Monday 31 December 2012

I'm trying not to be sentimental

...but everywhere I look, people are doing a review of their year.  Well, as you know, I'm a great follower and so have given some thought during the course of erm today, as to what I could do to review the blogging that I've done this year, and make up a few links for your reading pleasure.  And then even I got bored by the sound of my own reading voice and decided that if you need a review of this blog, you can scroll through the archives and sample the odd post without being led to what I think was best.  Particularly as, most often it's the comments that are the most entertaining. And that gentle reader is where we come to the sentimental part....thank you, for reading any of this at any stage throughout the year. Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment at any stage on any post...I know it is time consuming and very very often your words are tactful and kind in the face of some awful crafting and bragging.  Naturally, I hope you'll join me as 2013 throws up new stuff to blog about and changing desk surfaces to pick over on WOYWW days.  
Happy New Year.  May it fulfil the anticipation that we can't help but feel, huh.

Friday 28 December 2012

Just hangin'

 Miss Dunnit went back to work yesterday, Mr Dunnit has spent a few hours at work today and I've um, er, been at home, sort of hanging around.  I've cleared up and put away a lot of crockery and glasses that we used for entertaining yesterday, I've made the bed, I've erm....made a couple of lists and even had a short snooze in the armchair after my lunch.  I've got a lot to do naturally, because in this house, turning my back on the laundry basket for two days causes it to fill to overflowing.  And for reasons not described in any 'perfect housewife' manual, there's suddenly more ironing to be done than my will to live can contemplate.  
 I want to do some more sewing, there's a bit of a cooking session to be had in front of New year's Day and there's the calendars to play with.  So I've got plenty to do.  And it's stuff I want to do.  Instead though, I find myself walking around the house snapping  photos of stuff that currently look Christmassy in the gloom of this dank day.  
 Not one single picture has been posed - although I did go to the trouble of pushing the plate of bread a little closer to the little pot of jam-(to show off my apparently kitsch spoon!) .
It would seem I'm putting off doing anything, not just a basket full of ironing.  Ah well, I guess if I hang around being unproductive for long enough, a deadline will wander into view and I'll be all Mrs Motivated and going for it.  So I better make the most of my just hangin' day.  I'm outta here.

Wednesday 26 December 2012

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 186

Just to restore some balance and remind you that we're midweek as opposed to the weekend that it actually feels like....yep, the Christmas edition of WOYWW.  Post Christmas really, some of you across-the-ponders will be going back to work, whilst us Brits hunker down for a whole week off in a lot of cases, certainly most of us have today off too.
I'm not in panic mode, but I rather think I need to make more effort...  The picture's a bit blurry and exactly as I left it on Christmas Day, mid morning.  Once Miss D was awake, I stopped.  It wasn't a tough choice.  And it still looks the same, except the daylight hasn't appeared!  As reported, I have two sets of calendar LOs to make, and the best time to deliver them is Christmas, huh.  Hmmmm.  Could do better then! 
Actually, it looks quite tidy does it not?  Yeah well, that'll change.  Just as soon as I get back to it.  
Enjoy Boxing Day and any other time you have off.  If you've time, post a photo to your blog of wherever and whatever you're doing this holiday.  I can't show you our coffee's piled high with gifts for other people...yep, we're doing it all again today, so I shall be even slower to visit you, on account of the visiting I'm doing.  Well, I understand.

Monday 24 December 2012

Here we are..

Nothing in my house has magically become perfectly clean, perfectly orderly or indeed, lined up and ready for all the things we have planned.  But it's all OK, all of a sudden.  It all needs some tweaking and after last night's final wrapping session, the living areas seriously need a good hoovering and tidying.  The kitchen is full of pastry waiting to be made into other stuff and my head is full of excitement; Miss Dunnit's presents for tomorrow are not from a list...there was nothing specific she wanted so I just bought stuff I want her to have - could be a disaster, but I'm enjoying the anticipation so much!

So why am I showing you a calendar page for November?  If you were kind enough to read my last posting, you'll remember that I had a creeping feeling of something left undone.  Well, I found it.  A pile of calendars printed and ready to be made into LOs.  Not one.  No.  Not two....three!  Imagine.  The one for me will again this year be made on a monthly basis, but the others....well, if I gift them January and February, it'll buy me some time to get the others done huh?  But I was in the mood to do the other end of the year, so November it is!  Shucks.  Am pretty sure that neither of them read this, so the surprise will be no greater or lesser for knowing how last minute it all became!  But I must say, it's been a fab excuse to carve out some time at my desk.  Talking of which, if you can bear it, I'l be here on Wednesday as usual; but really, don't worry about joining in or pressure, as always.  Family first, the one thing about your internet family is that they totally understand that!
Happy Christmas.  If I could bottle the goodwill that exists among us bloggers, I would serve the world.  

Friday 21 December 2012

As at right now...

It's 9.00am GMT and it's the 21st December.  This post is not about the Mayan calendar or the potential for the end of the world.  It is a normal and routine post that is as normal, routinely about me.
I thought you'd like to know that as of now:

  •  the tree has dripped dry and is in situ.  There is work yet to be done, but that's a matter of fiddling.  
  • The Christmas bunting is up.  There are even some lights in a window.  And they work.
  • The Christmas cake and pudding have been purchased.  Well, I'm not superwoman you know.  
  • The dining table has been enveloped in my (only) red Christmas cloth and candles and tealights serviced and replenished.  Kitsch glassware abounds.
  • I've decided on a large ham for the 27th, now to find a  nice glaze recipe.
  • There's one more Christmas present to buy.  Don't worry, dear Brother in Law, I will get it.  (Like he reads this anyway!)
  • There still appear to be a ridiculous number of presents to wrap up.  Considering that I've already wrapped up a ridiculous number of presents. 
  • I have two more gift card cards to make.
  • My desk is still under the grip of accounts books, but not for long.
  • I am really looking forward - doing a bit of planning for 2013 already.  Wait, maybe I am superwoman.
  • The yearning to sit at my desk and play with my papers and inks has never been stronger.  Presumably, because there isn't really time.
How is right now for you?  Share will you.  I can't avoid this creeping feeling that I'm missing something.  Lots, actually!

Wednesday 19 December 2012

WOYWW? 185

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday.  See this post for as good an explanation as I could muster.  Then, join in!  it's free, fun and friendly.  FFF.  In fact if you scroll down too fast, you might think it's silly.  It is that too.
My desk, cleared and cleaned to allow for sewing over the weekend, has become a place of yawn.  I'm not here again today, so please don't be to hard on my lack of visits..I promise it's for a good reason. Back to the desk.... I'm doing book work so that it's as up to date as possible before I ban the mention of work for the holiday.  This will happen on Friday, and in order to  maintain the ban, I must be ready myself, huh!  So I regret a boring desk...iPad in place, and a tidy looking scrap box right at the far end, huh!  Am super happy with this arrangement so far.
So, although this isn't the nearest WOYWW to Christmas, it's the last before hand, and I  wish you a really happy and peaceful Christmas.  And apologise for the card you find below....Jan made me.  And she's publishing it too, so I kinda hope that you're over the shock before you see it again!  By the way, that one photo shoot on the beach - gorgeous.  Almost worth it. However awful/bizarre/funny you find the picture, the sentiment is true! 

Tuesday 18 December 2012


About a month ago, Jan and Di and I had a day together.  An hour at the Shopkeeper Gal's emporium, a quick scout around Amesbury and then to a small Craft Centre at Weyhill for lunch and browsing.  Apart from the jewellery and gallery and chocolatier and wool shop, there's a quilting shop.  Jan wanted to have a brief rummage and check out threads.  Di, for reasons of a personal nature, wanted a large bodkin.  I don't know either.  Well, I was utterly entranced by all the fabrics.  Lots and lots of them were by companies that I know as scrapbook paper designers, so I spent an awful lot of time trying to decide what I could make.  If I needed anything.  The first and most obvious answer to me, was a nice bag.I don't need or have room in my life for any more bags.  So I came over all sensible and decided to have a look around for a pattern or idea before buying some fabric.  Because otherwise, it could sit around for, well, months.  The same week, my recipient in The Coven's Secret Santa was revealed and I had my answer.  Make something from some of the gorgeous fabric you wanted to buy.  So I did.  Scraplady Ally has a thing for purple, she's a quilter, so has a fabric 'thing' and I found two projects that I thought were marvellously clever...a camera strap (for she is a fantastic photographer) and an iPad sleeve.  Satisfied my need to have fabric.  Satisfied my need to make.  Satisfied my wanting to find her a relatively out-of the-ordinary present.

I am utterly indebted to Lindsay at The Cottage Home for tutorials and ideas that I've found really inspiring and stress free. I know that this isn't spoiling a surprise, because we met and exchanged presents last night. We didn't even consider not opening our gifts.  Not even for a second, not a mention of the idea.  Love that about Christmas - I think it's because we're pretty sure that there will be another gift on another day.  Ain't life grand.

Saturday 15 December 2012

Hearts at Home


Apart from the silly acronym, I think the phrase 'how quickly the weeks go by' or something similar is the most written in terms of WOYWW.  And never more so than in December, huh! Honestly, I have hardly spent a minute at home this week.  Well, that's how it feels.  And see my lovely hearts at home bauble above?  NOT a current photo. Haven't even bought the tree, let alone got it in situ and decorated.  I feel that it should be this weekend.  Have done a quick poll of tree sellers and must now spend a half hour or so of skilled but gentle sales talk so that when we get there, Mr Dunnit doesn't pass out at the 2012 prices.  It does his spirit of goodwill no good at all, I can tell you, to find a year on year increase of about 20%.  But what can you do?  We've tried artificial trees and they're lovely.  But they don't save any money because a year later, I'm bored and want a change.  Fickle, aren't I. You'd think after 27 Christmases together, he'd remember, but somehow I manage to dazzle him with my personality throughout the rest of the year so that this day, this fickle-ness, comes as a shock.  Again.  It may of course, be less dazzling personality and more age related forgetfulness, but he's a great good man and after the initial shock, he does not turn the day into one of whining misery by going on and on about the cost of trees or Christmas generally.  He just sucks it up.  And that is a lesson to me.  I'm going to try not to whine about my huge 'to do' list...I'm going to suck it up and get on with it.  Really.  If I do publish a whingey post,you too will know the secret of my marriage:  Mr Dunnit is altogether the bigger person. And that's why my heart stays at home for Christmas.

Wednesday 12 December 2012

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 184

Well, first of all, thanks for visiting.  I'm not here today, so my visits will be tardier and less than usual.  Does that make sense? Ah least if you understood that then it explains why we're friends.  
And the fact that you can look at this and still come up with something that doesn't amount to hate mail every week.....
So what am I doing?  I'm using H2Os to colour in my favourite stamp image of the season.  As in - it says 'Happy Christmas' and whislt I have none, no, not one objection to being wished a 'Merry' Christmas, I think 'happy' in this context is decidedly English.  British.  I don't know, you tell me what you think.  And why, you ask, after I've bragged about making writing and finishing cards, am I stamping and colouring some more?  You may well ask.  *Cue story*..I was driving home from a delivery and musing over the size of my address book.  I can't remember why.  But I damn near crashed when I realised that as usual, in my haste smugness, there were some hand deliveries that I hadn't factored in.  Like our neighbours.  How foolish.  But also, how actually enjoying a bit of painting.  Although it's not doing much to the germinating seed of panic that's inside me!

Come on then you movers and shakers, prove that you've moved on from Christmas already, show us your desks and what you're working on...put WOYWW in your post title and link your post here.  No every-other-word-is-a-link-to-a-product type advertising please, it's difficult to read and frankly, the overkill means that ultimately, it isn't read.
So with that in mind..desk on!

Monday 10 December 2012

Gift card cards. You call 'em Minis

Step back three months ago to the not so blistering, not so Indian Summer that we didn't experience, and bask in a false sense of goodwill created by our post Jubilee Olympic success.  Shopkeeper Gal is planning her winter workshop schedule (easy for you to say) and I'm thinking how fun it would be to make a maze book for Christmas.  After all, even non-scrapbookers want a little souvenir, right?  And it will be a nice chance to have a couple of hours away from feverishly making cards.  Oh, totally.  
Outside front cover, board 'wrapped' with scrapbook paper and adhered to outside front page.....

 In all good conscience, I think I had probably spied the mini accordian fold die in the massive selection of dies that Shopkeeper Gal stocks and I think I felt it necessary to genuinely have a need for it.  After all, I own a scoreboard and a guillotine... Anyway, I bought it.  And then I had a lightbulb moment and changed the remit of the workshop without asking anyone.  Now I want the world to make gift card holders and little brag books.  To be honest, once I got going, it wasn't easy to stop and I have a couple of ideas floating around still...just no time.  Unless I stop writing this, and know me, it's easier to talk about it than do it, even when I actually WANT to do it!'s double sided scrapbook paper; you can just see the two pieces of 'wrapped' board that make the covers.
This single layer is a perfect way to give a gift card and jazz it up into something a little 'more'.
So at the workshop there will be less control than I usually have, the customer gets to pick her own choice of papers and I'm going to take a long a boat load of 'stuff' for the fixings.  Am pretty sure it will be fun.  And am also pretty sure that in making samples, I could happily make a gift card card for almost everyone I know!  Once you start, it's really an easy rolling stone.  And I suspect that it's the die...I was never any good at the preparation part of stuff if I'm making for me.  
Two layers of scrapbook paper, glued together to form pockets of the two middle sections.  Outside front.

Outside back.  Pockets punched with thumb nothches and ribbon stuck under the co-ordinating front card stock.

Inside.  You can just see a tag in the first pocket.  Really, you could get very carried away with this ..
But gentle reader, please do not mistake my enthusiasm as having the time to play at my desk... why this morning, I didn't even have time to make my weekly list before I was out in the big white van making a delivery. Seriously, you would be astonished at the number of people who want every job they've ever waited to order, NOW.  Christmas appears to be such a deadline and I've no idea why.  Answers, if you've time...

Same die, this time treated landscape fashion and a pocket created on the long edge at each end.

Ribbon handles to add to the 'purse effect' and the photos make it a brag book.....

Friday 7 December 2012

COOKIES! Well, OK, Cookie cutters.....

You knew right, that if I had cookies, I wouldn't be sharing them.  Frankly they wouldn't last long enough to be photographed.  So lots of you were interested in the cookie cutter project that was on my desk on Wednesday.  Despite waiting for better light, the finished item has bad photos.  Use your imaginations won't you.  
These are not difficult.  They only need drying time.  I used paper scraps, and bits of ribbon, nothing I didn't already have.  The one thing I used that made it really easy was that red glasseine backed double sided tape.  It is nice and aggressive in its sticky-ness, so can be used with confidence for this sort of thing.
I bought a set of 3 heart shape cutters.  Most likely from a £1 shop, but I honestly can't remember....they've been knocking about for too long.  They just about qualify as metal, they at least have a folded top edge to stop you wincing every time you put pressure on them to cut cookie dough or pastry.  I used my Cropadile to cut a pair of holes in each one, about half a centimetre apart.  First things first, huh.  Don't do this if you don't want them to be hanging decorations.  Waste of effort.

Choose scrapbook paper or card or hand made paper or stamped and decorated stock or.....whatever you like (it's easier if it's non-fraying) to 'line' each heart. Draw round it..hold the pencil against the metal and the larger heart shape it creates will be enough to snip lines to make folding easier.  Cut out and snip.
Now, put the strong tape all around the'sharp' edge of the cutter on the outside.  Place this on the cut out paper heart shape with apparently frilled edge and fold the cut pieces up to stick to the tape. Simple.  Now it looks really ugly, so put another layer of tape over this and stick on a length of lovely ribbon..the ends of the ribbon should meet tidily in the top V of the heart.  Now, run glitter glue around the inside edges of each heart.  You can see, I used different colours.  When it's dry, you can thread the hearts.  Flood em with some UTEE and arty stuff...put lovely pictures in them and have them as tree ornaments....

or you can get horribly involved and decide to make it a bit more of a single decoration....(or, put another way..I don't know where to stop, so I didn't...)

I threaded each heart onto the same ribbon and used buttons to divide them to make it all a bit more rigid.  Be patient and cut the ribbon end to a really fine point to make threading easier...and yes, expect to keep cutting it, so use a longer piece than you think...

I actually put a spot of glue behind the two nested hearts in the end, I didn't like them being a bit loose inside one another.  You might like that though, and it will be fine.  I'll still be talking to you and the world will continue to turn.  So then I only had to add interest to one heart really, so I die cut a sweet birdy and a branch (Memory Box and Joy, respectively) and used Glossy Accents to stick it to the thin cutter top edges.  And then I used Glossy Accents again, to coat the branch and the bird and then added a sprinkling of Glamour Dust.  Because I could...and the recipient likes a bit of bling.  Honestly, allow for drying time of the glitter glue, and the longest part was the ribbon threading.  You could cheerfully make more than one set at a time and in total only spend about half an hour on each.  Nice, huh.  It's why I like paper crafting.  Results, quick gratification.  Works for me.
Have a lovely weekend.  And if you make cutter ornaments....please let us see them!

Wednesday 5 December 2012


What's On Your Workdesk this one hundred and eighty third Wednesday then?  Mine is bathed in terrible yellow early light.  It's black as pitch out there.  Still, I need an early start today anyway, so I guess so far, so good!

Actually, my desk shows signs of a couple of things being nearly finished, which is all to the good.  The heart shape cookie cutters have been backed with scrapbook papers and the inside edges have a line of glitter glue around them, now drying.  Extra stick and bling in one job.  It's gotta help.  I used my trusty cropadile to punch a pair of holes in the top of each cutter so that when finished, they'll hang as an ornament.  Not in this house of course, these are destined to be a gift. Unplanned.  Just had one of those flashes of 'oh, she'd probably really like that' when I was talking to someone who has become a bit of an influence in my life.  I'll show you in daylight when they're properly finished.  Meanwhile the inkpad and assorted triangle shapes are involved in making a handful of quick cards featuring bunting.  Thank you type cards.  Again, not for me, but jolly useful nonetheless. At extreme right you can see a tester paint pot.  It's plain old emulsion called 'Putty'.  I bought it because Peggy and Patsy seem to start all of their great works with something this colour.  Yep.  Watch and learn!  No really, at this stage I haven't even taken the lid off!  
Oh, and if you're looking for a charity to support because you're sending hand made cards this year, here's one you might supports Ayla and her WOYWWer Mum, and I just know that she's too nice to ask! Challenge Santa at CHAS.

So show us do, how your desk is coping with the lead up to the big Ho Ho Ho.  Is it overwhelmed, panicking and covered in wrapping stuff?  That could so easily be mine by the weekend!  Post to your blog, and link your WOYWW titled post here.  Give us a chance to visit - unlike Santa, we don't need Milk and Cookies.  But we wouldn't turn 'em down, you understand.

Tuesday 4 December 2012

Things I could do....

I should: recommend Leelou Blogs for her cute Blogger templates.  You like the winter frock?
I could: show you what I did at the Crop on Saturday last.  I can't.  
I should: Unpack and put away the huge tote after the Crop on Saturday last.
I could: have a little brag about the Christmas Shopping that me and Mr Dunnit went out to do on Sunday.  Except that we didn't buy anything.  Unless you count a cup of coffee.  
I should: really learn to focus..just because a shop is busy doesn't mean I should walk out and leave it for another day.
I could: tell you why I haven't managed to blog or blop for 4 days.  But it's no more interesting than my normal excuses.  Christmas type busy, I like to think.
I should: update lists; I've got two of the SAME presents for one person. 
I could: easily admit to being able to feel the teeny seed of panic over the amount I want to do in the time I have allowed myself to do it.
I really should: stop making this list and go finish at least one thing today.

Friday 30 November 2012

To Crop and Shop

My parents.  Aren't they lovely!  

It's that weekend again, already.  You remember the one, where I spend Friday afternoon in bad light, on the floor of my workroom trying to pack for the Crop tomorrow.  I will never grow out of this sort of last minute preparation, I've tried.  And the only reason I don't leave it till Saturday morning is that I'm the hall key collector so I need to be there on time. Deliberate and clever tactic if you ask me. 
Tomorrow's 'work' will be slightly different for me though, I'll be attempting to make a few gifts.  You know, it being the first of December and all, and me having a couple of 12 month calendar LOs to make.  Well, three actually.  Let's see how that goes, because ideally it involves quite a lot of planning and embellishment selection.  I understand that this first Saturday of the month will be absolutely manic in terms of shopping and getting around the metropolitan areas.  I am happy to be safely tucked away and missing out on that for sure.  But don't fret about my being crowded, hot and manic shopping days are yet to come! 

Ros wanted to see this in full after she read Tuesday's post.  It was a part of yesterday's workshop.  I love the way that everyone applies different amounts of the Distress Inks so that no two tags were exactly the same.  It's Wild Honey, Rusty Hinge inks and Tarnished Brass Distress Stain if you're interested.  The holly is stamped in Mowed Lawn.  Or should that Mown Lawn?  There's a weekend teaser!
Have a lovely weekend.

Wednesday 28 November 2012

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 182

If you're at all interested in what WOYWW is about, the most recent and probably quickest explanation is here, at WOYWW 181. Don't over think it though, there really is no more to it.  In pratical terms.  I leave you to join in and find out how impractical it is and how sentimentally attached you may become to this ridiculous idea and how emotionally attached you may become to your new friends.  No really.  If this sounds like a speech, it is.  It's by way of delaying this : 
*Cue the usual moan about lighting.  Lack of daylight at this time is a bummer.*

I'm mid way through a small accordian fold's the third in as many days...samples for a workshop.  The particular one in progress is a little brag book as you can see.  The others are on the deckchair.  With a drunken card. The card came about as a result of some serendipity actually.  I was rummaging on one of the stamp shelves looking for inspiration for the pink and black album when the stamps reminded me that I hadn't used them for ages.  So I took a scrap, and the stencil and ink that were cast aside on the desk and made a quick card.  That's how I like to roll.  All spontaneous and arty.  Shame I never manage that!
If you're affected by the ghastly flooding across Great Britain, know that we wish you strength and speed in the recovery process.  Practically, what would you want in terms of help?
Share your desk then, do.  As usual, link your WOYWW titled post here so that in the fullness of time, we can visit.

Monday 26 November 2012

When is a ticket a tag?

As with all things office-y, I'm fond of a tag.  They have potential, don't you think? Space to fill without being a huge desperately blank page.  They can deliver wisdom. Why, in the real world, they convey information like sizes and washing instructions to the all powerful brand and even more romantically, destination details.  Wow.  That's a lot for a piece of card with a hole in it.  So really it was no wonder that the humble tag crossed the road to the craft side.  Mostly they fit anywhere: on a card, on a scrapbook LO, on a canvas (see Vicki's if you don't believe me).  Often they are used as the basis for technique demos and workshops.  Because of course, a bundle of tags are almost instantly a book of techniques when bound together by the handy holes.  And really, I guess Mr Holtz has a lot to do with that and the popularity of tags generally as a stand alone work of art. I kinda like a tag to be stuck on something....unless it's dangling from a present with my name on it.  So if I go with a tag, it's normally for a card front or at least an element on a card.  One way or another then, during the course of a season of workshops, I often offer a tags themed session.  Well this winter is no exception of course.  In the best tradition of me coping better if I'm in a routine, this week is the tags workshop. 
We've thrown in tickets too...because they are easy to treat in much the same way.  I think.  Only smaller.  Without holes. Potentially easier to attach.  Or harder. Like a tag, they can be two things at item in their own right, or a contribution to a whole, bigger thing.  

So to make a small tag, do you just have to punch a hole in the ticket and thread something into it?  And if you cut your own tags and don't punch a hole in the centre that then a big ticket?  I dunno.  Seriously, these questions keep me awake.  At my desk.

Wednesday 21 November 2012


The acronym means: What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 
The number: is the number of Wednesdays that we've been doing this.
It started because: I'm nosey and wanted to see what other people have got and what other people do at their desks whilst I'm busy procrastinating.
You can join by: uploading a photo to your blog, using the acronym in the title of your blog post and linking your blog here.  You don't need permission and there's no commitment, do it whenever you want to - on a Wednesday!
There is: apparently, a competition for the number one link.
There are: a lot of people joining in.  Reciprocity is the name of the game, then random visiting if you still want to see more.
It helps: if you turn off word verification.  Oh man, it helps.
My desk: seems quite tidy.  Bad northern hemisphere winter lighting and apparently not much going on.  But the story is out of sight.  I've just FINISHED writing our Christmas cards.  Yep, there, I said it, you read it.  I'm all in front of myself.  Following a famous slogan. See, I was tidying a little and now have all these 'piles' of Christmas stuff to attend to and need something to give and get out of the way.  So I looked at them and thought...oh, just do it. So I did.  And now...I'm smug.
There is: coffee, fresh.  Three pairs of scissors in use (I don't know why..) and a December planner that will very soon become a December calendar page.  Some stray bakers twine, a card on the deckchair, waiting for one last embellishment.....and really, lots of calm.
You can't see: the newly organised scrap box which no longer hangs all over the left edge of the desk.  Or the full to overflowing basket at right....loads of stamps to be cleaned and put away.  Someone save me from the aggers of clear stamp storage, please?
You can: join in please, it's fun!
I have: changed the schedule time for this to early am, GMT.  It means two things...first, I can probably cost live and second, the GB and Europe contingent gets a crack at not having to stay up all night for a while!

Tuesday 20 November 2012

Smart Purposing

This was on my WOYWW post a couple weeks back and there were quite a few comments about it.  I mentioned in passing - it's very clearly a re-purposed CD holder.  I did not mean that it was my idea or manufacture.  Oh no sir.  You know by now that I'm a follower, not a leader, and a good idea like this is simply way beyond me. 

I paid *quitealotofmoney* for it. But I must say that I'm glad I did.  Quite apart from the impressive number that it holds (30), or that the dome lid stays in place so it means they are all instantly transportable for crop etc, it's actually just really really handy to have my glitter glues stored in the ideal trajectory position.  Nozzle down, folks.  No air bubbles, no shaking and squeezing and getting angry and not using it.  No, makes sense to me. 
The little black clip that holds the second plastic tier is a bit puny...the tier wobbles if you don't load it geometrically correctly.  Ah well.  What other complaint can I come up with?  Erm.. the domed lid is sheer plastic and not completely transparent.  Which means that my impressive 'display' is a bit clouded. Erm.......the lid is plastic and therefore static and may attract dust in the wrong sort of household.  OK, my household. 
No, that's it. Considering it wasn't born to do this job, it's doing a fab job and I really quite like it.  Again, although they'll think you're nuts, it would make a great Christmas pressie...because you don't 'neeeeed' it, but it's something worth wanting.

Edited to add:  I brought this online from do not know about this 'review' and they didn't ask me to do it.  

Monday 19 November 2012

Tape my opinion..

Yes, it looks works and behaves like the Dymo hand held tape system.  It's by Artemio (distributed in the UK by several wholesalers, so widely available).  It takes the regular 9mm width tapes and as you can see, they come in a nice selection of colours.  The cassettes for upper and lower cases are really easy to change, and someone has thoughtfully put a smiley face on the lower case cassette which is quite fun.  There is also proper, full punctuation available, although the Question Mark is not repeated on both cassettes which I found a bit odd.  Not odd enough to stop me liking it though. The letters are changed by turning the central blue knob to 'dial' the required letter. This took me a minute to to get used to; on my other tape printer, you just turn the outside edge of the wheel, the 'knob function' feels very 21st century! There is no other intrinsic difference, the pressure required on the trigger seems the same - not as hard to squeeze as a reluctant punch for example,  - you aren't left feeling that you've had a good clenching pelvic floor workout or anything so drastic!   The tapes are clearly an industry standard, and like all tapes of their nature, they need encouragement to actually stick to anything that isn't paper. Because Artemio is a craft specific brand, the tapes will be readily available and come in some great colours, including flourescents, which are fun.  The device comes with one reel of tape and the other tapes come in pre-determined selection packs of colours...primary (as shown) pastels and others.  It costs about £15, and the packets of 5 rolls of tape are about £8.  Significantly better prices than the market leader.  And no significant differences, in my opinion.  This puts it on the Christmas pressie list I think, because it's probably not something that you'll use every day, but it's something that would be really nice to have. Especially if like me, you scrapbook as well as make cards.

Look, proof that I use it...and that I wear zebra striped clothing....(bottom left of card front ...reflection)

I haven't been paid to do this review, the product is mine, I got it from Kraft Crazy in Amesbury ( 01980 625584) where Shopkeeper Gal makes me stay up to date. 

Thursday 15 November 2012

PPPPPP - been there....

At the workshop this morning, I met five (count them - five) people who were entirely new to card making and stamping and die cutting and our way of doing things.  Imagine!  It was magical for me..because they'll learn to do it the way I do things! I love that.  Influence.  For one whole workshop, I can say 'do it my way, or do it wrong' and they believe me.  Power.  And then they buy a magazine and realise what a crock I can talk.  But really, while it lasts.....
There are several really nice things about having newbies at a workshop...everyone gets a chance to refresh basic skills through questions that don't come up so often with experienced crafters,  and I feel compelled to do the odd technique demonstration...oh the bliss of hearing surprise and delight when you demonstrate heat embossing with gold powder.  Or explain how technically difficult it is to apply foil..and then zap some foil over a bit of scribbled glue.  Love it all.  Love getting to know the stamping characters...the precision merchants, the scared to commit to actually sticking it down merchants, the people who want to know more about the difference in fast and slow drying ink ingredients.  The people who want to know the difference between this glitter glue and that glitter glue. (The answer to that one is usually simple: choice.) And as they relax a bit and start to feel less like they're being bullied and more as if they may be enjoying things, so they ask questions about my crafting history.  I would say pedigree, but really...there's no pedigree here. At this time of year, there is always one question that I have to answer honestly.  They usually look relieved at my answer, too:
' I expect you've made all your Christmas cards, tags and lots of gifts already, Julia?'

Now really, gentle reader, collect yourself and go make something to tick off your massive Christmas 'to do' list. It's not fair to be constantly laughing at me.

Wednesday 14 November 2012

WOYW?W 180

Well, a week it apparently has been.  Oh Yoda, help us understand grammar and the passage of time in relation to warp speed.  You've seen what Mr Dunnit has been working on, and thanks to more impressive lighting and even more impressive photography, I bring you what Mrs Dunnit is working on.  (Me - that's me, just for the record).

Can you see anything?  Im depending on one light bulb...I have four spotlights in this room.  Three of them went *pouf* on Tuesday afternoon.  Scared the be-wotsit out of me I can tell you.  And now I have another chore for today..because I cannot possibly put up with light like this!  So you see my sexy glitter glue carousel.  No doubt a CD holder in a previous life, but it holds thirty bottles, so it's not bad.  I've decanted one pot of chewing gum into another. You can tell, it seriously reduces the clutter on my workdesk. There's Lyn's gift of a doodlybirds notebook...pressed into service as a handbag Christmas shopping list notebook reminder thing.  Except it's not in my handbag yet.  A small stack of small pleases me, when I've used them, to abandon them neatly.  No really, I have no idea why I stacked them.  I was probably on the phone..a sort of 3d doodle.  You can see the tape machine -more on that later this week.  And you can just make out a card leaning on the iPad.  Glitter glue drying.  So that's full circle really.
I've shown you mine - you show me yours.  And if life isn't too difficult for ya, please visit a few others too, you'll be amazed at the sights..oh the places you'll see!  (Unquote).  Post onto your blog, put WOYWW in your post title, link here and let the erm, magic begin.

Monday 12 November 2012

Now THIS is a craft...

Step into my other, real world.  And the workshop of the real craftsman chez Dunnit.  This monster of a job is taking up a lot of time and the customer is erm, taking up a lot of time, but look at it. Solid oak, to be finished with a simple non gloss seal.  Simple, beautiful.  Brilliant.   Mr Dunnit, bless his modest heart, can't see that.  All he can see is the dinosaur that this job has turned into.  It's making him fret that he's neglecting others and I feel for him.  It's great fun, having a staircase that not only splits in two, but leads to nowhere.  Although he was the only one brave enough to run up and down the stairs.  It's only slotted together and not tethered to anything.  You understand of course, that I felt it improper to be the weight test for solid oak components...if I lost...the components aren't numbered and I don't think I know how to put them back together!

Mr Dunnit's head is not deliberately cut off.  he's modest, but really,this is just rubbish photography!

Saturday 10 November 2012

GIIGU: Edition 1: Scraps

I'm a former Civil Servant, so me and acronyms, we're tight, man.  
GIIGU : Good Idea(s) in Good Use.  

See, on my so far limited travels around WOYWW world this week, a couple people have talked about their plans for saving, filing, using scraps.  Born from these very sorts of conversations a couple years ago, I devised my system.  It was a very Good Idea.  And has been in very Good Use ever since.  it worked for me.  It's not rocket science.  I have a shoebox size RUB and I store my scraps standing up, in that. If it's too big for the RUB, it's not a scrap and goes back into the proper sheet supply section.   Colours are loosely separated in groups:
Patterned papers are stored similarly, in a smaller length of box but are not divided under any theme..colour/maker..too much argh!  for me!  
Are you a grammar fanatic? Have you noticed that the past tense had been adopted in describing the Good Use?  Hmm.  That's because I stopped playing my part in the system and inevitably, it then breaks down.  It's usually after a workshop or such that I let it go ...when I unpack my supplies and have to put away unused stock....they tend to just be thrust in wherever they'll fit on the 'I'll see to that later' basis.  Well, look and see where I am with that:
Yep this is a corner. Ignore that I've slotted other stuff between the left box and the wall....I don't really even know what it is. On the left is the patterned scrap box..and you can't see the demarcation line, but truly, that other mess is my plain scraps box.  For a sense of depth, there's a bottle of mod podge on the worktop in front of the box.  It's fair to say it's not working for me anymore.  And that I've just about had enough of it.  This is not to herald a big change in my modus operandi. No.  I know that this system works for me, it IS a Good Idea in Good Use. and that I use my scraps up fairly well if they are within reach, or even sight.  So all I need to do is tidy it up, sort it out, get a grip.  I know it will make me feel better. And probably many of you too, who right now are speechless at how I let it get like that and wondering why suddenly, your teeth itch.
Have a super weekend.

Wednesday 7 November 2012


What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday. That's what the annoyingly difficult to pronounce acronym stands for.  And thanks for asking.
Rubbish lighting.  November's calendar is printed out ready for me to make a LO for the magnetic frame that hangs in the hall chez Dunnit.  It's too late for the first two appointments of the month. Under that, and the spare sandwich plate for my Big Shot (I don't know why) is 4 newly prepared die storage sheets.  That's sticky back magnetic sheets stuck on A4 sheets of chipboard to you.  They go into a magazine file for relatively easy flicking through.  Not that I'm expecting to buy so many new dies all at once you understand.  Under them are some Christmas stamps that Shopkeeper Gal thought I could use in a workshop.  That remains to be seen. At left is a new toy to try out - a label maker from Artemio...does upper and lower case and is better priced than the traditional Dymo machines, so I'll report some stage.   There's still an unused reindeer stamp.  And because the instruction 'pull out and keep' is printed on it, there's a section from this month's craft stamper on the ipad's deckchair  - it contains ideas for using the free cover stamp.The deckchair, to answer a few enquiries, is called a 'Bookchair' and came from Waterstones or Borders a handful of years ago. It isn't a Mac product.   Strangely, the two pots of chewing gum have morphed into one, in a siamese style gesture...I suspect one of my lovelies has been rummaging.  And why wouldn't you - there's no actual work going on that's for sure.  
Incidentally, I've been flagging up that Jan and I were going to the Craft Hobby and Stitch show at the NEC this Friday with the hope of meeting anyone that may be doing the same, but we've had a change of plan.  Perhaps the March/April date will prove a better date.
Meanwhile, show us what you're up to on your craft surface of choice - upload a pic to your blog, put WOYWW in your post title and link up here. Reciprocal visits are polite.  Enjoyment guaranteed.  How could you resist?!

Tuesday 6 November 2012

A cast of erm, two

These two unlikely characters are my daughter and her BFF at the ComicCon a couple weekends ago.  You remember the WOYWW that showed my dining table because I had stepped in to help out with final sewing.  Here it all is.  And yep, Miss Dunnit didn't just make the one cloak, fur shoulder cape, doublet and quilted thigh protectors.  No sir, she made two of each.  So you see, there was a lot to do. They are already plotting the costumes for May 2013 and I may have implied that it may be easier if she just has to make the one costume!  

Thursday 1 November 2012


This card also uses the TH die that featured earlier in the week.  There's no direct connection between this card and the reason for this post...except that because it's a bit inky and a bit erm, inky, I thought Jo would like it.  And she's the story, see.
On Monday, I was minding my own business (I really was) when BetteK popped into my inbox with an exciting email about WOYWW being talked about on the radio.  Imagine! And she's heard it from a friend on Facebook, so it was a tangled web indeed.  In my best management impersonation, I set Debbie (BetteK) about finding the details.  it was BBC Radio Mersey, a phone-in show sometime after 9am.  Easy.  I listened on iPlayer and of course, it was our Jo who rang in to comment about how easy and life affirming making friends online can be.  She really did mention WOYWW in all its madness and talked about how it's taken her to Slovenia, Switzerland and erm, Wiltshire. (If you want to hear Jo, she's on the 29th October edition of Sean Styles show, at about 39 minutes after the show started.) I just know that Sean, the very affable host of the show, was thrilled to hear from Jo, and I like to picture him tapping WOYWW into the old computer to see how he could get in on the friendliness to be found.  I like to picture him.  I didn't say that he did.  I'm extending the story now, to make WOYWW sound as big and puffed up as it possibly could be.  Jo didn't mention self obsession at all - I think that was kind of her.  She did mention that she was a former member of the A Team.  And we definitely need to know more about that.

And..anyone planning to visit Hobbycraft/Stitches/blah blah at the NEC next Friday?  Me and Lunch Lady Jan are hoping to get there quite early...we have to leave just after lunch, but if you fancy a quick hello and a chat........mind you, 'quick' and 'chat'...hmmm.

And.....Ludgershall Crop this saturday, 10am onwards.  If you're in the vicinity and wanna join us, let me know so I can clue you in.  

My word...this was less about housekeeping and more about self publicity.  Ah well, at least I recognise it!