when inspiration hits, roll with it

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The weekend was filled with laughter and inspiration.  I woke early Friday morning, grabbed a cup of coffee and spent the next couple of hours reflecting on our last 10 years of scrapbooking retreats at Memory Lane.  Life happened here.  We have celebrated the joy of new life several times over, shared recipes and favorite products, swapped stories of motherhood and marriage, laughed and cried together – we have even have grieved the loss of a dear scrapbooking friend.  Faces have changed over the years but one thing is certain:  when you bring a group of women together, magic happens.

When stories and struggles are shared, friendships are born.  Souls are nutured.

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And I am so honored to have a place among these ladies.

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As I spent time in my journal over the weekend, a dream came to life.  An idea I have been flirting with for the last two years.  I bounced it off the ladies this weekend and decided to make it REAL by bouncing it off all of you.  So here it goes…

WHAT:  A 3-day weekend that includes crafting, baking, and relaxing with a group of 15 women.  There would be several Christmas-themed project sessions available – creating holiday decorations such as wreaths or garland, for example, baking cookies in the gourmet kitchen, creating one-of-a-kind gifts, giftwrap, and more!  Downtime could be spent reading, storytelling, knitting, paper crafting, dreaming, snowshoeing, or otherwise enjoying time with friends old and new.

WHERE:  Lake Superior Barn (pictured below) located 30 minutes east of Duluth, Minnesota.  Click HERE for details, just be sure to watch the video to get a full view of the place inside and out!

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WHEN:  December 3-6, 2015 (or a similar weekend in 2016)

COST:  The cost for a 2015 weekend would be $195 (a 2016 weekend would likely see a rate increase); for those participating in the Christmas-themed project sessions, a supply list would be sent out in advance of the retreat.  You would be responsible for bringing your own supplies.  Teams of two would be assigned to provide/prepare one meal for the group over the weekend and I would provide one very special meal.

It’s possible this Lake Superior thing could be a one-time event, I’m not sure.  After all, I’m simply chasing a dream at this point!  There are a lot of “what-ifs” and changes to consider:

What if we wanted to return to Memory Lane the following year and our old spot was no longer available?  [I would like to find an affordable location, relatively close to the Twin Cities area, that could accommodate a larger group of women (Memory Lane is limited to nine).  One spot I have in mind is Green Haven Retreat in Eau Claire, Wisconsin – everything is located on one floor (no more STEPS!) and Green Haven was designed for a group of sixteen.  It also sits adjacent to one of Wisconsin’s largest independent scrapbooking/stamping stores (click HERE for details).]

While the place boasts a lot of amenities it appears there is no WiFi, telephone, satellite or cable television.  Is this true?!!  [Yes.  We would be able to stream movies on the big screen television from an iDevice but would otherwise be unplugged for the weekend.  It would be a time of rest, renewal, and reflection.]

What if I want to scrapbook that weekend, where will I be able to work?  [Lake Superior Barn is a 4,250 square foot vacation home on Lake Superior; while it boasts a great deal of space, this location is not a designated craft destination.  It would recommend planning ahead, bringing only what you need for a specific project or two.  There might also be room to add a few small lightweight folding tables like THIS or THIS or THIS.]

Do I have to be a crafter to attend?  [No!  You just need to be a woman looking for a time of rest, renewal, and reflection.]

There would be no magic, however, if not for YOU!!!  The December Weekend Scrapbooking Retreat is incredibly important and any changes I plan to make, will not be made without first giving everyone an opportunity to weigh in.  I want to hear your thoughts so I have created a short survey to give you a voice.  Click HERE for details.  (Please respond ASAP as a decision needs to be made this week to guarantee availability.)

We have had an incredible 10 years at Memory Lane!  As I look ahead to the future, I am looking for ways to ‘lighten’ my current workload.  Hauling heavy equipment up and down the steps at Memory Lane?  Time to let it go.  Hauling groceries and cooking most of the meals?  Time to let it go.  My recent surgery brought with it some long-term physical limitations and that’s okay.  This just means that it’s time to simply, to hone in on the things that matter most.

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And as I mentioned above, the December Weekend Retreat matters a great deal.  I want it to continue to remain affordable, to always feel special, and to stay in place as long as there is breath in me!  I want to provide a place for scrapbooking, bill paying, knitting, meal sharing, cardmaking, hot beverage sipping, stitching, journaling, lesson planning, crocheting, reading, gab sessions, and everything else that has made these last 10 years so special.

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Are you in?

cindy starbuck - December 8, 2014 - 2:46 pm

Have always loved the December get away. Would love to be included moving forward. I know my mom and sisters feel the same!

Lynn Peterson - December 8, 2014 - 2:55 pm

It was so wonderful to be a part of this time honored tradition! Thanks to Crystal for giving me the weekend as a gift. And thanks to Tina! It was my first Memory Lane Retreat and you made me feel at home. It was great FUN, ladies!! Looking forward to hanging out together again sometime.

Sandy Downs - December 8, 2014 - 7:17 pm

Thank you, Tina, for making the retreat what it is: relaxing, fun, and very special. Thank you to everyone else who attended–loved spending the weekend with you!

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