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! :)