envy, limpy branches and handling with tender loving care to bring them to life! Yep you had to be there, but it was rather amusing. Everyone finished their project in the 3 hours they had, JUST, so I was very glad that it was possible to finish the project. Here is one of the class groups from my class during the weekend.
This is the project that they all created during the class. It was full of dimension that is hard to see here, but lots and lots of foam mount and texture in this. Plus an additional LO with instructions to create to practise the tree technique again! Thanks to Marion for helping sizzix out all the pieces for the layout for everyone while they were creating their frame!
I was rooming at Palm Springs with Marion Smith, and we forgot to get a photo of us together!!! We may have spent quite a bit of time late at night chatting! Whoops!! Made the very early morning starts challenging, that is for sure!! But we did have a lot of fun!!
Not a bad view from my room at Palm Springs! Oh and the weather was PERFECT every day we were there! Around the mid 20's, pure bliss, if only I had more time to spend outside in the glorious winter sunshine!
Leeza was at the event for a book signing and went around to all the classes seeing what we were creating. I hope she liked what I created with her line!! And finally a group shot of those at Art Venture (I was excited to find a fellow Aussie at the event - so wonderful to meet you Danielle!! naughty girl kept buying red's for Pom on the Saturday night!!)
All fabulous things eventually come to an end! It was so sad to say goodbye to Cari, Sharon, Jamie and Marion (who all had to leave before 6am the next morning) and all the wonderful ladies attending the event. I did get to drag Rebecca to the Premium outlet shopping mall on the way home from Palm Springs where I found my new favourite shop!!! If only they had this store in Australia, but yay for online shopping!! I may have purchased 4 tops and a dress all from the one store and could have easily purchased more if I wasn't watching the budget! Now that I am home I am kind of kicking myself I didn't get some more stuff while I was there as the prices at the clearance outlet were well worth it and it isn't like I can just drop in again easily!!
After all this fun it was rather sad to have to say goodbye to Anna and Pom at the airport the following day before my world trip back home!! I can not say thank you enough times to Pom for her wonderful hospitality while we were in California and staying in her home. She is such a fabulous lady!!!
My return home was not direct, like I said before it was a bit of a world tour! First it was LAX to Chicago, with around 9 hours in Chicago airport! I have to say it was freezing cold in Chicago!! Even the airport was still rather chilly despite being heated and when I looked out the windows I could see snowflake swirling around. They are just so pretty when you can see one up close! Yes that is snow on the ground at Chicago airport!!
Then it was a 17 hour flight from Chicago to Hong Kong airport. To put a silver lining on a pretty horrible flight (I don't sleep on flights and there was no back of seat entertainment and the flight was completely full!) we flew over Canada and then back down over Siberia and China, so I got to see Siberia from the air which was an amazing snow and ice desert. It was truly an amazing sight to see. Wish so much I had taken some photos but honestly it was too hard to get to my camera when we were packed in like sardines. We got to Hong Kong airport which seemed to have more security than any of the other airports i have been too lately, had to go through a lot of security just to get off the plane and transfer to our connecting flight to Singapore. It wasn't like we could get off the plane since we got on at Chicago! LOL!! So now I can say that I have set foot in Hong Kong as well, quite the world traveller now! The flight from Hong Kong to Singapore was quite empty and I had an entire row to myself, so could lie down a bit and that was the only sleep that I got for the entire flights home, around 2 hours as it is only a short flight from Hong Kong to Singapore.
Arrived in Singapore around 2am and the airport was actually pretty dead at that time. Previously I have caught a midnight flight out of Singapore and the airport is totally buzzing with activity at midnight!! So it was pretty amazing to see it so quiet with most of the shops closed. A bit of a pain since I had to kill 5 hours until my flight from Singapore to Adelaide, so I found a wifi connection and chatted with friends from all over the world while I killed time until my next flight.
Finally I got back home to Adelaide around 5pm on Friday 25th after leaving the US on Tuesday evening!! I was seriously tired but so happy to be home and see my family. Paul had been amazing looking after the kids and continued to look after everyone for the next couple of days while I recovered from my jetlag! He cooked the meals until Sunday night even after I was home as I was a little vague up until then!
If you have managed to read all this, wow!! Thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoyed my travel update! My next trip is to teach in Western Austrlia in April, so a bit of time before I have to catch another plane!!