I hope everyone has enjoyed the weeks since convention playing with all your "holiday" treats!
I can't help but feel that time has passed too quickly -- one day I'm excitedly planning a holiday gala for friends, then before you know it, the holiday fun is over and I'm left missing everyone --happy with beautiful memories but longing to make more!
Aside from a few brief moments of post "holiday melancholy", I've been too busy still playing "Santa Sandra" -shipping absentee packages, filling orders and answering emails -- to feel lonesome for long!
Thinking back on the festivities it all seems a bit surreal, so it's great to be able to relive our wonderful weekend through your many emails, posts and photos!
My blessings come to mind often since convention and, before continuing, I would like to take a moment to share my thoughts on some that added to the "Every Day's A Holiday" feeling for me this year...
I'm always thrilled when new friends attend and those who've missed convention are with us again. This year I was especially delighted, as not only did we have the opportunity to welcome several new friends but some that we've missed dearly joined us once more!
To add to my happiness about the event, after 30 years (or longer), I very recently reconnected with one of my closest childhood friends, Carla, who drove to Kansas City to help out with all the pre convention work! (My "elves" have officially adopted Carla, and are hoping we can talk her into coming NEXT year for the whole convention!)
Though not normally considered a holiday, something that made this occasion even more meaningful to me is the fact it marked the 10th anniversary of meeting my dear friend and "right hand", Michael -- a blessing that has enriched my life in so many ways!
Thank you, Michael Basala, for your immeasurable friendship, support, help and understanding these past 10 years! The "holidays" would not have been so wonderful without you by my side!
"Every Day's A Holiday" was a theme that I dreamed of for years, and I couldn't be more proud of how that dream unfolded into reality! I'd like to express my heartfelt thanks to the many friends who were instrumental in making that happen...
An event such as "Every Day's A Holiday" takes a lot of "elves" working behind the scenes to make happen! It's impossible to give thanks enough to my volunteer staff of "elves" who worked tirelessly, cheerfully and selflessly to make my "holiday" dreams come true! Sherlyn Lovell, Sherry Wisdom, Barb Koffman, Linda Farnsworth, Michael Zepeda, Kate Watson, Cathy Roach, Gary Reeves --and Michael B, too -- Your support and dedication is what makes the "magic" happen! I love and appreciate you guys more than you'll ever know -- and feel truly blessed to have each of you in my life! You are a joy to work with and I am so very thankful for your friendships!!
Besides my core staff, we were blessed to have several 'part time elves" pitch in at convention to make sure holiday goodies were ready for on time "holiday" delivery! Sue Connor, Rose Gillis, Terri Gold, Linda Kreigbaum, Judy Richardson, Kelly Ryan, Terri Sansoucy, Kathy Spoon and Cheryl Stillman -- thank you! We couldn't have made it without your assistance!
Our fabulous holiday table gifts this year were due, in large part, to the generosity, talent, hard work and donations of several friends I want to recognize, as their contributions were the "stars" on top of the Christmas tree...
Cathy Roach -- Many thanks for the amazing wrapping paper set, miniature cards and valentines, mini Halloween and shopping bags, record albums, lobby cards and 4th of July fan. I know how much work went into each piece -- your creativity and talent boggles my mind!
Annie Sattler -- A new friend and first timer to convention -- thanks SO much for your hours of work on my "Sandra Stillwell Presents" logo hatbox artwork, 4th of July sheet music, both the Modes Royal magazine and Kansas City poster photoshop work, and last, but certainly not least -- the wonderful miniature "Every Day's A Holiday" calendar! Thank you for jumping in to help without knowing exactly what you were getting into!
Kathy Spoon -- For the great TWA minis and much, much more -- thank you for always being there for me.
Nikki Colbert -- For the Modes Royal magazine and mini lobby cards, not to mention your hard work putting together the power point programs -- I am so appreciative!
And, for indulging me with the festive holiday purses, felt skirts and so much more --
Kim Hayes, Linda Kreigbaum and Judy Richardson -- Thanks to each of you ladies for the hours of work, great company and fun while putting those together!!
Others whose important contributions I'd like to recognize are:
Jeff Lega -- For your invaluable work on the "Every Day's A Holiday" convention collection photos and "Sandra Stillwell Presents" blog updates! You were an outstanding reporter, and our friends at home thank you as much as I do!
Terri Gold -- Thanks, too, for sharing your fabulous photography skills and for the convention coverage! Your multitude of photos help bring convention to life for those who can't be with us and enable those of us who were there to relive the fun over and over again!!
Gary Reeves -- Quite simply -- I can't thank you enough for being our "go to" guy -- ready to do whatever we need! What a huge help you are!
George Sarofeen -- Thank you for presenting the fascinating Charles James program (and for being a great tablecloth steamer!) I am in awe of your knowledge and abilities!
Special thanks goes to "Santa" Michael Zepeda -- You were SUCH a great sport and SO much fun -- the holidays wouldn't have been the same without you!! You can be our Santa any time!
Much appreciation also goes to Joan Greene for her generosity in sending the lovely Greene Lam designs Cordelia doll for centerpieces! She couldn't have been more perfect!! Joan -- your support and kindness was much appreciated. You were with us in spirit!
Especially to Dorinda Balenecki and Ken Young from Horsman, Ltd -- Thank you very much for being a special part of convention again this year -- and for hosting our "Trick N Treat" Halloween dessert reception with the fabulous Vita centerpieces! Your invaluable support and participation is always greatly appreciated! It was an honor to have you with us again this year and we look forward to your joining us for years to come!
In addition to our convention "elves", there were still others who couldn't be with us but created magic from home -- so I'd like to thank Alana Bennett for her help with petticoats, Kathy Johnson for the beautiful hairstyles , and Tommy Bennefield for his fabulous jewelry! Thanks, guys, for the perfect "finishing touches".
And to our manufacturers across the miles -- THANK YOU for working so hard to get everything to us in time for the "holiday openings" and so beautifully bringing my visions to life -- I couldn't be more proud of what we accomplished.
Most importantly -- to all of our "Every Day's A Holiday " attendees:
For me, personally, nothing compares to the joy of spending holidays with friends. No words can sufficiently express my thanks to those of you who made the trip to Kansas City to make that possible! Your being there truly made every day of convention a special "holiday" for me!
I know it takes sacrifices to attend an event -- and your participation meant the world to me! I am forever grateful for your support.
I'd also like to extend sincere thanks to the absentees and others who support convention through purchases, as well as to our generous "convention helper" donors and each of you who purchased tickets - your support helps make convention possible each year!
And finally, much appreciation to everyone for your overwhelming enthusiasm for this years "Every Day's A Holiday" fashion collection. I put my heart --and a few childhood memories and fantasies -- into this collection, and the fact that you love it so much means more than I can express.
I have some exciting ideas to explore for our 2014 "Sandra Stillwell Presents" convention -- so please watch for news about this not to be missed event
I hope to see you all next year!