Craft Retreat January 2012

A few of my friends go to a craft retreat biannually but I have only been twice--a year ago and then again this past weekend.   It's a real treat.  I know some of you are thinking, "What? A craft retreat? What does that even mean and why would you even do that?" Believe me, I get that ALL the time!

Craft retreat - (noun)...okay, okay...

The craft retreat we attend is an old historic home in a small town 45 minutes to 3.5 hours away for all of my friends and myself. We book the house for a weekend (thursday thru Sunday) and that is what we get--a house geared towards crafters.  Think of a bed and breakfast but there is no breakfast made for you (unless you or your friends make it) and the proprietors do not live on site so we have the entire house all to ourselves.  There are several bedrooms,  three or four bathrooms, a full kitchen with pots and such so you can cook there or go out for meals. 

The living areas are empty except for 8'x3' tables and comfy desk chairs, which you can set up, rearrange or take down as you wish.  Provided are craft lights, power strips, cutting boards, paper cutters, die cut machines, dies, punches, cutting table, and a few walls covered in foam board and fabric to pin your creations on.  There are several types of crafts my group does there: card making, scrapbooking, shadow boxes, quilting, sewing, crocheting, and embroidery.  It works nicely for all of us.  

I was very happy with my creations this go round as I remembered my solid colored cardstock this time.  Oh, the little things...I have material for several blog posts now.  It is so nice to have a weekend dedicated solely to crafting.  Not only do we craft but we have a nice time fellowshipping with one another. We can see and can learn new techniques, see and use new products and tools, and get overall design advise just back having someone come look at your project or lifting it up for the room(s) to see.  

Oh, and did I say it is a kidless time?  No babies crying, no toddlers eating your food, no diapers to change, and you can enjoy quiet without realizing you must find your children because they are too quiet.  I did have trouble leaving my seven month old at home, but my husband does an amazing job of taking care of our children so I can go have a break and do my hobby that I am passionate about (and have invested quite a bit into).  I came home to huge hugs, a clean house, a roast in the oven, and happy kiddos and husband.  With today's technology I was able to video chat with my family while I was away.  It was so nice to see my kids and husband and show them the items I was working on.  My seven month old really bonded with her daddy while I was gone and ended up saying her first word today, "Dadda."  This made me so happy!

We already booked our next craft retreat for the summer and I already know I'm going to make my Christmas cards then.  I highly recommend something like this to the novice and serious crafters out there; crafting and girl time with your girlfriends is always fun!
Today I have a colorful birthday card to share.  It is just so cheerful with all the bright colors! I had picked this fun scalloped paper up at a summer clearance at my local craft house and supplier.  Who doesn't like a good sale?!  My sweet sister-in-law got some too and I can't wait to see what she does with hers--it's such fun paper!

I am really happy with my decision to go with the neutral kraft for the second mat.  I like what it brought to the overall look.  I fussed with embellishments for a few minutes before I came up with this final combination--just a touch of bling.  I really like items work well together from different companies.
This ice cream cone was cut from a Papertrey Ink die I have had for a few months but had yet to use.  I busted out my PTI felt for the scoops for the first time.  Wow!  This stuff cuts beautifully!!  No frayed felt edges just a crisp image.  If you look closely you will see the detail on the cone itself; I used my linen impression plate for the waffle cone look.  Yum!
These stickers were the coordinating ones for the colorful scalloped paper.  I've never used stickers on my cards before but the coordinating, vivid colors begged to be put on the Hawaiian Shores paper.
Paper: Echo Park - Summer Days, Papertrey Ink - Hawaiian Shores, Kraft, Staples - white
Stamps: PTI - Think Big Favorites #4
Ink: Colorbox - fuchsia from a rainbow strip
Embellishments: PTI - Hibiscus Burst wool felt, Sweet As Can Be die, Spiral Page die, Cosmo Cricket - teal button - Pixie-Licious collection, dark pink button, The Paper Studio - pink rhinestone, The Ribbon Boutique - purple saddle stitch ribbon, cleat embossing powder, Echo Park - Summer Days stickers
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