Monday, 17 December 2018

Say it with food...


The thing about an approaching year end is the number of people you realise you’d like to acknowledge. Here in the UK there’s a fading tradition to tip various service providers, but it’s a difficult thing to do, (if only logistically) and if you start that with tips for a few great service providers, where do you stop? My list would be huge.



Now, I don’t know about you, but I’m a feeder. Food is a treat for me and I like it when other people feel the same. So, during December and because I’m ostensibly at home to do these things, I bake. Only mince pies and occasionally, biscuits. The advantage of this is two fold, frequently I am able to offer a couple of fresh mince pies to a delivery guy or the postie. And I get to have the oven on, which in my tiny kitchen, is as good as any heating at a time of day when I’m really too mean to actually use the central heating!




Last month (late!), I made these individual Christmas cakes. I’ve finally made time to ice and package them; they are for the staff at my lovely Mama’s care home - you know, the people I’ve never met who do her laundry and cook her meals and clean her bedroom. It’s not a huge gift, but I want them to know that ‘backstage’ or not, we notice their work and appreciate it, they are essential to Mama’s well being.

Back in the day when I was a sales rep, we used to trot around to customers with bottles and diaries. Mr Dunnit would come home laden with bottles and erm, girly calendars and occasionally something really nice! But that was always just lip service really, to a ‘good’ customer or an excellent supplier.

These days, I hope a small home made edible is enough. If you’re in my neighbourhood, call in....you do the vacuuming and I’ll warm you a mince pie.

Friday, 14 December 2018

In preparation.

I'm at the stage now where I've had lots of bags hanging around the spare room, stuffed full of items that are set to be gifts for various people. I use the big bed to spread the gifts out and allocate them to their various recipients in little piles. That's not to say that each member of our family gets a box full of gifts from us, but that there's often one or two rather than one 'main' gift. It's a very useful overview for me. I can see what I've got which means that I can easily tell whether I need to get anything else. I can also get a sense of whether I've bought enough wrapping paper! 
I've been doing it this way for as long as we've lived in this house. Miss Dunnit, now 25-and-a-half was 18 months when we moved here. So I' thinking, it's an annual routine by now. And I beg you to agree.I asked Mr Dunnit to add a bottle of rather tasty gin to 'the big bed' rather than walk past it on the stairs as he went up yesterday. This is my bedside table last night.
Is it me?! I don't know which worries me more - that he's over protected from the whole present planning and wrapping thing, or that he thinks I want a bottle of gin at my bedside!
In his defence, he did seem rather embarrassed that he'd made such a mistake, (and it IS a mistake), but he laughed hard and long over my slightly offended and exasperated reaction. And now we're thinking hmmm, should we really give this one away.....!

Wednesday, 12 December 2018

What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday 497

It's ALL on my work desk, thanks for asking - your share and my share of the mess. I have no one to blame but would like to mitigate the shock of the sight by saying that I am multi tasking..the layers will reveal wrapping paper, cards waiting to be written, gifts tags as a work in progress and 'proper' work paperwork. Somewhere.

Like last week,there's a wedge of yellow kitchen paper - for a similar reason. Turns out my Christmas mugs are smaller than our everyday mugs and I'm still overfilling them! That bottle at front right is not water, as it should be. I see so many of you good Deskers who drink water whilst working. I don't like it. Anyway, I digress....it's tonic water. I was restocking (we have a cupboard with a few in and a box full in the garage) and this one got away. I thought it should rest on the desk before being opened and sprayed everywhere!  Pretty sure that by close of play tonight, it will be gone. And not just from the desk. There's a pic of me and lovely Uncle Ray that will do nicely for a scrapbook challenge and then there's the mess of holly image and Brusho colours. I'm doing a Diana; and will cut the whole up and use sections that please me. Let me say right now, her explanation makes it sound easy...
So let's see what you're doing then people, images of calm and clean would do my poor tired eyes some good. Images of mess and panic would do my mental health a whole lot of good!

Thursday, 6 December 2018

The card-sending arrangement


As normal in our set-in-our-ways way, yesterday at about 6 o,clock, when he came from work, Mr Dunnit and I had a welcome home hug, a lovely big cup of tea and a mince pie. Our conversation was a lot of talking about customers, deadlines, deliveries and work. Whilst the tea is brewing, we glance through the post. Because we are charmed with a lifetime of friends, the post is starting to deliver Christmas cards. It’s not a remarkable scenario, I’m sure. We probably go a bit off script from here though.



Cut to the lounge, some half hour later:-
Conversation has drifted from work to post prandial activities. I confessed my guilt over not being ready to post any Christmas cards from us. Mr Dunnit, who has a habit of being my ‘overview’ guy, has some erm, 'wise' words. What, he asks, will make me happy - to fret about not having made any cards, or to just buy some nice cards and send greetings that may otherwise not be sent to our lovely people; after all, they take a long time to make and then they have to be written. (True, that.)

Well, this year gentle reader, I was ready. Really ready. I asked if writing the cards would be a good thing to push onto his list of tasks for evenings. After all said I, it only takes a couple of evenings and a little concentration...a gin and tonic helps. I pointed out that in 32 years of being a couple that sends cards, our lovelies might quite like to see his handwriting. It would probably go down really well, give him a sort of modern man edge.

Well, he continues to slay me. He looked me in the eye and smirking, said ‘that’s not a task, it’s a torture’. 

And that’s the story of why I continue to write the Christmas cards in our house.

I suspect that there will be other stories regarding the division of Christmas labour; I could probably fill each of the twelve days of Christmas. I won’t spare you if they occur, I don’t really see why I should.

Wednesday, 5 December 2018

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 496

Four nine six. Four hundred and ninety-six. Seriously. And how many of those have been an untidy mess of stuff, half finisheds, waiting to be put aways, waiting for inspiration.....all of them frankly. So gentle Deskers, I give you :-
Absolutely the same thing! Slight work in progress, although you can't see it because it's on the *ahem* cutting station behind me. It's a scrapbook LO. I haven't any time to make Christmas cards, but I can get in the mood to do a LO. Don't ask, it's an insanity you do not want to be a party to. So there's a sheet of unused 12 x 12 which was cast away in disgust after trying to colour match it in unnatural light. Disaster. The square of yellow is just kitchen tissue. I was using it as a coaster for a really stupidly full mug of coffee. For reasons I will explain elsewhere, I know Jan must have had an overflowing mug too. There's a glue bottle with the lid off...I never learn. Now I'll have to pick glue snot out of the nozzle and that just makes me cross. The big scissors are out...things are getting serious! Actually, I'm not sure why...it may have something to do with packing tape and Mr Dunnit. It usually does. I'll leave you to noodle over that!
Show us your panic stations then one and all, please put WOYWW in your post title, keep the desk part of it reasonably brief - this is such a busy time for everyone and you don't want to not have comments because you wrote too much, huh. I know, pot, kettle.....

Tuesday, 27 November 2018

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 495

Look at me, making a Christmas card! Well, I was fiddling about with leftover kits from the card Marython (rather than just sorting them and putting the de-collated elements away) and thought I might try a few of my own designs. Well, turns out I'm sick of the sight of them, so then I started to try to alter the original idea and add some other colour and well.....I got one trial run finished (just sort of out of sight behind the lamp, on the iPad stand. I'm not keen, colours seem a bit dull to me. And there's another problem with getting back to the old desk today. I'm not here. There. Erm, huh? I've run away to Jan's for a couple of days and so this is a scheduled copy of how my desk looked at OMGO'Clock on Monday morning. Mr Dunnit reassures me that it is unchanged.  He's not a card making Rumpelstiltskin then, is he. Ah well. A few days with Jan and a lot of Christmas shopping may actually punch my mojo into gear! Have a lovely Wednesday. Catch you as soon as I'm allowed to sit down and rest!!

Wednesday, 21 November 2018

What's On YOur Workdesk? Wednesday 494

Well, I don't mind admitting that I didn't think I'd get as far as a blog post this Wednesday. There are some jobs aren't there, that take a billion times longer than they should, and every time you think you've nearly finished, something else hoves into view to spoil the look of the finish line. So it is with me this week. But last night I decided to file the LOs I did at a Crop last weekend. I had pencilled some journaling onto a couple of the pages because I'd forgotten my fountain pen. And now, in the cold light f a Wednesday in late November, I think I quite like the pencil and will be leaving the pages as they are. 'As the artist intended' is the phrase, I believe! 
You can tell that I'm working on top of stuff..there's an open hanging file there, but a girl's gotta have some fun after hours, huh! Do show and tell, let us see that you're ahead of the game with all the seasonal upcoming stuff....I know you will be. The creeping sense of panic I've been feeling is starting to form a knot in my stomach now...seriously am going to be Mrs Deadline this year!

Wednesday, 14 November 2018

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 493

It looks a little bit business like, but it's not so bad. The files are actually Quickutz folders filed with dies. It looks as though with a couple more nights of listing, it will all be at an end, and despite the contribution to Mary's Hospice charity, I will be very glad to see the back of them.  So you can see the packaging tape, the nearly empty coffee mug and actually, some of me shows up in reflection! Oh these dark beginnings and ends! We Dunnits are off to take out an old sash window and fit a new sash window in the same hole, so there won't be any daytime visits from me - Mr Dunnit would consider it hugely unprofessional if I piggy backed on the customer's broadband to check my blog! If they are super friendly though, I might be brave enough to ask...because the alternative is to spend my non-helping times waiting, or worse, tidying the back of the van!

Friday, 9 November 2018

How do you make the cut?

This week's WOYWW featured several Deskers and their die cutters, new dies, or something die cut related. I've been thinking about it since. Don't worry, I find it soothing.

I have a Big Shot, and it is within reach of my desk, as are the dies. I could almost brag that I have a die cutting station, after all, it is a specific area of surface dedicated to storing and using dies. But I don't think that real stations become covered in loose piles of other stuff, books, post and other detritus that spills over from my desk surface. No sir; people who have specific areas keep them specific. I've seen evidence - this is the WOYWW HQ remember.

I rest my case.
You know and can just see on the shelf that I'm a Scan'N'Cut owner too. Am finally turning to that more often, particularly for multiples or large images. But I can't see me getting rid of the Big Shot, which was the route I thought I was taking when I splurged on the Scan'N'Cut. 
See, I'm a 'one off' cutter. You may call it spontaneous, because that's more arty isn't it! Whilst I'm making a card or putting a LO together, it occurs to me that I need a frame, phrase or embellishment that I already have on a die. So I cut one. Often I have to cut another (and another) whist I try card colour and possible chop things about to overlap, under fill..whatever. My point is that I cut, use, put away (sometimes) and move on. 
Here's a nice framed snowflake die in use. I love it. Had it for two years and we used it at the Card Marathon last week. It did cause me a lot of cutting time, but I didn't cut any extras. 
It hadn't occurred to me to have a session of die cutting to put die images into stock for later use. Turns out, others more organised than I, actually do this. So this possibly means that they use white card and colour it with inks and whatevers when they need to use it to match or stand out. Which possibly means that they have a good storage facility that keeps them flat and clean and above all accessible. Impressive. It also means, very much more impressively, that these crafty types often know what they're doing before they start. So perhaps they spend a day cutting Christmas shapes because over the next week, they plan to make Christmas cards. Wow. I can't do it. My plans are erm, too flexible for that. 
Even little dies are useful. But ergh, so fiddly!
And there's something in my head that says that spending a chunk of crafting time 'just' die cutting isn't a good enough use of the time. Which is preposterous and ridiculous isn't it. Look back at my WOYWW post this week....'good use of time'? Argh. This Leopard cannot change her spots, but I shall be trying some gentle over cutting...from now on, each time I use a die, I'm going to cut a spare and see if I can remember where I've put them and if I ever get around to using them. It's not a life changing method, I don't think. But if it iturns out to be just that, you'll hear about it, believe me!

Wednesday, 7 November 2018

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 492

I'm at the delicate stage of re-identifying which dies belong to which sets and am slowly listing them for sale as I do. It's more torture than pleasure having done it once and realising that the really odd shapes that I struggled to identify last time are still really odd shapes that I don't recognise is just plain maddening!
This photo is yesterday's in real daylight. After I'd taken it, I did the month end book-keeping and VAT quarter with the files and books laid on top of this lot. Because I can't bear to keep starting again! I am going to make Christmas cards this weekend with a friend, and it's all going to happen on this desk. So there's a deadline. Thank goodness!
Show and tell yourselves will you please..I have that creeping panic that most of you have been working on Christmas whilst I fiddle about pretending I have a month in hand. Please put WOYWW in your post title and link here as normal. Thank you!

Wednesday, 31 October 2018

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 491

I haven't unpacked from the weekend of scrapbooking and chatting, so my desk is a bit short of interest! There's a succinct reminder to myself to do the VAT this month end, but apart from the fact that I wrote it those three letters with a sharpie, there's no evidence of crafting!
So how about the desk we used at the weekend...
I think it says a great deal about the need to have everything in front of you! You can probably just about make out the 6 spaces from the 12" squares we are working on. You would think wouldn't you, that between us we had absolutely everything. Turns out not so, we couldn't rustle up a basic Black Stazon ink pad between us. Not an epic fail, but a fairly epic amount of stash.
Happy Hallowe'en and if you're up early, sorry for the wait, I seem to have had a lie in this morning!

Wednesday, 24 October 2018

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 490

My desk surface looks as normal really....
There's my pot of Sharpies...I love 'em! There's some Quick Kutz dies that I've sold on eBay waiting to be packaged. And the small pile of LOs is the results of a Chinese Whispers thing that I took part in. So it doesn't look too bad huh. That's because the real damage is  on the floor!
These dies are a part of Mary's legacy and I've been sorting and listing them on eBAy. Honestly, there have been hundreds. Those that aren't part of sets were neatly labelled in a yellow basket. Which I dropped as I lifted it out of the bag. Argh, I was so cross. What a waste of careful research, sorting and filing in labelled order. I'm over it now, because there's no time for crying over spilt milk. I'm off to my Coven's annual retreat this weekend and there is still a lot of preparation to do for that!

Oh, I wanted to explain the glorious flare from the windows...I used a flash and an arc light from the building side to illuminate, and the light bounced of the silver paper that lines the insulation of the extension. Wonderful reflector! 

You could be forgiven for thinking I'd dropped off the face of the earth this week, I do apologise. Sometimes it just won't all fit in. It's OK, no different for many of us, so I'll just promise to do better. See you at your place in a bit then? Great.

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 489

Well mine's still a mess of stuff, but at least it looks a little more of a productive mess!









The little house/shelf kit thing has been pushed back and will probably end up being re-filed for another time; I consulted my diary and realised that I need to be doing stuff other than faffing for a while! There's a pile of cards in cello bags that form part of my kits for this year's Marython. I need them to be finished this week so I can concentrate on getting other stuff sorted. It's all a matter of prioritising the deadlines! 
The box of Sharpies was there because I needed to address a parcel earlier. There's bag of Dolly Mixtures.I bought them to take to share with my Mama when I visit, but they were on my desk and so I opened them yesterday. Fortunately, I have a conscience and did manage to save her some! 
Hanging from the arm of the light is the result of my first Christmas workshop..look, I made a bauble. Horrid photo, but I deserve it because I'm showing off! It was all done under the direction of the amazing Sandra, in just under 3 hours and 2 cups of coffee.
Come on then Deskers, show and tell. Bet some of you are doing much better than a 20 card kit and a bauble over a week! Please put WOYWW in your blog post title and link here. Lovely.


Friday, 12 October 2018

You are invited....

What's on Your Workdesk? Wednesday - WOYWW - has been a weekly thing for ten years next year. Ten years, can you believe it. I can't! 
Week 520  is on Wednesday 22nd May 2019. Next year's WOYWW Crop will be on Saturday 1st June in Shrewsbury.
Our hosts for this crop will be Twiglet and Wipso - you know who I mean, Jo and Annie. 
The hall is booked and some plans are actually being hatched! Our hosts for this crop will be Twiglet and Wipso - you know who I mean, Jo and Annie. 


Now, the reason for sharing our excitement over this is simple; we want you to come! 

We're hoping that this amount of notice will give you time to consider, plot, plan and ultimately, say yes! (one of our number has already booked a holiday nearby so that she can come. *cough - LLJ - cough*)

Wednesday, 10 October 2018

What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday 488

Well, multi-tasking or Jack of all Trades...for once, it looks tidier than I think it really is. There's an accounts file because it's been a month-end sort of week. Some Christmas tree decorations because Mum's care home has asked for donations for a winter raffle and a small house shaped tray kit that I bought in a fit of mixed media intent some years ago. At about the time we called it painting, cutting and sticking other stuff on! I need to do it, if only to get it off my desk. We'll see, huh! 
I took the photo yesterday, to show off the sun, it makes me so happy. Even if it shows off the filthy windows, there's nothing like autumn sun, it's a wonderful thing. 
Talking of wonderful...show us your wonderful work desk will you? Link your post here and we'll pop round. Today it will be after the sun has gone down before I get to yours, I'm lucky today...it's going to be beautiful and I am happily going to be outside for some of it!


Friday, 5 October 2018

More domestic matters.

This blog is turning into a record of Mr Dunnit's building! He's doing an amazing job, improving our home. The irony is not lost on us. We've lived here and raised our daughter from the teeny kitchen that I have hated with a passion for twenty odd years. Now Miss Dunnit has flown the nest, and we head towards some sort of slow down if not retirement, we've decided to extend and have a kitchen/dining room. Slightly mad, but still very much easier than moving. I think we're both a bit scared of the monumental clear out that moving house would cause. We've told friends that the actual costs involved in moving far outweigh the extension costs. And they do. But I suspect it's the clearing-out fear that made the decision for us! (It's OK, he doesn't read this, so it's safe for me to admit).
Those of you that suffer my nonsense on Facebook or Instagram may have seen these pictures already. Some of you who WOYWW have asked about it which is very kind. The roofing work has briefly coloured and shadowed my workdesk see, so it's a minor talking point!  I'm so jolly proud of Mr Dunnit, all his own work and our combined design ideas. You can see the lantern in all it's glory now, glazed and ready for winter.
This is the view from my bedroom window. That impressive flat fibre glass covered roof has been applied by hand with a 4" wide roller. Lots of watching a You Tube video about how to add a fibre glass roof and some advice from Miss Dunnit who used fibre glass in one of her modules at University. It's not actually as flat as it looks, there's a slight tilt to the front to allow rainwater to run off. Still, it was the devil's work and for the first time in my life with him, when he'd finished, Mr Dunnit's only words were 'never again'. So I knew it had been hard. The glue type stuff (that stinks enough to make your head ache for days) goes off really fast so it's a fine art just adding the right quantity of hardener, it's affected by dryness, temperature - very fickle stuff. The roof had to be dry before coating and the first layer of fibre had to be dry for 24 hours after coating. Talk about love and a prayer. Still all's well that ends well. 
We'd like to get the folding doors in before winter really sets in, then we can work inside; there is masses to do, and it's being done in 'spare time', so we don't anticipate 'moving in' for months and months. The window at left will be where the kitchen sink goes, so that gives you an idea of the layout. It causes heaps of changes in the existing downstairs too, and to be frank, I'm not even thinking about that. Upheaval of that sort does not need to be anticipated! 

Wednesday, 3 October 2018

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 487


I'm doing stuff! Hurrah! See on the card that is supposed to be standing upright against the box of Sharpies that it has square icons on it? Well, I've cut five sheets of the patchwork style card up to achieve a lot more of the square icons. For this is one of the cards that I'm kitting for the Card Making Marython. All of a sudden, it's next month. Good grief. The rest of my desk is just pushed back junk and badly needs sorting out. But I'm in the mood to cut and kit, so I must make hay! 

Now then gentle Deskers, if you visit this page and hear gentle rumblings, do not be alarmed. It is simply the sound of others, more organised than I. There's an idea to have a WOYWW Crop at around the time of the tenth anniversary. Week 520 of course. Don't panic, it's not till next May. But think on...it would be fab if we could give enough notice to make it a mega-meet! Fun stuff will occur online too, but foundations must be laid and seeds of ideas must be planted. Talk to me if you have an idea or yearning!

Meanwhile, as is normal on such Wednesdays, please link your lovely WOYWW blog posts here so that we may visit and be nosey  inspired.

Sunday, 30 September 2018

A collaboration.

When I write a blog post, I don't consider who might read it. Is that selfish, normal, odd? I don't know. I was very surprised a couple of weeks ago to receive communication from a bloke who had read this post about a vacuum cleaner. Allen, he is called, wanted to use or link to the post on the website that he runs. His website is all about tips tricks and articles for keeping a lovely house, Cleaning, keeping, products, you name it. It's called home viable and is super slick. Of course, it features some amazing properties (amazing photography too). And these properties are clean. Man they are clean. They remind me of some of the paper crafting celebrities houses - you know when they post about how busy they've been decorating with all their new products to celebrate that the third fence post from the left had a bird on it this morning. I know, I'm just jealous.
Allen and I had a to-and-fro. I pointed out that his proposal to have a presence on each other's web pages would cross the Atlantic Ocean. No problem said he, he is in the process of adding UK products and recommendations too. I did not point out that the kitchen pictured is almost the size of the ground floor of my home. But he might have heard me shriek at the inclusion of a high chair. It's not something I'm any longer associated with - babies in residence. Oh how tiring.
I also pointed out that there is a weekly thing on my bog that exposes the current state of my uncared for, neglected, unpolished, slovenly looking desk. Often featuring filthy windows and an unswept floor. He said that his site visitors aren't all perfects, it's a place to find tips and tricks (which it has, in abundance) for when us not-so-perfects need to ask questions. Well in the end, his enthusiasm flattered me and I think it harmless. After all, I can aspire. So for a while at least, one of these lovely photos will appear on my blog, acting as a link to home viable. I might get some more readers from it. To my eternal disappointment this 'deal' didn't come with a cleaner for life, a house that resembles these two pictures or even a pot of turquoise paint, which it would seem I need if I'm to be a trend leader. Nothing. But now there's a bloke called Allen, somewhere in the US, who thinks I'm joking about my domestic propensities. Meanwhile, there's an article  which bears further investigating - how to keep my 1975 Shag rug looking shaggy. You can't make this stuff up - me and domestic bliss! 

Wednesday, 26 September 2018

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 486

It's not looking good. For so many reasons, this desk is neglected and superficially unchanged from last week. The photos are still spread out on it and horror, some stuff has been dumped on top of them. It's OK, I can sort it today. The boxes are still on the floor and will require a little more motivation, but I suspect that won't be too far behind, simply because I'm getting sick of the sight of them! 
I've scheduled this post. It's currently late on Tuesday night, and I'm engaged early in the morning and don't trust myself to remember to do everything I need to before leaving the house! And I really need to have a coffee and get dressed as a priority on an early day!

So as usual friendly Deskers, please link here and show what you're up to; I feel it's been an age since I was up to anything of any usefulness, so your input will be appreciated. Please put WOYWW in your post title before linking up here. I thank you. We all do.

Wednesday, 19 September 2018

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 485


Lots of us have been thinking of Deskers caught in or helping others as a result of the  hurricane and typhoon that have dealt harm and hardship. I don't know what, but am pretty sure that if any of us can do anything to help, we'd like to. 
That's not an icy, snowy morning out there, it's the early morning light coloured by a blue tarpaulin. The glass will go into the lantern this weekend and thus replace this ghostly ghastly colour. I shall record it for posterity. And scrapbooking. Which may well be the same thing, actually. I'll show you though, because several of you have been kind enough to wonder about it. Don't worry, I'll include a warning for those of you that don't want to read about my everyday domestic life! 
Meanwhile - look at my desk. I ordered some more prints (to add to the 8 kerjillion that I'm behind with) and was sorting them into rough categories. That's the most creative thing that's happened at my desk since last week. I was absolutely sure I would spend Saturday ignoring everything else to get a bit scrappy, but it didn't happen. Despite giving myself permission, I couldn't summon up the mojo! These new photos may do it though, I love scrapping recent stuff. Share and tell then gentle Desker, it's been a week and you know how I thrive on routine.

Wednesday, 12 September 2018

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 484

It's been wonderful to see your photos and posts from the Crop at the weekend, I really loved them all, and the feeling that I knew exactly what kind of a day was being had. Looked like fun and I'm not in any doubt at all that this WOYWW community is a success because of friendships. 
Now on to the part of having a friend like me that you'll never understand... my 'working' method.

This is a very sad state of affairs. The 'new stash' and tool bag are still where they lay last week. I honestly haven't done anything crafty since, it's been a right old whirlwind.You don't often see this full frontal angle, so I've labelled. The three boxes are filled with inherited stash from Mary. It's mostly card blanks and A4 sheets. So it's a lot. The clear stamps in the blue drawersare perfectly at hand but very higgledy piggledy and need a better storage solution. But that isn't going to be sorted in the foreseeable, I can tell you! The cup clip is useless unless you have a tin or a cup without a handle. Mor often than not, I hang a bin bag from it! The mess of wrapping paper is usually stored in a long thin duffle-shaped bag. It happens to be a great bag for transporting my Scan&Cut, and as yesterday was S&C training morning, I emptied the bag and...well, you can see...apparently I don't need the chair! Just the sight of it is driving me mad, so today is tidy up time. Again. Sorry to be unproductive and boring. I look forward to your non boring desks, I can tell you.

Sunday, 9 September 2018

It's Who You Know...

My kind and gentle Father in Law died in July. Unexpected and therefore quite shocking. My sweet Mother in Law has been bouncing off the walls between what needs to be done and not wanting to do anything, as you can imagine. She found catharsis in sorting through Dad's wardrobes and drawers about a fortnight ago. She was content to let his clothes go to charities and a couple of big jumpers were snatched up by grandchildren. Even though he retired from work about 20 years ago and weddings and funerals were the only occasions that he needed them for, Mum was a bit reluctant to let go of Dad's ties. Of course, we encouraged her to keep whatever she wanted and the ties were no exception. After all, they weren't exactly taking up space! By coincidence, my sister was telling me about a girl she knew who had scoured charity shops for ties and made a waistcoat out of them. PING. I suggested to Mum that we could use the ties to make each of the grandchildren a gift. And when I say we...I mean Annie, Wipso to you and me.
Off they went. And in four days flat, back came a box full of little Brian teddies. Mr Dunnit and I were quite choked, all over again. Then, when I took them to Mum, so was she. We had a good Boo hoo and a little argument amount which Grandchid will get which bear. Meantime, I'm looking after them. What's the collective noun for a box full of Brian Bears?

Friday, 7 September 2018

Excuses, excuses

I am not going to be at the WOYWW Crop this year. There's been a lot going on here, and you'd be forgiven for thinking that it's because I'm doing the decent thing and spending more time with my Mum. But it's not. Some time ago, when he realised the clash of dates, Mr Dunnit revealed that he'd bought us tickets for an event on Saturday that frankly, we can't afford to let go. I am looking forward to a 'day off' from everything and a day basking in the attention of my husband who will not talk about the work that takes up 6 days of his week or the extension that takes up 5 evenings and one day a week. We have been living together in parallel lives and I'm happy to be breaking that routine!
You may want this in your head as you eat my share of the goodies.....no prizes for guessing who sent me this after nearly collapsing with laughter when she found it!

I won't half miss all the chatter and buzz of being at the Crop, but there will be other dates and locations and apart from standing on a chair and bossing people about at mealtimes, I'm not exactly indispensable to the day! Margaret has it all in hand, as she did last year, so you lot just have to turn up and chat. Oh, and eat! There will be a raffle, the charity to benefit will be of Margaret's choice. As usual, we will ask for subs to cover food and hall hire. And as usual, there will be the odd spare table for swaps, give-aways and I small sales.  Have fun. Take pictures, and remember, I will be asking questions!

Wednesday, 5 September 2018

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 483

You get a twofer today, because it made me laugh! I've been getting in a stitch over fitting stuff in and over the weekend spent a ridiculous two hours producing one card. And I made a huge mess. I whined about it on Facebook. I had to clear up, because last night I went to a 'Marython Inspiration' meeting at Shopkeeper Gal's lovely shop. I had to take some stuff with me and it would have been impossible to find anything in the mess.
So here's the 'tidy-ish' version that greeted me today. Then a little swing left and you can see why it's tidy. I seem to have dumped all the clear stamps I was thinking of using on or around the 'cutting station'. I didn't even realise. Which proves that for me, tidy just means space on the actual desk!
As I thought, I needed last week off and will probably not make many visits this week - today is the culmination of lots of miles and a few sleepless nights I can tell you - we're moving my lovely Mama into another care home. Poor Mama is deep into 6 years of life-robbing dementia and needs more care. The difficulties of wrenching her from an environment that she is even vaguely familiar with fill me with sorrow and dread, so please hold her in your thoughts over the next few days. The plus side is that she will be 6 instead of 56 miles from me, and I intend to share all my scrapbooks with her as we spend more time together. I can see my younger sister's eyes rolling at the thought! 
Show and tell will you, you may just provide the distraction that Penny and I need at some point today!

Wednesday, 29 August 2018

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 482

I snapped a pic on Tuesday late afternoon because there was light! The new roof has been covered in a tarpaulin to defend it against the worst of the weather and my word, that plunged my workroom into daytime darkness. All temporary and in a good cause!
From this angle the ATG gun looks huge doesn't it! Lovely Kathy asked if I use it much, and the answer is all the time. It's not heavy at all and it took a bit of getting used to, but it's what I look for as sticky, I really like it. I caved in and bought stronger readers too, but I don't think I need them really; my sight is affected on the right by the 'gunk' I have to put in my eye to keep it moist - it's a bit like vaseline and blurs my vision horribly. That and my eyes are 54 now, and that's not good for fussy cutting! So you can see the fifth re-make of a little card. Honestly, I'm finding them so difficult. The round acrylic thing is the lid for my glitter glue carousel (just behind it) and the basket at right is stuffed full with bags of sequins and random stuff that I just couldn't be bothered to put away properly.
Gentle Deskers, presently, my life is not especially my own and I know you will understand if I appear even more absent than of late. It's a family thing and family first huh. It will be a very relaxing and cheering thing to visit your desks at some point - so please join in! Put WOYWW in your post title so that we can find it easily, and post a link here. Or use #woyww on Instagram! Get me, swinging with the tech!

Friday, 24 August 2018

Life on the wonk

At the risk of boring you, I thought I'd make some more excuses for myself. Since 2016 when I had that brain tumour safely removed, my balance is shot, because all the ear tubes and stuff had to go to allow access. It gives me a seriously different perspective I can tell you. If I look in shop windows and keep walking, the perspective changes very quickly to being from the gutter. I simply cannot walk, look up and turn my head simultaneously without coming over all wonky, and at this age and this round-ness, it's not a good thing to be seen grabbing rails, staggering and erm,  very occasionally, plopping onto my butt! I do seem to have it down now,I know where to avoid - slopes, very damaged uneven surfaces, and building sites (which as a Joiner's apprentice I do actually get to stagger about now and then!). Generally though, two years on, you wouldn't know unless you watched closely. Or walked beside me. Ask Jan, she gets pushed into all sorts of gutters and buildings!

At workshops, amongst other things, my preamble contains an excuse for every single mount or embellishment being slightly wonky. I simply cannot get straight stuff straight any more. So it's definitely a 'do as I say not as I've done' with the sample cards!

I can't place something straight,and in this case I tried to use the camera to try to adjust and lo..even wonkier! Luckily the friends pictured all have a certain lean on them anyway, so I'm doing rather a good job of covering for them, don't you think! Do you know these people? That would be Doug Silverwolf, Lunch Lady Jan, Shaz Silverwolf and LLJ's wonderful Gordon. And WOYWW brought them together. You can meet them in LA at the Crop. And judge the lean for yourselves.

My wonderful in-laws. Who did not spend the wedding breakfast leaning gently to the left!
The funniest thing is corners and corridors. I can walk down a street in a reasonably straight line. But an enclosed corridor - not a chance. I just zig zag down it and pretend it's funny to be bouncing off walls and causing any hanging artwork to end up on the wonk too! Corners are weird;  I often end up going in a large arc, it definitely takes longer and I cannot explain the compulsion to walk the long way at all! I have this compulsion with sticking things on straight, I think. Or I am just no longer seeing straight! 
It's my new signature, so I've learned to like it or measure it. You can guess how often my craft works involve measuring....


Wednesday, 22 August 2018

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 481

I took this yesterday at tea time because I heard a weather forecast for gloom, so I thought ahead. Then it turns out I've had to edit the picture to add light because it was actually quite gloomy in here anyway! You can tell it's been edited...that light flare is so unreal looking! 
Drag your eyes away from Mr Dunnit's mini sandpit (he SAYS he mixes concrete in it for the bricks) and look at my desk.  There's to be another Marython card making day,which is the only reason I'm entertaining Christmas thoughts. And they are not thoughts of JOY believe me, whatever my desk seems to say! Centre is a new Distress Oxide that I treated myself to, and next to it a new Encore! Gold pigment ink pad. These are getting rare in the UK, so I bought another for reasons of Just In Case. Apparently yesterday I was keeping my fluids up like a good gal, although of course this morning it's all about the Java. The ripped up book is a Concordat. It's over 60 years old and according to someone  Reverend, very out of date. So, re-use, re-cycle, re-invent. Or something. I bet not a scrap of it ends up on the card I'm trying to pull out of my head!
Show and tell then friends, and inspire us (me) do!

Saturday, 18 August 2018

LA Again

The thing about a WOYWW Crop day is that it's immensely sociable. I was lying in bed this morning wondering what I should take with me to do. Then I remembered that I don't ever actually get anything done. I trade ATCs, make a few cups of tea and coffee, try to help in the kitchen, introduce Deskers to each other and spend the rest of the time talking. 

Last year, I sat with Annie and did some dumfing. It's fair to say that I concentrated long enough to make a nice basic flower, and I was thrilled to do it. But I chatted more than I worked and Annie soon had a queue, so I moved to the seat next to Elizabeth and chatted. I also spent quite a while sitting opposite Sarah and Eva. They worked and told me what I wanted to know about them. It was chatting, combining what we knew about each other from our online presence with our new, 'in real life' meeting.

I like to help in the kitchen if I'm allowed.I find it's a very useful way of eyeing up the grub and making sure that there's enough left for me. I enjoy the tidy up part of lunch because it's very often an opportunity to chat with the partners of the Deskers. Interesting lot indeed, intrepid, even! They drive, carry the bags, spend the day with us all and then cheerfully wash up.  And LLJ's Gordon takes the photos...Important to us all in so many ways!

The venue always involves tables put into a horseshoe shape so that we can all see each other. I can then sit opposite people, block their view and force them to let me get to know them. Chatting. Chat is what I will bring. However, if you are planning to come, bring something to work on. Anything you can do whilst chatting. I promise, you'll be more exhausted from chatting than crafting, but in true WOYWW tradition, we would very much like to see what you're working on, and hear about how you do it. 


This year's Crop in LA (Llandudno, again) is for a very specific reason. For other completely non specific reasons, we'd like to plan next year's crop in another location. Fancy using your local hall? All we need you to do is suss out a hall and parking and we can talk. You don't have to do catering, we can organise a Pot Luck or lunch boxes...it truly is all about the get-together! 


Wednesday, 15 August 2018

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 480

Bam! Straight into the business of the day! See the precarious looking balancing act of the glitter carousel...on top of its lid, in a tidy tray which is on top of some wood mounted stamps. The tip of the heat gun is supporting it all. Sigh. There's signs of Christmas card making. Not a lot, it has to be said, they aren't coming easily. I don't know if you know, but behind this desk is another worktop with the PC on it, which we use primarily for business. And blogging, because of the ridiculous situation with Blogger and iPad. Anyway, that means there are two seats in this room. In order to sit at the PC to type this very post, I had to move a bunch of stuff from one seat to another. Yesterday I attended a fun and useful Scan 'n' Cut 'training' workshop. So there you see the bag containing mats, cut papers, spare papers and a carrier bag with purchases, mostly just waiting (begging) to be put away. For once in a very very long time,  the purchases are not for me. My niece wants to make a scrapbook for a friend. I will be hosting her starting session on Friday and hey, you can't successfully indoctrinate the next generation if you don't provide a goodie bag to start. Yikes. That makes me sound like the child catcher!
Show and tell, please do. 

Friday, 10 August 2018

This is a domestic tale...and it might be whiney..

I figure that if I share this with you, I will then have expunged it from my mind and I'll be over it. We'll see.
First of all, let's get over the language. I'm going to talk about a Vacuum cleaner.  No matter what, everyone in the UK refers to their vacuum cleaner as a hoover, and the act of cleaning with a vacuum as 'hoovering'. This is directly a result of fabulous marketing way back in the middle of the last century (that is the 20th Century!) by the American company Hoover. Amazing that it didn't catch the same way in the US. Anyway.

After a few years of service, my hoover fell apart. Quite literally; the handle snapped off. I'm not into hand beating and sweeping carpets, so I immediately replaced it with a machine that had good reviews and indeed, colour me lucky, was £100 cheaper than it's recommended price at the time. It was a Vax branded vacuum. My word, it was the best vacuum I've ever used - talk about vacuum! It sucked up anything and everything and really, the see through dust collector thingy made me rather ashamed. I soon got over that though.

The Vax stopped working last week. It still sucks, but it won't let me move it around the floor without appalling, heart attack inducing levels of effort. You probably heard my yell of gratitude and delight. I have never wanted an appliance to fail so much in my life. Never wanted to replace something so soon after I'd bought it. Man, it may have been the best sucker ever, but the rest of the 'design' nearly broke me.
Relax. Have a scoop of gelato. A decoy photo of course, I mean, who wants to see my broken vacuum cleaner!
I was attracted by the extra long flex, certainly enabling me to use it without changing sockets in each room. Great. Not so. Waaaay too much wire to handle when not using it fully extended. Not enough room to stow it altogether successfully on the back of the machine meant it just unwound as you used it. Which meant that more than once, I hoovered over the damn thing and damaged it. But that's nothing compared to the location of the bloody flex. It came out of the machine's centre back..which meant that every time I stepped forward in that hovering 'forward-backward' motion, it was low enough and trailing sufficiently to step on. The machine then got whipped from my hand and I inevitably crash into it or lose my balance. I can't tell you how angry it made me! There IS a hook on the underside of the handle, designed to get around this problem and hold the flex out of the footstep area, but it doesn't work; one movement and the flex drops out of it.

Then there's the over sensitive upright mechanism thingy. You're familiar with the 'forward-backward' movement used when hoovering. The Vax would lock into upright mode and stop sucking every time I pulled it back past my hip. Oh the rage! 

The handle doubles as storage for a flexible hose, like a Dyson. Then the crevice tool can be popped on the end for stairs and those hard to reach domestic places that until you're responsible for cleaning you don't discover till your house is full of friends and judges. Oh the horror. Except it's not like a Dyson: the crevice tool is hard to click on and almost impossible to get off. The flexible hose has to be extended in order to hoover a whole flight and leave the machine at the foot of the stairs. Extending it means unclicking, re-clicking and fighting with the extra hose that hangs on the side of the machine. I broke one of the storage clips on day 1, whilst trying to work out the 'simple click' motion. The extra hose did forever then swing like a purple and plastic pendulum, timing my cleaning efforts.

Is it unusual to hate an appliance so? I don't know. Mr Dunnit and nearby friends have laughed like drains at my misfortune and complaints about it. I did not tamper with it, or destroy it on purpose. But I am so glad to see the back of it. Meanwhile, I will be collecting data before any other necessary appliance purchases. I will not be reading the manufacturer blurb and the 'reviews'. I will be asking friends for plus and minus points on the widest range of domestic equipment. And then I'll decide. Chime in, if you have any opinion, on any appliance. Eventually, we could review everything!




Wednesday, 8 August 2018

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 479

Oh yes. That month end, VAT quarter, tax update and general half-way-through-the-year-overview is underway. My poor desk, it looks as if I'm working for a living. Ha. It looks, on some level, as if I might know what I'm doing. See how I shoved stuff aside and up the sides rather than totally part with the crafty feeling. All is not lost however. Hard left, upright behind the yellow file - right there in white and purple. My first 2018 Christmas card. There. I said it. Shopkeeper Gal made me. You can see it's dark outside. Just...I remembered to take this before bed last night. The only morning time change will be the addition of a large mug of coffee. One day more (oh, that would make a great song title) and I'll be clearing up and just leaving a small envelope file within my line of vision for purposes of guilt. Actually, it just makes me do something eventually, I get so sick of the sight of it!
No doubt, absolutely no doubt, that you are doing something much more interesting in your work desk space today. Please share and tell. 

Saturday, 4 August 2018

I've got a blue one and three pink ones...

A thousand years ago, I owned a craft shop. The introduction of the trays to catch the embossing powder occurred and were prompted I think, by a snap together tray from Judikins. It was a sheet of incredibly static stiff vinyl with good scores that could be folded and snapped together with big old silver snaps. At that time, there were very few UK wholesalers representing all of the American brands and I recall it costing nearly sixteen pounds. Yikes. Mind you, the first heat gun I put into stock were for sale at £25 each. It was a hard sell, until yo demonstrated the magic of embossing. With gold powder. Anyway, as with so many things, the idea of the powder tray was begging to be improved, reproduced and sold at a more attractive price. It took a while.
This incarnation with the funnel on one short end is the Woodware version, called a 'Tidy Tray' which is what I call anything of the sort, even if it's folded paper. There are versions with square funnels on the corner, versions that have a rubber cap to go over the hole, etc. Initially, this woodware version sold at £6.95, which was still a bit of a 'yikes' for a tray to put powder in. But, in use and as with s many things, they became indispensable for all sorts of jobs and when I abandoned retailing, I kept all of the ones I had in the workshop. 
There was some discussion last Wednesday about them. Mostly negative, people telling me that they are too static and powder ends up being wasted. I agree, to a certain extent, and no, I don't run an anti-static bag around it before I use it - my word, that would imply that I know when I'm going to emboss something and have the tools at hand! What I do, despite my desk slovenliness, is wash them frequently in hot soapy water. They are a bit paler for their experiences because sometimes that means a short holiday in the dishwasher; but they are very, very much less static and therefore very, very much more useful.
I could live without one, sure. But 99.9% of my stash falls under that phrase. 


Wednesday, 1 August 2018

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 478

478. 1st August. LLJ's birthday. Monumental statistics don't you think. Happy, happy birthday to you, Jan. Am in no doubt that you  will spend quite a lot of your day out and about. I'm already looking forward to next week for the photos! My desk is a familiar tip.
I've been toying with some Christmas cards. I haven't got very far and as you can see, haven't even bothered to pour embossing powder back into the safety of the jar before abandoning the desk. My lovely pockety craft bag (made by LLJ) is on the surface because I was rummaging through it late yesterday. After I had abandoned the crafting. I didn't find what I was looking for. The stack of Distress Inks (which were a gift from Darnell) are remnants of a previous card attempt. The one you can see is just stamped about a thousand times and cut into pieces. No good for a workshop....way too long a make for one card. Didn't even notice the stapler till now. Can only assume that Mr Dunnit has used it for work papers and found that space the only surface available in this room! I'll be back late from all the real life visiting today, so please don't be cross if I'm late to your place.
Share and tell please, it's what we do here.

Wednesday, 25 July 2018

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 477

The temperatures are staying high and I'm enjoying the fact that having the roof on the extension throws my desk into permanent shade! The desk will eventually move, but we're a long way from that, so I barely even consider it a reality!
I was chatting to Margaret (Glitter and Glue) about the WOYWW Crop . There was a lot of digression and she said that she hoped to see pictures of all the scrapbooking I've done recently. Well, not to keep anyone in suspenders, but here's the desk in non-scrapbook mode! Last evening I had a desire to do something for no reason at all. So  I stamped and coloured in for an hour while tea was cooking. Yes, cooking. Despite the heat, every now and then, you need a meal that involves vegetables and gravy. According to Mr Dunnit, anyway! You can see a cross stitch kit that I purchased in a sale. The box belies it's teeniness! You can't see the new readers I had to buy so that I can see the blooming weave on the fabric. Of course they are on my head, in use as a hairband. They are strong enough to improve colouring and make fabric look woven, but sure do make me stagger when I try to walk about in them! 

Forgive me if I didn't get to you last week....I hope your kettle didn't boil dry whilst waiting for me. This week will be better. And on that basis, please show what you're doing. It may well be the post that prompts others to try it.....Marit and Jan will be today's examples.