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.