Sunday, May 10, 2015

Brazos House Retreat - May (Mother's Day)

Are we ready for round two?  After 3 1/2 days of quiet sewing bliss at the center, it is about to fill with wonderful ladies again.  Most of the women in this group are new friends to be made.  I have not met them in person yet and so it makes it a little more exciting if that is possible.

In the calm before the storm, I clean off 5 of the 6 tables that I have been using.  Oh to have this much space at home.  Wow.  Marti is busily sewing away in her corner -- determine to make progress on her top.  Between the two of us -- the past few days have sure contained a lot of seam ripper usage.  Oh my.

As people start arriving, the buzz of meeting new friends joins in with the hum of sewing machines and in no time people are making magic with fabric and thread.

The first TA-DA of the group belongs to Stephanie and I love the bright cherry colors.

Roberta and Cathy have hit it off and are becoming fast friends.  I am so pleased to watch everyone gel.

Once everyone is settled in (and some become comfortable with being out of their comfort zone), I get a chance to wander around and see what everyone is up to.

Have I accomplished anything?  Oh goodness no, but these ladies sure have.  Two more TA-DAS -- left to right from Jane and Wendy.  Oh, eye candy is always fun.

I hear a squeal and see women running towards each other.  It turns out that the "newbies" have discovered one another.  For each of these ladies, this is their first retreat EVER.  I remember that day and how magical it felt to me.  I hope their experience is equally as fantastic.

Stephannie arrives late in the afternoon bearing gifts.  First, the nametags for everyone (which we carelessly forgot to get a picture of when they were finished) and second -- with a TIARA for little old ME!  I cannot tell you how fun this is and how special I feel.  Debi and I grab a picture together for the moment and why oh why did I leave my glasses on?  It kinda takes away from that whole "queenly" look.

Marti has met her goal and achieves her TA-DA moment.  She has definitely earned this one as she worked on this all last retreat, the days in between and all day today.  Whew.

And one from Cy - love red, white, and blues.

As the day winds down, my wonderful Princesses, Debi and Stephannie set to work helping me get set for tomorrow's group project.  It's the wee hours, but we get it all prepared and marked for others to stay out once it is covered with Debi's Orange Crush top.  Shhhhhh.  Bed time.

Good morning.  Jump up and down -- get the blood flowing and prepare for another fun day.  First up:  Breakfast!  I remember to take ONE picture of the food.  Why can't I do better at this?  Kay does such a great job of meeting everyone's needs and I can't help but love her more and more each time we are here.  It was such fun to get to spend a little more time with her between the retreats.  Doesn't this look yummy?  Well, it is.

It's time for the group project and we are doing a repeat of the pillowcases and mini design boards since most people are new.  Only Debi, Marti, and I are doubling up the weekends.  Stephannie grabs my camera and documents the moment.  Yep --- giving directions and teaching in pajamas and a tiara.  That's me -- keeping it real.

Let the selections begin.

And the chipmunk in the corner who didn't want to feel left out.  HAHA -- Thanks for being the photographer Stephannie.

A first-finished charm is awarded to Tammy for her design board.  She got right on it and had that baby done in less than half an hour.

Stephanie is right behind with the first finish on the pillowcase.  Congrats ladies -- they look amazing.  Too see all the others -- check out the Facebook group album HERE.

Brenda has a TA-DA and I'm lovin' it.  I need to do a red and white one.

I have finally accomplished something today.  Double Diamonds for my RR project.  It's a pink and purple girly day. Now to press all these babies into submission and see what the block will look like.  The HST's and four patches are standing by to play with the geese.

Tammy has a TA-DA moment.  I love when quilts are made with so many people participating to create something memorable.  How fun is this?

Marti has also finished her second top -- this one was partially worked on last retreat as well.  She's been quiet and busily sewing away today.  Looks great Marti.

On of my favorite parts of retreat is people coming together to share ideas, knowledge, and laughter.  If there is a question, chances are someone in the room can answer it or know where to find the answer.  It's remarkable.

Another TA-Da from Tammy -- she's cookin' now.

It's Lydia's birthday today so we do a little mini-birthday for her.  I don't want the day to go un-noticed as I know how much I enjoyed mine last weekend.

Oh the trouble these two can get into --- I always wonder what they are up to.

Add in a third and goodness --- here are my Princesses all decked out and bejeweled -- ready for the game.

The clowns are in the house.  Was there any question?

I'm thinking Roberta and Jane are rocking this game.  Anyone with me?  It will be hard to compete with them.  Ooooh ladies. (Picture posted by Roberta -- no idea who took it)

And our birthday girls of course.  Since I have a tiara tonight ---- Lydia became the recipient of my hat.  Gotta love Marti for the photo-bomb.

The winner of the first game is Jane --- look at that pile of springy fat quarters she gets to take home with her.   Fun, fun, fun.  A jump in the air follows Brenda's win in the second game.  I don't think she's happy to win a jelly roll.  (Sorry for the blurry picture -- she was moving pretty fast though.)

And the final game is won by Debi --- oh she's a happy girl now.  She even had to switch seats and try another spot as the competitor in her took over.  I love it and can't wait to see what it turns into.

When we return to the main room, I hear Jane announce that a she has a TA-DA with a purse and see Mary run across the room saying, "It's Mine."  Turns out that was true.  She bought it then and there.  Awesome.

It's pajama time and someone was snapping pictures of me.  I borrowed these from Roberta's page and thank her for taking them.  Caught in the act grabbing pictures of all of you and trying to get a little work finished.

Another TA-DA hits center stage - beautiful work by Lydia

Allison has sent a message saying that we are not posting enough pictures this time around.  Well, okay.  We gather all the group projects together for a picture for her and I climb up onto a chair -- yeah, I know -- great plan but at least this time it is a stationary one.

Nice work ladies.  Ah (the name tags are in this picture Stephannie.)

My design wall is getting quite a bit of use again and Lydia has Christmas blocks up.  Several of us are trying to "help" her get them laid out well.  Perhaps too many of us?  I also catch June at the ironing board -- she's a tough lady to get pictures of.

But THEN -- she goes and shows this magnificent TA-DA --- Wow June!  So bright and fun.

Mary, who has been working on this top since she arrived, has a TA-Da as well.  The thing about this one:  IT'S TOTALLY FINISHED.  Quilted and all.  Oh my, I want to make one of these and my brain kicks into high gear to figure out a way to do just that.

Cy gave us all templates for a special quilt and made  a sample for everyone to get an idea of what we can expect.  Oh this looks fun too --- although in all honesty  I'm scared of curved seams.  I know that seems strange after wanting to make the quilt above, but it's a different concept -- I hope.

It's time for a break at the river.  I need to walk.  Oh, it is lovely out.  We all sit quietly while Roberta takes a video of it.  How peaceful and fun.

Here's her smiling face when she finishes.

As soon as we return - storms hit like crazy.  It is a deluge out there.

Dinner time and we are having birthday cake tonight.  I know, last night was Lydia's birthday but we didn't let Kay in on our plans until too late and she had already made dessert.  Thank you to Debi for bringing the cake.  What great friends we all are.

Marti had to leave early this morning, so we are cleaning out the fridge from her leftover wine.  Brenda and I have taken it upon ourselves to finish it off.  Good idea huh?

The rest of the evening is spent sewing away and chatting up a storm.  I actually manage to get a block finished so that is my big TA-DA for this session.  Woohoo Deb.

As we are getting ready to shut down the house for the night, Stephannie walks out into the library and discovers that water has come in under the door and is making it's way across the room.  Not just a little bit either.  We filled the bowl a couple of time by soaking up the water with towels.   Tammy, Stephannie, and I get it cleaned up in no time.  Roberta, meanwhile, in her own words, "just kept on sewing."  Yep - she's got her priorities in the right place.

Once the mess is cleaned up and we have rolled towels to place in front of the door for the night.  It's time for bed -- let the storms rage on.  As Stephannie and I prepare for bed, she reminds me to take off the tiara.  I laugh and agree, then somehow I am in bed with it anyway.  She reminds me again after taking this pic:

Apparently I don't want this weekend to end.  I want to be a queen forever.

Good morning --- so sad that this is our last day and with the storm situation, everyone is feeling the need to get on the road and get home safe.  As a result, people are packing up early everywhere.  We do have a couple of last minute TA-DAs though.  Roberta's is on the left and I wish I knew who the one on the right belonged to.  Please help me here people.

We look out the window and discover that we can see the river?  What?  Oh goodness -- it's time for a walk down.  Look how high the water is.

Debris floating everywhere -- check out the tree tops in the water.

The stairs down to the water's edge are disappearing. Only 7 left.

Ah, the lovely ladies who ventured down here with me.

Even the snails are searching for higher ground.

As I take one last look back, a basketball floats by.

Even with the rain, we grab a quick group photo (with Kay getting wet outside).  Pictured from left to right are:  Me, Stephanie, Marti, Wendy, Roberta, Jane, Brenda, Cathy, Lydia, Cy, Janet, Tammy, Mary, Stephannie, and Debi.  Thanks for a wonderful weekend ladies --- love ya all to pieces.

Everyone has departed by the time Mister and I finish loading everything up and doing a quick check of the house.  We are joined by a goat who has decided it no longer wants to be in the pen.

We take another walk down to the river so that Mister can see the water rising.  I love it when he takes the camera.  Never know what to expect.  His picture of the snails is far better than mine.  Ah -- that's how it goes.

The water is still rising -- and rapidly.

There are only 4 steps left.

It's time for us to hit the road and get home safe as well.  A quick look back at my home away from home for the past 11 days.  (yep that's Mister -- on location)

When I arrive home --- I take a few minutes to go through all of my treasures from retreat.  Oh, I cannot thank everyone enough for the wonderful gifts I received as well as the memories.  From the bottom of my heart -- THANK YOU.  Here are the birthday spoils.

And here are the regular exchange goodies ---- WOW.

And last but not least -- my nametag, 3 mini design boards, and my pillowcase.  What a haul.

Fun, Fun, Fun times and I simply cannot wait to see you all again.  I am thrilled that you all signed up for a repeat adventure at different times throughout the next year and look forward to each of those moments with all of you.  Bye, now.

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