Wednesday, 30 September 2009


Well I can just about accept that it's Wednesday already, but October? Good grief Charlie Brown. It's a double good grief really - look at my desk, you'd think nothing creative had happened on it over the week, but believe me it's all good! Because I've been working on the calendar LOs for A Magnetic Year in a Day, I've had to tidy up in between so as not to double up on supplies used etc; it has caused me to work in a slightly more disciplined manner. Slightly. I still, as you can see, break the number one rule really, which is not to have a liquid on the desk. It has to be said that I have only experienced a problem with breaking this rule once 'in all my years as a scrapbooker'. It was my coffee, at a crop, and I managed to launch it across the table, the arc of liquid missed absolutely everything I owned and was working on and landed with a large and horrible splash on the front of the album which belonged to the friend sitting opposite. Just for once, I lucked out - the album was in its plastic cover and apart from soggy scrap paper, no harm done. Can you imagine. heart stopping stuff, I seem to recall that Angie knows only too well what I mean! This picture was taken at 10 o,clock this morning though, and I can't operate without a second coffee at about this time - I'd get a caffeine withdrawal headache! So my desk is not hugely intersting today, unless you want to extend the discussion about things we buy and don't use....the lovely Maya Road tins of chipboard shapes are a total case in point. As I had to dust the tins, I figure their 'new'ness has passed and I can get on and make use of my investment! It's rewarding to know after yesterdays post that lots of you have things you don't use, and to a greater extent I agree with Paige who commented that it reinforces your mojo to rediscover some forgotten tool. Sure reinforces the guilt too! Also fascinating to hear what you've got but don't use! I use all 3 sizes of Xyron, regularly. I use my silent setter still; I don't have a Big Bite so the long reach stuff is still done this way. I think I can blame the Cropadile for my lack of long reach embellishing actually! Linda never uses her Marvy Le Plumes - I wouldn't be without mine....I must use a core of colours every week. Of course, Tombow marched onto the scene and sorta stole the felt-tip show, but I still prefer Le Plume. At one stage (during the Shop years) I had a matching inkpad for every felt tip! Yum.
Come on then, be brave and show us your work area - doesn't have to be a desk, and it certainly doesn't have to be tidy - check some previous WOYWW posts to see that it's not normal for me! Leave a comment so we can swing by and gawp - love that!

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Getting on with it

A portion of a picture today, it's one of the LOs for A Magnetic Year in a Day, so can't over divulge. And that's all I've done so far today in terms of craft. But hang out the trumpets and ring out the flags - I've used the Cricut! See those 2 little biddy leaves? Yep - electronically cut by the chirruping Cricut - Accent Essentials cartridge. You see, I do love it, but I sort of forget that I've got it. So it and I go through great phases of use. Or lack of. With the notable exception of my Cuttlebug, I could apply this 'phase' thing to a lot of the tools I possess. Especially my Bind It All. I'm not big into mini book making, so each time I use it it's like the first - and have to keep reading instructions for anything more than the basic punch and wire! And then there's the punches...they're in a basket, behind a cupboard door. I use them in real phases. I know if they were in a basket on the work surface, I'd probably use them more. Same with my clear stamps. I really, really wanna come up with a way to store this in my line of vision, and the busier I become, the more I realise how silly my current storage is. So I'll come back to that, for sure. And definitely the same with my small but colourful collection of acrylic paints. My arty reality is certainly not as good as the fantasy, so they don't often see the light of an open cupboard door! I worry that my Copics will be a bit of a 'phase' thing too - because generally, all the tools and stuff that I have, I use in workshops or willingly, happily, share at crops and get togethers. But at the price and because I'd probably ultimately, need more than one of each, I'm not sure I'm going to use Copics in my workshops. Which means that there will be real periods of non-use. But maybe that's OK? Maybe the occasional protracted hello is all that's needed to make ownership worthwhile. In each case I certainly don't regret buying them. Well, OK, maybe the Bind It All - that was my last hooray idiot moment - I'm totally over the marketing strategies..but I think to a greater extent this year, we've all wised up to that, huh, as we've made our money really work for us. What have you got that you can't part with but don't use much?

Monday, 28 September 2009

Is this cute enough?

While lots of you dallied at Alexander Palace and still more of you did sensible and possibly wholesome family things on Saturday afternoon, I went to a workshop as an introduction to the Copic pens. Ally was the 'teacher'. I know, it all sounds a bit incestuous because she's the other scrap lady, but that's how it is. Her workshop was great. Incredibly well prepared, confident and knowledgeable about her subject with some great hand-outs. And because the shop is on the cutting edge, we even had digi-stamp images to colour. Obviously these were pre-determined, and so dear interweb, brace yourself. I coloured in a Magnolia, or maybe it's a Tilda! I dunno. Bit of a Moomin really, and I was forced to add the mouth. And not do the wings...they will get the chop I'm afraid. Just a quiet rebellion, you know! Great exercise in colouring, huh. Then I did the Dustin fish in a balloon and by the time I got home, I was feeling cocky, so I had a go with a couple of Stampotique images that Carmen sent me. She's terribly depressed poor love; so I tried her in other colours and employed a black felt tip to try to relieve her enormous forehead a little. Trouble is, she remains thin and awkward, even in colour! Really happy with the tips I picked up from Ally, and really enjoying my Copic pens. An afternoon well spent methinks.

Bet you wish I had a knack for knowing how to use light properly when I have a camera in my hand, huh?
I could read the manual, but I probably won't.
The car window was fixed today, thanks to a Toyota dealer in Salisbury. Seriously impressive service; my car was washed and valeted as well - funny how you don't really notice how gunky and horrid it gets until someone else cleans it huh? If I had any sense of pride, I'd be embarrassed!

Sunday, 27 September 2009

An angel whispered in my ear...

..and it said, 'join Facebook'. So I did, and I have no idea why. Of course it wasn't an angel, it was alcohol and boredom...I was skimming the web on Friday evening with a glass in my non-mouse hand and Miss Dunnit was ignoring me in favour of instant chat on Facebook. So I decided to join so I could muscle in on what she was doing! Is it me? I'm a member of several forums (fora?) that by their very name, are established to bring the 'like minded' together (doncha love that phrase - 'like minded'; I think the writers of Enterprise used it as inspiration for the Borg Collective). I think I'm so late joining Facebook because it strikes me as being the absolute opposite - a forum for everybody with nothing in common. And you face your 'wall' and have to 'search' for friends. Oh my. How depressing; and then you have to wait while your friend decides if you actually are a friend or not. Gah. Lucky I've got thick skin! And then of course there's the obvious 'out-there' thing about your life and details. Somehow more so than on a blog. But I joined anyway. And I'm feeling a bit vulnerable about it actually. Is that very 40-something of me? A couple people I've looked up and their page says that they don't show any information about themselves until you're accepted as a friend. And so the point is? I'm not getting it am I? I've been a member for all of 48 hours and have already written that I'm probably not going to be a regular! (I wrote this on my 'wall'. You just know that the inventor of this network is at the very least, half my age.) And I need to find out how to turn off the email notification. Lord, I just about had a power surge when I checked email tonight - 17 on a Sunday - apparently if you're my friend and your scratch your, erm, nose, I get an email about it now. And then I can go read it off a wall. Sounding tetchy? I am aren't I! My angel card is soothing though - Inkadinkado image - quite lovely, huh. Cuttlebug embossed the card and a bit of printed vellum. It's for the White Christmas workshop. Cue Linda, singing a song and talking about a film I've never heard of. Really.

Friday, 25 September 2009

A useful old bag indeed...

It's been a beautiful day. And busy. Started well with a cup of Macmillan coffee and a chat with Fiona and then I, well, just got down to it! Finished the cards for another workshop and managed to get this LO ready. It's to illustrate the sketch for the Ludgershall Crop next weekend. I know, flying by the seat of mah pants again, but to be honest, I'm in a bit of shock about it being October next week. Then I did some gardening and I sorted out the who and the what for mending my car window, and got it booked in. Thank goodness. Driving around with a bin bag taped over the near side rear window isn't exactly a look I want to foster! I'm at a bit of a loss as to what to do for tea, so am thinking that although I've been very useful all day, I might be falling at the final hurdle!

If you're off to Alexander Palace this weekend: take cash. When the cash has gone, GO HOME! (Life tip!) I'm not going, on purpose. But I am going to a class to learn about me Copics, looking forward to that. Have a lovely weekend, interweb.

Thursday, 24 September 2009

I've had a smashing day..

I went to Marlborough today with my friend the Colonial doll. We met at Kraft Crazy, my local shop, she comes to some of the Workshops and we've become friends. How often do you hear that about people we meet through crafting. Stacks. Ain't it great! Now my Colonial friend has a gift; she's cheerful, upbeat and her wit is quick. I like it. She's very quick to the see the joke and will laugh like a drain, which is frankly, good for the soul. We were in my second favourite sort of store - a cook shop, independent, stuffed to the gunwhales with wonderful gadgets gizmos and stuff that you need in your kitchen. Mmm. Like the Onion Goggles which really had us going. Seriously, a pair of swimming goggles, styled to put on like glasses, but cushioned around the lenses so that onion vapour can't penetrate and cause you to cry. And the frame was pink. Well, we kinda did cry, but not from onions. The lovely ladyshopkeeper tried really hard too - told us about a chap who had chosen a green framed pair to use on his bike in the summer - anti bug, see. Cue more crying from me and the Colonial doll. I did manage to get what I'd gone in for (I have a seriously ridiculous thing for buying nice shaped biscuit cutters), but really, I think the ladyshopkeeper was relieved when we paid up and left! So now I must settle in and get the LO done that I was working on when the Colonial doll arrived this morning. Sitting, front door open (full on sun shine, see) on the hall floor, photographing a pile of rubbish. Really - the contents of my handbag to be precise, but oh my, how much rubbish! So watch this space, I don't know if it'll reveal any more than you already know about me, but it may turn out to be as interesting as WOYWW! Oh and the car window? The result of driving past some rather zealous strimmer guy on a verge in the village. How very inconvenient. But it has been a smashing day!

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

IIWA? What's On YOUR Workdesk Wednesday

Blessed with a prudence far greater than mine, Angie has numbered her WOYWW entries and believe it or not, today is week 16! And I'm totally still up for it, I really enjoy a nosey around your work surfaces/spaces/desktops. I'm sure any psychologists looking for a study group would sing praises if they were to stumble upon this! So WOMyWorkdesk? My diary. A sketch for the next Crop challenge. A Dolly Mama image waiting to be erm, mounted. The best and most used script stamp I own. My 150 Xyron. Two cards for a 'Paper Engineering' workshop, which need tweaking. You can just see my new gloop punch on the right. And two cards, which qualify for a couple of challenges:
Fiona's inchy challenge is 'Leaf' which of course I've had to interpret because I can't do
one of anything and inchy does not a card make for me! Same style as before too - inchy mounted and stuck over relevant part of same image. All made from scraps so am not too unhappy about it.
And then on the right, my card for the Daring Cardmakers challenge, which is Shabby Chic. Hmm, always leads me back to the thought that it should be grunge style and accomodate lots of wee wee colours, but as you know, I can't do that. So it's turned into an 'old lady' card as Miss Dunnit was kind enough to dub it whilst waiting for me to photograph it this morning. And she did wait too; I'd offered her a lift to College so that she could have a bit of a lie-in - the bus times don't work well for her first lesson time on a Wednesday and I took pity on her. That'll teach me. I can't send this card to anyone now because it has connotations!

Come on then - show us your workspace - desk, floor, surface, lap tray...we don't mind! Show us what you're working on and how you work. Fab. We'll drop in for a nosey. Add a button from the left margin if you like. Makes you easier to recognise!

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Shameless self promotion here, I'm gonna repeat the 2 Scrap Ladies announcement - look away if you're sick to death of it please! We've a handful of seats left which we'd love to fill - obviously, and I think this micron of interweb space is one way of erm, exposing those empty seats!

A Magnetic Year in a Day
31st October 2009, 10am to whenever!
Ludgershall, Nr Andover, Hampshire

2 Scrap ladies, 2 scrap styles, 2 kits to choose from - 1 fab result!
We'll provide 1 magnetic board, framed in untreated Ash, Pine or Oak (- choose on the day) and a kit to make calendar layouts for each month of the year. Kits will contain all the papers, and embellishments you need, and illustrated instructions for each month's layout. This way, you can come along and work at your own pace without fear of having to finish by tea time. We'll work in a warm and friendly workshop environment with plenty of room. We'll stop for a hot lunch and our 'beverage gal' will be on hand all day to keep us topped up. Quick contests and prizes and Hallowe'en stuff will be added to the mix. It will be fun, and you'll have a perpetual reminder!
The catch? You will have to stain, polish or paint the frame at home, and you have to choose which kit you'd like to work with!
Price - £75 per person
Full details and booking terms are available at - there's a button in the sidebar to take you there.

I've finished the white cards. Wish I'd thought of Ann and her bargain mountain of white stock! The mountain reference was made to help you extend the Heidi thing...yes, I'm getting silly now! The photographs are horrible, but I'll let you laugh over them after the workshop! Onward and upward, I feel some scrapbooking is in order. But first, I have to go to a certain local craft shop. Apparently, a particular punch that I might have expressed a desire for has arrived - and it has my name on it. So it would be very rude not to, huh.

Monday, 21 September 2009

Whiter Whites mean coloured Whites

What? Well, I came up with an idea for a Christmas card workshop and tra-la, decided to call it something enormously original: White Christmas. My idea, also enormously original, was to try to make 4 cards using just white - cardstock, stickers, embossing powder and add a teeny bit of glitter or hint of colour to accent the well, whiteness. I know, I know; you never for one moment imagined that this much planning and pain went into workshop preparation. Well it ain't gonna. Because I can't hand on heart, find any whites that actually match enough to be layered onto each other. How frustrating is that! I've got quite a lot of white card stock and pre-folded cards in various sizes from the same manufacturer, and they're all different shades. Aargh. So the 'hint' of arty colour - that's a bit more of a 'statement' colour now, to distract you from the fact that not a damn thing matches! Ah well. At least when I get to making the cards for the Blue Christmas workshop, I won't have to worry about shades. Because of course that's the fickle thing isn't it - I only want one shade of white but I'm counting on loads of shades in every other colour. Now don't get all zen on me about whether White is actually a colour, please. I'm practically snow blind since trying to make white cards!

Just want to say thanks for the Comments - I know what a time consumer it always is, so really appreciate them -especially when they extend a discussion. Or compare me to famous literary heroines. I mean, Heidi of course, but let me have it for a few non hysterical seconds, huh! Of course I invited it by making an erroneous comparison between myself and Heidi Swapp (scrapbooker extraordinaire, and pretty hot self-promoter too), but it was worth it for the laugh. And I did laugh!

Saturday, 19 September 2009

Soapbox or sales turned into the other..

I have been really surprised by public and private reaction to yesterday's post about the card Marathon that I described. All positive and in some cases a little envious. I wanna get on my soap box and say a couple of things: the first one is that I came up with the Marathon based on workshop formats that I've been running for yonks. I'm perfectly sure it's not original, but it works for me and my 'customers'. It's a day long commitment and then it's over. You don't have to find daily, weekly or monthly time. You book it into your diary. One day to yourself, booked in advance so that arrangements for everyone else can be made, freezers stocked and bribes applied well in advance. And maybe a journey. I haven't been asked to 'bring the Marathon' to a store or another location, so it's usually around here. The 'furthest travelled' prize often goes to someone who has come a significant distance to make a bunch of cards, if you ask me. Significant distance? Well, if you consider I'm near Andover, Hampshire -but only 20 miles from Salisbury, an hour from Swindon, hour and half from Oxford, Bristol, 45 minutes from Southampton - all these places people bother coming from! Sometimes, online friends meet at the Marathon because they wouldn't meet elsewhere - shows are too fraught and there's no time to talk, hooking up whole families for 2 crafters who may only have that one thing in common is a bit too brave, and hey - what about that rule about meeting strangers off the internet?! So a journey just becomes part of the planning. I've been to album or specific project based events like we're running at 2 Scrap Ladies, I've driven miles for such stuff. My experiences, positive and negative, certainly shape my preparations and plans for Marathon and 2SL days. I want the customer to turn up, relax and craft. At a steady but achievable pace (I fret if the 'output' seems low, and am not averse to 'helping out' - I want everyone to get their money's worth) and in a friendly and fun environment. This includes banter, sweeties, cakes and certainly at one point, food which might contribute to the five-a-day rules. The pleasure of a workshop or project day for me is that I haven't had to do the choosing, (ink colour, card colour, paint colour, which gems, which glue, blah blah) I can work at my own pace, I won't be deemed rude by chatting with my neighbour and wonderfully, when I've finished or had enough I can go home. I don't have to clear up, wash up or hoover. Bliss. So, if you're a card maker, cut along to your LSS and ask 'em. If you wanna hear about the one I'm doing this year, watch this space I guess, and if you're looking for a project, join us for Hallowe'en at 2SL. It did turn into a sales talk, sorry. Closest I'll ever get to emulating Heidi Swapp though!

Friday, 18 September 2009

I'm in the mood..

at last! I'm in the mood to make some Christmas cards. I realise now that it's not seasonal, (although the ones I make in December will still be better, because as we discussed a few posts ago, they will be infused with a spirit of the season), nor is it about mojo or remembering to use glitter. It's about having new stamps to play with! And last night, I came home from the Workshop with a carrier bag full. Really. I do not want to invoke jealousy, I want you to share my joy, and possibly what will eventually turn into my pain. So here's the story. (And you know me - I can't make a long story short!)

Annually, for more than a handful of years, I and a friend have staged a 'Card Making Marathon'. Hire a hall, make 20 cards and then supply materials and instructions for a bunch of people to copy 'em. Like a workshop but on a grander scale, lasts longer and for some, a slight time pressure to get lots done. This year for Christmas, I wasn't going to do a Marathon; my access to 'fresh' stamps severely curtailed by foolishly losing a job and my own collection of Christmas stamps severely curtailed by erm, not wanting to use the same old same old. But, friends who like to do the Marathon came up with the idea of lending me stamps. 'So what' they said, if they weren't bang up to date, making the cards using stamps you may not otherwise come across will be great. So, I was flattered into having a run at it. And of course, I spoke to Lady Nurse about it. She rummaged through 2 of her 6 boxes of Christmas stamps (I've talked about her collection here, it's very impressive) and 'lent' me a bag full of stamps to make a start with. A start?! Most of them are unused and Lady Nurse generously would like ideas for them and doesn't mind that in a Marathon environment they'll get a bit used. Mucky, even. I hope you're starting to get a deeper understanding of why I cherish the crafting community. So, I'm as fickle as a fickle thing on fickle day then really - gimme something new and my mojo gets fired up. Although I think this may only apply to rubber stamps. I'll have to report back about the effect of new paper; am fairly sure that I let that sit awhile before I force myself to use it. Maybe that's because it's finite. But with stamps, well, I could go on forever. As you are starting to realise!

Thursday, 17 September 2009

It's that time..

Do you know, I cannot, for the life of me, work out where I took this picture! How very peculiar. Anyhoo, it's a sign, and I thought you might like to help me out.
These cards, and 2 others are today's workshop. This is not a good thing for me - set aside the early Christmas thing for a minute, I can't deal with that on anyone's behalf, let alone my own. Try this. Traditionally, the first Christmas card workshop of the year for me signals the end of the Workshop schedule that I've been committed to. It means that Shopkeeper Gal in particular wants me to come up with a bunch more ideas and sessions for workshops. Now don't get me wrong, I'll do this to the day I die, I love it. It's my social life too, so a double win win win win thing. But whaddya think? In amongst all the hysteria of Christmas preparations, should I offer something vaguely autumnal or just good old wintery? If you took a workshop at this time of year, what you like to do? The workshops will be mostly cardmaking with a handful of 'projects' like the pegs (shown yesterday)and things that could make good presents if you can part with them. Do you prefer techniques? Stamping or using mostly papers and embellishments? Seasonal or not bothered? Themed in any way? Oh, and of course, don't even think about Anya or Magnolia, please!

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

IIWA Really? What's on Your Workdesk Wednesday?

You see I know it's Wednesday today because when I got up I went through my total morning routine, which included putting the recycling out for the 'alternate weekly' collection. I remarked to Miss Dunnit, who was just about to leggit for the bus, how wholesome a housewife I am, washing on, breakfast eaten, dishwasher loaded and I'm the only one in the close to have got the recycling out by 8.15. Hugely smug, yes. But wholesome too, surely? Well, I was - until Miss Dunnit pointed out that no-one else puts their recycling out 24 hours early. Dammit, I thought it was Thursday! Weird huh, given my weekly appointment with your desks/worksurfaces/rooms. I love Wednesdays!
Having said all of that, I can't show you my whole desk today - it's covered in stuff for 2 Scrap Ladies which has to remain semi-secret for now. So how about a glimpse of what I did yesterday. It's basking in the spotlight (literally) of my new lamp. Because of an 'Energy Aware' campaign at Homebase, the spotlight bulb is a frightfully eco-friendly affair that will last me a minimum of five years. It had better, young man. It cost more than the bloody lamp! Sorry, digression. The big peg (for that's what it is, coated in lime green acrylic paint and then had Anita's candle transfers applied down the left edge. (Also down the centre back, but I didn't photo that!). The transfers are a breeze to use..cut them to size first though...once on they're a bit fragile under the knife and tend to rip when softened. The chipboard letters are from old un-matching stash, embossed in brown 'Espresso' I think, powder. The best part for me was discovering that the cropadile will punch a hole through the thinner could go mad with ribbon! And the other nice thing about this peg is that it has a twin when naked - I love two packs. So I turned the other one upside down to use as a photo holder. No paint here, just a rough rubbing with an inkpad and some scraps and snips. It's for Miss Dunnit's boyfriend see, we feel he deserves a big ol' picture of her. And his name starts with O. We like to call him the Big O. Because it makes him blush. But really, he's very tall, especially among Dunnits!
So come on then - What's On Your Workdesk this Wednesday? Grab a button from the margin if you want to - either way though, show us your craft surface, untidied and in all it's glory. Leave a comment/link and we'll trot round to your place!

Monday, 14 September 2009


I made this last night; it's a Jacob's Ladder album. I fell across the instructions here on Split Coast Stampers. I've been getting around to having a crack at this for simply ages and as you can see, I've used the lovely Cosmo Cricket Christmas papers. I can't show you how it tips and turns - that would require vlogging (video blogging) and you just know I'm not capable of going there. So just take my word for it. It works fine. And it's useless as an album in my opinion. Because of course, you can't cover the string/ribbon with anything or it interferes with the mechanism, and you don't wanna stick stuff behind the ribbons, it'll be barely visible and might look like you've put people behind bars! I'm not normally so literal or bothered by detail, but this is quite in your face as a mechanism, huh! So, I've done it. Now I'm gonna unpick it and use it for something else. Obviously, it will be some sort of 3" mini book. And it'll make better use of the two fab papers. It's not that I wasted a couple of hours or the papers don't show or in fact, that I don't think it's a very useless but lovely thing. The hmmmph is because I didn't see it coming and frankly, looking at my photos, you can, huh?
Sorry about the sideways photo, am so not up to arguing with Blogger about it!

Saturday, 12 September 2009

Great minds....

The other day I referred to a trip round the craft shop - I bought some Christmas papers and card stock. Well that's not all I bought of course. Have you ever had that experience where you spot something you'd like very much, but you just don't need it and can't justify it? That was me, probably as long ago as Christmas last year when I spotted this album and the choice of page protectors - full page or divided for just photos or photos and journalling - whatever you like. Well, when this happens to you, do you ever find yourself subconsciously or otherwise creating a 'need' for whatever it is? I have to say this is not altogether uncommon for me, but I also have to admit that I know it's because I'm spoilt. However, I've been incredibly grown up about this album and waited until I needed another. And that day arrived and so I've got it. I'm attracted to the idea of mixing the divided pages with whole pages (this is hardly radical, but stay with me). For example, I have done (and you have suffered witness) to about 6 Prom layouts. I still have photos but they don't justify whole LOs to me (my cherub isn't in them, they're very close to the ones I've scrapped, I'm in them - you know). But I don't want to consign them to the file of unused photos never to be seen again, and some of them even deserve some journalling, so this is the perfect answer for me. I'm very happy that not only have I waited, but the wait has been an inspiring one. Now that, dear interweb is delayed gratification. I don't love the concept, but I appreciate the result.
So the reason this post is called 'Great Minds'? Well, that Helen Miles talent has discovered the very same page protectors and come up with her own idea for using them. Again, very happy to associate myself with this coincidence if I possibly can!

And actually, just to blow the whole delayed gratification theory out of the water, look at this bad boy. I bought it yesterday in Ikea, it was £8.99. (Well, 9.69 really - did you know they charge 70p for a credit card transaction?!)Clamps to the table - here you see it swung away from the table - just showing off! Am really pleased with it. Of course, I didn't pick up a bulb for it, so there is some delay in my gratification after all. I hear the distant splash as the theory comes back from launching and safely touches water!

Friday, 11 September 2009


Thanks to a goodybag of undeserved treats from Paige, this layout of Miss Dunnit's post-prom first rose came together in about 5 minutes flat. Don't you just love it when that happens. And don't you just love that printed sticky note? The sort of stash that once was stationery - the reason a lot of us wander around Staples and WH Smith with our minds in alert state 'total'. I used Basic Grey Wisteria - BG is a thing for me, like Linda said about the Magnolias and Tildas in her post on Wednesday - it's a marmite thing. I either love or don't like at all the BG releases. Sadly for my financial situation, I love more than I don't! It was no reach for me then, to opt to use BG as my base kit for the 2 Scrap Ladies event. It works with everything for me. I expect other lines would too, but I get tunnel vision! Linda also asked if I could show some of the papers I bought yesterday, and because Blogger is happy to oblige, so am I:

The middle shot is the reverse of the Basic Grey and the end picture is the Cosmo Cricket...don't ask me why I didn't upload the photo of the backs. I don't know. It could be my terrible memory or the speed at which I'm being made to do things this evening. Miss Dunnit and I went back to Ikea today. To buy the things we'd seen last time and thought we could live without. She's all excited now that Mr Dunnit's home, there's more stuff to build! I have insisted on allowing time for another gourmet supper before they start though, so now they're champing at the bit and here I sit, typing like fury.

See this? One of five that are for sale. In their original state plus dust. £18 each plus UK P&P which will be the up to three kilo standard parcel rate of £7.06. Let me know if you're interested - email me from the button in the margin.

Oh and PS: more blogging over at 2 Scrap Ladies, if you're interested!

Thursday, 10 September 2009

It's too early, but it's seasonally imperative

So today, I spent a goodly hour or so, browsing the considerable (already, my life) Christmas stock at Kraft Crazy, my LSS. I've been threatening to do this since I realised that the Workshop schedule has me listed to conduct an ease-you-into-the-idea-of-making-Christmas-cards workshop this month. I've actually finally put the cards for that together, but future workshops really ought to feature current papers and product, donchafink? And I'm terribly easily distracted when trying to think forward while looking at products - I'd so much rather chat, and the shop is such a good place to do that! Anyway, I've bought some new stamps, a lot of cards (4 cards each per workshop, 12 people on average, so it takes a few!) and a clutch of papers. The papers incidentally are from two opposing styles - some Basic Grey Eskimo Kisses and some from Cosmo Cricket's retro range, for me, the hands down winner so far. But it's only September. Actually, that's kinda my point here. It's September. Set aside the fact that we make the season last 4 months, it's too commercial, blahdy blah. What I mean's too early. The cards I make now will, I hope, be seasonally appropriate, nice and some even stunning - you never know. But believe me, the cards I make in December, when the season itself is upon us and I'm rushed off my feet with erm, something or other, will in my opinion be nicer - better, even -and certainly more festive. Is this just me? Is it the spirit of the season, the mood I'm in, the need to be speedy that leaves no time for artistic agony, or is it just plain emotion that tints everything with a slightly spanglier glittery warm extra skill? I dunno. But it happens every year. Make a mental note to watch this space - I'll have a trail of pictures to show you and in December, you can tell me the answer. If you've even understood that I think I may have been asking a question in here somewhere. Cor, aren't you glad you can't hear me!

Look, the WOYWW thing yesterday was just so much fun - I have never visited so many desks, and really, as Carmen said, the voyeur in me was grinning, big time! Thanks for joining in and inviting us to yours. Come on back y'all!

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

What's On Your Workdesk, then?

The light's a bit lacking this morning, but this is my desk as at five minutes ago. Untouched from last night, so a total shambles really! A mix of diary, notebook and paperwork centre-stage betray the paperwork type stuff I did just before bed. Because it was needed today, obviously. The near end is the basket of stamps that need is full to the point of being useless, so I may well clean them today. The rack of cards on the right are Christmas cards for a workshop...I didn't deliberately turn them to face the other way but they should be a secret for now. I gave myself a talking to about doing them yesterday afternoon and found it quite inspiring. I did two! Just on top of my Union Jack tin (an ambitious size - it holds my Nestabilities dies) is a tidy tray with a pot of sliver glitter in it..much in use yesterday. That and the sun - blinding! Last but not least, the box of scraps at the back right of the picture - and some people ask why I don't save offcuts after workshops and things. Really, I have enough.
My 'to do' list today includes sussing out ebay as a seller - I have a handful of printer's tray/drawers to get rid absolute raw state, but if you have an interest, 'contact me'. And then I'm going to do some more Christmas cards. A plan, and it's already lunchtime!
Show us your wordesk then - you don't need to be brave, it's just interesting to see your work zone. If you like the idea, join us every Wednesday - leave a comment or link here so we can come and have rummage! There's a WOYWW button in the left margin ifyou'd like to add it to your blog - Annie made it. Clever, huh.

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

If all else fails...

.....fiddle about with a couple of challenges. After all, haven't I got a list of things 'to do' that leaves no time for fiddling about? Yes indeed. What the hell. The sun, magnified by the window, is not helping my Christmas cards workshop for sure! Actually, nor is it helping my need to sleep, but that's possibly because I should open it and let in some fresh air. Or move.
This card is for the Daring Cardmakers challenge this week. I used to have several sunflower stamps, including the most famous botanical by PSX. But alas and alack, they are long gone to a flea market and therefore new owners. So I rummaged through my diminishing stash and found this pewter adhesive embellishment. By Magenta, about 8 years ago I expect. At the time, they were a fiver a pair and they were expensive. Which is why I didn't use them. And in order to use it today, I filled it with holographic gold glitter and daubed on some stickles. It's as close to a Sunflower as I can get. Call it an 'interpretation', I'm sure it will suddenly look very arty and sunflower-ish. The background stamp is, by the way, one of my most used, most favourite text stamps ever in the whole world. A Stamp in The Hand. I think any stamper who likes text should have one, by law.

And this card is actually all about the inchy, for the challenge over at Fiona's. The theme is 'Asia', and so here are my excuses for this one too: I don't do asian, all too gentle and thoughtful for me really. But I love this Penny Black bird image - largely because I've always thought that it could have been painted in that sinlge stroke style that the Chinese calligraphers favour. Anyway, because I don't want a pile of inchies lying around - because that's a pile of 1 inch pieces of card waiting to go in the bin - I made it straight into a card. And let me immediately say that although the inchy is erm, an inch square, the final card is 4" square. Just so the Lady Nurse doesn't think I've been a nimble fingered genius. I'm saving that moment for something else. I think.

Oh Lordy, edited here at 7.21pm: there's been a change over at 2 Scrap Ladies, the date and location - please view!!

Monday, 7 September 2009

I did end up with five newly finished LOs yesterday, so prepare to be bored rigid by Prom! This LO is on a piece of Coredinations and all the frou-frou stuff and patterend papers are K & Co. The quote printed on vellum is from a sleeve of friendship quotes I bought from Miss America; she is a CM rep round these parts.
You know, since I posted yesterday and asked what you thought about the Peel Offs, I've done some thinking myself. I've also done bathroom cleaning, window cleaning, hoovering, kitchen duties and fretting. And I talked to my lovely Mother on the phone for ages. The thinking was a good distraction then really! The fretting was over Miss Dunnit's first day at College. She left home a slightly shy and nervous teen, but literally swaggered in this evening, empowered and full of her own potential. How marvellous. Really, I did think that - as I was emptying the laundry bin for the second time today, feeling like I was fulfilling my potential!
Anyway, Peel Offs. Some of you commented that you have or do use them a lot on cards that you sell; they are popular after all. Working smart is what that's called. After all, if people want 'em, use 'em! I tend to go for the numbers and alphabets, and I'm attracted to some teeny words on sheets when I see them. I'm certainly not unknown for using word Peel Offs - what I'd like ideally, is for them to be made of a more matte material. But I don't tend to buy pictures, images. That's mostly because I have 3 billion stamps and all the embossing equipment a girl could need. If I need an image, my first thought is always for a stamp - it usually wouldn't occur to me to look for a Peel Off. My prejudice is rooted in my past - when I had the shop, (and I'm sure that for the price, this probably is still applicable) selling a sheet of Peel Offs with 30 christmas greetings on meant a tiny contribution to cash turnover. Selling the same greeting on a stamp would actually render me a tiny profit. So when the Peel Off explosion began, I lost stamp sales. It may no longer be logical, but I'm pretty sure that's the reason I think I don't like them! That and way back we had a discussion about using die cut kits to make cards and calling it 'craft'; I have a sneaking feeling that I think Peel Offs may be cheating. And one last reason - over-use. Borders, corners and a central image and text, all on one card - too shiney for me. Although, as you've seen and will continue to see, I'm happy to cheat when it's all about my advantage!

Oh and I forgot yesterday to say that one of the Scrap Ladies has posted a sneak peek montage - now you work out which technically minded Scrap Lady that would be!!

Sunday, 6 September 2009

Well, after all that..

Did I whinge a little on Friday? Just a bit! Well it was justified. Remember, I can be a drama queen - the 'grief and trouble' wasn't life threatening or panic inducing, it just caused me to whinge. Again. But really, after all that grief and trouble, I didn't even go to the crop! Grr. It's a long story, punctuated by domestic coincidences that don't bear repeating, even on this blog, which is a miracle. Anyway, I did some scrapping at home instead, not the same, but at least once I'd unpacked my bag, it could stay unpacked. I did even more today actually, spurred on I think, by the reducing pile of papers and photos that I can finally move off my desk. They've been there since my experiment at working on more than one LO at a time. A couple I just needed to finish and three more I've re-shaped, re-modelled and finished. Cool. Much less to whinge about now! What do you think of the Peel Off alphabet I've used on the LO above? I'm not a fan of Peel Offs and so of course found my stamping moral high ground a little bit challenged when I found these...because I'm an alphabet junkie and it is my life's work to collect and use them in any form. I quite like the graphic-ness of them....I think because they're white and not too in my face - I have a sheet in black too, but they're a bit shiny and well, in my face! Time will tell.
And, just by way of friendliness, I'd like you to meet my friend Helen. If you read Creativity Life! or are a GoGo subscriber/follower or nosey onlooker like me, you'll recognise her immediately. For me, the most gifted scrapper in the UK. No doubt. She's just started her blog (a bit shy and not quite believing what I say about her, see and why should she!). Visit her, see for yourself, form your own opinion. Indeed, do what I do and plan to 'lift' every one of her LOs!

Friday, 4 September 2009

Today's Lesson...........

Oh for heaven's sake! My workroom is bathed in sunlight, I take one, ONE photograph before the camera battery runs out and it's so dark it looks like the card isn't even white. Man, it sums up today. Well, anyway this card is one of the 'Using Acetate' workshop cards - the acetate is of course the flower, I borrowed an idea from Ann the mad scientist and roughly painted the acetate in the dry brush technique and then punched flowers from it. It went down rather well..I hope you like it too - pretend that the poor photography with the conicidental spot of sunlight is entirely intentional.
I see that Shimelle is running another scrapbooking course and lots of you are doing it and that is entirely lovely and even commendable. I'm not. I'm still less than half way through another of her courses and I'm sure if she knew she'd be ashamed of me. But my goodness me, today, I have a lesson learned that is so appropriate to the course that it's almost painful to relay and as you can tell, has altered my mood.
Tomorrow is Crop day here in Ludgershall. I love it. We open at 10.30 and at 11 one of us guides a 'lesson session'. It's great, everyone who wants to has been told during the previous fortnight what they'll need and had a butcher's at a sample LO. It's a good start to a Crop, most of us make at least one LO on the day because of it! I am the transmitter of Crop emails and blah, so I've known almost as long as the Slipper Lady, (who is our LO designer this month) what I'll need in terms of photos and papers. So naturally, I've selected a group of photos that reflect a lovely day out and will look lovely together on a multi-photo single page LO. And naturally, I've got papers in my mind, because I'm on a mission to use up some of my not inconsiderable stash. Naturally therefore, after spending some time re-sizing, playing with templates and the such, I can't get the pictures to print. As at now, I've tried 8 kerjillion times and now I'm running out of time because I have to unpack from last night, re-pack for tomorrow, kit up the other pages I plan to do and make some cookies. Oh, and Miss Dunnit's social life kicks in tonight and means we'll be alone this evening, so Mr Dunnit is threatening a cinema trip, so I haven't even got all evening to faff about with this either. It's so frustrating, thank goodness I've got time to whinge. Worse though, it's humilating to admit the lesson I've learned is a familiar one of course - don't leave it all to the last minute. And in the words of the exquisitely voiced Joan Baez - it's a lesson too late for the learning...!

Thursday, 3 September 2009

Well, it looks better in real life! The sun ain't no friend of acetate (or window panes actually, but fortunately you can't see that!) This is one of today's workshop cards - Using acetate. I'm gonna pass on a couple tips about this, forgive me if I'm boring or teaching you to suck eggs!

1. When you have to score acetate to make a crease, resist the temptation to break the surface with a scalpel - it will, when overworked, end up in two pieces - or worse, swinging half off like a broken pub sign. Better - use a score board/scor-pal or ruler and an embossing stylus to create a channel, then use the bone folder to force the crease. Experiment: over working the crease will 'scar' the plastic - and the crease will end up a white line. Blurgh.

2. I like to use Brillance inks on acetate - the glycerine pigment base gives a good definite image, but I must say I do avoid using stamps with large areas of solid - the acetate either doesn't take the ink or the smallest speck of dust sits in the middle of the inked area looking like a huge mistake! Rather, use nice generous outline images. Be brave, it's like stamping onto ice the first time - just be steady and lift the stamp clean off!

3. Get over the acetate. By which I mean: you could spend 3 times as long keeping it clean and speck free whilst making the card. Easiest by far to work on it, and clean it up afterwards. Some of you will faint if I say just wipe it vigourously with the hem of your t shirt, but it is perfect material. Teeny amounts of Stazon cleaner will remove unwanted glue snot etc.

4. Get over the acetate. At some point, some glue will show. I actually found in gluing the patterned paper onto the 'card' above that my glue pen did a great job and because it's a fairly heavy pattern, it doesn't show at all. But, if it has to show, a small dab of diamond glaze or glossy accents showing through at the back isn't exactly going to kill anyone!
5. Unless you feel the need to waste your life, punish yourself and make friends with a bag of talcum powder and the smallest paintbrush in the world, don't bother embossing on the acetate. Set aside the need to remember to find and use the heat proof acetate and focus on the mind numbing static quality of the stuff. Aaaagh.

This bunch of lovely stash was delivered to my door yesterday. A gift. An unsolicited gift - how incredibly thoughtful is that? As thoughtful as undeserved, for sure. Thank you to Paige, my Ladybird friend. I love all of it. It was also a really fab consolation prize for the family holiday day that well, wasn't. Although actually, we did spend it together, so that was a bonus really. We finished the assembly of the Ikea furniture for Miss Dunnit's room. She is insanely pleased with it, we are insanely pleased that it's all over and I'm insanely pleased that she's busy moving back in with a deal of enthusiasm. Do not burst my bubble about how long it'll stay nice and tidy and blah. I'm not ready. And by the way, Mr Dunnit is on holiday again today. And he's mending the shower today. It's all good. Really!

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

IIWA? What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday

For reasons probably to do with September being the back to work month and all that, I was actually awake when Mr Dunnit got up this morning. So after a twenty minute lie-in, I got up too. You see, after you've been married for a lifetime, you know that a tiny kitchen and two freshly awake adults, one who drinks tea and one who gags at the smell of it first thing, one who has sandwiches to make and one who just wants a large coffee and to unload the dishwasher and one who wants to watch ESPN Sport on the TV over breakfast and one that, at best, wants to listen to some news radio; you learn to leave a gap, give each other space, not tread on the toes of a well established morning routine. Now that, interweb, is a life tip. If you have the luxury of being able to stagger your morning routine.
Anyway, I collected my huge coffee and found Mr Dunnit watching a film we'd decided to record from last night. At ten past eight, I pointed out the time and expressed concern at the possibility that at least a handful of people would be waiting for him to open up. Not so, he tells me. He's taken the day off. And that is why tomorrow's workshop preparations are done and lined up on my desk. I haven't moved quite so fast for, well, all of the holiday period to be honest. Now the holidays are over, he's having a whole day off and I don't want to waste it at home. There are dead people's homes to be visited, seaside walks to consider and pub lunches with Pimm's to savour. (Please allow me the illusion of time travel so we can squash all this in - remember, today is my family holiday.)
So my desk is really quite tidy and actually not very interesting. But if you squint, you might be able to see this:
Yes, it's an inchie! I did it for a challenge that my friend Fiona runs. Hearts are SU! stamped and coloured with my Ciaos (sorry to be boring). A small piece of acetate (an inch square, actually) is stamped with Hero Arts ziz zag stitches and the two held together with a heart shaped eyelet. The theme of the challenge is not hearts. It's stitches. But even inchies take practice!

Oh and re 2 Scrap Ladies - if you're interested in this all day event, I do urge you to look at your map - in a couple of cases this week, interested parties who live 2 counties away have discovered that it's probably a journey of only an hour or so - I promise it will be worth an early Sunday start! For example, I can (using motorways) reach the NEC from here in just under 2 hours and Bournemouth and the New Forest coast area in jsut over 1. If you're interested, don't rule it out before investigating!

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

I'm old enough to know when I'm 'behaving' Old

Just so you know, I'm not going to bang on about new academic years, new and fresh horizons and new anything actually. I'd rather like to hang on to my false wish for an Indian Summer and not consider the 'moving on' feeling that a change of season always produces. Don't worry - I'm not being morose or difficult, I'm sure I'll make some new year resoultions, but right now, I'm feeling too old to be bouyed up by any sense of new-ness; generally this is not a feeling to which I succumb, so it's all feeling odd. You'll understand why when you read 'my day so far': I put the calendar page together this morning in about 10 minutes flat - I had dates for this month that I need the family to see and I somehow managed to bypass the fact that I hadn't actually done the LO until I got up this morning! It's not the greatest calendar page by any means, but I'm cheered by the colour and amazed at what necessity caused me to do! Then we went to College this morning, for Miss Dunnit to enrol. It was interesting; all human life was represented in that College this morning. I rejoice utterly in the freedom of self expression, but I've seen tattoos, piercing and 'unusual' haircuts in huge numbers this morning, and I'm ashamed to say that I caught myself gawping a couple of times and wondering if the holes and pictures will look even vaguely nice or interesting in thirty years -not cool! Interesting for me was seeing parents that I met 10 years ago at Brownies that I haven't seen since. Wouldn't have recognised their offspring if my life depended on it, but thankfully, us parents are relatively unchanged over a decade! Interesting too that having been efficient enough to write to us with a fairly specific time to enrol (Surnames A to D from 9.45am), we were a bit shocked to find that the student records were not in alphabetical order and as each student stepped up to the table, five members of staff started scrabbling through massive piles to put together relevant files. Blimey. What a waste of five people's time (and, to be honest, my will to live). Miss Dunnit had a chat and 'grades check' with two young women who lecture in two of her chosen subjects. They were warm and friendly and enthusiastic and all I could do was wish that the young woman wearing the 8 chunky bangles would stop waving her arms about and clanking like the ghost of Jacob Marley. It was definitely an age-ist response - and that's entirely natural - I think their combined age was probably less than mine.