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!