Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Retreat Re-Cap -- YAYA

Well, I promised I would write a blog entry re-cap style for those who missed the retreat this year and for those to reminisce if you were there. So here goes nothing *wink*

I had a BLAST hosting this 5th Annual Nottawasaga Retreat. I was so thrilled when more than half of my retreat guests showed up wearing YAYA hats of their own creation!! You guys are amazing -- how wonderful that you got into the spirit of the event.

After everyone arrived on Friday night we had a little "Hat Parade" showcasing our hats to those in the room and the hotel cafe (yes, we waved as we went by), and at the registration desk... YAYA. Gotta love a boisterous hat parade! :) Gotta love us scrapbookers! :) ...and then some of us posed for a YAYA hat picture (at left). Aren't these hats amazing?? Each one told a story -- and hearing that story is part of the fun!! Thanks for sharing with us!!

Once we got back in the crop room, I drew for our first door prize of the weekend -- a little something I call the Spirit Award. Everyone who came to the retreat with a YAYA hat had their name in the draw for a Leather AMM Storage Tote. How cool is that?? Congrats Ina for winning that prize!!

We were VERY fortunate to have 3 wonderful vendors at the retreat -- each offering a FABULOUS Make N Take for our guests to create: In A Pinch Designs, Simply Scrapping (Cambridge), and Kim McArthur representing CTMH. I just realized that I didn't get a picture of those make n takes -- but let me tell you, they were the talk of the retreat... so fabulous!!!! (If any of you have your completed make n takes and would like to share them with us, please do. I'll make sure they get posted). I did take a pic of some shopping :) Thanks so much to all our vendors for adding so much to the retreat experience!! I think everyone would agree -- You ROCK!!

Saturday was a fun-filled day of cropping, shopping and CLASSES!! Each retreat guest had the opportunity to take one of the wonderful classes taught by Sheri and Judy from In A Pinch Designs and myself. We inked, we folded, we spritzed ... we created! I had such wonderful feedback about the classes -- it appeared that people didn't just take home some great projects, they also took with them a lot of great ideas!! And that's what it's all about, isn't it? :)

I LOVED seeing people race back to their seats to add pictures to their class layouts right away ... and I also LOVED seeing Judy's tea bag folding technique (used in the card class) recreated in a larger version in layouts later that evening! Stunning!! And a testament to inspiration provided in the class!! Thanks for making the classes so much fun to teach!!

We also gave away some amazing Door Prizes on Saturday donated by Go Scrapping and it's retail partners. It was a pretty impressive table!!

The Grand Prize was a new BIND IT ALL and accessories -- everyone's name was placed in a "hat" so that each person had equal opportunity to win -- I pulled Sharon H!.... Congratulations Sharon. Sharon was unable to join her sister at the retreat at the last minute so how fitting that she was still able to be a part of it -- Looking forward to seeing you at another retreat soon Sharon!! You were missed.

I always save some time to play a little game on Saturday evening -- this year I did something new... We had a speed layout contest ... let me clarify ... a Blind Speed Layout Contest. I chose the names of three "couples" out of a hat to participate in a then unknown game. OMG... this couldn't have been funnier. I am having trouble posting the video of this or I'd have it here for you to see... but here are a couple of fun pictures!! Such great sports! Congratulations to all who participated as they each left the "stage" with a little something -- and congratulations to Jody and Marijke the pair whose layout most resembled the original in the end. They won a SEI "Poppy" Collection Pack. Very fun.

Sunday -- Well, I would be amiss not to mention THE FOOD!! The Nottawasaga goes all out in this department every year. Let's just say that BRUNCH is a highlight to most everyone's retreat experience. Gotta Love the Brunch!! All our meals were fabulous -- but the brunch... mmm mmm goooood! What a way to round out the weekend!!

After brunch we all made our way back to the crop room for the last hours of cropping time. We also had some more great door prizes and the Best Layout of the Weekend Contest. Our attendees vote and choose their favourite layout for this -- Congratulations to this year's winner Eileen (aka Brit) for her fabulous layout. She won a Simply Cards Book from Scrapbook and Cards Today and a $25 Gift Certificate to the Scrapping Bug. Happy Shopping, Brit! I know you will put those to good use!
I already posted pictures from the event on the Go Scrapping Website. I am sure you can tell by those that we had a FANTASTIC time!! Be sure to check them out and join us at our next retreat! Love to have you there! YAYA!
THANKS FOR STARTING OUR 5th ANNIVERSARY YEAR OFF WITH SUCH A GREAT SUCCESS!!! Only better things to come!!! Kudos to all!!

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