Thursday, 30 October 2014

Quietfire and Christmas

Well I had to really, didn't I?  I was quite insensible over the choice over at Quietfire Design, and consider myself to have been very strong indeed in choosing only two from so many beautiful Christmas related texts.

I may be late to the Kraft party, but this year I've used it more than ever, and see no sign of stopping! This card features the Tidings text and a die by Sizzix under the Tim Holtz signature line.  The papers are from a single set called Krafty Christmas by Dovecraft.  
I coloured the edges of the tag and the gingham paper with light touches of Vintage Photo Distress Ink (off a sponge), the text is embossed with Cosmic Shimmer embossing powder, Blue Raspberry Aurora.  I can't say that word. Aurora.
I stuck the gems on one at a time, they are from an old pack that I can't identify...and you can tell that I didn't have a template!

See what I mean - Kraft and Red again!  LOVE this cheeky message! Here's a Dolly Mama stamp from Penny Black, stamped and embossed with White powder.  I cut her out but left a decent margin around allow the image to stand out a bit and to avoid too much swearing over the fussy cut job I'd given myself!  She's coloured with sponges and various Distress Inks( before cutting out) careful colouring here - if I want to repeat this card, the cutting has to be the only slow part!  The Kraft mat is embossed with a plaid folder from Design Objectives (DO Crafts) and the printed stock is by My Mind's Eye....the ruled print is the other side of the pattern print, so only one piece was harmed for the making of this card. I've given her gobbly eyes too...well, she is trying to hide a fib after all.  The text is embossed with WOW Red powder.  The quality of the lettering and the rubber means that these Quietfire stamps are a gift to emboss, and that in my opinion, shows them at their best on an otherwise busy card. 

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday, 282

I took the photo when I got in from work on Tuesday at about 5.15pm. Erk. First auto-flash picture for ages! 
What's on my workdesk? Thanks for asking.  There's a mug with an instant soup in it...I was going out again and wanted to recharge the old energy levels; I'm rubbish at eating late! Two nice pieces of printed felt.  They are still there.  I'm contemplating their uses.  OK, I have no idea what to use them in/on/with/for, but it amounts to the same thing as contemplating usage, huh.  The plastic box houses my stick on gems...and I have very few.  A situation to be rectified given the coming of 'the' season!  Lovely sparkly gems at back, there's a bit of a story to them and I'll tell you after Thursday's workshop.  There's the trusty iPad...I was listening to a murder mystery play.  I do not know why the wooden pieces are there, or indeed, how they've ended up on my desk, I'm certainly not planning to use them any time soon.  Perhaps I'll put them away this morning.  Finally there's the card that I'm working on.  It's for a workshop and so far, so good.  I've got about ten minutes before I promised Mr Dunnit I'd be at work, so let's hope I don't lose the idea before I can get back here!
Join in won't you?  Show us what's on your desk and tell us the why and the how. Link here and we know where to visit!

Monday, 27 October 2014

Gosh it's been quiet around here for a few days, huh.  Well, it wasn't at all quiet where I was.  And on that basis, it would probably be very wrong to call it a retreat, but in the crafty use of the word, that is what it was.  A small but beautifully equipped cottage, five women who want to craft and a hold a conversation that doesn't have to be cut short by going home, and the option of alcohol and too much food.  
The weather wasn't relevant, the surroundings were probably very pretty.  The conversation wasn't always sparkling really, but there was howling and tears of laughter and of course on Saturday evening, A LOT of judging.  Well, we stopped to watch Strictly Come Dancing, of course!
So what did I do?  I did this lot...
Quite a pleasing stack if you ask me.  Some new photos, some really quite old and no new stash at all. 

It actually breaks down to nine Layouts and even though it doesn't include the Layout challenge (that I set), I think it's good for 1 and a half days 'work'.  Ya see, we may have arrived on Friday, but we didn't actually set up tables and unpack the stash till after mid-day on Saturday (can't imagine why).  
Others who art more organised, made Christmas cards.  But it was a change for me not to, so I enjoyed the scrapping.  Although some Christmas stuff did creep in! I'll show you more of these Layouts, probably as decoy pictures in later posts. Don't yawn yet.

I didn't manage a single crochet stitch, but I did at least rewind some yummy yarn into balls.  I didn't manage to eat sensibly.  I did manage two lie-ins.  I did not complete the Layout challenge.  I did use a lot of old stash.  I did not so much as go for a walk.  I did contribute to the cooking and clearing. I did not drink too much.  I did eat too much.    
I had a great weekend!

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Guesting on A Dee Tee, part the second

Well gentle reader of course I can't leave the Quiefire Design stamps alone.  
I'm too old to change and so I've continued to make cards that feature text on the can describe the intention of the inside, issue an immediate greeting, convey get it.

And then there's humour too.  Love this.  This card of course, follows my tradition and is easy to make.  The shoe stamp is Dawn Houser for Inkadinkado, stamped in good old Black Versafine ink and then re-stamped immediately (second generation ink).  The two were then cut out (they are a single image). The background Postcard stamp is stamped in second generation of Dove Grey Stazon; then the rose head and leaves are incredibly lightly coloured and washed with water to pale them down.  The 'incredible' part of this is that I managed not to be too heavy handed. (But then you aren't privvy to the number of false starts I made either...). I used a ruler to tear the postcard image from the card, coloured the torn edge with Victorian Velvet Distress Stain,  and matted and layered it onto a black pre-fold card.  Stamp the text - again black Versafine and give it drying time. (Ask me whyI know to advise you about this).
Then just glue the cut out shoes on - lightest behind.  Stick the front shoe at a jaunty angle over the first one so as to slightly create the illusion of a pair!
And then....send your lovely card to anyone you know who's trying something new, starting up, starting over or considering anything.  A frightened woman doing DT work, for example.

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 281

You could do worse than look at this page to find out what this WOYWW thing is about.  And then, this page to find out how to join in/link, if you've never done the link thing before.
I've taken over the surfaces in the house. On Tuesday, I had a lovely day of chat and craft at my house with Jan and Fiona and so had embarked upon some sorting of photos and scrapbook paper.  And naturally, now I'm into it, it has to stay on the dining table because I need my desk, right!

You can see how well it's all arranged.  And you can just glimpse my scrap box at back.
Shocking. I would sort it out but I'm busy.

And so my desk contains nothing but remnants from yesterday (the Cricut cutting mat, the button bag) and beginnings of other things...teeny red heart buttons waiting to be strung for workshop kits, some Christmas 12 x 12 papers (inevitably) and the odd stamp kicking about waiting for me to be inspired.  Today is an out and about sort of day, so please be patient with me over visits!  Mind you , if the day is as blustery and windy as yesterday, I may chicken out of van driving! Y'all have a good WOYWWednesday now.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

T for Tuesday

I was making coffee this morning when I remembered that I could share it with you over at Elizabeth and Bleubeard's. And tell you the story of The Mug.

Don Quixote and his choice!
You may recognise the brand name of course, and if you've dropped by to read here before, you may recognise The Mug. But wait; you don't. This is a NEW one, and slightly different. See the original one is from a Starbucks in Paris and was a gift from a friend who knows how I like a souvenir and how I like coffee.  Perfect.
I have always loved the size shape and capacity of the Paris mug, and once said to Mr Dunnit that it would be worth having a couple more just for everyday use as it does seem tot be the one I look for when making a hot drink.  You know - you have a 'go-to' mug, right?  

So there we were -  7am in Malaga airport after a fairly smooth journey to drop off the hire car and a particularly terrifying journey from the hire car garage to the airport.  But we're all in one piece and being frightfully English about that.  Laughing and pretending to wipe our brows instead of actually telling the mini-bus driver what we think.
Cue a massive queue at the only open coffee shop on the concourse.  It's a Starbucks. As we wander past it, telling ourselves we'll wait till we're air-side to grab a coffee and something to eat, I notice that they have my Mug for sale.  Only this time of course, it's a Spain version. Well, I've learned over the years, that if you don't get it when you see it, you kick yourself. So Mr D found a bench and I joined the ridiculous queue.  
Neither I nor Joaquin, my server, could quite believe it when we both realised that I'd queued for 25 minutes to buy a mug that I didn't want to have filled with coffee. And nor could the lady behind me in the queue who had been rather impatient from the moment she joined the waiting mass.  (Honestly, how could I walk around the airport drinking from an open mug?).I paid too much for it, and came away feeling like a kid that got what she wanted. And I've enjoyed using it and the Paris mug in equal turn since we came home. And....there's even a great finish to this..the Starbucks on the other side of security didn't have any of these to sell. Justified!

I'm a pathological collector I've decided.  And there's always a story.  But it's OK, it's usually long enough to justify a coffee.

Friday, 17 October 2014

Autumn in Andalucia

You are going to see fantastically blue skies and a sandy beach in a minute.  So just to prove that I'm not kidding, here's a conker tree.....j u s t about on the autumnal turn.  And evidence that it is doing the autumnal seed dropping exercise.....

 But I can't show you the conkers.  Because some silly souvenir hunting softie brought them back with him to try to grow a Chestnut tree all the way from the Alhambra.  I so hope they take!
So this is Granada in early October.  Beautiful architecture, not so busy as I suspect the summer months were, but still basking in glorious soak-me-up-and-make-me-healthy sunshine.  I loved it. Oh the romance of the place. It's not on the coast line, but north east of it, and quite high up.  Indeed the road signs have you travelling toward the Sierra Nevada, and Granada is home to a fair few snow sports shops.  

I don't think I'd get sick of it.  A land where Autumn means the pomegranates ripen, shadows are long and coffee and cake are to be eaten outdoors watching the world go about it's business and wondering why trainers the world over need to be so erm, well hung.

I'm not foolish, I know a city at altitude and with a backdrop of Sierras is going to have a winter, and probably, some very cold ones.  But oh, to have a blue sky autumn and hang on to the greens and golds for as long as possible.  Bliss.

We did, in mid morning Granada, fidn ourselves stepping into sunshine to avoid cool shadows cast by spectacular architecture.  More pictures of that to come if you're interested.  But I really wanted to show you how beautiful Autumn is..because since I've been home, it's been grey and wet and its hard to see the beauty through the gloom.  

I don't expect you can experience the distant haze during the creates wonder in the lens of your camera, adding dimension depth and mystery to the scenery. Well, I think it does. And I can't hep but wax lyrical.  It was lyric inspiring.  Yep, Mr Dunnit was coughing at my inspiration too by the time I'd been through these pictures.  It's OK.

And then, as if the first notes of Autumn in higher Andalucia weren't's the colour to be found on the coast.  Not a season or a million miles apart.  No 24 hours and a couple hundred kilometres.  You can see why I like Spain can't you - I don't even have to make a decision about a favourite season...I just have to turn around! 

 This was Fuengirola.
And this beauty was planted right outside our apartment. Why didn't I stand back and take a picture of the bed full of these floral birds?  I have no idea.  Over excited as usual!

I don't know if it's mis-placed or not, but because I'm still smiling over these pictures, I'm going to link up with Annie at Friday Smiles. If it's all too braggy and in-your-face for you - sorry.  You may have find another blog.  I do this quite often.
Have a lovely weekend!

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 280

Well, it doesn't look like much does it; but there are tales to tell!  
Bad light - yep, taken at 5.45pm last night and the autumnal rain has really dulled the day...urgh.  At left is a basket with sample and supplies for one of this week's workshop cards. Above that the iPad of course; at the point of photography it was relaying an Ann Bronte adaptation via Radio 4.  This morning - at this time, it is wisely silent.  There are two little white birds awaiting some sort of decoration...they speak to me indeed, but not enough to actually commit to something! Then a piece of discarded foil, still plenty to use, so just waiting to be filed. There's my ticket and some postcards from my recent trip to the Alhambra Palaces.  And see on top of the perspex drawers - that white blob under the tapes and another next to the tape runners?  They are marble pebbles, stolen from a Spanish beach.  They are sparkly with quartz. I would have brought back more, but the thought of carting a suitcase of rocks about made very little sense really.  And then there's the blank page.  It's the 'method' and 'supplies needed' lists for workshop cards.  I am, at some point, going to write stuff in it.  Just as soon as I've made a card.
Please then, share what you're up to - what your work surface looks like and how you are. We need to know. To do that, you can follow these notes

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Refreshed and Chilled..

Feeling distinctly chilled, I have to admit, Autumn is slow to put on her cloak in southern Spain, and here at home - where it's lovely to be - we are feeling the two thirds drop in temperature!
So here's a taster:
We went to Spain again - this time to the Costa del Sol.
It lived up to its name...
We visited mountain towns 

..where repeating patterns are utterly mesmerizing...

 and the history is patterned, colourful, beautiful
and we visited beaches.....

The sangria was sweet and chilled, the gin y tonica was refresco, the sardinas were plentiful.  I have to share some more pics, it's the law.  But, I'll give you a heads up type warning in the post titles so you can skip it! Meanwhile, I have to find some warm footwear and start catching up!

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 279

You know I'm away right?  Yep, getting some late sun. So this is a recorded message - but, I have to say, it's actually pretty accurate.

I have some sensibility about me though, so although the old workdesk will still look very similar to this, before I left, I did pick out the ink pads and glues and remove them to their rightful places.  And this effort was made to prevent them from sitting on the desk in afternoon sun, gently baking dry.  Otherwise, they'd have stayed there - everything else has.  What?  I've been busy!
Christmas is still on my table, I keep telling myself to get used to the idea, but I still can't quite. Odd, because by the time Christmas is over, I'll really be in the mood to use glitter and tinsel!
Share then - what are you up to this Wednesday? Show us your work space, wherever and whatever...we consider it an invitation.

Monday, 6 October 2014

Me and A DeeTee

Yes, gentle reader, me, on a Design Team!  Ack, get away.  Actually it's a guest spot which is far better for everyone's blood pressure and my general level of terror.
I jumped at the chance to play with some canadian rubber stamps when Robyn and Suzanne of Quietfire Designs asked me if I'd like to guest. And then immediately became stricken by panic and inability.  They are such beautiful stamps; I wanted to do them justice...which of course meant that I couldn't.   

If you pop over to Quietfire's design blog, you'll find this post, but enhanced with a short synopsis of my life so far.  Or something like that - an 'introductory paragraph' I think they called it in the brief. You can skip that and head straight to the card making part..
I was playing about with the Dragonfly from this set; I don't feature them on my cards very often and had an idea to make the wings all irredescent (which you can't see) and to keep it simple, but with a striking background.  Tall order on a 4" square card!
I used good watercolour stock and dripped Distress Stain onto the wetted area.  And then used the heat gun to dry it because I'm too impatient to wait.  Then I die cut it (it's a Joy die) and ran a silver Krylon around the edge.  You can't tell, but the text is embossed - Versacolour Imperial Blue and embossed with clear powder.  Nor can you tell that the Dragonfly is higlighted with the silver Glamour Dust.  As was my face and decolletage....clumsy, moi?

While I was squashing the Distress stain against the corner of an acrylic block to produce enough liquid to drip onto the wet water-colour paper, I had another idea and decided to 'go grand' so that I could use one of my favourite stamps;  it’s from this set. If there's a trick to this, it's to stamp the text and emboss it before you do anything else, so that the plastic surface of the embossing can resist the inks. I used white embossing powder to maintain the contrast. 

Credit of course to Sizzix and T.Holtz Esq for the die, and to Provocraft for the embossing folder. You can see too that I don't know when I've finished and I used a white gel pen to doodle a border top and bottom and then to 'stitch' some of the coloured blobs (technical term) together.  
Quietfire sells stamps through Oyster Stamps here in the UK, but has a mass of cut files for you Silhouette and type users...lucky you, I say.  Please to stay relatively tuned...there's more where this came from..and oh the stamps are so worth seeing!

Friday, 3 October 2014

Yikes, another week...mostly Smiling!

Another week gone. *pouf*  Just like that.  And still quite a lot of my list to be worked through! Ah well and hey ho.  There are some things that have to wait.  ....I've had a cumulatively smiley week and so it's only right to brag about it, and the best way to spread the brag is to join Annie's Friday Smiles.

The week started on a high, Miss Dunnit had a helicopter Buzz ride as part of her birthday celebrations and I was lucky enough to be the one to go with her. Her significant other had to work. Ah well, taking your Mum isn't so bad; she bought the souvenir photo and a cream tea on the way home!
Miss Dunnit's cheesy smile is because she forgot to look cool and unexcited!

And I swear, the copious pictures of the pilot were more to do with the view. Yes that view.  And to show that he piloted with no door. And is it me, or is he so young that those posh Rayban sunnies look like the ones they give with Happy Meals? I'm getting old.  Miss Dunnit was pleased though, the helicopter was so noisy that he couldn't hear me calling him 'young man'. 

We've been to a picnic with entertainment from massed bands, and it was fab. See that little tent on the right? It wasnt teeny, but it was the sound stage, so when the marching bands stood still, we couldn't hear much.  But it was fab, atmosphere, company, food... even the fireworks were helpful and photographed quite well!
I've managed to so some time at my desk too - cutting and sticking - here's a card for a workshop in about ten days.  Cute birdy, huh.  

And then and finally, the biggest smile of the week for me and Mr Dunnit - we're escaping to the sun for a bit of a breather.  

At some point, I'll catch you up with anything of interest. Well, anything that I find interesting!  Meanwhile, have a super weekend.

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 278

WOYWW - huh? and WOYWW how? can be found on separate pages. If you have any questions or comments, leave them here and I will answer them.
All this by way of putting off my show and tell contribution this week - in my mind, it's not terribly interesting, but at least shows an organised and vaguely prepared side of me...

Hmm..actually it probably doesn't! My desk is a almost in zones today.  The piles at far left are the card kits for Thursday. A Christmas workshop.  The iPad's deckchair is empty.  The iPad is in the kitchen, where I left it last night.The pile next to the deckchair consists of bagged stamps, mostly by Quietfire - my guest DT posts are due out next week see.  And the Prima doll is there too.  That pile now represents the 'play with these some more' part of my crafting wish list.  On top of the clear box which is actually drawers, of course there's my ATG gun (currently out of favour for misbehaving and eating a third of a reel), and a 7Gypsies 'flash' card.  I put it there because it was my intention to add it to a scrapbook page that I made relatively recently.  It's still there because I didn't do it straight away and now can't remember why I felt it was so relevant! The yellow basket is one of four being filled with supplies that need to be shared between the workshopeers on Thursday. The notebook tells me what I need to gather for each card.  Not fascinating, but Oh so necessary! With any luck, by lunchtime today, this desk will be a seething mass of papers, ideas and fabulous new cards. I did say 'with any luck'!
Join us do please, post a pic of your workspace and tell us what you're doing thereon, it's interesting, free, fun and friendly.