Saturday, 3 December 2016

Naturally, it ends well...

I showed this to Jan earlier in the week to get her reaction as to whether it would be a good project to brag  blog about making for Baker Ross. She laughed so hard when I told her how I had reached this magical outcome, that I felt it only fair to share so that you can learn from my experience.
The box of 'Naturals' contained a reel of twine and I immediately decided to do something IN ADDITION to using it on cards and as the string for some cute bunting. Yeah, smart-arm...but what. Well you know, a browse through Pinterest sorted that...I decided to crochet with the twine. It worked a treat and I'm pleased with the transformed marmalade jar. Arty photography alert....
See, what you do is crochet a chain that will fit tightly around the neck of the jar. Slip stitch it together and singe crochet around again. Then, work a chain of a length that makes sense to the proportion of diamond you want....in this case it was 8 stitches. And then slip stitch it into every 6th space on the collar. Then go around repeating, making the slip stitch into the previous chain, at about the 5th position. You can tell can't you, that I didn't follow any instructions, or write down what I was doing. What you can't tell is that I found it very much easier to do it with the jar in position.  What you can't tell is that when I had smugly cast off and checked it was even and looked OK, I couldn't get the collar over the neck of the jar. Stuck tight. This jar cover is not coming off.
Ha! Quite funny that she crocheted a jar into its cover.
Not as funny as the fact that I hadn't thought far enough ahead to forsee that problem. So I hadn't soaked the label off. Cue much hilarity and some swearing. And an overnight soak in a saucepan for the whole thing. And me picking bits out of the diamond shapes with enforced good humour. For goodness' sake! Still, it's OK. And other jars will receive this treatment, am liking the 'grouped lights'
idea to sit atop the piano. Indeed my dears, and here endeth the lesson.


Thursday, 1 December 2016

Of Bark stars....

I know, Bark stars? Well of course, there's a bit of a story. I'm in the pocket of promoters at Baker Ross and they send me stuff to play with and show you. And rather inevitably, the latest box of goodies has had a Christmas theme to it. A 'Naturals' theme actually. I've assumed Christmas by the inclusion of the bark stars. See. Ask me, I can manipulate anything to mean something easier for me.
Bark Stars. I didn't make them up! So of course, my first thought is for a card. A single star just needed a teeny bit of gold glitter as an embellishment and then I was off....a stamped background because I could (old Hero Arts) and some blobs of spray ink that no longer sprays.

I used a textured white pre-folded card for this one, but have in mind to try it in/with/on other colours. I've always been a bit of a stickler for 'gold goes with cream' and 'silver goes with white', so now I've mixed it up a bit, I need a short lie down. The additional stars were die cut from the self adhesive glitter paper. Nice huh...impressed to be honest, that it would cut - lots of plastic coated papers don't like to be die cut.


I'm getting in something of a panic about cards and the quantity I need compared to how many I've made, so versions of this will crop up shortly!

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 391

Taken late Tuesday afternoon, this picture is pretty lacking in light, but it had been a really beautiful and clear, cold day. You can see space on the desk, which is the sign of a bit of tidying between works, and a couple of finished cards on the ipad stand - more of those as the month unfolds. The pile on the right in the foreground is actually part of December's birthday gifts to be given, so in a way, the reflection on the packaging is a good thing! At back left is a box containing more of the bark stars that you see on the white card. And a roll of hessian behind that, currently awaiting a moment of inspiration. Ho Ho Ho she chuckles, ironically!
Share your workspace with us will you? Put WOYWW in your blog post title and link it here for ease of visiting. Many recent posts on many great blogs will explain why WOYWW is such a nice thing to do!

Monday, 28 November 2016

WOYWW Crop and its future...

So the WOYWW Crop came and went. *Pouf* - just like that. It was a lovely day, we met new people, who I hope, didn't feel new at all. We met erm, old people. I mean, we were once all strangers and now, because we flash our desks at each other once a week or every so often, we're friends.
Stolen from Jan's blog, because I didn't take a single picture. Not one.
There is a presumption of friendship when we meet - because we know something about each other already. And then, if there is ice still to be broken, the cake does the trick. My word the food is definitely a friend factor! Doug (beardy boy looking chap at back right) did the lion's share of everything. Putting out tables, clearing tables, serving drinks, washing up...you name the job, he was in like Flynn. So we're changing that saying to the non-rhyming 'in like Doug' from now on. That is not to say he was totally solo...all husbands/partners who came to the Crop were brilliant at the clearing up and washing up part; we truly love you boys.
But the biggest shout out is for Jan. A month before she moves house and in the beginning of the clutches of Christmas and all the commitments that she has through Band and School, she motivated, instructed, reminded, cooked, baked, provided. As she always has for these Crops. Way back, the first one was entirely due to her encouraging me that some folk may like to meet in person and that it wouldn't be awful. Couldn't do it without her, and if you've been to a WOYWW Crop, you'll doubtless agree.
She and I are continually blown away by the distances that others have travelled for these meetings; and so now it's our turn to do the distances. Jan is leaving me moving to Wales, so WOYWW Crops like this won't happen again. I can hardly invite her to stay and then ask her to cater for 20 odd people can I?  So, if you fancy a WOYWW Crop in your area, find a venue...a hall with a kitchen (drink making facilities as minimum, we can all bring packed lunches if necessary) Loos and decent parking are the other must-haves.  It's actually very little work on the day because hey - Doug! No seriously, we all muck in and it works beautifully.  Let's get this show on the road!

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 390

Ha Ha! Or should I say Ho Ho! It's a bit like getting blood out of a stone, but I'm working on a Christmas Cards workshop and there is the evidence...

It's not looking too messy is it?! And certainly isn't telling the story of the difficulty I'm causing myself by not having any decent ideas! That plastic box at left is the gems section of my stash. Of course I rootled through it to find the holly berries you can just see on the card that still isn't finished. Meanwhile, an explanation of the stunning daylight is due to you. Took this picture on the hoof yesterday, just after lunch when Mr Dunnit announced that Wednesday was to be a date day. I know, you're all thinking how sweet and considerate he is. Date DAY is actually a day where I get to ride with him in the big white van to help out with deliveries to sites and 'run interference' at jobs where there is fitting to be done. My talking skills quite often help in these situations - they prevent the home owner standing in the room telling Mr Dunnit how to do his job, or explaining that he would do the job himself only he's incredibly busy. You get it.
HUGELY looking forward to seeing any of you that can come to the Crop on Saturday, my word it's been ages! Meanwhile, entertain us will you, please post your inspiring and enabling seasonal desk pictures for us to ogle and discuss. It's important for those of us looking for inspiration on a permanent basis!

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Whats On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 389

Well, it may look staged, but it honestly isn't. I said to Darnell on Facebook the other day that I was planning Christmas cards by tidying my desk and then studiously avoiding it. True. But, for good reason..I'm trying to decide between serious holly or not serious holly. I think. I may not use either of them because soon, I'll have gone off the idea of holly.
You can see some 12 x 12 (from Fiona, a desker and Stampin Up! gal), which is for my December calendar...I'm excited to say that I've got 2 things going on in December that equate to a social life, so that justifies the making of the calendar! There's the inevitable glasses, some small scissors - I know not why - and the big ugly hole punch and calculator are there because I used the desk to do the October month end on Monday. Yes it was late. No, I don't care. The blankie in the basket at right is actually a wad of packing tissue for no good reason, and on top of that is a pretty ring binder. I manage my sweet Mama's affairs and figure she deserves everything to look as pretty as it can. Also, in case you didn't know, I'm a sucker for nice stationery. So that's not terribly inspiring, but I am at least thinking seasonally. A start! Share do, am sure you're way head of me in terms of planning and prep for thanksgiving and Christmas. Put WOYWW in your blog post title and link here.
And please...don't hold my rubbish visiting statistics against WOYWW generally, I really have been ridiculously enveloped in real life stuff, but will do better as the weeks progress, honest!

Sunday, 13 November 2016

Y'all know that crafting is a therapy. Well, I have always been an advocate of crafting in company if you can. Doubles the therapeutic effect. I'm firmly a believer in a workshop or two; I mean, where else are you going to try the next technique/tool/products without having to buy them and then do your own learning! That alone makes a workshop worthwhile, but the company and the gossip makes the idea of occasional crafting company irresistible.


Which is why the WOYWW Crop came about. To meet the people who take the photos and sit at those desks of inspiration. And to talk and swap ideas. Oh yeah, and to eat. So the Crop that is upcoming on the 26th will be all of that. I know the date isn't ideal for a lot of you - we're blaming the neuro-surgery team at Southampton for that - I don't think we really expected that I would be well enough for any of this sort of malarkey just yet. Bonus then! (well, for me.) Here's another bonus...the date has fallen between the monumental commitments that Lunch Lady Jan has been making. And so she says she will cook lunch. Hallelujah and all that, how lovely! Times, location details etc, will be on the Crop page that you can access at the top of the blog.