Wednesday, 16 May 2018

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 467

Oh my...a week to go to the ninth anniversary. Can you believe it. Someone ought to, please, because I can't! You can find out about how to join our ATC PiF on the day by looking at the page titled ATCs at the top of this blog. HERE IS A LINK, that's easier, huh!

I do want to stress that the PiF is entirely voluntary and you don't have to take part in the PiF to take part in next week's WOYWW.

Now then...
Bathed in late afternoon sun. SO clearly not this morning's picture. That's because there's a dirty great file on it now, to remind me to sort out the business Insurances. It's all glamour, this desk. So yesterday, I had cleared up after a bit of a scrapbook splurge and went back to making ATCs. Cunningly hidden, I think you'll agree! On the right are a bag, a squashed 'penny' and three 'genuine' arrowheads that I got at the Grand Canyon last summer. I squish a 'penny' wherever I can. Although, it's actually a 50cent piece and it costs a dime to squish it, so it's not really anywhere near a penny. Which I didn't even know was US currency. Or is it a nickname? I digress. They are waiting to go in a particular pocket in my album, and they are on the desk to remind me. I wonder how long they'll be there! There's some stamps from my Mary inheritance, too.  Am waiting for her to inspire me!
The watermelon plastic bag at left of the iPad stand holds my lovely fountain pen and some little bottles of coloured inks. The photo on my iPad stand is a montage of shots from Miss D's 19th birthday. Less about her and more about the cake pops I made for everyone. Never again.

Inspired? Blimey! Please share what you're doing and forgive my drivel, I promise it won't stay in your head for long. Put WOYWW in your post title and link here, we'll visit. That'll do.

Wednesday, 9 May 2018

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 466

Well, here we are again. Thanks to Jan for sorting out last weeks Link only goes wrong when I have no internet access! Still, all's well that ends well. And so to the desk.
It looks a bit work-y and a bit craft-y. I got an idea for my WOYWW9 ATCs and made another start. Note: ANOTHER. My first idea just would not translate to paper! I've sorted of posed this clutter by plonking a new die in its packet on top of the ATCs that I've managed to make. The Kraft pad is also new, and I have no idea why I needed it. I recommend a two week cooling off period between buying and will really focus your 'want' and 'need' purchasing! The light isn't great this morning, I hope it's not a sign of changing weather! I'm back to the normal routine now, so will visit your place when I've been to visit my lovely Mama later today. Link here, as usual, please!

Wednesday, 2 May 2018

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 465

I hope you aren't in a flat panic about ATCs for week 468, the 9th WOYWW anniversary. I'm not!
Great shot of me...round, solid, a bit spikey and loving the sun....!

I hope you aren't in a panic about ATCs for week 468, the 9th WOYWW anniversary. I'm on holiday, and am utterly unable to conjure up deadline dread. But don't worry, it won't last! Please forgive the lightness of my presence for a few days. Still, you don't need me around to enable you to visit others; as usual, link your WOYWW post here and be inspired by your fellow deskers. 

Monday, 30 April 2018

Necessity is still the mother of invention

Some couple weeks ago, Angie at Creative Inkspirations posted her desk shot and said that she was intending to re-visit a couple of the Creative Chemistry lessons that Tim Holtz had published. Her reasons were sound - at the time, she didn't own what was needed from the enormous TH inventory, and now in some of those cases, she does, and would like to re-visit. Fab. Love a woman with a plan! It made me think hard about my stash, which has been the subject of lots of thought recently. Back in the days when my entire collection including card blanks and heat gun, fitted in a shoe box, I think I was definitely more creative. I used waste cardboard for mounts, I cut up coke cans for soft metal embossing. I didn't assume there was a product (as I do now) to ease my making of the next great idea, because even if there was a product, I simply didn't have access to it.
Don't freak...I actually made a card without putting words on the front....!
This card is a great example. It's made entirely from die cuts. Well, back then, I'd have drawn a template and hand cut the pennants. But the floral corners used...hmm. I'd have come up with something else, probably small buttons as they seemed to have a large  place in my stash at some point! Nowadays, without access to a die and cutter, I'm not sure I'd bother to make a card like this: it seems a lot of work for the apparently simple effect. Even the old crank handle die cutters are being usurped now - as you know, I'm a recent Scan'n'Cut owner and so it takes even less time to churn out a handful of pennant shapes. My stash would need to be housed in very many shoe boxes these days and I am grateful for the range and beauty of it all. Since I've been involved in helping to break up my late friend Mary's collection, I have realised that I won far too much and that I need to reign myself in. Having said that, it turns out that I won't win a prize for having the most stash, and that makes me comfortable! What I think I really need is to use enough up (without replacing it) to drop me into the category of not quite having enough again. That will make me more inventive. Or whiney. 

Wednesday, 25 April 2018

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 464

Taken on Tuesday early evening and untouched since! In the spirit of using stuff up and using it in a useful way, I've finished a really nice pad of papers by making a couple of  concertina fold out mini albums. They will make good gifts. The pattern I used from Anna Komenda on You Tube is very simple, and to create a decent amount of room for photos and embellishments, she scores a 'gutter' between folds. the patterned papers are stuck back to back which reveals the plain white gutters, so I decided to pearl them up. And  here they are, being given adequate drying time for once. Dang I'm so impatient, doing this sort of thing really kills me! These mini albums aren't nearly as messy to make as they are to embellish, so for now, my desk looks uncluttered. For now gentle Desker. Do not fret, I will photograph the shambles that is to come!
Please share what you're working on so that the likes of me can come round and copy. Put WOYWW in your blog post title and link here. Lovely. Please note that I'm on the cusp of going away. I may not be allowed as much internet access as I want. We'll see. You can tell I'm nearly ready..the fridge is stacked with the sort of food we never eat. Student house sitters. I think it may cost me more than my actual holiday!

Monday, 23 April 2018

So how did you get into it?

Sally (Ohhh Snap) was talking about her love of heat embossing on WOYWW 463. I don't need to be reminded about it either; it's a technique I still use, at least once or twice a week for some card or other. 
For me, it all started back in 1995. My sweet Sissy and her family had emigrated to California. Well, moved to California for reasons of work. None of us knew then that it would become an emigration. We may not have let them go so easily, I can tell you. It's a long way. I digress, already. Anyway, that Easter, Steph sent us a lovely card with coloured eggs, and some beautifully shiny gold text. It was, for you stamp historians, a PSX stamp that she'd embossed in gold. I couldn't believe it when she said she'd made it! At the time I worked in print and knew the technique as 'thermography'. I was fairly confident that it couldn't be done without a large press and certainly not at my kitchen table.   

My now very controlled collection of embossing powders
When we visited them later that year, I was desperate to see how it was done, and I spent some time playing with Steph's stash. Her collection was relatively small as she was new to it herself. She took me to her friend's house. Her friend was selling stamping stuff from her garage in anticipation of having a shop. We were on a real budget in those days and I well remember the agony of trying not to spend too much. I bought 3 stamps, a multi-coloured dye inkpad, a small pigment ink pad a pot of clear powder. When we came home, I stamped alone with my three stamps and tried everything I could to locate more in this country. When I could, I bought them from America, over the fairly new fangled internet thingy. Amazing that these first few stamps would set me off onto the road of being a craft shopkeeper and then this blog, and all these years later, I'm still loving the near instant gratification and all the innovations that have occurred in card making and paper crafting since. I think this is also why my loyalty is still to wood mounted never quite get over your first love, huh! 
Would love to know how you drifted into it all and so eventually found your way to reading this!

Friday, 20 April 2018

Use it and create scraps.

It's a real conundrum isn't it. You use a couple of sheets of 12 x12 to make a nice scrapbook layout, but you're left with a sizeable piece of 'scrap'. The more you do, the more you generate. Ack. I don't have a rule about minimum sizes to keep. Although having said that, I suppose I do, actually. If it's plain cardstock, unless it's tiny, I do keep it. Stamp a sentiment on it, test a pen, test a sponge effect..pieces of card are useful for that sort of thing. If it's scrapbook paper, it has to be a least the size of a card blank before I give it room in the scraps box. Because I have to be able to use it for something, and any less a size doesn't give me 'cut it and try it' room.

I made these cards for a workshop, and they are made from scraps. And what's more, I intend to make the kits up from scraps too, it would I feel be a shame to have to break into fresh scrapbook papers to make them. Of course the card bases and mounts aren't scraps, but that's OK, am much more interested in using and encouraging the use of patterned scraps because they build up so fast!
It's not artistic photography gentle reader, just unedited shots of the card leaning against the notebook that I use to list 'ingredients' so that I can kit properly.  (Mind you, that's no guarantee.)
I don't know if you can see, but this card not only uses up old scrapbook paper, it features some coloured wire as well. Gracious, there's an embellishment I don't use often anymore. I did, when it was 'on trend'!
I'm happy with these. Unlike the scrapbook embellishments that I get to keep. this time I've got a handful less stash and scrap but some nice cards to send when an occasion calls. 

Wednesday, 18 April 2018

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 463

Desk week 468 on 26 May will be the ninth, 9th, NINTH anniversary of WOYWW. 
EDITOR’S NOTE: Kelly  tells me it will be the 23 May. correctly. Good grief, you should thank her, she just single handedly reclaimed 3 days of your life! You know how much it means to me, and I hope if it means something for you too, that you'll join the anniversary circle and play PIF. Pass It Forward. It means making an ATC which features the acronym or the number 9 somewhere on it and sending/delivering it to the person who posts immediately after you on the WOYWW 468 link list. Lots of us make more than the one and invite other Deskers to swap with them as well. It's actually quite fun, and prompts a nice run of happy post! The only stipulation for entry is that you have 'the one' ATC ready to post on the day. It's not hard, but nor is it obligatory; there is no need to explain why you cannot or do not want to take part, it is entirely up to you. I've posted a step by step 'how to' page accessible at the top of this blog. 
Meanwhile good reader, link your WOYWW post here and visit each may find it's not just me that seems to be making little cards!

Saturday, 14 April 2018

A poke/reminder/warning/heads up....

There is a page on this blog called ATCs. It's about making ATCs for the next WOYWW anniversary, and as that's ridiculously soon, I've updated the page so that it reflects this year's activity. I'll remind you again next week.
Meanwhile, here's a decoy photo...

Miss Dunnit doing her thing, making her voice count...walking the walk.

Friday, 13 April 2018

Use it or erm, hoard it.

You know don't you that I have a large stash of everything. I am making a really strong, focussed attempt at using it. recently I've tried to stay inspired by doing a couple of challenges here and there and to try to keep something 'in progress' on my desk to encourage me to return when I have half an hour or so, rather than waiting till I can have a binge session!
To that end, meet Miss Dunnit and her Father in the very cold of a March trip to Euro Disney. For that's what it was called in 1996 when we went! Now it's Disneyland Paris. I don't expect it's ever been so cold. The child is wearing my gloves over a pair of socks on her little hands. The fountains were frozen. But she loved it.

So I scrapped an old photo on some slightly younger paper and used scraps and bits that I've had for quite a long time. That paper border is carefully glued together in two places because ot just about fell apart when I lifted it from the bottom of a box of paper frames and borders that I've ignored for absolutely ages. The pink skeleton leaf is probably as old as the photo! And who remembers the use of buckles! The silver No3 and sticker at left of it were both the last on their respective sheets. How very satisfying.  There's a fabric covered brad and an epoxy brad....we don't mention those too often now! It's not the best photo, or indeed the best LO, but it raises a double smile for me. The memories attached to the pic and the memories attached to the embellishments. And as with all scrapbook pages, I can keep them all. Used and hoarded. Now there's a thing!

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 462

Well, it's busy with non work stuff. Nicer than last week then. Actually its a bit of a mess of push back.
I was making a scrapbook LO over the weekend and had decided to only use old stash. As you can see pink skeleton leaves and fabric brads, you can safely surmise that it really wasn't too difficult! The matted but not 'topped' card is awaiting a flash of inspiration. And a bit more glue by the looks of things. It's for a workshop next week, so am setting myself a deadline for finishing it - I want to deliver them to Shopkeeper Gal by lunchtime today! Only one pair of glasses but a couple of pairs of scissors, going well on that score! The photos on the deckchair are awaiting my scrapbook muse. I keep 4 or 5 there on a rolling basis, it reminds me not to wait for a Crop! If I wait for a once a month crop, I shall have to stop taking photos today and still live till I'm about nine hundred to get them all scrapped! Meanwhile, talking of photos, I've put a first wave of stamps for sale over on Loved, Used and now Forsaken. Please cast your eyes in that direction!
After all that, please join us in sharing your desk today, as always, post with a WOYWW title on your blog, and link here. Seriously, thank you!

Sunday, 8 April 2018

2018 The WOYWW French Retreat

Seriously, did you ever think that sharing a photo of your workspace would allow you the chance to meet fellow crafty bloggers? Well, the WOYWW Crop is one way. And now, there's another. Donna moved to France a couple of years ago. That fulfilled part of her life plan. She and her very significant Monsieur (see what I did there) have laboured and toiled and renovated and rebuilt and built and gardened and well, worked.
Now Donna is offering us the chance to be guinea pigs for her long planned art and craft retreats. Oh my word. 

Here's what she says:
Now, I cannot afford to give this to you for free but nor would I profit from a woyww event, so the proposition is this:  Arrive Thursday evening for dinner and depart Sunday afternoon following lunch:    we will be able to accommodate approx 12 people on site - providing you are willing to share bedrooms and bathrooms, and,  because its like youth hosteling, I would not charge for on site accommodation (I can provide a list of local B&B's to those that prefer to pay and have privacy). As on site sleeping and hot water bathrooms are free -  we expect you to sort out your own bed linens and towels or pay a small fee for using ours.   We will provide full board,  we will accommodate dietary allergies (for those that can result in anaphylaxis I expect you to show me where you stash your EPI pen) we will also put in the effort to provide a range of meals that meet any of your lifestyle choices: you will be charged for all meals taken with us on site at cost price which will be itemised and payable in cash euros before you leave.   Use of craft supplies and space - free - you can bring your own, but will not need to and your supplies cannot be mixed with mine and will have to stay in your own allocated space/locker to avoid loss/damage/theft... Wine beer tea coffee  bottled water and soft drinks will be charged as per your consumption... via a simple labelling and honesty system (think super sized mini bar without the inflated prices)  - again payable before you leave.  

There is more information on Donna's blog, under the tab 'New Events'. Here is a direct link. Donna's Brittany Retreat Information.
It's at the end of September, so it's time to start locking in some plans. I can't tell you how much fun it will be. Not too hot and beautiful historic France to look at whilst creating and enjoying. I don't know what 'Guinea Pig' is in French, but me and that Mr Dunnit,  we're shopping for berets!

Thursday, 5 April 2018

Loved, Used and now forsaken....

I don't know if any of you ever knew; and if you did know you'd be forgiven for not remembering....I have a second blog which I use to sell used stash. Well, as a lot of you will know, I'm involved in the clearance of my late friend Mary's crafty stash and I've put some of it on the Loved, Used and Now Forsaken blog.There will be more, but it's quite a job!

No blog post is complete without a picture, so here are a couple of cards I made using Mary's stamps for a workshop we held on her birthday. 

The first stuff I've uploaded to is a collection of dies. The rubber stamps will start to go up soon. they are all wood mounted and am considering asking permission to unmount them for postal and storage reasons!
Watch that other space!

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 461

Not a lot. Well, stacks of paper that herald a month end in business terms rather than in fun terms, which makes it a view not worth sharing, frankly. Ergh. Still, I hope it'll all be over by lunchtime. So to make it worthwhile, today's a twofer day!
Some good news; I finished the LO that was on my desk last week.
With the aid of a mini crème egg (bottom right), or two. You know how sugar excites the mojo! We have a family birthday today, which necessitates a lunch time outing which will be a lovely treat. Trouble is, proper food at lunchtime makes me want to sleep it off! Make my afternoon entertaining and wakeful then will you? Show and tell about your desks. As always, post on your blog with WOYWW as a title and link here. You're so co-operative.

Wednesday, 28 March 2018

What's On Your Work Desk? Wednesday 460

I can hardly keep up with the speed of the passage of time. Nor can I keep this up:
I know you can't tell, but this isn't just a tidy desk. It's been cleaned too...with proper cloth and spray stuff. The glass mat (under the scrapbook page) is actually reflecting light! See, I went to a crop at the weekend and before unpacking and finishing this layout, I decided to clean up and 'refresh'. Didn't take long and allowed me to put off the unpacking for a bit. Not much to see though! More glasses than a gal can use at once. More scissors than a gal can use at once. More glue.....oh heck. I've got a lot of stuff, but you know that. The patterned card just falling off the iPad stand is home-made, will do another and prolly share the 'technique'. I think the idea was originally Neet's. It most certainly wouldn't have been mine. The photos are of the Bees Stadium in Salt Lake City...I was going to make them the next page to do, but they didn't speak to me as much as the photo I'm currently shuffling around the page!  It's not a very dark early morning, more a late night shot. This post is scheduled because I was massively silly and made an appointment for first thing this morning and I don't trust myself to be on time if I start blogging and desk hopping! So..when I get home, please let me find you've linked your desk and its weekly story!

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Whats On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 459

Since my last snow day at the weekend,(ahead of the day on which it actually did snow and cause some difficulties), I've managed to get to the scrapbook page I was whining about.
Oddly, neither the finished LO, cast aside at top right, or the one I'm just about to finish are the one I had plans to get to when the pile at left was ridiculous and I was making cards. Now the cards are part of the pile at left and the photo I was planning to scrap has been relegated to the big envelope again. It wasn't speaking to me after all that! The photo on this LO proves that I don't work chronologically...this is Miss D at almost 3. This year, she's actually 25. I'm enjoying doing more scrapbooking at home, although it does cause the floor to be covered in boxes of stickers, gems, embellishments. I put them back into their cupboards after supper last night because I had to do some work on the PC and found the amount of floor space for the wheelie chair was just too restricted!
Show us your self imposed restrictions by way of stash, post and link. Good of you.

Sunday, 18 March 2018

Doing the twofer..

I gave myself a snow day on Saturday. The forecast was for cold, seething winds and snow. So I got up early, hit the supermarket at 8.30am and was at my desk by 10am. Wonderful. It actually snowed too. And then it melted. But hey, I was in the zone.
I was making cards with Mary's stamps, for a workshop. I realised that I'd picked one stamp that could be described as blooms, so I made a second card with it, and will enter them into Darnell's twofer challenge.
One is on a Hero Arts C6 card and the other on a pin striped pink card, both from Mary's collection. Both images are embossed with hologram embossing powder and coloured with the old Wink pens. The other thing you cant really tell is that the blooms are raised on foam pads. I like them like that. The border on the C6 card is actually some printed tissue paper that I'd saved from a present and glue to a sheet of white paper, intending to use it as a master-board base. See, I'm not only using NBUS, I'm excavating my scraps box too! Mind you, at the rate of a half-centimetre strip every month, it's not destined to clear out much! 
So yesterday was my snow day and today we actually have 3" of the stuff on the ground and freezing nicely, I've tried really hard to do chores. Now though, my one true love has turned on the TV to watch,well, here I am, and say no more!

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 458

My desk is a shock, even to me this morning!
At the far end are the last of the sleeves for the dies that I've been cutting. The last of the des are in that yellow basket. Each cut has been sellotaped to the back of the die so that they are identifiable. I've photographed them and will upload them for sale when I'm feeling strong. The (over exposed) pile on the near right are already photographed. Right now, I want to tidy up and consider my next move. There's a scrapbook page waiting to be rescued from under the blue files, maybe I'll spend some time making that up as a reward!

On a point of order, there's a 9th WOYWW Anniversary looming. For heaven's sake! It will be week number 468 and that, I calculate, will fall on May 23rd. Shall we do an ATC swap again? If not, anybody want to suggest some other way of having some fun to mark another year of keeping in touch? Let me know!

Meanwhile, show us yer desks! Link here and we'll visit. Gimme a chance please, lots of visiting and miles to drive today!

Wednesday, 7 March 2018

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 457

Well, after my previous post, Sue is sort of expecting a tidy desk. Don't look Sue, I've moved onto to something else, and it makes a mess!
This morning my desk speaks of die cutting. Among all the treasure that Mary left us is a large collection of QuicKutz dies. In order to sell them, I need references for them because they've been filed in QK pockets and folders rather than the original packaging that shows the font and patterns. So, I'm die cutting each one and sticking it on the back of the die. It also helps to double check that each set of numbers or alphabet is whole. I'm not using the Squeeze and cutting them one at a time - 8 dies at a time on the big shot plate is slightly more efficient. There's many to do, and I think this is the first time that most of them have been cut. Wow. So that's me, what are you doing?

Monday, 5 March 2018

Snow Days

In the UK, the last week has been horribly cold and snowy. We don't cope well with it. It doesn't happen often enough for tax pounds to be spent on the necessary amount of ploughing and blowing equipment that might be warehoused, unused, for years at a time. So the economy falters and lots and lots of us have Snow Days. And judging from my Facebook feed, lots and lots of us took the opportunity to be crafty. I did, even though I usually set aside the last week of the month for book keeping and other fascinating activities. I had that feeling you get when it's Christmas - everyone is on holiday, so I want to be too!
I did a couple of real LO's , then made up a couple of pocket pages with pictures from our trip last summer. We visited several National Parks and have a lot of pictures of rocks. Well, Canyons and such, but I think to anyone that hasn't been or experienced the size, the colour, the power of these places, they are just photos of rocks, lots of rocks!
 I also spent some time playing with my Scan&Cut. Something I need to do a lot more of, but am definitely happy to have it. It's not as intuitive as Cricut, believe me. Nor is the manual (online) a match for the machine in every case which is frustrating! The most frustrating part though is that each time I use it, I have to re-learn the icons and symbols! Ugh, memory!
Another advantage of these Snow Days has been that I've tidied up as I've finished. Yep. And yesterday, while it was still light I decided to do dome sorting and consolidating of stash. Namely alphabets and word stickers. Alphas into colour and size order and stickers all in one place. Next, I'm going to tackle gems and stick-on embellies, and then journaling cards and tags etc. I've got a right old bug for being at my desk, whether being 'creative' or being a tidy bug. I cannot explain, but I think it's part of my determination to use stuff. Because even Snow and freezing temperatures can't change really change me, can it?!

Friday, 2 March 2018

Bragging and Promoting

On Wednesdays, I am quite particular that people take part in WOYWW for reasons of community and not promotion of whatever they make, sell, believe. I don't think that I do a lot of promotion. Although blogging is in essence just that I guess. Anyway, I want to tell you about our daughter since she's grown up and left us.

She's been at University learning to be a Prop maker. The course has been quite amazing and from the parental perspective, looks like a lot of fun and creativity.

I've recorded quite a lot of her Uni days in scrapbook form, but not many of the actual work..doh! Prop making isn't just for theatre and film...think photographers, themed restaurants, bars, festivals, school décor, shop displays...endless list. Endless. Miss Dunnit has spent time learning puppet making, latex, glass, rubber and other moulding, carving, other woodworking, a bit of chemistry to make the fake blood and guts (yuk), welding and all sorts of imagination pricking skills. There's also been project management with a real commission to force a structure of quote, make, deliver; sticking to budgets and delivering on time are after all, a serious part of making a living in any creative industry.

Now, as the end of her course approaches, it's time to get serious and look for work. strength in numbers and strength in recognising that another person has a skill you haven't, has meant that she and several colleagues have formed a freelance collective. Great idea, one stop shopping for erm, objects!
I asked her that if I was to blog about the collective, (which has launched on Facebook) what should I say? Well, I'm going to quote her verbatim, because she doesn't need my editing 'help':
'We are a collective of freelance makers, with a wide range of skills that include scenic painting. At the moment we're doing soft prop and carpentry projects, and our approach is always the same: the aim is to make quality objects and to challenge the way our industry works; to make an effort to make it more responsible to the environment and to the people that work within it. We're the next generation of prop makers and we want to set new, high standards for ourselves and our industry'.

This won't be the last promotion you see on this blog. But it is very likely to be the one that I am most proud to do!

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 456

I took this photo on Tuesday afternoon because I was actually sitting at my desk doing something. Amazeballs. Earlier in the day we had made a delivery of a 12ft x 14ft oak frame to a barn conversion site. We had to 'hang' it on the side of the van and lash it and rope it and it was very very heavy and we got very very cold. So I came home afterwards, and thought my fingers would benefit from some crafty action to warm up!
I'm in card mode, having cleared up and  put away from some weekend scrapbooking. I don't know what's wrong with me, but it's making me do stuff, so it's all good! The shield shape is not a die, it's a cardboard frame which I glued to the turquoise paper to use as a journaling block on a scrapbook page. And then changed my mind, of course. It might be there for weeks. As you can see, I'm gently combining Pixie Powders (think pearlescent Brushos) with some foiling. Am in two minds about cream or Kraft card as the base for stamping the cat. Aren't these great sorts of decisions to be made? I much prefer them to having to decide what to cook for supper or whether I should be doing something work related.
Please show and tell, some of us will be kept indoors by harsh weather, so your inspiration is a vital lifeline! 

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 455

Its looking like a work in progress for a change! Last night's coke can is still there, sorry. Mind you, everything is from last night, so I probably should extend the apology! I cleared out a few drawers over the weekend and found some stray photos, entirely unrelated to each other. A couple I set on my desk to scrapbook, the others have gone into the proper place for photos. And then I thought...hey, instead of moving them around the desk till the next crop, why don't you just scrap them...each one will only take an hour. It took more than an hour, of course, for this, the first of them. The good thing is that in the cold light of today, I don't hate it and I haven't cocked up the colour matches too badly. Note the position of the lamp...only as high as it is because I had to raise it in order to get off the stool! So today, I will move on, but that probably doesn't mean tidy! 
Show and tell then, if I'm actually doing something, you surely are too....

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Save the Date/Make a Date

It's become a bit of a tradition that if possible, some of us meet and chat and eat for a day. Oh, and we craft a very little bit. We call it a Workdesk Crop.
A picture that has no relevance, but very pretty!
Last year was a great success. We moved the date for reasons I can't quite remember. We're sticking with September again this year, we're going to LA. Llandudno Again. Sorry, can't resist that joke and if you aren't familiar with TOGS, please ignore, forgive and read on!
Margaret is throwing open her arms and being our host again, on Saturday September 8th, from 10am to 4pm. There will be a charge to cover lunch and hall hire and as usual, we will raffle some gifts to raise money for Margaret's charity of choice. There is an up to date page accessible from the top of the blog to see further detail. It's a grand day out and Llandudno is a grand old Victorian seaside town, so if you can, please come!

I know that this post will prompt a lot of 'why so far away' type questions to a lot of Deskers. But it's not so far away for a lot of other Deskers. And if you want a closer-to-home gathering, perhaps you would indicate so and take on finding a hall and such stuff - after all there's several months before September, two Crops won't exactly be overdoing it from a meeting and chatting point of view!

Friday, 16 February 2018

Crop 1, Stash busting 5

It's not just my photos that aren't used in any order when I scrapbook. I have made a concerted effort this year, to use old stash. To rummage further than the top layer and to not rush to the new stuff that I've bought or been given as gifts. This applies especially to embellishments in my case. None of this stuff is cheap, so to buy it and just store it is ridiculous. I'm one of many that often succumbs to trends and great ideas, so I always seem to have a 'top layer' of really up to date bits and pieces. 

The alphabet stickers I used to title this LO for example, have been in my possession for over 12 years. I can be this specific because I know it was stock that came home with me when I closed my shop, Stamping Ground (which explains the blog name, huh). And in those 12 years, I swear, this memory and these photos are the only ones that I have ever felt were made for each other. Other pieces are definitely younger. The metal sign shape that I've used to highlight the date is from a trip to a craft shop in Spain when I was there with some crafter girlfriends. Ten years ago. 
The brads, photo corner and 'glass' tabs on this LO are from my demonstrating days when shaped brads were really new and exciting. I have to admit to a frisson of thrill when I finally used them!

All the layouts I've completed this year so far include some element or other from the bottom of the box. Don't get me wrong, I've used new stuff too, and they sit beside each other very happily. Which is another reason to get on and use them, innit. And here's another - unused in the bottom of the box or used and on a LO, it's stuff you can keep. Stick it on a card and you give it away! There is one drawback though. Four brads on a layout or 9 letters from an alphabet sheet don't make a huge dent in the piles and boxes. However good it feels, it's sort of just tickling the surface. Lucky for me then, that there's still about a trillion photos to be given the treatment. I may need to go away for a weekend of cropping every weekend for the rest of my life....

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 454

Blimey. I left for a weekend Crop (it was lovely, thank you) and appear to have been totally in mid flow. And so, when I got home, I just dumped everything on top of and around the desk. You aren't surprised!

I HAD been making some cards to send with the new badges. That accounts for the small white pieces of card. Each has two images on which I painted briefly with the radiant pearls, in the basket at left. There's a snowflake hanging on the door handle. It was on my desk for mending purposes after Christmas. It's just about ready to be put away! My usual ATG and other tapes are missing because they're in the bag on my stool, waiting to be unpacked and put away. It's definitely a job for this morning. Note the complete lack of anything vaguely valentine's too late now. Ho Hum.
Show me up then - let's see your desks, mid flow or not, it's all good!

Monday, 12 February 2018


Here are some pictures of Bath. A lovely, largely Georgian city built with local sandstone. So it's all a nice colour. In the sunshine, it's warm and golden. In February in the wet, it's grand, if nothing else! I'm posting them because so many of you, like me, love to see 'travel' photos. 
Cobbled streets were typical. These look fairly modern to me, they probably replaced some two or three hundred year old stones. The modern ones are at least not worn shiny and smooth by the use of horses, carts, peasants and noblemen. In the wet or icy cold, they are lethal to walk on. I wonder how any broken bones are attributable to shiny cobbles. For this wonky balanced woman, they are quite difficult to walk on, even rough and 'modern' looking. Luckily, we avoided them in the main. And when we couldn't, I was able to dramatically grab my chum for physical support when the inevitable nearly happened.
LLJ and I were in Bath together. We walked, shopped and talked. We started with coffee and talking and talked through sightseeing, market shopping and walking a big circle back to our beginning. Didn't notice breath being drawn or awkward pauses. Well, actually there were two moments...hovering, pressure saleswoman thinking it OK to join our conversations in the glass shop, assuming we'd buy more if she was our tour guide/glass officiando/chum. She did cause us to pause and exchange looks. More than once. And then, the tannoy announcement welcoming us to Debenhams and reminding us to buy such and such. We laugh. It was the most unenthusiastic and badly read, scripted announcement we'd ever heard. 

For those of you living in countries where distances are measured in hours of driving rather than miles, I know you'll be fascinated to know that Bath is only 41 miles from my home. Because there's no better route takes an hour and a half to get there. Worth every minute, but seriously!

Friday, 9 February 2018

Knowing when to stop...

I am a big believer in the power of the written word to tell a story. In scrapbooks in particular, I love to see handwritten notes or journaling.  I made this LO at last month's Artful Angels crop. I had packed light and was amazed at myself. By the end of putting the first LO together, I realised that 'packed light' actually meant that I had forgotten two boxes of alphabet stickers. So my LOs were without titles. It's OK. I could retro-add them, or indeed, they would be fine as they are!

Not so it turns out. For me, a title is a part of the story, is a part of the journaling, however brief. So when I finally unpacked my Crop stash (two weeks later), I had to sort this LO properly. It felt unfinished. It only took a few minutes and I'm happy with it now. 

Interesting isn't it. How do you do it? Am I stuck in the rule rut or does this title help....? I know the journaling is a bit difficult to explains that this particular child has to go through two degree courses (because he's studying medicine) and it must surely be a relief to have graduated successfully at least once! Or is it not explanatory enough? Should titles be just explanations. Are my Layouts going to cause historical hysteria because sometimes the title is just a play on word or a coupe of initials rather than an introduction to the story? Whaddya think? 
Meanwhile James, keep your head down darling boy; your coolest, youngest, funniest, best ever not-really Aunt and not-really Uncle are immensely proud of you.

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 453

Here's a magical twofer for you. It's what I did on Tuesday, because I wont be near my desk on Wednesday - this is scheduled so that I can get going without side-tracking myself!
First thing on Tuesday, it all looked like this, and I have to admit, I could have sat at this and carried on without hesitation.

The necklace looking thing is actually a floral die and I didn't use it. It slid from the over- full die file at left. The glasses are sitting on a card I was working on; trying to use some scraps, nothing major! Then it was all change and this is the last of the book work that I intend to do this week! It took an act of will to tidy and re-arrange to get the books out...month end, VAT quarter and here you see some work I was doing on my lovely Mama's file after I'd tortured myself over our business stuff. 
The blue thing is a Bluetooth speaker and the clear tubes at right are from a haberdasher's - they usually hold buttons for individual sale, and will make carting stuff like buttons and brads etc to a workshop very much easier.
If you've read the post about a new badge, then thanks for asking, it will be on it's way very soon! Meanwhile, link your desk and explanation here. I hope we aren't all doing the books. Yawn!

Monday, 5 February 2018

Show Off

It is entirely appropriate that my rubbish photography has caused a light flare on the machine, as if it's a twinkle of halo-esque proportions. Its like the Colgate smile sparkle. If you can't remember that far back, just ignore that comparison! 
So in the pic you can see the fab shelf thing that Mr Dunnit made for me in order to house my Scan&Cut Christmas present. It needs to be within reach for use and to remind me that I HAVE to learn how to use it. The Scan&Cut that is. It's actually called a ScanNCut, but I don't like that name, I hate the N. I feel it should have apostrophes around it and that's a pain to type. And the N sound is also part of the punchline of a joke about constipation, and I can never get that out of my mind. 
Oh there, sorry, I seem to have drifted. The appropriate light flare is my point. It's to reward me. I have actually read the manual, I have actually done some of the practice exercises and am slowly working my way through others. I need to be able to use this machine to its maximum potential instead of dithering about with the top 10% of its functions. Pretty much what I do with my phone, ipad and such. Ridiculous. So I'm feeling a bit good about this fraction of my craft life at the moment. I should say that it's quite computer based and I would very much prefer not to spend valuable crafting time learning to computer. But it's a means to an end...the ability to do all the Scan&Cut says it can outweighs the time investment at this point. Ask me again in a couple of months when I hope, I'll be picking it up and creating without a second thought. Meanwhile, if nothing else, I'm learning the page numbers of the manual!

Friday, 2 February 2018

The not-so-secret-handshake thingy

On the whole, WOYWW is a virtual thing. It happens, in the main, on the internet. But every now and then, some people are brave enough to make it a reality thing and meet. What if you were at a craft fair, watching a demo or standing quietly in a queue for something. You might be wondering if any of the other attendees were Deskers. And unless you were brave enough to shout out, there's no way of knowing.
Well of course there is really. You can ask me to send you the WOYWW badge and wear it at these events, see if anyone else recognises it! Beats a red carnation between your teeth. I think! Seriously, all desks or lapels need adorning with a badge of identity, and you may want to add it to a collection. *cough*.
So please, if you're a Desker and would like one, please ask me. It might be a good idea to contact me through the email link in the sidebar, because then you can give me your address at the same time. Now please, sit back from the edge of your seat and do not, I repeat, do not, hold your breath.

Wednesday, 31 January 2018

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 452

It's a gloomy shot, anyone would think I was up super early, but it's not. Well it is, but today is a doing day for me, so I have to get up at the time that most working people do!

The gloom is somewhat cheered by the colourful presents. I'm way ahead of myself here, but decided whilst my desk was clear enough, to spread out tissue paper and wrap the gifts I've got for the Coven - part of a challenge we connect to the first of our bi-annual scrapbooking weekends. Meanwhile, I've changed the stamp set that was on the iPad stand. Only because Kimbo asked what I was planning for it because it had been there for so long. So I dusted it and put it away. No plan yet, Kim, but you never know, now you've made me see it again....!
Show and tell then, your creativity must surely extend beyond a bit of gift wrapping! 

Monday, 29 January 2018

Rubbish post

Like a lorra people who do papercrafts, I strive to keep my recyclable rubbish and rubbish rubbish apart. I don't have two bins, so I tend to keep the non recyclable on the desk top and move it when I've finished. (A rare thing, considering my inability to really tidy up). Anyway, this week I am conducting a workshop and we're going to make, among others, this card.
As you can see, it involves die cutting. I decided to get ahead of the game and cut the turquoise ones as part of the kit. Because it's a fancy shmancy die and is fiddly and is difficult to release from the die once cut and because it's prone to tear and because it needs wax paper and because it just saves time. I mean, who wants to pay for a workshop that involves wasting precious time wrestling with a basic design feature. Not me. I'm my own benchmark. So I set myself up. And couldn't find the die. Seriously  - a new die, and already missing. I looked everywhere. And concluded that somehow, I must have thrown it away. So now you see why I was grateful that snotty tissues, drinks cans, apple cores, banana skins and such are thrown away elsewhere. The only rubbish in my workroom bin is paper, card and plastic wrappers. Or that's the plan. Metal dies are not a part of that plan.
So I went through it. And I couldn't find the die. So I got another bin liner and emptied everything, one piece at a time, from this one to the other. Still no die, and only about 20 minutes wasted so far. I really was at the point of tantrum; I like this die, I do not like it enough to buy it again, and now I actually neeeeeeeed it. So I tried my mother's trick. Calm down and look in all the places it shouldn't be. It wasn't muddled in the clear stamp drawers. It wasn't trapped under the cutter (a quite well known hidey hole, actually) and it wasn't for the 4th time of checking, in the folder where it should have been. But I did find it. It was in the folder where it shouldn't have been. The one allocated to Christmas themed dies. Yeah, I felt foolish. Still do. And yeah, both files are the same to look at. And no, I haven't labelled them. I assumed that the bulging, over full non-Christmas themed file would be all the clue I'd ever need. I must have been appears that even when I tidy up, I'm untidy. Glad to be in possession of that fab die though!

Wednesday, 24 January 2018

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 451

Well, I know we all say it, but last week really got away from me, I haven't finished it yet! Anyway, here's the desk...just finishing a fun card to add to my workshop samples for next week. 

I took the photo on Tuesday afternoon. The only change is that the card is missing, and it's as dark as a dark thing outside right now! There's my box of gems. I use them, but I kind of like to buy them too, so it's fair to say that there is always a box full. Three pairs of scissors - not bad in terms of restraint! See at far left there's a single leaf on a white sheet..I only noticed it on the photo, its a stamped coloured and cut out leaf from I don't know's just magically appeared after being lost. I expect at the time I cursed the losing of it and had to stamp and colour a replacement for it! I'm tidying later, in anticipation of spending some time getting to know the Scan&Cut. Time is against me, but my conscience tells me to get on with it!
Show and share then, if you will...put WOYWW in your post title and link it here.

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 450

Straight into it today dear deskers; no amount of explanation will make it tidy! I took the photo on Tuesday late afternoon, as I was meant to be tidying up but I was shocked into inaction by the snowing weather. Argh. You see the Dreamcatcher on the desk, there's a stamped image and a die from Sheena's latest collection. It's nice. They may look like Wink of Stella, but the pens are actually called Moon Sparkles by Dawn Bibby. The labels peel off and the pen is printed with the Wink of Stella brand name. Make of that what you will! I've been trying to come up with some male style cards. I may not have succeeded, but I must say that I've had a fun couple of hours at my desk trying! Nothing particularly new to report on..I'm going back to the desk now to see what exactly is sticking out from under the cutter at far right. Something with a pair of boots on idea what! Share your space please..we (I) need to see!

Monday, 15 January 2018

Scoreboard: Nil.

The lovely Silver Scrapper, Elizabeth has set me off a bit. An earlier WOYWW post mentioned that she was clearing through her stash. She said ' what is a crafter's 'must have' one year eventually becomes a forgotten 'has been' tucked away on a shelf where it takes up valuable space.'
As with all wise words, this really struck a chord with me. I've become a very much more considering consumer in the last five years for sure, but I still fall into the 'must have' because of so many blog recommendations. Let me present to you just one in what may be a series....
My Scor Pal.
Or, as you can probably tell from the photo - the plastic board I use to protect my pen holders from the sunshine. 
It's slightly unusual because I bought a metric version. I use metric at work and cannot fathom some of the imperial measurements. I'm between Metric and Imperial in terms of age, and really learned the Metric system once and for all when Miss Dunnit went to school. 

However, it doesn't mean that I use my Metric Scor-Pal any more. Or at all. I can't remember the last time I reached for it. I did a bit of paper engineering with it originally, and I'm pretty sure I used it in a couple of workshops so that people could do the old 'try before you buy' thing. I need to apply the wardrobe principle to these items...if I haven't used it for a year, I clearly don't need it! 
This feels like a real confession. Anyone care to join me in this occasional series?!

Friday, 12 January 2018

A Challenge taken!

Lovely Darnell has launched the 'Twofer Challenge' and I encourage you to do what I did. Go over for a browse and be so totally inspired that you'll be moved to take part. 
Not only that, and disregarding the utter mess that I made on my desk, I used scraps and two stamps that I hadn't yet used. This NMBUS (Never Before Used Schtuff) is part of Darnell's life mission as a crafter, to get the NMBUS off the shelves and strutting its stuff!
The theme of the challenge is to make two different occasion cards featuring the same themed stamp/image/die cut. This month the theme is Feathers.  
 PSX (!) and Rubber Stampede (!) and Art Impressions stamps. The feather is part of my inheritance from Mary, and is NMBUS. Now I've been forced to use it, I like it. The inks are Adirondacks, also from Mary. Everything else came out of the scrap box, which is a bit of a result, to be honest!
PSX, Hobby Art and Wordsworth stamps. I love the Hobby Art scroll so it was a no brainer to put it with the quill and add a bit of beautiful lettering. Again, all on scraps and I used two new embossing powders. Don't expect this to last, but for now, I feel smug enough to enter the challenge!