Friday, 24 April 2015

Systematic scrapbooking

We all seem to be very aware of the amount of stash we have. And during this fiscal austerity, we all seem to be trying very hard to use up what we've got. I'm no different. You may remember at the beginning of the year that I had a bit of a sort out and put the oldest of my papers on the top of my 12x12 pile so that I may actually get around to using some.  It sort of worked!

I'm very sorry but I can't remember who this paper comes from. (you may want to get used to this phrase)
For any scrapbooking time, I sort through old, inherited, gifted and current photos. I pick photos that I suddenly want to use, that I'm in the mood for, and then sit in front of my 12x12 shelf and match papers to them. Once I've done that, I try to envision a sketch. More often than not, I can't. I'm not a leader in this crafting business, I'm a follower. So I use others' ideas as a springboard or for a straight lift. I make a terrible drawing of the intended sketch and pop it in the box of papers and photos ready to 'do'.

From the time of arrival at Crop, it then becomes very systematic. Really. I take a box of metal embellishments including brads, eyelets etc., a box of gems, a box of tags and journalling cards, a box overflowing with alphabet stickers and less often, a box of chipboard shapes. And here's the system:

  • set up the page, decide on photo placement and overall sketch.
  • mat photo(s) and, using the sketch, stick it down.
  • go through box of stickers and alphas, pull out anything that could be used.
  • go through box of metal embellishments, pull out anything that could be used.
  • go through box of journal tags and cards, pull out anything that could be used.
  • go through box of gems, pull out anything that could be used.
  • pick up box of chipboard shapes, hunt through it, pull out perfect piece and then discard in disgust. All the chipboard is naked and I don't have ANY inks or spare patterned paper to dress it.

Arrange it all in a haphazard fashion that vaguely resembles the sketch and stick it down before I change my mind. I usually manage to repeat this about four times at a crop. It's not the lack of ideas that causes me to be quite slow. Nor the chatting. Or indeed the eating. It's raking through each box, each time. It's a system for using stash. And it sort of works. And if nothing else, my memory of what's in each box is improving with every crop!

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 307

Sunshine is on my workdesk, gentle reader, and that makes me very very happy. 
Look, I've even got the stable door open. And not just to avoid showing you how the sun shows up my very poor winter window cleaning routine. This was taken last evening, about 5pm when I finally sat down at my desk for my afternoon off. Ah well, some time is better than no time isn't it! I added some journaling to a couple of layouts that I made at the weekend and that's the mess you see. The big box is the holder for photos and paper that go to crop. Ipso facto, it's where I store the finished ones till I get home. The curly bits are tape peelings, even the piece wrapped around my ATG gun....that needs refilling but I didn't want to take up valuable time doing that when I had real sticking to do! The box at the near end is meant to be metal embellishments - clips and can tell from a glance that I tidy up in a hurry at the end of a crop!  
Share what you're doing on your desk today will ya? Entertaining and informative  - it really is. 
Don't forget that we're counting down to an Anniversary ATC swap, and a get-together Crop. 

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Now then, where was I?

Oh yes! I believe in my only post of last week, I bragged about having spent some leisure time at my desk last weekend. Well that nobbled every intention I had in terms of more crafting and bragging about it for the whole week. I'd like to think it was a lesson learned, but I doubt it. I was at the Artful Angels crop yesterday and got involved in a discussion about the intent to do some scrapbooking (or card making, or modelling, or jewellery making, or get the picture). We agreed that we all usually started a week with a plan that involves some time at our chosen hobby. And we all agreed too that as the week wears on, so the priorities change and our flexibility puts our own pleasure and hobby time below everything. Including hoovering or cleaning the loo. Charming. But true. 
Woodware stamp set. Love me some fruit on a stamp. No idea why, particularly!

Is it because we are devoted to our families, our homes and the work that these cause create? I am a selfish human bean; I quite often find myself sorting, sanding,cleaning something and planning a meal. And then I get all tetchy about being taken for granted and not wanting to do it. And often, the answer is a simple one. So don't do it. But actually, I don't like to settle to my crafting pleasure if it means turning my back on loose ends, unfinished chores, neglected house. It means I can't spend as long as I like and lose myself for any amount of time. And it lessens my pleasure as I have to 'finish' what I'm doing to get back to 'real' work. 
Prima stamps, cuttlebug embossing folders, buttons from my tiny collection.

Reality then, is that I've been too busy to sit at my desk this week.  My schedule did however, include conducting a Workshop over at Kraft Crazy - that's where these two cards came from - and a day at Crop yesterday. Any of you gals who work will totally get that if you don't schedule it, you don't do it. I think I'm lucky that I can actually schedule 'out of the house' crafting. The general agreement was that if you can remove yourself from all the distractions of home and family to a crop, then you will achieve something. Because there's nothing else to do but Crop. Of course, the lovely gals I was talking with didn't include talking and eating as a part of the hobby, but I felt too shy to correct them. 
So that's the trick people. Forget the provision of a Craft room at home. We need a Craft room in each other's houses so that we can be removed from our own domestic situations! It makes sense! We could try it. But there's a list of rules. If I cart all my stash to your house so that it's ready for me when I want to wander in and use it, I dont really want you to touch or tidy it in between. And whatever I say, I would very much rather not lend you any of my stuff unless I'm actually there. Oh, and I'll need a key - it may be the middle of the night when I finally decide to sit at my desk. And I really will need a room to myself, or it won't feel as if I've removed myself from my own environment. Perhaps you could take your family out while I'm there?  Yah, I can see this working. 

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 306

Whaaaaaat? 306? Ouf. That means there's six weeks to go till our 6th Anniversary! Read about how we plan to share some of the things you find on our desks.

So my desk shows Tuesday afternoon. It has looked like this since Sunday. You can see...I was doing base preparations on a handful or two of ATCs. Yep, I'm trying to prepare. 

My desk is now cleared of such pieces, so I took another pic this AM. Still a bit gloomy. For two reasons: I need the space for workshop counting and cutting today. And.....I slept on my ATC idea and don't like it. So those bases will be filed and I will have to start over. It's OK, I'm pretty sure I've got time *cough*.
So the mini cutter is balanced on top of my Copics. Out because I made some cards last weekend. The working space is cluttered by real life diary and a batch of cards I made at a workshop I attended last week. I'll tell more about that some other time. So you see..taking the ATC blanks away only reveals that I'm prepared to work on top of stuff rather than tidy up first! I wish I could use the excuse that I was so inspired, I just had to start. But that would be a big fib! I didn't stand on a chair to take this photo - just held my camera at arms length. And as y'all know when you're a six foot blonde like I am, this sort of photography is easy.
Now then, roll up and share what you're up to will ya. Show us your work surface and give us a bit of an explanation. We like it. Link here. We'll visit when we can!

Friday, 10 April 2015

Spot the dot.

I made this card - you've seen it before - with a new set of stamps from Woodware. The background stamp by Creative Expressions caused a lot of interest. I like it too, but for me, it's all about those irregular big dot shapes.

So then I made this because I really like the regular irregularity of the dots. And there's no law that says they are flower heads, right? This actually features in next week's workshop. Couldn't help myself. And really, that's hardly even fussy cutting.
Now I seem to be seeing middle sized Woodware dots. For Grandpa's birthday card, I used it multiples they're simple, cheerful and so much less stressful than choosing a 'male' card background type!

The text is also Woodware (Francoise) and just involved some cutting and layering. You can barely tell but I drew round the all of the dots with a metallic gel pen to add some erm, 'zsush'. And when I say all, I mean all...even the teeny ones on the lettering! Little wonder I didn't make anything else last week! I've made even less this week, I hope to rectify that at some stage over the weekend. Have a break, people.

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 305

There's a WOYWW Anniversary ATC swap coming up. I've written about it HERE.
There's an WOYWW meet coming up. I've written about it HERE.
There's a dearth of things happening on my desk.
The Prima dolly is attached to a card blank covered in strips of scrap paper. When I like something, I make two and this is the second. So now it'll be an age before I put it away, no doubt. You can clearly see my birthday tag book reminding me of card requirements for this lovely Springy month. The little fimo dragon is yet to be mended. The mini screwdriver? No idea. A roll of red organza ribbon, waiting to be put away. A handful of packets of stick on gems...Shopkeeper Gal has new colours and sizes in stock - danger, danger! The clear stamp stained red is the irregular dot that I've used quite a lot. And the 'Ta Dah' thing is an envelope from Virgin Media containing a Sim card. I must be getting old, because the letter inside was addressed 'Hello You' and I found it a bit patronising rather than friendly and warm.....ah me. 
So share your far more interesting surfaces and workings with me will you.....I'm much in need of your inspiration to erm, pull my finger out and do something!

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

The Mould. A review.

You've seen this mould lying on my desk over the last few weeks. I'm a typeography sucker and Stampin' Up! knew that when they put this is their new catalogue. Of course there is a whole movement toward mixed media these days and SU! are never slow to produce a product that gets them into the mix. 

The mould is silicone and is every bit as non stick as it should be, am super impressed by that. It's just flexible enough to remove pieces without breaking them...and the pieces I've made have been quite brittle. I've used air drying products. First I used Crackle Glaze because for a gal who doesn't use Crackle Glaze, I seem to have a lot of it. I literally just let it run from pot to mould and fill each shape. It air dried over night and crackled beautifully..which meant of course that every letter came out of the mould in multiple pieces. Doh! So, if you want crackle effect letters, go ahead and use it, BUT add a coat of some other medium (Glossy Accents or PVA) on top of the letters to hold 'em together!

Of course, using a glue gun and drizzling in hot glue is a much quicker and cheaper way to acquire clear letters which of course you can then foil, paint, grunge..I dunno, whatever you do.

These letters and the heart were made from liquid pearls. You can see that I could have put a pin in the letter shaped 'well' to break the air holes that formed - particularly in the corners. I might next time, now I know. Again the pearls had to dry overnight and of course, they are not entirely dimensional, so these letters dried to about half the thickness of the mould. Quite useful, actually. Same happens with Glitter Glue...about half the bulk is just wet glue that evaporates. At the thickest, you can create a letter about 4mm deep if you use a medium like hot glue that doesn't actually 'run' once the mould is filled. I haven't used Fimo in it yet - that's more for scrapbook titles really and requires planning and forethought and hey I'm too lazy.
I like it. I consider it worth the £8, it's really durable and utterly non stick. My only question then...when can we have lower case and nicer fonts?
Oh and sorry - any American readers must be driven mad by my apparent mis-spelling. Mould. It's correct here in Blighty, promise!