Wednesday night I drove to Port Lincoln to pick up Mel Forbes, our guest teacher from WA. We went out for tea, drove home and settled her in her temporary bedroom (thanks Kelsey!)
Mel was exactly as i remember her. She is just like one of us and fitted in so well. I have known Mel online for over 4 years now and she feels just like an old friend.
Thursday we woke, popped the kids on the school bus, loaded the car to the hilt and drove to the Lion's Hostel at North Shields for setup. We had some male muscle to help lift the trestles and sort out positioning for powerpoint displays and extra lighting. This set up day took almost all day and by the end we felt completely exhusted.
Friday we gave some quick birthday wishes to Georgia and Kelsey, popped them all on the school bus, loaded the car with more gear and headed to 'retreat HQ' yet again.
60 goodie / etsy bags all packed
We packed goodie bags, set out chairs, showed the retaillers where to go, sorted out bedroom allocations, assisted in the kitchen (Val and Kathryn were already buzzing around in there: busy little beavers!), said hello to the Country Arts SA lady (Simone) and introduced her to Mel, picked up table decorations, met some girls from the big smoke at the airport and before we could blink again it was 3.58pm and people were rocking through the door. (tsk tsk early birds!! LOL)
Every attendee got a goodie bag, personalised mug and lanyard. Here is mine post event with a bit of added white spray paint!
messy lanyard and mug
Before not too long all our ladies seemed to be settled in and scrapping!
Deb and Bernie scrapping up a storm.
We then welcomed everyone, had a scrumptious pizza, garlic bread and lasagne dinner (the weather was perfect for sitting outside) and my class kicked off.
It was quite a drawn out class due to the sewing, painting and ink splats but thankfully the ladies were so patient waiting for their turns with the various sewing machines and painting / inking stations.
Hopefully everyone was happy with the end creation.
After that was free scrap time and there were a lot of late stayers that night (us included!) There were a few spots of rain on the shed roof as we went to bed which was lovely to listen to as I fell into bed at 4am absolutely stuffed.
Saturday I woke and it was action stations as we ate breakfast and kicked off the morning class which was Merediths amazing little 'flap' book. There were many, many laughs and i have heard much anticipation on her class project for next year! ;-)
Lunch was scrummy panninis, meats and salads with fresh fruit for dessert.
Saturday afternoon saw our guest teacher Mel take the floor and it seemed that the whole shed stopped to watch her in action. WOW what a great fun class. Every single person that i spoke to loved the layout they made with her.
a table of 'Ronnies'
It was free scrap time after that until tea and make use of it we all did! Dinner was delicious little mini roasts of chicken or beef (my beef was DELICOUS), potato bake and assorted veg. YUM. Fresh fruit and chocolate platters soon followed.
i can hear them laughing just by looking at the photo! A rare photo with a wine in hand...
Our major prize raffle followed in which every person won a prize. Some of the 'must have items' were the big chomp, a jotote bag, an amy butler tote, a studio calico kit and far too many more to mention. We need to mention again our amazing sponsors and local scrap businesses. What fab. support. Without this sponsorship there is no way our retreat could go ahead.
Another late night followed with lots of laughs and a beverage or two.
It didn't seem long and we were up again for breakfast - our magnificent cooks had prepared pancakes!! Sadly the end of the weekend was coming up quickly - eeeeeeek too quickly!!!!
the 'noisy' table
these girls are fab!
some e2c blog regulars!
The entire rest of day of Sunday was free scrap time until 3pm when we all said goodbye :(
A few personal highlights:
*meeting Tatum, Ali, and Lauren and having them sit 'behind' us. They were great girls and we had a lot of laughs together. Totally amazing scrappers also! What those girls can do with a bit of yellow paint is incredible ;-)
*seeing beautiful Ange again. Clever, clever, clever. ... and beautiful.
*having a lovely friend in Michelle (and Andrew!) and knowing that she would be willing to travel from Sydney to attend another retreat again in 2011!! It was fantastic to have you on our table again Michelle. Loved it.
*our very talented guest teacher Mel Forbes being able to come a little earlier and stay and help set up. This really concreated her in the 'team' and we all felt like we had known her forever by the weekend's end. What a special friend i have!
*the 'fire recovery' kit that we collected for Bev's sister and neice. What an overwhelming response!
*how easy everything seemed to come together this year and our immediate enthusiasm to do it all again in 2011!
*how delicous all the meals were and how cheery and calm the kitchen was at all times - even when they were under incredible pressure. Val and Kathryn: you girls totally rock.
We had a little look last night after pack up at the surveys and were blown away at all the positive comments. Some of the fav. comments that stuck out at us were:
"I had a fantastic time at the retreat - it was so well organised and i was made to feel so relaxed"
"you can't improve it - it's excellent"
"a fantastic weekend - keep them coming"
"compared with other retreats i have been to there was lots of elbow room"
"fantastic food. Well done to Val and Kathryn - top job"
"PLEASE keep having them!!"
"great to be able to shop here for extra supplies"
We will certainly take note of some of the other suggestions that are 'do-able' and try to make 2011 even better than this year!
the 'silly' photo!
On behalf of Sue, Meredith, and myself we thank all the girls that were able to come along to our retreat : we had the BEST-EST time. Thankyou also for the lovely card (Bev) and kind words (Sandra). The 'gift' that you collected was completely unnecessary and we certainly do NOT expect it. However we are very very thankful and humbled by it.
At this stage everything looks 100% positive for another e2c in 2011. We will keep you posted :)
What a great weekend *sigh*