Sunday, October 16, 2011

Fall 2011 No Frills Retreat Recap

I promised a post on our Fall no frills retreat and although I am a bit late with it, I try to always keep my promises so without further ado, let me Welcome you to the Prairie Creek Inn!

To give you a bit of history on the place, this home was purchased by Bruce, the innkeeper and his wife for the low low price of  one dollar.  It was then moved from it's original location and placed in it's current location.  The house was then completely gutted and rebuilt so basically it's a new house inside an old body.  The inn has only been open for business for a couple of years and is still a work in progress.  The original farmhouse on the property was  also moved, it now resides behind the main house and is called "the cottage".  It too is a work in progress.  Cabins are being planned for the future out by the lake which is only a short drive down the lane.  Even though things are still being worked on, the inn and it's surroundings were beautiful and we all had a wonderful time there.  In fact, we can't wait to see all the changes next fall when we return for No Frills 2012!!

Here I am, waiting anxiously at the curb for my ride to pick me up.

Mary Ann, Connie and I started our retreat adventure with a stop at Omaha Fixtures.  The three of us rarely get a chance to be away from the shop at the same time and with the expansion of the store we decided to take the opportunity and look at some display possibilities.  Then it was on to a shop meeting at Noodles.  This was my first trip to Noodles (i don't get out much).  I ordered the Macaroni and Cheese, it was okay but Panera's is much better.  But I digress, after lunch and a lively discussion about Spring retreat, we arrived at the Inn around 2:00 p.m.  It was a gorgeous fall day and the weather was predicted to be beautiful all weekend.  Bruce came out to the car and and helped us unload everything after which he gave us a tour of the house, showed us how the elevator worked, set up the tables and chairs and helped get the extension cords run for the lights before leaving us for the day.  The rest of the gang started to arrive an hour or so later.   Here's Sandy looking all lady of the manor on the porch swing.

Connie was in love with the little elevator in the house so she took charge of ferrying everyone up and down and getting them settled in their rooms, showing them the bathroom locations and getting them back down to the main floor without any mishaps.  Our own personal concierge and elevator attendant!  All weekend, every time someone needed something from upstairs or down she'd pop up and volunteer to get what they needed just so she had a reason to take the elevator!  After checking in, everyone quickly settled in to their stitching and before you knew it, it was time for supper.  A couple of us brought homemade soup and the rest filled in with snacks and such.  With our bellies full and the kitchen cleaned up it was time to settle back into stitching for the evening.  Long about 11:00 people started to drift off to bed.  I managed to hang in there until midnight or one but that pretty much did it for me.

Saturday morning Bruce had breakfast ready for us around 8:30.  Here's Bruce working on breakfast.

After we ate we got back to the serious business of stitching.  Here's a sampling of some of the projects being worked on.

Connie Jo working on a Pine Mountain design:

Connie Jo came to retreat with her 2 sisters-in-law.   Sister-in-law Denise was working on a Little House design called To bee or not to bee.

Sister-in-law Deb was working on a La-D-Da design called Trick or Treat.

Mary Ann was working on Double Dutch by The Sampler Cove:

Connie was working on a Country Cottage design:

Mary was working on the Blackbird Designs Anniversaries of the Heart, she has stitched them all on one piece of linen and has personalized each block.  It's very cool.

I worked on Elizabeth

I didn't get pictures of everyone's WIP's but Sandy was working on these cute little sled ornaments that you will see later, Lois was working on a White Willow Stitching butterfly, Doreen worked on a Halloween design and a Siamese cat design that you'll see later too.  Linda was working on a piece she is giving as a wedding gift, and Sue was working on a birth sampler and a Halloween chart.
I can't begin to tell you how much fun all these ladies are.  Every last one of them is unique in their own way and a delight to know.  I know my life has been much richer since they have come into it and I would be truly saddened if they were no longer a part of it.  Now they might tell you differently but that is how I feel about them.

We had some finishes occur during retreat.  Some of them were legit and others were brought to retreat with just a few stitches needing to be placed so they could say they had a finish at retreat.  I'm not going to point a finger at anyone in particular but let me just say this.....CHEATERS!!!  I was not one of the ones with a finish  I'm sorry to say.  But Mary Ann stitched her little fingers off and was the first to finish the Double Dutch SAL that she, Mary and I have been working on.

Doreen finished 2 projects.  A Rovaris chart

and a Halloween design by I can't remember who

Sandy finished these little sled ornaments.  Just too cute!  Everyone wanted them.

Connie Jo finished her Pine Mountain design

and Denise finished her Little house design:

Lunch Saturday was provided by Mary and Doreen.  Mary brought the fixings for taco salad and Doreen the fixings for sandwiches.  YUM!  Saturday afternoon I took a break from stitching and went outside to enjoy the beautiful fall weather.  A porch swing, gorgeous view and the friendliest barn cat I have ever had the pleasure of meeting made those two hours the best 2 hours I have had since my surgery!  And that's in spite of the fact that I am horribly allergic to cats and paid the price for cuddling with him.  It was worth it though!   Linda took some pictures of me on the porch with the cat but she hasn't responded to my request for them so use your imagination please.

Saturday late afternoon found us at Lonestar Steakhouse for an early supper.  We needed to eat early in order for those that wanted to watch the Nebraska game to be back in time for kickoff.  It was nice to get away for a couple of hours, and supper was delicious!  One thing though, why in the world would you give a new waiter a table of 12 women???  12 obnoxious women at that!  Poor guy didn't stand a chance.

After supper, the "fans" went down to the basement and watched the game while the rest of us stayed upstairs.

While we were stitching I happened to mention my daughter was looking for a red trench coat for her Halloween costume and was wondering if anyone happened to have one in a size 6ish.  No one did but Connie whipped out her IPad and went to and voila!  6 pages of red trench coats appeared.  I scrolled through them and found one I thought might possibly work.  Called Abby, and told her to check her email for the link.  She approved of the the coat and the price and  since Miss Connie already had an Etsy account and a paypal account she went ahead and bought it for Abby and then Abby would just give her the money when it arrived. Awesome!   It was about that time that Sandy finished one of her little sleds and everyone was ooohing and ahing over it.  Sandy says oh, they have other designs too and I think I will order them.  She asked Connie if she could look at her IPad to see the other designs.  Pretty soon Connie is ordering the other designs for Sandy using her Paypal account.  Then the sisters/sister-in-law started asking Connie about her needlework stand.  Where did she get it, how much was it etc....the IPad comes out again and Connie finds the stands on Ebay.  Yep, you guessed it, Connie used her paypal again and bought the stands.  So now whenever someone mentions wanting something, we just tell them paypal Connie will take care of it!

The game ended in a loss so we drowned our sorrows in ice cream sundaes and cupcakes. The cupcakes were brought by Denise's daughter.  She works for The Cake Lady in Lincoln and man were those good cupcakes.  They were pretty too but I forgot to take a picture of them so you'll just have imagine their sparkly goodness!

I think everyone went to bed around midnight Saturday night.  Check out was at 11 on Sunday morning with breakfast being served at 9.  Most of us got up and stitched a bit before we ate and then we managed to scarf breakfast quickly and stitch a bit more before it was time to pack up and head on down the road tired but happy.   I think I can speak for everyone and say that we had us a rousing good time and we can't wait to do it again next year.

Back row left to right  Mary and Lois.  Middle row l-r: Mary Ann
Linda, Sue(peeking over Linda's shoulder) Sandy, Doreen, Julie
bottom row l-r: Connie Jo, Deb, Denise and Connie 
And that is the end of my retreat story.  I hope you enjoyed reading about it.  I'm sure reading about it is not nearly as fun as actually being there was though.  Maybe next year some of you  join us!

Take care till next time!