Friday, 22 April 2011

Hoppy Easter to you!

Just a quick message to wish you all a very happy and peaceful Easter holidays. Just hope the beautiful weather holds for the next few days at least. And thank you for cards, flowers and rhubarb! Yes you read that right. Two delightful ladies brought me rhubarb yesterday after I dropped a few hints. So at 5am this morning I was preparing some of it for the freezer. You are all so kind.

Here's to a weekend of reading, relaxing and crafting! (Note I didn't put chocolate in there after the migraine from hell I had yesterday.)


Rosemary x

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Wednesday, 20 April 2011

The sun has got his hat on!

Oh how good does the sun make you feel? Even if you don't like basking in it, it just makes everything seem brighter. I hate to say that I have been too busy having fun this past week to have gotten up to much 'craftiness'. But after our busy retreat it was good to pull back and catch up on things that had been sidelined - like friends and housework.

Curtains and light shades have been washed, paintwork wiped down, I have washed clothes, throws and cushion covers for Britain (yes I did get a new whirly wheel for the garden and yes I did have to carry it to the car with a curtain pole for joel's bedroom and a two man tent for Georgia - seriously).

We had a fantastic three days at our caravan in mid Wales at the weekend - even the kids came too. Five of us and two dogs (one 13 stone!) in a static caravan but it was perfect. Special memories. The only thing was I didn't get to nap at all!

Love this one of Nige disciplining Boo. Bear in mind (no pun intended on the word 'bear'!) that Nige is 6' 3".

Then yesterday Georgia and I had a girly day out in Manchester with a friend and her daughter - can't remember the last time I did that and we had a blast. I am normally a nightmare to shop with as I am like a man on a mission. I enter a shop clutching a list, do a quick lap and move onto the next. Yesterday we spent most of the time in the coffee shop for morning coffee and the restaurant for lunch but we still all managed to treat ourselves. It was after 6pm when we arrived home - hope Nige let's me out again!

Bet you can guess which pair were Georgias treat and which were mine.

But don't think I have been sitting back on my laurels. I have done a fair amount of ordering this week after the shop was ravaged by you cardcampers! New stuff is due next week. Also I have been planning workshops for June and, dare I say it, Christmas in July!

At the beginning of this week we opened the photo studio in our workshop. Joel gained a degree in photography and multi media last year and he is enjoying using those skills particularly on the editing side.We are optimistic about this and it sits so well with our belief that making memories is soooooo important! Visit for details.

I feel so much lighter of spirit since making my decision to resign from Qvc after months, if not years, of frustration. I have had a few interesting emails and phone calls so watch this space.

Love and much craftiness to you,


Ps I didn't want to miss the opportunity to thank you for the gifts and cards we received after the retreat. We really do appreciate it, but we didn't expect it! Kath - I can't bring myself to light the candles - they look too cute! Wish I could say I hadn't been able to touch the chocolate either! Ha ha.

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Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Sunday - a day of rest - not likely!

Oh how quickly Sunday came round at our card making retreat! Although Lynn was so desperate not to have to attend that day that she threw herself at a wall! Ouch!

Craft totes awaited our ladies with materials for the mornings project stuffed inside. This session was our technique boutique where we try a variety of techniques using various materials. We decided to showcase these techniques on a canvas themed in red, white and blue to commemorate the forthcoming royal wedding. We even had an embossed crown embellishment on there.

The techniques/materials we used included alcohol inks, crackle paint, cosmic shimmer watercolour paints, grunge paper and pressure embossing.

We enjoyed a carvery Sunday lunch and then back to our final session. Easter baskets with chicks and sweets helped keep sugar levels up. We used three new ranges from Best Creations for our final workshop - let's party, baby safari and travel!

It's always sad when good things come to an end but it's not too long for some to wait until our scrapbooking retreat in july. Everyone had received goodies,

(after asking to have 52 eggs personalised we are banned from our local Thorntons)!
made 20 cards/notelets and a canvas to display in their craft space and some ladies were also lucky enough to win one of the many spot and raffle prizes we drew over the weekend. Hopefully all went away tired but happy.

Nige and I arrived home at five o'clock and were both asleep by ten past!

Onwards and upwards to the next retreat now.

Love Rosemary x

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Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Saturday crafting marathon!

Yesterday I told you about what had happened during the first evening of our cardmaking retreat. I promised more so here goes.

And so on to Saturday! The weather was beautiful outside but we didn't get to see much of that as our first crafting session started at 9am. Goody boxes were on the tables as our cardcampers came in but we soon got them started on our Woodware session using a new set of stamps designed by Francoise Read. We used watercolour techniques using pigments inks and gelly roll pens as our colouring medium.

After coffee we moved onto our next chosen range which was Fancy Pants. This set of cards was mine and Debi's favourites. We made an acetate card using the brand new "Its the Little Things", grunged up Lilac House, and made a clever little construction to house tags on the front of our Hot Chocolate range. (On the photo below the colours are a little dark and we lost the flower off the front of our Lilac House sample so it looks a little bland).

A well earned rest followed with a great lunch in the hilltop restaurant. But soon we were back to work with our next session. Personalized Thorntons Easter eggs greeted our ladies when they returned from lunch.

Basic Grey was our next chosen company. We stamped our first card using the blue and green Marjolaine range, used Claudine Helmuth Studio Medium to transfer the image from our brand new Hello Luscious paper to a mini canvas for our second card and then, lastly, before coffee break, we scored, cut and folded to make this kinetic card using Basic Greys Hopscotch range.

Boy did we need that caffeine!

Last formal session of the day used paper ranges from Papermania. We used stickers and papers from both Birdsong and Born to Shop and stamps and paper to make a paper quilted card from Little Cake Shoppe.

After an 80's themed dinner our retreaters had a choice to relax, swim, dance the night away or craft. Guess what they chose to do. We did give everyone an optional kit using Cosmo Cricket papers and although there was no formal teaching instructions were included for 4 gorgeous little notelets all stored in a larger decorated envelope. We had also given materials to make a different design of folder to hold each sessions cards and some people chose to use the templates we supplied to make those.

Nige, Debi and I definitely did not get to see the sun that day leaving the hotel at 11pm! But we really had had a lot of fun.

Tomorrow I will tell you about the final day of our cardcamp.

Went out shopping for a few hours today with Nige and Joel and split up from them to wander around on my own. Nige tried to give me the keys to the car in case I wanted to pick up a new rotary drier for the garden (after Mondays fiasco) and needed to take it straight back to the car. How considerate to think of that!!! Don't worry Nige - it will balance out all the other shopping I have to get!

Love Rosemary x

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Monday, 11 April 2011

Another one bites the dust!

What a fabby weekend! Ha ha my predictive text tried to change that to flabby weekend which could also fit after the amount of food we consumed! We held the first of our residential retreats, this one was for cardmakers. Friday morning was a whirl of activity for Debi and I and both sets of parents as we sorted all the last minute things at the hotel. You know, the essential things like choosing staff meals for the Friday evening!

Pat and George were kept busy packing up the retreat survival kits and my mum and dad were sorting goody boxes and wrestling with chicks and Easter baskets.

Keepsake key rings were handed out at the hotel reception as Cardcampers checked in.

Back at Crab Apple Crafts we served coffee and cake during the afternoon and it was good to chat with so many of you before the heavy stuff got going!

We formally welcomed everyone at the hotel at 6.30 and gave out the official glue of the weekend - in our opinion the best thing since sliced bread!

Our session for the Friday evening was a shorter one as it had been a long day for many who had travelled some distance to get here and we were all pretty stuffed after dinner too! We used Kaisercrafts Bubblegum Hill range to make a folded card with a matching band to keep it closed. It went down a treat and even though we were using our trimmers to score, Nige did a roaring trade in Hougie boards and books when lots of ladies realized how much fun folded cards were and, more importantly, how essential it was to score accurately (no names mentioned).

And so to bed!

Will blog some more tomorrow about Saturday.

Love Rosemary x

ps What happened to the sun today. I have been inside all weekend and the day I get to see the outside world it goes grey! Started some spring cleaning and a fence panel blew out in the garden. Sorted that with Joel and then my whirly wheel rotary dryer with 3 wash loads on it snapped and landed everything onto the grass. Need to go lie down with one of the choccy gifts I received at the weekend!

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Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Nearly there!

Don't you just love it when all the things on your 'to do' list get ticked off and it's only mid afternoon. We are working from home today prepping for the card camp this coming weekend with 50 lovely like-minded ladies (at the card camp that is, not at home with me.) Really looking forward to cracking the whip and working them hard, but the hotel meals make it all worthwhile. Cannot believe this is the 8th residential retreat we have run. I remember clearly our first conversation that went something like - "wouldn't it be great to .......".

Had a really enjoyable weekend last weekend that began with a coffee morning on Saturday (a repeat of our Thursday one). All of my Saturday ladies were scrap bookers as well as cardmakers which made for a perfect group for me. I told you in my last post that I was going to demo how to use one 12 x 12 lace cardstock sheet and make multiple cards and a layout from it. Well it went down a storm with them wanting to sign up to a workshop there and then on the same theme. Seems a lot of us are daunted by similar things.

This is the original sheet, only the word 'be' was in the open box top left. I had to photograph a sheet I have pieced back together from the demo.

I would honestly never use a sheet like this 'whole', but how useful and economical it becomes when you cut it apart. The card below was cut from the top left corner and turned over so I had white to work with instead. Just scraps of paper were used to fill behind the apertures.

The next card used the bottom left corner and was hinged on a strip at the spine meaning it could be opened as a layer. This could also have been stuck to acetate to make a similar effect. Didn't get chance to finish this one but you get the idea.

I lifted this whole piece with foam pads to give a bit of depth, and used a pen to doodle faux stitching to give the birds and hearts some definition.

Just some layering up made one small piece into a decent sized card. Although you cant tell from the photo there is a glazed and slight glitter effect on the lace sheet.

And lastly, a 12 x 12 layout. I have scraplifted this layout idea from a Jennifer Maguire idea in an old Creating Keepsakes magazine where she used floral lace paper. The strips are for jounalling.

I am on the hunt for other designs now as I have some more ideas.

Anyhows must go make tea. Nige saw me ogling an Eton Mess at our local farm shop this afternoon and when I went to the car with boring things like potatoes and bread he snook back and bought it! Raspberries and meringue are two of my very favourite things! Oh, after chocolate that is.

Hope you are having a great week. See some of you on Friday - can't wait.

Love Rosemary x
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