Monday, 19 October 2009

Tired Feet & Teddy Bears!


Well ... that title may sound a little strange, but it sums up my weekend!! You see, I was one of the teachers at the annual Creative Craft Retreat held at Perseverance Dam and organised by the Toowoomba Community Baptist Church Women's Ministries. I was teaching two of my bear patterns ...


"NighttimeNara Bear" and ...


The two versions of buccaneer bears that are in the "Morgan The Pirate Bear" pattern.

So ... Friday evening saw around 50 ladies head north of Toowoomba to the Perseverance Recreational Centre - most people were sleeping over, but since life is so busy for me at the moment, I figured that even with the 40 minute drive to and from the camp site, I'd still get more sleep by travelling home each day to sleep in my own bed. Yes ... I AM a sooky-la-la when it comes to sleeping in MY bed! :0)

As soon as we had gone through the "Welcome To Camp" and other preliminaries, the mad bear people gathered up the back of the hall. Hmmm ... isn't it usually the NAUGHTY kids who sit up the back of the classroom?!?! :0) Seven ladies had signed up for a teddy bear adventure with me and we got going pretty quickly, as we knew time would slip away from us before we knew it. Here is the first flurry of action as everyone started to cut out the bear bits ... no, no, no! Not BARE bits ... BEAR bits! This is a 'PG' rating blog, remember! :0)


They look very industrious, don't they?!


Hmmmm ... how many legs does a bear need???

So when we got going on Saturday morning, everyone was keen and raring to go. There were bear limbs to be machine stitched ...



... and some hand stitching to tackle ...


... and all soon discovered that although some of the processes of bear making are a bit fiddly, they are easier to comprehend when someone SHOWS you what to do and achievable. By the end of Saturday's stitching, everyone had their bear put together and most people were just about ready to give their bear a face, before making some clothes to keep them warm.

We took a break from sewing Saturday night and played a hilarious game that didn't actually have a name, but was a cross between pictionary and dominoes. We broke into four groups, with each group being handed a texta pen and a large piece of paper. Leanne, who ran the game, then gave a starting letter, like "P" and once the timer went, the first team member had to draw something STARTING with that given letter, then the next person was handed the texta and had to draw something that started with the LAST letter of the previous word. It was a lot of fun and there was probably more laughing than drawing, but the team I was part of won by a few points. Of course, there were a few good natured grumbles that our team SHOULD have won ... since we had three of the five craft teachers on our team! Tee! Hee! Hee!

Sunday morning, we enjoyed an interesting and thought-provoking talk by one of Toowoomba's school Chaplains, Julie Inskip. Julie shared about a very difficult event in her life in two ways, reminding us that we can sometimes focus only on the negative in any situation, which causes us to miss the daily blessings that God gives us. Then, we once again hit the sewing machines - and it was weighing on many people's minds that we were running out of stitching time and they REALLY wanted to take home a FINISHED bear. There were a few frustrated tears when machines didn't co-operate and a few mutterings under the breath when lace or seams wouldn't sit the way they should, but at the end of the day, there were some gorgeous new 'bearbies' born into the world!


Here's Ellen with her version of Nara - I think she called here 'bearbie' Lucy. Doesn't she look sweet in her pretty pink floral nighty??


Bronwyn's version of 'Olive Bear' (my first towelling bear pattern that Bron bought a couple of years ago at the Craft Retreat!) isn't as rustic as my original version - she turned out to be a lovely neat little lady who looked ready for a Victorian tea party. Well done Bron!


After a few frustrations with uncooperative lace, Natalie's little bear turned out to be a cutie!


And doesn't Tanya's finished Buccaneer Bear look dashing in his lairy red trousers and grey jacket!! Look out Cap'n Jack Sparrow!


Lyn had to leave early, so her buccaneer bear didn't quite get finished, but you can see he's well on his way to competing for Cutest Pirate status with Tanya's bear! :0)

And mother and daughter team Wendy and Cassie didn't quite get to finish their bears either - but they had a REALLY good reason - they were kept busy caring for the youngest member of our class ...


Here's 5 week old Isaac with Grandma Wendy. He was such a well-behaved little bloke - and about the same size as the bears! Tee! Hee! Hee! We had a wonderful weekend of stitching, chatting and laughing - thanks for taking a walk on the furry side of the force with me, girls!! And of course, no craft retreat would be complete without a group photo ...


Can you see me??? Those of you who said "YES" better get your eyes checked ... who do you think was taking the photo?!?! Tee! Hee! Hee! I did jump in for the official camp photo after I'd taken this one - and I even took my sunnies off for it! :0)

I really enjoyed being part of the Creative Craft Retreat again this year. I absolutely LOVE teaching people to make my 'bearbies'! It's fabulous to watch people who start the class thinking it will be so hard and who aren't sure they can make a bear progress through the time to realise that not only that they CAN make a bear, but that they HAVE!! The excitement on faces that light up when that little 'bearbie' is 'born' is so very special and I love to help facilitate that discovery.
BUT ...

After two days of standing and walking around helping as I taught ... my feet are KILLING ME!!! I came home last night and soaked them in lovely hot water laced with peppermint essential oil in the ol' foot spa, which helped, but they're still a bit tender today. Think I'll just go make myself a cup of cinnamon tea and put my feet up this afternoon ... will think about doing something productive tomorrow! :0) Hope your weekend was as much fun as mine! Til next time ...

BEAR HUGS!

CHEERS!
KRIS

8 comments:

Farmyard Crafts said...

Sounds like it was a great retreat! Julie is always great for a laugh... used to run the MOPS group I went to. Awesome lady!! AND... Tanya... the photo of Tanya with her finished bear... that's my COUSIN! Weird that we know all the same people!!

Linda Lilly Cottage said...

Yes indeed it sounds like you had a great time and I am not sure if it is just me but those bears and their creators look remarkably similar...look have a look, their books look like them,.....so strange and soooo cute.
Enjoy your little rest and cuppa, speak to you soon, kiss noises Linda

Linda Lilly Cottage said...

Oh dear I appear to be very 'MS'y, I meant to say their BEARS look like them...they do.kn again

Dorothy said...

Looks like a fun group Kris. The bears are wonderful!

jannimary said...

What a great weekend you had. The bears all turned out so well. I'm sure your classes would be lots of fun.

Anna Rosa Designs said...

Hi Kris,
Looks like a fabulous weekend had by everyone. Sounds like loads of fun and wow, what a teacher you are-those cute bears look fantastic.
Well done and thanks for sharing.
Hugs,
Anna

Peg - Happy In Quilting said...

Sounds like one awesome weekend Kris...and the bears they are just so cute....sounds like the weekend was a fabulous success,..

Kerryanne English said...

I'm so glad you enjoyed the retreat. All the bears look fabulous and just about all completed too. Well done Kris. Rest up your weary feet. Crafting will wait for another day.
Hugs ~ Kerryanne

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