Thursday 28 April 2011

Another correction...WOYWWers, read here!

I am it seems, incapable of using a diary correctly. I clearly need to get back to work! I have the WOYWW anniversary date wrong. It's still week 104 (of course) but that week is actually Wednesday June 1st by my new diary calculation and some very nimble maths from Shaz. And as she's in Australia and everything there is back to front or something, I reckon that makes her a genius. But at least we're on track with week numbers...if you are a weekly hopper, you'll know that yesterday marked week 99, so there's still time. For the PiF, and more mistakes. And if you read this blog relatively regularly, you'll know how often I have to admit to having feet of clay, so you will be unsurprised and taking this in your stride.
So I thought I'd distract you from my stupidity with a couple of shots of my beautiful paper white Tree Peony. Pictures taken on my point and shoot digi and not at all enhanced...that slight white glare is for real. The peony is about 10 years old now and just delivers...pleasure and smiles and a little worry - I worry that any rain after the flowers have burst forth will knock it about. It does, but better that than not experiencing the loveliness at all! There. Makes it all better huh. Makes me feel better - I keep recalling stuff that my sister is putting on her blog at Luscious Life Studios - she's been in freezing temperatures and foot deep snow in Montana. That ain't a break. A climate that forces flowers to do this is just right, thank you! Now I have to go - I can smell cake baking which is a call back to the kitchen. We have bunting to hang and a LOT of traditionally british food to be preparing. I even tried to talk Miss D into wearing my wedding dress tomorrow......a step too far, once again!

Wednesday 27 April 2011

What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday? 99

Well folks, as this is the last one in April (already), it means that that 104, the second anniversary week isn't too far way now. So if you plan to join us for the PiF (detailed here), you need to get your thinking cap on now.
And here's my desk...replete with box of chipboard under a tidy tray, balanced on a notebook.
A basket of dragons that DD hasn't got around to putting on ebay yet, so I've done it, a card in the making, my glasses of course...a couple of them sexy new lie flat EK punches....a new BIGGER button jar. Nothing of any great interest. Unless you want me to riddle up an excuse for having boxes balanced on notebooks etc....then I'll need some time!

Show us your desk and work in progress then, we're wanna see what you're working on and what you've got that we haven't! Try to keep your words short, then we can visit lots of desks. Put a photo on your blog, link it here and visit to your art's content. I thank you. We all thank you.

Tuesday 26 April 2011

Tool talk

No really, it's about a smuttiness. A lot of us English roses are surprised that our American cousins use 'tool' as a derogatory nick name for a fool. We do have them you understand, and I know all of them...(for I am a driver...) but 'tool' over this side of the pond, is just that. A tool. A useful item to help ya get something done. Which is possibly why we don't use it as slang for stupid(blokes in particular). Lordy, a digression in the first sentence. Gotta be a record. Anyway. I wanted to follow on from the domestic trivia of Easter Sunday's post by telling you that after I had gathered in the load of washing and walked around it for most of yesterday, I was forced to pull it out of the basket and iron necessary pieces this morning. And then I realised that one of my most useful craft tools ever is the pair of jeans that I sort of reserve for days at home when I know I'm going to be crafting. I wipe just cleaned stamps, my dirty fingers and paintbrushes on them. I de-static paper and clean fingerprints of most things on them, I test dryness by dabbing painted or inked items onto them, they are useful! They are marked and very very faded, but clearly are the most comfortable to sit in. I've even torn the hem off one leg because I 'needed' a piece of denim for something important (at the time - I can't even remember where it appears now). There is a bigger give away as to their usefulness as a crafty tool though. The crispy line of glue along the top of the thigh, just under the (still pert) buttock on either side (or more basically - at my arm's length) - where I constantly wipe my hands clean - particularly and especially of glue and sticky stuff. Ick. It's not as if it's a build up - these jeans are washed pretty regularly. It's possible that washing isn't the correct sort of maintenance for such an important tool. They probably deserve an occasional hot cycle and a proper pressing and even time in a cupboard. Ain't happening though - the best tool is one you use all the time right - and I can't use an apron. My height and roundiness is accentuated in an apron - makes me look like a right erm, tool.

Sunday 24 April 2011

Easter Domestics...

I've just hung a load of washing out and was disappointed that it's a bit dull and hmm, possibly chilly. How quickly we adapt - the last week has been so utterly beautiful, so reflecting a climate that I'd like to have been born into, that I'd forgotten that even a late Easter can be beastly cold; I'm sure this one will warm up, after all, it's relatively early. OK, early if you're under twenty! Mr Dunnit is having today off - I think that the new business feeling is starting to wear off a bit and he's learning not to take every job no matter what the delivery next time there's a 4 day holiday, he can have at least 3 days off. Shhh, I haven't told him it's next case he starts back tracking rather quickly! After I've finished daily chores, we'll wake the teenager, leave instructions and then we're going out together. I know. Miracle. To his sister's - she needs a new window board for her kitchen and it needs to be measured today, before they go out.......I recognise this 'want it now' desperation, but really, if you've been without a window board for 6 months, wouldn't your brother's one day off over the weekend make you hesitate to ask? Nah - after all, they're siblings and this is how it works. Then we're off to my parents to be spoiled with a traditional Easter meal and the languishing that follows. How lovely. And then when we get home, I promise I honestly am going to set to the boring part of preparation for our summer Card Marathon - photos and instructions need writing. Am starting to actually feel guilt over not being up to date...indeed, have actively avoided talking to Scrap Lady Ally about it, so I really have to. Honestly, avoiding a friend. Shameful. So here's my first card - well a good portion of it anyway. At least it's proof I've actually made something! Card Marathon details can be found HERE if you fancy it.
Now, aren't you glad you know all about my Easter Day domestic issues? If I was a better woman, I'd have a decorated house and be doing the entertaining and this would be the sort of blog where you visit and ask 'how does she do it?'....and instead you can ask yourself - 'why doesn't she just do it?' - but you know the answer to that already. Wishing you a happy day.

Friday 22 April 2011

Happy Returns, Elizabeth!

If you haven't met Elizabeth yet, then I suggest you do. here she is:
Today, Earth Day, is also her birthday and I hope that this sort of e-card is a happy greeting.

I know - look at the card - slightly distressed, signs of alcohol and distress inks, layering of ink AND paint. Paint for goodness sake. 'Twould seem that whenever I pick up an artsy stamp like any of these, I get Jennie and Hels sitting on mah shoulders encouraging me to get my hands inky painty and distressed. It's really quite strange, because before I tuned into the old WOYWW blog hop, I was trundling along quite nicely with 'my' style...and then I find how much more is out there; so now and then I have to try something else. You can see that I still end up exercising some control though..had to use a tag and confine the perimeters of 'just go for it' a bit. Also I had to be able to vaguely remember what I was doing so that I could encourage others to have a go at the workshop last week.
I still think the base card is a bit weedy and the point where for the first time, I may have to pull this card apart and play some more. I blame all you would seem you have instilled in me a slight teeny tiny bit of that 'enjoy the creating as much as the created' thing in me. And Elizabeth is one of those types. So in that whole Carrie Bradshaw, Sex & The City style I conclude with a question: good I an evolving crafter?

Wednesday 20 April 2011

What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday? 98

Well, here we are again..week 98 and still you aren't bored? Well, if you are, could you kindly hang on until after week 104, please? After all, quite a few of us have come up with great ideas for the anniversary PiF (explained HERE) would be a shame to miss that week!! As you know, generally, there are few rules for WOYWW, but in considering the PiF, it seems fair to ask you to have it ready to send on the anniversary, rather than delaying the gratification and fun by making the gift after the event. Make sense? Hope so!
So this week's desk.....almost untouched by human hand. These baskets of stuff are the ingredients per card from last Thursday's workshop. Proof indeed that real life and holidays have taken me away from my desk and my computer too often this week. The yellow Monster is back in its upright position (better than a holder to take up yet more space, honestly, Annette!) and the desk tidy is empty because I cleaned and put away the stamps. I know, of all the things to have found time to do! You can see the Artistic Stamper logo too - I lucked out and won a new stamp in Jennie's blog launches and felt the best way to give her my address was to treat myself to a small I I have 2 Distress Stains to try and two gorgeous new stamps - I'll show you soon. Photo taken in full sun....about 6.45 on Tuesday evening - this is another scheduled post, very grown up things to be done on Wednesday morning.
Oh and PS - loved the number of you that left ironic notes about my comment last week about a well written and spell checked post!!
So there we are then - easy as that. Upload a pic onto your blog of your current work desk - crafty or otherwise, we like to see what you've got going on, and then link it here. Eventually, we'll visit. Be patient and don't fret about numbers....we won't need food!

Monday 18 April 2011

Can't see the wood for the trees..

One of the bigger jobs I've promised to tackle this holiday is the 'room of shame'. Despite my lack of pride when it comes to my desk for WOYWW, I'm, not sharing' before' pictures of this spare room. Suffice to say, when we 're-modeled' Miss Dunnit's bedroom into something suitable for a grown up , all the girly, kid stuff was consigned to boxes and slung in the room of shame. And I mean all. Everything - toys, teddies, books, junk...all of it. So today, armed with 4 boxes - keep, bin, ebay, charity - I set the timer and we made a start. The timer was set because it is misery - getting her to part with anything is hard, and sorting out a load of junk that's been sitting quietly and without blame for too long is horrible. We tackled one large box. We ahhed and oohed over the plastic jewellery and the collection of Horrible History books and we laughed at the number of little handbags she was given as birthday presents from the age of about 4. Yep - 2 months in front of her 18th birthday and we still have 'em. We fished out about 30 sheets of stickers which she's going to hand over to the neices and some really fab neice appropriate beady jewellery. The rest was broken down into the four boxes......and for once, without tears or argument. She seems to have turned the corner of sentiment and for one box full at least, is OK to part with stuff that really, she'll never look at again even if we do stuff it into yet more boxes in the attic. So...what do you reckon my chances are for tomorrow's twenty minutes? And the day after - when she realises that two of the bigger boxes are full of stuff that I should have gone through when that little room was my craft room - before I moved into this purpose built, downstairs room? Save me...the double standard is weighing me down already!

Friday 15 April 2011

Themes and schemes

A couple of people commented on this from Wednesday's workdesk photo - it's a card (!) for next week's workshop. See, me and Shopkeeper Gal had this great plan: following a fab idea from Daring Cardmakers last year I think, why not have one workshop each month based on the birthstone for that month. Sounded like a great idea and so we committed. Now when I say we, I mean I. How hard can it be? Consult Google (of course!) for a list of the birthstones and make some stone appropriate cards, 4 per workshop to be exact. Well, I can see why Shopkeeper Gal let me get all carried away with the possibilities - turned out to be really difficult! I found myself being overwhelmed by the colour of each stone so we are in April and I've only just got
my head around the possibility of suggestion, or nodding toward the stone and its colour. See this all aquamarine card..oh boy. Bit in your face, huh!
So the April stone is diamond which gave me all sorts of colour problems...except of course it didn't really, after all, when I stopped hyper-ventilating like an attention starved diva and started to actually think about it properly, it's a great shape; I stumbled upon a couple of ideas whilst panic planning, so it looks as if the next birthstone workshop might at last see me get a grip of the's only taken 4 months. Dunno how the DT at Daring Cardmakers do it so hat is raised!

Wednesday 13 April 2011

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 97

97!! Week 97 people! We're nearing the second anniversary on week 104 - if you wanna know how we're celebrating, please visit this post. Gosh even I think this Wednesday has come around a bit too fast. What is it about school holidays that takes up MY time? Believe me, I'm not the one lying in bed till lunchtime! Oh, the sitting outside in the sun counts against me? Ah. That'll be it then! So today's desk is a symphony of work in progress. No really, more a work just finished. Shopkeeper Gal gave me an impossible number of really difficult themes for workshops, so I'm trying to take a laid back approach and make a sample when the idea strikes. Not fast. I have no answer as to why I'm working on top of my K & Co pad....perhaps as I'm down to the last handful of sheets I'm getting the hoarder mentality and can't let it out of my sight. You see that the blue sheet of paper lies atop a full desk tidy; stamps a plenty in there, and of course the ATG monster now conveniently lies on top. Everything else is I think, self explanatory. As in, it's such a mess you can hardly distinguish anything else!

Join the madness then, expose your desk and show us what you're working on. Doesn't have to be a craft, doesn't have to be paper. We're interested - put a photo on your blog and link it here; then we can visit. Please, no advertising - a well written, spell checked blog post and great samples will do way more for you than blatantly joining a large linky list for erm, exposure.

Monday 11 April 2011

On Sunday, Kath said that she'd found the need and therefore found some 'me' time and was turning towards the altered artist within her. She was gonna play with canvasses. Now I have to tell you that of course the sneak peek of a photo that she allowed us was really a teaser. And it reminded me that I too made some time ('s always all about me, so I'm not sure what to call it, really) at the end of last month to make a canvas. Unlike Kath, I had another motivation - despite having a year's notice, I was late getting to making my lovely sister a birthday gift and card. Well not late exactly, but let's just say I was running out of time. I posted it the day before her birthday - but she lives in California, so the timing was screwed really, huh. Anyway...I know she's now safely in receipt and so I thought I could show it here.......bear in mind it's a canvas panel rather than a box or blahdy blah (easier to post!) and please also remember that by the time I finished with it, it was still a canvas panel. I had added and coloured, but am not smart enough to have altered it into anything else. Like a large tent. No sir. Bear in mind my sissy is a designer of fabric and paper and so I felt the need to go all sewing and retro on her (and by the way - if you're coming to the 'Vintage' workshop at Kraft Crazy, there's to be a card using this dressmaker pattern stamp.......not much of a 'come hither' I know, but I can't show you. Because I haven't made it yet.) And all the little photos showing the carefully applied if not actually carefully thought about prior to careful application are for the benefit of my friend Laura. I know how she loves a detail. So now you see it, my canvas what is still a canvas only decorated. Sissy said she liked it, but really, what choice did she have! Note the gorgeous beaded pins that Helene made for me and that clear dangly thing and the flowers - they came from Kath......seam binding from The Ribbon Girl, printed tape from Tiger and the stamp is of course Stampers Anonymous. Pencilled outline around the stamped image - all my own work. Genius.
And check out my uber talented and now much older sister:

Saturday 9 April 2011

Er, something for the weekend?

Remember this? Remember I strolled casually into Hobbycraft with my daughter who suggested we learn to crochet and I was all 'how hard can it be?' and then this emerged from the pattern for a tiny elephant and I was rather disconcerted and a little put out by all the non-believers who said it wasn't an elephant at all........and they offered alternatives (and every last one had the same idea...). Well stand back, because despite using the wrong size hook and mixing tensions and generally not really understanding the complicated bits, and being horribly bored by it because it wasn't going as I thought it would, and of course, not wanting to 'learn' properly, just dive in and be good at it. You know. It's one of the reasons I don't play golf too.
So here he is. Well, possibly not he, I dunno, but I haven't read instructions for anatomical precision, so am not making any real promises. Miss Dunnit is now prepared to touch it (!) and thinks it's relatively cute. It doesn't look so good from the side, but hey, at least I didn't bin it. After all, if I'd given up, I wouldn't have the pleasure of forcing Amy to take it as a gift!! So now I'm learning the tension, stitch variety and hooks sizes by starting again, on safe squares and small flowers. Phew.
Have a lovely weekend!

Thursday 7 April 2011

Today I helped

Mr Dunnit rang and flattered me into helping him - by saying how much he'd like my company. And let's face it, I was actually doing nothing that was productive...admiring another line full of washing in full sunshine, tidying up a bit around my desk, musing about some ideas for know, procrastinating.

So instead, I spent the afternoon in the sunshine, painting a weather defence oil onto pieces of oak. Lovely, beautiful oak. Tomorrow these pieces will be assembled into a very large window and delivered to a company who are doing a beautiful job of a barn conversion; of course I can't show you that, not least because it would be a digression from talking about my marvellous work! Actually, it felt like the first day at work, Mr Dunnit set me up, showed me what to do, then demonstrated in case I didn't understand. Brush it on thinly, make it consistent cover and be sure to get into the angles. I've whacked paint on canvas, card and fabric, how hard can it be? Well, it wasn't hard, but discovering that he was hovering to check my finish on the first piece was a bit of a shock! Anyway, he soon busied up and left me to it. So I worked outside in the sunshine and it wasn't gardening. Score! And I'm blogging from my phone in the bathroom... I have to have a hot bath. Hoping to disguise the
fact that a handful of hours standing on uneven ground brushing oil onto timber seems to have wrecked my unfit muscles! Like I said to the customer who rang and was happy to hear about tomorrow's delivery; happy to help!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday 6 April 2011

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 96

I got me some Paper Artsy going on ...and some scissors (of course more than one pair) and a pair of glasses retrieved from my handbag because the theory of having a cheap pair wherever I tend to sit in the house has gone to pot and I can't find my workdesk pair. Strange huh. And no honestly, they aren't on top of my head!
It's not deliberately hidden, but my lovely wipe clean desk tidy basket is still full of stamps waiting to be put away and my scraps box is still overflowing. But you knew that. Out of shot by sheer chance rather than skill is the WOYWW Anniversary PiF project. Phew. I suspect that because I probably only need a couple of hours to finish it, it'll be the night before.....ain't that the way.
This photo taken on Tuesday evening. Post scheduled. Because I've' booked' to have the car tomorrow which means running Mr D to work - at the crack of normal posting time! But it's worth it - Laura is having an SU! coffee morning and I HAVE to go. Friendship rules, you understand.
Details for the Anniversary PiF idea can be found HERE - it's not obligatory, but if you fancy it, there'll be a few of us joining in on week 104!
So bare all and be with us - link a picture of your desk here and we'll whizz round and visit. Please don't be offended if not everyone visits, and if the visits take all week; do not stress about it - this is for fun.

Monday 4 April 2011

Touting the Tote

Back in another era, I was a rep for Bramwell Crafts. Part of my equipment was the tote. To tote around all the samples, catalogues and stuff that a girly rep could need. (Packed lunches, umbrella, spare know..).
When I stopped being a rep, in her normal generous way, my boss and friend Alison suggested that I keep it. And I did, and my gratitude is long lived I can tell you. This is not a comparative, reasoned sort of review, for I've never had any other tote. It's one and a half times as big as the DO Crafts tote (I compared it to another at the crop). This is not a brag, so much as a fact. And would explain why it has more pockets than a snooker table. There's one large one at outside front which contains pockets and elastic straps for pens and tools. There's a pocket outside on either side. One of these has a thick plastic back so that you can see into it from inside the bag. There's a pocket on top that has an address thingy and a couple of smaller pockets - for business cards and stuff like that? For me it's a phone, camera, car keys and purse. And then of course, there's the inside. It holds more than I can lift. When not in use, it sits quietly under the computer desk where whoever is at the computer uses it as a foot rest. I use it half full, at least fortnightly for taking all the workshop gear to the shop, and over fill it once a month to go to the crop. Honestly, right now, waiting to be unpacked are 2 12 x 12, 6 A5 and 2 A5 acrylic boxes, the guillotine and all the mess you see strewn on top when packing up properly got boring.
In it's five year life, it has been pushed and or pulled miles, up and down paths, escalators, and wheeled violently into people (sorry) and inanimate street furniture, door frames et al when I've been in a hurry and forgotten quite how wide it is! It's a bit grubby now, but nothing that a damp cloth doesn't fix.
It's had one service - Mr Dunnit had to add a new sprocket to the handle because it wouldn't go down as easily as I wanted it to. It's amazing. I hadn't really thought about how good it was until today, when Miss Dunnit fell over it as she backed away from my desk clutching her beloved sellotape. No harm done. She's OK too.
It's made by MIMI - Memories in Motion, Inc. And to be honest, I think they probably asked a lorra crafters before they committed to the design. The colour is of it's time though if you ask me - Lilac. But hey, it's not pink. I think, if I had to buy another, the colour would be secondary...but I'd quite like a houndstooth or a fancy schmancy tartan. Whatever, it's one of my great unsung hero type tools. Name one of yours then.

Friday 1 April 2011

So how was your day?

With the aid of flash photography, you can see the view from the stool and the computer. It's 8.20 pm and the use of natural light and daytime free time to get ready for the crop is no longer an option. Ask me what I've been doing all day that was so important. Thanks for asking - honestly? Nothing really. I did paperwork while the gammon cooked - so I have a contribution to the Pot Luck. I flitted about the house a bit, put a couple of loads of laundry on, made a know. Collected Mr Dunnit from work, made a sandwich for lunch, took him back to work, scored some green points for recycling at Tesco - jammed the machine up in the process. Honestly, they're so sensitive. Visited The Range to buy a box frame - £7.50. Bill came to £ other crafty stuff, so just don't ask, huh - be like Mr Dunnit - totally impervious to it - worn down over the years. Went to see LLJan for a cuppa and a chat, came back, did a smidge of food shopping, collected Mr Dunnit from work, came home, had a cuppa and a chat about weekend logistics between the three of us, cooked tea. Mr Dunnit has gone off for a well deserved game of darts. And I'm here. And the little piles of paper are still there, mocking me. I dunno. It's probably better that I do it now at this time of day when I'm starting to feel cross with myself and generally tired. I mean, imagine how long it would take if I looked forward to it and actually had time to care about selections! However, after I've made all my selections...I have to pack. And to do that, I have to unpack. Yep, yesterday's workshop stuff is still in the tote. Apparently I've been too busy. Good job I'm having tomorrow to myself.
Have a lovely weekend.