I'm home!!! Pulled into the garage at 6pm on Sunday and oh my goodness was I ever tired. A huge grasshopper hopped onto the hood of my car and was my company from the Ranch all the way to I-20. I think the overpass and the wind caused him to fly away. This is probably a good thing!
A huge "Thank you" to The Runner for unloading the car. Believe it or not, but there was more stuff that came home with me than I took out there. How does that happen? I was too tired to even eat dinner (could it be that I was just stuffed from so much food?) and called it at night at 8:20.
This is a fabulous place to get away, leave it all behind, relax, craft and meet new people.
Believe it or not, but with all the stuff I took out there, I forgot one thing but fortunately one of my new friends let me borrow hers. The first weekend there, I met eight lovely women. Deborah (from the non-wedding planning group) is not a crafter per se but let me tell you ... I recruited her in a heartbeat and she was a tremendous help in making flowers. Her group called her "the traitor" but it didn't stop either one of us.
Productivity? Oh yes - lots of crafting. The purpose of the first weekend was to prepare for an October wedding that will be held at the Ranch. I made 157 fabric flowers and wrapped three bouquets. I had help making 174 coffee filter flowers which will be used to decorate 110 napkin wraps, 71 centerpiece mason jars and 4 cans. The bride worked on two window screens that will be used as props. The bride's daughter made the gift cash wooden box. Everybody had to watch where they were walking so we didn't get spray painted as Billie and Stacy worked their magic with those cans as they painted all the jars. Now, you wonder why I'm tired?
Bet you're wondering how anybody could work in such chaos and mess. Not to worry because stuff got done. Yes, this was my space. Six feet of craft table and it all comes down to working in less than a 12"x12" space. What?
Another project completed was to set up a retreat blog. Thank you so much Billie and Makenzie! Once I get my thoughts together I will announce and introduce it right here. Stay tuned!
When everybody left on Sunday Marie, Stacy and I went out to dinner. We didn't last long after that. I think Stacy was asleep before 8:00 and I followed shortly after.
The first four days were spent working in the large craft room and sleeping in the house. It took hours to pack up (again) and move all my stuff into the small craft room and bedroom in the craft building. Thank goodness for those wagons!
Here ya go - a peek at my space before it got all broken in and messed up. See those containers on the top left of the screen? I made every single one of those flowers on the left side. Every. Single. One. Some at this retreat, but most were made at other retreats and at home.
My friend, Julie, arrived on Wednesday evening and gave me this apron that she made for my birthday. I LOVE IT. If you look closely, you'll be able to tell that it's Tim Holtz's material - and it is reversible and "SuZeQ Creations" is embroidered on both sides. Thank you, Julie!
Thursday morning, the other 15 ladies started to trickle in. Soon we had a full house and everybody had their craft on. We laughed, a few cried, we told stories and jokes (none to repeated here - remember: what happens at the retreat stays at the retreat!) and we ate - LOTS. Several made their way over to the new Walmart while others just threatened to go.
We crafted, too. Well, MOST of us crafted. Sarah played a lot of solitaire and talked and ate a lot. The craft building was filled with swimmers, dreamers, scrapbookers, hand-knitters, cardmakers, seamstresses (just LOOK at these darling outfits!) and bread bakers.
Yeah, I see you drooling over all those goodies behind Julie. And that wasn't even all of it. Remember - there are two kitchens and two dining rooms out at the Ranch. Julie, you can drop a loaf of bread off at my house any day! This was delicious with the baked spaghetti she made for us on Saturday night. We didn't think we'd have room for it after Stephanie's always-delicious breakfast egg and sausage casserole and Kay's luncheon of pulled pork, chicken and beef sandwiches on French bread but we managed!
I was quite productive the remainder of my time there: 19 cards to fill orders, 134 square nest tags for my friend Vicki, 137 business cards and 1 book page Christmas tree for me. I started, finished and gifted: 1 decorated peat pot, 1 strawberry basket, 1 frame and 2 gift bags. I also worked on decorating 9 lamp shades for a Springtime event out at the Ranch.
What is so enjoyable to me is meeting new people. The fellowship and the friendship is so much more important than productivity. I crafted with new life-long friends, Vicki and her sister Pat. I know we will be sharing a craft room in the future. I just know it. Oh - okay, the eating part is pretty awesome, too.
Amy's waffles and sausage breakfast followed by Susan's chicken wraps for lunch helped to sustain us as we packed up our supplies and left the retreat with the memories that will always be with us.
The 11 days that I spent out there were so relaxing and productive. But, I must admit, it was nice to get home. How wonderful to be reunited with The Runner, my routine (boring as it is - the routine, not the hubby!) and my own bed and pillow. Oh - and my electric toothbrush, my hand-held shower, cell phone coverage and my computer. I suppose being away from the computer for that long was a good thing but at one point, I'd thought I'd gone into withdrawal.
With all that being said, I certainly miss my crafting sisters, all the desserts (Kay's cake balls and graham cracker pralines and two cakes were out of this world and Teresa makes a mean cake, too!) and non-stop eating. Also, being able to spread out to a larger crafting space certainly has me spoiled.
Back to reality and waiting for the next retreat ...