Stampin’ Up! Krew Retreat 2023 is In The Books – Come See!

Happy First Monday in NOT Daylight Savings.  Did you enjoy the “extra” hour of sleep?  Yes?  Well – I hope you ALSO love it being dark at 3 this afternoon.

Okay – SLIGHT exaggeration but…not much!  I HATE standard time – and don’t mind sharing my disgust. 😡

Well.  It happened.  After weeks and weeks of anticipation and prep – the Krew Retreat 2023 is over.  Done.  Kaput.

All the ladies have returned home.  No.  More.  James.

James – our Host-with-the-Most – is the owner and manager and Chef and general taker-carer-of-everything-and-everyone at the Crafty Elk Lodge…in Fairmount, GA.

When you roll up here – and see your peeps’ cars rolling up behind you – it’s time to take a deep breath and get ready to enjoy every minute of each day!

We all gathered up each day in the dining room….errhm… the craft room – which James has outfitted with All the Things!!

Yes – that IS a table of treats.  As my friend Karen Ksenszakovic said – it’s in the name:  re-TREAT! – so…Crafters gotta eat!!

Everyone brought a shoebox swap and we spent 3 glorious days making the fun and beautiful projects!

This beautiful ornament and card came from Judi Hartbarger – who joined us this year for the first time!  Yeah!!

Susan Stanley and Linda Nye have been “retreating” all along and brought lovely projects for us (as always!).  We made a cool calendar (from Susan)…

And a votive easel card and ornament – from Linda!

One of coolest things about adding an extra day to the retreat – we will NEVER go back to just three days!! – is that there was time to work on some other projects.  Linda did a riff on her votive card – it’s an easel with vellum and you put a tiny battery-powered votive candle behind it! – using the Celebrate the Miracle stamp set! SO pretty!

Susan Kuenzel – from North Carolina – brought a fun swing card festooned with Merry & Bright Christmas lights.  I took a video.  It needed a video!

Cute, right??

This was the first year for Linda (aka Pete!) Nikolas and her friend and fellow demo Lynne Schmidt to join us.  Very much hoping it will NOT be the last!

Linda brought a gorgeous card for us to make – featuring one of my favorite sets from the Annual Catalog!

And Pete brought the Fall, y’all!

Speaking of Amy’s Autumn Leaves Bundle – a couple of the ladies ran across the Stampin’ Up! Short on YouTube featuring the bundle and using a cool technique with vellum, inks and alchohol-spritzing to make pretty leaves.  So – they tried it out and made a couple of really pretty cards!

Amy Koenders somehow knew this was one of my favorite cards and selected it for us to make!  Yeah!

Karen Ksenszakovic helped us make a quick and easy Bay Window fun fold card!  Yeah!

And Janet Gruer had created an adorable “back pack” for us! It had Hershey Nuggets to put inside! 🙂

Joan Siler – from Deleware – had made a fun fold, too – a gate card with a gondola!

Now…no Crafty Elk Lodge retreat is complete without FOOD.  And James – the consummate host and chef – did NOT disappoint!  Mary gotta get back to the cauliflower rice!!  🙄🙄🙄

Enjoy a few mouthwatering photos of just a FEW of our meals!


There were MANY hours spent around the big dining table – and WAY too much laughing (when Janet Gruer gets going – do NOT try to drink anything – I’m just saying!)

And there might have been time for a little modeling and being silly!

Of course – James ALSO has his animals to entertain us!

There’s Po….named after Po The Kung Fu Panda!…who has a very difficult life!

And Max – his panther-side-kick (who we’ve been petting since we started coming to CEL four or five years ago (hard to keep track with the whole COVID thing)! Max’s life is also terribly stressful.

They enjoy their sunporch!

It was with a deep sigh of contentment – tinged with sadness – that we got all together for our 2023 Retreat Group Shot.

And – we’re already making plans for Krew Retreat 2024!  Whoo-hoo!

Hope you’ve enjoyed this little look at our fun times!






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Finn Fan Fix 


How I imagined Finn was while I was gone…

Pining away.  Wondering where Saint Mom went. Will she ever come home?  Or…do I have to depend on the Dad to know all the times I get cookies – does he know when they should be whole or half or broken into lots of little bits so I think I’m getting a bunch of them?  Should they be Milk bones or Grain-Free?  How about my Toof bones?  My Jerky treats? Saint Mom keeps track of sooooo muuuuuuuchhhhh bone-stuff!

Will he remember how big a scoop of punkin in my breakfast AND dinner?  Will Dad decide I don’t even NEED punkin any more when the last can is gone or will he – like Saint Mom – brave the parking lot and aisles of Wally??

What is she even DOING?!?



Categories: Team Event, Team Member Projects | Tags: , , | 12 Comments

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12 thoughts on “Stampin’ Up! Krew Retreat 2023 is In The Books – Come See!

  1. Amy Koenders

    Such a great event! Looking forward to next year already. And that’s quite the outfit that you’ve got going on…I’m sure that Finn would have been impressed. 😉

    • stampsnlingers

      I know – for a moment there you thought it was Greta Garbo, didn’t you!? 🙂

  2. Kathy Mahon

    Looks like y’all had a wonderful time. Thanks for sharing
    Your retreat photos with us. So nice to be able to get
    Together in person again. Did poor Finn survive without you?

    • stampsnlingers

      He seems to be okay – he’s a roll-with-the-flow kinda guy. And his Dad was here, so… :). Thanks, Kathy – we had a great weekend! 🙂

  3. Linda T. Hitzelberger

    Looks like so much fun, I want to come next year LOL everything looks so creative and fun.

  4. Susan K

    Great, awesome, wunnermus, laugh-out-loud fun! So glad I was there! Thanks for all the goodies, delicious food choices, and for coordinating it all! I’m sure Finn was happy to have you back—esp with Aunt Karen and her goodies! TFS

    • stampsnlingers

      Yes – he was happy to see me – and Karen!! Thank you SO much for coming to the retreat, my friend! See you next year! 🙂

  5. Certainly a fun time was had by all. I’m jealous y’all had a James taking care of everything for you. When is the next one??

    • stampsnlingers

      Next November – wanna come?! It IS a wonderful time! 🙂

  6. Glenda Hofland

    Mary, is there anyway that you could post the directions for the star ornament and card that was made? Also, the votive easel card with ornament? Those would make nice gifts. Please and thank you

    • stampsnlingers

      Hey Glenda – you MIGHT want to watch my Saturday night video! 🙂

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