I'm a devoted wife, mother of two incredible boys, full-time professional and crafter. I must find time to create each day or I feel like something is missing. All that I make I create by hand as I don't even own a sewing machine. I'm a city girl who also yearns for time in the country.
All too soon, the final day of our Boxwood & Berries retreat arrived.
Our project was this fun Advent Calendar by Maggie Bonanomi.
Then it was time for our group photo. What a talented group of fun women!
Carla (ND), a sweet classmate of ours, surprised each and every one of us with a thoughtful little gift:
A photo album that now stores all of my photographed memories! Wasn't that so thoughtful of her? Thanks again Carla!
Then Maggie surprised us with one final project...
A handmade memory book for storing more memories from our wonderful retreat. My mind starting spinning as I thought of the little needlework journal that Blackbird Designs had gifted to us. All retreat long, I had taken notes, journaled, collected email addresses, noted websites and shops in this little journal.
So I decided to make my little journal a summary of all of the wonderful designers from Boxwood & Berries: Blackbird's journal, Maggie's cover design and fabrics leftover from Stacy's projects. The result:
My memory journal...
Including photos from my time in Spring Green,
Bringing back happy memories,
and new friends to treasure,
Wow! What an incredible time I had.
Thanks for staying with me for several weeks while I relived the joys and blessings of this trip!
I hope that each of you get to experience a similar inspiring retreat :)
(Thanks for your patience in waiting for more Boxwood & Berries.
This past weekend I had a flu shot and think that I had a reaction to it ~ a 101.9 fever, aches and yuckiness. But I am definitely on the mend.)
Day 3 was Maggie's Day and the long anticipated heart shaped box! We were all so eager to get started on this project. Then discovered that the box would be completely hand made from flat cardboard. I knew then that I was leaving my comfort zone! But we took it one slow step at a time and were beginning to see some progress.
Here is a view of the inside. The underside of the lid has a sweet red velvet pincushion.
After lunch, Kim, Taffra (CA) and I decided that we needed a little break. So we took a ride along the lovely countryside in Spring Green WI. We stopped at an antique store down the road where we each found a treasure.
The textures and colors everywhere were so inspiring!
The colors along the Wisconsin River were at their peak.
We returned back to class and our heart boxes.
Then went back to our rooms and worked on our boxes some more. The result...
We were able to complete our boxes!
Another completed project to take home and enjoy. Going into the retreat I thought that they would make lovely gifts for my mom and sister for Christmas. I don't think that I will make another (sorry Mom & Pam!), but I will treasure this heartfelt box always!!!
p.s Stay tuned... just one more day and this adventure will be complete :)
On to Day 2 with Stacy Nash! Above are the projects that she designed for the Boxwood & Berries retreat.
Stacy also had a trunk show of her newest designs including her new book - "Home for Christmas".
I love the design of this class project needle roll. I didn't get very far on it, but the sausage is stitched, stuffed, aged and cooked lol. Hopefully I'll get to stitch the design soon...
These were the Stacy Nash projects that I finished on Day 2. The Jingle Pinkeep Drum stitching was homework before we arrived so that we could just concentrate on finishing. When pulling supplies to bring with to the retreat I came across some antique bells that I had and thought I would bring them along... I really like the way they look pinned to the top of the drum.
I also learned the secret to Stacy's perfect pinkeep drums....
stuffing with sawdust. It packs so firmly that you can really shape it well when packing while stuffing. The sweet monogram heart emery was a quick stitch and finish. And the Velvet Heart Emery Necklace was a lovely surprise as we had been admiring Stacy's as she wore it :)
The weather was so perfect that we dined alfresco tonight in the courtyard next to the Schoolroom. The Shop Girl's Special pizza from The Shed - yum!!
Then we headed back to the Schoolroom for one final evening project...
Sweet paper wreaths with a monogrammed initial. These are the dear friends that I shared a table with throughout the retreat, Kim (IL), Sue (IL), Pam (IA) and me. We had such a delightful time rooming together at the Second Story along with Marsha (MI) and Betty (WI).
After another visit to the shop, I decided to tweak my wreath's center with a lovely aged paper that I found at the shop...
Can you tell how much fun we were having?
Here we are with Stacy showing off our finished pinkeep drums.
Oh my goodness! I posted so late at night that I realized later that I forgot half the day! On Day 1, we also worked on this sweet cross stitch piece by Blackbird Designs ~ I love the colors they are so soft and muted.
I decided that this piece will be perfect for commemorating a special prize that my husband and I won this summer ~ our town's beautification award for the landscaping and curb appeal of our home. I think I'll add the name of our town instead of my name...
There was also a little farmer's market across the street from the shop. Everything was arranged so beautifully that Kim and I couldn't resist taking photos.
I love the way the sun lit up these carrots!
I couldn't resist having my photo taken with Barb and Alma ~ thanks ladies!
I've gotten a start on my piece, but haven't made much progress. I think that this will be my train project next week. Barb and Alma were so kind to give each of us this little stitcher's journal. It was perfect for taking notes in class, recording the emails of new friends, and jotting down recommendations for music, books and movies (Thanks Nicki!) I have big plans for this little book... stay tuned ;)
They were so kind to bring along the antique samplers that several of their cross stitch patterns are based on.
At each of our places was waiting this sweet basket filled with goodies.
First thing Saturday morning we started our first project "Winter Apple"
A stunning appliqued and quilted table topper / lap quilt.
I am completely uncomfortable with cotton applique and didn't feel up to the challenge of stepping outside my comfort zone. Barb and Alma were so kind and were willing to help me, but I really appreciated the fact that they supported my choice to translate the pattern into a medium that is much more comfortable to me...
I used the same pattern pieces and color scheme, then picked some lucious wools from Jeanne's well stocked shop.
I don't know how I will sleep tonight! Hopefully I will have sweet dreams of the coming days.
I'll share photos and stories when I return.
"Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end. So I concluded there is nothing better than to be happy and enjoy ourselves as long as we can. And people should eat and drink and enjoy the fruits of their labor, for these are gifts from God."