Wednesday 30 October 2013

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 230

Check out the how to and why to pages accessible by clicking on the appropriate title in the bar up there at the top.  Ta.
Now these photos were taken on Tuesday afternoon, two hours apart.  Forget the light to dark phenomenon of living in Britain on GMT, forget the mess, evident in both pictures.

 Look dear Desker at my desk, two hours apart.  DIFFERENT mess!  Yep, I finished the lovely cheerful yellow page (which is actually for the calender workshop next month), I TIDIED up and then re-started!  Amazing.  See, sometimes, when I need to, I can.  The floor is covered in rubbish..bits of die cut waste, the cutting station is piled high with well, cuttings, and the bin overfloweth.  But I'm satisfied.  Makes a change huh!  You can see through the wonders of non time lapse that I had been heat embossing (my treasured, now 15 year old heat gun) and that I had quaffed a mug of hot chocolate to give me a bit of a sugar lift.  Keeps me going till supper.  And so, I must tidy, ready to start again.  Well, tidy-ish, obviously, nothing too time consuming!
Share what you're doing, up to, working on, baking, sewing, moulding, 
Your post really should be Wednesday's post (or scheduled for Weds) - linking here with a post that you've published some other time isn't really the intention.  Put WOYWW in your title so we can find it easily, please and finally, when you comment at other's places, please include your link list helps.  Thank you!  Have a lovely visit. Oh and PS..I've reduced the size of my drives me nuts that the margins encroach on the XL format.  I will sort the blog format out at some stage...but really, this promise is not something you should be placing bets on.

Monday 28 October 2013

Whirling and Stamping....

Real, live, noisy, breathtakingly fast, passionate and entrancing Flamenco can barely see the castanets she was playing..what skill, what emotion - and is was amazing to watch, really something. Never mind that it was for a restaurant full of us tourists, it was fab, and no less honest in its rendition for us than it would have been on any other stage. There are number of glasses and bottles in the background of this photo that allow me to link this to Elizabeth's blog, for T Tuesday.
The two beautiful women dancing Flamenco for us had music that swelled.  Genuinely, it got stronger, faster and more passionate.  The girls flirted and moved and clicked the castanets and suddenly where whirling around and moving with grace and speed that was entrancing.  And that's what I'm trying to do.  Move around with grace and speed, clicking and achieving and being beautifully creative as I go.  Well hey, why not.  It's nice to liken the headless chicken type panic driven work that I do to something that is truly lovely like Flamenco.  My work is done with no less passion, I don't think.  Although I concede, there is ever so slightly less poise.

Saturday 26 October 2013

Ask the panel (that's you, gentle reader)

Now and then, you know I'm given to exposing my family. Remember my sister, you know the one who is a designer at Luscious Life Studios?  She and Dori are constantly designing, influenced by their surroundings and their experiences.  
Pattern..everywhere.  I photograph it.  
Well, they've set about designing 12 x 12 papers with scrapbookers in mind. But wait..there's a considerate twist to this tale.  They recognise that card makers are also using scrapbook papers a lot.  And so they're scaling patterns appropriately. Good idea huh.  As a card making scrapbooker, I'm delighted that they've thought of this.  They tend to come to me with questions when in the 'what the consumer wants' section of their brain storming.  And of course, I'm left dumb struck.  First by fear - because someone may actually take my opinion seriously, and second because well, I'm only an expert at anything in my head.  
Others are inspired by it.
But, I can get over myself long enough to ask you the questions they asked me - and then they are bound to get some really great feedback, sensible even.  So, please, help them out here.  I'm going to ask the questions and tell you my knee jerk answers.  I'd like you to comment with your answers too please.  Because your insights won't be as shallow as a puddle. ready? Settle in then.
Are you a fan of double sided papers?
I am. to the extent that I'm a tad disappointed if I see a sheet I really like and it's single sided.  I think this is because it goes to perception of value though.  Some of the 'top brands' available sell their single sided stock at the same price as other marques that are double sided.I don't buy double sided papers to particularly use with fab and clever folds that expose both sides, or anything artistic and clever like that.
Do you worry about the 'matching' of each side?  For example, a heavily patterned face and the reverse being a lighter plain or check of the main colour?
I don't.  No matter which way the shop displays the paper, I turn it over.  Having thought about it, my decision to purchase is based entirely on me liking the design on one side or the other, not on whether they match or team well. 
Do you buy sets or individual sheets?
I buy both. But mostly individual sheets.  And I've learned not to buy a pad of papers too..unless I can genuinely 'ooh' over every page...I don't like 6 each of four designs..for example.
The sets I buy are usually a few sheets, some die cuts and borders.  I love them, they are enabling for 'short of time or idea' scrappers like me; everything matches but nothing looks the same or erm, really matches.  Love that about a set.  I find journaling cards useful and will often use more than one on a page. At this point, I should say that I've had a  quick scan of my papers...My Minds Eye sets are the most bought (and used) - Laundry Line and Oh La La.  It would seem that other brands I only buy by the sheet. Interesting.  There was a time when I bought every 'collection' by Basic Grey.I had not noticed that I no longer do that.
Is there a price sensitivity?
Yes, inevitably.  I still shop on the 'see it, want it, buy it' theory for papers.  I can't help myself.  But it's probably very telling that I used to think that 55p per sheet was reasonable and now, my papers average £1 each. I think £1.30+ is pushing it...but I have to confess to that not actually stopping me.  (These are die cut or double sided, I should add.)
If you buy sets, are you happy to see die cut sheets included?
Yes..again, it goes to perception of value and that feeling of a 'collection'.  I frequently do not use the die cuts with the papers...and I know that's perverse, but as a card maker, it's quite easy to use them up.
Do you like a page of printed borders?
I do.  They compliment the way I like to make up a page. If there's an irritation with this as a product, it's that often these sheets are double sided too..and you end up having to slice through another border that you'd like to use from the other side.  I guess this is particular to single sheet's just a great way to get some of us to buy two sheets.  Where I think this is the reason, my mind instantly accuses the manufacturer of treating the consumer cynically and I don't buy one, let alone two.  It's a teeny tiny protest!
Do you want to preview some of our designs and be our Design Team?
Yes. Even though I made this question up.

Thank you - I know that Dori will be analysing your answers with a fervour that would be embarrasing if it weren't so important to her!

Wednesday 23 October 2013

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 229

You can find a 'how to' and a 'what's it all about' page in the bar at the top of this blog.  Or you can just jump in and have a go - hey, it's only a teeny space of the interweb, what could possibly go wrong!
Well.  My desk has seem some action since we got back, I can tell you.  And you can tell it's serious action and induced by being in a panic, because I'm sort of tidying up in between things so I can actually flit from thing to thing.  I can't have two separate desks with two lots of thing going on; my brain is not up to that at all.  

So I've had a bit of workshop card making and what you see there is a tidied up situation so I could take photos of them. I refer to the photos when my supplies list doesn't make sense whilst I'm doing the kits.  Lots of madness, some method!  My 20th Centruy phone is serving as a replacement for the 21st Centruy one which proved useless.  Well, not washable at 60 degrees for two hours anyway.  There's my ipad, a BBC play was keeping me company until I realised that the light was fading.  Then it was a rush to get the photos done and move to something else.  Can't work in here after the good light's gone, daylight bulbs or not, it doesn't work well for me!  
Above the note book you can see the solidified puddle of clear glue.  I thought I would have fun picking that off.  Uh uh.  It's set like rock and will require a chilsel and hammer, so that's become a job, not a play thing!  
So show us your more interesting desk will ya?  Make it pertinent to WOYWW, try not to make it obvious that you're selling or promoting your self/stuff/tv show...that's not really what we're all about.  Visiting and sharing is the name of the Desker game.  Thank you.

Tuesday 22 October 2013

T for Tuesday

Since I've become a bit fitter, the idea of golf being a waste of a good walk has changed for me.  A little.
I was on the next tee....I really was...

Now, when we're on holiday, I quite often go with Mr Dunnit to the driving range.  I am utterly hopeless at it.  Boobs too big, sticks don't work, can't keep my eye on the ball, don't want to stick my bum out that far - AND....want to continue with a running commentary.  Not the done thing, apparently.  So now I watch at the driving range, and if it's not busy, I offer praise and advice and encouragement.  If there are other people within earshot, I sit quietly and pretend to be enthralled.    The real pay off is when he goes to play a proper round of golf. At this particular course, he rings me when he gets to about the fourteenth.  I get to him at about the sixteenth and I walk the last two with him and we enjoy a coffee and or lunch at the nineteenth together.  This particular course is Real Campamor.  'Real' is Royal.  Like Regis in Britain.  Bognor Regis, Lyme Regis - you get it.  So I like to think of it as the King's course.  The restaurant and patio service are fit for a King.  It's got stunning views over the erm, golf course and the miles of beautiful villas and you can just see the sea.  

There are stunning gardens and there are sports facilities at which a lot of international football teams train during the winter.  I'm led to believe.  Of course, I've notice herds of young men in shorts with towels slung about their necks..but I thought they were doing what I was doing.  Taking advantage of the completely class-less structure that exists in Spain....schlepping through beautifully appointed lounges in my shorts and flip flops to use restrooms, bag free wifi and be waited on like a member of royalty.  Turns out that no, they've actually earned their place amongst these luxurious surroundings.  Ha!  All I had to do was walk two holes and buy a cup of coffee.  Who's the fool?
Joining Elizabeth and Bleubeard...I thought it would be fun to write a post involving a real tee.  Man, I slay myself.

Saturday 19 October 2013

Sandcastles, Seasides and Tapas

Well, there's little more to say really, we had lots of sun, we visited the beach and swam in the sea each time; we ate well, mostly enjoying Tapas and Sangria - well there's that saying - when in erm, Rome, do as the Romans do.  It's implication is international of course.  And I like to do as I'm told.

This is as choppy as the water got;  we really managed to choose a fab week for weather. Believe me, it is not always our luck, so we did make hay!  I took this photo on the day we arrived and I'm glad I did, the sea remained almost flat calm thereafter.  The swimming pool was colder than the sea, despite a summer's worth of sun on it.  The sea is always better for you anyway.  I tell myself.  

And then of course, there's the food.  The diet slipped without mention to the back of my mind.  It's incredibly difficult for me to turn down the chance of choosing little plates of my favourites...we'd already eaten the salad before I thought to take a photo! Gannet. 
So all the good parts of a holiday were in place.
After four days of having Mr Dunnit to myself, my American Sissy and her brave and intrepid partner arrived with my beloved parents.  Lots of chat and catch up.  It was wonderful. Sissy Dunnit's man was incredibly brave and intrepid - entering a family cauldron without first meeting any of us, doing it all on the most appalling jet lag and not once did he have to revert to anything more than wine, beer or sleep. He fit in perfectly, of course.
We did some real culture, and we did some real non-culture too.  Loads of photos to be spread out over loads of posts and not all of them will be Spain relevant, just decoration!
I have a lot of 'getting into gear' to do now.  Lists to make, busy to be - if only to help me stop missing the company of my lovely Sissy Dunnit.  Join me won't you, as I step into Autumn, it would seem that I can't put it off any longer!

Tuesday 15 October 2013

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 228

The Spanish, edition. Unless of course, you're Kate.  In which case, joining in from Spain is entirely normal and I'm simply bragging.  No, wait, I AM bragging. Having a late holiday is a weather gamble and this has just been a good 'un.  So, because of the vagaries of Ole (our Spanish ISP), my ipad and Blogger refusing to shake hands, and the horrible problem I have understanding Blogsy my Workdesk today is picture-less.  Don't be mistaken -  lack of photo evidence doesn't prove me a slacker. Oh no.  I've done some bead embroidering (about an hours worth) and I've started work on some more crochet squares for another blanket.  I think I've made about 9 so far.  They're four inch squares, so I've worked less hard than I care to think about.  Thing is, as you know, being on holiday makes you want to sit and do nothing.  So I do.  and I'm with my mum and one of my lovely sisters, so am not without company for a chat.  All this does not mean however, that we aren't interested in your work usual, play along by linking your WOYWW post here please!  See you for reals, very soon!

Monday 14 October 2013

The blogger's curse

  • The need to take photos at inappropriate moments.
  • and wishing that your family would co-operate more by wearing matching clothes.
  • Joking that you'll 'blog about that' and being met with a stoney silence.
  • Sitting at the keyboard and staring at the screen with nothing interesting to say...and all that advice about saying nothing if you've got nothing to say...but you NEED to blog!
  • Blogging about a particular something...and including a photo that exposes a part of your real life and that becoming the greater subject in the Comments.
  • Constantly having to apologise for rubbish photography.
Sorry about the bad light and horrid cropping

  • Trying to protect your family's privacy because they want you to.  And failing because they are a far greater source of material than you ever dreamed possible.
  • Writing too much.
  • Editing.  Because actually, it's not nearly as funny when told in 3 kerjillion words after all.  Thirty words usually will do.
  • Fretting about making yourself understood. And then, wait - remember yourself - this isn't about influence, it's for entertainment.
  • Being so shallow as to fail to recognise something controversial when you say it. 
  • Finding that the person that bothers to email something about your arrogance hasn't made it possible to reply to their very rude message.
  • The deflation - sitting in a craft workshop and overhearing others chat about your blog without knowing that you're the author...only to discover their low opinion!
  • The elation of being told that others enjoy your blog - this is a double edger - it can cause enormous performance anxiety!

Friday 11 October 2013

Ten things to do...

when your mojo is being stubborn...
  1. Make a list of all the things that you want to make between now and Christmas.  Turns out scaring yourself witless with ridiculous ambition is often enough to inspire a start.
  2. Spend almost a whole day re-organising your plain and patterned scraps.  Somehow they've started to stray over the dividers you put in the box...careless filing costs erm, time.
  3. Re-arrange the surface of your desk.  Try putting the drawers with the glues and foam pads at the left near the pen pots.  Obviously, this will mean a deal of clearing up and you may well find a scrap of something that turns the spark of an idea into an urgent need to create, half way through the clearing up process.  Timing, as they don't often say, can be a bugger.
  4. Conclude that being right handed means that frankly, all the surface storage on the desk should really be on the right.  Re-re-arrange. Well why not, you're not actually doing anything, huh.
  5. Make a start. Cut a chunk out of a lovely piece of printed 12 x 12.   Surely the very act of playing and using the stash will bring ideas. Surely?
  6. Find an emery board in pen pot.  Conduct leisurely manicure. Perfect thinking time.
  7. Clean a few stamps.  Remember that 'desk time' is too valuable for this, better get on with actually making something.
  8. Go make a cup of life renewing, mojo inspiring coffee. And whilst in the kitchen eat something you shouldn't - I'm perfectly sure they say 'feed a cold, starve a fever and spoil your mojo'.  Really.
  9. Aha...grab a handful of those magazines that you religiously buy every month and then equally religiously chuck on a pile, unread.  Reading them will certainly spark something in you.  Even if it's only agony over your inadequacy as a crafter.
  10. Give up. Give in.  Go change the bed linen.  The ideas will be knocking you over before you can stagger downstairs laden with laundry.  

Wednesday 9 October 2013

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 227

There's info about how to join in in the margin of this very blog.  Join us if you can, it's free, it's easy and above all, it's friendly....and you won't find inspiration like it elsewhere!
That shiny spot of spilt glue.....saving that for a day when I need to pick at something.....!
Now gentle Desker, make the most of this sight.  It is the sight of my desk at rest.  It is the sight of as close as I get to it being tidy.  Acceptable, at least.  It's the sight that actually says 'closed'.  For I am away, in sunnier places, and haven't yet thought to photograph the labour intensive work desks of my holiday destination.  You know how it is - you're so busy visitng, passing the milk for coffees, the butter for late morning breakfast and watching the world go by that frankly, even taking a photo of the lap upon which your smash book sits seems too much effort.  Jealous yet?  Don't be...I am enjoying it all on your behalf. And just think - you can share most of it with me via bad photography when I get home!  Joy of joys!
Meanwhile, play amongst yourselves will ya - I will log in and visit as much as I can, but whipping out the iPad at every WifFi enabled cafe is a tad anti social when you're in a party of six!  

Monday 7 October 2013

A good start..

This weeks starts well - with a massive finish!  In principle, my new king-size blanket is finished.  It's my first crochet  project - because hell, there's nothing like a bit of arrogant ambition when you're learning!  

I need to work in some ends, and ignore some obvious and some less obvious imperfections, but overall I'm really quite pleased. Having started the squares way back in the spring, I left the joining into rows until the end of the summer and then the joining of rows and adding the border had to wait until the nights were distinctly's pretty heavy and inevitably, very warm! 
I've done some other crochet bits and pieces in between the squares and the row making - a couple of baskets, a baby blanket and some lacy edging practice.  But mostly I've been pinning a million 'next projects' on Pinterest!  And despite all that, the next project,  will be another blanket made from squares.  This time not a granny stitch in sight and some reds and blacks involved to match Miss Dunnit's fave colours.  I might cast on this week.  But I may not.  I'm on holiday see, so the only thing I can be sure of finishing is my book, the odd game of Scrabble and maybe the odd Gin and Tonic.  Happy Monday to you - take my example and start as you mean to go on!

Friday 4 October 2013

A near normal service will be resumed........

Well, I can't say when I'll get this page looking back to something near normal.  This is a temporary look.  You know how a great idea pops into your head when you're really really busy and cannot be distracted from the task in hand, and the task after that and the one after that?  And then you make time for a tea break and decide that the great idea will only take the time it takes for the tea to cool to a drinkable temperature, so you really have got time after all.  Yep...the new blog background was that ten minute job.  It only took five minutes to cruise a coupla websites, choose one and do all the save and delete stuff.  Before I discovered that no matter what I did (in my stumbling, learning, technically deficient way) that I couldn't actually make my computer do what was required.  And guess what difficult a task that was..yep - copy and paste some html code.  No matter what I did, the 'copy' option simply would not appear under the mouse clicker.  So whilst I work out my next move, me and the blog are in our dressing gowns, pondering.  But it's all good - it still works!  
there's a subliminal hidden message here...

It's already been a week since I tested the patience of those I love too.  I was running my week with a day in hand apparently, when I suggested to Jan that she and her super important G should stop with us for some supper rather than a quick drink.  She readily agreed and the plan was set.  This was all conducted by text messages, on Thursday.  And my invitation said 'tomorrow'.  Secure in the knowledge that it was already Friday.  So you can imagine my surprise when I watched them pull up outside my kitchen window at about 7pm last Friday evening!  I was midst chopping up veggies to throw in a cheap and very unstylish stir fry for me and Mr Dunnit. Mr Dunnit, oblivious to all this, was in the shower, enjoying some down time.  Supper would not stretch to four.  The dining table was covered in paperwork.  The lounge looked like a jumble sale.  And it was the wrong day.  Do I try to cover my confusion and act the gracious hostess?  No.  Can't possibly do that.  I realised my mistake in the time it took them to park.  And as is my way - of tact discretion and understanding, I met them outside and confessed immediately.  Oh laugh! They are such good friends.  They laughed with me and at me and then took us out for a lovely supper.  It can be no coincidence can it, that LLJ was brandishing this 'gift' as she got out of her car that evening.

You prolly have to be British and of a certain age I'm afraid.. this catch phrase is still in daily use in these parts.  If you want to know more, perhaps you should put the name 'Dick Emery' into your search engine.  Probably, only relevant to the time. But this phrase, well, it lives on!
Sharing with Annie today, a Friday smile is no bad thing, huh.
Have a lovely weekend.

Wednesday 2 October 2013

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 226

I don't know which surprises me more - that you're still with me for number 226 or that it's Wednesday already!  There are explanations and how to join in notes to be found in the right margin of this very blog.  Join in won't you - it's cathartic.  Specially if your current crafting surface is like mine....
It's a shambles.  And despite some ridiculous plans and deadlines, I'm loving it!  You can see I'm playing a bit fast and slightly grungy with a Christmas card idea and you can also see very clearly that I have failed to transfer the buttons to their new home yet, and failed to file the new in the way and cluttering up my desktop deckchair.  Silly huh.  The tin at left is full of cut n dry foam in pieces and I think everything else is self explanatory.  It's horribly dark because the photo was taken at about 10pm on Tuesday evening.  Which is why the glasses are prominent....I'm bad enough without them in daylight, but really useless without them at night, even with a kerjillion watt daylight bulb. 
There must be more interesting desks out there - show me do!  Please put WOYWW in your post title and mention your link list number when commenting on your visits - it helps ensure a reciprocal visit.  And that's friendly.

Tuesday 1 October 2013

Carpe some other Diem

Autumn is creeping in.  That's today's GBO.  But wait, there's more in depth-ery to come. We're going away very soon.  Off to the sunshine for some erm, sun.  Inevitably, this leaves me with a bunch of things I'd like to get out of the way before we go.  I don't think this sets me apart from any other woman, whether the 'going away' is for a day or a fortnight, to be honest.
So yesterday, I seized and attacked.  The day dawned and I grabbed it by the throat and shook it warmly.  By lunchtime I had caught up on post and emails, done some paperwork for the real job, changed bed linens, unloaded the dishwasher, sorted out a casserole for our gourmet supper, taken Miss Dunnit to work after a last minute shift change, and - AND, made another page for the Calendar workshop.  My word, I was on it. Afternoon plans were to include another stint at the desk to get ahead of workshop scheduling and another Calendar LO, and then to tackle the ironing.  I'd already been through the basket and taken out anything that genuinely didn't need doing.  I was cruising! 
And then I glanced at the morning's work for the Calendar page.  And decided to tweak it in two places.  Three hours and four pages later, I decided to re-try it in the morning because I was cross, hungry and running out of 12 x 12 card stock. Honestly, will I ever learn to leave something alone?
I had a teeny desk calendar for 2010 which featured a witty quote for each day of the year.  There were a handful that I was moved to keep.  Not for motivational purposes, so much as there were some things I wish I'd said.  There was a quote from Joanna (someone) that was long the lines of this:
" I have a mug with Carpe Diem on it.  Sometimes, at six in the morning, I do not want to 'seize the day'.  I want to slap a dead latin poet."
I can't help but feel a lot of sympathy with Joanne.  So today feels like a new day, looks like a new day, and overnight, I've had a new idea....wish me luck!