Hello Old Friend. I've missed you. My heart is already happier and I am not even out of the car yet. Yes, it is that glorious here. The donkeys have been moved back down here near the house and there are a LOT of them. I'll have to take a little walk right away and check things out.
But first, there is a room to set up and I am happy to find Allison already putting it together. She has about a 20 minute jump on me and between the two of us we work for another hour and are ready for the ladies to come through the door.
Before they do, I want to grab that little walk and a few pictures of the river. Ah, my soul is at peace now. I don't think too much could get to me from here on out. It's time for some fun.
Okay, my peeps are arriving and I'm just thrilled. First things first -- we need da powah!
The middle table has already been taken and this means that love and laughter are already filling the room. I can't believe it is already noon. We need to get this group on the road to meet up with Sharron and Stephannie at Babe's for lunch. Oh yeah, my tummy is already happy about this. This is one of our favorite parts of starting out a retreat.
With full bellies, it's time to reverse direction back towards the ponderosa. What are you doing Sherri? Is Ana baiting you?
Gifts have been handed out and I'm thinking this is not the proper use of these sachets but who am I to question it. Allison's owl corner is up and ready for all to peek at. How does she do that?
Our day is spent visiting, laughing, sewing, eating, and just reconnecting. We are working on a bargello tree skirt (you can follow my story in making one HERE) and I want everyone to have plenty of time to finish. Several get their panels sewn and wedges cut before it is time to call it a day. This is such fun and I'm so glad I did it first and worked through all the potholes for everyone. Yes, I mean that.
For some reason, I am actually sewing and by the time the night is done, I have finished a UFO top.
As I walk into my room to change into jammies, I love the lighting and the Chasing the Sun quilts on the beds. I am alone tonight as Jen will arrive tomorrow morning. Isn't it lovely? I take a minute to go outside and see how it looks from there. Wonderful. It's like peeking into a secret life. Love it. Back to the room for the last picture of the night. I made it!!! (forgot to change into jammies - got caught up in the pictures.)
Good morning ya'll. It's day two and several are awake before me. I made a change in my retreat sleep patterns while at the beach and I'm sticking with it. I do not need to be present for everything. I can go to bed early or sleep in. I have the capability. Okay, okay -- moving on. Fawn starts the day with a TA-DA. It looks great.
I wish I could say the same thing about the ta-da going on in the kitchen. It is taking several people to make coffee and apparently some cleaning will take place as well.
As I round the corner back into the room, I am amazed at the quantity of food on the snack table. It's a good thing we have switched to two meals. There is a crazy amount of "stuff" in here.
Well, Hello Sharron. Would you like to come in?
Since the coffee worked so well, we move onto mimosa's. Yep, it's retreat. Let's get this party started.
Debi put together a bingo game with lots of prizes and she gets the first round started. How fun is this? We need to do this at every retreat.
Glenda spent yesterday working on one top and has finished it. She is ready for her TA-DA
Maria follows right behind - this is just oh so soft with the suede-like fabric used.
"What about me?" cries Jennifer. I have a TA-DA too.
As I look over at Fawn, she is not quite the workhorse she usually is at retreat. In fact, she is not sewing at all. It must be a super good book.
As I move into the library to check out the swap table, I spot Stephannie quietly working on her project. She certainly looks comfy.
Glenda has another TA-DA and I have to tell you that these snow globe owls are just the bomb.
It's game night and everyone gathers around for some fun. Before we start, though, I have a few ruby crowns to award. A ruby crown is received after 5 retreats with me if you are not one of the 15 original diamonds. This weekend we have 3 lovely ladies receiving their award and one is not even aware of it at all. Come on down Arlene. Look at the surprise on her face. Love these moments.
The remaining two ladies to receive ruby crowns tonight have been planning this for weeks, if not months. They are decked out and start the night off right. First up is Sherri --
Oh girl -- work it.
The love and laughter in this room is something to behold. The friendships that have been made in the last two years are simply the stuff of wonderful novels.
And last, but definitely not least, Ana.
These ladies are over the top wonderful and they fill my heart with so much happiness just being in the same room. There is a picture of Ana and I during this entire "crowning" (yes, notice that even the tiaras have changed) where I am not totally sure if it meets "proper" eyes. I'm not showing it but if you are in the Facebook group, it is in the files. Oh my, too much fun.
And now -- we proudly present our three new RUBIES:
It's time to play. I know, I know -- one could say we have been playing all along. First up is LCR with fat quarters -- owls of course. The winner is Fawn and I can't wait to see what she does with all of them.
Now for the jelly rolls. This game can get pretty intense as is evidenced by the sheer look of fear(?) on Debi's face. Can she do it?
She can't even watch without hiding behind me
YES! Debi and Elizabeth walk away with the jelly rolls and there are no further legal proceedings to determine ownership. You go girls.
After the game Jen has a TA-Da. These are the friendship blocks we all made last year and she has set only one from each person into a wonderful lap quilt. I see some quilting at the house in the future.
Elisabeth has her Desert Sky TA-DA (oh I need to get going on this one.) Love the "S" layout.
Allison has finished her tree skirt and thus has earned her Golden Scissors charm. It looks beautiful. She used an old tree skirt for the backing -- how perfect is that? It's two sided if one wanted.
Sherri has been on a trek to chase the sun ever since she settle in here yesterday. She has managed to complete the task and just look at her wonderful Chasing the Sun TA-DA.
Through all of this, I have managed to put together another UFO top. I wasn't sure I would like it, but I think now that it is finished, I do.
That's it. I'm finished and another day is in the books. Good night ya'll.
Day three and it's a bit chillier out. There is quite a bit of productivity going on today and we have TA-DA-s from Elisabeth and Maria right away.
Jennifer S. is the next one up and we have all been watching these tiny 9 patches come together all weekend. TA-DA
Stephannie has been teaching Allison how to make small zipper bags and she has her own TA-DA along with me. I have finished my Weed Whacker top. I really do like this one and am excited to get the back finished and quilt it.
Stephannie with her TA-DA
And Ana has completed her tree skirt and another pair of Golden Scissors will be awarded. Woohoo.
Both Fawn and Elisabeth are up again -- TA-DA
Jennifer M. has finished her twin to Jennifer S.'s top. Oh the pieces in these. I stand in awe.
Our day is flying by with lots being accomplished this weekend. It is almost dinner time and that means the group picture is up next. Oh these lovely ladies. Back row: Allison, Jennifer M., Glenda, Arlene, Deb H., Elizabeth, Debi K., Elisabeth, Sherri, and Fawn. Front row: Sharron, Jennifer S., Maria, Stephannie, Ana, and Jennifer H. I am so very honored to call them friends in real life and not just online.
We have a few minutes before Kay is ready to serve dinner so how about Golden Scissors awards?
Now I think I'll go check on dinner. Everything is under wraps so I am leaving through the back door when I forget that there is a step down. Perfect. My ankle rolls and down I go. Friends with helping hands are there in seconds and I am helped up, given pain relievers and ice bags, and kept company. Really Deb?
During all this Jennifer S. has another TA-Da -- aren't these rainbow brights just vivid?
Elizabeth H. has her wedges sewn together and I think she is turning it into a cape and becoming a superhero.
Sharron has completed her tree skirt too. Wow, these ladies are so impressive.
Sometimes no matter how hard we try to stay up and be a part of the party -- our bodies just give out.
Or we retreat into fantasy worlds. Fawn has moved onto a new book and Sherri just doesn't feel wonderful. Ugh.
I will say that seeing her ruby slippers up by the dredded sock monkey and angry rabbit, surrounded by empty wine bottles makes me giggle.
What a great set up.
And another Jennifer S. TA-DA. I need some of her superenergy pills.
My evening is spent working on a mini pop-up and repairing my sweetie's pants using the new Bo Nash fusible powder I picked up in Houston. So far, so good.
Jennifer M has been sitting quietly working on a row by row with these darling trailers on it. I have to say that I am super impressed with the fabric selection and placement. Not to mention how beautiful her work on it is.
It's the last night and even though it is after midnight the room is still full. How we hate for these events to end and going to bed just makes it happen sooner.
Before too long it is time to call it a night but not without a little fun first:
Okay, okay --- the real good night picture. Happy faces all around.
It's Sunday morning and I am the first one up. I am freezing and can't stay in bed any longer so figure if I move around a bit, I might warm up. Last night I worked on the back for the first top I made here and had a few issues with the last row. This morning, it all makes sense and I soon have a completed back and label. This one is now ready to go into the "to be quilted" stack.
Throughout this retreat, several projects were underway and I really haven't spotlighted them at all. We have been working on little woolies that are owls. Here are the finished ones and I think they are just oh so cute. Each person is able to embellish however they wish. Some will do that at home and others can do it here.
Okay, it's time to start packing up, but Elizabeth is trying really hard to get her tree skirt sandwiched and Jen has another TA-DA. It's down to the wire but no one really wants to pack up yet.
All too soon, the house is empty and it's just Allison and I left. We end the way we started. Just the two of us. Thanks all for a great weekend. See ya in February.