I was up at 5.30am and off to the Timaru Airport for check-in by 6.15am. Then onto a TINY little plane, winging my way to Wellington. Luckily, being so damn early, I slept most of the way. Not really loving the little planes to be honest. And arriving in Welly? Holy Moley - I nearly crapped my pants. The biggest problem with a tiny plane (other than it being so tiny) is that you can see out the front windscreen, just like the pilot can. And I could see the runway, then it would disappear away off to one side as we lurched in the turbulence, then it was back again, then it disappeared again.... you get the picture? Aaarrggghhh! The landing (if you could call it that) was a bit rough - I hit my head on the side of the plane. Ouch! Man, was I glad to get into the terminal. I had three hours to kill (which I spent half of sleeping, and the other half checking emails and blogs using the free wi-fi - nice!)
Then, onto ANOTHER little plane to flit across to Taupo. My first views of Lake Taupo...
Luckily for me, the fabulous Trina picked me up from Taupo airport, and after a quick stop at a supermarket for some wine(!), we were at the Wairakei Resort:
Down the corridor to where my room was...
And finally arriving in my room. Time to unpack my tote! You see, I had to check my tote and tool bag as my luggage, and take my clothing in my carry-on bag. All around the wrong way!
Lovely comfy bed, complete with Donovan's chocolates, Lebe shampoo and conditioner samples, and Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Capsules.
So here's what the tables looked like in the Crop Room... we all were pre-assigned places to sit, and were greeted by a pizza box full of sponsored product each:
Oh, and the Candy Bar:
We had a dessert bowl on our table that we were free to refill as often as we liked with any or all of the lovely goodies at the Candy Bar. Apparently, over the course of the weekend, us 130 ladies got through 50kg of lollies!!!! Not bad huh? Teehee!
After familiarising ourselves with our surroundings, it was time for lunch - savouries, tuna bake, beautiful sandwiches made on bagels and french sticks, cheeses, crackers, fruit, cake, tea/coffee. A HUGE spread. Yummo!
First class of the weekend was at 4pm - Rachel Tucker's Sew Me Mini Album:
Here's the finished book:
Rachel had gone to a lot of trouble - there was even a felt needle book for each of us in with our class kit, complete with threaded needles, all set and ready to go.
After my mammoth lunch, I wasn't REALLY hungry for a huge dinner, so Jo and I popped over to the Wild Bean Cafe across the road and grabbed a quick, cheap tea. I had a ham and cheese toasted sandwich and chips for $6. Bargain!
Then, class number two - The Apron Class, taught by Rachel Tucker, and Nic Howard. Everything was just so well prepared and lovingly packaged up... it seemed a shame to unwrap it all :( But it was heaps of fun playing with it all! Our class kits:
Rachel had to stand on a chair at the beginning of class to get us all started - she's so dainty! Not to mention hellishly clever and creative. Love that.
With each of our kits, there was a cutesy cupcake pincushion, wrapped up like a real cupcake in cellophane. Rachel had handmade all of these beforehand - 20 of them in all. She must have been such a busy girl making them. Knowing how much work was involved, we all appreciated them, very much.
Here's all the goodies that were hiding in the class kit...
Oh, and proof that our Rach can sew - by hand even!
I think that the Apron Class was probably my favourite - it's not even something I will wear, really, just look at admiringly and remember the fun I had making it! Love love love it!
After a bit more scrapping, and finishing off my Mini Album, we were off to bed at midnight when the Crop Room closed for the day.
Saturday morning, after a MASSIVE cooked buffet breakfast of bacon, eggs, hash browns, spaghetti, toast and orange juice, it was off to my third class for the weekend... Nic Howard's double layout class, at 8.30am! It was a typical, simple but effective, Nic class. Awesome. Here's Nic sitting in Rachel's seat between Bo and I, pretending to actually DO something:
And here's Lucy, doing what she does best - being cheeky and issuing orders over the mike... who the hell let that woman have a microphone?!!! Just kidding :)
In between classes for each of us, we got together and tried to get some photos of us 'hanging out' in the Wairakei grounds. There is a bit of a story that goes with that... we borrowed a tripod, and started to get ready. My camera doesn't have a self timer setting on it, so it was no use. We tried Jo's camera, and the results are below... The minor problem being that we could only find timer settings with either a 2 second delay (not long enough), or up to 10 bursts, one after the other. Thinking we had it set on ONE shot to be taken after 10 seconds, we posed beautifully... and then the camera kept clicking, and clicking, and clicking!
Oh dear!!!! Oh and did I mention that although we were staying in Taupo, it smelled a lot like what I imagine Rotorua smells like... decidedly sulphuric! There is quite a lot of geothermal activity in and around Taupo apparently. You learn something new all the time. Here we are next to one of the geothermal 'outlets' in the grounds...
My last class of the weekend was one taken by Kelly Goree - a cute little firecracker from the US. It was a two hour class where we made three double page boy-themed layouts. They were pretty simple layouts, finished off using sticker accents from the same paper range, 'Max and Whiskers' by Basic Grey. Fun to do, but not REALLY my cup of tea, layout wise.
After tea I spent the rest of the evening finishing off my layouts and sewing the strawberries to go on my apron. Sunday morning was spent working on a layout of my own,
And that, my friends, is that. Back home to my boys :)
Toodles, B x