Wednesday, 6 December 2017

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 444

This is an automated, scheduled post. As you read this, I am either lying in a big comfy bed in Welsh Wales or driving home. I've been staying with our LLJ and will have something to say about it. That's why I've scheduled this post...my desk will be unchanged. Although I suppose there is an unlikely possibility that Mr Dunnit might have sat at it to do some crafting. And pigs, complete with tinsel halos, might fly.

It's not overly interesting in it's vague tidiness is it! A heap of started tags, a cup of tea (which has been removed) the keyboard that I use for my iPad when I've a lot to say. Under the Kraft page are two Stampin' Up! embossing folders. I had to have one after seeing it being used at the Marython, and the other is for a customer who came to the Marython and heard me threatening to order. The rest is nothing new. How long it will be before I get back to the tags is anyone's guess!
Join in will you, show us your progress towards the HoHoHo!

Monday, 4 December 2017

Keeping Christmas real :.purchases

Some time in October, we had a weekend away with great friends. We went not very far, to Lymington on the Hampshire coast. It wasn't as late in the year as we traditionally go away, but we were still able to do a bit of Christmas browsing. We found a lovey independent garden centre and spent too much time (according to the men) mooching the decorations and such.

Mr Dunnit was amused to watch me get excited over some bauble shaped drinking glasses. I asked if there was more than the one in stock. Turns out that the one I was clutching so as no to let it get away was all that could be found - they were busy and I (ok, he) didn't want me to press for searching of all their new stock and cupboards. So with characteristic graciousness, I bought just the one.


Now it's December, I can legitimately use it for my beverages. I envisioned some wonderful gin cocktails amongst other drinks, and really as my mouth is still wonky, the straw was just an added candy-cane-striped bonus. Well, I'm perfectly sure that you can already tell that it is the single most impractical decorative anything that I've ever bought! You see it pictured with Fanta in it. It's not quite a full can, because annoyingly, it doesn't hold 300ml. So I had to stand in the kitchen and suck the last inch out the can with the too short straw before going back to my comfy seat in front of the tv. And this was after some effort....brace yourself. Of course, I couldn't get any ice into the bauble glass. Even crushing the ice (which I don't like) would have caused a struggle to get it through the silly neck. And if I had done, it would have reduced the amount of liquid the bauble would hold. Worse yet though - I couldn't get the Fanta to pour from the can directly into the bauble without masses of dribbling. So I had to decant the Fanta into a small jug so that the spout could pour properly into the bauble. Bored? Yep, me too. I may have mistakenly whined at Mr Dunnit about all this effort. He thanked the Creator that I hadn't bought 8 to 'look cute' on our Christmas dining table, and swore that he would not, ever get involved in making me a drink that involved the bauble glass. Of course, I had to whine, so as not to lose face. But I am glad I wasn't able to buy more.  There will be other posts like this. I've decided that you need to know what a struggle my Christmas preparations can be!

Saturday, 2 December 2017

December: Christmas: Reality

The beginning of any other month heralds some book-keeping, diary checking and generally getting an overview of events to come. In many respects, December is therefore no different I've 'closed down' the November books for the business. I've brought the calendar up to date and I acknowledge that there's quite a lot to do in terms of domesticity and turning chez Dunnit into a veritable grotto.
I can't help the onset of a slight nagging worry though. Now it's upon me and I need to write and send the cards you've all been hearing about for months (sorry), I can't shake the feeling that I may not have enough. Oh my gawd. The only way to find out is to write them and get it sorted before its too late. And so I will, but I prefer not to. I don't want to know if I need to make more, because I don't want to make more. I don't want to start writing them because it's quite a long job and I don't want to start writing them just to find out if there are enough. It sort of removes the spirit of the job, don't you think! 
Now, Mr Dunnit has come home from work and had lunch, and announced that he will have the afternoon off. (Well it is Saturday after all). He doesn't want to go shopping, for a walk, or do much that's constructive. And so, I'm going to sit with the basket of cards and do the deed. Don't talk to me about making a list, this is one thing in my life that I don't, for some reason, ever make a list for. Weird. I guess to a certain extent I simply rely on the address book. Standby then, to read a post on Monday about making quick and effective cards! 

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

What's On Yor Workdesk ? Wednesday 443

A daylight shot! I took this on Tuesday because I wanted you all to see the change that has occurred. Post Marathon tidying up and trying to find a home for all the cardstock that dear Mary left me has caused me to do a lot of rearranging. On Sunday, you couldn't see the floor for boxes, emptied cupboards and piles of stuff. I was close to despair! Mr Dunnit said to just do it to the exclusion of anything else so that it could be finished and over with. So I did. He repurposed a set of shelves for me. 


Although the new shelves haven't altered the amount of sorting that was done in cupboards, they have already lifted stuff off my desk and generally created a feeling of more space, which is lovely. Not having the scrap box at immediate left is OK for now..I have to work with this arrangement for a while before I know if it's to be permanent! My actual desk shows remnants of a quick 'try this' session with a friend yesterday; an opportunity for her to practice embossing and getting to know the difference between stamping a wood mounted and a clear stamp. Basic, good stuff. When you show a beginner, it reminds you how many tips you know!  Share and tell then please, have been fascinated by the progress towards Christmas on your desks. More! More!


Wednesday, 22 November 2017

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 442

Not my workdesk this week, but a view of Sharon, Elsy, Mary and Sally's table top at Sunday's Marython. This was the first card, so only about 10am. Believe me, that busy desk changed into a very busy desk by finishing time! You can just about make out paper angels (the most obvious is in front of the roll of kitchen paper). Each angel was holding a small banner with each attendees name on. Aren't they sweet. And to hold them up, they had a sweetie shoved up their skirts! They were cut from one of Mary's dies. The stamps came from the selection that Mary had bequeathed to us. We sold them after the event, and combined with a raffle to which everyone contributed very generously, we raised £200 to donate to the Hospice in Salisbury where Mary worked for years. It was a great day, and I feel that Mary would have thoroughly enjoyed and approved! My workdesk is still covered in detritus from unpacking and sorting, so it'll keep for next week, to be sure! Show us yours then....it's probably for the first time eve, not to crass a generalisation to say that the majority of desks are starting to reflect a festive ambience!
Please put WOYWW in your post title, and link your blog here. Great stuff.

Monday, 20 November 2017

Spoke too soon....again.


Saying that I had finished with Christmas crafting is, it turns out, just a rush to get bragging rights. After a conversation with Shopkeeper Gal about next year, workshops, expectations, bookings and blah, we talked about the December workshops. Because bookings are traditionally low in December, and because we workshop conductors are as busy as the workshopeers, we've taken the decision to cancel December workshops. How does this affect my bragging about having finished my Christmas crafting? Well, in two ways. The first would be obvious. Clearly I hadn't planned to do Christmas cards for a mid-December workshop. Too late, I must have thought. I know at some point I had thought about doing some thank you or New Year cards. So now I don't have to think too hard.
According to the number of kits used, this was the most popular of the cards I made for the Marython. 
The second way is more roundabout even, than the first. See, like all of you, I have presents that need to be posted, and/or taken with me on visits prior to the big 25, and that means wrapping quite a lot of stuff sooner rather than in the middle of December. Let me set the scene - a glass of wine, perhaps a little bowl of olives or a mince pie, some wonderful festive melodies on the gramophone, a large flat uncluttered space to work on and all the twinkle and sparkle you can summon to give you an all round perfect wrapping environment and experience. All your presents are either perfectly shaped or already in a box so that wrapping is a pleasure. You never run out of tape, ribbon, curly stuff or tags. 

Wait, what? 

Is it like that for you? For me it's a slog, a job to be completed and completed alone....my wonderful Mr Dunnit will not get involved. I don't blame him really. Despite resenting the time it takes, I still want it to be done my way. Which isn't always his way, and certainly could cause, well, toe and ribbon curling language.

And then there's the supplies. I haven't made the tags yet. And I certainly cannot, can not, no way, buy tags. Because all year the state of my scraps box has been semi-excused by the 'I'll use it for tag making' line.
And this, for reasons of erm, disclosure, was the made the least.


So that clearly is what the December workshop would have been - a free for all with scraps, embellishments and tag shapes. It would have been fun, inspiring and jovial. Now I have to do them on my own, and like all these things, I need some jolly soon. It seems the desk will be forced back into festive mode. Hope forcing the festivity means excellent production, after all, there's already a deadline, and despite hating the truth here, deadlines are inspiring! Watch this space, as I've said so many times!


Wednesday, 15 November 2017

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 441

I feel that I may have missed a chunk of days!
It's all glitter! Here actually is the last card I've made for our Christmas Card Marython, which all of a sudden, is on Sunday. For reasons best known to the house fool, the iPad stand is holding a packet of fabric stars and the iPad is wedged under the box lid at left. That little red box really is a box of socks - four pairs of cute baby socks - really too cute not to make your ovaries do a bit of a ping. I have a very dear friend who has become a Nanny for the second time. The socks are for the baby - Nanny and Papa will get a large Gin when we next see them! This is it for me, Christmas card making is officially over. This desk will be privy to a lot of wrapping, but no more crafting for Christmas. To be honest, I'm incredibly relieved!
Join us will you, share and tell about your lovely work space, whatever it is, we wanna see it. Put WOYWW in your blog post title and link your blog here; easy as that.

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 440

Bad light. But I can't let that stop play. In fact, I've decided that in daylight hours I will match and determine, and in the dark hours when my eyesight lets me down, I'll assemble and collate. Yes I have a daylight bulb in the lamp and it does help, but it's still not enough. I need a floodlight, I've decided!
I bought some new dies last week, so am having a play with them. The distress stains tell you how I coloured the cards you can see. At right, between glass mat and glasses is the handle, nut, washer and allen key from the broken bigshot. Cannibalised prior to disposal to help another damaged machine! Gotta love access to spares! The syringe at left is my silicone glue applicator (just in case you were thinking otherwise) and the slightly weird patterned piece of kraft card is a not very good attempt at some foil transfers. I had an idea and it didn't work. Will stick to their original use!
Show and tell then, will you, like what I have just done. Put WOYWW in your post title and link your blog here. Too easy!

Friday, 3 November 2017

Requiem....for an inanimate object!

Ah, the lovely blue Big Shot is dead. Mr Dunnit took it apart, reckons the bearings are worn. This wear causes the rollers to depress less effectively. In this case, they won't squeeze together closely enough to emboss or cut a full 3" margin. Useless then really. Also, Mr Dunnit suggests that the work involved in accessing the bearings for replacement may well cause destruction anyway. We are not engineers. By the time he's done that, and I've driven somewhere to fetch some new bearings...well, I might as well buy a new one. Mr Dunnit was quite amused by my motivation to get going, source a replacement and generally not live without a die cutter for too long. He felt, I think, that I was exaggerating the pleasure of owning a Big Shot.


I had no idea how often I turn to cut a die or emboss a piece of card before I couldn't. No wonder the blue one wore out; count the day to day hobby stuff, then the workshops and Marathons, the odd multi-cut as a RAK - and countless times I've embossed paper, card, foil, stuff. whew. The blue one did well. Four years or so of excellent service. And when it went, it went...I haven't spent the last few weeks having to shim or re-cut and blaspheming over it. It just, well, gave up! 

Lovely Mary to the rescue again. Just as if she were still alive to offer it as a loaner, her bequeathed stash contains a Big Shot. This is wonderful on so many levels. Am thrilled to be using and employing something that was Mary's and that I know she enjoyed having. Am thrilled that I don't have to do any waiting. 

You can see that I haven't even bothered to dust this replacement before putting it to work! A couple of trial cuts and we're off. I can't promise to do less, be more fastidious about paper and card thicknesses and etc. It's got to be a working tool. But I can promise that every time use it, Mary will pop into my mind. Especially that laugh. And that, above everything, is the pleasure a little black Big Shot.

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 439

Well, good practice didn't last long! I've been overtaken by events and as usual and quite rightly really, the hobby stuff has taken a slide on the old priority list. There's the makings of a card for the Marython. The lovely mini tote that Jan made me is full of stuff that I take to Crops. It's on the desk surface because it was on the chair and I needed the chair to put a Big Shot on. I needed to put the Big Shot on the chair because the space where my Big Shot lives is taken up with a Big Shot. Of course there's a story. Mine has broken. And I seem to be unable to take 3 minutes to make the replacement feel at home! You can make out the bag full of new badges at the back too...out to remind me to get a move on with sending them out. There's a finished card on the deckchair, but you can barely see it. I'm off to visit the facial physio gals today, am thinking this may be my last consult! 
Please share your desk and doings...link your blog here, and please put WOYWW in your post title.

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 438

Gentle desker, you will understand why I am smug. I have had three lovely days at a large farmhouse on a scrapbook 'retreat' with my Coven. I sorted, packed and my word, I scrapped. I came home, photographed, filed and unpacked and put away! And it gets better...my desk shows signs of doing other stuff! I can hardly get over myself!
I took this on Tuesday, about 5pm. Lights are on. That's a clue as to why I haven't posted this morning's photo. It's dark and dull. Apart from that it's identical! There's an upturned wood mounted stamp - Magenta's poinsettia. I don't know if you can make out the card in a shiny cello bag..it's for the Marython. I've been counting and cutting cardstock in preparation. There's a wedge of winter/Christmas papers at far right. Allegedly to remind me to use them. We'll see. A new and lovely sticky, luscious gold pigment ink pad. I know, I'm old fashioned about such things, but embossing gold ink with gold powder gives me a rich gold colour finish that I like! There's a couple of other cards for the Marython; one ready, another at a nascent stage. I might finish it today. But first, off to visit my lovely Mama, so look for me later rather than this morning!
Show us your desk please, your workspaces are sent to inspire us. Put WOYWW in your post title and link your blog here. It's easy, free and fun. (Is that phrase from an advert?).

Friday, 20 October 2017

The top 10%

If I had an East Wing in my lovely home, it would comprise a craft room that would be floor to 5ft high shelving. It couldn't be any higher because I'm not tall enough to reach much higher, and I don't want to strain myself. If I had to have drawers, they would be clear acrylic. This way, I wouldn't have to open every single one before I found what I was looking for. There would be large windows, maybe an atrium roof to assist with really good light. Above all, the plan would be to have all - everything- I own in terms of stamps and stash, on show.
The highest of my stamp shelves...
You see, it is my contention,that we (I?) only use the top ten percent of our stash. That is, anything within reach, or relatively easy to locate. Look:


My scrapbook papers. Originally, I bought those 12 x 12 boxes to store them in. Now they are just a part of the piles. I used to use papers to punch or die cut and as mounts for some card making, but that habit dropped off when I had to start pulling out piles instead of the odd box. See those punches at bottom right? I can't part with them, but I can't remember the last time I used them. I suspect that if they were on the wall on a rail, I would use them. Likewise with my dies. I love the binder storage, but I'd use them even more if they were on a magnetic sheet on the wall. 
My fantasy room would have a shelf section with empty acrylic boxes on it. These would be for when I do want to transport stash to a crop or workshop. They wouldn't otherwise be used, I would be able to leaf through all papers, card stock etc without difficulty. I'm thinking bins like they used to have in record shops. I know racks work well, but not if you have 100 different sheets to leaf through on each shelf, and this is my fantasy room, remember! 

Shopkeeper Gal and I inherited a great friend's stash. Her stamp collection is very large and in the main, unused over many years of collecting. If they had been mine and stored in this way, the same would apply. I can't bear the thought of needing the stamp at the bottom of the box! It would definitely remain unused. Out of sight, out of motivation to get in within sight! 

So this weekend is a 'retreat' weekend for me. Scrapbooking. It's a once a year get away and I really enjoy it. More than that though, it's the opportunity to pull out assess and re-arrange stash. It causes older stuff to be cycled to the top of the piles. It's a good thing. It puts it back in line of vision. Do you think while I'm away, Mr Dunnit will build that East Wing? I don't go on about it, because I'm frightened by the alternative...he might tidy up while I'm away!

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 437

Well I'm on it. My real desk is covered in something involving my little sister's birthday, so I can't show ya that. Instead, behold the dining table - tis a workroom extension.....
Me and the Coven are off for a weekend of scrapbooking, deep in the Dorset countryside. So here is the beginnings of getting ready. The photos arrived in double quick time and I laid them out like this last Friday so that I could see clearly and formulate a plan. They are all still there. Not only that, they are a bit more curved now, thanks to a couple of warm days! They are today's priority. Well, till lunchtime, then I'm off to visit my Mama. So whilst I'm doing that, please blog your work desks, link here and let us visit. And don't forget to tell me if you'd like a new WOYWW badge! 

Saturday, 14 October 2017

Retro-active

Do you know the expression that says something about being so busy that you'll meet yourself coming back? Well, I think I've cracked it. You may have read of my panic to get Christmas cards made for a Charity sale. For a change, I used forethought and wisdom and made our family cards as well. So now, apart from a few for workshops, I seem to have put Christmas behind me already! Which means that I'm using Autumn as a theme.

I like Autumn, it lets you get away with a variety of colours that would otherwise be a bit mismatched. Copper colour base mat, black embossed card (a new folder) and gold cord. You wouldn't, normally, would you! You can see, it's the same leaf, actually a PSX stamp. Blimey, PSX.
The text is stamped on a bit of oak veneer that I may have stolen from the scrap bin at work. It's a Hero Arts stamp; I can't say how old, but still very useful! I used Pixie Powders to colour the leaves. It involves baby wipes, water, wet desk, shiny fingers and some swearing I'm afraid - as much as I like the results, I'm not good at the method! There's shadow across the card, and a rich golden autumnal light. Totally real too...I took the picture at about 5pm the other evening, gorgeous autumnal evening.


Unlike the rubbish light of this card...I don't know if you can really see what I've done! This is a Judikins stamp. I used black pigment ink and a pearly green embossing powder so the trees have a touch of colour. The rest is just adding tiny dots of wet glue which I foiled when dry. I like the card stock used for this. Very old 'rust gold' pre-folds, from back when Clarity was using the Imagina label.

Not only have I stepped back into Autumn, I've been using some very retro stamps and marques. There's nothing like a bit of up to date reminiscing!

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 436

This time yesterday, all was clear, calm and tidy. I had cleared up and put away and washed off; I needed my desk space to do the business month end etc. Yawn.. Normally I would use the dining table. But that's a little busy at the moment.....


A part of the legacy from my friend Mary. We needed to spread them out to see them and decide what we could use, keep etc. Would that there was room to keep them all. And time to use them!
Anyway, my real desk is back to being a crafter's nightmare...
Late yesterday I set to finishing some Workshop samples; it's next week and once again I seem to have managed to convince myself that I had a week in hand. Lordy, it all just goes by too fast!
I was playing with Distress Inks and solid stamps, but they aren't great inks for that, so I gave up. Then I had another idea that involved those Pixie Powders.(Like Brushos, but pearlescent). It is my mission to come up with a way to enjoy them without making heaps of mess. Ha! An empty mug, the spoon is a give-away - I only keep the spoon in a mug if it's hot chocolate. Inevitably there's scissors, and today, even two pairs of glasses. It's not fully productive, but when you've got a room full of stamps to sort and pick over, it's difficult to concentrate!
Show and tell will you? we'd like to see how you're doing, what you're doing and what you've got. Link your WOYWW entitled post here and some of us will pop round. This whole thing is based on reciprocal visits - if you aren't getting many visitors, you probably aren't making many visits. If you don't visit at all, but just link here, eventually people will recognise your blog link and pass it over. You have to participate in the community to get something/anything out of it. That's not unreasonable, huh! 

Housekeeping: there's a new WOYWW logo and therefore a new badge...lemme know if you'd like one!

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 435

Post WOYWW Crop blues have hit my desk. I've achieved that 'caught in time' look that photos are meant to reveal, for sure. There lies stuff that I used in preparation for going to Llandudno and didn't put away. And now there lies stuff as a result of unpacking after being to Llandudno.

The pizza box and white carrier are new to me stuff that I plan to use for a card making marathon day I'm involved with. We're using stash left to us by a dear friend and crafter called Mary. So, to honour her stash and her memory, we're calling our day of card making, 'A Marython'. Geddit. 
You can see my new(ish) tractor seat stool too. Happy to report it's incredibly comfortable. But in these early mornings, a nightdress isn't enough to prevent the seat feeling very cold on first use! The Crop was amazing. Proper commentary and photos are available on better blogs than this; I can't tag them yet, several were waiting till today to talk about their experience. Ooh err!
Please link your WOYWW post here, visit and be visited. That's the ticket. Or as we Welsh speakers say - 'there's lovely'.

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

It was llovely in Llandudno

I know I'm late to post about the WOYWW Crop, but it hasn't stopped me musing and thinking and enjoying the fresh memories. The thing about the photos that several have already published is that it shows me things I missed. Some of them feature me rather too often as well, I'm very sorry.
It was lovely, no doubt about it. Margaret worked long and hard to ensure that we had good facilities and maximum food comfort. And she did it all in her smiling and warm way. Having been involved in Crops, workshops and large craft numbers for some years, I know how hard Margaret worked on her own, and believe me dear gal, nothing went unnoticed.
Actually, not true. No-one can have noticed the clock ticking around so fast. I didn't. Want to see what I did in a 6 hour craft day...
The image was pre-stamped, some years ago. Long story. Can you just see the light blue/green colour around the snowman outline? It took me all day to do that. On just this one.
There was a decent trade of gifts and ATCs too. I managed to distract attention from my lack of ATCs to trade by giving out a new WOYWW badge. Phew.
Look - Elizabeth made a little fabric tray and a matching ATC for me. Well, in truth she had made one for everyone.
And Annie was offering a choice of gifts for heaven's sake. This little paperweight had my name all over it.
And my ATC box is becoming a source of technique references! Look at these lovelies. From left, these are from Sarah, Christine (top), Neet, Dolores (top) Margaret and Anne.
There was craft chat. Techniques and products were talked about all around. There was life story chat. Family chat. Journey chat. Parking chat. Weather chat. Food chat. even football chat at one point! Thank you Margaret, for a day that reminded me totally that WOYWW is actually a tangible and useful thing. That friends are friends, online or in person. And that the miles make a difference, but don't count at all.

Friday, 29 September 2017

It's WOYWW Crop weekend!







Join us, if you can, this Saturday 30th between 10am and 4pm. 

Emmanuel Christian Centre
Lloyd Street
Llandudno
LL30 3YA

There is parking at the hall - please park as economically as possible. If the car park fills, there's pay and display parking on the Prom. Which suggests that we'll be by the sea! How exciting. And possibly bracing.

Margaret has planned, planned and planned and will collapse from exhaustion about twenty minutes after we finish on Saturday afternoon, I've no doubt. We're all looking forward to welcoming each other. Don't forget!

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 434

I am still playing with the snowman die. I've finished now though, I think this is the last of the card stock that I can use. That, and the stamps at left suggest I'm still making Christmas cards. I am, but I'm not, really. I have a few to do for workshops and a card-making event and that will be it. But now I'm seeing the end of the requirement, I'm really feeling the vibe! The DVD case at left houses my Christmas dies. I like to keep them separate whilst I'm working with them, but eventually they will be returned to the bulging file proper place. There's a pile of tidy trays at right, all clean at once! I put them in the dishwasher after a workshop. Thoroughly clean and also, wonderfully static free. For a minute. Those glasses are a cheap pair of readers. 2.5 magnification, apparently. Well, they're not as good as my new prescription glasses, so colour me horrified! No wonder I can't do colouring, cutting or colour matching at night!
Really hugely looking forward to seeing some Deskers at the Crop this weekend. Meanwhile, show and tell about your desks, please!

Sunday, 24 September 2017

Seasonally Corrected.

Christmas. New stock keeps arriving and tempting me. For which of course, Shopkeeper Gal has to shoulder the blame. It has nothing to do with weakness or lack of will power or any such nonsense. I have been very caught up in it all though. We've had a couple of lovely sunny autumn days that have let me focus on the present. Then when it all turned to wind and rain again, I had a go at an appropriate card. Which turned into two.


I die cut this scene from some pearlescent paper in my scrap box. I intended merely to sponge some colour through it to create a background for the real/intended card. Turns out I wasn't the usual heavy handed (or 'enthusiastic') with the inking and found myself quite liking the coloured die cut. So as you can see, I glued it to a wood effect card panel and called it a card. Genius, me. Ignore the word 'dreams' underneath...it's packaging tape. I forgot to crop the photo. Well, genius doesn't always extend to everything, does it!

This was my intended version. The background is coloured by sponging Distress Inks through the die cut ( I believe that makes it a stencil). Then I die cut another of the scenes from textured brown stock and glued it into position over the ghostly white trees that the removal of the stencil had created. I'm perfectly sure you know what I did. But explaining it makes me feel very important, as if I blog about crafting or something. The 'lovely' is a Heidi Swapp die. I'm assuming the warm tones of the inks is what allows me to get away with using pink. You'll have to ask a proper artist about colours. my limit is colouring and then gluing, frankly.
Note that this lovely tree scene speaks nothing of the tedium of raking and collecting the fifty kerjillion leaves involved at some point. Yes, I have garden chores that I'm putting off. How could you tell?

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 433

I ended up in a stew of so much last week that I've only just caught up! I managed to tidy my desk sufficiently to finish the cards I had committed to, so then decided to back pedal a little and do some real seasonal stuff. As is my habit, I put the last piece on the card, put the glasses down and went to do some real work. It's a skill you know, being able to walk away like that. In any other life scenario, it would give me the guilts and would cause me to have an unhappy conscience, but because this only affects me, it seems ok!
The keyboard is looking precariously balanced now I see it in the photo, so will remove that to it's correct place momentarily! A basket of finished Christmas cards is visible at left, and my need to always use more than one pair of scissors is evident as usual. I made both cards using the positive and negative of a die cut. The colour is just sponged distress inks. Missteejay  wondered where I got the pink egg shape sponges that I use for such things. 99p each in the make-up section at Home Bargains. I have one per colour, not per shade..i.e one for reds, one for blues. Even though as make-up sponges they are a bargain, a pound each could still run into ridiculous amounts of money just to improve a blended look! The 'tube' is a roll of wrapping cellophane waiting for me to er, wrap things. Everything else is as always!  
Please share your early autumnal offerings then, lets see what's doing it for you this week. 

Friday, 15 September 2017

On going to a Crop

We're on the road for this year's WOYWW Crop. Tripping up to Llandudno to be embraced by Margaret's warm and welcoming hospitality. I'm not entirely sure that 'Crop' adequately describes the day, but it's as close as we can come, I guess, to anything a crafter would understand. Because we all know each other, but in many cases have never met, there's an instant camaraderie, a warm welcome for everyone. I really hope that no-one would be too nervous to come on their own. If that is you, message me and we'll meet in the car park and I can walk in with you; so you won't be on your own.  I'll be excited though, so will probably announce your arrival in a shouty, not very subtle way! 
Classic decoy photo. This is NOT Llandudno. The San Francisco range seen from the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.
It's not a 'location' event, or a workshop at which you are to be amazed and impressed. There's tables and chairs and facilities.The rest, we bring with us. That is, hours of chat, quite a lot of tea and coffee and oh so much food! The idea of making it a Crop rather than just a big old meet in a restaurant is that we can swap and display our crafts, and work on something too. A few people manage some inking or cutting; I always think it's handy to turn to the desk if you encounter an awkward multi-second silence!


At some point over the last few weeks, I did think that I would organise myself to take some project or other to work on. I've done so little scrapbooking this year that it would be lovely to make a start on catching up. And then, of course, there's the upcoming Season and my desire to have both business and private greetings cards to send that are actually hand made. It's a good opportunity. But I fear, my need to know more about every one that's coming, (more nosiness) and my well documented procrastination skills will mean that I bring nothing and do nothing. And that will be just fine.

The Crop is such a good opportunity to glean info from Deskers, to match the person to their stash, to find out if their blogs truly reflect themselves, or whether their writing changes them. It does happen. Some of us are far more shy and lacking in opinion than you would expect. Seriously, you'd be surprised.


And another decoy. This isn't Lladudno either. I think there are less rock vistas in Llandudno.
I know that Shaz is bringing her huge collection of dies...I can often be bribed into doing some cutting for you. Bring card stock if you think that sounds like an idea you'd like to take advantage of. In years gone by (! that phrase!!) the Crop has been timed to slightly co-ordinate with the WOYWW anniversary and so we've collectively taken advantage of the meet to swap our anniversary ATCs. We're way past the anniversary date this year.  There is no need to make a specific Crop ATC, but if you want to, that would be nice. I think a maximum of about 15 would do it.

There will at some point during the day be a call to pay subs - to cover the cost of hiring the hall and paying for the lunch. The charge will be £10 a head for Deskers and we charge the husbands that stay to/come back for lunch a £5. Margaret will have run herself ragged to fill us up within budget; I'm pretty sure that you'll love it. We also do a little fund raising for a chosen charity each year - this year it will be for Margaret to choose; she works for a couple of charities so it will be lovely to make a contribution as a thank you, don't you think. See. Even talking about the Crop makes me all friendly and charitable. Told you that you often find people out of character when involved with WOYWW Crop!

It all happens on 30 September. Read HERE.
I would be a fibbing if I said I'm not looking forward to it. And the seaside. And more Welsh Wales. 

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

What's On Your WOrkdesk? Wednesday 432


Well gentle Desker, I did clear up. And, I have sort of cleared up between cards over the weekend too. You can see the edge of the bin, it's perched on my seat..I was about to clear and tidy again when a much better idea came to me. So I walked away. I had been working on a Christmas card as you can see, using a specific die. I don't think it's there yet...somehow the snowman is too, erm......white. The thin nib pens are out because I was drawing stitches around an earlier attempt. See the Versacolour ink pad at the right there abandoned at a jaunty angle by my right-hand-tools? That's my white pigment ink pad. Yep, whitest I own. Thank goodness for White embossing powder! Deckchair is untroubled by card blanks (which is enough proof that I tidied, frankly), or my iPad. That's because I used it to take the pic this morning and have put it somewhere. Probably next to the coffee that I really need. Join us will you? Show and tell about your work space, it will be nice!

Friday, 8 September 2017

Making do...

 Occasionally, I find that the 'thing' I intend to create simply will not come out of the (considerable) stash I own. Or,I get to a crop and discover that I've failed to pack a staple ingredient for a particular idea. These moments are good for me. They cause me to assess and evaluate and in very many cases, come up with a different plan, making the best of what I have to hand. 

Travel back in time if you will, to 1662 England. Charles II was King, the monarchy newly restored. Women were being executed for witchcraft; paper crafting was probably not a thing. But other crafters have left their marks.
This fire surround was fashioned above what had been a fairly ordinary fire place. It's not as grand as it looks (although it is, of course).

The first panel above the fireplace is probably the front or back of a chest, a dowry or merchant's chest most likely, because it is so decorative. The 'shelf' of moulding above it, and the pieces of moulding around the other panels look as though they could have come from windows or frames of some sort. The date is carved into the patterned piece of moulding. The next two panels are drawer fronts, (close up, keyholes are clearly visible). The larger centre panel is possibly from a panelled door..and so it goes. So you see, 'necessity is the mother of invention' is not a new concept. You knew that. But isn't it remarkable that we can see 500 year old evidence of it. I expect the house owner wanted to impress somebody and the imposing fireplace was probably a fashion, a window onto wealth and prosperity. Who knows. 


I was a bit giddy about this fireplace, it's just in one of many rooms in a lovely old house that is now a school. And the reason I saw it - Mr Dunnit was commissioned to fit a new doorway, and he needed an extra pair of hands. So while I wondered about a bit taking photos and remarking on the incredible pillars in the main hall, he started to assemble the new doorway, with the pillars duplicated as uprights for a glass door.
I can't imagine how it would be re-purposed, but I hope that 500 years from now, there's still evidence of beloved's work. 

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 431

Honestly, I don't know where to start with the clearing up. I've tried to do too many things simultaneously and it just doesn't suit me! 

Sorry about the light, it's definitely starting to appear a little autumnal, and I don't like it! So, anything of interest? Hmmm, just some disorder I think. The pile of envelopes at the far left should be in the basket at near right. That would free up some space. In front of the deckchair, you can see a pile that's done the slide...there are card blanks and a packet of silver mirror and mat card and some baby wipes and well, I'm glad you can't see it from the side, to be honest! There's a packet of Sugru in the pink tidy tray, it's a bit of a mending staple around here.  In the centre is an acrylic box that contains my Christmas dies and that's there because I really am about to clear up. So, show off your much better organised space will you, I need to be reminded!
Put WOYWW in your post title and link here. Please. Thank you.

Friday, 1 September 2017

Sunshine, Tinsel and Glitter.

Way back in the 90's, we visited my parents who were then living in Sydney, Australia. It was New Year and therefore summer. The schools were enjoying their long summer holiday and quite a few of the smaller independent shops were closed, enjoying an extended break after a frantic Christmas season. Consequently, when we left towards the end of January, there were still some Christmas decorations to be seen when out and about. It taught me two things: - tinsel collects dust just like every other damn thing, and it looks sad. And that in my opinion tinsel looks a bit tawdry in the sunshine. Roll on a decade or two and I'm at my desk, ruefully trying to add glitter to cards that I'm making at least 3 months early.
Dies: Marianne and Stampin Up,  Cuttlebug emboss folder. Patience and fiddly, time consuming stuff by ME.

I'm not unfamiliar with making Christmas cards this early, but I never seem to have the sparkle or tinsel mood and I wondered if it was just me? I can make a dozen different cards and forget to put anything vaguely sparkly or glittery on them. I know it's not necessary all the time, but it is pretty unusual for a Christmas theme not to have something, even if it's just a swipe of Stella's winking. Although my cards tend not to be classy enough for the 'less is more' option! I suspect that my favourite cards for Christmas will be the handful I make in December; you know the ones I'll forget to photograph, post off in a panic thinking that as I'm so pleased with them I'm bound to remember how to repeat them. I know making Christmas cards at this time of the year is a bit divisive; some of you throw your hands up in horror at the very thought, and others are quietly getting on with them. If you're in the latter camp, don't forget the glitter!


Wednesday, 30 August 2017

What's On Your Wordkdesk? Wednesday 430

This is late afternoon sunshine, taken yesterday whilst I had the thought in my head. I'm still doing multiples and still reasonably enjoying it. At front left are my Moon Sparkle paint brush pens. (The ones that have Wink of Stella printed on them under the labels). They are very much my go to for colouring at the moment. Very much. The landline phone is sitting on top of the Bluetooth speaker, and the heat gun is actually in the way - when I get to it this morning, there will be some reorganising to do. I don't think there's room for 'push back or side'! The basket at right on top of the trimmer and stamp positioner and cleaner pad and probably something else, contains the finished multiples. It's nice to bunch them together, I like to see my achievement! The rest of the stuff is just that - stuff...fall out from doing stuff. No point saying it's because of the five minute here and there thing - you know it's not; it's just the way I am!
We are about to enter the month of the WOYWW Crop, anything you'd like to know, please refer to the page linked above or ask by comment, email etc. It's all a bit exciting really!
Now then, please share the way you are. Your desk is brilliant, your works are inspirational. Put WOYWW in your blog post title and link it here! Thank you!

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 429

Sorry about the number typo last week. It's evidence of fat fingers and of course, doesn't come up in a spell check, so it took me a while to spot it! Ah well, as long as we're here, no matter the number, particularly!
I'm doing that five minutes here and there thing - spot breakfast! And in those five minutes here and there, I'm trying to batch make cards, 13 each of five designs. I could easily have said 'No' when asked, but it's for the charity that I drew a lot of support from during the brain surgery months, so I'm delighted to. It's forcing time management out of me and that's a jolly good thing. Ho Ho Ho. Under the plate with the toast is my folder of dies and some blank cards. Centre is the unglued prototype of the next design..I'm about to scuff a bit of ink down the sides of the mount, hence the egg sponge. At right there's a tangle of ribbon - chosen and then discarded as a possible embellishment for this card. There's my coffee (it's that early, I haven't finished it yet!) and a mess of bubble wrap. I'm starting to collect it to use in a workshop next week. So that's me! Share with me and some others, will ya? Put WOYWW in your blog post title and link it here. Visiting today will be interrupted by a trip to see my lovely Mama and Sissy. Another nice afternoon, I hope! See you at your place.

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 429

Well, I'm back from a fab fun and lovely stay in Welsh Wales with Jan. I went last Wednesday morning, so I haven't done much at my desk at all. I don't care!
The penguins that look like badgers are to be cut out and mounted onto silver cards, just like the finished one you can see. That's about my limit for making multiples. I like the image though, so there will be variations, I don't doubt! There's a couple of cut out sausage dog images just visible above the orange highlighter pen. There's nothing wrong with them, so they will be made into cards. I stamped and coloured them as potential images for a workshop card, but coloured a few images in different ways before I settled for another. Do you like the snowflake border die? I do, very much. Bizarre isn't it, in August. And talking of bizarre....

Here's my lovely Jan, wandering lonely as a cloud....the tide was out and the brooding clouds made us feel very small on this magnificent beach. And then the clouds blew away, the sun came out and we forgot about being poetic and insignificant in the face of nature and had another great chatty, walky, fun afternoon. Proof if you need it, that we did at least walk off the cocktails!

I'm sorry for the longer post, I had to brag about seeing Jan. Now, please show us your desks and tell us what you're up to - we're waiting to see. Link here please, with WOYWW in your blog title. Don't forget there's a new logo in the margin or a couple of posts back if you'd like it.

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 427

Yes! It's got cards and stamps and sticky and work-in-progress type stuff on it! Hurrah!
The light isn't terrific this morning, but at least there's visible proof that I haven't been in procrastination mode all week! You can just see a few strips of shiny bobbly background on the white cards. I made them with the bubble wrap and Pixie Powders and a water spritzer. One of you lovely Deskers had been doing it, and I needed to copy. If only to prove that the Pixie Powders aren't the messiest, most uncontrollable and therefore most hateful product I've tried this year. This technique does offer redemption, I must say! There's penguins, waiting for their glitter pom-poms to dry. And no, that's not a euphemism. There's the ATG gun thingy with the tape broken, about 100 feet from the end of the reel. Really annoying. Mr Dunnit's patience will be required for that. It saves broken tape gun, broken window, hysteria, tears and snot, see.
So there y'are, y'all. I will be visiting from foreign shores. Well, shore. I'm going to stay with LLJ for a few days and so we might well be commenting in tandem!
Have a great Wednesday. After you've recovered from the shock of my productivity, share yours too - link your blog post here, and PLEASE put WOYWW in the title!

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 426

The staged one....where I actually clear up and show the packets of stamps that you've seen in a clump resting on my iPad deckchair thingy! Staged also because I took the photo yesterday afternoon - I'm up and at it and away early today so don't want to have to encounter publishing problems (which always occur when I'm in a hurry...!)
I don't actually know that the stamps are very much easier to see than last week, but I've tried! Amazing to think that minutes before, and again not long after this shot, it was dark and raining - 'sunny with showers' the forecasters cheerily describe it. Urgh.
So, you can see the stamps are all from Woodware....(I think I'm fangirling Francoise!). One of the reasons they are like that is because I was doing the thinkventory thing. Arrange them in front of me and let them talk to me. Inspiring me for Christmas stuff in the summer requires a lot of rubbery wordsmithing from them I can tell you!
The little striped bag is the only new thing this week, it contain 3 buttons in a turquoise, shell like material. For my scrapbook. Of the American holiday. Sometime.
Show and share then, gentle desker! Oh and...there's a new logo (see previous post) if you're interested.
Cool. See you online!

Monday, 31 July 2017

Housekeeping... a new logo!

You may have the WOYWW logo and link in your sidebar. If you have, thank you! Regretfully, you now have a picture from Photobucket telling you that hosting of the image has expired. Sorry about that, it's not very pretty and I was hoping to beat them to it. Epic fail!
WOYWWers, Deskers, gentle reader...there is a new WOYW logo!

 My Creative Director (Sissy Stephanie) told me that the original logo was old and out of date in style, so she whipped up a couple of others to choose from! And because things have moved on so far, I don't think it will need a hosting service if you want to add it to your sidebar as a link. First, copy this image to your computer. Or save it...whatever you have to do.
On Blogger, go into the dashboard, select Layout and then select 'Add a Gadget'. It will pop up a menu full of gadgets you can add, so at this point, don't get carried away.Go to 'Image' and click the + sign at right end of the box. This throws up another page into which you type the URL for this blog - www.stamping-ground.blogspot.co.uk - and then add the picture. Click the 'shrink to fit ' option box too. It should load and take it's place in your side bar. Don't forget to delete the gadget with the out of date (Photobucket) logo!
Of course, there's no rule that says you have to have the logo on your blog, or indeed if you have the logo, you don't have to make it a link. Whatever works for you. Either way, you have to admire my Creative Director's forwardness in telling me how out of date I am. Again. It reminded me of a one sided discussion about my pearly pink lipstick a few years ago.....

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Take Note...

At about this time of year, I treat myself to a new notebook. It's usually quite slim and will eventually contain my Christmas lists. Slim so that I can carry it in a handbag whilst shopping, and lists - of course- because my memory is not up to the job of keeping catalogue of who's getting what!

This year, I have no need to purchase. The lovely Kathy showered me with journal/notebooks as a gift when we met in the States last month. (Last month..it's slipping away from me already!) And I've started using this....it reminds me of Kathy, our meeting, the sunshine, the Native American vibe that runs through so much of our trip - oh everything!


Kathy is a Sheena Douglas fan ( like so many of us), and has used her faux leather technique to cover these books. Aren't they amazing. And truly, even when handling them, there's little concept of their being card, especially as each cover has a beautiful inside to enjoy too.


I'll be honest and admit that I was embarrassed by Kathy's generosity and promised to share the bounty. Sissy Stephanie had first choice, and as you may know, I sent one on Kathy's behalf to Shaz in Oz (THIS post, if you'd like to see it)



So that means there's still more sharing to do! If you'd like to be in with a chance of owning one of these hand stitched treasures, please comment to that effect. If there are more than two, we'll do a random drawing. I think it will make Kathy blush to see that I'm carrying through my 'threat' to share her skill, but really, these do deserve to be loved and used don't you agree!


The real beauty for me is in the using. A gifted notebook in which to write notes about gifting. Perfect circularism. Or something. Thank you again, Kathy!