Sunday, February 12, 2017

Brazos House Hearts and Hands Retreat #2 - February 2017

Round two is ready to begin.  I think I've done everything I need to but I'll admit, I'm in a bit of a drug induced fog.  This dang cold is really taking hold.  My brain is in survival mode with my body following along behind.  It's so hard for me not to be on top of my game.  Ugh.  Anyway, moving on.

Val and Ana are chatting about Ana's tumbler leader/ender quilt and Allison has set up quite a comfy home for herself.  We are ready for people to arrive.

A quick look around the room and you can see just how hard the four of us are working.

Val is not even at her computer --- it's time for this party to start.

With the arrival of Glenda and Shirley, one of our lovely yard ladies has decided she wants to retreat too.  She checks out the sofa before moving onto the printer.  I'm climbing around trying to shoo her towards the door and she finally comes to roost on the windowsill where I can gently pick her up.  Sorry miss, you can't stay.

Once that issue is resolved, it's back to the room for me and guess what?  Ana's top is done.
TA-DA  I really like this but didn't even make a start on this when Bonnie Hunter kicked it off.  No start = no finish.

Allison is right behind with one of her Valentine quilts.  TA-DA

Lovely old ladies are starting to set up around the room.  No, I'm not talking about Glenda.

Both Jennifer's have brought black 301's and Sherri has a lovely mocha 301.  Those are in addition to the two LBOW 301's that Allison and I brought AND the Featherweights Glenda and I have.  Also, on Debi's table there is a LBOW 301 and a Featherweight.  With only 9 people in the room, we have 9 vintage ladies already.  What else is coming our way?

Oh, another TA-DA by Allison, that's what.  And check out the label on this one.  Super cute.  She is just binding away over at her station.  Perhaps I could take a page out of her book and get something accomplished.  Nope -- I'd rather stare and sneeze.

It's Sherri's turn with a TA-DA.  She started this one at a previous retreat and it's finally finished.  It is made with bonus triangles from another project.  Each column is labeled for her husband and I want to share those with you.  1 - Saw Blades  2 - Screwdrivers  3 - Jack Hammers  4 - Vice Grips  5 - Drill  and 6 - Chain Saw.   Creativity at it's best.

A bit of chicken love going on.

Several of the gals went into Glen Rose for lunch.  I asked for a picture.  On their way back from Sonic (not the lunch stop), they remembered to take a selfie in the car.  Okaaaaay.  I'm supposed to be the one with the foggy brain.

Allison has another Valentine TA-DA.  Wow.  This one also has a wee bit of love on the back.

The gang's all here again and I have managed to corral them in the kitchen to work on the name tags.  I'd really like to be able to clean up the mess before Kay has our wonderful dinner finished.  It works.  We soon have a majority of the nametags completed.  I know, I know.  I'll have to drag the paints to retreat again to get the rest of them.  So be it.  Nametag TA-DA's by Sherri (applique), Shirley, and Arlene.  Thank you ladies.

Now let's move some others into your spots at the table.  Oh Debi, where are you?

Okay, still going.

Nametag TA-DA's by Jennifer and Jennifer.  Now it's definitely time for dinner.  Everyone else ran away with their tags and I'll have to round them up later for pics.

After dinner, my sweetie calls to check on me and says to go look at the moon.  Perhaps he said to howl at it.  I can't be sure as I think my hearing is also affected by the meds.  Oooh, it's peeking through the trees.

While I am out looking at the moon, I manage to miss a TA-DA.  Really?  I wasn't gone that long ladies.  Val has her 3D one to show off and it's a beauty.

As I walk around the room, I spot this block that Sherri is working on.  I love it although I hear rumblings that it is not right and that she waited oh too long to work on a block of the month project.  Been there, done that.

Glenda has found that the table is a bit low for her with her Featherweight and has tilted it to see better and not hurt her back so much.  Must remember this.

Meanwhile, I have retreated to my corner off and on throughout the day and have managed to complete the other four portable portfolios.  TA-DA.  NOW I feel okay to teach it.  I love them and hope my darling granddaughter will as well.

I am beat and the cold is getting ahold of me again.  Why is night always worse?  I take some Nyquil and tell everyone I'm heading for bed.  They all agree to take the last picture super EARLY so that I can be in it and off I go.   Kind of a fake picture.

And, naturally, there were finishes after I was sound asleep.  Thankfully pictures were taken and sent to me.

First up - Stephannie -- TA-DA

and Glenda TA-DA.  Congrats Ladies.

Okay it's a new day.  Am I any better?  Nope.  In fact, I may be worse.  Not gonna let it stop  me though.  I'm late to the party and stay a bit longer in the kitchen after breakfast.  Energy, where art thou?  When I return to the room, Sock monkeys are well under way.  I had totally forgotten that they were making these this weekend.  I guess it's a good thing I didn't order one.

I will tell you that I have REALLY gone through these pictures carefully.  These are the best ones, honest.

Remember what I said?

Jen has arrived and is working on a couple of portable portfolios.  Yay, I can teach this to her.  Free motion quilting all the way.  Woohoo.

Later in the day, Elisabeth makes her appearance as well and we are almost full.  I'm not sure what these two are talking about, but it looks dang serious.

A peek into the library gives me a yummy piece of eye candy.  Jennifer M's log cabin in the works.  Love, love, love.

Last November we commented how Fawn had sewn less and read more.  This time is the same.  She's been suffering from an asthma attack and is not up to par either.  I get it completely.

Since arriving Jennifer S. has been determined to get her golden scissors charm and has finished in record time.  The binding is even hand stitched which earns another charm.  Yay Jen.  TA-DA

Debi has a purse TA-DA.  Someday I will tackle a purse.

Jennifer M. gives us her En Provence TA-DA.  How pretty is this?

And the TA-DA's just keep rolling in.  Elisabeth with her modern leaves all free motion quilted to look like logs.  Awesome.

Allison has finished her sock monkey AND her woolie project.  Yep, we are doing woolies this week too, but being the great hostess that I am -- I threw everything on the table and walked away.  That just how good I feel.  Nice job Allison - oh and love the hair down.

Arlene has finished her Friendship Quilt -- totally.  It is done in the Quilt As You Go method.  TA-DA

Val with another TA-DA.  These women have been busy.

I spy Garden Party in the works.

And that's the end of day two for me.  I have no idea what happened after 9:30.  I wasn't sent any pictures other than the last man standing post and didn't hear any explosions.  I guess that's a good thing.

Day three begins (day 8 for me) and I am ready to try something different with this bug I've got.  It's bundle up with a quilt and head out in the fresh air to watch the sunrise.  At least my attitude will be better, even if my body isn't.

It's lovely out here.  Not too cold, just brisk enough to help clear out my lungs a bit.  The birds are singing the video below shows why we love it here so much.

There is a mist over the water and the dawn is just breaking.  It's peaceful and does my heart so much good.

Jennifer comes down with coffee and camera in hand ready for a sunrise shot but I think it's too cloudy.  It is just going to gradually get lighter and that's nice too.  She's such a sweetie and I love our time together visiting.  Yep, she got a pic of me that's actually decent since I feel like . . . .

Morning breaks

When I get back into the main room, I see that Allison has all the stuff out for making the clam shells that we gifted everyone.  I AM going to participate in this but am not interested in a red one.  Being a redhead really limits my use of red.  Honest. I find some wine fabric and get started.

Last night we had a discussion on how our husbands never seem to know what we are doing even when we tell them several times, write it on their calendars, leave sticky notes  . . . and so on.  We joked that perhaps it needs to be written on the toilet paper and then they might get the message.  My fog last night stopped me from getting a picture then, but here ya go.  The Brazos Girls Solution.

A peek in the library finds Debi and Arlene on the floor working out another quilt.  I love these mother/daughter moments.

At the same time, across from me -- another deep discussion is taking place.  It's right across the table from me.  Honest.  And I have no idea what they were talking about.  Yes, that much of a fog.  Crazy.

TA-DA from Glenda - she's having a productive retreat too.

Jen with her portable portfolio TA-DA.  Now onto the second one.

As Allison gets ready to teach us how to do our clam shells, spontaneous stretching takes place.  I just watch.  Yep - I'm such a joiner this weekend.

For those of you who think quilting is the only thing going on at these retreats, please think again.  Don't let that stop you from joining in.

Mariah is here with her crocheting and last weekend we had a lady that just make purses/bags.  We have painted, embroidered our woolies, and now are working on the clam shells -- another hand project.

Over on the design wall, I spot Allison's En Provence.  It's looking great and coming together well.

It's the last day of retreat and even though I feel awful, I, too, am saddened by this.  It's going way too fast today as well.

The laughter in the room has penetrated my haze several times and I'm happy to say, it looks as though most are having fun.  Obviously, my role is much smaller than I think.  HAHAHAHA.

Ana has her sock monkey TA-DA and Shirley has finished her crazy half-square triangle exchange flimsy.  It's perfect.  TA-DA

It's time to get out of the house and visit the chickens.  The minute Val heads out, she has them lined up following her.  Way too cute.

I've decided that I want chickens.  I want to move to the country.  I want peace and quiet.  I want to hear nature more clearly.  Apparently I want a lot of things today.  Mister is probably in for a shock.

Jen and Debi gather the eggs while we feed chickens and then go searching for Fatsy.  She is hiding well today.

It's almost dinner time and that means picture time.  It's such a beautiful day out that Kay suggests an outdoor shot.  Perfect idea.  These women are truly my anchors in life.  I love each and every one of them to the moon and back.  Back row:  Jennifer H., Sherri, Elisabeth, Mariah, Glenda, Val, Shirley, Jennifer M., Fawn, Ana, and Allison.  Middle:  Debi and Debi (hahaha)  Front Row:  Arlene, Stephannie, and Jennifer S.

And some fun:

We have saved game night until tonight since we had late arrivers yesterday and Glenda was visiting family.  It's critical to have EVERYONE here for game night.  But first, we have GOLDEN SCISSORS to award.  Woohoo.  Congratulations Jennifer.

I have only selected a few pictures from game night as there are way too many to post.  Hopefully these few will show you just how much fun is had and the amount of laughter this group manages to create.  I simply cannot explain it, you must live it.

Of course there are always some who feel the need to pout and others who aren't even really into the game.  Yes, I've been caught being the one on my phone before too.

The fat quarters are won by Stephannie and she doesn't seem at all excited.

Arlene is so funny to watch sometimes.  Tonight she is in the running for a jelly roll and doesn't even know she's won.  Too cute.  The second jelly roll is won by Ana and why oh why didn't I take a picture?

Post game TA-DA -- Jen's second portfolio.  A smaller version to be used for cosmetics.  Super cute.

My clam shell --- woot woot.  Again, my camera missed out on Val's that I know of.  Sherri's is finished too.  AND, big TA-DA -- I finished three of the 10 pair of slippers I cut out.  Yeah, I had big plans.  Nature had bigger ones.

Shirley with another TA-DA

And I captured Glenda's work on the design wall.  YES, that is all hand embroidered.  Crazy cool.

The sock monkey brigade.  Please meet (from left to right) Lemondrop, Cubby Smirky, Bob Marley, and Mrs. Beasley.  Such fun was had by these four and I can't wait to see how the others turn out.

Sherri managed to crank out a few Beads of Courage bags for us and we are thankful for that.  I need to make this a bigger priority next retreat.

Allison has one last TA-DA for the evening.  Her Scrap Crystals flimsy is finished.  Ooooohhhh, pretty.

That's a wrap.  I've packed up most of my area tonight to save time tomorrow.  All I have left that I want to work on is hand stuff so no need for machines.  I've made it til 1:30 tonight simply because I hate to say goodbye to these women.  However, I'm off to bed now.  Last photo please.

Good morning and Sherri starts it out with a lovely TA-DA.

After breakfast, people are packing up like crazy and we take a few minutes to gather outside for a picture of the En Provence quilts.  Love, love, love this.

And, of course, super capes.  Well, for most of us anyway.

I have rounded up all the nametags for a picture.  I'll try and guess whose is whose but will likely get them wrong.  Back row:  Val, Fawn, Ana, Stephannie, Arlene, Glenda    Front row:  Sherri, Me, Allison, Jennifer S., Jennifer M., Shirley, Debi.  Fingers crossed.

After cleaning the kitchen, Debi went to sit and sew in the hopes of getting her last En Provence top finished.  Success and TA-DA

And that's it.  Everyone is gone.  Everything is put away.  We are waiting for Mister to arrive and then pack up the finals bits.

As I clean out the guest's fridge, I find 4 shrively apples and we cut them for the donkeys.  Let's go say goodbye correctly.

Debi had a heck of a time getting the baby to take her apple.  He didn't seem to understand.  Well that's it.  Another retreat is in the books and my sweetie has arrived to carry me home.  Thanks to all who make this so wonderful and understood how out of it I was.  Love ya'll so much.

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