Wednesday 29 August 2018

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 482

I snapped a pic on Tuesday late afternoon because there was light! The new roof has been covered in a tarpaulin to defend it against the worst of the weather and my word, that plunged my workroom into daytime darkness. All temporary and in a good cause!
From this angle the ATG gun looks huge doesn't it! Lovely Kathy asked if I use it much, and the answer is all the time. It's not heavy at all and it took a bit of getting used to, but it's what I look for as sticky, I really like it. I caved in and bought stronger readers too, but I don't think I need them really; my sight is affected on the right by the 'gunk' I have to put in my eye to keep it moist - it's a bit like vaseline and blurs my vision horribly. That and my eyes are 54 now, and that's not good for fussy cutting! So you can see the fifth re-make of a little card. Honestly, I'm finding them so difficult. The round acrylic thing is the lid for my glitter glue carousel (just behind it) and the basket at right is stuffed full with bags of sequins and random stuff that I just couldn't be bothered to put away properly.
Gentle Deskers, presently, my life is not especially my own and I know you will understand if I appear even more absent than of late. It's a family thing and family first huh. It will be a very relaxing and cheering thing to visit your desks at some point - so please join in! Put WOYWW in your post title so that we can find it easily, and post a link here. Or use #woyww on Instagram! Get me, swinging with the tech!

Friday 24 August 2018

Life on the wonk

At the risk of boring you, I thought I'd make some more excuses for myself. Since 2016 when I had that brain tumour safely removed, my balance is shot, because all the ear tubes and stuff had to go to allow access. It gives me a seriously different perspective I can tell you. If I look in shop windows and keep walking, the perspective changes very quickly to being from the gutter. I simply cannot walk, look up and turn my head simultaneously without coming over all wonky, and at this age and this round-ness, it's not a good thing to be seen grabbing rails, staggering and erm,  very occasionally, plopping onto my butt! I do seem to have it down now,I know where to avoid - slopes, very damaged uneven surfaces, and building sites (which as a Joiner's apprentice I do actually get to stagger about now and then!). Generally though, two years on, you wouldn't know unless you watched closely. Or walked beside me. Ask Jan, she gets pushed into all sorts of gutters and buildings!

At workshops, amongst other things, my preamble contains an excuse for every single mount or embellishment being slightly wonky. I simply cannot get straight stuff straight any more. So it's definitely a 'do as I say not as I've done' with the sample cards!

I can't place something straight,and in this case I tried to use the camera to try to adjust and lo..even wonkier! Luckily the friends pictured all have a certain lean on them anyway, so I'm doing rather a good job of covering for them, don't you think! Do you know these people? That would be Doug Silverwolf, Lunch Lady Jan, Shaz Silverwolf and LLJ's wonderful Gordon. And WOYWW brought them together. You can meet them in LA at the Crop. And judge the lean for yourselves.

My wonderful in-laws. Who did not spend the wedding breakfast leaning gently to the left!
The funniest thing is corners and corridors. I can walk down a street in a reasonably straight line. But an enclosed corridor - not a chance. I just zig zag down it and pretend it's funny to be bouncing off walls and causing any hanging artwork to end up on the wonk too! Corners are weird;  I often end up going in a large arc, it definitely takes longer and I cannot explain the compulsion to walk the long way at all! I have this compulsion with sticking things on straight, I think. Or I am just no longer seeing straight! 
It's my new signature, so I've learned to like it or measure it. You can guess how often my craft works involve measuring....

Wednesday 22 August 2018

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 481

I took this yesterday at tea time because I heard a weather forecast for gloom, so I thought ahead. Then it turns out I've had to edit the picture to add light because it was actually quite gloomy in here anyway! You can tell it's been edited...that light flare is so unreal looking! 
Drag your eyes away from Mr Dunnit's mini sandpit (he SAYS he mixes concrete in it for the bricks) and look at my desk.  There's to be another Marython card making day,which is the only reason I'm entertaining Christmas thoughts. And they are not thoughts of JOY believe me, whatever my desk seems to say! Centre is a new Distress Oxide that I treated myself to, and next to it a new Encore! Gold pigment ink pad. These are getting rare in the UK, so I bought another for reasons of Just In Case. Apparently yesterday I was keeping my fluids up like a good gal, although of course this morning it's all about the Java. The ripped up book is a Concordat. It's over 60 years old and according to someone  Reverend, very out of date. So, re-use, re-cycle, re-invent. Or something. I bet not a scrap of it ends up on the card I'm trying to pull out of my head!
Show and tell then friends, and inspire us (me) do!

Saturday 18 August 2018

LA Again

The thing about a WOYWW Crop day is that it's immensely sociable. I was lying in bed this morning wondering what I should take with me to do. Then I remembered that I don't ever actually get anything done. I trade ATCs, make a few cups of tea and coffee, try to help in the kitchen, introduce Deskers to each other and spend the rest of the time talking. 

Last year, I sat with Annie and did some dumfing. It's fair to say that I concentrated long enough to make a nice basic flower, and I was thrilled to do it. But I chatted more than I worked and Annie soon had a queue, so I moved to the seat next to Elizabeth and chatted. I also spent quite a while sitting opposite Sarah and Eva. They worked and told me what I wanted to know about them. It was chatting, combining what we knew about each other from our online presence with our new, 'in real life' meeting.

I like to help in the kitchen if I'm allowed.I find it's a very useful way of eyeing up the grub and making sure that there's enough left for me. I enjoy the tidy up part of lunch because it's very often an opportunity to chat with the partners of the Deskers. Interesting lot indeed, intrepid, even! They drive, carry the bags, spend the day with us all and then cheerfully wash up.  And LLJ's Gordon takes the photos...Important to us all in so many ways!

The venue always involves tables put into a horseshoe shape so that we can all see each other. I can then sit opposite people, block their view and force them to let me get to know them. Chatting. Chat is what I will bring. However, if you are planning to come, bring something to work on. Anything you can do whilst chatting. I promise, you'll be more exhausted from chatting than crafting, but in true WOYWW tradition, we would very much like to see what you're working on, and hear about how you do it. 

This year's Crop in LA (Llandudno, again) is for a very specific reason. For other completely non specific reasons, we'd like to plan next year's crop in another location. Fancy using your local hall? All we need you to do is suss out a hall and parking and we can talk. You don't have to do catering, we can organise a Pot Luck or lunch truly is all about the get-together! 

Wednesday 15 August 2018

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 480

Bam! Straight into the business of the day! See the precarious looking balancing act of the glitter carousel...on top of its lid, in a tidy tray which is on top of some wood mounted stamps. The tip of the heat gun is supporting it all. Sigh. There's signs of Christmas card making. Not a lot, it has to be said, they aren't coming easily. I don't know if you know, but behind this desk is another worktop with the PC on it, which we use primarily for business. And blogging, because of the ridiculous situation with Blogger and iPad. Anyway, that means there are two seats in this room. In order to sit at the PC to type this very post, I had to move a bunch of stuff from one seat to another. Yesterday I attended a fun and useful Scan 'n' Cut 'training' workshop. So there you see the bag containing mats, cut papers, spare papers and a carrier bag with purchases, mostly just waiting (begging) to be put away. For once in a very very long time,  the purchases are not for me. My niece wants to make a scrapbook for a friend. I will be hosting her starting session on Friday and hey, you can't successfully indoctrinate the next generation if you don't provide a goodie bag to start. Yikes. That makes me sound like the child catcher!
Show and tell, please do. 

Friday 10 August 2018

This is a domestic tale...and it might be whiney..

I figure that if I share this with you, I will then have expunged it from my mind and I'll be over it. We'll see.
First of all, let's get over the language. I'm going to talk about a Vacuum cleaner.  No matter what, everyone in the UK refers to their vacuum cleaner as a hoover, and the act of cleaning with a vacuum as 'hoovering'. This is directly a result of fabulous marketing way back in the middle of the last century (that is the 20th Century!) by the American company Hoover. Amazing that it didn't catch the same way in the US. Anyway.

After a few years of service, my hoover fell apart. Quite literally; the handle snapped off. I'm not into hand beating and sweeping carpets, so I immediately replaced it with a machine that had good reviews and indeed, colour me lucky, was £100 cheaper than it's recommended price at the time. It was a Vax branded vacuum. My word, it was the best vacuum I've ever used - talk about vacuum! It sucked up anything and everything and really, the see through dust collector thingy made me rather ashamed. I soon got over that though.

The Vax stopped working last week. It still sucks, but it won't let me move it around the floor without appalling, heart attack inducing levels of effort. You probably heard my yell of gratitude and delight. I have never wanted an appliance to fail so much in my life. Never wanted to replace something so soon after I'd bought it. Man, it may have been the best sucker ever, but the rest of the 'design' nearly broke me.
Relax. Have a scoop of gelato. A decoy photo of course, I mean, who wants to see my broken vacuum cleaner!
I was attracted by the extra long flex, certainly enabling me to use it without changing sockets in each room. Great. Not so. Waaaay too much wire to handle when not using it fully extended. Not enough room to stow it altogether successfully on the back of the machine meant it just unwound as you used it. Which meant that more than once, I hoovered over the damn thing and damaged it. But that's nothing compared to the location of the bloody flex. It came out of the machine's centre back..which meant that every time I stepped forward in that hovering 'forward-backward' motion, it was low enough and trailing sufficiently to step on. The machine then got whipped from my hand and I inevitably crash into it or lose my balance. I can't tell you how angry it made me! There IS a hook on the underside of the handle, designed to get around this problem and hold the flex out of the footstep area, but it doesn't work; one movement and the flex drops out of it.

Then there's the over sensitive upright mechanism thingy. You're familiar with the 'forward-backward' movement used when hoovering. The Vax would lock into upright mode and stop sucking every time I pulled it back past my hip. Oh the rage! 

The handle doubles as storage for a flexible hose, like a Dyson. Then the crevice tool can be popped on the end for stairs and those hard to reach domestic places that until you're responsible for cleaning you don't discover till your house is full of friends and judges. Oh the horror. Except it's not like a Dyson: the crevice tool is hard to click on and almost impossible to get off. The flexible hose has to be extended in order to hoover a whole flight and leave the machine at the foot of the stairs. Extending it means unclicking, re-clicking and fighting with the extra hose that hangs on the side of the machine. I broke one of the storage clips on day 1, whilst trying to work out the 'simple click' motion. The extra hose did forever then swing like a purple and plastic pendulum, timing my cleaning efforts.

Is it unusual to hate an appliance so? I don't know. Mr Dunnit and nearby friends have laughed like drains at my misfortune and complaints about it. I did not tamper with it, or destroy it on purpose. But I am so glad to see the back of it. Meanwhile, I will be collecting data before any other necessary appliance purchases. I will not be reading the manufacturer blurb and the 'reviews'. I will be asking friends for plus and minus points on the widest range of domestic equipment. And then I'll decide. Chime in, if you have any opinion, on any appliance. Eventually, we could review everything!

Wednesday 8 August 2018

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 479

Oh yes. That month end, VAT quarter, tax update and general half-way-through-the-year-overview is underway. My poor desk, it looks as if I'm working for a living. Ha. It looks, on some level, as if I might know what I'm doing. See how I shoved stuff aside and up the sides rather than totally part with the crafty feeling. All is not lost however. Hard left, upright behind the yellow file - right there in white and purple. My first 2018 Christmas card. There. I said it. Shopkeeper Gal made me. You can see it's dark outside. Just...I remembered to take this before bed last night. The only morning time change will be the addition of a large mug of coffee. One day more (oh, that would make a great song title) and I'll be clearing up and just leaving a small envelope file within my line of vision for purposes of guilt. Actually, it just makes me do something eventually, I get so sick of the sight of it!
No doubt, absolutely no doubt, that you are doing something much more interesting in your work desk space today. Please share and tell. 

Saturday 4 August 2018

I've got a blue one and three pink ones...

A thousand years ago, I owned a craft shop. The introduction of the trays to catch the embossing powder occurred and were prompted I think, by a snap together tray from Judikins. It was a sheet of incredibly static stiff vinyl with good scores that could be folded and snapped together with big old silver snaps. At that time, there were very few UK wholesalers representing all of the American brands and I recall it costing nearly sixteen pounds. Yikes. Mind you, the first heat gun I put into stock were for sale at £25 each. It was a hard sell, until yo demonstrated the magic of embossing. With gold powder. Anyway, as with so many things, the idea of the powder tray was begging to be improved, reproduced and sold at a more attractive price. It took a while.
This incarnation with the funnel on one short end is the Woodware version, called a 'Tidy Tray' which is what I call anything of the sort, even if it's folded paper. There are versions with square funnels on the corner, versions that have a rubber cap to go over the hole, etc. Initially, this woodware version sold at £6.95, which was still a bit of a 'yikes' for a tray to put powder in. But, in use and as with s many things, they became indispensable for all sorts of jobs and when I abandoned retailing, I kept all of the ones I had in the workshop. 
There was some discussion last Wednesday about them. Mostly negative, people telling me that they are too static and powder ends up being wasted. I agree, to a certain extent, and no, I don't run an anti-static bag around it before I use it - my word, that would imply that I know when I'm going to emboss something and have the tools at hand! What I do, despite my desk slovenliness, is wash them frequently in hot soapy water. They are a bit paler for their experiences because sometimes that means a short holiday in the dishwasher; but they are very, very much less static and therefore very, very much more useful.
I could live without one, sure. But 99.9% of my stash falls under that phrase. 

Wednesday 1 August 2018

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 478

478. 1st August. LLJ's birthday. Monumental statistics don't you think. Happy, happy birthday to you, Jan. Am in no doubt that you  will spend quite a lot of your day out and about. I'm already looking forward to next week for the photos! My desk is a familiar tip.
I've been toying with some Christmas cards. I haven't got very far and as you can see, haven't even bothered to pour embossing powder back into the safety of the jar before abandoning the desk. My lovely pockety craft bag (made by LLJ) is on the surface because I was rummaging through it late yesterday. After I had abandoned the crafting. I didn't find what I was looking for. The stack of Distress Inks (which were a gift from Darnell) are remnants of a previous card attempt. The one you can see is just stamped about a thousand times and cut into pieces. No good for a workshop....way too long a make for one card. Didn't even notice the stapler till now. Can only assume that Mr Dunnit has used it for work papers and found that space the only surface available in this room! I'll be back late from all the real life visiting today, so please don't be cross if I'm late to your place.
Share and tell please, it's what we do here.