**ok, now is the time to get your cup of tea because this is going to be a long post...don't say you weren't warned**
Now it's time to play catch-up. Am I the last one to post about retreat?! I came home to 257 posts to catch up on...and I read each one because I couldn't bear to miss out on anything...and 110 work emails. And apparently some huge paper machine threw up all over my work desk! The heck?! Don't you wish you can freeze time a little so it's not so hard to catch up when you get back from vacation? Welcome back to reality, Valerie! Please beam me back to Utah...it was much calmer there.
On Wednesday, I got up at the crack of dawn to begin my journey to Utah. I landed, found my rental car and made it to Ogden in one piece. Thank you to whomever invented the GPS! First stop, Shepherd's Bush which was truly nirvana. It's a beautiful shop! It's cute and homey and just loaded full of treasures. They have a kabillion models and because they know you will fall in love with it, they even put small cuts of fabric nearby so you can just pick up the chart and fabric right there. They are amazingly organized! And the models go all the way up to the ceiling! You can just stand and crane your neck and take it all in. I would have taken pictures but imagine about 70 ladies crammed into a small shop. Shoot...there may have been more! I shopped until I dropped...had to sit down and have a lemonade break. While shopping, I met Terri, Deb, Jolene and Loraine. Right when I was going to step out to take a photo of the shop, there was this torrential downpour. Katrina, Karin and I waited it out and then ran to our next stop. Next stop...Jill Rensel's shop. Can I just say that besides being a wonderfully talented framer, Jill is also the sweetest person on earth? She had a treat table set up for retreat stragglers which included some of my favorite candy! We had a good chat and looked at all the beauties she had framed up that were awaiting their owners. She inspires me to stitch faster so that all the ideas in my head actually become a reality. After that, we had a little walk in the neighborhood, an early dinner and began the journey to Park City. Once there, I was so pooped I just collapsed into bed.
Having lived at sealevel all my life, suddenly being at 7000+ feet had me at a slight disadvantage. But luckily I was surrounded by savvy mountain-living people that they got me all up to speed on how to handle the altitude. I followed their instruction and was good to go. It was the first official day of retreat and we started it off with more shopping. OMG, there was so much cute stuff that I just couldn't resist! Trust me, I was *not* the only shopaholic there! I was in awe of how many people had the same idea at the same time and lo and behold...line! But the cool thing about standing in line is that you meet new people. I found out that there were Bay Area stitchers besides me at the retreat. I was starting to wonder! It was nice to meet Pam, Kim and Lara (all non-bloggers). We had a welcome project which was stitching your initial, finishing it as a button and placing it on these incredible project bags. Isn't it great?!
And a closeup...Karin helped me out in getting it into button form because she's a total pro! It came out great...I was so happy I think I did a little dance at the table!
Then we had a Simple Stitches project.
I didn't stitch on any class projects during class time because I wanted to do it at my own pace and not get flustered. So I worked on my Where My Heart Blooms instead. Well, Alma Allen saw me stitching on it and actually came up and talked to me about it. I practically fell out of my chair! Alma is so sweet and she has a terrific sense of humor! Actually, all the teachers at the retreat do too. Here's how WMHB looks like now. Still lots to do. Funny thing is that I don't do specialty stitches very often (as in almost never) so I had to write myself a cheat sheet.
So even though I've been blogging for what seems like forever but also no time at all, I really kind of think I write into the abyss. I know I have readers because some even comment! But the world is vast...but at the same time...small. So imagine my surprise when I discovered people were on the lookout for me because they knew I'd be at retreat! Wow! People actually know who I am! I met some lovely ladies like Tammy and Lancy (also non-bloggers). It was so nice to talk to them in between classes. They were both so friendly. There were a couple more but I've forgotten their names...but thank you for being on the lookout and saying hi! There was also Melissa who was my seatmate in the classes. Stitchers really are the friendliest people on the planet!
Here's a sneak peek of the class projects.
Charland: Large Needlebook (closed)
I also took some pictures of past projects in the Blackbird Designs classroom...
It was great to see so many of their models and antique samplers in person!
And as I mentioned...I shopped! Here's a couple of photos of my stash haul.
I really like the new Shepherd's Bush stocking called Sadie. I liked it so much that I kitted it up. This is going to be *my* stocking...can't wait to start it.
And not only did I buy lots of new stash as shown above, Tina and Teri handed out extra little goodies throughout retreat. It was like christmas every single day. I am thankful I had an expandable suitcase otherwise I would have had to make the tough decision between bringing home stash or my trusty pillow! It would have had to be buh-bye pillow!
I had a wonderful time meeting such wonderful ladies. And a very special thank you to Katrina for being party..oh um...retreat planner extraordinaire! She allowed a total newbie, shy, quiet retreat goer (that's me) have a totally fantastic time! She told us what to expect and when to go running for that last "must have" pattern. Serious! Just imagine...she is holding fantastic pattern...where'd you get that...over there, hurry up, they're almost out! What? Almost out? But I need it! Seriously, at retreat, you need everything! Katrina also planned a special meal out each day which I totally appreciated. I am almost always the planner in my circle and it was so nice to have the retreat extras planned. I didn't have to worry about anything other than getting myself there and having a good time. And not only did I have a good time...I had a super fabulous time. Thank you to Katrina, Karin, Natalia and Sara for including me in your group. First retreat = success! Time to start saving those pennies for 2012!
***And there's even more fun! I am doing a SAL with Carol R. on the LHN Travelling Stitcher starting October 1st. If you're interested in joining us, please let me know. This is a no stress, no blog SAL. Just stitch along and have fun. Here's what I will be using...called for threads on Lambswool.
*tap, tap, tap*
Is anyone still out there? Wow this was long! I got tired writing it. Be sure to read Katrina, Natalia, Terri and Deb's blogs(links above) because they all have updates on retreat with super fabulous pictures of things other than stitching! Yes, I know...there is such a thing but I had a one track mind apparently. If you are on the fence about the next retreat...just go! It was fabulous fun and apparently just what I needed. I was actually bouncy at work...on Monday! I think my co-workers were about to take my temperature and make sure I wasn't feverish and losing it!
I did return to another heatwave though. Hellloooo, sweet fog...where are you?!
Until next time...