4.20.2010

Sweet Inspiration

I can't begin to tell you what a wonderful time I had on my Spring break retreat. I am so blessed to have been able to meet some of the Shabby Lane Shop website owners and bloggers. Each and every one of them was, without a doubt, way beyond any expectations I could have imagined. The drive up to the Smoky Mountains was a long one, albeit a very beautiful one. All the way up, the roads were lined with red buds and dogwoods in bloom. See the mountain up ahead in the photo below. That's where I am headed! :)



I am not especially fond of driving on the freeways and to make matters worse a huge storm blew over and I have to tell you driving on interstate 81 surrounded by speeding semi's in the torrential rains was not fun. (anyone who has ever driven on this wonderful freeway (said with sarcasm) knows what I mean. White knuckled and near panic after an hour and a half we finally got off onto whatever our next road was ( I can't remember) and sweet Jesus, the sun came out.



And there was our first unscheduled stop.....an antique shop.....the sweetest little shop you ever saw and a sight for my sore eyes. And man oh man, did I find some treasures for you. One being, the most gorgeous antique brass Italian chandelier, just loaded with gorgeous old crystals. I am working like a mad man to get all these wonderful items listed in the boutique. I found a supply of the sweetest vintage pillowcases and scarves to keep me making dresses for a long time, the most wonderful old rusty, shabby, metal peg legged alarm clock with the best old numbers on it, little baby blue moccasins and so much more.


Finally, after being several hours over due we made it to the cabin, (thanks to my traveling partner Ms. Claudia). And I have to tell you this is not just a small mountain cabin......this place was huge and gorgeous, .......more like a mountain lodge. In fact, I never actually saw the whole place we were so busy with other things the whole time.

All the ladies were just so talented, sweet and gracious and I learned so much. They were full of inspiration and I came home filled with new ideas. Ms. Claudia of AnticaTreasures.com taught us the basics of jewelry making. What a sweetheart she is! We all got to create a "make and take"....a gorgeous charm bracelet. I will soon be showcasing some wonderful necklaces in the boutique featuring birds and wire nest and vintage clock faces along with vintage burnt ribbons and laces. Made by yours truly, they are very edgy, stylish and just plain fun.


Another tres chic item we made were French style paper high heel shoes. What a treat that was! The wonderful Carla of Blue Heron Studios taught us this delightful piece and I can't wait to make more. With all the beautiful papers on the market today the possibilities are endless.


Barb of SBS Teas.com gave us an introduction to gourmet teas. She has the most wonderful website....all about teas and other delicious things. I came home with some fabulous teas and plan on making her shop a go to place for a specialty gift for my friends. And...the lady can cook too! I had her wonderful scones for breakfast one morning.....not to mention the fantastic dinner she made for us one night.


And speaking of dinner, we even had a cooking show one night, called "Cooking with Two Hot Italian Mama's". Loved it and loved the girls! Fabulous dinner and fabulous girls,......Ms. Bunny of B. Catherine Designs. com and Ms. Rita of Tesorofino.com. Their cooking was sooooo fine that we even had a guest bear show up every evening looking for leftovers. :) (no kidding!)



Ms. Debbi of MarionberryCottage.com showed us her secrets to printing images on fabric. She makes the most gorgeous items using vintage elements and cottage fabrics you ever saw. And Ms. Bunny taught us how to transfer designs onto fabric and totes. We put what we learned to good use and altogether we made 50 totes to send to the very wonderful and worthy cause, Enchanted Makeovers Shelter Project.


After all the fun at the biggest dining room table I have ever seen, we also went out for sight seeing, antiquing, flea markets, hiking, shopping in Gatlinburg and dining at the Old Mill. Did I mention we ate a lot? :) There were always lots of goodies sitting around.....unfortunately for my waist line.

Jacalyn and Megan from RME boutique gave us some of the sweetest soaps on earth from their soap boutique and in each bath some of their fabulous bottled hand soaps were waiting for us. And the cute Karen of Avon had lots of goodies in the goodie bag for us too. And she came through with flying colors on her test too. We knew you would Karen! :) And the beautiful Lillian of Shabby Denim Rose, with her gorgeous hair and infectious laugh. She makes the most wonderful things out of denim. You must check out her upcycled denim coasters....totally cute!

As I have been writing this post today I keep remembering all the fun times we had in a few short days........lots of lasting memories were made along with wonderful friendships. Plans are already being made for our next get together and I can't wait. Thank you Catherine, our fearless leader, for all your hard work and dedication for the shops and this retreat. Wish I had a piece of your chocolate cake right now. We luv ya!


And to the girls in my car, here is one more memory. Hugs and grins! :)


23 comments :

Blondie's Journal said...

Oh, Lynn...I wish I could have been there. This post has made me a fan of Shabby Lane Shoppes {which some I have visited already} even more so, now knowing how sweet and talented all of your gals are!! It sounds like your trip was SO much fun. The bear may have turned me into a quivering fool, but the food would have made up for it!!

So glad you had a good time. I love all the pictures! :-)

xoxo
Jane

Rita Kent at TesoroFino.Com said...

Thank you for allowing me to relive our retreat once more through your memories in this wonderful post. You are truly a Southern Lady that I have been blessed to meet. I can't stop remembering how, with the finest southern grace, you thank each and every driver on the highway that allows you to pass them. You have the most wonderful personality and sense of humor...It's no wonder that you were the cheerleader dating the quarterback back in High School. I cannot wait to see your new-found treasures listed. I enjoy your taste and site so much! Can't wait to be able to see you again soon. Remember, next time you're in NY, contact me and you always have a place to stay! xoxo ciao bella!

Tara said...

Lynn

Wasn't this the kind of day that was right up your alley--you had a good time, i see! FUN!!!!!!

ShabbyShopsinaBox said...

Lynn,

What an amazing blog post, you have a gift in describing our retreat story so perfectly. I feel a fuzzy feeling in my heart and All! I had such a great time as your co-pilot!

I love all my SLS Sisters! Thank you All and specially Catherine for the amazing opportunity!

HUGS
Claudia

Antica Treasures

Barb said...

Hi Lynn,

What a treat! You could just feel the love and fun through the post.
Thank you so much for sharing.

That is no Shabby cottage-hehe.

big hugs,
Barb

Shabby Lane Shops said...

Thanks Lynn, We so enjoyed meeting everyone, & you helped share the experience with all your readers! Any time you all are ready to go again, I will meet you all there!
I sure could use some of that great cooking!

A Cottage Muse said...

So glad you had fun! That's what I call a spring break!!

Beach House Living said...

Wow, I would enjoy going to a workshop like that.

Bunny said...

Ohhh Lynn, How beautiful!!! What a wonderful post! You are a true Southern Lady & I am so fond of you & soo very happy we meet! I learned a lot from you as well, thanks.
XOXO ~ Bunny

laurie @ bargain hunting said...

Lynn, I am so jealous! This just s9ounds like such fun! Can't wait to see all of the new treasures you make. laurie

Susie said...

What a wonderful getaway! Thanks for sharing your fun with us.
Susie
The Polka Dot Rose
http://www.thepolkadotrose.com

The writings on the Wallflowers said...

Lynn,

Thank you for the great post! Even though I couldn't be there it's fun to see it through your eyes. By the way, those paper shoes look awesome.

Michelle

Linda said...

Oh my gosh Lynn....what a wonderful retreat. Besides creating some wonderful things, eating delicious foods, making lots of memories you got to meet such wonderful and talented ladies and made lasting friendships...too cool. hugs, Linda

Trotter said...

Wow! It seems there was a lot of fun over there...
But that bear is incredible... ;)

Jacalyn @ rmebathproducts.com said...

Awww Lynn.... I wanna go back! I wanna go antiquing with you... I wanna go for coffee with you (ha!) I wanna...... What a great post! I re-lived our visit all over again and I can't wait until "we meet again"

Big, ginormus hugs!!!!!
Jacalyn

Nola @ the Alamo said...

Wow, I can TELL you had a great time (except maybe for the traffic and the BEAR!). I'll have to check out the teas, tea and coffee are (another) of my weaknesses!

Lisa said...

Looks like a fabulous get a way for you and the others. Glad you made it back safe and sound.

Jennifer said...

Lynn it looks as if you had a marvelous time! I felt as if I were there with you! How wonderful that you got to enjoy the company of so many wonderful ladies on such a grand retreat.


Thank you for sharing such a wonderful time!

Jen

Rita Kent at TesoroFino.Com said...

Hey sweetie~ You timed your gardening well. It's gorgeous here today. Hope all your plantings stay firm now from the rain. I will never forget what you taught me about Red Buds and Dogwood trees. Very interesting. I could probably learn a lot from you with gardening. I hope you don't mind I copied your post. I have been mentioning to people who show a love for birds, nests, eggs, etc. all about your creations at retreat. Get them up soon. I explained they weren't listed yet and have been sending people your way. I, too, have so many ideas that I need to place on an Idea Board so I don't forget. So many wonderful thoughts and ideas I need to get down on paper. It's on my blackberry, but pics would be more inspiring on a board for me to create. Hugs and kisses Lynn. Have to go take Thomas to Kung Fu; I will wave kindly with no sarcasm to the first driver that lets me through and think of you. :)

Margaret Cloud said...

Lynn, this sounds like such a wonderful Spring break that everyone would want. I enjoyed reading about your stay at the cabin (lodge), it was full of fun and the get together with the other ladies was worth the trip. Can not wait to see all your treasures.

M.Kate said...

wow...sounds like super duper fun..and an outing I would love to tag along :) Happy weekend Lynn.

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Lynn, that looks like a blast! And you got to meet so many nice people! I would have loved to try Rita's cooking. Love her! So glad you had fun.

We had a blogger birthday in St. Augustine for Claudie which was a blast, but I have been so busy with workmen (and am waiting on pics from the other girls) that I haven't been blogging for about a month. I am up to my eyeballs in workmen right now, and I'm headed there in a few. I took a sanity break to blog.

This really looks like so much fun, and I can't believe you had a bear visit. He looks like he hasn't missed many meals, too. LOL! Did he rip open that garbage bag??? We have them in Florida, but they are mostly near the Ocala National Forest. Also, the two I've seen were king of skinny. ;-) I wouldn't want to meet them in the dark,, though. LOL!

Sending you big hugs.

XO,

Sheila :-)

shirley said...

Just left a wonderful comment and it had an error...I was posting that the un-huggy kinda bear sure
looked hungry. Your photos are very nice and I have never been on that particular road but I know how scary driving in the rain is and have been in a white nuckle situation and feel your fear. Glad you had the time of your life!
Hope the ride home was better!

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