Wednesday 30 December 2020

What’s on your Workdesk? Wednesday 604

I took this picture yesterday just before twilight. I’ve moved my desk back into the daylight of our lounge room. Christmas is pretty much over in this household (he lasted two whole days before going back to the workshop) and I reckon that hiding the desk in the windowless work room wasn’t actually going to get any work done at all. 
The desk has seen some action. I was in the middle of a zoom call yesterday when my internet failed, so it shows some bits and pieces that I was ‘working’ on. Using up ephemera and scraps to make some embellishments and journaling pieces. You can just see them next to the sellotape dispenser. When I realised that I wasn’t going to be able to re-join the zoom convo, I started to match photos to scraps in an attempt to put together the start of a scrapbook page, and that’s what is still on my desk this morning. 
Now, I know I’m full of opinion, and am given to being bossy, but I really need you all to promise me that you’re taking great care to avoid catching this damned virus. UK news really implies that it’s rampant here and even if you aren’t under orders to lockdown, it would make me feel better if you can. I know about work, I know about relatives that need your attention and I know about children who have to go to school. I’m just asking you to be extra super aware, wear the mask, clean the hands. Do what you’re doing, but do it harder. Please. Oh, and show us your post Christmas desk! Have you managed anything? have you a plan?  have you a Looong list of cards required for January birthdays? I’m projecting....

Friday 25 December 2020

Happy Christmas to you. 
It will be different; it will cause us to pause; and inevitably, we will miss our ‘normal’. 
Isolating doesn’t mean that you have to be alone. If you’re alone and feeling it, reach out. Email or call a friend or relly; get the time zone right so it’s not the middle of the night - otherwise there’s no bad time really! And watch out for pop up group chat invitations, they will be floating about!

Wednesday 23 December 2020

What’s On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 603

Shambles! Alert alert! I’m just finishing a layout from a crop I took part in at the weekend. Then the desk, the trolley, the stool and the huge waste bin have to be tidied and put away till after the big day. It might actually take me a whole day to get this done. 
The large file at right contains alphabet stickers. I haven’t bought any new sets for six months, so largely, this file is filled with part-used alpha stickers and they aren’t overly useful. Because I have hope in my heart and I’m too cheap to throw anything away, I flick through them and use whatever I can each time I make a page up. There were 6 crop challenges and the first required tissue paper. The LO you can see is for the sixth challenge. The tissue paper from challenge one is in the bag at left, under the roll of foam tape and word stickers. Would have been easy to put away, huh. No idea why I didn’t. That space would have been useful, huh. So that’s it, gentle Deskers, till Christmas is behind us. Here in the UK, things have changed for us all and no doubt everybody’s plans are affected by new rules designed to try to contain the rapid spreading strain of C19. Be careful, be safe. Enjoy a day off for Christmas, whatever your plans are. Meanwhile, please show us your pre Christmas desks. And for once, instead of a cuppa, I will allow egg nog or mulled wine. Except for me of course, I don’t like either. Although I have tried, honestly. No mines still a G&T, but I might drop a couple of halved cranberries in to make it more festive!

Saturday 19 December 2020

Productivity and the Crop

Remember at the Zoom Crop where a lot of you sat still and enjoyed the moments? I was making up cards. It stopped me being nervous and talking too much and hogging the airwaves. If you were at the Crop you’ll know that I had previously coloured and cut out a bunch of Janet Klein images (my current thing, and it wasn’t my fault. Soojay made me and Neet made me worse.* cough cough*)
So whilst we were listening and chatting, I put them together, the aim was to use scraps and random die cuts knocking about in my er, random die cut folio (that Kelly made me make). 

I managed a few. They are with one exception, pretty basic, but they achieved their objective. I can’t say though that my scraps are much diminished! I inherited a huge range of coloured card blanks that really aren’t very ‘on trend’ now, but I’m still like them and it saves double matting when you’re on a roll, huh! I’ve included the odd bit of ephemera that I’ll likely never use on a scrapbook page, waste not....
This card took way longer than I wanted it to, but once you start....! It utilises the leftovers from a sticker alphabet from a Basic Grey collection. Basic Grey haven’t produced scrapbook paper for some years now, so the stickerinessness of the letters was a bit dubious. So, to ensure that the recipient of this card doesn’t open an envelope filled with letter shaped confetti, I used a glue pen.I’m so so glad that I was listening and talking to you whilst I did this, otherwise I’d have noticed that I’m not really patient enough to do this sort of thing. Now here’s a thing...I only use papers I like, which means that saving the scraps to use is important to me. So if you get ever get a card from me and it looks like the scraps off my probably is, and scraps or not, I liked them enough to use them again! The plain pieces of card that are scrap from stamping are a whole different matter and frankly, that’s the area I need to concentrate on in terms of using up scraps. Thinking caps on, and remember, it has to be simple and quick!

Wednesday 16 December 2020

What’s on your Workdesk? Wednesday 602

The photography is awful, but the picture sums it up. Wrapping. Wrapping is happening on m desk. It looks as bad as it is, and at some point today it will all be over and I’m going to completely tidy my desk and reveal the surface. And the dining table. It’s driving me mad.
You can’t see because of the gloom, but there are five pairs of scissors under that lot. The paper in the centre is actually hiding the next present to be wrapped. The coffee cup actually had water in it because I had to take a pill, wrapping gave me a headache! I use the sharpies to write on the gift tags, there’s a red and a silver one on the desk too, somewhere. The strange black ‘thing’ at right is the iPad/phone holder. It took me a minute to work it out when I uploaded the photo, still not used to it being there! The deckchair isn’t retired, it was temporarily flattened to make room for all this other stuff. When all this wrapping nonsense has gone, I’ll show you the cards I put together on Crop day. They are as you can tell, deeply out of reach at the moment. 
Show and tell please, remind me what my desk is really for! And, nine days to go...share your state of readiness please....make this mortal feel a little more in control!

Friday 11 December 2020

More 600ness

I tried to photograph this splendid card yesterday, last night and earlier this morning. Obviously, it didn’t work well last night because the light just reflected off the acetate overlay. It didn’t work well during the day time because it’s so so dull and grey here that the light bounced off the acetate overlay. I am wrestling with Christmas Tree decorating this morning. Well, actually, shifting furniture and being disdainful of the number of sockets we need to use on a normal day, never mind a Christmas decorated day. It’s ridiculous. Anyway, I noticed that it had stopped raining and there is the slightest break through of sunlight in the cloud cover; so I’ve made a coffee, taken a photo and at last can show you. Although, you can see the light bouncing off the acetate overlay. Real photographers will despair. Sorry.
This is the photo that proves I have it on display. I have others too, but they’re actually on my desk. For me, this is quite an arty shot. My Ma in Law bought me some hyacinths to nurture, so they are very busy making me nervous. Please let them survive till she’s seen them on Christmas Day! Would you look at the card though, a photographic collage of photos taken at crops. Obviously, that means that a lot of you aren’t on it, but by gum, an awful lot of you are, and it’s just so nice to look at you all. Brilliant card, and huge big up to Shaz Silverwolf for making it. Coming up with idea and wrangling the photos would have been too hard for me, so I want you to know just how much I appreciate it.
Here’s an even bigger version. I’d just like to say that despite my self absorption and all about me-ness, at least I’m not vain. This is proven by the fact that I know I’m no oil painting, yet I still manage to be good natured about the horrible photographs that are taken of me at crops and in fact, anywhere. I think that’s a positive on my list of good and bad. Hope Santa’s reading this.

Wednesday 9 December 2020

What’s on your Workdesk? Wednesday 601

I didn’t have to go back and double check the week number! 
A sort of twofer today. Having my desk face the kitchen means that daylight over exposes everything, so I took pictures from the back of the desk. 
It’s very untidy, but you’re used to that. It’s been fairly productive actually. I made up quite a few cards over the two chat sessions on Saturday, and the last couple of days I’ve made a couple of specific cards and even coloured int eh cats that Linda sent can see them. I don’t as a rule, use animal images, so where to go with these will be a bit of a challenge! On the top left are two boxes that open at the short ends like drawers. My mother in law gave them to me; they had Christmas cards in and of course, now written and sent, she has no use for the boxes. Not sure I do as yet, but they might be repurposed at some point! Almost hidden at front left is the amazing WOYWW 60o card that Shaz made and sent, despite being so poorly. I’m sorry you can’t see it properly, I will rectify that in another post.
This is the back....the stacked cards are those I made on Saturday, and you can see my scandi-chic glasses case for December use. Jan made it for me. Of course she did! It’s one of many things I like to swap out for the month to remind me that even every day things can signal Christmas panic anticipation. 
So there you’ve really seen a lot of me and mine this week, so I’ll leave it at that. Join in do, post a pic of your desk on your blog, put WOYWW win the post title and link it here, please. Carry on as if we didn’t interrupt ourselves then.

Tuesday 8 December 2020

Well, that went well...

I’ve been smiling and boring Mr Dunnit since Saturday with things I remember and faces I’ve seen at our Zoom Crop. I know the pass code thing in the morning could have been a disaster, and those of you that managed it were so kind as to brush off the difficulties. I think the more we do it, the easier it will be, therefore, we must do it again!
This incredible amazing star arrived whilst we were in session on Saturday morning. I did a live ‘unboxing’. Something I thought I’d never do - I see loads of links for them on scrapbook sites that I visit and I couldn’t be less bothered. I mean, who wants to watch someone open a box of goodies that you haven’t got. But this beauty drew in a collective gasp.
It’s from Debbie at Tattered Rocks and makes a magnificent reminder of the collective achievement, I think it’s incredible. I was telling Debbie some of the highlights of so many of us being online together. Being able to look through journals and card makings, showing and reminiscing over WOYWW ATC collections, learning how to make our own washi tape, and some giggles, including aridiculous discussion about Marmite, of all things! Of course we, talked a lot about Covid. We talked of loss and love, and even the maker of the grunge, Tim Holtz managed to get a mention. From Jan. possibly the most unlikely source, in my opinion! 
We were able to admire craft spaces too, and admire storage, quantity and neatness. Any danger of me putting myself across as cool and collected and in the image I’d like you all to have of me was impossible to portray, let alone maintain!  I had to sit close to my screen to get a good look at everything and to keep pressing buttons, and I was so excited to see you, and we all worked out why my desk is constantly like it is. ‘I don’t want to work that hard’ was heard springing from my wonky lips more than once. There were a million questions I wanted to ask and somehow didn’t. I know that I’d have like to hear more from some of you, and will figure a way to do that, too. Meanwhile though, if I invited you to do it again, would you?  

Thursday 3 December 2020

Cropping and chatting.

Well I don’t know about you, but I’m really looking forward to sitting at my desk for more than five minutes this week! So far it’s been tidied, photographed and then used for addressing envelopes and wrapping birthday gifts for December people. I did manage some die cutting for half an hour today, in preparation for what I’m going to make whilst we’re all chatting on Saturday. I know! I have a plan! I also have to be thankful for the wheels on the desk, for they shall go round and order to have decent light, the two zoom sessions will see the desk in different locations! And talking of locations, here’s what you need to get into the zoom meeting. For the morning session, from half past nine, access by using the Meeting ID 946 581 8171 and the pass code is 783819. Don’t forget to enable camera/video and audio once prompted! Join us again or for the first time later in the day, from half past five, the Meeting ID is the same 946 581 8171, and the pass code is 675339. in both cases, the time zone is London GMT, so a quick google will tell you what time to erm, tune in. There are URLs available for the meetings if you’d like to join without downloading the App. They are long and complicated and I think it would be wise if I were to email them to you on request. I’m sorry this post seems long winded, I’m just trying to give it a familiar format to avoid over exposure. For once in my life!

Wednesday 2 December 2020

Indulge me a bit more, please

A lot of fuss has been made over me and the WOYWW 600. I’ve loved it, been totally surprised by its apparent importance and revelled in the attention. Of course I have, I’m a human bean that loves to have friends. Please also though, pat yourselves on the back, there is no WOYWW blog hop without you and your blog posts! 

Jan has a place in the story too, bigger and more permanent than she’ll even realise. Despite our differences, and there are loads, we have a solid, enduring friendship. And it is our friendship and her giving that has enabled WOYWW in several ways.

There was a big chunk of time when I was too poorly to post the central link around which we all meet. Jan did it, for months. With good grace and cheer of course. And when it was the right time, she handed it back. Indeed, it was she that noted that getting back into the groove of WOYWW would probably be good for me. And it was.

The Crop movement was motivated by Jan too. Whilst I avoided it and thought no one would want to bother to travel for a day of meeting strangers from the internet, Jan bounced every excuse back at me until I had none left, and found myself believing it could be fun.
And then, as you know, she organised and catered and I hope, enjoyed. She certainly is good at it!
Totally appropriate, the box that the gin arrived in!

I am also indebted to her for some timely straight talking. See, I thought that WOYWW 600 was really only to be noteworthy because of the satisfactory number, after all, we’ve celebrated and had a big old tenth anniversary, so the 11th and 600 would be good evidence of longevity. It was she who told me that there were a few Deskers who thought more of it than that because the community was worth celebrating. It’s not that I’m humble or shy, but I do sometimes need these things to be pointed out, as much as I want it to be all about me, all the time, I don’t always recognise the opportunity. And because she’s my friend, Jan does and points me at it.

And then of course, there was yesterday and those wonderful gifts. Co-ordinated and thought about by Jan. With I might add, quite some subterfuge. Not a word, not a hint, and we speak and message fairly often as you can imagine. So please raise a glass to Jan too, for quite often, I do the talking and she does the walking. 

Note too that however much love and respect she commands from me, I have not actually officially said that she was right.

What’s On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 600. Six hundred.

I have been composing a post over the last week, in my head, about this weeks big number. None of that appears here. There’s a small look-back in the last post, but this one has turned into a bit of a brag-fest and I just can’t help it.
Six hundred. Zeshonderd. Six cent. Sechshundert. Sescentorum. Seiscientos. Chwe chant.
Whichever way you look at it, that’s a lot of weeks. It’s been a lot of everything. Typing, reading, visiting, enabling, laughing, supporting, meeting. It’s been a bit marvellous really! A lot of activity too, of the behind-my-back variety and I’ve been bombarded with gifts. The plan I had for my desk has therefore changed immensely. Now, it’s a show off desk. Feast your eyes on my feast:
Yesterday, a Christmas tree arrived by post, with decorations, chocolate gold coins, a golden bucket and even moss to put around the top of the bucket. Lights with batteries. Isn’t it gorgeous. And it smells of Christmas too, just amazing. The card tells me it’s a gift from you gentle Desker. I was surprised, delighted, but mostly surprised.
I don’t mean to sound blasé when I say there was a second box...wrapped, protected and perfect, gin and tonic. And chocolates and peanuts. 
And a card saying that it was from you, gentle Desker. 
And then, a thick envelope with the WOYWW 600 card in it, and a gift voucher for one of my favourite places to browse and buy kitsch. From you, gentle Desker. I know that LLJ is behind it all, and that she must have had kittens about deliveries and choices. I had to go into the garage and sort out the bins so that I could have a little cry over your unexpected generosity. It was cold in the garage and soon got me sorted. I don’t mean that you aren’t generous. I read your comments and I know you, you are unfailingly generous. What I mean is that I wasn’t expecting your generosity. I really, really wasn’t. After all, without you contributing each week, there is no WOYWW, and certainly not 600 weeks worth. I’m not used to being lost for words, or having a little cry over some of the best gifts I’ve ever been given, so in the same generous spirit that you CONTRIVED with Jan to buy me these things, please be generous again and accept a very simple and heartfelt thank you. For everything. 
And finally, to prove that sometimes, just sometimes, I can walk the’s not just the corner with the gifts that’s tidy:
Now, if I’ve asked you once, I’ve asked you six hundred times...please link your WOYWW post here so that we can see your busy and always inspiring work surfaces. I really do thank you.