Special report: Indigo Mill April Retreat

29th April, 2009 at 9:44 pm (Crops & retreats)

Well… where do I start!? What a weekend!  I’m almost finished unpacking, of course I started by unpacking the stash, my clothes can wait!! I’ll give you a bit of a run-down day by day… you might want to get a cuppa and some biccies before you read on… and I’m afraid I have no piccies, as I only came across my camera and had time to think about it when we were packing up on Monday morning!!

Friday Well, our day (me and mum) started at half 5 when the kids woke us up, but we had so much to do we got up.  Before going across to Granary Court (GC) we had to fit in a trip to Costco, Asda and Trimcraft, as well as pack the cars and more than likely make two trips to GC.  Got across to Trimcraft early as possible, picked up loads of cardstock (including the scrummy new dotted swiss colours) and headed back.  Hit Costco straight away, since they’d opened and they have cakes and coffee first thing of a morning, to keep the kids occupied.  Got all the fresh foods, and headed home (Had been to Makro the night before for all the non fresh stuff) put the kids to bed for a snooze, mum headed off for Asda, and I made sure everything was down ready to go in the car.

Once DH got home from work, we loaded up the cars, and headed off for our first trip.  Unloaded, quick chinwag with the owners, and set up the tables (we hired big 6ft tables this time!) and headed back for the second run.  The gorgeous Claire met us back at my house with essential supplies (krispy kremes) and we headed back once again.  

Our first arrival of the evening was Sylvia and Barbara (sisters) who immediately felt at home when Marie told them that ‘we don’t want their sort here, and we don’t have a toilet!’ LOL – and then in typical fashion, the three of them disappeared to the nearby Tesco for last minute emergency things (my toothbrush) and wine.

After that everyone began to arrive, although we were still setting up the shop and getting dinner ready, I got everyone to their rooms and then in to the most important bit, bagsying tables and giving out info sheets and goodie bags.  Had to wait to put the shop together as I’d forgotten my stand legs, so once they arrived (thanks Scott!) we got it up.  No-one could wait for everything to be put up, and my boxes of stash were pretty much ‘mugged’!! lol  There was serious stash shopping immediately, anyone would think that everyone came for that, instead of my wonderful personality!! hahaha Tea was more like supper – just some buffet bits for everyone to grab and go.   We did have a timetable for the weekend, but I’m glad that I put that it was ‘rough’ as I can’t even say we ran late on things… LOL  more like arrived for things the following week!! We started a simple layouts class quite late in the evening, and people were seriously flagging, so we only got one done (but it took a good couple of hours) and so left the other two for another day.  I’m pretty sure it was after midnight when I gave in and went to bed (trying not to wake poor Sal in the process)

Saturday We had three day guests, and a number of our residential guests arriving, so we waited for them before starting classes, we decided to put everyone’s breakfast things in their apartments this time so no-one had to be up at a certain time (it’s a retreat after all) Once everyone arrived we got down to business… literally in the ‘down and dirty’ class – this was brilliant.  I really enjoyed making my samples, and I’m pretty sure everyone enjoyed getting messy!  I certainly had almost everyone coming to show me their fantastic outcomes from it.

Whilst our paint / gesso / accents were drying, Claire took over with her Jacobs ladder class, and after messing up the ribbon part myself a few too many times, I was very impressed with how people got it right so quickly!!  I’m always fascinated with them, and was pleased to see plenty of others happily flipping it up and down. We finished the messy layouts before tea.  Also just before tea, we sang Happy Birthday to Shan – who has a special one next weekend – and gave her her cake and a yankee candle as we hadn’t brought any birthday candles!  As part of the pre-retreat challenges, I had asked everyone to make a ‘book page’ incorporating a letter.  Once we put them all together (with the biggest book ring ever!) it spelled out Happy Birthday Shan and had little bio’s of the retreaters on it too.  Most definitely a unique birthday present!!

We had a bit of a party tea, and then everyone got on with their own projects and things, we had a bit of a dip in the hot tub, and then a beading workshop with a couple of the girls, although once again it had gotten very late, and our day ladies had to leave.  We did announce our challenge / competition winners, drew the raffle and gave out a booby prize.  Tracie had a very lucky sweep that evening, winning a challenge, the Bind it All raffle prize, and the booby prize (for wondering why her glossy accents wouldn’t work… with the lid still on!) I promise it wasn’t fixed!!

Well done everyone who won a prize!!  Again, I’m so sorry I didn’t manage to get pictures of the winners, so if any of you have some, please do send them, same with Shan’s book!



I believe some of the Scrappy Cats team went for a walk in the sunshine and a spot of geocaching (something I really want to get my family into when the kids are a teensy bit older, a grown up treasure hunt!) as well as some hot tubbing in there too.  I did see the team head off with a camera and tripod, so, readers,  you may well be lucky enough to get a piccie somewhere of the weekend!! And if Jane was taking them, they’ll be blimming good too!

We had a fantastic Roast chicken lunch cooked by Marie (who didn’t leave the kitchen all weekend) with brilliant roast potatoes too, then Claire did a demo with ‘scraps’ to make a journal jar, and also a demo on making flowers with flammable fabric and a naked flame…. yes, I was as worried as you when you read that!!  I know Mary has since been making plenty of the flowers.  Some of the ladies departed that afternoon, which was a real shame, but all good things must come to an end unfortunately.

For the rest of us, we were still scrapping for as long as possible (well everyone else was, not me, I was packing up the shop) and then packed up and headed off to bed.  

It was really sad to leave again on Monday, so many new friends made, and so many old ones caught up with.  It went so quickly, such a shame.  I do hope we can welcome some back again next year.  And I hope we have as much of a good time in 4 weeks on our June retreat.

I’m sure there will be other versions of the weekend to come, but for now, this is me signing off!

Short and sweet (NOT! hahaha)


Steph x


1 Comment

  1. Lesley said,

    Hi Steph sound like you all had a fantastic weekend – bet you can’t wait for the next retreat – Lesley x

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