Thursday, May 29, 2014

Birthday, exchanges and Stitching Retreat

Hi everyone.  Did you miss me???

I'm back from a magical three day stay at the wonderful Mount Falcon in County Mayo which is where I went on the 2014 Irish Stitching Retreat.

And yes, it began on my birthday (which to be honest I never really celebrate and even got it wrong in that I thought I was 45: I was a bit miffed that find I am only 44!).

I've been taking part in a birthday thread club organised by the wonderful Cath Willey.  Look at what came in the post for me!

 Each birthday we send a card and three threads and you know what?  It is perfect.  It is just enough to show we care but not too much so we don't feel under pressure to buy and pay extortionate postage fees.  So, Donna, Cath, Vicky, Mary Jane, Nicole and Valerie, thank you from the bottom of my heart!  I love all the colour combinations and I love how you got them to match the colours of the cards. So very, very thoughtful and inspiring!  Thank you!

And yes, the retreat started on my birthday but only because that was the date the hotel gave me.  I didn't even click it was my birthday when I accepted the dates and I certainly didn't expect pressies but look at what the wonderful ladies got me!

Kath got me the most perfect box and handmade card!

And I thought this was too generous as it was, but then look at what was inside it!

Bev gave me....

Evenweave, a charm pack of five inch squares, the most perfect owl fabric AND a chart ( I think: I was getting a bit emotional by this stage and may have misplaced a gift and a giver).

And it went on....
Iris gave me two French Cross stitch magazines (hubby is looking at one, it has a vintage car in it, so I only got a photo of one), a Tinkerbell stitched card which I'm going to frame and lots of bags of haribo sweets made in France....which we all shared, and they may have accidently on purpose all got eaten..and very nice they were too!

There are also two postcards of Normandy which is where she came from AND two French recipe cards!  I love to try new recipes so that is fantastic.

I would have been more than happy just with the company of these amazing ladies, but wow, what a wonderful birthday!

Iris and Bev took part in a mugrug exchange with me.  This is what I made them...and I made one for Kath to encourage here to get her own sewing machine out.

Bev and Kath got these two: they each have a little pocket on the left and I made them a little bigger than usual as I thought they might make better stitching accessories than mug rugs.

I gave Iris the one on the left because blue is her favourite colour.  I haven't decided on what to do with the other two.  I love the orangey one..look at me stitching curved lines!  I'm a big girl now!

Bev works full time and has a very busy life so is going to send mine later, and that's fine.  No rush, it has to be fun doesn't it? But I am taking part in a group exchange with Bev on the Cross Stitch Monthly exchange group. The theme is Spring.  This is what she made me.

I love the colours and the material she very, very pretty.  It will look perfect in my craft room!

Iris brought this over from France with her.

It's a hand appliqued Iris.  There is no way on Earth I am going to put a mug of tea on this! This is going on my wall!  It's far to pretty to get tea on!

So how was the stitching retreat? Wonderful.  We stayed at the Mount Falcon Hotel in County Mayo in a lakeside lodge.  We had two outings: one to the beach and one to Foxford where we visited a Woolen Mill, a museum and a traditional Irish town.  I cooked and froze everything before we arrived so there was very little cooking to do and we had breakfasts at the hotel which were amazing.

It was a wonderful time.  We swam in the hotel's pool, laughed in the jacuzzi, walked to the old estate's graveyard, climbed over walls when it was nearly dark to visit the Celtic Buriel ground, ate Haribo, stitched our Irish design, chatted to the estate's owners and we were spoiled rotten by them!

The weather was amazing; not a drop of rain which is a rare thing for my beautiful emerald isle home!
We visited Admiral Brown's museum, enjoyed a school trip history lesson (much to the amusement of some of the 9 year olds) and experienced the craic that is Ireland.  

The company was excellent as everyone was all about the craft and the experience.  There was lots of laughter and a fair bit of stitching too!  Here are some photos.  You can see more detail on my fb page but I am very aware that this is quite a long post already!  Here are a few photos...OMgosh it was just totally awesome!

Look at the cross on the top of the mountain

Water lillies starting to come out

Synchronised swimming display!

There are more details as I say on fb: for now though I will leave you and just share one more little thing.....On Monday when you see me again I will have some amazing news regarding next years stitching retreat!
Have a great weekend everyone and thank you for making it this far along xxxxxxx


  1. Happy Belated Birthday Gaynor! I am so glad you liked your threads! You received some lovely gifts and how fun you got to go to a stitching retreat!

  2. Oh duh!!! NOW I know what you were doing... My brain is Still on overload here! It looks like quite a lovely time for all! Happy Belated Birthday to you! You have some wonderful presents and pictures to commemorate your first Irish Retreat! Congrats! Big Hugs!

  3. Happy belated birthday wishes... Your stitching retreat looked amazing... Such a lovely place too. Gosh your birthday gifts are wonderful :)
    Smiles :)

  4. Happy Belated Birthday dear..
    You received some lovely gifts and how fun you got to go to a stitching retreat..pretty photos :)
    Hugs x

  5. Happy belated birthday sweetie!! You've received beautiful gifts & your retreat looks heavenly. Glad you had a fabulous time, you fully deserve it :) Hugs xxx

  6. Yay! You DID have a Happy Birthday! What a fabulous time. And the gifts!

  7. Happy Belated Birthday, you got some lovely gifts :) Love the mug rugs :) The stitching retreat looks amazing :) So glad that everyone had a great time!

  8. Belated Happy Birthday Gaynor. Great post. I loved seeing all the pics. Lovely gifts.


  9. You had received some lovely threads and gifts for your birthday. How cool you went on a retreat on your birthday too. The pictures are beautiful. I love the dining room with the stone walls and fireplace.

  10. What a lovely retreat setting & wonderful gifts! Happy belated birthday!

  11. What a great way to spend your birthday! Lovely photos and such nice gifts... Wishing you a belated happy birthday and a very special year ahead!

  12. How wonderful. The retreat looks amazing and you received some lovely cards and gifts. I especially like the Take time to stitch the flowers cushion. x

  13. Truely had a fab time. You forgot to mention the SAUNA!!!! Just cos I was bored after 2 minutes doesn't matter you have to mention it haha

  14. Happy Birthday! What wonderful gifts you received.
    The retreat looks amazing. So glad that you had a wonderful time.

  15. Belated happy birthday wishes....what a lot of lovely gifts your stitching friends brought.
    So pleased it was a huge success and you all had a wonderful time, and what a bonus Mother Nature played nicely for your weekend too.

  16. First of all I want to send you some happy belated birthday wishes. All these lovely gifts and threads that you received - enjoy them all!
    What a coincidence that your birthday was the first day of your stitching retreat. It must have been a great get-together. Thanks for sharing all the lovely pictures.


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