Friday 28 November 2014

Five minute card...

Here's a five minute card.  
Stamp the wordle style background (Woodware) onto the card front and from a matching colour card, die cut a christmas tree.  Stick the tree to the card face with foam pads.  Use wet glue to 'draw' the tinsel onto the tree, then pour over the Shaved Ice. Gently knock off excess and complete the card by stamping the tag, scuff ink directly from the inkpad around the tag, stick it flat onto the card face and add a sparkly button as the tag anchor and tree topper.  Simples. This is how I presented this to the Workshopeers at Kraft Crazy's All Day Christmas workshops last week. And I was right.

works in lots of colours too, this pink glitter card is my current favourite

And here's how you make it a five minute card:
Stamp the wordle image in every shade of pink inkpad that you own.  Just as you're about to give up and go to green ink and green cardstock, think about trying one last ink pad - Rocket RED Gold.  Yep, the best match for this Diva pink glitter card was a shade of Red. Doh.

Next, fiddle about with the only tree die you own until you realise that it just isn't going to work.  Even reveal your weakness to Shopkeeper Gal and realise that you were right to think it was wrong, just from the look on her face! Ergh, it's so wrong!

Cave in and buy the die you've had your eye on for a while.  It'll feel good, I promise.
Now you know you've got the right die, the card is a certainty. So buy some more of the glitter card and get on with it woman.
A sparkly pink button is required.  Hmm,take these lovely plain pastel buttons (Baker Ross) and cover each carefully with Glossy Accents. Sprinkle Glamour Dust over them and leave them overnight to dry.  Can't recommend enough that you place them on wax paper. Then the Glossy Accents that leaks through the little holes won't cause them to stick like limpets to the surface you're working on.  Yep, I'm experienced. 

Now you must consider the pot of 'Shaved Ice' that you want to use as tinsel.  Tipping it out of the pot (in which it is relatively condensed) over the tree image and getting excess back into the pot in a warm room with 8 people using it...hmm, actually very messy. Sparkly yes, but VERY messy. 

Decant the lot into a large zip lock bag so that the card can be put in the bag and the 'ice' can be chucked over it in the dome of the bag.  Genius. Probably not originally my idea then. 
Now die cut 22 trees. Dig out 22 tags.  Put the now sparkly buttons in a suitable receptacle. Count out 22 white C6 cards and matching envelopes.  Put the stamps, ink pads, glue, foam pads, acrylic blocks and bag of Shaved Ice into a basket for sharing and that gentle reader, is how to make a five minute card.
More recipes to come in this fascinating series.  Parts of that sentence may have been a fib.

Wednesday 26 November 2014

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 286

Well folks, this is the last of November's desks. That went by in a flash, huh! Inevitably, mine's got Christmas stuff on it, but it's not too much of a mess.  That's because I haven't had a chance to sit at it for more than a minute since last week.  But I plan to. 
Yep, a box of teabags in the foreground.  I had an idea to make the tea bag holder as a gift for a couple of people, and my prototype is there in yellow...not totally enamoured of it yet, may have to have another run at the construction and tweak it to suit me better. The stars on pegs are supposed to be standing waiting for dots of glossy accents covered in Glamour dust to dry. They waited for me to turn my back before falling over. More on these at another time.  There's a card, pack of Christmas tissues and some wooden dies cuts that came all the way from Kay in New Mexico...with a Starbucks New Mexico mug, insanely generous.  And I didn't photo the mug because it's currently in the kitchen awaiting a refill...the time it takes the kettle to boil and not a minute longer!
It's not the most interesting of desks, huh,  I will attempt to (remember to) photograph it during the course of the week and see if it improves at all!  Inspire us all will ya, join in and show us how productive your workspace is..we love that! Put WOYWW in your post tile and link here.  Lovely.

Tuesday 25 November 2014

T stands for Tipple

This is a 'before' photo.  But you knew that!
All of my friends know that if there's alcohol involved for an occasion, then mine's a Gin and Tonic, please.  I've road tested a few in my time and I like em fruity and dry.  Which is odd, because I loathe dry wines and most other 'dry' drinks.....cranberry juice, the real Brut champagnes....odd, huh.
My current gin of choice is Bombay Sapphire, and they have recently opened a distillery and visitor experience not far from here.  
Friend  Mary Anne's family had a day out at this distillery and returned with a bottle of Bombay East, which is another flavour to stand next to the Sapphire.  Knowing my 'thing' for Gin, she kindly decanted some into this cute miniature bottle and saved it for me.  It's fab.  Mr Dunnit and I have shared it with no-one else, and it didn't take long!  We did compare it to the Sapphire and I can't decide if it's a new favourite or a gin for another 'mood'.  I can't tell you what's in it that's different.  We tried it neat (on the rocks) first so that we could get all connoisseur and pretend we knew what we were doing.  I could only tell that there might be some Aniseed involved.  Mr Dunnit said it might be pepper (by which I'm going to presume peppercorns).  It was dry.  And lovely. And the second sip, with tonic, was just as lovely.  I know this is looking like some sort of alcohol promotion post, but it's not, really - just a report on an unusual Monday evening...thanks to Mary Anne!
Joining with Elizabeth and Bleubeard this morning, for T Tuesday.  

Sunday 23 November 2014

I was going to, but now I'm not.

Even though my life is one long holiday, I've been experiencing some difficulty fitting in all that needs to be done.  I shan't list it, it's not interesting and probably doesn't come close to what real working women achieve every day.  One of the great things about working with your spouse is that it sort of gives you the flexibility that working on payroll doesn't. But despite this, I have struggled.  And the one thing I felt that I could let go of without massive impact was the Workshops. Contrary to the impression I give, I only do two a month - a morning and a repeat in the evening, once a fortnight. Nothing major, but increasingly difficult to get the samples done in good time for publicising and then time off to get the kits sorted and then a day off to be there meant that looking from any direction, I was experiencing guilt. Guilt affects my mojo too, so overall, it seemed that the Workshops would have to go. There's no point advising me to get over it, I'm female and born under the sign of Cancer.  Ipso facto, I experience guilt.

So, I told Shopkeeper Gal that I was retiring, and started to let others know too.  She was
gracious and offered me 'guest spots' on her future schedules and told me to change my mind at anytime.  I know for a minute there, it made her panic, but there's always someone else and her new workshop schedule now has a different name on it.  Mr Dunnit was shocked when I told him (at the stage of fait accompli, I must admit).  He suggested that I would miss it.  I know that I would, but didn't admit it.  He said I'd miss the people. Of that I'm sure. He said I was being foolish.  Oh. I was trying to make some more time for other stuff.  He pointed out that not taking the chance to HAVE to make some cards might mean that I stop completely.  I can't disagree with this as a theory; it had crossed my mind. He said he understood why, but that I'd regret it.  I was already regretting it, so he had that right.  So I told Shopkeeper Gal that at the risk of mucking her about, I'd like to change my mind. Twice.  I'd like to continue, but only to do one a month.  She remained gracious and implied that it would be helping her out.   How nice. 

This means that the self started rumours of retirement are of course now wildly exaggerated.  I'm simply going to be in a mojo-less panic slightly less often.  That's a good thing.  Mr Dunnit didn't mention whether he expected the whole day gained to be spent at work with him. I do actually have a plan for it and it doesn't really involve the inside of HIS workshop.  Hmmm.....

Friday 21 November 2014

Currently Smiling at these...

I can't help it, the long tall shadow thing makes me happy.  And how ridiculous is it that Mr Dunnit is joining in now...we have some shadow photos of us in ridiculous poses, carrying bags that look like third heads, standing with knees bent so that we look extraordinarily short. But you can't see those, they're on his phone and he's not about to let me share them publicly. He has a limit!

The grey skies today have made me spend five minutes browsing pictures again - and I thought to share - you can really feel the warmth off the pavements can't you!
The teeny heads are offset by the huge bodies...and those aren't's my backpack!
Here we are, leaning over a low wall...somewhere in Granada...
And here we are, fooling about on a very high bridge over the gateway to the Alhambra Palaces
And here we are again, with a friendly fellow nutter.  Aren't we tiny!
I cannot remember why we thought this was so clever...but you can bet that we were sniggering!

It doesn't take much to make me smile. Or reminisce.  It's my age!
Linking with Annie for Friday Smiles.

Wednesday 19 November 2014

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 285

Well you may not believe this, but it's relatively calm in the photo. I took this at lunchtime on Tuesday.  There is a hint of sunshine.  It seems nice outside.  You can't tell from here just how utterly waterlogged the garden is....honestly, you need thigh high waders to cross the grass. The desk on the other hand, requires a less intrepid attitude!
The ipad stand is currently housing blank cards...I was rather frantically trying to make a particular idea fit onto something (anything) and so had one of each of the card shapes and sizes that I have 'in stock' on show; saves me wheeling to and fro the cupboard every two minutes, see.
The pads at left (there are 3) are all polka dots...different colours.  Lovely.  Had 'em about a month and so far not managed to use a single sheet.  The cheerful red and green star papers are actually paper placemats from Phoenix Trading.  But when I've finished, they'll be 'packets' for the 'All Day Christmas' workshopeers to put their finished cards in. 
A Poinsettia sits atop the clear drawers...i inked it, embossed it, coloured it, cut it out, stuck it on an already stamped and coloured one...and then didn't like it.  Maybe time will improve it.  Maybe it will end up in the bin.  Who knows.
By the time I get home from work today, the desk will again be a horrible mess - don't worry, you won't miss a single thing, I like to share the ugly as well as the fine! Meanwhile share yours too please - put WOYWW in your post title and link here so that we may visit. Oh, thanks.  You're a gem. 

Monday 17 November 2014

Giddy Heights of Ronda

Remember when we last talked Holidays? Yep, just last month, we were on the sunny and beautiful Costa del Sol and we took a trip to Ronda.  It's high, up a mountain.  The road was excellent, the car (considering it was the the smallest 1.1 Kia that you can hire for 27 quid a week) was a trouper. Bear in mind that two days before making it take us up the mountain to Ronda, we'd driven it flat out for 200 odd kilometres to get us to Granada!

Well, anyway, I thought it time to share some of medieval Spain.  Who knows why people choose to settle where they do.  Southern Spain's mountain's have more distinct seasons than the coastline, perhaps that's one consideration.  Perhaps, in medieval Spain, the attraction was that a livelihood was to be made living near a large church and monastery.
It can't have been easy.  Particularly before they built a bridge to get over the ravine.

There was a river...but it was almost imperceptible at the bottom....fabulous views though!

There were narrow streets, cobbled of course, any number of restaurants boasting the best views of course, and a bull ring. Whatever you think of the 'sport', it's quite impressive to think of any breed of animal being herded so far up the mountain without proper roads and vehicles.  There's nothing particularly unique about this bull ring. It's used as an exhibition and show ground, a stadium, all sorts - as you'd expect in a small town with limited resources.  There was a charge to go inside. With or without acceptance of cultural diversity, I think we were both of the opinion that it would make us feel as if we were bystanders at a car crash (even though there was no event).  So we didn't go inside. Choices. Opinions.  

Then there were the alleyways on gradients that made your heart pump, leading off the 'main road' (just wide enough for two vehicles...and they were originally horses and carts remember), and all led to the church and monastery.

We sat in the small Plaza outside the church and the town Hall and enjoyed some peace and shade.  Despite it being October, it was still beautifully warm.  And really busy with tourists.  Can't imagine how busy it must be in the full on part of the season.   

It was a lovely place; you can imagine and I have loads of photos, but really, not to bore you further.  But you need to know what's out there huh - specially if you decide to make a trip - or are offered a trip - you'll know where  you'd like to see for real! And if you aren't easily bored, take heart, I've still more to tell about this particular holiday!  Snicker.

Friday 14 November 2014

And it's not just cards...

Oh no.  This Kraft usage ('problem') extends to my scrapbooks as well. If I'm in any doubt as to how to approach a LO, I turn first to my default pattern, which seems to be some sort of ledger style print. Imagine my glee when these styles became popular printed on Kraft!  Silly old woman.  We scrapbookers know that we buy more 12 x12s than we really need, and that by hoarding the ones that we really like, we create a hierarchy within our own stash. (Note the collective blame here, my guilt just cant take any more.)  Well let me tell you, gentle reader, that I don't seem to exercise this sort of prejudice where Kraft papers are concerned.  I like it. It's useable. So I use it. It's a cure!

I'm aware however, of an irony in using it almost as soon as I buy it.  Not only is my style   incredibly formulaic, now the stock will be lacking originality and worse - where's the cure if I use it all and have to keep buying more? Self trapped!

Wednesday 12 November 2014

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 284

At the risk of repeating myself, you can find out more about WOYWW and how you may join us, without obligation or commitment by perusing the pages that are linked at the top of this blog.  
For a change, I thought I'd prove that like the tide, my desk does actually see some ebb and flow.
Now admittedly, this is over the space of three days...on Sunday, I really had had enough. I had book work to do and really didn't want to use the dining table.  That's in the conservatory and it was cold.  So, instead of taking half a minute to light the woodburner in the conservatory and get it warm and ambient, I spent nearly 45 minutes manically tidying. Yeah well, it made sense at the time!

It was horrible.  Layers that needed excavating, stamps - some pulled out becuase I had an idea for them, others waiting to be put away.  Half completed cards discarded because they were horrid.  You name it.  It got so bad that putting the ATG runner back on the perspex drawers meant pushing back the (open) pot of chewing gum and that went all over the floor. Ack.

So then it looked OK huh!  It was excavated and stamps and ink pads were properly put away, but only for the time it took to use the space to spread out the paperwork for the ledgers.  And then it was back to it is this morning, I was fiddling about a bit last night, but got tired and just erm, walked away.  
The apparently white village scene on the dark red card is in fact silver glitter card that sits up like bright white when the camera flashes.  Nice die though.  The tickets and souvenirs from our Alhambra visit are still on the iPad stand (iPad still in it's charging position at this time of day) and you can see that I'm trying to come up with something that involves a Poinsettia.  Easy for some.  I don't much like them so only have one stamp, so it's not as easy I'd like it to be!  And just for the record - that syringe has silicone glue in it...probably solid enough to be pulled out in a lump, but I did plan to use it at some stage, clearly!
So share with us will a, what you're doing at your workspace today.  It's got to be more interesting that flash tidying!  Put WOYWW in your post title and link here.  We'll swing by as time allows.

Tuesday 11 November 2014

T stands for Try It

More Spanish tales..seriously my life is one long holiday!
One of our day trips was to the fabulous and ancient city of Ronda.  Very high in the mountains. So high in fact that as soon as we parked, we were light headed and needed elevenses. We had Cafe Cortado and Fried Milk.
Leche Fritata con Fresas. I was surprised by the sweet and sticky strawberries, not the fried milk!
I don't have it often, but it is on most of the menus that I see in Spain, and I feel the need to be local wherever I am. Ahem. It's condensed milk, probably set with gelatine and then literally lightly fried to warm it through. So it's sweet. Oh boy. Just the job for sightseeing at high altitude!  
Linking again at Elizabeth and Bleubeard's T for Tuesday spot.

Monday 10 November 2014


My chum Fiona has this fab MEME which gives you a whole month to think about.  And still I'm late. SIPIDI - See It, Pin It, Do It.  Simples huh.  I have many boards on Pinterest, and in Fiona's footsteps, I'm trying to do more than just Pin stuff.  These cards actually, are from Pins that so inspired me that I did them almost immediately.  Unusual.  Sometimes, you see something and think 'oh,that would work with my such and such image' and there you are, off on an idea route... and the easiest way to get into it is to make a start.

Original by Teneale Williams on Pinterest. Hers is unrecognisable from this, but it is very much a copy of her sketch. Border stamp Theresa Collins, Scroll stamp Basic Grey, butterfly and text Quietfire.  The text is embossed onto the vellum and then very gently sanded to make it matt.  

And then, inevitably, the one that I can't find to give credit to..I'm fairly sure it was an SU! card maker. The butterfly and text are Quietfire, the woodgrain is SU and the leaves are punched with a Woodware punch from vellum coloured with alcohol inks.

I no longer spend hours on Pinterest.  I have a rule that if I browse, I stop as soon as I see something I'd like to repeat. I pin it and then try to repeat it as soon as possible.  And weeks can go by before I browse...that way the guilt is reduced and the stuff I look at is always new!  This remarkable discipline comes from the idea of SIPIDI, and for that, I really thank Fiona!

Saturday 8 November 2014

The whole Kraft and Christmas thing

I've mentioned in another post that I'm late to the Kraft party, but loving using it. Well yesterday, in a fit of the well known tantrum called 'if I don't sort this out NOW I'm just going to chuck it all out', I sorted my card box. As I did, I began to realise quite how much I've used the Kraft card.  If you've been good enough to come to more than one of my Christmas workshops this year, I may be heartily sick of Kraft from me by now.  And be warned also. I don't think I've finished.  
Woodware stamp set, watercolour pencils and hard to see Glossy Accents with glamour dust.  

Die by Joy cut out of Kraft 3 times, spritzed with gold sprittzy stuff and glued vertically onto card. Stamp by Hobby Art.
The Robin is again by Woodware.  Papers by Dovecraft,  embossing folder by Provocraft.
Are you bored yet?  Well, I'm still going...!

Snowmen by Penny Black, both emboss folders from Cuttlebug, stamps on both from one set by Personal Impressions and the papers again from Dovecraft...stars punched from a Woodware punch.

More Woodware and Dovecraft for the birds.  The tree is a Marianne die and the buttons in both cases, came from The Bead and Button Company.  I can't recommend their service and product highly enough.  That is an unsolicited opinion! 
So that's Kraft and me...good grief, I can conjure up any number of collections and influences to blog about.  I sense another theme....

Friday 7 November 2014

Makes me Smile....

When we were in Spain recently, I smiled every time I saw this man hole cover.  And as we walked MILES around Granada, I saw it often!  

I know it's just the cable service and I know it's just a manhole cover, but it's clever marketing at work in a logo...that creature has a long cable like's memorable and suggests a slightly eco friendly approach. And it makes me happy!
Linking with Annie for some Friday smiles.

Wednesday 5 November 2014

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 283

You can read the how and the why on these two pages: why and join in  It's free, no membership required and no weekly commitment.  Other than that you might get a little hooked.  I dunno.  This may be enough to put you off: ..
Taken in daylight at lunchtime on Tuesday and totally untouched since.  And certainly not staged, or I'd have removed the card with the ice skates on it!  Using a very popular (with me) set of papers to make a Christmas card.  Destined for a workshop and indeed, after taking this pic, I went back to work and ruminated a bit about the paper piecing and have decided not to go that way.  If it works, I'll post my alternative sometime.  The empty pot with orange lid next to it is supposedly the home of my gold embossing powder.  As it's empty, it's safe to assume that the powder is 'safely' under the piece of doily printed paper in that blue tidy tray.  I can't help it, it's just the way I am.  I can see three pairs of scissors, so it's all scissor basket is not yet empty! Oh any by the way - if you are thinking of coming to the annual WOYWW Crop, we've news of next year's on the page above or linked HERE.
Come on then and show me up with a view of your organised and productive work space. 
Put WOYWW in your post title and link here.  easy.  Sooner or later, visiting will occur.

Tuesday 4 November 2014

T stands for Tea Break

Last week, whilst we were having a tea break (at which I have coffee), I was moved to take some photos of what I was doing.  I drilled 985 holes in four panels:

And then in the afternoon, I used those holes to screw on cedar louvres to the front of this ply.  So I filled the 985 holes.  It's rather sad that I sort of enjoyed it...there's an obvious start and finish line and I could see what I'd done.  Does that make sense.  The less enjoyable bit was the muscle ache in my upper arm from holding the drill over the middle lines of holes which I could only reach by stretching!  
Anyway, the point of this post is not really about the holes, it's about the glue that we then used to fix edgings around these great big panels.  Just look at that for a bottle design.

Somebody thought about when you lie it down, it keeps the glue at the point of delivery and hey - Ranger - please can you do this to the Glossy Accents bottles?  And hey - all PVA manufacturers - please can you change your bottles too?  Would be fab huh.  Mr Dunnit, who uses this glue all the time, never lies it down.  Says it takes up too much room on the shelf.  Well, you can't please everybody!
Joining Elizabeth and Bleubeard over at T Tuesday.

Sunday 2 November 2014


The Moorish influence is to be found quite readily in Southern Spain and often very subtly - so ingrained into the culture that most of us would consider what we saw as typically Spanish.  In Granada the influence is obvious.  Well it would be really.  The Alhambra Palaces are the manifestation of the influence of design upon the city.  It was a delight to walk around.  And over.
Plazas and public spaces in the modern city were beautifully decorated in smooth stone, marble and in repeating patterns.  
In the old quarter of the city, they were still repeating patterns, but somewhat more complicated...and despite the millions of people that must visit, still not worn smooth. The job of pavement constructor in Granada must require a maths degree and a whole lot of patience!

Even some of the shops have floors that you'd really rather hover over.  

Beautiful, imposing, impressive doorways showing off wealth and strength give way to lovely refreshing courtyards and yet more patterned flooring.....this photo was a stroke of luck..I was 'chased' away by a security officer who closed the door within the door as soon as he'd seen me off.  He was polite, I was apologetic (after all, it was a gesture of nosiness) was friendly!

And then of course, the Alhambra we are in the Sultana's courtyard...of course her ceilings and walls had to bear pattern for her enjoyment....

Isn't it fabulous.  The Alhambra is a World Heritage Site and immensely well looked after, considering the millions that visit. is immensely well looked after. Which means that despite my delight and awe at everything I saw, it was all very tidy, very groomed and very erm, planned.  I recognise the need and the reason....but well....i felt it was a rather 'homogenised' experience.  
It didn't stop us from taking advantage of empty spaces and smooth stones! What strikes me about this picture is the definition of Mr D's arms and the lack of it in mine. Telling.

I bought a handful of postcards showing pattern and colour inside the palaces that we couldn't visit (book in advance -WELL in advance, the website is very good). As we had walked up from the city to the Palaces, we decided to walk down too.  And look at the amount of pattern that greeted us as we reached level ground.  

I'm expecting to be inspired to produce art any minute now!