Hi hi!

Welcome to another trip around the world one crafty desks at a time, hosted by the lovely Sarah.

Straight into my desk this week so that you can look, snigger, and then move along to another desk where someone might have some actual crafting to share. My husband has re-retired (he went back after his replacement didn’t work out…) and we’ve been having a mass declutter event but I’ve also had a flare of gastro, skin & menopause symptoms, neither of which has been fun!

Front and centre is the box housing the remains of the Simple Stories Trail Mix collection that I was using for my folio. I have a crop on Saturday so I’m gathering supplies for a couple of scrapbook pages with the stuff I have left.

To the right are some bits I rescued from the decluttering – the two pretty tins are Fortnum & Mason tea (which was out of date & got composted), & the old candles are to add to my collection of wax. What? You don’t have a collection of old candles & wax? Just me then… I have great plans to utilise the old candles by re-melting them and either making totally new candles or just rescuing the ones that have suffered ‘tunnelling’ (which happens when you don’t allow the wax to melt right across before you blow it out. Candles have a memory you know!)

Next to that on the right is a die for a rolodex type card that I had planned to use for Junk Journal July. Which I haven’t even started. Ahem… To the left of the plastic box the heated eye mask still hasn’t been used, despite me complaining about my dry eyes every day!

Just out of the window, between the two plants, you can just make out a yellow hippo bag that I’ve been filling with honeysuckle trimmings. We’ve just ordered a shredder so we can put more stuff in our composters & I’ve been researching wormeries & bokashi bins to try and make more of our own ‘black gold’ which makes me very happy. Wowzers, if this isn’t the life of a rock and roll star, I don’t know what is!

Apologies to those I didn’t get to last week – I opened all the pages and found some of them still opened & awaiting perusal just now… It’s the first time though & hopefully the last so please do pop the kettle on and I’ll be round. Rock gods & goddesses drink tea right?

Bye for now x

Hi hi!

Welcome to another Wednesday snoop hosted by the lovely Sarah over at Sarah’s Craft Shed. Thank you for all your good wishes for the Very Big Scary Thing of going to Uni in September. To answer some questions, I used to be a Criminal Intelligence Analyst before I was a mum so I’m returning back to the subject area I know & love. Part of the therapy that helped me arrive at the decision to go involves exploring good-better-best scenarios. The aim at this point (the good) is just to get through the next 2 years (literally!) as I don’t know how my health conditions are going to behave but after that (better) might be a job in research, or even (best) a Phd! I’ll be attending Portsmouth Uni 1-2 days a week which is a bit of a slog at around 50 minutes but worth it I hope!

And now to my desk… this is the wide shot, very messy and starting to irritate me…

Lots of recycling under my desk, my ‘messy play’ basket and next to that you can see my pencil case, all packed ready for September!

And then my main desk a little closer… I’ve been having a sort out of some planner stuff which will eventually go downstairs in my Raskog for weekly planning sessions so there are planners, notes, stickers, washi tapes, stamps etc. You can also see my eye-wheatie that I’m supposed to use for 10 minutes a day to help with dry eyes but because the microwave is downstairs it rarely gets used. I should just use it downstairs of course but my brain can’t compute that! Who’s idea was it to go back to uni…?

I’ve almost finished the folio but it has taken me AGES and my photos are all the wrong size so I’ve had to improvise a bit. I need to add some embellishments and the journalling slots etc and it will be ready to share but here is the front all finished. I couldn’t get the colours right in the photo but I promise you it’s much nicer in real life! And this photo shows it as it is meant to close but I much prefer it with the other right hand page in front which means it looks less ‘exposed’ so I’ll share that next week.

I’m definitely not going to joke about the weather this week as it’s really starting to get me down! Our poor garden is really suffering with veg not growing & then bolting in the heat, and larger spindly shrubs & plants collapsing & falling over. But I did spot this beauty tucked under our traumatised geum… I do know it’s name, it’s just not in the accessible part of my brain right now!

Time to put the kettle on I think? Definitely need a hot drink, despite it being JULY for goodness sake!

Bye for now x

Hi hi!

In a follow up to last week’s post, I shall not be mentioning the weather. Nope. I shall not. Shan’t, can’t make me… but I mean come ON! What the heckity heck is going on??!! Too sunny to take a photo out of the window one minute, wearing a coat the next! Gah! You caught me ‘weathering’ again!!

To the desk dear reader!

I’ve been really enjoying having a messy crafting desk again rather than only visiting my space to put something down or to do paperwork etc. I had almost forgotten what it felt like but between the weekly snoops keeping me accountable and the mental ‘guff’ requiring some self care, it has been a real tonic. You can see that I’m making good headway with the folio and I’m pleased with the waterfall section in the ‘map’ print. I’ve also made the closure on the front but I just need to add the little cut file you can see on the right hand side near the scissors. I’m leaving it till the end so I can use the smallest leftovers!

You can see a bit of the garden out of the window. I did try and take another photo just after this but the sun said “oh you want to take a photo through glass do you? Well here I am!!” So this is all I can offer this week but it looks like the grass is GRADUALLY coming back after the ‘Great Hole’ incident after many applications of fork, soil & seed which looks set to continue for some months yet.

In other news, remember the Very Big Scary Thing that necessitated a new notebook? Well it now has a long ‘To Do’ list in it as I received official confirmation that the VBST is actually happening – I am going to university! I did my Psychology degree with the Open University *cough* years ago but in September I’ll be going to a bricks & mortar university to study for my Masters in Criminal Psychology, at the ripe old age of 50!! Mid-life crisis? Moi?!

Todays To Dos include some finishing the folio (because I need to complete something), getting my student card organised, and of course some desk-hopping – pop the kettle on won’t you?

Bye for now x

Hi hi!

In this week’s episode of “What’s On Your Workdesk Wednesday?” hosted by the lovely Sarah, I need to start with a clarification. Each week I use the same sign off on all my visits and last week my message to you all was “Here’s hoping for a sunny week”. If you could see me right now you’d know that I am giving the ether the side eye because although I welcome the sun & warmer weather, I did not mean to welcome THIS… *waves hand at the weather which is now TOO HOT!

Thankfully my craft room is fairly cool because I keep the blinds down to protect the papers etc from the sun. I shall be trying to get in there again today but it depends on how I’m feeling as I had a procedure at the hospital yesterday which involved sedation & I’m not totally with it! The best thing would be to do something simple but that would involve putting away what I’ve been working on.

Proper crafting going on again! Things are going really well! So what’s occurring? (said in my best Nessa voice). I’m still using the Trail Mix collection you saw me using last week but this is for a mini book not for a layout. I started this travel folio last Autumn I think when some of the Artful Angels girls got together for the construction side and I never got around to decorating it and adding the photos etc. You can see the main folio just next to the white paper on the left.

On the ipad is the free class we were using by the late Cal Summers but she used a Vicki Boutin collection for hers. We’re just on the closure now. At the time you could purchase a kit and it came with a title that Cal’s husband had made but I needed to create my own. You can see the collection of titles and cutfiles I’ve prepared top left so I have an assortment of embellishments and titles I can use.

Well that’s all from me. Despite the heat I’ll obviously still be popping by if you put the kettle on. And because I totalled milked being ill I also have a few chocolate chip cookies too.

Have a sunny but warm (not hot) week!


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