Monday, June 2, 2014

The 2014 Plush Team Retreat

Hello Everyone!
Leeanna of Plush Goodness here. I can't believe that this time last month we were just starting the Plush Team's Retreat! Where does the time go?

The Plush Team tries to do a Retreat every year, where our members can come and spend a few days together talking shop, working on projects, hanging out, laughing, and doing some sight-seeing. It's a fantastic opportunity to see each other, and it's always a special event and a great time.

This year the Retreat was in Seattle, and a HUGE thanks to Abby of Abbydid, AC of Hibou Designs, Amy of SquirrelMomma, Diane of CutesybutnotCutesy, and Jessica of Plushroom Soup for traveling out to the West Coast for five days of fun at the beginning of May.  (Readers beware, this is a loooooong post- and still only captures some of the fun times we had! :D)

Okay, here we go on the PT Retreat re-cap! Are you buckled up and ready for the ride?

Here is the PT's headquarters for the Retreat- a fantastic house in West Seattle that had great views of the city:

We spent the first day of glorious sunny weather hanging around Alki Beach, eating amazing tacos (a PT tradition!) at Marination Ma Kai and coming home to the traditional and SUPER competitive White Elephant Swap.

For those of you who don't know what a White Elephant Swap is, it's when you buy something, usually a gag gift (in our swap, it's a piece of plush art, so a WIN for everyone :D) that everyone then wraps completely in white so you can't tell what's in it. Then you go around the group, everyone chooses a package, opens them, and then the stealing and mayhem begins! Each person gets a couple turns to either keep their plush or steal someone else's from them. Once a plush has been stolen 3 times, it can't be stolen anymore and stays with the last person it lands on. I can tell you from 3 years of doing these swaps, that the stealing is fast and furious, and there are layers and layers of strategy and cunning that are employed in order to end up with the plush you want. It's madness, I tell you! ;D

Diane trying to prevent Abby from stealing the piece of art she wants...
Jessica and Amy with the plush that they started out with from Plush Goodness and CutesybutnotCutesy- they ended up with different owners by the end though.
PT swap plush, as well as plush bought at the amazing Schmancy in Seattle.
After the hilarity and mayhem of the Swap, we spent the next day taking the water taxi into Seattle, sight-seeing at Pike Place Market, stopping in to Schmancy to say hi and buy plush from Kristen, 

Water Taxi here we come! 

Pike Place babes: SquirrelMomma, HibouDesigns, CutesybutnotCutesy, Plushroom Soup, and Abbydid.
and having an amazing lunch of tacos (you're sensing that we love tacos, aren't you?) at Barrio, and then browsing around Elliott Bay Books before getting ice cream at Molly Moon's and heading off to browse the Kinokuniya Bookstore in the International District. Phew! 

Amazing tacos and drinks at Barrio

Chinese dragons guard the entrances to the International District

Then it was home for some more shop-talk, crafting, and finally off to bed. (On our way home on the Water Taxi, we were absorbed into the melee of cyclers from the Dead Baby Bike Gang, who were headed into West Seattle to "go where the pedals take you, man!")

Amy of SquirrelMomma looks mighty impressed by those bikers, while HibouDesigns and I look on. ;D
The next day we spent in various pursuits: Amy, Diane, and I headed off to the Theo Chocolate Factory to do a tour (did I forget to mention that most of us are chocoholics as well? :D) Diane spent some time with the Fremont Troll:

We had a great lunch at the Easy Street Cafe and then it was back to the house for a night of hilarity and crafting with the awesome Kristen of Schmancy and Moxie of MadebyMoxie. SO MUCH LAUGHING!
The Easy Street Cafe and record shop
PT craft night hilarity with magical cookies and desserts, Diane losing her mind laughing, and an instagram circle!

Our last day (insert sad faces here) was spent crafting, with one last trip to Marination Ma Kai for more tacos, where we table danced to our hearts content:

and then we were back at the house to pack, craft some more- where we came up with the idea to each make a raindrop, which we would then suspend from a cloud to commemorate the 2014 Retreat:

Raindrops by (top to bottom): Hibou Designs, Plush Goodness, SquirrelMomma, Abbydid, Plushroom Soup and CutesybutnotCutesy.
and then prepare the traditional (and last for this trip) PT Retreat Taco Night! This was just one of the interesting sinks at the house, which we affectionately dubbed "the snake wash."

Well, there you go- another PT Retreat come and gone! It was an AMAZING time, and we are all looking very much forward to next year's. We know it's going to be great! Cannot wait to see more of my fellow PTers and talk shop and catch up. See you next year! :D

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