Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Bali Quilting Retreat was Great

This being Russellee BnB’s first Bali Fabric, Cultural and Quilting Retreat  Tony and I had the pleasure of taking 10 wonderful ladies from NSW, VIC, QLD and the ACT on this two week fantasy trip.  The first week we spent at Sanur, Bali seaside resort, and then inland to Ubud buying fabric and sightseeing along the way.  We visited many batik shops, which were packed with fabric and at very low prices, and also some interesting local sights. The families riding motor bikes are an amazing sight with as many as five on one bike.

A visit to the Bali Safari and Marine Park was a highlight of the week the concert shows, with hundreds of participants, are a site not to be missed.  Most of us even had a ride on an elephant and posed for photos with native animals.  This day comes to an end too soon.

Tony and John patiently waiting for us 
We then visited the thermal pool at the Volcano-Batur and on the way  stopped at the amazing terraced rice fields for a photo shot.   
I purchased a patchwork quilt at one of the road side stalls which I later gave to the lady who looked after our BnB and animals while we were away.  She just loved it.

Drawing the design onto the fabric


Adding the wax

Tony getting a bit of help

A hands on batik making workshop had us all bringing out drawing skills that some of us did not know we possessed.  Tony was even coned into creating a master piece.  The wax took a bit of getting used too (it seemed to get a bit hot which caused many drips)  When we finished following the lines we had drawn and looked at all our excess drips we handed them over to the staff who were going to dye them for us.  When we picked them up a week later we were overjoyed at how they had turned out.  Who could imagine that our amateurish drawing could turn out to be a masterpiece.
Our finished masterpieces]

We visited a wholesale silver warehouse on the way to our next home for seven days ‘Candidasa’ (also on the beach) where we were to spend the next week cutting up and sewing back together our treasured batik purchases (yes, we are mad patchworkers that cut up perfectly good fabric).   The staff at the resort had no concept of what we were wanting the room for that had been booked for us to use as a workroom.  They had provided us with tables and plenty of power points.  John, our Bali agent, had purchased basic Singer sewing machines for us and the room was airconditioned.  The staff were very interested in what we were doing and visited several times to see our progress.

The resort was booked for a week but we still managed to fit in sightseeing and some snorkelling not to mention swimming in the crystal clear pool.  At the time of our visit Bail had a hotter that usual heat wave - thank goodness for good air conditioning. 

 An important Bali religious festival occurred while we were in Candidasa and hotel staff asked us to prepare an offering which we were able to comply and the ladies each decorated a 2½ strip of fabric which was then hung outside the room.

Between all this we did manage to get a lot of sewing done and also a lot of clothes buying.  You only need to take minimum clothes with you to Bali as you can go out and buy a new outfit just down the road  very cheaply.

All breakfasts and lunches were included with our trip and also several dinners.  John took us somewhere different every day this could have been next door or at his home or at a lovely spot by the sea. The variety of food is unbelievable.

This little lady carried three baskets full of our fabric back to the car.

We finished our tour with some final fabric shopping before we had a farewell dinner at Jimbaran Beach.  It was then time to say goodbye to our fellow quilters and new friends.

We have booked the venues for October next year and are looking forward to meeting more wonderful ladies then.

Until next time






Monday, October 7, 2013

Retreats, Quillting Cruise and other news

This post is a bit late in getting out but here it is.

The past three weeks have been extremely busy for Russellee Craft Retreats.  Early this month I received an email from Machine Quilting Unlimited, and American Magazine, telling me that my Brumby Quilt and Jessie Machine embroidery were being featured in their September e-newsletter. 

The weekend before last I had my third Scrapbooking Retreat for the year.  This retreat booked out last March and the ladies all rebooked for the Retreat next March.  This group of ladies come from Queanbeyan, Cooma, Stockinbingal, Cootamundra, Wagga and the local area.  They are a great group.

I gave a pre retreat challenge of making a mini album from 5 coffee filters.  The results were truly amazing.  The different styles and interpretation of themes was wonderful.  Here are a couple of photos.

Bridgette made her album into a bucket and called it her bucket list.  One of the things she wants to do is hold a koala.  When she was out I placed a toy koala on her chair.  This is her hugging a koala.  I am sure she will get the opportunity to hug a real one.

The day after the retreat Roz and I headed to Henty for the Field days.  We had a stall in the Lifestyle Tent promoting the retreats and the Quilting Cruise next February.  In all we gave out 75 brochures on the Cruise.  I also had bookings for the Card Making Retreat in November and a lot of interest if getting a group together and coming.  We also had ladies book on the cruise.

We  took along all our Quilting Cruise workshop
examples.  These created a lot of interest.  We stated that the workshops were on the cruise and if they wanted to do them they could come and join us.  I also attended a workshop on Quilt Mosaics earlier in the Month.  This is my finished quilt that I did.  I really enjoyed doing this project.  Not sure if I would do another one but I am happy with the results.
In a couple of weeks Tony and I will be taking our Bali Quilting Retreat ladies for the two week fabric and sewing retreat in Bali.  This filled very quickly and we are all looking forward to going.

The Quilting Cruise is nearing our target number.  We still have a few places available.  For more information please contact me.


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Card Making Retreat November

Our card making retreat the 15 - 17 November is filling fast.  The cost is $225 and includes two nights accommodation, meals and two card making workshops.  This is the first time that we have run this retreat.  If you are interested contact me either by email russeldr@bigpond.com or phone 02 69474216


Monday, August 19, 2013

A Busy Week

The past week has been a busy one.  On the weekend I had four ladies for a Photoshop Elements class.  This showed these wonderful ladies how to use this program to enhance and fix their photos for their Scrapbooking passion.  The weekend was full on as I had lots to show them.  It was enjoyed by all.

Raewyn concentrating  
Earlier in the week I finished my Thread Painting of my dog ‘Jessie’ that I started at the Craft Alive shows as a demonstration of Thread Painting.  I was happy with the way it turned out. 

I enjoy Thread Painting enormously and have started another project of one of my other dogs ‘Chelsea’.  She is a wolfhound cross ridgeback with a wonderful gentle personality.  Chelsea is showing her 14 years now but still has a lot of life in her.
Kaye came out today to show me the hat pins that she has been making for a shop in Melbourne.  They were beautiful.  She has done a great job with them.
September is a quieter month with our Retreats with the only one I have scheduled being the Scrapbooking Retreat.  This sold out several weeks ago.  If you have a group of ladies that would like to do a retreat of their own contact me for available dates.  This can be a weekend or during the week.


Monday, August 12, 2013

3rd Australian Quilting Cruise on Sale

Royal Caribbean has a sale on at the moment and has extended it to our 3rd Australian Quilting Cruise.  Below are the special prices.  The Balcony cabins are exceptional value.  We have had some ladies already take advantage of this special.  If you have been considering coming on this cruise now is a good time to book before the special has run out.

 Cruise portion is priced in US Dollars per person. Even with the exchange rate this is still a great price.  Travel insurance & tools are not included.

Class fee is $385 AUS Dollars We have a choice of 4 classes over 6 sea days.  Both machine and hand worked.

Inside Stateroom from $1586.21 NEW LOWER PRICE $1351.21,

Promenade Staterooms from $1695.21 NEW LOWER PRICE $1424.21,

Oceanview Stateroom from $1886.21 NEW LOWER PRICE $1622.21,

Balcony Stateroom Special from $2256.21 NEW SPECIAL PRICE $1577.21!!

These prices are available until sold out!!

NOTE: Sewing Machines are not supplied. A limited amount of machines may be rented.
Contact me by email russeldr@bigpond.com  or Lorelle – lorelle@thecruisecrew.com for more information or if you would like to book.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Wagga Craft Alive Weekend

Last weekend saw the Wagga Craft Alive event.  I again had a stall to promote the Russellee Craft Retreats and the Quilting Cruise.  This was a far more successful weekend for all attending then the washed out Griffith Craft Alive and the interesting Wodonga Craft Alive.

This time I went on my own to set up on the Thursday.  Friday saw a large crowd pass through the door.  Over the course of the weekend 4600 people attended the show and keep everyone very busy.  Again I demonstrated free machining and this was very well received.

The team at Craft Alive staged a quilt exhibition in conjunction with the show.  Forty quilts from parts of NSW and Victoria were on display.  The visiting public were asked to vote for the best in show.  To my surprise and delight my quilt, ‘The Brumby’, inspired by a photo of Batlow photographer, Kris Daley, won first place.  Not only did I achieve first place but another quilt titled ‘My Cats’ received third place.  To receive these two places out of 40 wonderful quilts was an honour.
On the Saturday Kaye Snow joined me to help man the stall.  Kaye is a wonderful card maker and we spoke to several ladies about the November Card Making Retreat.  Sunday my wonderful husband, Tony, came as my helper and to assist in the packing up.  Overall the weekend was a great success.  I sold a lot of fabric and kits.  One lady on the Sunday purchased all the cat fabric that I had.

The thread painted picture that I created on the Friday also sold and I have since sold my large picture of a thread painted cat.  I am also holding a Thread Painting Retreat in November. By mid morning of the third day we run out of retreat brochures and I had to send Tony to get more printed at Office Works.

We had a lot of interest in our Cruise for February.  A lot of the cards re the cruise that I had were taken and the balcony special on at the moment was well received.  Time will tell if we have some bookings from this weekend for both the cruise and the craft retreats at Russellee.

Another interesting point is that Chris Dowell, one of our Cruise tutors, has her quilt ‘Just the Two of Us’ in the current addition of Down Under Quilts.  We still have places available on the cruise.  If you would like to come and join us please contact me or Lorelle.  Our emails are on the right of the blog.

Until next time