Monday, 20 November 2017

Spoke too soon....again.

Saying that I had finished with Christmas crafting is, it turns out, just a rush to get bragging rights. After a conversation with Shopkeeper Gal about next year, workshops, expectations, bookings and blah, we talked about the December workshops. Because bookings are traditionally low in December, and because we workshop conductors are as busy as the workshopeers, we've taken the decision to cancel December workshops. How does this affect my bragging about having finished my Christmas crafting? Well, in two ways. The first would be obvious. Clearly I hadn't planned to do Christmas cards for a mid-December workshop. Too late, I must have thought. I know at some point I had thought about doing some thank you or New Year cards. So now I don't have to think too hard.
According to the number of kits used, this was the most popular of the cards I made for the Marython. 
The second way is more roundabout even, than the first. See, like all of you, I have presents that need to be posted, and/or taken with me on visits prior to the big 25, and that means wrapping quite a lot of stuff sooner rather than in the middle of December. Let me set the scene - a glass of wine, perhaps a little bowl of olives or a mince pie, some wonderful festive melodies on the gramophone, a large flat uncluttered space to work on and all the twinkle and sparkle you can summon to give you an all round perfect wrapping environment and experience. All your presents are either perfectly shaped or already in a box so that wrapping is a pleasure. You never run out of tape, ribbon, curly stuff or tags. 

Wait, what? 

Is it like that for you? For me it's a slog, a job to be completed and completed wonderful Mr Dunnit will not get involved. I don't blame him really. Despite resenting the time it takes, I still want it to be done my way. Which isn't always his way, and certainly could cause, well, toe and ribbon curling language.

And then there's the supplies. I haven't made the tags yet. And I certainly cannot, can not, no way, buy tags. Because all year the state of my scraps box has been semi-excused by the 'I'll use it for tag making' line.
And this, for reasons of erm, disclosure, was the made the least.

So that clearly is what the December workshop would have been - a free for all with scraps, embellishments and tag shapes. It would have been fun, inspiring and jovial. Now I have to do them on my own, and like all these things, I need some jolly soon. It seems the desk will be forced back into festive mode. Hope forcing the festivity means excellent production, after all, there's already a deadline, and despite hating the truth here, deadlines are inspiring! Watch this space, as I've said so many times!

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 441

I feel that I may have missed a chunk of days!
It's all glitter! Here actually is the last card I've made for our Christmas Card Marython, which all of a sudden, is on Sunday. For reasons best known to the house fool, the iPad stand is holding a packet of fabric stars and the iPad is wedged under the box lid at left. That little red box really is a box of socks - four pairs of cute baby socks - really too cute not to make your ovaries do a bit of a ping. I have a very dear friend who has become a Nanny for the second time. The socks are for the baby - Nanny and Papa will get a large Gin when we next see them! This is it for me, Christmas card making is officially over. This desk will be privy to a lot of wrapping, but no more crafting for Christmas. To be honest, I'm incredibly relieved!
Join us will you, share and tell about your lovely work space, whatever it is, we wanna see it. Put WOYWW in your blog post title and link your blog here; easy as that.

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 440

Bad light. But I can't let that stop play. In fact, I've decided that in daylight hours I will match and determine, and in the dark hours when my eyesight lets me down, I'll assemble and collate. Yes I have a daylight bulb in the lamp and it does help, but it's still not enough. I need a floodlight, I've decided!
I bought some new dies last week, so am having a play with them. The distress stains tell you how I coloured the cards you can see. At right, between glass mat and glasses is the handle, nut, washer and allen key from the broken bigshot. Cannibalised prior to disposal to help another damaged machine! Gotta love access to spares! The syringe at left is my silicone glue applicator (just in case you were thinking otherwise) and the slightly weird patterned piece of kraft card is a not very good attempt at some foil transfers. I had an idea and it didn't work. Will stick to their original use!
Show and tell then, will you, like what I have just done. Put WOYWW in your post title and link your blog here. Too easy!

Friday, 3 November 2017

Requiem....for an inanimate object!

Ah, the lovely blue Big Shot is dead. Mr Dunnit took it apart, reckons the bearings are worn. This wear causes the rollers to depress less effectively. In this case, they won't squeeze together closely enough to emboss or cut a full 3" margin. Useless then really. Also, Mr Dunnit suggests that the work involved in accessing the bearings for replacement may well cause destruction anyway. We are not engineers. By the time he's done that, and I've driven somewhere to fetch some new bearings...well, I might as well buy a new one. Mr Dunnit was quite amused by my motivation to get going, source a replacement and generally not live without a die cutter for too long. He felt, I think, that I was exaggerating the pleasure of owning a Big Shot.

I had no idea how often I turn to cut a die or emboss a piece of card before I couldn't. No wonder the blue one wore out; count the day to day hobby stuff, then the workshops and Marathons, the odd multi-cut as a RAK - and countless times I've embossed paper, card, foil, stuff. whew. The blue one did well. Four years or so of excellent service. And when it went, it went...I haven't spent the last few weeks having to shim or re-cut and blaspheming over it. It just, well, gave up! 

Lovely Mary to the rescue again. Just as if she were still alive to offer it as a loaner, her bequeathed stash contains a Big Shot. This is wonderful on so many levels. Am thrilled to be using and employing something that was Mary's and that I know she enjoyed having. Am thrilled that I don't have to do any waiting. 

You can see that I haven't even bothered to dust this replacement before putting it to work! A couple of trial cuts and we're off. I can't promise to do less, be more fastidious about paper and card thicknesses and etc. It's got to be a working tool. But I can promise that every time use it, Mary will pop into my mind. Especially that laugh. And that, above everything, is the pleasure a little black Big Shot.

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 439

Well, good practice didn't last long! I've been overtaken by events and as usual and quite rightly really, the hobby stuff has taken a slide on the old priority list. There's the makings of a card for the Marython. The lovely mini tote that Jan made me is full of stuff that I take to Crops. It's on the desk surface because it was on the chair and I needed the chair to put a Big Shot on. I needed to put the Big Shot on the chair because the space where my Big Shot lives is taken up with a Big Shot. Of course there's a story. Mine has broken. And I seem to be unable to take 3 minutes to make the replacement feel at home! You can make out the bag full of new badges at the back too...out to remind me to get a move on with sending them out. There's a finished card on the deckchair, but you can barely see it. I'm off to visit the facial physio gals today, am thinking this may be my last consult! 
Please share your desk and your blog here, and please put WOYWW in your post title.

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 438

Gentle desker, you will understand why I am smug. I have had three lovely days at a large farmhouse on a scrapbook 'retreat' with my Coven. I sorted, packed and my word, I scrapped. I came home, photographed, filed and unpacked and put away! And it gets desk shows signs of doing other stuff! I can hardly get over myself!
I took this on Tuesday, about 5pm. Lights are on. That's a clue as to why I haven't posted this morning's photo. It's dark and dull. Apart from that it's identical! There's an upturned wood mounted stamp - Magenta's poinsettia. I don't know if you can make out the card in a shiny cello's for the Marython. I've been counting and cutting cardstock in preparation. There's a wedge of winter/Christmas papers at far right. Allegedly to remind me to use them. We'll see. A new and lovely sticky, luscious gold pigment ink pad. I know, I'm old fashioned about such things, but embossing gold ink with gold powder gives me a rich gold colour finish that I like! There's a couple of other cards for the Marython; one ready, another at a nascent stage. I might finish it today. But first, off to visit my lovely Mama, so look for me later rather than this morning!
Show us your desk please, your workspaces are sent to inspire us. Put WOYWW in your post title and link your blog here. It's easy, free and fun. (Is that phrase from an advert?).

Friday, 20 October 2017

The top 10%

If I had an East Wing in my lovely home, it would comprise a craft room that would be floor to 5ft high shelving. It couldn't be any higher because I'm not tall enough to reach much higher, and I don't want to strain myself. If I had to have drawers, they would be clear acrylic. This way, I wouldn't have to open every single one before I found what I was looking for. There would be large windows, maybe an atrium roof to assist with really good light. Above all, the plan would be to have all - everything- I own in terms of stamps and stash, on show.
The highest of my stamp shelves...
You see, it is my contention,that we (I?) only use the top ten percent of our stash. That is, anything within reach, or relatively easy to locate. Look:

My scrapbook papers. Originally, I bought those 12 x 12 boxes to store them in. Now they are just a part of the piles. I used to use papers to punch or die cut and as mounts for some card making, but that habit dropped off when I had to start pulling out piles instead of the odd box. See those punches at bottom right? I can't part with them, but I can't remember the last time I used them. I suspect that if they were on the wall on a rail, I would use them. Likewise with my dies. I love the binder storage, but I'd use them even more if they were on a magnetic sheet on the wall. 
My fantasy room would have a shelf section with empty acrylic boxes on it. These would be for when I do want to transport stash to a crop or workshop. They wouldn't otherwise be used, I would be able to leaf through all papers, card stock etc without difficulty. I'm thinking bins like they used to have in record shops. I know racks work well, but not if you have 100 different sheets to leaf through on each shelf, and this is my fantasy room, remember! 

Shopkeeper Gal and I inherited a great friend's stash. Her stamp collection is very large and in the main, unused over many years of collecting. If they had been mine and stored in this way, the same would apply. I can't bear the thought of needing the stamp at the bottom of the box! It would definitely remain unused. Out of sight, out of motivation to get in within sight! 

So this weekend is a 'retreat' weekend for me. Scrapbooking. It's a once a year get away and I really enjoy it. More than that though, it's the opportunity to pull out assess and re-arrange stash. It causes older stuff to be cycled to the top of the piles. It's a good thing. It puts it back in line of vision. Do you think while I'm away, Mr Dunnit will build that East Wing? I don't go on about it, because I'm frightened by the alternative...he might tidy up while I'm away!