Friday, 29 January 2010

Get a cuppa,

and do what I did last night...........nothing particularly shocking but oh my, well overdue; and I'm guessing it's the same for the majority of scrapbook and journal crafters.
I'm conducting a Workshop tomorrow morning and wanted to take a couple of my scrapbook pages with me in an amateur attempt to illustrate what we're going to be doing. I have, since about 2003, amassed all of 4 completely full albums and I have another couple with LOs in that I did for product demo purposes and so haven't quite got my head round whether they are really 'mine'!
We are all our own worst critic I'm sure, and although lots of us blog lots of the things that we make, I think we are all still relatively modest. It's a nice thing. So imagine trying to pick just a couple of LOs to have to show off. It forces you to look deep into the abyss of your collection I can tell you! And guess what? I really enjoyed myself. The lovelies were in the same room watching TV and eventually had to give in and join me in the exclamations and 'remember this' type remarks. Truly, I've scrapped, looked at the page for a few minutes, possibly photographed it to put on this blog and then put it in an album, and I can't remember the last time I looked through them. I've flicked impatiently through one or other album looking for something in particular to show (as at Christmas when Miss Dunnit's Godparents wanted to see the Prom layouts). Set aside the massive differences in your 'style' then and now, and the creeping use of embellishments and computer aided stuff, that's another post entirely. It was a pleasure, and collectively, we enjoyed the re-visiting of some really special stuff, and perhaps for me, more importantly, we laughed at some very everyday stuff too. The power of scrapbooks. Somewhat diluted if you don't look over them once in a while. Make a resolution to do it this weekend. Go on. Have a lovely time.
The card - made with Papermania papers and stamps from Stampington & Co.

Thursday, 28 January 2010

Two states of shock

Here's the first state of shock: I've been slightly up against it this week in terms of desk time, and what do I manage? Not the printing or instructions for a workshop this weekend, and certainly not the mini album project sample for my friend Janet at Japonica in Exmouth. Not the correct number of tree cards to make up a workshop. No. Instead, a challenge card for Christmas. And that despite the fact that I have nothing stamp or image wise to meet the criteria (Gingerbread). So I had to cut out and draw my own. Don't look too closely - I think they're a little manic! Anyway, the card goes into the collection that will save me hours in December (!) and Susie and Vikki's challenge is the erm, richer, for another entry!

And so to the second shock: If you're a regular visitor here, you'll know about Wednesday and WOYWW and the sort of blog hop it causes. It's lovely, and getting lovelier, frankly. I'm in a state of shock over yesterday though - 58 comments meant about 54 desks to visit - and all very interesting to me. It is a great opportunity to 'pimp' your blog, and we all love visitors and comments - well I do - so keep it in the spirit of the circlecultthing, huh? It's fun, it's a bit crazy and it doesn't matter at all. The only membership card is the button you can pick off here and you don't get a might pick up some customers but mostly and more importantly, you're likely to stumble on a friend. This blogging thing. Shocking good!

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday

Taken in the dark this morning, so not a bad attempt I think! As you can see, I've been playing with the Basic Grey papers 'Origins'. I love 'em. But as usual, they scare me to death. I love the double sided-ness - especially as a lot of them have grids and blocks on and I'm a sucker for anything office-y. I'm not sure there's much else of interest to be honest - a new set of stamps (for me) by Kanban of all people, and the image on the card-in-progress is one of far so nice. You can see my patterned paper scrap box at top left. Again, since I stopped throwing them in flat and have them all standing up nicely, they are much easier to flick through and access and so are being relatively well used - very well used if you consider the lack of use because of the previous storage option. Now, Shopkeeper Gal has suggested we swing our cameras a bit, and show our top drawers next week as well. I will. But only if you will too. And of course, by top drawer, I mean another part of your working the sofa, Ann!
'This is where I'm going with the green cord'
If you joined the WOYWWers last week, you'll know a little about this fabric project already. Of course, my gifted and waaaay more patient sister Stephanie seems to be winning in the organised sibling stakes too. This was waiting in the inbox this morning for WOYWW. I'm impressed. At the organisation sure, but hugely and mostly at the colour-the-cord-yourself-and-then-go-to-the-trouble-of-sewing-it-around-the-existing-patterns. Wow, that Steph sure got the patience gene!

Join the madness then, so we can all trot around and see what you're currently working on. And what you've got. And how tidy you are. These seem to be the three things we all like to find out about each other! Photo your surface, put it on your blog (with a disclaimer if you feel it's untidy!) and leave a comment here. Then put the kettle on. Quite a few of us will be around for a rummage! There's a button in the left side bar if you want to go public as a member of this circlecultthing!

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Celebrating the difference

What's not to like about a workshop or a crop? A couple of hours, half a day, or if you're lucky, a full day to try something, product, technique, style that you might not otherwise try.
Immerse yourself in a crafty community for a while, meet new people, paint, cut, stick, chat. And coffee, tea and biscuits sometimes. It's all good.
So recently and locally, I did this 'decorating the jumbo peg' workshop - if you visit here even vaguely regularly, you'll have seen a few of them. There was a point before Christmas when I couldn't stop doing them - and they made great stocking fillers!

These pegs were made by some of the workshopeers. And ultimately, this is what I love about an unstructured 'project' based workshop. Everyone has access to the same stuff, paper, products, blahdy blah, and yet everyone comes up with something different. I love that. And frequently I find it a further inspiration. The aqua coloured paint for example, really set alarms off for some retro ideas, not necessarily pegs, and it hadn't occurred to me to use black paint as a foil for those perfect epoxy stickers. Once the decision to keep or give away the peg was made, we all used different messages. I made another during the course of the morning that used small foam alpha stickers, and because it was finally destined for my workroom, it says 'do this'. I don't want to be too polite to myself, any excuse to procrastinate! There were several pegs that ended up saying 'do it'. And I encouraged those gals to put 'do' and it' on separate don't want to squash it on and have some smart-arm asking what a 'doit' is, do you!
Lynn, in a timely message, was telling me about a gift catalogue that's selling regular wooden pegs covered with a strip of paper. Once again, craft life becomes real life. I love that.
Photos were taken with my if that's an excuse for them not even being up to my usual bad standard. Miss Dunnit tells me that my phone (I use it to text, make calls and take the odd photo in that order) is a better MP3 player than most on the market - apparently, the ability to text and phone from it is secondary to its other functions. They ought to come up with one that has a built in photographer if they're so damn clever then, huh!

Monday, 25 January 2010

The thing is..

These pages are from the 12 of 16 - really appreciate all your comments about it, I must say, you made me feel very noble about something I started without much forethought! It's a teeny album (6x6), so it feels like I'm doing loads at a time - you'll be sick of them soon!
I'm easing myself into a week of being away from my desk more than I'll be able to sit at it. And I know two things will come from this. One : I'll be uber inspired, everywhere I look there'll be ideas; architecture will prove to me that patterns that don't match can still go together, the strange decor of public buildings will give me colour inspiration and I'll come up with a handful of the best ideas I've ever had for workshops, crop challenges and the like. And Two: I'll be mega efficient when I can get to my desk, I hope. See, I'm not a night bird, I cannot complete a busy day and then stay up all night because I'm inspired. That doesn't work for me - I've tried. I had that romantic notion about artists working alone in cold garrets, lonely but creative. Well, what happens is that I spend ages getting ready to be an artist - tidying, making a cuppa, finding a decent CD or radio station to keep me company. Then I get cold and fidgety and nothing even vaguely crafty happens, so I have to go to bed. It's better, really, because it means that I'm not over sensitive and whining all of the following day!
So me and my notebook are stepping out. I've learned to make proper notes too - if I want my inspiration to be of any use to me back in my work room, I need to be able to read my own writing and have more than one stupid word to remember the idea from. I'm not after inspiring prompts here, I'm going to be penning the full on descriptions. Wish me luck. And ask to see the results in a handful of months!

Friday, 22 January 2010

Read these numbers

There's a bunch of really great sounding, year long scrapbook 'classes' available online at the moment; the turn of the year always brings these and this year there seems to be a trend towards using numbers instead of words for a title. Me likeee. And in the true tradition of my position as 'follower', I've started this here mini album and imaginatively entitled it '12 of 16'. Bit of background then? Hell yes, this is me doing the typing! I am one of four sisters and we lived abroad with parents who believed in the joy of travel - there must have been kerjillions of photos. But tragedy struck and on one of many house moves back in the day, a crate containing albums photos and keepsakes was lost. It was probably on a ship in a container with crates belonging to other families, containing much more important stuff, but for us it has proven a real loss. Anyway, to counter that, and because digital photography has drastically reduced the cost of such lunacy, I encourage Miss Dunnit to take a camera (and use it) whenever she's out and about with chums.
And generally she does. So this little album will show some of the silly and lovely shots that she's taken over her sixteenth year. I'm mostly using Basic Grey's Sugar Rush (because I like it) and will keep journalling (by me) to a minimum. When I told her what I planned, Miss Dunnit was as usual, luke warm about me using her photos, doing another album, blah blah...but since I finished a couple pages and she can see the sort of direction of it, she likes it! She might even do some journalling herself. But don't hold your collective breath on my behalf. 'Might' and 'in a minute' are added to anything I ask of her these days! Have a good weekend.

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Through the Window Thursday

No really, I'm kidding. I just thought that as Carmen picked up on my idle threat yesterday, it would be fun to announce it. It's not going to happen - photos of my car parked outside the house or of the back garden showing off its lack of attention every week, nah - not exactly thrillsville, huh, and certainly no allowance for nosiness and rummaging on your desks! At this morning's workshop, prompted by me of course (it is all about me, after all), we had quite a discussion about work desks/spaces. My friends Mrs Precision and The Colonial were there. Shopkeeper Gal too of course, we were in her shop after all. She pointed out that The Colonial has a lot of stuff. A lot. Too much for the spare room; the garage has become her craft room storage facility. Well, I celebrate that....that's an impressive amount of stuff. Even if it takes a lifetime to use, it's still lovely to have it, isn't it! So there we were chattering about working spaces and another friend who used to craft at her dining table. And would religiously tidy, put away, clean and hoover after each session to restore her dining room to its customary precision state. This lady has, over the years, chastised all of us for being untidy; I swear her favourite part of the workshop is the bit at the end when she grabs cups to wash up and starts emptying bins. Anyway, turns out that relatively recently, Chatty Woman moved her stash into the spare bedroom, set up her desk and started to craft. And now her desk looks like most of ours; she's working on a space roughly the size of a large cutting mat and is surrounded by the 'stuff' that she's using. And then she leaves it like that. Because she can. I'm not scoffing or point scoring here - (well, OK, maybe some points please) but it turns out that given the opportunity, most of us are like that. Mrs Precision summed it up perfectly: she said it's the 'real comfort zone'. Totally.

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday

In a move of uncharacteristically impressive organisation, I can show you a transatlantic desk as well as mine, this very morning. It's uncharacteristic of course because I had very little to do with it! This fabric and design laden surface is Stephanie's. It does indeed look as if she's using a permanent marker to colour some cord. The rubber glove and the pen, cord and scratch paper tell me that much. The rest you'll have to surmise, but I'm guessing it has something to so with that magnificent 'tablecloth' we saw last week over at PamKitty's. Just when you thought that life was too short for mushroom stuffing, Sissy Dunnit brings you colouring your own cord! Wow indeed.

And then there's my desk. You can see snow again, it's falling thick and fast this morning, grr. Again Rosie, you can see the green bin....conveniently located by the door and the discarded christmas tree....a hint from one to another in this household that the tree needs to be er, trimmed to fit in the bin! Anyway, that's through the window and I should save that for Thursdays!

My desk is the usual mess after yesterday; no sign of the sewing machine - I set it up elsewhere in the house because I couldn't squeeze anything else onto the surfaces in here! I've added three packets of teeny Papermania buttons to my button jar - do you know that you get less of the polka dot ones in a pack for the same price as you do the plain..really - how cheap is that! SO to get my own back, I will decorate my own from now on with my trusty Signo white pen! Savings of that nature will make a significant impact I'm sure, on my 'Spend Less' intention. Which isn't going so well. You can see my box of Stabilo coloured pens - really nice thin nibs for journalling and drawing stitches on papers. I must say when they run out, they will be replaced, I use them a lot. There's also a bottle of Prima flowers at the back of the desk. In an effort to remind me to use some. I love what everyone does with flowers and I have resolved to try and include them here and there. Until last night, this bottle was all the flowers I own and they are old - the original little flowers, I fell of course, for the packaging and think it was about a year before I could bring myself to break the seal on them bottle! The white card on the glass mat is cut awkwardly because I'd embossed it with a wordy folder and used some of the words as separate little tags. You can just see the makings of a couple of cards, and the paint is part of the fixings for the canvas. I'm not too ashamed of it this week; at least I can, hand on heart, say it's a productive mess!

So it's your turn - leave a comment here and direct us to your blog so we can have a nosey at your workspace. It doesn't have to be a desk, it certainly doesn't have to be tidy! We wanna see what you're doing and what you're using. Make a habit of it and brag about it with the button you can snatch in the left margin - go on, it's harmless and it's free and well, you'll be in quite a large circle!

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

One of 'those' days...

Perhaps it's the stuff I have to do for work, stuff I want to do at my desk, preparations for a birthday supper tomorrow and a pile of laundry, but I've had a motivation-less day today. I have no idea why; I got the silly phone calls and other day to day chores out of the way quite early, so why? Could it be the colour of the day? It's so dull and grey. Still, it can only improve.
When Miss Dunnit was a tot, Grandma HAD to have her to stay overnight every now and again. It still is Grandma's Law. We do not fight this. In those early days though, we used to deliver her, come home and then faff about trying to decide what to do with our unusual free time......and then, finally when we'd decide, it was too late to go anywhere! It's been like that today..I've moved from room to room (kitchen to workroom and back, really) and sort of well, faffed. Not helpful. I've made some stuff though and even finished a tiny canvas in one sitting - which involved getting the sewing machine out! Can't now, but will eventually show it here. Am feeling greatly motivated now though, time to shower and change and get ready for a nice evening out. Do you think subconsciously I've been waiting to do this all day? Gawd. Just thought of that!
Meanwhile, this card made with Papermania Capsule papers and Chatsworth stamps. The birdcage is mounted on gingham vellum which I stamped with a scrolly arty image before laying it over white card. You can't tell, but now you know!
And the Pegs - thanks so much for admiring them - they are 4" high (10cm) x 1" wide (2.5cm) and come in pairs, by Creative Imaginations. Shopkeeper Gal will mail order them if you want her to - ask me, I'll put you in touch.

Monday, 18 January 2010

Gettin on'

Yesterday, Mr Dunnit chose to spend his leisure time working in the attic. Miss Dunnit slept and surfed, in that order. I made a huge and wholesome effort to do some Suzy Homemaker stuff; you know, a family walk, a roast, perhaps some home made cake. But I lost the will when I realised that the two lovelies were too busy to be part of my Stepford dream. So apart from the roast, I did other things, that pleased me more! I have as you know, sort of won the battle of the scraps, and am now on a mission to actually use some, especially the patterned papers - they after all were genuinely saved because I'm more than aware of how much I spend on them before they become 'scrap'.

I ended up, inevitably, tidying and sorting and then ultimately, playing at my desk. No-one seemed to notice, so my weekend guilt levels were in check and I made myself feel altogether justified by making two Christmas cards! Vikki and Susie have a Christmas Challenge blog...they like I, figure that if you make a Christmas card for a challenge every now and then throughout the year, that's a pile less to do when you need them. I like the theory. So far, so good! This is made from Sandylion's Snowflake paper, a cuttlebug folder, a small snowflake stamp by Inkadinkado and a teal inkpad. It will take me longer to get around to cleaning the stamp than it did to make the card, but hey...might not need it till the end of the year!
I like Mondays, 'straighten up and look forward' type days; this is going to be a busy week, not least because my long 'break' is over and my first workshop this year is on Thursday. We're starting with the pegs - bang on trend, Shopkeeper Gal spotted them in one of the mags this very week! (The one on the right is my poor interpretation of the picture she showed me!).
I'm looking forward to it.

Friday, 15 January 2010

Movin' on...

Fiona has recently posted an article on her blog saying that she's stopped crafting, all the stuff is put away and maybe she'll come back to it. She has lots of interests to divert her, after all she's a well rounded personality. But no crafting? Blimey; I've been thinking about that all morning. Sweet Sissy Dunnit once told me that she had turned down the chance to conduct workshops at her local store because she didn't want her hobby to become a pressure - it would spoil it. Fiona has recently given up a Stampin' Up franchise, the pressures of being 'out there', keeping up with samples, literature and finding customers, she says 'got to her'. And if you ain't enjoying something, you should wherever possible, stop or change, huh! So far and after all this time, the only part I don't really like is putting a workshop kit together after I've already done them (last minute bookings) and that's not exactly a reason to stop! When I had the shop, I was happy not to bring stuff home with me to do, it was enough of a creative outlet for me, even if I didn't always have the chance to 'play' with my products. No doubt for me that the crafting is also almost secondary to the community in which I find myself immersed, I love every social aspect of it, some parts of which it took me a while to 'break' into. So I think that's part of why I felt a rush of shock, sadness even, for Fiona's decision. I'm unable to imagine my days without a bit of crafting thrown in, what about you? How long can you go before you have to make something? Big holidays like Christmas sap your strength for a while, sure, but you're still planning and thinking about it aren't ya? Have you ever taken a real break from this paper madness? Fiona's qualified as a Dog Trainer, so it's not like she'll have nothing to do! How interesting.

OK and here's a pedantic PSA. Public Service Announcement. I like an acronym, as y'all know. But it has to be a properly used one. Here's the one that currently drives me mad.
ETA It has, in common usage, two meanings:
Edited To Add or Estimated Time of/to Arrival
It doesn't, hasn't and I can't find evidence that it ever meant anything related to drawing your attention to a matter in the written form. In those cases, NB is the acronym to be used. (Nota Bene, latin for note well, or please note or pay attention to this bit, blah blah). I don't know why I've suddenly started noticing this, and it shouldn't bother me, but it does. Lecture over.

Oh and PS - the card features Basic Grey papers (Sugar Rush) and a stamp by Hero Arts.

Thursday, 14 January 2010

OK, while Vikki and Susie slug it out over the rules of WOYWW, I've made a card to fit their challenge! So suddenly there's challenges that aren't challenging? No, more that the very word 'challenge' makes the boundaries of the old comfort zone start to tighten and twitch and well, you just have to get over it don't you. OK, me. So, points for trying then! So this challenge, at Die Cut Dreams is 'coffee and cream' so you see why I entered, huh! Even managed to put a die cut on it too. Amazing. The stamps are Inkadinkado (owl) and the text from River City Rubber Works. The dotty paper is flocked stuff from Papermania. I'm very bad at remembering to credit images for which I apologise - I just get carried away! (The other image I've been asked about is a Dolly Mama by Penny Black which is on an post earlier this week.)
I want to have a little brag now. I know it's incredibly out of character, so do allow me a couple of lines. I received a lovely gift from Charlie in yesterday's post, loads of rarely seen here embellishments. Rarely seen here because Charlie (and her blog) are Danish. It was a strenuous job, winning this lot: I had to offer comments to her bi-lingual craft posts and then be picked in a draw. Now that's a challenge. Note that it's Charlie who is bi-lingual, not Julia. The hoard includes a gorgeous brass hanging decoration which of course, will be on my christmas tree next year; all my ornaments have a story and this one is possibly more interesting than most. How the interweb unites us. Gotta love that, man. Big thanks Charlie, I think you're terribly clever and a great crafter and I'd say that without my arms full of gifted stash!
Oh and the rules of WOYWW - there are none, of course. But if you want to go to Vikki's, then yep, Susie, pick me up on the way!

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

EARWIGO What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday

EARWIGO again. Geddit? Well it's not a silly acronym at least! Fairly early post for me today, on weather watch for college, so while I'm enjoying my coffee I thought I'd take advantage of the really bad light that the snow is reflecting. So I present my unadulterated, non-photoshop enhanced desk. As I left it last night.

There's a plastic bubble from the new printer cartridge I had to install at about 10pm when I finally decided the subject of the mini album you can see as a work in progress. Well, you can't see much actually, 3 pages under my glasses and the chipboard covers and tabs are conveniently located under the tape and stuff at the right. My mini bin is having some success, so am claiming an intention fulfilled with that one! The papers of course, are from Basic Grey - the Sugar Rush collection pack. I end up with the packs because I simply am unable to decide by the sheet, what I might want. Pathetic huh! My card holder is actually in use too, with a few ideas for a future workshop.

If you'd like to see what Sissy Dunnit has been up to, go look at her photo on this lovely blog: - scroll down a teeny bit, she's pictured next to the 'tablecloth' she's currently sewing. WoW! Just in case you can't tell, she's the one hiding behind the bolt of fabric! How kind of PKM to post in time for WOYWW!

So that's me, what about you today? What's on your workdesk, tray, table, lap, floor? We would very much like to have a nosey; we like to see what you've got that we haven't (unless you're Susie - there's NOTHING left for her to get!). Leave a comment here and we'll whizz round for a rummage. Thanks for sharing. If you like, there's a button to snatch in the left margin. It will kinda mark you out though.

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

The challenge thing...

Well, I've done it. What I couldn't put together over the weekend became a rather quicker thing to do yesterday when I tidied up the lounge. Mr Dunnit and I had been shopping on Sunday (Tesco). To ensure that this romantic, together time isn't too long, Mr Dunnit bought himself a newspaper - he can retire from 'together time' behind a paper without hesitation - his argument will be of course, that he wasn't even aware of anything called 'together time' and that he wasn't avoiding anything, because he didn't know there was anything going on. And I rest my case. A man (this man), cannot seize an opportunity like a woman can - any time we are alone together is precious, huh? So its together time then, which surely is bordering on romance! Now this is not a complaint about him, you can't have him, he's not about to be sacked, no siree. I just thought you'd like to hear about my romantic Sunday. Anyhoo, for reasons of lack of choice and nothing political or vaguely analytical he bought The Independent.And the front page was the kickstart I'd been looking for over the weekend. That's the criteria see, of the challenge over at The Creative Type. You must all be sick to death of blogs with snow pictures on them, but I am duty bound to record this weather; I can't remember the last time we had this much snow in central southern England. And I'm old.
Oh and just to reinforce the image you have of me - Lady Nurse commented yesterday from the photo that I might have been about to clean my scissors - you can see a sachet of extremely good sticky stuff removing thingy. Don't panic everyone...that's been knocking about my desk for so long now I don't even notice it. When I did need to clean my scissors over the holiday, I used the bottle of stuff I keep under the kitchen sink. Slovenly? I prefer ironic!

Monday, 11 January 2010

It's such a challenge..

I always thought that I liked a challenge; unless it involves running a marathon, well OK - leaving my work room, then I've sort of been up for it. I mean the lovely-harmless-not-painful card and scrapbook challenges that can be found all over this section of the interweb. Last week I mentioned that I wanted to do a LO to enter a challenge, and there are a couple of cards I want to have a run at. I've failed dismally at all three this weekend. I can't quite grasp the 'match the criteria and get on with it' thing. I'm fiddling and faffing and assessing whether what I'm doing will fit the 'style' that I associate with particular challenges, or worse, trying to make something that every last person who sees it will like. Impossible! I am in other words, being challenged by the challenges! Isn't that odd. They're entirely voluntary, no-one has to enter and indeed, aren't I the first to stand up and shout about not letting your card making style become generic and crafting to and for your own satisfaction? I think I am. So why the pressure? I do not know. It is ridiculous; it's not as if I enter so many challenges that I'm in some spiral of confusion (well, not over paper craft challenges anyway!). Actually, one of the reasons that I don't enter many, more often none at all, is the number of them out there. I don't have challenge fatigue or anything, but wow, there are a lot now. Ginny used to have a whiteboard to list the days and challenges and deadlines of the ones that she liked to try, and I can see why...Ginny has five children and I am still in awe of the fact that she crafts at all. Another prodigious challenge entrant is Chrissie, she posts more than once a day showing beautiful cards that frequently enter multiple challenges. This is challenge management on a scale that I dare not contemplate. After all, I've only just got the better of my scrap box! Anyway, as usual, now I've had a whinge, I feel like I could do some card making. Stand back everyone, I may manage more than just talking about it today!

Friday, 8 January 2010

Am I late?

It's never too late to show us a workdesk. This is Stephanie Dunnit's (recognise the name - she's my sweet sissy and she makes things too, so we use the same nom de plume, just as if we were um, related). But see how sissy's life has moved on since she got swallowed up in that California scene, man. She's been to 'school' and turned out to be a designer. You can tell that by the totally awesome laptop she uses. And the type of magazine she flicks through. The note book is all about design, products, marketing and real life 'to do' things. See that there are two mugs. That's because she is very prudent and has a partner involved in this design business, one Dori Melton. They are both amazing women, not least because they can do it all on the computer; they know where to start and the real skill, in my opinion, they know when to stop! I'm not jealous, but I am in awe of my sister and her accomplishments and achievements. (She's a pianist too - has done real life concerts). Imagine how cool and groovy man it will be when my WOYWW picture shows my worktable strewn with her scrapbook papers or fabrics. OK, so the fabric bit scares me, but if I have to get into it, I will! So you're used to me whingeing and now I want you to brace yourselves for some bragging in 2010 too. Steph, Dori, I am so waiting to be on your DT!! (See what I did there - managed to make it come back to being all about me. Skill.)

Have a safe warm and fabulous weekend. It's Ludgershall crop tomorrow, so I'm gonna get my act together..I wanna have a crack at The Creative Type challenge - thanks to Pam.

Thursday, 7 January 2010

..and then I'll blog

Well it's been a day. Started well with some upstairs chores (I know, and to be honest, I can't guarantee it'll get anymore interesting). I had a long chat with the Enthusiastic Educator about the necessity of our planned journey to a local hostelry this evening. We've put it off. Then I was going to type up a blog post, but was distracted by a card that I'd started last night. It needed the benefit of daylight to make me see that if I produce it at a workshop, my friends will assume I'm colour blind. So I've erm, adjusted that. By then I was in the swing of things and made another card - entirely from my scrap box! Then it was coffee time, so I thought I'd put together a post for the blog. Instead, I decided to release the car from its snowy shroud and see if it would start. It did - it is the best small car in the world, for sure. I expended far too much energy sweeping the inches/centimetres of snow off it and then clearing a path. Which of course, is now an ice rink! So then I had another cup of coffee and settled at my desk. Just as I was warm and dry and considering a post for the blog, Miss Dunnit announced that this would be a good time to wander through the village and get some supplies. So we did. It was quite beautiful. Full, zero degree blue sky sunshine and lots of still white, non dripping snow. Literally breathtaking. Sparkly even. Not for the first time (the third, actually, in as many years), I gave thanks for my foresight in spending an obscene amount of money on a pair of Croc wellies. Like tractor wheels on my feet. They're short see, (the boots, although my feet are too I suppose!) like tall ankle boots - saves me angst and agony over fat calf syndrome. If you've got it, you know. So when we came back, I dried off.....we had to change some outerwear which prompted the sorting of a load of washing and the re-jigging of the indoor drying arrangements. And then I thought I'd finish my blog post. Back at my desk, I picked up a round tin that's awaiting my attention and I started mapping/sketching plans and browsing for papers. Something reminded me that I hadn't sorted out the ingredients for supper. So I changed hats and did kitchen duties, including some cupcakes for the Crop on Saturday. Yum. By now I feel it's too late to post to my blog; Mr Dunnit has made it home safely, the door is locked and a cup of tea is on the way. I really hope he doesn't ask me what I've done today; because the answer seems to be 'not much, really'. How odd then, that I was too busy to post to my blog before now. Time Management - a skill I would probably pay to acquire. If I had time.
Remember when I had my sewing machine on my desk? The notebook cover is the result - part of a Secret Sister gift to Peggy, an unknown craft friend in Texas. The brief was to shop in charity stores with a small budget and re-use or re-purpose where possible....I did OK with the fabric purchasing at least. Anyway, Peggy has finally received her pressie, so safe to show you that I'm not a gifted seamstress!
Oh and Paula - thanks for your comment, enjoyed your thoughts on my thoughts very much ..I managed to get over excited by the comment left by my daughter (I know..does this mean I'm cool?!!) and am sorry to say that I hit the wrong button and deleted your words...promise it wasn't ingratitude!

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

FWOTY! What's on Your Workdesk Wednesday

First Wednesday of The Year! These acronyms are getting boring now, sorry. Despite a morning shot, the light is pretty good today. On account of the 4 inches /10 centimetres of snow in the garden...good at reflecting what little light there is, I must say. See how I used metric and imperial there? I've noticed that on the TV..the newscasters report the bad weather in imperial, but the weather people are metric. Gotta love being British.
Anyway - my desk! Argh! You can't even see my lovely and well organised scrap paper box now - too far left! Oh well. Take a second to suss out my next desk innovation, an idea copied shamelessly and without permission from several of you - I have a mini bin! I know, I know, but after your breath has steadied and your eyes have changed from green back to their natural colour, ask yourselves this:
How long will it last?
What is she putting off by making all these improvements?
Naturally, the answers to these are probably not very long and certainly something. The LO is for the Cropsters - and in fact will crop up in a workshop later this month too, and yes, it's me in the terrible photo. I have no idea why, but all photos of me are terrible - they never show the me I see in the mirror! My acrylic box of gems is at left and there's a 6x6 album standing up against the patterned paper scrap's a work in progress, currently awaiting a photo delivery. If you wanna know about anything else, please ask! NormaJean wanted to know: the big pegs are from Creative Imaginations, sold in pairs and are 4 11/16/12cm tall.
Come on then, New Year, new trivia! Show us your desk, lap tray, floor, kitchen counter - wherever you're working. It's not about tidy or untidy (OK, it is, a little bit!) mostly we want to see what you're working on and what you've got. It's fun! Leave a comment here so we can swing by and admire. We've all met a lot of great bloggers this way. Why wouldn't you wanna be part of that?

Tuesday, 5 January 2010


After a morning full of the sort of domestic chores that leave me numb (not cold, just numb with the shock that I'm doing them again, so soon...oh why can't we have self cleaning homes?), I felt really galvanised to tackle some of my 'to do' list in terms of workshop preparation and crop stuff. This is a very pompous way of saying ( justifying, perhaps) that I spent the afternoon in my workroom. Mega large jumper, scarf (triangular thing, not a long outdoorsy one!) oil filled radiator and large cup of Assam required, almost the law. Got to be cheaper than having the heating on, even if a little eccentric looking!
Well, I kinda had the cleaning 'bit' between my teeth so I ended up making good on one of my non-resolutions! Hurrah! It took me a couple of hours but look:I sorted out my scrap box! And I didn't throw any of it away - just goes to show how untidy it was then, because I thought it was bursting at the seams. I have taken out the patterned paper scraps - they have their own box now, but it's small. I couldn't decide which was the predominant colour per pattern and you know what, that's the sort of thing that makes me obsess and waste time. So I didn't. Man I'm winning already! I've also made up the LO and instructions for the Lesson Session at this weekend's crop, and I've finally stopped procrastinating and finished this peg. My friends at the Crafthouse Press released a CD late last year featuring a huge number of images to print including boxes tags and templates, in a load of different designs. It's called Men's Travel & Sport. So now you know the subjects. It includes alphabets and vintage images as well as more modern, graphic style backgrounds. Great stuff. It will crop up on here quite a lot. Men are just so difficult! Anyhoo, the peg uses their paper and a Jolly Nation shrink plastic character. It's to be a gift for my BiL...just waiting for his club to upload their Fixture lists for this year so I can give him the peg already in use. That way he has doesn't have to do anything to make the present 'work' and it won't get slung into the dead gadget drawer or meet some other unused fate! Men are just so difficult!

Monday, 4 January 2010

So what do you use?

Take a chunk of wood, a piece of paper, a jug of water, a bowl of flour.
Respectively in this house, to measure these items we use metric X imperial, metric, imperial and metric.
I re-trained myself to metric when Miss Dunnit went to school so that I would be able to facilitate her understanding of cooking and measuring; life, actually. The cookery and art was OK in terms of measuring and understanding. But the maths and sciences were always going to be beyond me, in metric or not.....fractions are still a total mystery! Explaining why we measure in metres and miles is beyond me too. I have no idea, really, why we've half adopted a system of measurement. I still can't really judge a mile. I can't judge a kilometre either, but now that foodstuff is sold in metric measurements, it would be easier not to have to teach two systems to future generations, wouldn't it? I have become a metric junkie when it comes to measuring paper and craft stuff, because I can see it in my head now, and oh boy, I find metric so much more accurate. I don't understand and can't 'see' an inch and seven eighths, but I sure can see 38mm or so. I'm not a fascist about it (although Slipper Lady would probably tell you different!), but because I find it easier, I do have to remind myself to work both ways at workshops for example. I regret that our measuring implements continue to show Imperial as the preferred measure; my guillotine for example, is a year old, made by a British company and has the Imperial measurements closest to the measuring edge. Makes me 'grrr' - not least because I have to find my glasses before I can read off a measurement! It's not just that lots of products are American and we therefore have no choice. It's not just our market. Mr Dunnit has a small Joinery business. He buys wood by the (wait for it) metric tonne. Huh? And they buy thousands and thousands of metres of 2" x 4" Huh? All of his machinery, CNC as well as 'old fashioned' manual stuff is calibrated in metric measurements. He and the guys who work with him switch from metric to Imperial effortlessly. Actually, we all do. We've become measurement bi-lingual. How often do you pick up a tray of mince in the supermarket and recalculate the weight to Imperial to see if it's as much or as little as you want? Is it because we're British, that we go on resisting the change? Is it because our Government didn't tell us we had to change, it was a foreign body of Europeans? So what about you - are you an expert in Impetric? Do you switch to one from the other? Does it depend what you're doing - or on the age of the person you're chatting to? Has being a crafter helped or hindered your understanding of metric measurements; like me do you prefer metric or do you loathe it? Are you scared of it? Doi you think it might be an age thing?! If you're an American reading this, I'd be fascinated to know if you measure anything in metric at all..and why.....and what's your preference?
And that big chunk of Walnut with a load of different size and shape holes in? It's a barbecue tray silly - to hold Impetric bottles of all sizes!

Sunday, 3 January 2010

I don't usually post over the weekend, but Mr Dunnit is in the attic (!) and I thought it would only take five minutes to show you that for one weekend at least, I'm sticking to my good intentions!
This card has used up a piece of scrap vellum and a short length of ribbon! But more to the point, I think it matches the criteria for the Challenge at Sassy Susie's....the theme is friends old and new..and well the rest you can work out. I like the challenges that I come across, but am not good at entering regularly; pick a reason, I can come up with loads! One primary reason is that I am not good at and don't own many of the 'cute' images like Anya, Magnolia and etc..and I don't have a scalloped circle nestability set either. That may seem harsh, but visit some of the regular challenges - all cute images end up on a scalloped edge mount/mat at some stage of construction. Nice, for sure, after all these are cards, not oil paintings...but I can't help feel that the look is starting to be a bit, well, derivative - generic even.
Anyway, turns out I can't even take five to post a photo of a card without getting all mouthy, so will sign off and make a cup of coffee for the hard working and the erm, hard crafting of the Dunnit house!
Card shape is by Craftwork cards, stamp dot by Hero Arts and Text and cups image by PSX. Remember them!

Friday, 1 January 2010

Bang! And the year is gone..

And here we are. Like it or not, in 2010. Good grief. It dawned bright and cold here, this new day, new month, new year. It isn't without a frisson of excitement is it, the beginning of a New Year, with all the fresh starts, clean slates, and new beginnings on offer. If you can underpin all of that with the security blanket of loving family, friends and a warm roof over your head, then looking forward isn't so scary.
It's the resolutions that scare me. I won't commit to changing myself or my habits any more, I just end up whipping myself and feeling vile when I can't manage it. I am what I am. But perversely, in the spirit of the clean slate, I am going to try some different methods around here - most of them based either in the laundry section of my life (like - keep up with the ironing) or in my workroom (like, sort out the scraps so they aren't controlling you!). Nothing major, but hopefully achievable. Of course, it knocks a couple of whinges off my list of things to blog about, so I think that might be a positive!
I'm not going to get into a huge discussion about 2010 being the beginning of a new decade or not; frankly the years roll around way too quickly for me to want to consider them in bigger chunks. But I will say this to anyone who produces chipboards, stickers or other consumable alphabets or number sets....we scrapbookers of the world would love it if you'd include 2 sets of zero in each number set. Otherwise we have to use an O, or worse, doctor a Q. Can only do that so many times. Think of people like Mrs Precision who would die if she had to have mismatched numbers. Likewise, look forward a little and think about 2011....count them - two ones.
OK, and here's the sentimental bit for one day only: I have loved blogging over the last year, the reaction and commentary far exceeded any expectation of er, internet pleasure (am I allowed to write that?). Thank you a kerjillion times for visiting, reading, commenting. Even the person that bothered to email me a couple times to tell me to stop blogging - believe me, the fun of counting your expletives per sentence was worth the shock! Didn't stop me either, huh!
I visit loads of blogs as entertainment and I comment as much as I can...just like you really. So please keep doing it this year's all about validation I think. And that's a whole other post! Happy New Year.