Monday, 28 February 2011

So now she thinks she can review anything...

Oh get me, I've been asked to do a series of book reviews. Ok, two reviews, but I shall spin it out into a jolly important series if I can, of course! Ya may or may not know that because of the traffic through this blog, I am now and then asked to promote/review a product. Usually I don't because there's nothing in it for the 'traffic'. That's you. This time though, the publisher of the books offered a discount and free P&P which I thought quite attractive.

So I had to choose from the huge New Holland Publishers site - and I thought that the books should reflect what I blog about. So this is the first one - a book of 50 card making ideas by Vivienne Bolton. It's a semi hardback and yields beautifully - you don't have to break the spine to make it lie open while you faithfully copy from it..gotta be a good start! The projects and instructions are really nicely photographed, step-by-step and not overloaded with superfluous text, a real skill in terms of instruction and description.

It's a great book for anyone who wants to know how craft, stamp, stick, to create cards, but is a bit scared to have a go without instruction or change up their modus operandi a little. It's also a gift for those people who feel the need to save anything to use again - Vivienne employs wrapping paper for central and background images and a has nice easy way to line envelopes; she like so many others, says 'never throw anything away'. Definitely in her blood then, crafting!

Now the thing about any craft book is that it can show you what to do, but it can't update the products or the terminology. This book was published before the word 'sketches' was applied to card making; the gallery of ideas that shows variations on a basic design or use of colour are just that really, and there's a nice selection of templates for scaredy cats like me too. I particularly liked Vivienne's house template, and her tips for tracing them - there's always a tip you don't have yet, huh.

There's a nice attempt at using largely generic equipment too, which I think is most important to the beginner or the hesitant! The over-stashed like me will recognise the Fiskars branded tools (even a Shape Boss!) ; they are acknowledged for supplying some equipment. However, the use of these obvious pieces is limited and wouldn't I don't think, put the reader in a panic because they didn't own them - after all, a punch is a punch, n'est pas?

In every respect it's a classic 'how-to' book and once you know how to, it's a useful 'springboard from which to create your own designs' as Vivienne says. This is one of a handful of books by Vivienne Bolton - remarkably, I couldn't find out much about her online; I don't know why, but I was fully expecting a blog; I guess three Google pages about your books is actually far more fulfilling!

Handmade Cards and Gift-Wrap is published by New Holland Publishers, price £12.99.

Enter the discount code Stamping at the checkout to receive 20% discount and free P&P.

(Free P&P to UK residents only!)
Offer valid until 1st September 2011

You'll be amused to know that the second book review is about Crochet. Watch this space!

OK, so the WOYWW PiF thing...

Lots of WOYWWers have asked for more information about the PiF idea for the second anniversary, and so here's the scoop. By my calculations, the 104th WOYWW (2 x 52 weeks) will be on Wednesday (*g*) 1st June 2011. A PiF stands for Pay it Forward. A 'pressie' is shorthand -OK, slang, for a present, gift.
So during the course of the coming weeks, decide if you'd like to take part in the PiF on that particular WOYWW. If you would, please make a small present - can be anything of course, but really needs to be made by you. The difficult part is that somewhere on/in that present, please incorporate the silly acronym WOYWW.
Then, on 'the day', when you join the link list, add an asterisk before or after your name. So if it were me, I would enter my name as *Julia. Then we know you're participating, see. You make contact with the next person on the list who has a participatory asterisk against their name, get their address and post off your gift. If you are the last participator on the list, you send your PiF gift to the first participator. Perfect circle then, which really is very WOYWWish!
Of course, there'll be reminders about the asterisk thingy on the anniversary post. And probably some angsty chat about making something between now and then too!
Again, trying to keep things simple and least complicated for my little brain, but here are a handful of 'rules':
- You don't have to take part in the PiF on 1st June to take part in WOYWW on that day or any other. If you can't or don't want to, that's just fine!
- The PiF will only occur on that anniversary Wednesday, it's not an every week thing!
- Please have your gift made and ready - given this much notice, it won't be much fun if your recipient has to wait an age to receive!
- the hard part now - don't show us what you've made until it's been received by your giftee'. This is the hardest bit, to be honest!

So there we are, I think all questions answered and I think relatively straight forward...we'll see! Any questions, please ask.....there's bound to be something I haven't thought of!

Oh and the card - Martha Stewart punch meets Paper Artsy stamps - the theme of last week's workshop was Nature, using Paper first real foray into Leandra's world. As soon as I worked out that I couldn't copy her skills, the stamps started to talk and I managed a handful of cards. Phew!

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Gimme a medal

for self control - the picture above shows you honestly and without under-embellishment what I bought at the Make It! show at Farnborough yesterday. I think the picture's bad because I'm a bit shaken by my tiny haul. Pleased nonetheless. I went with a completely impartial but totally enthusiastic Lunch Lady Jan. I think it was twice as busy as last year on the Friday, but the layout works so well - large aisles (are you listening, Ally Pally?) We cruised half the show and then met up with Chrissie and Mandi and made them join us for a lunch break; they had a sandwich and we had roast pork in a giant roll. Not so much self control there, huh! We rejoined the stands at the half way point and carried on mooching. Julie Hickey was swamped, I think she had a small demo area and I was disappointed to miss Jennie, the Artistic Stamper who was doing demonstrations with all her lovely stamps - they said she had gone for lunch; I couldn't see her - she wouldn't exactly have been sitting alone, huh!
I thought that there were a few more new shop names on the exhibitor's list this year - alongside established names. Good for them I say, it's great to see people taking the plunge. There was, to my perception, less scrap booking than I'd have liked to see - but I wonder if the logistics of carting papers is just too difficult, after all, they don't exactly get handled well in a shop environment, let alone a packed and pacey exhibition space.
Actually, having had past experience of this show, I'd say that this year was as good as ever in terms of organisation, stands and blahdy blah. What the organisers have no control over is the lack of demonstrations on stand; disappointing. I wonder if the space is so expensive that room for a demo has to be ruled out? I do not know. What I do know is that nothing sells an idea or product to me better than a chatty, friendly demonstrator who inevitably makes it all look so easy! Pretty much real life WOYWW! The show is open till 5pm tomorrow.

Friday, 25 February 2011

Entirely Sponsored.....

Today, I'm going to the Make It! Craft show at Farnborough.How's this for honesty, and possibly, stupidity; I only buy one craft related magazine a month and often, I don't look at it for months. This means that special offers and events and craft shows tend to pass me by. Unless someone gives me a heads up. I'm not good at forward commitment either; so writing dates in my diary months ahead, that aren't work related, tends not to happen; even our holidays are a bit last minute. Anyway, this weekend is the Make It! show in Farnborough. I didn't hear about it before Wednesday because of my 'head in a bucket' syndrome. And I decided that even though it would only take an hour to get to, I wouldn't bother. After all, I work and I'm super busy keeping my house and laundry in celebrity style perfection.
So then Rosanna from the show organiser people contacted me and offered me a free ticket. The exchange is to blog a bit about it. I thought you'd like to know how easily swayed I can be - a free ticket means that I'm off this morning! And I'm going to meet lovely Chrissie again, so it's a real bonus. Now, I'm not under any illusions as to why I was contacted with this offer - your WOYWW numbers means that the traffic across this blog is of interest to some people. And that's down to anyone that participates, so I thank you!

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday? 90

Mine has been a very active space - I photographed on Tuesday because this is a scheduled post. I'm off out to play today, and need not get up at 5.30. Although I probably should - it takes an age for the creases from the pillow to wear off my face these days!So here's what I did first: packed the tote with supplies and papers etc for Thursday's workshop. Took about 3 hours; lots of die cutting for this one!

Then I had to settle down and do some non craft work..honestly, this week is all about filling in multi page forms; it is not interesting and I hope not to have to repeat it; but the pay off is amazing. Get the forms filled and in their envelopes and presto wham! clear desk, ready for playing.
So I did. It was fun and the light was awful, so is the photo!

Really pleased that you think a PiF for the second WOYWW anniversary is a good idea, we need to keep it relatively uncomplicated; I'll ask you on the day to add an asterisk * to your name in the link if you are participating. And the last participant simply sends to the first..then you're all in the loop. Easy, huh!

Meanwhile, show us your current work desk, tray, table, floor space so that we can see what you've got and what you're doing with what you've got and what we might want that you already have. Upload a photo to your blog, link here and we'll come round as soon as we can! You don't have to visit everyone - taking into account numbers, word verification and blogger's hormones, just get around as many or as few as you can. No blatant advertising please - good blogging will promote your products far better than a flash on WOYWW!

Monday, 21 February 2011

Colour Me Lucky

Boring day, devoted entirely to work, grey and cloudy and drizzly out, a bit chilly in. Too mean to put the heating on all day though, so I waited for Mr Dunnit to come home for lunch. He was a darling (as I predicted) and lit the wood burner for me. Told you I was lazy. During the course of the afternoon I decided to check the post. I find that I finish all the filing and 'posting' of invoices and blahdy blah, only to be faced with a fresh pile when I remember to check the post box. Arrgh. We don't have a letterbox in the door see, a metal box on the wall serves us - because I can't let Mr D ccut a hole in my nice bespoke front door. It's not over posh or special, it just deserves not to have a hole in it! Oh look, an unusual digression from me.
Anyway, the post. Junk. Invoices for accounts as correctly predicted (I'm good at predictions, have you noticed?).....and a lovely lovely surprise. Oh how I love a surprise!
Wrapped and posted abroad and containing artwork too. How marvellous. Even more marvellous - see the lovely set of stamps at left? Notice that she's not the skinny minny at right? I love that! I love these stamps. Thank you so much Amber and gifts go, they're the best sort...I totally wasn't expecting them!
I appear to love a lot of things today. It's a result of sleep deprivation. Miss Dunnit went off on a *cough* History trip to Berlin with College today. And by today of course, I mean 2.30am. Half an hour before this deadline, we staggered into the car to find that the petrol warning light was not only on..but predicting 12 miles before breakdown. I guess, because it was only 8 miles to College and the waiting coach, I probably shouldn't have worried so much.....but this is a small market town and I have no idea how far I have to go to find 24 hour petrol. I am so unsophisticated. And apparently very scarey. The young man at the night till of the only open garage I could find en route seemed very scared by my gabbling relief. Or was it my bedhead and general bedraggled appearance because I'd tried to tough it out and stay up (and of course, failed miserably). We'll never know. So you see how the stamps are the bright side for today. Love that.

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Shape Up, Mrs..

Now then, you may have stumbled upon this WOYWW post very early last year. I'm not one for retrospective (or any other) analysis particularly, but was flicking through an album last night and thought it would be fun to update the situation.
I don't know if you can see the writing, but it lists my 10 top intentions for 2010:
1. Sort out my hair
2. Learn some camera skills
3. Improve computer skills
4. Develop the garden
5. Make the most of good weather
6. Keep workroom better organised
7. Be better at keeping in touch
8. Spend less
9. Cook more
10. Procrastinate less.

Well, would you like to know how it went? Lordy, if you have read this blog on anything resembling a regular basis (thank you) , you probably won't need to read any further! Well, here goes:
1. I did. It's back to short and will remain so forever. It's more 'me'. Even Mr Dunnit agrees about this and he loves long hair. Hey ho, can't please em all. But it has to please me, huh! There's a lot of discussion surrounding how short my short hair should be, and sometimes after a 6 weekly appointment Chez Sonia, I do have to wear a little more make-up to enhance...underline....OK, prove that I'm still a girly girl...but I like a bit of a spike after a trim!
2. I've learned a little more, particularly general as opposed to just about my own camera. It's quite hard to keep the rule of thirds, the angle of the subject, the light filtration and blah blah blah in your head when you have a point and shoot camera and one chance, but I am trying. Frankly it's a miracle that I can remember some of the rules, let alone remember to actually apply them.
3. I have. A bit. Mostly through the medium of panic. You know, when something goes horribly wrong and you have to learn how to make it un-horrible. I'm never going to be great at it - I think blogging and Mr Linky for WOYWW are my most complicated moments. Thing is, just like this craft habit of mine, there are a milllion billion people out there who have a computer habit and they're happy to help me and humiliate me in equal measure. And I let them, because it's easier.
4. Hmmm. This took a back seat in the summer. The garden was tended and tidier this year than others, but I don't have the will. And Mr Dunnit has the will and not the time. Big landscape plans were drawn up, but not exercised. No time when the weather was vaguely good enough.
5. I did, mostly. I had coffee in the sun in the garden and read in the sun in the garden and enjoyed it when the sun shone. I am British. I have now learned that it won't necessarily be nice tomorrow, so sit in the sun today. I also have since I turned 40, a huge respect for my skin (there's enough of it!) and so I urge you to consider Factor 15 as a minimum. S'all part of the service.
6. Yeah. This didn't happen. WOYWW is living proof of this, so I cannot lie.
7. I don't know - this is hard to judge. I've tried hard, but guess there's more to do. Especially as I have pretty much given up Facebook.
8. Achieved. The previous and present Governments have a hand in this. I am not offering them thanks. I believe I've exercised a better approach to stash too, I've become a more sophisticated consumer in order to make my money go further and my guilt lessen!
9. Loads. Second hobby. Trying to rescue week night suppers from tedium and repetition. Doesn't always work. Look forward to summer, but have to again applaud the slow cooker as an invention.
10. I can't answer this - I need more time.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Just do it........

I was browsing our (my) photo files earlier this evening and came across this, which was I think an entry into Laura's crop CJ from bloomin' ages ago when we all had the strength to take on such things. I still quite like it, mostly because it makes me smug to say that I've had so many monumentally good days that I can't pick just one. I know, you're gagging. But it's true, so there. Anyway, it led me back to the talk that's been sort of rumbling along recently amongst blogs that I visit - and oh, I do try so hard to visit thousands! I know not why, but there's been a very subtle shift and I feel that quite a few of us are enjoying our crafting for the sake of it. Not to meet a class deadline, a DT commitment or to enter a challenge, but just to spend some down time, playing with some sort of stash. It's a good thing. I think in this internet inspired, driven, consumed world, it's nice to be able to take a breath and simply do something creative for the sake of it. Recently as you know, because I have to brag about it, I've made a couple of albums and even a handful of cards that I wouldn't normally have tried or even thought of - presents for people whom I would normally buy a gift for. It's not an increased confidence in my ability - far from it - it's just the need to make something. And OK, once made, not have it sit around collecting dust at my house. But isn't it rather nice, sometimes, to lose sight of the deadline, the birthday, the basket of cards for sale and just make something because you can? Mr Dunnit once made a violin to see if he could. I am never going to go that far, but I've messed about with stamps and inks outside my comfort zone this week and pulled off a decent attempt....and enjoyed it. And since I enjoyed it, I can give it an end game and do some 'for real' without fear of wasting valuable desk time, which is usually my motivator! So, whatever the weather, over the weekend, set yourself a teeny goal - sit at your desk and craft for yourself. See if you can get back to where you started. Go ahead - just do it.

Oh and in act of shameless publicity - worse than witnessed on this weeks WOYWW, please may I draw your attention to the 2 Scrap Ladies blog, we've finalised some event dates that some of you might like to know about.

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday? 89

Ooh look everyone, that Dunnit gal has broken through the whinge barrier and is doing stuff with Paper Artsy stamps and Distress Inks! Indeed I am. See that bit of magazine at left? It's a page from a magazine that has a really nice card on it by Sharon Armstrong in an article about sketches. I thought I'd repeat it. I didn't gather supplies and check that I had stuff vaguely similar. I looked at it a couple of times, decided really that I shouldn't 'repeat' it, so much as use it to set me off. And that's what it did. The card you see there bears absolutely no resemblance to the magazine article - the common thread is that both cards have scripty style text on them, is all. But what do you really see? Yep. I work in a mess, whether it's an album, a layout or a card. It's my comfort zone!

Won't you show us what you're working on today or yesterday or tomorrow (time zones - ugh). Doesn't have to be a paper craft, but we wanna see into your work life, see your creativity on a desk. Upload a photo of it to your blog, leave a link here and we'll swing by. Simple, fun, harmless and a teeny bit addictive, actually!

And here's a thing....the SECOND (!) anniversary of WOYWW is in 15 Wednesdays time. Yep, 15. As we did for the first anniversary, when I thought that really, this should be getting old and boring by now, I'd like to mark the moment. I have a proposal to make. How about turning the links of this blog hop into a real and tangible chain? What I'd like to suggest is that on the 104 Wednesday, you note the name and get the address of the person directly below you in the link list, and send them a small, hand made WOYWW pressie, as before, to show or include the ridiculous acronym somewhere. Kinda like a Pay it Forward for WOYWWers. What do you think? If you like the idea, simply think about making the gift, make the gift, and be here for week 104! I thank you, as always.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

I know they aren't canaries....

I made this little album for one of the friends we went away with recently. It was her birthday at the weekend. We went away to celebrate two other birthdays and I haven't made either of them an album, mini or not. Luckily, as none of them read this blog, it's unlikely to cause them to clamour for ownership of one my erm, works.
It has all the usual suspects for a mini album, some obvious but hidden tags for comments pertaining to some funny or compromising situations and a smattering of something to give it some cohesion. In this case, that's all the papers, by DO Crafts, their Birdsong collection under the Papermania banner. Very nice too. See, we went to Tenerife, which is one of the Canary Islands. Or more correctly, Islas Canarias. I know the papers don't actually show canaries, but hey, they'll do won't they? Hear me chunter if sweet friend recipient rings me to say that they're parrots! 'Artisitc' license please?
You can see clearly in my lop sided photography that I've used the Cropadile to punch the holes instead of a BiA. It's a tedious job. Paige knows this: you have to clean the bloody hole each time to see the next location. If you have a Cropadile you know what I mean. If you don't have one, pardon my language. This technique also means that the pages don't turn quite as easily as they would; but never mind, it'll make them handle it more gently, thinking it's not as sturdy as it really is!
Thing is, I'm ready for my next holiday now. Long weekends in the sun are the business, huh!

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Me and My Cropadile

We have a love hate relationship, me and my Cropadile. That is of course, if such a thing is even possible between me, flesh blood, hormones and drama and a heavy metal, totally inanimate object. Stay with me if you will, see how much of this you can disagree with!
I love that I can cut a hole in 2 different sizes. That is a positive. Therefore I can set eyelets in various sizes. A positive. I can chomp a nice roundy hole through several layers of card stock at once (lazy, huh) - or through chipboard and metal without so much as breaking into a 'nnnnnnnn' sound, or a clenching of the teeth. A positive. It's heavy - sturdy and built to last. A positive. No doubt, it is my 'go to' tool for short reach holes and eyelet setting. Absolutely. And recently it has become an adequate stand in for the cheapskate who sold her Bind It All and has since made 2 mini books with the O wires. (2 more than she ever made when she had a Bind It All!). So it punches holes and sets eyelets, about 3cm max from the edge of the card/paper/blah. It isn't long reach, the maker (We R Memory Keepers) have addressed that with the Big Bite - a gargantuan piece of equipment that does what the Cropadile does, anywhere within a 12" reach.
With so many positives, what are my dislikes? Not many, and apparently, not enough to put me off using it. It's heavy. The scissor action is easy to use, but the handles are further apart than my hand spread and I'm guessing this will apply to quite a lot of female crafters. And the non slip rubber handles are good. In fact, so good that you can't adjust your grip in one move - you have to use your other hand to hold the Cropadile whilst you adjust your grip. It's not long reach, but you already know that. It's pink. I didn't buy the green or any other alternative colour that may have been available because I didn't want the see through storage box and 'free' eyelets. I know I'm in the minority, but really, are manufacturers really so cynical as to think that pink is a default setting for women unless they are prepared to spend more? For me, also in a ridiculous 'discussion only' type vein, I can't quite get over the weight and the sturdiness of it - all that to set an eyelet! I feel somehow, it should be capable of more. Now that is ridiculous I know - I'm not an engineer and I realise the scissor action mechanism for the easy application of eyelets is a bit of a breakthrough really. But still. That's in my head. So overall, why do I use my Cropadile? Because it's there and it will go through most material without biting back. I have a marvellous Silent Setter by Provocraft which cuts and sets in 3 sizes and is not restricted in anyway by's simply a punch/setter that doesn't require a hammer. But it takes some doing through chipboard, for example, which is where the Cropadile trumps it. However, the Cropadile doesn't trump the Silent Setter for price, reach or indeed, the potential for increased Kegel exercise!

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Happy Christmas, Sissy

I gave my sister a Christmas present, on the day, wrapped and paid for. She already had one. So I said that I'd change it for something else; the present in question is appropriate for another use, so it' s not a disaster. Just a shame huh, that I finally find something to give her that I like and want to give her.......still it goes like that, and because we're grown ups, she didn't whinge or stick her bottom lip out. Far.
She sweetly suggested a couple of things that I could buy that she didn't already have. And top of the list is vouchers. They are an ace present..and I'm collecting the used ones - they will one day make a fab basis for a mini album - all that colour! Anyway, digression aside.
So this card is made from a sheet of double sided paper, cut to A4, and then folded in a particular way to produce two pockets at the front. I found the tutorial on You Tube and we used it in a workshop some time ago. So I thought I'd do another for Sissy's vouchers. Didn't think it was worth looking at You Tube again (note I haven't linked to it - because I have no idea where it was now). I unpicked the original and thought to follow the folds. Ha. Not so easy. Fiddled with it ALL morning at the crop.....finally cracked it and ended up gluing it in the wrong place. Argh. Start again, can't figure it's beginning to be a Rubik cube in my head. So I left it. Thought well, Sissy won't know that I intended to 'wrap' her vouchers in anything nice, I'll just have to send them, the delay is embarrassing enough! So on Tuesday when I unpacked my tote after the crop, I thought that I should just give it one more go, after all, nicely presented vouchers might make up
for the delay!
And I did it, first time, in about 3 minutes flat. What is that about? Then I used Mary Anne's amazing photo corner trick to trap the vouchers on a couple of tags, added blowsy ribbon and ta na.....proper job.

And don't worry, this particular Sissy doesn't read my blog, so until the post gets to her, the secret is safe with you, right? And of course, it's arrival is dependent on my getting it to a Post Office. Oh my Sissy, this might end up being a birthday gift!

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday? 88

Mine, after making just two cards, needs sorting already!
An unintentionally clever angle means that you can see a card standing up, but you can't actually see the card. This is a good thing because it's for a workshop and it's not fair to share them before hand. In my opinion. On the left is my A5 box that houses gems, sitting on top of a piece of mulberry paper. Lordy, I'm going retro! There's a small packet of topper styled die cut D shapes under the plastic tray - to go onto a small album I'm going to put together for a friend's birthday. No really, I am. The plastic tray is for the embossing powder (I treated myself to yet another Cosmic Shimmer one today...oooh!). And then you can see the tools of me trade so to speak. No idea what I was using the Cropadile for, but the signature bunch of scissors and unwound ribbon are there, so it's my desk for sure!

Show us what you're doing then, this Wednesday - doesn't have to be crafty, we just like to see work 'desks' the world over. Photo, briefly describe, upload to your blog and link here. Over a handful of days, we'll visit. Easy. No membership, no rules (except - keep it tasteful!) and no sweating over visiting every desk - it can't always be done - just enjoy those you do visit!

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Crafting for the sake of doing it

I've been at the Shopkeeper Gal's today. Buying some bits and pieces for me. And for a workshop. When I unpacked my bag from Saturday's crop (this morning), I had a good tidy up. The link between these two activities becomes clearer, honest! I was rummaging in the pocket of my tote bag and found an old, scribbled sheet of sketches for cards. I do this occasionally when I'm struck by something in a magazine at the Dentist or somewhere odd. And inevitably, I lose the sketch somewhere.So, I used my 'found'' sketches and made a card for the workshop which is to be based around a main colour theme, and then realised I could use a similar sketch to enter Chrissie and Mandi's challenge over at their new blog, Less is More. And I did. I just did it without faffing and thinking too hard or maybe putting it off because I should be doing other stuff...(and I should). I made it because I wanted to. That was fun!
Now I don't know if this will truly qualify, there's the right colour combo and there is a 'less' feel to it, but maybe the card stock itself is too busy...too 'more'. I dunno, Chrissie and Mandi can decide! Either way, am pleased that I took five minutes out to make it. Which makes it a success anyway huh. The card stock by the way, is from the inaugural Creative Escape scrapbook convention organised by Heidi Swapp and Mr Bazzill. It's only taken me 4 years to get around to using it!

Monday, 7 February 2011

What I did at the Crop by Julia Dunnit

See, Mary Anne, under orders from oh, everyone that comes to Ludgershall Crop, had brought some of her mini albums, albums and a handful of projects for us all to look at. Man, they were gorgeous. She recognised the look of unspoken and frankly unashamed begging in my eyes and gracefully gave in. She offered us a class. So at this month's Crop, after lunch and before tea, she showed us with skill, patience and a lot of attention re-focussing, how to make this picture frame. The idea actually was to make two and join them with a hinge for folding together. Lovely. Except my first was erm...not very acceptable. It's in the re-do it pile. I managed to cut the frame aperture out perfectly straight and then discover it's a bit too left of centre. Still, this one's a good 'un, and a great way to use my lovely Fimo roses that I've been wittering on about for about 3 weeks! I got the mould from Crafty Notions' Sarah and all I did to them was wipe a teeny amount of white acrylic paint across them to highlight the relief a bit. Pearl-Ex would have been good too - but I wanted to have something finished before I had to come home!
I'm still messing with the diamante blibs, I thought the trailing look was OK, but am now going to dig out the old swirls template and see if I can't go completely overboard. Now, Mary Anne said that in order to get the most out of the work she'd put into the photographic step by step instructions, she'd offer them on her blog as a pdf file. I've been over there and guess what - pdf, and a Now y'all - not only is this incredibly generous, her samples were amazingly gorgeously worth a trip to her blog anyway for a looksee and also - this frame is made from foam core board - which makes it incredibly light - which makes it a fab present for your far-aways. All round brilliance, Mary Anne. Nobody at the Crop is prepared to follow that!

Friday, 4 February 2011

Photographer extraordinaire

Here we are again, Los Gigantes harbour on Tenerife. It has very Austrian influenced architecture and is very pretty. So I took a few pics. First thing to say - I am lucky enough to be fully able bodied. No matter what this picture makes you think, my legs are of equal length and I do not suffer any sort of massively sloping shoulder problem. (Although there may be a chip or two, I dunno..) So why the lean? I have absolutely no idea. I don't even remember being so close to the water's edge that I should be careful. I think I was trying too hard to get the buildings into a shot that included the 'mountain'.
I do remember saying to anyone that cared to listen at the time (poor Mr Dunnit) that I would at some stage have to learn to change the colour of the red car or remove it all together - I felt even at the time that it was a bit glaring and detracted from my composition(!). Clearly I was so busy being up my own butt about the photography and the car that I completely failed to notice the nice lady in red shorts. She looks great, but is totally cluttering up my otherwise people-less picture! Why didn't I see her and give her another 3 seconds to stroll out of the way? I have no idea. Just goes to show how much detail you miss when you're constantly faffing over the bigger picture!
So this probably won't make it into the album. It will sit, like all my beloved-but-failure-type-pictures, on my computer until the computer or I die, whichever is tragically the sooner.

Talking of's Ludgershall Crop tomorrow. I must hasten away to chores-ville so that I can spend a ridiculous amount of time sitting on the floor in my workroom later, panic-matching papers to photos.
Have a good weekend!

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 87

I did specifically place the roses in the shot (photographer speak!!) so that, after last week, you can see the results so far from the Crafty Notions mould, me, and Fimo. And it's a boost too, because I know what I'm going to use them for now, so baby steps and three weeks, maybe a result! Colour me red and surprised, the rest looks a bit valentine-y, but that actually, wasn't the intention at all. It must be subliminal! The terracotta dish on the glass mat is only about an inch deep and had some water in it whilst I fiddled about with stamping onto wet watercolour paper. That was yesterday and the water's dried has the idea. The BG pad is a small one that I've had for a while and decided that it won't scare me if I look at it for a long time. I shall in theory, get sick of it and use it! Check back with me about this theory. And here's a close up of the roses so far.........because I thought a two photo desk would be a delight this dull dark Wednesday early morning!
Join us do - show us a picture of your works surface; clean, tidy, messy, filthy. However. Upload to your blog, tell us briefly what you're doing and link here so that we can all come round for a jolly good rummage. I thank you.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Celebrity Lifestyle

Today I had a celebrity day planned. You know the one, where I drop in a photo of a new project and it shows up acres of gleaming clean and tidy and utterly co-ordinated home. Where my blog post mentions the bride to be that was coming around for coffee and some help with her stationery planning, and then a brief interlude from all my paper crafting and inspiration to have lunch with a friend who I badly need to catch up with. And then back to my craft room, freshly inspired to create, no doubt something with a friendship theme. All well and good. And a grand plan that actually, could well have been mostly accomplished. That bit about acres of gleaming household - hmmmm.
Ah well, in praise of modern women, flexibilty and the foolishness of offering to help, these plans are put off. Instead - I'm off on a slightly less glamourous trip around the M25 to collect an essential piece of equipment for Mr Dunnit's workshop.
This is not a complaint you understand, more of a 'how do they do it' poser - I mean, these celebrity scrappers and card makers have lives and children too (and mostly they have waaaaaaaaaaaay more children than I). So what am I doing wrong? Answers in less than a lifetime of essay writing please. And if you see me in my little green rocket on the M3 or M25 today - give me a wave - it'll make me feel like a celebrity!!