Wednesday, 31 December 2014

WOYWW last of the year

Welcome to the last What's on your Workdesk Wednesday of 2014.

So, how was 2014 for you?  No doubt like many of you it was a mixture of ups and downs and even a few diagonals!

I was lucky enough to meet up with several fellow WOYWWers (how about 2 meet ups in 2015 Julia?! HINT HINT) and was lucky enough to take my husband to Malta to share with him places both my grandparents and parents used to live. The year saw us loose a friend far too young and changes at work that I am sure we will feel the impact of for several years to come.

My word for the year was "Balance" and I have to admit there were times when I seemed to forget it (mainly through long hours at work and lots of unpaid overtime) but when I remembered it it usually helped to pull me up short and forced me to re-shift my balance, so I think I will probably choose it again!

2014 saw me try new sewing techniques and I turned into a bag producing machine in the run up to Christmas (thanks Lunch Lady Jan for introducing me to it!).

So, what is actually on my desks then?

Gulp...all this!


On the right are my pages being prepped for my 4th year taking part in Kate Cranes 365 Journal challenge.

On the desk are 2 calendars I am making for small gifts.  One is  a hanging calendar and one is a desk calendar.  Something bright and cheery to lifts the moods ready for when a couple of friends go back to work next week.

My "Man Bites Dog" cards this week are 'Bizarre Hits Lady Singer'....having been VERY lucky to see Kate Bush LIVE in 2014 it seemed apt!

So, come on in and join us and bare your desk for all to see over at the lovely Julia's blog

Happy crafting and a joyful 2015 to all


Monday, 29 December 2014

First part of my Christmas make round up

Hello peeps, as many of you will know I have had to be a bit cagey over the past couple of months about what I show on my desk in case I uncovered something I was making for Christmas!

Finally I can share with you some of those makes.  First for each brother (hubby has 2 and I have 1) I made a homemade hamper.  They each contained a bottle of elderflower cordial, some spicy rhubarb chutney, spiced sugar (which contains flavours such as clove, orange, cinnamon and bay leaf, yep, bay really does work) and some sloe gin.  All handmade and I finished off the hampers with some candy canes and some christmas tree decorations with their names on (not handmade but they did look so cute)!

 Back in the summer I did a glass fusing course and made necklaces, keyrings and coasters.  Now, I did make a few but I kept a lot of them myself so I need to do another course (luckily my brother in law and his lovely wife bought me a glass blowing course voucher so that's another craft to try!).

 I also made several book covers.  I made a few quilted ones (but these are a PAIN and took me hours to make just one!)

 So I decided to try using solid fabric instead and this worked just as well but took a lot less and didn't cause my RA to flare after.

Then there is the proverbial problem of what to make for men!  Well, my brother currently works for a Japanese company and I know that tradition states that they respect their business cards so I made him a leather business card holder with his initials stamped on the front.

So, that's a few of my latest makes.  I will finish uploading the rest of my photos soon and share them.

Happy crafting


Sunday, 28 December 2014

Keeping me warm

Hello everyone.  This is a bit of a test for me, you see my lovely hubby bought me a Tesco Hudl2 tablet for Christmas.  After hearing about Julia and others who have issues with iPads not allowing access and my trusty over 5yr old net book almost grinding to a hault he decided my wails most Wednesdays were getting too much! The reviews seemed like it would do most things I needed it to and the price perfect.

So, I am trying a photo and a blog update to see how it goes.  My laptop is my main access but I thought I would try this.

The photo is part of my Christmas present from my mum (thanks mum!). She knitted the chunky neck roll and fingerless gloves both of which I wore earlier today.

So there you go.  A quick update now back to Radio 4 and Christmas chocolates!

Happy crafting

Saturday, 27 December 2014

Festive update

 Hello peeps, I do hope you all had a lovely time over the past week celebrating whatever it is you each celebrate.

I am busy uploading photos of the presents I have been making over the past couple of months that I haven't been able to share-but in the meantime I thought I would share a few other festive photos.

I made about 50 odd cards over the past month and don't really show them all as that would get really boring...but every year this is the one that raises a smile (I do like my googly eyes)

 In the weeks running up to the festive season I got this lovely parcel from Jan.  Isn't it wonderful?  I already have some bunting from Jan from a couple of years ago that I keep up all year round so this was pinned up along my staircase and the brooch adorns my winter coat.

We also popped back a couple of weeks ago to the small Wiltshire market town of Melksham (it was mentioned in the Doomsday book don't you know, I think that is its only claim to fame!!) where I grew up.

You may have seen it on the national news as B&Q (a HUGH DIY chainstore in the UK) used some of the house displays in their Christmas advert-WITHOUT PAYMENT.  Now this caused an outcry as the people decorate their houses for local charities.  

 The market square all decorated

 This is one of the houses that B&Q didn't pay to use in their adverts.

They were shamed into making a donation, but the national BBC news still says that they have not donated to each of the properties charities they used in their adverts.

They put on a wonderful display and raise thousands for local charities each year-fingers crossed B&Q are shamed enough to cough up!

 I hope you are all enjoying any time off you may have.

Happy crafting


Wednesday, 10 December 2014


 What's on your Workdesk Wednesday is once again upon us.  That time of the week when many of us share our desks (or floors) in whatever state they are.

This week once again I am sewing another Christmas pressie (or birthday as we have 6 Birthdays within 7 weeks of Christmas!!) so I have decamped to the dining room table.

This is an overhead shot, I am making something from natural colours this time.  Its another one of the items I made when I spent the day with LunchLady Jan the other month (you can see them on earlier posts...but I am staying a little cryptic as family sometimes read this).  Its a little smaller to fit the fabric panels I already had, by not having to make a patchwork I managed to finish it within 5 hrs (rather than the entire weekend it took me to make the last one without Jan stood over me-and unpicking for me!!).

My "Man Bites Dog" cards this week are 'Crazy Star Hits Prez'...ooh, I will be watching the US news closely this week!!

Happy crafting


Sunday, 7 December 2014

365 Journal double whammy!

I am slightly behind with my 365 journal postings so I thought I would do a double posting!

This is Novembers page.  I used POSCA paint pens and glitter to give the feeling of vibrancy and fireworks

For Decembers page I used the traditional colour theme and stamped around the edges with some pine tree stamps that I carved from rubbers.

I added some green glitter for the month and a little gold tinsel on the trees along the bottom of the page (well it is Christmas after all!).

 If you would like to join the 365 challenge then feel free over at the very talented Kate Cranes

Happy Crafting


Wednesday, 3 December 2014

WOYWW and a sexy Santa

 Hello peeps.  This time I have stuff on my actual desk that I can show you (rather than half made gifts)!!  I must admit to having hit a bit of a brick wall with the making of Christmas presents so decided to make some cards instead.

The eagle eyed amongst you may notice my rather nifty acrylic stickles holder on the right hand side of my desk.  This was £1 from poundland and is meant for lipsticks etc.  I swear that if this was in a craft store it would probably be closer to £5!

Also in full use is my tape gun that I won at the last WOYWW crop (I know...I never win anything yet still I enter the lottery every week!!) and now wouldn't be without as I use it all the time.

 My bombshell stamps 50's pin up girl image is once again being given a hand drawn mini skirt and Santa hat at a jaunty angle with a  little glitter thrown in (well, now I have my stickles to hand it seems a shame not to use them!).

 This is the finished card.  I love the 40's and 50's scene so bombshell stamps are always a winning combo for me.

My "Man Bites Dog" cards this week spell out "Cruel Lawyer Ready to Convict Hubby" own hubby couldn't believe I drew them out not only randomly but this time in order of the actual sentance!!

So do you feel ready to join the throng and have a legal snoop at desks across the globe all thanks to our lovely leader (yes I know Julia hates being called that....but without her starting this I would not have met so many people in real life and virtual with similar hobbies!!).  There is a link over on the right....go on, you know you cannot resist for long!! :-)

Happy crafting


Monday, 1 December 2014

Penguin in a blizzard

 Today is the first day of Advent (if you are that way inclined).  Personally I am not a great Christmas/Yuletide person but I am fine with everyone else being seasonal ONCE you get to December (I get a right strop on if I spot a decoration in November though!!).
In an effort to get in the spirit I thought I would share some of the cards I make.

This one has a silver parchment cover and a piece of white card that I put through an embossing folder and spread star dust stickles over to add some festive bling.

I touched the edges with some black ink for definition and then made a penguin with a stampin up (I think, I borrowed it from a fellow coven member, Bex) owl punch and some snippits left over in my scrap box and a sentiment.

One card down...goodness knows how many to go!!

Bah, humbug!!

Wednesday, 26 November 2014


Hello peeps, this week is again a little different as on my desk is a kitchen timer I am trying to make!  I assembled it from a kit from Maplins but a few of the LED's are not working so I borrowed a solder sucker (the syringe looking thing on the right) from one of the engineers at work (his face was a picture when I asked!).

I remembered my "Man Bites Dog" cards this week....'Rare 340lb Nude Angel Revealed', well that's put me off my lunch!

I managed to get all but 2 working, and it counts down and an alarm buzzes when it reaches its time!  Not my usual crafting but fun nonetheless.

Apologies that I have not been able to do all my revisits from last net book is over 6 years old and is quickly grinding to a  halt and takes hours to do so I need to do some research into a new device (bah humbug).

So, why not join us for a legal snoop at desks across the globe.  Every Wednesday courtesy of Julia (link on the right) we bare our desks be them clean, dirty or on the floor (Hi Helen) :-)

Happy Crafting

Wednesday, 19 November 2014


 Hello peeps, this week on Whats on your Workdesk Wednesday its more of a case of whats on my lounge floor as I cannot show the dining room table (full of half constructed Christmas sewing) or my craft room desk (full of half constructed Christmas paper stuff!!).  So I decided to finish off adapting my you do!

My rheumatoid arthritis means that some everyday tasks can, at times, present me with  a problem.  Buttons can be difficult (so I tend not to undo them if I can), bottles are heavy (drink the wine through a straw...problem solved)!!  I do like to think I can adapt to most situations....put a glass with some water in front of me and ask me if its half full or half empty I will pick the glass up, drink it and place it back down and tell you I am a problem solver!!

However, plugs can be really difficult to pull out. The therapist said I can buy some plastic wrap things to put round the plugs but they are quite sharp and not the most ergonomic thing in the world so as a crafter I decided to make a solution!

I remembered Shaz had showed me at the WOYWW crop how she used wooden knobs as stamp handles so I thought I would do that on a plug.

 I attached the handle with SUGRU (a brilliant product that is like putty then hardens and can withstand wet, sub zero....the list goes on).

 Then I painted the handles black (I made a few, some with back sugru some with white which I then painted black with acrylic) and then added a couple of coats of varnish to protect it from knocks and voila...a simple to pull out plug.

Sugru comes in small packs and multi packs (like this) which has different colours.  In the UK I bought mine in Comet and have used it to fix the cable on my phone charger and also add grips to various items in the kitchen etc.

Check out their website on there are some great instructional videos and a gallery of all the cool stuff people have hacked.

So, a different desk from me today (the cutting board on the floor looks a lot tidier than my desk) and the next few weeks may be a bit difficult I will need to ensure I take photos in the early stages of making Christmas presents so the surprise isnt ruined!

So, if you'd like a legal snoop at desks across the globe the pop over to our leader Julias blog (link over on the right).

Happy crafting

ps - sorry I forgot to get my "Man Bites Dog" cards out this week!

Wednesday, 12 November 2014


Hello peeps, Wednesday again so that can only mean one thing....yep, I have to show you my workdesk!!  Now I have a confession (no, not that....those of you who know me would have already seen THOSE photos on Facebook!!) but this is not my desk, and I took the photo at the weekend.

My workdesk is actually full of work at the moment, so I cannot show you that so I decanted downstairs to the dining room which can only mean one thing...sewing!

Now this is the great thing about WOYWW.  Because of it and the crops I have met many of you in person and you are all great.  Because of the things I see on your blogs I end up being inspired to try some of them myself.  So a few weeks back I met up with  LunchLady Jan and had a sewing session where I made a bag (the red one towards the rear of the picture), there was a full posting about it a few posts back.

I decided it was time to gird my loins and have a crack at some more sewing (machine is out of sight in this photo).  It took all weekend (and some timely advice from Jan over the internet, thanks Jan!) but I have made another one (sorry cannot show the finished product as I plan on gifting it at Christmas...unless like the red on I keep it for myself!!).

My 'Man Bites Dog' cards this week are "Nurse Defends Dead Priest"....ooh, some of these are really gruesome!

So, hop on over to the lovely Julia's blog (link over on the right) and share your desk for a legal snoop at desks across the globe.  We are a friendly bunch and there are TONS of ideas out there.

Happy crafting


Sunday, 9 November 2014

Mens metal card

It is that time of year again when I have very little I can show as I am making Christmas pressies!!

So I thought I would show a card I recently made.  I stamped over some patterned paper, adding some die cut cogs and then used some metal from the ever trusty tomato puree tube which I cleaned, turned inside out and flattened before embossing is by hand with a ten second studio embossing plate.

I then painted it back with acrylic and when dry sanded it back to expose the pattern.
I added the final detail by doodling free hand around the card with a pitt pen, and voila a card perfect for a traveller or a man (lets be honest men are so difficult to make for!).

Right, back to making Christmas presents (and if anyone has a good idea for male presents I can make please leave a comment!).

Happy crafting

Wednesday, 29 October 2014


Hello peeps, Wednesday again so time to once again show you my workdesk of shame!

Not much has changed since last week but on my desk this week is my 365 journal as I am trying to make November's pages in time for the start of the month.

My "Man Bites Dog" cards this week were picked by my hubby: 
' Lover Snubs Bizarre Rehab Model'

Well, not quite sure what to make of that!!

So come and join us all for a legal snoop at desks across the globe (link over on the right), we are a friendly bunch-honest!

Happy Crafting

Monday, 27 October 2014

A colourful trip

Since I have been inspired by colour and fabric recently my mum and I had a trip out to the American Museum in Bath for the Kaffe Fassett exhibition.  It is amazing but I lived in Bath for 15 years and married a Bathonian and have never been to this particular Museum!!

 Even the entrance to the exhibition was glorious technicolour (and there was yarn bombing in the trees outside too!).

 There were several LARGE tapestry's

 and the colourful quilts were exquisite

 and I found it really inspiring

all in all a great trip out and very inspiring.

Happy crafting

Friday, 24 October 2014

365 Catch up

 I had gotten a bit behind taking part of the 365 Journal challenge over at The Kathryn Wheel blog so I thought I would roll August and September up in one blog post!

I chose nice bright sunny colours for August and used a sunburst stencil and my dylusions white spray to create a feeling of the warm sun rays.  I added a few beach balls just for the hell of it.

 For September I chose more autumnal colours as this is when we see the leaves just start to change from green through amber, red and eventually rust coloured.

I added leaves die cut from some leftover snippets to the bottom of the pages.
I find it hard to believe that we are coming to the end of the third year I have done this!


Wednesday, 22 October 2014


Hello peeps, well it's once again What's on your Workdesk Wednesday all across the globe.  Challenged by our leader, the lovely Julia (link over on the right) to bare our desks in all their glory, be them dirty, un-naturally clean or exactly the same as they were last week!

So here is mine:

I am just finishing off one of the Christmas presents a small scrap book hence things are covered!
On the left back of the desk is a template I have made.  On the blog they had a nice leather no sew business card holder that I thought would make a good mens christmas present.  So I printed out the PDF template and transferred it to some opaque thin plastic I picked up from the scrap store that I have been making stencils from.  I thought that a plastic template would be more robust.

My "Man Bites Dog" cards this week are: Dead Ready to Scam Crazy Angel - It may have been more fitting for next week as we approach Halloween!

So come on, join us for a legal snoop at desks across the globe.
Happy crafting


Sunday, 19 October 2014

Frugal crafting 'Lusty' style

A different sort of crafting this week.  Our bedroom was decorated a couple of weeks ago and under all the throws was this ottoman (its been covered in throws at the end of our bed for 11 years-I forgot it was pink and gold, the original colours)!!

Now, there is no way this was going to go with my green and grey room with yellow accents (odd colour combo but it does work...nice and relaxing) but it has usefully stored our bedding for years and as a Lloyd Loom it is really well made.

There was no choice but to decorate it.  I bought nothing new and only used fabric and paint I had handing around.  I stripped the pink covering fabric off and a couple bowlfuls of pink sandy looking stuff fell out everywhere!!  

It took a few moments for me to realise that this must have been the original foam in the lid and as 'Lusty' Lloyd Loom (what a great name!) is from the 1940's and it had turned to dust! 

 So I had to sweep it all out, have several sneezing fits before I could start painting.  So brush in hand and left over white satin paint I set about painting it-a word to the wise, I had NO idea what a nause this would be!! Seriously it took FOREVER to paint it.  If I knew just HOW much of a pain it was I would have bought spray paint, whilst it would have cost money it would have saved me a day's labour and the neighbours may not have had to put up with my language as I tried to paint it in the front garden!


Finally it was painted and I needed to create a level of protection on the lid.  I didn't want to spend any money so my mum (thanks mum) suggest an old towel-but we had one better an old blanket of my husbands which was past its best so we cut it up and stapled a couple of layers to the lid of the ottoman.

I finished it off with some leftover fabric I had (I seem to have a LOT of spare fabric!!) and some upholstery tacks voila: 

A nice new, not dusty but totally serviceable and free ottoman.

Frugal crafting at its best!

Happy crafting

Wednesday, 15 October 2014


Hurrah, hump day...or as it's known round these parts What's on Your Workdesk Wednesday day!

After a couple of weeks leave (see my previous post for all the gossip and photos) it is all back to normal and I am still panic making Christmas presents for my NZ family so they can be taken over in a couple of weeks when a family member is visiting them (and save me very high postage costs-it cost me over £30 last year in postage!!)

On the desk is a small handbag sized scrapbook/tagbook for someone (hence its mostly hidden) that I am in the process of making.

My "Man Bites Dog" cards this week are apt 'Brave Exec Defends General Strikes'...apt because many NHS and civil servants are on strike next week over erosion of conditions and the fact that after several years pay freeze only some staff will get 1% pay rise (some will get none) next year...even though MP's awarded themselves 10%

Right, political rant over, happy crafting!


Friday, 10 October 2014

A week in london, 1 library, 2 museums, 2 art exhibitions, poppies galore and some Lego!

 Hello peeps, the past couple of weeks I have been off work on annual leave.  For the first week we decorated our bedroom (big thanks to my hubby and brother in law) and spent a few days sorting stuff out.

The following week we visited my brother and sis-in-law in London staying with them in Dulwich for a few days then in a hotel in central London for a few more (we were celebrating 24 years together and 17 married).

We try to spend at least a week in London each summer.  I know it sounds a bit weird as people often go to the beach etc, but we love London and every time we find a new place to explore and there are SO many exhibitions to visit.

There are quite a few photos, so grab yourself a drink and settle down for a trip round that there London.

There is some great graffiti in most of our cities (especially in Bristol where I live, the home of Banksy) and there have been some new pieces in London recently.

I love this one on London Bridge, a bit of humour on a building site!

 Nice colourful display to keep the rain off your head in the beer garden in Borough Market

 After seeing the photos from fellow WOYWWer Helen (Stamping by H) and my friend Sam of their visits to the Tower to see the poppies I just had to go.  It was so emotional as the china poppies represent every life lost during WW1 with the last poppy being planted on 11th November.
 We went to a new artist exhibition in Somerset House and there were some lovely mixed media pieces but I especially liked this 3D embroidery piece.

 So we are always on the lookout for new areas to explore in London and this time it was St Katherines Dock.  When my brother came back from his years in Ecuador he looked for jobs back in his specialist area and his office is here!  Its just down from the tower and is a beautiful smallish dock with some very expensive boats and the Thames Hippo!!

 This vessel is truly stunning and not what we expected to find in London!!

 We did many museums and also the Gothic Literature exhibition at the British Library but in the Hornniman Museum I found this and thought of LunchLady Jan who plays one (not as big as this though I hope!!).

 Our wedding anniversary present from my brother and sister in law were tickets to the new Lego exhibition at Brick Lane.

 The swimming figure was beautifully lit.

These faces were HUGH!
 This is the classic shot they use in a lot of the publicity leaflets.

 I really liked the way that something as simple as Lego can convey feeling in those that were at the exhibition you can almost feel the pain in the blue figure.

 This one really made me chuckle.  3 years ago I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis.  It effects my bones, joints, tendons and potentially heart, liver and lungs also.  At the moment its mainly my feet and hands and some days I struggle to make my fingers I stood there laughing at this one as it made me think of all those mornings when I awake and realise my hands won't!  I must admit I did get some strange looks!

 Again, some great street art.

We also went to Disobedient Objects at the V&A Museum.  It reports objects used in civil disorder across the globe in mainly the 80's and 90's.  Everything from death row commentary played out in decorated cars through to Chilean embroidery demanding equality and education for all.

 It was a brilliant exhibition and I was so pleased I was able to get there (it even brought back some memories from the anti poll tax rallies I took part in years ago).

 This photo was taken from a great new place that my sister in law told me about where for free you can get a fantastic view of the city at night-and she was right!

 This is a fake frontage that has been made for Coven Garden where it gives the impression it has been ripped in two-it is brilliant and you can pass your hand right through!

Finally, one more amazing piece of street art.  This time from Phlegm and it is in the Royal Opera house!!

So there you have its back home and the joy of catching up with the washing etc!!

Happy crafting