Saturday, February 13, 2010

Story: The Retreat

I knew what I longed for - to create a place where women gathered to celebrate, support and mentor each other. I had a model (the Lovebombers Gatherings - if you have never read about them, check out accounts on the blogs of Jen Lee, Ali Edwards, Kelly Rae Roberts, Andrea Scher etc. or try Google). I knew the women that I wanted and I figured the rest was easy. It was - mostly.

In October, we went to visit Cassie in VA. There is nothing like a 11 hour car drive to give you plenty of time with a notebook and pencil to make plans. When we returned from the trip I had filled many pages with ideas for the Retreat blog, invitations, gifts, classes and food. The hard part was done.

Here is the one real snag I encountered - the economy. I invited people from all over the eastern US. Flying into FL, lost income or juggling schedules began to take a toll on the numbers. I had to spend some time redefining sucess and embracing the concepts of "small" and "intimate". I had made plans for 12 and the reality was 4. Honestly, I do not switch gears quickly and seamlessly. It took a while and talking it through with friends helped tremendously. I came around to looking forward to the small group and the opportunities that brought which were not possible with a larger number.

We made some awesome projects:

mini albums from a manila folder,

mail art,

and everyone was sewing.

We shopped (craft stores, book stores, consignment shops, quilt shops),

we ate (in our pj's!)

We had lots of treats and goodies. And much - much - more.

The Retreat was exactly what it was supposed to be - fun, relaxing, creative, and most importantly, community building.

And yes, there will definitely be more. We did some preliminary planning for #2 before we said goodbye.


Sarah Barker said...

Looks like a GREAT time was had by all....I think women need those get togethers every once in awhile! Pictures look fabulous!! FUN FUN!

Angela A said...

The retreat was awesome and Sandi, you were the ultimate hostess. You planned it so well and I am glad you got to enjoy the fun too (at least you werent' stuck in the kitchen ALL the time.) And let's not forget Joe & Jarrett who were the BEST sports about 4 women invading their house and completely taking over---thanks guys. Sandi, many, many thanks and kudos.