Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Fun, Fun, Fun! (Long and Photo Heavy)

I had so much fun! I met lots of wonderful ladies, shopped til I dropped, took some stitching classes, ate yummy food, was crafty, stitched my little heart out and just had a fabulously wonderful time. The Shepherd's Bush retreat was just plain awesome. Even more so was making new friends...I had a wonderful time hanging out with Katrina, Karin, Natalia and Sara (no blog)!

**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.

Jeanette Douglas:
Charland: Large Needlebook (closed)
Outside:
Inside:

Blackbird Designs:
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...

36 comments:

JOLENE said...

What an awesome post!!! I am so glad I had the opportunity to bump into you and meet you at Shepherd's Bush. I can't believe how fun this past week has been with friends, blogging friends that is!!! Can't wait for 2012!!! Smiles...

Melissa said...

I'm so jealous. It looks like you had a phenomenal time. That's my dream is to show up at the retreat one day. Maybe I need to start saving up for 2012. Thanks for the descriptions and all of the wonderful pictures.

Andrea said...

Sounds like you had a blast!! So happy for you! I'd love to go some year, maybe 2012 will be my year!
I noticed SD American Beauty in your stash...you know I stitched that one a long time ago, still haven't framed it...isn't that shameful? It's one of my favs too!
That new SB stocking is wonderful too, can't wait to see you stitch that up.
Great post Valerie!
xoxo

Karin said...

Fantastic post Valerie! It was so wonderful to meet you, getting to know you better and spending lots of time together. We had such a fun group and yes we have to start saving for 2012. I will be so there! :-)
I will send you some photos tomorrow ;-)

Melanie said...

OMG so so so so so awesome!!!!!! I'm jealous AND glad you had a super time. It all sounds so fabulous!

Natasha said...

oksy I think I will have to start saving for the 2012 event. It sounds like an awesome time. Loved your pictures of all your stash.

Sylvia said...

Thank you for posting in detail about the retreat. I could not go this year, but am living vicariously through those that did to. The projects look fabulous, and I love all your new stash.

Christina said...

I'm green with envy, if only we had something half as good in the UK...ho hum.
Your purchases are fab, looking forward to seeing your SB stocking stitched up. I have 'Peter' and 'Christian' in my stash, I've been meaning to stitch them for a LONG time!
How amazing that you got to meet Jill Rensell, what a super talented lady. I'm saving my pennies because I'd love her to frame my Mirabilia 'Fairy Moon'.

Hazel said...

Great post! I wish I could have gone. That would be the coolest retreat ever. Lovely stash haul. I may join you in Travelling Stitcher but I might be a late starter as I still aim to have no new starts till December. We'll see. xx

Carol R said...

A great post Valerie and I made it to the end! I wish I could have joined you - retreats are such good fun. I'm looking forward to our SAL

Chris said...

Good Morning Valerie!
Thanks for sharing your retreat experience. The projects look amazing and beautiful.

Chris

Siobhan said...

What a fantastic post, Valerie! It sounds like you had an absolutely amazing time. :) I'm so glad! Love the projects that you all got!

Giovanna said...

Oh, I've been so drooling over your pictures! Thanks for sharing, it sounds like an amazing experience.

Margaret said...

Thanks for the awesome retreat post! It was so much fun to read about the fun time you had. Love all the pictures and the stash! Lucky lucky you!!

Jackie said...

It sounds like an amazingly awesome time! I've not been to any kind of retreat yet but it sure sounds like fun.

natalyK said...

Wow, looks like you had a great time. I love the photos of all the projects and I can especially appreciate the excitement about new stash. Looks like you got some awesome stitchy stuff.

Julie said...

What a lovely post to read about your fabulous time, its always nice to meet with other stitchers.

KarenV said...

I'm totally jealous LOL! Sounds like you had a great time - the class projects are gorgeous and you got some wonderful stash! Thanks for sharing the details :)

Katrina said...

I am so glad you had a good time!!! I enjoyed being the planner and enabler ;-). It was so great sharing the retreat with Karin, Natalia, Sara and you. Looking forward to 2012!

Kelly said...

Thanks for sharing your experience. It felt like I was there. I am glad you had a great time. The stash looks terrific. Can't wait to follow your progress.

Tammy said...

Hi Valerie!!! You did a great job of reviewing the retreat. It was so fun to meet you, you are an absolute doll and your stitching on WMHB was perfection! I really hope we all make it in 2012. I look forward to seeing your stitching progress. Take Care.

Deb said...

What a great post Val. I am so glad that we were able to meet up even if it was for a short period of time!! I had planned on tracking all of you down during the time we were there, but time got away from me.

Love those projects and wish now that I'd taken some of the classes. Maybe next time. I've got two years to save up for them!!

Chocolates4Breakfast (TerriBoog) said...

Awesome post, Valerie! I did not take enough stash pictures so I was glad to see you post some good ones! I so enjoyed meeting you - you are so cute and I just love being able to put a face and personality to a blog! Good luck with getting all those projects done!

Barbi said...

Sounds like you had a fabulous time! I'm jealous! And your new stash! LOVE IT!!! That stocking is going to be amazing! Love the blackbird design photos too!

Lisa said...

Before I can type, I had to wipe off the drool. OMG, what a wonderful time you had - classes, stash, meeting new friends, stash, little gifts, stash, partying, stash...I am so happy that you went and had a good time. You needed something like this. Maybe I will start saving my money for 2012, I have always dreamed of attending a retreat like this!
Hope to see you soon, take care!

Shelleen said...

wow. what a great time you had and you deserved it. Glad that you met a lot of stitchers and made new friends.

melissaml said...

Hi Valerie,

I had a great time sitting next to you! It has been so hard getting back to reality...people in the real world just don't get excited about things like buying way more projects than you can ever possibly complete or finding a really amazing pair of scissors!

natalie said...

Oh, I am so upset that I couldn't go! It looks like you had such a fun time!

Christine said...

Fabulous! This retreat is on my wishlist for 2012 and your excitement just sealed it for me! Yes - your excitement came through the blog loud and clear! And how great to meet people who've read your blog. What a great trip you had!

Theresa said...

Wow!!!!! Your trip sounds like fun!!!! I'm sooooo envy!!!! Thanks for sharing~~~~

Michele B. said...

You made me feel like I was there - thanks! Enjoy the fruits of all your shopping labors - what great stash you picked up.

Sally said...

Oh wow I am soooooooo envious!!! It looks like you had an amazing time. I would so love to go on one of these retreats but I'm afraid my numbers will never come up on the lottery to enable me to do so!

Enjoy your new stash! :)

Laura said...

The retreat sounds like so much fun. Love the stash pics--I'm drooling!

Carolyn said...

I wish I was there. Sounds like you had a blast. I love all your new stash. Thank you for sharing with us. Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving a comment. I am going to add your blog to my list.

Natalia said...

Valerie, I love your post !!! We had a great time, didn't we? It was so great to get to know you and I do look forward to 2012 and another wonderful retreat, and then I'll make sure I get to Utah a day earlier so I can visit Shepherd's Bush store too !! It sounds like heaven !!

Michele said...

Gotta love retreats! Especially your first one :) I have SB's retreat on my to do list .. some day!

I loved reading all about it and see all the wonderful pictures of the class pieces and goodies. I took a class from Alma and Barb in July .. aren't they the best! Wanted to put them in my pocket and bring them home with me.

That's for posting about all your fun!