Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Bertram Inn 2009

*Warning: Picture heavy!*
We came, we saw, we scrapped...
And we vowed, "What happens at the Bertram, stays at the Bertram."

Last weekend, I had the pleasure of hosting 42 women at the second annual Fall Retreat at the Bertram Inn. Really hard to put words to my experience. I returned on Sunday night, feeling completely exhausted, yet totally re-energized and excited to create even more...

Most everyone arrived early afternoon on Friday and set up camp. There is a beauty to having your own 6' table when you crop, leaving it whenever you want to eat or chat, and returning to it. There were also empty spots where folks could set up their computers, printers, Cricut Machines and supplies. The ladies were generous and shared their supplies and stories and lives with not only me, but each other.
Lots of friends reconnected, and lots of people made new friends, too...
The food was heavenly. And even though you can't tell in these photos, the weather was amazing! Many enjoyed lunch on the patio on Saturday (not common in northeast Ohio in the middle of November, for sure.)

One of my roomies, Melissa. I barely saw her because she's an early bird and I'm a night owl. I love my Willow Trader friends for sure!!

And Tami gets the prize for traveling the farthest. She joined us all the way from Las Vegas!! It is really something when you get the chance to meet folks you chat with online. I have got to know Tami over at Willow Traders and Get it Scrapped, and chatting with her in the wee hours of the morning was a hoot...

(Next year, I will not permit photos of me to be taken after crying and thanking everyone. But after 3 days of bonding in pajamas mostly, it doesn't really matter after a while, ya know?)

There were a total of 10 classes. There are bits and pieces of 2 class kits left. I brought two huge bins of page kits (I only sell them locally, not online) and I left with a total of eight. Lots of kits on clearance, and advance selling of the December kits. It was fun to get feedback in person (a rarity for me!).

The most popular item and class was the December Daily album. Tis the season! The same class was also the most popular last year...

My WT pals. They are such an amazingly talented group of ladies, each with their own story. L to R--Sandy, Linda, Tami, Melissa and Cammy. Thanks for traveling, for your friendship, for sharing your stories and swapping supplies. You guys are just wonderful!!

I did mention the food, right? Not sure which was my favorite...the cookies, the rolls, the late night sundae bar on Saturday, or the pasta...

The worker bees...

Happy to see so many women taking time for themselves, sharing and laughing and yes, even crying some too...

And my new bff Barb from Wooster turned me on to these. Oh. My. They are heavenly. Meeting Barb and Jill was also a huge kick for me. Next time, our friend Veronica must join in on the fun...
I'm so glad you all came...

Iced Cinnamon chip cookies
1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 package (10 ounces) cinnamon baking chips
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup shortening
1-1/4 cups confectioners' sugar
1 tablespoon milk
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. Fold in cinnamon chips.
Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls 2 in. apart onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 350° for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to wire racks to cool.
In a small bowl, combine icing ingredients; beat on high speed for 1-2 minutes or until fluffy. Spread over cooled cookies. Yield: about 3-1/2 dozen.
Lots of special thank yous to a ton of people here, so bear with me. I truly know that this event is made special by all you who give me feedback, help out with all you do, and support me in putting this event on. I am always amazed by women and their capacity to reach out and help. I'm very blessed for sure.
Jeanie (my sweet friend in the first picture at the top), your water bottles with the weekend motto were over-the-top. I love you and your signature color...PINK. Thank you for putting such care into them for all of us to enjoy.
Mary Ann (my sweet friend and roomie in the second photo), thank you for showing up and pitching in all the time, never expecting a thing in return for all your hard work. Your help in hauling, helping others, working when I was out, and hello--sharing your SUPPLIES with everyone--I can't thank you enough. You are someone very special to me and I love you.
Becci & Carla--thank you for your help in unloading and organizing. Your attention to detail, your thoughtfulness in sending me photographs--you are wonderful beyond measure. Thank you for being so helpful to me!!
Cammy, Tami, Linda, Jill, and Barb--thank you for traveling to attend the weekend crop. I really hope you enjoyed yourselves, and I hope you can join us again. Thank God for the internet so we can all stay connected, right? You guys are wonderful!
Molly--thank you for taking my camera so I could have pictures, and posing with a funny face with me...
Katie, Tina & Janet--thank you for sharing your personal stories with me and the other ladies. We love you and honor you as friends, and as mothers, and your friendship enriched our experience, whether you're aware of that or not. You bring your stories and scrapbooking to a personal level that puts a lump in my throat, and we are better for knowing you.
Tina & Deb--You rocked that hot cocoa mix, ladies!! Thank you so much for putting those together with such love and attention to detail. When's the next trip to the Ashery?
Laina & Tina--Thanks for representing the design team and Work in Progress Kits. So many of the ladies complimented you to me--I hope you know how much it means that you came and shared yourselves with us for the weekend.
Jen--Thank you for always being there and keeping me focused and sane. God, I love you.
Karen & Laura--Man, those photo cubes ROCK. Thank you for searching store after store, making phone calls and running all over to get them for all of us. I plan on doing a post on these babies all by themselves. Thank you for thinking of us when you saw them--everyone loved them!!
To whomever invented Diet Coke--Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for keeping me awake.
To the ladies at my dinner table on Saturday--and you know who you are--thank you for the laughter, the discussion, the personal stories of incontenience (yes, at the dinner table), and the insanity of it all. My lips are sealed. hahaha...
To all who attended, thank you for sharing your time with me. Your support of me and this business is truly immeasurable, and I treasure your friendship. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
And last, but certainly not least, to my sister Chrissy...thank you for being there. Your hard work, attention to detail, superior math skills and organization made this all possible. I'm so glad we get to share Thickers!! :) You are the best sister on the planet, and spending time with you while doing all this was a total kick. I totally couldn't have done this without you--I love ya!!
Looking forward to doing this again next year, too...
And for those of you who are interested in joining us for local crops, I've updated the schedule for the next few months into 2010 here.
More project sharing in tomorrow's post...


Laina Lamb said...

Everyone needs to be BFFs with Barb from Wooster. The cookies are to DIE for. Can't wait until next year.

Carrie said...

We should be thanking you! All the time and effort that went into planning, not to mention the great little gifts! I had a great time-plan next year's soon!

Ryzmomplus2 said...

I agree on thanking Trish! What an awesome weekend it was and OMG I just love that picture I got of you and Molly.... hahahahha

Truly a great group of women!

Vanessa, Florida, USA said...

How fun!!! So sorry I missed it this year, as we had a blast in 2008... hope we can make it back to Ohio for 2010! You're the best, Trish! HUGS!!!

Veronica said...

Barb and Jill had so much fun..I really do need to go next year!

pickmepam said...

oh, wow! i wish i could have been there! looks like way too much fun!
hi maryann! hi kathy! i see you guys in the photos!
can't wait to get started on my daily! woo-hoo!