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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Ready or not......

Ready or not....here it comes!! Autumn is on it's way!! And....I had nothing to do with it!! This plant is an AUTUMN clematis...I have two of them. They are a little unusual, as far as clematis goes, in that they bloom late in the season....in the "Autumn"....usually in September. Both of my plants are, happily, setting buds....it will not be long now.

Since we have started getting ready for the Fall and Halloween season, at the shop, I have heard wonderful things!! Lots and lots of you, my customers and friends, are "Autumn" fans!! You get excited about decorating your homes and enjoying all there is to enjoy in this season!! We, also, have a HUGE group of you who adore Halloween and are avid collectors....of course YOU can't wait for us to get ready in the gift shops...and that is evident almost immediately!!

But....as is the way of the world....there are always a few who say "already????"....like this comes as some sort of surprise....or like I am the one in control of ending the Summer simply by changing the merchandise in the gift shops!!! I am NOT the one making these changes....look around!! The burning bushes are all getting color, the sycamore trees are starting to get that dusky look...actually, if you look for it, some of the maple trees are starting to get some color!! Anyone with apple trees knows that Fall is right around the corner...and, before too long, my front entrance will look like this picture!!

If all of these signs have, somehow, escaped your notice (perhaps the word denial could be used here....) once those big yellow school buses start to roll....there is no turning back! Which brings me to my point. Usually, around this time, the classes at Sweet Memories start to get a lot of attention, too. The phone starts to ring off the hook, I get a ton of messages and questions on Facebook....I get stopped in the street....OK THAT one is a slight exaggeration....but, inquiring minds want to know.

Here it goes....I am not going to have the "normal" Fall schedule.~~~Sorry. The fact of the matter is...there just are not enough hours in the day. Between the gift shop and the baking, the 1803 House event, decorating the shop, decorating my home, the gingerbread house classes, some really cool special events that we have planned (stay tuned....but let's just say...let everyone else have their "open houses"...we are going to have a PARTY!!!!!!!!!) Thanksgiving, Christmas.....well....like I said...not enough time for everything. So...I decided to wait until after the Holidays and schedule the classes in January, February and March. Not so much going on....so I can give them...and all of you...my undivided attention!! We ARE doing the gingerbread house classes (and, actually, with this set up, I can add an extra one....so more of you will be able to join us!!) and the "Haunted Gingerbread House" class is, already, scheduled!! Give us a call for more details and to get signed up!!  

I am in the process of figuring out what I want to "teach"....so please feel free to make suggestions!!

I know, sometimes, change can be "upsetting"....but it is inevitable. This particular change... I AM in control of...but, trust me, it is for the best!!

In the meantime....come in and see us, sign up for the gingerbread house classes and enjoy all that Autumn has to offer....because, before you know it...January will be here...and "school" will be in session!!!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Journeys....

BOO!!!

It has been a long journey....but the Halloween "room" is almost complete!!

I say a "long journey" because we changed each and every room along the way!! Typical to my personality...I wanted EVERYTHING moved around!! We moved the kitchen display pieces...all of them!! Then did a complete overhaul in there (in a couple of weeks we will do it again when we get all of the AWESOME Fall and Halloween "kitchen" merchandise out!!!). We moved things all around in the Christmas room....trying to display the Byers' Choice Carolers at their best...and make all of the Jim Shore pieces look spiffy, too!! Then we rearranged the Kid/baby room....sort of like cleaning your, actual, kid's rooms...going for nice and neat!!! Of course...we have all kinds of Halloween goodies to add in there, too!! THEN we moved everything all around in the front room to make this year's Halloween the very best....ever!!!

One of the reasons for this "journey"....aside from the fact that I just can't be happy with "normal"....was my periodic examination of our gift shop. We don't have a whole lot of free time, anymore, but we do get around. We have our favorite day trips, when we decide we need a "me" day (which is right around the corner...let me tell you!!!!) favorite places that we like to go. I always try to buy something....even though I can get the same merchandise...but I, also, pay attention to other store's displays and the way they merchandise their product. I am constantly looking for new merchandise....unique things...and I am, constantly, trying to improve the gift shops.

One of the "tried and true" displaying methods is to create a vignette that the customer would like to recreate in their home. The idea behind this is that you see something...like it...and buy all of it so you can set it up exactly the same way in your own house. I get it. I really do. I just don't like it. I like to set up my OWN vignettes...I want MY personality to shine through when I decorate my home. I have a lot of confidence in my self and my style....and I believe that all of you do, too!! Don't get me wrong....I don't think merchandise should be lined up on a shelf....like the "big box" stores do...I am a strong believer in grouping and making everything look great!! I just don't think the minimalist...three things on a tabletop because I don't think you can focus on more than that...is necessary!! I want to give you as many possibilities as I can...order as much awesome, cool and amazing merchandise as possible and give you the opportunity to get lost in the shops...wander around and around so you don't miss anything...and I want you to leave excited to go home and get your new treasures where YOU envision them going.

Yes, sometimes it takes a journey....lots of thinking and deciding....questioning and even rearranging...but then you find that the best place for you to be...is where you started from!! I am tickled with how great everything is looking. I am thrilled with all of our new "goodies" and can't wait for you to see them. But....most of all....I am extremely proud of how different we are!! If you are "unique" too....you know where to find us!!!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Drumroll....please!!!

Can I have a drumroll....please!!

The Haunted Gingerbread House Class for this year will be held on Wednesday, September 18th at 5:00.

What does this mean??

We have "taught" gingerbread house classes, here at Sweet Memories, for years...and years and years!!!  They are always highly anticipated, well attended and a ton of fun!! To be honest....I could, probably, hold about 10 more if my schedule...and energy....would allow it!! But, the fact of the matter is....these "classes" are, really, more like workshops. I design, bake and construct all of the houses. Then we make a whole bunch of "party food"....rearrange all of the furniture....fill many, many, many bowls with candy....make batch after batch of royal icing....and watch (slightly bleary eyed....) while all of you have the time of your lives decorating the gingerbread houses!! Don't get me wrong...I would NEVER NOT do it....but you can see why I can't do 10 more!!!

Last year...while my amazing family and I were talking about the second year for the "1803 House: A Very Merrie Halloween" event and kicking around ideas....my husband suggested we make a "Haunted Gingerbread House" to display during the event. Of course....us being us (and if you asked them they would rephrase that to "me being me"!!!!) we turned the idea into something even bigger and better!! We added another gingerbread house class....for a "haunted" house....and the houses were put on display at our event!!

It was a huge hit....and I was, as always, very proud of our "students"!! Not only did they do a fantastic job on the houses....they brought them to the event....and then picked them up when it was over (Okay....that was required of them as part of the class....but they did it without complaining!!!) and lots and lots of people were able to enjoy their creations!!

So....drumroll please....it's time to fill that class for this year!!

If you would like to join us here's what you need to know! No experience is necessary. You will be decorating the house with a full team of "professionals" there to help you....(you really won't need us...we just find it helps to tell you that...eases the trepidation!!  Many people think they "can't" do creative things...which is NOT true!!!....) you will need to call the shop and grab a spot. These classes are limited in size and fill up FAST!!!! The cost is $35.00 per house....and that includes food....PARTY food...so come hungry!! If more than one person works on a house there will be a small, additional fee, to cover the food. These will need to be paid in advance....that way we know you are serious....if you can't make it, there are many people on a waiting list that would like to take your spot...so PLEASE be sure you can join us and get the payment in!! And, one last thing, you will need to get the house to the Merrie Halloween event on the morning of October 5th and pick it up, again, at the end of the event...of course this really isn't a hardship....since you will want to be in town to ATTEND the event and then visit Sweet Memories, anyway!!!

If you have any further questions....or, more importantly, would like to sign up....give us a call at the shop and we will take care of everything!! If you can't make it for this class....stay tuned...because the CHRISTMAS gingerbread house dates will be announced soon. We would love for you to join us...it really is a lot of "Sweet Memories" in the making!! (sorry....sometimes I just can't help it!!)