Friday 28 April 2023

Plunking the steam

Or steaming the punk. I don’t know. It’s another craft style or genre that I look at with admiration. I love the ‘insides on the outsides’ look of the style, and the mixture of dark and light, fabric and metal, it’s a lovely eclecticism. 
Cue my monthly ATC swap partner choosing Steampunk as the theme for April. Made me gulp a bit, but not panic. As you know, I’ve got plenty of stash, so I gently started going through it and pulling out anything that I might be able to use. It wasn’t much, to be honest. A couple of dies, an embossing folder with cogs and clocks on it and a handful of metal embellishments. It didn’t add up to much, I can tell you! But it was a positive too, it meant it wouldn’t take long to try combinations of what I’ve got until I hit on something that fit the bill. 
Took blooming ages! I looked at Pinterest. Changed my mind a lot. Then remembered that the best I can do is the best I can do. I used all I’ve got. I could have gone digital I know, but I’ve got all this stuff, it deserves to be used. Especially the alcohol inks that I don’t think have seen the light of day for over four years!
Gosh, I spend a lot of words explaining things that aren’t my style, and this another! I need to take a couple of workshops I think, although to be completely honest, I’m not sure I want to get into this style - I’d have to acquire quite a lot of new stuff to be able to pull it off, and I’m not up for that anymore, good grief, where would it go?! The stockists may be unimpressed by this decision, but I reckon if he knew, Mr Dunnit would be hanging out the flags! 

Wednesday 26 April 2023

What’s On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 725

OK, lovely Desker, three weeks to go until we hit the 14th anniversary of this ‘ere WOYWW, on week 728. I’ve had a few questions, so here are a few answers….we’re going to do the roundy ATC swap that we’ve always done. Make one to swap with your swap partner on the day, or make more and swap with others too. There isn’t a specific theme this year. I thought it would make it easier if I simply suggested that your ATC(s) somehow reflect what being a desker means to you. Sorry; now I’ve started working on my ATCs, I’ve realised that it’s so much easier to have a specific theme. And colour. And words. And image. I hope that answers the questions that have been asked thus far. Any others…? Ask in the comments or email me, find me on Facebook and message me…however it suits you.
Meanwhile, I’ve been at my desk for several sessions this week already. A lovely long screen chat with LLJ on Monday gave me time for cutting out, and in between things yesterday I managed some sticking, trimming and inking. So far so good!
All of this activity is secret though. Last Wednesday you lot set of the panic train in my brain, so I just had to start on my ATCs, especially as I had a vague idea!  What you can see on my desk is the arc of pushback, it’s amazing how I can make it look tidy but the back and edges are a bit precarious! Great ATC backs made by Mary Anne are printed and ready to be cut up. My lovely blank ATC storage box back on centre stage - made for me by the beautiful and missed Debbie Rock, such a pleasure to own. You can just see two rulers in the foreground - funny, I used one, pushed it to the side, and then when I needed to use it again, I reached up to where I should have put it back, and used the spare. And then pushed that to the side as well. And that black and grey thing right in the front of the pic is a Fiskars scissor sharpener. Useful bit of plastic and metal, actually. 
That’s me then, now you please! Put WOYWW in your post title please, then link here as usual! See you later!

Friday 21 April 2023

Taking liberties for my art…

I painted two plates as souvenirs of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee. (Using the formal because I want it to sound grand. It may lessen the rather pedestrian nature of the souvenirs I produced!) one plate went to Miss Dunnit and the other is in regular use in my daily crockery stack. The design was my own in as much as I took a liberty by cutting the crown in half. I had downloaded the image from the official website and traced it, then scribbled all over the back of the tracing with a soft pencil and then traced it again onto the naked plates. Remember that technique from childhood? Still works but my word, it’s very laborious. Very. Anyway, I Dunnit.
The lettering was stamped just as a size gauge, so when it came to painting, I kept it simple and used it as a guide for spacing etc. thank goodness, the stamped ink burned off in the kiln! I was left with a gap at the foot of the plate which I really didn’t like, so asked for a delay in glazing to gimme a chance to think of something to add. Naturally, I was about a mile from the studio when it occurred to me that EIIR would be the most appropriate addition. I didn’t quite do a handbrake turn and go back to save the day. Instead I did the grown up thing and waited till I next had some time booked. I know, surprised me too.

So, the world turns and momentous events mean that we are now facing the coronation of King Charles III. Today I’m going to start on my souvenir plates. Start by downloading the official image. Did that about 6 weeks ago and am still in shock….
The detail! I’m a heavy handed painter as ably illustrated on the Jubilee plates. And, I don’t think I have the patience to trace, let alone paint this image, twice. Because Miss Dunnit must have her souvenir too, whether she wants it or not. I may have been whining to the ceramic studio lady about the labour involved. I was whining, you have no trouble believing that. Ceramic Gal clapped her hands, rushed into her office and came back with a sheet of special carbon paper for using on unglazed bisque. I had to hug her. So, because today is the deadline, yesterday, I traced onto the first plate. Now, this is where I have to be very humble. I mean, you never know who’s reading, huh.  I’ve erm, adapted the pattern slightly your Majesty. I’m using the Crown centre piece and will attempt the font for my lettering…but forgive me sir, the symbols in red that repeat the representations of England Scotland Ireland and Wales are beyond my finesse in painting on a side plate. 
If I’m not carted off to the tower for taking liberties, I’ll show you how it goes.

Wednesday 19 April 2023

What’s On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 724

The trying to stay tidy thing is a bit of a slippery slope!
I haven’t spent more than about an hour at my desk since last Wednesday and I don’t like it. But, yesterday I did something to quell my rising panic about a couple of deadlines that are approaching. I finished a very tricky theme of an ATC for a swap. It’s a steampunk theme. I had to literally rake through all of my stash. I‘ll try to remember to photograph it once it’s dry…I had to use silicone and real old fashioned wet glue to stick some bits of metal on it. That’s why there’s a small herd of alcohol inks on the desk. My word, they haven’t been used for years. They coloured the bits of metal a bit though, so they still do their job which is impressive.  Also, of course, and slightly unmissable is the lumpy badge maker. I had a couple of cards that needed rude badges, and of course, I haven’t put it away yet…I will later today though, I will be needing the space. I’ve actually had an idea for my anniversary ATCs which I think may work! 
So what are you doing with the crafty part of your brain this week?  Tell and show, please!

Friday 14 April 2023

Oh. O.

Well I’m on a roll. Making and now, spotting mistakes all over the crafty place! Whilst the ‘children’ were home for Easter, I employed them on various tasks involving computers. Fair exchange to be honest, they did things in minutes whilst I slaved over Easter food in the kitchen and gave them chocolate. One of the things I wanted to do was reduce my iCloud storage because I’m not about to start paying for it, I’m too mean AND it’s all part of the control that tech has over my life and I want to stick it to the man. Listen to me, what a load of rubbish. Anyway, once on a page in my scrapbook, I consign the photos to the 21st century shoe box that is a massive file on my PC. That is now organised. And better yet, it’s empty; instead of a £3 Easter egg, I bought myself an external hard drive for photos only. Yep. Sticking it to the man by giving someone nearly £50. Anywayyyyyy….
In organising the photos, there were a lot to be deleted. I use the camera on my phone and iPad as an aide memoire, take lots of screen shots and pics of menu boards in pubs so I can share with others at the table, lovely stuff I want people to know. So, I deleted a chunk which meant having a quick gander at each picture. Honestly, it was a game of spot the mistake.
made this LO in February, photographed it to use on the blog as a decoy for some rambling probably ranting post and put it in the scrapbook. Have looked at the original a few times since, and the photo on my iPad as many times as I’ve had to scroll through ‘em. And until it was time to delete it yesterday, I didn’t notice the mistake in the title. No O in front of clock. OOOOOO Oh for heavens sake! Talk about read what you think it should say not what it actually says. I’ve tried to lift the stuck on letters so that I could correct it…not happening without massive tearing and tears. So this is another perfectly imperfect. I thought that about this LO anyway because my pen ran out as I was doing the tiny bit of journaling at the bottom; until yesterday, I was happily and totally oblivious to the real BIG mistake!  Follow me for more, I can guarantee there will be!

Wednesday 12 April 2023

What’s on Your Workdesk? Wednesday 723

Still trying to be tidy!
I finished the LOs that were erm, laying about last week. Filed ‘em. There’s a story to it, I’ll tell you about it at some point…flicking through my current album to file newly completed LOs isn’t always a joy of memories preserved! Anyway, I’ve moved on to starting an ATC challenge with a theme that frankly, scares me. Which is why you can see my ephemera boxes making an appearance, namely the ‘metals’ and ‘wooden’s’ at this point. There’s an air pump mica spray at right (above the pink highlighter). The Ida is that it doesn’t block up with mica and sprays a fine mist to the last drop. It does, but not until it’s dribbled and squirted all over everything to start with. Sheesh, I need to remember that - and to remember that the trajectory of the ‘mist’ is really unfathomably, disproportionately enormous. Also at last, I’ve found a pot to put the cut up foam tape in. It has a lid, a wide base and is heavier than the paper cup; it’s centre of gravity significantly reduces the chances of having to pick up a kerjillion foam pads. Result! 
We’re five woywws away from the anniversary, this is just a heads-up if you need planning time to make an ATC for the swap. Meanwhile, please keep showing and telling! Kettle is officially on!

Friday 7 April 2023

Egging fail

If you read the post ‘She’s Getting Eggy , now is the moment to hold your breath and await the beauty of my Easter branch, decorated with eggs in rather lovely Easter, spring like colours. Now is the moment, after all, not a moment too soon as it’s Good Friday today. 
Not happening, gentle reader. Unsurprised reader, no doubt! 
I totally lost my patience with the thin and mean acrylic paints but couldn’t find my others. (See this week’s  WOYWW post, a bit of tidying and hey, I’ve found them. Too late, obvs.)
I totally lost my patience with decorating them as planned because it wasn’t as easy as I thought and the silver leaf was just messy.
I totally lost my patience because even before I started decorating them, they were too big and not what I wanted. 
So what to do? I scoured a different website and found some smaller ones for a really good price. Ordered them to come by post in two days.
Meanwhile, finished the big ovals that aren’t eggs. Unscrewed the little hooks and yep, chucked them in a bowl.
They are a mess and I don’t like them. They are slightly saved by the beautiful crystal bowl which is on a semi-permanent loan from my Lunch Lady Jan. I would show you how the sun bounces off the faceted sides and makes the ‘eggs’ look much better. But I can’t because the sun just won’t shine, and it’s all made me petulant and childish. You could hold a party on my bottom lip it sticks out so far when I look at these eggs.

Still, never mind gentle reader. It’s been month-end and tax return information gathering week, so I’ve been distracted from looking at the bad oval eggs. So distracted in fact, that I’d forgotten that the other, smaller eggs were late to arrive. They came today. And they really are smaller. Talk about sublime to ridiculous. And too late. I’ve lost the will to have an eggy branch. I’m also a bit scared that if I don’t paint them and put them away somewhere appropriate, I’ll never find them again. Why? the size….
Ah well, I’ll be ahead of the curve for next year, and using decent acrylics, and repainting the big ‘uns and doing a proper job, I might actually have learned from my comeuppance. Hmm, do ya think?
Happy Easter!

Wednesday 5 April 2023

What’s On Your Workdesk ? Wednesday 722

This photo brought to you in excitement. Tidy! I was at the Coven Crop on Saturday and when I got home, I not only tidied the desk, I did some re-organising as well; the shelf space and worktop at desk right sort of makes a bit more sense now. Sorry that you can’t see it, I didn’t think about it when I was photographing!
There’s a couple of LOs on the desk waiting for me to add titles to. See, I’m grown up now and can make a whole LO without a title instead of rushing to finish it and mucking it up. That is not to say that I apply these titles with any more care and finesse *cough* when I’m at home, just that I can actually cope with the delayed satisfaction of completion, which means I don’t have to cart my infuriating collection of mainly consonant stickers to the Crop! See the die on the cutter there at the right? It was lost and now is found. Weeks ago I made some cards with cups on it with die cut flowers in them. This is one of those dies and I went through the bin under my desk and the proper waste recycling ‘big bin’ trying to find it. I had really written it off, so this was a big moment of serendipity!It was stuck to the back of an alphabet sheet, so obviously happened when I was making the alpha backgrounds. Serves me right for push back and untidiness doesn’t it. Lesson learned? Hmmm.
There has been sunshine forecast for a second day in a row, I am delighted to say. It’s lovely and warm under glass or out of the rather nippy wind, and I hope that wherever you are, you are experiencing a little wink of spring! Have a warm and peaceful Easter.Join in with the old desk sharing please, better for you than any amount of chocolate. Or better yet, visit whilst eating chocolate!