Many of you know my dear friend, Ginger Ropp (aka "My Sisters Scrapper"). A talented, fun, spitfire of a lady who I've been lucky to call my friend for almost 10 years now. Like me, she's been part of the crafting community for a long time. (If you ever want to learn how to make a mini album, just visit her YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/mysistersscrapper. She's the Queen!)
We've attended Creativation together several times, served on the Graphic 45 design team together, taught creative classes together, hosted our annual Creative Mountain Retreat together, and talk on Marco Polo constantly. This year would have been our fifth and final year of our retreat, but as many of you already know, Ginger passed away just a few days ago after her battle with Covid. While I am deeply saddened by this loss, I am not here today to be glum about it. I prefer to honor her with some photos and memories. Here are a few with some descriptions below each. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.
The first time we met at CHA (what we now called Creativation). We were both on the Graphic 45 design team back then.
This was on a planning trip to Portland, back when Ginger lived in Washington and we were trying to decide where to host our retreat. At first we thought somewhere near Portland, which is also near the Graphic 45 office. We drove all over looking at Inns and hotels.
We, of course, had to visit the Graphic 45 office and then were treated to dinner by the G45 family.
We eventually went to Seattle and enjoyed all the touristy things to do there. These delicious goodies were rice crispy treats covered in chocolate.
Then came our first retreat at Echo Mountain Inn in Hendersonville, NC. The friendship was officially solidified at this point. We were like a couple of giggling school girls.
Then a year flew by and we had our second retreat!
And our third.
Even though we both were travel teaching all over the states, this retreat became our most favorite event. It was a pure joy to do together. No drama, no hassles. Just two "sisters" having fun.
In between those retreats, we still saw each other at Creativation in January.
No matter the event, there always seemed to be whiskey involved. It became a tradition at all our retreats.
Pajama Day at the retreat is always the last day, so everyone can relax and unwind and finish up their projects from the weekend. And Ginger and I finally got a chance to sit down. This picture makes me smile because when Ginger first saw it, she gasped and said, "What's that pink thing in between your legs?!! It was the drawstring, of course, but we did have a big laugh over that one.
I went to Arizona shortly after she moved there, for another planning session for the next retreat. We spent a lot of time driving around Arizona considering a new location, but we ended up returning to the Echo Mountain Inn again. It was just the perfect place.
And, of course, while near Phoenix we had to stop in at the fabulous Scraps Of Love where I got to meet Chris and her daughter Sam, and even got to jump in on their Sunday Facebook Live session.
Another Creativation together. A highlight is the Graphic 45 family dinner.
This is a favorite. Ginger and I got ourselves into this designer's challenge at Creativation and here Ginger is taking her turn. You had about a minute to make something out of the supplies they put in front of you. She was a RIOT!
Our fourth retreat, last Fall 2020, was very different. All guests wore masks, stayed as safe as possible, and we had a fantastic time. Absolutely NO ONE got Covid as a result of this gathering.
Once we got outside, we quickly pulled off the masks for a quick picture. I'm glad we did. At this time, we agreed to do just one more retreat together and then move on to other ventures.
Sadly, here we are now in 2021, wrapping up all the details for this final retreat, and she got Covid in early September. Three weeks of a very hard fight in the ICU, and then she was gone.
The retreat will go on, and we will honor her in spirit, and I'll be sure to share it all with you in my annual video, as well as on my social media.
To wrap up this post, I wanted to share this last photo. This might be my most favorite of all. It's a screen shot of us on Marco Polo, which we used to communicate all the time. All. The. Time. I have tons and tons of conversations between us that are all saved. And yes, I have already gone back and watched many of them and will continue to for as long as I can. As you can see, we laughed a lot. A whole lot. We shared what we were working on, we worked out ideas together, and we unloaded when we needed to do that too. I think this is what I am going to miss the most.
Rest in peace my dear Ginger. I miss you so much already.