Wednesday, 1 April 2020

What’s On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 565

Sorry it’s late...I can’t imagine how I over slept....It’s a bit of an achievement is this. I’m not sure that I’d be keeping track of the days if it wasn’t for WOYWW! I was chatting to a new online acquaintance last evening who said that she was bored to death and had done enough cleaning to last her a decade. I could only sympathise. Because I’m not....I’ve got loads to keep me occupied and frankly, spring cleaning is pretty low on the list! Am so grateful that I have hobbies.
I’ve done a lot of scrapbooking in the last week, and inevitably in doing so have created scraps. The LO you can just about see on my desk is waiting for some journaling. And then, card making for me. I need to use up some scraps and there’s no better way to make a big dent. Do you like my new trolley? Cart, I believe some will call it. It was a panic purchase because I need to keep things relatively tidy in here and I find myself carting stuff from my workroom and not really putting them back (see dining chair at left!), and...oh I don’t know. Mr Dunnit put it together for me without complaint. I still have that desk top bin (the Options hot chocolate powder drum) and I use it, it’s useful. One day, I might spare some scraps to decorate it. Disguise it a little! Show and tell then won’t you, above all, report in and let us know you’re OK. and if you’re not OK, please say...we may between us, be able to help!

Saturday, 28 March 2020

Scrapbook Times

It seemed appropriate to at last make some Layouts of last year’s WOYWW Crop. I have had the photos for months; I don’t scrapbook chronologically, I leaf through my photos until one or more ‘speak’ to me. It sounds very arty and pompous - perhaps I should say that I leaf through them and find the photo that I’m in the mood to make a LO with! Anyway, I had the Crop on my mind, after all having to postpone Crop11 this June was, however inevitable, a bit disappointing.
So I had some fun with some of my bad photography. Now, if you were at that Crop and don’t appear here, don’t be offended. I’m a rubbish photographer and combine that with all the moving and chatting going on - many of my pics are not good. And if there’s one thing I always try to stick to is the rule that if I think you won’t like the picture I took of you, I won’t publish it on here - or elsewhere for that matter. It could also be that I have a nice photo of you that I haven’t actually used on a LO yet! 



These were done as a result of challenges set by the Artful Angels Crop team - obviously we couldn’t crop together last weekend so we did it all over Facebook. There is a clear format to my scrapbooking...I like a single photo LO and a cluster of embellishments. I cant help myself.
I have a thing for colour too. As you already know really. I can just about do creams and vaguely ‘heritage’ layouts, but I default to bright. Some say kitsch. I won’t say who (LLJ), but I dont think I have actually mastered that yet. Don’t mind if I do!

Tuesday, 24 March 2020

What’s On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 564

Well, it’s been a week hasn’t it, gentle desker.  I hope that you’re staying at home and keeping well. If you’re a key worker, my word a lot of people I know would like to shake your hand and tell you how fab you are. For now, will you just take my word for it...we’ll do hugs and handshakes in a few months, huh. 
Me and my desk have been friends this week. Saturday was the usual Crop day, and it was held online instead of having to miss it. So I properly carted stash out of my workroom and into the daylight of the newly located desk. Inevitably, I haven’t properly carted it back yet. I give you a sunny afternoon shot:
I had finished another LO and was enjoying a cuppa with Mr Dunnit when it occurred to me to take the photo for today. And schedule this post. Because I’m not going to the workshop at all,  I might have a later start than normal on a Wednesday!  You will be completely unsurprised to hear that we’ve taken the decision to CANCEL the WOYWW CROP in June. Hopefully this ‘early’ decision will enable you to unmake any plans you had. Don’t be disappointed; as soon as we’re all able, we’ll set another date. Making this decision put me in the mood to scrapbook last year’s photos. I will blog the LOs over the next few days; the pictures continue to make me smile, which is as good a reason as any to look forward to whenever we can meet again. Keep well, and please, report in here!  



Friday, 20 March 2020

Pigs might fly....

Some people couldn’t clearly see the coloured image on my WOYWW post. It was another Pink Ink stamp and die set, that I had used for the first time. It’s all sponged Distress Oxides, tri-blend felt tips and a white pen. Which I may well have over used. I’ve left this question on a few desker’s blogs this week....how do you know when to stop? For me, it appears mostly to be when I’ve overdone it or 
made a mistake!
I quite like this piggy. Wings are optional. So he could easily be made into a wallower. Which is two things about now isn’t it. Some of this world situation would have made me laugh and say ‘and pigs might fly’ a year ago. And judging from the people I was forced to listen to whilst stuck in a queue this morning, there’s a lot of wallowing going on. Mostly in a self important and inconvenienced way. Seriously, argh. Pigs!

Wednesday, 18 March 2020

What’s On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 563

Apologies for the interruption in my posting late and not visiting last week. We had internet, intermittently, and the speed was about 0.001% - waiting for anything to load was ridiculous, so I gave up. Several phone calls to the provider. And then a hint that we’d change provider before we put up with any more (or rather, less) and pouf! Continuous service once again. I reckon someone’s chair was on the wire at their end. And so gentle Desker, what did I do whilst I had next to no digital distraction? I made a mess!
I took this on Tuesday afternoon because I’m supposed to be rushing about this morning. The card that caused me to use my notebook as a backing sheet is safely in the envelope for delivery today. It was made using the Pink Ink stamp and die set that you can see at left. The rest is the usual detritus and GKW. There are tickets on the iPad deckchair waiting for me to put them with my Lanzarote scrapbook pages - they gave us entrance to the house/studio (now museum) of Cesar Manrique. V interesting, and the reason why my notebook was out in the first place...it has some erm, notes about our visit in it!

And now an inevitable note about the Corona Virus. Well, about the potential isolation that we all may potentially feel. Blogging and social media will keep us in touch, we’ll take one day at a time and be here for each other...you don’t have to be alone - if you’re feeling it, ask for some digital company; somewhere round the world someone will be up and happy to chat. Hey, this may be the brave time when we start to use video messaging so we can actually meet! Keep as well as you can. One day at a time. 


Wednesday, 11 March 2020

What’s On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 561

Chez Dunnit has acquired an internet problem, so I’m not sure what time of the day this will appear! It’s scheduled, and my picture was taken at the weekend. Anyhoo, I’ll press on because I’m reasonably confident that the gremlin that caused the problem will be defeated overnight by the re-connection elves.  
I got a box of plastic eggs from a large online retailer. The eggs are by craft and stamp company, Artemio. They were good value and it wasn’t until they arrived that I realised that to paint them, they would first need gesso. Good lord they were slippery. So then of course.....,they need to dry. Cue feather duster re-employment. I’ve done them in batches and as soon as they were touch dry they went into a basket on the floor to let the heating do the rest!  They will, I hope, be painted various spring colours and decorated beautifully by now; they were to take to the Craft Bee yesterday. The reason I can’t show yo anything as current as today is because there is nothing to show you. Lunch Lady Jan came to stay and utterly distracted me! She and her G are touring Sussex for a variety of reasons and a number of days, so she may not get a chance to join in today. And....we were so busy catching up that neither of us took a single photo! Ah well, just as well we’ll be getting together in June for the WOYWW crop!
Show me your desks then, please try to put me back into card making mode, I could do with it. Forgive me if the post is late showing and Mr kinky is delayed, I genuinely have no idea why our internet should suddenly drop off, but at the time of writing, it really has gone pffft!

Friday, 6 March 2020

Crafting away

To get to the ‘retreat’ location, I had to go past Stonehenge. I actually do this quite often, but rarely have the presence of mind to actually photograph it. I guess because it’s always there, and sometimes I can actually drive past without sitting in a long queue. 
Until quite recently, there was a right turn in that dip and you could drive past the monument within a couple of hundred feet. It’s taken decades to get that road removed. Similarly, there is a decades old campaign to re-route this major road through a tunnel or further away so that the Henge can sit in its original setting. Can’t see it happening in my lifetime. 
On a timeline somewhere between the building of Stonehenge and now, I had a craft shop called Stamping Ground. I met the girls (and we were girls then) that have become The Coven; either in the shop or as a result of work I did relating to paper crafts. Over the scrapbooking years I’ve probably done a couple of LOs featuring them as individuals - big birthdays or our afternoon tea treats at Christmas for example. It’s not that we don’t take group selfies, it’s just that we can’t collectively agree that it’s a decent pic every time! We went out for a pizza and to see a film last December and - colour me happy - there was a photo that no one objected to! So a LO of the Coven whilst with the Coven was a necessity. At last I could use the brilliant bespoke perspextive!
Of course, my photo of the photo is pitiful, but at least you can see the erm, paper crafting involved! 
I’m still scrapping on a completely random timeline. There is little order in the albums either. The LOs are filed in the order I scrap ‘em, and a lot of you will know that the mermaid in this LO is now 26! My method is simple...I go through a huge wedge of photos and pull out the ones that speak to me. Using current trends to scrapbook older photos can actually be a bit tricky for some. Not me. Just slap ‘em on some papers and get on with it. Pretty sure that if you read here relatively regularly,  you would recognise this thought process as applicable to my whole life!




Wednesday, 4 March 2020

What’s on your Workdesk? Wednesday 561

Gosh, I need to dust off the cobwebs! it’s been a week already and although I can account for it, it went far too fast. It must be the same for you as well. Please don’t disabuse me of this if it’s not the case. Someone will blame my age, or weight, or my ability to time travel. Whatever. So, the desk......Taken last night. After a looong session of making cards for a workshop. I enjoyed it. But really, it took rather too much longer than it should have. But it was warm and bright sitting in the big window and Mr Dunnit was working at the kitchen end, so we were sort of together. He was huffing from effort and I was puffing from erm, inspirational exertion. He made and fitted worktops. 
Makes me swoon. I can’t compete really, but I was sort of pleased with the cards. Here’s one, to show Oxides off without being scared grungy. 
So, exciting for me, productive for me. Quite a good week then! A day in the life of a desk, who knew it could be so satisfying! let me and the others in on yours will ya, promise I only judge my own! Put WOYWW in your post title and link it here. Easy. Immensley easy and oh so satisfying. Apparently.

Wednesday, 26 February 2020

What’s On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 560

My Workdesk is exactly the same as last week. Completely. Except possibly a little dusty, because well, Mr Dunnit has been at work at the kitchen end, and well, dust! 
So, I thought you may like to glimpse the work we did collectively over our ‘retreat’.
This was Saturday afternoon, so there were another 6 or so to add, but we all got packing and sorting and didn’t want to lay them all out again!  So, to unpack and actually get on with stuff. Erm, maybe I’ll visit your desks first - pleasant procrastination always a good thing! Inspire me to get on with it, please!

Wednesday, 19 February 2020

What’s On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 559

I’m not here today. I mean I am, but I’m going somewhere, so this is a scheduled post. It’s late Tuesday evening as I type, and I haven’t packed yet. It’s a triple packing job. I need clothes. I need to take the meal I’ve prepared for tomorrow evening. But the priority is the stash. I’m going for a few days of scrapbooking with The Coven. 
Which is why you get this photo of a dining desk....
I’ve been sorting photos and papers. The idea is to at least prevent having to take a foot high stack of papers by pulling out papers that work with particular photos. The pile with the pale yellow is the pile I’m taking. Then I just have to take my huge file of scraps, (all) the smaller paper pads I have and my two pads of plain coloured card stock. Of course, it’s a given that I will take black and white too. It sounds masses. It is masses, but it’s not as much masses as it could be if I didn’t do this bit first. Still with me?!! But....just in case you think all this involves leaving a tidy desk. Oh it doesn’t. Well not at bedtime on Tuesday, anyway!
I will pick bits from it and make neat piles before I leave, but that’s about all. I won’t be here to see it and Mr Dunnit won’t even notice! So, I’m not sure how the internet will be in our wild retreat, so please be patient with me over visits. Meanwhile though, feel free to share your desktops please!

Friday, 14 February 2020

One in a Chameleon

This prompted some interest on Wednesday. It was on my desk, awaiting the last few bits of colour. It’s a Pink Ink stamp, if you’re familiar with them you’ll know they’re a bit larger than average, and always come with flourishes and a bit of text. If you’re keeping up with the trend for large cards, these are perfect. If you like an image that can be coloured, well, this range is for you.
I took this at the best angle I could get to show the shimmer paints. Some of the colours are actually Shimmer Paints, others are Pixie Powders. All used as paint with a water brush. It didn’t take hours to paint, and it was a nice thing to do sitting quietly for however long, but I won’t be making a stack of them. I like it almost as much just as a line drawing on a card. An exercise in embossing, for sure!
This is a 10 x 7 card, and with the swirls and flowers (which are separate stamps in the set), it makes a really nice statement card doesn’t it. If a chameleon can make a statement. 

Tuesday, 11 February 2020

What’s On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 558

Sunshine! Sunshine is on my desk. You probably guessed that I wouldn’t be able to cope for long without daylight! The desk has always been on wheels because it used to be in front of a door that gave access to the back garden. Now, in a temporary move, it’s found a new home. 
It really is temporary. One reason will be to avoid the wearing of a path from desk to workroom to get stuff. Just about every time I sit down I realise there’s something else I need....ink pad, water, particular paint, sunglasses...you know! It’s a glorious pic isn’t it, the sun was so great yesterday that I just had to show you. Mind you, there’s to be no change this morning...real life is imposing, of course.   I’m using Sparkle Paints and a water brush to colour this Pink Ink image. I seem to be making a collection of useful pots to put things in. That’s Zsazus’s fault. During Marit’s Dutch Summer, Zsazsu had a spot on decorating these useful pots and I intend to try. So far my intention has been diverted by theIr usefulness!  There’s not much else of interest to be honest...quite a lot of rubbish to be dealt with; I moved the desk so suddenly that I hadn’t really sorted it, so the unsorted piles came too! Wanna see in context:
You have to find the cream painted desk legs to avoid the optical illusion that it may just be a floating surface! The pile of MFC pieces on the floor are actually shelves for the new kitchen cupboards. (The build is still in progress; one of the reasons why I don’t feel too bad about adding my desk to this room for now!) Anyway, that’s enough, we all need to get on and visit more interesting places.
Please join in..link your WOYWW titled post here and enjoy some visitors. That will be great, thanks. See you at your place.
 


Monday, 10 February 2020

It’s only taken a month...

At the beginning of the year, (which in fact was only last month, despite how it feels), I was stamping for the sake of it. And enjoying it and using some lovely wood mounts that don’t get a lot of use these days. I made some cards for my Sissy and put a couple into my stock box. Nice. Then, on a WOYWW post, you might have seen I’d chosen a Julie Nutting dolly for my next card, and was planning on some paper piecing.
Well of course, that slowed me down. Actually completely nobbled my ‘flow’. I didn’t finish it till yesterday, and only then because I wanted it off my desk without having to throw some of the cut out bits away. So I cut out some more and then did some die cutting too. Time consuming enough. 
You sure can tell that I was finishing and moving on can’t you...no hint of a background at all. Hmm, may have to rectify that. I like the die cut text. I layered the orange on top of the original that cut from the kraft card so it stands a little proud in the aperture.

I know the position of the text and the lack of insert inside the card will cause a lot of shaken heads and teeth to itch. But it’s ok for me, my card receiving friends must be used by now, to the erm, ‘quirky’ finish a lot of the cards have. Sometimes. Because I manage to convince myself that it looks ‘arty’ or ‘fun’ and totally part of my ‘plan’. Well, when I say ‘plan’.......


Sunday, 9 February 2020

More geo-holiday notes..

We drove across some very windy peaks and stopped at a specific lookout point that quite literally took my breath away.
El Mirador is high up and hacked out of the sea facing side of a volcano. That is a given really, on Lanzarote. It was so windy on the balcony that it made us stagger. It was so high that it made us both wobble. All my photos are long shots; braver souls were leaning over the balcony to get shots of the sheer drop, but that’s not in this wonky balanced woman anymore. 
Look at that for a view, and the beautiful clear sky. So beautiful. That far land is an island called La Graciosa, only achievable by ferry and that millpond looking water is deceiving from this height, let me tell you! In the foreground you see (another) lava field sweeping down to the sea. And the lagoon-ish looking area is a salt lake, for the cultivation of the farm on the left of it...a salt farm, waiting to be flooded. Believe me, if the wind can accelerate the evaporation at all, it’ll be producing in half the time. Perhaps that’s why they bothered to remove I don’t know how many tonnes of the sharp, slightly smelly, misshapen lava rocks. I was expecting it all to be smooth, as if the molten lava cooled in its round, rolling form. Not all the time, apparently.

We went to the Cueva de las Verdes too. Now that is a magic place to show off the way lava behaves. It’s actually a tunnel, about 6 kilometres I think they said in the tour. Formed along a valley running from the foot of a volcano to the sea. 2000 years ago, the Corona volcano erupted, molten lava filled the valley and flowed into the sea. The top most surface cooled faster than the moving lava inside the valley and so created a long tunnel like cavern. It is extraordinary. You can only take a tour of the tunnel, at the land end it’s about a 1 kilometre walk through some wide tunnels and massive caverns. It was eerie, beautiful, sensational. At some points there were narrow steps to climb, quite low ‘ceilings’ and uneven floors. They were flat and easy to walk, man made in the name of tourism, but sloping in all directions sometimes. 
Of course, it was dark down there (artfully lit, actually) and really rather warmer than I thought it would be. There’s no water, they aren’t the dripping or stalactite forming caves...the lava was too hot to allow even remnants of moisture. Although there are areas where there are clear drips of lava that have cooled before splashing off the ceiling. Fascinating.
There’s a grand chamber where the floor has been polished and chairs set up. They use it for concerts, mostly classical. I don’t know if it’s clear from the photo, the lighting may be artful but we weren’t allowed to use flash photography. The tour was really good, and ended sensationally, I recommend you visit if you’re ever on Lanzarote. Although being in the dark on sloping surfaces is a huge challenge for my balance, it was well worth it...’specially as Mr Dunnit held my hand or had his arm round my waist nearly all the way; we must have looked like honeymooners!  We were keen to go to the seaside end of the tunnel and take the tour there too, but time got away from us. That right there is a statement of intent to return. One last thing.. green caves. There was very little green about them, certainly not in terms of rock colour or sediment, although there were some very large leaves in the cool shade at the tunnel entrance! The caves are named Verdes after the farming family that discovered them whilst herding their sheep on what turned out to be a 2000 year old tunnel roof. I love that they are to be forever remembered in the story.




Wednesday, 5 February 2020

What’s On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 557

I was all geared up to spend some (most) of Sunday at my desk, clearing a little and trying to become a creative human bean. Fate, in the shape of an electrician, had different plans for me. You can see, I need electrical light in there at the moment, so I didn’t do anything in there!
Scrapbooking stuff from the crop before I went on holiday still in the wheeled box whose handle is very much in the centre of the photo getting all the attention! That lot just slides onto shelves and the box folds down. It was a gift that thing, from our Christine, Bishopsmate. I dread to think how long ago...it feels like last summer, but I know that’s wrong because when she gave it to me, they were awaiting the birth of the grandchild that has become known as the Little Soldier. I know he’s not 18 or anything ridiculous like that, but I would put money on him being much older than I want him to be! The upside down donkey is still much in evidence. I shall move him this morning, to the box of cards that I keep for use. Then he might actually be used! There’s a striped wallet thing on the surface...that’s got Sunday’s output in it. Ive been cutting and marking up templates for some concertina albums for the ladies who want to make one at the village Craft Bee. On top of that is my lovely patchwork and embroidered cover notebook that Annie gave me. I use it a lot. To make notes. Which is why it’s with the album wallet, I’ve actually got so organised that I’ve made a list of things to take to the next Craft Bee to facilitate the easy making of these albums. The brown bag contains souvenirs and tickets from Lanzarote. 
So there’s a very candid look at my desk this morning. Come on then, show me yours. It’s only fair and hey, there’s no benchmark for tidy or organised! Nothing to lose then. 
Link your WOYWW post on your blog here so we can visit. And please be reminded that your WOYWW post does need to relate to the question ‘What’s On Your Workdesk?’. Thank you so much!

Friday, 31 January 2020

The Road to Papagayo....

Lanzarote is small, a bit like a Cornwall in as much as it doesn’t take long to get to anywhere from there or here, and everywhere is a view. The getting there is good too, miles of tarmac road - professional and serious hobby cyclists ride here in the gruelling heat, up and down the volcanoes for pleasure, so the roads must be good. Tyres? I’ve got thicker soles on my sandals. 
We hired a small car and hoped it would have the grunt to manage some miles. It did. It actually was a superstar of a car that passed the ultimate hire car test - it survived the road to Papagayo.
There is a town and a stretch of coast called Playa Blanca (white beach) and everyone said how lovely Papagayo was, especially as a contrast to the shiny black lava beaches that we had so far been fascinated by. So we checked maps, slapped on the sun cream and set off. It wasn’t difficult to find Playa Blanca, it’s on the coast and apart from a couple of dormant volcanoes to go up and come down, a coast road is a coast road, huh. (The question of WHY the roads weren’t built around the bases of the volcanoes is a whole other thing...and there will be more on that, I almost guarantee it). We had been chatting that all the major roads in Lanzarote seemed relatively new and lovely, smooth and quiet. Absolutely perfect for the pelotons that we encountered and in some cases caused us some fear. So imagine our surprise when having turned appropriately right off a roundabout signposted ‘Papagaya’, the tarmac came to a stop. There was a clunk as we bumped onto the erm, temporary road and wondered if we were allowed to continue. We were actually overtaken by a couple of locals, so decided to press on. I can’t tell you how we laughed as we bumped, pinged and created dust clouds on this clearly marked out but totally un-made road across a lava field. Luckily, we said, it’ll be short and relatively flat.

It was neither. After about two kilometres we were a little fed up and Mr Dunnit a little fretful about stones damaging paintwork or potholes causing the loss of car parts...there were hub caps and exhaust boxes visible to illustrate his fret. But, we’re nothing if not English, and other people were driving the road, so we carried on. And blow me, a building appeared on the horizon. We thought it might be the civilisation of a beach cafe. Not likely. It was a toll! We parted, lamb like and without argument, with €3 and set off for another 3 kilometres of driving across the grittiest, pot holiest and boob jigglingist surface ever. 
I was a little hysterical when we finally spotted the edge of the crater.....it was so obvious that it had blown out and formed a beach. And it was it’s own windbreak. A hike on jelly legs down and it was lovely. The socks and shoes came off and we did paddle. But that was all, it was very extremely cold. Hell, the Atlantico in January, of course it was cold....but it looked wonderful and inviting and calm and there were swimmers. Probably Northern Europeans made of sterner stuff. Or people who drive 4x4s and had barely noticed the bone rattling tooth shaking route and didn’t have jelly legs. We walked a bit, up hill of course, and found a beach cafe right on the rim of the old volcano that I could have stayed in forever. 
We nearly had to. I was made breathless by the climb from the beach so was feeling a little vulnerable when Mr Dunnit told me that a bottle of Fanta Limon was €5. Yikes. And a return journey to face. Several reasons then, for remembering the road to Papagayo!


Wednesday, 29 January 2020

What’s On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 556

This is scheduled today, for your erm, viewing pleasure. We’re out and about early to make the most of our last full day. 
Our little balcony is in the shade in the late afternoon and we’d had a hot day out so were enjoying a quiet, shady cuppa. I did a bit of stitching whilst we decided what to do with our evening. 
Regulars will appreciate knowing that there has been some progress on this ‘zenbroidery’. I take it with me on holidays and twice a month to a two hour, afternoon craft bee. Sometimes I do five stitches in between tea making and gassing, sometimes I do a little more. I’m completely over how long it’s going to take, and am just happy to enjoy a craft that is so much more portable than card making or scrapbooking!
So, show us your works, do. Have a little brag if you’ve got something new. We call it ‘enabling’, show off in a helpful manner in case your fellow Deskers may need what you’ve got. Is a sisterhood, see. I’ll visit once the Sangria jug is empty....can’t quite say when..


Sunday, 26 January 2020

Social history

The title is a bit misleading, but if I’d called it ‘my holiday’, you wouldn’t have bothered visiting, huh. People’s holiday blog posts can be a little of the erm, photo heavy bragging variety, can’t they. Of course this is no exception.

Whilst other, noble souls live in our house and man the work phone line - I can just hear her saying, ‘oh they’re away at the moment, try his mobile number’ - we two Dunnits are languishing in Lanzarote. It’s one of the Canary Isles. It’s 74.something miles from the coast of west Africa and on GMT which has not, I’m delighted to say, caught us out. Others have been more confused. I have to say that Mr Dunnit and I, who are struggling to stay in our fifties, are improving the average age at this particular resort. By about a millennia. But, it’s lovely to be referred to as a youngster by the residents and deferred to as a grown up by the children masquerading as staff, so it’s all good. 
Lanzarote is small-ish, and like the other Islands in this chain, formed by its volcanic history. There are golden beaches, but also there aren’t; lava and volcanic dust are evident everywhere. The fields are purposefully covered in the black dust after planting...it holds moisture like a sponge, and because of the trade winds, overnight dew is pretty much the only moisture. 150mm of rainfall a year doesn’t encourage much growth. And yet.....there are vineyards. I know this because we did a fabulous Wine & Tapas tour of three Bodegas yesterday. First sip of wine was at 11am. Luckily and as predicted, they were all dry and fancy, so I didn’t really love them, which kept my volume, tact and friendliness at an acceptable level. It was fascinating.
Vines are planted deep below the volcanic dust and encouraged to spread rather than clamber. The little walls are wind breaks (it is constantly windy on the high ground and the wind kills any growth that pokes its head over the wall!). Harvesting has to be done by hand, on the black lava dust, in temperatures that exceed 110. There have to be easier ways to earn a living. Certainly I cannot understand how a Bodega that produces say 5000 bottles a year can afford to sell them at 9 or 10 Euros each. They can’t be paying themselves much at all.

To be honest, my interest in the Wine tour was the same one that started WOYWW! Bodegas are the home businesses of lovely Canary locals and they were charming. Obviously because I’m English and have impeccable manners, I did not take any photos inside their homes. Sitting around tables under the shade of massive vines or beautifully kept stucco and sipping from their produce, eating homemade cheeses and getting ‘strawberries, and end notes of citrus’, whipping the old phone out to take some pictures would have been crass. After the third tasting, we were taken to a roadside cafe for a tapas lunch. You know the sort of cafe...where all the signage is faded by years of sun exposure, the shutters are drawn and paint peeling, and any locals around stop to watch you as you negotiate the broken steps. In short, the sort of place that we would never be brave enough to try. On Lanzarote, there a ‘teleclubs’ such as this in a fair few small towns across the island. The first house that had television was frequented by other villagers until it was a bar and food place. They seem still to be community centred and again, absolutely lovely. Lively and local, and with those straight backed chairs that force you into excellent posture!  I could not understand a word of the thick, treacle like Spanish being spoken at speed, but the lady who served our party was valiant in her attempt at explaining round after round of tapas. And of course, we relied, child like on Dan -  our extremely young, knowledgeable, personable young man of a tour guide. There was a feast, and despite being full, we were reluctant to finish. A chickpea and something stew, a goat and something else stew, fresh fish fingers (!), fried cheese, canarian potatoes, a salad with jam, lettuce, mozzarella and extra thick, probably years old balsamic vinegar....oh my life it was wonderful. If you’re planning a visit to Lanzarote, I recommend this tour. And they haven’t even paid me to say that.
 ( @winetourslanzarote on FB if you’re really interested).
Here we are, lily-white and tourist looking, outside the second Bodega. Note two things...Mr Dunnit will not appreciate the exposure, specially because we can’t work out how to change the mirroring image thing on his phone, but what the hell. And hey, my wonky face really appreciates the warm sun and would definitely benefit from longer than a week. I’m telling you this because I’ve already told Mr Dunnit and been pretty much ignored on the matter.
There will be more, but you don’t have to read what has essentially turned into a holiday diary; I’m really enchanted by Lanzarote. The clue will be photos that involve sunshine. 

Wednesday, 22 January 2020

What’s On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 555

Oh dear, gentle Desker. It looks as if a lot of people have been dumping stuff on my desk.Of course that isn’t the case. It’s just me. I haven’t done much at the old desk this week, but I did go to Crop on Saturday and that counts, huh. The keyboard is there - it’s presence makes more sense if you imagine the iPad on the stand. It’s not on the stand because I used it to take the onto. Ohemgee are you still reading?!!  The t shirt has just made it from the bottom of a very large pile that I ironed yesterday. It now needs to be posted to Miss Dunnit. She left it behind after a Christmas; looks like a three week turn around on anything needs ironing after washing! There’s a scattering of new on the desk too...I bought some more Tri-Blend pens yesterday and they are at right.I'm gonna make a chart of colours what I own so I don’t buy doubles. You’ll see. Wanna bit of enabling?
This was Shopkeeper Gal’s desk yesterday. New stuff from Crafter’s Companion. The MH stamp set on the left made me think of Shazza The Enabler, so I thought to take a photo! So, to go back to my desk briefly - that upside down Donkey face on a card on my iPad stand kind of sums up the week so far! Show us your desk, space, what you’re working on, please. Put WOYWW in your post title and link the post here please- remember that your post needs to feature your desk/table/lap tray/what ever you’re currently working on. ( I note with green eyes that some will be working on moving into a brand new kitchen, for example....) thank you!

Saturday, 18 January 2020

Love a good Sale!

I bought this lot in the sale at Kraft Crazy. It’s not that I’d had my eye on them prior to the sale, or that I erm, need anything in particular, it’s just that at the time of browsing, I liked them. 
And to be honest, with clear stamps, I really have to like them. I know there’s going to be a day when there is absolutely no choice and I know too, that we’re very close to that day. But it probably won’t stop me whining about how much I miss wood mounts. So there. Now, when I picked them up and looked at them, I thought the ‘Fifties’ stamps could be fun and an idea came to me. Obviously, between buying them and them having a little rest (of a week) in a bag by my desk, I have completely forgotten the any idea. No need to offer advice about carrying a notebook at all times. I do. It’s just that I get these ideas and they’re so strong, so vivid, that I think I can’t possibly forget them. Fool me once....ha! I would say watch this space, but what I’m actually hoping for is a flurry of comments filled with ideas - it’s not too much to ask is it, kind, friendly, inspirational reader?

Wednesday, 15 January 2020

What’s On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 554

Well, I sort of justified the mess that you can see in my last post. I’ve had five minutes here and there and just carried on adding to it. 
You can see a pair of legs just poking out from the mess on the glass mat. It’s a Julie Nutting figure. I got carried away and thought a couple of cards with this gal on it would be nice. But oh boy, it takes so long to colour and piece and cut out....really stopped me in my tracks! I can see 3 pairs of scissors and a scalpel, not bad. On the far right is a Christmas bauble stencil...I love the swirly design and use it quite a lot, so I don’t include it in my Christmas box of stash that goes well away for a rest. You can see upturned wood mounted stamps scattered a bit at right...and a teetering pile too. It will all be sorted this morning before I have to go out. I need to come back and not have to face it! Want a twofer? Here’s the opened an in use box of cards and envelopes that I’m slowly using up. I can’t use them for workshops because there aren’t enough of each, or they aren’t available any more, so it’s a slow but steady thing. But now they’re in this long box and I can see them all, I am actually using them. Lots, huh.
 Bonus...with the lid on, this box makes a marvellous foot rest! The two boxes at left contain tools and multiples for workshops etc. And there’s a set of drawers that contains my much reduced clear stamps. Sorting and clearing continues. An idea for a really decent way to store the clear stamps would be welcome....I think they are much harder than wood mounts to look after and store.
Enough already, please share and tell with your own spaces, it’s where the best ideas come from!

Monday, 13 January 2020

Wallowing

The time I’ve spent enjoying my wood mounts and making cards has diminished as the reality of New Year, work and routine has fully emerged. I’ve been doing that five minutes here and there thing. It’s ok,it gets stuff done, but oh my word, it feels slow. It also leads to another as yet unnamed phenomenon which I’m sure you’ll be familiar with, whatever your crafty passion. You know the one where you get stuck in for five minutes and just as you’re immersed, totally in the zone and starting to breathe ideas in and out. BANG, time’s up and real life clears your vision and forces you to step away from the inspiration and re-focus. It happens frequently here. So frequently that I don’t even hate it anymore....I’m just resigned to it. The silver lining is that this phenomenon doesn’t put me off bothering with the odd five minutes desk time. I’d never get anything done if I let it!
I’ve been playing with layers of ink rather than layers of paper, and will prolly continue to do so...the cards aren’t CAS, indeed some of them have a ‘layer’, but they aren’t heavy with layers either. Easier to post, although not exactly what I was thinking about as I made them. I’m enjoying the idea of making a card in a single colour. I’ve used an old Stamping Up! set and some of my lovely wood mounts for this selection. Its lovely to just pull a few stamps off the shelf and just use them with no thought of availability or age, something that I have to bear in mind when I’m trying to do workshop samples. I have to clear the desk off and start those very soon. If you’re currently in the middle of a ‘thing’ for a particular style, stamp, colour, direct us to your blog for a look will ya?

Friday, 10 January 2020

Filling up your new diary...

There’s never a bad time to remind you that we’re holding a WOYWW Crop in Shrewsbury on Saturday June 6th. And you’re welcome. I hope this gives you some planning time. Make it a resolution. Write it in your new diary and look forward to it. Shropshire is beeyoooootiful, you can make a short break of it and see something other than all of us!  We don’t need a massive commitment from you right now, but we will ask for numbers nearer the time. Because we need to know about setting out enough chairs and bringing enough mugs. And food. There is always food where crafters meet. 
Now, when I say ‘we’, I really mean ‘they’. I just roll up and have a nice time, much like every other Desker that comes. But Wipso and Twiglet are hosting. Which is a euphemism for ‘doing all the work’.  Here they are, hard at work. Just as you will be when you come to Crop.
Consider the poor photograph of the LO as an attempt to add a lovely shiny light to the Stichsters. 


Wednesday, 8 January 2020

What’s On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 553

My word Deskers, I’ve had a week of easing back into routine. You can’t tell because you were never shown the problem, but I’ve done a lot of sorting; the empty space behind me is bigger and the box at my feet now contains cards and envelopes that are sorted and useable. Oh, you can’t see that either! 
Two things strike me though..you can see the wooden desk surface which hasn’t early happened for a while, and - I have real card making with real wooden stamps going on! Bee elll double isss. Bliss. There is plenty to do in the next week, but I’m going to try really hard to make a stash of cards just for the love of the stamps. They’ll be simple and uncomplicated because otherwise I’ll get a ‘thing’ about using techniques, or not being able to get the idea from head to paper, so it’s all systems go with the flow here!
So how’re you doing? using your workspace already this year? Show and tell please. Perhaps enjoy this teeny unchanging section of 2020!

Sunday, 5 January 2020

Can we talk? surfaces....

If you visit here on a Wednesday, you can have access to a number of work surfaces. You can even show us yours. We’d like that. But here now today, I’d like to talk specifically about MY work surface. 
Not the desk per se, but what I put on top of it.
I have a square glass cutting mat with a grid printed on it. Love it. Don’t want to talk about that, either.
For messy work, I have an A2 art pad which sits under my desk until required. No need to talk about that.
What comes next? Well, you might recognise this.
The actual project. And that makes it instantly vulnerable! 
I mean it. If you’ve seen my WOYWW posts, you’ll know that I work in a mess. I can reduce my working space to the size of the card or the Layout I’m working on in seconds. Harmless, right? Whatever makes me happy, keeps me crafting? Yeah right.
I’ve got the surfaces...glass mat, block of paper for Messy work. Two moans here...the Cosmic Shimmer Mist will not spray anymore and despite hot water and patience, it STILL WILL NOT SPRAY. Consequently, see, I tap the squirt tube over the card stock that needs to have a sprinkle of cosmic on it. And because it needs to be regularly put back in the bottle to pick up more Cosmicness, I managed to POUR it over the card because I wasn’t concentrating on bottle angles, left hands etc. Cosmic, just pigging cosmic. 
But Julia you say, that was an accident. Mmmmm. It certainly wasn’t deliberate.
Here’s a nice enough Layout completed for a challenge just before Christmas. It was meant to be on a plain piece of card, but guess what. I had decided to try to make the pink of my gorgeous Mother’s outfit stand out. It looks quite white in the picture, but I promise it wasn’t. After all, she would never ever ever have worn a white outfit at her daughter’s wedding, huh. I digress. I wanted a stamped and interesting wordy, curlicue flourished, patterny background so I started with a plan to layer the stamping. Having added the title, I went away to do something domestic and pointless. When I returned, I had to make a card using cosmic Shimmer Mist because I’d had a bit of a bad time with one I’d tried to make earlier. So I plonked the card on top of the Layout and lo and behold, ruined both!  
Doesn't the pink look vile, actually? It wasn’t so pink in real life. Specially after I’d shimmered the Cosmic. Same hateful problem hours apart. You’d think a gal would learn huh. Well I have learned. I’ve learned that I’m not going to  use that Cosmic spray stuff anymore. Paintbrushes for me. Other bad habits? Too late to change, new year or not.


Wednesday, 1 January 2020

What’s On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 552

Isnt it amazing that we should happen to come together for New Year’s Day. You’re welcome, because of course I planned it! Ho Ho Ho. 
I have nothing of import or interest to show you, so here’s the extension that you’ve had to watch evolving. The other end will be a kitchen and it’s not finished. But there’s time. At least the dust is gone!

Please accept my Happy New Year wishes, whatever, wherever and however, I wish you improvement on last year and very much hope that you’ll continue to blog and read blogs too! Huge love to you across these interweb waves. 2020? Bring it on: in a together frame of mind we can take on anything! 

Well, not quite anything. I’m away and trying to do this from my phone. I cannot add Mr Linky, and frankly, can’t spend any more time trying for fear of offending my hosts. Either link in your comment or...have a link holiday! Xx