September 25 - 27, 2020. Registration will open in spring!

Friday, August 30, 2013

Summer's End; Appetizer Edition

Or, a la recherche des hors d'oeuvres perdus.

When I look in my storage container drawer and notice I'm out of plastic, I know that it's time to clean out the fridge.  I threw out 1/8 of a brie wheel with Cranberry chutney baked in puff pastry, a little cream cheese mixed with fresh herbs and garlic (they were fresh in June....) some ricotta with green spots, a fuzzy lime wedge, one chicken drum stick (ditto spots) and some left over orange slices that had been soaked in Sangria back in July (the orange slices still smelled yummy.) Summer is over when the remains of all the parties are gone and the sink is full of plastic soaking in a weak bleach solution.

But we always have fabulous appetizers at Great Escape!   This year we're planning some morning amuse-bouches for early risers as well.  REGISTER to experience the great cooking of Fluke and her crew.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Upcycling again...

The other day I wrote about how upcycling is so new, spell check can't handle it.  But it's not so new that it doesn't have its own magazine!  Last Friday night at Barnes and Noble I noticed a magazine called"Reloved: The Creative Guide to Upcycling."  It was the first issue, and it's British.  There was only one idea in it that I hadn't seen on Pinterest before (but it's probably there.)  I'm going to make that idea and bring one to the Great Escape for the auction.  Maybe it will be a workshop next year!

This reminded me of one of my favorite comic strips, Calvin and Hobbes of blessed memory.  Calvin subscribes to Chewing magazine, which is devoted to the art and science of chewing gum and provides reviews of gum, the best clothing to wear while get the picture.  Hobbes finds the magazine to be a waste of time and money.  When those strips came out, I was working for a magazine company that published Popular Photography, PC Magazine and other consumer publications.  Needless to say, those cartoons were posted on many bulletin boards around the company.

Anyhow, if you come to Great Escape, you can save the cost of subscribing to Reloved.  We'll show you how it's done!  REGISTER for Great Escape 2013, October 4 - 6.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

True Confessions

Sometimes, when I am alone in my house, or when I have special guests I wear....

an apron.  (BTW it was originally a napron.  Like a napkin.  But 'a napron' got stuck together and cut apart on the wrong line.  Just saying.)  I have Christmas and Thanksgiving and hostess and chicken and frilly and. ... aprons.

Now the New York Times says it's cool.  (Sigh of relief.)  See the article here:  Kitchen Apron Style.

If you want to wear one at Great Escape, we're behind you 100%.  In fact, I might let you wear one of mine.

REGISTER  for the 2013 Great Escape, October 4 - 6.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Auction Gift Basket Themes

 This is going to be a long, long post so let's get the end message out of the way; REGISTER for Great Escape 2013, October 4-6.

At Great Escape, we have silent and live auctions, to benefit our GSEM camps.  We ask people to create and bring gift baskets to be auctioned on Saturday night after dinner.  But, you say, how am I to think of a theme for a gift basket?  Fear not. Here are 99 themes for gift baskets.  Some are much better than others, but I'm sure there must be one that would light your fire of creativity!

99 Gift Basket Themes
  1. New baby
  2. Baskets for Pets
  3. New Mom
  4. Christmas
  5. Easter
  6. Valentine's Day
  7. Corporate
  8. Wine Lovers
  9. Fundraising
  10. Sympathy
  11. Get Well
  12. Cookie Lovers
  13. New Dad
  14. Cheese
  15. Ravelers / Fiber Artist (see the Ravelry website.)
  16. Nut Lovers
  17. Engagement
  18. Mexican
  19. New Years Eve
  20. Hanukkah
  21. Boss's Day
  22. Tea Lovers
  23. Relaxation
  24. Gardener's
  25. Beach
  26. Bachelor(ette) Party
  27. Basketball Players
  28. Football Players
  29. Aromatherapy
  30. Ice Cream Lovers
  31. Teacher
  32. New Job
  33. Lottery
  34. Baptism
  35. Golfers
  36. Graduation
  37. Mother's Day
  38. Father's Day
  39. Birthday
  40. Wedding
  41. Fruit
  42. Gourmet Food
  43. Patriotic
  44. Coffee Lovers
  45. Italian
  46. Flower
  47. Anniversary
  48. Food
  49. Thank You
  50. Apology
  51. Movie
  52. Music
  53. Spices
  54. Bon Voyage
  55. Secretary's Day
  56. Grandparent's Day
  57. St. Patrick's Day
  58. Baker
  59. Crafter
  60. Fudge Lovers
  61. Bridge Players
  62. Handyman
  63. Organic Foods
  64. Skiers
  65. Soup Lovers
  66. Snack
  67. Divorce
  68. Get Well
  69. New Home
  70. Romance
  71. Chocolate Lovers
  72. Pasta Lovers
  73. Fondue
  74. Sugar Free/ Diabetic
  75. Spa
  76. Popcorn
  77. Kids
  78. Bath
  79. Candle
  80. Book
  81. Beer Lover's
  82. Retirement
  83. Dog
  84. Cat
  85. Champagne
  86. Picnic
  87. Herbs
  88. Barbecue Lovers
  89. Bowlers
  90. Over the Hill
  91. Car Lovers
  92. Bagel Lovers
  93. Hangover
  94. Balloons
  95. Congratulations
  96. Spicy Foods
  97. Toy
  98. Coin Collectors
  99. Coach

Saturday, August 10, 2013

What is Upcycling?

Deb writes:  If you've looked at the GE workshop list (here) you'll see that two, this year, are about upcycling materials.  Upcycling is an addition to the Reduce-Reuse-Recycle mantra that all GS are familiar with.

Upcycling (a term so new that spellcheck doesn't recognize it) is re-using a common material to make a fancier article.  I will be teaching a workshop on how to convert common tee-shirts into glamorous items - not just grocery bags, but jewelry and elegant apparel. Last winter I wore one of my creations to a restaurant and the waitress could not stop exclaiming at how different and eye-catching it was! I won't tell you more, come and be surprised at how easy it is to upgrade your wardrobe and make great gifts for others.

Sue will be turning plastic grocery bags - and we all have a stash of those! - into - well - I don't really know what she'll make but I have seen some of the possibilities she's come up with, so I am sure the class will be fabulous.

REGISTER here and join us - learn something new!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Pysanky Egg Workshop!

Louise writes: I love experimenting with the colors for my Pysanky eggs just as much as I love dying Easter eggs.  I find geometric designs easier to work with but have created my own design.  The glossy finish gives it that final touch of the true work of art that it is.  Check out the website below to see how the process works, for some design ideas, and the meaning of colors and symbols.  Then come and play!


See Louise's work!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

My First Live Auction: The Perfect Picnic Basket

Danielle writes:  My first Great Escape was my first experience with a live auction. I didn't know what to expect, but I brought my check book just in case. Kaye, the auctioneer, encouraged the crowd with her fabulous bid-calling. A few items piqued my interest, but I didn't win anything at first.

Then I saw it. Someone had donated an antique wooden picnic basket filled with DVDs and candy, but I only had eyes for the basket. It was exactly like one my mom had.  I knew I had to have it. I bid, there was a counter bid, I bid again, another counter, I upped the ante, and -- finally! -- it was all mine. The basket lives in my living room and makes occasional picnic trips with me. Every time I look at it I think of my mom and of my first Great Escape. It makes a great story when people say, "Oh my, where did you get that?!"

Don't forget to REGISTER for GE 2013, October 4 - 6.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Service Team Retreats

How important is your Service Team to the success of your town or city’s Girl Scout program?  Others may not realize how hard the SU team works, but we do!  Enjoy the crisp fall New Hampshire air and Girl Scout camaraderie as you get to know each other better and make your plans for another successful year.

Sign up to join us for Great Escape Weekend! 

We offer quiet meeting space to accommodate your group at no extra charge!  If you like, GSEM facilitators will provide ideas for team-building games and activities.

Register at

Contact Paula at for more information on SU retreats.