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Planning, Prepping, and Packing for a Retreat

Posted by on in Retreat Info

Hi everyone! It’s Gabi of From Watson With Love blogging today from Memory Lane Inn!!

I’ll be here through Sunday. I am super stoked to get some REAL scrapbooking done. There are a lot of fun things going on this weekend. In addition to scrapbooking, I’ll be shopping at Third Monday Trade Days in McKinney on Friday, and on Saturday, I’ll be attending my 10 year high school reunion. It is crazy to think of what has passed in those 10 years.


I started college, moved into my own apartment, started a career in recruiting, met my future husband, got married at 20, honeymooned at Disney World, spent our first anniversary at Disney World, left recruiting for a career in higher education, bought our first home, had my daughter at 22, found out we were pregnant again, sold our first home, bought our current home, had my son at 26, graduated 2 weeks later; my husband graduated that winter; I started graduate school, started at a new job at the university, and we bought our first new (to us) car.


It has been a crazy 10 years full of blessings. In the 5 years that I’ve been scrapbooking, I have stayed at Memory Lane Inn 7 times.  It is truly a blessing to have a spot that I can retreat to focus on preserving all the years of memories that I’ve had with my family and friends. Such a blessing. Thank you Memory Lane Inn.


Now onto the good stuff.

I like to make the most out of my craft time when I go to a retreat, so I begin planning about a month in advance of my stay. A week before, I prep by printing photos and building my own scrapbook kits (see this blog post: How to B.Y.O.K). Then a couple days before I leave, I pack everything.



As far as planning goes, I sit down, look through photos and think about what I want to accomplish during my retreat. I don't exactly have a number in mind of how many scrapbook layouts I'm striving for, but I do have an idea of which life events I want to get on paper. For this retreat, I wanted to focus primarily on fall 2013 photos, pictures from my high school, and some instagram pics. Once I've figured out what I want to do, I can really start prepping.



A week or two before, I start prepping kits to bring to my retreat. I subscribe to Studio Calico kit club, but I also like to build kits out of my stash. This helps me to manage the plethora of papers and embellishments that I've collected over the years. Kits are a great way to streamline the scrapbook process. I grab a few, go to a crop or a retreat with photos in hand and I'm ready to get craftin'. 



I am a fast packer. I can pull my stuff together in a matter of an hour or two before a retreat or crop (probably because I've done it so many times). Like in everything I do, I start with a list.

I begin packing with a list.

I began by pulling photos. Then I grabbed my kits. After that I organized my pattern papers (by manufacturer or theme) and cardstock (by color) in Paperfolios.

Paper kits store very nicely in a light, portable plastic bin. 

Pattern paper is stored by manufacturer mostly. 

 Cardstock is organized by color.

Once I had pulled some of the bigger items, I focused my attention to gathering stickers, Thickers, tags and other embellishments. I put them in this handy, old card catalog. I usually store 6x6 paper pads in it, but for retreats it converts to easy embellishment storage. I also grabbed a stack of inspirational scrapbook magazines and 52 More Scrapbooking Challenges by Elizabeth Kartchner.

This handy card organizer is perfect for traveling embellies.

 I love flipping through magazines and books for inspiration.

 Next, I load up my rolling tote with stamps, inks, mists, washi tape and punches.

Stamps, inks, mists, and washi tape go in the front pocket.

 Punches and laptop go here.

 Last of all, I organize my tools. Sometimes I bring my tool carousel, but for this retreat I wanted to keep it simple. I have pens, scissors, cutters, and adhesive. And, I a sturdy paper storage case houses my finished products, so I can bring them home safely.

This tool organizer was only $1 at Michael's.

Iris Containers are great for storing layouts before they go in albums.

And I'm done. Now I can attend my retreat and get everything (or most everything) accomplished that I set out to do. Ready, set, go!

All packed and ready to go. 

Thanks for having me on the blog again today. I'm going to get to scrapping now, and enjoy the rest of this lovely afternoon.

With Love,