Wednesday, 30 December 2015

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 343

Anybody there? Any desks changed since this time last week? Yes? Mine too! Another Christmas miracle. Actually, pure sloth in the domestic department really. I was just sitting down to make a card for a January birthday and Mr Dunnit came home nice and early. 
So my desk still looks just as it did on Tuesday afternoon, because I abandoned it in favour of some Dunnit!  There's a couple of unused stamps at right; nothing to do with the card I am planning, just not put away. I've separated my unmounted and clear stamp collection into drawers for stuff that's current and that I can use in workshops, and into poly boxes for those that I want to keep for my 'stamping for pleasure' times. That's what you can see at top right - three of the poly boxes waiting for me to select from.  The chartreuse green (gopping green to some) is to be used on the card I intended to make. Lordy - are you sensing a pracraftination thing again? Yeah, me too.
Inspire me then, show us your 'limbo' week desks or surface that you're currently working on - you may be cooking up a storm of leftovers - we need to see! Put WOYWW in your title and link here please. And thank you.

Monday, 28 December 2015


So sometime in November, my sweet Mother In Law admitted that buying all the presents was beginning to be a strain and that we needed to be very specific about what we'd like so that she didn't experience stress over it. I suggested that actually, at my age, there is very little that I need, so hey, give us a miss...we see them regularly, enjoy their hospitality frequently, we don't need presents. But that idea went down like a lead balloon. So I suggested that there were a couple of craft pieces I'd like, I could buy them on-line and Mr Dunnit could 'sell' them to her to wrap up as a gift for me. This was a good idea. Ooh err, it set me loose at Hey Little Magpie and I ordered the Heidi Swapp 'Memorydex' and a couple of dies necessary to its use. Either would  make a great present from Grandma and another member of my family could give me the other. I get something I really want and control the budget at the same time. Great plan. 

Except that by the time I'd ordered and they'd been delivered, (and if you know the shop at all, you'll know it wasn't long at all) the plan had clearly been forgotten and no one in the family was interested in giving them to me. I was a bit surprised but fully understanding...when you're out shopping, you sort of get that panic that makes you want to tick the you buy the first thing. And that's what happened. I'm very pleased with what was first thing, by the way. Also delighted that Mr Dunnit said to just have 'em. I couldn't possibly allow myself that sort of treat so close to Christmas. So I wrapped them up and put them under the tree, to me from Mr Dunnit. Next year I might try it with a car......

Friday, 25 December 2015

Happy Christmas!

I'm pretty sure that if it were possible, we would give each other gift of Peace.
Desker, occasional visitor or stumbled upon this by accident - I wish you a lovely and harmonious Christmas. Now, get off my blog and go hug the next person you see!

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 342

Well Deskers, time is marching on and you know how hard it is to find desk time in the Holiday Season. Not so Chez Dunnit!
I must have forgotten or neglected something, but until I remember what, I'm OK about being at my desk. And I'm working on next year's workshops already. To say I'm a bit smug would be to really understate it. Sorry! It is a bit of a mess, but I'm happy with it! Not all evidence of Christmas has gone  - there's the red ribbon and bakers twine that I used to tart up a candle/jar thing yesterday....and the solitary card on the iPad stand. No evidence of music or spoken word accompanying me. No. Miss Dunnit and her Musician are home and they're watching naff movies on tv, and I love to listen to them groaning and laughing over them!  So if you can steal five minutes from your preparations, please share your desk with us. If you can't, we more than understand! If you don't visit this blog on any day other than a Wednesday, I wish you a happy Christmas. Whatever you're doing, do it with love!

Monday, 21 December 2015


Because she has so little else to do, Neet sent a couple of church kits for Jan and I. I should point out that by kit, I mean that all the cutting and scoring were done, even the stained glass windows were inserted. All we had to do was fold and glue. So....we did. Don't tell Jan, but she's done more paper crafting this year than she ever expected to do. Slowly, slowly catchee reluctants! 
Doesn't it look fab.

I couldn't leave it sitting on the bookcase...every passing body put in immediate danger of falling off - it's not hugely heavy, after all. So I did the logical thing and put it over one of the lights on the Christmas tree. I know it's not an original idea, but I am really chuffed with it. And on that basis, it shall remain. Safer there too...some of our tree decs may be corny and some are naff, but they all have a story attached to them, and I cherish them. It occurs to me that I should make up a couple of scrapbook pages about them.....for posterity. Hmmm.
Thank you Neet - it's just lovely. And not to have to do the fiddly bits in order to own one is just well, lovely of you! Helen has been reminding me that I haven't yet posted pictures of the tree. It's not because I'm saving it for a specific post, or because every time I photograph it at different times of the day it proves my rubbish photography. It's because I keep forgetting! So here it is Helen, same tree in different lights. It's utterly imperfect, and I think that's what I love most about real trees and having more than two people decorating them!

I seem to have mastered bokeh. Nah - I think it's more likely to be a trembling hand and bad light working in my favour! The uneven distribution of lights is extraordinary, we worked very hard on those. Ah well, classic imperfection. That's this house all over! Maybe you could share your trees sometime this week, if you haven't already? I might set off on a series of posts featuring various ornaments and what the story is.....there's a threat!

Friday, 18 December 2015

here's the exception...

Yesterday I had half an hour at my desk. I needed the therapy; no craft deadlines per se and time to be productive without too much thinking.  Does that say a lot about my card making? Yessss, I think it does! It really was only half an hour because there's so much else to do at this time of year. But look at the desk. Chaos.
I am a firm believer in the 'it gets worse before it gets better' scenario. To de-clutter a room, you have to make a mess of boxes - bin, charity, storage etc. To decorate your Christmas tree involves boxes and bags all over the relocated furniture. Relocation of furniture involves some hoovering *cough*. Baking or cooking makes a hash of a beautifully clean and tidy kitchen, changing bed linen, digging a new flower get it. And if I'm alone in all this, then hey, more confirmation of my slovenliness, which you probably don't even need. My point (and there is one in here somewhere) is that all these things are the rule, aren't they? To make it all fab, you first have to make it all a bit grim. Not so at my desk. It looks grim when tidy. Unused and unloved, giving me no therapy. So its the exception. And I'm sticking to that.

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 341

I'm away today, so this has to be scheduled. That means that you're looking at Tuesday's desk, taken just as the afternoon required electricity to light it. I've spent about ten minutes at my desk since last week, and that was just to tidy it.
The mirror card on the ipad stand is one last Christmas card, waiting to be mounted. I doubt if it'll be used now, so I shall just let it rest and decorate my desk! On the other side is a couple of cards that are waiting to be delivered by hand. They need to be moved to the hall stand so as not to be forgotten!  I was invited to Shopkeeper Gal's last workshop of the year. I really enjoyed myself, partly because I didn't disgrace myself by not understanding the directions! The results are on the desk, close up below; you can see how different our styles are. 

I rather suspect that your desk is more interesting than mine; please show and tell, it will make for a lovely visit! Put WOYWW in your post title so that those of us who visit late (me), can easily find you. Link here. Done. Brill.

Monday, 14 December 2015

Getting ready..

I made two Christmas cakes some months ago. Haven't thought about icing or anything before now, but as one of them is for my beloved parents, I think I need to. I'm a tiny bit afraid that I'll have put them away somewhere too safe and won't remember where, to be honest. I have to do this. If they are even vaguely within eyesight, they are eaten. There have been many Christmases without a whole or indeed, any, cake in this house. We cannot resist fruit cake!
A gift to me from Sandra, who comes to my card workshops. Isn't it fabulous. We're badgering her for a workshop now...
 Every time the oven is on, I make a dozen mince pies. Don't judge me, I often use pre-made pastry. I ALWAYS use ready made puff pastry. I don't favour them, but Mr Dunnit does, so I make flaky and shortcrust alternately. I roll the pastry till its really quite thin. I use a small amount of Icing sugar instead of flour for dusting the rolling board. We like it. So far since Thursday, I've made four dozen. The first lot went straight into the bin. I let them burn. Oddly enough, I was at my desk and utterly distracted until it was too late. 'I thought I could smell burning' was the infuriating and unhelpful comment. Never mind. The others are fine. And believe me, there aren't 3 dozen of them now.
Floristry is Sandra's thing, craft is her hobby. Talk about a brilliant combiation!
The Christmas bedding is ready. We're currently sleeping like children with visions of candy canes and toys under some very everyday bedlinen. That will change on Sunday. I'd really like a Christmas comforter too, but storage is a problem for something we'd only use for one month out of twelve. Unless I ever find one in a sale, then I can find room somewhere, of course!
Beautiful detail. Special. You will see it in my house for decades of Christmasses.
The tree will be placed and decorated at some stage today. Really. It looks forlorn at the moment; we released it from the net and had to give it a day to relax into whatever shape it was going to have, and slightly acclimatise. And then we were lazy/busy, so we gave it another day. And today is definitely the day because it's in the way where it is, as is the box of decorations and well, you know, possibly straining my Christmas cheer.

Not much else is ready. I find that I still have gifts to wrap. Yawn. It will happen - I'll be in the mood at some stage between now and the big day, I'm sure. I am starting to feel quite festive though. Or is that just hysteria? I don't know yet. Good thing.

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 340

Find out about WOYWW HERE and how to HERE. I thank you. I was in and out of the house and therefore workroom yesterday and took photos of my desk at different times of the day, secure in the knowledge that it wouldn't change....and I was right. My quality time is spent slumped in an armchair doing very little rather than at my desk being creative and whimsical. I've been helping Mr Dunnit in the workshop and truly, I'm pooped!
It looks a bit staged but its not - it is just in the order that stuff was dropped on to it. You can just see some of our business stationery - I've done a couple of invoices. The big green book is The Academic Atlas, inscribed to an owner and dated 1929. Jan rescued it from the 'pulp pile' at Oxfam, the charity shop where she volunteers . It's a gem of a book.  It will make some grand cards, when we've finished poring over it. There's a handful of Christmas cards. You know, the ones that should be allocated already, but I can't think to whom! There's also a little pile of Christmas stickers from Nikki - thanks girly, and your card was lovely. The rest is well, just a mess.
So show us your mess and preparations will ya? And if you like, talk about whether or not your tree is up and house decorated.....I think I'm slacking! Put WOYWW in your post title so that we that are consistently late can find the relevance. Ta.

Monday, 7 December 2015

Bang on (last year's) trend, again

The business side of our life requires one or two gift givings at this time of year. We are thankful for returning customers who go a long way to maintaining the roof over our heads! I realised yesterday that having wrapped the gifts, they could do with some labels to identify us as the grateful givers. 
That JOY is gold mirror card. It really is.
I broke out another new die. Well, I got it (again) in the Sizzix sale earlier this year, so it's definitely only new to me. I expect it to be at least from last year's designs if not older.
It's quite big - just under 12.5cm (5") square. Not entirely conducive to mass production if you want to use A4, but that's OK, because I was using scraps anyway, hence the mix and match-ness.
That JOY is a much nicer red than it looks. It really is.
I was going to mount them all on green stock to keep a consistent Christmas colour theme, but they looked so good (to me!) against the Kraft that I'd accidentally laid the mirror card on that I just carried on. I think if you have the TH easel die, these would be great. Also of course, you could use them on 6 x 6 cards without any trouble. Would make quite a stencil too. It cuts really well, which to be honest, I wasn't expecting after my trials with the reindeer die!
That JOY is a nicer red than it looks and no longer
has a dirty O. Really.
The real bonus is the supply of individual JOY letters allow you to emphasise the JOY. Of course, it takes half a syringe full of silicone to stick down, but that's OK, I'm getting used to it. Shaz - I must have an uber sensitive smell is the Pinflair glue that I'm using and I think it smells horrid! Now these are done, I want to play some more with this die. It's taken me longer to write this post than it did to cut and make these card/tags. That makes it an ultra useful die. If a little cheaty on the handmade front? Discuss.

Friday, 4 December 2015

I wanna be a calligrapher

Honestly, is that even a word? Ask Suzanne of Quietfore Design. Its what she does. She wrote these. Then Elizabeth Crafts turned them into dies and they. are. perfect. The dies are available in lots of places across the world; indeed, Shopkeeper Gal stocks them. Stamps you can get from Oyster Crafts in the UK. I'm not being paid or indeed even asked to say these things, I just love them and want you to see what it is that I'm currently loving!
Stands alone beautifully, huh.

The wreath is by Woodware, and there is a bit of glitter. But it wouldn't matter, the text makes it for me.

You know by now gentle reader, that I'm not great at the slow stuff. I'm certainly not great at dies that cause lots of cutting or picking problems, so I really thought that this would be a bit of a chore type die. Not so. It cuts without a problem and holds together just long enough for me to move from cutting station to desk before falling into the correct pieces. Love that! Of course, it's the devil to glue. Glue pen for the flat, but if you wanna raise it...argh! But there's no avoiding it, a syringe and some silicone did the trick on the Blue die. Trick is to let the silicone grip of its own accord and not press the thing flat. Alright if you can be as light fingered as a light fingered thing. Less alright for sausage fingers....but I kept it in mind and managed a slight 'lift' off the base paper. Cor, doesn't silicone smell. I don't think I'll ever like using it, despite its obvious usefulness!

This is a stamp, as you can see. I think it might be my motto for next year. Then I can enjoy it and use it for the whole year! Stamps beautifully, crisp and clear, already mounted on good quality foam. As badly as I would like to be able to write like this, it takes practice and patience. And so I'll go on buying the stamps. You know me!

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

What's On Your Workdesk? 339

Hello Deskers, and Hello December! If you think that the months have flown by this year, I agree. I blame a lot of you actually. If you weren't so intent on joining me for this nonsense, we may not notice the weeks flashing by and coming to the year end with unnecessary speed. Of course, if you're under 30 or yet to have any children, this wont apply to you. So as we start the countdown, what's making your desk look good?
Mine has the air of organisation about it. Don't be fooled. There's the (LLJ) tote for crop on the left. Waiting to be unpacked since Saturday afternoon. Oh and there's my phone charger..must pull that out! The backgrounds were going to be for a workshop next year, but I've since had a better idea for them. The blue basket is holding all my used cut'n'dry foam pieces. They outgrew the lovely tin and quite possibly my patience in the tin. This big 'chuck 'em in' style is more me, donchafink. Then there's an 8x8 LO featuring Miss Dunnit's current squeeze. It's of course, waiting for filing. The most impressive part of my desk is on the far right, against my glasses. That, Ladies and Jellyspoons is a pile of written and addressed Christmas cards. Mr Dunnit hasn't had much need of me at work recently....and I'm glad I've got slightly ahead now, because its full on again now! Two days of doing nothing but morticing. If you know what that is, you'll know why my right arm and my rib area muscles feel dead, but painfully alive!
Distract me from the torment then, and show off your desk please. Put WOYWW in your post title and link here. We're friendly. And some manage to follow the basic courtesy of keeping it brief. Ahem, sorry!

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

T for change

I didn't leap out of bed to make the changes this morning. I don't think they're that important. But I really enjoy them and hey, its one month out of twelve, so it's not strictly over the top. What changes? Ah, gentle reader, in eleven months you've been able to forget that I like to insinuate Christmas onto our household. We don't decorate or put the tree up for a while yet, so I have to find other things to help with the anticipation.
So this morning, before I'd had breakfast, actually, I started. Our Christmas bedding is on. There's only one set, so I use it the first week, settle for 'normal' the second week and then it's back on in time for THE week. Loo rolls were changed - the new ones are printed with stars. Handwash is new, apparently 'scented with festive berries'. And, most pleasingly for me, the everyday crockery gets a holiday for the holidays.
Yes, I have Christmas crockery and I love it. I also have snowflake embossed cutlery. I brought the cutlery from Target whilst visitng my sister, years ago. I wish I'd brought two sets! Now I've emptied and rearranged various cupboards and am drinking my coffee from a Christmas mug which has just sneaked in to the photo, I feel entitled to share with you on T day, administered by Elizabeth. I recommend you visit her too, I'm not the only one with Christmas crockery! Oh and PS..not sure about the handwash..but at least its not cinnamon.....

Friday, 27 November 2015

Well, that's that.

Last night I 'conducted' my last Christmas card workshop. There was no teaching of techniques, nothing but chatter actually, these gals are seasoned card makers. It was lovey. I just sat and chatted, basically. Shopkeeper Gal had to run around and find substitutes for things I'd left out of the supplies, and I just let it all happen . Works for me!
Woodware stamps set. The label at foot says We Three Kings, but you probably guessed that.

 Please et aside the fact that these cards are badly photographed. Its fair to say that this morning's light is no better than yesterday evening, so I've lost patience with the camera.All I want to do is show you!  I don't know if you're ever inspired by such card shots or not, but they at least go some way to proving that I craft rather just whine about no time and no mojo and everything being untidy. And dark.

Spellbinders dies. Cuttlebug embossing folder. To stick glitter paper to glitter paper, use silicone. Nothing else in my gluery woud grab it.
I started to write in my Christmas cards yesterday. And then had to explain myself to Jan. It's nothing at all to do with being ahead and smug. It's to do with using them and then seeing how many more I need to make. I could make a list, but I need to remain fluid about such things. And besides, I'd probably lose a list.

Woodware text, spellbinders snowflakes used as stencils.
What is already clear to me is that I take too long choosing which card to send to whom. I need to make greater numbers of each style to prevent this. Trouble is, I find that boring. What is even more clear to me at this point is that I need to make more cards. And now, now, I start to wonder why I ever thought I had made enough. Should've made a list...I may not have remembered all the recipients, but I'm beginning to think that the shock of the quantity would have kept me focussed!

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 338

Well, thank you for asking. There are four baskets. These contain the 'ingredients' for the workshop on Thursday; the inks, stamps, emboss folders - the shared items, you get it. And just - just in the picture at right are the raw materials - cards and envelopes and any other card stock needed to make the four cards. So if it weren't for the teetering looking baskets, you could be fooled into thinking I'm really on it! 

You can see too that I've made a quick page as a December calendar - am actually starting to need such a thing in my line of vision. I guess as December starts next week, that shouldn't be a surprise; but somehow it is. The green basket at back right is no longer a muddle of stamps waiting to be put away. I sorted them out. They are just Christmas stamps waiting to be put away. I've even put the acrylic blocks away. No idea was the mood I was in!
So please, show and tell about your workspace this week, as 'the big season' approaches, we need your support and ideas more than ever! Put WOYWW in your post title and link here. Thanks. See you later. 

Monday, 23 November 2015

...and back to Christmas...

The whole Christmas card making thing - man I'm nearly over it!  The 'Season' doesn't seem to have got the better of me quite so much. Yar har har. I can hear you. Incredibly stupid and famous last words huh! Yeah, but I feel in the clear for now, so I'm riding that erm, sledge.
These were I hope, fun to make and easily repeatable, which is really what you want from a Christmas card workshop that isn't intending to be the workshop where you make the really special cards for the really super special people. You know - the ones that I never make and if I did, wouldn't be able to part with because of my emotional investment. I'd end up with separation anxiety! 
I'll photo the others in daylight and share a bit later; you never know, they may help someone to come up with another idea for this year. I often 'Pin' ideas at this stage for next year. (Wait though, it's not that impressive....) A few months later when I really need Christmas inspiration, I wonder why I pinned them. Was it the whole card? An element? A colour scheme? Good grief, I think I may have to go back to a notebook and pen. Maybe cross reference them in writing with my photo gallery. Argh. It's OK gentle reader, you know that won't really happen. I shall just go on complaining and making, just as every other year!

Friday, 20 November 2015

Same card, different look

In the best tradition of the way I do things, last year I bought this hanging star die. Shopkeeper Gal and I are quite sure that I used it in a workshop, but neither she nor I can recall the card. Must have been really striking huh! But this year, it has spoken to me. See - it may take a year but hey, I'll get an idea eventually!

This white and blue shades card was for a workshop last week. I made it over complicated by having to explain how to do it. Much easier to look and see than read written instructions! It started life as this Kraft based take....and I like them both. Be my guest, like one or the other, like 'em both. Eminently repeatable, just for the want of some die cutting. Unless you're doing fifty of them. Thats 100 banners and 150 snowflakes. Why would you? I don't know. Ask our Debbie, she seems to specialise in multiples at this time of year. And hers are all par excellence.

For me, these two are probably enough. Bored now, move on and find another design/die/stamp to make another couple of cards with. Part of the joy for me is definitely the infinite variety out there. I am very probably the retailer's idea of a good customer. Easily bored, uses her stuff for a few minutes and wants to move on. But..remember, this die is already a year old in my stash.  At least I revisit!

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 337

There are directions and explanations at the top of this page...HERE and HERE (- just to prove my skill at links!). So to the workdesk. I am currently enjoying some real play time. There is no agenda at this point, stamping and making for the fun of it. 
You will see a die cut reindeer image. All of that white image is a single die. I bought it for a song in the Sizzix sale. Top left is a finished card, die cut is blue and the background is glitter white. I've made five. And that's my limit. The die is a bit blunt in specific areas, so I have to move it to different angles in the Big Shot's sandwich and roll it through at least 3 times to cut all the parts. And then I have to spend minutes, yes,  MINUTES poking out all the cut details. And then, as if that's not inducing a mild case of Bah Humbug.....glueing it on, ohemgeee..what was I thinking. It looks pants stuck flat, the white glitter paper wont allow for normal sticking, so it's been stinky silicone and tiny blobs. So that's yer lot for this year. It's meant to be fun. I love the result and will play a few times each Christmas. But this die is about to take a short course in death - being filed for 11 months!
Show me and them what you're currently working on will you? Perhaps be inspiring and possible a lot less whiney? Put WOYWW in your post title and link here. We love that.

Monday, 16 November 2015

The long winded method

My gorgeous Brother In Law asked his lovely partner to marry him, and she said yes! Cue lots of happiness. And congratulations. And therefore, the requirement for a card. I mean really, if you make cards and don't bother for this sort of occasion, what does that say...? (Actually don't answer that, I have resorted to bought cards more than once this year!)
So I spent a ridiculous amount of time making a card that I liked.
I had in mind to do a bunch of love heart shaped balloons. I have a die and some really lovely glitter and mirror paper, I envisioned a lot of gorgeousness. So I cut into the sheet of gorgeous glitter paper. Cut three balloons. And then two from the mirror card. Then I had trouble fitting them on any size of card that I liked. And getting then to look like a bunch of well spaced lofty balloons. I had thought that the white glitter paper on white card with a hint at colour would be vaguely bridal and dammit, I wanted to design sophistication and glamour onto the card face. Turns out I couldn't.
And then of course, the old quality 'less is more' excuse idea popped into my head and I went that way. It was getting very late, my glasses aren't strong enough in the dark and we were seeing the bride-to-be in the morning. I DID not want to be empty handed.

Mess. Discarded elements. Honestly, this simple is really hard!
See all the discarded die cuts. Sheesh. I need to do some thinking and planning before I launch... 
The real irony is that although I remembered to take her birthday present...yep, I forgot the congratulatory card. She might take this as a warning about what a long marriage does to your memory!

Thursday, 12 November 2015

Back to Autumn then...

Remember I bragged about a box of goodies from the Baker Ross 'Naturals' craft selection? well, it included more than shells and hessian.  

This pack of Owl shapes for example. Each with a string if you want to hang 'em up or make Owl bunting. That would be cool wouldn't it, especially of you have an Autumn birthday. As individual pieces, I thought they'd make a great base for all sorts of mediums, you could let go with the paint and the sparkles quite easily! They would also make great hand out invitations or promotions wouldn't they, such a memorable shape. And despite the reality, owls are meant to be wise and remembering.

I was so taken with the wonderful assortment of dyed skeleton leaves that I had to make one of them a leafy one. It was easy, of course. I used PVA to glue the tops of the leaves and when dry, cut around the shape to restore definition. The eyes are two punch outs of black card and the gems are simply cut from the sheet of pressure, but I applied them without a pattern or guide. I was clearly having a good day..straight lines and even eyes!

This was fun and relatively mess free, the next one involves glue and torn up paper, so it may not appear for a know how I am with tidy. It's set aside for drying and that means it might be little bit lost in a day or two!

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 336

Well, probably more accurately, what isn't on my Work desk? I realise that this is going to get boring, but the one thing that is lacking is decent light. Oh how I  long for Spring and late light already!
At least the iPad has made a triumphant return to the stand. The proper place. Mostly because I needed the basket space for dirty stamps. That are still there. You can clearly see that I've just finished a Christmas more for my last workshop of the year at the end of the month. So all the paraphenalia that goes with that is visible. Quite without deliberate thought, you can't see the pile that is balanced on the right. My A5 cutter is currently home to at least 2 acrylic blocks, one of my rulers, one of my pairs of scissors, the desk edge bin that Jan made for me and the book of music that I used for the card. Yep, its teetering. But unless it falls, I'm too busy to sort it. 
Talking of busy, I've had a couple of very involved Wednesdays which has rudely reduced my visits; I hope it was just a phase. Please extend me some slack! Thank you!
Meanwhile, share will you, the hive of creative activity that is your place. If only to inspire me to tidy up a bit! Put WOYWW in your post title and link here for...well lots!

Saturday, 7 November 2015

these pictures....

One of these pictures was visible on my desk on Wednesday. The other was propped behind it. In fact they are still on my ipad stand. Being forgotten really - they are destined to take to my Mother but I keep forgetting. I have copies ready to make a scrapbook layout for 'my records', but haven't yet decided how to 'dea'l with them.
L-R Sister Sally, Me, Cousin Debra,Sister Diane, Sister Stephanie, Cousin Jane
This isn't unusual for me. Pictures that I'm really attached to take me ages to commit to Layouts. It's the sentiment, I think. Give me your favourite pictures and I'll do something with them in about twenty minutes! Plans for these two are running into months now. It's not about using the originals. I have copies stored on the PC. And to be honest, even if they were the originals, I'd use them. They are in my opinion, safer in my acid free scrapbook albums than in an old photo wallet stuffed in a drawer somewhere.

same arrangement, different ages.....

So why do these pictures say so much to me? Well, they include my Sister, Diane who sadly died in 1987. We haven't many photos of us all together, and even fewer of her as a young teen as she was here - let's face it, we are all silly about having our picture taken, and Diane was no exception! And then there's the reason for the photo. We rarely visited our cousins - quite often we lived abroad or too far away. We didn't exactly have a lot in common and lived very different lives. Jane and Debra lived on a farm and had their own horses for goodness' sake! That alone was enough to set us apart, being silly, girly and teenaged did the rest. So I love these photos for what they don't show as much as what they do....our horror at the planning of the visits, the feeling that we were forced to be friends, maybe having to 'play' outside.... you know! I love them because we are all in them, and that means that Aunty Sheila must have worked quite hard to corral us onto that wall outside her lovely house. Twice! She was a picture-taker. Of course, now I understand. And lastly, I love these photos because they were sent to me by my lovely cousin Jane. Which proves that its never too late to become proper friends. Jane, Debra and I have laughed over the strangeness of our relationships as children. Now we're grown up with our own children, we feel the ties that bind and perpetuate. Isn't that grand? Can't you get a lot from a couple of pictures!

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 335

There you are gentle Desker, and well I hope. It's taken me a couple of days to get my act together this week and here I am in the dead of morning, trying to work out how it became Wednesday so soon! Here's what I was doing last night.....preparing card kits and ingredients for a workshop on Thursday:
You can just about see a couple of the cards, not deliberately kept from you, just left in my line of vision so that I can give myself the illusion of knowing what I'm doing. You can see my ipad carelessly slung on top of the dirty stamp section...listening to my friend Janis Ian whilst cutting card. Not too shabby a way to work! The ipad stand is apparently the exclusive home to a photo of me, my three sisters and my two cousins. Rare. Young. Loving it. It's waiting to be made into a LO, and this is a copy of the copy - I thought my sainted Mama might enjoy it. But every time I go to visit....yep, I forget all about it! Next to that is evidence that I've done October's bookwork and VAT return for this quarter. The giant hole punch. Never on my desk unless I've been doing 'real' work! So I'm sort of doing stuff, albeit not enormously creative. I'll post photos of the cards soon and then we can pretend that once in a while, my desk is inspiring something other than the desire to come round and tidy up!
As always, this is no party without your desk..put WOYWW in your post title, link here and visit to your heart's content. That's what it does; causes content. Also check out Jan's fab post about the weekend CROP2. Really decent pictures!!

Sunday, 1 November 2015


It was a fabulous sunny, mild Autumn day.  There was nothing spooky about it at all; a classic Englsh autumn setting.  I can't tell you much about the rushing around, organising, cooking and sweating, because I didn't do any of it. Seriously. I double booked my commitment and so turned up in time to eat lovely lunch and chat a lot. As usual, I did not get around to so much as unpacking my bag of things I thought I might do. Nor did I take any photos; but I fear that others did, so Wednesday may be a time of delayed witches appearing on blogs around you!

And do you know, I cant even remember what's in that bubble envelope. Gosh you can tell my intentions to craft were a bit half hearted, huh! I did manage to talk to everyone (my real skill), I think I even managed to make everyone a cup of tea. I do know that its a tiny amount of the work but I hope it speaks of my intended share of the hospitality! I haven't finished any tags, but intend to. So don't be holding your breath. And don't be expecting work of this standard from me....

Debbie and Dolores proving that no challenge is too great for them. Sigh.  The success was down to you who could come. We are automatic friends, as I said to Lizzie who was a first timer. The hospitality and work is all down to Jan and the only credit I can take in all of this is the skill in keeping her as a friend. Love that Lunch Lady! 

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 334

The clocks have turned - we moved back an hour into Greenwich Mean Time last weekend. Which means it's dark at 5pm and already I hate it! I took the photo yesterday in the late afternoon - oddly, it wasn't as pitch black outside as it suggests. My desk remains cluttered with unpacked stuff after being away for a crafty retreat with some girlfriends.
I haven't even managed to put away the LOs I made, let alone all the stash. Or move some of the stuff actually across the threshold into my workroom. I mean, why clutter up my desk area when I can leave it all to languish in the lounge! 
This is a scheduled post this morning - up and at it a bit sooner than I'd like to be really, but hope that bodes well for an early finish! If you're coming to the Crop at the weekend - we're looking forward to seeing you! Please welcome Marcie to your blogs will ya? She doesn't (yet) blog, but reads here regularly and that makes her a desker, donchafink?
Join in do....put WOYWW in your post title please, link here and we'll busy ourselves with a little visiting. Mine's without sugar, thanks.

Tuesday, 27 October 2015


Had a fantastic weekend at our now Annual Crop Retreat. We hire a lovely large house in Tolpuddle (famous for its Martyrs); close the front door, unpack food, drink and stash. And then we craft. No different to other retreats; I love hearing that people are off to them, knowing how nice it will be. 

The five minutes here and there that had me matching papers to photos really paid off for me. It put me on a right old roll! I did loads of Layouts by comparison to my normal output, and so now I have a good load to show off. You could say I was smug. And you'd be right.

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 333

333. All the threes! That seemed a lot to me, I had to go back and check!
Join us if you'd like to, it's harmless and easy - there are pages at the top of this post that tell you the why and the how. 
My desk today is looking like the desk of a crafter who knows what she's doing. And I do.
I'm doing the five minutes here and there thing to get ahead with some preparations for a workshop next week. Oh yes dear Desker, I am actually trying to get ahead. You can see the unused Hallowe'een paper on the iPad stand which means it's not actually working, but hey, I get points for trying huh! Basket is still full of stamps with intention and acrylic blocks that just will not put themselves away. See I have a Layer Perfect tool too. I've had it for ages. I watched a good demo. Bought the tool. Obviously between demo and desk I totally forgot how to do it, and do you know, I cannot for the life of me make sense of the instructions. It's there to remind me to get the left brained in this household to interpret it for me. It makes me tired and emotional when I can't understand words.
So please show your desks and your progress or otherwise. Most of you achieve far more interesting stuff than I, it is a pleasure to call in!

A bit of housekeeping while I have your attention:
We could do with hearing from you if you are thinking of coming to the WOYWW Crop2...if you have declared intent already, don't worry, but final numbers are useful for catering. If you're undecided, visit the page (above) and perhaps contact someone who is coming for an opinion. Know that you're welcome and you won't be the only person who doesn't know anyone...not many of us have actually met!
And lastly - the seashells...nail varnish consumption not too great, I think the biggest shell was about 4cm long and probably the widest was 3cm!

Monday, 19 October 2015


Remember that Baker Ross sent me a bunch of bits form their 'naturals' range? Well, I've been walking around one or two of them, trying to get into the head of someone who lives by the sea. Seashells, see, were part of the treasure. I've done the obvious, I'm nothing if not predictable, and I shall show that some other time. 
What I really wanted to do was use the Shells for Christmas, and therefore make them easy to use. In my free non-crafting time, I've been doing a bit of life laundry and discovered that my lovely Miss Dunnit has left her massive nail varnish collection at home. Ooh err, cue an idea! Christmas tree decorations!

So easy. Of course, this is me. I painted each shell with one or two coats of brightly coloured nail varnish. I put them on wax paper so that I could pick 'em up without getting the colour every where. One of the advantages of using Nail Varnish is the drying time - most satisfactory for a gal that uses tape over glue because of the drying time!
And you can see, the detail wasn't lost either, which is fab. A glue gun and a bit of twine and they were fixed as hangers. Really very satisfying. I shall enjoy these jewel bright shells on my Christmas tree. I may even make up stories about which beaches I was lucky enough to find them on. They really do look like treasure don't they!

Friday, 16 October 2015

Me and Charles Dickens....

Now THIS makes me smile like a lunatic. I love it. It will go on the wall in my workroom at some point, but for now it's on my pseudo worktable by my chair. I keep looking at it and liking it. There's a story - of course, and this story proves two things. One - it never hurts to ask, and two - how the world benefits from independent traders who will adapt to your whims to make you happy.
I followed a bunch of Facebook links one night, from an original post about supporting refugees in Europe. It was a post telling me that an amount had been raised thanks to the support of...and there was this bunch of links to independent shops. I had to go look. And there was Bookishly Ltd. I couldn't believe what I was seeing, it was like porn for font junkies! So I paged and paged through the library of quotes printed on actual book pages (don't start me on the jewellery) and of course this one jumped out. I placed my order (don't even think about saying I should have asked for it for Christmas. I had to have it, NOW. And yes, that probably is what's wrong with my generation and the world. 
In the 'order comments', I asked if this print could be made for me without a the book, the great Mr Charles Dickens has a comma after the first word. Louise, the bookish gal who owns Bookishly and therefore does all the work, emailed me to say that the comma wasn't her mistake, and went to the trouble of photographing the page it was on to show me, but if I didn't like it, of course she could remove it/leave it out. Oh joy, the best quote ever and no grammar issues to make my teeth itch. Now, Mr Dickens probably wasn't wrong, in context. Although I'm still not sure. Anyway, the point is, I'm incredibly happy. And I might have just stuck one to Charles Dickens!
And if that isn't enough...check out how it was wrapped. That girl has some style!
This reads like a review...I guess it is; but it is entirely, utterly unsolicited. I was just bragging. You know. And if you'd like to read of a bunch of other things making people happy, visit Annie, at her Friday Smiles meme.