The Festivities began Thursday evening at 5:00 at the Sprinhill Suites in Prescott who have been Wonderful to us for 3 Holiday Hideaways and 1 other retreat Tim put on in May, 4 years ago. We all stay there and we have an art room near the lobby. We do our projects, there, have our meals there, gather & visit & laugh & hug & Enjoy.
Mario and Michele had layed out a fabulous buffet of food goodies, and as always, there was a side table of Sweets & Treats. Cindy & Jennifer are our "Drink Elves" and had several Wonderful Christmas drinks for us this year including a White Christmas and a Christmas Mojito. :-) And we made our first project that night, a snow shaker Christmas pin.
By the end of the first night, my cheeks Hurt from laughing so Much. How often does That happen in life!??? :-) From here, every minute was filled with surprises & excitement. I'm sure I might have things out of order & have forgotten to include some things, but here I go:
Friday we began at 10 AM. We are never allowed in or to Look in the room before Tim opens the door as they are getting all of the surprises ready to go. When we enter, we then get to see the project we will be working on and all of the Goodies Tim has ready for us. :-) Also, LEST I forget................throughout the Whole Event, each table has a Gift Elf. When "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year" song goes off..........the Elves go collect Gifts for our whole table. And the song goes off OFTEN! I can't even Believe the gifts we received this year. I have a Long LONG list. I watch The Ellen Show each day & last Thursday & Friday once I got home, I realized she plays the same song with her Twelve Days of Christmas. I couldn't help but Smile & Smile & Smile each time the song came on on her show. It brought me back to the FUN at Holiday Hideaway. :-)
Our First project Friday morning was a vintage necklace. We made roses out of Tims metal flower embellishments which turned out Great! We also made a bracelet using Idea-ology...
Mario cooked up a Wonderful lunch of Italian Sub sandwiches on croissants, potato salad, fruit & brownie bites. The morning drink was a Bloody Mary. The lunch drink today was the Christmas Mojito. Once Full & Content (and Sleepy LOL), we headed back in for our 3rd project of the day which Quickly woke me up & got me back to work. :-) We made Grungeboard roses for this project and layered them on top of vintage velvet that Tim had for us. I didn't quite get this project finished. I got Cute with the swirl by coloring it and adding bling..........And my placement of the flowers leaves me needing to add something above. I need to work on this a little more.
Our Fourth project of the day was a shadowbox. Tim had the hands and hearts for us as well as a table that was covered up when we entered the room. When he pulled the sheet off, there were Tins and Tins of Wonderful vintage items to use with this project that we could pick from. I did not quite finish this project either, but have a handful of vintage goodies I will add after Chrismtas. This was a Fun Project!
Then out to Mario's Wonderful Italian dinner.....Ziti with meatballs and marinara sauce, Chicken parmesan, Green salad with the BEST Balsamic Vinaigrette I've Ever tasted, Parmesan bread sticks and mini cupcakes & brownies. YUM!!!!! The drink of the evening was a White Christmas.
We had 1 more project after dinner, a plaque we made using wood, grunge board images, die cuts, gesso, sanding tools and distress inks. These looked Horrible along the way, but once we were done with them.............they looked like something we might find in an old house or barn & be Thrilled to have found it! Very Very Grunge and Distressed. I Enjoyed this project! I'd Love to make a book cover like this. A couple of weeks before I found some old tin ceiling pieces in a scrapbook/antique store in Lakeside, Arizona while visiting my brother & family in Show Lo. A combination of this technique and those tin ceiling pieces could be Fun. :-) Hope I get a chance in January to try that.
Saturday morning we got started at 10. There were Bloody Mary's And Mimosa's as the morning drinks. And our first project was a Christmas Grungeboard journal to add all of our Holiday Hideaway pictures and moments to. We got the structure of the book done but will add our memories later. We got several different paper stacks to work with. I chose the Graphic 45 which was more vintage.
Saturday Mario made Mexican food for lunch.....Chicken fajitas, little crisp rolled tacos (which I have forgotten the name of as I type), and the drink elves made margueritas. :-) After lunch Tim gave us all an envelope with $20 in it and we descended on the shops of Prescott (Pres"Kit") to buy gifts for our Christmas exchange. We all have favorite stores at this point to head to, then try to buy something without the other people seeing it. We had 1 1/2 hours to choose something, bring it back & have it wrapped. This is Always Stressful when trying to figure out something, and Always So Much Fun that evening when they all get opened. We draw numbers and pick wrapped gifts in order, then can either pick a new gift or take an already opened gift from someone else! People have started forming Alliances to get the Gift they Want! Lots of Laugher & Fun.
But Before that, we start our last project, a layered Christmas canvas. We break for dinner after the first layer of vintage papers, music, journals, etc. Mario has made Barbeque! Barbeque chicken and shredded beef. YUMMY!!! Mario does the BEST barbeque.....Melt in your mouth Great! Dave is still trying to do ribs as good as Mario's! He Might have come close, but I think Mario still Rules. :-) Our food during the Hideaway is Absolutely Fantastic! We do Not go Hungry! ;-)
The drink of the evening is an appletini. :-) We get back to work on our canvases & they are all so Different as with all of our projects. Tim gives us a direction & we all take off with it. I Wish I had pictures of all of the other people's projects! But we get so Busy we hardly stop to breathe let alone walk around. LOL I Loved this project! It too is not quite finished, but here it is.....
We cleared up all of the supplies after this project and then had our Christmas Party. Throughout the event, we Continued to get so Many product gifts, we had More than a full suitcase full by this time. I Tried to write everything down, but by Saturday, the music went off So Often, I couldn't keep track. And Saturday night, after the Christmas party, Shockingly there were still More Gifts! Several more! The Biggest surprise WAS.....the music played, Tim announced that Someone in the room had a ticket taped under their chair......and that person would get a Big Shot!!! Ah, how Naive we all are. We ALL had tickets under our chairs!!!! All 38 of us got Big Shots. Amazing.
There was a final gift that brought tears to my eyes. The final gift was one Tim picked out for all of us. This was made by an artist that Tim met (and my Box is in a larger box being driven home so I don't have the name right now. I will update this once I retrieve that card!) We each got this key with a handblown glass bead around it. I have worn it every day since. :-) A Very Special gift.
Everyone stayed & stayed Saturday night, not wanting to say Goodbye. Lots of Hugs & Hopes to see each other soon. It is Such a Special few days, like nothing else I have ever experienced. I Am so Grateful to have been invited and have become part of this sharing, caring, artistic group of people that I have come to know and care about at this event. Thank you Tim! And Thank you Mario, Michele, Keychain & Kim!! Can't Wait to see you next year. :-)
We all made tags for Tim, Mario and Michele to go along with a gift we gave them after the Christmas party. This was the tag I made.
After a nice nights sleep and finishing up our room treats from the past few days, handmade chocolate pretzels made by Michele as well as another candy that was Delicious as well, Sunday morning we all met in the lobby around 10:30 and headed out to do some shopping in Prescott. We all head to the Newman Gallery (a Great Place owned by Great People!), and the local antique stores. 28 of us met for lunch, then continued shopping until around 4:30, then we all went on to Tim & Mario's house to hang out for awhile. We got to see lots of new products that will be coming out at CHA in January! What I can say is..........get your $$$$ together! There are some GREAT things coming out!!! I have already made my list! :-) New distress ink colors, die cuts, paper stacks................and Tim has a new Book coming out! All to look forward to next year. :-)
We all then came on back to Prescott for a last dinner together at a local restaurant. Then the Final goodbye's were said & off we all went, back to our real lives. With Wonderful memories to take with us. :-)
I actually stayed in Gilbert Arizona to visit my brother & family for a couple of extra days. They probably wish I Hadn't. I just kept Chattering On & On about Holiday Hideaway. Maybe I'll visit them another time of year next year. LOL