Friday, 16 April 2021

Housekeeping WOYWW12

Remember late last year there was a huge party, fuss, zoom meet to mark and celebrate WOYWW 600? We did it because 600 is a big fat satisfying round number and well, everyone seemed to want to! My, it was a highlight of the year for me, that zoom meet.
The actual annual anniversary never falls on a memorable number really, and this year is no exception! The twelfth anniversary will be WOYWW 624, which is in a matter of weeks. Actually it is Wednesday 19th May.

Almost a decoy photo, but it does flower in May and so is at least appropo....

So now then. Think On. as Lyn would say. We usually successfully do an ATC swap in a circular fashion to acknowledge the occasion and to achieve some happy mail. Well, I’ve been thinking about this and wonder if you’d like to expand ever so slightly. As we’ve all spent some months (pigging ages) learning to appreciate our own homes, backyards and localities, how about an ATC swap but with the addition of a local postcard in the envelope? Of course I mean a commercial one that you buy, but if your photos are better, make one! It will be fun to see a bit beyond your desk top, particularly as many of you have shared wonderful pics of local parks and things over the last few months. I don’t live anywhere particularly picturesque or architecturally notable, but I can still buy a postcard of the high street, so it shouldn’t be too difficult. And frankly, if it is, don’t do it, just send an ATC. After all, it’s meant to be fun and it certainly isn’t meant to cause stress! 
Are we on then? I’ll flag this post up next Wednesday for reference and I’ll take comments and questions. Get me, sounds like it’s important!

Wednesday, 14 April 2021

What’s On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 619

Again this week, I’m starting with the weather. What’s going on?! Wake up to snow and then sit in the garden with a cuppa after lunch? Huh? 
Never mind. It won’t distract you at all from this lot....

Seriously it’s balancing on stuff that’s balancing on stuff. I’m sending a parcel to my American Sissy and I always throw in a few thank you cards because she likes to use them. Well, turns out I don’t have many ready, so thought I’d spend an hour just making some up. Again with the ephemera, but this time, add in the box of stickers (so old I’m using Basic Grey sticker sheets). Then add the glitter glue and pearls (I think the Nuvo Drops bottle I was actually looking for is already buried on the desk. Slight shame, to be honest. Then I had to rush outside and get the washing in, and rush back out to bring in the plants that you can just see on the floor. On a couple of trays, apparently hardening off, but there’s a limit - I don’t want them to be hailed or snowed on! I managed about four cards. Not many considering it’s all a bit peel and stick, but really, I blame the weather! 
Here’s a couple of pics for Shoshi, interested to see the inside of my sexy black and white pencil case thingy.

The elastic loops are encouraged to hold 2 pens each, 3 in the case of my slimline Staedtlers. There are 3 pages with loops each side and the inside front and back have loops too. Works for me! It’s by Arteza.
Some more news....if you’re a BT internet customer, unless you use your mobile phone, you’ve had problems accessing this old blog. Well, I’ve phoned, emailed and Facebook messaged them a LOT in the last few weeks. Fed up of Ludgershall, me. It seems, she says tentatively, that things have been adjusted and you may well be able to access this blog like you would any other. Please try and let me know! If not, Di Wray commented this:
  “ Hi Julia! I was one person who had trouble getting to your blog and eventually we went into our online BT account and turned off 'web protect' - the fancy addition they imposed on BT users a while ago to keep us more secure. Goodness know why it picked out your blog as unsafe - which casts doubt on the efficacy (snuck a COVID vaccine expression in there see!) of the change. Unless it doesn't like people who like cake? That would be all of us then! Snigger. Di x”
Of course, adjusting your settings just to read this may be a step too far, and I would understand. But.....I might know where you live, so do consider what you’re not being here would mean to me. 

Ok, housekeeping finished. Over to you. Show and tell, encourage and enable. As we seem set to start the gentle emerging from lockdown, please take care and continue to be cautious, remember, your workspace is a safe place. Well, mine’s a bit of a hazard, but you get what I mean.....

Friday, 9 April 2021

Partial rainbow

I’m taking part in a Rainbow scrapbook challenge. A LO every few days featuring a specific technique, product  AND a the LO has to be obviously and predominantly a single colour. So that we end up with a bunch of  LOs that make up a rainbow when spread out next to each other. The challenge is set by Julie over at Scraptastic Inspirations on Facebook. I do a few of Julie’s challenges..she allows time and it’s all generally less fast moving and pressured than other groups I look in on, much easier for me to cope! 

The challenges aren’t arriving in Rainbow colour order and are also slightly more inclusive.....for example, I’m about to start working on a Pink LO. Now, y’all know the old Richard Of York Gave Battle In Vain. No room there for a P. But it’s OK, I’m more than happy to do more than the standard seven, it’s not as if I haven’t got any photos!
No, the tooth itchingly difficult part of this for me is that the challenges aren’t arriving in colour order. I know. Why should they? I don’t know particularly, it’s just well, there is an order. What if chaos breaks out because I’m not doing them in order?
Consider this gentle reader. I don’t scrap in any sort of timeline or order or to any long sighted plan. There is no plan; I just choose a photo I like, and I make a page. To prove my point, the Pink page will feature a photo of my father in 1956. The yellow page shows two young blades taken in 1989. And the first page featured one of those blades about a month ago. (Don’t make me digress about the missing ‘young’ part of the description there, we’ll never get anything done.) So why do I need them to be in order? I don’t NEED the order, I just lived by that order until this challenge and it’s a surprise, that’s all. I think.
You can be sure that they will be filed in rainbow Richard-Of-York-Gave-Battle-In-Vain order, to stop my teeth itching and to make sure the world still turns on the right axis. And, as the album is a page turner, no one will ever notice the rainbow effect anyway. So no, I don’t get my problem with it all, either. It’s ingrained, embedded and probably inherited. Blaming the parents is still a thing, isn’t it? Obviously I blame Julie in the first instance, but she, like you, will just laugh and move on. I wonder if I could try that.

Wednesday, 7 April 2021

What’s on your Workdesk? Wednesday 618

A twofer today...a long shot taken yesterday, sometime in the afternoon. Note how good the light is. I can’t recall if it was before or after the greying of the skies and the immense shower of hail that turned into snow. Yes, I speak with umbrage. Harumph.
The stuff I was ‘working’ on is completely covered by the cutter. My MrDunnit had to fix it again and so it was in prime position for testing and cleaning...the cutting edge had developed a teeny snag which was preventing the blade going all the way down....and pulling the blade slightly right, away from the burr was causing a step in the finished cut piece each time. He fixed it. 
So I thought a closer view would cheer you up, because a long shot featuring a cutter is a bit pants, huh.
That’s better isn’t it, the mess you’re used to!  I’ve been playing with some new stamps from Francoise and Janet Klein again. Using up ephemera from scrapbook kits that I won’t otherwise use. See I’m working on top of scrapbook papers. The green piece is a remnant from last weeks rainbow challenge...I dropped an ink pad on it, so it’s just scrap now. It will be used. Meanwhile, I’m using it to protect a couple of sheets of 12 x 12 from the limited range of yellow patterned papers I have. This week the colour was yellow and despite it being my favourite colour, I found it a right old challenge - note my lovely WOYWW needle case...the challenge involved sewing. Seriously, I think my life is too short. I need to have a proper tidy up, got a couple of specific cards to make and a clean desk just might give me focus. Might. You can help though, show me what you’re focused on and nobody will be hurt. 

Saturday, 3 April 2021

Apparently, it’s my fault...

I have a younger sister. Younger by not very much at all. We’re very alike. Friends of our parents used to have trouble telling us apart, and when we were at boarding school, even Mum had trouble working out which one of us was on the phone.
For reasons of family, years and language, my younger sister’s nickname is Grillos. Its how she appears in my contacts, how I address her and how I think of her. Neither of us know how it started or how it morphed into and stopped at Grillos, but I do know she wasn't always called Grillos, even as a nickname. Anyway, we get together once a week when we visit Mum. We help each other through the gaggy part of the Covid test by laughing and making awkward gagging noises. We visit Mum and always spend a good few minutes discussing which one of us is her favourite. I often wonder if Mama would actually like to be able to sit up and bang our heads together. Anyway, despite being alike, we’re very different, and until very recently, Grillos would not have claimed an enjoyment of much that’s creative for a hobby. 

That’s her in the front, acting all tiny and youngest-y. Back when we all called her Sally.

Couple of weeks ago, I ordered some yarn to crochet a baby blanket for her coming grandchild. We had a short discussion about how she’d like to learn to crochet but being left handed meant no one would teach her. I’m right handed and do not believe that makes it impossible to show someone, and I believe it’s easy to learn. So this week, she came to see Mum armed with a packet of yarn and a collection of crochet hooks.

And there I was thinking that I’d rummage in my yarn stash for some leftovers and a hook for her to trial! It all started well. We sat opposite each other and I said, ‘make a slip knot’ which she did with alacrity. Then I talked her through making a chain, insert hook, yarn over, blah blah. While she made a chain, I talked about slip stitch and using a chain or slip stitch to turn corners, fill spaces etc. How to do one extra stitch at the end to ‘build’ the height for the next row. She totally got it all. So, move on, turn the chain and work into it as the foundation for the first row of stitches. Not possible. Way way way too tight a tension. Surprised me! So, I taught Grillos how to frog her work. She was unimpressed, I can tell you. Apparently my fault for not knowing she would pull the yarn so tight. Then I did a few chain stitches and she noted the relaxed tension. So she did some more. Better, but still quite tight. Turn, hook through, yarn over, etc etc. Again. But of course, the tension made getting the hook through quite a fiddle, requiring her to use fingers to loosen the yarn. Then she forgot that she was working in a row rather than a column and lost control of the way to hold the chain. This was my fault because I was crap at explaining. She was starting to fizz. So, I suggested she try again with a much bigger hook and to keep the tension more relaxed. She was difficult to convince, to be honest. But, fair play, she did start again. A chain of ten plus one for turning...she was really getting it. Then the hook wouldn’t go through too easily again. And the yarn she had bought is acrylic and you can hear it being all man made on the hook. Very annoying apparently, and my fault. She managed a double and I said cheerily that all she needed to do was finish the chain in the same way. A chain of 10 stitches, so just another 9 doubles to do, by the way. Just to remind you. The chain was still having to be loosened to get the hook through and that, suddenly, was it. Grillos and crochet were finished. I expressed surprise, cajoled, encouraged and tried to get her to carry on. But she wouldn’t. She said she already knew that it wasn’t for her, if it drove her mad that quickly, she didn’t want to do more. I laughed. Probably made her more cross.

I have to admit that this is one of the things that makes us different. Especially having brought the set of hooks, I’d feel a small obligation to bite down and carry on. But no, Grillos was having none of it. Consequently, the above pictured set of crochet hooks and stitch markers are looking for a home in which to be useful. If you’d like it, please get in touch, as it’s all my fault, the least I can do is offer the RAK and not let them clutter up my sister’s house!

Tuesday, 30 March 2021

What’s on your Workdesk? Wednesday 617

Sunshine! Oh my word how lovely a day was yesterday. I understand today will be too, before things plummet back to seasonally cold! I photographed my desk yesterday, about 4.30pm. I remembered on Monday that I’d committed to a scrapbook challenge. I remembered because I had for once displayed sense and set a thingy to email me when the Challenge was posted. It was a shock on two counts. One that the thingy setting worked, and two that I needed to clear up a bit. So, well, I moved some pens and made a pile of the ink pads that were strewn about. 
What you can see is the leftovers of the scrapbook page. It’s a Rainbow challenge, and the first colour was Green. Bit of an ‘argh’, but I’ve done it. Will show you when I’m allowed to. Meanwhile, I just sort of carried on without clearing up. No surprise, huh. I’m having a lot of fun stamping Francoise’s and Janet’s lovely houses onto scraps and then paper piecing them. Paper piecing isn’t something I have done a lot of, for reasons of patience, but I can’t resist these. See that large black and white pouch at the far end? That’s my new pencil case. It’s got ‘pages’ in, with elastic hoops for 64 pens. I’ve filled it. I didn't think I would, specially as I’ve squashed two pens into one elastic on many of the pages. It holds my most used brush pens and all of my journaling pens. Already proving useful, but quite large! So that’s me, how about you? Show it, tell it and share it here please! Edit: you aren’t seeing things, the week number is correct. It wasn’t, but it is now. It’s a fat finger problem.

Wednesday, 24 March 2021

What’s On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 616

I’ve taken the photograph from a different angle this week, and in bright broad daylight on Tuesday afternoon. It looks just the same this morning, only the desk is pushed against the window out of the way. Hurrah for wheels!
Almost out of shot at the front is a small and uneven pile of cards and ATCS that I’ve made, in the central ‘work zone’ is a card I’d finished colouring and had applied lots of dots of Glossy accents to, so that was drying. The bucket of pens is in the way unless I’m colouring, so that will be the first tidy up today. There’s a lot of stamps and stencils standing upright at this near end, I seem to have really splurged on Francoise’s new designs. The finished card on top of that pile is a paper pieced floral from one set. Marvellous for using scraps and for when you’re in the mood for some fussy cutting. The angles of other stuff really show the amount of push back I’ve had to employ to make some room, but it’s OK, it worked for yesterday. I sold some of Mary’s stamps on eBay last weekend and as I always do, when I packaged them, I included a thank you message in a card. The recipient messaged me through eBay to say how happy she was to get it and we got talking and now we’re swapping ATCs! Karen is at the start of her obsession, she started card making in time for Christmas. You remember those early days don’t you, when you didn’t realise that storage was going to be your next hobby. Happy days.
Look, I read every single blog on the list last week, but I failed to comment on most of them. I’m very sorry. I knew I was going to be late visiting last week and in the event, I wasn’t able to do so until Friday afternoon. Like a lot of Deskers, I’d logged in to attend Shaz’s funeral in the morning, and to be honest, I just wasn’t in the mood to comment.  It was a perfect service; wonderful photos, music and words. Doug’s attention to the details and the bits that would mean something to Shaz was really evident and you could tell there was love swirling around to help with the loss. I’ve had a word with myself, on behalf of Shaz and have got over myself. Link up, expose those desks, enable my pocket money, and in constant memory of Shaz, seize the day!