2010 Alumni Winter Escape
What a BLAST!
Thirty-five stitchers gathered for two days of bliss -- stitching, eating and stash enhancement! We came from CT, FL, MA, ME, MN, NH, NJ, NY, and OH! Imagine those addicted stitchers traveling to New England from so far away in the middle of winter to hang out with other stitchers! LOL!
Well, their trip was worth it! It was the best!
As usual, most attendees arrived the night before, which was excellent because we had a little “mixed precipitation” (Yankee translation: rain, sleet, snow, wind, slush). We didn’t care! We got to watch it through the windows as we stitched away in comfort inside. That just made it all the more enjoyable!
Everyone brought in whatever projects they wanted to work on and it was great to see each other’s WIPs (works-in-progress). Some worked together on the same projects, talking each other through the finishing. It’s so nice to have such an appreciative audience to show off what you’ve accomplished!
Just imagine a classroom with that many enthusiastic stitchers! The conversations flowed with giggles, laughs, and exclamations peppered throughout.
Lauren & Deb
Debby laughed ‘til she cried! LOL!
Pamm, Joni, Jane
Barbara, Gail, Cynthia
We had great door prizes donated by Brightneedle, Celebration of Needlework, Earth Threads, TheGift of Stitching, Jeannette Douglas, Karen Capello (a Stitcher’s Hideaway alum), Olde Colonial Designs, Trail Creek Farm, and With My Needle. And among some adorable gifties in our Fun Packs were donations from Brightneedle, Elizabeth's Designs, Nordic Needle, Rosewood Manor, The Prairie Schooler, Trail Creek Farm, and Victoria Sampler! Our donors were very generous and we were so tickled! Everyone received a Stitcher’s Hideaway mug and many used them right away!
Debby with doorprize from With My Needle
Joanne with doorprize from With My Needle
Joni received a door prize from Brightneedle!
Chris from Chris’s Collection set up shop for us...and we went on a stash enhancement frenzy! LOL! Chris had just returned from the February needlework market and had lots of new designs for us to choose from!
The Wednesday before the retreat was my last day of working full-time! Yes, I retired!! Wheeeeee!!! And I was in a very celebratory mood! Imagine what fun it was for me when I was presented with a Happy Retirement Cake, balloons, sparkling grape juices, gifts and cards at the retreat! That was certainly unexpected and thoroughly enjoyed!
In fact, my retirement became a running joke throughout the retreat. It might have started when I said I didn’t have to do something or other and asked, “Do you know why?” They said no, and I said, “Because I’m retired!” So everything was “because you’re retired” all during the retreat. There were a lot of laughs over it.
One gift came in a “talking” bag. When you open it you hear a voice saying, “You’re just fabulous. You’re really super. You look good, you feel good, and gosh darn it, people like you! You go!” LOL! Of course, I opened up the bag dozens of times just to listen to it. In fact, I still do that at home! Just plain makes me smile. (Thanks, Linda!)
Many of the stitchers know each other from attending Stitcher’s Hideaway retreats, needlework guilds, and other events. You should have heard the conversations going on all at once as everyone brought each other up-to-date on their lives.
Dawn Fisher of Morning Glory Needleworks came to the retreat and brought along her latest design, the Martha Washington Sampler, so that we could see how awesome it looks framed! Dawn will be teaching at the Stitcher’s Hideaway Sturbridge 2010 retreat. Along with teaching the stitches used in the Martha Washington Sampler, she’ll be sharing fascinating history of Martha Washington’s life.
Dawn also brought in some stitched models! We loved her stuff! They sold like hot cakes! LOL!! There’s nothing quite like seeing a stitched model! I bought two of them myself, since I’m sure to get them done...now that I’m retired!
I had to get the “Always Kiss Me Good Night” in blue! Shhhhhhh....I’m stitching it for my husband....shhhhhhh.
Speaking of my husband (Michael), he and my Dad came to the retreat (Dad was my Show ‘n Tell - LOL!). Michael made his outstanding baklava for us. Dad went into the classroom after lunch and checked out our stitching. He is always fascinated with what I make, especially things that involve finishing/construction like etuis. He has worked in wood all his life -- carving, making furniture, repairing antiques, and all sorts of handyman type stuff. He can’t help but admire anything handmade. Dad was totally cute and a lot of the stitchers wanted to take him home with them! He’s 88 years old and has been the best daddy any girl could ever ask for. Dad lives with Michael and I now after having some little strokes that have impaired his memory and communication skills, but he’s still dear ol’ Dad. He is a WW II hero who fought in the South Pacific. If you’d like to read his story, visit his website!
All during the retreat we were showing each other our projects, but we also had an official Show ‘n Tell time, too!
I think you will find this interesting. Lauren showed off her science-inspired needlepoints. Her love of science does not end when she leaves the lab. She designs needlepoint patterns based upon chemical structures. Shown in this picture are two of her patterns - a cholesterol drug and an inflammation molecule. She is currently working on patterns for drugs to treat breast cancer, heart disease, sleep, anxiety, and many more! Isn’t that amazing?
This one represents the chemical structure of a cholesterol drug. It’s done with beautiful beading.
But let’s talk about FOOD a moment, shall we?! Mystic Market Caterers arrived on schedule with awesome offerings. We ate like Royalty!! Mmmmmm. Some stitchers also brought in homemade treats to share and we all enjoyed that! Donna from NY shared “Easy Chocolate Brittle” and Karin from NH shared “Oven-made Caramel Corn.” As we say in New England, they were wicked good! Here’s the recipes for both (I’m pretty sure that there were no calories in any that I consumed because....I’m retired!).
When we first arrived at the retreat, we looked like total babes. After the first night of staying up way too late, some of us began to look, well, a little disheveled. I, for one, declared the second day a make-up free zone for myself. Dress became more casual. Hair brushes were misplaced. Silliness totally set in.
As the evening ended and we began to say our goodbyes, my tired body caught up with my mind and I started really losing it! Even more than normal! LOL! I was SEW tired I could hardly think straight. I couldn’t find my car keys. Once you retire, these things can happen to you. Finally, I gave up looking and consumed massive quantities of fudge and cookies. Dawn decided she couldn’t let me overdose alone.
Definitely starting to get sick here....but wow, that fudge was good....
Ramona took this picture and said it should be captioned,
After a massive sugar rush I was able to find my keys, and then returned for some more chocolate to de-stress. Remember that ladies...if you lose something, consume chocolate to clear your head. Then again, why bother waiting until you lose something?
After packing everything up I went out to the hotel lobby to visit with the stragglers, who were lounging on comfy chairs and sofas, some still stitching. I gave them the rest of the chocolate (heh-heh). There I found Laurel who demonstrated the proper way to stitch...with a hunk massaging your feet. I definitely need to try that.
Mikki, Darlene and Cyndi lounging
Chris curled up on a chair
All the attendees were given a Winter Escape Challenge - a chart to stitch up any way they want, using whatever fabric, fibers, colors, embellishments they’d like. Once completed they’ll send me a picture of their finished project and I’ll choose a winner (totally based on my own personal tastes!) and that winner will receive a free registration to Winter Escape 2011! I’ll be choosing a winner by September 1, 2010 and will post all the entries on the website. I can’t wait to see what people dream up! I love creativity!
The retreat was certainly a lot of fun -- and many of us finished up or made great progress on our WIPs. And oh -- the conversation and laughs!! LOL!! I can’t wait until next year!
Valerie’s Mystic Harbor pictures -- how different it looks on a winter’s day!
Stitcher’s Hideaway®, 172 Birch Street, Manchester, CT 06040