I’ve just returned from a fabulous five days away at Creative Dreams Getaways in Maldon in Country Victoria. My friends, who are all Stampin’ Up! Demonstrators accompany me to the retreat and we have the best time together!
This is our fifth trip to Creative Dreams, so I thought I would give you some tips on what to do if planning on attending a retreat.
Firstly, plan your projects, write them down in the weeks leading up to departure. What are you hoping to achieve while away. Save photos of projects you want to CASE, plan what you need to have done in future weeks, such as what birthdays are coming up or special celebrations. If you are running a Stampin’ Up! business like I do, then what needs to be prepared for future classes and social media.
Once you have planned projects in place, decide which stamps and dies you will need for the projects. Which inks, ribbons, embellishments and tools you will require. Several of my friends who attend are very economical packers of supplies. Me, well I am notorious for packing everything that is current product when it comes to inks, markers, pens, embellishments and dies.
Know what the group plans to do in regards to outings. Do you need a better outfit for going out to dinner or will track suits and dressing gowns fit the bill. This will save on suitcase space.
Plan your meals. If the retreat is being catered for, well you are in for an easy time! If not set up a meal planner with your friends and everyone takes on a meal to supply the ingredients and prepare. We bring our own breakfast needs. Lunch and dinner are made by one of the attendees . Generally we are responsible for one main meal/lunch and one dessert. We eat very well as everyone creates delicious meals and desserts. A lot of recipe swapping takes place! Make sure you pack a good supply of sweet treats to share! That is mandatory as any scrap booker or card maker knows!!!!
Now I am lucky in that I have a large SUV to pack my gear into, plus I drive myself, so it is only my gear in the car!
So that is the preparation done. Once at retreat, make sure the desk you are working on is at the right height for you. You will be sitting for a long hours, so to avoid back ache work out desk and chair heights. Also check the lighting over your work area. I have a portable OT light I take with me just in case the lighting is sub par. Fortunately Creative Dreams is set up for card makers and the lighting is excellent as you can see below.
Set your desk up with your most used items in easy reach. Up on the bench if you can to save bending down at awkward angles to retrieve products. If there is space set up your die cutting machine in a convenient nearby spot. This will make you get up out of your seat and moving.
Be warned things will start of neat and tidy but soon become very spread out! Here’s our setup on unpacking on our arrival.
Here is our space after three days of crafting!
Do plan some daytime outings to have a break from being indoors. We headed into the town and shopped. There are some lovely shops in Maldon and i was very pleased with my purchases. We had Devonshire Tea as a treat as well on one outing into town. Maldon Rose Cafe does the most delicious scones!
If you can plan in some time to go out for an invigorating walk. This not only clears the cobwebs by being out in the fresh air, it gives you an appreciation for the area you are staying in. You never know what you may come across. A house around the corner from us had a book library which was fun to explore for an unread new book to read.
Make sure you have your camera or phone camera handy at all times. You never know what might pop up for a photo opportunity. I was preparing dinner and I looked out the window just as a mob of kangaroos bounded into the adjoining property. Out came all our cameras and photos taken with a pretty sunset starting to happen in the background.
Here I am with my fabulous Stampin’ Up! friends. A group shot is a must on any retreat!
One final tip for you! Make sure you are well rested before you leave for retreat. Late night crafting sessions are going to happen. You will stay up no matter how tired you are because you are having so much fun!!!!
Enjoy your retreat and I hope my tips for attending a craft retreat gives you some assistance in having the best time ever!
PS Click here to see the fun from another of our times at Creative Dreams.