Sunday, 19 April 2009

Summary of a good time!

I have been remiss in blogging about something ... and I am sorry! For the weeks (and months) leading up to the Maritime Fibre Arts Retreat (held April 3, 4, & 5 at White Point Beach Resort Near Liverpool, NS and organized by my dear friends, Sharon and Richard),

I was regularly giving updates and encouraging y'all to come and have fun with us. Then the event happened, and I give you -- nuthin' but nuthin' for an update! That's not really very nice, eh?

Today, I finally have a little free time to blog a bit (I had been avoiding this post, because it involves lots of pictures -- my computer, my Kodak Photo program and blogger are still at a deadlock as to who will cave and allow me to easily download pictures, so it is a challenge to get them on the blog), so here goes.

The First Annual Maritime Fibre Arts Retreat was held on April 3, 4, & 5 at White Point Beach Resort, one of the most beautiful and relaxing places in Nova Scotia. We were set up in the "State Room" a cozy spot overlooking the beach, with waves crashing onto the white sand, about 100 yards from the door! People started arriving on Friday afternoon, and by 8 p.m. on Friday evening all of the overnight participants had arrived (about 35 people) and several of the day visitors were there as well -- the room was a happy hub bub of fibre related chatter, as rug hookers chatted up knitters, spinners and quilters compared notes and weavers and tatters talked about weights of wool and such. The event was going exactly as planned.

The comfy couches were populated by knitters, spinners sat in circles with their wheels a- whirling, quilters and weavers made themselves comfy at some of the big round tables and the rug hookers were interspersed throughout the room.

Saturday morning, bright and early, the State room began filling again, as the morning progressed, more people came, exceeding what was expected! I left for 20 minutes on an errand, and when I returned,
this had become this

It was a really thrilling thing to see that many crafty people all together and chatting! There was a really creative vibe as the room filled to nearly overflowing , and more knitting needles, spinning wheels, looms, sewing machines, felting needles and rug frames started to make their way into the space!

Cross craftual relations were encouraged, and mentors were available to help people either try a fibre craft for the first time, or show them how to do certain techniques. People were learning to spin, hook, needle felt and work a loom throughout the weekend. One lady, a very accomplished rug hooker, fell so in love with spinning (something she hadn't tried before the weekend), that she ended up spinning most of the weekend, buying a wheel from one of the participants on Sunday before she left! Maybe you'll come to the Retreat a knitter, and leave a weaver, or a hooker (shocking! LOL!)?

By 11 a.m., the staff at White Point opened an another meeting room for us, one with great big windows that faced the expanse of ocean

... we watched the fog roll in and out throughout the day, and as a storm had been in the area a few days before, when the fog lifted and we could see the waves, they were enormous, and put on quite a show!

Women came from all over to take part in the Retreat - there were people from our area, and from throughout Lunenburg county, some from the Annapolis Valley, Halifax and area were also represented .... we even had a few people taking part from Maine!

There were door prizes on Saturday, donated by local businesses as well as some of larger national and internationally known names in the fibre world - I can't list everyone who donated a prize, there were so many! Everyone who stayed for the draws got a prize -- names were drawn from a hat, and people could choose from the door prize table. Those whose name wasn't drawn, got a copy of the current issue of "Spin Off" Magazine, from Interweave Press!

Some people left after the draws, but a bunch of folks stayed into the evening (I left at 9:30 p.m., after finishing the first sock of a pair, cast on the previous day -- being in that energy level and with creative vibes zipping through the 2 rooms like lightening bolts, my fingers were flying! I have NEVER finished a sock that fast!).

We got the Keep the Fleece scarves started -- Boulder Brook Spinners in Lunenburg have a scarf project going, yarn from Briggs and Little, and the Knitterpuddlians - our local knitting group - also have one started with yarn donated by MacAusland's Woolen Mill). It was really generous of people to knit a piece on the scarves!

By Sunday morning, the crowds had thinned to a point that we could fit back in the Stateroom again. As the noon hour closing time drew closer, I kept hearing people say "I don't want it to be over!" :) That's a really encouraging sign, eh? I managed to get the Ravelry names of a few new friends and hope we will keep in touch until we see each other next year at the retreat.

My friend J and I went to Sharon and Richard's yesterday for lunch and to plan for the next Retreat. The evaluations came back overwhelmingly positive! We are currently working on plans for holding a Retreat in Late march or early April, 2010; it will be based on the same format as this year's - no workshops, vendors or planned sessions, just sharing between people. We are working with the Resort re; dates and to see how many weekend accommodations are required to be able to use the entire large room overlooking the ocean. Start planning for it now -- get some girlfriends together, plan to book a cottage for a girls weekend away or a sleepover party! When your husband is stumped for a birthday, Christmas or anniversary gift --drop some subtle, or not so subtle hints re: White Point Gift Certificates!


Donna M said...

Thanks for the update! I was so sorry to have missed it. Maybe next time. Sounds and looks like everyone had a great time!!!

Marti said...

Really bummed that I missed it. Maybe next year. Glad to hear that it went over well enough to do it again.

Dorothy said...

Glad it was such a success, and like Marti am bummed that I missed it. Let me know ASAP the dates for next year, so I won't book anything for that weekend!! :)

JessaLu said...

Looks like a fun time! :o)

lexa said...

Sorry I missed all that fun. Hopefully next time!

Barbara from Nova Scotia said...

I'm kicking myself in the hind end! I completely forgot about the retreat. Next year, definitely next year. Thanks for the awesome summary of the retreat. It looks like everyone had a blast!