Friday, 29 January 2016

Me and the BG

I have been commiserating with like minded Facebook friends over Basic Grey's decision to pull put of the scrapbook supplies market. I did and do agree that they have a school of designers who'll be a great loss to paper designs. I even posted that BG Junkies like me would be saddened by their news.

I've continued to think about their decision ever since. And based only on my own experience with Basic Grey, I think they are doing the right thing. I probably have 100s of pages in my scrapbook collection that are based on, or feature, Basic Grey papers. I used to buy the collections almost unseen. I was definitely on that Merry-Go-Round of new product grabbing. But I grew out of it at some point, and am much more the sophisticated consumer these days. And when I looked through albums to find a few BG pages, the timeline says it all. My albums are overfilled. Basic Grey doesn't appear as anything more than offcuts and borders until I get to three behind the one I'm currently filling. 2012 was the last time I bought a Collection. Since then, I've probably bought less than a dozen pieces of BG 12 x 12. I have one  Basic Grey 6x6 book of papers, I couldn't resist. I have very little use for it!

By the time they reach the shelves here in the UK, these wonderful quality printed sheets are over £1 each. (As are many others, don't misunderstand this as a complaint against Basic Grey). They have remained single side prints, and the quality has been marvellously consistent. But if you extrapolate my purchasing into worldwide sales, hmm. It's probably not worth paying the designer, the printer, the shipping. And then there's all the other stuff that you're sort of expected to produce, stamps, stencils, dies. New releases (note the plural) at least twice a year, and a market which has reportedly levelled out. Certainly the consumer has had to be more prudent in the last few years.

It must be exhausting, keeping up, trying to predict the market in terms of style, design, colour, then being creative but to appeal to the purchaser. I cant cope with the sensory overload that comes out of CHA, so I don't try. I figure that it'll reach my attention soon enough. And I'm no longer ambitious about knowing the who and the what about every company. My interest in scrapbooking remains strong. But individual companies no longer have my loyalty....I buy paper on a whim, when I see something that pleases me. Across many marques. By the sheet.

Whatever the reason, I want to thank Basic Grey for what they taught me: not to be afraid of highly patterned papers! They were really good at those!  And also to applaud their clean and graceful market exit. One announcement, a cut off date and a thank you. Thank You, Basic Grey. I think you're quitting while you have control, and I admire anyone that sees that in their lives.

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 347

I should draw your attention to the how and the why pages at the top of the blog in case you stumble upon this and wonder what's going on. I speak for everyone when I say that we'd love you to join in!
My desk, as I left it last night. I was about to start on some 'painting' with my H20s, but got distracted by a phone call and then I was distracted by crochet, an armchair and TV. It happens far more often than it should.
Desker Helen stamped the crazy birds for me, at a WOYWW crop which was probably much longer ago than I think. I'm just coming round to thinking that I'd quite like this set, now that I've actually used one of the images! You can see the tin is full of H20s, perfect storage for the non anal like me, but I'm sure it would drive a lot of you to distraction to have all the colours mixed up and not even listed! Can't remember why the glitter glue overspill holder is down from its shelf, in fact, until I looked at the photo, I'm not sure I even noticed it. It is sitting atop the new Spring collection catalogue from Gudrun Sjoden a swedish clothing designer. Inspiring designs at prices I can't afford, but the catalogues are marvellous! My trusty and favourite glasses feature too - they are the last-prescription-but-one and are perfect for screen use. They are not however, up to helping me craft any more. I am considering just getting new lenses for them. Now, if I promise to manage my time better and actually visit, will you join me? Photo your desk or work area, show us what you've got going on. Put WOYWW in your post title and link it here. Lovely.
Oh, and....I'm miffed about Blogger telling me that if you don't have a Google account they will prevent you from adding a comment soon. My response will help, promise.

Friday, 22 January 2016

Get me...

I don't do scrapbooking at home. I think the pain of preparation has put me off somewhat; after all that page to photo matching and practically kitting each page, I jolly well want to go somewhere and show people that I can be organised! I've started to attend two crops a month. I know, and yes, thank you, it is lovely to be able to find the time. Mr Dunnit has always worked on Saturdays and I have always considered it a day off. So I do my own thing. 

Friends, at my 50th birthday party. 

Now, this means that I'm making up 9 or 10 Layouts a month. Prolific right? I love it! But as you can see from last weekends effort, it doesn't mean I'm up to date. At all. I never will be, because I don't scrap chronologically. And I often don't scrap events, rather just random pictures that speak to me whilst I'm choosing.
Laura and I copied a sketch. This is how mine turned out. Hers was TOTALLY different.
This isn't a great photo, and I think Mr D took it of me primarily, but it features more great friends and deserved to go in the album. I don't seem to have many LOs that include friends so i mean to rectify that this year. But they prolly won't be posed pictures. I like candid. If I'm not in them.

Miss Dunnit and The Musician at the beach. Where they live. I'm a bit jealous!
Of course, scrapping the same photo adds to one's prolificness. Prolifcity. What? This photo is already on a LO in my scrapbook. I found it when filing. It must be because I love the picture. Nothing to do with a bad memory that made me order the print a second time. I do love the picture though, so it's OK. And phew, the LOs are reasonably different! I have to prepare some more pages now...I can hardly keep up with myself. Smug aren't I! Have a lovely weekend.

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 346

Grr. My desk smacks of the wrong sort of work! I've been turning 2015 into archive files for work, yawn. And because I'm so clumsy, there's a really cute dish to be mended. I bought it in Phoenix and use it to hold tomatoes. I dropped it whilst cleaning it, and I'm not ready to call it a gonner yet, so superglue will be wielded. Despite chinks and cracks, the pepper dish will have to go on a while!
See my Memorydex there under the door lock? Have finally worked out how I'm going to use it. (As a  memory store...I know how to use it, silly. You can also see my glasses case pinned to the cork board at left. Its really useful to have it there, it means I know where my desk glasses are at a glance. Cuts out all the hassle of finding them, and then when I pack for crop, they're ready and I don't have to use one of the pairs I keep in every other room in the house. It throws out my system if I do. Just me?!
Come and join the fun then, put WOYWW in your post title, make the post about your work surface and share it with us. Mine will be back to abnormality very soon!

Sunday, 17 January 2016

Lingering Delights

Here's the last of the handmade cards we received over Christmas. These are from crafters whom I have the pleasure to know. We've met. We've crafted or workshopped together and some of them I socialise with in real life. Although we end up talking about paper. Like the others I've shown you, each is a masterpiece.
Susanne - with sweeties!

Lady Mary



Willowy Blonde

(Not so) baby Mumma (he must be about 8 now!)

Miss Florida

Fifitrixibelle LaBeau


Shopkeeper Gal

The enthusiastic Educator

Every minute spent making a card is worth it, honest! Thank you gals.

Friday, 15 January 2016

Workshops are scandalous

Indigo Blu stamp. 
Last night was the first of this year's workshops at Kraft Crazy. It was an earlier date than previous years, but its fair to say that we were ready to get together. There is a core of regulars, and last night's attendees featured just those of that 'core'. And so of course, it was a workshop for friends. 
The inside is the same stamp, I have cunningly separated it.
What? I don't own shed loads of scissors for nothing!
The trouble with conducting a wodrkshop for friends is that none of them really need any guidance at all (except when they change my designs for the better - then I'm FULL of guidance) and this leads to the sort of relaxed atmosphere that makes me loose in the gob. Yes, I chat. I'm very professional. I sort of assume that everyone is the same age as me and we all have similar life experiences. But I may be wrong about that. 

Woodware stamps, I'm sorry I can't identify the die. Its small. I'm sure that helps!
At some stage last night, we were talking about the 'Mile High Club' - as you do. Well to be honest, we were talking about lots of erm, locations. Take heart dear reader of my age, it was the younger amongst us who was so shocked that she uttered the word 'scandalous'. Love that! 
The outline text stamp by Woodware, the typewriter font
 infill is a stamp by  Crafters Companion. I think.
The most scandalous thing about last night really? Shopkeeper Gal and I have been doing workshops and angsting over schedules and stamp availabilities and ideas and new products and making samples for 10 years. I can barely believe it. Congratulations to you Shopkeeper Gal; in age of on-line supremacy, this is good news for those of us that love to boss your customers around! Keep up the good work!

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 345

Hello Deskers. It's dark here. And, at last almost seasonally cold. It feels much colder, because we've had such a mild winter thus far. I'm truly grateful that Mr Dunnit goes to work at least an hour and a half before me; it means the workshop is warm when I get there! So at my desk today - a true return to normality - you catch me preparing the kits and supplies for my first workshop of the year. Looking forward to it!
You can see my Copics (under used) and to the left, my box of baby wipes. That's actually my 'mobile' box for some reason. Twiglet and Wipso made me a fantastic WOYWW holder for my baby wipes and I use that at home all the time I thought. Must investigate....! My desk tidy shows a clutter of scissors (maybe the collective noun is actually a 'clutter', you never know). Next to the Copics is a pile of cards and envelopes for workshopeers. You can also see three rolls of Washi tape that were a gift from Laura. I have no idea why they are still there. Well, I do, but I can't keep admitting to laziness! I bought some new biros - 5 different colours in a pack, so I'm enjoying writing my notes even more now, a different colour for each card - its almost disappointing when the regular Blue pen tips up in the order! You can see from my tablet that I'm listening to 'Shantaram' - it's an incredible story. I recommend it. So that's it then. Show us something interesting on your desk will you, please? You must put WOYWW in your post title, then link here. Lovely.

Sunday, 10 January 2016

Show and Tell

This is overdue. See, I put them in the conservatory so that I could photograph them in good light. And that was it. For the next week it was just grey and horrid. At last though, we've had a window of clear sky, and so I made hay. Thank You to all and every one of you that took the trouble to send us a card at Christmas. For the first time ever, hand made outnumbered the bought, which was wonderful! Feast your eyes then...

Debbie - Tattered Rocks
Claire - HamnMule
Kim  - Kim's Creations
Shaz - Silverwolfcards-shaz
Kyla - L'ilpidge

Wipso - Astitchintime

Twiglet - twiglet5

Helen - stampingbyH
Nikki -  graphixanddesign
Elizabeth - silverscrapper
Diane - Pixies
There are a few more...they'll have to go on a separate post, Blogger really isn't liking the picture heavy quality of this post! Aren't they each amazeballs. So much inspiration! Colouring cutting, glittering. Thank you.

Friday, 8 January 2016

The Pink Eggs

You know how you don't see something, and then its all over the place? That makes no sense, but it says what I mean! For instance, your friend turns up in new, shiny red Craft car. And from that day on, every shiny red Craft car on the planet seems to be in your neighbourhood. That's what I mean. And these pink eggs are absolutely no exception.
keeping my eggs in one basket. Geddit?
Shopkeeper Gal introduced me to them just before Christmas. They are make-up sponges. Things of utility and some awkward coloured beauty. I think. Well, she said that they were popular for direct to paper techniques, particularly for first timers who struggle to blend inks on the paper, and for those who hate the square edge look they sometimes get from Cut N Dry foam.
Christmas week gave me a chance to obtain a few for my trial purposes. I popped into the shop and Shopkeeper Gal gave me a gift. When I reminded her that I'd said not to bother (she's tied up in a shop, too busy) she said "I know, but you'll like it". And she was right. it was an egg box filled with pink sponge eggs! My family didn't understand my joy at all. To be honest, it was ever thus. And I've since seen them in two different magazines and three fashion shops. Good grief, I'm fashionable. Even if I'm using them wrongly.

Anyway, I've played a little. I like 'em. They have a wonderful surface area for ink as well as something to hold. I'm very mean about the sizes I cut fro the Cut n Dry foam, so these wil work well...specially for masterboard size inkings..not nearly so much strain on the hand! 

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 344

Well hello fellow Deskers, Happy New Year! No changes here, I'm too old. So, to find out more about WOYWW go HERE and to find out how to join in go HERE.

As I stepped away from my desk last evening, I took this photo. I intended to make a cup of tea and return, but was utterly distracted by my current crochet and the lure of the TV. So it's unchanged this morning! 
I was listening to something on iPlayer and doing something I haven't done for ages - using my alphabet stamps. Well, one of the ridiculous number of sets that I can't live without. In fact, the whole thing was a bit of a retro project because it involved the Pearl Ex palettes you can see at the right end. I've had them for about 15 years. Expensive? At the time they made me cough, but clearly, they have proved worthwhile! I made a card, a very quick calendar page and did another card for the memorydex. The stamp you can see is Stampendous hanging birdcages although I don't know how much of it you can actually see. I'll make you look at the card at some stage, I'm sure! The heart shaped tin by the tape was a container for lip balms and will be pressed into useful service at some point. (One of the things about me..I have lip balm in every coat pocket, every handbag and the van and the car. And the kitchen and the bathroom. My lips will never give away my age!)
The pink egg is a sponge. A story for another day. 
Join us if you can, all we ask is that you visit your visitors, at least. Reciprocity is good. 
Link here, please - put WOYWW in your post title and don't post an advert.....

Monday, 4 January 2016

Hi Ho, Hi Ho...

We're back at work, of course. This holiday has been fab for me. In between Christmas and being poorly, he's worked though.  He cant help himself. And he was a bit scared about falling behind. I wasn't. He's so unselfish. I found this terrific tee shirt on-line and bought one for Mr Dunnit.  I do love it.

There are so many occasions when he's asked to fix stuff for family and friends, sometimes even if it's not Joinery. Those of you with any practical skills will know exactly what I mean. Being married to a plumber or Electrician must be bit of a curse, I reckon! I may have to get my own printed. I think 'Apprentice : posh word for gopher' would be a good way to describe my job! 

Friday, 1 January 2016

Onwards, then..

Happy New Year y'all.
I'm not into retrospectives and summaries of the year just gone; no special reason, just not my thing. Maybe because it must involve quite some effort to gather a good load of material for a retrospective post, and my get-up-and-go has just about limped off. 
I've been de-decorating and doing housework. It takes two days. On day one, I take down the tree and decorations and cards. Then I go through the kitchen and put away the Christmas crockery and cutlery, and Christmas tea towels that aren't in use or being washed.  Then I break down the 'wrapping area'. Its a surface in the room of not-so-shameful, that's all. There was no left over paper to re-home until next year, so just a few rolls of printed tape and some scissors. Nice. Well judged wrapping paper purchasing if I say so myself. All this stuff is neatly packed into two boxes - one for decorations and tree lights, the other for everything else. (Except the crockery, that goes in the special crockery cupboard. Really.)
Well, neat is in the eye of the beholder....
Next I change the bedding; once washed, the seasonal duvet cover and pillow cases will be filed in the deepest recess of the airing cupboard. Finally, I change my handbag over. Yes, I have a seasonal bag. It's tapestry-esque. I bought it in (of all places) a china shop a couple of years ago and use it throughout December. It makes a lot of people smile, which in turn makes me smile. 

So it's a whole day of doing stuff and tidying things away and changing stuff round again, not to mention hoovering up the kerjillion or so pine needles that I managed to make the tree shed! It has to be done though, otherwise when we go back to work it'll all be in the way and I'll be resentful of the time it takes. And the low winter sun shining in makes it all look dusty and a bit tawdry, to be honest. (Experience has taught me this). Why then, I hear you ask, did I say it takes two days? Because the next day, I have to go around and gather up the cards and decorations that I somehow was blind to. That surely, is enough indication that they've been up for long enough!