Monday 30 November 2009

Well, that was fab..

Great weekend for me, am going to brag a little. Spent Saturday in the kitchen (my second favourite place) and despite burning 12 mini mince pies, everything else was delicious. Although, not as much as I'd hoped has gone into the freezer for the holidays. Ho Ho Hum.

See that little car boot crammed with stuff? It's the after-packing. Yesterday was 2 Scrap Ladies' Christmas Card Marathon. It's the only photo I have that represents anything of the day. And I took it about 10 minutes ago! (Note to self: Call yourself a scrapbooker!) I was absolutely desperate for a cup of tea when I got home, so I pretended that there was no unpacking to do. Naturally, first thing this morning my bleary eyes were delighted to see my oh so tidy workroom. And then my brain kicked in and reminded me that practically everything I use on a daily basis was still in the car. And it still is actually. Like turning on the computer, I've left it until other jobs have been done. Because once I settle into this room, I'm a real-life-gonner and there's still a deal to do about the house!

Oh and just so you know: they're still there...this photo also taken today. OK so I can't really prove that, but look at it this way..I've barely been in the workroom this weekend AND I have a handful of sweeties right in front of today at least, I don't need 'em! So onwards and erm, forwards I think. A bunch of now painted wooden hearts needs my attention - yes Linda, Mr Dunnit cut 'em out for me. One day, when I'm really brave, I'll tell you the story about the machine he uses. It's kinda like a big ol' Cricut. It involves a swear word tho', and you know me, I wouldn't want to be offensive!

Friday 27 November 2009

Reality Check:

Here's evidence of an abandoned project. Honestly, those pom-poms are little...about as big as a 10p piece. No wonder I lost it. Even before it turned into a 'look what I made at Playgroup' end result!
So I have a bunch of small pom-poms and a part used ball of yarn (technical term) going begging. Seriously, if you can use it, let me know. Save it from the box of discarded stuff that I can't bring myself to throw away, but will never use.
So in the interest of balance, here's a shot of something to replace the silly pom-pom idea, but very much a work in progress. And I can only show you the painted backs of these hearts because rather inevitably, the decoration for the front is still trapped in my mind's eye. Just pray that I can realise it satisfactorily. If you're in the Ornament swap for which these are destined, pray hard.

And finally (as they say in worthy radio articles and such), I'd like to leave you with a shot of my stamp shelves. They've appeared before, the mess of stuff on the bottom shelf is different though. The bottom shelf is actually the worktop height of my desk and so becomes a residual dumping ground and a sort of work-in-progress holder. My go-to place, for sure. So why am I showing this when it's not Wednesday, or frankly, even interesting? Look at the stack in the bottom right corner. Those blue things. Bars of chocolate. For use in a workshop which I thought was next week, but so help me, turns out to be scheduled for the week after. Hmm, now just how strong do you think I am? Check back, I'll keep a photo diary, it may improve my chances.
Have a lovely weekend, whatever you're doing!

Thursday 26 November 2009

Plus ca change, la meme ca change.....


–verb (used with object)
to make different in some particular, as size, style, course, or the like; modify: to alter a coat; to alter a will; to alter course.
to castrate or spay.
–verb (used without object)
to change; become different or modified.

So I'm wrong. You can use 'alter' to describe my little canvas, because I have made it different in in the addition of paint, paper shapes and beads. But you have to admit, that's what my £1 canvas is for. So I'm not, in essence altering its intended purpose: to apply paint and stuff to it. Of course, turning it into a tent would alter it, fairly significantly. But even the definition above suggests some sort of radical change occurs on alteration. As in - alter course, alter a will......that which it was is now something else. In altering, you change the use or meaning. And let's face it, that's not what we do at all. We re-cover notebooks and jazz up the pages, but it's not altering..they are still notebooks. Only slightly less easy to use because you don't want to spoil it now! And that's what I mean when I bore you witless about the 'altering' thing. The addition of paint ink and paper doesn't necessarily alter something. We 'enhance' a lot. As far as I can tell, if it isn't super-glued out of reach, then one crafter or another will have tried to enhance its appearance. Whatever it is.
Now this opinion could easily be explained by lack of imagination when it comes to this sort of thing. It's not that I don't like what the 'alterers' goodness, some of the stuff you see is breathtaking. Perhaps that's what makes me the pedant. I'm no good at it therefore no-one should be able to do it. I would try to alter my opinion, but I'm too old. The title of this post, badly translated: the more things change, the more they stay the same. Leave me to the enhancing then. I need the practice.

Wednesday 25 November 2009

So, What's On Your Workdesk?

It's come around really fast - am to be found in normal panic mode but, my word, also in TIDY mode! Yes. When the going gets tough, I have to be organised and you can't be organised with six tonnes of stash spread across the table, worktop, floor and fold-up chair that I unfolded just to create another surface. It takes so long to find anything. I know, those of you that tidy as you go and put away religiously are, as I type pinning on the 'Told You So' medals. But it's not that I didn't already know that, nor that I don't yearn for that particular wholesome, some would say anal, characteristic. But it's just not my way. Anyway, today we have a reasonable order about the desk.

There of course is my wooden card holder, as usual, in improper use, but doing a sterling job. The gold holographic card is about to be used to mount some instructions on. You can see two others poking out of the 'envelopes' leaning against the back of the table. These are the supplies needed for the Marathon cards. Well the first three cards anyway. Way to go in terms of preparation then! You can see my stapler. Nothing remarkable about it at all. Except that lump of blue-tack has been on the top for over seven years. If I were vaguely superstitious, I would consider it a blob of luck or longevity. But I ain't and it isn't. It's a bit dusty if that means anything. Apart from the obvious non-dusting, lazy-cow type meaning, of course. Behind the sellotape dispenser is a small number of dollar bills. I forget how many and it's 3 feet from where I'm sitting at the moment, so I'm not going over there to count it. It represents the the Ornament exchange that I documented earlier this week. I of course, cannot send postal stamps to enable Megan, my host over there in the USA, to post forward my Ornaments, so am going to send her the notes as payment. Sounds like a plan huh. So did my ornament idea. Look out for plan B. Er, any day now!

There's chocolate on the desk too. And I won't be eating it. Very front right corner is a bar that I've made a new cover for - part of a workshop next week. NOT altered for goodness sake, just re-covered. Presumably even the mighty TH wouldn't alter chocolate; I think he'd slide down the ratings a bit quick if he did! There's a couple of Moleskine notebooks on the front edge too. They're awaiting transformation by stamps and stuff. Again, not altering, because they'll still be notebooks when I've done something to them. Getting the theme here? Gosh, I may start a campaign about the word 'alter'. As soon as I've altered my attitude and become uber organised that is.

Come on then, join in. Show us your work desk/top/carpet/surface...we're not bothered by what you work ON - we wanna see what you're doing and what you've got. Yep, we really are that nosey! Now, you can comment here and/or link to your blog, we'll all come round and have a rummage. It's only for fun, no need to tidy first and it's only for fun. So don't take it seriously, just join us for a bit of united fun. Grab the WOYWW button from the sidebar of this blog if you like. That's also a bit of silly fun. Apart from the skill that made the button of course - Steph and Annie were behind that, not me.

Monday 23 November 2009

Mr Dunnit steps up....(again)

So further to the Ornament dilemma. I worked out why they don't look like the idea that I had in my head. Simple really. I don't like 'em. So, I'm going to (rather quickly) do something else. Naturally there's a story to this. I posted about my quandry on Friday afternoon. In domestic terms, this family was planning an evening apart. Miss D was off to the cinema with her flame haired chum to watch New Moon. Which meant that Mr Dunnit and I were going to have a date night. Which is quite an exciting, romantic sort of thing to do after all these years, innit? We don't plan a 'date night' I should tell you - I have acquired the phrase through my reading of the blogs of other people who have perfect husbands, children, houses, lives. It seems that 'date night' is the glue that binds and indeed deepens a lot of marriages. A lot of soul searching and real talking seems to occur on 'date night' so I was totally up for it. I planned that we'd go out - I'm afraid to tell you that I will do almost anything to avoid Children in Need on the telly. Spending a friday night sniveling and snotting on the sofa because I can't do more is really not a good thing for me. So I don't anymore, I can whip myself without help, thanks!
So Mr Dunnit came home from work, I threw a less than gourmet meal at Miss Dunnit (guilt, see, really she can get her own!) and off we went. To Currys. Yep, he has a yearning for a new tv and we have a need for some new white goods, so he thought it would be a good chance to do some late night shopping. Except.... he isn't the chap that walks into the store, sees the appliances and tv that we want, does a deal and leaves. Oh no. There's a lot of research to do first. And for me, a lifetime's yawning. I realise it's important, but I hate it and it's boring and hey - date night! For once though, this may have paid off - I was sulking around the store (I know this is hard to believe of me, but at least I'm big enough to admit it). I mean, apart from my spoilt date night anticipation, I was suffering terrible angst over my ornament failure. And then it hit me. My new and latest idea.
As a reward for being good in Currys, Mr Dunnit bought me supper and I gabbled about my new idea. It invovles him a bit see - I need some wooden shapes . Not only did he agree that my new idea is great and would be lovely and better and no trouble for him to help me out with - he said he'd make extra shapes because he felt sure that some of the family would love it too. Now maybe that's proper date night talk!
So here I am, all fired up with enthusiasm. Again! Watch this space, huh.
(It won't be this reindeer ornament, I just wanted you to see him.)

Friday 20 November 2009

Me and my big mouth...

Honestly, it's been a lifelong problem, and no further proof is needed than this: yes it's meant to be an Christmas tree ornament. The original idea came from the Better Homes and Gardens American magazine website. Last year of course. I have a problem with the supply of round tuits, so things get delayed. I made (yes, me of the fat fingers and absolutely zero patience) more teeny pom-poms than I care to count. And I chose a yarn (technical term) that apparently knits up like a hairy fleece. Well let me tell you, if you make pom-poms out of such a hateful texture, it catches on every snag and imperfection on your nails and fingers and makes you swear copiously. I cannot imagine why the manufacturers would build that into a product, but there it is. Has that destroyed any chance I had of this blog being sponsored by a yarn (technical term) producer? Probably. To be completely frank, at this moment, I'd stick two fingers up..but they're covered in blue fluffy bits and look more ridiculous than rude. So after the pom-pom trials, I used the Cricut to cut out the snowflake shapes from this stunning aqua mirror card. Lovely huh. Mr Dunnit says its not a very realistic snowflake and shouldn't it be white? Bloody realists. No romance in their souls.
So then I string them together, (well, ribbon them) the snowflakes are in 3 descending-by-half-an-inch sizes, to make the 'lovely tree ornament'. Only it's not at all what I envisaged and I have no time and frankly no other idea for the materials. Because I have to make eleven. Because I have to get them in the post. To America. Because I agreed to be in an Ornament swap. For this year. Because I thought it would be fun. FUN! All I've done so far is worry and whinge! I dunno. Do you think they'll pass muster or should I try something else with my ahem..nearly £20 worth of gathered materials? Bear in mind that the pom-poms look like shots of white light because of the flash...the reality is slightly less gasp-inducing....the bigger picture is non-flash, against an unpainted door. A bit like turning the light on at the end of a party, huh! Should I have the thick skinned courage of my convictions and send these to my unknown american friends anyway? I could always put a made up name on it. What a quandry. Oh and if I'm still blogging next year and I mention a swap of this sort of importance, shoot me.

Wednesday 18 November 2009


I hope the weak sunlight bouncing off their little baggies won't make it too difficult for you to see my visitors. They came about five minutes after I had ordered them from Wipso. Teeny, hand felted hand stitched bears, each with their own poetic message. They are visitors though, for they are destined to live with others. There's a couple of Christmas Bears, the lilac craft bear, a Bon Voyage bear and a small comfort bear that will be delivered today. They fit perfectly well inside a card - and for me that underlines the gesture that the card has created.

Workshop day today; appropriately, we're doing Thank You cards; and here's one of them....rocket science it ain't, but I am still very drawn to text on a card. Indeed, I have a little voice in my head called Sandie who once - totally off the cuff - said that I was incapable of producing a card without text on the front. She was right, and every time I'm searching around for a finishing touch - and it turns out to be a text stamp, or die cut letters, I hear her, but don't stop! Can't help it. So these are the perfect card for me. Quick and easily repeateable if you are still lovely enough to write thank-yous after Christmas and Birthdays...and I've shoved it on quite a big card, so could easily double as a lovely post-Christmas letter, or use it as a biggie for the kids to share so that the torture of formal thanking doesn't go on forever. Because it often does! Do you still write the odd thank you? Or is it all about email and text now? I dunno, the number of cards I make, you'd think someone would tell me not to bother if it was really a waste of time, wouldn't they?
But the very best thing about this card - I made it out of my scrap box! No, not 'out of my scrap box' - because that would be altering it beyond comprehension, frankly, and even Tim Holtz couldn't do that! But you get it. And I'm terribly glad that someone does!

What's on your Workdesk Wednesday

If you visited earlier this week, you'll know that I was in a state of panic and shame. Panic over finishing up my share of the card samples for the Card marathon and shame at the state of my desk. OK, the whole workroom, but the desk is the pertinent part of today, after all. And it keeps my shame and guilt in proportion too! The blue tidy tray is actually next to the space that I was working on..the ribbon reel on the right is balanced on a square pot of embossing powder which in turn is standing on two to which is the basket in which I am supposed to put the used stamps. Naturally, there's all the tape peelings and as usual, the wooden card holder is under employed in favour of the old 'push back' system. You know the one - instead of clearing up, you just keep pushing everything back until there's room to make a bit more mess. Out of sight on the left is a pile of papers - some used, some pulled out and not used but added to the pile, and a couple of acrylic boxes with gems and stuff in..all in a towering pile of potential spillage disaster.

But yesterday, when Teresa and I were putting the world to rights, I tidied - I even put away the bits of paper. I found the beads as you know. I put away 14 ink pads, 4 pairs of scissors and six pots of embossing powder. The dirty stamps are in the basket and after some gentle playing last night, my desk looks like this right now: The little yellow pot has just received a generous coating of diamond glaze. It's one that Miss Dunnit made at Primary School and has been on the kitchen window sill all those years. Which is a site of another potential mess problem I can tell you. In this house, if you don't quite know what to do with something - the odd Euro, screw, biro, peg, blah blah, stick it on the kitchen window sill. And leave it there for years. Anyway, the little coil pot, painted with my favourite colour has been used and abused and in a purge of window sill-o-bilia yesterday, I realised it needs preserving. So I did what I could. There's a red one in use elsewhere in the house and the DG has worked a treat, so am quite pleased again, that my craft materials have saved the day!
There's a bit of foil that still has chocolate in it - top left. But that's because during the messy period, the scissor sharpener fell over and hid it. Don't worry, I'll deal with it before the coffee cools. There's the seasonal bag of snowflakes waiting to be turned into I don't know what, and as you can see, I'm playing with a Christmas tree stamp. Which is today's plan - apart from cutting and counting for tomorrow's workshop.

Come on then, show us your work desk/space/surface. Don't be, upload and link to it in the comments here. If you want to, grab the button from the left margin for your blog. It's nonsense, it's light hearted and it means nothing, but it's very interesting. Feeds my nosey person perfectly!

Tuesday 17 November 2009

For the Ffrog.

Teresa, aka Ffroggie 'phoned and while we chatted, I tidied my desk. Really tidied. The sort of deep clean that it only gets when I'm in the mood - and I was in the mood alright; whilst the Ffrog and I chatted about the possibility of taking A Magnetic Year in a Day over to her magical place in Northern Ireland, I sorted, put away, discovered (!) and even got the dustpan and brush to finally clean off the surface. Well aren't I smug. You would be too if you'd found the essential packet of square glass beads that were just nowhere - and I had even been through the bin, so convinced was I that I had seen them teetering on the desk edge. They were actually on the edge - just the opposite edge, safely against the dreaded scrap box under a huge pile of discarded papers. Oh for heaven's sake! So huge thanks to Teresa for finding the beads - I think I need them. I'll show you if it turns out that I do! Meanwhile, part of our conversation touched on the buying stuff and not using it. We all know about that really, although I think that eventually, we mostly do use it - if not out of guilt then for reasons of pure economic logic. A little bell went off in my head when Teresa was bragging (yep, bragging) about some fantastic covered brads she had. Well, I've got some nice brads too. And I'm afraid to use them. Mostly because if I use them, I won't have them anymore! Does that make any sense? None at all, huh. Even the sensible and true 'use them on a scrapbook page and then you can keep them' hasn't quite reached me yet - I just like to see them on their foam storage shapes, hinting at the gorgeous things I could do with them. Don't let me be alone on this one - never mind about all the unused stash, I already know about that - what've you got that you can't use? Show and tell!

Monday 16 November 2009

Safe to post...

Monday is usually a domestic day, I really like to restore the household harmony after we've all been together at the weekend. I gave up cleaning and tidying on a Friday not long after I realised that if I did it on a Monday, there was a good chance that I would only have to maintain it for a whole week instead of re-doing it within two days! So now you know..the best day to visit me is a Tuesday! But all I've managed is a load of washing and straightening the kitchen. Since then, I've been back at my desk; all this pressure I've put on myself - to produce a bunch of cards!
Again they're for the Card Marathon, and you'll be relieved to know that I've finished. All I have to do now is 'kitting' and that is so, so much easier than the ideas part! I'm going to photo my desk too - truly it has never been so shocking, but I'll save the picture for a comparative narrative on Wednesday. (I know, it's not enough that I think I can write a bit, suddenly I'm a poet too. Somebody'll stop me, you'll see.)
It's not the cards that are difficult, gracious no. It's the ideas and the constant thought that everything has to be new and shiny and loaded with techniques. But of course it doesn't. But they do have to be cards I'd like to give away myself as a minimum, and to come up with a card that I can't part with because I like it too much is a bonus! And I think the 'design fatigue' is entirely due to overkill. In one form or another, I've been using Christmas products since the end of August, and from a seasonal point of view, just as I should be really getting into it, I'm ready to opt out, thanks. So I'm going to turn myself to other things for a while, no doubt Christmas related, but more about the presents than the greetings and certainly nothing on a C6 card for a few days at least. Here's a start:
This little canvas is intended for Mr Dunnit; the robot is from Stampendous but the text is erm, borrowed from a stamp set I saw for sale but didn't buy (Woodware). Guilt guilt. The set had a couple of robots and a couple of text blocks in it. I already have the Stampendous set which contains 'body parts' for robots, so I kinda didn't need the other set, huh? It's not the major work of paint and masks and spritzes and inks and 38 images required by 'altered canvas' artists, but he's quite fun, and Mr D will get it. After all, the only thing I can do with a canvas that would actually alter it is to turn it into a tent, and there is no way that I want Mr Dunnit to suddenly get deep and understand from my gift that I want to go camping. Seriously. You'd never hear the end of it. So back to domestics for me then. Hope this Monday finds you facing a fulfilling and stress free week,

Saturday 14 November 2009

but hello, it's Saturday!

My routine usually precludes a blog post over the weekend. My weekend resoultion is to stay away from the computer, which consumes more of my time than I care to admit, and therefore dedicate more of myself to my lovelies. This wholesome and unselfish dedication to my family goes totally un-noticed by them - we are, whatever I tell you, a perfectly normal disfunctional family. But, whaddya know, Mr and Mrs Dunnit are both wide awake at a non-saturday hour. Mr Dunnit knows that if I work out that he's lying in bed awake, I might engage in a conversation - and you all know that conversations that take place in bed are usually about the cost of something, the trouble with the child(ren) or, horror, something involving our feelings.
So he got up and went to work early.
And here I am. There's a large deadline looming and I need to do some tweaking of cards and ideas, so I'm going to settle in and get on.
I've been flicking through a handful of cards I've made for the Card Marathon - I usually discard and add a couple. This has hit the 'no' pile and you can probably see why at a glance. I've added a sort of mouth/smile to this fella with a thin black nib, but is he possibly the most depressed snowman you've ever seen? How can I use that on a card that's meant to offer greetings, which are surely, meant always to be cheerful? So he's a gonner. I wonder how many more will strike me as spectacularly inappropriate. What amazes me is that even though I drew the enigmatic smile on at the time of making the card, I didn't see quite how depressed he is, poor love. Tell me you agree, just so I know that the emotional chat I missed out on this morning isn't manifesting itself in rubber stamp critique! Have lovely weekend.

Friday 13 November 2009

And in other, shocking news...

So thank goodness, the early starts come to a finish today. I know you're on the edge of your seat wondering what domestic goodness and life serving creative actions I filled my extra hour and a half with this morning. Well, you may need to sit down. Or Paige, Lyn and people of the OCD persuasion, lie down while the going's good - you can't fall off the floor. Here in absolute order, is what I did, in my sloppy long nightie and birkenstocks, in front of the kitchen heater from six thirty this morning:
I made coffee (I like a cafetiere).
I melted two bars of chocolate and poured them over yesterdays 'cooking' session of rice krispie cakes.
And then I cleaned my stamps.
I know! Joy be unconfined! There's an A4 size space on my work desk where a once overflowing basket of inky stamps once stood. You see, I noticed yesterday that there are stamps languishing in the to-be-cleaned section that I want to use, or worse, I may have forgotten about. And worse actually, most of my acrylic blocks are in there too. So I did the honourable thing. There's a drawback though - they are now sitting on two specially-reserved-for-the-job tea towels, cluttering up the draining board. So the plan is to finish a few chores, finish drying them off and put them away. Then I can settle in for some more stamping. Obviously, I can't do anything at my desk until I've dried and put them away...because there's the gap created by the absent basket, and you know how fast I can fill that with erm, artistic detritus!
Back to that difficult list of questions to accompany the Over The Top Award: it needs saying that all the blogs that I read are, to me, great. The handful of people listed here as 'awardees' have qualified because I feel it's time they exposed themselves a little more (er, !). I know I'm nosey, I've manipulated it in my mind to be an endearing characteristic. So, come on:
answer the questions - sign the 'fession!

Thursday 12 November 2009


..housekeeping that is..I don't want any one on this world wide interweb thingy to have a thought in their heads about anything related to maternity and me when they see the word overdue. Just to clear that up. It reflects badly on me that I've been passed a couple of fab awards recently and haven't made time to deal with the details...they always require revelations see, and I think I spout more than enough about me on here as it is!

At the beginning of the month, Ginny shared the colourful Making Smiles On Faces Award with me - a huge irony really. The pay off for that is I have to tell you five things about myself, but any minute, you're going to get a bonus - 35 things about me! This because the marvellous Jo and then Jane passed me the 'Your Blog is Over The Top' award which requires me to stuff socks in my mouth and sit on my hands and bite on bullets and eat tripe to stop me using more than one word per answer. I can do it. But I might have to do another post explaining, justifying, enlarging and quantifying each answer!

1. Where is your cell phone? desk

2. Your hair? middle-aged

3. Your mother? Sainted

4. Your father? Well

5. Your favorite food? loads

6. Your dream last night? ridiculous

7. Your favorite drink? Gin and Tonic

8. Your dream/goal? world peace

9. What room are you in? work-room

10. Your hobby? craft

11. Your fear? loneliness

12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? here

13. Where were you last night? here

14. Something that you aren't? quiet

15. Muffins? nah

16. Wish list item? nothing

17. Where did you grow up? worldwide

18. Last thing you did? phoned a friend

19. What are you wearing? black

20. Your TV? Off

21. Your Pets? dead

22. Friends? incredible

23. Your life? charmed

24. Your mood? fighting

25. Missing Someone? yes

26. Vehicle? Yaris

27. Something you’re not wearing? hat

28. Your favorite store? Paperchase, silly

29. Your favorite colour? yellow

30. When was the last time you laughed? today

31. Last time you cried? today

32. Your best friend? One?

33. One place that I go to over and over? home

34. Facebook? Reluctantly

35. Favorite place to eat? out

OK, so it turns out I can't do it all in one word, but what the hell, today of all days I'm here to remind you that we live but once and this small stuff musn't make you sweat! I must say that I quite like the idea of my blog being Over The ridiculous. Someone just slap me when I start to take myself so seriously, huh! Actually, now! - my blog posts have just exceeded 200 for goodness sake, and to celebrate I'm sending Angie a RAK. Because I can. On account of that charmed life I have. I really, really do.
Oh, I should add that this award is to be passed on.....will do that tomorrow.

Wednesday 11 November 2009

What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday

Good grief, is it Wednesday already? (tempting this one - GGIIWA?). Of course, I know it is. Mr Dunnit left ridiculously early this morning, and by six o,clock instead of lying in my warm comfortable sanctuary of a bed thinking about the things that I need to do, I decided to get up and actually do some of them. Go me. So by the time Miss Dunnit and I set off for College, I'd washed the kitchen floor, dealt with the washing and tidied up the lounge after last night. I was making pom-poms with ribbon and tinsel and the mess - it looked as though someone had shredded a 2 metre length of tinsel into a perfect arc around my chair. Which to be honest, is what had happened. Plan B then, I think. Anyway, while Miss Dunnit was snoozing, I took a photo of my desk, because I thought today I would do a before and after. Last night I had to tidy up - it was monstrous; so early this morning it shows signs of the normality that belies the mess I know is coming!

But you can still see some things of vague interest - at the back leaning against the wooden card holder is a bunch of cards - for tomorrow's workshop and the week after. Actually using the card holder is obviously not what I had in mind when I whinged at Mr Dunnit to make it for me. There's the inevitable but new, larger basket of stamps to be cleaned. A load of peelings from the double sided tape - I don't know why. And even more inevitably, there are 3 pairs of scissors. Can you see my new Christmas Tree die by Quickutz? I've been coveting it for ages, and gave in yesterday. Well, a commission for 80 cards won't be as much fun if I'm not on the moral high ground using up scraps and making them christmassy in one fell swoop, huh! There's my dotty notebook too - a gift from Lyn. It's my oh so technical bookings book, to record Crop and 2 Scrap Ladies bookings, deposits and blah. Much easier to haul around than a PC and so much quicker to make a note in when someone thrusts an amount of cash at me to pay off or toward this or that. My excuse for being a Luddite. Works for me! So at the risk of shameless self promotion, I'll post a photo later, when the light's better and creativity has visited my workdesk. Ha!

Well here it is at cup of tea time..about 3.15 - I dunno about creativity, but I've done a few bits - according to the picture, I've used more tape! The wooden card holder is in use too, guilt and a tidy desk got the better of me! Am enjoying having a rummage through your WOYWWs - keep 'em coming!

Tuesday 10 November 2009

Back to scrap

Well lots of you do admirable things with your scraps I must say! What a great lesson in OCD, philanthropy and storage that last post supplied me! Seriously, you make me laugh - blogging is so good for my health. So here's the plan. WHEN the box annoys the scrap out of me next, I will break it down into more manageable sizes so that it's not just the big bits that get used. You know those bits - all big and hanging over the edges shouting at me to use 'em just to get them out of the pigging way. Then, IF that causes me to feel the box is a bit well, jumbly, I'm leaning toward the suggestion of arranging them in vague colour order. I have come to understand a bit of logic in this since I arranged my Copics in the order that the code numbers intended. They make a lot more sense that way, so perhaps the snips and scraps will too.
I would like to take a line to defend myself too - my friend the Lunch Lady - you'll meet her at any 2 Scrap Ladies event - took a large box of unwanted and unused from my bulging shelves at the beginning of term to her school - I don't throw it out if I can give it away, honest.

There is a reason for the amount of scraps too. I average a weekly workshop for 10 or so people, and that cutting and preparation inevitably causes scraps. And apart from the scrapbook stuff I do, these days I don't make many cards that aren't specifically for workshops - which means that using up the scraps on the next bunch of cards isn't an option. But I have a large Chrsitmas card commission sitting quietly in the back of my head - just in front of the little door marked 'sleepless nights' and 'panic', so be assured, I'll use some scraps. But also bear in mind -nothing talks to me like new stash talks to me!

Monday 9 November 2009

Pimpin' my blog...

2 Scrap Ladies are holding a Christmas Card making Marathon day on Sunday November 29th 2009, in Tidworth, Hampshire. We set up 25 Christmas cards with supplies and instructions, you come in and make them. We lay on a nice home made lunch, beverages and snacks, and we all gossip about our crafting, our families and blahdy blah. It's a no pressure day - you make as many or as few cards as you can; whilst not a traditional 'here's-a-new-technique-and-here's-how-you-do-it' workshop, we're on hand - to help if you come across something that you haven't tried before - and eat cakes all day, of course.
It would be great if you can join us. The day will cost £38.50 per person and we'd like a deposit on booking - a booking form and other details are available on demand - 'Contact Me', or leave a comment...too easy. I'll email you the full details. Remember, until you part with the deposit, you're not under any can find out more without committing to it and you have to factor in the fun you missed because you couldn't come for A Magnetic Year in a Day! Real sneeks and chat will appear over on the 2 Scrap Ladies blog, although of course, I won't be able to stop myself shamelessly promoting and chatting about it here. And you know that's the truth!

Sunday 8 November 2009

Lest We Forget...

I'm an Army brat. I wonder if that can still be applied to me at this tender age of forty-something. The brat part possibly. My fine, upstanding father served in the British Army for well over 20 years. This morning of all mornings my teeny genetic connection to the Army is thrown into high relief and I join everyone else on Remembrance Sunday to do just that - remember and honour. It's not just my background that makes me do it, the upbringing certainly, and a real sense of pride in my nationality, which has crept up on me as I've aged. You learn about the role of the Armed Forces through history lessons and stories told. I live very near and work in a large Garrison town, my life is affected by the comings and goings of soldiers and their families. And because of my horrormones probably, I'm deeply affected by the respect and ceremony that surrounds our Act of Remembrance today. Now I'm a mother, I have to say that I'm more affected by the potential of war, horror and loss. During the Falklands Campaign I was a teenager and felt sympathy and political frustration. Nowadays I feel empathy and fear and political frustration. So today, take a mo, and think on - it doesn't matter if your politics match, what matters is that there are still good men and women being lost, as there have been in previous generations. If you serve, I salute you.

Friday 6 November 2009

A question of scrap...

I have another question. Part of my quest to be known as the nosiest blogger on the whole wide interweb I guess, but this morning as I was tidying - well, 'putting away' would be a better description, I realised that my 'scrap' box is taking over my life again. It's about 7 inches deep and about 10 long, and sits on my desk, supposedly to hold anything that is not a whole sheet. Its presence encourages me to use up the scraps, some of which are very generous pieces of paper, card, acetate, blah. I read somewhere of a crafter who stores her scraps in concertina files in colour order. Now, the italics are meant to show you how impressed I am by that. Not to indicate that I have scoffed at the very idea, I never have. Although I have cheerfully admitted that it's not for me. The thought of spending the same amount of time organising the detritus as an actual crafting session can take fills me with despair. But come to November sixth 2009 and I'm in more despair over the disorganised and patently not getting used up scraps in the box on my desk. Here it is in it's disorganised glory(...I think I can hear Paige reminding herself to breathe!).
So what do you suggest? I need the solution to be not too much bigger, for on my desktop it must stay. We've discussed at length my erm, weakness, when it comes to getting off my chair to fetch summat from a cupboard, so that won't work. And ideally, it shouldn't have a's just something else to take off and put elsewhere. I'm counting on you, interweb, because even if the solution doesn't appear out of the comments section, I know there will be sound and hysterical advice in equal measure.
Tomorrow is Ludgershall Crop. Ludgershall is a small town - large village on the Wiltshire/Hampshire border. It's about 20 miles from Salisbury, 8 from Andover, and Swindon takes about 40 minutes from if you'd like to join us, we'd like to meet you. We go from 1030 to 4ish, it's a tenner and so far we bring our own lunch (this usually involves fetching chips rather than 'bringing' lunch!).
And in other housekeeping news, Ginny shared an award with me - the multi coloured 'Making Smiles on Faces' one...which of course I'm terribly flattered by. In fact, I can be flattered into anything, so be careful! I'm meant to tell you five things about myself before passing the award on. I will, but not now, because I can only get to 3. Honestly, that's as much about me as you don't yet know. So it has to wait while I try to make up a couple of plausibly good things about myself.
And finally....that Reindeer on yesterdays post. No colouring. Stamped and embossed 3 times on pattern/brown/pattern scrapbook papers and then pieced together. Glossy Accents on his schnozzer. The two patterns are either side of a paper by SEI and the vellum is by my friends at the Crafthouse Press. Voila. And the stamp I got from Kraft Crazy, (01980 844010), £3.50 well spent. I am happy to mail order for you, but am so not making the cards. I mean, do you have any idea how busy I could be if I just got on with things? (Put your own interpretation on the italics there. I've done mine already - deadly serious.)
Have a great weekend y'all.

Thursday 5 November 2009

I've started....

We were talking at this morning's Cute Christmas workshop. Not in itself an unusual thing, to be honest! But it turned out to be a cutting-heavy workshop and there was some whingeing about it. Of course, by the time I finally offered to help with 'all the cutting out', it had been done. Thus, magically, I was spared twice: once from any more whingeing and once from the peculiar feeling of having cut these particular images out before....which of course I had, because I made the samples. The cutting doesn't happen by magic, especially when the reindeer card is in its third incarnation because I kept lopping off his horns. See. I'm so much better at whingeing than anyone else...after all, my workshop, my rules!
S'cuse the digression, I felt it needed saying. At the lunch time end of the workshop we fell to talking about the unfinished jobs around the house that just drive you mad. The Librarian waited seven years for a bath to be put in. I have a room with a section of skirting board missing, since sometime in the last century. There has been no carpet on our bottom stair since the day after we moved into this house. Fourteen years then, shockingly. But you live with these things long enough, you stop noticing, or you develop strategies, huh. Same with my craft stuff. For example, ages ago I made a 'word' album - the word was HOME and although it was used as a Workshop sample, I was so pleased with it that even as I was making it, I'd selected the photos and embellishments for it. Well, it was in the summer. It remains photo-less and distinctly un-embellished. For example, my friend the Colonial did a super Workshop a couple of weekends ago; we made a really nice folded tag album. It (the workshop) became a bit manic toward the end when people try to finish in a panic - so I didn't finish - a couple tags to stamp and some colouring to do - nothing major. But it's still in a heap on my desk and really, it'll only take 5 minutes. So how come? I do not know. The motivation - rather the lack thereof, is rather like the one that stops me re-visiting old scrapbook LOs. I could - probably should, but don't wanna. And I can find any number of excuses; lots of you have read them before. So what do you leave unfinished cooking, crafting, reading, is it part of the pleasure, to finish up in your own time and perhaps using something that you didn't have to hand initially? Or are you obsessive about finishing? These days, because I know that I'm unlikely to go back and fully finish something, I don't bother starting it unless I can see the end in sight. Like reading, as I've said before - all or nothing. It's obviously a personality trait, but I wonder what it's called. Idleness probably. I just hope that after my third effort, the reindeer card that the Librarian took home to cut out and finish gets done..before Christmas would be good!

Wednesday 4 November 2009


I employed the flash this's 'occasionally bright' today - could do better - but the light/sun if there is any, doesn't arrive at the back of the house until lunchtime, so I think the over-exposed look will probably be a theme for my winter photography! But, as you can see, there's been another return to form! I hope someone finds this mess even vaguely inspiring! I'm working on a couple 4" square canvasses which you can just see. The basket of upside down pots are all Pearl Ex. Love 'em. In this case used to colour the second canvas - very technically done too - wipe on some gesso and then sprinkle on some Pearl Ex powder and rub it in. All with God's fore finger of course! You can see a freshly opened pot of Crackle Accents (see, I do use some Ranger stuff!). You can tell I've only just opened it - the packaging, torn and twisted from the bottle is all over the table! Don't you hate it when you tear the cardboard off the back of a blister pack and it comes away in about 8 layers. You couldn't MAKE it do that. There's a very large pot of gesso at the back, bought in a cheapskate shop. Price to be paid for that is that I can't get the foiled plastic seal off the tub top - it's so well sealed around the top of the tub that it just won't come off - eventually I was moved to stab it, of course. Now I'm using it out of a much smaller aperture than I'd like. Frustrating. Apart from the stabbing.
Right against the back of the table is a couple rubber stamps. Waiting to inspire me. One I bought last week and one I've borrowed from the Lady Nurse. They don't belong together, I just let them sit there quietly till they whisper an idea at me. Currently they have about 4 days left before being reconsidered for not whispering to me. Tough life for stamps round here - the piled high basket on the right is full of stamps and blocks and a couple tidy trays waiting to be washed. Some things never change.

So share with us the inspiration and products currently in use on your work surface - floor, tray, bench, whatever! Leave a link here and we'll trot round and visit you. If you like the idea, nab the button in the top left of my side bar, designed by Sissy Dunnit and made by Annie coz she's clever. And, note to Annie - I'll investigate Mr'll be totally unsurprised that I completely forgot until I wrote the previous line! Share your surfaces then people, the interweb needs to see!

Tuesday 3 November 2009

OK, a teeny bit behind...

I'm a teeny bit late with this, but in my house we've been in the land of time-stand-still in an effort to catch up and clear the decks. But I can't. So I'm ushering in November and just hoping that the wonky red border, the wonky stamping and even the wonky photo aren't really speaking of the shape of things to come for this month. Do ya like my new frame? It's one of Mr Dunnit's, made for last Saturday. I may have fibbed about how many we needed for customers. Fret not though, my wasteful ways are not wasteful. The original black frame is snug and at home with the other Scrap Lady. She intended to stain her frame black, I wanted an oak frame and I already had a black frame. Logical then, huh.
You can just see the little red arrow pointing to the 29th, which is 2 Scrap Ladies Card Marathon day, and you can see the notebook pages secured with a magnet - they are our Christmas wish lists. I know you're impressed. I will be too if they work! So what are your November plans then? Wanna hear mine? Well if you read even vaguely, you won't avoid them really. They involve lots of work preparations: I seem to have walked into the nightmare of not being prepared far enough in advance. This is because I ended up having the best part of a week off because I was ill. Major setback, note to self: don't catch anything else; the monumental effort needed to get November's stuff ready is already giving me the vapours! I expect it's having the same effect on Shopkeeper Gal too, after all, attendance at workshops is often decided by sight of the samples in store....oh the pressure! I also have plans to do a ridiculous amount of clearing out and cooking. It's the season, makes me come over all Martha Stewart. And, most fun of all, according to my diary, we as a family have lots of plans to socialise this month. Sounds like a failry irresistible month then really. I'll come out of time-stand-still as long as no-one shoves it into fast forward!

Monday 2 November 2009

Wish you were here..

Had a truly fab day on Saturday at the 2 Scrap Ladies event. Here you can see Carmen diligently making up a LO for the March calendar. It was one of many. Every time she finished one, she had to gaze at wall posted with 24 calendar LOs and choose her next. We do understand that you only need 12, but we offered a choice, see. It was quite revealing. Ally (the other Scrap Lady) and I felt that our 'styles' were sufficiently far apart to be easily identifiable and different enough in terms of product and preferred techniques to offer a choice, so we did a set of calnedar pages each. I used BG Lemonade as my base pack, Ally chose for the most part, American Crafts. That part worked well. Turned out that no-one could quite pin the right style on either of us - which is fab; every time they picked a LO to do by Ally, I took the credit for it. Obviously. I take no credit for the groove of the day, it was friendly, warm and chatty..just how I like it. In fact, some of us were so comfortable that there was an outbreak of slippers..
We kitted everything and despite a couple of brad-less episodes, there were no heart stopping moments through lack of stuff -although I did have to go home and get some bits and pieces, but I blame a high temperature on that sort of forgetfulness. OK, that was the last time I'll use it as an excuse, but have I mentioned that I've been unwell?! Mr Dunnit came at lunch time bearing the gorgeous frames; he made them up to order - Oak was the runaway favourite frame.
So that's it. First one over, all wrinkles ironed. If you can find a hall and a minimum of six people, we can bring A Magnetic Year in a Day to you. Now, that could be fun!
So much of a return to normality today that I don't know where to start. Domestic imperatives are to be found in every room, and there's a serious deadline or three for Workshop samples....please Lord, let my Mojo be resting peacefully on my desk when I finally sit down to start something this evening!