Friday, 19 May 2017

It's high time...

My (considerably) older sister lives in Idaho.  And just in case you don't know, that's her on the right. The presentable one. I mean...what's  going on with the hair, Mrs Dunnit!  She's lived elsewhere in the US and it's been over twenty years. As with a lot of relationships, you don't know what you've got till it's gone, and over those twenty years, we've both come to love the opportunity to do nothing more grand than have a coffee and a chat. It's what you wanna do when you've got a free couple of hours or are feeling a bit blue or have news, huh. So this LO, which I did as a result of a challenge for National Scrapbook Day, sums it up really. We were on holiday together in Spain and coffee was being enjoyed on a bright morning in Cartagena. It's less the memory of the place and the coffee than it is the chat and 'normalness' of it, despite it's not being normal at all. Gotta love a coffee break. Also proves to anyone that needs proof that I'm incapable of chronological scrapbooking. Loads of other pics from this holiday have been put in scrapbooks already, but this, apparently, I was saving. I have to scrap the photo that speaks to me when I'm looking for a photo, whether it's 2 days or twenty years old. Nor do I file the LOs chronologically. I know a lot of you will be experiencing itchy teeth over my slovenliness, but it works for me. Crafting chronology bores me. There, I said it. I'm interested in your response to this - are you the same or do you need the order of time/place/age?

Idaho is my holiday destination, and a road trip via SLC to the Grand Canyon. We're pretty excited. So that's the big holiday I was talking about. And the book I had to keep listening to was 'Echoes in Death' by JD Robb. It's as you'd expect, a murder mystery. As I skim the purchases on my Audible account, it seems that murder, crime and mystery are my genre of choice for quiet and gentle crafting. No doubt that says a whole lot about me, I just don't know what. I'm a mystery.

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 415

Good grief, gentle desker, we are one week away from the eighth anniversary of this visit thing. How amazing. HERE is the page that explains how we're doing a round robin ATC swap to mark the occasion. If you want to. If you don't, treat the day as a normal Wednesday!

Now if you have any, you may want to put on your rose tinted glasses for this one. This is the fully extended dining table, acting as a tax office. Seriously, I have let it sit like this - or a variant of this for nearly a week.
 Yesterday, I hastened through other chores so as to get to the tax returns pronto - one being nearly finished means that the others are easier, see. But...I had been listening to a really good audio book whilst I've chored this past week, and couldn't bear to turn it off in order to concentrate. There was one hour and eleven minutes to go. So I went to my proper desk and made a couple of cards from generous scraps and then started on another couple. So here's the real desk taken at teatime yesterday. It still looks the same this morning. I have an hour and eleven minutes to make up today. Worth it though!
The 'Wake Up and be Awesome' card is a prototype from last week's workshop. Shows how they change as I fiddle about, huh! The butterfly cards will join some others that I've made up from decent scraps. We're going on a big holiday very soon, and it will be nice to have some handmade card packs to offer as small gifts when the need arises. The little plastic rose embellishments at left are a find from a garden centre near my sister's house. So pretty! Not easy to see, but there's a pile of ATCs just above the tape gun. They are for next week's swap - if you'd like to receive one from me, please ping me your address and I shall make it happen! It sounds as if I've been utterly craft prolific. I haven't really, more craft panicked. Please show and tell your work space, particularly as I'm now out of craft inspiration!

Friday, 12 May 2017

Oh, the things you say

At a workshop last night, where I was required to do no more than sit about and explain why the sample cards were wonky, two of my most often used phrases in terms of card making came up. I was being very free with my top tips. I find myself doing this when I need to justify my presence because everyone knows exactly what they're doing.

Woodware stamp, WOW embossing powder

A couple of the ladies present were relatively new to card making and of course, were taking my every word as talent and truth. One thing I can point out with absolute certainty is that when you have a pre-scored card (as in, if you buy a pack of cards and envelopes), the mountain of the score should be folded to the inside. This is basic paper engineering; that little mountain forces the card slightly open so it will stand. I can't remember when I learned this, but I do know it was from a man that printed, cut and scored a kerjillion greeting cards every year. But, it's not always an easy thing to remember is it, in amongst the 8  million other rules about keeping your fingers clean and work on the card flat and use this tape and that glue and measure this bit but do that bit by, I always show and tell. And the phrase for the tell is 'hump inside, or you'll get arrested'. It works. Probably on more than one level, but certainly as a card folding mantra, it's like having me sit on your shoulder while you're creating!

Woodware text, Marianne, Joy & Sizzix  dies, Kaiser paper
My other suggestion was to stick a piece of paper on the card despite it's being longer than the card, and flip it over and butt cut the paper to fit. Cue giggling from more than one source. I've always said it haven't I? I can't believe these particular craft customers friends haven't heard me say it before. Perhaps I had archived it as a silly thing to say, and now I can't remember archiving for that reason. Highly likely. Good tip though!

This LO is a decoy photo; I was discussing the workroom carnage caused by National Scrapbook Day with the World Traveller and she asked if I'd managed any other challenges. This was an unintentional entry into the 'longest title' category. I used Basic Grey Stickers but foiled the 'incredible' word. I felt it was appropriate for a be-slippered nephew who was trying on a super power!

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 414

Whew! Skidding in with a photo that will reassure or sadden, I don't know!
It's a bit dull yet, but there's hope of lovely sunshine again today. Which is nice, because it will make me feel better whilst I set to and tidy up. Again. I've been doing a couple of scrapbook challenges that were set at the weekend to mark National Scrapbook Day. Turns out I scrap very, very slowly. The challenges were being posted at proper, do-able intervals, but there's no way I could tackle each one unless I have a fortnight off! The iPad chair is empty again (I used it for the photo), the weird picture above it is actually a cereal box. The right size this time, to make a mail holder for my friend. She will have forgotten all about it by now, so it will either be a delightful surprise or an embarrassing moment of 'I didn't really want one, just being polite about yours' thing. I'll let you know! The layout is waiting for a title. I know what I want it to say, it's just quite long and I have to brace myself to sort it out! Show and tell us what your space has been home to this week then - please!

Sunday, 7 May 2017

The Favourite Technique

There's a Blog hop going on to celebrate National Scrapbook Day and you've arrived at the 9th blog in a string of 11. Each of us are hoping to inspire you and show you our favourite technique by showcasing it on a LO.

If you are following the Blog hop, you should have arrived here from Gemma's place
( To be in with a chance of winning the Blog Hop prize you will need to comment on this post and on all the other blogs in the Hop.
Now rest your weary hopping limbs a minute while I explain my favourite technique. It may come across as a cheat to you, but it appears on every single one of my LOs in a staggering variety and it's only thanks to this Blog Hop that I've even noticed that it's a technique. Or...question of the it a format?

It's a single photo and paper. Layers of it, to be precise. Before I can do anything else to a LO, it appears that the photo must matted and placed on any number of colour contrasting layers. If you visit my blog ever again, you'll see it, almost monotonously, it really has been a bit of a revelation for me!
I know it's not rocket science, and I certainly won't hold you up on this Hop as there's no need to make notes or check out another new-to-you product. This is the least technical thing - just add more paper. Scrunch it, smooth it, distress the edges, just add more and make it show!
Once you've finished here, staggered by the majesty of my creativity, leave a suitable rude comment,  and hop on over to Julie's place -
If you lose your way or fancy meandering through from the beginning, start here at lovely Fiona's blog: If you're familiar with my blog, or indeed a Desker, you will recognise Fiona immediately!
When you have completed the Hop, return to the Blog Hop thread on Facebook at For The Love of Pretty Paper and leave a comment to let us know that you've been all the way around the Hop. Visitors who leave the same comment (or a comment deemed to be the same by the Organisers) will not be eligible for the prize. The closing date for Blog Hop entries is Monday May 8th at 10pm. The prize can only be posted to a UK address. Good Luck!

Friday, 5 May 2017

Preparing....rather unusual in these parts...

I have been flitting between my desk to make stuff and the dining table to do book keeping this week. It's tax return month and there's a lot of brain strain involved. So the card making has been a great reward. However, this evening is the beginning of an online crop type party to mark National Scrapbook Day on Sunday. For the first time ever, I'm going to have a crack at some of the challenges; I've actually ring fenced the time. So I thought it would be prudent to start with a clean and uncluttered desk.
As you can see, I've finished excavating! I'm going to try the 'clear up as you go' technique tomorrow, in order to well, stay in order. And possibly so that I can wander round my home for pleasure rather than in search of a pair of reading glasses!

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 413 (edited number!)

Well Deskers, it's rapidly approaching. The eighth anniversary of WOYWW. If you want to be involved in the ATC swap, there are details in a page listed at the top of the blog. Even if you don't want to be involved with the whole ATC thing, please join in on the day, it will just be another Wednesday show and tell!
And in that tradition:
I took this late last night. Quite proud of it because it hasn't yet become a nightmare to tidy or work at. And this is after a massive clear up on Monday because I'd been scrapbooking. I've had a really nasty eye infection (now under control, thankfully) and consequently have lost a week. Now I can see out of both eyes, I see deadlines! Here you can see the germ of an idea that will be a workshop sample for next week if I get it together. The pens are re-branded Wink of Stella; can't stop using them! My trusty iPad was on the deckchair but I used it to take this photo. The green basket at right is meant to hold acrylic blocks and other stuff creeps into it very easily! Including an A5 trimmer which in turn has become a holding point for finished cards. I'm not quite over the Crazy Birds yet - I don't know if you can see it but there's one on that card on top! So, fair to say I'm slowly getting it back. I still need your inspiration though, so please contribute a link to your working space.

Monday, 1 May 2017

National Scrapbook Day....ok, weekend.

For the Love of Pretty Paper is a Facebook group that I belong to. Started by a fellow paper addict who has run with it and turned it into a scrapbook resource and very friendly forum. Very refreshing because selling isn't allowed. Which really means that posts are interesting instead of pushy. Anyway, enough about my feelings for the sales ambitious. Sarah asked if anyone would be interested in creating a page and blogging about it for next weekend, National Scrapbook Day. (And back to the politics..I think it might actually be International.) Because I like the Facebook Group and feel that I don't show much support of all the hard work it creates (causes?), I volunteered.
Well Sarah totally caught me out and accepted. And because she's organised and surrounded by amazing scrapbook page makers, she asked about a week ago for 'sneak peeks' of our pages. And that is the lovely, fresh looking collage of vignettes that you see above. Of course, it doesn't include a sneak peek from my page. At the time, and I must stress AT THE TIME, I hadn't quite got around to it.
I have since spent a happy wet Sunday at my desk, and I have four Layouts to choose from. Which is a miracle to be honest. I've discovered that when you're making a page for deliberate public screening, it makes you completely unable to stick paper to paper in any pleasing way at all. So now all I have to do is decide which of the LOs is better, photograph it artfully and post it next Sunday. It's a blog hop, so there will be plenty of opportunity for inspiration, thank goodness. Now, who wants a bet on how many times I change my mind about the LO I'm going to feature?

Thursday, 27 April 2017

Getting your ATC OK

I have posted how the ATC swap will work for WOYWW8. 
The page is shown at the top of my blog, imaginatively entitled ATCs.
THIS is a link to the page if you want to rush over there.

Postage is expensive and if you want to take part, you only need send one ATC. It is not the law that you send one to me as well, I wallow in the goodwill of the fact that WOYWW qualifies for an anniversary and that we all seem to enjoy it, so please, there's no need or obligation.

These beauties represent a teeny part of my collection.
The trouble with ATCs (if trouble is the right word) is that they can feature anything; as long as it fits on the base card, and can bear the postal system, it will work. I've been trading and collecting for some years now and probably have hundreds of ATCs. I cannot possibly pick a favourite....they vary too much in content and meaning. Strange the things we get attached to.

At some point, the WOYWW Anniversary used to coincide with the WOYWW Crop. It wasn't deliberate, but was a great way to combine postage in some cases. This won't be the case this year, given the months between the two, and that the Crop is the first in our 'one off' locations.  Instead at some point, for those of us attending I'll steal a good idea from somewhere to come up with a souvenir to make and swap at the Crop.
Clear as mud? Good oh. Carry on with your designs then. I haven't a clue what I'm going to do. Again. Some things just don't change.

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 412

I've shuffled stuff around to accommodate the business 'books' and two paper pads that I picked up in the pound shop last week. I was with my sister. She made me. Steph now lives in Eagle, Idaho - anyone nearby that she and I can visit when I get there in June?
I've had a week, Steph came home to help support our other sister in her bereavement. It was a bittersweet time for the three of us. So you understand why I didn't get to any desk visiting last week. This week is far more likely, after lunch! I'm off to another medical appointment this morning. If we are friends on Facebook, you cant have missed my current status - am facially swollen gentle reader, from some sort of infection. It's not pretty and I've had enough of it, so this morning I plan to be a slightly impatient patient!  Don't wait for me though, show some of your awesome spaces will you? I really need the distraction!

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 411

Gentle desker, we are 5 weeks away from the 8th anniversary of What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday.  It's hard to believe. It will be week number 416 which by my calculations is Wednesday 24th May. Wanna do the PIF ATC thing again or is that getting old?  When you comment, let me know...make any suggestions!

Meanwhile, look in horror at the dark desk:
It hasn't recovered from being moved out of the doorway at the weekend. As part of the renovations, it will change location anyway, but meantime, really that access to the garden - not good for my creativity! Still a great view of my perfect LLJ made craft tote and there may be a view of a couple of new dies that Shopkeeper Gal made me buy. At far right there's also a little tin of Sugru. Heard of it? I'm going to review it soon - the fact that it has a little tin is a major attraction for us storage junkies isn't it! Please share some genuine art and crafts, I will need it to keep my sanity!

Friday, 14 April 2017

I seem to have 'a thing'

One of the best things about being a crafter is the things it reveals about you. Well, me. Well, you too, I'm sure. Take scrapbooking. It's a prime example I think, and utterly reflects my mind set. It's taken me a few years to really become a scrapbooker. I started initially because I had a craft shop and products to use in order to sell products. Now I do it for pleasure, and I seem to have hit on a format.
You can see the pattern. Use one photo, layer it on a load of other paper - some of it made to look like casual scraps. Actually, this is a skill. I can easily reduce a £1.30 piece of 12 x 12 to a badly ripped 2" circle for the sake of my art. Then bung on something that might use up some of the embellishments I've spent ten years collecting. I like to add hand written journaling when it's necessary....I figure if I have to explain the LO to anyone looking at them, then it needs to have that explanation included on the page. After all, I may not always be around to explain, and I'd hate the pile of albums to end up on a bonfire before my art has been understood. *cough*.

And then, because I like to reflect trends and be a bang up to date scrapbooker, I add a flair badge. I have no idea why, but I really can't help myself in either buying or using them. In fact, I should probably employ one of my many storage boxes or saved tins to use as a lovely home for the collection of waiting to be used badges. But that would be very silly. I know full well that I would then feel obliged to buy lots more to fill the tin so the others aren't lonely. Then they wouldn't be 'flair' badges...more 'saturation embellishments'! Of course, at some point, I might find a different embellishment to saturate my formula with. I think it may be a while though. And meantime, hark at how self aware I am. I'm evolving!

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 410

It's a side shot from me today. This is my 'cutting' station. It is on the worktop at the immediate left of my desk.
Despite my habitual laziness, I always stand to use the Big Shot. I don't know if this is because I don't have the same arm power if I stay seated, maybe it's because my arms are too short to reach the selection of dies. I rather suspect that it's more to do with the state of my scraps box. It's too full to hunt through without standing up! Apparently, it's in colour order. I remember that there are tabbed dividers between the colours. I also remember at some point deciding that anything A5 and under would go in the box for re-use. A4 or similar that have just been snipped would be re-housed at their original location with the whole sheets. I'm not sure how the rule was broken down, but I am pretty sure it has something to do with me. You can just see that the pen and scissor holder at right are on my desk. It usually spans the two surfaces and this is a clue as to why my desk isn't in the shot. We had to move it away from the door at the weekend to allow access and you guessed it - it's piled high with stuff.
Show us what you're up to then, it keeps some of us going!

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 409

Joking aside, even I was getting fed up with reporting on my slovenly workdesk attitude. So I spent today's down time tidying up a little.
Now I have room to do the month end, so the desk will be book heavy for a couple of days and then I plan to do some more mess-making! See those 5 little bottles? They are Pixie Powders by Cosmic Shimmer. You treat them like Brushos, but they're pearly too. Looking forward to those. The iPad deckchair behind the  lovely bone china mug (a gift from Jan to help my wonky mouth learn to drink without dribbling) is loaded with new stamps.. I will show and tell later, when I finally spread them out to gloat over. There's a bunch of finished card ideas between the drawers and the basket, and the only other item of interest is the pack of Sugru which is going on the telly as a kit...I will play and tell more about that in a while. Which is why it's on the desk...I promised a review and can't possibly be allowed to forget. It's fascinating stuff, I must say.
Meanwhile, show and tell your own workdesks - put WOYWW in your post title and link here. It's easy and its fascinating. We visit, we comment, we enable. Ha, think I just came up with a motto!

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Whats On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 408

I took this in Tuesday's new evening light caused by the clocks going forward. I know it's contentious, but I love it. Makes my evening useable! My work desk, my work room is a shambles. It will have to be tidied, but I know not when. Mr Dunnit is resorting to using my chair as a surface for changing printer paper sizes. I am working on cards that are for workshops and believe it or not, in between everything else, I'm on a bit of a roll! Nothing like new stamps huh, and Shopkeeper Gal keeps ringing to say 'come over and borrow this and this and this and this'. So I do!
Last Wednesday was an epic fail for me, and I am very sorry. I promise to do better this week. Particularly as we have workers coming to do some magic tricks with our solar panels, so I need to be at home and then...Thursday morning at home alone to catch up if I need to. Thursday afternoon and Friday are a write off. That LLJ is coming to play at mine. Can't wait. Meanwhile, there's no shame here, so it certainly doesn't matter what your workspace looks like - do show and tell, I love to imagine myself in your inspired and tidy spaces. Makes Mr Dunnit wistful!

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Against the grain

I don't know if it is actually against the grain or if it's just out of my comfort zone, but when Shopkeeper Gal showed me the sample card, I signed up. And look what I made!
 Now don't get excited and think that I was at a workshop that left me to it - oh no, this would not have been the result at all. It was an extremely guided workshop, which left me little chance to make many mistakes. I'm not a natural flower arranger, I mean, I know about the rule of odd numbers and that sort of thing, but I wouldn't have arrived at this if left to it...I think one problem would be knowing when to stop! That's the joy isn't it, a workshop has finite materials in a kit. Means a great deal to potential 'over the top horror' makers like me.  There were drawbacks; the amounts of silicone glue that were being employed would have had me fainting if everyone hadn't been doing the same! My keen-ness not to be too slow or too stupid - which inevitably meant that when it came to making the box, I stuck the decoration on the bottom half. Ah well, c'est la vie. I had hands on instruction which meant I had to be patient and polite at the same time (this is a challenge for me). I really loved making it, but by the time I'd finished the box, I'd had enough.
I used it as a card and gift voucher carrier for my sainted mother-in-law on Mother's Day, which in the UK was last weekend. Don't start on me about Mothering Sunday, I know; if people can get my name wrong and say it's OK because it's just a name, then I can call it Mother's Day. Meanwhile, my editor husband wants me to point out that I don't 'over favour' my Mother in Law, although I love her very much. My own sweet Mama, as you probably know, has horrid dementia. And she just loves to rip and tear paper and I confess, I did not make her this sort of card. Although I did sit happily and watch her tear her way through cards yesterday (it was her birthday). I don't have a problem with it really, it's just a bit more clearing up to do, and in many ways, aren't Mother's Day and birthdays all about getting your own back from your kids?!!
Huge thanks to Shopkeeper Gal and her excellent workshop woman, Mrs Flowers.

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

What's On Your Wordesk? Wednesday 407

Well mine's a work in progress, this was taken at about 5pm on Tuesday evening. Cold again here, after being horribly wet and hail-y. Looking forward to continuous spring like days!
So I'm playing with some new stamps from a range called 'For the Love of Stamps' by Hunky Dory. And I have a set of glittery coloured ink pens in the tub at left. They are by Dawn Bibby and called Moon Sparkles. But when I peeled the black label off one them, it clearly says Wink Of Stella. I know that we all buy the same thing under different brands, but this is really a cheap re-brand! Great pens though, I must say! You can just see the flowered tissue paper. It has been stuck to card, so saved from the bin after the 'it's got a week' rule. I now have to move it on a bit as a project or the card and the tissue will have to go in the bin!
Good view of the abandoned building site too - someone asked what we're doing - we're going to add a large room onto the rear ground floor which will actually encompass the door/window in front of my desk, so major changes will have to occur!
Share your surfaces then will ya, it'll be lovely to sup coffee and visit you. Mind, I may be a little later than I usually am - got an appointment with the facial specialists today; am hoping they are as pleased with the progress as I am. The old face is definitely not as wonky as it was!

Friday, 17 March 2017

Cant help myself..

I can't stop using the Crazy Bird set by Tim Holtz. I've waited a long time to buy a set. It's almost a stubborn reaction to their popularity that's made me wait. Ridiculous, but I can cite other examples to prove this slightly-sub-conscious character flaw. I haven't seen Titanic with Leo and whatsername yet...because everyone kept saying I should. Stupid, huh!
I don't have the set of extras - the hats etc, nor do I have the dies - I'm not sure I'll use them, because they're a bit small and fiddly in some cases, and I'm not partial to that sort of work. Although if you saw how often I re-work a card to make the idea in my head come out, you'd argue that I am indeed into trivial if not small!
So I'm planning a birdie workshop - naturally. Tell me, has a stamp set seized your inspiration? I can't say I'd have gone across hill and down dale to acquire this set, but as the hardest part of acquiring was reaching out and picking the bag off the hook, I'm thinking that at last, it was money well spent! Versatility is very important when you have to spend £20. I'm definitely becoming much more picky about stamp sets...I have managed to leave some sets because I can't see my using more than one or two in a set! Crikey, am I evolving?!

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 406

Please read about the revision we've had to make to the WOYWW Crop date.
As for my desk, well see for yourself!  I had tidied in order to prepare last Thursday's workshops, and then thought I'd get straight back into it. But life sometimes has an intolerable way of interrupting the plan and I haven't managed to return to normality yet. Didn't stop me buying new stuff to play with after Saturday's workshop though!
Not a bad view of the building site either....a very weather dependant project!
You can see I splashed out on some new stamps and some new pens; considering this is a brag post, I didn't do a good job on the photography did I! Never mind, you'll see it all in action very soon....the set of stamps on a Coffee theme are talking to me! There are remnants of paperwork waiting to be filed too - funny how you miss seeing something till it pops up in a photo. I'll probably get around to that just because they are genuinely in my way!
Show and tell please, we like to see, better yet, we love to be inspired! Put WOYWW in your post title and link here, thank you!

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Save the CHANGE of date

Sorry folks. As is the way of forward planning, a few days after we confirmed all the details and date for the Llandudno Crop, an external interference has forced a change.

So now...can you give consideration to Saturday 30th September? All the other details are unchanged and can be found on a separate page, listed at the top of this blog.
Or HERE is a link.

Meanwhile...just look at all the happy faces from last November. Irresistible company if you ask me!

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Whats On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 405

I had to clear and tidy up late last week because I needed the desk surface to resemble an office instead of a crafter's junk yard. In clearing, I unearthed
Six scissors

3 pairs cheap readers...each a different strength..

and then Mr Dunnit said that the work I was about to do could wait for a jolly good reason ( I got the dates mixed up and it doesn't need to be done just yet), so, I relaxed back into the slovenly crafter that y'all know me to be.

Again, taken on Tuesday late afternoon. There is a new bulb in the daylight lamp. This is amazing...I actually remembered to buy one last time I was out. My Union Jack tote is empty on the desk, it's basic contents in a pile at front, behind the tiny blue speaker. I store scrapbook/crop essentials in it see, and I needed to take it to a card making workshop that I attended, so all the scrapbook bits came out. That was Thursday, so you can see how much time I've spent at the desk since. There's a roll of masking paper, and at front those white circles are die cuts which I'm pre-cutting for workshopeers this Thursday. The chocolate box at right is empty and shallow enough for a bulky card. It has a week, and if I don't think of a card for it, it's a gonner. My scrap box, behind the heat gun, looks as if it's exploded, and it probably has.  he tissue paper in the immediate foreground is leftover from wrapping a gift. I intend to use it as a master board background thingy. it too has a week. That's enough targets for me!
So, now I've walked you through all the mess, please share your work surface too. It remains a fascination.

Friday, 3 March 2017

Doing the RAK

RAK - Random Act of Kindness

I read on Facebook about RAK week. Or day. I don't remember. I don't remember when it was either. Ugh, hopeless. Anyway, I decided it was a nice thing to do,  a real lesson in 'do unto others.....'
At some other time, I did something very unusual. A recent friend had posted a marvellous picture of herself and her sister on Facebook. It's a lovely picture. I decided it was too good to be filed on a computer, and so I lifted it off Facebook and last time I ordered photos for scrapbook purposes, I had a copy printed. I was going to give it to Liz anyway, but decided the RAK idea needed more than that, so it was my first job at the recent Coven Crop.
Funny story - I've known Kirsty, Liz's sister for yonks, through crafting. I met Liz in an entirely different context and did not know they were siblings for quite a long time.

I made it an 8x8 LO because hey - Liz may not want to be forced into displaying stuff just because I like a certain photo! As you can see, I've kept to my standard format and stuck the photo and bits in bottom right. The tulips and little labels were part of a gift baggie full of hand stamped pieces from Sally at Ohhh Snap!. It is entirely appropriate to make them part of a forward RAK, even if I did hesitate before I used them! Then I bought a little box frame and pouf! Little gift ready and now received. It's the first LO I've made for ages and ages, so it's a double pleasure for me really.
I really have to reassure you that I don't make a habit of stealing your photos off Facebook. Ironically though, I had to lift this picture off Facebook because I forgot to take my own photo of it!

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 404

Gentle desker, there is controversial excitement... I have put up a page about WOYWW's 2017 Crop. You can find it as a permanent page and access it at the top of the blog. Or you can use this link.
Meanwhile, I'm back with the crazy birds...
Just by placing the basket of sponges and Cut N Dry foam on my desk, I've halved my working space. Ah well, tis just for one birdy. I took the picture late yesterday - look it's still light at gone 5pm. This makes me very happy. Still doesn't help the colour matching though, evening card making is too vexatious, so the desk still looks just like this in the gloom of early Wednesday! Nothing exceptional to report really, just happy to have something crafty on my desk at this point....month end and all that!
Show and tell how your desk shapes up as we March into a new month. (See what I did there?!). It's fun. It's free and it contains no calories!

Friday, 24 February 2017


I was multi tasking, see. I was in the attic, tidying and putting some curtains away. I'm never going to use them, but they were from my parent's house and there are some things I'm not ready to let go of just yet. So my attic room is really looking like a storage locker! Anyway, I was in the back left corner of the attic (which we converted to a big old room a few years ago), and I noticed a black case that I hadn't seen for ages. I don't know if it was at Mum's house and brought here in one of the many boxes, or if I've had it here for yonks, but I was very happy to uncover this beauty:
If you're a scrapbooker or journaller, it might raise an interest. There's been such a retro trend that one of the scrapbook companies (WRMK) have produced 'new' typewriters, and they're expensive. I don't remember when, but I do remember always wanting a typewriter, it goes with my obsession for office stationery and my entirely unfulfilled ambition to be a famous novelist or exciting, scoop-a-day journalist.
Anyway, I found that the resurgence of typewriters meant that I could buy a new ribbon at a price that made me cough (but didn't stop me, and indeed, ended up costing me a deal more 'free delivery' - you know). So I took it with me to the Coven's weekend away. Put it with all the other shared tools and completely forgot to use it. Did some hand written journaling, didn't even think about typing it. I think I need to have it open and on the desk in front of me to remind me that I have it. Trouble with that, as you can see, is the consumes exactly the size of space that I'm most able to clear on the old desk. Better talk to Mr Dunnit about another shelf.

And to be honest, it is difficult to use - the necessary weight for key striking is quite exhausting. And making a mistake is just so time consuming!

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

What's On Your Workdesk? 403

I was away at the weekend, a scrapbook retreat with the Coven. When I got home, I half unpacked. And as I had left my desk in a semi clear state, it didn't look too bad at tea time yesterday when I took this photo.
Obviously I'm not going to show you (all) the layouts I made - I need those as decoy photos for later posts when I'm inevitably whining about not getting anything done. So instead, here's a desk and a building site. The beginnings of goodish weather are starting to bring changes that don't involve snowdrops! The empty cereal packet will be transformed - covered - and re-purposed as a box in which to put post. The system in our house is that you open post, and then put it in a pile to deal with at some point. Well, I got sick of the pile, so now we have a converted cereal box on the wall in the kitchen. And I promised a friend I'd provide one for her when I had the right cereal box. You wish you hadn't asked now, don't you! In the best tradition of revelation, there's a curly-wurly on top of two inkpads at right, with a bite taken from it. I'm nothing if not fussy about snack food hygiene. And there's my thumping good Bluetooth speaker. More on that soon, I expect; I like a brag.
So please show and tell a little about your workspace. Put WOYWW in your post title and link it here. Its fun, its free and its very friendly.

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 402

Hello Deskers! I have a small surprise for you. There's space on my desk. Before you break out the trumpets and hang out the flags though, be looking at the picture.

Space. Not tidied so much; achieved by finishing stuff, moving stuff around and needing to make a card. I used the Hero Arts stamp you see on the desk. The dies in front of the easel are from another card I made at the weekend, and the Perspex box a left contains my collection of gems and shinies, used on yet another card. I may be on to something here....The little canvas on the easel is awaiting repair still. I had hoped to find another copy of the picture but I can't, so I'm walking around it again. My lovely useful office lamp looks perfectly placed and quite benign doesn't it. Well, it's not. Last night the bulb blew. And I mean blew...the glass balloon part blew off and left the filament and screwy in bit lodged in the screwy in bit bit, humming! I don't know why, but despite jumping about three feet into the air, I managed not to scream, or (impressively) swear, but I'm thinking about insuring my hands!
Please to join in and show and tell about your own desk/work station. It's fun, it's free and it's friendly. Can't do better than that!

Monday, 13 February 2017

Flexing my flexibility

I've been trying incredibly hard to curtail the purchasing of stash until I've achieved a visible dent in the stash I've already got. By this, I mean that I'm trying to use scrapbook papers and embellishments. I'm afraid I cant 'use up' stamps in the same manner, and they will continue to multiply on my shelves...although in far fewer numbers so far this year - I've been quite/almost strong.
On that basis, I challenged myself for my first workshop to use stuff that I had, rather than cracking open a bunch of new stuff. You know, proving that I didn't buy something for a single idea, making the most of what I've got...yep, being creative and therefore flexible.
It worked, in the main. The pom pom was new - it came from Baker Ross, but you can forgive that surely - technically you see, I didn't buy it! I blow hot and cold about this brick wall embossing folder - for ages I wondered why I'd bought it, and then I have a fit of ideas for it and think it's indispensable. When I use it the right way around of course. I'm pretty sure the 'grouting' effect that using it the wrong way around gives a card is really very useful, but I have to admit to it being a swear inducer. I have more work to do when it comes to my flexibility in getting the ideas out of my head and onto the card. But I'm claiming this as a double success - old(ish) stash and a card suitable for a man. Modest of me, I know, but I call that a result!

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 401

Truth be told, there's work on my workdesk. Not very exciting, but certainly inspiring. Or motivational - as soon as I've done it, it doesn't need to be on the desk and I can get back to card making. Or sorting out some kits for a scrapbooking session. It's all to do!
Last year's accounts book features because the VAT return for our last quarter awaits, and it includes November and December. More interestingly, a Bluetooth speaker awaits my attention. See, we went to visit my lovely mate Jan and her fabulous Gordon at the weekend. Among all the non-stop talking was a segment where I may have moaned about the volume on my iPad. I trail it around the house with me, listening to talking books, and in the kitchen, I struggle to hear it if the kettle's on or the taps are running. Gordon just calmly said - 'oh, you need a Bluetooth speaker' and a light bulb went on in my head! He'll never know what a brilliant and simple answer this will be. Well, he will, of course, for I shall credit him with a modicum of brilliance if I can get the speaker to go. I can't quite get over the simplicity of it all - I mean, why on earth hadn't I thought of it? Strictly rhetorical question, friends!
So there we are gentle Desker, the shape of my Wednesday desk work is before you. It will improve. I expect a lot of your desks feature Valentine cards  - I shall look forward to the inspiration! Share and tell, there's a good person.

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 400

400. A nice big fat round number. I know it should be a great anniversary type number really, but we do all that on the annual anniversary which is always a very odd, Un-round, sharp looking number! Still, please be upstanding and applauding your very self, for without your contribution this nose around the desks of the world wouldn't happen and although I haven't blogged much since THAT operation, you've stayed with it and frankly, I admire you! So much that this week you get a horrifying close up :
I finally got myself the TH Crazy Birds. No dies, no extras, just the birds; and have spent a couple hours playing. All the black letters are destined for the bin, they were too big in relation to the bird. The TH alphabet die you see is discarded, destined to be placed back in the die store. It wasn't too big, but ohemgee, too fiddly for the phrase I wanted to use. Dirty water still there, but more safely placed. And it might be dirty, but I've used it again. Slattern. Ahem. See the cards I made are on their spines slotted between the clear drawers full of foam pads, stickies etc and the basket that's meant to hold stamps awaiting cleaning. Epic fail on the sorting front then. Oh well. And those two little words just might be the whole reason that I'm not progressing....oh well. Kinda doesn't matter/no bother/it's OK. I'm pretty sure it's because I'm a middle child. Or something.
Anyway, show me your 400th desk will ya?  Put WOYWW in your post title so we can find it easily and then link that post here. Have a lovely 400th!

Friday, 27 January 2017

Sometimes, you just cant tell

Honestly, I spent a happy four hours at my desk last weekend, and came up with one card. I was trying too hard, to keep it at to reproduce but somehow amazingly different as well. I started as I always do with white card. I was going to do a grey ink base image and a really colourful window image with a darker outline to accentuate the detail. And of course, I go straight to a pre-folded card because I now it's an idea that will work first time.
Grim. Too white, too small, not enough detail. Hmmm, start again. It's Ok though, because the painty part is very soothing. So I graduated to black card, for the sake of the paints really, H2Os and Perfect pearls, all look better on dark card, I think.
 So I decided to change the shape of the painted area as well, and make these little windows. They looked ridiculous cut out and stuck on top of the much large whole pattern, so then I thought to use the cut out piece as a stencil. Cue more embossing, painting and at this stage, some cursing. Why on earth couldn't I get it to go right?
You can just see above where the stripes were. I painted the whole image after I realised that the stripes were ridiculous!
So then I cut into another sheet of black card, embossed another whole image and cut a scalloped oval from another piece of scrap. I painted through that. By now, the light was fading and I'm using one eye to see properly, and controlling the almost imperceptible tremor in my right hand by using the most ridiculously fine paintbrush. I wasn't unimpressed with the idea, but the execution was sloppy. Nice photo of the shine on the paints though!

So I lay in bed that night, thinking about the options I've already explored, and the starting point. And decided to go back to that starting point. Cut out a die shape to create a coloured window to stick on top of the bigger, whole uncoloured image. And I did. It's OK, but for four hours? Two things come from it. I had a nice time. And keep it simple. Although I still think it's a little lacking. Maybe its the wrong image? Spare me.

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 399

Three hundred and ninety nine. Seriously that's a lot of weeks and I've really only just realised. How many times you've witnessed the mess and read of the  excuses. Oh my word. Well if nothing else, I'm incredibly consistent.
Taken just before 4.30 yesterday, after a sort of tidy. You can still see the precarious piles at right, but at least they aren't just piles of same old. This time they speak of work that has been carried out. I wonder how long it will be before I move that little pot of water. Away from the table edge would be good, if not into the kitchen! So you see the detritus of workshop sample making, and I've cleared a bit so I can now cut and prepare the cardstock etc. There's a small canvas at left that I made for a sweet friend years ago. It needs some attention to the photo and I'm now at the stage of not wanting responsibility for it any more, so it shall be on my to do list this week!
Last week's comment box problem was fixed for me by Leelou Blogs, who designed this new look. I love it, hope you enjoy its lack of clutter as much as I do. Show me how it's going on your desk then...put WOYWW in your blog post title and link it here, fab.

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Whats On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 398

I've made a fine mess and a reasonably productive mess too - cards for workshops are on my agenda. The angle of the smaller guillotine suggests a landslide. It's a correct suggestion but luckily I was sitting at the desk and so was able to put my hand out to stop everything - and by some force of inertia, everything did stop and so I left it like that!
Even though I've used it and finished with it, the Visible Image stamp that's lying face up there in the centre is clean. I cleaned it. Now of course I need to put it away, but goodness, if I do all that in the same sitting, even I'll start worrying about me!
The box of coffee pods at right is a box of coffee pods, waiting to be wrapped, with the other box as a gift. Nothing on this desk is waiting to be altered into a coloured version of itself!

The plastic boxes under the coffee pods  are filled with clear and cling stamps. I don't use these often, but am dissatisfied with the storage, so of course, I haven't put them away..the idea being that them being in my way will prompt me to do something....ha!
Forgive me for not visiting at all last week, I was full of snot and sore and now I have a wonky half head of tubes, it knocked me sideways by overwhelming all my working tubes! And also this week, you'll miss LLJ...the next two or three weeks are too full and haphazard in the internet stakes for her whilst she shifts West, so only expect her when you see her, wont you.
So if you got through all of that, take this as an invitation please, to show us your desk. Put WOYWW in your post title and ink it here. Thank you. Oh and put the kettle on... this is meant to be fun..!

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 397

Well well, I have something to report! It's slow, painful and utterly predictable at this stage, but I was really enjoying it! Dark and cold here when I took this photo, late last night. I had to give up on it because I couldn't find a colour that worked for me. I will. I hate to abandon an idea, they're so rare!
Looks pretty tidy huh? Stuff was largely swept aside, but that's OK, I'll be inviting back as I get into was all stuff I need, so it wont be too long. I'm using vellum (feels like I'm bringing back the 70's or something!) and have in mind to colour the reverse and layer it one or oother image over TH's clock die. Wine O'clock, see? Well, so far..... As I type this, I'm thinking I may have to go back to bed...I have the shivers and shakes and think I'm coming down with something. I may be a little light on visiting today, depends how effective the paracetomol are going to be! Do what you always do please, inspire, educate and enable, it wouldn't be the same without you!