More Black Belt Stitching Wizard Stuff

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

8th Annual Brighton Retreat

This past weekend is of the weekends I look forward to the most every year! The retreat that Ann hosts opening up her home to so many people(and her shop … but shopping is not expected of us… almost everyone leaves with a little green bag anyhow. I mean who can resist an LNS that you can browse and re-visit several times during the day?) This year Ann expected a total of 30 people throughout Saturday. I have to say that this retreat is a great bargain! All it costs to go is : your time and gas to get there, something for potluck, and stitching to show off! Those of us who come from further out are welcome to spend the night, however sleeping arrangements can get creative! There are only so many beds. This year Christin and I are taking advantage of a new opportunity, to spend the night at Kathy’s who lives in the area. This will free up two sleeping spaces that we traditionally occupy (we’ve had dibs on the motor home for years!), so hopefully no one will end up on an air mattress. Not many people do spend the night as so many come from within easy driving distance. Meanwhile I’m only 3 hours away (one way) I do prefer to make it a longer trip.

I always find there’s a lot of preparation to get ready for this weekend! There are plans to be made numerous phone calls and e-mails. There is the decision of : what food to bring? For me that’s actually easy since I bring a big batch of chili every year… its become expected of me. Shopping for, and preparing of food. Oh and what to pack! Part of this year’s preparation was a flurry of framing!!! Between Wednesday and Thursday I built 5 frames, stretched three pieces, cut one piece of glass and cut one double mat! (see previous post)

Day One (Friday) :

Here we are mid-morning and the car is packed the house is locked up and ready to go! (oh and can’t forget saying good-bye to the boys)

Christin and I made our way to Kingston to stay with her parents for the night. We got there to find no one home and the place locked up. So we took a walk to the neighbours to get the spare key… it turned into a lovely two hour visit with Aunt Suzie. Eventually we made it over to the house and partially unpacked the car. While sitting, visiting, and stitching I noticed a certain little red car drive by several times… I had the sneaking suspicion that it was
Chrisanne missing the house! Yes it was she finally pulled in. According to her she was too busy listening to music, directions in one hand, smoke in the other and a can of Diet Coke on the go! How’s that for multi tasking! Also she says she was looking for the Canada flag that had fallen off of the mailbox (meanwhile we did give her a house number … ) and the house with no front step… which we didn’t know had been delivered on Monday. We did try putting the flag back several times but the wind just wasn’t co-operating.

Christin’s parents made us a lovely dinner and shortly after we got to settle in for a good long stitch! In the evening Christin’s Aunt Suzie and Aunt Carol pulled up and not long after so did Rebbecca who I discovered upon my first visit to her place that she’s just a 2 minute drive down the road! We had cake and ice cream to celebrate Christin’s birthday a few weeks ago. It was a great visit with lots of chatting, laughing and stitching!

Also we were treated with several lovely rainbows
Day Two (Saturday) :
We (Christin, Chrisanne and I) were up at a descent time (not disgustingly early) to get ourselves ready and the car packed again. This time we were heading out to pick up Beth before hitting the 401 to Brighton! We were the first to arrive ... if you didn't count Ann's overnight guests Carmen, Colleen, and Carmen's Mom.
(Left Colleen, Center Carmen , Right Carmen's Mom)

Rebbecca, her Mom and Aunt pulled in right after I did!
(Sitting Rebecca, standing Her Mom & Aunt)
We got there to a lovely surprise! Ann had stitched name tags for each of us! All of them had a custom motif that had some sort of sentiment to each of us. I got a lovely little castle! It took her months to do all the work! Also we must give her hubby Dan some credit too... he helped with the finishing.

Soon everyone started piling into the house, with cries of hello, many hugs and WIPS were whipped out and finishes ooohed and ahhhed over! (See Christin's blog for the finished pieces display... I never got a pic)

(Sunroom full of stitchers)

(Chrisanne left, Angie right)

(Four Tour de Marques... Mine, Christins, Beatrice's and Beth's)

(Wendy of Wendy Home at Work)

(Christin stitching away furiously on Guardian... we were so mean to her we would barely let her take a break! Expect an HD from her any day now!)

(Kathy... my dear friend! Very annoyed at me for taking her picture!)
6 Celtic Banners... count them, 6! Have you ever seen so many finished Celtic Banners in one place? Beatrice was a sweetie and did the finishing on my Celtic Banner... I just LOVE it Beatrice! Doesn't it look perfect hanging in my kitchen?

(Far left Jane?/Janet?, Center Adriana who just turned 91, and Angie)

(Left Judie (whose finished and framed penguins were under constant thread from Chrisanne), center Beatrice, right Barb)

(Marj with one of her framed pieces)

(Beatrice with the Framed Midi Mystery 1 I gave to her... I made her cry!)

I have to say the day was fantastic! It was full of friends, food and stitches! For some reason I had a hard time sitting still on Saturday. I tried to work on two different pieces, Michael Powell's Mini Cottages 5 and when I got sick of all that white Diane Graebner's Cats & Baskets. Here is my progress from the weekend on both projects.

I also got back from Kathy my Instant Gratification Band RR! Doesn't it look great!!! Thanks for your contributions, Kathy, Jodi and Chrisanne! I love each of your choices!

Day Three (Sunday) :

Sunday morning we were greeted with a bit of a dull day, but things quickly cleared up. Best of all we were treated to breakfast by Dan! He was in his full glory with his Shmanky Griddle frying up egg, meats and toast! Kathy also cooked up a great hash brown casserole. Of course eating was proceeded with more stitching! I was more settled and able to stitch on Sunday. By mid afternoon it was time for Christin and I to say our good-byes and head back to her folks in Kingston. Where I have to say much to my embarrassment I promptly fell asleep on the couch!

Later in the evening we sat down and I started teaching Christin's Aunt Suzie how to stitch ... I hope I was a good teacher!

Day Four (Monday) : Time to go home!

I have to say that this year the retreat was almost a mini-reunion of bloggers in attendance were :

Christin of Christin's Ramblings
Kathy of Kathy's Sit and Stitch
Beatrice of Stitching with a View
Rebbecca of Rebel in Ontario
Wendy of Wendy Home at Work
Ann of Knowledge and Needles

Be sure to visit their blogs to see what they had to say and what pictures they too!

Can't wait until next year!


Anonymous said...

I guess I have almost every guest from this retreat in my rss feeds because I have read about this retreat several times previously so that I feel like I was invited and couldn't make it :(. It sounds like you all had such a great time, I wish I could have been a part of it. Alas, I am way down here in the Southwest. I'm glad you all had such a great time. I almost feel like I know some of you. The framed piece you gave Beatrice is absolutely gorgeous.

Christine said...

Sounds like a whole bunch of fun. I wish I could have been there! Thanks for the update!

Anonymous said...

What a great weekend! Have fun stitching on your wips! Absolutely great finish on celtic banner! Ann.

Karin said...

wow - sounds like a fantastic weekend! Glad everyone had a great time.

ollie1976 said...

What fun!

Dawn said...

Sounds like a wonderful weekend!

Wendy said...

Great pictures, Dani! It was a fantastic retreat and it was wonderful to see you again!!

Judith said...

Sounds like a great weekend.

Lynne said...

I am envious !! It sounds like you had a wonderful time !!

Lauren said...

It looks like you had a great time! I love seeing all the pictures!

Lynn said...

Now I'm really jealous! I missed so much fun! Love all the pictures you took. Your Celtic Banner is beautiful and I especially like your RR. I hope to join you next year.

Beatrice said...

Thanks for the wonderful update on the weekend.The photo's are great.
We had fun didn't we?

Cheryl said...

Sounds like a good time! Love all the photos!
You asked about my RR charges? Well, the customs label was marked wrong. It wasnt marked as a gift and was valued at $200. Nightmare!

Julie said...

Sounds like a wonderful time!

Michelle said...

Sounds like you had a fantastic time! Love your RR finish - it's beautiful!

Kathy A. said...

Dani - your photos are great. I think you can see that we all had a great time.

Aussie Stitcher said...

Sounds like everyone had a great time.


stitcherw said...

Wow, it looks like everyone had a fantastic time. It must have been such fun to see everyones finished items, and the many SAL's were great, especially all the Celtic Banners (those were awesome).