A site for my handmade cards, accompanied by my photos and written meanderings which are occasionally witty, often tongue-in-cheek, and rarely profound. Beginning in June 2013, you'll also see lots of NBUS, which is an acronym I coined for Never-Before-Used-Schtuff. Feel free to join in, use the acronym, and use up your NBUS too! Thanks for coming by! Have a beverage and enjoy!

October 29, 2014

Fantastic International Stamping Adventure!

Hello!! As promised, I'm here with the scoop of the day!

To paraphrase Wida in a recent post of hers, and as many of you have discovered in this wonderful card-making community of ours in Blogland, occasional comments and then personal emails over the passage of time create deep and lasting friendships. An innocent sharing, a teasing comment, a few "what ifs?" and before you know it, you're off on a Fantastic International Stamping Adventure (FISA)!! That's what happened to me last week! 

How did it happen? Well, it took over a year to plan and we traveled 20,350 miles (32,558 km) between us to make it happen! Six stamping card artists came together from October 18-25, 2014, at a rented lake house in Prior Lake, (near Minneapolis), Minnesota, USA! It was a marvelous opportunity to meet in real life to get to know each other better and have lots of crafty fun! 

After trying dozens of possible names for our little group, we decided to call ourselves "BABES," which stands for the Benevolent Association of Beloved and Esteemed Stampers! How's that for self-confidence?!

Some of you have seen the sneak peek photo in my last post:
Darnell, Kim, Ardyth, Anita, Bev, Geri
For those of you who wondered if that was my kitchen, ah, that would be a snorting "no!" My kitchen (seen here) is about as big as that island we are standing around in the rented house!

In Alpha Betty order, here are my fellow BABES:
Anita of My Papercraft World came all the way from France!
Ardyth of Maskerade came all the way from Toronto, Canada!
Bev of Happy Dance drove all the way from Racine, Wisconsin!
Geri of Manitoba Stamper drove all the way from guess where? 
Manitoba, Canada!
And Kim of Cupcakes, Cards, and Kim came all the way from 
San Lorenzo, California!
~~~

How lucky was I to be in the company of these stamping super stars for a whole week?! I've been fortunate to know most of them for a couple of years now, some either since I started blogging or they did. The ease with which we settled into our beautiful week together was really no surprise to me. Any onlooker would have thought we'd been meeting like this for years!

I took 273 photos, not counting the ones on my phone, between my week with my sisters (which was fantastical!) and my week with the BABES. I've put some aside for blackmail porpoises, of course, and to save your bumbum from chaffing, I've put some others into collages for you. You're so very welcome!

I'll start you off with a few photos of the house.
You'll see the spectacular views we had from the dining room table in another collage. Bev and Geri both drove, so they brought a lot of the big schtuff, thank goodness. Between the six of us we brought enough craft supplies to open a store!! We all brought two suitcases; one for crafty schtuff, one for clothes. We all agreed we should have brought less clothes, but we sure weren't lacking in product and supplies to keep us happy all week! 

In fact, we had so much schtuff, here is a photo catching Anita under one of the tables to find what she needed!
Okay, continuing, here are a few group photos:
Here are a few individual photos:
Here are a few "day trip" photos.  A highlight was a side trip to a small craft store called Creek Water Designs in Jordan, MN. The owner Mary was absolutely thrilled to have us visit her. That's her store in the middle of the top row. We also stopped for a quick peek at the famous Mall of America. Now we can say we've been there!
Next are a few photos of the scenery around the lake house:
I really had to frain and refrain from posting dozens more. We were so fortunate with the gorgeous  warm weather and extraordinary sunsets!

I must have taken several dozen photos of the Canadian geese landing and swimming in perfect formation on the lake. Ardyth and Geri found this quite amusing as Canadians don't find them quite so charming and think of them as we Americans think of pigeons!
We all agreed that it was sensational seeing a bald eagle fly over the lake!
But the highlight of the fauna was seeing an albino squirrel from the moment we arrived and every day we were there. She became our mascot and we named her "Snowflake!"
(You know the joke where you yell "squirrel" when you have moments of attention deficit disorder? Well, we started yelling "Snowflake" every time one of us forgot what we were doing or otherwise was distracted!) Isn't she something?! You can see her on the tree inside the circle on the photo below. She would hang there and watch us work and play!
Here are a few photos of the cards we made, which will be posted to our blogs in time. We also made craft aprons as a take-away. This photo does not include over a hundred cards that Ardyth and Kim made for their various projects!
Also, Kim brought us supplies to each make one of those adorable PTI felt coin purses! Here I am goofing off and yelling Snowflake every ten minutes. It turns out I can't laugh hysterically and stitch at the same time so I flunked that project! Luckily for me, Miss Kim is very generous and gave me the pretty one she made. (There is no need to mention the fact that Kim's preschoolers make these coin purses without any difficulty! Cough.)
The food needs were handled so well. We decided if we went out to lunch one day, we would stay in for dinner that night and vice versa. We each ordered something that gave us extra to take home for the next meal and the waitresses all kindly gave us separate checks so there were no calculators needed when it came time to pay the bill!

Speaking of food, we were treated like princesses by Bev and Anita. Bev brought us three different and delicious Kringle, which is a traditional Wisconsin specialty.
And Anita brought HOME MADE/GROWN honey, heather, walnut cake, and walnuts all the way from her homestead in France!
Oh, what fun we had! We laughed until we cried. I'm eight years older than any of these young ladies, so sometimes I laughed so hard, the tears ran down my leg! We also had serious discussions, lovely meals together, and learned a lot from each other. This will give you an idea of how compatible we were:
Darnell, Geri, Anita
And finally, here is a favorite photo, kindly taken by a passing stranger, which caught us all giggling about something!
Ardyth, Kim, Darnell, Anita, Bev, Geri
 ~~~

There have been a lot of meetings in real life of blogging stampers in 2014! If you ever get the opportunity to do something like this, GRAB IT!! I'm still pinching myself that we actually pulled it off and came together from different parts of the world!! 

Please make sure you visit the blogs of the other BABES for their comments and photos!

~~~

I will leave you with another autumn card. I made this one as a thank you from all of us to Bev, who was instrumental in making this FISA happen! I want to say a special thanks, too, to Geri for letting us use her car and gas all week long!
For this one I took a black pen and hand-drew lines to give the leaves some definition. I saw this idea on other blogs recently to give definition to watercoloring, but I don't remember who to credit for the idea. If you know, please tell me so I can edit this post to give proper credit. I thought it added a lot to the image, which is by Rubbernecker.com (846).

~~~

Thank you for waiting with bated breath for this post and bearing with me all the way to the end!!

Enjoy your day! No, seriously, enjoy.  LITS!* 
Still not unpacked!

As always, thank you for coming by to visit the Playhouse and special thanks to you if you take the time to leave a comment and/or join as a follower! Please let me know you came by, so I can be sure and return the flavor!

 
*Life Is Too Short!

To open the pop-up comment box that let's you jump to the end w/o scrolling:
Click CTL + Home. 
Click the Home tab under my blog banner which resets the post.
Click Page Down to reach the end of the post.
Click Comments and the pop-up box opens.
Click Jump to Comment Form; no more car pool tunnel!
Mwah!

103 comments:

Betty Keefe said...

BABES sounds like the most fun ever - wish i had a group like that. and you couldn't have been in a more beautiful setting than minnesota in the fall.

!neke said...

So you enjoyed it ! Babes sounds good !
Thanks for this post, I loved it !
greetings from the Netherlands

Ineke

Ardyth Percy-Robb said...

Amazing selection of photos! It was so wonderful having the opportunity to meet and hangout with you all! Hey, let's do it again! lol!

Happy Dance said...

Oh Honeygirl!!! Your post makes me want to start the vacation all over again. What a time...what an adventure...what a fantastic group of women. Our trip holds a very, very special place in my heart, and I'm blessed to say that I KNOW you all in person. xo Bev

sandie said...

Wow what a cool set of photos, you girls sure had some fun...we are all super jealous and want to do this now!!

Becca Cruger said...

I'm so jealous! That looks like an incredible amount of fun. I can see why you like that last photo so much - you have such a sense of humor and quirkiness and it looks like these ladies do, too!

I can't wait for more of your beautiful cards to be revealed. I'm sure you're pooped and in need of some R&R. My email address, by the way, is bexcruger@gmail.com. I have remedied the unfortunate lack of contact information.

Loll Thompson said...

Wow ... what an amazing adventure you all had. And what a fun time. Congrats on organizing this wonderful time together. Pictures and memories to last a life time. Such a beautiful spot where you met and stayed for the week. How inspiring to look at the lake each day.

Gorgeous thank you card for Bev ... love the plaid card front ... perfect for an autumn card. And your doodling adds so much. Looking forward to seeing more of your cards and pictures ... and those of the others. Lolly xx

Karren said...

Looks like a fabulous time was had by all! Congrats on making your wishes a reality!

Tracey McNeely said...

What an incredible post Darnell, I love all the warmth of your words and the fabulous photos of the get together I would have loved to be a part of!!Truly an vacation/retreat you will NEVER forget. So happy for all of you and glad you had a wonderful time!! xoxo

LauraJane:) said...

Holy Smokers looks like you all had FUN!!

Anita in France said...

Oh, Darnell, I vote you as Chronicler Extra-ordinaire ... reading your post and seeing all those amazing photo's (some never before seen!!) was like re-living it all as though it was just last week ... oh, wait ... it was!! What a joy it was to share such a special week with you ... wonderful memories forever! Hugs, Anita :)

Cathy said...

Looks like you had a wonderful time Darnell, gorgeous pics, and loads of inspiration, Cathy x

(AJ) ArtJypsy said...

Looks like you ladies had a wonderful time crafting/hanging out together and at a beautiful location no less.

Harriet Skelly said...

Wow Darnell - looks like the trip was awesome - love the scenery as well! I am so glad you had a great time! Renting a house is a super idea - one that I'll bring up with my stamping group. I hope you remembered to give hugs from me to the others!!

Harriet Skelly said...

Wow Darnell - looks like the trip was awesome - love the scenery as well! I am so glad you had a great time! Renting a house is a super idea - one that I'll bring up with my stamping group. I hope you remembered to give hugs from me to the others!!

Suze Bain said...

What a great post Darnell. Fun, food and friends! I bet your cheeks (both kinds) were sore from laughing. Lol! I'm having a lazy night in front of the TV so I'm off to visit the Babes I'm not familiar with! Xx

Kristie Goulet said...

Looks like so much fun, Darnell! So happy you were all able to do this together. Thank you for sharing. I loved reading all of your posts!

Stephanie K said...

It is SO much fun to get together with other crafty friends. It looks like you all had a fabulous time!! Thanks for sharing your experience. :)

Lin said...

I am so jealous, Darnell! But not surprised at all that your week together was such a success; stampers are wonderful people! Thanks so much for the fantastic photos.

Neets B said...

Fabulous, so glad you guys had the chance to meet up and have such a great time. There's nothing better than sitting in your PJs with fab company and laughting 'til it hurts! Wonderful photos for you to treasure :)

Sammy said...

Oh Darnell, what a fantastic idea, and I'm so pleased you all had such a great time!
And the house you were staying in is beyond gorgeous... My house would have fit into that kitchen!! x

Vickie Z said...

Wonderful!!! Love all the pics and such a beautiful place to stay! I have done a long WE with stamping friends but, oh a whole week would be fantastic!!

Kate said...

Great great post such lovely pictures it looks like you all had ball together :)
Kate xx

Kathyk said...

OMG! What a wonderful post - you must have had an absolute blast.

Isn't that mall of America something? Do they still have the "mall rat" you can stick your head through for a photo? And do they still have the little rubber stamp store in there too?

FAB PIX - thanks for sharing

Kathyk

Sue said...

WOW! I really enjoyed reading about your special trip. It sounds like you had an amazing time full of so much fun. Thank you for sharing your fabulous photos.
hugs Sue xx

MRS DUCK said...

Hi Darnell
Looks like you had a wonderful time.
Some of my lovely blogging friends are flying down from Scotland next week so a few of us can go to a big craft show and then have a meal together. Happy times eh?
Love the card too.
Best wishes.
Ang x

JulieB said...

Wow what a week of crafty goodness you all had. I'm soo jealous stuck out here in the Shropshire sticks. Just got back from my Wednesday class with my best mate. Shame it's 2 hours plus and an over night stay but I would really miss not seeing her and I haven't found a class around here yet. :)

Pollard Carole said...

Wonderful fab photos and what a great week you all had. I'm in love with snowflake so cute Love and hugs Carole x

Patti J said...

What a wonderful week you had, Darnell! Thanks for sharing all of the photos with us. Loved them! When we travel, my wonderful hubby always makes time for me to meet, craft shop, or create with online friends, and it's such a blessing to meet these amazing people! So happy you got to do this!

Lynn said...

Oh Darnell...this post just makes my heart happy. So wonderful for all of you to make this happen.

Linda said...

WOW!!!! What a great idea .... looks like you all had a ball, and what a beautiful setting too. Fabulous photos by the way .... Snowflake is gorgeous! We don't have squirrels on the Isle of Man, so it's always nice to see pictures of the cute little things.
Bet you can't wait to do it all again!! Hugs ... Linda xx

Kim Heggins said...

Oh my goodness Darnell, you are just amazing and as always I love reading your take on our trip, so much amazing and fun detail including the tears running down you legs, I was going to say that on my post but thought you might not like it so I am happy that you wrote it. I love all the wonderful photos you posted, so many incredible memories!

Di said...

Ooooh how wonderful Darnell!! Great photos of what was obviously one very special week indeed. And I think that 'Snowflake' was the star of a wonderful show here!!

Hugs

Di xxx

aileen (mum) said...

Ohhh my goodness Darnell you had a brilliant time. Love snowflake, liveing in Australia we dont have squirrels or at least I dont think we do. Our equivelant would be possums I think. And a white one, how wonderful. You all look like you had the best time. So glad you shared.

aileen (mum) said...

Ohhh my goodness Darnell you had a brilliant time. Love snowflake, liveing in Australia we dont have squirrels or at least I dont think we do. Our equivelant would be possums I think. And a white one, how wonderful. You all look like you had the best time. So glad you shared.

Lisa said...

I'm so happy for all of you and this wonderful opportunity!! I'm also grateful you shared it with us ;)

Sarah Gray said...

What a fab post and wonderful photos - so good to see the BABES get together!! It sounds like an amazing trip and I am sure you all have lots of memories to cherish :)

KT Fit Kitty said...

Oh what fun! I really enjoyed this! And the white squirrel has stolen my heart and I had to call Brian to the computer so he could see it too - he loves squirrels! A wonderful get-together and I'm so glad you all had fun! Thank you for sharing!

Craftychris said...

What a cool time you all had! It must have have been so awesome to spend time together, it looked brilliant fun! Fab photos too, thank you for sharing! Your card is fabulous! xxx

Lindsey said...

Such an amazing time you BABES had! Thanks for sharing... the stamping world is a very fine world, isn't it? :D

Rahmat said...

I bet it was fun more fun than it looks here in pictures, the pictures already look like you all are having a great time! Great to see some crafty ladies meeting in real time...and what a beautiful card Darnell....this time I looked more at the other pictures ;)

Karen Mead said...

Your trip sounded wonderful Darnell and what a lovely bunch of ladies to meet up with - thanks for sharing all your photos with us and it's lovely to have you back - hugs xx

Susanne Vargas said...

Oh my, from reading all your posts (I am following all of you already) I can tell that you have had the time of your lives! You are such lucky girls and I am so happy that you made it happen! Thanks for all the fun pictures and stories!

Helen F. said...

WOW! What a fabulous idea! I can just imagine how much laughing there was among you BABES all week long. Looks like a very compatible group of ladies. The photos are awesome, thank you so much for sharing your wonderful adventure!

Melissa said...

BABES, indeed! You're all adorable!!! :) Looks like A LOT of fun...I can only imagine that house heard the most laughter it ever has with such a group residing within its walls! Thanks for sharing your photos! That squirrel is amazing!!!

Greta said...

Wow, Darnell--what an amazing & wonderful experience! So glad it worked out--easy to dream of something like this but never put all the details together so it actually happens! Your Fall card is lovely--I could never add the lines like that--looks great!

Lyndal said...

It's such FABULOUS fun getting crafty with friends!!! Looks like you all had a blast Darnell :) :) :)

Jessi Fogan said...

How incredibly amazingly wonderful! The few times I've met blogging friends IRL it's been an instant love - we really do get to know each other well online, and fall right into the same comfort in person. I'm so excited for you guys that you had such a great time!
Also, SNOWFLAKE! rofl

Inkyfingers said...

What an amazing thing to happen, and I'm so glad you all had a wonderful time. Love the photos of the trip , especially the eagle and albino squirrel, and the crafts you all produced look wonderful. Isn't blogging wonderful to be able to bring people from all over the world together like this? If you want to include the UK in your next adventure - I want first dibs!
Great to have you back.
Hugs
Carol x

Inkyfingers said...

Oh Snowflake! I forgot to mention your lovely thank you card

Inkyfingers said...

Which was gorgeous and I love the doodling technique - it really brings the tree to life.

Vicky Hayes said...

Bless you and the BABES Darnell! Wherever you are, magical things happen! Vicky x

SARN said...

Well Darnell . . . it looks like EVERYONE had so much crafty fun and friendship on your meet up, including Snowflake!

Thanks for sharing the experience with us.

Hugs, Sarn xxx

Chriss Blagrave said...

Oh Darnell, what can I say...i LOVE that you all got together in a colorful season and had Snowflake watching over the BABES group! You must have critter magnets and I think that is a wonderful thing!
All of your photos that you have shared convey the happy times and commararderie that flowed from blog land to real life! It must have been magical and I am so happy that you are sharing with us!
Big hug❤️ Chriss

Em Louise Fairley said...

Absolutely stunning photos. So glad you got to spend time together :) xxx

Ros Crawford said...

What a lovely post! You Babes look fabulous and I'm so glad you had the best time ever!

Brenda in IN said...

What a wonderful thing to meet up with stamper friends from all over. Your rental home looks beautiful with gorgeous scenery. I can tell by the pictures that you all had a great time with lots of laughter and great food. I'm happy you're back but truly happy you were able to have that wonderful experience. I love your thank you card to Bev. Outlining those leaves really made them pop.

Paper Creations by Shirley said...

WOW what a fabulous post of an amazing and special vacation with a group of happy ladies. I'm blown away by the distance that everyone traveled and how much everyone brought with them. Your photographs are fantastic, thanks for sharing :) Hugs, Shirleyxx

Bobby said...

Love all the photos and smiling faces. What a treasured time that must have been. You don't look any older than the rest, and age is only a number anyway (until the body tells you differently). ;) Glad you all had safe travels and some productive crafting time.

Jacquie Southas said...

Thanks for sharing your wonderful adventure! I think you all need to incorporate BABES and market retreats internationally :)

Laura Norris said...

What a fantastic week you had! So wonderful that you could make it happen, and no surprise that you all felt like you had been doing it for years! Beautiful location too. Thanks for sharing with us.

Pia S said...

Sounds like a wonderful week you've had together!
Lovely autumn card, that sure is some beautiful water coloring, and you're right about the black lines for definition...

conil said...

What an incredible, fun opportunity. And the group was really diverse. Don't worry about "accidents". The question is, would you be willing to give up some craft supply space for a box of Depends? Hmmmm?

icardeveryone01 said...

You have us all wishing we'd been the fly on the wall, Darnell. You are all so incredible, and incredibly lucky for this week.
=] Michele

Princess Judy Palmer said...

Great autumn card, but it is overshadowed by all the other photos and descriptions of great times.

Redanne said...

I love your amazing post Darnell, it is so lovely to see so many crafting ladies enjoying themselves together! Love the picture of Snowflake too, how wonderful. I did smile at you all going to a craft shop for a day out - I hope you all left things for other people to buy - lol. Hugs, Annie xx

Geri said...

Okay....the bugger blogger ate my comment! And I had it worded so nicely!

Your pics are amazing! I love the picture collages that you created! Quite a few new pics that must have been on your camera! Love the eagle (I hope I have him on my camera when it arrives).

Good thing I wasn't swallowing a sip of coffee when I read about the 'tears running down your leg'...you are soooooo funny and such an amazing lady! I'm so glad we got to hang out together and can hardly wait for trip #2!

BTW - the face lotion is absolutely decadent and if I didn't know better, I would likely spread the stuff on a cracker and snarf it down!

cm said...

Darnell, the photos and stories you BABES have written about your epic, dream-of-a-lifetime adventure are inspiring, delightful, heart-warming and heart-melting! Well worth the 'bated breath' waiting! I see six amazing friends crafting up a storm and building a strong, solid foundation of companionship, with LOVE infused in every moment you spent together. Friends forever, indeed! I consider myself blessed that each one of you is part of my life, and it is all the richer because of that. My dream: at some future point to be part of this extraordinarily special group when you meet 'in real life' once again. Mega-watt smile and heart singing with joy...Thank you for inviting us to be part of this momentous event!
Hugs~c

shirley-bee said...

What a blast you must have had, Darnell. I've loved seeing all your photos, it's obvious you all hit it off like old friends. Bet you can't wait for the next one!

Sharon Underwood said...

Looks like you had a wonderful trip! It would be so nice to meet some of my computer crafty friends!

Marybeth said...

OMG tears ran down your leg now you have me laughing out loud again! Oh this looks like the best trip ever! I am so happy for you all! What a great group of talent and kindness ! The place looks great! Thank you so much for sharing so many pictures.
Amazing trip you were all so blessed to have. Was there a card in you post I am sure it was gorgeous. Off to look again.
Hugs!

Jeanne said...

Wonderful post, Darnell. Am so jealous. FYI - I live in MN quite near MOA and my daughter lives in Prior Lake! Glad you had a good time here; yes, it's been great weather and colorful too.

Jean Straw said...

Wow Darnell, looks like you all had a fabulous time. Thank you for sharing you wonderful photos.
Jean x

Shelly said...

WOW.OH, WOW. Looks like y'all had an AMAZING and FUN time!!! :) Thanks for sharing some pics! And your card is gorgeous! Drawing those lines...genius!

Virginia Lu said...

I am a little late to the BIG party...I am so happy that you BABES all got to meet! This is such a fun and fabulous post, Darnell! Stamping friends are the BEST! I am sure you got the full dose of it now! HUGS!

Vicki Dutcher said...

HOW FUN FOR THE BABES!!! Thanks for sharing your photos it really felt like I was there too :)

Bonnie said...

What fun!!!! Thanks for sharing your adventures and this beautiful card! Love the tree and the plaid paper!

laurie said...

Wow... that looked like fun! So glad you had a great time here "up north" in Minnesota. We don't care for geese either...they make a stinky mess of our beach!

Linda said...

Wow, this looked like so much fun. It is so amazing that people can get together for the first time and it seems they have been friends forever. That is the beauty of blogland. Meeting so many neat ladies...Great pictures. TFS...

frommycraftroom said...

Sounds like an amazing week. Thanks for sharing all the amazing pics.
Look forward to you sharing your creations.
Did you say Ardyth made 100 cards in a week? Amazing.

Patti said...

Fantabulous post!! LOVE all the pictures!!! : ) what a blessing I know it was for each of you!!!

Patti

Petra Swart said...

Oh, Darnell, how great this week must have been to all of you!! Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful photos and letting us enjoy it with you!!

Caz said...

It looks like you had so much fun :-) And in such a lovely place too!! I've never been to the uSA but I do hope to visit one day!! I'd also love to be in a room with so many craft supplies :-P

baileyrosy.com said...

I was wondering where you where and now I know !!!!! OMG how wonderful, after having a similar experience this year with craft friends I know how wonderful this can be. You all look amazing and the house and setting are so beautiful and look really peaceful .I agree about grabbing the moment, for me meeting up with Florence and Kylie was the opportunity of a lifetime . Such a lovely warm post Darnell and thank you for allowing us to take part .

Marie

Brenda said...

Wow, what a amazing get together you ladies had! I couldn't think of a group that well suited to be together if I tried!! You ladies looked like you have the most fabulous time together. I can't believe you were the oldest Auntie, but I can join you with the tears running down you leg part! lol I loved seeing your pictures and would love to see more. My favorite that you posted is of course the scenery and the one picture: speak no evil, hear no evil and see no evil! lol That was too cute! I love your little mascot, it's not everyday that you see an albino squirrel. The eagle is amazing. The geese, well we have a million of them in our fields and flying over all the time, so they aren't as exciting to me as I see them all the time. How cool that you ladies got to go to the Mall of America! Fun!! I sure hope you ladies can make a tradition of getting together ever so often. You can tell how relaxed you all are with each other and the love of sisterhood within you all. Very special meet up for sure!!! Hugs, Brenda

Peggy in Mentone said...

Shoot, age is only a number and obviously has no effect on the fun factor! I LOVED reading about your fabulous week with the BABES. Your pictures chronicling the event were outstanding! You captured the essence of exactly how wonderful a get together like that could be, and I am so happy that all of you were able to have that kind of quality time together in such an AMAZING place! Thank you for sharing it with us all. About your card...I was just at convention and had that very tree in my hot little hands but put it back. I love the detail you put in and your coloring of it ROCKS!(as does pairing it with the plaid). SO glad you had an amazing time away from your playhouse. We all got to take part of the trip with you, thanks to your wonderful photography.

Claire said...

LOVED reading about your get together Darnell! How amazing that you girls managed to get together when you all live so far apart. Looks like you had a blast! Maybe you should make it an annual retreat.....

nwilliams6 said...

What a totally fun post Darnell. How wonderful you could all get together like this and from so many different places. Wow. Love that squirrel too. Lovely stories. Hugz

KayM said...

Oh Darnell, what a wonderful post of your amazing adventure with the BABES!! I am so envious!! How fun it must have been to be able to get together with those wonderful stamping friends and so so many fun things! I can't believe the albino squirrel! What a rare and interesting thing to see. Next time you guys plan one of these things, can I come??? haha! Thanks so much for sharing this with us all! And thanks for stopping by my blog too. Life and stamping has me so busy, that I can't get around to catch up with all of my friends like I would like. ((Hugs my friend!))

Tracy said...

How fantastic! I am so curious how you picked our wonderful Prior Lake for your gathering?
This is one of the most beautiful falls we have ever had, I'm so glad we were able to give you such beautiful weather.
Thank you for sharing such an inspiring story!

Gerrina said...

Super reading and super fun photos! So jelous at you all; I started last month to plan to get more together with bloggers in the Netherlands and Belgium that I know...
Love the way you used the Autumncolours on that fresh card! Hugs, Gerrina

Buttons said...

Meeting up with online friends is just the best and it really looks like you had a fantastic time together Darnell. Until the next one!... Jenny x

Barb Ghig said...

Welcome home, Darnell! I apologize for my late post, but I wanted to be sure to stop by and read this post :)

BABES is the perfect name for your amazing group! I'm sure it was the most fun ever, and I can't wait to see more pics in future posts! Hooray for girlfriends!!!

Kim S said...

What an AMAZING experience for each of you!!! You all are such a talented group - but more importantly, you are each SO nice!!! BABES sounds just right!

Kelly Griglione said...

Darnell, you lucky girl, you!! I'm sure you were probably the ring leader to get this group together, and I really enjoyed reading your detailed post. And what, Ardyth and Kim made more than 100 cards? That's just plain crazy! I'm quite sure I haven't made 100 cards all year. Your photo of the eagle is amazing, as is the albino squirrel ... he's quite famous now, isn't he?!

Shona Chambers said...

I'm so jealous!!! How wonderful to get together in person with these wonderful 'blog friends' and find they are even more spectacular in person! I love looking at all of the photos, what a beautiful place you stayed at and the squirrel is adorable. And all those crafting supplies, be still my heart!!! So many laughs and things you learnt from each other, you will never forget it. And I bet your already planning the next one too!

Leslee said...

What a remarkable adventure you embarked on! Kudos to the one who organized it all! So glad you were able to meet up and enjoy each others company.

Karen Petitt said...

Am so very, very jealous! Gorgeous photo's and fabulous leafy creations, not sure what the Kringle is and how did Anita manage to get that honey through customs?!
I love the photo's of Snowflake but really jealous of the fabulous fun you must all of had! Thank you for sharing Darnell Karen x

Neet said...

This is absolutely FANTASTIC!
Hugs to you all
Neet xx

maria f. said...

Where to start... I'm sure Mary of Jordan, MN has taken the rest of the year off thanks to you BABES. I knew there would be lots of wildlife to peruse on your post. (If you stepped in any goose poo on the lawn you'll now understand why they're worse than pigeons.) Especially since you were probably barefoot (what up with that CA girl?) So happy for you to have made this happen. I'm jealous, but flashing back to my bday shindig with college pals after 30 years. Definitely worth making it happen. Hugs.

Viv said...

Oh wow Dee what a fabulous you all had by the looks of it. I can still hear all the laughing too!Great photo's thanks for sharing, I felt I was there too. I love snowflake, isn't he the cutest!! ;) Viv xx

Sue Rose said...

What an awesome idea! I agree with Ardyth & Geri, though, geese a nuisance! How awesome that you saw a bald eagle and even got a great shot of him. I'm glad you didn't spend the whole week inside the house and you visited Mall of America and the local stamp store, too. Mall of America is worth visiting at least once.

Linda said...

Oh wow, Darnell, you all look like you had so much fun and even got a lot of crafting done. Aren't crafting friends the best?