Friday, 30 August 2013

Go straight to Friday...

...pass the rest of the weekdays in a whirlwind of doing stuff and do not stop until you make time to blog.  Bet this sounds familiar, huh.
I cannot explain the frightening speed of time - and no thanks, please don't get all physics on me.  I will simply keel over and sleep for a week.  And I apparently need to stop sleeping in order to fit stuff in!  
So today I bring you a couple of cards that I've actually started and finished for workshops. This star was from last week...I used Reynolds freezer wrap to make the see here it has a piece of red card in it.  When I use it, it will contain money.  Of the folding variety, but not the red colour unfortunately.  Red(ish) is the colour of our £50 note.  Rare in these parts, believe me!  You could quite easily change this into a Christmas card...a gift card in the pocket and some more appropriate text.  Ooh, thinking on my feet here.  See, I'm trying to trick you into talking about Christmas really.  I mean, if I have to - why shouldn't you!

Here's an offering for my first Christmas card workshop this year. Next week. *sigh*.  It's very straightforward and my word, they need to be don't they.  The 'bling' is foil.  The stamps are Stampendous (text) and Magenta.  A classic card design..use the text over and over to make the background..even while I was stamping, it took me back to the early days when large background stamps weren't 'invented' yet, and printed papers and all the scrapbook stuff hadn't arrived on UK shores.  Unthinkable now, huh!

Tomorrow, Shopkeeper Gal celebrates her first anniversary in her new premises.  To celebrate, there is a professional demonstrator in store who will be using Woodware and Stix 2 products.  I'm going over after lunch if anyone would like to come with me. The shop is called Kraft Crazy and is at Unit 3 Stonehenge Walk, Amesbury, Wilts SP4 7DB.
Yep, Stonehenge..if you're flying in to get a lift with me, I'll even swing round to the Monument for you.  But don't ask me to explain much about's like the speed of time. I can't.

Wednesday, 28 August 2013


A long story involving other people not putting things away properly and me trying to prevent breakage meant that I fell off my pneumatic stool on Friday morning.  I know.  It would have been funny but something went 'ping' and it laid me up for the rest of the day. However, the bright side was that Mr Dunnit deemed it necessary for me not to help out in the workshop on Saturday because I should 'rest'.  So I did.  I stood at my workdesk all day.  My leg wasn't painful to stand on, but hurt - as if it were burned - to sit down..nerve damage, see.  Anyway, it's all good now. Although the outcome may not seem so good for my desk.  Man, I made a mess.  This view, taken from the lounge room end (!) at Tuesday tea time. And I had already picked up quite a lot.  And also, please don't flame for making Christmas cards.  Shopkeeper Gal and her customers want workshops on the theme.  It's not my fault.  Nothing ever is.
And yes, even the big fat tip of the permanent marker was in use...strange, huh.
The most interesting thing there (in my opinion) is the teeny pot of WOW embossing powder.  Bought on a whim from Jennie, The Artistic Stamper.  Bloody hell, it's lovely.  Pardon me.  But it is. I may have to review this.  When I've bought some more!  Argh.
Meanwhile, show and tell will ya,we like to see how your crazy work surface is measuring up. There are pages linked in the sidebar of this blog to explain about WOYWW and how to join in.  It's easy.  Just do it!  

Friday, 23 August 2013

Sophisticated consumerism...oh yeah..

Way back when Mr Holtz had his signature line launched by Ranger it consisted mostly of those grungy alcohol inks.  My admiration for the stuff being made and coloured was huge, but I didn't buy any.  Originally, those colours really did represent seven shades of wee wee to me.  But then of course, demand grew and other products arrived, and with them, the sort of hysteria in purchasing that parallels teenagers and boy bands, frankly.
But..time rolls on and eventually the selection of products and the colours added to the ink ranges suckered me too. I bought the birdcage die almost as soon as hit the shops..I'd of course, seen thousands of things all over the internet in the 'sneaks', the CHA product launch blogging - you know.  The hype.

I still like it. But this card, or a variation of it in different materials and stock and embellishments, is pretty much all I ever do with it.  I realise that there isn't a single die to do all jobs. I realise too that there are many, many TH fans who will take this personally and shouldn't. As much as I like this die, the repetition of the card style has taught  me something.  A couple things actually.  For workshops, this is an invaluable style of card to make when introducing inking and grunging.  And for my personal collection..I should have bought individual dies.  You know, a bird cage or set of, I already owned a set of bird dies and so it's not been the savviest die purchase I've made.   I've noticed myself examining my plans, my stash and my ability before buying these sort of dies recently.  And I often put them back...I am learning to not be too hasty in my acquisition.  It gives me time to think about quite how much use I'll get for my investment.  God knows I've got enough unused 'investments' as it is.
Talking of which:
I bought the brick wall (and shattered glass - in a set) embossing folders in a rush of 'ooh, new folders by Tim Holtz' enthusiasm.  Some of you will know how old this is..I would say certainly a year.  This is the first time I've used it and it's thanks to a Pinterest image that lodged in my brain some time ago.  I didn't Pin it, like a fool; at the time I just passed it over and thought it was time I used my folder.  Not such a sophisticated consumer in purchasing this then, either huh.  Still haven't used the shattered glass folder.  I can't in all honesty to admit to being 'over it' in terms of joining the rush when new stuff does come out either.  But I now wait for it to arrive on these shores.  I no longer look at CHA release blogs or company websites.  I'm now purchasing on the principle that if I like something, I'll get a lot of use from it.  If I'm unsure, I don't. Sounds simple doesn't it. I have several boxes and shelves that will prove that wrong.   But it's OK. Because I know now.  Sophisticated.  Moi?

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Seriously, What's on Your Workdesk? Wednesday 220

Well, to make up for last week's long and laboured post, I offer you a twofer.

My desk in dawn's early light.  Well Ok, less lyrically, it was taken at about 7.30am on Tuesday morning.  Lots of die cutting had been done in preparation for a grungy workshop this Thursday.  It seems early to be die cutting, but it gives me the space to do other stuff in the 'real' daytime.
Same desk, some hours later...about 5pm Tuesday.  Just random stuff, including a couple cereal type boxes to be cut up and made into something cardboardy.  Beautiful postcard from Eliza and Yoda on the deckchair.  The overflowing button jar is really starting to annoy me.  But the alternative involves strips of fabric and a large crochet hook, so it could be a while.....otherwise, just random stuff to be seen.  And not a hint of the Christmas card workshop I thought I may get around to preparing.  Ah well, today's as good a day as yesterday! Oh and the Pizza?  It was Di.

Show us your more fascinating work surfaces will ya?  Join by linking here..instructions and explanations are to be found in the margin of this very blog. a WOYWW related post.  Product pushing and posts that aren't WOYWW related or Wednesday dated are disregarded. Because there's so many real desks and interesting things to see.

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

A domestic, everyday report..

 I made a passing reference to having a horse in my lounge room and there were expressions of:
and I cannot apportion blame.  I can hardly believe it myself.  I don't know if you remember the ladder-in-the-garden story? WOYWW 138 and 139 will fill you in if you're interested.  Let me summarise. The love of my life, Mr Dunnit, is pathologically untidy. He doesn't see it.  It's not malicious and it's certainly not because he's lazy, nothing could be further from the truth.  He just doesn't see it.  And if something's just sitting there, apparently not in the way and doing or coming to no harm, it works for him. Which is why there's a horse behind my armchair.

I'm joining with Elizabeth for T stands for Tuesday to bring you this tale of domestic bliss.  As long as it features your beverage of choice, it qualifies.  Note the large out of focus mug of coffee.  It's on a little 'shelf' that Mr D made for me so that I can write, type etc from my armchair..I'm aware of the implications toward idleness, I really am.   So. This little horse is destined to be a rocking horse, but as you can see, it's a work in progress. It was living quietly in the garage, but we needed the garage space for storage of a large number of bespoke doors that we had slaved over to meet a deadline.  Which the builder then extended by 2 months. Naturally, they have to be taken from the workshop to make room to work...26 of them, each weighing about oh, a tonne. Wrap in corrugated card and cling wrap, staple on temporary feet to protect the corners. Carry across workshop, lift into van, transport, lift out of van, carry through to garage.  You get it.  So the garage was emptied of the usual stuff.  If indeed, a filing cabinet and a wooden horse are usual. The bikes and bins went into the garden, but of course the horse has to be at a reasonable and weather proof location. Behind my chair made sense.  And now, it's almost invisible to us.  And the doors?  We delivered them early last week.  

Saturday, 17 August 2013

One in five prefers Pizza

Oh laugh!  We met up with Annie and her man Doddy on at Jan's blog and at Di' I've lifted directly from Jan because there was so much camera action I didn't bother. 
Jan would probably like me to add this : taken by our friendly waitress.  Because Jan is in the middle there see, and her talents just don't extend to LITERALLY being in two places at once!
Left to right then: Annie, Doddy, Jan, Di and Me

Jan is the better photographer by a Wiltshire country mile!  I wish you could have been with us to see Annie's face when Jan pulled out the professional DSLR with gadget everything!  Annie was clearly expecting the amateur point-and -shoot variety that I use, or even a phone; made me smile!
We chatted.  We laughed.  We all agreed that however we appear on our blogs, it's not quite who we are, so it's always worth trying to meet if you like somebody already! Annie gave us lovely lovely pressies and we had a photo call from Twiglet...definitely missing from this line-up.  The weather was indifferent so we overstayed our welcome in the restaurant and chatted some more.  It was wonderful,  uplifting and fun. Annie and Doddy broke into their summer holiday bliss for this day of madness, and I think that's brave and wonderful of them, holiday is so precious! 
Really sets you up well for more, I can tell you.  Please be urged...if you live near enough for a trip to meet a fellow WOYWWer who you already get on with - do try it. Or resolve to come to a WOYWW Crop and try it in multiples!  Inevitably, I'm linking this up at Annie's for a Friday Smile...although it's Saturday.  And the title? We were in a Pizza restaurant. Only one of us had Pizza.  Can you guess who...just from studying the characters? Bet you can't.

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 219

I take your point ..this is not the ideal, short post that is needed for WOYWW....but it's OK, you can skim it! Oh and..I fixed the bad link to Sue Kment's blog...see my GIIGU post if you're at all interested!
This photo taken at about 6pm BST on Tuesday.  I was in a bit of a quandry over it actually. I always take about 5 pictures (thank you, digi photog..), so - should I show the overhead shot that I took, which involved a little extra work - stretching my arm to it's full chubby extent and making sure the wrist strap of the camera didn't appear in shot whilst simultaneously standing with my behind protruding at an odd angle so as,ironically, to remove my boobs from the shot....or do I just show the messy bits as well.

I did the 'photo stance' and decided after that effort to be honest after all.  You see an overflowing button jar.  A cello bag corraling my sponge collection and the basket it's standing in is filled with acrylic blocks, a handful of dirty stamps, my notebook and quite possibly some real treasure.  It's so long since I went through it. You can see that the ipad has been relegated to under the diary which is under the flowery scrapbook paper. Because the iPad's deckchair is filled with card samples and partial pieces that I'm not ready to throw away...they may make it onto a card, see.  They may.  Or I may get sick of the sight of them and chuck 'em away after moving them about for a couple of weeks.  Yep. WEEKS.  I'm currently working on a Maze mini for a workshop extravaganza at Japonica, which is the pretty papers you see in concertina fashion.  By supper time today, I hope this will be a finished sample, trapped in an envelope and in the hands of the Royal Mail. We'll see. Because today is also a 'Meet WOYWWers day'.  Me, Jan and Di are off to meet Wipso.  Safety in numbers!  One or other of us will report back, I've no doubt....and I regret already that there are bound to be photos.  Brace yourselves.
Come on then, whilst we're out gadding, show us what you're working on and where you do it.  How to and some sort of justification for this can be found on separate pages accessed through links in the margin of this blog.  Thank you.  Enjoy.

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

T is for Tuesday....

...and W is for Whyisitgoignsofast?  Honestly, the leisurely life style to which I had adapted so easily once upon a time is but a distant memory.  I love my life and its' erm, style...but it is a juggle right now! Joining Elizabeth this morning, to show that I more often than not, work in the company of a cup.  Well Mug.  And it's rarely T(ea).
Here's proof actually.  6.15am and my first coffee of the day...placed on the only flat uncluttered surface in my workroom that's safe..a rare view of my  'cutting station'.  This of course, means the 10" of worktop space where I keep the guillotine.  

I swear, it's not till you photograph something that you see the clutter and mess....
All is not lost, oh no.  I've adopted the 'do a bit each time you get near the desk' method of crafting.  It's not ideal but it puts me closer to a couple of deadlines!  
If I were a celebrity crafter, this would be a 'sneak peek' of a card. Instead, it's an arty farty partial shot of a card that I'm STILL fiddling with for a grunge style workshop next week.  Yep...taking it to the wire.  
So here I am.  About to top up with another cup of fresh Columbian-Fair-Trade-Organic- but-still-not-good-for-you because-it's-a-stimulant and set out my plans for the day.  Let's hope it does the trick!  Have a great day.

Saturday, 10 August 2013

GIIGU Edition 2

GIIGU - more silly acronyms?  Yep.  Good Ideas In Good Use. 

Since the dawn of WOYWW, we've shared some great storage ideas.  And I've been using one of them for ages.  I am utterly indebted to Sue Kment for this idea... the link takes you directly to her post about them...all of her storage ideas are great.  It's not as pretty or as well organised as some - indeed, Sue's own - but this works so well for me.  Visit my die cutting station.

By which of course, I mean the worktop at left of my desk.  You can see my cutter of choice and something of the way I store the dies.  A4 sheets of chipboard with magnetic sheets stuck to them.  Then, when I buy a flat die, I dispose of all the packaging and simply add it to a sheet. Saving packaging for filing and identity purposes means fiddling about just when I hit on an idea to cut something and doesn't work for me. They aren't in any particular order - although the Nestabilities are actually nested..and after use they don't go back onto the sheets in any particular order.  I don't want to work that hard.  And that works for me.  It means too that I can pick up the magazine holder and take my collection to Crop without too much effort or car boot space.
Small dies and Cuttlebug square dies are kept in my Union jack tin.  Again, mostly for easy transportation.  I confess I rarely use them.  I think not because they're in a tin, but probably because in the early days I bought dies that I just wouldn't buy now.  There's a Quick Kutz alphabet in the blue holder...I went to a lot of expense to buy that and the QK die file, but never really warmed to it.  The actual Squeeze went to a Flea Market years ago.  I digress.
Then my embossing folders are all to hand in a cheap plastic basket. I can flip through them relatively easily and again, easy to move as and when required.  I really like some of the larger folders that have hit the market this year - the 8 x 8 variety for example, as I like the large Nestability ranges.  But I don't like them enough to change and buy a bigger bed die cutter. I'm of the opinion that the Grand Calibur has more drawbacks than credits for me, so despite everything being about making me happy, I do see that a line has to be drawn and I'm perfectly happy looking on and liking.
You see that it's not overly pretty.  The magazine file hasn't been covered or made more attractive (unless you count the moustache packing tape that was used in an emergency to prevent a tragic breakage).  The plastic basket probably should be a neatly covered cardboard box or something, and certainly I know that the lack of categorising will make some people stare in wonder at my indisciplined storage.  But it works so well for me.
So a big up from me for the magnetic sheet system...definitely a GIIGU in this house!

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 218

Oh for heaven's sake, do you ever wish you could slow it all down a bit?  I cannot believe how fast it's going now..and I cannot keep up. 'It' - one day I will do a long and riveting blog post about 'it' and what  it actually is and means and does.  One day.  Meanwhile, spare a minute or two to contribute some down time will ya?  Show us all what you're currently working with and on, we neeeeeeed to know.  I mean. what if we haven't seen what you've got and we need it?  How will we know if you don't show us?
So, here's me setting absolutely no example at all.   The presence of cling film on the desk top can mean only one thing - I'm working on a workshop we've called 'grunge style'. Lawks.  We've stopped calling them Jul!a Holtz Workshops...people either didn't get it or were offended on TH's behalf.  Ah well, c'est la vie. My ubiquitous and now 13 year old heat gun. We're best friends.  Although I fear that it's actually noisier than me now.  A stack of badly labelled Distress Inks and a glass mat pushed back as far as other crap will allow so that I can sponge colour all over something.  Sounds all perfectly normal.  And it is. For me.  Darnell is a very inclusive embracing and accepting friend.  

And oh how I howled at the honesty herein.  I would so love to fly over and visit Darnell just to prove how my normal really is.  Come on people, show off your normal..there's instructions and blahdy blah in the side bar and my contact if you need help!

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

From the armchair...

I have this lovely photo of a lovely mug of tea and a lovely jammy dodger cupcake.  The jammy dodger is a biscuit - a teeny home made version here of course..and a big blob of jam is also hiding in the cake itself.  Very clever and very lovely.  A friend of Miss Dunnit's went to the trouble of making her a dozen as a birthday gift last month.  So no..not an actual current photo, but taken specifically for joining in with Elizabeth's T is for Tuesday. And then entirely forgotten.  How does that happen?

The view from my armchair is not exactly riveting from this angle, huh.  The first thing I see are the ugly wires behind the boxes that we apparently have to service the TV.  Hate that.  I miss having a TV small enough to fit in the cupboard. On the other hand, that cupboard is now doing a good service as a linens cupboard in my can't have it all.  You can also see at left a long piece of wooden veneer.  It's an oak veneer actually and was waiting to have 'special' double sided tape applied to it so that it can in turn be applied around a convex surface.  'Special' tape to us crafters is acid free.  To himself, it's a foam tape with an adhesive that'll rip your skin off if you let it.  Ugh. Sticky.  The veneer is being stored in my lounge room because it's been stored, measured and cut in the workshop and now needs to acclimatise before going to the customer's home.  I hate this bit..the potential for spoiling it is huge..tripping, spilling, bashing...there are other places in the house that would be less potentially hazardous and therefore more suitable...but things come into the lounge room and then *pouf* they're forgotten.  How does that happen?
Ah well, it's what gives our home character isn't it.  I tell myself this often, as I dust the semi carved 3ft high wooden horse that's destined to go on a rocker.  After all, it's standing  behind my armchair.  

Friday, 2 August 2013

It's the little things...

  • It doesn't matter how many times or with which technique I use this stamp, I still love it.  It's by Stampendous.  The background is a text stamp by Kaiser craft.  The blobs of stain are actually squirty mica spray..but of course, it doesn't spray, it squirts.  Ah well.
  • The weather turned back into full on sunshine yesterday.  I loved it.  More please.
  • An unexpected visit into Aldershot town centre this week. And the car park I chose had signs in the parking meters saying 'There is no charge to park in this car park today'.  Nice.  A traffic warden I asked told me it wasn't a gesture of profound of the meters had broken and the hassle from customers who lost money when the metres swallowed it wasn't worth the revenue. Whatever!
  • I went to Southampton University last week, to watch a friend Graduate.  It was a fab thing..and I'm still smiling over the memory.  The Enthusiastic Educator is now a teacher, and to prove that, she has her own class in a real school starting in September.  Her achievement as a part time student,  full time worker, full time mother...amazing. Never under estimate yourself.
  • I've had an email from 3M UKto say that they're going to have stock of ATG acid free tape again from the end of August...due to popular demand (and probably the outraged response at the idea of discontinuing it!). To celebrate they have the pink ATG on offer again.   I am not paid or bribed to tell you this..just sharing great news!
  • Another friend - y'all may know her has returned from holiday and is celebrating her birthday.  You know my joy at being younger?  If you don't, lie - totally worth it!
  • Despite it being mid summer and my stupidity with the link thing, WOYWW still has 150 visitors this week...and I'm still visiting.  Gotta love the circle that I blog in.
  • Mr Dunnit doesn't know this, but I'm going to have a wifely tantrum and INSIST that he has a day off this weekend.  Not for anything in particular.  Nothing, actually.  
  • You don't find me whining about getting ready for Crop.  Ha, lucked out, didn't ya!
  • 'Double dated' with Miss D and her lovely boyfriend last night.  OK, so we took 'em out for supper.  Same thing, isn't it?
  • I have 30 more squares to join vertically - that's the last two rows of the big blanket. Then it waits until the cooler weather arrives so that I can join the rows across the horizontal. Am a tad excited.
  • Excited that I've finally had an idea and got the stuff together for some fabric that I bought when Mary Anne and I had a morning out.  Don't hold your breath. I expect she's already made quilts and covers and lordy knows what..but I haven't.  Of course.
See - I can sum up the things that make me happy ....I thought you'd like a change from the 'I'm so busy and I haven't got time' whiner. I'm gonna link this up at Annie's too, have just realised it probably qualifies!  Have a lovely weekend!