Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Chix Packin' Stix

Where in the world did January go?  And half of February?  We just celebrated Christmas, didn't we?  Well, this post is about a really fun, craft retreat!

This is my friend, Cindy.  She is such a hoot!  Her face shows exactly how I felt at this year's Chix Packin' Stix craft retreat.  Wow!  This was the 3rd retreat for my buddy, Joyce, and I to coordinate and hold.  We went from 16 ladies at our 1st retreat, to 27 at our 2nd retreat, and 37 at this retreat!  Word is getting out!  We max out at 40, so we are almost there!

Well, as you can see, there is a little bit of knitting and crocheting going on!  We teach a beginner class for each on Friday evening.  Terri is an amazing knitter, artist, and overall crafter extraordinaire!

We made some cards using rubber stamps, chalk, bedazzles, and colored paper!  So much fun!  Each of us made 4 cards with different themes.  They turned out super cute!

We made some beautiful inspiration flags!  Joyce loves motorcycles, so she's having fun with the "Hog" fabric!  I think Joyce is on No-Doze here since she and I were up 'til 4 am the night (er...morning of) before.  Hey, girls just wanna have fun!

I love this one!  Too cute!  There were an incredible variety of flags being made.  I still need to finish mine.  Of course, mine has chickens on it.  Just sayin'...

Linda Mehler, from Wildflower Studio in McKinney, Texas, taught us how to needle felt these cute Easter eggs.  That was amazing!  I've never had the band width to even try this before, but found it amazingly simple and relaxing.  For those of us who don't have much creativity, Linda provided rubber stamps to stamp patterns on our eggs.  We then felted fiber over the designs.  Very unique!

We had spinners spinning fleece into yarn!  This is Mitchie.  This woman has more talent in her little toe than I have in my entire body!  She does EVERYTHING!  Just an incredible lady...  Super sweet, too!  I wish I had a shot of all of the other ladies that were spinning.  I think we had 5 ladies doing this.  Spinning is VERY relaxing!

This is a "Getting to know you" activity with yarn, to be later made into a scarf!  Yep, it looks just about as crazy as it was!  And noisy, too!  37 ladies cackling at the same time can get pretty loud!

 Some of us made scarves and rugs out of a peg loom!  This is an incredibly easy craft, too.  For those of you with a lack of patience, this is a great tool!  You can make a scarf in little to no time.  Really... it's that incredible!

Others made shawls using a tri-loom!  Remember those placemats you made in Kindergarten when you were learning about the pilgrims and the Indians?  The ones where you would weave the construction paper in and out, in and out, alternating the colors, to make a woven placemat?  That's what this is like.  You weave the yarn in and out, up and down the triangle board, but instead of using your fingers to weave, you use a long sort of crochet hook. This is another really unique craft!

We always work on a charity project at each of our retreats.  For this retreat, we crocheted edging around fleece blankets.  We'll be donating these blankets to Medical City of Dallas and Parkland Hospital's NICU.  Some of the blankets will also be used as lap blankets for older kids going through chemotherapy at the hospitals.

Of course, we always make time for eating lots of great food, too!  We have a baked potato and soup bar Friday night.  We have continental breakfasts on Saturday and Sunday mornings.  The rest of the time we head on over to the chow hall for some grub.  I really sound like I'm getting into the character, don't I?  I didn't say I WAS a character.  I said I was getting INTO character.  Just clarifying...

 The sleeping accommodations are fantastic, with many rustic hotel rooms holding anywhere from 4 - 6 people in a room.  There are also two cabins that hold up to 10 ladies.  Very rustic, as well.  Aren't these cute?  Keepin' with the ranch theme here!

 The views at the Lone Oak Ranch are so beautiful!  It's quiet and peaceful.  We had amazing weather for January, early February!  We still managed to sneak in a fire in the fireplace, though.  'Cause we wanted to.  Enough said...

We even had some cardinals show up outside of our general purpose room trying to figure out what all of the ladies were doing.  They were probably trying to figure out why so many ladies were peaking through the window staring at them, as if they had never seen a bird before!  Seriously... there were about 6 of these beautiful birds hanging out just outside the window.  Bonus!

We intentionally schedule twice a year to get together, relax, craft, and enjoy some girl friend time! Who doesn't want three days to get away from the hectic business of every day life?  Retreating away into the country in a little western theme town with somewhere around 40 other ladies, all trying to spend a little time relaxing and having fun.  We spend time filling up our energy tanks so we can, in turn, head back to our lives ready to fill other people's tanks.  It's kind of hard to do that when you yourself are running on empty. 

But really, the entire weekend is about friendships.  Catching up with some long time friends and making new ones.  Yep, I've read over and over again the value of  having friendships. After all, isn't life too short to just rush through it? I hope you'll consider joining us sometime!  If you want more information, join our little group on Facebook.  Search for Chix Packin' Stix.  Live vicariously through us or join in on the fun!  The choice is yours!