Tuesday, March 05, 2013

minnesota be crafty retreat: meeting the girls

well it all started with a dear mutual friend and a birthday blog post from two ladies that i instantly fell for
for Amanda's 30th birthday these girls created a road trip of 30 gifts of kindness for 30 strangers
leaving in random places small gifts, including candy bars, popcorn, lottery tickets, and my favorite, a gift card in a baby changing station with a note thanking the mom for being strong and an awesome mom.
tell me you wouldn't want to be friends with these girls!!
{read more about their gifting adventures and see the dreamy cake over here and here}

one thing led to another
jump ahead 4 months 
and through the generosity and belief of my mother that this could be just what i needed
i was on a plane to Minnesota...smack dab in the middle of winter
for a splurging 5 days of meeting these incredible women and playing at their Be Crafty Retreat
here i am in my California coat, with my world traveling mother's snow boots and winter's coat in my carry-on

exiting the plane onto the jetway i felt a brisk rush of cold reality sting my skin
looking outside i saw the trail of breath being exhaled by anxiously waiting pedestrians
out came all the winter gear
i actually prefer dressing for the cold
more layers and accessories to add

jessica graciously picked my freezing little California self up from the airport
she was just as i had imagined
warm with a soothing voice and a twinkling gaze that lets you know that she's sincerely interested in what you are saying and immediately makes you feel at ease
instant friends

our adventure began in a typical fashion
first stops to the universal go-to shops,Target and Jo-anns
{did you know that Target was started in Minnesota, apparently Corporate Headquarters is pretty sweet}
Jessica had her list which included sewing machine needles
we met the happiest employee of Jo-anns that ever there was
we learned more about sewing machine needles than either of us ever knew was possible
this happened over and over again,
everywhere we went, from the bakery to the party store to the grocer
people were overly helpful and neighborly chatty
i came to learn that what i was experiencing had a name and a reputation
it is called 'the Minnesota Nice'   {its even got is own wikipedia entry}
i wonder what the name for the California experience and reputation is called:)

we later arrived at jessica's charming home in a beautiful neighborhood of steeply pitched roofs, equipped with detached garages
that doesn't sound very fun in the snow
i was privileged to be there for a scrumptious dinner with jessica's jovial, attentive husband jeff and their adorable inquisitive son graham,
his Lego play and series of questions made me feel right at home
jessica gave me a little tour of their dreamy home, where character and warmth lay in every corner
antique trunks, vintage linens & dishes, and pieces which carry unique personality like this framed card that i immediately fell in love with
a 'please no sword fighting' sign definitely belongs in my home

we soon began crafting in preparation for tomorrow's Be Crafty Retreat
chatting about our favorite blogs, our families, and our histories
Jessica taught me how to make these festive tissue paper tassels
oh the possibilities

later we drove through Minneapolis and ended up at their new studio space in heart of the trending artisan area of the city
i loved the character of the worn brick walls, exposed beams & pipes, and peeling paint
a perfect space for just about anything
it will become a space for their workshops, photography sessions, and pop-up shops

at the studio i met amanda
also just how i imagined
a vibrant hugger bursting with creativity, ready to conquer the world
once again instant friends
we had our work cut out for us as evidenced by the packed to the hilt car she was driving
full of crafting supplies galore
she wasn't expecting to have to shove two more suitcases into it but with stuff under my feet and in my lap, we were able to shut the doors

we drove to this town home on the picturesque frozen Lake Minnetonka where the retreat would take place
an absolute winter wonderland
we stayed up laaaaate laughing, chatting, crafting, arranging and rearranging furniture and supplies
it was therapeutic to talk with others who understood my 'world' of blogging and creativity
first thing in the morning i wanted to walk out to the lake, the frozen lake!!!
luckily i remembered not to wash my hair before we left as i am a lazy air dry hair kind of gal
really i'm just not that patient or coordinated to use a blow dryer
can you see that i'm standing on a frozen lake
they got a kick out of my fascination with all these frozen lake related
like just hopping in your car and thinking, 'oh i need to hurry and get to the store, so i'll just drive my CAR across the lake to get there faster'
or hauling a tiny house equipped with satellite dish, generator, and propane tank out onto a frozen lake to stay the night and cut a big hole out of the ice to go fishing

this was all the start of a beautiful friendship
polka dot and heart shaped balloons are always the recipe for something good
can't wait to share with you the eye candy of my stay
prepare yourself for crafting overload


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