Wednesday 30 December 2015

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 343

Anybody there? Any desks changed since this time last week? Yes? Mine too! Another Christmas miracle. Actually, pure sloth in the domestic department really. I was just sitting down to make a card for a January birthday and Mr Dunnit came home nice and early. 
So my desk still looks just as it did on Tuesday afternoon, because I abandoned it in favour of some Dunnit!  There's a couple of unused stamps at right; nothing to do with the card I am planning, just not put away. I've separated my unmounted and clear stamp collection into drawers for stuff that's current and that I can use in workshops, and into poly boxes for those that I want to keep for my 'stamping for pleasure' times. That's what you can see at top right - three of the poly boxes waiting for me to select from.  The chartreuse green (gopping green to some) is to be used on the card I intended to make. Lordy - are you sensing a pracraftination thing again? Yeah, me too.
Inspire me then, show us your 'limbo' week desks or surface that you're currently working on - you may be cooking up a storm of leftovers - we need to see! Put WOYWW in your title and link here please. And thank you.

Monday 28 December 2015


So sometime in November, my sweet Mother In Law admitted that buying all the presents was beginning to be a strain and that we needed to be very specific about what we'd like so that she didn't experience stress over it. I suggested that actually, at my age, there is very little that I need, so hey, give us a miss...we see them regularly, enjoy their hospitality frequently, we don't need presents. But that idea went down like a lead balloon. So I suggested that there were a couple of craft pieces I'd like, I could buy them on-line and Mr Dunnit could 'sell' them to her to wrap up as a gift for me. This was a good idea. Ooh err, it set me loose at Hey Little Magpie and I ordered the Heidi Swapp 'Memorydex' and a couple of dies necessary to its use. Either would  make a great present from Grandma and another member of my family could give me the other. I get something I really want and control the budget at the same time. Great plan. 

Except that by the time I'd ordered and they'd been delivered, (and if you know the shop at all, you'll know it wasn't long at all) the plan had clearly been forgotten and no one in the family was interested in giving them to me. I was a bit surprised but fully understanding...when you're out shopping, you sort of get that panic that makes you want to tick the you buy the first thing. And that's what happened. I'm very pleased with what was first thing, by the way. Also delighted that Mr Dunnit said to just have 'em. I couldn't possibly allow myself that sort of treat so close to Christmas. So I wrapped them up and put them under the tree, to me from Mr Dunnit. Next year I might try it with a car......

Friday 25 December 2015

Happy Christmas!

I'm pretty sure that if it were possible, we would give each other gift of Peace.
Desker, occasional visitor or stumbled upon this by accident - I wish you a lovely and harmonious Christmas. Now, get off my blog and go hug the next person you see!

Wednesday 23 December 2015

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 342

Well Deskers, time is marching on and you know how hard it is to find desk time in the Holiday Season. Not so Chez Dunnit!
I must have forgotten or neglected something, but until I remember what, I'm OK about being at my desk. And I'm working on next year's workshops already. To say I'm a bit smug would be to really understate it. Sorry! It is a bit of a mess, but I'm happy with it! Not all evidence of Christmas has gone  - there's the red ribbon and bakers twine that I used to tart up a candle/jar thing yesterday....and the solitary card on the iPad stand. No evidence of music or spoken word accompanying me. No. Miss Dunnit and her Musician are home and they're watching naff movies on tv, and I love to listen to them groaning and laughing over them!  So if you can steal five minutes from your preparations, please share your desk with us. If you can't, we more than understand! If you don't visit this blog on any day other than a Wednesday, I wish you a happy Christmas. Whatever you're doing, do it with love!

Monday 21 December 2015


Because she has so little else to do, Neet sent a couple of church kits for Jan and I. I should point out that by kit, I mean that all the cutting and scoring were done, even the stained glass windows were inserted. All we had to do was fold and glue. So....we did. Don't tell Jan, but she's done more paper crafting this year than she ever expected to do. Slowly, slowly catchee reluctants! 
Doesn't it look fab.

I couldn't leave it sitting on the bookcase...every passing body put in immediate danger of falling off - it's not hugely heavy, after all. So I did the logical thing and put it over one of the lights on the Christmas tree. I know it's not an original idea, but I am really chuffed with it. And on that basis, it shall remain. Safer there too...some of our tree decs may be corny and some are naff, but they all have a story attached to them, and I cherish them. It occurs to me that I should make up a couple of scrapbook pages about them.....for posterity. Hmmm.
Thank you Neet - it's just lovely. And not to have to do the fiddly bits in order to own one is just well, lovely of you! Helen has been reminding me that I haven't yet posted pictures of the tree. It's not because I'm saving it for a specific post, or because every time I photograph it at different times of the day it proves my rubbish photography. It's because I keep forgetting! So here it is Helen, same tree in different lights. It's utterly imperfect, and I think that's what I love most about real trees and having more than two people decorating them!

I seem to have mastered bokeh. Nah - I think it's more likely to be a trembling hand and bad light working in my favour! The uneven distribution of lights is extraordinary, we worked very hard on those. Ah well, classic imperfection. That's this house all over! Maybe you could share your trees sometime this week, if you haven't already? I might set off on a series of posts featuring various ornaments and what the story is.....there's a threat!

Friday 18 December 2015

here's the exception...

Yesterday I had half an hour at my desk. I needed the therapy; no craft deadlines per se and time to be productive without too much thinking.  Does that say a lot about my card making? Yessss, I think it does! It really was only half an hour because there's so much else to do at this time of year. But look at the desk. Chaos.
I am a firm believer in the 'it gets worse before it gets better' scenario. To de-clutter a room, you have to make a mess of boxes - bin, charity, storage etc. To decorate your Christmas tree involves boxes and bags all over the relocated furniture. Relocation of furniture involves some hoovering *cough*. Baking or cooking makes a hash of a beautifully clean and tidy kitchen, changing bed linen, digging a new flower get it. And if I'm alone in all this, then hey, more confirmation of my slovenliness, which you probably don't even need. My point (and there is one in here somewhere) is that all these things are the rule, aren't they? To make it all fab, you first have to make it all a bit grim. Not so at my desk. It looks grim when tidy. Unused and unloved, giving me no therapy. So its the exception. And I'm sticking to that.

Wednesday 16 December 2015

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 341

I'm away today, so this has to be scheduled. That means that you're looking at Tuesday's desk, taken just as the afternoon required electricity to light it. I've spent about ten minutes at my desk since last week, and that was just to tidy it.
The mirror card on the ipad stand is one last Christmas card, waiting to be mounted. I doubt if it'll be used now, so I shall just let it rest and decorate my desk! On the other side is a couple of cards that are waiting to be delivered by hand. They need to be moved to the hall stand so as not to be forgotten!  I was invited to Shopkeeper Gal's last workshop of the year. I really enjoyed myself, partly because I didn't disgrace myself by not understanding the directions! The results are on the desk, close up below; you can see how different our styles are. 

I rather suspect that your desk is more interesting than mine; please show and tell, it will make for a lovely visit! Put WOYWW in your post title so that those of us who visit late (me), can easily find you. Link here. Done. Brill.

Monday 14 December 2015

Getting ready..

I made two Christmas cakes some months ago. Haven't thought about icing or anything before now, but as one of them is for my beloved parents, I think I need to. I'm a tiny bit afraid that I'll have put them away somewhere too safe and won't remember where, to be honest. I have to do this. If they are even vaguely within eyesight, they are eaten. There have been many Christmases without a whole or indeed, any, cake in this house. We cannot resist fruit cake!
A gift to me from Sandra, who comes to my card workshops. Isn't it fabulous. We're badgering her for a workshop now...
 Every time the oven is on, I make a dozen mince pies. Don't judge me, I often use pre-made pastry. I ALWAYS use ready made puff pastry. I don't favour them, but Mr Dunnit does, so I make flaky and shortcrust alternately. I roll the pastry till its really quite thin. I use a small amount of Icing sugar instead of flour for dusting the rolling board. We like it. So far since Thursday, I've made four dozen. The first lot went straight into the bin. I let them burn. Oddly enough, I was at my desk and utterly distracted until it was too late. 'I thought I could smell burning' was the infuriating and unhelpful comment. Never mind. The others are fine. And believe me, there aren't 3 dozen of them now.
Floristry is Sandra's thing, craft is her hobby. Talk about a brilliant combiation!
The Christmas bedding is ready. We're currently sleeping like children with visions of candy canes and toys under some very everyday bedlinen. That will change on Sunday. I'd really like a Christmas comforter too, but storage is a problem for something we'd only use for one month out of twelve. Unless I ever find one in a sale, then I can find room somewhere, of course!
Beautiful detail. Special. You will see it in my house for decades of Christmasses.
The tree will be placed and decorated at some stage today. Really. It looks forlorn at the moment; we released it from the net and had to give it a day to relax into whatever shape it was going to have, and slightly acclimatise. And then we were lazy/busy, so we gave it another day. And today is definitely the day because it's in the way where it is, as is the box of decorations and well, you know, possibly straining my Christmas cheer.

Not much else is ready. I find that I still have gifts to wrap. Yawn. It will happen - I'll be in the mood at some stage between now and the big day, I'm sure. I am starting to feel quite festive though. Or is that just hysteria? I don't know yet. Good thing.

Wednesday 9 December 2015

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 340

Find out about WOYWW HERE and how to HERE. I thank you. I was in and out of the house and therefore workroom yesterday and took photos of my desk at different times of the day, secure in the knowledge that it wouldn't change....and I was right. My quality time is spent slumped in an armchair doing very little rather than at my desk being creative and whimsical. I've been helping Mr Dunnit in the workshop and truly, I'm pooped!
It looks a bit staged but its not - it is just in the order that stuff was dropped on to it. You can just see some of our business stationery - I've done a couple of invoices. The big green book is The Academic Atlas, inscribed to an owner and dated 1929. Jan rescued it from the 'pulp pile' at Oxfam, the charity shop where she volunteers . It's a gem of a book.  It will make some grand cards, when we've finished poring over it. There's a handful of Christmas cards. You know, the ones that should be allocated already, but I can't think to whom! There's also a little pile of Christmas stickers from Nikki - thanks girly, and your card was lovely. The rest is well, just a mess.
So show us your mess and preparations will ya? And if you like, talk about whether or not your tree is up and house decorated.....I think I'm slacking! Put WOYWW in your post title so that we that are consistently late can find the relevance. Ta.

Monday 7 December 2015

Bang on (last year's) trend, again

The business side of our life requires one or two gift givings at this time of year. We are thankful for returning customers who go a long way to maintaining the roof over our heads! I realised yesterday that having wrapped the gifts, they could do with some labels to identify us as the grateful givers. 
That JOY is gold mirror card. It really is.
I broke out another new die. Well, I got it (again) in the Sizzix sale earlier this year, so it's definitely only new to me. I expect it to be at least from last year's designs if not older.
It's quite big - just under 12.5cm (5") square. Not entirely conducive to mass production if you want to use A4, but that's OK, because I was using scraps anyway, hence the mix and match-ness.
That JOY is a much nicer red than it looks. It really is.
I was going to mount them all on green stock to keep a consistent Christmas colour theme, but they looked so good (to me!) against the Kraft that I'd accidentally laid the mirror card on that I just carried on. I think if you have the TH easel die, these would be great. Also of course, you could use them on 6 x 6 cards without any trouble. Would make quite a stencil too. It cuts really well, which to be honest, I wasn't expecting after my trials with the reindeer die!
That JOY is a nicer red than it looks and no longer
has a dirty O. Really.
The real bonus is the supply of individual JOY letters allow you to emphasise the JOY. Of course, it takes half a syringe full of silicone to stick down, but that's OK, I'm getting used to it. Shaz - I must have an uber sensitive smell is the Pinflair glue that I'm using and I think it smells horrid! Now these are done, I want to play some more with this die. It's taken me longer to write this post than it did to cut and make these card/tags. That makes it an ultra useful die. If a little cheaty on the handmade front? Discuss.

Friday 4 December 2015

I wanna be a calligrapher

Honestly, is that even a word? Ask Suzanne of Quietfore Design. Its what she does. She wrote these. Then Elizabeth Crafts turned them into dies and they. are. perfect. The dies are available in lots of places across the world; indeed, Shopkeeper Gal stocks them. Stamps you can get from Oyster Crafts in the UK. I'm not being paid or indeed even asked to say these things, I just love them and want you to see what it is that I'm currently loving!
Stands alone beautifully, huh.

The wreath is by Woodware, and there is a bit of glitter. But it wouldn't matter, the text makes it for me.

You know by now gentle reader, that I'm not great at the slow stuff. I'm certainly not great at dies that cause lots of cutting or picking problems, so I really thought that this would be a bit of a chore type die. Not so. It cuts without a problem and holds together just long enough for me to move from cutting station to desk before falling into the correct pieces. Love that! Of course, it's the devil to glue. Glue pen for the flat, but if you wanna raise it...argh! But there's no avoiding it, a syringe and some silicone did the trick on the Blue die. Trick is to let the silicone grip of its own accord and not press the thing flat. Alright if you can be as light fingered as a light fingered thing. Less alright for sausage fingers....but I kept it in mind and managed a slight 'lift' off the base paper. Cor, doesn't silicone smell. I don't think I'll ever like using it, despite its obvious usefulness!

This is a stamp, as you can see. I think it might be my motto for next year. Then I can enjoy it and use it for the whole year! Stamps beautifully, crisp and clear, already mounted on good quality foam. As badly as I would like to be able to write like this, it takes practice and patience. And so I'll go on buying the stamps. You know me!

Wednesday 2 December 2015

What's On Your Workdesk? 339

Hello Deskers, and Hello December! If you think that the months have flown by this year, I agree. I blame a lot of you actually. If you weren't so intent on joining me for this nonsense, we may not notice the weeks flashing by and coming to the year end with unnecessary speed. Of course, if you're under 30 or yet to have any children, this wont apply to you. So as we start the countdown, what's making your desk look good?
Mine has the air of organisation about it. Don't be fooled. There's the (LLJ) tote for crop on the left. Waiting to be unpacked since Saturday afternoon. Oh and there's my phone charger..must pull that out! The backgrounds were going to be for a workshop next year, but I've since had a better idea for them. The blue basket is holding all my used cut'n'dry foam pieces. They outgrew the lovely tin and quite possibly my patience in the tin. This big 'chuck 'em in' style is more me, donchafink. Then there's an 8x8 LO featuring Miss Dunnit's current squeeze. It's of course, waiting for filing. The most impressive part of my desk is on the far right, against my glasses. That, Ladies and Jellyspoons is a pile of written and addressed Christmas cards. Mr Dunnit hasn't had much need of me at work recently....and I'm glad I've got slightly ahead now, because its full on again now! Two days of doing nothing but morticing. If you know what that is, you'll know why my right arm and my rib area muscles feel dead, but painfully alive!
Distract me from the torment then, and show off your desk please. Put WOYWW in your post title and link here. We're friendly. And some manage to follow the basic courtesy of keeping it brief. Ahem, sorry!

Tuesday 1 December 2015

T for change

I didn't leap out of bed to make the changes this morning. I don't think they're that important. But I really enjoy them and hey, its one month out of twelve, so it's not strictly over the top. What changes? Ah, gentle reader, in eleven months you've been able to forget that I like to insinuate Christmas onto our household. We don't decorate or put the tree up for a while yet, so I have to find other things to help with the anticipation.
So this morning, before I'd had breakfast, actually, I started. Our Christmas bedding is on. There's only one set, so I use it the first week, settle for 'normal' the second week and then it's back on in time for THE week. Loo rolls were changed - the new ones are printed with stars. Handwash is new, apparently 'scented with festive berries'. And, most pleasingly for me, the everyday crockery gets a holiday for the holidays.
Yes, I have Christmas crockery and I love it. I also have snowflake embossed cutlery. I brought the cutlery from Target whilst visitng my sister, years ago. I wish I'd brought two sets! Now I've emptied and rearranged various cupboards and am drinking my coffee from a Christmas mug which has just sneaked in to the photo, I feel entitled to share with you on T day, administered by Elizabeth. I recommend you visit her too, I'm not the only one with Christmas crockery! Oh and PS..not sure about the handwash..but at least its not cinnamon.....