The Kits for the Merly Retreat July 2016

Hi Everyone,

So this is my last retreat post and this post is all about the kits the delegates got to create.


I designed 4 kits for the retreat and a bonus surprise kit. Three of the kits were layouts and the third and bonus kit where BTP, MDF kits. All my kits include everything you need to complete the project inside and come with detailed instructions for the delegates to follow. Also available at the retreat for the delegates to use were die-cutting machines & die’s, WRMK Sew Easy Tools, texture paste & mists.

Here is the first layout kit which I called “Friends”

project-1-friends-1400For this layout kit I used the gorgeous “Sea Breeze” Kaisercraft collection which features a beautiful turquoise colour palette & floral imagery. I used a black & white photo measuring 10cm wide & 9cm high. The wording on the layout reads: “A Friend is a gift to treasure forever” beautiful and so true.

Here is the second layout kit which I called “Live a beautiful life”

project-3-live-a-beautiful-life-1400 For this layout I have used the beautiful “Cottage Rose” Kaisercraft collection which features vintage and shabby chic themes with traditional floral images and a soft pink colour palette. I have used two small black & white photos (and added some co-ordinating color with pens) they measure 6cm wide x 6.5cm high & 5cm wide x 4cm high, they fit nicely into the cut out frames from one of the papers. The wording on the layout reads “It’s the little things that make life wonderful” “Live a beautiful life” & “Love you”.

Here is the third layout kit which I called “You make me smile”

project-2-you-make-me-smile-1400For this layout I have used the beautiful “Always & Forever” Kaisercraft collection which features rustic textures of woodgrain and hessian (just love that hessian paper) plus pretty doily shapes (which I have cut out and layered onto the layout. I have used a sepia coloured photo measuring 9.5cm wide & 11cm high – which compliments the gorgeous orange & peach flowers. The wording on the layout reads: “You make me smile”.

Here is the MDF frame project which I called “Selfie Frame”

project-4-frame-1400I knew what I wanted to do for the BTP project, but decided not to use one from Kaisercraft this year. So I set about designing my own frame and getting it made for me. I love the finished made up frame. For this project I have used the beautiful “Boho Dreams” Kaisercraft collection. The full collection features feathers & Dreamcatchers and beautiful florals a hint of Denim and green. I have used two coloured photos one measuring 10.5cm wide x 14.5cm high and an oval photo 6.5cm wide x about 9cm high. There are words on the frame on the front panel: “You were born to shine” “LOL” “But first, let me take a Selfie”

For the surprise bonus project I decided to give everyone an MDF letter.


Obviously I used an “M” for Merley. I used the Boho Dreams Kaisercraft collection again.

So these were the projects the delegates made at the retreat.

You can find more detail and photos of the retreat over on the Merly Crop fb group, feel free to join.

Happy Scrapping,


Chrissy xXx

Setting up and first day of the Merly Retreat.

Hi Everyone,

I love everything about doing a retreat, from designing all the kits, setting up on or the day before to the actual retreat. So we picked up the van Friday morning and started loading the Merly shop into it, we also took one car for any extra bits we couldn’t fit in the van.

Here is Paul loading, I really have to stop myself from taking over and re-doing what he has done. But think he loaded up well in the end. 13502126_10209113213534926_4346859721838853273_n


So at about 1pm, we made our way to Wyboston Lakes. We then set about unloading the van & car and then made a start on setting up all the rooms – I love doing this, getting everything perfect before all the delegates arrive.


One row of tables in the large room, we had three scrapping rooms in total.



For this retreat I also set up a photo booth and a Candy Bar, both went down very well. Here is the pink & black Candy Bar.

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Signs I made for them both.


All the setting up was done on the Friday, it did take a few hours as I wanted everything to be in place for the delegates to be able to just arrive in the morning and start on their kits. Here are a few photo’s below just after everyone arrived and got stuck into their kits.

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Room 1) table one.

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Room 1) table two.

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Room 1) table three and some photo bombing by Sara 😀

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The other end of room 1) with Chris, Mary, Rhoda & June.

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All the lovely ladies in room 2).

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………and in room 3) the naughty room as it is always called.

Nearly forgot, we took most of the Merly Impressions on-line shop to the retreat and set it all up in another room, so the delegates got to shop as well as craft.

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I think I will add the layout kits to another post.

Happy scrapping,


Chrissy xXx


Getting ready for the Merly Retreat!!

Hi Everyone,

The next couple of posts will be about the July Merly Retreat, getting ready for it then the actual retreat. Once these posts are done then hopefully I will be able to keep up to date with my blogging. The retreat took up so much time that I fell behind.

I actually started organising the retreat way back at the beginning of the year. There were some other bits of prep before this, but starting to think about and planning the kits etc started in January.

Here is the table setting for one of my delegates.

13516306_10209116658981060_1664907084816259505_nSo inside the box were three layout kits & a BTP, MDF kit. On top of the box in book form were all the instructions for each kit. At my crops and Retreats I do the method of “crafting at your own pace”, with detailed instructions and everything supplied in the kits, the delegates can get on and craft at their own pace and start with what ever project they want to, it all results in a very relaxed but fun weekend – no running to classes and tring to keep up with everyone else.  In the kraft bag was a bonus surprise kit for the delegates.

The jar in front of the box had each of the delegates name on it, so they knew where they were sitting (it was their name placement) and for this retreat I decided to do – not a journal jar as such but some fun (I hope) questions, quotes etc they could read out and have a chat about at the retreat to who ever they were sitting near to. At the last retreat it was full of embellishments. 2016-06-14 12.12.46………..and yes, we had 65 delegates and I stamped and hand cut out all the flowers & butterflies, I think in total there were almost 600 plus pieces to cut out, maybe 700. But anyone that knows me, knows I LOVE fussy cutting!!!!!!

So here are a few more photo’s of the prep of the name jars etc.

13336003_10208939012620012_6478149411371083476_n 13346928_10208939012700014_4234475198061520126_n

13418825_10208939013140025_7636159705416143101_nThe questions/quotes all in the jars.


13406938_10208977703907270_7111665805898889109_nOh and the kraft bags, I stamped on these and added some more fussy cut butterflies and a few Kaisercraft Rhinestones to finish off.


That’s it for now, the next post will be about setting up for the retreat at Wyboston Lakes.

Happy crafting,


Chrissy xXx

May – Merly Impressions Crop.

Hi Everyone,

So for this crop it was a little bit different, as I was really busy with organising the retreat, I decided not to design a kit as I just didn’t have time. So went with a sketch challenge or bring your own craft to do. So here is the sketch I drew.

13233007_10208800350353542_6259211304562061334_nAs a little incentive to get the croppers to do the sketch, we added in a £20.00 voucher for people to spend in the Merly shop, for the layout that my daughter Merley “liked” the best.

Here is my layout I created from my sketch. It just had to be pink & black, loved doing this and not having to stick to a budget or certain products.

13237783_10208800336833204_2598981171617414419_nThe papers were obviously Kaisercraft, but from a few collections and I did use quite a few of the same paper just so I could cut out as many flowers and embellishments as I needed. I will use the left over paper pieces in another project as there was a lot of waste by doing it this way.

The papers were mostly from the “Fly Free” Kaisercraft collection, two papers from “A Touch of gold” & “XO” and one from “Boho Dreams“.

Happy scrapping,


Chrissy xXx


Layouts & Photos from the Merly March 2016 Crop

Many thanks to everyone who attended our March 2016 Merly crop.

We had another really fabulous day with lots of crafting, chatting more chatting and eating Paul’s fabulous cakes. We hope everyone who attended the crop also enjoyed the day as much as we did and enjoyed making the double page layout.

For the March kit I decided to use the beautiful “Story Book” Kaisercraft collection and a couple of papers from the older “In the Attic” collection. Included in the kit are instructions and stash to make the layouts that I called:

“Break the Rules”

My idea from the start was to create a double page layout and when I put the pages together the embellishments formed a heart shape that wrapped around the photo’s of (Merley) my daughter, I hope I have achieved that, so here is the left hand layout……


and right hand layout……


………..and here is the completed double page layout – I think it worked.

double-layout-1400It was another very busy crop and it was good to catch up with everyone. We also had some new ladies attend this month and we hope to see them again soon.

Many thanks to Paul for making his fabulous Lemon & Cherry cakes for us to snack on they all went down a treat.

See you all again in May and we look forward to seeing your finished layouts using this kit over on the Merly Crop Facebook page.

Many thanks,

Happy scrapping!

Chrissy   xXx

Layouts & photo’s from the January Merly impressions crop.

We had such a fabulous day with lots of crafting, chatting and eating cake. We hope everyone who attended the crop also enjoyed the day and the kit.

The kit for January was based on the beautiful “Treasured Moments” collection from Kaisercraft and included instructions and stash to make two layouts that we called:

“Time is Precious”Photo-05-01-2016-15-45-24And “Times like These”


It was another very busy, full crop and it was good to catch up with everyone again for our first crop of the new year. We also had some new ladies attend this month and we hope to see them again soon. We have also taken some photo’s of the day, which you can see below.

Many thanks to Paul for making his fabulous Lemon & Chocolate cakes for us to snack on and a big thank you to Anna-Bella for her lovely Tray bake & fruit loaf, they all went down a treat.

Do check out the Merly Impressions blog to see some photo’s of the day.

Happy crafting

Chrissy xXx

January 2016 Merly Crop Sneak Peeks

The first Merly Crop of 2016 is this Saturday, so here are the sneak Peeks of the layouts that our croppers will be completing. The kit uses some of the papers from the lovely “Treasured Moments” Kaisercraft collection. The complete collection features beautiful butterflies, florals, damask patterns and gilded antiques for a feminine and romantic feel. Also supplied in the kit are black rhinestones, Kaisercard, cotton and two embossed card panels.

Here is a sneak peek of the first layout, which I’ve called “Time is precious” it uses one black & white photo measuring  9cm wide x 12.5cm high. A coloured photo would also work.

Photo-07-01-2016-14-04-11 …..and here is the sneak peek of the second layout which I’ve called “Times like These” this uses one coloured photo measuring 8cm wide x 10cm high.  A black & white or sepia photo would also work.


We are really looking forward to seeing everyone again, we have a full house, 46 people attending.

One last photo of the name place cards, loved making these.

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I’ll be back with the full images of the layouts and some photo’s of the day after the crop.


Happy Crafting,

Chrissy xXx

Merly Impressions November Crop & Kit.

We had such a fabulous day at the November Merly Crop, with lots of crafting, chatting and cake eating. It was lovely catching up with everyone again and  even had a few new ladies.

This month for the name cards I used my all time favourite  Lavinia Stamp the  “Tree Goddess Luna”

2015-11-12-16.01.37So here is the kit – which can be purchased on-line at Merly Impressions, it uses papers and embellishments from the beautiful “Fairy Dust” Kaisercraft collection.

layout-kit-november-2015Here are the two layouts I created with these gorgeous products.

2015-11-21-15.53.43……..and here are some of the lovely ladies that attend the crop.

2015-11-21-12.07.32Hope you enjoyed my post,

I’ll be back soon,

Happy crafting,

Chrissy xXx


An arty day with Dina Wakley

What a fabulous weekend!!!

So when Chris Moore asked – “Do you want to come and do a Dina Wakley class” – urrrr yeah!!!!! was my answer. But I was actually quite nervous, anyone who knows me will know I don’t really do messy or paint. But blinking hell, you have to try these things. So despite the nerves we traveled up to “Art From the Heart” for our day of  “Versatility of acrylic paint”.

2015-10-25 10.01.09So we started off with these blank pieces of card and pages from a book and what looked like tracing paper, I can’t remember what it is called.

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Acrylic paint is a very versatile medium. After applying Gesso to each of the pieces of paper, we learnt how to apply the acrylic paint to the paper and tags in both thick (impasto) and thin (watercolour) layers. It was fun.

2015-10-25 11.24.36Loved this, we applyed the acrylic paint in short brush strokes, but leaving lots of the brush marks behind, then when it was dry, we painted over it in another colour, then rubbed/buffed it off. As you can see the first colour shows through along with all the brush strokes. What a great base for a journal page.

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We also had to do some stamping I of course choose zombies as my main stamped image, we stamped using ink pads, acrylic paint & Gesso, to give different effects. I didn’t quite finish my pages, they are in progress.

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I had a fabulous time and will be using the techniques we learnt in the rest of my Art Journalling.

Many thanks,


Chrissy xXx

November Crop Sneak Peek!!

The next Merly Impressions crop will be on Saturday 21st November 2015, so I have made a start on the two layouts that will be in the optional crop kit. I am using a few of the papers & the collectable pack from the  gorgeous “Fairy Dust” Kaisercraft collection – it is an absolutely beautiful collection which features whimsical images of butterflies, dandelions & fairies in teals & lilacs.

12042663_10152999856735356_7384970995345896676_nSo after some fussy cutting, die cutting & sewing and layout no one almost complete, here is a little sneak peek.

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Just some crystal lacquer and a bit of glitter glue here and there will finish it off.

I will have a sneak peek of the second layout very soon.

Happy crafting,


Chrissy xXx