Friday 29 September 2017

It's WOYWW Crop weekend!

Join us, if you can, this Saturday 30th between 10am and 4pm. 

Emmanuel Christian Centre
Lloyd Street
LL30 3YA

There is parking at the hall - please park as economically as possible. If the car park fills, there's pay and display parking on the Prom. Which suggests that we'll be by the sea! How exciting. And possibly bracing.

Margaret has planned, planned and planned and will collapse from exhaustion about twenty minutes after we finish on Saturday afternoon, I've no doubt. We're all looking forward to welcoming each other. Don't forget!

Wednesday 27 September 2017

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 434

I am still playing with the snowman die. I've finished now though, I think this is the last of the card stock that I can use. That, and the stamps at left suggest I'm still making Christmas cards. I am, but I'm not, really. I have a few to do for workshops and a card-making event and that will be it. But now I'm seeing the end of the requirement, I'm really feeling the vibe! The DVD case at left houses my Christmas dies. I like to keep them separate whilst I'm working with them, but eventually they will be returned to the bulging file proper place. There's a pile of tidy trays at right, all clean at once! I put them in the dishwasher after a workshop. Thoroughly clean and also, wonderfully static free. For a minute. Those glasses are a cheap pair of readers. 2.5 magnification, apparently. Well, they're not as good as my new prescription glasses, so colour me horrified! No wonder I can't do colouring, cutting or colour matching at night!
Really hugely looking forward to seeing some Deskers at the Crop this weekend. Meanwhile, show and tell about your desks, please!

Sunday 24 September 2017

Seasonally Corrected.

Christmas. New stock keeps arriving and tempting me. For which of course, Shopkeeper Gal has to shoulder the blame. It has nothing to do with weakness or lack of will power or any such nonsense. I have been very caught up in it all though. We've had a couple of lovely sunny autumn days that have let me focus on the present. Then when it all turned to wind and rain again, I had a go at an appropriate card. Which turned into two.

I die cut this scene from some pearlescent paper in my scrap box. I intended merely to sponge some colour through it to create a background for the real/intended card. Turns out I wasn't the usual heavy handed (or 'enthusiastic') with the inking and found myself quite liking the coloured die cut. So as you can see, I glued it to a wood effect card panel and called it a card. Genius, me. Ignore the word 'dreams''s packaging tape. I forgot to crop the photo. Well, genius doesn't always extend to everything, does it!

This was my intended version. The background is coloured by sponging Distress Inks through the die cut ( I believe that makes it a stencil). Then I die cut another of the scenes from textured brown stock and glued it into position over the ghostly white trees that the removal of the stencil had created. I'm perfectly sure you know what I did. But explaining it makes me feel very important, as if I blog about crafting or something. The 'lovely' is a Heidi Swapp die. I'm assuming the warm tones of the inks is what allows me to get away with using pink. You'll have to ask a proper artist about colours. my limit is colouring and then gluing, frankly.
Note that this lovely tree scene speaks nothing of the tedium of raking and collecting the fifty kerjillion leaves involved at some point. Yes, I have garden chores that I'm putting off. How could you tell?

Wednesday 20 September 2017

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 433

I ended up in a stew of so much last week that I've only just caught up! I managed to tidy my desk sufficiently to finish the cards I had committed to, so then decided to back pedal a little and do some real seasonal stuff. As is my habit, I put the last piece on the card, put the glasses down and went to do some real work. It's a skill you know, being able to walk away like that. In any other life scenario, it would give me the guilts and would cause me to have an unhappy conscience, but because this only affects me, it seems ok!
The keyboard is looking precariously balanced now I see it in the photo, so will remove that to it's correct place momentarily! A basket of finished Christmas cards is visible at left, and my need to always use more than one pair of scissors is evident as usual. I made both cards using the positive and negative of a die cut. The colour is just sponged distress inks. Missteejay  wondered where I got the pink egg shape sponges that I use for such things. 99p each in the make-up section at Home Bargains. I have one per colour, not per shade..i.e one for reds, one for blues. Even though as make-up sponges they are a bargain, a pound each could still run into ridiculous amounts of money just to improve a blended look! The 'tube' is a roll of wrapping cellophane waiting for me to er, wrap things. Everything else is as always!  
Please share your early autumnal offerings then, lets see what's doing it for you this week. 

Friday 15 September 2017

On going to a Crop

We're on the road for this year's WOYWW Crop. Tripping up to Llandudno to be embraced by Margaret's warm and welcoming hospitality. I'm not entirely sure that 'Crop' adequately describes the day, but it's as close as we can come, I guess, to anything a crafter would understand. Because we all know each other, but in many cases have never met, there's an instant camaraderie, a warm welcome for everyone. I really hope that no-one would be too nervous to come on their own. If that is you, message me and we'll meet in the car park and I can walk in with you; so you won't be on your own.  I'll be excited though, so will probably announce your arrival in a shouty, not very subtle way! 
Classic decoy photo. This is NOT Llandudno. The San Francisco range seen from the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.
It's not a 'location' event, or a workshop at which you are to be amazed and impressed. There's tables and chairs and facilities.The rest, we bring with us. That is, hours of chat, quite a lot of tea and coffee and oh so much food! The idea of making it a Crop rather than just a big old meet in a restaurant is that we can swap and display our crafts, and work on something too. A few people manage some inking or cutting; I always think it's handy to turn to the desk if you encounter an awkward multi-second silence!

At some point over the last few weeks, I did think that I would organise myself to take some project or other to work on. I've done so little scrapbooking this year that it would be lovely to make a start on catching up. And then, of course, there's the upcoming Season and my desire to have both business and private greetings cards to send that are actually hand made. It's a good opportunity. But I fear, my need to know more about every one that's coming, (more nosiness) and my well documented procrastination skills will mean that I bring nothing and do nothing. And that will be just fine.

The Crop is such a good opportunity to glean info from Deskers, to match the person to their stash, to find out if their blogs truly reflect themselves, or whether their writing changes them. It does happen. Some of us are far more shy and lacking in opinion than you would expect. Seriously, you'd be surprised.

And another decoy. This isn't Lladudno either. I think there are less rock vistas in Llandudno.
I know that Shaz is bringing her huge collection of dies...I can often be bribed into doing some cutting for you. Bring card stock if you think that sounds like an idea you'd like to take advantage of. In years gone by (! that phrase!!) the Crop has been timed to slightly co-ordinate with the WOYWW anniversary and so we've collectively taken advantage of the meet to swap our anniversary ATCs. We're way past the anniversary date this year.  There is no need to make a specific Crop ATC, but if you want to, that would be nice. I think a maximum of about 15 would do it.

There will at some point during the day be a call to pay subs - to cover the cost of hiring the hall and paying for the lunch. The charge will be £10 a head for Deskers and we charge the husbands that stay to/come back for lunch a £5. Margaret will have run herself ragged to fill us up within budget; I'm pretty sure that you'll love it. We also do a little fund raising for a chosen charity each year - this year it will be for Margaret to choose; she works for a couple of charities so it will be lovely to make a contribution as a thank you, don't you think. See. Even talking about the Crop makes me all friendly and charitable. Told you that you often find people out of character when involved with WOYWW Crop!

It all happens on 30 September. Read HERE.
I would be a fibbing if I said I'm not looking forward to it. And the seaside. And more Welsh Wales. 

Wednesday 13 September 2017

What's On Your WOrkdesk? Wednesday 432

Well gentle Desker, I did clear up. And, I have sort of cleared up between cards over the weekend too. You can see the edge of the bin, it's perched on my seat..I was about to clear and tidy again when a much better idea came to me. So I walked away. I had been working on a Christmas card as you can see, using a specific die. I don't think it's there yet...somehow the snowman is too, erm......white. The thin nib pens are out because I was drawing stitches around an earlier attempt. See the Versacolour ink pad at the right there abandoned at a jaunty angle by my right-hand-tools? That's my white pigment ink pad. Yep, whitest I own. Thank goodness for White embossing powder! Deckchair is untroubled by card blanks (which is enough proof that I tidied, frankly), or my iPad. That's because I used it to take the pic this morning and have put it somewhere. Probably next to the coffee that I really need. Join us will you? Show and tell about your work space, it will be nice!

Friday 8 September 2017

Making do...

 Occasionally, I find that the 'thing' I intend to create simply will not come out of the (considerable) stash I own. Or,I get to a crop and discover that I've failed to pack a staple ingredient for a particular idea. These moments are good for me. They cause me to assess and evaluate and in very many cases, come up with a different plan, making the best of what I have to hand. 

Travel back in time if you will, to 1662 England. Charles II was King, the monarchy newly restored. Women were being executed for witchcraft; paper crafting was probably not a thing. But other crafters have left their marks.
This fire surround was fashioned above what had been a fairly ordinary fire place. It's not as grand as it looks (although it is, of course).

The first panel above the fireplace is probably the front or back of a chest, a dowry or merchant's chest most likely, because it is so decorative. The 'shelf' of moulding above it, and the pieces of moulding around the other panels look as though they could have come from windows or frames of some sort. The date is carved into the patterned piece of moulding. The next two panels are drawer fronts, (close up, keyholes are clearly visible). The larger centre panel is possibly from a panelled door..and so it goes. So you see, 'necessity is the mother of invention' is not a new concept. You knew that. But isn't it remarkable that we can see 500 year old evidence of it. I expect the house owner wanted to impress somebody and the imposing fireplace was probably a fashion, a window onto wealth and prosperity. Who knows. 

I was a bit giddy about this fireplace, it's just in one of many rooms in a lovely old house that is now a school. And the reason I saw it - Mr Dunnit was commissioned to fit a new doorway, and he needed an extra pair of hands. So while I wondered about a bit taking photos and remarking on the incredible pillars in the main hall, he started to assemble the new doorway, with the pillars duplicated as uprights for a glass door.
I can't imagine how it would be re-purposed, but I hope that 500 years from now, there's still evidence of beloved's work. 

Wednesday 6 September 2017

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 431

Honestly, I don't know where to start with the clearing up. I've tried to do too many things simultaneously and it just doesn't suit me! 

Sorry about the light, it's definitely starting to appear a little autumnal, and I don't like it! So, anything of interest? Hmmm, just some disorder I think. The pile of envelopes at the far left should be in the basket at near right. That would free up some space. In front of the deckchair, you can see a pile that's done the slide...there are card blanks and a packet of silver mirror and mat card and some baby wipes and well, I'm glad you can't see it from the side, to be honest! There's a packet of Sugru in the pink tidy tray, it's a bit of a mending staple around here.  In the centre is an acrylic box that contains my Christmas dies and that's there because I really am about to clear up. So, show off your much better organised space will you, I need to be reminded!
Put WOYWW in your post title and link here. Please. Thank you.

Friday 1 September 2017

Sunshine, Tinsel and Glitter.

Way back in the 90's, we visited my parents who were then living in Sydney, Australia. It was New Year and therefore summer. The schools were enjoying their long summer holiday and quite a few of the smaller independent shops were closed, enjoying an extended break after a frantic Christmas season. Consequently, when we left towards the end of January, there were still some Christmas decorations to be seen when out and about. It taught me two things: - tinsel collects dust just like every other damn thing, and it looks sad. And that in my opinion tinsel looks a bit tawdry in the sunshine. Roll on a decade or two and I'm at my desk, ruefully trying to add glitter to cards that I'm making at least 3 months early.
Dies: Marianne and Stampin Up,  Cuttlebug emboss folder. Patience and fiddly, time consuming stuff by ME.

I'm not unfamiliar with making Christmas cards this early, but I never seem to have the sparkle or tinsel mood and I wondered if it was just me? I can make a dozen different cards and forget to put anything vaguely sparkly or glittery on them. I know it's not necessary all the time, but it is pretty unusual for a Christmas theme not to have something, even if it's just a swipe of Stella's winking. Although my cards tend not to be classy enough for the 'less is more' option! I suspect that my favourite cards for Christmas will be the handful I make in December; you know the ones I'll forget to photograph, post off in a panic thinking that as I'm so pleased with them I'm bound to remember how to repeat them. I know making Christmas cards at this time of the year is a bit divisive; some of you throw your hands up in horror at the very thought, and others are quietly getting on with them. If you're in the latter camp, don't forget the glitter!