We spread our booty across our 5-foot workstations: papers, punches, stamps, inks, embossers, eyelets, all illuminated by task lamps perched atop the tables inside Village Victorian Scrapbook Retreat, a restored 19th-century home in Dresden, Ohio, stocked with state-of-the-art crafting supplies.
Then my mother whips out a container packed with booklets and silicone keyboards and cartridges snapped into two orderly rows. "What is that?" I ask the matriarch of my crafting world. She has introduced me to every medium: pencil drawing, acrylic painting, card-making. But these techy-looking tools surpassed my scrapbooking supplies of scissors and glue.
"It's for the Cricut," she says.
The machine resembles a miniature printer but acts as a die cut. Lay a customized keyboard along its blank, interchangable buttons, pop in the coordinating cartridge and every shape, every silhouette, every phrase contained in the accompanying booklet is suddenly at your fingertips.
A new world appears before my eyes. I don't need the stickers and chipboard cutouts I've come with. I can make anything I want — well, anything up to 5 inches wide. "I've got to try this out," I say.
My mother instructs me to place my shimmering red paper on a sticky mat and feed it into the Cricut's base. A press of a button here, a shift key there and the miniscule blade is slicing the silhouette of a heart. "Look at that!" I squeal in delight as it takes shape. But as my mother pivots from the tabletop device, the paper takes a misguided turn. "It's caught! Mom, come back! It's tearing!" I yell.
My 28-year-old self has been reduced to a toddler whose new toy has broken.
My mother leaps to action. Seconds later, a perfectly shaped heart pops out. She tells me to try again. I do, over and over for hours, until dozens of shapes are cut. I smile at my stack of hearts, letters, butterflies — and look over to see my mother has completed an entire scrapbook.
Designed for the crafter at heart, this scrapbooking trip in Dresden, Ohio, is full of artsy adventures.
3 p.m. Dig through the goodie bag Yvonne Hammond, owner of Village Victorian Scrapbook Retreat, left at your station — the stickers (and chocolate) inside will come in handy.
6 p.m. Join other crafters at the dining room's mahogany table, where Hammond dishes up meals such as chicken and broccoli casserole.
9 a.m. Your wake-up call will be the smell of coffee. Indulge in a breakfast buffet that could include a homemade quiche, bagels, cinnamon buns, fruit salad and more.
10 a.m. If you haven't yet, crack open Hammond's cupboard of scrapbooking supplies. Use her Xyron machine to make your own stickers.
1 p.m. Travel to the Longaberger Homestead, where you can weave a box ($59.95) to hold the recipes Hammond is sure to share.
3 p.m. Snap a photo by the World's Largest Basket — a 48-foot-long, 23-foot-tall woven building smack in the center of Dresden's shopping district — and save it for your next scrapbooking project.
3:30 p.m. Pop into Miller's Emporium to purchase Dresden-centric scrapbooking supplies, such as basket and town map stickers, made by local crafter Rachel Wolters.
4 p.m. Browse through H.O.P.E.'s two-room store, where you'll find refinished furniture, locally made jewelry and framed art, before heading back to the retreat.
8 p.m. Duck into the Depot and select from nearly 20 wines by the glass produced at nearby Ohio wineries. We recommend Stonecrest Winery's strawberry wine ($5).
1 p.m. After a morning spent hunched over your workstation, relieve tired muscles with an in-suite massage. Reserve services when booking the Village Victorian Scrapbook Retreat