Wednesday, 30 April 2014

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 256

256!  My word, to borrow a phrase from well, most of you...don't the weeks swing by fast!  260 is the fifth anniversary of this weekly jaunt..if you want to join in with the quiet and polite celebration that will involve an ATC swap, please read all about it HERE.

So for now, revel in the ATC making that was going on.  Indeed it continues...I get to it in very short bursts. 
Same old stamp for the backs..I never envisaged it getting this much use!
And then, I had a bit of clearing up time and decided that I could find time to start on some workshop cards.  And the clearing up, and indeed the unfinished ATC backs became just another layer on the desk. And this is how I left it late last night.  And how it will stay until this evening.  
I know that I am lucky to be able to just down tools and walk away.  I know.  and the idea of putting a door in the gap between here and the lounge room where my lovelies keep me company fills me alternately with horror and relief. The relief - at not having to excuse the sight to visitors.  And the horror of being cut off from the rest of the house. Almost, but apparently not quite, worth being tidy for!

Share with us your workspace then, that would be great.  No advertising.  Please put WOYWW in your post title and be reciprocal in your visiting.  If you can turn off word verification, you'll get more comments, for sure.  Link here:

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

T for Tuesday

Apart from the day to day mugs, sight of which you often see on my untidy work desk, I have ignored a couple of opportunities to photo nice 'drinking' situations this week - in preference to the drinking and chatting that was being undertaken.  Gruelling ain't it. But in the spirit, if not the reality, of T Tuesday here are two cards I've recently made that sum up the best enhancement for a social situation, if you ask me.  Anyone would think I was banging the teetotal drum, but I'm not.  I just love a daytime meet that involves coffee or tea and cake.  

Hero Arts stamps.  Frame from a nestabilities Labels set.  Lots of Pearl Ex.
Stamps by Woodware, Cuttlebug embossing folder
Which is what got me into the shape that I am, no doubt.  Even when we're on holiday we manage to observe this as a bit of a break from the hard work of erm, being on holiday. Mr D has finally learned to sit and watch the world go by for the at least the time it takes a hot drink to cool and be drunk.  If you're meeting someone, it's something to get on with if you're early, it's a bit of an ice breaker if you arrive together and it's a great break from the everyday.  A little treat. And there's cake. What's not to like. 
If you manage it, share it with us over at Elizabeth's. 

Friday, 25 April 2014

Alarming Self Publicity

Well, actually, probably just being a blogger puts me in the 'sef publicity' category, but today, there's a genuine reason instead of just the erm, 'normal' middle aged woman's attention seeking.
A handful of people have asked about my crafty work over the summer. Well, it's fortnightly at Kraft Crazy, home of Shopkeeper Gal in historic Amesbury, Wiltshire. The new workshop schedule was published on Wednesday.  It was a day I spent at a reunion, reminiscing, so it's a very timely way to jolt me into looking forward again!

This was an offering at the Card Marathon; it went down well enough to serve as workshop inspiration!
Starting from next Thursday, 1st May (already!) me and the Gal are conducting alternately weekly workshops.  Morning and evening on Thursdays.  I've themed my workshop offerings, makes me focus a little better.  I think. There will be dots and circles, grunge (in colour), birds, and doilies, to name a few.  

and the inspiration for another workshop....thanks to Baker Ross!
So if you're one of the handful, and planning to pass historic Stonehenge and maybe pop into Amesbury for a cuppa....perhaps come to a workshop first and then visit the stones!
The shop is at Unit 3, Stonehenge Walk, Amesbury SP4 7DB.  Bookings on 01980 625584

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 255

Join in do.  You aren't too late.
 At the top of this page is a selection of links that will tell you about WOYWW.  

You find me, gentle desker, in the middle of making ATCs.  For the WOYWW fifth anniversary link give-away thingy. There's a page about that up there at the top too.
No standing on chairs or danger involved..just average arm's length, promise! Usual suspects of course, and featuring the empty mug - this time it was a packet soup thing with bits of pasta.  See, I'm getting to my desk in short sharp bursts, so lunch was deliberately desk-friendly.  Even if it was 4 o,clock! 

You can't see in the pic above, but this small pic shows the next step in my ATC stamping.  I'm winging it, obviously. And mostly because my original plan was scuppered when I did the last thing I should have done to them, first.  Naturally.  
Ah well. And you can see the theme; it's to echo all the words I produce that you read. Blah blah blah!

Some will be for trading at the WOYWW Crop which is the weekend prior to WOYWW 5, which is number 260. If you're planning to come to the Crop and have't told us yet, would you mind letting either me or Lunch Lady Jan know.  No pressure, yet!
Meanwhile, share what's on your work surface will you?  Particularly if you're working in the wrong order and making a horlicks of everything..I shall feel extremely very especially and particularly at home!

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

T Tuesday. B B(earth)day

As you know, I'm not much of a mixed media artist.  Hang on, I'm not a mixed media artist. I'm a paper crafter.  And, I'm pretty hot at domestic recycling. But when you combine the two, art and recycling - I'm a gonner.  The queen of recycling - ah, erm, I think we're calling it 'upcycling' for arty purposes these days - is Elizabeth at Altered Book Lover.  
And because today is Earth Day, there's a double celebration over at her place...T Tuesday and Earth Day.  Elizabeth has spent the last 22 days showing art that incorporates recycled stuff.  Man she's clever.  Appropriately, today culminates with a celebration Christmas Tree. Well, I thought it appropriate.
And my contribution - well it's for T Tuesday really, although if you consider that I've shown part of it as a sneak peek and it's a card from the now long ago Card Marathon, then it is sort of recycled, non?  Or, 'dredged up' again.  Ah well.  I still like it!
Text by Quietfire, Teacups by Stampington. WOW embossing powder. Naff photo by yours truly.

There's a new workshop schedule to be pondered over this week....I wonder how soon into starting on the samples will I ask myself 'why did you suggest this as a theme?'.  I suspect sooner rather than later.  I may have to whine about it later.  Brace yourselves.
Happy Earth Day.

Saturday, 19 April 2014

A Marathon Wrap. (no Snickers, please)

The Card Marathon is finished, unpacked and put to bed.  I've received a handful of reviews to pick over, and I'm doing just that.  Meanwhile, it's all unpacked and put away. Good feeling. Now to decide on if and when for a Christmas version.

Here's one of the most popular cards from my kits.  It's easy to tell this sort of statistic when you unpack the kits...because there aren't many left to unpack!  The text stamp is Quietfire Designs; you may remember that I couldn't keep my ownership of such a beauty secret, so it may look familiar! The other stamp is Stampin Up! I am particularly fond of this card, it came together terribly easily and proves again to me that I often start with text when I'm making a card, which is probably not the most obvious way to do it.  I also have a thing for houses, birds and birdhouses.  I have quite a few of each in stamp and die form. Indeed, I hadn't noticed that myself before now.  Oh, I seem to be revealing myself!

And this was one of the least popular.  It's interesting isn't it...Iove the (Hero Arts) stamps, but have a lot of trouble with the proportion of the 'label' image, and it seems I may not have it right just yet. It doesn't sit well on a standard C6 English size card blank...sort of floats about being not quite big enough to 'anchor' itself, and then on a square card such as this...there's overkill on the white space.  Which I overkilled with filling. I think. I'm not remotely offended by its being slightly passed over; that is the point of the Marathon:- choice, and trying to get cards of every style out there for people to try.  

This card was the second most completed (Kaiser Craft and Stampers Anonymous stamps) and was the one that managed to fool the most people.  Soft pinks, a few beads and gems and not a lot of text - not many people knew it was one of mine.  (See, ScrapLady Ally makes 12 and I make 12). Probably just a bit outside my comfort zone in terms of colour to be honest, but I do like it.  And I think it will translate well into other colours. I see greens on cream card stock, maybe a leaf in the centre instead of the circle....every one is a springboard for something else huh.  I find myself in the middle of making a card and think 'oh! I could do such-and-such with this' and off I go again; definitely one of the pleasures of arduous re-drawing to be done simply to alter a colour!

So there's the three that I thought had the most interesting results.  If not for any other reason, it's useful to blog about them so that I have something to remind me of my thoughts over various styles!  

Have a lovely Easter weekend.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 254

And, in a spectacular return to form, the only surprised or disappointed person will be Andrew!  I have unpacked, de-kitted, cleaned and sorted post Card Marathon.  And I'm moving forward rather well actually.  This weeks 'Cards for Men' workshop is somewhere on my desk awaiting kits....I got rather carried away with re-working one of the cards. Usually by now they'd be in the hands of the Shopkeeper Gal because let's face it, people like to have advance sight of what they're paying money to make.  (Except, I suddenly realise, that we do not allow this for the Marathon. Excuses will follow.)  But of course, as they're 'Cards for Men', people are happy to have sight of photos on a phone because frankly, no matter how lacking in technique or new products, these cards are still HARD to come up with. Well I think they are.  And it's my Blog, so I must be right.

It's all glinting in a rather lovely late afternoon sun.  And no, I'm not weeding the patio or cleaning it off this year...there's a plan to take it all up see, and I do not expend unnecessary energy. Ever.  I forget why the box of sticky labels is out because I've put them away once.  The rest is detritus as I've said, from some re-modelling.  Ah and actually I lied.  The card stock on my ipad stand is left overs from the Card Marathon, so I haven't quite put it all away yet.  Ah yah, whatever.
So come on then, shock and awe me into doing something your working space whatever and wherever, post it on your blog, include WOYWW in the post title and link it here for us to know when it's safe to visit.  I thank you.

Monday, 14 April 2014

GIIGU and a review..what value!

Well now, this review is overdue.  Not because I was asked to do it, but because the process I went through was made so easy and my contacts so friendly that I decided that I would tell you about it.  And then what happened?  the world turned, the product became a very useful one and every time I thought to photo it, it was in use and not really photogenic!
It's a tea towel.

There's a back sweet and beloved Mother is fading away from us through a haze of Dementia.  Otherwise, she is well and happy and  this isn't a maudlin post. One of the things that I've noticed over the last year has been Mama's handwriting; it's not at all what it was.  I have shed loads - shed loads of her recipes, but because of her life's work as a really good and efficient Secretary and PA, she has typed nearly every one of them.  So, when I found a hand written one, I decided to do more than just scan and save it.  I searched about and found The Fabric Press.  An English company who will print your designs on short runs of fabric.  Well, colour me excited..they have a package that was for three tea towels.  Which is what I wanted.  I was going to have a 3 metre length printed, and make them myself, but no need!  Proper cotton, properly hemmed and BONUS...a hanging tag!  So, I got the Important G to do the toppest quality scanning for me, (the recipe and Ma's signature from a birthday card),  filled in the online form, emailed the scans and held my breath.  The Fabric Press were wonderful...wanted to know my preference for ink colour, got back to me really quickly, kept me up to date and turned the lot around in about 10 days flat.  The result made me cry!  I fiddled about and put some cotton crochet edging on the top and bottom, and my sisters and I now have one each.  Important, not really.  Sentimental - oh you bet. But also, as Ma would like - useful as well.  And I do use it, because that's the whole point of a GIIGU.  It's a Good Idea In Good Use.

And the recipe? It's from a BBC Radio 2 cookery programme, now about 40 years old.  And really....not great.  I make a better 'chuck it all in the pot' soup.  But that's not the point. As a tea towel - it's the best!

Friday, 11 April 2014

Looking Forward...

Now I'm almost ready, I'm looking forward to tomorrow's Card Marathon.  It's a bit of a reunion for me, some of the folks who come are old friends from way back when I had my shop. It's a shame that they have to concentrate and make cards, because I'm free to chat!
  • Here's a card for the Marathon - a quick make...hopefully, very useful!
If you live in the South West and are feeling deprived of Marathon style workshops, get in touch with Jan at Japonica, 01395 271739 she has a half Marathon with Cream Tea in the pipeline....what a fab idea! 
Tomorrow's Marathon is entirely portable you know..hmmmmm, there's an idea I hadn't really explored.   
Onwards then.  Have a lovely weekend y'all.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 253

My word.  The FIFTH anniversary of this ridiculous idea swings around at week number 260.  If you want to join in with the ATC swap, the details are HERE.  Seven weeks notice feel s like a long time doesn't it.  Yeah.  Mary Anne made hers at our Crop last weekend. Puts me in a mild panic I don't mind admitting.  Meanwhile, back in Juliaville, my desk is staying ordered...I am cutting counting and kitting for the Card Marathon that takes place this coming Saturday.  I know, you'll be delighted about this, because I'll shut up about it. Until the next one.

Yes, even I have to admit to a bit of shame..two empty mugs.  Well ya see, in the course of the day and for a change, someone simply made and brought me a drink.  Lovely..but I was too busy to think about giving up the other mug and getting it out of the way.  And if I'd made my own, of course, I'd have re-used the mug.  Logical slobishness, non?
My little individual photo printer is about the only clue as to my work really - I stick a photo of each card on the front of the supplies packet so that people know what to look are the ones I've done - spent all day Tuesday doing them. 

Only another day's worth to go I think.  But you see..on the day, I get to walk around and make tea and not do too much because the Marathonistas have to do all the card making. It's a good trade off!
So my desk has gone from riot to quiet - invite us round to your place for a look and some rummaging will you?  Put WOYWW in your post title and link here..we'd love that.

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

The day of the doily

Ah, Crop last Saturday was fun. As usual.  It involved four unfinished Layouts. Now for me, this is a sure sign of my maturity as a scrap booker. In the past, I've been very bad about patience and unfinisheds...and I've compromised and probably ruined LOs by rushing to a finish. After what, about eight years, it's about time. 
This needs journalling and explanation and quite possibly, another look - I swear it has a left hand lean now I see the photo!  It's all a bit out of balance for me, so ma htinking of a re-do.  Once a page hits the album inside a protector, I don't re-visit them.  I'm too lazy. Baby Mumma and Morti had brought pages that needed letters to be glued back on or re-visited for some reason of 'repair'...super impressed by that dedication!  Morti had other repairs too...remember darning?!

Another one that needs some annotation - primarily, a date to add to the label on the cute frame.  But of course, despite my beautiful niece's almost daily presence in my life when she was this age, I have no idea how old she was when this picture was that'll take a few moments to investigate. OK, to show Grandma - her memory is perfect where her grandchildren are concerned!

Apart from the unfinished theme...are you sensing another theme?

Yep, doilies.  This fab wedge of coloured doilies are from Baker Ross and I included them, as you can see.  Because....I couldn't help myself, | love a new toy!  
I wonder what my response will be if you ask me if I've finished these when I mention the next Crop.  Well, it is only a month away!
This will definitely not be finished..I'm 'saving' it to do at the next Crop.
That is....I'm not sure what else to do.....

Friday, 4 April 2014

..the story of this week. if not my life.

I'm still visiting WOYWWers.  I relish the sights and ideas.
I'm still picking paint and primer off my skin after some weekend Joinery work.
I've done the bookwork.
I've even done real cleaning type housework.
I didn't get into the garden with the electric trimmer...a tool I really enjoy!
There is a pile of ironing waiting for me.  I'm still ignoring it.
I've only got to make one more card for the 'Cards for Men' workshop in a fortnight.
I've only got one more card to make to meet my quota for the Card Marathon.  
I ought to unpack and tidy away the contents of the baskets after last night's workshop. But I probably won't.
My desk looks even worse than it did on Wednesday. 
This is the third re-make - the tag has stayed the same throughout.  I think I've finished with it now.
But my kitchen is clean.
I've got to get ready for Crop - and you know how I need natural light and oodles of time.
I need to get fuel.  I didn't tell my passenger but last night we came home on vapours.
I need to finish the written instructions for the Card Marathon, but I can't because I haven't finished the cards.  
My car needs a wash.  I've had it three months and it's not showroom clean any more.
Grocery shopping may well become a priority after Mr Dunnit has cooked his own supper tonight.  I predict beans on toast.  
I'm still living and breathing.
The change to British Summer Time has done wonders to the feeling of spring.
The things I can control are all on my 'To Do' list.
The things I can't...well, I've learned to let them go.  
At lunch time I'm going to Chichester.  Miss Dunnit's sweet boyfriend is at University there. He's a classically trained trumpet player.  A Music student.  The Performance Dissertation is today. I wanna be in the audience.  To show that card making, grocery shopping, ironing...whatever it is...nothing matters like the support of someone who loves you.
It's not a lesson, but it's worth knowing.  

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 252

HERE is a 'how to' join in WOYWW, you're welcome.  Here is an explanation of the WOYWW madness.  And HERE is how we're going to mark the fifth anniversary of ourselves, the week after some of us get together for the WOYWW Crop.  Enough links already.  
Week 252 for goodness' sake.  I've barely tidied up after 251. Actually I did tidy, but that was a couple days ago before the 'running out of time to do anything' panic set in.  And then of course, I tend to largely just make a mess.  View from the edge....

Oh my gawd.  There's space Captain, but not as we know it.  This is as I left it at 1030 on Tuesday morning.  The overhead shot is even worse..and I held the camera higher so as to get a wider shot to erm, spread the mess a little.  I never, ever stand on my chair or attempt feats of nimble danger when doing these photos...I just have the longest arms that a short fat woman could ever have.  That was intended to distract you...I can actually hear you, at your computer, taking a breath of shock...

And worse.  Now I've returned and looked at it again..that card has to come apart.  Hmmm.
So now gentle Desker, make your revelations.  We'd like to visit and your presence on the link list will act as our invitation.  Please put WOYWW in your post title so that we can find it, even if we're late, and please - make it desk relevant. Join here!