Sunday, April 9, 2017

Brazos House Retreat - April 2017

It is April 6th and that means I am back at Brazos House for another weekend of fun with my quilting sisters.  After dropping Mister at work, a quiet hour and a half drive has me here and ready to roll.  Within an hour I have the room ready and start in on my own little corner.  There are 15 of us this weekend so I have gone back to one of the original setups and my table is now set so that I can see everyone most of the time.  Only the "charm" table puts my back to everyone.

A few minutes in my bedroom and it is ready to go as well.  Now to set up the project display so that people can get started right away on their cute little bunny woolies.  I have to admit, I love this little guy.

Well, I am ready to go and have a few moments to myself still.  Time to go outside a bit.  The patio is wonderful and the opportunity to sit and hear the birds while breathing the fresh air and enjoying the sunshine can't be topped right now.  I think I'll try and spend more time out here this weekend.  All part of my new outlook on retreats.  I'm focusing on the word "retreat".

I hear sounds of arrivals and as people enter, scope out their places to nest, and set up, I just start working on nametags.  Before we know it --- our bellies need sustenance and Babe's is where they will receive it.  Road trip.

Each time we make this trek, there are "virgins" to enlighten.  This moment is not an exception.  Oh yum.  What a great  corruption.

All right -- back at the ponderosa and I have lots of "charming" to do.  Settling in, I soon have everyone's tags on their own stands and can wander the room a bit.

I don't think anyone at this retreat will starve.  Oh my, this snack table may very well be the largest one yet and we have four people who haven't even arrived yet.  Crazy.

I have only brought two projects with me to work on this weekend.  The first one is quick and simple.  I just need to stuff and close the En Provence pillows that have been sitting on my coffee table for over a month now.  TA-DA

Speaking of TA-DA's --- Maria has one right away.  This is her guild challenge "charm" quilt.  I had hopes of participating in this as well but certainly don't seem to be moving in that direction even one little bit.

As I walk around the room (YES, I am procrastinating on getting started on my other project), The swap table has some fun stuff and I score on a jigsaw puzzle for my  mother-in-law and her friends.

The theme this weekend is "Flamingoes" and Angie's cup is just so cute.  It says, "Let's Flamingle."  Perfect - and the inflatable flamingo right next to it make the display.

Angie has played the theme perfectly in her leggings too.  How fun is this?

I have still not sewn a stitch.  What else can I do to keep the avoidance going?  I'm just not in the mood for my project and I KNOW I need to get them done.  How about a walk?  I mention that I'm going down to the river and Gwen joins me for a delightful walk and visit.  I'm having so much fun getting to know her better.  Oh this spot.  What else can I say?

A little up the river, we spot a blue heron, but this is as close as I can get with the camera and therefore a bit blurry.  It's just my phone, ya know.  Mister keeps telling me to use the "real" camera more.  I think I'm gonna have to give in and do just that.

Returning to the house provides us with another TA-DA.  Rocky started this at the last retreat and it is now ready to quilt.  Gorgeous.

Hair styling takes place in the evening.  Love this Miss Pebbles.

And . . . . upon Elisabeth's arrival, Mrs. Robinson and Mrs. Jones make their appearance as well.

I'm still wandering and avoiding my sewing machine.  Check out this stack of squares at Rocky's station.  Wow --- just how many quilts is she making this weekend?  She informs me she has enough for six quilts and wants to get her golden scissors this weekend.  You go girl.

Debbie has a TA-DA.  Love the strings with sashings.  Sorry for the blur.  I need to slow down and take my time more.

Lori has sewn on one project since she first arrived and now has her TA-DA.  Golden Scissors baby.  Quilted and bound.  The binding is even hand stitched on.  She has been FOCUSED.

And just like that, the first night is done.  What have I accomplished?  Well, all the nametags are done, I've gone for a walk, I've visited and had fun, and I finished my pillows.  Hey ya'll, I'M ON RETREAT!  Good night.

7th -  Good morning everyone.  Today I shall sew.  Honest.

First thing in the morning, Maria has a TA-DA.

Followed up by Val's TA-DA baby quilt

AND - the first woolie TA-DA by Debbie along with a shaving kit TA-DA by Lori

Next is Sherry with her Chasing the Sun TA-DA--- Ah, my heart.  I do love the color palette she chose.  I'm still just oh so happy with the design of this.  I may need to make another one for myself in these colors.  Mister loves it.

Debbie is on a roll and has also finished her first Beads of Courage bag.  Woohoo.

Lori with another TA-DA

Maria and I decide to walk up to the main house and say hello to the mules along with perhaps getting a glimpse of the baby longhorn.  No luck on the longhorn, but the mules were more than happy to say howdy.

The bluebonnets are absolutely gorgeous right now and this may be my only opportunity to enjoy them.  I travel as soon as I return home from here.  Gotta get a picture.

Above the beauties, there is this really cool "art" made from wine bottles.  I do love it a lot.  What a great idea.  They sparkle!

Maria and I get a chance to just visit and enjoy the view before starting the walk down.  Love it.

Once back at the house, Lori has another TA-DA.  She is a machine right now.

Maria with another TA-DA.  How does she do that each time?

Woolies are being finished too.  Angie's TA-DA

Okay, let's liven it up a bit in here this evening.  Where is my bubble machine?  Ah, there it is.

Now to play a bit.

Another woolie TA-DA along with a first Beads of Courage Bag from Mary.

Me?  Are you asking about me?  Yes, I have sewn today.  I've actually made good progress on my projects.  Four completed pair of slippers today.  I have a lot more still, but progress is progress.

I am calling it an early night and Val is as well.  Our room snuggles in for the night, but not without a picture of the flamingo jammies.  Val wore these all day and I love them so  much.  Good night.

Oh -- last women "not standing" after I was long asleep.  Love you ladies so very much.

8th -  It's Day Three and the last full day here.  I want to enjoy it as much as possible.  Angie gets it started right with an apron for a teacher.  It has pockets to hold just about anything.  TA-DA.    Then morning coffee on the patio becomes a challenge for me.  Where is my camera?  Now I need to use the restroom.  Oh dang, forgot my glasses.  Okay, I'm here.  What are we talking about?  Yes, crazy redhead on the loose.

So crazy, in fact that I decide to feed the ladies who are hanging around wondering where I've been.

Val has another TA-DA -- nice modern flavor on this one.

Maria with a TA-DA as well.  I can't wait to see how she brings this to life with quilting.

Sam has her woolie TA-DA compete with gold cross and Angie has made an infinity scarf as well.

Maria keeps churning them out -- TA-DA

Leanne's TA-DA

Rocky with a drink holder TA-DA as she takes a break from her rag quilt frenzy.

Gwen with her woolie TA-DA as well.  Hers even has a pearl necklace.  Love it.

As I look out the window, this lovely guinea hen is perched and watching everyone through the window.  Pose nicely now.

Val with a backing TA-DA that we have now talked her into using as a top.

It's almost dinner time and that means group picture.  YES!  What a great group of ladies.  Pictured left to right.  Back row:  Sherry, Gwenda, Samantha, Elisabeth, Mariah, Mary, Angela, Rocky, Leanne, and Johnnie.  Middle row:  Val, Yours truly.  Front:  Debbie, Lori, and Maria.

Our "Newbies" for this retreat.  I am SO thrilled to get to know all of them.  Angela, Debbie, and Mary.

It's Saturday night and everyone is here tonight.  That means that it's party time.  This retreat has a special event happening and some ladies have been planning and planning for it.  For those who don't know, you receive a number on your nametag that shows how many retreats you have attended.  After 5, a ruby crown is given for your nametag.  After 10 it is a sapphire one.  Three ladies have been tracking this very closely and tonight they all have achieved sapphire status.

Not wanting to let it go quietly, let's join their party and have some fun.

First up:  drinks.  Blue Champagne Cocktails made by women in blue satin pajamas with sashes and tiaras.

Well dang.  They sure are pretty.

Let's round up the gang and get this party going.  Cheers everyone.  OH MY -- that is one strong drink.

I have a couple of awards first.  Lori's GOLDEN SCISSORS moment.

And Johnnie, who was not tracking her numbers, gets surprised with her Ruby crown.

Now for those Sapphires - one, two, and three

And the majestic wave of course

Alright.  LCR let's go.  The laughter and love that we have in the game circle is not to be beat.  Honest.

We make it a policy not to share too much of what happens here (at least not in words) but let's just say, don't make too much fun of Rocky when she messes up.

Our first winner tonight is LORI --- flamingo fat quarters everywhere.  I can't wait to see what she does with them. Debbie takes the second round and has herself a new jelly roll to play with.  And the final round is won by Val.  Her treat is a Kaffe layer cake full of bright, amazing color.

Party Time!!!  We now have this yummy blue drink with coconut rum.  I like it.  And NO, it does not make my clothes fall off.  Hot flashes do that instead.  (yes that is my black shirt AND hat AND scarf on the counter.)

Needle Book TA-DA's - first from Debbie with this great cover.

I ADORE the pin cushion inside.  These type of projects just let the creativity flow. The BEST!!

And from Sherry - TA-DA

Fun pages to fill --- I still take my book everywhere with me.  It lives in my purse.  Nice job ladies.

As the evening winds down, everyone gets comfortable.  Wait a minute.  It appears that the flamingo jammy pants have travelled.  I now see them on Elisabeth.  Yes, it is the same pair.  Will they continue to travel?  Only time will tell.

Oh WOW.   Rocky has completed TWO baby rag quilts.  AND BOUND THEM.  Incredible.  She has definitely earned those coveted GOLDEN SCISSORS.  I am so very impressed.

I've decided to start packing up, so here is my total work for the retreat.  TA-DA -- Yes, I finished more slippers today.  I am still one pair short of having the first half of the year's birthday gifts completed, but I'll get there and that one is not until June.  Now to start mailing.

Maria with another TA-DA.  Ooooh, I likey.

And the last night is a wrap.  What an amazing group of women to hang with.  We had a great conversation tonight and I treasure these ladies so very much.

9th -  They say that packing up is hard to do, Now I know, I know that it's true.  Don't say that this is the end.  Instead of packing up I wish that we were setting up again.   (Oh come on, you know you sang that in your head)

The Woolies!!!


Our Beads of Courage contribution.  You see those stacks in the back?  Well, Lori walked in with 100 for us.  Giant Kudos to her.  We have such a great amount to turn in this time.  Woot woot.  Debi will be so pleased.

And that's it.  Everything is once again put away and I am seeing Brazos House in my rearview mirror.  No, I didn't sing that time.  It's less than a month before my return and I'm already excited.  See you then.

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