Wednesday, 28 December 2011

A Strawberry Christmas

oh dear, I had so many plans for what I wanted to blog about in the run up to Christmas, but between lots of tutu orders and family things, time ran out.

So heres a quick round up of how the Strawberries spent Christmas Day...



The kids were under strict instructions not to get up before 7am, always a problem for my son who is a very early riser. After a fairly late night, I really struggled to get up despite them jumping on our bed repeatedly.



They put their Christmas sacks in the lounge as I don't trust them not to wake up in the night and open them all without us! So before they could go and see, eldest daughter had to be awoken which when your a grumpy teenager is no easy task but did give us a chance to make a cup of tea before the present frenzy.



Father Christmas had come up trumps once more, filling the sacks with some lovely gifts, and surprisingly managing to get the right gifts in the right sacks.



I got this absolutely gorgeous Strawberry Dress from the fabulous Vivien Of Holloway shop, thanks to my husband making a last minute shopping detour after I very unsubtely hinted I wanted it!





After breakfast and general faffing about we loaded up Delia with kids, dog, and everything the kids wanted to show their Nanny. After searching for a petrol station as I'd forgot to fill her up before, we set off for my parents an hour later than planned.



At parents house yet more presents but sadly none from us, as I discovered to my horror I'd left the box with everyone's presents at home. To say I was gutted was an understatement, I had bought some really nice gifts and wrapped them beautifully, packed them all in one box so I wouldn't forget any, then forgot the whole box!




Lovely Christmas Dinner, and in case your wondering I wasn't really sat on my own, the kids had been there but they had drifted off to play with their toys.



We left around 8pm so arrived home late, with some very grumpy, exhausted kids, ready for the next round the following day, as Boxing Day is my youngest daughters birthday.




I hope you all had a lovely Christmas

the strawberries x

Sunday, 11 December 2011

It's Starting To Feel Alot Like Christmas...



Oh dear I've been a rubbish strawberry and neglecting my blog once again. So much has been happening since my last post.



We had a long awaited for trip to Disney World Florida. The sun shone, the little strawberries smiled and it was all very laid back and relaxing.

By the time we returned to the UK it was difficult to get back in my stride with Strawberry Annie's but as we fast approached the Christmas rush, the orders started coming in and we got creative once more.

It has been steady this year but I have a full order book for the coming week so I predict some early morning and late night sewing. It is not too late though to order a custom tutu for your princess. If you need to get a present for a niece or close friends daughter than how about one of our Frou Frou tutus? These tutus are really full and fluffy and best of all they come in their very own gorgeous gift box! So all you have to do is impress your family and friends with your amazing gift choice.





I have loads more to tell you but will leave it there for today but will be blogging right the way up to Christmas now as I have lots of ideas to share with you.

Kerry x

Thursday, 20 October 2011

You've Got To Love A Campervan


Well after hiring the very lovely Belinda the Campervan from the Buttercup Buses I fell a little bit in love with her and wanted one of my very own.

After convincing Mr Strawberry that this would be a good move and something I could make money from, the search for the perfect camper began.

A friend recommended this one and it was soon clear it was the van for us. A very scrumptious Rhubarb & Custard Camper..I'm thinking of calling her Delia to tie in with the whole custard/food idea.



I am now trying to come up with a name for my new venture and its tricky! I am hoping to hire her out for weddings and self drive holidays so the name needs to work for that. My plan is for the business to grow so I want a name that can accommodate that.

Ideas so far;

Mrs Dub's Campers - need tag line
Custard Campers - A taste Of retro
or Mrs ________Campers - a taste of retro (fill in the blank with food related name)

What do you think good or rubbish, or do you have any ideas, I'm open to suggestions.

Kerry x

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

A Massive Catch Up

Following on from Guilfest, we then went to Lollibop in Regents Park London. This could of been good, but the organisers had booked far too many 'dress up' stalls so was overall disappointing, so very frustrating when you set up three stalls away from another tutu stall!



Since September we have picked up some new wholesale customers and have been busy adding new stock to all our shops.

We have put Halloween Sets online;



We have also added new tutu tiara photos to the site




The strawberries are having a holiday, as we're not great once the cold moves in but we will be back to work on Monday 7th November, to fulfill all Christmas orders.

Kerry x

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Guilfest 2011 - rain rain rain

Well Guilfest has always been my favourite of festival, loads of people, good mix, plenty of families and usually loads of money spent....NOT THIS YEAR!

We traveled to Guildford Thursday morning (late as usual) and arrived on site to gorgeous sunshine. We had the lovely Sarah from Photos by Sarah, along to help us this year. So the stall went up quickly and we were soon busy 'strawberryfing' it. My new picture frames displays looked gorgeous and quirky and we were confident that it would be a good event.



Unfortunately sleep was hard to track down Thursday night due to some very noisy neighbours (the singing nuns!) I crawled out of my tent Friday morning feeling tired and ill, and the day kind of went down hill from there. The sun did shine but the festival felt empty, I wasn't too worried at this point as Friday is always a slow day, leading into the very busy Saturday.

We awoke Saturday to the unmistakable sound of rain bouncing off our tents, and it proceeded to rain sometimes torrential for most of the weekend. Both sets of lights for the stall blew out, so we were sat in the dark every evening unable for customers to see our goods.

Trade overall was exceptionally slow and on the Sunday I was keen to go home. By one o'clock in the morning we were loaded up ready to go, and then the lights packed up on my trailer. At this point it was hard to keep spirits up, we eventually got home around 5.30am, ready to get up at 8am to go to Gloucester to collect the little strawberries and then back to go to work with Sarah Monday evening when she was photographing a prom. Busy times.

Sorry for the grumpy post, normal cheerfulness will be resumed next time.

Kerry x

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Competing For Bliss


My husband Dan has been participating in some triathlon events this year and has so far completed two and done really well coming 7th overall at his last event (can you tell I'm a bit proud!)

He has trained incredibly hard for the Big One 'Virgin Active London Triathlon' which is happening this Sunday. For those of you not up on your triathlons, it is basically where you swim, then cycle, then run all in one race. Dan will be completing the olympic distance so he will swim 1500m, then cycle 40km then run 10km, I'm tired just typing it! He will be taking part to raise funds for 'Bliss' the charity for babies born too sick or too soon.

As some regular readers will know our son Murphy was born very premature and at this time we found the advice given by Bliss incredibly useful at what was obviously a very stressful time. They work tirelessly to support both parents and to campaign for better treatment & services for both the babies and their families.

So far Dan has raised over £600 but it would be great if we could get this just a little bit higher, so if you'd like to show your support for Bliss by visiting his just giving page, www.justgiving.com/Danny-Rutter we would really appreciate it.

thanks
Kerry x

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

The one where I was turned down..

Some of you might know I recently (well several weeks ago) applied for a studio at the a very beautiful local historic house. I was given an interview which I thought went fairly well and since then I have been on tenderhooks waiting to hear the result, and waiting, and waiting. Yesterday a letter arrived, a very standard letter, saying thanks for applying but no thank you.

To say I was gutted would be an understatement, it just would of been so perfect, a space away from the home, to work, create, design, think. It was near enough to drop the kids at school and then ride my bicycle there and unbelievably as it was it was in my budget.

I think I wouldn't of been quite so dissapointed if I had heard quicker the outcome, as time went on you want it more and more. It also would of been fantastic to get some feedback on why I was unsuccessful..I'm presuming it was because my products didn't really 'fit' into the arts & crafts criteria of the studios. I can fully understand this but in order to be able to pay my bills you have to be a bit more commercial than arty or I would be failing.

Sometimes what can feel like bad news at the time, can actually lead to something better down the line but on this occassion I can't quite see how, as nothing else i've seen is anywhere near my budget.

I need a group of creatives in Chelmsford to band together and set up our own studios, that would be fantastic but can't really imagine that happening. I would love to make it happen but I just don't have the resources financially to start it up.

Right moan and grumble finished on to better things...this weekend is Guilfest. My favourite festival so I have been super busy making stock, sorting out camping gear and collecting my trailer from its winter storage. This year we are going to try something new and video blog about our time there.

If you want to see how last years event went check out our blog post about here

This was us at last years festivals



right need to put the kids to bed so I can do some last minute sewing.

Kerry x

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Friends & Fetes

Saturday was spent at my kids school fete, I had signed up for a stall selling Strawberry Annie's goodies. I'd been a little run down last week with a cold and woke once again that morning feeling less than 100%.

I had planned to take my gazebo incase of showers but then I thought why not take a chance on it staying dry, and just load up my cargo trike with my stock and cycle there. Set up, sell loads, then load back up and cycle home. Could it work I pondered, would it all fit, would I get wet?

The weather after a shaky start with a very black sky stayed dry, everything fitted in my trike, I got some strange looks on route but made it in one piece. Set up took minutes, and my bows and flowers sold well.

As I sat in the sunshine chatting to other parents and staff it struck me how good it feels to 'belong' We moved to Chelmsford about 9 years ago after several years of moving around quite a bit and I can't now imagine moving away. It is so nice to know lots of people, be able to have a chat, have a laugh, see the kids have loads of friends. Ok enough of that, as I'm not really given to outright shows of emotional outpourings!

Laughs came in the form of watching the teachers attempt a Russian Cossack dance..it looked like a scene from a party that had gone on past when everyone should of gone home..



And at the end of the day, I loaded up my displays, stock and two kids and cycled home in the sunshine.


Kerry x

Friday, 1 July 2011

Pillowcase Dresses & Busy Days

Well despite my best intentions I have once again neglected this blog a little. I have been so busy getting orders out, designing new products and trying to prepare for Guilfest.

This week has been all about the display for the festies,and I have designed some rather funky ones this time round, I need to photograph them properly but will get them on here next time.

Strawberry Annie's are now selling some of their range on the rather lovely new shopping site Fluffbot... to celebrate this new outlet we have relaunched our pillowcase dresses, this time made from the most scrumptious fabrics, all 100% cotton and the dresses have a rather lovely hairclip/brooch on each






Tomorrow we will be selling at Westlands School Summer Fayre. I have my displays nearly finished, just need to make some price signs and maybe a few more ribbon covered headbands... Trying to decide whether I need to take my gazebo & tutus etc or whether I can manage to take it all on my trike..

I will have to see how lazy I feel in the morning, have a lovely weekend

Kerry x

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Cute Bows Anyone?





One of my favourite bows to make is our 2" pinwheel ones, they are super cute and perfect for clipping back flopping fringes.

The strawberrries have been busy sewing up loads more & a good selection is now available in the shop

Plain colours coming in the next week...

Kerry x

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Wires


Today is my son's 8th birthday and it really brought it home to me how far he has come. He was born very premature at 26 weeks gestation.

On a lovely summer evening after a few niggles & one gigantic sharp pain I was already feeling jumpy but put it down to sitting at a desk too long. So decided it was nothing & sat down to watch Location,Location,Location & eat a chippy tea. During the programme it soon became apparent something wasn't right but thought I'd wait to put the my daughter to bed when it finished & then maybe phone the midwife. It was not to be, it soon became an urgent problem, rang the midwife & told her I was bleeding, her advice? well go to the hospital then (not a great support!!)

By the time we reached the local maternity unit I was doubled up in pain & labour was well under way. I was given an injection to try to slow things down but even at the time I thought to myself thats never going to work. They also gave me a steroid injection to try to try to get the babies lungs a bit more developed. Unfortunately there was no time for them to work as my lovely son Murphy was born shortly after weighing 2lb 7oz, a hefty weight for that gestation.

We had already been warned that he would be taken straight to another room as soon as he was born, so we didn't even get to see him, and he was gone. A stressful wait to hear he was stable and being moved down to the special care unit. From reading my notes at a later date it was worrying to read he had to be resuscitated at birth.

We were taken down to the special care unit to meet our son for the first time and had to wait quite a while till he was ready. He was being stablised and put on a ventilator. Our first meeting was strange as we couldn't hold him but it was still love at first sight.

He was then transfered to the Royal London Hospital at Whitechapel as there is no neonatal intensive care facilities in Essex. I was not allowed to be discharged until about 5.30am, when we promptly left & set off after our son.


I love this picture it's Murphy at two months old when he had been moved back to the local neonatal unit, we could pick him up and cuddle him and he was learning to feed.

I could write an essay about Murphy's first few months in hospital but perhaps that is for another day. I am so proud when I look at him now and what sums it all up is here;

artist: Athlete song: Wires

You got wires, going in
You got wires, coming out of your skin
You got tears, making tracks,
I got tears, that are scared of the fact
Running down corridors through,
automatic doors
Got to get to you
Got to see this through
I see hope is here
In a plastic box
I've seen christmas lights, reflect in your eyes

You got wires, going in
You got wires, coming out of your skin
There's dry blood, on your wrist
Your dry blood, On my fingertip

Running down corridors through,
automatic doors
got to get to you
got see this through

First night of your life
Curled up on your own
Looking at you now
You would never know

I see it in your eyes
I see it in your eyes
You'll be alright

I see it in your eyes
I see it in your eyes
You'll be alright

Alright..

Running down corridors through,
automatic doors
Got to get to you
Got to see this through
I see hope is here
In a plastic box
I've seen Christmas lights reflect in your eyes

Running down corridors through,
automatic doors
Got to get to you
Got to see this through
First night of your life
Curled up on your own
Looking at you now
You would never know

We love you so much Murphy x

Thursday, 2 June 2011

My Lovely New Bicycle

Well as many of you will know I ride around on a crazy cargo trike, but I do also own a 'normal' bike, a basic mountain bike that although quick to get about it not very practical or pretty. There was no where to put my bag or any shopping which put me off using it.

So for a couple of months now I have had my eye on the very lovely Pashleys, Mr Strawberry was suitably impressed with them and very generously offered to buy me one. Then the fun began choosing which one I wanted. I knew straight away, it had to be a pretty colour, the more gears the better after struggling daily with hills while on my trike, and I wanted the lovely curved handlebars.



I was smitten with the very lovely Poppy bicycle, available in girly pink or a very pretty blue, cute but I really did want the curved handlebars, and also by the time you added on the extras like a basket etc it wasn't any cheaper than the fully kitted out top of the range ones.

So in the end I opted for this beauty...


Isn't she gorgeous, I have proudly showed her off to anyone who shows even the politest of interest. My friend Vicky felt she deserved a name so after running through a few suggestions Ruby it is.

I will still be riding my trike on an almost daily basis but if its just me (child free) Ruby will be my mode of transport. I have already fallen off her once, on the day I got her but the least said about that the better. I went for drinks with the girls last night in town and I proudly rode my bicycle there and back.

Kerry x

photos from www.pashley.co.uk

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Scrumptious Mega Give Away




Now I know many of you will already of entered and thats how some of you found us but for everyone else, please do enter my give away. I am offering up a prize of over £50 worth of strawberry goodies.

So i hear you ask how do I get my hands on such a fabulous prize? well theres loads of different ways to enter, just pop over to the fabulous Poppy Sparkles blog, for all the details.

While your there do take time to have a read of her blog as it is an oasis of loveliness!

Kerry x

Monday, 30 May 2011

Gift Wrapped & Gorgeous


Strawberry Annie's are now also selling on the suitably named Gift Wrapped & Gorgeous Website.

Heres what its all about...

Gorgeously Different & Stylish Gift Ideas For You & Your Family! With Love From Great British Designers xxx
Dear Customers, We invite you to browse through our easy to use website and choose from a large selection of beautiful, stylish and unique hand made gift ideas created by the best of Eco Friendly British Designer Makers & Artisans

See the strawberries range here

Kerry x

Sunday, 29 May 2011

More Boutique Hair Bows Now On Website





Our Basic Boutique hairbows are all handmade using the finest quality grosgrain ribbon, all ends are heat sealed to avoid fraying, and the bow is attached securely to a ribbon covered hair clip.

The finished boutique hair bow measures approximately 4" across. These can be worn either on the side of the head, or attach through the top of a ponytail. Available in any of the ribbons shown below and priced at only £3.00, why not get one to match each outfit!



In the shop here

I've got so much more to share with you, as the Strawberries are very inspired at the minute, keep watching this space...

Kerry x

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

A New Strawberry



Say hello to our new (freelance) strawberry!!! Much to our excitement, we now have a new member of Strawberry Annie's. Kelly-Anne will be working with the Strawberries during our busy periods to make sure we meet our deadlines asap!

Our new Strawberry is a mum of two and a very talented cup cake maker and we're hoping to taste some samples soon :)

Sunday, 15 May 2011

http://twitter.com/strawb_annies

Are you lovely followers following us on Twitter? We are always tweeting, so feel free to follow!

THE BLOG IS BACK!!

Strawberry Annie's blog is having a spring clean, us Strawberries have realized we haven't been paying enough attention to the blog :( so we've specially assigned a strawberry to take care of the blog and keep it up to date with all the brand new things going on in Strawberry Annie's world.

Hopefully if all goes well the blog will be spring cleaned by next week.