Friday, 27 March 2015

Getting back to the hobby

In amongst the apprentice work, the domestic stuff and the hectic champagne social life, I make time to sit at my desk now and then.  You know I cut back on the number of workshops I'm doing this year? (don't get an impression of poor me being over worked, it was two a month and now it's one...!). Well, that has freed me up a bit and I've made some cards just for the sake of enjoying my stamps, the process and the therapy. Whereas last year I found I was only sitting at my desk to make workshop cards and they weren't coming easily. I think I'd lost the hobby.
Inevitably, some of them turn into workshop cards, especially if it involves a new stamp! 
I still make cards just days before they are due, I don't think that will ever change, but I'm actually making them, not rummaging through old workshop cards for something suitable. That's a bit of a joy, it means I can use old stamps too, stuff that I've been looking at and wonder if I ought to get rid of through under use.  
And I'm spending time over indulging when I find a stamp that I particularly like...I make it appear on loads of stuff!

I firmly believe that if you want to do something badly enough, you make time to do it, and despite all evidence to the contrary, I also believe that one should talk less about doing it and just well, do it. In my case, that then gives me more to talk about! There seems no escape, gentle reader!

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

What's on Your Workdesk? 303. really.

I took this photo on Tuesday lunchtime, because I was unsure about my movements for the rest of the day and tomorrow morning. That's the thing about Mr Dunnit's being used to work alone. He forgets to tell me that I'm required or not and my 'planning' is shot. 'Specially on the days that he comes home for lunch and then casually suggest I go back to work with him - whaaaaa? My afternoon! is Tuesday' does look different now...I've put the cards away!
There's a couple of cards for workshop samples and the notebook that I use to write the recipe and remind me of the ingredients to take to the workshop. There's a new stamp at the far left by the heat gun..another flower, I can't help it. Next to the iPad stand which is rapidly becoming a blank card stand, is an Artemio box containing two sticks of sealing wax and a Fleur de Lys seal. I love it and was going to use it on a workshop card - but I have to check the shop's fire system first, the wax smokes alarmingly! The rest is just detritus really. In the clipboard - that note says OnPluto and is underlined. I cannot remember what it refers to. I know I was on the phone when I wrote it. If it was you and I that were talking, and it's important, please visit and crack me on the head with the details! 
Meanwhile, please link your lovely work spaces here..we like to see what you've got and what you're doing. It's good for the crafting soul. 

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Oh. Overdue.

I got these calendar cubes from Baker Ross and distributed them for colouring. They were coloured beautifully, by people very much younger than me. We used my Copics and regular felt pens. They are on a coated board and there wasn't much difference in performance between the pens to be honest. 
See the striped effect on the November and September sides? That's a didn't blend well on this particular surface. The girls didn't mind; I certainly didn''s fine!

The boxes are pre-scored and easy to assemble; we used glue but it wasn't really necessary. One of my aides-de-camp used ribbon to string hers up for hanging - no doubt somewhere where she can easily see her busy life. One of them (there a five in a pack) was unfinished and I brought it home with me and dumped it on my desk. Some time later, I was out and about with my sister-in-law who made a passing remark about a family birthday that I was unprepared for. Saved me some embarrasment and also gave me a use for the unfinished calendar boxes. I cut them into individual months, marked dates on one side and names in date order on the reverse of each month. Punched, coralled with a book ring and dropped it in my handbag. Nice, on-the-go, non bulky, disposable without conscience birthday book. 

Don't tell me I've a diary. I haven't. Don't tell me I could use my cell phone. I could. But I don't, it's for calls and messaging. My life may be in my handbag, but it's not on my 'phone!
This works, and it gave my test audience some fun. Win win!

Friday, 20 March 2015

Big Shopping

I found these whilst tidying up in my photo files and they make me smile, so I thought to share them.
In the last couple of years, there has been a lot of  commercial development in the nearest town to our place in Spain; one great success is a huge shopping mall. It has underground and ground level car parking. Now, us English folk park well and where we can. Coming from such a small and crowded island, parking is at a premium and I think on the whole, we are delighted by the sight of an empty car park. Of course, in the blazing southern Spanish sunshine, locals will naturally park underground. You can play 'Spot the Brit' in the ground level park where sun glasses are required to stop your eyeballs burning in the sunshine bouncing off concrete and hire car windows. We are drawn to any empty parking spaces with glee. And an empty one ground level car park is misleading:  the first time visitor thinks the place must be quiet. Not a deliberate attempt to fool the Northern European neighbours, I'm sure!
Underground parking is always a maze isn't it. Quite apart from the fact that you've to negotiate the first fifty feet in sheer panic because the sudden shade has apparently made you road blind, there's the difficulty of WHERE to park. Often this is made easier by the car park planners...colour coded areas, number and letter codes for row and area and level. Well, at La Zenia, you get it all. And it's free. The pink area is D and E; the walls and paths are striped with pink, each bay is numbered and the pink colour corresponds to that part of the mall that has the food shops and cafes in the majority. And just in case you missed that...there's a dirty great 'statue' depicting food and drink.
The blue area is for leisure...and the dirty great 'statue' is a tennis racket and tin of balls. These parking spaces are underneath a huge sports store as well. Some thought has gone into this.
My favourite 'statue' is the huge ginormous handbag. But I don't have a picture of it because despite all the codes and numbers, we couldn't get our bearings below ground, and were too tired to go back into the mall and come down to the car park along the handbag route. So if we plan to go shopping in La Zenia Mall and I say to you 'meet you in half an hour at the tennis racket''ll know exactly what I mean.  

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

What's On your Workdesk? Wednesday 303...erm, 302

If you're considering becoming a Desker, check out the why and the how HERE and HERE. Its very easy and you've nothing to lose. 
EDITED TO ADD: I got the week number wrong...and I really need this week! Sorry!!
If you've been here before, you will without doubt be quite surprised at the clean and tidy state of my desk. I am very well thank you. It is me. I have tidied up after completing the small selection of cards on the surface there.....because Wednesday is also workshop cutting counting and preparing day, so I need the space. Logic, man.

The very dark blue box at left holds paper pads. Not many, because I resist if at all possible. I find them too small really, so they have to be super lovely to make me buy them. There's the circle stencil that I've been using to play about with the bokeh idea...other people's are really lovely.  The postcard with the baby pics is actually an invitation to the young man's lovely! Of course my glasses - which very badly need upgrading. And just behind them...2 die cut snowflakes....yes dear Deskers..I'm now in the mood!
So, while I'm counting and cutting, share a view of where and what you're working on; it's fun, it's free and apart from twinges of envy or full on enabling, it's harmless! Please put WOYWW in your post title and make the post about your desk....Cheers!

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

T Tuesday: C China

I'm drinking my second coffee of the day and rather than showing you that, which you see a lot of, I thought you may like to see a section of my unused china. I don't consciously  'collect' china, but there is something about practical and beautiful (sic) that I really am attracted to.
Inevitably, I have a glass fronted cabinet.  You don't live with a Joiner and Cabinet maker (one person, by the way) without owning the odd bespoke piece. If we ever move, this unit will be entirely out of place. It was made for the space it lives in and I can't imagine it anywhere else!'s one of the side shelved cupboards.  
From top to bottom - Royal Albert Flower of the Month cup and saucer - this is July, and it's a Forget Me Not. I used to use it, but although I love it, the style and pattern aren't really me. The middle shelf is very exciting for me. Those are Wedgewood teacups which mark the arrival of the new Millenium. I love them. Classic profile, beautiful semi translucent bone china, traditional methods for production and painting and a modern pattern. Fab.  I've never used these. Not because they're too precious though - but because there's only two of them, and when I think to use them, there's always more than two of us who want a cuppa!  The colourful florals area again on bone china, they are coffee cans. Demi-tasse. Call em what you will, they're for an after dinner coffee...and we've used them. But again, they are a (non-matching) pair and so have to be used when my table is eclectically dressed in all sorts of mis-matches! It makes my teeth itch to use them when the rest of the meal has been served on a matching service of some sort. And yes, because of a genetic pre-disposition to the love of china and ceramic, I do have a choice!
Joining Elizabeth while she sups a cup of tea..

Monday, 16 March 2015

the Jelly Roll thing...

I've talked about my button bag before, but had a lot of questions about it after it managed to appear on my workdesk a couple weeks ago, so here's a re-cap. Treat it as a confession, a warning and advice all in one!
This is a Jelly Roll. Or rather, these are Jelly Rolls. 40 strips of fabric, 2.5" wide. I do not know why they are called Jelly Roll and I don't much care. I just accept these things. It's a nice name to go on something that never fails to look as if I should buy it and make something impressive with it. Quilters use them, strip quilts are a lot easier I would imagine, if you can cut out the erm, cutting out of the strips.

Quilting Fabric

The thing about having a sewing machine and a little bit of stitch knowledge is that whenever you and your friend visit a fabric shop, you get a twitch and feel the need to get back into sewing. And then, after you've exclaimed over how the cost of patterns and lovely fabric has changed in the twenty odd years since it was your only hobby, you buy something because you can't bear to leave it in the shop.  For 'you' gentle reader, of course I mean 'I'. And there is evidence all over this blog of this problem.  

Anyway. I was visiting our local fabric/quilty shop with a friend who was on a mission to find something specific. It was about the time that I'd taken up crochet - say a couple of years ago - and I was in that lovely phase of thinking I cold do anything. I'd seen talk of people crocheting with fabric and tshirt yarn and I wanted to have a go.
I bought a Jelly roll. Then had to cut every strip in half - much too wide. Argh, fraying. Came to terms with it. Then I armed myself with the mother sized crochet hook and started work. After four stitches, I realised I had a lot of joins to make. Cue frantic internet searching for a better way to make a join than a bleeding great knot. Sussed. It was hard work. Made my fingers ache. A lot. And the little bobbles of frayed and fraying fabric stuck to me, the chair, the carpet, the...everything.  And I lost count in the circle and so my bag is slightly lopsided.

And it needs lining, because I use it for my buttons. But that hasn't yet happened. The large plastic ziplock seems to be just the job for now. Uck, not exactly finished then. But to do that, I'd have to go to the fabric shop with an intent...and I'm scared of myself!