Friday 27 September 2013

It's been a week..

Editors note: warning..this is a self indulgent post...
If all else fails, add a picture of yourself.. LLJ took this at Morti's wedding in June.
 I was still sober.
..of looking towards next year.  Making 2014 Calendars, scheduling works in the Joinery and making a start on Tax returns.  See, it's all glamour round here.
..of being caught out by the date.  I'm struggling with it being the end of September already - I think I've done heaps this month, but don't really want a professional assessment of my productivity...just in case.  I thought I had another week!  This is not uncommon when you live life in a panic about crap time management!
..of getting a grip and climbing back on my diet wagon.  Happy to be there and looking forward.
..of smug spending.  I have bought some Christmas presents.
..of mounting excitement.  I am meeting my lovely Sissy in Spain in about ten days - she's doing the lion's share of the travelling though, coming from California!
..of quiet resignation.  We need to replace our little car and I feel as if I'm betraying a friend! Mr Dunnit feels differently, of course..he's left brained about such things.
..of mild but quell-able panic.  I'm joining regular friends and croppers on a 'retreat' next month and haven't yet started kitting.  And I so need to do that if I'm going to get anything done.
..of fun.  All of these things have happened in the company of people I like and love, and I reckon that compared to many many others, I live a charmed life.  And I am grateful for that.  

Just sayin'.

Wednesday 25 September 2013

WOYWW? What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 225

Go here for info and here for info on how to join us.  Then join in, it's free, and above all friendly.  
Now then.  I recall saying that I wouldn't be showing much of the Year In A Day Calendar workshop samples - well, I kinda have no choice.  If I don't show you what I'm currently doing, I won't have a desk to show.  I haven't covered it all up - for the same reason...there'd be damn all to talk about and hmmmm, talking about myself and my stuff is about the biggest skill I have.  So here's a distance shot.

Loads of rubbish everywhere...half a tub of brads emptied whilst looking for a particular one...(like the old needle in a haystack thing...).  You don't often see my little clipboard (on the right) - I use it hold snips and notes of what I have to buy for kitting as I make up the samples...and then try to take it with me when I go to the shop.  It's supposed to help me focus.  The ipad stand is being used to hold packets of gems.  I can't bring myself to put them away yet.  Or open them and use them.  So they wait. Currently the moustache tape is ever present - I've done a lot of shipping over the last month!
And here's a pic I thought would make you brass-ists son-from-another-mother (Miss Dunnit's current squeeze) was staying...and I smiled every time I saw him. He's such a nice polite boy that coming from him this is radical!  He plays trumpet, see.  Need to get one made up for LLJ so she can erm, trump his shirt!

Anyway, please join in - now I have internet, don't leave me lonely!

Tuesday 24 September 2013

T for Tuesday B for Busy H for Ha ha!

So I'm joining Elizabeth for T for Tuesday, by showing you my sexy new kettle.  After 15 years of loyal boiling, the other one just faded out and it's quite exciting to get a replacement anything...specially when you live with a chap who can mend stuff.  The other kettle had it's life extended by some months, so we're both happy - he because it took longer to part with more kettle money than I thought it would and me because I've got a new kettle that works without encouragement, swearing or resorting to the boiling of pans.  I'm a 21st century gal me.  That and that sexy blue light that illuminates the boiling water pleases me no end.  

 And here's one of the busy busy shots....good can't get the nozzle tops off glue bottles when you want to unclog them can you?  You practically have to resort to prayers and pliers.  So imagine my surprise, language and horror when I tried a test spot of this Cosmic Shimmer glue. The visible nozzle was clear, so I gave it a regular squeeze (as opposed to an irregular squeeze) and look - the damn thing shot off and left me with an indecent puddle.  Of course, I cleaned up, took out the offending lump of glue that was just under the surface and had caused the eruption, and started in earnest.
And it happened again.  Good thing I had the presence of mind to take pictures, huh! Gah, I was a little cross.  I had to re-cut ten umbrellas!  So there we are. Tuesday is shaping up to be a similar shambles of mixing 'real' work with 'domestic' work and craft 'work'.  Hmm, whilst I'm sorting out the priorities, I may have to re-boil the kettle. 

Saturday 21 September 2013

Ten things to do....

When your Internet service disappears

  1. Keep trying to get the sitting at the screen and hitting the 're-try' button.  For longer than is good for you.
  2. Swear and give up.  Remove self from PC and check iPad for signs of life in the ether.  This confirms it.  Swear again.
  3. Pace about a bit.  Decide to try some other fixes...come at it from a different angle.  Turn it off and turn it back on.   It usually works, right?
  4. Whine like a baby when ' the fix' doesn't work .  Sulk till someone comes home and you can whine at them too. Sulk a bit more when it becomes apparent that it's not threatening their life like it's threatening yours.
  5. Puff and wheeze a bit when the suggestion is made to USE THE PHONE to contact the service provider.  Sulk because no -one else is going to do it.
  6. Speak nicely and be friendly to the Service Provider.  He is now after all, the link to your entire life.  Offer in a round-about and embarrassing way to cook him a nice tea if he can sort it out just for you.  And then....well, you just have to wait.  
  7. Remind yourself about the pre-internet days and the life you had.  Can't remember that far back?  No me neither.  Start on overdue paperwork.
  8. Cook a batch of chilli con carne, sweet vegetable chilli, chicken curry and spanish chicken. Check the connection each time you step into the room that houses your PC. Ring the service provider and remind them that you're still a very nice person and still without a connection and try emotional blackmail.  Explain that you have no life outside and that your emotional well being is dependant upon Internet access. Convince yourself that the stunned silence is due to a faulty line rather than the operator's horror at your neediness.
  9. Consider overdue paperwork and making a start on the tax return.  Consider writing loads of witty and amusing blog posts for scheduling.  Consider some housework.  
  10. Feel less guilty about sitting slumped and bad tempered in front of the tv for a third evening, get back to the crochet.
Yes gentle reader, now I'm back in the land of breathing ether and I bring you this list by way of a warning; how not to cope. There are lots of lists.  This is not one I'm proud of, but in my defence, this isn't a witty and urbane scheduled post. I was so busy sulking that I didn't quite get around to fulfilling any considerations.  But, we're OK for frozen dinners, come the revolution.

Wednesday 18 September 2013

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 224

Wow, mine could be excavated in layers.  
ipad laid on top of the Mini Book samples that I took to the Workshop yesterday.
Mini book samples unpacked and erm, placed on top of the calendar page I was working on over the weekend (no prizes for working out which month) and I can tell you but can't show you (because of the effort involved, you understand) that the calendar LO is covering a bunch of teeny tags that I've stamped with the days of the week.  Method?  yeah, a bit. Madness?  no doubt.
And pay attention Deskers....the moustache tape is on the right edge of the calendar LO and ipad.  It's a packaging tape printed with moustaches.  See?  So now you know.  Public service blogging.  There's my sexy glasses case, a much transported gift...crafting glasses...not any of the others dotted around the house.  And on the deckchair is a Baby card.  It's to send to a couple who have erm, had a Baby gal.  See, I know young people. I see nothing else of interest, but if you do, please point it out!
Join in this desk gawping will ya?  There's a how to and an all about and none of it is hard. So what are you waiting for?!  

Tuesday 17 September 2013

T is for Tuesday. But it feels like Monday

Joining Elizabeth for T for Tuesday by showing you the gloom in my early autumn kitchen at a ridiculous time this morning.  
The same start as every other day chez Dunnit.

I can't remember who asked, but yes, the Paris mug is from Paris (a Starbucks branch!) and I favour it in the mornings because it holds the precise amount of coffee that my single serving cafetiere holds.  Interesting aren't I!
It feels like Monday here. I spent mOnday doing something out of routine, see.  I got up early on Monday morning and hit the road to conduct a share of a Workshop extravaganza at Japonica in Exmouth.  Beautiful autumn day I must say, and some fun I hope, for the Workshopeers.  My share of the day was the Mini book that you saw on my desk some weeks ago.

It's made from a couple of pieces of chipboard for the covers and a single sheet of 12 x 12 with some folding and cutting forms the pages.  It's easy, once you've got the hang of it and know where to cut!  (Isn't everything). 
So that's why today feels like a Monday...I'm a day late to assess the domestic needs of this household, a day late in doing some of the business paperwork and a day out in my head.  How many times have I told you that I like a routine?  This does not bode well!

Sunday 15 September 2013

The case for the defence....

After some years of good and decent service, my craft tote broke.  Really broke.  The carry handles made of webbing split, and not long after, the telescopic handle went too. Sheared right off. Just too much use I guess.  Well, over use.  
So after a short period of thinking I could manage with a not very good repair, and then a long period of denial about needing one at all, I determined a couple of things.  I couldn't afford a new craft tote.  And I couldn't go without something to tote my craft about.  I need to tote stuff three times a month.  Twice to workshops, which involves plastic baskets filled with supplies that need to be kept upright, card stock that needs to be uncreased on arrival.  You get it. And then there's crop.  Which involves toting almost everything I own, so I won't list it.   So you see, despite my need, the sixty pounds plus price of a decent sized wheeled craft tote seemed luxurious for something that sits and gathers dust for the equivalent of 3 weeks a month.  So I cast about a bit and finally accepted the suggestion from Shopkeeper Gal that I should look at a shopping trolly.  I know.  Took me a while to swallow all the granny jokes and get on with the research, I can tell you.  I discovered that I was desperately over loading my craft tote in terms of ideal weight.  And that a shopping trolley may not have a dozen pockets but is engineered to hold far more in terms of weight than a tote.  I discovered too that the wheel assembly of a craft tote and a shopping trolley is very different.  Big wheels, further apart on a trolley.  This reduces the possibility of the thing tipping over on cornering.  I laughed at this. And recall how often I'd nearly broken my wrist when my tote went off the rails whilst I was cornering, hurrying, going up and down kerbs. It isn't any wonder the telescopic handle finally snapped.

Finally though, it was the shocking prices that really caught my interest.  After all, you can get over most things if your pride and street cred are at stake, huh.  But no.  I felt I had no choice.  So this is my new tote.  It was £14.99 and holds as much as my old tote, but in a different stacking format.  It corners like it's on rails and is ridiculously manoeuvrable.  I don't love it, of course...particularly after Miss Dunnit, on first sight of it, asked me if I'd lost my mind. There are a couple of practical problems that I have to address; the 'bag' is only secured to the trolley with velcro at the top (truly, it gets worse and worse for the street cred, huh!) -  it actually needs to be take-off-the-trolley-able, so I need to think about that. And it needs a similar anchor at the bottom..just in case it decides to slide a bit whilst cornering....but otherwise, so far, so good.  The little shelf part of the trolley folds flat too, so it takes up much less space than the old tote did. Overall then, it's a positive experience for me.
But I do understand if you don't want to go anywhere with me that involves actually walking from A to B with our craft stuff.  I'm slowly getting over it.  

Thursday 12 September 2013

To answer (a lot of) questions..

I am doing a 2014 Calendar  using a scrapbook LO format.  This is not a new idea - from me or from anywhere.  I have made one for the past five years because Mr D made me a lovely oak frame with metal instead of glass so I can use magnets to stick stuff on it. Usually, I make a page up on the first or second of each new month. Of course.  It's the fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants, spontaneous kinda life I live.  And not because I'm disorganised, right?  
Anyway.. for the first time since the first calendar, I'm offering this as a workshop in November because a handful of people wanted to make one too.  And that's why there was a section of this page on my desk for WOYWW 222.  And colour me hugely surprised..lots of you wanted to know about the paper......

It's a  pre-embossed 12 x 12" from Bazzil.  I don't know how old but certainly not a 'this year' product.  It is a lovely bright orange, I've sponged Distress Inks over it to grunge it up/down a little, the emboss of course, is a perfect resist for such inks.  The pumpkin is not a die, it is 3 circle punches and a couple of pieces of a scroll-vine type die.  Necessity you know, is the mother of invention.  I am not the inventor...but I don't expect for one minute that you thought I was.  
Now, although I think generally that sneak peeks are just frustrating and ridiculous and tormenting and oh so irritatingly a marketing tool, I will only be using sneak peeks -  until after the workshop. I always think it's nice to have a content surprise when you know what the box is all about.   And of course, as yet...I haven't actually finished any more.

Wednesday 11 September 2013

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 223

Real stuff going on - some late afternoon sunshine too, for I snapped this at 4pm on Tuesday.  The view is slightly different already, because I was 'in the mood' on Tuesday evening.  Yep, I made a couple of cards - so it wasn't a long lasting mood.  Well, something involving supper and a TV programme called The Great British Bake Off got in the way.  Thing is, when you're on a diet, it's compulsive viewing!   
So the usual suspects are there; the buttons are about to be re-homed...or re-jarred rather than homed.  The moustache tape is there after some postal wrapping - I've turned into an ebay entrepeneur this week. It wasn't craft stuff.  Note the beautiful card, badly displayed in front of the iPad...from Annette - to thank me for a teeny favour. She says she's not really a card maker.  Hmmm.  She wrong.  The little 'T is for To Do' book at the very front is actually full of different size and shape post it notes.  Really lovely and now I'm actually using them, really useful!  So there we are..not overly inspiring, huh!  You can do better, I'm perfectly sure.  Join in won't you - link your WOYWW titled post back here and we'll visit.  Put the kettle on.  You very probably have time to bake as well.

Tuesday 10 September 2013

Stating the obvious....

Tuesday already.  As my beloved father would say, 'that's a GBO'.  It seems we have a thing for acronyms.  In this case. GBO is Glimpse of the Bleedin' Obvious.  But really. Where did the weekend and Monday go?  Maybe I just didn't notice.  Most likely.  
Am joining with Elizabeth for T is for Tuesday by showing you a photo that I took all of five minutes ago. My waiting to be refreshed coffee. The picture indicates inTenT, so iT qualifies, huh?!

Those are the company books you see my cheerful mug nestling against and I need to tidy that table top.  No no, don't worry, I'm not going to do book keeping.  Just some manic tidying.  
I was at Ludgershall Crop on saturday.  I had to leave earlier than I normally do. Only two hours earlier from being there all day.  So I fail to understand why I only got two very simple LOs completed.  Chatting and eating lunch takes up so much time....
Well, those foam letters looked straight when I stuck them on....

These pages are a bit of a challenge from me to me.  To use up random photos and fairly old stash.  Well, mission accomplished.  But really as you can see from the Washi tapes, by fairly old stash, I really mean 'use some stash instead of hoarding it'.  If ever there was a GBO.....

Friday 6 September 2013

Baby steps...

Well, my first Christmas themed workshop of the year came and went.  It was a blast. Someone, as you can see, is so unready for the seasonal onslaught that even the Robins are catching us out. 

Shall we just remind ourselves - Robin REDbreast.  Oops!
 And I mean onslaught when I say it too.  Despite the beautiful sun and sweltering temps in the shop, we genuinely did the glitter and the Season's Greetings thing.  Mind you - it meant the glue dried quickly and that's not a bad thing at all.
Pudding or wreath - you decide - I'm past caring!
So my mind is thoroughly focussed forward and I may well be in a mild panic about oh, everything.  And then I remember - hey, I don't have to do it all at once and hey, however many times someone says 17 weeks to go...that's still actually quite a lot of weeks when you're a one-day-at-a-time, live-by-the-seat-of-your-pants, spontaneous, go-with-the-flow person.   Which I suddenly rather badly want to be.
Have a lovely weekend.  I'm going to the flea market at Kraft Crazy and then to Crop. Now that's my kinda forward thinking!

Wednesday 4 September 2013

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 222

Oh, mine is a haven of half light and tranquil nearly finished stuff.  Amazeballs!

Here is the first of many - well, 12 calendar pages for next year.  The reason I'm doing them so soon is that a handful of other crafters want to do a calendar workshop, so while the going is good, I'm making up kits as I make up pages.  No prizes for guessing which month this will be.  Funny..can't work in order with such things.   
So now, share with us your work space and what you're currently doing.  You're an inspiration.  Link your WOYWW titled post here and we'll come by.  See ya!

Monday 2 September 2013

Making it count..

I had to go to Basingstoke last week.  For a boring work related reason.  So, I arranged to meet a friend as a diversion.  Turns out that the diversion was a long walk around Hobbycraft. It's a big box craft store.  Honestly, it has an aisle dedicated to any and every craft.  You can see it online at 
I could feel my willpower stepping away from me as we got to the card making and scrapbooking supplies.  See, the beauty of it is that I can get lines in Hobbycraft that Shopkeeper Gal doesn't stock, so I have no guilt. Well, not the sort of guilt that drives me to eat receipts for fear of Mr Dunnit, anyway.  
  I do believe that Teresa Collins designs her papers after she's seen my photos.

 See, I wasn't too rash.  Unless you count the impulse buy of the alphabet stamps, felt die cut reindeer heads and packet of tags.  

Now, this may have escaped your notice, I don't know.  But have I ever mentioned that I think generally tags are expensive?  Even in stationers.  I don't use many - I'm too mean. After all, before anyone gets to see a finished anything of mine, I've thrown a couple of attempts away. So these lovelies were a pleasant surprise.  30 for £1.99. You gotta admit, that's a bargain.  They are white, printed Kraft, but I don't care.  The core is not the part I'm bothered about.  So am quite chuffed with these.  And don't look forward to seeing what I do with them.  They are 'for stock'. 
I avoided the wool and yarns completely by not going up the stairs. It was the only way. I genuinely stood at the bottom of the steps looking up whilst my dear chum went up the   metal and glass hill, intrepid and all alone.  Honestly, I've been teaching myself to crochet for about five minutes in Julia time, and I've already got about 300 things to make on my list.  And I can't stock pile the yarns, I have too many tags.  
And then, because I like to make every visit to Hobbycraft count, I succumbed a little more.  My second or third hobby is storage.  On account of the display at the front of the store I had to open every draw, even though they were empty - and I could see that they were.  This beauty is not in the right place in my room just yet.  Nor is it fully employed. But in the best tradition of Julia World, there's a plan.  
Is that sunlight or the bright glint of smugness bouncing off my new drawers....?
So there you have it. How to make every journey count.