Friday, July 1, 2011

Continued Summer Fun

Happy Friday Everyone,

One of my restful places.

I have returned from my California vacation with a little color on my face and a well rested self.  Upon returning home was the return to "work" and lots of greetings from the Little Blue House crafters.  What a wonderful group of ladies that visit us each week.  Thank you for the sweet homecoming.

According to Miss Tracy, our crafters have been keeping her and the other LBH Gals very busy.  She has requested that I NOT take another vacation for "28 days". (I keep telling her it was only 13 days, but she insists that it was longer.)

But the summer isn't over yet!  There are still plenty of vacation opportunities coming up for the LBH Gals.  Summer Time also means Retreat Time!!! woohoo!

Scrapbook Retreats that is.  If you have not gone on a scrapbook retreat you are missing out.  For my friends and I it is an annual girls 3-day weekend, at a Bed&Breakfast, in a place "Off Limits" to the regular family routines.  Sometimes we're in a B&B a little close to home and the family will pop in for a visit.  Other times we are out a couple of hours from home. (I will post a list of one's we have visited in another post.)

The reason for the retreat is to craft, Craft, CRAFT!  Usually on our personal family scrapbooks, sometimes other things.  And the best part is we are there with 8-10 of our closest friends, sometimes having the meals prepared for us, this time we are bringing our own food and going out to eat at the local restaurants. mmmmmm!

I have been going on retreats for over 10 years now. I look forward to it every time. It's like Christmas to me.  It feels like it takes forever to get here and then in a blink of an eye the weekend is done.

Over the years I have gone to my retreats prepared and unprepared.  Although I always have fun, the most productive ones have been when I have prepared. 

Today I am going to share with you how I prepare for the most productive time.  You add in your fun after that.

First thing to do is gather the pictures.  DO NOT wait until the retreat gets closer, DO IT NOW!  The reason to gather the pictures early is so that you can go through them, sort them, have time to make enlargements where wanted, and gather the memorabilia that may go along with the pictures. Waiting makes us settle for what we have and who wants to settle for so-so pictures on potentially masterful page LO's.

Next I sort the pictures and gather the memorabilia. I usually have a bag of goodies that go along with pictures from events or vacations and I try to get everything together ahead of time so that I know what it is I have to work with.  This gives me time to recall something that I may be missing and time to find it.
For organizing photos visit this post:

Then I match up paper and embellishments.
If you have been following my blog since January of this year, you may recall the organizational feature the The Little Blue House Gals did to get our stash of stuff ready to use. One of the things I do to prepare is shop my stash. For any paper line that I purchase, I pull coordinating embellishments and ribbons together and put them into Zip Top bags like this. This gives me lots of possibilities to take my page once I have selected the pictures that will go onto that page LO.  The pictures and memorabilia will also go into the zip top and everything is handy and together when you get to your retreat. (If you are a new follower to my blog or the Little Blue House and would like some great tips to get more organized, visit the posts starting in January 2011 and follow the 8 week long organization feature. click the site below to see Week #1.)

Another way to maximize your time is to have page ideas ready to go with your pictures. You can do this by thumbing through scrapbook magazines like Making Memories, Creating Keepsakes, Becky Higgins Sketches, and others for ideas to recreate with your pictures.

There are also a number of websites and blogs that regularly offer pages ideas and sketches. Here are a few.
Stuck On Sketches:
The Color Room:
Inspired Blueprints:

Studio Calico page sketch
 I like to print off these and recreate them when trying to get lots of pictures into my books.  (Remember for those who post your work, that if you are using LO's from designer's sketches to give due credit.)

You can also go to the websites and blogs of the company whose paper line you are using( Lilly Bee Designs, Basic Grey, Bo Bunny, etc.) and look at their galleries. They post the work of their designers and have numerous samples and technique ideas that will help you get the most out of your time. 

These are great time savers because the creating has been done for you.

Of course most of the fun is to allow your creative juices flow and when your with your creative group of friends it is easy to whip your LO's right out, right?!?

Check back for more ideas on getting ready for your next retreat.

Now I have some pictures to prepare for printing.

18 days until retreat time....woohoo!

Happy Crafting!



  1. Welcome back, good to hear you had a relaxing time. Some great tips on preparing for a now to have a look at your links, look forward to seeing your holiday layouts xx

  2. Welcome back - we missed you! Great post today for getting ready for retreats.