Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Reflections Retreat Recap and an addition to the family

Happy Halloween!

Let me begin by saying that my thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected by Hurricane Sandy.  I am lucky that everyone I know was spared the worst of Sandy's wrath.  I know that the days and weeks to come will not be easy but I also know that we as a people are at our best when things are at their worst.  I pray the road to recovery will be as smooth and as quick as possible.

Meanwhile, back in Nebraska,  things are as dry as they have been all summer.  The weather has turned cool and downright nipply at times.  More so than I would like but we at least have power to keep us warm and our homes are not flooded.

The McConnell house is in it's usual state of home improvement.  Dan has Abby's room painted and will hopefully finish the headboard tonight.  I found one nightstand today while I was out thrifting and hopefully I will find something similar in style sometime soon!  Adam will arrive on Sunday and although I doubt the room will be completely finished, it should at least have a bed in it by then!  

I was away over the weekend at our Falls No Frills Retreat.  We had 27 attend this year which is up from last years 15!  As this is our No Frills Retreat we try to keep it low key and just have a weekend of stitching with friends.  Me, being me, couldn't quite make it entirely no frills though.  Several months back I was at Michaels and spotted some unfinished wood coffins.  I looked at Dan and said, I bet I could do something with those and he said yep, I bet you could!  So we bought 30 of them and hauled them home.  I had a vague idea in the back of my mind but it didn't become fully formed until Connie said something to me about putting a name on the front of the coffin.  After that it was just a question of pulling it all together and figuring out the best way to get the writing on the coffin.  It took Dan and I several false starts but eventually we were able to get a system down and we got them all finished the week before retreat.  Here's what they look like.

Connie added peanut butter eyeballs and gummy body parts to them and we put one on the bed of each person that attended.

I don't have too many pictures to show you from retreat.  My camera battery died and I forgot to pack my spare but here are a few of the ladies enjoying their weekend.

One of the gals that came brought a metal spooky tree that her neighbor welded for her.  It was way cool and many of the ladies wanted one so she took names and email addresses and was going to check with the neighbor to see if he was willing to make more.  Awesome, isn't it?

Cathi does such a good job with her finishing too.  Each item was  perfect!      

We also decided to have an ornament exchange this year.  Only 14 of us participated but it was quite fun and everyone did an amazing job!  Here's a shot of all the ornaments together:

This is the ornament I made:

This is the ornament I received.  Isn't it adorable?  The gal responsible for this one finished it up at 5 o'clock in the morning the day of the exchange!!  Nothing like a bit of procrastination to add to the fun of retreat!

I started 3 projects over the weekend.  Didn't get too far on any of them cuz I was too busy looking at what everyone else was doing and talking.  Lots and lots of talking.

I began the weekend with Peace by A Stitcher's Hands.  I'm stitching it on cream 40 ct linen over one using the tent stitch.  Doesn't look like much but I'm proud of how far I got.  The colors are gorgeous!

Next I worked some on Plum Street Sampler's 2012 Hare's Halloween Freebie.  I'm stitching this one on Picture this Plus 32 ct Dusk using the called for fibers except I am changing the hare color.  My skein of the color for the Hare's is pretty green and I only see green rabbits when I've been drinking too much.  No wait that's 6 foot Pooka Rabbits I see when I drink too much and that's only happened a couple of times.  

And the last project is Strawberry Hill Sampler from With Thy Needle.  I'm doing this one as called for except we didn't have Park City Blend so I had to use 35ct  Abecedarian.

One of the  gals attending Retreat for the first time was also cross stitching for the first time.  Usually Margaret crochets when she comes to our Saturday Stitching.  But she wanted to learn to cross stitch so Connie hung out with her and taught her how to stitch.  I think they both did an awesome job, Connie at teaching and Margaret at learning!  I'm cheating with this picture, Margaret lives across the street from me so I trotted my happy hiney over there tonight and took this picture!     It's a freebie pattern from The Workbasket I believe but don't quote me on that!

One final thought on retreat and then I will move on...Thanks to the staff at Calvin Crest for making us feel so welcome.  Retreat wouldn't be as great as it is without the wonderful facility we stay in and the good food they feed us.  The scones were awesome and I tried Curried chicken for the first time and actually enjoyed it!  Those that know me know what a rare event it is for me to try a new food, much less to like it!  Kudos to you all!  See ya in the Spring!!

And now I would like for you to meet Rags.

Rags is a rescue pup that Dan and I are pretty sure we will be adopting.  She has been staying with us the last couple of days and so far so good.  No dog fights with the other 2 dogs, no love yet either but no fighting is good and we'll take that. Yesterday as I got ready to leave for work I decided to put Rags in the bathroom and put the baby gate up so she could have more room to move around in than she would have in the kennel.  She could also see the other dogs so she wouldn't feel so isolated.  I put her food in there, her water, a chew bone and a blanket, put the gate up and placed her on the other side of the gate, turned around to get my purse off the table and turned back to head to the door and there was Rags, sitting behind me, tail wagging, looking like butter wouldn't melt in her mouth.  I didn't even hear her jump that gate.  Poor Rags was then banished to the kennel for the day.  Silly puppy!

I think that's all I have for today.  Thanks for visiting with me today and take care till next time!




Maggee said...

What a fun blog posting! Love the ornie tree, love the ornaments for exchanges, love your pictures of the retreat, and 40-count over one? Wow! Lovely! Margaret's first stitches are quite good! Thanks for sharing! Hugs!

marly said...

Rags is a cutie. I'm still laughing at Ima Ort!

Carole said...

The weather here is nipply?? I won't even go there!

I love, love my coffin. But will you talk to Donna, Nance and Sally and find out why our table looks like the messiest one there.

Thanks for a great time. We loved the weekend.


Teresa S. said...

I remember the spools you made last year and am totally NOT surprised by the adorable coffins--too, too cute!

I'm sure the attendees loved them!

I don't know why the organizers of the retreats I go to are not as crafty as you???

Vonna Pfeiffer said...

Ooooo I love Ima Orts resting place :) CUTE! And I sure do love that ornament that you made for the exchange and the one you received is cute as a button :) Good Stuff!

Anonymous said...

Fabulous job on those coffins!! Love them!! And I love the idea of the no~frills retreat.
Rags is adorable ~ she will be one lucky pup is she gets to stay with you.

Catherine said...

Oops....that last comment was from me! Not sure why it popped up anonymous!

Meari said...

Rags is so cute!!

The retreat sounds like it was a lot of fun -- great comraderie. The "party favors" are so neat. The ornaments are adorable. How did you make the ribbon thing at the top of your ornament? I've tried to do it and mine never come out nice. :(