Monday, 2 March 2015

Altered Mushrooms

On WOYWW 295, I had a packet of papier mache hearts on my desk that many people commented over. They said that at first glance they could have been mushrooms.  Well you know me and altering.

I thought that once I'd done something with them, I ought to show and tell. After all, this blog is, according to the strap line, about chunks of paper crafting. I should point out that Baker Ross, who sent me the bag of hearts to play with, sent them in jolly good time for Valentine usage. But of course, that got away from me on account of how I did absolutely nothing for that particular day. No reason. Just didn't!
Anyhoooo, I got another idea after I'd received fabulous news about the birth of Henry, and these hearts were perfect.

First thing to tell you is that they're polystyrene (styrofoam, to some) covered in kraft...which makes them ideal for painting and other 'wet' mediums.  I painted them with acrylic paint and then when dry, squirted them with a nice pearly blue spritz spray thing. One that actually sprays. Always a bonus.  Then I stuck them together into a slight arc, using buttons in between each. I used silicone glue (clumsily) because I thought they could do with being a little bit flexible - pva would dry and just ping off the plastic button surface if flexed. See, I do pay some attention! 
You can see the sixth (now spare) heart. and you can see that I also then stuck on some scraps of old print.  This time with PVA because it dries clear and seals. 
And the rest was easy...stamp Henry's name, glue a letter on each heart, sprinkle some glittery fabulousness over the silicone glue and add a heart button.  Because they're not hollow, it was easy to put my pokey tool through them and thread on some twine as a hanger. The button on each end just stops the twine from making the hole unsightly over time. Oh and it adds to the....whatever.
I don't have new baby type stamps and papers any more, so these were a perfect answer to welcoming Henry. I think it's very thoughtful to remind a family of the name of its newest member! 

Friday, 27 February 2015

Late, but still smiley....

I had to be patient this week, I wanted to join Annie and her Friday Smiles with this offering - and it happened on Tuesday!
It was lunchtime. Me and that lovely Mr Dunnit had come home for lunch and I was washing in our en-suite bathroom. Glamourous and fabulous are commonly used labels for my home and my decor.  So there I was, for the millionth time, wondering why when at the design stage of this bathroom, did we fail to consider the placement of such necessities as towels. I know it's a first world problem. I wash my hands at the basin and then turn around and sort of lunge my hands over the bath whilst simultaneously taking three steps to the towel rail for a drying session.  If I want to avoid dripping all over the floor that is. And any day that the floor is actually freshly cleaned is a day n which I lunge particularly fervently. This is not a digression, but an explanation for the lip of the bath being covered in water droplets.  And behold...I actually shook a proper, really easy to identify, actual realistic shape......
Would you look at that perfect footprint!  It was only about 2 - 3cm (1")ish, so I'm amazed that I spotted it, amazed that I didn't drop the towel over it in surprise and thrilled that It photographed so clearly. And it still makes me smile, I mean what are the chances!  So if you witness a woman rushing downstairs, grabbing her camera and muttering some nonsense about taking photos in the bathroom....don't worry. It may well be about washing!

WOYWW Deskers...
There's news of Shoshi for those of you following her story: the surgery has been cancelled because it involves her being looked after in the High Dependency Unit for a while and the Unit is unexpectedly full. I guess you'll join me in wishing her patience and distracting thoughts - having once gathered her nerve and made herself ready, this delay would be messing with my head if it was me!  We're all rooting for you Shoshi. 

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 299

Well, 299 weeks of this and you're still coming back! Amazing. On that basis, here's what you came for:
Unusually, I'm trying to do more than one thing at a time which leads to clutter and probably not a lot of achievement.  Still, at least there's something going on! I'm doing that thing where you steal five minutes here and there. So you can see the heart tissue paper in the foreground - cute huh - it was wrapped around a pair of new shoes.  I'm using some porcelain paints (at last) to decorate the contents of one of the boxes that have formed a tower on my desk for the last month.  That reduced tower is now covered with pre-scored card blanks for no good reason at all. In front of that you can just make out the painted papier mache hearts that have also been awaiting attention.  Do you sense a deadline?! The yellow and blag bag/basket thing contains my buttons, I crocheted it from a jelly roll. This probably makes it the most expensive storage in the world. 
So show and tell will ya - we'd like to see what you're doing too..pop a photo on your blog and link here. That would be grand. Thank you.

The WOYWW Crop takes place this year on Saturday May 16th, same times and location as before, here in sunny Wiltshire. If you'd like to come, you'll be very welcome.  Details and a sign up list will soon be available, but at least your diary is reminded! 

Monday, 23 February 2015

When you get new stuff....

When you buy something new to fulfill your crafting needs, what do you do with it when you get home?
I only put away the replacement and the utility stuff - a new ink pad or tape or glue for example. And when I say put away, I might mean that it goes on my desk until I next sit at it for a 'proper session...'
So what do you do with new stuff that you don't consider to be 'utility'? 
*Ahem* I leave them on my desk. Sometimes because I need a chance to gloat over them a little. 
Often because I intend to use them straight away.Most often because I'm scared that if I put them away, I'll forget about them and think I haven't got any new toys.

Less often because it's something I've got to learn to use and I think if it's staring at me, I'll get on and do the learning part more quickly.

Need to learn how to deftly use the Layer tool behind the ATG tape..
purchased in erm...November....
If you order something specific and wait patiently for it, how do you treat that?
My Big Shot was a replacement for a broken die cutter and so was unpacked and assembled and in the proper place within half an hour of it being delivered. I can't remember using it immediately, but it was a replacement for something I knew and couldnt live without didn't want to be without, so I'd say that was quite exceptional.
This stamp though,was on my desk for a couple of weeks after the order arrived.Then it was Christmas so I put it away. After Christmas I pulled it out to remind me to play with it. And so far....nothing; but my 'system' means that it has to stay out! 

What are you like about lending your stuff?
I think I'm OK. If its practical to do so, I'm happy to lend anything I think. Of course, it is often easier not to lend your stuff out, but on the whole there's no case for not being a lender. Having said that...I'm a bit childish about lending stuff that I haven't yet used....especially stamps. My dear friend the Lady Nurse will lend you something straight out of her shopping bag; before she's had a chance to get it home and gloat over it. That's not beyond me, but it's slightly more difficult!

Do you ever buy something that you have to use straight away?
Frequently.  Mostly stamps. When my last delivery came from Quietfire, I contrived a day off to play. Mr Dunnit's not a fool, he knows. All my reasoning about not being able to colour or colour match in the dark after work...he accepts them with good grace. I think because he doesn't want to hear any other, new excuses!

Do you consider this a bit of a confession?
Yes I do, and I think anyone reading this should 'fess up and unburden themselves.....

Saturday, 21 February 2015

Sorting the (S)crap

I know, it's a much used sort of title, but really, you have no idea how long it's taken to sort, corral and control my scrap card and paper. It deserves a post of it's own, and a cheesy post title!
Wegular weaders will wemember that I spent some time last month complaining and then bragging about a bit of a sort out.  I put all my old, very old and nearly disintegrating scrapbook papers on the top of the piles and in the boxes that would be first to be pulled out when the photos-to-paper selection process begins.  

The patterned papers are in boxes..once, they were in manufacturer order, but not now. This means that I have to go through all of them to find something that works instead of just selecting from the one box of favourites.

Plain 12 x 12 and below that are my stick on alphabets. I may have a problem with them.  As if I don't have enough alphabet stamp sets. The box on the third shelf is the selection of photos that I've already matched to pages. You will know by now that this is both a great idea and a terrible idea for me. I can't always remember why I thought a particular paper would work so well....but I'm sticking to it as far as I can!

Then I chopped tidied and re-sorted my plain card scraps.  These live at the left hand of my desk so that I can access them while I'm 'working'. The whites are at the front...the most visited section and the most used 'colour' to become 'scrap' size. Which for me is A5 or smaller. But not teeny.
Because I don't want to go through this again, so far, I'm keeping this as it should be and benefitting by using some. I can't tell if I use as much as I create or not.  That's a scientific question that I probably need to dwell upon.
Its a small bit of discipline in my quite undisciplined craft life. And it is paying off in parts - recent scrapbook pages have been made on papers that are at least five years old. I am actually using stuff that would otherwise be neglected for even longer. And that does add to the satisfaction of anything completed, I can tell you.

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 298

If you want to know anything about WOYWW, please click on the two pages shown at the top of this explains it a bit, the other explains how to do it. 
If you want to know about my y'are. I took this at lunchtime on Tuesday because I was in that panic mode where you have to rush around and do everything in case you don't have time to do anything. It's rubbish light, but its the best I've got; this morning is still dark and the flash photo is even worse. 
You can see, I've cut into a very nice sheet of scrapbook paper to make a flower. And I don't like it. It needs more than a tweak so am thinking the paper may well need to be put away before I waste any more.  Lovely teeny flower print and totally not showing either the stamped image or itself off enough. Back to rummaging in the paper stack then. I've also been toying with some Pearl Ex as you can see at right..was playing with it on Kraft card - I quite like it.  That's me this week..playing with florals. A flower was my first stamp purchase and will probably be my last, I never met one I didn't really like!
What are you up then? Upload a pic of your crafty work space for us all to see, it will be rules about tidy and no judging!

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

T for Tuesday. Morning Mr Magpie!

Had to share this!  Our workshop is in an old farm building. it is not a romantic old barn, no sir. It actually was brought off the Ministry of Defence at the end of the second war, dismantled and reassembled in its present situation once a concrete base had been laid. There are three. They are cosmetically very shabby by now, and we, well - he, has done quite a lot of renovating.  We use one as a store and one as a workshop.  The third still houses farm machinery and the 'don't throw that away, it might come in handy' stuff of at least two generations.  Filthy, yes. Fascinating...hmm.

Imagine then our mixed emotions after fitting a new roof and all that goes with it, to discover that birds still treat the place as trainee flying space. Oh so dangerous..we use an extractor to cut down on dust, we have countless 'killer' machines and tools and have to wear ear defenders all the time. And yet the birds must be used to it. We manage to open the large end doors and shoo most of them out. Occasionally though, they'll surprise us. Mr Dunnit was eating a honey sandwich at break time when this Magpie decided to intervene. He got so close that Mr D decided it was worth the risk of getting his phone out to try to snap a pic...and the bird didn't flinch. you have a Magpie eating honey off the photographer's finger.  I'm still amazed!
Joining Elizabeth this morning..although technically, honey isn't a drink...but it was break time!