Friday, 29 June 2012

Men's cards - the lowdown

Oooh look, a card suitable for a bloke! 
Now, you may not know this, but in all decisions -especially the sort that may come back and bite me on the bottom, I defer to Mr Dunnit.  I like to have someone to blame, it doesn't suit my image to be wrong for no reason and I am completely without instinct.  Take the grduging embrace I've made of TH and the seven shades of wee wee; I really, really hoped it wouldn't last, and now I'm doing it!  Anyway, I digress.  If you've visited before, it might have been at a time when I'm 'blocked' because I have had some men's cards to make.  'Blocked' is the arty, diva way of explaining that I have no idea what to do and so am talking about it by way of procrastinating.  So, even patient Mr Dunnit gets fed up with the whining and gave me some ground rules.  I thought I'd share them, they make interesting and ultimately alarming, reading.
1.  Keep the lines clean.  No ripping or fancy cutting.
2.  No matter if a man can wear pink, he doesn't want it on a card.
3.  Cute is OK in view of 1 and 2.
4.  Technical stuff is good - great colouring, layering, positioning.
5.  It doesn't have to be brown, or green come to that.
6.  Less is more.
8.  Embellishments should be functional.  No bows.  
9.  Lots of this won't apply to a Valentine.
10. If it was left to us, it would probably go in the bin the next day anyway.
Now I should stress that Mr Dunnit is a nice bloke who by his very nature wouldn't want to speak as everyman.  I realise that not all of this will apply to all men.  But there are things about that summary that make me think - great, I can do this easily! And there are things that make me think it's not worth the bother.  Men.  Huh.

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Noticeable lack of improvement...

Hmm, did someone suggest a tidy up?
In the best traditions of what I do (or rather don't), I haven't tidied my desk before using the space to take a photo for today's blog post. So I took one photo and then thought to step back and show you the real summer's day...look, I have the stable door fully open.  There will be a storm.  No, not because of my slutty desk, because the humidity and temperature dictate it.  As I type, the warm wind is gaining annoying in, I push the door wide open, the wind blows it closed....I could get up and anchor the door open, but that's what is so annoying...I have to do it.  

This is my intended post illustration - more ATCs.., I'm thrilled to still be receiving happy mail...I will eventually 'pocket' them all in a special edition album because they deserve to be separate from my other ATC collection.  Hasn't it been marvellous, to discover or re-discover these little cards, they take so little in terms of stash but mean so much more I think.  Don't wait for an anniversary, send one to someone any time!  

Meanwhile chez Dunnit, I really need to finish the card I started on Monday.  Really.  Sarah's beautiful baby Ruby will be weeks old before she's introduced to the tatty side of paper crafting by her WOYWW Aunty Julia!  Just got to go and open the door.......

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 160

I took two photos on Tuesday, in decent enough light.  It will be unchanged by the time I post this but hopefully, I will have moved on to other stuff before Wednesday evening.  Well there's the kiss of the death for that as a plan then, huh!!  
About 10am, Tuesday

 There's the usual detritus. a pile of stuff gathered form other places that need my attention - a LOT of photos in preparation for a crop, a card that I liked from a shop - it has a phrase printed in different fonts - I could do that with my 24 alphabet sets and a stamp positioner, huh!  One day, grasshopper...
About 7pm Tuesday
And later in the day - the makings of something...but I'm not toally sure about it yet..As you can probably tell, I've put away the stuff that was actually in the away, but anything without the perimeter of the glass mat stayed.  As usual.  I see the addition of the phone. It rang a lot today, so I kept it on my desk.  Mistake.  Makes me Jump EVERY time it rings. 

I wanna just briefly be serious about blog visits.  If I visit every WOYWWer each week, it takes me most of my weekly browsing time.  Which means I don't visit and comment at your blogs at all in between WOYWW posts.  Which do you prefer?  I know my presence in your comments section isn't a life or death thing, but as you pop in here quite often, do you resent my lack of reciprocity?  Let me know, I may alter my strategy. (Like I have one, ha!!)
Now, while you're thinking about that, share your workspace, whatever and wherever you're working, we wanna see and be inspired by you.  PLEASE put WOYWW in the title and link to that post if you can.  When you visit others, add your Link list number to your comment.  IF you can live without it, consider removing word's getting really hard and if it can't be completed the first time, you often lose a comment, it's the 'thing' that I get most correspondence from WOYWWers about, and it's always negative!  If you want to and can't turn it off, please ask, loads of people here will rush to help you!

Saturday, 23 June 2012

I had my head down....

Which is why you've experienced a blissful silence from me since Wednesday.  I woke on Thursday and decided that it would be a good day to sit at the PC and do some housekeeping.  Do you know I deleted over 1300 photos of workdesks and craft projects, and I reorganised a couple of files and as usual, didn't achieve quite as much as I thought I would in the time it took.  And gentle reader, I went for a bike ride.  It wasn't long and it was very pleasant until the rain came down in a sheet and I had to drop 5 gears and pedal like the wind...really.  Fat woman puffing hard on a bike.  Imagine.  So here's the coaster that loads of you asked about on Wednesday:

 It was a gift from the WIllowy Blonde some time ago, and still makes me smile...because let's face it, there are some days when I would. And then, because I ignored other jobs and having had Wednesday off, I felt refreshed, so finished the men's cards.  Here's one:

Lunch Lady Jan hosted a marvellous WOYWW lunch on Wednesday, it was a delight, I can tell you.  Of course, I didn't manage a single photo (too busy talking) and of course, I'm depending on Jan's significant G to photo-shop me into something acceptable before I ask for copies from his proper camera.  Meanwhile, the sweet Di has 'run around' and blogged about it with a photo, so I'll send you there .  However, big up to LLJ, it was a great, fun day and stand by your beds, she's had another cracking idea!

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 159

This is Tuesday evening's scene.  Do you know, I had to leave it till 8.30 to take the picture to avoid shooting into the sun.  Yep, in amongst that 'now-I think-I'm-a-photographer' speak I did say sun.  Tuesday was just lovely.  And today gentle WOYWWers, promises to be the same.  Oh! To be in England now that summer's here.  Even if for only a day more, it really is a lovely place in the sunshine!  Anyhoo, I'm putting off the inevitable really.  Returning to type, my desk I think, betrays my complete inability to make up my mind and finish something. I'm meant to be preparing samples for a 'Men's Cards' Workshop.  I know what I need/want to use in terms of product, I know what sort of techniques will suit the workshop, and I can't yet get a grip on the far, none of the cards on the desk match the idea in the head.  The head, it appears, is the more wooden of the two at this stage.  You will hear more about this, I fear.  Or you fear.  

So put me out of my misery and show us your successful work surface this week...we wanna see what you're doing and what you've got.  Naturally.  Please include WOYWW in your blog post title.  Link it here and we'll visit.  There were only 2 last week that I simply couldnt leave a comment on; one because it was too promotional (I noticed that only one WOYWWer had commented on it by the time I got there on Sunday) and the other was number 142, Ashton Elaine....the link was wrong/damaged and no amount of searching got me there, so am really sorry if you were disappointed by lack of comments!  
Meanwhile, link here, go ahead, make your day.

Monday, 18 June 2012

Location Location Location

Bliss.  Pilar de la Horadada.....I could live here.  
Up to last Friday, I hadn't sat at my desk for anything other than work and was feeling the lack of creativity.  Nor had I been over to visit Shopkeeper Gal...and I was feeling the lack of a bit of shop therapy for sure.  Managed to right that this weekend. And proof, as if I needed it, that the world keeps turning without me - big news at the shop. The lease on the premises has expired and the Gal has taken the decision to move.  She's found a lovely, high street location in Amesbury, Wiltshire (the nearest town to Stonehenge, visitors!) and intends to move at the end of July.  When the shop re-opens, there will be a different focus.  Stamps, scrapping and dies will be the core stock, for these have proven the core business.  Sound planning huh.  I can't tell you how excited I am for her.  An opportunity that not many people get or take - to blow out some cobwebs, 're-brand' if you will.  And I'm excited for me too.  (Obviously, I can twist this to feature me too.) I hope it will be an opportunity to meet new crafters, create some more workshops and revel in new stamp company stocks.  Bliss, actually.  So then of course, I was inspired and came home, cleared the decks (ignored the other chores) and played crafter for the afternoon.  More bliss.  

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 158

EDIT: Sorry about the early lack of linky,,,it WAS there, and then it wasn't!

Finally by staying up late and being uncharacteristically cross with the state of 'being behind', I've managed to reclaim my desk and drop onto it a couple things that I want/need to do in terms of craft. You see a new punch and a small stamp in a packet - a prize what I won!  Colour me chuffed!  And bunting and harlequin stamps (from The Artistic Stamper). I have a couple birthday cards to make and bunting is just not going to go out of style for me! Still got Tracey's oval dies, see? And the plastic bag has some bits and pieces in that Miss Dunnit bought for know, emery board, lip balm, blah blah.  So how did I achieve this state of readiness?
Yep, swing left and push back basically!  The office work has gone to the dining table because I need my craft space back, whine whine, and the craft papers that need sorting and organising have been ignored into a great big pile.  I'll tackle it, soon.  Let's not talk about tackling the jar of ribbons. Ever again. Argh.
So what are you tackling this week? Got time to show us?  Upload a pic to your blog..please.  Put WOYWW in the title and link to that post here.  Visit a few of the'll be amazed, inspired, delighted, relieved.  Yep, we're ALL human!  See ya.

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

What's Your Favourite Colour?

Edit: Godbrothers are the children of her Godparents...worked out all be herself!

Without and beyond a shadow of a doubt, my favourite colour is yellow.  Not too citrussy, but sort of custard and brighter.  I know, my powers of description are wanting.  But note that without even thinking,  I've used food to illustrate my preferred colour.  That probably says more about me than the actual favoured colour! On the basis that Mr Dunnit just wants to get on with his life, he didn't argue over my choice of a pale yellow for my workroom walls, or indeed a deep and warm yellow for our lounge room.  No really, it worked.  Still like it.  Nor does he try to change my mind when being a romantic...yellow roses and gerbera do it perfectly, thank you!  I don't wear it....gah, it makes me look very poorly and frankly, it's too late for real  strikes me as too young.  And the sophisticated autumnal shades like mustard, well as I say, they make me look terrible.  I don't tend to choose yellows for crafting.  It's a difficult colour to take seriously (one of the reasons I love it) and so doesn't always belong in my oh so artistic repertoire in large amounts.  That's not to say that every card or page I make is of a serious nature, not at all.  But in crafting, I tend to move towards golds and ochres and dare I say it - TH's seven shades of wee wee. 
It's a cheerful and irresistible colour for me, speaking of summer and daisies and lollipops and things that are fun.  The LO above is the only one in my entire collection that features yellow in such quantity.  And it didn't start with the yellow coat either, oddly enough.  Although as a small digression - I was a bit pleased when it turned out that my daughter actually suits the colour...not least because it makes her easy to spot in a crowd and any mother of any aged child will tell you how important that is!  I bought the little laser-die-cut wooden figures (from Sarah's Cards, if you're interested).  And whilst visiting a friend in Basingstoke, I happened to find the paper in Hobbycraft.  Believe it or not, it's the reverse of a sheet of very plain something or other.  Well, at the time, I didn't have the wooden figures, but I do have a die that cuts teeny figures just like those on the paper.  So I bought it.  Great justification.  And then, while preparing for crop last month, with stuff all over the floor, the photo presented itself..the paper stack was flipped through and this was found.. I realised I could use three of the little wooden figures too.  Perfect for the picture that is two years old and that I thought was headed for the 'ones I didn't scrap' album.  Amazing huh, two purchases, within weeks of each other and for nothing specific have come together and been used.  Shock and delight!  
I think it's extremely fair to say that yellow is a lucky colour too.  Don't please, try to tell me I'm wrong...I'm too old to choose another favourite colour. 

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Show and Tell

Another story of WOYWW. If you're a reader but not a WOYWWer, you probably wish I'd get over it.  Sheesh, it was just another day, anniversary or not.  Yeah.  You're right.  It was just another day, and I'm over that.  I'm so not going to get over the swap.  Fun, creativity and friendship from everywhere, and that also means generosity. Just look:


Not just a lot of work, time and materials, but postage too and it all makes for a vivid  collection of art that makes me smile. These are the ATCs I received as a result of the swap.  You will be unsurprised to know that I need to make more!  But also....shh. I really quite enjoyed making the first bunch, so am kinda looking forward to getting back into the routine of procrastinating and whining on my blog about getting nothing done.  Standby.  I thank you.

Friday, 8 June 2012

The Chocolate Spoon effect

How much would a chocolate spoon enhance your coffee break? Compare it with WOYWW.  A silly idea, born of being nosey..of being in a panic in case other crafters have got stuff that I haven't....of wanting to see what I'm missing...all of those reasons.  So once a week, many of you join me to post a desktop picture for each other to look at and pick over.  There's the morning coffee.  It happens that weekly is enough for many of us to recognise similarities and interests and become real friends, locally and across the world. Contacts are made, daily life is enhanced.  There's the rich and enjoyable taste that a morning break brings.  And then, the WOYWW thing gets onto being another year older and because we can, we offer each other a small piece of art, handmade in our own unique style.  Much pleasure is derived from 'real life' mail arriving...and stories of meetings.  Much pleasure.  And that, surely is the effect that a chocolate spoon has on your coffee break. 

Thursday, 7 June 2012


The thing about visiting the same place on an annual basis is that you stop taking photos of your surroundings.  Most of this last week's snaps are of the people that enhanced my holiday...and they choose, for some reason, not to be pasted all over my blog.  I don't get it either...they all look fab in hot sweaty summer temperatures and tight spandex type swimmers.
Vista Alegre, Torrevieja
So I've recorded some maginifcent flora, some wonderful architectural additions to our usual holiday haunts and the odd bit of whimsey.  Honestly, I think Mr Dunnit has more pictures on his phone than I do on my camera!  
Loved this!
I did record some of the ex-pat and holiday maker British enjoying a garden party (because we went to it - it wasn't a 'through the railings shot, honest!) and real sunshine to celebrate the Queen's Jubilee.  It was heart-warming and slightly unnerving at the same time.  Mr Dunnit felt that it was a bit jingo-istic....but I figure the Spanish will celebrate King Juan Carlos' jubilee's as they arrive, so perhaps they understood.  It was held in a public Park and remained open for everyone to enjoy, so at least in that sense it didn't suffer from that British 'exclusive-ness' that drives me nuts.  
Spot the Brit
Our holiday home is on a large development, and the English permanent residents have of course established a Resident's Committee for the road, set some stupid rules and worse, done that frightfully english thing of throwing up locking gates to stop other people from using the communal pool etc.  Makes me so cross to have to carry a set of keys 50 yards to have a swim.  And not to be able to hang my towel over the balcony railing afterwards for fear of 'street untidiness'.  The gates, I should tell you, are 3ft high.  So if you forget your key and are in any way fit, you can vault over them.  So they aren't keeping anyone out.  And the towels?  I hang em out the Chairman a reason to come and say hello! 

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 157

Yoo hoo!   Man, it's good to be home.  Man, it's cold and wet in southern England. Here's my almost real time work desk!  As evidenced by the ipad, photo taken on Tuesday evening. As you can see through the window, 10 days of neglect has given the erm, 'wildflowers' a chance to engulf the patio.  Ah'll wait, I can't do that sort of work in the rain; sugar melts in the rain.  So on the desk is a catch up attempt.  I have ATCs to send to ensure that I participate in the anniversary lot are so great at joining in, and so very generous. Thanks.  
You can just see evidence of Union flags in the tin; they're for cakes and sandwiches, but I'm planning to use them in a scrapbook...I should have closed the tin to show you the patriotic lid too, ah well, not much forethought here! The flags-in-the-tin is a bit of bad tidying really, because since Laura gave me the tin, it's really the home for my collection of tapes. Not Washi tapes per se, but some nice ones anyway..maybe I'll show them off some time.  

Show us what you're up to then, we need a photo of your working area, kitchen, sewing room - wherever and it to your blog, include WOYWW in the title and link the post here.  Easy.  It will be good etiquette to return visit....and that way, you're hooked! 
Danielle, who usually links around the 110-ish mark asked me to tell you that she's using WOYWW to maximise her Ranger give-away...she was a little worried that it's against the rules.  It's not particularly, because it's a give away.  The self publicity and linking to every product the blog owner sells is less in the spirit of WOYWW.....and if this seems a contradiction, well....I could bore you to death with my logic, but actually...why bother.  Your visitor numbers will tell you if you're taking part in WOYWW or promoting to no avail.
Lecture over, here comes the linkmeister:

Friday, 1 June 2012

DIY Upholstery

So, lemme treat you to a before and after story.
This chair was given to me 20 years ago.  By a friend who knew I would enjoy 'doing it up'.  And for 20 years, we've used it as a spare chair, exactly as you see it here.  Grim, huh.  Every time - every time - we've been anywhere that involved fabric and  furniture, I've looked for something that would 'do' for the chair.  You need to understand that it hasn't exactly been very often.  In the last couple of years, I've had a realisation about my marriage, and that is basically that unless he HATES it, Mr Dunnit is mostly ambivalent about furniture, furnishings and house stuff.  He seems happy if I'm happy. I know this is rather lovely actually, but it also frustrates me when I want more than a 'yeah, s'nice' and a shrugged shoulders type of opinion.  Ah well, can't have it all.  And frankly, if he had a strong opinion that was contrary to mine, we'd only argue.  And there would be an impasse, like the time we couldn't agree on tiles for the new bathroom.....oh I digress. So, LLJan posts a picture of one of her craft sale cushion makes and the fabric makes me realise  - that's what I've been waiting for to do the chair!  Cool.  Cue a quick trip to Marlborough and as usual with LLJ, some laughter.  So, then there's the colour of the chair to consider.  I decide to try to match the brown in the pattern, as the chair 'lives' next to a piece of oak furniture against a creamy coloured wall.  (Am I making it sound posh? I hope so!).  I took the fabric to the paint matching people that we use in the business side of our lives and they made up a colour.  Mr Dunnit took the chair to the workshop and sprayed it.  And brought it home.  It looked very thoroughly as if I'd chosen the colour of Poo.  I wasn't distraught so much as put out...after all, a litre of bespoke paint colour isn't quite like the off the shelf can for price....argh.  So I buckled and let him spray the topcoat. And decided it was two things - 
1.the perfect colour match, how clever of the paint people, and
2. going to have to do.  

So then, in my extremely amateur and unprofessional way, I added a new foam seat pad and tacked in 100 upholstery nails....also spray painted the colour of erm, Poo. And the result, as you see here, is  not showing a lot of the brown to which it was all matched.  Shucks. See, told you it was an amateur job.  And those tacks were so much harder to do than I thought!  Now, I know it's an 'on trend' fabric, and you might think I'll tire of it quickly.  But I won't.  I love it. So does Mr Dunnit. I think.  And hey, it took me 20 years to get around to changing the last fabric, and I hated that!