I arrived at about 10.30 and the place was already humming with activity. Tiff had gotten there early to unlock for the retailers. All of these were busy little bees setting up their various trestles, fluffing their tablecloths and sorting their wares. Sue arrived at about 11 ish and we all gave the birthday girl a big hug and some birthday lovin' (in a non kinky kinda way). She was made to wear her birthday badge (she chose to wear the very small one instead of the one the size of a dinner plate!). Meredith arrived some time in the afternoon - i can't remember exactly when as things were starting to reach frantic pace by that stage. Val and Lorrae also rocked in and were productive in the kitchen and keen to get the party started by coming out every 5 seconds asking if we wanted nibbles on the tables yet or any cheese platters started! Talk about efficient!!
Tiff setting up - Leonies SCRAPWORKZ in background
At 1.45pm I asked Sue to accompany me to the airport where we picked up Tess and Nic from Adelaide. It was quite amusing for Sue and I as we sat there waiting for the plane to come in, not really sure if we would know what these girls looked like when they walked in. We joked thinking that we should have all worn a yellow rose or something like they do for blind dates in the movies! As two girls walked in, i could recognize Nic from her blog photo and we stood up to welcome them...........it was all great - they were so friendly and happy and we immediately felt at ease. Toni and Kerryn walked up to us then, they had driven over and had arrived in time to meet the other two off the plane. So it was fantastic timing getting to meet all four Adelaide girls at once.The Adelaide girls scrapping up a storm. Toni and Nic (standing) , Tess in pink stripes and Kerryn in black.
sponsorship board with bare prize table infront (had not put them out at this stage)
When we arrived back to the venue we set the Adelaide girls up, gave them their bits and peices and i could see that all the finishing touches were done.............woohoo!
The mugs from Petch printing - thank you ROD
The mugs were ready, the lanyards, the green bags on each table full of goodies and also the retaillers were looking ready for business. In fact quite a few girls were all set up with their scrap gear and i think Ally was already churning out the pages!
Retreat go-ers started to arrive a little bit earlier than we specified but that was fine - we were all ready and really excited! As we were showing everyone their bits i kept thinking 'i can't believe we are finally doing this!'
the team :) Amanda, Meredith, Sue, Lorrae, Tiff and Val
On one trip back from the bedrooms as i strolled across the lawn, i noticed a car pulling up in the carpark. It drove in slowly, had a pod on the roof racks and had three occupants looking right at me! The driver was male and i thought it was kinda odd that a man would be there. I thought to myself 'i hope they know we have booked this place out for the weekend'. LOL.
As i was walking in the shed a few minutes later i saw someone looking at me and she said 'hello Amanda'............and i had a very blank 30 seconds before it all fell into place and i hesitantly said 'Michelle?'. It was Michelle - a friend i had spoken to for a long time on EB, and MSN and email. I have also had a lot to do with her via Scrapframes. As i hadn't really known what she looked like it took a second or so to connect the dots LOL. Michelle sat and scrapped with us on our table which was brilliant. She really did fit in so well - just like an old mate and i thank her so much for going to so much effort to drive all the way from SYDNEY to come to our little ol' retreat. Kim (a friend of Michelles) joined us on Saturday and Sunday and it was lovely to meet such a gentle and honest person. These girls totally rocked at stamping and often i sat open mouthed and in awe at what they were producing! Thanks girls (and Andrew) for visiting and being a part of our little group. You are all welcome back anytime :)
Michelle and me.
People were arriving left, right and centre by this stage and it seemed a little mad. It was discovered at this stage a bit of a stuff up that was entirely my fault and did take the shine off the weekend a bit for me. (i did try not to let it bug me Meredith but since i was solely responsible I certainly felt bad)
By about 5 the vast majority had arrived, were all in great spirits, had set up and were either scrapping or spending wildly. Papers, rubons and money flying in every direction LOL.
I was nominated to do the welcome speech which we started a bit late but we had to wait until Val and Chaz had arrived back with the pizza tea.
We then all filed in to get our scrummy pizza and garlic bread tea. mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
I asked Sue to step outside afterwards, saying to her in a very serious voice 'i need to talk to you outside Sue' (which she looked at me very worried like i was about to tell her off for something ;)
We had gathered everyone outside and Sandra W had made the most magnificent birthday cake! Sue was so surprised and mortified to stand infront of everyone as they sung happy birthday. Everyone nibbled on cake for dessert which topped off our tea brilliantly!
Back scrapping for a little while and then we got stuck into the collections house class. This went off without a hitch - a great time had by all and i was so thrilled to see many little houses popping up over the weekend! I wondered if people would think they were too fiddly and throw in the towel but they seemed to love them and the extra house kits that we had bought also sold out within minutes!
After that it was free scrap time - which was only interrupted by a power black out. I can't exactly remember what time it was (a few wines under the belt by that stage) but i do remember thinking 'oh no -anything but this!' as i know over here if the power fails it can take hours and hours to come back on. How the heck were we going to scrap without any light???
The PL girls made a entrance to remember as they all came in dressed as witches - very appropriate considering it was Friday 13th - and in the dark it seemed really spooky and scary! It did cross my mind wondering if they had turned to power off for effect - but nope it was just a coincedence!
Finally the power came back on - in the end it was only 40 minutes off but that was enough! Any more and i am sure it would have ruined the entire night.
Most people scrapped into the wee hours - i went to bed at about 2 or 3 am and was feeling pretty weary by then.
A very rowdy table!
Slept well apart from a brief wake time due to a mystery snorer in our room! Identification still unknown...................
I woke about 8am and lay there for a while getting the vibe going to actually get up and get moving. Showered and dressed and in the breakfast room by 8.40am ish. Ate with a heap of other girls and got ready for Tiff's mini inspiration journal class which was due to start at 9am. This seemed to go really well - people were really thrilled with the end result and Tiff did a great job presenting it. I was so happy to see the powerpoint and projector working well in the room - after the headaches and wakeful nights last week worrying about it I was so pleased to see how well it was projecting. Having two screens was definately a massive thumbs up. It was fab to see the girls working all through the weekend on their mini journal - everyone's looked amazing when completed!
This class finished much earlier than any of us anticipated and so again there was free scrap time for us organizers. YAY.
some general busy-ness in the main shed.
At this stage Lorrae and Val were busy in the kitchen and had prepared a scrummy lunch of rolls, panines (no idea how that one is spelt!), mountain bread, chicken, ham and various salads. There was a plate of fruit for dessert. This was absolutely YUMMO and we had so much positive feedback about the lunches that the girls prepared.
Meredith's explosion box class was due to start at 1.30pm and so when we got back from lunch we started handing the kits out. I must admit i was a little worried how we would go explaining it all to the class attendants as it is much easier to follow with photos and very difficult to explain with just words - but Meredith and the powerpoint photos did a BRILLIANT job and there was little confusion at all. This presentation was very funny - Meredith is a natural comidian and often had me in stitches laughing at her double meanings and her straight face as she was saying them.
'tables 4 and 7 your meal is served' is still giving me giggles for some reason.
This class also finished much much earlier than we anticipated and so ............yep more free scrap time. People were coming up to her throughout the course of the weekend saying how thrilled they were with the completed box - and showing us their creation. They totally rocked - every one that i saw was incredible!
We then got ready for tea (6pm) and had a complimentary champers before heading down to the hotel for the meal. While it was great to get out of the shed for a few hours, the feedback about the meal and wait time was disappointing so this is definately something we will look at changing next year.
Something that we had not expected AT ALL - the girls attending had done a whip around for money and made a card for all of us organizers. This was mind blowing - we really did not expect this and it was very embarrassing accepting it. The money given to us last year was spent on a dinner for all the organizers in which we spoke a bit about the 2009 retreat and what our thoughts were. I am guessing that the girls would like us to do that again this year! Thankyou ladies - it was very thoughtful, amazing and really unexpected. If we do have a retreat in 2010 - we really do not want anything apart from your great company!
We saunted back to the scrap retreat and settled in to some long hours of scrapping.
The main prize draw was conducted then - which went on for a fair while due to the huge amount of donated prizes! Congratulations to Kim who was very lucky to have her name drawn out first and so got first pick off the extensive prize table. She chose the cuttlebug with two embossing folders which is a brilliant prize and she was totally over the moon with that.
More free time to scrap into the wee hours again. Some went to bed at 1am, some at 2, others at 3am. A few die-hards were up at 4am still!
This was the day of my class so i knew i had to get my shit together and get my brain semi functioning properly . Again out of bed at much the same time as yesterday, showered, got ready for the day and ate breakfast. Set up for the class and handed out the kits.
After a bit of a wonky start (i very nearly mucked the whole shabang up due to confusing pictures, not enough coffee or sleep on my behalf) we got stuck into this. I knew it would take a while to do - very tricky and time consuming with the cutting but we plugged away. We started at 9.30am and most had finished by 1 - so i figured 2 layouts in 3ish hours was pretty good considering that there was a very large class that had to be paced so we didn't have some wizzing ahead and some that were a bit behind.
After lunch (again very scrummy) there was more free scrap time and sadly i looked around and saw a few empty spots as girls started to pack up. I couldn't believe the time was nearly up and our weekend escape was drawing to a close.
By 3.30pm most girls were packing their totes, wheeling their suitcases across the lawn and filling the car with purchases and completed projects. :(
I took Nicole and Tess to the airport to say goodbye and also farewelled Toni and Kerryn and Michelle and Kim who were all leaving via car. These girls had a very long way to go to get back home and i am still shocked and flattered to think that they travelled such a long way. I really hope they had a good time. Thankyou to you all for making such a huge effort.
By the time i got back the shed was almost empty - the retaillers were packing up and leaving. The weekend was over :(
Tiff, Sue, Meredith, Val and myself stayed to clean up and we had the most amazing help from Kathryn and her husband Dougie (thankyou soooooooooooooooooooooo much).
I was home at my house by 7.45pm and Greg and the girls were surpised and happy to see me home so early. And i was wondering why time goes so bloody fast when you have fun!
From the team - thankyou everyone for being so positive, encouraging and supportive. The weekend's success is mainly due to so many ladies being happy, relaxed and realizing that we were all there to have the best possible time that we could. We really hope you had a great time. Extra special mentions to John, Greg, Jug and Jamie for helping us set up on Thursday- HUGE effort which was really appreciated and Dougie and Kathryn for sticking around on Sunday for the pack up. Thanks guys!
From me personally - thank you to the team. You are all fabulous. Everyone played a major role in getting this off the ground (again). I think we should be proud of what we have made :)