Sunday 31 July 2011

No such thing as normal service, is there?

At some stage last week, I did something that caused a trapped nerve under my shoulder blade.  If anybody has any tips or suggestions as to  how to live with it,  (without cutting my arm off) I would be pleased to hear them!  As a consequence, everything is being carried out ridiculously slowly and with much drama, of course. Certain actions, like unloading the dishwasher and sitting in a chair with about 4 cushions are very easy, and of course I can still eat and drink.  Phew!  Other things that you think would use the same actions are really hard - hanging the washing out, writing, lying down.. and getting a bra on has been a trial, really.  It turns out that however well evolved, Mr D hasn't mastered the treble hook and eye system.  For which I think I am profoundly grateful!

Thursday 28 July 2011

Normal Service? Not today folks

Indulge me greatest creation is eighteen today.  

My heart is full, my hands are fuller - there's quite a lot of cooking to be done.  

Wednesday 27 July 2011

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 112

Well well and my my, here's a return to form. No evidence of the crop stash, but plenty else of abandoned and part used.  Also a nice, arty expanse of genuine white space!  I took this photo on Tuesday afternoon - a strange, warm but very dull day.  It started with heavy rain.  I should know.  I walked home through it at 9 o,clock after a very early appointment!  The button jar lid is open - for no reason.  The cutting mat is covered in white paper - to protect the erm, cutting mat.  I've been doing some fairly heavy duty inking.  Trying to get a grip of grunge paper.  Hmmm.  Interesting.  
Meanwhile, because I can and I'm all generosity in my shocking untidiness, here's an aerial view.  It looks a deal worse, huh!  Rather inevitably, you can see a dictionary page.  I'm fiddling about with an idea.  So, no plans to tidy up just yet!

Join me do - upload a photo of your work space to your blog and link here so that we can all trip round and have a look.  That's all there is to it.  It's fun.  

Monday 25 July 2011

What I done at the Crop by Julia Dunnit

Who was it that said I'd manage, despite just flinging everything in a bag because I was on a mission at the crop?  Well, you were right.  Although please bear in mind that these few pics show 8" pages which aren't exactly hard to come up with. It's an album for Miss Dunnit's best friend see, and her birthday is this Wednesday. So the deadline was stupid enough, and now you understand the whingeing on Friday!   Nevertheless, I've done enough pages to make it a worthwhile gift, and because I'm convinced that she wants to have go for herself, I'm going to include a couple of page 'kits' too.

These few pages are from the 10 that I finished at the crop.  I know!  Ten!  I felt like Laura, who always arrives ready, kitted and overflowing with ideas - I was just turning them out - and enjoying it too.  Which made me smug and I felt compelled to keep telling everyone every time I finished another page.  I know how to keep my friends. A huge thank you again to Annette the Voodoo Vixen, she shared the wonderful 7Gypsies paper that you see (the collage-y ones) and was keen to see what I did with them.  I feel they are well used on the gals.  So that's what I did at the crop.  And I've unpacked.  And put away.  And after tea today, I'm going to make difficult cards.  Pray that I'm on a roll!

Friday 22 July 2011

It's the day before a crop

..and all in the house is peaceful.  Of course it is - himself is at work, keeping me comfortable in my middle age, and herself is still in bed. I'm sitting quietly at the keyboard, the morning chores are actually still waiting for me.  
That sound - can you hear it?
There..the sound of wheels,cogs, movement, fixings.....
Well I can hear it.
Oh I know why - it's my overloaded brain.  
It's trying to work out WHY I've left it till the day before the crop to start considering the crop.  Or WHY I may have left it too late to order the photos - Snapfish are not to blame if they don't arrive today, by some miracle.  Or WHY I haven't decided on and bought what ever I need for my contribution to the Pot Luck lunch.  Or WHY what I have set myself the task of starting and completing at the Crop is suddenly about the last project I want to do. That part I can't get over - it's the way the brain goes - Jody was saying on WOYWW that she's lacking mojo now she's not under pressure; I guess this is very similar.  And I guess too that Jody will find the cure without whingeing about it all over her blog and to anyone else who will listen.  Ah well, I never pretended to be quiet, huh! I wonder if any of my Crop friends read this....I may be alone tomorrow!  
So, you just know that this afternoon will be spent in fury, sitting on the floor in front of my stash cupboards.  Once again.  So forgive me, for this post is so much a repetition of other, monthly pre-crop posts.  Maybe, maybe, one day, I'll write a post about a leopard that changed its spots.  Place your bets.

Have a nice weekend - oh and if you're local or in the area to Tidworth, it's Community Day on Sunday.  Shopkeeper Gal will be opening Kraft Crazy from 10 till 2 - I know she's planning to have the kid's craft ranges on Sale in front of the holidays.  For any other details or info - give her a ring - 01980 844010.

Wednesday 20 July 2011

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 111

My work desk is looking a bit grown up.  But it's OK, because the file and work books are naturally, on top of the craft stuff I was using to make a card and so order will be restored presently!  This could be the worst photo of the day - the light is horrible.  You can just see my next intention though - some (in real life) very bright and cheerful 12 x12 papers.  I'm on a mission to complete an album, as a gift.  More later.  I promised myself that I wouldn't specifically buy stuff for it.  FAIL.  These three sheets of paper and the album itself....and counting, probably!  Never it's the Crop on Saturday, I'm hoping it will be worth the new stuff to motivate me with the older stuff.  Good plan.

So come on then, join the WOYWWERs who are WORLDWIDE. No that second big word is not a pointless acronym.  A fun fact!  Upload a photo onto your blog of your workspace...desk, floor, tray, worktop, counter, blah, surprise us.  Come back and link it here and join us on a vist-a-thon.  You may need to put the kettle on.  That's all there is to it.  Only rule is not to tear the backside out of our goodwill by blatantly advertising....we wanna see what you're doing, with what you've got.  Great.  Thanks.  

Tuesday 19 July 2011

Ah, Tuesday, better all around!

So,if you ever plan a day out shopping in Portsmouth with your chum, I hope it turns out to be as nice as the long morning that Jan and I had today.  We didn't get to Portsmouth...something made us turn right too soon and we went to Winchester.  Oh yeah - it was a fabric know what she's like.  We mooched and browsed and came upon a lovely shop called Forme.  It's a gift shop.  It's beautifully arranged and the stock is carefully chosen.  The prices, given the quality, were really reasonable.  For 
example, we'd been fainting at the cost of the oil cloth bags and holdalls in Cath Kidston. Up to a hundred pounds - ouch.  And here in Forme, we found really really nice weekend bags for a third of the price.  No quality compromise, in fact, made by a luggage company and perfectly affordable.  So we mooched a bit and both found treasure to buy.  And the young man asked if I'd like my purchase to be gift wrapped.  I would, please - it's a present for another dear friend, so it's by no means a waste of time.  I came home with this wonderful looking gift.   I told the chap that did this lovely wrapping that I would be blogging about it...he was sweet enough to suggest I take the credit for it..and I was tempted for a micro second! Which is why I'm sort of advertising the shop and his wrapping...which cost not one penny extra to the price of the gift.  Jan and I watched intently, so I'm expecting to be able to repeat this beauty at a stroke, with the same flair.  But just, just, just in case, I'm not going to unwrap this to show you what I bought!  

Monday 18 July 2011

How is Monday for you then?

Yeah - thought so - so I put up some flowers for you. Painted with H20s which have to be amongst the prettiest and easiest to slosh about paints, donchafink?
Monday will improve considerably for me when it gives way to Tuesday. I don't know why, but today I did not wake up with that sense of renewal, fresh week, clean slate that Mondays apparently prompt in the great and the good. (Yep, I've been torturing myself again - browsing celebrity blogs). I don't have any particular routines for any given day really (although Monday does require some tidying after a weekend at home...and some laundry..oh and some shopping...), and I most certainly don't make a fresh to do list on a Monday...lordy, it would drain any pleasure of anticipating my week. I'm not without routine though - in fact I often wonder how the flexible and spontaneous amongst us actually get anything done - I do like to achieve something tangible by the day's end. Not least because then I can reward myself with time at my crafty desk or a morning out with know what I mean, the trade off that the protestant work ethic requires to assuage the old guilt. But even that's in the eye of the beholder isn't it. Take yesterday - I watched golf with Mr Dunnit, and apart from basic housework and cookery, did very little. But my daughter was delighted with my achievement - by bedtime I had actually read the first three chapters of a book that she recommended to me. She's sweet. She wants me to read it because she thinks it's one of the best things she's ever read. She wants to be able to chat about it and be a bit book clubby about its meaning and potential. And I, 30 years her senior, am already fed up with the main character, he's too damn young - and for a prodigy, being really stoopid. I haven't told her. I don't want my small Sunday achievement to end up a disappointment! Monday's achievement will be altogether better - self driven if entirely full of motivation, I seem to have done quite a lot. I'm sure if the rain rain (would) go away, I could be springy and enthusiastic about the office backlog I've been tackling and changing the sheets. Hmmm. Ah well. Today's achievement will be a roast for supper. How can that not feel like a reward for a day of work. Factor in a G&T. Go ahead, have the flowers, I know what I want now.

Friday 15 July 2011

Try this..

I didn't invent this - I can't have done, because I don't do inventing...but it's so easy and I think it's frightfully effective dahlink.
Make a nice card and dry emboss an image onto it. (Use the cuttlebug/Sizzix/Big Shot - that type of embossing). Use a glue pen to 'colour' the embossed image - just the raised bits, I mean. Let the glue dry to transparent. Be patient. Now lay some gold leaf over the glue and burnish. Or some regular foil, pick a colour, fill your boots. I think it looks great on the Kraft material..kinda chics up the shabby.
You may not like it. That's OK. Do you like the Hello Kitty notebook I failed to crop off the photo? Yeah? Oh well then, that's both of us happy!
Have a nice weekend!

Wednesday 13 July 2011

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 110

Weeeeeeeellllllllllll see, it's like this.
After yesterday's post, I should really have more to show huh? But, I've left my desk clear - this clear out and re-model of my space is going to take longer than I thought, and involve, as Morti said, maybe at least a shelf. Which involves Mr Dunnit and he's pretty busy. I know I'm going to need my desk if only for workshop kittting later this week, so am trying madly to avoid using it to the point of stacking stuff all over it. So it looks OK! Exactly as I left it on Saturday actually. You can't see my super large tote bag on the floor - filled with workshop baskets and equipment. Not unpacked from Saturday. So if stories of unclean stamps make your teeth itch, you should disregard the last couple sentences!
Looks like I've got blank page syndrome, but I haven't. Yet. Meanwhile, show us your desk and what you're doing, it's a matter of great fascination to us. And besides, it's been a week since we were at your place. Load up to your blog, link here and please put the kettle on. In view of the incredible work I am going to be doing today, perhaps I deserve a G&T? Please?!

Tuesday 12 July 2011


Since we came back from our holiday, I really feel like a holiday. Not because I'm exhausted or because it's been a long year or because the holiday we've had was awful or anything like that. I think, I think it's because it was early. June isn't traditionally a holiday month for anyone with school age kids, lets face it. So I'm facing July and August with a longing, which is frankly ridiculous. And I've determined that the longing will translate itself into something useful. And two days after I determined this, I've decided that a major overhaul of the work room is part of the 'useful'. I know, scarey. That's why it's taken two days! Since January Mr Dunnit has been self employed and the international headquarters and offices are here, at home. So that means I use the dining table to do the book-keeping, the dining room floor for the boxes of literature and assorted lever arch files and this workroom for computer stuff and it's beginning to drive me mad. I've lost the urge to keep it tidy because it's spread everywhere, so now is the time to consolidate. I'm pretty sure that with some real tidying, rearranging and casting of a non-sentimental eye over all of my stuff, this workroom can accomodate a small business too. After all, other people manage with a great deal less. As far as I can tell, it's just about being tidy. *huge hoots of laughter* . I'm going in. Wish me luck.

Friday 8 July 2011

It's been a week...

Did I tell you about our hol? Not like me to miss a chance to brag huh? Some background's very nearly Miss Dunnit's 18th birthday, and so to celebrate exam end, uni start, birthdays..three of her chums came with us to Spain. Remember, we only have one child, so it was a new experience for us ....... La Marina, taken from over my coffee cup of course, 10am last Friday

I'm already willing myself to remember what it was like;
The loveliness of waking up and knowing that you don't need to look outside to check the weather. Or waking up to discover a fresh crop of mahoooosive mosquito bites because you have an allergy to the repellants...
The fun of a day on the beach with adequate shade and drink and food just a short stagger away. Or the reticence of four 18 year old gals who collectively don't like sand or swimming in the sea because there might be erm, fishes. And can't go to the cafe hut because the sand's too hot and they're too shy to speak any Spanish....argh!
The ease of preparing for the beach - sun cream, towel, book, shade, money for drinks - my needs are simple.
Finding 'lost' swimsuits (rinsed and hanging on a line, actually), collecting books, eight factors of sun cream, glasses, changes of towels, change of costumes, debating who's ipod, which games, how much shade, how much money, the need to re-do nail varnish and schlepping the whole lot across the sand.
The fun of driving a people carrier to accomodate the girls and all their chatter.
The freaking out at sand in the car, the aircon not being up to it, the radio needs turning up to 8 kerjillion watts and oh gawd, the music!
The pleasure of a leisurely meal out, most evenings.
The confusion of polite 'I don't mind' when faced with choices, the difficulty of strange eating habits - difficult not to eat foreign food abroad!
The pleasure in seeing the girls turn from pale to tan, enjoying the sun and fresh air.
Realising that your advice about care in the sun was going to be ignored in favour of the tan. Shovelling Sudocrem onto burnt shoulders, suggesting loose t shirts instead of cami tops...ignored ..I did not get involved for the burnt bum...that was self medicated!
The pleasure of seeing the girls enjoying their exclusive time together.
Watching as they used every cup, plate, knife and spoon
in the house....and left them wherever they finished with them; realising that they weren't going to hang a towel out to dry or tidy anything....and having to wade in and teach life skills in preference to being the slave....!
Enjoying conversation about life, their universe and their plans
Actually, mostly in a group they speak too fast to be understood, they use phone text shorthand as real words and the chunks of conversation that we were privvy to were about music, men and shopping...themselves, of course!
Watching as they wandered off, oblivious to us....
This was great, Mr D and I had real lovely quality time together, no-one can ignore you like four teenaged girls!
Watching them at the fair - eighteen going on eight, excited and giggly
No pleasure like it - everyone around enjoyed their shrieking hoop-la winning 3 bottles of cheap plonk. I haven't/daren't asked how much they spent!
Seeing the pleasure on their beautiful faces when huge ice creams were delivered to the table
Oh yeah, you can't be a sophisticated eighteen year old with a Copa, complete with paper umbrellas and sparkly things! I think the waiters enjoyed it too!
Herding them...acting in loco parentis can be a bit stressful
They can do it, of course, but they don't pay a lot of attention, so we ended up just meeting
them somewhere and guiding them back to the car
....we did that front and rear type herding: Mr D at the front looking as English as possible, me bringing up the rear....of course!

It was great. I would do it again actually; I wonder if that chance will arise? They have to be 25 to hire a car, so maybe it will make us useful for at least one more holiday?!!

Wednesday 6 July 2011

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 109

Thanks to the splendiferoulsy bonza friend who is Lunch Lady Jan, we didn't miss a week just because I was on me hols, and indeed, wasn't last week interesting? Her stuff is fab, as I hope I keep telling her. And yes folks, that is a link; you did what I couldn't do alone and convinced her to start blogging. Hurrah! Another desk to pick over. *grin*
My desk is a study in erm, getting stuff done. At this point I'm on go number 3 of a card that should feature bright flowers and awesome colouring. Can't choose the right flower. Come back some time and see what it ended up as - I don't know at this stage if it will even stay on a red and black mount. That will depend on the flower...
You can see my Copics - about to go back to their home, no good for what I was trying... and bottom right you can just see a portion of new wood mounted stamps. Shopkeeper Gal had a sale of ex TV stuff....the wood mounts were begging to come home with me. And so they did. You could never accuse me of cruelty to a wood mounted stamp!

So - upload a pic of your desk to your blog, link here by way of inviting us all around to see what you're doing - paper, work, fabric, wool, writing...whatever, show us! We'll visit, slowly and surely. Put the kettle on. I thank you. That's it, no other membership rules, no commitments to weekly showings, just join us as and when you can. We like flexibility. Well, I do. And at my age, that can only be a good thing.

Monday 4 July 2011

Alright, so my mojo seems a little jet lagged, but for the first time since March, I have at least managed a July calendar page for my magnetic board, so if you visit us at home at least you won't think you've stepped into a time warp! It deserves a new page, not least because it's a busy month - but because the weather is so gorgeous; really I was beginning to think it wouldn't happen here this summer!
I think the mojo just feels a little displaced, so am going to suggest a jolly good tidy up. Everywhere. Seriously, I'm even thinking of cleaning the oven. It's a post holiday thing with me - we come home filled with good intentions about eating more fruit and making the most of our free the domestic rubbish has to be sorted before you can do that, huh! All part of the master plan to become a celebrity style scrapbooker card maker blogger. Seriously, if they can do it......
As if to lend weight to my hugely ambitious and not a little tiny bit ridiculous plan, I've been asked to review and blog about a product. Well you know me..I have a big enough head to say yes to these things. It'll take a while, but don't worry, I won't let you miss it, naturally. Now meanwhile, I need to enliven the mojo and try to shake off this need to clean. I think I'll go sit in the garden and contemplate. That'll help. And save the oven.

Saturday 2 July 2011

Sun. Lots of it.

Well I know you didn't miss me because Lunch Lady Jan stole my blog and made it a fab WOYWW week. But I thought you'd like to know that whilst you lot were going to work, crafting, doing the domestic stuff and enjoying sunshine-a-plenty, I was doing nothing except enjoy sunshine-a-plenty. Ha. How d'ya like them apples?
So I escape south to Spain for a week and in retaliation, the sun comes out here in blighty and wrecks every nice candle in the conservatory. Mr D says the wax will do the now dry wood some good which is great, because to be honest, sorting out the melted candles and generally tidying up in there wasn't exactly on my list of priorities for the day!
No sir, today is all about that sort of 'collect yourself' and get back to the routine thing. We are off to a mid afternoon wedding, so there's a touch of sorting wrapping and posh frock ironing to do.
Seriously need to re-stock the fridge.
Need to make a 'to do' list of business and home things to face up to.
I see that Shopkeeper Gal has published a new class list. Need to make up some workshops and samples.
Need to touch base with about a billion websites.
Need to motivate Miss Dunnit to resume the job hunt.
All this, just to ease myself back into a country that serves a gin and tonic in measures.
Maybe I need to emigrate. Must chat to Mr D about this idea.

Friday 1 July 2011

This card was one of the four that I presented in the recent workshop to celebrate another birthstone. You can't tell which? Huh? No, it's not aquamarine or turquoise...really, can't you tell? It's Pearl. June's stone. See, now I say, it's really obvious innit. You must admit, therefore, this card is suddenly become a good example of the i word. Interpretation. Ooh it's a word that causes emotional reactions too isn't it. If you interpret a word or phrase or gesture wrongly....but it's OK, we're talking paper and glue (ish). After I write these posts I'm often completely knocked off my stool by the way these strung together words are interpreted. Comments left make me realise - often - that the point I thought I was making is not the one that gets discussed. How interesting.
I absolutely love to look at blogs that offer sketch challenges, particularly for scrapbooking. The way other people interpret a sketch is amazing. Give 3 people the sketch and the same pile of stash and you'll get 3 different projects, no doubt. I think you're eased into the skill of interpreting sketches after you see a few billion of other people's. You know - where you see a flower placed on the point where the sketch shows a circle, or the sketch is rotated to better suit a photo format...all of this is without rules see, so it takes time to realise you can do it. Or is that 'you' meant to read 'I'? Probably. Try it...take a sketch...from anywhere, and apply it to what you do - fabric, card, scrapbook....go on, it'll be OK. I'll show you mine if you show me yours.