Mystic, CT 2004 Fun Report!

WOW!!  What a wonderful time we had at the Mystic retreat!!  Every retreat has been wonderful, but each one seems even better than the last! 

Instructor Jeannette Douglas and I met in person at the MN 2004 retreat and connected in such a way that we were just counting the days until we could spend time together again.  She and her husband Dale arrived a few days before the retreat to spend time with my husband Michael and me.  It was their first time in Connecticut and they had a great time sight-seeing.  Jeannette had researched the area to design the Mystic Sampler, but this was her first time to see things in person.  She was thrilled with the foliage and loved the stone walls!  We brought them to a very old cemetery with stones dating back to the early 1600’s.  Jeannette became fascinated with the headstones and took many photos.  We drove them to our cottage in Haddam, CT where they were able to enjoy the view of the Connecticut River.  Dale buried Jeannette in leaves and took pictures of her – what a sight!  Ha!  We drove to the shore and had lunch in a restaurant built above the ocean.  The dining area was surrounded by glass so we had a perfect view to enjoy during our meal.  We sure did a lot in our short time together.  Somewhere in there Jeannette mentioned that she loved Good ‘n Plenty candy and wanted to be sure to pick some up because she couldn’t get it in Canada.  That night I secretly emailed the Mystic stitchers and suggested that if they could find some Good ‘n Plenty it would be fun to shower Jeannette with them, and they didn’t let me down! 

The night before the retreat I met up with Dawn from FL, who has attended 2 retreats in Kissimmee, and Kathy from MN, who was attending her first Stitcher’s Hideaway.  They were matched up as roommates for the retreat.  The three of us went out for dinner.  It was raining cats and dogs and little old ladies out and I stepped into a big puddle in the dark, flooding my clogs.  We were laughing about it as I sloshed my way into the restaurant where I enjoyed crab cakes and steak.  Mmmmmm!! 

                          Dawn & Kathy

After dinner I managed to step into another deep puddle on the way out and was back to sloshing in my clogs.  I was thinking, hmmm, every time I get together with Dawn I manage to make a moron out of myself!  I was hoping I would avoid that for once, but no!  It gets better!  (Or worse…!) 

We arrived at the hotel parking lot and in the rainy dark I spotted Jeannette and Dale hustling into the hotel.  I hollered out to them and Jeannette turned and looked at me briefly but didn’t seem to even recognize me.  So I yelled out, “It’s Sue!”  And they both looked at me quickly but kept hustling into the hotel.  It was then that Kathy said, “Maybe it’s not them!”  As they reached the lights at the hotel entrance I realized Kathy was right!!  Omigosh, we laughed ourselves sick in the car.  I was doubled over with laughter.  Dawn began picking on me and asking if I’d had any “virgin” Pina Coladas (see Kissimmee 2003 Fun Report).  Kathy said, “Um…maybe we need to wait awhile before going in?”  Ha-ha!!  But I decided it wasn’t the first time I’d made a jerk of myself, and surely wouldn’t be the last, so we went into the hotel, me sloshing in my clogs.  So who was right inside the door checking into their hotel room?  “Jeannette” and “Dale”.  I tried to pretend I wasn’t the fool they had seen yelling from the car, and Kathy and Dawn fled to the safety of their hotel room!!

Lisa prepares for the invasion

That night I began working on setting things up for the retreat.  Lisa from Needle Pulling Thread had arrived, and soon we were joined by Lynda from Scandinavian Stitches.  Naturally I had to look at all their stash and try not to drool on things that the stitchers would be looking at the next morning.  It was really cool -- like having my own personal sneak preview! Lisa had some of Jeannette’s trunk show and a big selection of charts, stitching toys, and much more.  Lynda set up a big display of stitched Scandinavian Designs that were just wonderful.  Seeing stitched models is always amazing – everything looks better in person then pictured on a chart. With everything in place for the next day, I headed for a good night’s sleep.

Let us in!!

The next morning Lynda, Lisa, Jeannette and I opened the door to a very eager group of stitchers lined up just itching to get in!  You could feel the anticipation in the air!  I grabbed my camera and did my best to capture them in between greeting everyone.  They checked in, headed for their Fun Packs, and began stash enhancing.  Hot coffee, tea, cold apple cider, cheese and crackers and cookies awaited them.  There was excited chatter as everyone played in their stash, greeted friends from previous retreats, and met those new to Stitcher’s Hideaway. 



Lynda from Scandinavian Stitchery braces herself
for the flood of stitchers as Diane reaches for her Fun Pack

Oh, what treasures awaited them in their Fun Packs!  There were items from Brightneedle, Brittercup Designs, Elizabeth’s Designs, Full Circle Designs, Glory Bee, Grateful Hearts, Jeannette Douglas Designs, Kreinik, Ladybug Lane Designs, M Designs, monsterbubbles, Needle Craft World (a shop in Kissimmee, FL), Needle Pulling Thread, Nordic Needle, Old Willow Stitchery, Rosewood Manor, Scandinavian Stitches, The Prairie Schooler, The Victoria Sampler, Udder Cream, Weeks Dye Works, With My Needle, and, of course, Stitcher’s Hideaway.  Throughout the retreat stitchers commented on the generosity of the designers and the wonderful charts and threads they received.  Several of the design lines were new to us and it was a great introduction!

As we began our first class, I introduced Jeannette and talked a bit about our adventures.  I also told them about dinner out the night before and how I had greeted “Jeannette” and “Dale” in the dark.  We had a good laugh over it.  Lisa from California received a special gift for traveling the farthest, and two stitchers also had something unusual in their Fun Packs identifying them as special door prize winners.  That was fun!! Then as Jeannette began her class, stitchers paraded up front and presented her with box after box of Good ‘n Plenty!  Jeannette was so surprised and kept laughing as more and more boxes appeared!  It was great!!  After quite a bit of giggling we settled down to begin our beautiful Mystic Sampler under Jeannette’s direction.

We broke for lunch prepared by Chef Michael.  He made a big batch of baklava for us and it was delicious!  And that rascal…snuggled in on one of the food trays was a frog he created out of a lime!  After some more stash enhancement, we returned to our cozy classroom.  Just before class began I scooted up to my hotel room to grab something I’d forgotten, and then got on the elevator to return to the classroom.  Guess who was in the elevator?!?  “Jeannette” and “Dale”!  I did my best to pretend I wasn’t the fool who had yelled my greetings at them the night before.  I did my best, actually, to pretend I was anywhere else but on the elevator with them!!!  {blush}  So we began class with me telling everyone of my latest humiliation, followed by some more door prizes.  Everyone was surprised to find more freebies waiting for them at their seats.

Everyone loves door prizes!  Generous donations came from Brightneedle, Brittercup Designs, Calico Crossroads, Coats & Clark, Finger Work, Full Circle Designs, Glory Bee, Jeannette Douglas Designs, Ladybug Lane Designs, monsterbubbles, Nordic Needle, Olde Willow Stitchery, Rosewood Manor, Stitcher’s Hideaway, Stitchy Kitty, The MonkeyWorks, The Victoria Sampler, and Wichelt Imports, Inc.  A big thank you to you all!!

Peggy thrilled with her doorprize!


Class Time -- Lisa from CA in the yellow t-shirt
was the stitcher who traveled the farthest!

Linda, Debbie & Diane

We enjoyed Jeannette so much!  Her directions were excellent and she was fun and patient and had a great time right along with us.  We took a break, ate and shopped some more, then returned back to continue working on our samplers only to find more freebies waiting!  The hours just really flew by and the next thing we knew it was dinner time!!  We had a delicious meal catered by Mystic Catering and incredible apple and blackberry pies.  We were stuffed – but did that prevent us from standing up and doing some more shopping?!?  No way!

Admiring Scandinavian Stitches Models

Stash Enhancement Frenzy!!

There was so much to see!!  So many wonderful designs!!!  What a wonderful display!!

Our Retreat Project
The Mystic Sampler by Jeannette Douglas

Click Here to read more!!


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