Friday, 30 January 2015

This makes me smile...

A Christmas gift from Shopkeeper Gal.  I love it.  The long legged bird...the bobbing birds at the foot of the label...and the name of course.  Ya sort of don't need to worry about the contents, you just know you're going to enjoy it!


This is the way I choose all sorts of things - good packaging/labelling. And to some extent, books too, are judged by their covers. Yes it means I succumb incorrectly, but hey, at least I read.  And reading with a glass of wine? Perfect.  
Joining Annie today for Friday Smiles.

Thursday, 29 January 2015

I'm in chains....

If you're a Facebook user, I would imagine by now that you've seen or taken part in the Art Chain series. It's nice - I know not from where it originates. It simply asks you to post some of your art everyday for five days and to nominate others to do the same. I have been nominated twice and twice had to turn it down. For two reasons: I do not archive any photos that I take of my stuff. Once it's been on the old blog, it's a gonner. My 'art' is cards and scrapbooks and the cards are by their very nature, a transient thing, aren't they. And the other reason of course is that it never occurred to me. My photo folders are cluttered enough!
This was an early challenge for a Crop Cirlcle Journal Remember them?! The challenge was to make a spread about your favourite day. Call me a show off or consider me blessed...I've had too many! See I mention my 40th...gracious..this page is nearly 10 years old already!
So last night I was telling Mr Dunnit about the Art Chain and how curmudgeonly I felt when I had refused to join in. He expressed surprise. Not at my deleting the pedestrian pictures that I take to publicise workshops or use on the blog, no. Not for my tidy mind and wish to keep our photo files under some sort of control, no. But for not joining in with the Art Chain. 'Haven't you got about 10 albums filled with scrapbook pages you could photograph?' He didn't sigh or look surprised.  He's clearly very used to it.  

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 295

Well I've been caught out by the week..it really has rushed past me without warning! So, in my bid to keep some order and maintain my lovely tidy area *cough*, I tidied away the stuff that was last done on my desk. And what did I do? I dumped other stuff on it. Talk about use any surface that's clear!
What you see made me groan this morning.  Late yesterday afternoon I was making phone calls to builders and fencing type persons. Well and good. But clearly I left the phone out of its cradle and of course, it will have very little charge now. Oh well, more coffee and some desking while it recharges then.  
The rest of my desk is tidy. Oh apart from that bunch of goodies that arrived from my friends at Baker Ross. Some lovely pastels and Spring themes to play with, don't doubt that you'll see more at some stage! I fear that my desk looks very un-arty. And it is. But don't fret..as soon as I make time, it will revert to type!
Set me a good example then, and show me your busy crafty arty surface would ya?  You can join in any time, there are instruction pages at the top of this blog.  Please put WOYWW in your post title..particularly useful for late visitors (me). Link here. Done.

Saturday, 24 January 2015

Eclectic England

Miss Dunnit had an interview at Central School of Speech and Drama this week, (for a 'backstage course). Starting at 10am.  We knew this would involve a 'rush hour' train journey from where we live, deep in rural England! She had applied to this Uni without our having previously visited for an open day or anything like it, so I said I'd go with her for a bit of a looksee. You know, suss the area, research accommodation and do practical stuff. Like sight seeing.  
Well, first things first...rail tickets for two us at peak time were £150. Seriously. Central London is a 40 minute train journey from here...and then I expected another 30 minute tube travelling experience.  So I decided it was cheaper to drive.  Found an underground car park, all day for a tenner, so it wasn't going to cost £150 to use the car. Which is why everyone drives I guess.  Central is in Swiss Cottage and very accessible, despite the North Circular and rush hour traffic.  We got there with 15 minutes to spare and Miss Dunnit was instantly ushered away.  I enquired about a quick look around - erm, no. Any info on accommodation? Wry smile - there isn't any accommodation, even for first year students. Ouch. Research over, I realised I had a lot of time to kill..it was a day long interview/look around for Miss Dunnit.

Now let me tell you gentle reader. Tuesday in England was COLD. Obviously, not as cold as elsewhere in the world and not as cold as Scotland and northern England where the snow and ice were playing havoc with commuters. But it was below freezing all day, despite sunshine.  I wasted an hour in the Hampstead Theatre coffee shop and decided to go into Camden, which has a reputation for a vibrant town and market.  

I set off on foot and changed sides of the road wherever necessary to walk in the sun...it was cold enough without being in the shade.  I realised that I could hop on a bus...and as I was surveying the timetable at a bus stop (working out how far back I had to stand to see the damn thing without having to take my gloves off and rummage in my bag for my readers...), a bus stopped. I kinda felt obliged then, so I stepped on. Ahh the warm!
Well I told the driver where I wanted to go and he waited very patiently while I rummaged in my handbag, trying to locate my purse. (If you're American that won't have made much sense: I rummaged in my purse to find my wallet.....)
I asked the driver how much the fare would be and he politely told me that I needed an Oyster Card to pay. I don't have an Oyster card. Of course I've heard of them..they are pre-paid tickets that deduct your fare when you 'scan' them.  But I didn't have one, obviously.  So he explained that London buses don't take real money, and if I didn't have an Oyster, I couldn't use the bus.  So I got off. COLD!  I wasn't embarrassed so much as feeling like a right old country bumpkin for not knowing. But why would I know! 

Five minutes later, I was stopped by a lady using the maps app on her phone and she asked me for directions.  I told her that I was not local, indeed, I was so out of date that I couldn't even use the bus because I didn't know I needed an Oyster card!  She stared at me. Then bent over and laughed and laughed and kept saying...'you couldn't ride the bus for no Oyster innit' until we were both crying with laughter.  And then we laughed again when we worked out that she was holding the 'map' the wrong way round and she was actually walking away from where she wanted to go.  Well that epsiode had me smiling for the rest of my walk!


The market was lovely...but stone cold. And not very busy at mid morning on a Tuesday - I imagine at the same time on a Saturday that you can't see a stall or shop for people. Large parts of the market were located in ex military stables. You can tell that from the architecture.  Shopkeepers were layered up in warm clothing, stamping their feet and huddling round teeny heaters.  The outdoor stands were mostly food..I could have eaten a couple of meals just from the samples being offered as I walked around.  I bought a hat and a thicker scarf. I was so cold. 


I spent a lot of time browsing at a second hand book shop, the keeper and I had a conversation about Dickens, Trollope and Carol Shields. That was really nice. I bought a slim volume by Gabriel Garcia Marquez and decided to give in and find somewhere to have a warm, sit down lunch.  Of course I did. And like so many people who are on their own, I read my new book.  

I was too cold to think about doing more sightseeing, and walked vigourously back to Swiss Cottage.  I sat in the Hampstead Theatre coffee shop for another hour, watching the world go by and reading. And hugging a radiator - did I mention how cold it was! Miss Dunnit was 'released' at about 4pm and had a sheaf of information about life as a student at Central.  On the drive home, she confessed that she would rather they didn't offer her a place.  The course wasn't quite as she expected and chatting with students had added to her impression of penury caused by living in London.  Interesting.  My next travel bulletin will therefore be from Plymouth. And I'm assuming, because of trade winds or some such, that it will be a tad warmer.  



Wednesday, 21 January 2015

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 294

Well, after all that clearing up, I deserve to bore you to death, so today you get a twofer! Laydeees and Jellyspoons.....my Scrap Box.  Colour divided, standing to attention and looking slightly glorious.  And a little anal.  But I LIKE it! 



And I've changed the pen holder to erm, another one.  The space in the corner is properly employed as home for stamp cleaner, tin o'sponges and such and my desk is therefore feeling a little bigger...

Although I'm not sure you can tell that from here. Am fooling about with some ideas that rather inevitably don't look as I thought they would and generally trying to get in the swing of 'being creative' *snort*.
Show us how your creative juices are then will ya..show and tell about your desk or work area, it would be nice. Put WOYWW in your post title and link here so that we can visit. Ta.

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

T for Tuesday

Joining with Elizabeth and Bleubeard to show you that my life involves drinking in one way or another. I was at my desk drinking my coffee, contemplating an early morning start when I noticed one of our many blackbird visitors..thought you may like to see how we supply them with water.  Our low retaining garden wall is brick as you can see. The top course have three round holes in them and inevitably, they get filled with rain water. Rather miraculously, if they are not full to the brim, the water doesn't freeze when the temperature says it should, so the birdies can still enjoy. And they do.  Usually I'm not quick enough to photo them, but this chap was taking his time..


And so without a cup in sight, I have T for Tuesday.  Whilst I was resizing the photos, Miss Dunnit's current squeeze came in and asked me why I had a picture of a fat bird on screen. I didn't bother to explain until he then felt moved to ask me why I had a picture of a bird's behind too.  (Except of course, he didn't use that word..'behind'). I did start to explain about T for Tuesday...but his eyes glazed over and he said 'oh, a blog thing', as if that's all I had to say.  And so it was.

Friday, 16 January 2015

Inspiration....it cometh

I'm speaking quietly, just in case I nobble it, but I think I'm finished with the clearing up and sorting for now! So now my desk has that air of under use all of a sudden! But it's OK, I'm going to make a move very soon - I have the mood, I have the space and erm, Shopkeeper Gal has a workshop schedule with my name on it, which in reality is a set of deadlines. And there's nowt so inspiring as a deadline! 
Fun, not a recent LO though..consider it a decoy!
My friend the Homemaker has started Project Life and I must say I'm quite inspired by the basic idea myself.  I like to scrapbook the everyday and the 'now', far more than catching up with archived photos; becoming a scrapbooker has taught me a lot about myself! Things like PL have a habit of not being inspiration so much as an invitation to buy loads of well packaged and neatly co-ordinated stash that I don't need, so am proceeding with caution.  
Another friend (see, I DO have some) is Megan. She has set up a blog for 2015 called The Scrapbook 365. It's a challenge a day for the year, for scrapbookers.  But it's not the sort of challenge that requires commitment or a frenzy of making a layout everyday; it's more realistic than that. And I believe she lets you have a day off once in a while too. Better yet, Megan draws on other sources too, so visiting her may well save you from visiting a combined number of blogs!  
Another source of inspiration for me is new stuff. No doubt.  In my clearing out and sorting process, I've turned my scrapbook papers upside down, so the 'go to' selection is as old as the hills and therefore not in my memory. Which means I will be treating the designs like new and therefore using them.  It's a good plan.  Ask me about it after a couple of months if you don't see evidence of it being plastered all over this blog!

Whatever your inspiration, hope you get time to do something with paper this weekend.