Friday, 30 July 2010

You turn your back..

..for five minutes and the week has passed you by. Amazing innit. After Miss Dunnit's birthday, I had a second day off and mixed in some lovely stuff. Did Shopkeeper Gal's workshop - these cards - great techniques, lovely new products to try (the dies on the Just A Note card...oohhh lovely). She teaches and demos well that Gal. I will have to make an effigy of her from blue tack and stick pins in its butt. This is the way I deal with a lot of threats to my lovely workshop job! Then I went to Salisbury and met me chums for a tapas lunch. I know. And we sat outside like cosmopolitan women. It felt very grown up. And not a photo taken to prove it. Must improve. There is a point to telling you all this basic diary drivel. One of my luncheon (!) chums was Scrap Lady Ally - she of 2 Scrap Ladies. She has already the posted the details for our Christmas Card Marathon day over at our 2SL blog. And as if to prove my life to be an unorganised mass of disorganisation, she shared with me the prototypes of ten of her cards! They were of course, lovely, and festive. I haven't done any yet, but I promise I will, and I'll be sneak peeking them all over here to prove it! Meanwhile, I have to buy more blue tack and a larger quantity of pins.

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday? 60!

This is Becky's desk..she doesn't have a blog, (yet) and wanted to take part. She has a Stampin Up! page but they're a bit sniffy about non SU stuff - so for now, we'll post her pics here. Here's what she has to say:
Welcome to my desk! It is actually pretty tidy since I cleared up after my last crafting session. You can see the tag that is (almost) finished for the Compendium of Curiosities Challenge and the new label maker to finish said tag. I also have another (almost) finished project...that seems to be a theme... made from an idea borrowed from Terri at thanks Terri! It's good to finally be a non-lurker! :)
One thing we must work out is the time diff Becky - it's 6.15pm here - I think you're going to have to send meyour Tuesday desk!

This is a scheduled post dear interweb. I'm typing at bedtime on Tuesday, because on Wednesday morning at about the time I habitually post my WOYWW, I'm anticipating that I will still be in bed, joined by my daughter, the bed strewn with wrapping paper while she gloats over some birthday gifts. It's like Christmas; our room gets messed and paper strewn. Hers doesn't. Do you think when she started this tradition some years ago (almost as soon as she could get out of her own bed) that the avoidance of tidying her room was the motivation? I wouldn't be surprised! Happy birthday beloved daughter, seventeen and still not up a chimney - you never had it so good.
So my desk! I know, you can see the surface and I'm not even on holiday! See, I made a card last night but after taking it to work, was moved to clear up before I tackle some rather unseasonal cards. There's to be an announcement over at 2 Scrap Ladies soon, about a Christmas Card making Marathon day, so I have to come up with my share of the goods, and a clear desk will - apparently -really help my creative process. Clear except for the basket of waiting to be cleaned, and the box of scraps on the left. Looks like an advert for Scotch, huh, but promise that it was just a convenient place to stick it. (geddit?)

So inspire me then, show off your desk, workspace, tray, floorspace - wherever you work today. We wanna see what you've got and what you're doing. Link in here and we'll visit. Sometimes, it takes more than a day to visit - be patient!

Tuesday, 27 July 2010


Did I mention how small these stamp images are? Oh I did? Oh well, consider this a reminder! We, the two grown-ups in this family, are relatively early risers. Equally, we don't stay up late at night, so it works out. I love the couple of hours in the morning spent in my nightie, tooling around doing stuff or not doing stuff, as the mood takes me. It's quite often the time of day when I look at the card I made the night before and wonder how in heaven I thought the colours were a match. Bad light. Middle aged eyesight. Blah. So after some years of luxurious school runs and working from home, I have recently returned to work. Not full time and not, thankfully to a rigid schedule. But the couple hours I used to spend tidying and possibly keeping the ironing pile to something you don't need an oxygen mask to get to the top of, have gone. Pouf! Now I have to get up, shower, consider my wardrobe (the very hardest part), pack a lunch, tidy the kitchen, sweep the floor (I HAVE to, it's the Julia LAW) and leggit to work. Nothing that millions of women aren't doing the world over, and all the time, your mind is on the next job, huh. So why, at ten past nine am I sitting here typing this? Because I need a break already. In my insanity to get ready and get there this morning, I dutifully collected the card and notebook that I'd been making and writing in last night. Put them in my bag and went to work. I'm back home now, to collect the Health and Safety report and time sheets that I should have taken. I've put the card and notebook back on my workdesk for consideration later. On the upside, as I unpacked my bag, my collegue said that he quite liked the card. Obviously didn't mis-match the colours too badly then. Now, if I can just get my focus slightly adjusted.....

Sunday, 25 July 2010


The smaller suitcase is finished, and is waiting to go to work; it will be my business card holder - amazing the number you collect after just a few weeks...and they all have a purpose....a yarn for another day! The large case awaits another layer and some detail, but there's no hurry, I wanna do it reasonably well and be happy with it. Today, I finally tidied up. It's not been the mega re-organisation or clear-out that is probably overdue. But that's OK. Everything is, for now, back in it's place; you can see that my desk is actually some sort of wood colour and you can't see every sheet of 12 x 12 that I own. New stuff has been put away and AND AND I finally put the unmounteds on EZ Mount and cut them out. Bah, that's a job I hate. I really really really miss wood mounted stamps. I think, despite the number that I own and use, I'd cheerfully give up my clear stamps if I could be promised wood mounted versions. I know, nutter. But really, I find the clear stamps are a bigger pain to store than the wood mounts - I just need a shelf for wood mounts. Clears need a laminated card and then some filing system that will sort of encourage me to a) use them and b) wash and put them back... you immediately see my point! And some of my most used and loved clears have totally lost their ability to cling to the acrylic block. No amount of warm soapy water works and it really ticks me off - their longevity is not as promising as my wood mounteds. Anyway, tidy desk means get creating, and I hope too. Just as soon as I've had some supper and conversation with himself....being in here all afternoon whingeing and moaning at the inanimate objects that needed sorting into cupboards means that I've neglected my lovelies. I'll feed them and that will more than make up for it!
Two highlights from last week : meeting Chrissie for coffee on Wednesday. Winchester Cathedral coffee shop, sunshine, rows of fragrant lavender, lots of graduating students and a gossip that we could have sustained for several hours. You need to get to know Chrissie, her cards are gorgeous and precise and immaculate. And so is she. Happy Birthday for tomorrow Chrissie!
And the other: WOYWW had a record number of links. Gosh how marvellous a journey it makes!

Friday, 23 July 2010


Here's one of the Born to Shop range that I used for a Workshop last night. The black card is 4" square..I know I'm going on and on; but really, the image and particularly the writing, are therefore pretty small huh! Anyway, the card was liked, and that dear interweb, is totally the point. Photo makes my dining table look really long too - how very impressive that it should happen to be clear! I haven't started the grand clear up in the old workdesk section - got home yesterday and couldn't face it, so browsed some WOYWWs, and this morning I'm off to work, so there's another viable excuse! I swapped some wages for stash last night after the workshop, so will have to tidy up now before I can decant anything from my tote....anyone got a shoe horn the size of a cupboard? The text on this card is starting to feel horribly applicable!

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 59

Shame, actually. Am busy and fed up with the fire fighting type of management of my space. Even the stamp shelves have piles of stuff which shouldn't be on them. And you can see, I'm working on top of stuff.. such a danger when you're inking and sticking. What you can see is a wedge of lovely papers and such; I need them in front of me for colour matching and of course, there's just nowhere to put anything. So now I admit defeat - swing right to behind my desk and see the 'cutting' station. Piled high again. And again, now driving me mad.

So it'll be a scourge type clean-up for the weekend and hopefully some lovely tidy, inspired crafting instead of the feverish 'looking for something' that's been going on this week. I would start today, but I have an important appointment with a cafetiere and a friend I made off the interweb. Will spill all later! Have a great day and oh - do show and tell - be brave - if you look over previous posts you'll see - it's not about untidy shame - it's about letting us see what you've got and what you're doing. Leave a comment and a link so we can pop round to yours for a rummage. You can even have a WOYWW button for your blog if you'd like - code and such at top left margin. or when you get to Nicki's you can bag one of her gem like badges.
Quite a few of you ask me how I manage to visit everyone that links in. I'm not the only one that does though, so don't rate me as special! Here's my secret: I don't get in a stitch about how long it takes - if I'm still visiting on Saturday, that's's meant to be fun, right?

Sunday, 18 July 2010

Joining the big girl crafters....

..that's what it feels like; I have this monster sitting on my desk. See, on my WOYWW tour every week, I see loads of 'em. Everyone who has one on show waxes lyrical about them. And living up to the character fault so kindly pointed out to me by a erm, friend, I'm not really a leader, I'm a follower. So, after two emails from Jo giving me valuable purchasing advice and heaps of enthusiasm for it; I bought one. Walked the walk if you like - I've been talking the talk for bally months.
It is a monster, but actually, it's much , much lighter than it looks. I had a few seconds of misery loading the thing - because the tape is uber sticky aggressive. I say this at workshops about glue dots. You have to treat it like snot....roll it around on your fingers and flick it off. It's the only way.
I've been practising. Depressing the trigger isn't difficult to remember - letting go when you want to lift the roller off the paper is the bit I forget - and the tape is v e r y s t r e t c h y. I'm not perfect yet at where to start and stop, and straight lines - forget it. So far though, I like it. It's not difficult to find either, even when your desk looks like mine always does...although I can see that there will be days when there's no room to actually put it down! So, I can see why lots of you have made it your best friend. I can also see a huge similarity between this and US ArtQuest's 'Ah That's Great' tape. (ATG, see.....). Seems to do the same thing too. Anyone? Meanwhile, I shall go back to flourishing my new monster and feeling like one of the big girl crafters. Good grief, I might take myself seriously in a minute.

Friday, 16 July 2010

Work in Progress

My days are filled with this phrase now. For me it simpy used to be the sentence I'd trot out to justify leaving my workdesk covered in paper scissors and unfinished anything. Now it means the difference between getting an invoice out or not, accounting for the quoted hours spent and administrative stuff that helps work flow into and out of the joinery. The other phrases that I use often, to remind me that all these hours that I used to spend crafting are still being used in a worthy way is - 'hell-hole', 'only for Mr Dunnit' and 'I hate working'. I don't, really, but I don't want anyone at the job to think I'm doing it out of anything but loyalty to Mr Dunnit. His business partner has become very ill and so sudden, reluctant, administrative help was needed, see, and I can do reluctant. I may be in my cougar yers, but goodness, I can be reluctant like any teenager, still!
Well, the joinery work may satisfy his career, but deep down, he's a wood sculptor and cabinet maker. Over the years we've all benefitted from his creativity, you've already seen some of it! So last week he decided to carry on with the third rocking horse. He's hacked out the shape, set the face and eyes and is to be seen doing the detail sanding. You may look all you like at this picture, you may see a work in progress of a rocking horse. Personally I see those strong and beautiful limbs. His forearms and hands. Not the wooden legs! Anyway...I digress. The point is, everyone has creativity in them, and this is his expression. If he decides to sell this one, (we have two, can't part with 'em, although the second lives elsewhere )I might get involved in the label, but that really is the limit of my input. As it should be; you don't want people messing with your mojo, huh! The new one is destined to be painted, here is the one he made from a non-painty hardwood for Miss Dunnit about 12 years ago.

She's called Amy Oats, by the way. The new one will look the same but be painted; the last one was a dapple grey. Clever ain't he, my Mr Dunnit. So this weekend, there will be dust clouds emerging from our garage. And of course, I might be in the little room behind the garage getting my week's fill of paper play. I hope so. Have a lovely weekend!

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 58

Aha - Jennie, have a look at the desk...I've only actually really started the suitcases! That's a record, it's only been about 6 weeks since you gifted them to me. How exciting! Yes, interweb, I'm multi-tasking. And I feel all over the place! I think last week I threatened someone with a view of my ink pad that's why there's so much photography this week. Odd isn't it that my 'drawers' are fairly well organised and my desk top is well, like it is. Anyway, to celebrate I've changed my Nicki Logo. Yep, I'm an organised WOYWWer, I just feel all over the place.
The little pots with the coloured lids contain embossing powders. They are much easier in use than the cylindrical tubs you buy the stuff in - you have to try hard to knock it over and the wide opening makes it a cinch to get the powder back in. Usually. *Grin at Shopkeeper Gal* (she who hoovers after the Workshops, see.) The writing on each lid is actually on a clear sticker - so I'm not committed. Clever, huh. No really, let me have that. And that's it. If you like the look of my luggage, nip over to the Stamp Connection and get your own. The small one will be for business cards when I've finished. My desk will love it.
And talking of desks - show us yours. Get Mr Linky charged up - you know him - the cyber god that can link us all in a big ol' cultcircle thing whilst simultaneously arranging neat rows of numbered names and controlling gigabytes (as Linda might say) - show us your desk. Work surface. Where you craft. Or where you work....We wanna see what you're doing, and what you've got. So link in and leave a comment too, and we'll swing round to your place. Right now I'm off to put the kettle on. Join me, do.

Monday, 12 July 2010

I do, but I haven't...

It feels like ages ago, but as June only seemed to last for about 3 days, the beginning of May wasn't so far away for this story to be too shocking. More, proof that if you read here more than once a week, you'll know that my best and most impressive life skill is procrastination. It sure is. It sits comfortably opposite the skill that allows me to rush in and ruin an idea because I'm too impatient to plan properly. I must check with him, but I'm sure this dichotomy of characteristics is one of the things that made me Mr Dunnit's 'one'. *cough*

Now see all these identical little cards? They are obviously little pics of us about to damage a big wedding cake. There are 25 of them. Inside each is a question that Miss Dunnit came up with and our separate answers. We scattered them around the tables at our Silver Wedding Anniversary party. It was fun. For the guests. It caused discussion for the protagonists I can tell you! We weren't supposed to see each other's answers. Here's a couple of examples:
Q: even if it's a cliche - what sums you two up?
HIM: Friends first
ME : We like being together

Q: What's your secret?
HIM: Agree to disagree
ME : Give in. (But I had seen his answer!!)

Q: What are you still looking forward to?
HIM: the next party
ME : the next pay cheque (again because I'd seen his REAL answer about my spending ability!)

Q: ..and would you do it all again?
HIM: of course
ME : only with him

You have to have context for these answers though, and in the same way, I need to develop a context for the cards - what to do? Shall I store them inside the guest book in a nice envelope? Shall I stick them randomly through the guest book (which incidentally, will be produced at every 'special' party between now and my tragic demise --so many pages!). Or shall I come up with a LO for an album? Or shall I continue with the present strategy - move them around the surfaces in this workroom until they drive me mad? I dunno - what would you do?

Friday, 9 July 2010

Actively doing nothing.

Truly I am. Rushed around like a maniac this morning doing chores and changing bed linen and domestic stuff I haven't bothered with all week. Funny how it starts to drive you mad after a a new domestic goddess some 25 years ago I assumed that it would be bliss to just let it all go! So, we had a sandwich in the shade for lunch and are now actively chasing shade around the garden. I gave in and have decided to blog before the sun creeps into this room too!
I said I'd show you some of the Papermania range that I whinged about on Wednesday. This page is from the A4 paper pad. I love the character and the lovely casual outline style of the artwork...and there are three different designs, full page like this in the pad...that's 9 out of 36 sheets that I don't know quite what to do with. I shall of course use them to write a short note on when I next have a short note to send to someone, but as A4 isn't really a big scrapbook size, even her in Britain, what's the point please?

I would cheerfully buy a separate pad of these for letter writing, but I want background, useable papers in paper craft pads.

Wait though, for I fear I haven't finished whingeing.

Here are the stamps that I think are too small. The larger one on the right is the give-away on the cover of this month's Creativity! magazine, so a bargain at £2.50. And if anyone from DO is reading - you're welcome, the advertising is free if you'll note the whinges!

Lots of you where really kind and made lots of suggestions as to how to deal with smaller stamp images. I will of course. But I want them to be bigger. They deserve to be bigger, they are lovely, fun images that so so many of us will relate to; but at this size they aren't easy to colour or read. Waste. Shame.

Anyway, I've made a couple of cards; decided I don't like the pastel-y colours in the paper pad anyway so will move on and see what else I can conjure up.

This has been a lovely holiday week for us Dunnits, and we're going to try and pack in all of the things we said we'd do but haven't, over the weekend. It should be busy then! Hope you're able to enjoy the glorious weather.

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 57

I took these pictures yesterday, about 6.30 ish. If you read yesterday's post you'll know that I had a lot to tidy before I could be creative....and the creativity didn't come too easily either - as I haven't done anything since last Thursday, I think I'm getting rusty! It looks quite calm and organised really - until I alter the camera angle - gah, I cannot work tidy, it just will not happen!
I'm playing with the new Do Crafts 'Born to Shop' range for a workshop next week. Fab ideas, fab images and great texts...........but there's a but. The papers are A4 and some have the enlarged stamp image on them, so absolutely no good for card making (or scrapping either, unless you work in A4, I think). Biggest gripe of course is the stamps. They stamp perfectly, the quality is great. But each image is small - they get lost on a C6 card to be honest. I'll show you at some stage. Methinks that DO have gone for perception of value and squashed 5 images with text into each set rather than think about how much more valuable really good sized images will be. I notice for the second time that the DT samples in the magazine (and so far online) don't show any stamped images - the range of stickers and die cuts have been used extensively - and some of them fit a 'normal' sized card very nicely. But I can't do a workshop for up to 16 people when there's only one of each image in the sticker pack...and anyway, what's to learn in a workshop that uses stickers when you could be brushing up on a stamping technique? Oh sorry...I've dunnit again - here endeth Wednesday's whinge! I must go find a pill.....

Oh and spot the enormous double standard - after yesterday's post - there are 2 mugs on my desk!!

We're waiting to see your work space please - photo it, upload it to your blog and use Mr Linky here to show us where - easy. Doesn't have to be paper crafts and it doesn't have to be a desk - just show us what you're working on, it's fascinating! Don't be shy- you don't have to be a member and there's no commitment - some of us regulars do it because it's a great way to stay in touch, is all.

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

A typical summer's day

We Dunnits are on holiday this week. That is to say that Mr Dunnit and myself are not going to work (well, OK, we did go in for a couple of hours yesterday and he's 'popping' in this morning) and Miss Dunnit finished College last week and has taken to her bed, basically. So this morning, a beautiful summer day again here on the Hampshire Wiltshire border, I languished in bed, revelling in the empty day ahead. I was awake because Mr Dunnit has not quite shaken the habit of setting the alarm. For 6am. Oh well, at least I didn't have to get up straight away. He and her have to go out this morning (and they HAVE to...I have a birthday in a minute and you can imagine the carnage if it's about two last minuters who failed rather than about me), I decided that I'd spend the morning at my workdesk, playing and producing and getting a bit of a fix. Well, it's nearly 10 o'clock and I'm blogging. Dear interweb, you are this morning's avoidance technique. My desk is piled high with stuff and I can't quite face it. A tax return waiting to be done, mount paperwork - which I have tackled but is now awaiting filing, 2 presents awaiting wrapping, and a huge pile of A5 brown envelopes. All this on top of the craft stuff I wanna be playing with. That's holidays for ya. Turn your back for five minutes and there's a bunch of stuff to be done. We spent yesterday (post-work) schlepping around town visiting the bank, building society and solicitor. It took ages. Gah. And of course, there's the domestic stuff that seems to accumulate so much more quickly when we're all at home. I could have hoovered the lounge twice yesterday. I didn't of course. I made Miss Dunnit do it - once - her daily exercise! Oh and how much washing up can the three of us generate? I'm not used to them being home really - and certainly not if they use a different mug or glass each time they need or want a drink. I'm thinking of putting a lock on the kitchen door. Then I won't have to go to a supermarket during my holiday either! On the bright side - Mr Dunnit is a huge believer in lunch out and not doing anything we don't want to; staying at home can be difficult for a holiday; lucky for us he's got shapes to design for the Bol**cks machine, so we aren't in each other's pockets. Today's exercise will be a walk around the poppy fields and the white horse in the vale of Pewsey after visiting the recycling centre. Of such stuff are holidays made! Here endeth Tuesday's whinge.

Saturday, 3 July 2010

A traditional summer's day

Here I am, just getting things ready for the school fete, Jan and I are selling our wares again; Jan will also be playing in the brass band because she skilled like that. Jan's husband will be running the book stall (and perfect he is for it too). So there'll be bunting, brass bands, children, cups of tea and sunshine. Quintessentialy English, yah!
These are a couple of the cards I made using that gorgeous Papermania pad that was on my desk on Wednesday - perfect for layering because although none if it's the matches, it's all the same colour group., so it works really well. I expect there's a technical term for it, but of course I don't know what that is. Anyway, I love it and will be using this pad for cards in preference to layouts, definitely.
Meanwhile, I need to look out an old straw hat with faded roses on the brim so that I can get into the fete groove, I'm sure it's de riguer. Have a lovely weekend!

Thursday, 1 July 2010

You know Mr Dunnit cuts out the heart and other shapes for me in mdf and wooden offcuts? You know that he has a big ol' machine that we affectionately call the bol***cks machine? (The story is in December's archive if you're bothered!). It tends to be less productive during summer, and he suggested last night that instead of whingeing at him for dribs and drabs of stuff every now and then, he might well get a couple of 8 foot sheets and cut 'em into shapes of choice. Now, as exciting as that sounds, my mind kinda went numb; at his forethought, generosity and blah blah, yeah. But also the possibility. However. I don't want 8 kerjillion hearts (like the ones I posted about last week) in boxes in the garage - that would give me a perpetual guilt. OK, another perpetual guilt. So, if you had the choice for some shapes and sizes...what would be on your list? I can't give them away because the material cost won't magically disappear from the Joinery's purchase ledger....but I can sell them at a small price. Help me out here - make a bunch of suggestions so that Mr Dunnit continues to believe that I have a fertile and active creative imagination. (He doesn't read this, he'll never know about the lies. Although I may need therapy for the guilt).
And since my mind is a blank, would someone please explain what happened to June?