Wednesday, 3 August 2011

WOYWW: The Back From Holiday Edition (with added treats!)

Welcome to another Wednesday, when it's time to display What's On Your Workdesk.  See the linky to the left to find lots of other crafting desks.

It seems like ages (well, actually it is) since I've blogged for WOYWW, so I thought it was definitely time to share what is on my desk.  And most of it is from the lovely, generous and talented Mrs A, who was kind enough to make me some lovely desk items as a bloggiversary gift.  Aren't they beautiful?

Firstly the wrapping, in vintage patterns, and pretty tags...

Then you can see how exquisitely made everything is.  I had told Mrs A of my liking for sunshine yellow and turquoise, and she found some gorgeous provencal cottons to make the desk tray, pen pot, and a travel case for my Promarkers (which will now travel more elegantly than anything else, including me!).  What you can't see so clearly are the little tabs that allow the desk tray to fold flat for travel, and the sweet little button fasteners on the Promarker case.

Just look at that embroidery...

And Mrs A included Promarkers in my favourite colours.  I have to say how thoroughly spoilt I am.  Thank you so much for these beauties, Mrs A; they are really treasured, and they make me smile every time I look across my desk.

As for me, I've been off gallivanting in Gibraltar...

...perusing markets in Provence...

...and lazing in cafes in Lisbon...

And doing a little light crafting on the way.  And if any of my crafting companions have found this blog, hi and happy memories to Karen, Mary and Lisa - it was great meeting you!  Here are some of the kits I brought home, because we spent more time talking than crafting.  But then is that not how our esteemed leader Ms Dunnit describes herself on her own blog: "talker with a passion for crafting"...

Happy Wednesday to you all!

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

WOYWW: The Summer Desk Edition

Happy WOYWW!

It's been a while since I've taken part in Julia's weekly desk hop, where you can get to see all kinds of crafty desks.  For those of you who would like to see the messy and the tidy from all corners of the world, pop over to our DeskMeister via the WOYWW button to the left.

As the weather's been reasonably kind, I've opened up the summer desk here.

Yes, it's just about warm enough to work in the garden, although I think I really needed another layer or two of clothes, as it took me ages to get toasty again when I got inside.  At the moment, I'm playing with skylines, both city and country.

And taking plenty of pictures to help.

Looking forward to catching up with lots of desks this week, and (hopefully) to a trip to Ludlow tomorrow for sketching and deli-visiting purposes.

Hello - It's Been A While

And I'm finally back...

It's been a bit of a tough month, with bad & sad things happening to people we care about, but it's time for some onwards and upwards.  And I think Mrs A's monkey has paid me a visit to cheer me up!

So, on the work front, I think I've finally got a plan.  For someone who used to write most of a business plan for their workplace, I've been decidedly remiss in sorting out my own.  It falls into two parts: before and after holiday (first half of July).  Now that the tax office have sent me a tax return, I really must be a proper business and need to get on with it.

Before I go on holiday, I need to:

  • Help OH to move a lot of his stock of books from the kitchen to the dry cellar.  They are all sealed in plastic, so should be fine.  (And what fine exercise, up and down the cellar stairs...I can hardly wait.  Yes, you do hear a slight note of sarcasm there...)
  • Move the kitchen stuff off the counter, so I can use it for my craft out for future tales of the Big Beast.
  • Finish off a series of artwork for use with the Big Beast.  I have started, and it's not looking too bad.
  • Get a business account on eBay and on Etsy.
  • Finally decide on the business name and buy my webspace.
  • Get some help from a graphic designer for my logo.
  • Get some help from the lovely M to begin setting up my website.
  • Be a better Blogger and get into a regular posting cycle.
And now I've told you, you're going to hold me to this, eh?  No more slacking here!

It's been a big help being thoroughly spoiled this weekend by D & C, who cooked an amazing Sunday lunch (with eight of the five a day already covered by the delicious veg that accompanied it).  They introduced us to the lovely Sophie, their new 4 year old dachshund (two miniature Schnauzers already run the house).  I swear that Sophie can actually manage that rolleyes smiley.  What a dog!  And I hear she has already caused havoc with the cadets in the local park, interrupting drill practice with a lot of yapping and running in and out of the ranks, to the accompaniment of much teenage sniggering all round.  She'll fit in well, and she's clearly fallen on her small and delicate paws in that house.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

WOYWW: The Nose In A Book Edition

Morning, and welcome to another nose at what is on my desk this week.  If your curiosity needs further feeding, why not pop over to our esteemed leader, Julia Dunnit, using the WOYWW button to the left, where you can see more than a hundred crafty workspaces in action.

This week, it's all about the books.

First up, Dan Price's "How to make a journal of your life".  Great for inspiration, giving yourself "permission" not to be the best artist but to draw anyway and for encouraging the reader to really see things.  I keep a daily journal as well as the 2011 monthly journal challenge pages (button to the right, if you are interested), and inspired by this book, I spent a happy evening journaling last night.  My journal looks better for the inspiration from this book.

Then I've been perusing eBay for books to provide inspiration, backgrounds and general craftiness.  Above you can see a 1950s guide to British flora, which has beautiful and clear illustrations.  Also acquired this week, a book of French songs (I already have a big stash of sheet music), a very entertaining 1950s French phrase book (the concerns on holiday were so very different) and a guide for the new civil servant.  Can't wait to start playing!

If you are in need of a little laughter this morning, then please visit the post below this for an alternative view of the Royal Wedding, as expressed in gingerbread.

Happy Workdesk Wednesday!

Monday, 11 April 2011

An Alternative View of the Royal Wedding

We ended up playing hooky again today, and ventured out in the sun to Shipston on Stour, which is on the edge of the Cotswolds.  While putting together a picnic for consumption on the riverbank (ahh...the joys of self-employment), we noticed this fabulous window display at Taste of the Country.

This is all gingerbread.  Look at the great details on the Beefeater, and the carriage, plus the tin cans behind the car.  And the shop names really made me laugh: who's for Sarah's Pawnbrokers, and Philip's Curiosities (if you enlarge this, you can see the kimono in the shop window)?

Harry's bar looks as though it might be worth a visit, and just look at those bearskins on the guards. How shocking to see that the dress is no longer a secret!

If you are ever near Stratford-on-Avon, a visit to Taste of the Country comes highly recommended.  Don't leave without a piece of cheesecake.

We've spent quite a lot of the lovely weekend outside.  And for some of the time we were even working.  Here's heavy traffic on the canal on Saturday afternoon.

Plus a crowd of amorous ducks (the drakes very keen, the duck somewhat less so).  I would have shown you the very amorous Canada Geese, but I thought they required a little privacy...  You can't quite see it here, but the swans are nesting just to the left of the picture.  I have my fingers crossed for a successful hatching, and that they bring their brood over to show them off, as they have done in previous years.


Hope you've been enjoying the sunshine.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

WOYWW: Less Words, More Pictures

At 5am Wednesday, tidy as ever...

Cosmic Shimmer mica backgrounds


 Fleurs onto an ATC

My first ever decoupage piece, ferreted out of a tea chest while tidying up.

Pretties.  Lovely mugs from Anthropologie.

More crafty desks to be seen at DeskMeister Julia's.
Follow the WOYWW button to the left.

Friday, 1 April 2011

Crafty Selling Advice Resources

UK Handmade has a good post on preparing for your first craft fair.  Now that Spring is truly Sprung, this is a really useful reminder about what to take with you, how to display your items, stock levels, pricing and discounting and packaging.  Plus you get a good look at other people's stalls...much easier than when you're actually at a fair and busy.

Craftster also has some great advice in its Community Section.  Crafty Business Advice is where you'll find dos and don'ts based on good and bad experiences, lots of pictures of people's stalls and a whole message board section for etsy experiences.  And I do so love their headers...

Thursday, 31 March 2011

Bloggy Goodness

Now that the house has evicted its latest batch of germs (honestly, I don't know what's been going on, but we have hosted far too many bugs over the past few months), I'm back.  Today I wanted to share some of my favourite blogs.  In some cases, these blogs have lots of followers, but I don't see many bloggers I know there.  Hope you find somewhere new and interesting to browse.

Better After
Lindsey's blog focuses on all those before and after pictures ranging from whole houses (a bit too much DIY in my book) to wall ornaments.  Very occasionally, I'll prefer the before, but there are tons of great ideas here and loads of content.  Look at the funky ladybird car for a toddler....

Summerland Cottage
Paulette makes gorgeous ceramics, jewellery and art.  I love her inspiration from nature.    Just look at her bisque designs fresh from firing:

Alisa Burke
I'm always delighted to see a new post from Alisa in my Google reader.  I love her celebration of colour that riots on my screen, and her use of shape when colour is absent.  This is her new book, which I am tempted to purchase although sewing and I are never found in the same room...

Sew Wild

Happy reading!

Friday, 25 March 2011

Made with Mica

I spent a happy afternoon playing with the mica backgrounds I had put together.  I had decided that a little stamping would work well, so I inked up (fingernails are still very dodgy-looking) and here are the results:

Birds on the Estuary: Eight of the Water Suit - Playing Cards 2011

Blossoming: Three of Earth - Playing Cards 2011

I think this needs something else, but I'm not quite sure what yet.  I'll let it mull for a bit.  Perhaps a bit more dimension with the flowers???

A Page for my Travel Journal 2011
ready for my July holiday (paid the balance today, and am now all excited!)

First Draft of July 2011 Calendar Journal. 

I was feeling kinda retro by this stage, hence the life rings, bathing suits, bags, surfboards and cocktails.  It's not finished yet, but I'm quite amused by it so far, particularly as it's so not me...

Mica Love

Welcome to one of my new favourite things: Cosmic Shimmer Mica Watercolour Paints.  
Are they not delectable?

I bought a small selection last week, and I'm already hooked and have ordered more.  Just dip a wet brush in the pot and away you go.  Here are some ATC backgrounds, some with a very light wash effect, and others with a deep accumulation of colour.

And some close ups.

These will be part of the 2011 Playing Cards Challenge for the water and earth suits.