Sunday, 31 October 2010

The warm glow

...actually has nothing to do with Hallowe'en. My warm glow is supplied by the passage of a deadline! Yesterday was 2 Scrap Ladies' Christmas Card Marathon. Me, Scrap Lady Ally and Lunch Lady Jan set about creating a day of card-making with a hot lunch, punctuated with cups of tea coffee and most importantly, fabulous home cooked cakes. About 6 varieties.
The girls that came included Kay who got out of bed early to get on the train from London, Hilary, who came from the Bridport seaside and Anna and Eileen who zoomed up the M3 from Wokingham. Impressive, huh! Yeah. And nerve wracking when people put themselves out like that!
It was a glorious Autumn Day, Slipper Lady's 25th birthday, and it seemed to go without too much of a hitch. Attendees were kind and complimentary - I think the greatest skill is of course mine - and that skill is finding friends that can pull it off for you. Really.
So thanks of course to Ally, without whom there would have been a paltry number of fairly uninteresting cards. And thanks to Jan, our Lunch Lady, without whom the catering would have been much less cheerful and very uninteresting.

So this is a self indulgent post. But hey, it's good manners.

Friday, 29 October 2010

How do you do it?

Yesterday, mid morning, mid workshop. Sun shining through the windows of the shop, defying forecasts. Eight women, busily making cards. We're having a very sociable time. Nothing like a big table and some crafting to make you feel like a chat. A relative newcomer to the world of Thursday workshops is Willpower Woman. She's lost three and half stone and still refuses cakes biscuits and sweets without so much as looking up. No fuss, no showing off. So unlike me - I'm full of admiration.
Last week, Willpower Woman and I spent a good couple of hours chatting over coffee while I was *cough* being a shopkeeper. Naturally, when she left, she had a bag with some craft shopping in it. Bling, I seem to remember, and ribbon, for sure. So yesterday I asked her if she'd managed to add the new stash to the existing work desk collection without it bein
g noticed. She laughed and indeed confirmed that she'd felt pretty clever in sneaking the bag past Mike. Well, that set everyone off in turn, about how they deal with their purchases - as in, how the bag physically gets across the threshold of the house and into stash central. Isn't it amazing, and funny, how our guilt manifests itself! Some leave the bag in the car until the other half goes out or at the least, upstairs. Some transfer it into a familiar shopping bag and breeze in with it, all front and pretence.....stroll casually past the partner and then leggit to the desk. No doubt that it seems not to be truly un-returnable until it's safely stashed - or added to the general work on the desk top. Then ownership can begin. I suspect this is more about the feeling that if it's on the desk it kinda just gets 'absorbed' into the general 'stuff' and can't be told apart as new or not - unless you're the one that has just acquired it of course!
Mr Dunnit seems utterly immune to my matter-of-fact approach
to this dilemma. I front it out - just walk past him and dump the bag on my desk...almost daring him to say something. He never does. There are moments when I feel guilty about the amount I shop (wouldn't be blogging about it otherwise, probably!). I can' logicalise' this for you though dear interweb......I shouldn't feel guilty; after all, I'm not spending any money that isn't mine and we're not going without food or shoes because of my habit. It's because he DOESN'T complain that I feel guilty - it would seem (in my head) that I should have the opportunity to raise my voice and make my point about my financial independence. *more coughing*. So it's his fault. And still he smiles; he knows that he's twisting the guilt knife when he says that it makes him happy if I'm happy. And he knows I know. Which is why he does it. He thinks it's funny. Which is probably how (or why) we're still together. Someone want to logicalise that one for me?!!

Thanks for asking about the Manga costume, I promise to show it when Miss D gets back from convention with the promised kerjillion pics...I'm not really one to miss a showing off opportunity, now am I?! And if you're reading this and booked into the 2 Scrap Ladies Card Marathon tomorrow - go to bed, it's an early start!

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday

I've been gathering supplies to get the cutting and kitting ready for the 2 Scrap Ladies Card Marathon this weekend. So although it's new stash, it's not really for me. But it is me that's working on top of this pile. I'm frightened that if I move it, I'll lose some essential piece of paper! The very shiny Christmas lettering at the bottom left of thepile is a piece of foiled scrapbook paper - doesn't it look great in this weird flash lit yellow light! The Copic colour chart is only out because it was carefully stored inside a pad of thick A3 papers that I'm now using to make sleeves to hold the card and paper supplies for the weekend. So I guess it needs a new home, which means it will be a while!
It's all over the dining table too. Here are the sleeves full of stuff - so far...more than half still to be done. The sewing machine is still out because I've just finished another Manga costume for Miss Dunnit - there's a convention this weekend. She's going as a Pokemon trainer. If you don't know, probably better not to!

So despite all the dark and gloomy photos, I've shown you mine - now you show all of us yours! Photo your desk, workspace, counter top, lap tray - whatever you're doing, put it on your blog and then visit here to leave a link. Then loads of us will come by for a rummage. Simple. It's all about sharing what you're doing and showing us what you've got! Thanks!

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Tales from behind the till. Epsiode 8,0746329

another completely unrelated photo, it's a skill you know.
Well, it's episode four I think, but do stop me if I get boring. I'm back at my real job now. Believe me, even the excitement of a new desk made to order and fitted into a proper office can't compare. Actually, all the new stuff is just a smokescreen; Mr Dunnit doesn't want me to realise how permanent this job is!
So back to bedlam; I can't remember which day it was, but I know I wasn't alone in the shop (you never are for long). I was definitely sitting at the workshop table, and I think I was bravely pretending to make a card. I know I was chatting. Anyway, in comes tall gentleman, beautifully dressed for autumn in a nice jacket and a cravat. Perhaps he was going on to luncheon. He asked if I sold epoxy resin. I regretted that I did not. He asked why. I explained that us paper users tend to stick with tape and PVA, or as emergency use, Glossy Accents. Well said he, epoxy glues are a craft item. I suggested that they are if you're a model maker, but that this shop is all about paper crafts and besides, we wouldn't like the smell of epoxy glues. He sagely pointed out that I wouldn't have to smell it if I just kept it for sale. Score. I sagely pointed out that I'd never sell any if I didn't use it, for lots of people wouldn't know its application. Score back! He expressed his disappointment that the sign over the shop says Kraft Crazy but it was not a general craft shop as implied. The sign also says scrap booking, card making and children's crafts, says I, again adding regret that I can't help. He wandered around for a bit, expressed a couple of further disappointments and left. And blow me, as I went to close the door before 80 thousand leaves blew in, he was standing in the middle of the road, reading the shop sign. He waved - I don't think it was a two fingered salute.

Monday, 25 October 2010

Really, more tales from behind the till

Of course, the LO has nothing to do with the post, I just like a post with a picture!

On Tuesday, Laura and Kelly called in. I met them both through crafts and their connections to the shop - they are core members of Ludgershall Crop, too. I cannot begin to describe them - vivacious, opinionated, chatty and totally and utterly up for anything. They leave me enriched with laughter and very, very much the wiser. They watch things on tv that I've never heard of, they erm 'educate' me in the art of life; there are no moments spent with them that aren't utterly entertaining. Both of them are devoted wives and mothers and they are both married to serving Soldiers. They have burdens to bear. But you wouldn't know it.
So, in they breeze, make themselves at home and do some double-act type shopping. I should add at this point that two other gals are there and really, we laughed till we cried but also - we had our mouths agape at some parts of the conversation. But get this - Kelly taught me something really important. And that is - when you get to the till, stop yakking and start concentrating. REALLY. She paid for her shopping with a credit card and I did the deed, turning it to her for PIN number entry as we chatted. Naturally, she entered her PIN number. After all, I'd handed her the machine for just that purpose, remember. Yeah, but I'd missed an important part of the button pressing and Kelly's pin number became part of the debit amount.
Oh yes, I tried to charge her £176,000 and some change (which I can't tell you because it was her PIN number!)

And as if that wasn't enough, it wasn't me that noticed! I did void the transaction and correct it and she was very, very gracious. We laughed about her husband's reaction. Correctly, I hope!

So there's a real lesson - don't distract me at the till, it's unlikely to be to your advantage. And another good reason - there isn't really room in front of the till for fainting.

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Tales from behind the till

I know, how much more blabbing about my week off I can do? Oh, loads, believe me. So the idea was that over the week, I would when possible, make a few cards - perhaps a couple of samples to demonstrate new stock - nothing in particular and luckily, no orders! I made one card this week. It's not that there wasn't time, it's much more that when I was alone in the shop, I tidied and straightened stuff - with the temperament of a huffy person who's own personal stash had been mis-handled I can tell you! This activity had two results - I learned a lot more about what is in stock and where it lives, and I spent a fortune.
Exhibit A: This is the one card.
I bought the 180 sheet 12" book of papers to use, the stamp, the bronze ink pad and the Cosmic Shimmer embossing powder (that actually you can't tell from this, it's gorgeously pearly and pinky brown) and then a packet of red buttons. In real life it comes to about £28. So if you get this card from me for Christmas, please be chuffed to bits! Because I'm special and because this is for next weeks workshop, I qualify for a discount, which I don't take for granted, believe me. But I hope Mr D doesn't read this - he doesn't get it. but he'd probably start taking a more active interest if he knew how much I needed to spend to make a card!

On Wednesday, late lunch time a lady came into the shop. It was very busy - the workshop table covered in stuff that 7 people were playing with and working at and chatting and supping coffee. Quite noisy too. This particular lady needed a walking stick and she leaned upon it carefully as she made her way up to the table...I was a bit trapped by people and was trying to get to her to save her a journey - you know what I mean. I called to her and she asked for a crochet hook. I apologised and said that we didn't have any. She looked very cross with me and said 'you do, I only just bought the wool from you about an hour ago'. She hadn't, this shop doesn't sell wool either. I apologised again, told her the best I could do was sell her a pack of needles - perhaps she'd got the wool further up the road (a very good Charity shop about 5 doors up). She got very impatient and said I was wrong, waved her bag of wool at the workshop table and said 'if you don't sell all that stuff, why are they doing patchwork in here then?'. Well colour me dumbstruck. To convince her, I had to let her see that the fabrics were actually papers and everything associated with cutting and sticking. Ah well, a sale lost. But at least she had the good grace to tell me that I wasted her time and effort!

Friday, 22 October 2010

It's been a week..

As you know from WOYWW, I've been shopkeeper and loved it. What you didn't know was the full SP of where - I didn't want you to think I was being a blatant non-stop gabbling advert. But, if you wanna visit - the shop is call Kraft Crazy and is in Station Road, Tidworth, Hampshire. Closed on Sunday and Monday. I sound like a real shopkeeper don't I? Here's the thing though - if you do visit, please let me know - if you can bear it I'd love the chance to whizz in and meet you.

Here's something else you didn't know. Where've I been all week? Well settle in, there's always a story: Paige taught me two more things about my iphone - one was how to increase the text size at a stroke (literally) and the other was how to blog from it using an App. (That would bring my total number of Apps to 6). And what happens? Blogger informs me that my site is hosting malware. So, frankly in a state of blind panic, I follower Blogger Help to try to sort it. Trouble is see, my browser won't let me into the blog. And Blogger won't let me fix it unless I do it through the blog dashboard. You have no idea how vexing I found this. Well, OK, you probably have. So I got WOYWW done and haven't been able to get in since. Fixed now; with all the free time soaked up reading instructions and visiting help blogs.....oh em gee, I so could never be a geek. So I'm really behind with WOYWW and thought that it would be a great idea to actually utilise my new found iphone powers - aha! browse on the phone when the shop's quiet! YES! Er, NO. Safari on my phone has completely seized up. Been like it since Tuesday night. Am deeply out of love with this thing - it's a replacement phone after some sort of catastrophic failure earlier this year. I had no idea how dependant I'd become on the small percentage of its functions that I actually use and/or understand!

On the bright side - an elderly gentleman strolled carefully into the shop at lunchtime. He stood still, in a large patch of sunshine and waited his turn. He was wearing a very long stripey scarf in lovely bright, cheerful colours, slightly eccentric against his tweed jacket - you know. He had a bit of a look around him and then leaned conspiratorially toward me and said "do you sell sweeties?" . For a few seconds, I really wished I did.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday

Oh I'm in social heaven. I had totally and utterly forgotten how much fun you could have being a shopkeeper. I've spent the day chatting and selling and doing some light card making. Of course, if I were the real shopkeeper, I would be stressed about deliveries, financial complications, overheads, fresh milk, getting samples made, workshops prepared, stock ordered and ouf, well you know. So I have utterly the best of both this week. Free tea and coffee and customers who want to chat about what they're buying. And better even than that - some think this fab shop is mine! I know, I act like I own every damn place, but really, what a trip!The left -ish view from my desk. Which is the workshop table that seats 9. Obviously, I'm using the space of four people.A swing to the right. Revealing - not only the excellent photography that caught the top of the bin, but half a table full of stamps that are on clearance - end of lines that start at 50p and honestly, couldn't find one for more than £4.99. I've bought some, of course!
So that's my current work desk - is yours making you happy this Wednesday? Photo it and show it off on your blog, that makes your visitors happy! We'll swing by if you add it to Mr Linky here - note your Link number and wherever you visit a WOYWW blog, leave your number in the comment - then the blog writer can connect with you. Great.

And some housekeeping - if you want to pick off the WOYWW button, copy the box of html text under the button in the left margin on this blog, go to into your dashboard, click on Design, then click on the 'Add a Gadget' button. Select from the list HTML/Java script - press the blue '+' sign. Paste the html code into the bigger of the two boxes and click save. Ta Na! And welcome to adding loads of pics and gadgets - too easy!

Monday, 18 October 2010

Back in the saddle

Great picture, just to remind you that some trees don't do autumn, a bit like me really. I love love love the colours and the scents, but I hate the dark and the cold and as much as I try, I can't change! Anyhoo, this post is an erm, quickie. I need you to share my teeny excitement; from tomorrow till Friday I'm turning into Shopkeeper Gal! Yep, talked her into taking a few days off and giving me the keys! Who's the fool?!! So if you're at a loose end and within distance, why not schlep over for a chat?

Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, 16 October 2010

While we're talking about collections....

let's lift the lid a bit further and examine one of my accidental collections. Scissors.
LouDotMac commented on WOYWW that she could see three pairs in my desk. She has two pairs - one from SU! for paper and another pair for cutting ribbons. Well, colour me blunt! I have never considered setting aside a pair of scissors especially for ribbon. I do have fabric scissors which can ONLY be used for fabric; if-you-misuse-them-I-will-visit-the-torments-of-a-woman-ignored-upon-you.
I have a black pair of scissors coated in tungsten which are non-stick. I use them exclusively for cutting double sided tape, sticky anything.....oh and once I sharpened them, only to remove the non-stick quality of the cutting edge (which let's face it, is where they need to be non-stick). Fortunately, many blog friends were able to help me restore them! So that accounts for one pair. The massive number of orange handles in my collection does signify a preference for Fiskars scissors. Some are very pointy for fine snipping and others are rounded for just good cutting. They all work well and they sharpen beautifully. However, the real reason I have so many is that someone somewhere appointed me as a Fiskars demonstrator and of course, you have to have lots of their products in your kit. This post is not sponsored by Fiskars. Ironically, in the three years I've been bearing the responsibilty of this awesome job, I haven't been called upon to do any demo work!
Of course I have patterned edge scissors too, a postage stamp edge, an informal deckle edge and a scallop edge. I use them more often than I think, but not often, if you know what I mean. I think I use more than one pair on my desk because I'm an untidy worker, and it's easier to reach out for another pair than it is to find the pair that's buried under paper and stuff. So to answer your question LoudotMac - I have so many pairs of scissors in use because: I have them! Quite simple really. Complicated, moi?

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Adding to my my collection of collections

I am now (a rather young looking) 40-something. If you're younger than me, and when I was smug and younger, I used to hear the perennial phrase -'it'll be like this for you one day', and of course, never believed it. The smugness comes from a misguided sense of immortality, huh. Let's face it, you need to be in your 40s before reality kicks in and you can genuinely start to accept that dangerous sports, lunatic drivers, consecutive late nights and lots of hooch aren't really what life is all about. But of several things that are now 'like this' for me, the one that is most noticeable is my deteriorating eyesight. It's not a matter for glumness, this isn't a moaning post (for a change!). One of the other beautiful things about this age is acceptance of things I can't change. But the need for glasses to facilitate reading, crafting and close work - especially in non-natural light, has led to a collection. I'm telling you about this because several WOYWWers are kind enough to point out that if I can't find my glasses it's because they're on my desk. So they are. But they're also next to my chair in the lounge - usually on top of my phone or a book;

they're on my desk at work, and they're in my handbag. Simultaneously. Yep, I'm a victim of cheap, non-prescription glasses. Love 'em.

Love that for anywhere between a quid and a fiver I can have new glasses to go and to match some crazy need for colour. The proper, prescription specs are the purple £300 pair that don't leave the house because I'm scared of losing them. But to be fair, they were a good investment - they are on the third pair of new lenses in 6 years, so am ok with them. So you see, like the watches and the ribbons and the china and the oh, you get it - they're becoming a collection. Compulsive - moi?

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 71

This is a scheduled post; for the sort of time I normally try to post - to meet overseas demands (oh get me with international readers!!). No, really forget all that, I just want you to know that I'm off and out really early this morning to fit in all sorts before rushing Miss Dunnit and a chum down to Portsmouth University for an Open Day. I don't mind at all, obviously, but jeez, fitting in other bits as well is causing a lack of sleep! Anyway, so on Tuesday afternoon after work, my desk looked like this:Rather an odd angle, I grant you - no idea why, probably the mojo was in need of a cuppa! So: the basket of stamps to be cleaned is quite full - but actually they're all Christmas stamps so they kinda have to wait...! The white pot for sponges also helpfully and probably quite permanently holds an upside down bottle of cosmic shimmer spray. Upside down to stop it leaking from the cracked (and now heavily taped) corner. Cracked because it fell on the floor and I stepped back onto it whilst trying to find it. Yep, rude words. There's a finished but to be re-worked card right in the middle of the desk - I've walked round it for quite a long time now, so must put the next idea into attempt mode. To the left by one of the three pairs of scissors in view are two keyrings - characters made of string. Miss Dunnit wants me to mend them. One of the characters has an unravelling paw and the other is just well, unravelling. I have so much empathy that I'm gonna dunk 'em in glue and see if it's a cure-all. Gah, wouldn't that be wonderful! The rest is all a bit ho-hum and looking like last week I think - I didn't think to photo the die cutting area - perhaps I'll 'treat' your sore eyes to that later in the week!

Inspire me, do. Photograph and upload to your blog a picture of your workdesk - whatever work you're doing. Quite a few of us would like to come and have a rummage, see what you're working on, what you've got - you know. Link it here and we'll swing by when we can - sometime between now and next Wednesday probably! Don't be offended by a no show or a quick visit, just revel in your new found exposure!

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Ribbon envy

Some time ago, say when I first thought about it, I think I may have blogged about my ribbon problem. See, I have a thing about it; I like to have it in case I need it, I tend to buy 3 metre lengths. Because you understand, if I don't get it from shopkeeper gal, I might run out!

The foot high vase that is home for my ribbon is still in a horrid mess. On Friday evening though, having convinced myself that the reel that I needed was at the bottom of the glass, I started to sort it out. You can see from the picture that I got about three inches from the rim. And then I'd lost the will to live. And I was chatting to Miss Dunnit in front of the telly. And the basket that I thought would make a great transfer receptacle turned out to be way too puny for the job.

So I gave up, naturally! Eventually I hit the web again, and visited another bunch of workdesks. See, WOYWW is probably my best procratination tool of all! Anyway, I went to Mad Morti's place only to see that she too is using a good coat hanger arrangement for her ribbon. Sincerely I intend to convert. But for goodness sake, what will I use my lovely vase/jar thing for? All the junk currently hanging on the back of the door that the coat hanger arrangement will displace? Not suitable really. Oh my, I feel some re-organising coming on. Oh, and the ribbon I was looking for? Not there; must have used it all. But that's OK, Shopkeeper Gal stocks it. Maybe I should buy two reels.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Just a big old tweeze

LO done at the Wight Craft Circle Crop last weekend - the nearest to grpahic you'll ever get from me...and way, way too much handwriting!!
Up to a handful of years ago, I eschewed the use of anything but my fingers for applying foam pads, gems , fiddly bits, or when holding the sticky backed item above the card while I eye-ball the often jaunty angled location. Now I use tweezers. I think as a result of age-onset-crappy-eyesight. But whatever - now I love 'em and wouldn't cope well without them - specially in a fast moving workshop environment!
In terms of every day tools, I think they're a bit unsung. I think also that loads of us use them and so none of us notice them particularly, which is probably a sign of their success. And they say a lot about us too. There is a group who use the sort of tweezers that might make you shudder. Yes - all of you who are, or have worked in some medical professional capacity. Slipper Lady for example, has a large pair of tweezers that she accidentally (and often) calls 'forceps'. She is an ex theatre nurse. Lady Nurse has a pair almost as long as her pencil case and very angled at the end - you can so imagine her using them to hold 'bits' of people. Seriously!
There are tweezers that disappear to a point - anything I try to pick up with this type just pings across the table and makes me say rude things. But they are favoured by many - in my experience, the 'many' in this case are the crafters who do precision and stitching and exercise care and caution with every move.
Then there are the left brainers - you know the ones - they do perfect graphic stuff and like clean neat lines and can get their heads around any puzzle. They use the tweezers that work the opposite way - the 'squeeze to release' type. I have never coped with these at all. Imagine!
There are the crafters who have more than one pair and have tied a cheerful ribbon round the top to identify them at workshops - generous and not too worried about tweezer intimacy. And see, you can get that. Tweezer intimacy. The tweezers I use are metal, about 4" long and have a rounded angle at the 'picking' end. Not an outstanding piece of design, but they do a great job for me. And just like a good fountain pen, they have become mine and I know the best way to hold them and angle them and blahdy blah. So I'm the one that has two pairs - you can borrow my other pair, but I won't be in a hurry to share the silver ones. I know what is says about me. But I'm more interested in what your tweezers say about you.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 70

Well, going to bed early last night meant that my table stayed tidy until about 6pm today. The picture shows some left over stuff after a brief meeting with a bride and groom to concoct some invitation ideas. Sounds very formal but it wasn't - more fun and shock - after all the groom is the eldest of Miss Dunnit's Godbrothers. All I could think about was the cot bumper and quilt that I'd made to celebrate his birth - about 5 years ago according to my understanding of time!
Ah well. So the desk looks good if you work from the top. From the side that shows the scrap boxes, it's starting to look a little well, scrap heavy! I'm still feeling quite inspired by my Isle of Wight experience (man those girls were an inspiration), and so hope to capitalise on that! You can see some really cute knotted ribbon that I brought at the crop, and if you squint, a blue card with white die cut snowflakes on it. It's been waiting to be re-made as a much nicer card for a fortnight. I think it's time!

I failed to get around all the desks this week - I repeated last week's tactic and started at the top of each column of links - this way I see late and early entries in a reasonable time, but time and real life really got in my way! However, as I keep saying - it's not a requirement to get around all the desks - when you leave a comment, leave your Link number too and the blog owner can return your visit - a nice reciprocal blog hop. Either way - no pressure on each other, folks - it's meant to be fun!
Join in then - upload a photo of your desk/top/tray/sofa/bench/floor/drawers - wherever you're working. Show us what you're working on and let us see what you've got. It doesn't have to be a craft or indeed a paper craft - just show and tell! Lovely. Leave a link in the linky thing and slowly but surely, we'll drop in for a look see. Can't wait. If you wanna go public, grab a button for your blog - in the left sidebar.

Monday, 4 October 2010

I saw this and thought of you....

The title of this post has to be one of the nicest and most heart-warming of phrases. I expect it can make your blood run cold, but generally I think it's used in a friendly way! See my new tool basket - it's one of those gifts. From a totally non-crafting friend who totally gets the need for efficient and beautiful storage. I'm very happy with it, and have spent a happy few minutes separating things into proper categories and sensible amounts. Except possibly the wooden glue sticks which are now in abundance - of course, really they are coffee stirrers from trendy establishments, but my friends tend to erm, pinch them and then hand them to me as if my using them for glue application will exonerate them in the eyes of the law! I really hope it will - I do use them alot, and very efficiently, I promise!
I've unpacked and re-grouped after the weekend retreat, I can't photo anything because the light is naff, but I will be forcing my production into view - man, I was prolific! We got to the crop at about 10.30 on Saturday morning, made ourselves instantly at home and then set to. Brace yourself interweb - I completed, finished, accomplished, ended, finalised seven different things! LO's all, but some that can't be shown for they are destined for albums that will be pressies - and you never know who's watching and not commenting. Sam.
Me and The Colonial had the greatest time - relax, eat, scrap and then relax, eat and scrap. Apparently the weather was awful but we didn't notice. We arrived in sunshine and left in sunshine. It was great. Oh, and there was a shop....Kate was there, with Cre8tive Online...oh my. Way to go Paige and Sam - I know how hard the organising and worrying is, and I enjoyed it so much more because I wasn't an organiser! We've even committed to going back for the next one - although we didn't do that before nearly everyone else had left so they didn't get a chance to veto us!
I have unpacked (tidily) and assessed my tidy desk and decided that in order for it to stay tidy, I need to have an early night tonight - I'll probably be over it by tomorrow!

Sunday, 3 October 2010


Now, I'm typing this from the very lofty and frankly very comfortable, high ground. This is a scheduled post, because me and The Colonial are currently enjoying the hospitality of the Isle of Wight Crop Circle's autumn retreat. We were meant to go on Friday to maximise our cropping time. Obviously work got in the way and by waving an extra £5 at the ferry company, I managed to change our crossing to early Saturday. All very interesting stuff I can you hear say, but really Julia, why's it worth the blog post?
Because dear interweb, I had to tidy up before I could get ready!!
My workroom floor shows very well how I prepare - I sit in front of my paper cupboard and match photos to paper, then move to another cupboard to decide on embellies and etc. But so many of my tools and stuff were buried on my desk that I decided the tidy up time would be a good investment. So - suck it up, make the most of it - it probably won't look like this on Wednesday! 'Probably' - do you like how I employ words that suggest hope?!
So, evenif I distract everyone at the crop by chatting and only manage one LO in the 2 days, what the hell, the IOW gals were the motivation for a minor miracle. And onthat basis alone, I'm having a great time!

Friday, 1 October 2010

There is always a jumping off point

Gawd, it looks wobbly and unfinished in the photo...anyway, you get the idea. This was a card for yesterday's workshop - using die cuts. Sizzix alpha die (which is why it's a bit of a ragged cut, afraid to say) and a round nestability. Nothing to it, but quite a lot of faff with teeny foam pads! Anyway, I digress. Already. If you've ever dropped in here before, you may have noted my enthusiasm for sketches/recipes, especially when the old mojo is turned down to low. They are a fab jump off point for me and often lead me down a completely different path to another card entirely. Love that. So. You'd think wouldn't you, that as a person that conducts the odd workshop, I'd be of the same opinion regarding the card ideas I make for these workshops, huh? Any reasonable person would, huh? Yep. But I'm not reasonable; I turn into some sort of pouting fascist when people dare to change the card design in the workshops. I joke about it of course. And I used to threaten to write them in my black book; now I threaten to blog about them. It hurts, mother, like a big kitchen knife plunged into my creative heart. Really. And it's always the more painful because the changes are ALWAYS for the better. Take the card above for example. Yesterday, Carol (for her protection henceforth she will be called 'The Re-designer') just changed the application of the red glitter glue. Dotted it closer together and just around the circle, not extending across the letters. It looked fab and of course, better than mine. And led everyone to think in terms of a wreath crossed with the letters...another card was evolving. Last night, I confused the Newbabymumma and she used entirely the wrong piece of DP as a card background. I couldn't convince her to start again. The mistake - MISTAKE, dear interweb, turned out to be a stunner. No wonder I pout. And keep a record of these erm, offences. One day I'll publish the revised versions and claim them for my own. I am not above doing that you know. Meantime, I'm a bit busy making another blue tack effigy. It's a coping mechanism.