Thursday, 27 October 2011

(Rose)Mary Berry!

Okay so the baking plans didn't go to plan. Georgia found something more interesting to do and I should never have started as I didnt feel too good. But I had said I would do it and so I did. What I did though was set my scales on one unit of measurement and measured all my ingredients in another. Doh! So into the bin with that batch. But next day I made up for it and did cupcakes, soup and more - and really enjoyed myself. (Okay I should add that I am the only one able to eat the soup as I doubled up on chillies to give it an extra kick)!

Esthers demo went really well - her samples were all in black and white. We made sure to book Esther for our next birthday demo day. Clare's (aka Molly Bloom) demo was also very successful!

Been up to my neck in retreat preparations and prep for my own workshops. Looking forward to a busy White Christmas class tomorrow. If I bring mince pies do you think they will let me play Christmas music, or am I pushing my luck?

I love white on white! The card below is using the bargello technique (ha ha - my predictive text just changed Bargello to bagel! Now that technique I do like! ).

Information packs to retreaters are very nearly ready to go out.

Just making final checks and sealing envelopes. Can't wait to see everyone again.

Let's get Christmas crafting!

Love Rosemary x

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPa

Friday, 7 October 2011

Cake, coffee and crafting!

Had a great day yesterday teaching classes. It is always lovely to spend a concentrated amount of time with people when I spend so much time dashing about in the shop. Now the weather has turned nasty in the past few days what better way to spend a day than drinking coffee, eating cake and doing some crafting.

This card is from the Wishing on a Star class and below shows the inside of a book /card from the hougie board class.

2012 retreat bookings are going well - November is over half full and the card making and scrapbooking ones are both over a third full. Debi and I are really enjoying working towards our Christmas themed retreat in five weeks. With 77 attendees pack making is rather time consuming! This is our 10th retreat and we still haven't lost the buzz!

This weekend Georgia and I are planning to do some baking - well she wants to do cake and I want to try a recipe I have for butternut squash soup. Might be a little fraught in our kitchen. Nige is banished to the garden to give it a good pre-winter tidy. No, don't feel sorry for him - he will have plenty of help in the form of Boo, Teddy and Cubby!

If you are near Frodsham today Esther will be there all day demonstrating new creatables and embossing folders! Pop in and say hello. Also don't forget our Molly Bloom demo all day next Saturday. Visit the website for more details.

Off to attack the weekend (well might have another coffee first). Have a good one.

Rosemary x

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Demo dates!

So, is it Autumn or is it not? Our scarecrows are awfully confused! Not complaining though - what a lovely week. I feel like I have waited months for this.

At Crab Apple we have another busy week ahead. We have the always popular Esther from Kars with us this coming Saturday 8th October demoing the new creatables dies and new embossing folders. And then the Saturday after we have Clare the designer of Molly Blooms stamps demoing her new designs all day. I am rather excited about this as I know she has some fantastic samples and, like me, she loves folded cards and books. So please do drop by for either, or both, of these demo days for some crafting inspiration.

Today we open bookings for next years Forest Hills crafting retreats. Something tells me Nige is going to be busy on the phone. If you fancy an indulgent crafting weekend in 2012 do visit our website for details.

Hope you are having a great week.

Rosemary x

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPa

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Scarecrow Trail at Lady Heyes.

Lady Heyes has a scarecrow trail running for the next month where each shop has been encouraged to make a scarecrow to display outside their shop. As we were passing Lady Heyes in the dusk earlier tonight on our way back from our favourite fish and chip restaurant we glanced down towards our shop and to our horror saw a car with full beam on, facing the side door. We screeched to a halt, turned around and raced back and round the car find Joel and his girlfriend Dani securing the scarecrow they had made, to the drainpipe. Guess who the scarecrow was modelled on?

Have a great weekend and enjoy the sun!

Love Rosemary x

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Black Sunday!

Despite Nige being convinced to the contrary I did not sit on it or drop it. In fact, I had been so busy doing other things that I hadn't even picked it up for two days. So imagine my horror when I turned my iPad on to find autumnal coloured lines across the whole screen. Kaput! What was I to do? All my calendar dates, craft retreat notes, class ideas, present buying ideas etc etc were on there. And it was the only way I knew to write and publish my blog! Okay I know that was a long winded excuse but there you have it! The reason for my silence. After counting my pennies that I had saved in one of those coin sorter things and moping about with cow eyes for an hour or so the man in charge decided I could have another. But that was not before trying to get me to agree to share his! As if!

There has been such a lot happening since I last posted. I do love September. Almost feels like it should be the start of the new year. We have had a great month in the shop with coffee morning and our preview afternoon at the start and then most recently, this last weekend, our 12th birthday at Lady Heyes, we had a great demo day with multiple demonstrators. It was so successful we are planning our next for the first weekend in March 2012. (We also have regular demo days with just one demonstrator - both Esther from Kars and Clare from Molly Blooms will be visiting us in October).

Most of you will know the other major thing to happen in the Merry household is the arrival of Cubby, pint sized but a major pain in the neck. I never realised that the smaller the puppy the bigger the scrapes he can get into. Still, he has brought such a lot of pleasure in the past ten days that we think we will keep him.

Debi and I are working on projects for the November retreat and they are coming along rather nicely. Retreat bookings for next years 3 retreats will open next Wednesday so if you want to come along get ready for that!

Could write a book sized post as I feel such a lot has happened this month - but I won't. If you want to really stay up to date with what is happening at Crab Apple Crafts join us on Facebook. All the cards shown are from Lindsay Masons demo last Saturday.

And yes, finally, summer has arrived and I plan to enjoy it in all it's fullness - with a full line of washing out. Oh the pleasures of seeing that!

Fun Fall crafting to you all! Off to teach my last Jul/Aug/Sept Thru the Year scrapbook class to 16 lovely ladies this morning.

Love Rosemary (and Cubby who is biting my hand as I type).

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

The heat is on .....

Literally! That was not an intro to a song. Can you believe it went horrible so quickly. Don't normally mind getting out the woollies but we haven't been away this year and I don't feel ready for dark nights and grey skies yet.

Just because I have been quiet doesnt mean I have been idle. My friend Janey and I made 90 thank you cards for a charity concert two weekends ago. We got a production line going and with coffee, cake and chat, the job didn't seem half as bad.

The shop has also been really busy. Obviously this is due in part to the new products that have been coming in every week but also it always feels that when the weather turns nasty our thoughts turn to getting going on our crafting again. Although I seriously hope the current weather is only a minor hiccup and that we haven't seen the last of summer!

Before I go any further I want to say a massive thank you for all the birthday cards and gifts I received last week. It was so kind and thoughtful. These are just a few of the cards I received.

And the cake Annette made!

Our Autumn/Christmas workshop programme starts with a fanfare this week with our two coffee mornings where I will highlight some of the many new products we have had coming in and throw some demos in too. The Basic Grey Nordic range is shown below.

Also, for the first time, we are holding a preview afternoon. Debi is working really hard to make as many samples as she can for that day so that you can see what the work shops will involve. There are some limitations in that some christmas ranges don't come in until October but if we don't have samples we will, hopefully, have storyboards to show you what materials and techniques you will use on the classes. Also Debi and I will be there to answer any queries you have on the workshops. All are welcome - it is free - and coffee will be provided.

Better get back to my prep for Thursday. Before I forget, Crab Apple now has a facebook page - if you want to follow you can join from this blog page.

Cheerio for now

Rosemary x

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Christmas Is coming etc etc

Well it is done! Our 2011 Autumn/Christmas programme is complete, showing all the classes we are running up until December. Descriptions are also included in the brochure from today. Bookings opened less than a week ago and we already have over 300 bookings. We are confident we have a great programme to look forward to. If you don't like to book 'blind' come along to our free Preview Afternoon on September 3rd and see samples and talk to Debi and myself. Come along anyway for a coffee.

I have been really busy with a show last week but I am now back and raring to go. I have been placing orders left, right and centre to fill the gaps that we created by placing a lot of items in our sale. These orders have just started to arrive, in fact I have a hot water bottle on my back as I type due to the number of boxes I was dragging around the shop yesterday, that contained new stock. Today we will have on the shelves new embossing folders from Kars, the new Graphic 45 Wizard of Oz paper range, new Marianne creatables and much more. One thing I put out yesterday that is already selling well is the new Craftwork Cards monthly collection - 'Christmas Warren'.

I did take some time over the past weekend to make a book for a friends special birthday. She was so thrilled with it.

This weekend I am looking forward to starting work on the Christmas workshops I am running. Also I have promised a friend I will design and help make 90 thank you cards for a special charity concert. Eek - just realized the concert is next weekend!

Don't know whether this Autumnal weather is just a 'blip' or whether it is here to stay but my thoughts always turn to snuggly sweaters, hot chocolate and settling down to crafting. Join me?

Love Rosemary x

PS. I know that some of you like book recommendations (as I do) and so i wanted to mention two books I read the week before last and couldn't put down - Jodi Picoult's Change of Heart and The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold ( the latter I have steered clear of for ages but loved it).

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Thursday, 28 July 2011

No news is news!

I know a lot of you are waiting for 'news' and I assure you that wheels are turning, very slowly, but you will be the first to know anything. With retreat work and the shop being so unseasonably busy and show rehearsals I have welcomed the lull before the storm. Also I have started the Christmas buying and Debi and I sat down to plan our Christmas programme last week. Yes, I know,I do have one of the best jobs in the world.

I have been particularly quiet recently as I am taking part in an all singing, all dancing show at the Forum theatre in Chester next week and rehearsals have been heavy, heavy, heavy.

And those poor guys are still managing to smile! How very professional of them!

Managed a day out to Colwyn Bay in North Wales this week and what a beautiful day that was. Boo and Teddy love the beach.

People seem to have a thing at the moment about lifting me up!

On the domestic front Nige and I are the proud parents of these baby potatoes,

our very first potatoes I should add; our first blueberries,

and tomatoes (we are old hands at tomatoes now).

Our Autumn/Christmas workshop programme is being finalized as I type, and we are very pleased with the content. It will be published and open to bookings from Wednesday, August 3rd, which is also the day our summer sale starts!

Must dash - costumes to sort!

Craft yourself crazy!

Rosemary x
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Saturday, 16 July 2011

And there's more!

Another beautiful day dawned and everyone was raring to go again. The classes were optional but proved so popular that at times there were only a handful of people left in the cropping room.

The Vintage Whimsical Book was definitely our most challenging class but well worth the sweat and tears. This pretty book was made completely from scratch and had plenty of pockets inside. We made good use of the big bite hole tool as the book pockets were bound at the spine with ribbon. This is one class we will be running in the shop early September so watch this space if you are interested.

We grabbed a quick coffee and got down to our last class. Although we completed four double page layouts and a title and end page this 8 x 8" Almost Done scrap booking class was a cinch as all the pieces had been cut beforehand so it was just a matter of putting the pages together. We used Fancy Pants It's the Little Things for this which is a very appealing general range.

Following a carvery lunch (always my fave) the afternoon was free to finish up, and also to announce the winner of our Wonderwall and our Queen of the Crop!

And so another retreat bites the dust but the number of emails, cards and gifts that we have received, and are still receiving, just gives us the impetus to start planning the next. I did chill on Monday but Tuesday I was there notebook in hand!

Dates are out for next years retreats but bookings have not opened yet. We look forward to seeing old friends but also love to meet new ones. The photo below shows half of our group of ladies - the other half wouldn't leave their cropping!

This weekend is our Christmas in July weekend and it is gonna be busy with two Molly Blooms classes today and House Mouse and Whimsical Noel class tomorrow. (Can you tell we love the word whimsical at the moment?). Will post photos of those in a few days.

So Happy Christmas!

Rosemary x

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Thursday, 14 July 2011

All done and dusted!

That heading does not refer to my house I hasten to add - that needs some serious attention! It refers to our ninth retreat and what a great one it was. We had a great time and I know you did too judging by the emails we have had since. Thank you for your feedback - it really makes all the hard work worthwhile to know how much you got out of it. We counted up that we had worked a 39 hour weekend from Friday to Sunday so no wonder we were a little tired on Monday! I just daren't get on the scales yet after a weekend of eating like that - in fact yesterday Nige and I were reliving the desserts in our minds!

The crop room opened at 5.30pm Friday, although we had greeted most of you over coffee and cake at Crab Apple Crafts in the afternoon, and by 5.40pm the whole room looked like a bomb had hit it. Some serious scrapping had been planned. Although we didn't have any classes that first evening we did hand out an optional project that we had planned to kickstart those of you who needed it.

What always amazes me is that, even after a long day that involves a lot of travel for some of you, you are still loathe to stop scrapbooking at midnight! We were flagging though even if you weren't and still had to stay to put out your goody boxes for the morning.

Saturday started with a 9 o'clock summer bunting book/banner class using the new Countrytime range from Echo park. Anne was proudly holding up her finished project and it was a minute before somebody realized hers was back to front and reading 'remmus' instead of Summer! Quickly sorted though.

A lettering technique class followed and then lunch before we attempted my fave class of the day - the back to front canvas frame using Bo Bunny's Gabrielle paper range.

We did manage to fit in another technique class before dinner using a 12 x 12" plastic template to make a 12 x 12" layout, an 8 x 8" layout and a card.

After a leisurely dinner you were free to scrap the evening away or join Nige on his Nocturnal Exposure trek. It was a beautiful evening and well worth the stroll onto the hill to catch the sunset and have some landmarks pointed out. We were lucky to have some beautiful weather in which to enjoy the views from the crop room and classroom.

And so to bed - will tell you about Sunday tomorrow.


Rosemary x

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, 8 July 2011

Ready and waiting?

Well I made it through 2 weeks that included 23 hours of dance rehearsals,two coffee mornings and manic preparation for our scrap booking retreat. Now I love being busy but there have been times over the past ten days when I wondered whether I had taken too much on. But just when I start to think I should pull back a little I get an email from my 94 year old housebound and partially blind neighbour to tell me she has a new laptop and could I update her email address!! So I shall not slow down until I absolutely have to!

Marge made loads of her gorgeous cupcakes for coffee morning!

We have waded through boxes and boxes of new product, some of which only made it onto the shelves for a day or so as you snapped it up. I thoroughly enjoyed coffee morning and two more of you succumbed to the vagabond machine! We had a rush on tissue tape when you saw how versatile it was but it came back into stock yesterday. You are loving the extended range of 6" x 6" pads and also the new range of dielicious dies from do crafts.

The sample below shows a demo of the new Indigo Blu stamps we had in.

So today sees the start of our 2011 scrap booking weekend retreat and we are ready and waiting to get started. We are confident the classes are even better than last years! I will post photos on my blog of the weekend and the projects. We have worked so hard cutting kits for the classes so that everyone can complete as much as possible during the sessions. In fact I cut 1,980 pieces for my Almost Done class alone!

Anyway must dash as we are setting up at the hotel from 9am. Have a great weekend - I know I will.

Scrap happy!

Rosemary x

Ps watch out for an august schedule next week as we have listened and are including a Craft n Chat and Stay n Play in August. Some of you just don't want us to have a rest do you?

Coffee morning
New products

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad