Friday, 14 February 2020

One in a Chameleon

This prompted some interest on Wednesday. It was on my desk, awaiting the last few bits of colour. It’s a Pink Ink stamp, if you’re familiar with them you’ll know they’re a bit larger than average, and always come with flourishes and a bit of text. If you’re keeping up with the trend for large cards, these are perfect. If you like an image that can be coloured, well, this range is for you.
I took this at the best angle I could get to show the shimmer paints. Some of the colours are actually Shimmer Paints, others are Pixie Powders. All used as paint with a water brush. It didn’t take hours to paint, and it was a nice thing to do sitting quietly for however long, but I won’t be making a stack of them. I like it almost as much just as a line drawing on a card. An exercise in embossing, for sure!
This is a 10 x 7 card, and with the swirls and flowers (which are separate stamps in the set), it makes a really nice statement card doesn’t it. If a chameleon can make a statement. 

Tuesday, 11 February 2020

What’s On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 558

Sunshine! Sunshine is on my desk. You probably guessed that I wouldn’t be able to cope for long without daylight! The desk has always been on wheels because it used to be in front of a door that gave access to the back garden. Now, in a temporary move, it’s found a new home. 
It really is temporary. One reason will be to avoid the wearing of a path from desk to workroom to get stuff. Just about every time I sit down I realise there’s something else I pad, water, particular paint, know! It’s a glorious pic isn’t it, the sun was so great yesterday that I just had to show you. Mind you, there’s to be no change this morning...real life is imposing, of course.   I’m using Sparkle Paints and a water brush to colour this Pink Ink image. I seem to be making a collection of useful pots to put things in. That’s Zsazus’s fault. During Marit’s Dutch Summer, Zsazsu had a spot on decorating these useful pots and I intend to try. So far my intention has been diverted by theIr usefulness!  There’s not much else of interest to be honest...quite a lot of rubbish to be dealt with; I moved the desk so suddenly that I hadn’t really sorted it, so the unsorted piles came too! Wanna see in context:
You have to find the cream painted desk legs to avoid the optical illusion that it may just be a floating surface! The pile of MFC pieces on the floor are actually shelves for the new kitchen cupboards. (The build is still in progress; one of the reasons why I don’t feel too bad about adding my desk to this room for now!) Anyway, that’s enough, we all need to get on and visit more interesting places.
Please join your WOYWW titled post here and enjoy some visitors. That will be great, thanks. See you at your place.

Monday, 10 February 2020

It’s only taken a month...

At the beginning of the year, (which in fact was only last month, despite how it feels), I was stamping for the sake of it. And enjoying it and using some lovely wood mounts that don’t get a lot of use these days. I made some cards for my Sissy and put a couple into my stock box. Nice. Then, on a WOYWW post, you might have seen I’d chosen a Julie Nutting dolly for my next card, and was planning on some paper piecing.
Well of course, that slowed me down. Actually completely nobbled my ‘flow’. I didn’t finish it till yesterday, and only then because I wanted it off my desk without having to throw some of the cut out bits away. So I cut out some more and then did some die cutting too. Time consuming enough. 
You sure can tell that I was finishing and moving on can’t hint of a background at all. Hmm, may have to rectify that. I like the die cut text. I layered the orange on top of the original that cut from the kraft card so it stands a little proud in the aperture.

I know the position of the text and the lack of insert inside the card will cause a lot of shaken heads and teeth to itch. But it’s ok for me, my card receiving friends must be used by now, to the erm, ‘quirky’ finish a lot of the cards have. Sometimes. Because I manage to convince myself that it looks ‘arty’ or ‘fun’ and totally part of my ‘plan’. Well, when I say ‘plan’.......

Sunday, 9 February 2020

More geo-holiday notes..

We drove across some very windy peaks and stopped at a specific lookout point that quite literally took my breath away.
El Mirador is high up and hacked out of the sea facing side of a volcano. That is a given really, on Lanzarote. It was so windy on the balcony that it made us stagger. It was so high that it made us both wobble. All my photos are long shots; braver souls were leaning over the balcony to get shots of the sheer drop, but that’s not in this wonky balanced woman anymore. 
Look at that for a view, and the beautiful clear sky. So beautiful. That far land is an island called La Graciosa, only achievable by ferry and that millpond looking water is deceiving from this height, let me tell you! In the foreground you see (another) lava field sweeping down to the sea. And the lagoon-ish looking area is a salt lake, for the cultivation of the farm on the left of it...a salt farm, waiting to be flooded. Believe me, if the wind can accelerate the evaporation at all, it’ll be producing in half the time. Perhaps that’s why they bothered to remove I don’t know how many tonnes of the sharp, slightly smelly, misshapen lava rocks. I was expecting it all to be smooth, as if the molten lava cooled in its round, rolling form. Not all the time, apparently.

We went to the Cueva de las Verdes too. Now that is a magic place to show off the way lava behaves. It’s actually a tunnel, about 6 kilometres I think they said in the tour. Formed along a valley running from the foot of a volcano to the sea. 2000 years ago, the Corona volcano erupted, molten lava filled the valley and flowed into the sea. The top most surface cooled faster than the moving lava inside the valley and so created a long tunnel like cavern. It is extraordinary. You can only take a tour of the tunnel, at the land end it’s about a 1 kilometre walk through some wide tunnels and massive caverns. It was eerie, beautiful, sensational. At some points there were narrow steps to climb, quite low ‘ceilings’ and uneven floors. They were flat and easy to walk, man made in the name of tourism, but sloping in all directions sometimes. 
Of course, it was dark down there (artfully lit, actually) and really rather warmer than I thought it would be. There’s no water, they aren’t the dripping or stalactite forming caves...the lava was too hot to allow even remnants of moisture. Although there are areas where there are clear drips of lava that have cooled before splashing off the ceiling. Fascinating.
There’s a grand chamber where the floor has been polished and chairs set up. They use it for concerts, mostly classical. I don’t know if it’s clear from the photo, the lighting may be artful but we weren’t allowed to use flash photography. The tour was really good, and ended sensationally, I recommend you visit if you’re ever on Lanzarote. Although being in the dark on sloping surfaces is a huge challenge for my balance, it was well worth it...’specially as Mr Dunnit held my hand or had his arm round my waist nearly all the way; we must have looked like honeymooners!  We were keen to go to the seaside end of the tunnel and take the tour there too, but time got away from us. That right there is a statement of intent to return. One last thing.. green caves. There was very little green about them, certainly not in terms of rock colour or sediment, although there were some very large leaves in the cool shade at the tunnel entrance! The caves are named Verdes after the farming family that discovered them whilst herding their sheep on what turned out to be a 2000 year old tunnel roof. I love that they are to be forever remembered in the story.

Wednesday, 5 February 2020

What’s On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 557

I was all geared up to spend some (most) of Sunday at my desk, clearing a little and trying to become a creative human bean. Fate, in the shape of an electrician, had different plans for me. You can see, I need electrical light in there at the moment, so I didn’t do anything in there!
Scrapbooking stuff from the crop before I went on holiday still in the wheeled box whose handle is very much in the centre of the photo getting all the attention! That lot just slides onto shelves and the box folds down. It was a gift that thing, from our Christine, Bishopsmate. I dread to think how long feels like last summer, but I know that’s wrong because when she gave it to me, they were awaiting the birth of the grandchild that has become known as the Little Soldier. I know he’s not 18 or anything ridiculous like that, but I would put money on him being much older than I want him to be! The upside down donkey is still much in evidence. I shall move him this morning, to the box of cards that I keep for use. Then he might actually be used! There’s a striped wallet thing on the surface...that’s got Sunday’s output in it. Ive been cutting and marking up templates for some concertina albums for the ladies who want to make one at the village Craft Bee. On top of that is my lovely patchwork and embroidered cover notebook that Annie gave me. I use it a lot. To make notes. Which is why it’s with the album wallet, I’ve actually got so organised that I’ve made a list of things to take to the next Craft Bee to facilitate the easy making of these albums. The brown bag contains souvenirs and tickets from Lanzarote. 
So there’s a very candid look at my desk this morning. Come on then, show me yours. It’s only fair and hey, there’s no benchmark for tidy or organised! Nothing to lose then. 
Link your WOYWW post on your blog here so we can visit. And please be reminded that your WOYWW post does need to relate to the question ‘What’s On Your Workdesk?’. Thank you so much!

Friday, 31 January 2020

The Road to Papagayo....

Lanzarote is small, a bit like a Cornwall in as much as it doesn’t take long to get to anywhere from there or here, and everywhere is a view. The getting there is good too, miles of tarmac road - professional and serious hobby cyclists ride here in the gruelling heat, up and down the volcanoes for pleasure, so the roads must be good. Tyres? I’ve got thicker soles on my sandals. 
We hired a small car and hoped it would have the grunt to manage some miles. It did. It actually was a superstar of a car that passed the ultimate hire car test - it survived the road to Papagayo.
There is a town and a stretch of coast called Playa Blanca (white beach) and everyone said how lovely Papagayo was, especially as a contrast to the shiny black lava beaches that we had so far been fascinated by. So we checked maps, slapped on the sun cream and set off. It wasn’t difficult to find Playa Blanca, it’s on the coast and apart from a couple of dormant volcanoes to go up and come down, a coast road is a coast road, huh. (The question of WHY the roads weren’t built around the bases of the volcanoes is a whole other thing...and there will be more on that, I almost guarantee it). We had been chatting that all the major roads in Lanzarote seemed relatively new and lovely, smooth and quiet. Absolutely perfect for the pelotons that we encountered and in some cases caused us some fear. So imagine our surprise when having turned appropriately right off a roundabout signposted ‘Papagaya’, the tarmac came to a stop. There was a clunk as we bumped onto the erm, temporary road and wondered if we were allowed to continue. We were actually overtaken by a couple of locals, so decided to press on. I can’t tell you how we laughed as we bumped, pinged and created dust clouds on this clearly marked out but totally un-made road across a lava field. Luckily, we said, it’ll be short and relatively flat.

It was neither. After about two kilometres we were a little fed up and Mr Dunnit a little fretful about stones damaging paintwork or potholes causing the loss of car parts...there were hub caps and exhaust boxes visible to illustrate his fret. But, we’re nothing if not English, and other people were driving the road, so we carried on. And blow me, a building appeared on the horizon. We thought it might be the civilisation of a beach cafe. Not likely. It was a toll! We parted, lamb like and without argument, with €3 and set off for another 3 kilometres of driving across the grittiest, pot holiest and boob jigglingist surface ever. 
I was a little hysterical when we finally spotted the edge of the was so obvious that it had blown out and formed a beach. And it was it’s own windbreak. A hike on jelly legs down and it was lovely. The socks and shoes came off and we did paddle. But that was all, it was very extremely cold. Hell, the Atlantico in January, of course it was cold....but it looked wonderful and inviting and calm and there were swimmers. Probably Northern Europeans made of sterner stuff. Or people who drive 4x4s and had barely noticed the bone rattling tooth shaking route and didn’t have jelly legs. We walked a bit, up hill of course, and found a beach cafe right on the rim of the old volcano that I could have stayed in forever. 
We nearly had to. I was made breathless by the climb from the beach so was feeling a little vulnerable when Mr Dunnit told me that a bottle of Fanta Limon was €5. Yikes. And a return journey to face. Several reasons then, for remembering the road to Papagayo!

Wednesday, 29 January 2020

What’s On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 556

This is scheduled today, for your erm, viewing pleasure. We’re out and about early to make the most of our last full day. 
Our little balcony is in the shade in the late afternoon and we’d had a hot day out so were enjoying a quiet, shady cuppa. I did a bit of stitching whilst we decided what to do with our evening. 
Regulars will appreciate knowing that there has been some progress on this ‘zenbroidery’. I take it with me on holidays and twice a month to a two hour, afternoon craft bee. Sometimes I do five stitches in between tea making and gassing, sometimes I do a little more. I’m completely over how long it’s going to take, and am just happy to enjoy a craft that is so much more portable than card making or scrapbooking!
So, show us your works, do. Have a little brag if you’ve got something new. We call it ‘enabling’, show off in a helpful manner in case your fellow Deskers may need what you’ve got. Is a sisterhood, see. I’ll visit once the Sangria jug is empty....can’t quite say when..