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 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.

Monday, 23 July 2018

A forgiving bucket.

At the beginning of the month I went to a bucket painting workshop. I know, I can hear your reaction, it's probably the same as mine was. But it turns out, it wasn't like sucking eggs at all. And, the end product was very pleasing. Because the 'mistakes' aren't immediately obvious, and the bucket has the finished look about it. That's a good thing, because if I leave a workshop with a project unfinished, that's usually how it stays. Forever.

I popped a glue pen into it to give you some sense of proportion. Fat lot of good, huh!
If you haven't met Kay Carley (she's a name in the business you know), then I recommend you take the chance if you're presented with it. She is a sparkly eyed, patient, softly spoken young woman who, with a will of steel, will guide you into doing things her way and at a pace which means you'll finish. This is a huge skill. As I've just implied, unfinished project workshops aren't overly satisfactory, and Kay was having none of that!
In creation glad was I not to be doing it all straight onto the bucket. Now there's a sentence I never thought to say..
I'm not going to go over the workshop in detail,my memory and your patience aren't up to it. I used rice paper, stencils, dry painting techniques, stamps and wax crayons. And a scarey amount of wet glue and varnish type mediums. Stamps are by Paper Artsy, of Kay's design. Told you she was clever.
And we stopped for a proper lunch. Shopkeeper Gal was great and kept the fluids up and ran around in the heat to place our lunch orders. It was a lovely day. I'm undecided about the use of the Bucket. You may want to make a suggestion. Most of my ideas involve sweeties or pens. Well, that would be my only two ideas. You can probably do better!

Wednesday, 18 July 2018

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 476

Well, this is a photo taken yesterday but my desk looks absolutely unaltered this morning. And will remain that way until tomorrow! I'm not complaining about the life that I'm leading, just how it seems to compresss whole days into just a few hours!
My lovely daughter has been home for a few days and I made her go through some of the photos waiting to be scrapped (the Snapfish envelope). She had to annotate names and such on pictures of her University friends etc. Very helpful because even if I leave room on a page for her to journal, it rarely gets done! So while she was doing that, I went through yet more old photos and made a quick LO, as you can see.  The Yellow Ziploc baggie at the end of my desk contains Project Life cards that I use for journal cards. I'm never going to do PL and could smack myself for buying them to be honest. But they were pretty and I thought Project Life and I would work together so well. Nope. Not sure why. Answers on a postcard please, if you know!
The bluetooth speaker is on the iPad stand because I had it in my hand when I picked up the ipad to take the picture. It's still there and probably minus any charge now. 
Share and tell will you? It's nice to see that other desks are actually in use. I have a lunch date with a special family driving up from Wales......catch you at your desk later!

Wednesday, 11 July 2018

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 475

Sunshine. Sunshine will be on my workdesk after lunch. I am loving this weather! Meanwhile, my desk is groaning with the chaos of book work and scrap book work.  

I piled everything at the left end that I didn't need to help get the accounts done. And on the floor as you can just see. I work in a ring binder and an accounts book, so apart from the area where the glass cutting mat sits, I worked on top of the pens and other detritus at this end. Lazy. Sigh. Yeah. Too old to change, it's only me that has to put up with it! Just between the open jaws of my mini paper cutter at the back, you can slightly see the bucket that I decorated in a workshop conducted by Kay Carley. It was a lovely day, and I'll brag a bit more about it in a separate post! 
I dropped out of sight last week and didn't visit many desks or blog again, sorry about that. This week will be more gentle on my lovely family and things will be as normal as a wonky woman can make them! 
Join in then please, if only to take my mind off the football tonight (Do It England!), I can hardly bear to watch, but I can't look away! I think that might be a syndrome....or something! Put WOYWW in your post title so we can find your revelations without delay!

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 474

Still a glorious, sunshiney Britain. I know lots of you don't like the heat, and I'm sorry if it makes you suffer. I love it, revel in it, enjoy being in it or looking out on it, sleep like a baby and generally feel it's good for me. It hasn't magically made me any tidier though! 
The desk shows an ice cream tub full of Sharpies. Actually, possibly the most useful coloured pens I own. They live on a high(ish) shelf at left of my desk....high to stop certain male folk borrowing them. I keep ONE in a pencil pot on my desk and often found it's strayed to another home. You get my point. Under that is a piece of 12x12 from the Bohemian Dream collection from Cocoa Vanilla.  (Oh, these names!). I was going to make a LO with it, but was interrupted by the need to do real work (involving using the Sharpies) and this morning I have completely forgotten why I thought I could make that huge bold pattern work for me! The polythene boxes at left are how I store stickers and embellishments and I tend to do the paper part of a LO and then randomly sort through these boxes adding bits until I feel the LO is finished. It's highly technical.
Thought you might like a step back view so you can see why my desk is newly in permanent shade....still not obvious what we're doing, but you can see a big box taking shape with a white frame in centre top..that will be glazed (called a lantern). Other light will be gained through folding doors that will form 2 of the 4 walls. All in good time, people. So I've had Mr Dunnit at home for ad hoc hours here and there whilst waiting for paint to dry on a job in the workshop, anything that could be construed as a reasonable break time. Playing havoc with my nerves, guilt and supplies of squash and tea! 
So that's almost a twofer, huh! Show us yours now, you know how we neeeeeed to see.
Happy and peaceful and glorious Independence Day, cousins. Hope it's a lovely party!

Sunday, 1 July 2018

Today, I'm wearing blue for BANA

BANA is the acronym for the charity that I turned to when I had the diagnosis of the brain tumour. British Acoustic Neuroma Association. Well, today is the day that they ask us to 'Wear Blue for BANA' to raise awareness. It occurred to me that my blog  might help!

Something I don't like to do...selfies, mirrors....but it's for a good cause. No enlarging, please, I think you'll find I'm large enough. (More interesting: the artwork on the wall is by Patsy Paterno, a Desker. I bought it from her just after the surgery - it says 'every day is a journey' and it is so true.)

BANA have a support group of fellow Acoustic Neuroma patients. We refer to them as ANs. Bearing in mind that no tumour is the same for anyone, they are called Acoustic Neuromas because they rise from the hearing tubes, usually attach themselves to the facial nerve and erm, grow. They are benign. That is to say, they are not a cancer. They are life threatening - after all, they grow in your brain, taking up room that isn't actually there, causing the brain to be squashed against the brain stem. Slowly, functions go haywire. have to have it removed, one way or another. As you know, I had surgery. I joined the BANA group on Facebook and the depth of knowledge and the 'after surgery' stories frightened me to death. I very quickly made up my mind to recover and be well, and I'm very grateful that for once, I had the will power and great fortune to be able to do that.
I have side effects, but no symptoms, I am not ill. The palsy on my right side is due to the trauma the facial nerve suffered. It has improved vastly, and it might continue to do so. It would be very nice not to have half a numb face. But it is easier to live with than a tumour in your head! The palsy means though, that drinking from a can, bottle or sports cap is a very messy dribbly affair. When I come to your house, please can I have porcelain for my coffee or tea cup and a nice thin glass for other drinks? They are no longer a problem. The thicker the rim, the more I dribble. But of course, there's a way round everything. And there's always someone to help you research those ways...……

Everything looks wonky. No idea why. 

Wednesday, 27 June 2018

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 473

It's a slower start to the day for me - we've been looking after Buster, our God-Dog, while my sissy had a holiday. He went home yesterday and so this morning I'm sort of revelling in the fact that I could stay in my unshowered state till lunchtime if I wanted to! I don't, because I've got plans, but it's strange not to factor in a walk before it gets too hot! 
This side of the house is in it's own shadow until lunchtime, so quite cool to work in. You see the detritus of another scrapbook page, day 26 of the challenge yesterday and when I'd done it, as I so often do, I walked away without clearing up! The heart cookie cutter is one of three that I use as a template to dot gems or liquid pearls around. There's a photo of Mr Dunnit and I on a plane...last summer. It's horrible quality; all bad light and grainy, but I do like it! It will find itself on a layout eventually! Despite having a building site outside the door, I still have a bit of garden to look after, which accounts for the hose end in the basket at top hose, waaay too many end choices! 

Please share your choices and crafty areas if you have any, we wanna see what you're doing this summer....

Monday, 25 June 2018

That one sheet idea theory

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I'd had this idea to see how many cards I could get from one sheet of 12x12 scrapbook paper. Well, as usual, it wasn't my idea, merely something that had entered my brain and resonated in my creative cortex. (Sounds convincing doesn't it!) One quick search on Pinterest will lead you to eleventy million suggestions, and some of them get many many cards from their piece of paper and show you a cutting pattern. 
Well, of course, I got bored. Having to be exact and follow a pattern isn't in me, especially when some of the shapes don't suit my cardmaking. (The long triangle to fill a corner of a card particularly gives me a mental blank!
So I made a few, and still have some paper left, but probably won't finish the exercise.
 At the workshop, I threw these on the table as ideas. Workshopeers picked their choice of paper from the vast selection that Shopkeeper Gal stocks and they went to work! It was great. The average was eight cards and some of the ideas were absolutely lovely. 
I can't show you those lovely ideas because I didn't photo them. And besides, they may turn up on this very blog as a straightforward lift with some lame excuse about not crediting the designer because I can't remember. Although the remembering part would be true!

Friday, 22 June 2018

Taking on a Challenge

A good friend made me join a Facebook group called Inspired by Memories. It's for scrapbookers and memory keepers. It's ideal for me because it's not as fast moving as some of the really big groups, and I find that very helpful! I was lulled into a false sense of security about my desk-time earlier this month and decided to 'sign up' to a 30 day Challenge. A sketch every day in June. The theme, in my mind, is 'try to keep up'. 
I'm not doing too badly, but of course I'm not up to date It took a crop last weekend to make this pile look erm, pile-ish. I can't bring myself to put them in the album yet, I like to see how I'm doing. If I'm productive. Or smug. Or both in all probability.
I really enjoy scrapbooking fairly ordinary and very current things. It means that I have to do a deal with myself. For every up-to-date photo I scrap, I try to do an old one too. But they have to speak to me before they get onto a LO. So for example...….

 Miss Dunnit's summer footwear made it onto a page, three days after I took the photo. (all of these are sketch interpretations for the challenge). So then I had to do this LO, featuring her being scarf monitor in the workshop at Uni, last year. Quite recent really.
Earlier in the challenge, this photo finally spoke to me. It's definitely 10 years old, possibly 12. I can flick through the same pile of pictures for a year, and eventually I can think of something to do with one or two, a title, or a sketch will appear that just suits a pic that's been hanging around for ages. 
I can get a little fixated in my 'one job at a time'-ness and so I am happy to report that this challenge is still fun, despite my being behind. I'm not pressuring myself so much as spending time at my desk that I otherwise probably wouldn't. A positive of it is that when you do manage to climb onto the 'every day' wagon, it's quite intoxicating. For a procrastinator I feel as if I am the wheel on a roll!

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 472 (really, 472)

It seems that between checking the number and typing the next number, I forgot it, and last week was in fact 471. I have double checked and apparently, double remembered this week. Good grief.

My desk, untouched by human hand since Monday. That will change this morning, but only to tidy it. Which will as you can tell, be a monumental relief to all. I've perched my first coffee in about the only empty space. Which suggests that space had a drink in it whilst I was putting this LO together. whilst avoiding football on the TV- watching England play makes me twitchy!  The pile at left begins with my patterned scraps in a blue plastic envelope file. Then my alphabet stickers that are in several expandable file pockets, within a large file. Wedged under that, the Moon Sparkles pens - I used the yellow to colour the old Basic Grey alphabet which although in the yellow pocket, were very pale.  
As usual, I'm out most of the day, but unusually, will be home in time to actually make a few comments this evening, so I look forward to that. I think I've got Instagram sussed, so we'll see how we go!

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 472

It's a bit dull this early. My desk isn't exactly over exciting either! 
I've finished this LO but can't quite decide on it being finished. So I'm walking around it for a little while. More old pictures being scrapped here - 1996 I think! I'll need the desk for workshop preps later, so it hasn't got long!  At far right you can see the little tool bag that houses my Scan&Cut tools. Yesterday I went to another training session and decided in my wisdom not to take the bag (or indeed, it's contents. Or indeed, the electrical cable. Huh?). Weird really, what you decide when you're in a bit of a hurry! Of course I needed them all! Anyway, all's well that ends well and I think I've learned a couple more valuable methods. We'll see how long they last in my memory!
Meanwhile, in the real world, my lovely friend Kathy took part in WOYWW via Instagram last week. This is thrilling. So, I decided to join Instagram. I waited till we visited the-child-who-knows-everything and I asked about it. I was a bit amazed to discover that #WOYWW is already a thing and quite a few non-bloggers do it! More amazing, it sounded pretty easy. Well it's not, because my iPad/Facebook/PC and me don't understand each other. But I am going to sort it out. Just as soon as I get more than one hour at home. Which won't be today. Or tomorrow. 
So please, be patient. Whichever way you join WOYWW, please join in today, it's very important that I'm not alone and uninspired!

Sunday, 10 June 2018

The party goes on...

I have received more Anniversary ATCs over the past couple of weeks and don't want to miss the chance to share them with you. Because I'm about to find a home for them you see, and as you know, that means the effort of removing them from where ever they find a home, photographing them, putting them back - well, it all becomes a challenge for me doesn't it!
Kyla, Christne, Syvia, Szuzsa, Robyn, Shaz, Neet Cardarian
Seriously, these little artworks are such a pleasure to receive examine and wonder at! Even Mr Dunnit has wondered at the scale of them. And noticed that this year we've used fairies more than any other single theme. He immediately hit on the master board idea when I invited him to look through my new collection. Interesting isn't it. Not as interesting as his reaction when I said that yes, a lot of us are familiar and use the master board technique. But a lot of us don't. It's all about choice and happiness in making. He was a bit aghast about this part...because it would be 'fiddly' wouldn't it. Then I tried to explain that whichever way they're made, they are loaded with the investment of the time and design and thoughtfulness and that's what is received. Noises were made about 'feelings' and I had to find another way to explain that there was more to it than the ATC itself. I settled on 'an investment in the expression of the solidarity and friendship of WOYWW'. There were murmurings about small round objects. I know. Sometimes even I don't understand myself!

Wednesday, 6 June 2018

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 470

I don't know why, but Wednesday feels a day earlier than normal this week; perhaps because I can feel deadlines starting to slip already! A bit chilly and dull this morning. 
I am still basking in after-party warmth and have received some more lovely ATCs. I will sow them separately so you aren't distracted. I'm also still playing with the 'cards from one sheet' thing, slow because of other jobs rather than lack of ideas - isn't that always the way...idea overload when you can't get near the desk! Apart from putting my half finished coffee on the desk, it's pretty much as I left it last night. A sentiment waiting to be cut out and mounted. My little blue Bluetooth speaker which I should have recharged overnight. The blue wallet file holds patterned scraps. It's not an attractive way of storing them but it means I can lift them all out of the box at once and that means I go through them much more often. I'm in a rush to clear this lot up so that I can attempt a daily sketch challenge on a Facebook group called Inspired by Memories. I can't keep up with daily, but starting a new scrapbook page every few days makes me feel as if I'm making progress. I did one yesterday with a photo from 1996. Progress indeed!!
Be inspiring then will you please. And make allowances for me..Wednesday is also visiting day for me and my lovely Mama, which takes all afternoon and evening because of distances and all sorts. Link your lovely WOYWW post here and we'll trot round. A boiling kettle is always a good way to entice a desker....

Friday, 1 June 2018


Only minutes after getting home from Spain, we went to Cornwall. It felt like minutes but really it was a week. We had a weekend aboard Amelie Poulain, a converted barge. It sits on the River Fal, a stones throw from the Falmouth estuary at a permanent erm.....berth... mooring?
Fortunately, you don't need nautical knowledge. Luckily, in the case of certain landlubbers!
I didn't take any pictures of it as a whole, there are some on the Facebook page - search Floathouse. It's 3 double bedrooms and a proper bathroom. By 'proper' I mean big - enough room to shower or bath and step out of either and dance yourself dry.

Not posed...brunch on deck.  Would like to be there now, I must say!
These barges were of course, for carrying goods, and they had little 'sheds' on the decks for the bargees to live in and steer from. Actually, that might be navigate from. I don't know. You don't need to know, this is a permanent dock! So the 'shed' has been removed and more glamorous 'top' has been built as you can see. Such a delicious design to allow for the view, it's hard to tell where the glass stops and the view begins!

When the tide goes out, there are birds feeding from the revealed sand, cormorants and seagulls crabbing, a host of swans and erm, lots of others! On Saturday night, we simply at without any lights and let the lights on the river entertain us;  just as we thought to turn in, we were treated to a huge fireworks display somewhere over the estuary! We had armchair ringside seats. A lovely bonus! Amelie has a kitchen of course, a proper one with a big fridge and a dishwasher. can jump onto the quay and visit the popular and busy cafĂ© on the wharf. Couldn't be more convenient! The wharf also boasts some lovely artisan studios. Jewellery, art, know!

See my little sunspot in the open front door? My word it was gorgeous. Hot. The wall in front of my chair is the quay side. When the tide is in, the floor is level with the top of the quay. At other times, you make like the French Lieutenant's woman and climb the stone steps from erm, ship to shore. It's not hard or dodgy, but for a land lubber, it's sort of romantic!

Of course, you water-life-familiar types will probably cheerfully jump in and out of the dinghy and row yourselves across river or down to the shops. We loved the idea and no doubt that Mr D would have enjoyed it. But then we considered my wonky-fat-woman status and thought better of it! There's no dignity to be had trying to get in and out of a rowing boat I can tell you!  Perhaps next time, I'll still be wonky, but I may not need to roll! We did enjoy a leisurely break, I must say.  We walked and explored locally and then summoned up the strength to get in the car and go further afield. I've never quite got over that about Cornwall - nothing is very far away! 
Cornwall in late spring is a gift of wildflowers and promise. We really were lucky with gorgeous weather all weekend.

Not that we actually went into the water you understand.....
My cousins built and own Amelie, are letting her; if you are on Facebook, you can find their page and contact details by searching Floathouse . You'll know you've got the right page if it says Jubilee Wharf as the address and some of the pics will look familiar!
Mr Dunnit says you can tell you've had a good weekend when you're photographing the stones that are acting as door stops!!

Wednesday, 30 May 2018

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesay 469

Well I hope you really enjoyed the 9th anniversary workdesk hop, I certainly did, and I have loved the toing and froing of messages about ATCs and I've received some too, thank you! I appreciate your joining in, on the desks or with an ATC PIF, or comments..whatever!

I'm flirting with that 'make as many cards as you can using one sheet of 12 x 12 background paper' thing. I say flirting because I started with one patterned sheet and couldn't make it work, so started another. Now I wish I'd stuck it out with the first sheet, so could well have quite a few cards made by this tie next week! 
You may well have a truly inspiring desk for me to see today - share away so that I can be enabled and copy your fab designs, please!

Monday, 28 May 2018

May - travel season!

Back at the beginning of the year, we set up work calendar and on my insistence, pencilled in a break, in May. As you know, we are building an extension and if it's ever getting to have more than footings, we need to actually do something to it. So that week off turned into a fortnight. In Spain. It was delicious and a lot of fun.
We picked a slightly cool, overcast day and went for a drive, away from the Malaga Costa, up the nearest mountain. Oh my gosh, Spring makes Andalucia a green and wildflower strewn region. We stopped at a bustling Pueblo. It was pretty cool, you can see the clouds that were hanging over the coast. This part of the town is very picturesque; clings to the hillside and is full of twisty turny streets. Traditionally, they used Donkeys to get about and to carry their goods. These days there are still Donkeys for the tourists to ride. Like it or not, the Donkeys looked well fed and weren't being mistreated in our line of vision. There were lots of them, and plenty of people waiting to have a ride around part of the village. We stayed on our feet and walked up and up and up. 

Steep and twisty - you can see why the Donkeys are and were an advantage. Some of the streets were too narrow even for a regular car. And some were for pedestrians only.
I do love how all the homeowners have collectively agreed to use the same colour flower pots; I wonder if it's actually a community directive?! I was half expecting a sign telling me that this was a Kodak opportunity! These geraniums are probably a blaze of colour by now.

Inevitably, there were gift shops and inevitably there were bars and restaurants with panoramic views. But it stayed cloudy and so our photos are pretty limited. Be assured though of the greatest inevitability:  I found an ice cream shop, and we managed to overlook the cloudy coolness and do some market research. And bracing myself for the walk down and down and down!

Friday, 25 May 2018

WOYWW 9 - the after party

Well it was a lovely day. The sun shone and we all enjoyed congratulating ourselves on the anniversary of this blog hop. It was fun and unless you take part, I don't think you'll quite be able to understand the atmosphere. Join in and find out!
Like all good events, there were memorable things.
This year, there was no Mr Linky when y'all wanted to link. Entirely my fault. Having composed and edited and re-composed and edited and then thought that I'd underdone my post, then overdone it, I walked away from the PC and went to bed. Totally forgot to use the link tool! Still, all's well that ends well. It did shake up the order of things, so I reckon all PIF postings will have gone to very unexpected recipients. Nice.

Our Nikki made up these cyber badges for us to display on blogs - if you want to! Nikki is a very clever gal. Her designs are available through her website and she is incredibly generous with her time...based on my ability, I am assuming these badges have taken her all of the last year and caused grey hair to create and get online. I do not know how she does it, and reports in with a tidy desk!

Quite a few asked about the blue mouse mat on my desk. Actually, it's one of two circles of scrapbook paper that I'd cut out to use the outsidey bits as a frame. These two pieces were left on my desk ready to be sacrificed to the cutter and the patterned scraps pile. And it has happened. It's the only desk action that's taken place since Wednesday I can tell you!
 And then..happy post! My word it's lovely to have real post and for me, that's the nicest thing about our ATC swap...opening the mail box and finding unexpected treasure! Look already -

Honestly, the inspiration that falls of these little ATCs is mind blowing, thanks to Margaret, Heather, Sarah, Twiglet, Annie, Diana, Kim, Elizabeth and Helen. I don't know how you do it. And that little smiley face on Elizabeth's ATC...yep it's me! At a very tender age, don't be jealous of my youth, it's not real!
I can 'see' each of you in your WOYWW spaces making these and it really makes me smile!

And a genuine and sappy note of thanks to the best BFF. Jan. She kept it all together whilst I was recuperating from the big brain op (now nearly 2 years ago) and was the one who erm, pushed me into WOYWW Crop. She was right. And there it is in writing!

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 468

Well, against some odds, we've made it to the ninth anniversary of this crazy nosy desk sharing!
Well done y'all. A medal in the shape of a badge is available to anyone who hasn't got one and a very large big huge cyber hug too.

Actually, that's become the essence of WOYWW. It's a friendly place; as much as we want to look around your work space, so we want to know that all is well in your world. I know that by the miracle of this internet thingy, friendships have been forged and conversations go on without the WOYWW boundary and I'm a little bit proud of that. Nine years, good grief. It's like snapchat for the tenacious!

Now, the PIF thingy. If you've made an ATC to celebrate and want to receive one too, when you link your desk today, add an asterisk (*) to your name. Your ATC should go to the next person with an asterisk(*) on the list below your name. The first person on the list above you with an asterisk(*) against her name will send one to you. The last * person on the list sends to me, and I send to the first * person on the list. That makes the circle. And a perfect one it is too. As always, if you forget to link with an asterisk next to your name, link again. I'll try to be super available to delete superfluous links. Don't worry about them, they won't do any harm or cause anything worse than the odd swear word. 
Also don't worry if you haven't made one or don't feel you can for any reason, it's not a requirement. The requirement stays the same...put WOYWW in your post title and link here so that we can visit. And as always, please accept this as my 468th thank you.
And here's my desk...some things don't change in nine years!

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 467

Oh my...a week to go to the ninth anniversary. Can you believe it. Someone ought to, please, because I can't! You can find out about how to join our ATC PiF on the day by looking at the page titled ATCs at the top of this blog. HERE IS A LINK, that's easier, huh!

I do want to stress that the PiF is entirely voluntary and you don't have to take part in the PiF to take part in next week's WOYWW.

Now then...
Bathed in late afternoon sun. SO clearly not this morning's picture. That's because there's a dirty great file on it now, to remind me to sort out the business Insurances. It's all glamour, this desk. So yesterday, I had cleared up after a bit of a scrapbook splurge and went back to making ATCs. Cunningly hidden, I think you'll agree! On the right are a bag, a squashed 'penny' and three 'genuine' arrowheads that I got at the Grand Canyon last summer. I squish a 'penny' wherever I can. Although, it's actually a 50cent piece and it costs a dime to squish it, so it's not really anywhere near a penny. Which I didn't even know was US currency. Or is it a nickname? I digress. They are waiting to go in a particular pocket in my album, and they are on the desk to remind me. I wonder how long they'll be there! There's some stamps from my Mary inheritance, too.  Am waiting for her to inspire me!
The watermelon plastic bag at left of the iPad stand holds my lovely fountain pen and some little bottles of coloured inks. The photo on my iPad stand is a montage of shots from Miss D's 19th birthday. Less about her and more about the cake pops I made for everyone. Never again.

Inspired? Blimey! Please share what you're doing and forgive my drivel, I promise it won't stay in your head for long. Put WOYWW in your post title and link here, we'll visit. That'll do.

Wednesday, 9 May 2018

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 466

Well, here we are again. Thanks to Jan for sorting out last weeks Link only goes wrong when I have no internet access! Still, all's well that ends well. And so to the desk.
It looks a bit work-y and a bit craft-y. I got an idea for my WOYWW9 ATCs and made another start. Note: ANOTHER. My first idea just would not translate to paper! I've sorted of posed this clutter by plonking a new die in its packet on top of the ATCs that I've managed to make. The Kraft pad is also new, and I have no idea why I needed it. I recommend a two week cooling off period between buying and will really focus your 'want' and 'need' purchasing! The light isn't great this morning, I hope it's not a sign of changing weather! I'm back to the normal routine now, so will visit your place when I've been to visit my lovely Mama later today. Link here, as usual, please!

Wednesday, 2 May 2018

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 465

I hope you aren't in a flat panic about ATCs for week 468, the 9th WOYWW anniversary. I'm not!
Great shot of me...round, solid, a bit spikey and loving the sun....!

I hope you aren't in a panic about ATCs for week 468, the 9th WOYWW anniversary. I'm on holiday, and am utterly unable to conjure up deadline dread. But don't worry, it won't last! Please forgive the lightness of my presence for a few days. Still, you don't need me around to enable you to visit others; as usual, link your WOYWW post here and be inspired by your fellow deskers. 

Monday, 30 April 2018

Necessity is still the mother of invention

Some couple weeks ago, Angie at Creative Inkspirations posted her desk shot and said that she was intending to re-visit a couple of the Creative Chemistry lessons that Tim Holtz had published. Her reasons were sound - at the time, she didn't own what was needed from the enormous TH inventory, and now in some of those cases, she does, and would like to re-visit. Fab. Love a woman with a plan! It made me think hard about my stash, which has been the subject of lots of thought recently. Back in the days when my entire collection including card blanks and heat gun, fitted in a shoe box, I think I was definitely more creative. I used waste cardboard for mounts, I cut up coke cans for soft metal embossing. I didn't assume there was a product (as I do now) to ease my making of the next great idea, because even if there was a product, I simply didn't have access to it.
Don't freak...I actually made a card without putting words on the front....!
This card is a great example. It's made entirely from die cuts. Well, back then, I'd have drawn a template and hand cut the pennants. But the floral corners used...hmm. I'd have come up with something else, probably small buttons as they seemed to have a large  place in my stash at some point! Nowadays, without access to a die and cutter, I'm not sure I'd bother to make a card like this: it seems a lot of work for the apparently simple effect. Even the old crank handle die cutters are being usurped now - as you know, I'm a recent Scan'n'Cut owner and so it takes even less time to churn out a handful of pennant shapes. My stash would need to be housed in very many shoe boxes these days and I am grateful for the range and beauty of it all. Since I've been involved in helping to break up my late friend Mary's collection, I have realised that I won far too much and that I need to reign myself in. Having said that, it turns out that I won't win a prize for having the most stash, and that makes me comfortable! What I think I really need is to use enough up (without replacing it) to drop me into the category of not quite having enough again. That will make me more inventive. Or whiney. 

Wednesday, 25 April 2018

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 464

Taken on Tuesday early evening and untouched since! In the spirit of using stuff up and using it in a useful way, I've finished a really nice pad of papers by making a couple of  concertina fold out mini albums. They will make good gifts. The pattern I used from Anna Komenda on You Tube is very simple, and to create a decent amount of room for photos and embellishments, she scores a 'gutter' between folds. the patterned papers are stuck back to back which reveals the plain white gutters, so I decided to pearl them up. And  here they are, being given adequate drying time for once. Dang I'm so impatient, doing this sort of thing really kills me! These mini albums aren't nearly as messy to make as they are to embellish, so for now, my desk looks uncluttered. For now gentle Desker. Do not fret, I will photograph the shambles that is to come!
Please share what you're working on so that the likes of me can come round and copy. Put WOYWW in your blog post title and link here. Lovely. Please note that I'm on the cusp of going away. I may not be allowed as much internet access as I want. We'll see. You can tell I'm nearly ready..the fridge is stacked with the sort of food we never eat. Student house sitters. I think it may cost me more than my actual holiday!