Sunday, May 7, 2017

Brazos House Retreat May 2017 - Session 1

It's the last big retreat of the spring and then we take a break until the beach in September.  For this round, I will be here 10 days and am going to enjoy it to the hilt.  My heart and soul rest easy here and this time should not be any different.  It's my birthday and that makes this even more fun.  Time to get on the road.

4th - I found out last night that Jen is switching retreats this weekend so my brain is flying during the drive down.  How to best set up with an extra person in the room?  I think I have it figured out and text Debi, who is already there, to hold off on creating her nest.  As soon as I arrive, we brainstorm some more and decide to switch sides of the room so that three people can share two tables and have a wee bit more on the side near the closet.  We get it all set up and I think I will just need a small section of the large table and Debi is willing to give up some of hers for Jen.  We are good to go and set up in no time.

About this time, we have a cancellation and just look at each other.  Should we move back?  NO WAY.  Everyone is going to be shocked, but so be it.  The change has been made and we shall see if it becomes permanent.  Yes, those IKEA bags are full of supplies for group projects and ours as well.

Speaking of --- I get the woolies all set up for this weekend.  I hope several get made as they are just too darn cute.

Sherri soon arrives and there is even more shaking and moving going on.  She has built an entire booth.  I LOVE IT.  How cool is this?  It's banner change time in the Facebook group!  Done.  (If it's too much for you -- follow the train --- first 5 cents is the charge, then fat quarters, then it's determined that SHE needs the help and the arrows point to everyone else for group therapy.  Ingenious.)

She also has a bubble machine so out the toys come.  I take mine out, fill her with bubbles, shoot them all over the place and somehow manage to break the trigger.  It is locked in ON mode with lights flashing everywhere and bubble soap leaking from the bottom.  Oh no - It's off to the trash for her to wear down her batteries.  I text Mister what happened and he tells me to try and get it stopped and perhaps he can fix it, so I retrieve her again and pack it away once I manage to clip the trigger in place with a wonder clip.  Those things really ARE wonders.

Now, after all this screwing around, it is time for lunch.  Climbing into various cars, we are soon zooming down the highway towards Granbury and Babe's Chicken House.  This has rapidly become and Thursday lunch tradition -- one I'm happy to embrace.

Alright --- now it's time to sew.  I have a super long list of things I wish to accomplish in these 10 days and I, along with everyone else, am ready to put the pedal to the metal and create some stitches.
I love retreats as each person is able to find just what their own soul needs while here.

Maria takes advantage of  our beautiful patio to do some hand binding.

While Lydia opts for an overstuffed chair in the library --- next to the swap table.

Our evening festivities include a birthday party of Lydia and I.  The cake is absolutely charming and tastes divine.  Honest.  We are both totally surprised by the outpouring of love and generosity from everyone.

I wonder who that extra arm/hand belongs to.

Sherri has taken the ultimate step and covered us both in confetti.  And the entire house as well.  I love her ideas and spontaneity.

After dinner we have our first TA-DA with Val.

And the end of the first day.  LOVE these ladies so very much.  What a grand time we are having.

5th -  Good Morning!  The birds are singing and so am I.  It's a beautiful day and I was a good girl and got plenty of sleep.  Bring it on.

We have a couple of ladies who have to work while here.  Isn't it great that technology will allow them to save vacation days, enjoy the environment, put in their hours, and then sew away with everyone else when they are finished?  I am so glad it works that way for them.

Lydia has a TA-DA dress --  This is just too cute.

Rocky with a TA-DA

Throughout the day, Debi runs Bingo games and our first two winners are Jazmin and Brenda.  Congratulations and, no, I will not be photographing all the winners.  Just the first two.

Time for class.  We have woolies and Beads of Courage bags to give directions on.  I know it looks like a mess, but it truly is organized.

Maria with a TA-DA -- I can't wait to see how she quilts this one.

And Sherry with a Potato Chip Bag TA-DA.  Why is it called that?  Well, because you can't just make one.

Kitsey and I decide to walk down to the river to enjoy the view and some conversation.  While there, Sherri joins us, but she is a bit hyped up.  It appears that she ate a few too many espresso beans and then washed the whole thing down with Dr. Pepper.  Now she has some energy to burn.

We have been watching snakes, turtles, and fish in the very low river and inform her of that, but she is pretty determined to get into the river and keeps looking upriver where it is easily accessible.

I let Kitsey know that I'll likely need to take her and she agrees.  Off we go as she returns to the house.  We get down to the river via a crazy old staircase.  Apparently, there is a better way, but I am not sure how to find it.

Once we are there, it takes Sherri literally seconds to remove her shoes and get into the water.

She quickly goes from feet to hands in the water.

To sitting.

To laying.  She looks like dead man floating and there are even hawks circling overhead.

We hang for awhile so that she can cool from the caffeine hot flashes and then make our way back to the house.  Isn't it simply gorgeous here?  These are looking both directions on the river.  Yes, it's super low.

As we walk back, I find some clam shells.  All sizes and the riverbed is littered with them.  I had no idea these could be found in the river.  Super cool.

Upon returning to the room, I HAVE to find the culprit that caused all of this and take a picture.  What a great memory.

Speaking of memories, this retreat is stacking up to create several of them.  In the library, Stephannie has set up a mixing station and is filling bottles containing a starch mixture for everyone.  You go girl.  I'm not showing it here, but they are lined up to get their own spray bottle full.

At the same time, the swap table is being investigated thoroughly for treasures.  It's a good table and I'm hoping everything disappears.  That's how is supposed to work.

As I come out of the library, I spot Maria sitting with her darling new Featherweight.  I am so glad she is falling in love with her.

This looks like a sweat shop.  Wow.

Sherry with another TA-DA -- see they ARE aptly named.

As we sew, Sherri runs a trivia game around the room.  We have this game in our supply box and it makes an appearance now and then when requested.

It's a fun time and after the game, Maria has another TA-DA.  Her little Featherweight is just happily putting these tops together.

The afternoon is rapidly turning into evening and dinner is served.  After everyone is finished --- IT'S GAME NIGHT!

I love this time of retreat so very much.  People let their hair down and have a little fun.  Laughter is the dessert and we all take a healthy portion.

First, though, we have a RUBY to award.  Way to go Rocky -- you get to be pinned by a lady who should never wear this shirt in public again.

Smile - or not.  Congratulations.

Let's get this game started.  LCR is on and who will our winners be.  Ah, there's her smile.

First triple dot prize goes to Brenda.

I LOVE that these women love each other.  Retreat may be the only time they get together, but friendships have been forged and it's grand to come together again and update one another.

Sometimes, there is even a bit of "what are they doing?" going on.

The fat quarter winner is Tracey and she's been coveting the Kaffe ones that were in the bowl all during the game.  Happily, it worked out for her.

Throughout the day we have been talking about LuLaRoe clothing.  Lydia decides to give everyone a "feel" just to see how incredibly soft they really are.

And for that wonderful act of kindness, karma visited and she won the jelly roll.  Stephannie wins the layer cake and this game is in the books.  Congratulations to all.

Yes, I have been sewing now and then.  I have finished my Pineapple Blossom flimsy.  TA-DA

Lydia has a TA-DA with a cute bag

Stephannie's toes have a TA-DA

Val with hers - TA-DA

Brenda's TA-DA -- wow these ladies have been busy today.

And that's it.  Another day in the books.  My daughter arrived this evening so my birthday is now even happier.

6th -  Welcome Saturday.  What can we create today?  Mindy starts us out with this beautiful TA-DA

Followed by Kitsey with her Beads of Courage bag and Brenda with a nursing cover for her daughter.  TA-DA

Debi has a TA-DA of a minky puff quilt.

In February, I found these blocks on the swap table and decided to make a lap quilt for my mother-in-law out of them.  TA-DA

Val with another bag TA-DA

And now for a mass gathering at the river.  Sherri wanted to go down again and this time quite a few decided to join us.  I have to admit, the water is so nice and incredibly clear.

There are little fish that nibble at your toes and it feels kinda strange, for sure.  BUT, it just all adds to the fun and I hear giggles all around me.  Well, except from Jazmin, who declared it just gross.

I take advantage of time with Jen for a selfie of us.  I'm still not very good at taking these, but it'll do.

Just before dinner, it's time for the group picture.  Yes, everyone made it back from the river in one piece -- not parts of toes are missing.  Please take a moment to feel the love I have for these remarkable women.  Back row:  Sherri, Sherry, Jen, Shirley, Lydia, Brenda, Tracey, Kitsey, Gwen.  Sitting back row:  Debi, Rocky  Middle row:  Val, Stephannie, Jazmin, and Maria  Front row:  Mindy and yours truly.

Our newbie - Jazmin AND the first pregnant lady we've had here.  Congrats Jazmin.  She also came all the way from California for this opportunity to "sew with a bunch of old, white women".  Hahahahaha

Next up:  Maria is teaching a class on postcards or luggage tags.  I am super excited about this and can't wait to learn.

She has lots of samples for us to see and gain ideas from.  Oooooh, please let the creative juices flow and let's see where it takes me.

While I work on my luggage tags, there is a TA-DA.  Sherri with her Pineapple Blossom flimsy.

I did it!  Love these little tags.  One for me, one for Mister.  Thank you to Jen for doing the stitching around the outside since I only brought straight stitch machines with me.

Sherry has a woolie TA-DA

Val's postcard

And just like that, we are at the last night.  I don't wish to say good-bye to these ladies but it's a must for two of them tomorrow.

7th -  Sunday morning dawns and several people have already left or have gone into town for church.  In the meantime, Jazmin has her TA-DA.

Maria has a FINISHED TA-DA -- this is the one she was hand binding on the first day.

Sherri has to leave us today, so we take a Pineapple Blossom picture outside even though Debi is still working on hers.  See how beautiful it is here.  Oh, it's hard to leave, I promise.  But leave they must and the rest of the morning is spent watching and helping load vehicles.  Til next time, my friends.

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