Monday, 24 December 2012

A Book and a Yankee Candle!

That's what is on my list to Santa!

I am hoping that by now you are all quite chilled and just anticipating at least a couple of days of doing little more than eating and relaxing. For the first time in as long as I can remember Nige and I awoke yesterday with the thought that there was nothing at all that actually had to be done so we could do as we chose. So Nige faffed about with lights for outside and I cleaned the kitchen! Old habits die hard. At midnight Nige and the kids went off to Tesco - not because we needed anything but just because tesco was opening at midnight and it seemed a fun thing to do to begin Christmas Eve!

Today Nige will be making his Christmas breakfast casserole. This is a recipe we were given from the Crane Creek Inn in Florida some years back.

6 slices bread, cubed
1 pound sausage meat cooked and crumbled
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
6 eggs lightly beaten
2 cups milk
1 tsp salt and 1 tsp dry mustard
Pinch of nutmeg

1. Layer bread, sausage and cheese in greased shallow baking dish
2. Combine eggs, milk, salt and mustard
3. Pour egg mixture over bread, cover and refrigerate overnight
4. When ready to serve bake in preheated 350 deg F oven for 45 minutes

I am a sucker for one-pot meals and this is ideal for Christmas morning when so much is going on.

This past year has been a tough one (as it has for many in retail) and we have already started to discuss changes we want to make for the next year. Nige is going off to join the circus! Actually that was my idea - not his. I love change even if it is just moving the furniture around, but we will keep you informed. Our workshop programme for jan/feb will be out in the next week and don't forget our Winter sale starts next Saturday 29th January.

We are mega excited about going off to California in two weeks. I have no idea why people laugh scornfully when I say it is for work purposes. I can't help it if the hotel is across the road from Disney. I will try and post during the trip to tell you what new things we are seeing and buying. I am also attending classes and I have booked Nige onto numerous demo-nars and webinars to keep him busy. We will be spending a couple of days with our dear friend Skip, who lives in Malibu and was our Pastor here in Frodsham for some years (he actually married us!). Have to have someone to blame.

All that remains is for me to wish you all a very happy Christmas and thank you for your continued support - it really is appreciated. Thank you also for your cards and gifts - we are always amazed at the kindness shown us. I hope that 2013 is a happy and healthy year for everyone of you.

With love

Rosemary x

Ps Waiting for Santa!

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Wednesday, 12 December 2012

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Still haven't made a single Christmas card but I have had a fun few weeks as things slow down a little. Most of my present buying is done which is good. Last Thursday we held our Christmas coffee morning which I always enjoy - I had to speed demo as I had prepared so much to show. And folks flock from far and wide to take part in Niges annual Christmas quiz - NOT! He always enjoys it anyway.

I demoed three different wreath ideas. This one is soooo simple and uses only 4/5 12 x 12 sheets of paper. I found this idea on the Stampendous website. It is made up of 6" squares of paper rolled into cones and then hot glued to a chipboard circle base. The messy centre is then covered with a paper covered chipboard circle.

I also showed how quickly you could make an impressive bauble with just 12 circles of double sided paper. Any size circle will work.

Fold each circle in half and then stack them together. Take a piece of thin wire or thread - i used scrappers floss - around the centre of the stack and secure at the top leaving a double length to make a hanger. Working on the right hand circle halves first lift the top one and place a glue dot on the bottom half of the second one. Press to stick. Lift the second one and place a glue dot on the top half of the third one. Continue working your way around both sides alternating the placement of the glue dots. When you seal the last you will have a complete ball. Fashion a hanger and tie ribbon, bells, holly etc to sit on the top of the bauble. (This would be an ideal project for a craft group or children's group as it requires few tools or materials.)

I did demo some ideas for cards and my fave items were the distressable frames and diecut flowers pads from Craftwork cards. I love how these flowers can go from flat to fabulous with just a little manipulation.

Friday and Saturday were equally exciting as Joel was the support act for X factors Rhydian on Friday evening and performed a 45 minute set that had me more nervous than I have ever been when on stage myself. I had stomach pains the whole way through it. Rhydian has a great voice but my dad always instilled in me that if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all so I will leave it there. (And yes that's Georgia supporting him on stage).

Saturday proved to be just as thrilling as we tried to catch a mouse that has obviously been making itself quite at home in our whole kitchen. We realised we had a visitor when I discovered holes in both ends of the wheat bag my mum had lent me to help ease what I call my 'IPad shoulders'. Those who know me well will know my biggest fear in life is not Nige but mice. Give me spiders, wasps, frogs, etc but not mice. Making a cuppa or loading the dishwasher has become quite tiring as I have to keep up a song and dance routine the whole time just to let him know there is someone around and so he should keep out of sight. To an onlooker getting a duster from under the sink looks like a bomb diffusing exercise. Anyway he has been given his eviction notice and hopefully he has got the message.

My next shows on Create & Craft are this coming Saturday 15th December at noon and 4pm. Got some lovely new products to show.

Off to don my wellies in order to safely enter the kitchen to make my breakfast. Christmas Craft & Chat at the shop today and that can only mean one thing - lots of CAKE!

Keep warm and keep crafting.


Rosemary x

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Wednesday, 21 November 2012

On the other side!

Well that's it then - another retreat bites the dust. But what a great time we had. It was so lovely to catch up with crafty friends. Bookings for next November opened during the weekend and I have to tell you that there are only between 15 and 20 vacant places. Mr Nigel will be putting out details as soon as he gets his act back together.

There were plenty of chairs to go around but Joel called this crafting yoga!

We had hoped to chill a little this week but our only day off was spent closing our caravan in Welshpool for the winter and we had to dash home from there as a leak that had sprung in Georgia's roof during the retreat weekend got worse with the torrential rain. No rest for the wicked!

For those of you not on Facebook/twitter I wanted to share a couple of the projects we completed over the weekend.

After seeing this project in a magazine some years back I have wanted to use it for ever since. The mini book opens to reveal lots of spaces for photos/sayings etc.

The photo does not do this justice - everybody loved it. It is quite sizeable at aprrox 18" x 12" but looks delightful and was great fun to make.

This was our quick and easy Friday night project using the lovely Carta Bella Beautiful papers.

We are being asked for kits of a lot of what we do on retreats and in classes and this is something, along with the video tutorials!!, we are considering. I have scheduled out a couple of weeks late December to get down to looking at both.

Anyway onwards and upwards. Prepping today for my Sunday Scrappers show on Create and Craft this coming Sunday at 9-11am, as well as spending some time with Craft and Chatters at Crab Apple. I have some great bumper kits to show on Sunday.

Crafty hugs

Rosemary x

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Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Toilet roll tube book!

I couldnt help thinking, as I typed that title,that my grandchildren (if I ever get any) are going to think I was very sad and very odd! I sometimes think that the presenters at Create & Craft must imagine my house looks like something from a whole series of Blue Peter with the amount of recycling I do in my demos. But hey ho, am I bovvered??

So here goes for those who asked. Why waste something that is so perfect for a mini book? Kitchen roll tubes are even better as they tend to be wider. The best way to prep your empty tubes is to flatten them with a machine such as the cuttlebug or big shot if you have one. I used two larger kitchen roll tubes for my front and back pages and smaller toilet roll tubes for the inner pages. (please ignore the holes in mine - this step is only done once the tubes are covered).

Once flattened, and trimmed if necessary, cover them with a piece of decorative paper wrapped round and secured with double-sided tape. When all parts are covered punch two holes in one end of each page. (Again ignore the holes as I took mine apart to photograph).

I inked all the sides and edges.

Decorate and then join together with book rings and/or ribbon. Make journal cards to fit inside and use a border punch to decorate just one end.

Decorate inner pages and outers and add ribbons. Please note that these tubes are not acid free and so should not be used with photos you want to preserve or pass down.

Voila! You should have a very pretty little book.


Rosemary x

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Sunday, 11 November 2012

Mini photo/gift card wallet.

Hey crafty ones,

We are now less than 5 days away from our mega retreat and cutting and packing kits is at full speed but I promised to give my dimensions and how-to on this demo I did about 10 days ago. So here goes.

This main piece measures 8cm x 25cms and should be scored at 9, 11, 20 and 21.5cms. I have rounded the corners on what will be the flap.

Cut two identical pieces 11.2cms x 8cms and score them at 1.5cms and then every 1cms until 1.5ish is left (making sure the long side is along the top of your scoring board/trimmer).

Accordion fold both pieces.

Attach the accordion pieces to the main back piece first with double sided tape and then carefully line up and stick down the top. Add a magnetic fastener or hook and loop closure if desired.

This little wallet can be used to hold photos, gift cards, fruit tea/hot chocolate/lemsip sachets, lavender sachets, £50 notes! Etc etc.

Bear in mind these are only the dimensions I chose to use and once the have the gist of this you can resize the wallet itself and make the pocket deeper and wider.

There, just like that. I will do my best to post instructions for toilet roll book and explosion box in the next few days, as requested

Keep warm!

Rosemary x

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Sunday, 28 October 2012

October done and dusted!

What on earth happened to this month? What a whirlwind four weeks - but it's been good. In a nutshell Joel went to Milan to film the video for his first single with Oceanlight productions due out in December, Georgia passed her driving Theory test, we spent a weekend in London to see the Immortal Cirque de Soleil show and I have had a fair few workshops and tv commitments to keep me busy.

This past week saw me teaching a seasonal layout class and boy did I work them hard. This 'Chill' layout had mock weaving and enamelled embossing on it. I love this Authentique 'Peaceful' range.

Another of the layouts had some paper piecing and a log cabin torn photo mat.

All efforts are now directed towards our fast approaching residential retreat in less than three weeks. Attendees should watch their mail boxes in the next few days. We are looking forward to seeing so many returning attendees. It's gonna be good!

The house is ready for Halloween. Even at ages 17 and 25 my kids love to decorate the hall and carve pumpkins to put outside on the drive - there are currently 8 out there! A new addition this year is the three foot high motion sensor dumb waiter (no not Nige) who freaks me out every time I pass him, but the bowl he is holding is coming in handy for storing fast food delivery menus that are being used more frequently than they ought at the moment!

Today Nige, myself, the pooches and a couple of Tesco meal deals are off to our Welshpool office for a couple of days armed with boxes of materials to pack for the retreat. We reckoned a monotonous job would seem less so if we had a good view!

I have an hour on Create & Craft this coming Friday, 2nd November at 1pm and then Friday 9th November at 8am. Tune in if you can.

Keep warm and toastie!

Rosemary x

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Sunday, 7 October 2012

Tree- mendous!

Hi All

As promised here is our take on the Tando advent tree. We have used a mid-brown paint for the base and a mute green for the rest of the tree before covering with these gorgeous papers from Simple Stories new Christmas range.

This is our Advent Calendar workshop for this year.

Happy Sunday.


Rosemary x
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Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Tando birthday blog hop!

Oops! I must be the only person not knowing how a blog hop works. Being seventh on the list I assumed it might be time for me to upload my project in about a weeks time! I was merrily enjoying a couple of days away when my error came to light. So gazillion apologies and I hope you enjoy the project!

We used the Tando Circle Printer Tray and made it into a double-sided display for photos. Basic instructions are as follows:-

1. Paint all separate elements and a set of Tando cogs and wings.

2. Stick double sided paper between layers and assemble and to the easel stand.

3. Apply finishing touches by inking the edges and using cut-out decorative elements from the decorative paper to embellish.

4. Use to display your own photographs.

Visit back next week to see photos of our Tando Advent tree that we are running currently as a workshop.

Follow this link to the next blog:-


Rosemary x

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Monday, 1 October 2012

Tando Birthday Bloghop!

Welcome to the Tando Birthday Bloghop!

I hope that you enjoy the projects here, and I'll be posting a new birthday project on Tuesday 2nd October. Meantime, please have a look at my other projects and then follow this link to the next blog

Bye for now!

Love, Rosemary x

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Mini book instructions

Hi All

Hope you are drying out after the abysmal weather at the start of the week! You know how I hate rain so I will move on swiftly before I get into my usual tirade.

I have been as busy as a very busy bee this week. Our birthday demo day last weekend was a resounding success - thank you to all those who came. I know from many of you that you thoroughly enjoyed all the demos.

Then I really enjoyed my shows on Sunday at Create & Craft. I am currently prepping for demos for tomorrows Polkadoodles show at noon. So many have asked for instructions for the mini book I made in the morning show so here goes (still working on the video tutorials!!).

The above photo shows the book fully opened and both sides can be used for photos, journalling etc.. The photo below shows the bottom right panel folded in as the first step to closing the book up.

The bottom two flaps then get folded up so you have one row of what looks like three squares. The book then concertinas from the right. My picture of this stage is missing!

Sorry they are scrappy photos but the above shows the three pieces you need. Fold an eight inch square in half one way, open up and then fold in half the other way so that you have four quadrants.

Cut one 8" x 4" piece and fold in half.

Cut one 8.25" x 4" piece and score at 4" and 4.25" to make a quarter inch spine to take the bulk of the book.

Attach the two pieces as shown above - the spine piece is top left.

Hope this makes sense. These are not official instructions - just my interpretation. You can resize or fold up any way you wish.

Have fun.

Rosemary x

PS tune in at noon tomorrow to see two mini books and one layout demo I have planned using Polkadoodles Gingerbread Twist.

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Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Happy Birthday to us!

Believe it or not Lady Heyes Centre has been open 13 years this month and we have photos of Georgia (aged 4!) with Bob Carolgees and Spit the dog at the official opening to prove it. I am truly gobsmacked at how fast that time has gone and the roller coaster ride it has been.

So we are celebrating in style this coming weekend with a day full of demonstrations in a room packed with demonstrators:-

Kay, who owns Indigo Blu, will be with us demoing her stamps, flitterglue, flakes and pan pastels.

Dorothy, from Woodware, will be showing us how amazing the jumbo rollagraph from Clearsnap is.

Debi will wow us with washi tape! You won't believe its versatility.

Dawny (Pink Piggy Wiggy) will be showcasing the new Stampendous Kiddo Christmas stamps and answering all your colouring questions.

Nige will be demonstrating how ultra thick he is (play on words there - I am not just being mean). His skill will amaze you!

I will be hosting the day and showing you some new products that are only coming in this week:-

- "A Year in Cards" CD from the designer of plush pals and 12 cards of Christmas

- Wild Rose Studios Annabelles Christmas stamps and paper pads

- Craftwork Cards new themed paper and diecut pads

- Crafters Companion compendium
......etc, etc.

The best bit is that all the demos are free, there will be free refreshments and there will be an opportunity to get in on entering a very special prize draw (details later in the week). I can't give you any more excuses than that for a day out.

Off to plan my three hours of Create & Craft shows for Sunday - kits not arriving though until tomorrow (yikes!).

Many crafty wishes to you,

Rosemary x

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