Sunday, December 25, 2011

The Annual Weekend Retreat

Before children I would confidently say one of my hobbies was scrapbooking.  It was therapeutic to document events and even the mundane things in our lives.  I could spend hours trying to organize paper and photos in just the right spots to convey my idea.  I kept all of my materials out at a table downstairs incase the creative bug struck.  Today we laugh at my early books because they were so lame.  I was very formulaic and to use patterned paper was almost unheard of to me. 

Then we had kids. 

All the scissors and pretty embellishments were relegated to the storage room for safety reasons.  That was pretty much the end of my spontaneous hobby.  I would scrap from time to time, but it was a big hassle to take out all of the tools and papers.  Plus I had to fend off the kids who flocked to my table like a moth to a flame when the shiny and sharp objects came out of hiding. 

We’ve done day scraps before, and while they were an opportunity to scrap for the day, it was a lot of hassle to pack all of your gear up for just a few hours.  Plus you tend to get some odd groups of women at these things.  My sister told me about a place near her house that offered scrapbook weekends.  I was intrigued.

We booked our weekend at The Scrapbook Manor in Walworth, WI.  This weekend was our third (or is it fourth?) stay.  I cannot sing the praises of this weekend loud enough.  It is 48 hours of kid-free, spouse-free, cooking-free, getting up early-free, and creative-full extravagance. 

I would usually take Friday off so I could get there at 3:00.  This year was a no go since winter break started at the end of that day and taking time off is a no-no.  Regardless I was there by 5:30. 

Here are (just some of) the many reasons I love The Manor ........

Karen – She is the proprietor of The Scrapbook Manor.  She is a lot of fun to talk to, and has a quick wit that will keep you in stitches.

The Manor itself – The house is on the main street through Walworth and has gorgeous curb appeal.  The main floor consists of the kitchen, dining area, on-site store, and scrap area in the living area & sunroom.  I wonder about the families that lived here in the past and how they used the space.  

Work Space & Shop - each person has a dedicated area that varies in size depending on how many guests are at the manor for the weekend.  The tables are ample and the lighting is great.  She has many tools available to use, such as a Cricut, so you don't have to lug your own along.  Additionally Karen has an onsite shop that has an ample supply of things you might need.  She stocks plenty of cardstock, markers, and quality patterned paper.  

Music – Karen has her iPod going all weekend.  It is an eclectic mix of 70’s, country, jazz, and alternative.  I’ve been exposed to many new artists thanks to her playlists.  Every song is not my favorite, but when she’s trying to accommodate the likes of all her guests, you’ve got to hit all the genres.

Bedrooms - The upstairs bedrooms have two to three full-size pillow top beds and fluffy linens.  The rooms are decorated with candles and Scentsy warmers.  Each person gets their own bed, heaven!  All of the guests share one of the two bathrooms upstairs.  Since everyone is on their own time-frame, I’ve never had a problem with people having to wait for showers. 

Sustenance  – Karen provides dinner on Friday, three meals on Saturday, and brunch on Sunday.  Saturday and Sunday are catered meals.  In between meals there is an ample supply of snacks and bubbly beverages.  

P&Q – The only expectations for the weekend are those you put upon yourself.  Go to bed and wake up when you want.  Heck, you can even decide if you want to bathe.

Extras – On Saturday a massage therapist comes in for those who pre-book massages.  The cost of a massage is very reasonable and all you have to do is go upstairs. 

I’ve never been to another retreat-style scrapbook location, and I don’t think I ever will.  Karen has told stories of guests who fessed up to “cheating” on her at another place.  From what I’ve heard none are as nice and welcoming as The Scrapbook Manor

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