I wish you all could have been there! When I left Norfolk, the sounds of laughter and excited conversation were still knocking around in my ears. About 100 stitchers, plus five teachers, plus two shop owners, plus a number of Dyeing to Stitch employees made for a wonderful weekend. The picture above is Tina, Teri, Jeannette and I standing on the beach right outside our hotel. The weather was perfect for shell picking and walking barefoot on the sand. Shortly after this picture was taken, the gang talked me into taking my shoes off.
Of course, I took my shoes off, and as soon as a wave came up a little too high and made my pant cuffs wet, I took the plunge and went in up to my knees. Wet pants are wet pants, and it didn't make any difference to me if they were wet a few inches or a foot and a half.
The next morning, we went to Pocahontas Pancakes, a breakfast place not far from the hotel that specializes in pancakes and waffles. This Native American had rock-hard abs!
When I'm traveling for work, I try to eat fruit every day. Lucky me -- on top of my fruit was whipped cream, and below it was a PERFECT waffle. I learned at the cash register on the way out that this particular waffle was voted one of the five best breakfasts in the state of Virginia!
One of the cool things about this retreat was the project reveal. None of the students had seen any of the pieces that would be their classwork. My assignment was to do a winter beach-themed piece, and I cheated by putting a date of Winter 1824 on my piece. The students learned to make the little patches, and the piece also has some specialty stitches. I will release this design in a year, so the rest of you can try it out.
Everyone was so nice -- and my students were smiley and ready to stitch. I commented several times that it's always great to get together with fellow stitchers...people who totally get how exciting it is to talk about fabric and threads.
I couldn't believe how many great things the retreat gals received...upon registering, everyone got a homemade bag with an R&R exclusive kit (with hand-dyed linen!). Then we received hand-made acorn fobs with DETACHED BUTTONHOLE acorn caps. Beautiful! Six hours of work went into making each one of these fobs (and yes, I got one!) Then the students received special ocean designs of stitching accessories that we all designed, plus the threads and hand-dyed fabric to stitch them. Then they got a bonus class with Pam Reed of Olde Colonial Designs. She showed us how to make stuffed basket bottoms (and yes, I got to take that class.) Then, there were door prizes, a banquet with grilled steaks, and the students each got a beautiful Olde Colonial Nantucket-style basket to take home. WHEW!
Anyway, I was super-pleased to be asked to teach, I got to meet a bunch of my customers in person, I sold three limited edition kits at the boutique (plus a lot of my graphs). The gals also got to see my Part of Ann Dale sampler model. And did I get any stitching done? Not until I was on my second layover on the way home.
Then, while pulling into my driveway, I scraped my car alongside my mailbox, and now I have to go get a dent and a big scratch fixed. I must have been eager to get home to my family, my cats, and my own pillow.