Monday 29 September 2014

Creativity, and how it works for Me

So this post is part of the The Creative Blog Hop, that started so many links and posts back in time that the originator is unknown. Imagine that. My invite came from Sheri, known to Deskers for sure.  I strongly recommend that you visit her blog and take browsing time; my word, you'll get far more creative sense from her than you will here.

I'm actually going to do this in a Q&A format because otherwise I will run off at the keyboard and you will be asleep before bed time...
What are you working on at the moment?
In true Autumnal style, I'm actually working on Christmas cards for workshops. Here's one for this week.  I will soon be very fed up with Christmas greetings and in all likelihood, will not bother to make any cards to send as some sort of ridiculous counter-reaction.
Cuttlebug embosing folders, Woodware stamp.
How does your work differ from others in your genre?
Truly it does not.  I'm in the cutting and sticking section of the 'genre', a true follower, often very late to even pick up on a trend.  I cannot even pretend that anything I make is out of the ordinary.  The nearest claim I can make really is that I STILL prefer wood mounted rubber stamps, and that is very likely to set me apart.  A bit.
Why do you create?
Oh because making your own cards and scrapbooking is so much cheaper than buying commercial cards and creating online albums.  Said no card maker ever.  I erm, 'create' because I can. makes me happy. 
How does your creative process work?
Well,  first of all I get all the necessary chores done, then I whine about not having any time to myself and then I sit at my desk and wish I knew what to make, then I get an idea and I spend three hours trying to force it out of my head and onto card stock.  Then, when that fails to bring about art, I make a five minute card in an effort to justify my time wasting selfishness. It's a process, it's just a bit ugly and has nothing about it that could redeem me in the face of real artists.  The secret?  Use great's proof:
Quietfire images, notepage die by Joy.  

So there we are - another day not wasted in finding out the truth....when I say I'm as shallow as a puddle, you've got to believe me! It's been fun, people.  Look out for real crafters and artists doing real Creative Blog Hop posts near you!

Saturday 27 September 2014

Seasonal Affectation.....

I live in a country that continues to have specific Seasons.  Thankfully, they do blur rather than bump as the change occurs, and largely the changes are quite beautiful.  The most special for me, is from Spring to Summer.  May is just bursting with all the potential and the new growth and the promise of colour and scent and lazy days to come.  But, perversely, I can even argue that opinion on behalf of myself!  The change from summer to Autumn is after all, a spectacle.  And one that I don't think many people tire of.  Autumn this year is a cut above.  Yep, all the usual changes, but acompanied by higher than average temperatures; an Indian Summer, I think.  Here we are in the last throes of September and I'm still sitting about in a t shirt and enjoying mid morning coffee in the garden.  I know, it's a really desperately hard life.  I should add, that whilst all week has been lovely, mid morning coffee in the garden is only happening today.  But it feels fab.

And when I'm sitting on my unweeded patio and sipping coffee and pretending I'm unencumbered by chores and deadlines, this is what I workroom window. Protected from rain by this Russian Ivy. We are ruthless with it, hack it back, cut off new sprouts, curse it when it drops its seeds.  They are small round seeds and at this size of growth, they fall through the leaves and sound like rain.  Very like rain.  And they create a 'dune' on the patio, like ultra thick sand. It's amazing really.  And we continue to give it house room because of the show it puts on in September, for about a week.  

It's insane isn't it.  In the space of a fortnight, it's signalled the arrival of Autumn, but not for long.  Next week, it'll turn crispy and drop every single leaf....if I have my workroom door open, they often gently float onto my desk. It's lovely, and sometimes wakes me up from my procrastinatory dreaming. So it has a partial use.
I am not ready for longer nights, dark mornings, low temperatures.  I remain convinced that Mr Dunnit and Me were accidentally transported from Southern Oceans....maybe at the time when we were a tangible twinkle in respective parents eyes. Who knows.  But, while there's beauty and late sun, we're enjoying it.  Long may it continue.
Have a lovely weekend!

Wednesday 24 September 2014

WOYW?W 277

Check this page if you want or need something close to a rational explanation of this title, or post.  There's another link from there to tell you how to link, if you decide to join in.

Meanwhile, Deskers of the world...I'm completely over the tidy desk thing.  In fact, I think I have achieved total coverage!

I've had to crop this rather severely at left, because there's stuff there that I don't want you to see yet, and I didn't notice it until I'd uploaded the photo.  You will see it. So you can clearly see that I'm still enjoying the company of a small bottle of gin and the WOYWW5 desk alien.  All the Distress Stains and soaked tissues at right have been brushed aside in favour of another idea that popped into my head.  And that's where you find me my desk, trying to corral ideas and compose myself.  Ha!
I've shown you mine - please show me yours.....put WOYWW in your blog post title and link here so we can see what you're up to and where you're up to it.
WOYWW Housekeeping:  This is not an advertising forum; generally us Deskers aren't averse to seeing new stuff, but the post being al about what you have to sell with links to YOUR products, TV shows, Etsy and etc on this particular MEME is not cricket.  But you already know that..and you can judge it too - your comment rate will not match the hit soon as the advertising starts, Deskers click away.  

Tuesday 23 September 2014

Tuesday is for T.

I am behaving like Martha Stewart.  In the kitchen. Actually, in the home.  Not in clink, *cough*, you understand.  I'm baking and tidying and cleaning.  In the process of baking, I emptied and cleaned two kitchen cupboards and disposed of some shamefully old packet ingredients.  I'm fairly sure that if I didn't use it in 2007, I'm not going to want a mix of herbs to make vegetables taste of Spain, and nor will we want flaked almonds that came off a tree when God was a lad. 
I should have warned you - the cupcakes are naked. Don't be embarrassed.  There's icing to be done; embellishing with more sweetness and colour.  I'm not a great baker, but my daughter is. Yesterday she made chocolate, fruit and sponge cakes, so today its my turn and I've done flapjack and cupcakes. Miss Dunnit says that cupcakes are too fussy for her repertoire, and I fear by the time they are iced and embellished, they may be too fussy for mine too!  You can see that I've got more coffee on the trusty cafetiere for one and a barely rinsed mug. 
So why all the industry? Well, for once, Tuesday is for T at my place - between four and 7pm I'm having an open house drop in thing - you get to make a donation for a cuppa and a piece of cake and the funds raised go to join the great Macmillan Coffee Morning. Macmillan is a charity that funds specialised Cancer Nurses to work with patients at home. Priceless.  But it has to be afternoon here because I don't have a morning. Complicated isn't it!  
But that's why I've turned into Martha...I need to get a wriggle on...there's still a lot to do. And by the way, if you want to come, the kettle's always on!  Of course, I'm linking with Elizabeth and Bleubeard this morning...Tuesday wouldn't start with a T if I didn't!

Sunday 21 September 2014

I think its about Bad Memory...

Remember some time ago I said (bragged) that I put finished LOs away immediately and the filling album gave me a sense of satisfaction?  Well, when I was clearing and cleaning yesterday, I discovered - much to my surprise - that I've fallen off that wagon.  There were 9 LOs sitting politely in a pile on top of the album. Maybe I'd run out of page protectors?  No.  I  must have been interrupted and massively distracted. Yeah, that's it. Called away at the crucial moment, to something that clearly was so important that it wiped my memory. I need to be reminded to tidy up...that particular thought smacks me in face at the threshold of every room chez Dunnit.

 I average about 3 or 4 layouts at a Crop and I only ever scrapbook on a Crop day, then you can see that potentially, I haven't filed for three months.  I'm shocked!  But the advantage was that I had a ten minute 'filing fest' that gave me the chance to look over the last quarter's output and it was nice.  The first thing I have to congratulate myself over (and you just have to take my word for this) is that even the most recent LOs don't include any new stash.  The papers in particular, came from the depths of the pile. That's a good thing.  It doesn't mean I'm not buying new paper, but at least I'm rotating the stock!  

Photographing them makes me think my colour choices are a bit off - the pen colour on the first LO seems a better match in real life, as did the title on this second one...ah well. One thing I can say, hand-on-heart and with absolute they're filed, they will not be changed!

Thursday 18 September 2014


Remember this post about Andrew and the Giraffe Storage Systems ribbon holders and spools?
Remember that I said the the Giraffe guy had given me one to give away?

Well, today's that day!  
And I'm delighted to announce that through the old fashioned 'names-in-a-hat' selection process, the storage will go to......
Akilli Melek
I know this is our winner's blog name, so won't use her 'real' name just in case there's a reason for an alias!  Anyway, delighted to post this to you gal - can you email me with your postal address?  Great.
Thanks for playing everyone.  There were no tantrums over choosing the winner this time; I asked Oliver do it.  Miss and Mr Dunnit think it's too much of responsibility and Olie didn't know better.  Ha!

Wednesday 17 September 2014

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 276

I have been playing chase the day, hour, minute and so did not achieve much desking over the last week.  I have a delivery scheduled for today that requires me to be at home for three hours - three hours!  Guess what I'll probably do!  And if the delivery comes in the first few minutes of this given window...I won't tell.  I know you won't either, so I'm good for the afternoon off, huh!  And that's just as well, because really, I have a problem with my desk....
There's practically nothing on it!  I tidied up whilst Mr D was in here using the PC on Sunday evening and haven't quite made it back there...that will change today.  Because I have at least to kit tomorrow's workshop!  Ignore the garden waste bin...I used it a lot at the weekend and now need it to be in my line of vision to remind me to put it out for the Garden Waste Operatives to empty it. My iPad is lying down because the deckchair is currently taken by Quietfire stamps, waiting for my attention.  Oh the anticipation!  So that's it from me - over to you for much more interesting news on the Desk Front.  
Please put WOYWW in your post title and make the post WOYWW relevant...not least because if your post is hard to find or isn't relevant, no-one will bother to comment.  Or I might remove the link...depends on the frustration level......

Tuesday 16 September 2014

T Tuesday

I was doing the most normal of chores on Sunday and thinking about the week to come. Already negotiating with the clock and my conscience over some things that have to be done, some things I 'd like to do and all the regular stuff in between.  I finished hanging out the washing, returned to the kitchen and spent some minutes looking for my coffee. Finally I caved in and asked Mr Dunnit why he'd hidden my mug of coffee when he knew I needed it first thing.  He feigned innocence.  And then pretended to be hurt that I could even think he would be so cruel. I decided to step into my workroom and have a short sulk.  

And of course it revealed itself to me.  I'd put it on top of the garden waste bin whilst I saw to the laundry.  Oh really.  How could I be so stupid? Oh man, that's easy!  I was gracious in my apology and Mr D suggested the photo.  Because it helps me to look foolish probably.  Lucky him;  I didn't photograph his keys when I once found them in the fridge after a frantic 30 minutes of turning the house upside down. Gracious, but perhaps not magnanimous!

Sharing with Elizabeth and Bleubeard this morning, have a lovely day filled with cups of your favourite!

Sunday 14 September 2014

Well Hello Dolly....(I never claimed to be original..)

I am extremely late to the Julie Nutting fan party. I love what I saw everyone doing with these images. Somehow though, every time I came close to buying one, I reconsidered because I was scared...they're quite big.  They're very trendy.  They're really very girly.

I was telling all this to my friend who runs Cups and Crafts because she has a good selection of them and was fascinated by my hesitation.  She totally caught me out by challenging me to choose one, have a play with it and see how I liked it before returning it and some samples to her.  Oh. How nice.  So then I had to walk around it a bit.  OK, a lot. And time and tide mean that today I managed to turn the bits that have been on my desk for a week into bits on a tag.  The stamps are large; I used my Big Shot plate to mount it on and it behaved beautifully.  Lovely thick foam and nice solid outlines, perfect for embossing, colouring or piecing.  Nice.  So then all you need is a few ideas.  Hmmm....

I went down the same route as everyone else with these..but as I was playing, I was thinking 'oh, I could try this' and 'oh, what if this...', so I need to make more time to play. The real joy is the time I've spent playing, for no better reason than I wanted to. The Christmas cards waited, it'll be OK.  I had fun, I hope it shows.  Now I need to contrive another visit to Devizes; this time to legitimately acquire another of these dolls!

Wednesday 10 September 2014

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 275

Gosh, it's not all Christmas this time.  I like that.  Well, I say it's can see that I've just cut out another of the doll images.  I plan to colour her Christmassy, but I have no idea when that will be done.

This post is bought to you by the miracle of scheduling and erm, me remembering to do it. I'm away today, seeing my beloved parents and it's an early start.  But it's OK, by the time I get there, I'll have shaken off the early morning feeling and be my usual *lovely* self!
Now, you see Copics.  Unused to the point that I could have written my name in the dust on the lid.  Shocking huh.  Prolly will remain unused too - I have to move them off the desk because the sun will get to them otherwise - and if it's not in my line of vision...well, you know.  The iPad stand is stuffed with half made or finished cards that I'm pondering.  The scrapbook paper peeking out at the forefront has a marvellous legal lined but aged page print on the reverse and I used that for something.  I can't remember what, but it's in the 'pondering pile' so am frightened to put the paper away because I may not have finished with it!  You can also see my desk lamp in the 'deployed' position.  Yep, back at work for Mr Dunnit makes me a night time crafter again. Watch out for some slightly wonky colour matching!
Show and tell then. It's easy, and if you want to be blinded by exactly how to - there's a link at the top of this page.  We'll stumble around and visit, and where possible, leave you a comment.  Blatant advertising and self promotion will yield few comments, it's about your desk people, not what you're selling.  And if you could turn off word verification - my word, that helps too! I'll be late, but keep the kettle warm.

Monday 8 September 2014

How I became red faced....part the second

It's all about the Parade of Sail that marks the start of the Tall Ships Race.  This year, from Falmouth to Greenwich. 

The fleet of Tall Ships parades out of harbour to open sea.  It really is the most amazing spectacle, especially considering that lots of these ships are built relatively recently and equipped for disabled and able bodied crew to work together.  So many ships were offering opportunities for life changing experiences to youngsters under 25.  We'd have jumped at it. *cough* 25 years ago.

All of these photos were taken by my talented cousin and I'm grateful for every one of them, they saved me from the embarrassment of having to use my phone because I'd forgotten my old point and shoot.  Stupid huh.

So in time for an on board coffee, we joined the gentle melee in the harbour.  There was a slightly more dignified entry into the launch and a very gentle motor to the yacht mooring.  Do you know that very often there's a lower part at the back of a yacht that is almost level with the water (and therefore the launch in which you approach). It's called the 'sugar scoop' which is such a nice name.  And I was looking forward to being part of the maritime world by concealing my excitement and casually stepping aboard via the scoop. Gripped with invisible strength of course, by Mr Dunnit, who would look as though he were casually taking my elbow in a Mr Darcy inspired politeness.
 It didn't happen.  Robin, our Captain, felt it was all too complicated and unnecessary.  Far easier to bring the launch 'alongside' and just climb on.  Oh OK.  Did I look up at the 4foot of yacht side above me and the little wire fence running around the yacht edge which allowed no more than a foot hold on the outside edge and think 'oh's OK people, I'll stay in the launch'?  No sir I did not.  I looked up, took a deep breath and erm, let Mr Dunnit go first.  And then I did it.  because I had to.  And do you know, the help from Mr Dunnit was actually more of a hindrance.  We somehow ended up holding onto each other without either of us being able to move - me forward and over the fence and him backwards to make room on account of the we hugged while we worked it out.  It was good! 
The flotilla was huge, the papers say about 1000 small vessels.  There was no trouble, and of course, because we were on the water, it seemed quiet.  The atmosphere was just plain relaxed and smiley. Or were all the friendly waves becasue of my amazing sea-going outfit, I now wonder?  The landlubbers that knew the best lookout points were in such numbers that the fields and points above St Mawes, Pendennis Point and places whose names I cannot remember were like multicoloured mosaics.
Thanks to our Captain, we pursued the fleet under our own sail - it was really thrilling. The tall ships approached open sea and halted for the start of the official race, and within about forty minutes, the number of littler craft bobbing about became so much less that it was almost as if we had imagined it.  We quietly made our way a short distance up the Helford River, weighed anchor and sat in the cabin with mugs of tea and ate chocolate. Technically we were waiting for the tide to change so that we could get the yacht back to its mooring.  But really we were allowing the adrenaline and vision overload to settle. We had much to say about how hard it would be to name your own yacht.  This conversation based on some shockingly named vessels that sailed past us.  It seems popular to make a single name out of a couple's two names.  We couldn't settle on that...which half of who's name should be first.  And anyway, it sounded awful.  I wouldn't mind an acronym (surprise), just to make people guess as they sail by. But I don't want anything cheesy - YWorri and Better than Work don't appeal.  And then of course, there's the reality check....the name of a yacht is not really likely to be one of our future dilemmas. 

Remember London 2012 - the best Olympics ever?  
The Post Office painted letter boxes gold as a nod to our gold medallists.  
This one, set in the wall of the Pandora pub, celebrates Sir Ben Ainslie's record achievement.  
It caused some controversary though...he was born locally, but trains and lives in Lymington, Hampshire.
So I believe he has two gold letterboxes that honour his achievements.  And why not, say I.

And so gentle reader, despite the embarrassment of land lubber type embarkation, the embarrassment caused to my cousins when I felt the need to wear navy and white stripes to erm, 'fit in', the embarrassment that the boys gamely bore as Jane and I giggled like children over not being able to say proper words properly....Truro and Brewery to name but two..OK and Aurora - no longer a potential name for a yacht; the greatest embarrassment really is the incredibly wind and sun burned faces that we had to endure. For the first time in our lives we were truly burned through carelessness.  Despite years of getting used to being embarrassed, my face has never been so red.  Totally worth it. 

Friday 5 September 2014

Red faced and loving it.... part one

Warning: this post is related to a different kind of Craft...and comes to you in editions..because there's so much to brag about.  I want to record the last weekend here for loads of reasons; to share, to thank, and because Mr Dunnit described it as one of the best weekends of his life.  Now that's lyrical. So here's the scene setting post.  

When my parents lived in Australia, I had a conversation with them about how often we would visit. We were on our second visit in four years and I laughingly pointed out that we saw less of our Cousins who live in Cornwall. Well, twenty odd years later, we've rectified that.  Thanks to Facebook, decent familial communication has taken place over a couple years and Me and Mr Dunnit found ourselves wanting to go see the Tall Ships at Falmouth last weekend.  I have no sea connections, but the combination of sail and sea - possibly the romance? - made me want to be there.  Weird huh. 
You had to be there to fully appreciate my excitement....and we really the (normal sized) yacht at front right...that's me right at the front pointy end...

The stars aligned, and we went to visit with the Cornish cousins.  Oh my life.  They live a very outdoors based lifestyle.  They always have, but now they live by the sea too - so it is inevitably a wet outdoorsy lifestyle.  I (we, this end of the family) is really not outdoorsy.  I's an indoor hobby...enough said.  Everything we did and they planned was focussed on the Tall Ships Regatta and our seeing and experiencing as much of it as possible.  Which means the cousins put up with landlubber behaviour.  Oh yeah.

Saturday evening was fine proof.  Wrapped up warm in our non-waterproof, non sports style coats and wearing fairly obviously quite new trainers (but at least not specifically bought for the occcasion!), we went to watch fireworks from the water.  We used the 'launch'.  It was a wooden boat, as big as a dingy with an outboard motor.  Kindly and with high regard for landlubber safety, Robin leapt into it at it's mooring, fired it up and brought it around to a pier so that we could simply step into it.  Yeah.  Step.  You aren't allowed to step onto the plank-type seats, obviously.  So step off the pier and down into the boat. Easy. For everyone except me apparently.  I couldn't see the bottom (it was dark, remember) and of course, managed to step onto the slopey side.  Which inevitably caused alarming listing, rocking and erm, falling. Luckily, I fell into the launch and didn't wobble anyone out of it.  Hilarious.  The Cousins must be used to it because I think they laughed with me.  I'd like to point out that the pier from which I fell into the launch is completely and thoughtfully covered in a brilliant non slip material.  I swear it's a thin layer of sand and broken glass.  I should know.

Have you ever watched fireworks from the water?  They were launched on a headland and so we got the most amazing view, total darkness and - big bonus - really muffled sound.  It was marvellous.  Nor can I understate the thrill of being in a group of fifty-some-things and going out for fun at about 8.30 on a Saturday night...come on - usually we're coming home at that point!  Remember too, all of this time, that me and Cousin Jane are talking.  Really, talking and not letting the boys get a word in really.  I remember four lots of laughter though, so can only assume that they were enjoying our noise!

We motored gently back to the pier and disembarked.  I just don't have long enough legs. And now, apparently, I have no dignity either.  I could only reach the pier by getting out (I can't call it disembarking) in a kneeling/crawling position.  It's OK gentle reader, despite being lit with a sea faring style street lamp, I like to think that the light was so poor that no-one will have noticed.  Except my knees and hands....argh, that non-slip surface! 
We were tired - Jane says it's the negative Ions and sea air.  I believe her because I'm totally caught up in it.  And let's face it, it can't be our hosts making us yawn like that; perhaps the wine and late night chat had something to do with it. Who knows.  To bed, ignorant of the way you actually physically get on a yacht and therefore with a head full of fireworks and the joy of family reunions.

Wednesday 3 September 2014

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 274

Oh, look..not very much!  I took this photo in a panic at about 7pm on Tuesday evening, and took another one about half an hour ago.  The light is the only change.  Even my glasses are still there...I'm typing this in something of a stupor of tiredness and short sightedness! I don't think much of this needs explaining, suffice to say that I've been playing around with some Christmas ideas, and am now planning to move on to some autumnal stuff.  Nothing like getting the seasons out of sync! My lovely bobbly pen is to hand, I'm still enjoying that. That roll of tape in front of the deckchair stand was free - someone had tried to force into a bowl shape - and the stall holder gave it to me because it wasn't going to sell.  Nice!  You can tell that I corralled the scissors and have managed with only two pairs so far...but don't hold your breath - it's only Wednesday!
Share your desk or workspace will ya?  How to and other explanations can be found via links at the top of this page.  It's easy, and it's fun, it's free and really, it's very friendly. So why wouldn't you....?