Monday, September 27, 2010

Is Anyone Reading THIS???

Leave a comment and win a ticket... simple as that!

Massages at the Retreat!..... WOOHOO!!!

Here is the latest, latest news...

I'm so excited... and I just can't hide it!  And I'm so pleased to announce another NEW feature at the Retreat!!!  CHAIR MASSAGES!!! How awesome will it be to have a place to get "rubbed down" when your shoulders start to tighten or your hands start to cramp!

Myriam Boter, a friend of Lavon's, will be joining us for the retreat.  She is a scrapbooker and will be attending as a "retreat go-er", however, she has been gracious enough to offer to bring her services, too!

She will have times blocked off during the day (probably mid morning and later in the afternoon/evening) to accommodate us.  You will need to sign up so she can schedule her scrapbooking time.

Charge... just a $1.00 per minute!!  She says "most people can get relief from tension in 5 minutes of a specific modality that targets the affected area".  However, she is not limiting the massages to 5 minutes... you would just need to talk to her about your needs.  She sounds very flexible and completely willing to be of service to us!

Is that awesome or what!  I know I plan to be the very first one in the chair!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Operation Write Home

Ok, I'm adding ONE MORE THING!  This is one of those totally optional deals and one I hope will be very attractive to our cardmakers out there.  Ok... you scrapbookers, too!

I found this foundation on Facebook and I've been following them ever since.  This place is wonderful.  In a nutshell, they collect "handmade only" cards from anyone who wants to send them and then they ship them to military units assigned overseas.  A lot of times, the troops do not have any access to a Hallmark store, so Operation Write Home ensures they always have an ample supply of cards to use and send to loved ones.  This has just tugged at my heart and I am actually fighting tears as I write this.  It's something that never occurred to me that might be a deficit (however, I am sure this is not the only thing, it's just something that really touched me... particularly since I have so many cards just laying around my house!)

Anyway, I am challenging you (whoever you may be!) to make a few cards either before the retreat or during the retreat - it would be a great opportunity to bring some of those cards you have laying around taking up space!... just remember, they DO have to meet the guidelines outlined below. Just get them to me by 5pm Saturday night, October 10th, the last night of the retreat.  I have one single prize for the person who brings me the MOST cards.  I am also going to have a donation cup (to just drop some change in!) to help with shipping .  I'm hoping we will have so many I can't afford to mail them myself!!!

Be sure to visit the website to learn more about the organization.  It's really awesome what they do.  So simple and straightforward.  They also have a Facebook page... click HERE to visit that.  If you "LIKE" them, you will be amazed at the updates every day.  They share some great cards and challenge you to make them.  And sometimes, troops will leave message and actually let them know they are running low and need more!

They do have very strict guidelines for the cards (who knew glitter could make you visible to the enemy using night goggles?) and we want to comply.

I have copied those guidelines (in GREEN) here for your reference, too... (I have made comments, which are (RED).  Click HERE to visit the site with the guidelines.  (I will be sure and have a copy of these guidelines at the retreat for your referral)

Operation Write Home's Mission
To support our nation's armed forces by sending blank greeting cards to write home on, as well as cards of gratitude to encourage them. (note... BLANK... don't stamp the inside!  And if you use a dark card base, be sure to put a white liner inside as the troops don't have white pens!)

How it works
The simple version: you send your handmade cards to a shipper, they process them and ship them out!  You don't need to "sign up" or become a "member" or anything-just get started!

The basic guidelines:
  1. No glitter. Seriously. It's a hazard for our heroes, so we won't send cards with any glitter that will flake off the card. Read more.
  2. A2 sized cards. Most efficient for our shipping dollars, so we strongly recommend A2 (4.25" x 5.5" - half a sheet of cardstock). Read more.
  3. No storebought. Yep, pretty straightforward. Our heroes don't like them, so we send them our cards filled with love and creativity! Read more.
  4. Watch the deadlines. We have to mail cards 5-6 weeks ahead of a holiday, so check out the deadlines posted on our homepage, on the left side. Those are the very last last last dates, so aim for a couple weeks earlier if at all possible, since we start shipping 8 weeks ahead. (For Christmas cards, October 30 is the deadline, which is what I am going to go by... regardless of the types of cards we send... birthday, anniversary, get well, love you, miss you, whatever)
  5. Any quantity. One card to 100 to 500 - every card matters! We recommend emphasizing quality over quantity...relax, do your best, and pour lots of love into each card! 
  6. Packing Slip. Download this handy packing slip and write in your contact info and quantity-the shipper will be able to email you to let you know your cards arrived. If you haven't heard back you can also check the Thankful Thursday post each week to see if they've arrived. Our shippers get lots of packages every day, so please give them some grace in getting back to you. (I'll take care of the shipping and let you all know when they arrive in their hands)
Some additional things you may want to do that will help out our shippers:
  1. Stamp the backs of your cards. We put "Operation Write Home" on the back of every card so families at home know how their hero received such a work of art to write home on. You can order your own stamp, acrylic or self-inking; you can handwrite "Operation Write Home"; you can make a label; or have your own stamp made at your local office supply store. Listing your own information on the back of the card is fine, we just add OWH to it.  (If you can label your own cards, using labels I will have printed and there for you, I would REALLY appreciate it!)
  2. Sort your cards by theme. It's especially helpful if you note which cards are for a holiday; if we get a vast number of cards at once, we may need to just pull out the holiday ones right away to ship them, and we don't want to miss yours.
  3. Learn "the tuck." If you are including envelopes (some people prefer to include a donation for envelopes instead, and leave the labor to our shippers), the tuck is very helpful if your cards are already stamped. If they are not yet stamped, leave them entirely outside the envelopes. Check out the mailroom video below for more info on the tuck. (click HERE to visit the page with the video at the bottom... the video is awesome and really puts everything in perspective... plus is show the CARD HOSPITAL!)
  4. Include a donation. Small or large, cash or check, every bit helps! Please paperclip it to your Packing Slip to be sure your check doesn't sneak off to Afghanistan by accident.  (Whatever is left in donation cup will be sent along to help out!)
  5. Limit multiples. Some folks like to make a lot of one design. While that's fine, it becomes a biggg problem in one particular instance: holiday cards. If you want to make a lot of those (over 30), please send them 8 weeks ahead (or more). That allows us to mix them into the most boxes; we often end up with 100 of one design arriving the last week, and if most of those holiday boxes had already been sent in weeks prior, those multiples will have to wait til next year.
Remember... any number of cards are appreciated!  And if you don't have time to make cards, a couple of dollars in change in the donation cup will be equally appreciated!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

How about a Scrap Pool...

But first, we are going to have a DROP and SHOP table.  This is simply an exchange table.  If you've got something you want to get rid of, leave it and if you see something you want, TAKE IT.  That's what it's there for!!  At the end of the retreat, what is left gets donated to a local woman's shelter.

And now, the SCRAP POOL... This is a little different.  Nothing I've ever done before, but I know other retreats have.  The SCRAP POOL is where you can sell items you no longer want!  You will be totally responsible for this.  I am only providing an area for you to use.  Be sure to label your items and include your name and price.  If someone wants to purchase from you, they will need to come and find you to complete the transaction.  
So make sure your labels are clear and well placed.  
I'm getting ready to go send this info out in email format, but you may read it here first!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Last Call For.... and a few other reminders!

TODAY is your last chance to order TOMBOWS and to get me your CLOSE TO MY HEART order before the RETREAT!!!
I can't believe we are getting so close!  But we are! 
So don't delay... TODAY is the last day!!!  I will be submitting orders in the morning!!!
Click HERE for a listing of what I can order as well as pricing.  Every TOMBOW order gets you an EXTRA DRAWING Ticket, too!  (and if you've already given me your order, I have already credited you your ticket!) 

If you need anything, let me know.  You can pay by credit card, check or cash.

There's still time to get me your order.  And remember, if you are a registered retreat goer, you will be entitled to a 10% discount off your entire order placed by September 20th...which is TODAY. 

(Any order will get you an EXTRA DRAWING TICKET!) 

You can view the NEW 2010 Fall/Winter Idea Book online at my website...
 (NOTE: in order to get your 10% discount, you can NOT order through my website, you must email or call me with your order)

And just a reminder about a couple of things...

This will be a good time to start visiting this blog a little more frequently.  You never know what I will put out here.  It's WAY easier to put announcements and reminders here and it's easily (or should be) accessible to everyone.  If you have ANY problems with it, please let me know and I'll try to get it fixed.

If you want to get an email update every time I add something, look over on the right side of the blog, enter your email and click on "Get Email Updates" to subscribe.  Be sure to check your junk email in case those get routed there!

If you are in the card swaps, here's a couple of things for you make note of...
  • Each group will make 6 cards.
  • Be sure to package your cards in a zip lock back.
  • Label your bag with your name, group category and group number (I'll get that info to you later this week).
  • Include envelopes if you can

Here are the categories.  Most of you have emailed me... THANKS!  That really helps with my planning.  If you haven't and want to, click HERE
to send me an email and let me know what you'd like to bring.  I don't need specifics, just in general.

1 Ticket per item
(ex - a 2 liter bottle of soda, a box of hot chocolate, etc)

1 Ticket per item
(ex - a full size bag of candy, package of cookies,
a cake/pie/donuts, full size bag of chips, dip, etc)

2 Ticket per item
(a full recipe of something homemade,
like a cake, cookies, snack mix, etc)

Remember, we will have endless coffee, iced tea and lemonade.

Friday, September 17, 2010

3 Weeks til RETREAT!!!

Food Ordered - check
Tables reserved - check
T-Shirts ordered - check
Swaps all figured out - check
Snacks coming in - check
Goody Bag stuff here - check
Prizes here - check
Extra Drawing tickets updated - CHECK
CTMH order ready to be submitted Monday - check

WOW!  I can't believe how much is already done!!!

I COULD start packing next week!  That is always so exciting because it's a commitment to myself that I won't NEED anything until after the retreat!  I am so ready!

I need some chatter on this blog!  It's been a little quiet lately! 

Who's excited about the retreat?  Who is READY for it to be here?  Who NEEDS it to be HERE!!!  Let's leave some comments and get this PARTY STARTED!!!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Order Your Retreat T-Shirt NOW!

I've never done THIS before, but this is what happens when you are sitting around... doing NOTHING!  I've designed a T-SHIRT for our RETREAT!  And here it is!  (Don't worry about the messy scissor on the front... it will be nice and neat or I will do another one (scissor, that is!)) 

available NOW for ordering

These T-Shirts are a 50/50 blend, Jerzees brand and comes in sizes Small to 4x.  Your cost is $15 each ($2 more for 2x and larger).  You can pre-pay (which will earn you an EXTRA DRAWING TICKET!) or you can order and pay at the retreat (NO extra drawing ticket for that).

Here is the kicker... I almost waited too late... I HAVE to turn this order in ONE WEEK FROM TODAY!  That would be September 13th in order to get them in time for the Retreat... so DON'T DELAY!!!  Email me TODAY to place your order... be sure to tell me the size you want and if you will be sending me a check ahead of the retreat or if you will be paying at the retreat.

Shirt Front

In case you haven't thought about it... REMEMBER to pack your CHRISTMAS PJ's!  I know I plan to wear mine!  Maybe the whole time!!!