Friday 27 November 2015

Well, that's that.

Last night I 'conducted' my last Christmas card workshop. There was no teaching of techniques, nothing but chatter actually, these gals are seasoned card makers. It was lovey. I just sat and chatted, basically. Shopkeeper Gal had to run around and find substitutes for things I'd left out of the supplies, and I just let it all happen . Works for me!
Woodware stamps set. The label at foot says We Three Kings, but you probably guessed that.

 Please et aside the fact that these cards are badly photographed. Its fair to say that this morning's light is no better than yesterday evening, so I've lost patience with the camera.All I want to do is show you!  I don't know if you're ever inspired by such card shots or not, but they at least go some way to proving that I craft rather just whine about no time and no mojo and everything being untidy. And dark.

Spellbinders dies. Cuttlebug embossing folder. To stick glitter paper to glitter paper, use silicone. Nothing else in my gluery woud grab it.
I started to write in my Christmas cards yesterday. And then had to explain myself to Jan. It's nothing at all to do with being ahead and smug. It's to do with using them and then seeing how many more I need to make. I could make a list, but I need to remain fluid about such things. And besides, I'd probably lose a list.

Woodware text, spellbinders snowflakes used as stencils.
What is already clear to me is that I take too long choosing which card to send to whom. I need to make greater numbers of each style to prevent this. Trouble is, I find that boring. What is even more clear to me at this point is that I need to make more cards. And now, now, I start to wonder why I ever thought I had made enough. Should've made a list...I may not have remembered all the recipients, but I'm beginning to think that the shock of the quantity would have kept me focussed!

Wednesday 25 November 2015

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 338

Well, thank you for asking. There are four baskets. These contain the 'ingredients' for the workshop on Thursday; the inks, stamps, emboss folders - the shared items, you get it. And just - just in the picture at right are the raw materials - cards and envelopes and any other card stock needed to make the four cards. So if it weren't for the teetering looking baskets, you could be fooled into thinking I'm really on it! 

You can see too that I've made a quick page as a December calendar - am actually starting to need such a thing in my line of vision. I guess as December starts next week, that shouldn't be a surprise; but somehow it is. The green basket at back right is no longer a muddle of stamps waiting to be put away. I sorted them out. They are just Christmas stamps waiting to be put away. I've even put the acrylic blocks away. No idea was the mood I was in!
So please, show and tell about your workspace this week, as 'the big season' approaches, we need your support and ideas more than ever! Put WOYWW in your post title and link here. Thanks. See you later. 

Monday 23 November 2015

...and back to Christmas...

The whole Christmas card making thing - man I'm nearly over it!  The 'Season' doesn't seem to have got the better of me quite so much. Yar har har. I can hear you. Incredibly stupid and famous last words huh! Yeah, but I feel in the clear for now, so I'm riding that erm, sledge.
These were I hope, fun to make and easily repeatable, which is really what you want from a Christmas card workshop that isn't intending to be the workshop where you make the really special cards for the really super special people. You know - the ones that I never make and if I did, wouldn't be able to part with because of my emotional investment. I'd end up with separation anxiety! 
I'll photo the others in daylight and share a bit later; you never know, they may help someone to come up with another idea for this year. I often 'Pin' ideas at this stage for next year. (Wait though, it's not that impressive....) A few months later when I really need Christmas inspiration, I wonder why I pinned them. Was it the whole card? An element? A colour scheme? Good grief, I think I may have to go back to a notebook and pen. Maybe cross reference them in writing with my photo gallery. Argh. It's OK gentle reader, you know that won't really happen. I shall just go on complaining and making, just as every other year!

Friday 20 November 2015

Same card, different look

In the best tradition of the way I do things, last year I bought this hanging star die. Shopkeeper Gal and I are quite sure that I used it in a workshop, but neither she nor I can recall the card. Must have been really striking huh! But this year, it has spoken to me. See - it may take a year but hey, I'll get an idea eventually!

This white and blue shades card was for a workshop last week. I made it over complicated by having to explain how to do it. Much easier to look and see than read written instructions! It started life as this Kraft based take....and I like them both. Be my guest, like one or the other, like 'em both. Eminently repeatable, just for the want of some die cutting. Unless you're doing fifty of them. Thats 100 banners and 150 snowflakes. Why would you? I don't know. Ask our Debbie, she seems to specialise in multiples at this time of year. And hers are all par excellence.

For me, these two are probably enough. Bored now, move on and find another design/die/stamp to make another couple of cards with. Part of the joy for me is definitely the infinite variety out there. I am very probably the retailer's idea of a good customer. Easily bored, uses her stuff for a few minutes and wants to move on. But..remember, this die is already a year old in my stash.  At least I revisit!

Wednesday 18 November 2015

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 337

There are directions and explanations at the top of this page...HERE and HERE (- just to prove my skill at links!). So to the workdesk. I am currently enjoying some real play time. There is no agenda at this point, stamping and making for the fun of it. 
You will see a die cut reindeer image. All of that white image is a single die. I bought it for a song in the Sizzix sale. Top left is a finished card, die cut is blue and the background is glitter white. I've made five. And that's my limit. The die is a bit blunt in specific areas, so I have to move it to different angles in the Big Shot's sandwich and roll it through at least 3 times to cut all the parts. And then I have to spend minutes, yes,  MINUTES poking out all the cut details. And then, as if that's not inducing a mild case of Bah Humbug.....glueing it on, ohemgeee..what was I thinking. It looks pants stuck flat, the white glitter paper wont allow for normal sticking, so it's been stinky silicone and tiny blobs. So that's yer lot for this year. It's meant to be fun. I love the result and will play a few times each Christmas. But this die is about to take a short course in death - being filed for 11 months!
Show me and them what you're currently working on will you? Perhaps be inspiring and possible a lot less whiney? Put WOYWW in your post title and link here. We love that.

Monday 16 November 2015

The long winded method

My gorgeous Brother In Law asked his lovely partner to marry him, and she said yes! Cue lots of happiness. And congratulations. And therefore, the requirement for a card. I mean really, if you make cards and don't bother for this sort of occasion, what does that say...? (Actually don't answer that, I have resorted to bought cards more than once this year!)
So I spent a ridiculous amount of time making a card that I liked.
I had in mind to do a bunch of love heart shaped balloons. I have a die and some really lovely glitter and mirror paper, I envisioned a lot of gorgeousness. So I cut into the sheet of gorgeous glitter paper. Cut three balloons. And then two from the mirror card. Then I had trouble fitting them on any size of card that I liked. And getting then to look like a bunch of well spaced lofty balloons. I had thought that the white glitter paper on white card with a hint at colour would be vaguely bridal and dammit, I wanted to design sophistication and glamour onto the card face. Turns out I couldn't.
And then of course, the old quality 'less is more' excuse idea popped into my head and I went that way. It was getting very late, my glasses aren't strong enough in the dark and we were seeing the bride-to-be in the morning. I DID not want to be empty handed.

Mess. Discarded elements. Honestly, this simple is really hard!
See all the discarded die cuts. Sheesh. I need to do some thinking and planning before I launch... 
The real irony is that although I remembered to take her birthday present...yep, I forgot the congratulatory card. She might take this as a warning about what a long marriage does to your memory!

Thursday 12 November 2015

Back to Autumn then...

Remember I bragged about a box of goodies from the Baker Ross 'Naturals' craft selection? well, it included more than shells and hessian.  

This pack of Owl shapes for example. Each with a string if you want to hang 'em up or make Owl bunting. That would be cool wouldn't it, especially of you have an Autumn birthday. As individual pieces, I thought they'd make a great base for all sorts of mediums, you could let go with the paint and the sparkles quite easily! They would also make great hand out invitations or promotions wouldn't they, such a memorable shape. And despite the reality, owls are meant to be wise and remembering.

I was so taken with the wonderful assortment of dyed skeleton leaves that I had to make one of them a leafy one. It was easy, of course. I used PVA to glue the tops of the leaves and when dry, cut around the shape to restore definition. The eyes are two punch outs of black card and the gems are simply cut from the sheet of pressure, but I applied them without a pattern or guide. I was clearly having a good day..straight lines and even eyes!

This was fun and relatively mess free, the next one involves glue and torn up paper, so it may not appear for a know how I am with tidy. It's set aside for drying and that means it might be little bit lost in a day or two!

Wednesday 11 November 2015

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 336

Well, probably more accurately, what isn't on my Work desk? I realise that this is going to get boring, but the one thing that is lacking is decent light. Oh how I  long for Spring and late light already!
At least the iPad has made a triumphant return to the stand. The proper place. Mostly because I needed the basket space for dirty stamps. That are still there. You can clearly see that I've just finished a Christmas more for my last workshop of the year at the end of the month. So all the paraphenalia that goes with that is visible. Quite without deliberate thought, you can't see the pile that is balanced on the right. My A5 cutter is currently home to at least 2 acrylic blocks, one of my rulers, one of my pairs of scissors, the desk edge bin that Jan made for me and the book of music that I used for the card. Yep, its teetering. But unless it falls, I'm too busy to sort it. 
Talking of busy, I've had a couple of very involved Wednesdays which has rudely reduced my visits; I hope it was just a phase. Please extend me some slack! Thank you!
Meanwhile, share will you, the hive of creative activity that is your place. If only to inspire me to tidy up a bit! Put WOYWW in your post title and link here for...well lots!

Saturday 7 November 2015

these pictures....

One of these pictures was visible on my desk on Wednesday. The other was propped behind it. In fact they are still on my ipad stand. Being forgotten really - they are destined to take to my Mother but I keep forgetting. I have copies ready to make a scrapbook layout for 'my records', but haven't yet decided how to 'dea'l with them.
L-R Sister Sally, Me, Cousin Debra,Sister Diane, Sister Stephanie, Cousin Jane
This isn't unusual for me. Pictures that I'm really attached to take me ages to commit to Layouts. It's the sentiment, I think. Give me your favourite pictures and I'll do something with them in about twenty minutes! Plans for these two are running into months now. It's not about using the originals. I have copies stored on the PC. And to be honest, even if they were the originals, I'd use them. They are in my opinion, safer in my acid free scrapbook albums than in an old photo wallet stuffed in a drawer somewhere.

same arrangement, different ages.....

So why do these pictures say so much to me? Well, they include my Sister, Diane who sadly died in 1987. We haven't many photos of us all together, and even fewer of her as a young teen as she was here - let's face it, we are all silly about having our picture taken, and Diane was no exception! And then there's the reason for the photo. We rarely visited our cousins - quite often we lived abroad or too far away. We didn't exactly have a lot in common and lived very different lives. Jane and Debra lived on a farm and had their own horses for goodness' sake! That alone was enough to set us apart, being silly, girly and teenaged did the rest. So I love these photos for what they don't show as much as what they do....our horror at the planning of the visits, the feeling that we were forced to be friends, maybe having to 'play' outside.... you know! I love them because we are all in them, and that means that Aunty Sheila must have worked quite hard to corral us onto that wall outside her lovely house. Twice! She was a picture-taker. Of course, now I understand. And lastly, I love these photos because they were sent to me by my lovely cousin Jane. Which proves that its never too late to become proper friends. Jane, Debra and I have laughed over the strangeness of our relationships as children. Now we're grown up with our own children, we feel the ties that bind and perpetuate. Isn't that grand? Can't you get a lot from a couple of pictures!

Wednesday 4 November 2015

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 335

There you are gentle Desker, and well I hope. It's taken me a couple of days to get my act together this week and here I am in the dead of morning, trying to work out how it became Wednesday so soon! Here's what I was doing last night.....preparing card kits and ingredients for a workshop on Thursday:
You can just about see a couple of the cards, not deliberately kept from you, just left in my line of vision so that I can give myself the illusion of knowing what I'm doing. You can see my ipad carelessly slung on top of the dirty stamp section...listening to my friend Janis Ian whilst cutting card. Not too shabby a way to work! The ipad stand is apparently the exclusive home to a photo of me, my three sisters and my two cousins. Rare. Young. Loving it. It's waiting to be made into a LO, and this is a copy of the copy - I thought my sainted Mama might enjoy it. But every time I go to visit....yep, I forget all about it! Next to that is evidence that I've done October's bookwork and VAT return for this quarter. The giant hole punch. Never on my desk unless I've been doing 'real' work! So I'm sort of doing stuff, albeit not enormously creative. I'll post photos of the cards soon and then we can pretend that once in a while, my desk is inspiring something other than the desire to come round and tidy up!
As always, this is no party without your desk..put WOYWW in your post title, link here and visit to your heart's content. That's what it does; causes content. Also check out Jan's fab post about the weekend CROP2. Really decent pictures!!

Sunday 1 November 2015


It was a fabulous sunny, mild Autumn day.  There was nothing spooky about it at all; a classic Englsh autumn setting.  I can't tell you much about the rushing around, organising, cooking and sweating, because I didn't do any of it. Seriously. I double booked my commitment and so turned up in time to eat lovely lunch and chat a lot. As usual, I did not get around to so much as unpacking my bag of things I thought I might do. Nor did I take any photos; but I fear that others did, so Wednesday may be a time of delayed witches appearing on blogs around you!

And do you know, I cant even remember what's in that bubble envelope. Gosh you can tell my intentions to craft were a bit half hearted, huh! I did manage to talk to everyone (my real skill), I think I even managed to make everyone a cup of tea. I do know that its a tiny amount of the work but I hope it speaks of my intended share of the hospitality! I haven't finished any tags, but intend to. So don't be holding your breath. And don't be expecting work of this standard from me....

Debbie and Dolores proving that no challenge is too great for them. Sigh.  The success was down to you who could come. We are automatic friends, as I said to Lizzie who was a first timer. The hospitality and work is all down to Jan and the only credit I can take in all of this is the skill in keeping her as a friend. Love that Lunch Lady!