Sunday, 30 January 2011

That was the week that was!

This week - two coffee mornings at the shop, 3 show rehearsals, a charity show and laryngitis! I couldn't be accused of sitting back on my laurels. In fact, my mum forbade me from going to a rehearsal Friday night, threatening to phone and check I hadn't gone out. I haven't even lived at home for 25 years!!

The show on Thursday night was in aid of Claire House childrens hospice and we had a great night. It was an honour to be part of something that was for such a worthwhile cause. Joel mingled in costume after the show and he loved chatting with people. This dear man said he had never really appreciated Michael Jacksons music but that he was going to go home and start listening to it. Life is really about people isn't it!

Glue dots once again played a very large part! My mother-in-law made all the costumes for our MJ tribute set (even though she swears she is not a sewer!). I wish I was as poor a sewer as her. Glue dots were used to stick the large gems on this costume. The built up shoulders were made from empty acrylic Christmas card boxes and velcroed to the shoulders. My dad made the plinth which was sprayed with granite stone spray.

Thriller was my favourite part of our 15 minute set. Being masked meant I was totally anonymous and could enjoy myself!

Coffee morning was good fun. I love having a combined social and craft inspired morning. There are always so many new products to show and demo. My favourite demo was the hougie board. I love folding and to have a board that I can use for clever folded cards, mini books, any size box or envelope and particularly to be able to switch between cms and inches just by turning the board over is exciting.

My other fave thing this month is the range of layout sketches books from scrapbook generations. To the non scrap booker these probably look like the most boring books ever but they are so inspiring to me. Alison agrees with me as she ordered the whole six of them too!

Anyway off to rest up in readiness for a looooong rehearsal later today. The kids are laughing at me because they say I sound like the very thin tube-like muppet who can only squeak! Think they are all enjoying the peace. I'll make up for it.

Oh, just want to introduce you to the newest member of our family. Didn't even know we were getting him. Joel sprang him on us. Sure he knew what we would say if he actually asked before getting him. Just thought it odd when he added romaine lettuce, cucumber, grapes and strawberries to the shopping list - he runs a mile from veg and he wouldn't know a romaine lettuce if it hit him in the face! Anyway his name is Huey and he is quite cute. I am working up to having a hold of him. Nige says it is like holding a wafer.

Yours silently

Rosemary x

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Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Off to CHA - Not!

I can't really believe I am not heading out to California this week for the big event of the craft retailers year. And do you know why I am not going? Because the kids want me to be part of a ten minute routine in their MJ tribute dance group at a charity event. They haven't even said they want me in it because I am good. But they did say I was reliable which was quite nice of them, I suppose!! They do make me wear a mask though - methinks that is to disguise the fact that I am twice as old as the other dancers! Anyway I did a bit of footstamping and pouting insisting that I just have to go to the summer show in Chicago instead and Nige patted my hand and said that was fine. Still feel I am missing out though.

No that is not me in my disguise but Joel!

Coffee morning tomorrow and Saturday. I only went into the shop today to set up for it and get out new products to show and look what came in. New Echo Park papers - yum! Too late to work up some samples for tomorrow but did manage to have a good stroke of them.

Ah well, better go and get some rest. Big day tomorrow with coffee morning and the charity show in the evening. You see I had even forgotten I wasn't going to CHA (almost)!

May the force be with you!

Rosemary x

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Monday, 24 January 2011

A great find!

Just wanted to share one of my fave tools of the moment. A couple of months back we were shown a corner rounder punch by one of our regular reps and I am sure he thought he was flogging a dead horse trying to show me another brand of punches when the market is saturated with them. But he happened to mention that the corners of the punch slide out to make it a border punch. Oh how my eyes lit up! I love corner rounders but I love scallop borders even more, and at an RRP of £4.99 I knew we were onto a winner. So here it is firstly as a corner rounder

....then as a scallop border

.....and then bringing my cropadile into play, as a scallop lace border.

I know it doesn't take much to thrill me but what a find! No card or scrapbook page will be safe now.

Happy crafting!

Rosemary x

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Friday, 21 January 2011

And how we laughed!

How good it was to get back to normal in the workshop with our first craft 'n' chat of 2011. Plenty of crafting went on but there was also a lot of chatting, eating of cake and, boy, did we laugh. In fact, the lady on the right in the photo in red and beige is my mum. She does tend to get overexcited when my dad lets her out!

Workshop bookings are going very well. It seems you really want to get going again with your crafting. We are trying to get samples for classes on display in the shop and on the website three weeks before each class. The drawers below are our next 'wooden it be lovely' class using the oh so lovely Modern Homemaker papers from October afternoon. This would brighten up any craft room!

I am working my way around the shop sorting all the different areas out but I haven't managed to get very far from the front door yet. Things would happen a lot faster if we didn't have to deal with customers too! Joking of course.

Our paper aisles are looking good and new paper ranges are arriving weekly. Well you just have to have the new designs don't you?

I am looking forward to a free Saturday. Well a free Saturday to a woman means catching up with cleaning, washing and ironing but, hey, I will feel good tomorrow night when I have accomplished all that.

Nige and I have been on the diet chef diet for 4 days and we have both lost a few pounds so to celebrate our success we went out to our favourite fish and chip restaurant for tea. Oops! And then weopened a tub of chocolate mingles in the car on the way home (thank you Bri & Mo). Glad we had already dropped off Georgia and Joel at their grandparents or we would have had to share them. Seriously, I have four weeks to lose half a stone. I am in a show then and I have realized that out of the four women in it I am the only one that the men don't have to lift during any dance. Think I would have felt even worse if they had had to get all four to lift me at once!

Been working on samples for coffee morning all day and really enjoyed myself. I miss having the time to craft for myself so this is a good second best. I love having to work on things that don't always appeal to me but are popular with customers. We all have our own styles but it is good to be challenged with product that I wouldn't normally choose. Also I often end up being quite taken with products that didn't previously appeal! Not telling what I have been working with as it will spoil it for coffee morning next week!

Just had to close with a cute photo of our Teddy boy enjoying his Christmas!

Have a great weekend whatever you are doing!

Rosemary x

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Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Out with the cold, in with the new!

Well maybe not a drastic change yet but I have been able to turn the heat down in the house and that's saying something for me. Please Spring come quickly as I am really not a fan of January.

We had a great Panto week. Eight performances and still working in the day really is wearing though so it is good to have at least a couple of nights at home this week. I promised to post some photo's and this one really does show how fantastic glue dots really are! I broke the backs off a pair of OTT earrings and used glue dots to stick them to a pair of chopsticks. Thought the stage lights might cause some problems but the same glue dots lasted the week with no repairs whatsoever!

Not actually being on stage until page 30 meant I had plenty of chilling time in the dressing room so I thought I would make some shop samples with new Kanban products. Having to explain what I was doing to every new person that came into the dressing room did get a little tedious so I gave up in the end and worked my way through a tin of quality street! Boy they were good.

Our sale ends today and thankfully there isn't too much to clear away. I am now eager to get back to holding workshops and crops. It will be good to see all my craft 'n' chat buddies on Thursday, and even better as we can now take 16! Bring on the crafting! (the chat and cake aren't too bad either).

I am prepping for coffee morning at the moment. I know our trade shows are still three or four weeks away but there are always new products arriving to show and demo with. Loving the Modern Homemaker papers and embellishments from October Afternoon. Debi and I are fighting over who can use them in classes! Sewing and cooking themes seem to be even bigger in paper, stamps etc, and all with a retro feel. Love it!

Keep warm and keep crafting!

Rosemary x

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Sunday, 9 January 2011

Panto time - oh yes it is!

Can't believe Panto week starts today. I am looking forward to spending a lot of time this week with fellow performers! We started rehearsing in September and what a lot of fun we have had. It is good for me to be able to have a diversion from work - not that I get tired of crafting but when it is your job too it is good to do something entirely different now and again. I will post some photos in a day or so.

What a week we have had in the shop! I mentioned the other day that I've been sorting papers, well we have completely moved our paper shop into the main shop and it took me a whole day to sort just one side of the run of paper we now have. It has been frustrating not to have had the chance to sort the other side yet but hopefully this week things will take more shape. We have had new stock arriving daily and no chance to really think about where we want to display it. O how I love a new year - always makes me want to make changes and move furniture (much to Nige's annoyance).

I just had to post this picture of my dear crafting friend, Moria, in her snazzy winter hat! I am surprised Nige let her into the Craft n Chat looking like that. Congratulations on becoming a grandma this week, Moria.

I have been planning my new Thru' the Year scrapbook class. I, for one, relish the thought of scapbooking 2011 as it happens, just having a double page layout for each month. I can imagine myself feeling quite smug at the end of the year. It is also making me think on a daily basis about the little things that happen every day that make up my year and deserve a mention that month!

Must go get my porridge before putting my 'slap' on for the show and backcombing my hair to within an inch if it's life! Being the Empress Tutti Frutti is very high maintenance!

Just wanted to show you a couple of photos of the cutest customer we had in the shop this Christmas! Say hello to Buster.

Yes this is a picture of Nige slumped behind the counter!

Have a good Sunday.

Rosemary x

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Thursday, 6 January 2011

What a day!

Well what a day! I spent all day organizing and replenishing 12" x 12" papers at the shop while Nige priced new orders that had come in (he has two more to do tomorrow). We were fairly quiet with customers during the morning, but then the afternoon was absolute bedlam! People were loving our 50% sale, and lots of workshops got booked. All in all, a tough but rewarding day's work!

Rosemary x

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Location:At home!

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Happy Wednesday!

Hi!  Happy New Year and and welcome to my new blog!  It's going to take me a little while to get to grips with it, so please be patient with me.

We had a good day at QVC yesterday and I was really glad so many of you liked the products I was showing.  Today, I'm at home cleaning and Nige has been taking the Christmas tree and lights down, and we have a very grumpy repair man fixing our bolier. 

We're off the the shop soon because Joel is very busy with customers who've come to see our 50% sale, so I better dash.

Here's to blogging!  Love, Rosemary x