Monday, 12 September 2011

Back from the Creativity Escape



My fears about the Internet connection at the venue were bang on and we had no phone signal either in the main! Today has been about recovering from the whirlwind weekend and resting.
The venue had an ideal cropping room with tons of light and space so everyone could have an entire table to themselves - perfect for scrapbookers like me who need oodles of workspace! We set the shop up in the conference room which gave loads of space to display everything and was the perfect excuse to get up from time to time and stretch your legs. It was nice and secure so we were able to leave it set up the entire time and just lock up when we were done - ideal!! The rooms were basic but to be honest I don't think anyone spent much time sleeping, there was too much scrapping to get done!
We were very fortunate to have two gorgeous make and takes designed and run by Pauline and Sue throughout the weekend. It gave everyone the chance to have a break from scrapbooking and work with some new products. The first project was a gorgeous birthday card that mixed patterned papers and stamping and the second was a stunning pillow box created using a Sizzix die, stamps and embossing folder. I made the time to do the second project and ended up with a gift box that matched my Kath Kidston-esque PJs!! I loved it so much I made two!! I can't thank Pauline and Sue enough for their work on these make and takes, everyone LOVED them and learned a lot more about Stampin' Up and their products.
The five Masterclasses were just the right number and were evenly spread over the weekend to give lots of time to work on them. I think most people got at least one thing completed - Maria completed them all!! We had a good mix of styles, techniques and colours to offer something for everyone. I've learned that it's impossible to please everyone all the time but if there is at least one class that each person loves then my objective has been achieved. We incorporated stitching (real and faux), die cutting, punching, masking, inking, painting, art mediums, spraying, ink dyes, distressing and even ironing in the classes!! No wonder I'm feeling so tired now it's over!
Having someone else do the cooking and washing up was a lovely treat, the food was good home cooking and tasty. We had unlimited tea and coffee all weekend and had access to a fridge for our own soft drinks and the odd bottle of wine! I certainly didn't go hungry at all over the weekend and the staff were really good at finding fast alternatives if something wasn't to anyone's taste.
Our suppliers donated products for everyone to receive a gift bag, the quality was a bit hit and miss so I thought it would be fun to run a tag challenge over the course of the event. Almost everyone created a tag using predominantly their gift bag contents (and even the bag itself!!) and we entered them all into a draw to win a tote bag full of supplies. Sarah won the draw and was stunned - have fun with your goodies hun!
With lovely sunny weather on Saturday and Sunday we were able to get some group shots so I'm sure we will see some of those photos being scrapbooked very soon. I don't think I've seen anything funnier than my Dad and darling hubby weighed down with cameras - everyone wanted a pic on their own! Thanks guys, you were so patient with us all!
The feedback has been amazing and I'm already planning when to run the next one. If you're interested in joining in the fun then just drop us an email to sales@totalpapercrafts.co.uk to be added to our retreat mailing list. We are thinking the next one will be about March next year, what do you think?

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