Thursday, 28 February 2013

Lost. Temporarily.

this card featured in the grungy colour workshop last week.
Oh my giddy aunt.  Yesterday's disappearance of Mr Linky was my fault. I was meant to delete an inappropriate link, and because Mr Linky makes it so easy to perform the necessary admin, I was doing it whilst chatting on the phone.  Of course, I deleted the entire thing.  And of course, the tech department at Mr Linky, in a snowy part of the USA, restored it.  They are without doubt, flexible, un-panic-able and brilliant. 
I've left a comment on the particular link rather than delete it..I scare myself sometimes!  I'm going to be sticking to my strengths from now on.  Just as soon as I find one. 

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

What's on Your Workdesk? Wednesday 195

subtitle:  Is this the most boring desk in Britain?  Even as a twofer?

Actually, it may not least I achieved something by doing the accounts and getting ready for month end blah blah.
But be warned my friends, I have found the most boring craft occupation in THE WORLD

Yep. rolling my ribbon collection onto dolly pegs.  It's mind numbingly boring, even with a play on the radio and a cuppa.  I can see this being short bursts of activity over many many days.  On the bright side, I have already found ribbon lengths that I didn't know I had.  Most of the ral craft work is taking place elsewhere this week - I'm about one third of the way through a quilt for Jan and Jo's scheme and am working up some crochet from my armchair.  Neither of which I'm going to photograph until they both look like something.  You know what I mean!
I've created two pages this week, find them in the top left margin will ya - about the WOYWW crop and the Anniversary  (yeah, WOYWW4!).  
Meanwhile please, spark my desk interest back to life - show me what you're up to in your craft space; put WOYWW in the post tile, load a photo onto your blog, turn off word verification if you can and link here.  Easy.  Be reciprocal in your visiting people, at least!

Sunday, 24 February 2013

A review : entirely Solicited

 Chic Maker  are a French company who design jewellery and have a monthly kit plan.  They asked me if I'd like to review one of the kits.  Moi? I said.  I don't make jewellery.  I have fingers like sausages and not a lot of patience for making stuff that is slow to show results.  And I have no tools, and absolutely no knowledge.  Oui, said Chic Maker, you should have a go.  And they sent me a starter kit (the tools) and the February Kit, which makes a multi stranded beaded bracelet.  Oh la la!  I was nervous.

The instructions were brilliant.  Well photographed, obvious and beautifully step by step.

I genuinely had no idea what the 'magnetic clasp' wasn't until I'd finished the bracelet that I realised that the clasp comes apart and has a magnet in it to hold it safely shut. That's how inexperienced I am.  And how clever the kit as proven to be!
I tackled it slowly and exactly in the order of the instructions.  I would imagine that over all it probably took me about four hours to finish, but I did it over a couple of days, as the mood took me.  I was terrified that if I rushed it and made a mess, I'd have to tell Chic Maker that they'd found the only person in Europe that couldn't do it! Remember, I didn't even know what a crimp bead was for.

It so happens that I love turquoise and to see it 'trending on catwalks' is a thrill -  even I know it's high street bound if it's being used by the fashionistas.  So I had absolutely no trouble working myself up to trying the make.  I have had absolutely no trouble wearing it  several times this week either;  let's be honest, that isn't always the case when you make yourself something.  
I loved it.  I loved the fact that when I opened the kit, I found 2 bead varieties that I would have walked past in a store: couldn't see the potential in them as beauty for sure.  And they truly work so well. Certainly a good lesson in not under-rating the plain stuff!  I liked the kit idea - that the pre-selecting had been done for me, and that there was a finished and plausible design to work to.  Apart from sausage fingers, one of the reasons I haven't tried jewellery before has always been that the range is so vast and that I'd never be able to 'design', just by adding beads to wire.  I think for me, this kit was the perfect answer.  
And as a plus, I discovered from the Chic Maker Facebook page that their blog shows another project that will make up from the 'leftovers' of the February kit.  Nice surprise.

I've walked around the idea for a week and today, I've subscribed; I figure this is going to be fun, without pressure and very do-able.  J'adore!

Friday, 22 February 2013

Well, some of you will smile...

The long spoken of, massively over-hyped, seriously put off and desperately boring ribbon storage solution is being engaged.  These are the first three to be wound.  OK - they're the only three, but hey, every journey starts with the first step.  And just look how far I'll have come.....

Sharing this with Annie's smiles..go there for a smile..a nice way to start a browsing session.

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 194

Finished.  That's what's on my desk.  Finished the 'recipe' baskets for the grunge workshop.  Finished die cutting the spirals that will become flowers.  Finished my first ever piece of jewellery, more of which I shall brag about at some other time.  Of course, there's not a lot of tidy going on....but it's not terrible..I think looks worse from this angle because of all the stuff on the counter top against the wall.  You be the judge.  This angle does make it look as if I own the biggest ATG dispenser, huh!!  Photo taken before daylight failed on Tuesday late afternoon...(nearly 5 o,clock, hurrah!).  This post, badly written at Oh Em Gee o,clock on wednesday morning.  Yep, day out helping the worker do visits, measuring and generally being the glamorous assistant.  Yep.  Me.

Join in do - post a pic of your work area on your blog, put WOYWW in the post title then link here.  Please.  Thank You.  There's slightly more in depth instructions to be found HERE.
WOYWW Housekeeping:
Believe it or not, week 208 will be the fourth anniversary!  I're all to blame and it's totally ridiculous. I wanna suggest we do another ATC swap and will create a separate page about it in the next few days.

There's a WOYWW Crop on June 1st at Burbage Village Hall (same place as last year).  Again, you don't need to commit at this stage, just wanna flag it up as something you might be within reasonable distance of that you could consider coming.  Again, there'll be a new page about it (because I can) rather than wittering on every Wednesday.  (Yah, like I never witter on.)

Monday, 18 February 2013

Colour me Grunge

The thing about saying you'll do a workshop in the grunge style is that you have to alter your personality.  No really, I truly have to think differently and adopt a 'Julia Holtz' mindset.  You know by now that I'm not one for the original grunge colours...the 'seven shades of wee wee' that were so in evidence when Ranger launched the Tim Holtz signature range.  But of course, I'm easily influenced and when the 'proper colours' started to appear, I was sold.  Or bought.  You decide. It's all just a question of layers of colours, right?  And as far as I can tell, as many colour applying techniques as you can apply to a single sheet of card stock before it falls apart.  I know, lots of you will be thinking that I'm being very unfair with that as a description, but here's some evidence:
Ink sponged on to colour white stock
Ink splattered on to colour coloured stock
Ink sponged through stencil to add shapes and another colour to coloured stock
Water splattered to take off some ink (!)
Ink applied to add further colour with rubber stamp
More ink for another colour application by rubber stamp
                                     AND THAT'S JUST FOR A BACKGROUND!

Sheeze, no wonder the scrapbook papers became so popular so fast!  Anyway, after all that trouble, you get a nice bright card and the recipient will never know the toil or the technique or indeed, the fingernails dyed to the colour of a 200-a-day-smoker. It's all for the art dahlink!
Inevitable then, for a four card workshop, that I lose the will to live and turn to scrapbook paper and some die cuts. (And Kraft paper at that whaaaa!)  And it all goes a bit 'real grunge' then:

I'm the first to accept that mounting this lot on a red card doesn't really make it 'colourful grunge', but what can a gal soon as I start on the sanding and distressing, I get a bit sad and depressed and into a grungy state of mind and have to exert mental pressure on myself not to resort to the seven's an undue influence and I'm rubbish at will power.  Ask anyone.  So there, if you're coming on Thursday, the cards are mostly colourful. Now that I've worked out that it's the distress that makes me a bit erm, distressed, I'll move on.  I think it was my beloved father who once nodded at one or other of my efforts in crafting and sagely advised me to stick to what I'm good at.  Well, Pa...just so you know, I'm working on finding that!

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 193

My desk is going to blush soon - I keep revealing woodwork - call it the white space of desk-ness.  or something.  It's because I'm trying to work on different stuff each time I get desk time which means clearing up.  Interestingly, please note that I usually clear up the last  stuff before starting the new stuff.  Which doesn't mean I clear up at the end, rather at the beginning.  Making sense?  Hmmm.  So I took this photo at about 10pm Tuesday night.
See the punches?  I didn't use those for the circles, I don't I decided, have the right sizes and so used a nestabilities set.  You probably want to know 'the right sizes for what, missus?'.  I'm not really sure yet.  It's an idea sparked by a card that Sarah sent to me months and months ago..of course I don't know where it is now I need it, but hmm, something will occur.  But not today.  I'm out and about again, so please be kind when I'm late to visit.  Oh and that little card on the deckchair you keep seeing, and some ask about is this, for a 'Men's' workshop at some stage in the next couple months.

So that's my less than short work desk explanation.  Let's see and read yours too please.  Do a blog post entitled WOYWW that shows your work desk and what you're working on and we'll run around to see as soon as we can. If you need more info, have a look at the page that explains better - accessible through the link at left top of the page.
And last thing - if you fancy a day at a craft show, please have a look at  THIS post for a chance to win tickets.  And note that I lied.  Me and that LLJ will be going to Birmingham on the Friday, not as previously stated.  I can't get the hang of actual dates and days!

Tuesday, 12 February 2013


Of course, this cannot be a wordless post. But I'll keep it brief-ish, by illustrating some of my intentions for the next few days.  (Note how I'm not committing to a specific period of time...)  These are not in any order of priority, you may wish to advise me...
Get a grip, step outside my comfort zone and start working on ideas for a workshop with a 'Cute' theme.  Procrastination will not help at all in this case. It will take time and gnashing of teeth.  No doubt.

For the sake of my mental stability, I need to finish this long scarf for Miss Dunnit.  The colours are something to do with a new costume and the stripes are 'doing my head in'.  Technical term.

For the last time, sort out the fiasco of the ribbon jar.  The nice ebay people sent the pegs so promptly I've been caught out - I thought this would end up on next week's agenda!

Finish this.  Leaving the board up and in my way doesn't annoy me enough these days, so best to just get it over with.  And don't advise me not to bother, I am genetically wired this way..some things just have to be ironed.

Oh look, there's some business paperwork building up already...and it's not on top of the fridge.  When I asked Mr Dunnit to stick the Merlin delivery notes in the box (in the kitchen - that I put on the wall on Saturday morning), he asked 'what box?'  

A short (I think) sewing job, the design of which is largely in my head...fat quarter, some fleece and somewhere a picture frame...another Pinterest idea that I THINK I can copy.... And a birthday present for tomorow.  Oops!
And for now, because my life is glamorous and filled with creativity and fun, I'm off to wash the kitchen floor before going to the supermarket.  

Saturday, 9 February 2013

I've gone all Blue Peter....

Truly, I have.  You know how you get an idea - oh well, hang on..what I really mean know how you see something on Pinterest...and then it sort of sticks in your head but you aren't Martha Stewart and you don't want to use power tools or have to ask for help so you kinda mull it over for ever...and then you wake up one Saturday morning and it's cold and snowy and the agenda is filled with stuff you would rather not be doing?  Yeah?  Well, here we all are on the same page then.  

 And you know how maybe twenty eight years ago you would fight against and resent the fact that you are the only person in the house that does any sort of real tidying up and that includes dealing with mail and filing...but now, after those twenty eight years, you sort of do it automatically and no longer resent it because, frankly, you're a grown up now and really, there are worse things to have to do and at least you know where important stuff is? Oh me too.  So while I was clearing up the kitchen after other people's breakfasts this morning, I admired the size of the Sugar Puffs box.  And then took the bag out, slung it in the cupboard and made for my work desk, box in hand.  Some measuring and nifty scissor work....

And then, colour me really surprised, I used proper glue to cover it...I even made some measurements and thought about the finished look...

It took 2 pieces of 12 x 12, and some scraps. I thought ahead enough to cut the box to just below 12" high so as to make it easy for myself. Of course.   

I did not think far enough ahead to twig that I'd gone done a sort of haberdashery theme for something that as you can see, will hold post.  In my house, the tendency is for mail to be opened and then left in a pile on top of the fridge.  I do it too, so I don't complain.  Business paperwork, invoices etc are 'collected' on the fridge until the beginning of a new week when I spend a day sorting and accounting.  Anyone who works from home will know that trying not to deal with business post over a weekend can be difficult if it lies in your line of vision.  Now though, thanks to my cutting and sticking, it can be OFF the fridge top and out of the line of coffee cup rings and other assorted dangers associated with being in the kitchen.  It took all of twenty minutes.  I have no idea how long I will like it..but for's all good.   I'm thinking I might do another one for slinging the foil and cling film in..items that are never ever put away but which really drive me nuts.  If you're getting the impression that I have a teeny kitchen in terms of counter top and wall space for're right.  Shame, I hear your mind shrieking, that it takes such a big lengthy article to explain it all.  Sorry.  But I had some spare time - a twenty minute start- to-finish home decor project?  Good grief, maybe I am Martha Stewart!

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Well, it made us smile..

Miss Dunnit and I visited her grandparents, my parents.  We had lunch, chat, blah and then were hustled on our way home for fear of freezing driving conditions.  Remember that even though I'm nearly fifty and have a nineteen year old child of my own, my parents still think I'm only just qualified to do ANYTHING and desperately inexperienced at EVERYTHING.  It was ever thus.  This is why, I suspect, that they are always so fulsome in their praise when I accomplish anything.  It's always a complete surprise!  
Anyway, the daughter and I are good at chatting and travelling together and it so happens that at the traffic lights, we pulled up behind this van.  We glanced at it for some seconds and then, I kid you not...we looked at each other and said to each other 'hmm, that strap line doesn't help at all' and fell about laughing.

Now I realise it's not heeelarious, but as neither of us have a clue what an acutator or indeed a dashpot is, the market appeal of this apparent advertising isn't universal, huh!  Oh my, we did try, based on the company name, to decide what they did.  Closest we got was that actuators are something to do with mechanical engineering...and dashpots..well, you can imagine.  No doubt there are lots of you that know and will enlighten me, but meanwhile, enjoy the idea of us giggling like fools whilst we pondered the merits of sign writing and the odd dashpot.
Linking this to Annie's Smiles. Gotta love an excuse to share a smile.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 192

For an explanation of this day, every week, check out the page as accessed through the tool bar at left.
Oh my word, as if by magic and to prove that time lapse photography would reveal some action..there's a different dirty mug!  It wasn't full of choc, either.  Coffee is my stimulant.  Apart from all the others.  So now then, there's a card that I'd just finished for a grungy style workshop some time.  And there's my genius storage for the cut 'n' dry foam that I use when using Distress Inks. (is that even a proper sentence?).  No iPad on it's deckchair - it was on charge elsewhere...I was listening to iPlayer from the PC...crikey it's loud!  Real eagle eyes will spot a sample paint tin on the acrylic's for a specific project.  Which will wait until I get sick of moving the tin around my desk, no doubt.  Don't be fooled by that wintery sunshine.  It is stinking cold out there and my dear, the wind!  So troublesome!  
So there it is, I've been getting colourfully inky and now I want to see what you're up to please.  Connect here by linking your WOYWW titled post.  Please - link what you're doing, not any old post just to inspire traffic.  That traffic arrives and leaves really fast when it can't find your desk...

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Fancy a day out?

The lovely PR people who are responsible for all sorts of important things involved in promotion have got wind of this 'ere blog and have generously offered some tickets to a couple of important shows.....for crafters of any kind.  There's Hobbycrafts at the NEC in Birmingham  or at Excel in London
Birmingham is from the 21st to 24th March and London will be over the weekend of 4th to 6th April.
If you've been in the past to any of the locations that Hobbycraft is held, you'll know that these shows offer the best in all crafts - paper,stamping, stitching, wools, you name it.  Excel is a new venue, and a great one too; being on the edge of the city, you could make a great weekend of it if you don't get to London too often.

So there's five pairs of tickets up for grabs - if you'd like to be in the draw for a pair, please leave a comment...and decide which venue you'd like the tickets for.  They'll be sent to you in jolly good time for either show.  Meanwhile, if it's of any interest, me and that LLJ will be heading to the NEC Hobbycrafts venue on March 21st.  We could try to meet. 

Monday, 4 February 2013

Still being Krafty

Can't help it.  Urge to use Kraft almost as strong as urge to breathe in and out.  No, really, that's not dramatic.  For me.

The other thing I'm keeping up with is getting around to using really old photos. Well, if you happen to be Kate aged 7, my niece, that is.  To her, this two year old photo will seem really old.  To me, it suggests I may be catching up.  I'm not, but I do like a suggestion.  Strangely oddly, this is not a LO completed at the Crop I went to on Saturday.  On Saturday, between eating and laughing until my sides hurt and I couldn't see for tears, I worked on a bunch of 8 x 8 pages which are destined as a gift.  And that's why you can't see 'em.  Although I don't know if my dear friend Debbie reads this, I still want her to be the first to see the mess I've made of her son's Prom pictures.  I like to be fair.