Monday, 31 August 2015

Evidence in the case against...

For the last couple of weeks, I've been getting that build up. You know the one where you know that something isn't working for you but to change it is going to cause uproar and take time and ohemgee you don't wanna.
Seriously, this is not a was one of Thursday's workshop cards. 
It erupted on Friday when I tried to very quickly put away some stamps we'd used in the workshop on Thursday evening. They were Christmas stamps. They were clear stamps. They have their own drawer. And clearly, one drawer is no longer enough. That's bad enough...but it started the normal 'gets worse before it gets better' thing and I ended up taking the whole lot with me when I went to see my parents, hoping that Mama may find some pleasure in helping. She didn't help much but she did enjoy going through them with me, so it was worth it really! 

How can this pile of storage boxes and drawers be an improvement on the way I store my wood mounts? I mean, seriously, how?  I've got the clears in loose categories in boxes and drawers. I have to go through the box or drawer to find the one I have in mind or to browse my choices. My wood mounts just stand quietly facing me..again, loosely categorised. Yes I have to stand up to shuffle them about so I can see the ones behind (they are about 4 deep), but it's no more onerous than heaving the boxes or drawers about. 
The trouble is that wood mounted stamps are rare now...certainly in the workshops - one has to use current designs for workshops of course, so my wood mounts get very little use these days. I'm probably going to have to cave in. Pack some of the wood mounts away for posterity and use the shelves to hold these hideous boxes of clear stamps. Not as pretty, or inspiring, but practical. And reasonably short term I think. When the building work starts, I think my space will be reallocated to other uses and my craft space will permanently re-locate. So possibly a bit of packing now might save a lot of packing then. But it doesn't stop me whining now.  I think I might ask my neighbours to move so that I can have a craft house. It would just be easier. I envision an entire wall coated with acrylic sheets to which I can stick these damn stamps. Now there gentle reader, is a really good idea. Maybe the inside of a cupboard door or two to start with. Ohmygosh, I need to go whine in Mr Dunnit's ear before I forget!

Friday, 28 August 2015


Yesterday, Jan and I attended the funeral for our friend Janet 'Fairythoughts'. We did a lot of smiling through our tears; there is much to celebrate about Janet's life.
I think, normally, that I wouldn't write here about a funeral. They are very personal experiences. But I have to tell you this because you were a key part. 

The chap who conducted the service mentioned that Janet was a blogger and that our community had been a comfort to her family; indeed, he had a handful of pages that were printed from the messages of condolence that you left at this blog after I posted a few words. He read a couple - from Annie and Shaz - stories that her family would otherwise not have known, and stories that went a long way to reinforce Janet's memory as a kind and fun woman with a passion for her crafts and life in general.
We did what we always do when visiting Janet, had coffee and cake.
I know that WOYWW is pretty much considered a community and I know that WOYWW has resulted in individual friendships being made behind the scenes (just as mine with Janet). Lots of our families consider our 'blogging thing' an extension of our hobbies that we simply choose to use free time on. Yesterday, hearing that Janet's husband and gorgeous daughters felt that our presence in her life was important enough to mention made me shiver. Turns out it really is a PART of our lives. Your immediate responses of love and sorrow will stay with Janet's husband and three gorgeous daughters for as long as they need to draw on them.  
And that, gentle reader, is probably the only and the best reason to blog. We're all in this together and we all want to be friends first.

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 325

Under this little lot is a can actually see my working space! I'm quite shocked and smug! And I moved and put away the scrapbook preparation stuff I was doing before getting all the some of the Christmas stuff out.
Pretty gloomy still, huh.So you can just make out my box of gems at left, in front of my pen caddy...which I move out of the window when not using. It requires no effort - I shove it backwards until it hits something immoveable. Usually the box of scraps. I've separated Christmas clear stamps into acrylic boxes because their aren't so many of them, but it's not ideal. I'm really going to have to grow up and sort this storage thing out properly. You can also see several sizes of pre-fold cards on the iPad holder. Always handy to have at hand when making cards because I start with the image and work up...and apparently have no sense of whether it will fit on a card until it's too late. You see also my new tablet, it's a Hudl from Tesco. I have no complaints at all...except battery life is a bit short. The carefully cut out and painted Noel you can see there is destined for the's really not doing it for me. This then, is the time to stop instead of soldiering on and trying to make it work and wasting hours and more card stock. I'm definitely learning! Won't get back to this lot for a couple of days at least, so fill up my quiet times with pics of your desks will you, it's lovely to see what you're all doing. Put WOYWW in your post title and link it here. If you need further 'instructions', there are a couple of pages at the top of this page. I thank you!

Monday, 24 August 2015

The 'More' Zone

I've been in a state of uneasy panic. There's a new workshop schedule at Kraft Crazy, starting next month - which is actually next week. I am involved, all the workshops are focussed on Christmas cards, and I really, really need to be prepared. The next few months are ridiculously busy. You all know that.
This is a decoy....I made this ages ago.
And I was slightly in the mood. It has been raining cats and dogs and kennels and cushions in this neck of the woods, so Mr Dunnit's day off was largely spent at home. Whilst he was doing stuff, I did stuff too, but as soon as he sat down to watch some sport on the TV, my conscience unlocked me and I sat at my desk.  Almost a whole afternoon of plotting and making samples. It was nice. You know that zone you get into - the one where you're half way through a make and you suddenly have another great idea for the stamp? I was there. I thought I'd lost it,  I really did.
This is another decoy. An ATC from Crafty Moo to celebrate 2 years of T Tuesday.
Although I have proven that I haven't lost it...I can't actually prove it to you yet. How funny is that. I write all this, you read all this and then I have nothing to show you for your effort. Please visit again though, I may still be in the 'More' zone. One can only hope.

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 324

Here is a brief explanation of WOYWW.
And here is how to do WOYWW.
Please join in. It makes me look good. And my desk doesn't.

What's happening here is the five or 'ten minute slot' job. You know the time when you're hanging between finishing something and going out, or have come back from being out and have to go somewhere else but it's too soon, so being at home for twenty minutes is preferable, but it's not long enough to do much? (I'll feel a lot better about all this if you say you know exactly what I mean.)
So I'm trying to be constructive. I have a lot of scrapbook appointments coming in the autumn (which starts next month, people of the northern hemisphere). So to maximise my output, I'm trying to match photos and papers and have them all together. It doesn't minimise the packing required, but it certainly helps if I don't have to take every sheet of paper I possess and spend quality time doing this very job. As you can see, it leads to a mess. Although some of the mess is inevitably stamps waiting to be put away and such. It's just in me, I can't help it. I'm on the rota to be an Apprentice today, so this will be stay as it is. Surprising that, huh!
Show and tell time for you now...put WOYWW on your post title and link it here will you -it makes the rest of my week more interesting. Thank you!

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Great sadness

Deskers in particular will be saddened I know, to read that Janet 'Fairythoughts' has passed away. Too soon, too young of course. There is much to say of my friendship with Janet - like how reluctant I was to introduce myself when I was a customer in the shop where she worked, and how delighted she was when Lunch Lady Jan finally did the deed. How we had to try hard not to tie her up in chatting when she should have been serving other, 'real' customers'. Or how she could look me in the eye and say something really cheeky with a totally straight face...and leave me wincing in the hope that she was joking. Only to then have her dissolve into laughter at my reaction. Oh my word, she had a rapid and dry, often wry sense of humour. 
Janet wasn't only a paper crafter. She was a prolific and gifted seamstress, jewellery maker - beading was one of her 'things' - if you ever met her, you are probably a recipient of something she made - she loved to give, and didn't like the fuss of gratitude or amazement. Very modest, our Janet. Of course, she wasn't just the sum of her crafting skills. Wife, mother, grandmother. She was devoted to her family and I'm sure you join me in my sorrow for them in their loss. Her loving influence will always be wrapped around them and anyone she knew. And of course, that wrapping will be secure. By use of a button.

Janet's funeral will take place next Thursday 27th, her family will welcome anyone that would like to attend, but would appreciate knowing in advance. You can leave a message here. 

Desperation is no Inspiration

You know how it is. You have to make a card on a theme or for a particular person, or you have a handful of cards to make and a limited amount of time because you've procrastinated and pretended that you're very busy and important elsewhere. And so as the deadline looms, you decide enough is enough, time to get on with it. 
And in the time it takes others to make a dozen cards, you have nothing. Well, a whole heap of mess - a desk strewn with abandoned ink pads, cut up papers, card blanks, every pair of scissors and, because the theme is Christmas, every pot of glitter glue that you own. Who was it said that anything can be improved by the addition of glitter? They lied.
Remember last WOYWW's mess? This card came out of it at some stage. It's not a difficult one. Stamp and emboss with white powder the swirly snowflake (Stampendous) and then colour the piece of card with Distress Inks and sponges. Then finally, take a lovely blue Versafine and stamp the message. Ten minute card. Except it's not. This is the FIFTH attempt. Why? Because the last part of the design is the only bit that can go wrong really. And it did. I could not get that text image (Stampendous, again) straight. Indeed, It's not straight on this sample, but it's a rare sight better than it was. So of course, if you cock up the last part, you have to start over from scratch. Which is why I stopped at five. And then realised that it may well be that the rubber and the index are not aligned. It's a foam mounted stamp so not see-through. That would and does explain it. I may have sworn gentle reader. Those of you that know me are only too aware of ability in that department. Still, at least I'm not losing my my ability to stamp straight; I thought I was destined to be a 'jaunty angle' stamper for the rest of my days! 
Just as I was beginning to think it would be better and more attractive to find an excuse to give up and tell Shopkeeper Gal that I don't want to do Christmas card idea workshops, this arrived. 
Isn't it lovely? It's from our Patsy and this vehicle is called a Jeepney...a cab, taxi type transport. And keeping it in the family, the design is by Robert, her brother. It was the perfect moment for a calm and warm greeting from a real artist I can tell you. Thank you Patsy. I tidied up, blew away the negative cobwebs and pulled out all of my Christmas stamps so that I could assess properly the things I had to do. I felt that Patsy was helping me to get a grip. It lasted until the desk was visible and I felt in control and slightly less panicky. Then Mr Dunnit came home and I turned my back on it for another day. Easily distracted and still a bit desperate!

Friday, 14 August 2015

...and then I painted a bridge.

See these? They are lengths of Beech that once were square. Mr Dunnit made them round and then called in his apprentice (me).  I measured the required length and cut them on the skill saw. It's a noisy and ferocious saw and I'm a bit scared of it, but when you're doing repetitive work, I think that's a very good thing. 

 And this was the most repetitive job I've done so far.

In fact, by the time I'd cut all 371 of them, I was ready to stop! Each peg now has to undergo 2 more procedures. One end needs to be chamfered to make it slightly less edgy and sharp. The other end has to be reduced by a few mm so that it will fit in a pre-determined hole size. That we've already drilled. So you see why it was all feeling a bit tedious! So Mr Dunnit suggested a break, do something else for a while. Good idea. 

 So I painted a bridge.
Believe me when I say that these slightly less ordinary jobs have a habit of finding us...

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

What's On Your Workdesk, Wednesday 323

My word, Wednesday already. It's certainly being a week, for sure! I've spent a couple of hours at my desk since last Wednesday. It started well, because I had to tidy up. But naturally, it didn't last.
In the very near forground is a discarded Christmas Card. In the centre ground is an attempted third. I am going to change that again. Nearly there! Christmas cards are on my schedule gentle Desker because the workshop customers are asking for them. The argument is quite compelling really - I do a workshop every third week and there are 19 weeks till Christmas.  Really, that's not a lot of workshops. Sorry, did I incite fear and groaning? 
Show us what you're working on and with will ya - put WOYWW in your post title and link it here. S'all very easy and very friendly. And mostly very tidy.

Friday, 7 August 2015

A rose by any other name....

...would make me feel just as smug! Sometime back in March I think, Mr Dunnit had a night at home without me. Not unusual, I go out occasionally. Days later he said that he'd ordered some bedding plants for the garden. My heart sank a bit. And then he added that at the last minute he'd ordered some rose bushes too, because he couldn't help himself. Oh my heart sank further. I am not a gardener, gentle reader. I like it to be tidy but I don't want to expend any energy beyond that. And also, over the coming year, we will have to move and re-bed existing plants because we have building work to do that will impinge on what we already call a flower bed. Ohemgee I thought. Mr Dunnit loves all this, but he has so little time to do gardener type stuff that it just becomes another chore. Oh well.
At the end of May, these teeny sticks with a blob of compost at one end, wrapped in green plastic arrived. I bunged 'em in a bowl of water. We discussed the planting and in view of the disruption we're about to cause to the garden we opted to plant these dead looking twigs in tubs.
We were delighted that they put on new growth and showed green very quickly. Just as well, in the face of my slightly less than enthusiastic response to their arrival appearance!

So you can see why they make me feel a bit smug. And I admit that I didn't order them. I didn't want them particularly. I stuck 'em in a tub and did the things that Mr D hasn't had time to do. And look! We have us a rose garden. They have that new plant 'leggy' look about them and no doubt we'll argue about the need and the time to prune...we always do. He likes to leave them to fend for themselves and I HATE that because it doesn't work! But hey, I'm not gong to anticipate then end of them, I'm thoroughly enjoying them for now! Joining Annie for her Friday Smiles.

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 322

Well Deskers, even I'm feeling of a nervous disposition today. Just look at the state of this. I was preparing baskets of 'ingredients' for a workshop at the same time as making the cards and writing the instructions - which is a hideous last minute way to do mojo blocker I can tell you. I was also trying to finish a 3d card for LLJ - she had a birthday last weekend. This photo features afternoon sun - I was about to run out and help Mr Dunnit at work and realised that having had some time off, I might end the day being tired and emotional and miss a good photo op!
And I was right. It clouded over for the hundredth time not long after while I was shutting windows and doors and getting ready to leave. Work is the reason for all this haste and mess too. The wrist injury is all but gone, but seriously stopped me in my tracks for nearly a week. Well, it was never going to by my fault was it!
Share will you - show us your messy, tidy, cluttered, vacant works spaces. We need to know what you've got in case we need to have it too!
Put WOYWW in your post title and link here, couldn't be easier.
Oh - and is it too soon to point out the page for the October WOYWW Crop is open if anyone would like to leave a comment indicating their intentions? Thank you!

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

T Tuesday

Me and that LLJ went out for a morning of window shopping and catching up. We went to a small local town called Stockbridge, famous because it sits on the River Test which is a joy of clear waters and trout as big as you like. Stockbridge is pretty, for the consumer it consists of one road of shops and is a nice wide road as it was a well used drover's route. And it quite likes to think it has an upmarket charm, which visitors like Jan and I perpetuate! It's small; it may not be a town, but it has an art gallery, and that probably describes it better than anything I can write!
 Of course we stopped for coffee. And despite the odd weather, we sat outside. Next to the river - which you can only just make out. It wasn't cold, but it was very overcast and we were the only ones sitting outside for a while. Yes, we experienced a spit spot of rain, but hey - we're British! It was a lovely, diverting morning. And this morning as I survey paperwork and garden chores, I thought to share it with you by way of a diversion for me!
Joining Elizabeth at T Tuesday.

Monday, 3 August 2015

Yes, it's August

Rub your eyes people.....

Now you can go about your Monday, filled with the joy of another summer month in front of you. Really, don't mention it. I am the sharing type.