Jun 29, 2010

Stitchin, Goodies, and Goin Home

I know it seems like we didn't stitch during the *stitching* retreat, but REALLY we did!

I took my project for a mailart exchange and almost finished it. Here's a preview:

Buttons I bought the project on
the first day of the retreat.

I finished putting together the biscornu I've been working on. All I can say is that I am SO GLAD this is not for an exchange. It turned out terrible! It's got to be the worst thing I've ever made.

This year, we had somewhere around 44 designers/shops donate goodies for our retreat. A big THANK YOU goes out to Debra H and Aleyna for organizing the retreat and getting the donations. Here's what I came home with (not counting the Free For All table):

I also got my very first HAED:

I was the third person (I think) to win a doorprize. Unlike Vickie and Debra... I *didn't* draw my own name, lol. Someone else drew my name out of the cup. Here's what I won:
100 skeins of Anchor, various GAST packs, and needles!
Can you say AWESOME?!?!

More photos of the retreat can be seen HERE.

I loaded about 1/2 of my stuff in the car on Saturday night so that I wouldn't have so much to do Sunday morning. Right before I was about to leave on Sunday, a text message came to my phone: "Be Careful. Heavy storms are rollin through." Oh great. Here's what the skies looked like as I made the return trip home:

Fortunately, the trip was uneventful and the skies cleared up. The weather was really nice albeit windy. I had a blast at the retreat, but was really happy to see signs for Hwy 20 that lead to home.

Retreat - Day Three

Heather Daly of Monsterbubbles arrived in the morning to give us a trunk show and teach us a class... stitching on screen. Debra H & Karin are checking out the trunk show.

Berly, Heather Daly, Debra H -- Workin hard!

This is how far I got during the screen class. I had another section done, but had to frog it!

Turns out that Berly was a model stitcher for Monsterbubbles. Coincidentally, Heather brought not one but TWO pieces Berly stitched!

Vickie was being naughty in all the group photos with designers... It was my turn to get the bunny ears, lol.

Front: Debra S, Aleyna, Vickie, Me
Back: Heather, Debra H, Berly, Karin

In the afternoon, I drove some of us to another cross stitch shop called Mom and Me Forever located in Bethalto, Illinois.

It was a nice little shop. I bought a chart: My Stitching Sampler by Blue Ribbon Designs:

and another chart: Love by Shepherds Bush

and the WDW for the chart:

and the buttons for the chart:

So much for being good!

After leaving the shop, four of us (Debra, Karin, Vickie & I) went to the Hobby Lobby just up the road from the hotel. I was naughty there, too.

I've been wanting the Blue Geisha ever since I saw it on Joan Eliott's blog last year. I had the 40% off coupon, so I went for it!

Throughout the retreat, Berly kept asking: "Can we do the specialty stitch class?" (Imagine the kids asking, "Are we there yet?") After shopping and eating, it was *finally* time for the class... ahem, at 9pm LOL

I brought my supplies but was tired
(too much shopping, maybe?)
and didn't start my project.

Retreat - Day Two

First Stop: Cross Stitch Shop!

I think Vickie, Karin, and I spent the bulk of our time sitting on the floor going through the sale baskets! I was good... I only bought two older magazines.

Since we were so close to St. Louis, Debra S, Karin, and I wanted to go up in the Arch. Even though I'm afraid of heights, I couldn't pass up the opportunity!

Underneath the Arch are museums and stores. Who would've thunk it? I was good there, too, and only bought postcards depicting the Arch. That thing is HUGE! Did you know the St. Louis Arch is part of the National Park System? We actually had a park ranger up in the Arch with us!

People were actually removed from the tram line if they got in line more than 5 minutes before their designated time. I kicked a family out of line... LOL I explained what we were told and said "Either I kick you out or they kick you out." HaHa

After an hour wait, we were "allowed" to get in line to board our tram to the top of the Arch. We rode the North Tram.

Only 630ft to the top. It takes a little over 4 minutes to get to the top, and 3 minutes for the ride down. The trams are tiny and I do mean TINY! Five people are crammed into the circular shaped car, the only windows being on the 4ft high door to get into the thing. If you're claustrophobic, you probably wouldn't like it. A bit of trivia: The arch is as wide as it is tall.

Karin getting good shots from atop the arch. All three of us were doing the same thing.

Views from the top of the Arch

Cardinal Stadium
Click for larger view
Karin & Debra S

More photos can be seen HERE.

Ruth Sparrow of Twisted Threads joined us for dinner and brought each of us a goodie bag!

Berly, Ruth Sparrow of Twisted Threads, & Debra H

Aleyna's DH teased her for a couple days by telling her he had a good surprise for her, but wouldn't tell her what it was. Here, she's texting him... asking if he's pregnant with triplets! LOL

Notice the sign on her light? I put those in goodie bags for the ladies. :) Both Alyena and Debra H hung them on their lamps.

The Goodie Bags I made up

Retreat - I made It!

The drive from Springfield, Illinois to St. Charles, Missouri was absolutely gorgeous!

Like Berly and Debra S, I drove right by the hotel and had to turn around. I usually take a photo of the hotels I stay at and this time was no different. I knelt down to put a knee on the parking lot to steady myself, and guess what? THAT parking lot was freakin' HOT! I ended up with a small burn mark on my knee. Ouchie. Note to self: Don't do that again!

I grabbed a luggage cart and loaded it up so I only needed to make one trip to the room. Yes, I had a TON of stuff. I knew that Debra H and Aleyna had already checked in the day before so I asked for a key at the front desk. The lobby was really nice.

My Crash Pad

I called Debra S who handed her phone off to Aleyna so I could find them down at the Historical District. I started describing things I saw and finally Aleyna says, "I think I see you!" Then I spotted her... and everyone else :)

Like the last ILCS retreat I went to, I was the last one to get there, LOL. Pullin up the rear!

During the retreat, we spent a lot of time at the Historical District. For me, it was really fun walking around and looking at the architecture.

More photos can be seen HERE.

There was even a stitching shop!

Photo courtesy of Debra S

I was good and only bought a couple buttons for a mailart exchange I'm working on.

Garden Cafe Ala Fleur had a scrumptious strawberry salad and Cuban sandwich. Mmmmm.... Mmmm... Good!

Front: Berly and Me
Back: Debra S, Vickie, Aleyna, Karin, Debra H

Later in the evening, we went back to our "stitching room". Debra S kept calling us the "Discovery Girls" because the room we were in was called the Discovery Room.

Monique from My Mark Designs joined us for some stitching time and brought a trunk show!

Monique also made each of us a commemorative thread holder: