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!
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 used...so 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