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Wednesday, 21 January 2015

WOYWW #294 Tidier

It's that day again, the day of the week we go gaily tripping round everyone's desks and spaces and confessing about our own!
This is the other side of the desk, I have two or more packs of yarn waiting to be hooked, and that purple box underneath - yes more yarn! The boxes on the left contain things I am trying to get rid of, a lot has gone it was much bigger. Under the desk you can see boxes which contain Christmas paper and cards, some bagged and priced from when they were in the shop, some just finished cards, you can see purple and green crates, those are full of more yarn mostly machine knitting cones, as well as a length of material I was going to sew, I might make a skirt yet. Some of the yarn might be going to the charity shop where I bought it, it is horrible to work with.

More yarn, oh dear! The green tub is full, as are the bags including the pink, black and white one, some of it was to make lots of crochet hats which I hoped to sell - not got very far with that apart from hats for Kenny! The box - it's the ecraft which I sold, had to refund and pay carriage back again and it has sat there for at least a year because I don't have the heart to find out what damage the buyer has done to it, because if what she said is true it is in far worse condition than the working condition it left in. Not only do I not have the funds towards the new machine I wanted, I ended up out of pocket by £20 for carriage both ways.

Another corner of the room, by the exercise bike, and this photo made me tidy up here afterwards. I am working on the cardigan again, found I had made an error on the back so unpicked (or frogged it if you prefer) and started over. The white bag is toy stuffing. I have been taking my crochet to do while visiting mother in law, who came out of hospital into a home yesterday. This is short term as far as we know, but the home is not the right place for her as pretty much everyone else there has dementia and so she stays in her room and sees nobody but the staff. Her room seems clean, and quite big, she has a bathroom, there is a window but too high to see out of sitting down and there is no view, and she worries that it is open and anyone can walk in if they want. We took a TV over today, so I have no TV by me to watch but I thought her need was greater than mine, unfortunately we could get no signal but the maintenance guy is going to run a new cable down from the attic tomorrow morning for her. She hates it there so much and her obvious distress is distressing us both especially Shaun. I think we have to find her somewhere better soon, they didn't even help her dress and she only had half her clothes on.

So here is the desk, and I have tidied it up considerably since last week, there is a way to go. The paper pad is out for a project I want to start but I am so exhausted from making phone calls about MIL's situation, visiting, letting people know the latest etc and the days seem to run together with not a lot getting done. We have been getting back late and I haven't felt like cooking the meal I planned to cook so we have been grabbing something quicker.
I made myself a salad for lunch, it was nice and symmetrical on a round plate. It had tuna and cottage cheese on top. Anyway I put it on the dining room table, then remembered I was going to look for my oldest mobile phone to charge up and take in for MIL to try and use, and I found it and got it charging. Returned to the dining room to find Sooty and Alfie - Sooty was up at the table licking a cherry tomato off of the plate, a section all along one side of my salad was no longer round - there was a space on the plate and it was straight across! A couple of leaves were on the floor - dogs not keen on green leaves of the salad variety! I had to ditch some more of my salad, assuming that the straight edge had been licked all the way along! I ate the rest, on the same plate, I  have only just thought about that plate and the fact it might have had dog saliva on it too - I am too tired to think straight right now!
Oh and today the dishwasher broke down so I have had to do a lot of washing up!

Anyway I might not manage to get round many folks this week, and I probably owe a few from last week, but if you want to find out more and join in just hop on over to The Stamping Ground.

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Quirky windows

The challenge at Quirky Crafts is all about apertures in cards, or any craft project, or in the card toppers or layers like mine. Our sponsor is The Cutting Cafe (who are generously providing all three prizes and files for the team to use) and I used three file sets on my card:
Everyday Card Toppers (Cutting files)
A bunch of monsters (printable files)
Birthday fun (printable files)

I printed Word Bubble Left from Everyday Card Toppers, onto Nitwit paper by LOTV, using the pdf files because I don't have a working cutting machine set up, and I cut the panel and bubble by hand. I changed the colour of the sentiment to green, printed it and cut it out before mounting it using foam tape to give it dimension behind the cut out speech bubble. Then I added some polka dot chiffon ribbon to the panel before it was mounted onto the card also using foam tape. I coloured my monster with Promarkers and fussy cut it, then adhered it to the panel.
Hop on over to Quirky Crafts to see more great examples and play along with us.

I have entered the following challenges:
Crafty Ribbons - sentimental (Thurs)
Creative Fingers - anything goes #63 (Fri?)
Glitter and Sparkle - cute (Sun)
Cards Galore - anything goes (Jan)

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

WOYWW #293

Sorry about this, to those of a sensitive dispostion - but the craft room clear out part two has commenced, and it sometimes has to get worse before it gets better (doesn't it?)!
I was clearing out my offcuts box and putting a load in a bag for the neighbour who is a teacher at the school down the road. It used to be for her children to use, but it somehow ended up going down to the school for the kids art box. I still had bits on my desk as you can see.
I have also managed to sort out a few things to sell on ebay, and got up to 19 out of my 20 free listings, however I listed an alphabet die set and the matching number set seperately, after taking photos and cutting a few samples to show and I was sitting eating lunch a couple of days later playing round with the letters that had fallen on the floor and decided I liked them and maybe shouldn't sell it, so had to apologise to the bidders and withdraw it. Oh dear, I don't normally do that!
I have also listed the film camera and lenses, seems a shame but we haven't used it for many years. I used to take black and white photos and develop them myself in my teens after a friend of mine picked up a couple of university students one summer and they taught me all about photography, as a result my first camera was a Russian Zenith E, the one I am selling is an Olympus which replaced the Zenith after it got sand in the works.

The floor looks better after I managed to put some stuff away. I found a bag of those hand made sort of papers on a shelf, didn't even know I still had it so that is going (I hope). I also found a goodie bag bag full of pages out of card making magazines, where I ditched the mags long ago. I have never looked at the bag since, so after a quick look I recycled that. 

This is Shaun's toy really, but he lost interest in it and it is great for vacuuming the floor in here and collecting bits that I can sieve through for any missing "valuable" bits! Didn't find any today.

This is my new toy, bought with my Christmas money. I read up about The Cinch and decided it sounded better than the Bind it All, not tried it yet and the Bind it All is - going!
The desk has slightly less clutter, I put the card away mostly. On the right of my new toy are two tubs, no three tubs - full of bits, those bits I collect as I work and put in them for later use and odd bits that I buy, and jewellery that needs mending - needs sorting out. I find the tubs of bits grow and I have a few around the place, then I tip the little tubs into bigger tubs and I can fill the little tubs up all over again! 

I won another Kraftin' Kimmie voucher, it didn't cover these two stamp sets and the single but the sale was on so I couldn't resist these two cute sets and the dancers. The pink set peeking out on the left is the one I bought with my last voucher. 
Edited to say: I forgot to mention the glitter glue sticks under the stamps, I seem to have bought two different packs over the years and the silver ones are very long, I think 12" or 30cm, they are different thickesses slightly and I have never put them in or near the Lidl glue gun - well I did look at it today and I don't think these are going to be wide enough, could be wrong as it has different nozzles somewhere! Anyway they are going in the Really Useful glue box not staying on the shelf any more!

Update on Mother in Law - she is still in hospital but they are trying to find her a Step Up bed, in a home so she can have more care before it is decided what happens next. She is much better, I would say 90%, and I don't know if it is the drugs but she was talking normally and knew what was going on until they gave her two tablets and an injection, after which she could see a play going on, and a ship......

Further update: Thanks to Nikki C and Shaz in Oz I have a way forward or two with the Prismacolor pencils, one involving microwaving them! I have also done some googling, and found that the splintering is due to inferior manufacturing, so I don't feel so bad. Now I am lusting after some Polychromos!

Why am I telling you this?  Well it is What's on your Workdesk Wednesday of course, and you can find out more and join in at The Stamping Ground.

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Quirky CAS reminder time, with a cute doggie.

I can't resist a cute critter, and this Bassett Hound by Crafty Girl from our sponsor Stitchy Bear is the cutest new addition to the dog basket!
I coloured him with Promarkers, cut him out (still using my new Spellbinders Grand Labels 1 dies) and mounted him on a die cut panel which is embossed with Creative Expressions clouds and coloured with blue chalk.
The sentiment is die cut with an IO die set.

This card has snuggled into the following challenges:
Through the Craft Room Door - anything goes (Tues Jan 13th)
ABC - A for anything goes (15th Jan) 10 only
Pink Gems - something new (16th Jan)
Allsorts - new and cute (Sat 17th)
Cute Card Thursdays - Something new 
Coffee Chocolate and Cards - no circles (Fri)
Creative Fingers - #62 anything goes (Fri)
Creative Card Crew - for a child (Jan)

This card is a copy of the one I made last week, except that I printed the two images on kraft card and coloured them with Prismacolor pencils this time. If you want to find out how cross this made me - read the previous post! Following some great tips by fellow WOYWWers Nikki C and Shaz in Oz I know there is a possible solution to the breaking leads, and that the splintering wood is due to quality of manufacturing! I need new pencils, different make I think.
Anyway, I die cut the panel and card out with my new Spellbinders Grand Labels 1 again, I am having fun with these. I love the end result, despite the Prismacolor pencil problems.
The images I used are Blue Tit 4 by IkeSart, and A Sign of Spring by Lil Diva both available from Stitchy Bear Digital Stamps.

This little bird has flown into the following challenges:
Divas by design - anything goes (Wed 14th)
Simon Says Wed - something new 
Ike's Art World - something old (Prismacolors) Something new, dies and images) (Tues 20th)
Pan Pastels - clean and Simple (25th Jan)

Thursday, 8 January 2015

WOYWW #292 (on Thursday, whoops)

Sorry peeps, I know it is Thursday therefore some of you will ignore me completely. 

Update on Mother in Law: she is still in hospital but is going to be discharged to another place (not sure what or where), medically she is fine, mentally she is very confused and is existing in a parallel universe - yesterday she thought she spent a night in a castle and had been to the beach! Will she come back to the present - who knows!

Update on cooker: you might remember my cooker blew up on Christmas day - well it was finally fixed this morning. It has a new motherboard, new programmer, and new control cable or something like that! YAY, can cook.

I was doing a lot of hospital visiting and updating relatives until Saturday when I went down with another nasty virus. It seemed like a really bad head cold with temperature reaching 37.6 by Tuesday, oh boy I felt rough and Tuesday I didn't get up from my bed except to see to the dogs and find something to eat/take co-codamol. I started to feel a bit better yesterday, well a lot better, but should my chest be crackling when I breathe?
My desk doesn't look a lot different except for newly acquired NBUS from the Jan sales. I have some new dies, and some Xyron refills which are long overdue. My Prismacolor pencils are out and I really love them but hate them too. The reason I hate them is that when they were collected from the PO they were accidentally dropped which I didn't find out until much later, now every time I try and sharpen one I can start with a new unsharpened pencil (and there are lots I haven't yet attempted) and end up with a little stump because they are so broken and only a few seem to have anything intact. This spoils my day, as I think of the wasted expense, and the wasted time sharpening them and throwing away what should be good pencils. Instead of ranting maybe I should try and buy some replacements for my own sanity! Under the dies is the image I coloured and it is not finished because I can't find the Sansador, anyone surprised?
I had a lot of plans in my head to fix that die cutting machine, tidy up and store stash, (more decluttering too to balance the recluttering activities) and maybe even re-arrange the desk round the other way again but they were all scuppered. This morning all I could do was sleep, I have come to life this afternoon enough to take photos and post this lot!

Kenny will only wear his crocheted monster hat and nothing else, he doesn't like earflaps but the first one I made got a little small, it was preschool size. I made a Daddy size one for Daddy to wear - but Daddy put it on Kenny and for him it was a little big. So this is the middle size one. At nearly 3 the preschool one doesn't cover his ears, the daddy size one was falling in his eyes so I hope this will be just right. The hat is based on a pattern by Sarah of Repeat Crafter Me, with the addition of ribbed rows by me round the bottom, and there seems little difference between these three sizes.

This is the Daddy sized hat. I was asked to make some monster mittens too and I found a pattern on Ravelry and added some matching eyes. I don't know if Kenny has worn them, or if they were a little big. When we went round Longleat he hadn't got his mittens and had to wear socks, and it was so cold!
Kenny in Daddy size hat, it has turned right around and is on backwards! Maybe Grampy needs a matching hat! I don't think the "kids" think that it is appropriate or cool for adults to wear novelty hats but I saw a lot of men wearing them round Longleat that day!

Anyway the point of all of this is to do some cool desk hopping which should happen on Wednesdays and the action is happening at The Stamping Ground.

Sunday, 4 January 2015

It's Quirky Clean and Simple for the New Year.

I am hosting the first challenge of the Quirky year, and it is Clean and Simple. Now I think I am normally a CAS sort of gal, some folks put everything including the kitchen sink on their cards so CAS might mean something different to them!
So here is my even cleaner and simpler card, our sponsor is the wonderful Stitchy Bears Digital Stamps, and I used two images together, the Blue Tit 4 is by IkeSart, and the bird house is called A Sign of Spring and is by Lil Diva. The image is coloured with Promarkers, I tried hard to get the colouring right on the bird, I cut out the panel leaving a lot of white space with a Spellbinders Grand Labels 1 die then edged it with pink Promarker. The Grand Labels 1 die set is one of my Christmas presents to me, and just arrived from the USA - perfect timing) and this is the first use so I guess I can enter Darlene's NBUS challenge with it (also the images are new courtesy of Stitchy Bears Digital Stamps). I used a bigger size of the die to make the card blank in yellow, and the blue panel to go on top. Darlene's plan is to get us to use that NBUS and convert so - this is officially now ABUS (Already Used Schtuff). Does it matter that I haven't used all sizes of the dies yet?

No sentiment, so it is a multi purpose card, and even simpler and it is Spring like to cheer me and everyone else up, I might take it to the hospital for Mother in Law, or get Shaun to take it as I have a really awful cold or virus so haven't been able to visit for a couple of days.

I am working on another version of this, if I could only find my Sansador I would finish it!

 I love Blue Tits and we have many of them in the garden visiting the feeder, and usually nesting in our next box which is high up on the apex of the garage roof, and never gets cleaned out by us - but they seem to survive.

My definition of CAS is very few or no embellishments, clean and simple lines, lots of "white" space, this can be any colour but lots of plain unprinted, unstamped, undecorated space of any colour. It will be interesting to see who can actually do this, including my teamies!

Come and play Quirky CAS with us, and maybe you will make top 3 and win one of our wonderful prizes, or you can just come and see the wonderful examples we have from the team and heap of guest designers this time at Quirky Crafts Challenge blog.

This little birdie has flown into the following challenges:

Through the Craft Room Door - anything goes (6th Jan)
I love Promarkers - anything goes (Tues)
ABC - A for anything goes (Thurs)
Cute Card Thursday - anything goes
My Time to Craft - #273 all things new (Sat)
Pink Gems - Something new (16th Jan)
That's Crafty - blue is the colour (16th Jan)
NBUS 3 - use your never before used Schtuff, cos Darlene said! (22nd Jan)
Pan Pastels - CAS (17th Jan)
Die Cut Divas - Anything goes (month of Jan)

Friday, 2 January 2015

WOYWW #291 and Happy New Year.

I know it is Thursday! It is Jan 1st 2015 so Happy New Year to you all.
I had no internet at all yesterday, no idea why.
My desk is very messy, no crafting has occurred since my last post, I have just received a set of Creative Expressions stamps that I wanted and couldn't find called Steampunk Christmas, oh how I wanted and searched for these! Found them after Christmas of course but I have them for next year now.

I will keep it short, I am so tired. Christmas day my cooker "blew up", well there was a bang and a smell of burning and the electrics stopped working - I had 10 coming to dinner, and we managed as described in my last post. The engineer came yesterday and the motherboard needs replacing - he didn't have the right one and is coming back next week. That is two weeks without the ovens, but I have the gas hob, the combi microwave and the actrifry so it isn't too bad.

Sunday was a nice day, we were given tickets to Longleat by our son for Christmas, the whole family got to go. We arrived there at around 10am to get the safari bus, which should have taken 90 minutes to go round the animals but took 2 and a half hours due to the volume of visitors. Then we got lunch and wandered round for a bit, and it was so very cold we all needed warming up and so we went round the house, then for a cup of tea before heading out to look at the light show. I have some photos, will post them seperately when I am not so tired, and they would make this post very long.

Monday was Mother in Law's 86th birthday, unfortunately she had a bit of a fall and we got a call out to go and help her. We got the doctor out, she has an infection, and it was decided to take her to Sister in Law's. We managed between us and our son and Daughter in Law to get her into our car using a wheelchair to get her out, and down to Sister in Laws but she fell out of bed in the night and was hospitalised. So we have had a lot of visiting, sorting stuff etc. MIL is totally on a different planet right now, hopefully that is the infection or the drugs! 

To go desk hopping head over to The Stamping Ground now.