Hi hi!

Welcome to another trip around the world via the desks of some willing crafters, hosted by the lovely Sarah. And what is this on my desk? More crafting? Why yes it is, thanks so much for asking. I got into a bit of a rhythm at the Artful Angels crop in Winchester on Saturday so I carried on when I got home as I thought I could enter a couple of them into Go Go Getaway challenges. And then I did some more on the Sunday too!

Full disclosure, I took this photo Sunday morning intending to share it on Insta & never got around to it. And now I need to take another photo of my desk and my poorly joints are warning me it’s not a good idea to go up the stairs again unless really necessary.

Here I was working on a layout for a sketch challenge that involved some mixed media in two corners. I realised I hadn’t added this Simple Stories Trail Mix collection to my swatch-matching book so I set about doing that. I have all my swatches on a book ring but they were all higgledy piggledy so I had to sort them into colour order first before comparing them to the colours in the collection. The plastic basket holds my Distress Inks and a couple of the colours I needed were in there and I then realised I hadn’t put my swanky labels on those ones. Cue another distraction…

I did eventually add the ink through the cobblestone stencil by Peartree Cutfiles and was able to carry on with the layout. I’d already backed the cut file (another Peartree creation) but couldn’t find the innards anywhere. Of course as I was walking away from my desk I found them so I do still need to add those. The layout is all about Blue Lagoon in Abereiddi, Pembrokeshire which is an old slate quarry that brave(?) people jump into from the old buildings on the corner of the cliff. CRAZY!!!

A few people asked me about the book series I’d been reading. I’m on book 27 of Patricia Cornwell’s Kay Scarpetta series with 28 due out in October. She’s a forensic pathologist so it’s a thriller based around post mortems.

A few people also asked me about the discs in the notebook I made a couple of weeks ago. I’ve been surprised how robust it is with nothing falling off so far and not heard of that happening much in people who carry them about & use them daily. The issue comes when you add & remove the same page over & over as it weakens the paper a bit.

And on that subject, today’s job is a personal statement for the Big Scary Thing. I’m definitely going to need a cup of tea for that! Anyone else need a cuppa?

Bye for now x

Hi hi! It’s a very rushed photo from me today with a very dodgy bright spot but there has been crafting again – oooh get me! We’d love to see your workspace too so pop over to Sarah’s Craft Shed to join in.

I was pulled away from ‘work’ related things (housework, admin, research for conditions etc) by an urge to create so I set about finishing one of the scrapbook pages I was working on a good few weeks ago now. As you can see, I love me some Distress Oxides and the plan was to colour a plain cut file that I had added texture paste to. I have a little book of the scrapbook collections I’ve got & the matching oxides noted alongside them (it’s an ongoing project) so it was easy to find the right one. I love it when a plan comes together!

But that’s where the good stuff finished. When I added the oxide it showed up a couple of odd patches which refused to take the colour. I kept adding and then used a drop of water to see if it would wipe off but of course standard cardstock will only take so much media and the delicate file broke in two places. I’ve managed to hide it and also I’ve now finished the page and I intended to take a photo after I’d got back from my MRI yesterday afternoon. I arrived at the hospital with 40 minutes to spare, got given someone else’s parking ticket so I didn’t have to pay and settled down in a comfy chair with my new book (number 28 in the series which I’ve been reading back to back, no more till October). Three seconds later the receptionist called me over to tell me I was in the wrong hospital! I then had to rush over to the other one where I had no idea where the MRI suite was and as it was quite late most of the hospital was locked up! When I eventually found it, the 1/2 hour scan actually took nearly an hour. I’m hoping it was just trying to get different angles and that it was nothing to worry about but I got home so late that I totally forgot to do my photos and post!

I’ll be around this morning (hopefully) to see what everyone else has been up to and as always the kettle is on here.

Bye for now x

Hi hi!

It’s my first time joining in since the lovely Sarah has taken up the mantle and I have a finished item on my desk! Huzzah!

I’m about to embark on a ‘very big scary thing’ (hereby known as VBST), and so of course I needed a special ‘very big notebook’. I’ve hankered after a Happy Planner with the pretty discs for years but I didn’t need another diary, especially not an expensive pre-printed one that you only end up using half of the dates in.

What I needed most, and wanted, was a new pretty notebook. I am a self confessed stationary addict and pretty notebook whore, especially the ones that lay flat so you can write on them easily, and I do have a few… ahem… However, the pages don’t come out nicely & you can’t add things in, and it can get quite expensive & difficult to find wire bound A4 ones that don’t say daft things on the front! For the VBST I really wanted something I could use with the cheap A4 refill pads but could collate stuff & move things around etc. This left me with a ring binder option but I foresee a lot of writing and of course I could just take out the A4 pad when I needed to use it but honestly, it didn’t float my boat.

I went down a rabbit hole started by some friends in the planner community & kept coming back to a disc planner but the issue though was the hole punching. A standard hole punch needs additional slits cut; the Happy Planner style punch is expensive and only does a couple of light weight pages at a time; the Crop-A-Dile disc punch is sturdier but that only punches one hole at a time & was also expensive. I have osteo-arthritis in my hands from my hypermobility disorder so all of these options were far too labour intensive for re-punching A4 paper!

I randomly came across a new Bind-It-All (bottom left corner of my desk) which creates disc holes and can manage up to 2mm of media. It was on special offer and worked out as cheap as one of the other punches so even with all of those discs you can see on my desk, it still worked out cheaper than buying a planner & special packs of note paper. The larger version of the Happy Planner is shorter than A4 so I just made sure I used an extra disc. I also purchased a pad of weekly planner pages which are the wrong size but it doesn’t matter with this system.

It I watched a couple of youtube’s about making a DIY planner & one lady used a cheap envelope folder for her covers. I found this one lurking in my cupboard so cut the bottom off to add the rings & trimmed the sides down to open it up and make it fit the A4 paper and voila! I have a gorgeous cover for a refillable notebook – huzzah! I am so happy with it and I’ll be on the look out for another couple of these envelopes to make a shorter one to take with me & another large one to use with the large discs to keep all my notes together.

Will it make the VBST easier? Maybe not, but I always feel braver and like I’ve got my shizz together if I have a new pretty notebook about my person so I’m definitely counting it as a win!

I’ve shown mine, now show me yours! I’ve got the kettle on so I’ll see you all soon.

Bye for now x

Hi hi!

Happy anniversary desk-hoppers! Amazing to think that this weekly tour around the world via the medium of people’s craft desks has been going for 15 years! This was such a great idea of Julia’s way back then and despite the surge of various social media platforms we are still here. Huzzah!

So what’s on my desk this week? Well we are in a state of unpacking after the crop…

I really love my Totally Tiffany scrapbooking bag as it holds my papers (a lot of them!) but with about 4″ at the end of the bag which nicely fits my cup that holds my glue roller. You can see it – at the back of my desk – this saves me twisting my wrist each time I pick it up and put it down which aggravates my tendonitis as I’m hypermobile. In the middle of the desk is my travelling album which keeps my layouts neat & flat when to-ing ang fro-ing on crops & retreats. On the right of that I was interrupted making some notes about what needs to be done on the layouts to finish them. Behind the notepad is what happens when you join in with WOYWW!! A cheeky little order of PVA glue, gel medium & texture paste…

I’m working on my son’s prom pics from this time 2 years ago and I have a lot of photos but not a lot of story because I obviously wasn’t there, hence using pocket pages. I don’t really enjoy them as I find them more challenging than a regular 12×12 but I’ve got some standard pages for this event too so it’s all good. The red fabric behind the album is an offcut from his girlfriend’s prom dress ready to do a page about these childhood sweethearts. It’s lovely that they are still very much together now and looking forward to their first parent free holiday (yikes!) after her A levels that start this Friday.

We’ve been busy in the garden while it’s been fine but also ventured out yesterday after the heavy rain and put some new plants in. I’m paying the price in the creaky body today I can tell you!

As arty people who appreciate colour I thought you might like to see one of my roses that we added to our collection last year. It starts off a deep dark magenta when in bud but gets paler as it opens out to a stripey lilac – stunning! I bought a new climber today (darn you Home Bargains and your tempting prices!) so we are now up to 10 roses just in the front garden!

Unfortunately I don’t have any ATCs swap & I can’t get to the crop in a town far far away but I will be looking out for pictures of both. I feel proud of everyone involved at every stage and very proud particularly of Julia of course, for keeping this wonderful blog hop going for a decade and half! My daughter was 15 six weeks ago so she’s only JUST a little older that WOYWW!!

See you all again next time. Put the kettle on won’t you? xx

Hi hi!

Apologies if you couldn’t find my post last week, it was there hiding in draft form for some reason. Straight to the desk dear readers for our weekly craft across the world hosted by the lovely Julia!

I got myself into a bit of a pickle with the collaging and I was actually at my desk so I decided to grab some of the many pots of embossing paste to create some collage papers instead. You can see the pot of paste on the right there, purchased from Flying Tiger, you know that shop that is a cross between a pound shop and Ikea? It was quite runny for the first couple of years but was quite stiff when I finished it off today. I went to grab one of the other pots of paste… nothing. Nada. No idea where they might have gone. I know I had two pots of Ranger paste which I know dries out VERY quickly for such an expensive brand so maybe they got ditched? So after doing the duck egg blue sheet I only managed one small one on the pink!

You can see the stencils and scraps on the top left and the little ‘Glimmer’ book top right. The tissues in the middle are from a rather hasty clean up because I got carried away using ALL THE STENCILS and realised the paste was drying hard on them! Woops!

The only other thing of note on the desk is bottom right – speeding fine… I was taking my daughter to hospital after her rugby injury which looked like a broken ankle (ligament damage in the end) but it’s absolutely no excuse. Anyway, back to the pretty stuff…

I really love the effect of the paste on the tissue, particularly of these tiny flowers, and I can’t wait to use it in my little glimmer book (see last weeks post for more info).

Here’s a close up of the front of the book on the table. I found this die-cut which says “Habit is what you like” but I’m not really sure what that means! I like that it mentioned habit though which is what I’m trying to build with little bits of art.

And here is the first day with room for me to note my glimmer. I’m covering each base page with crumpled tissue because I love the effect and I don’t like the colour of the background! You can see where I’ve gone wrong on that first page with the backing which is what got me into a pickle with it all. When I say pickle I mean a total existential crisis where I nearly packed everything up to go on a selling site!

Well that’s all from me this week. I have a crop on Saturday so I need to think about what I’m taking and hopefully I’ll have something more substantial to show next week!

Put the kettle on dear readers, I’m on my way!

Hi hi!

I’m back again for another WOYWW hosted by the lovely Julia, and hoping very much to get into a good rhythm this time around.  We’ve been on a wonderful holiday to Koh Samui (coming soon to a scrapbook near you), I’ve got over our post-holiday blues, and I’ve collected another couple of health diagnoses in the two weeks that we’ve been back. My ‘favourite’ one is “proud balls”!! It’s not an official diagnosis – you won’t find it on the NHS website & I don’t suggest Googling it, but I did snort when the podiatrist told me that that’s why I have so many issues. Anyway, you didn’t pop in to chat about my feet – (bleurgh!) so lets have a look at the desk shall we?

Do not adjust your sets (do people say ‘sets’ anymore?), there is actual crafting going on here! I was at a CAMHS event last week (Child & Adolescent Mental Health Service) where we spoke about ‘glimmers’, those tiny almost insignificant moments of “ahhh…”, things that make you smile, etc. I fell in love with that word and told the lovely lady introducing it (Courtney) that I’d make a notebook to record them in.

Fast forward to yesterday and I came across a free mini class by Consie Sindet talking about a daily-ish practise of art journalling in a very mini format. Each page is like one of the squares we’ve been seeing in people’s larger journals and I thought I could add a snippet of text on top to record the ‘glimmers’. I guess it’s a bit like a very mini version of gratitude journalling which might feel a bit overwhelming for some people.The little booklet she made (it comes with a print out to make it super-easy) reminded me of the single page mini-books I used to make as little gifts so I went with it. So far I’ve folded, cut and concertina-ed the single sheet of 12×12 so I just need to stick the couple of folded mini-pages that occur inside. I decided to add a ribbon closure so I grabbed my ridiculous tin of ribbons and selected the first one of a suitable size that I put my hand on – no over-thinking, just do it. I ‘chose’ a very old American Crafts cross grain with a few different colours on it so I now have a palette to help me narrow down my supplies. Just behind the tin you can see my folder of scraps that I meant to file but I’m now going to go through it and select a few different papers to create my little collages from.

So what else is on my desk? Rugby admin bottom left, health admin top left (IKR?!), a palette which may now be beyond rescue with remnants of solid paint from my unfinished swatching project, and then bottom right is a pile of lists including research for a potential return to study.

As always this photo is actually how I left it Tuesday evening but this morning there’ll need to be a bit of shuffling for this…

Meet Chip, who after a visit last week will be joining me Wednesday while his owner is at work. We met on Tinder. No no, that’s not right… it was Borrow My Doggy! He’s a fairly passive dog who needs to be close to someone and doesn’t need much exercise. I’m hoping once he’s got to know us / our home that he’ll learn that this is ‘his’ blanket & then he’ll settle on the floor. It’s not the most ideal tail for an artists desk! Today we’ll be exploring the garden a bit too.

Talking of the garden… remember the big hole? Well after 8 weeks we have finally said goodbye to the contractor putting the soakaway in. He made such a mess and every time we asked him to put it right he would destroy something else or leave a different mess! In the end we thought we’d be better off clearing up ourselves. The muddy area has been well seeded and has started to show signs of life so we can only hope it recovers. And looking at the photo here I’ve just spotted that he has missed putting the half sleeper stone back in at the bottom of the step! Doh!

Do look out for a visit from myself and Chip on our tour of the desks a little later. Put the kettle on won’t you, but no biscuits please as I desperately need to lose weight & make it easier on the proud balls…

Bye for now xx

Hi hi! Happy Wednesday to you all and I need to ask if its just me wondering how we got to Wednesday again already?? I’m ashamed to say that I have barely been in my craft room since taking last week’s photo, hence this week’s desk is even more embarrassing than normal. Let’s hope our host Julia has had a more creative week.

I’ve put some of the dumped bags away (the ones that stay packed for crops) and started emptying the ones that need unpacking & putting away. However I have a crop on Saturday so I’ll be repacking some of it again tomorrow! The silver box at the front has my Christmas embellishments & other seasonal bits in because I did manage to do some of the outstanding festive photos I mentioned a few weeks ago. The big space is where I use my Cameo but I’ve put it away on the stack at the back right as I won’t need it for a while. Now I have space to put the basket tray which you can see teeting on the left hand desk. It houses some admin stuff I need to do but it’s the basket on top that is my focus for the next couple of days.

Please don’t be horrified. I made a grave error a good few years ago and I’m not trying to right it. I bought into a system of specialised card specifically made so you could stuck all of your stamps onto it to put in a folder. I threw away all the packaging in the process thinking this would save space & encourage me to use the stamps more. It’s honestly a ridiculous system becuase you don’t know who made which stamp & loads of them fall off into nothingness. Please do let me know if you have made this work for you!

Something I hadn’t factored in was pressure & nowhere did the ‘system’ advise only using one side of the special card. This resulted in some stamps being squished against others and basically melding together and having to be ditched. I’m now in the process of moving them all over to a new filing system that has pockets so any stamps that fall off the card won’t be lost never to be seen again. That’s the plan anyway.

In other news the work on the soakaway sort of continues with a few breaks for broken down vans & a ‘bit of bovver’ (no we didn’t ask). I haven’t taken a photo because it looks as it did last week but with a bit of top soil under the rainwater. We had a new non-return valve fitted Friday but firstly they couldn’t finish it because they didn’t have the right pipe (honestly…) & I discovered a blockage which they literally ran away from. This meant I worried all weekend about ‘explosions’ but it was all okay. We had CCTV & the rest of the pipe fitted Tuesday so now we wait until a heavy downpour to see if it has all worked. There is a HUGE mess for our contractors to clear up after the soakaway but I’m trying not to stress about it.

Maybe I need to do some cutting and sticking to relax. Or maybe I’ll just put the kettle on? I’ll come to you if you have biscuits?

Bye for now


Well isn’t that a lovely round number?? Can you believe Julia has been hosting this blog hop for 770 weeks?? I salute her commitment for sure. Maybe you can show us your desk too by dropping by and leaving a link over at The Stamping Ground.

So how am I looking this week? Oh dear…

In my defence I got back from a crafty retreat at lunchtime and Mr Pretty emptied my car for me. We had a family visit to the surgery for travel jabs in the afternoon and then I had a rugby meeting last night hence my desk having a big wide space on it.

Over our weekend we managed 102 scrapbook layouts between 7 of us! My own total was a poor 10 partly down to my lack of planning and the big gaps I’m taking between scrapping sessions. It takes me a good while to get back in the flow but I also need to keep resting my non-compliant hands which is very frustrating. I did manage some painty fun too though.

I decided to use the goaches that I’ve been swatching to create a background for a couple of cut files. One was a turkey for a Christmas layout and this one is the eye piece area for a pair of binoculars. It looks very dark here but the cut file is layered onto tracing paper and once that’s layered over the top it gave the effect I wanted. I might have taken a pic of the finished layout by next week!

And then this happened… We’ve all got multiples of these right? I use them for spraying water on my Shimmerz paints to activate them except that they suddenly wouldn’t activate even though I was spraying and spraying. I was really upset because I thought I’d waste these paints, some of which I’d never used – maybe I’d left them too long?

One of the other things I use them for is taking off the top and using the tube to flick water on Distress Oxides. As I was doing this on the stencilling you can see here the droplets created a blue tinged see through effect and I knew something was wrong. The water was totally clear as you can see and for some reason I sniffed the contents. Not water!! I thought I must have got it mixed up with someone else’s bottle but nope. We all had a good sniff to try and work out what the chemically smell was but couldn’t work out why anyone would have clear nail varnish remover in a water bottle. I posted this picture home to find the culprit but everyone denied knowledge. Then it clicked. It was rubbing alcohol!! I used it to spray on soaps between layers many years ago but because everything got moved around by Mr Pretty the other week I had assumed it was just water and added it to my water bottle collection! The bottle is now labelled accordingly… ahem…

And finally, a garden update…

While I was away one of the contractors ripped his nail off and I could see the whole thing unfolding on the doorbell camera. The chap danced around shouting unsavoury language and his boss was trying to wash it and bandage it without actually looking at it. At one point they were both groaning and hopping about which would have been funny if it wasn’t clearly very painful. Obviously work on the soakaway has stalled somewhat as a result…

Hey ho, dry weather is expected for a couple of days at least and I am desperately in need of a cuppa. Put the kettle on and I’ll be round shortly.

Bye for now x