Sunday, 31 July 2011

Family News!

Not a crafting post at all today... but I just had to share the news that my eldest daughter Naomi and her lovely boyfriend Dan have just got engaged!
Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I told them both that my mum was saving up for a hat to wear to their wedding... and the longer she had to gather up some money, the bigger the hat would be. Eventually, I informed them, the hat would be so big, that she'd barely be able to fit through the church doors :)
Actually... they're engaged because they are totally perfect for each other, Dan makes Naomi laugh and accepts her just the way she is, Naomi is besotted with Dan... and they love each other so completely.

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Christmas Frame

Lunch Lady Jan (oh She of the beautiful fabrics, amazing imagination and boot-i-ful kitty) asked about something on my desk... The 'gold coloured curly wurly thing' is actually a Christmas decoration. Every January, I trot off to The Range and see what decorations they have going cheap. They usually sell tree decorations for 19p and upwards out of season... and when I spotted these glittery swirls in gold and silver, I knew they'd make brilliant frames for scrapbooking and mini-albums. At 29pence each, I thought it was a bit of a bargain really.
I really should have bought more than just two... but I was in a rush that day, and also bought a handful of other ornaments too.
It's getting quite bad actually, this habit that's forming... nearly everything has a possible use in scrapbooking... nothing is quite safe from a bit of alcohol ink and some strong glue *lol*
Yup, everything has a scrapability factor... think this is why Hubby has banned me from his shed :)

*** Don't forget to add your name to the give-away post (click on the photo on the right). Only six takers so far - come on people... you don't have to become a follower, don't have to add anything to your own blog (though telling people might be helpful...please *lol*)... and it's something for FREE!

Wednesday, 27 July 2011


What a busy Wednesday so far... in fact, I actually forgot it was a Wednesday and time for "What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday?" hosted by Julia at the Stamping Ground.
It was 'craft night' at Pickwells last nght, so my wonderful daughter Beth (she of the recent prom night) looked after my granddaughter Lily whilst I was out. This morning I was so tired as Lily decided that 11pm was still way too early to fall asleep for a 2 year old, and 7am was a good time to get up again *lol*
Still...  she did have fun drawing pictures sat at my desk, which is a bit of a mess today...
I haven't had a chance to open my parcels yet - and I'm itching to know what's arrived! I think it's a set of 100 'shabby chic' papers I bought at a bargain price, as well as some other goodies :) I'm still working on the mini-album for the Christmas House Mini project and had to buy some permanent pens last night because, of all the hundreds of pens I have, nothng I own is a pale pink shade - who would've thought it!? I bought a couple of magazines... both of which I have barely even glanced at yet, and I also got hold of some irridescent spray gloss varnish. Lily has been crafting too - her pictures are really quite good. At only 2 years old, her drawings of a cat are very recogniseable... but her favourite picture to draw is....
Spongebob Squarepants!
Have a wonderfully happy and productive "What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday?" to all!

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Christmas Mini Album Covers Started...

Ever get one of those crafting days where everything goes wrong? Apart from still sneezing glitter, I've had a really frustrating craft day. It started off with me deciding that this Christmas Mini is definitely going to be finished by the end of August - so I made each page and had a few boo-boos where pages had to be re-done and I cut my finger (ouchies!)... every mistake was due to my own fault and lack of concentration. Did I take the hint when little drops of blood were dripping onto my pretty craft paper (I'm a bit of a bleeder *lol*)? NO! I just put a plaster on it and carried on. Possibly a mistake, methinks *lol*
So, basics of the pages finished, and I start to think about the covers. I cut out the front and back cover from chipboard, wrapped the front cover, and then punched holes on the wrong side! Well, no biggie I guess - the paper isn't directional, so I'll just use it as the back cover instead. Only one last sheet of the paper left that I wanted for the front cover... no mistakes allowed this time! I covered the (new) front cover, and carefully punched holes in the right places this time! WooHoo! Looking good :) I try out the covers for size - and they fit perfectly. I put the mini in the Christmas House box I'd made just to make sure of the sizing... and discover that the covers are about a sixteenth of an inch too wide, and the roof doesn't fit on properly! Disaster! Everything can be rectified if you get to it in time - it's not as if I'd used super-glue to stick the papers down with. Might as well have done though - that Scor-Tape is strong stuff after a few minutes of being stuck down *lol*
I really did try to peel back the papers and cut down the chipboard... but every effort failed. So, in a sulky stroppy hissy-fit, I decided to just lop off the last eighth of an inch off of each cover. NOT a good idea really, as now I had rough edges to the covers! I couldn't turn them around because they didn't fit properly if I swapped the back and front covers. Darn it! thought I...
Ahhhh... "darn it"... the idea starts forming that, possibly, I could use some of the lovely lace I've recently bought, and darn it to the chipboard to make an edge all around the mini and cover my mistake. So I chose some beautiful cream lace and oh so carefully sewed it around the outer edges of the book after covering the ends with a little leftover paper. Two hours it took for me to sew the lace onto the covers. And I didn't like it. I unpicked the lot, and changed the lace to a pretty blue coloured trim I had. An hour and a half later, and the lace was all done... and I had a little blister on my middle finger from all that sewing into chipboard! Note to self... USE A THIMBLE!
I do like the results though... and the blue lace brings out the blue flashes of colour in the papers... so pretty!
So... here's my huge mstake, covered up with blood, sweat, tears... and lace *lol* (excuse the nails... split another one!) ...

Front cover...Covered edge of the mini

Front cover. The charms were made from a Christmas ornament (29pence) that I took apart, and part of one of the 99pence pair of beaded/jewelled curtain tiebacks I bought recently - told you I'd make use of them *lol*

Front cover, inside. The front and back covers are basically the same... and I'm quite pleased with my neat sewing, even if it is on show when I open my mini-album
Had to add this... just to finish off the bungling crafting day, I accidentally wrote this post out onto the wrong blog after being signed into You-Tube with another google account name! I didn't notice at all until I 'previewed' the post *lol* Another 40 minutes wasted... well, at least it's done - and tomorrow (well, later on today) it's craft night at Pickwells! Yay!

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Waiting For A Photo Layout

This is a first for me... although I made my daughter a layout (in a box) with inter-changeable photographs, I've never actually designed and made a layout where you can add any photograph you like later on. As another "first", it's also about as close to a layout with whitespace as I could possibly manage. Talk about unfussy - this whole layout consists of just 11 elements. It was inspired by a stamp that I had bought very cheaply for a pound at Pickwells.
Pretty, huh?
I wish the photographs could do this layout justice - it's a beautiful bright yellow cardstock that's been inked with "Old Paper"  and "Antique Linen" Distress Inks... and I know that 'whitespace' is supposed to be a lot of... well... empty space (*lol*)... but I wanted a slightly patterned yellow paper, and didn't have any - so I added a few inked flourishes.
The scallop-edged yellow cardstock was backed with plain cardstock ... but I had no plain black, so I had to ink around the edges of another colour with "Black Soot" Distress Ink. I could have cut an aperture from the yellow cardstock - but it was so much easier to just cut out a black piece of card into an oval and stick it on. The main flourish is made up of two pieces that I printed out and then cut out leaving a white border around (took AGES!), and originally I planned to have just one or two butterflies on the right of the page... but I preferred three in the end (just can't help myself... adding bits and pieces!). Please just ignore how badly I cut things out... me and scissors are not the best of friends :)
I added another butterfly near the flourishes, really just to fill an awkward space. The bumble bee and ladybird weren't really needed - but they were so cute :)
The original idea was to have the flourish on the right - the same as the stamp... but I cut out the wrong flourish (I had printed two of them, mirror images of each other) and really couldn't be hassled to cut the other one out too, so it was all flipped around to accomodate my litle mistake :) Everything except the black oval was attached with little foam pads, and now all I have to do is choose a photograph to put into the layout.
Think I'll make a few layouts based on these design - choosing different pastel colours for the background cardstock. Pale pink and baby-blue next, I think :)

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Crafting Mishaps #3

When will I ever learn?
Back in May I had a not-so-subtle reminder of why I don't like glitter (Crafting Mishap... the first *lol*) ... My dining craft room has barely recovered from the mass suicide of my glitter pots!
However, there is one time during the year when I find glittery things almost endearing... quaint, pretty and (dare I say it) lovely. That, of course, is Christmas time. Or Yule... or whatever you call it. 
As you may know, the Christmas House Mini is coming along quite nicely - all sugary sparkly-ness of it, sitting prettily on my dining craft table. And there lies the crux of it... Christmas... The only time glitter is allowed near me, my house or my family. I decided that the backs of some pages of the mini album needed a frosting - a snowy, glittery border. So there I am  two hours ago, happily splashing paint and glue onto card and paper, and smothering it in Glamour Dust (oohhh... sounds so much more posh than calling it just "glitter" *lol*). It takes some time, as I'm also chasing a tomcat out of the house and away from CallieCat every few minutes (not a moments peace!). Time comes to clear up, and I'm looking around me in wonder. Me, the cat, the dog, dining room mat and floor, handbag, scoreboard, paper trimmer, dining table, everything ON the dining table - in fact everything within a five foot radius of the culprit (that would be... ummm... me then. Oops!) is awash with GLITTER. Everything looks like something out of the cast of Twilight, so sparkly and irridescant are we! The cat is having a hard time hiding from the tomcats... every time she ventures outside, she's just a gliding, stealthy little mass of sparkle caught by the lights! On the plus side, LilyDog scarpering outside glowing like the Hound Of The Baskervilles is doing a good job of frightening the tomcats away (either that or they're having to leave because it's just so funny and they want to spread the word around).
As I type, I notice little sparkles glinting from my keyboard. In fact, every time I move I send a hail of glitter into the atmosphere! The end of my nose  is so distracting!... it's glittering and catching my eye constantly!
I've just noticed a trail of sparkly-ness from where I'm sat through to the kitchen and all over the kitchen floor. It's pervading the whole house! Can glitter multiply? Perhaps it's like a virus or a germ... waiting to take over the world! It's under my nails, in my hair, over the sink, stuck into the carpet...!
Glitter. Hmph! Never, ever again!

Not enough space!

I am running out of space - so I'm chucking away some of my experimental albums. None are finished completely - they need embellishments or extra tags. I'm just too busy making other stuff and need the room too *lol*
Remember the faux-paperbag mini album that needs embellishments? Going.
The "memories" beermat mini? Going.
And then there's a halloween 4.5"x4.5" mini that needs tags added to be completed. Going.
Then I thought that, rather than fill a landsite with my paper castoffs... maybe someone could make use of them? Take them apart, shred them for small animal bedding... whatever *lol*
So... here's what's been suggested:
Add a comment to this post - you don't have to become a follower or even write anything other than just a "Yep, I want one". A couple of weeks from now, my youngest daughter will draw three names from a hat (yes, I DO have hats - lots of them *lol*), and I'll send one album to each person - where ever that may be (I'll even post abroad - I don't mind). I'll make sure to list the names so people can contact me with an address to send to.
So, what d'ya think? I know... it's a bit cheeky palming off my rubbish on others - but paper is paper... right?
So... 6th August is the 'name pick day'. Let others know if you can... the more the merrier :)
I'll probably have a few more items in the near future if anyone's interested... in the meantime - sign below! *lol*
Please, please remember that you're helping keep the worlds rubbish landfills empty of my tat :D

Thursday, 21 July 2011

The Christmas House

The outer box for the Christmas House Mini is finished. I think. I may add a few bits to it... maybe. I'm sort of "hmmm-ing" and "haaa-ing" about it. Anyway... as I promised to reveal the box today, I will do. Just don't expect much else - I have been up for 32 hours straight and my brain is in melt-mode *lol*
The papers were an absolute bargain - from Mad About Cards and Pickwells - I found a whole load of Papermania Silk Screened Paper in three different designs. It's so pretty, and although it's highlighted a lot with gold, it also matches really well with silver because of the blue shot through the papers too. I liked the idea of pink and brown (the main colours of the papers), as it reminded me of cinnamon (or gingerbread men) and cranberries.
This was the house before it was completely finished... remember I said that I was waiting for something to arrive in the post to complete it...? Well, obviously it arrived - I'll show you what it was in a minute...
The back of the house:
The chimney was a LOT easier to put on than those pretty little windows at the front *lol*
The door has a wreath charm on it... and on the snow-topped door knob is a little tiny stocking charm with a teensy-weeny candy cane sticking out of it.
All the windows (and the door also) were made simply by cutting out chipboard, painting it with Gesso, and then applying a thin layer of clear crackle gloss. I backed them with some of the papers in a plain brown. Only the bay window was made differently - more of that in just a little while.
To make the 'snow', I simply drizzled hot glue whereever I wanted the snow to be, and then painted it with gesso. When this was dry, I added Diamond Stickles lightly with my finger. To complete the look, I sprayed over the whole house with Cosmic Shimmer Mist (the white pearl).
I think the Cosmic Shimmer shows quite well in the photograph.
Now for that bay window...
I made it separately, and instead of a plain brown backing, I stuck a photograph behind it - it's a Christmas tree and a fireplace with candles on it. The picture is quite dark and brown-toned as I didn't want it to be too obvious. Something was missing... I knew there was a little 'extra' that was needed to make the window complete. A cat. It was this little missing item that I had to wait for - I hate waiting for things to arrive in the post!
I managed to find a little one at 1/24th scale... but then I had to paint it! Green eyes, pink nose... and grey tabby fur :)
I think he looks quite at home peering through the window... and he completes my outer-box for my Christmas House Mini quite well :)

The Secret's Out!

Di at Pixie's Crafty Workshop (go visit her blog too - she's fun and super-creative... and she has blog candy too!) asked me where I get my bargains... so I'm going to let you in on a few little secrets - the places where I buy all sorts of bargains!
So... much like Helen (It's All Fiddle Fart) I love bargain basement shops... Poundland, The 99p Discount Stores, Pound Shop - never be too proud to have a poke around and pick up a bargain! Helen loves stickers and anything she can "Fiddle Fart" with (gotta go to her blog - what this woman can do with her stash is amazing!)... I pick up odd things - like beaded curtain tiebacks - because you can always take them apart to use. I also love the Discount Stores for 99p hardback books (new project coming up involving these!).
Lace is my new "thing"... I LOVE lace. I've searched around for bargains - because I really don't think that £5 for a yard of 20cm lace is good value (nomatter how pretty it is!) ... Well how about over 20 metres of black cut-out lace starting at under £5? Yup... there are such places. I don't particularly enjoy shopping on auction sites, but "Lacey Bits" is so inexpensive... it's worth a visit (just don't start out-bidding me, okay?! *lol*)
Mad About Cards has a craft £1 shop... and a lot of sales where items are as cheap as 10pence!
The price of scrapbooking supplies has soared in recent years... so look in the children's art department for things like foam lettering, glitter glue and paint.
Sadly, one of my local stores where I buy crafting supplies is closing (all say "awwww")... the only good news is that the craft items on sale there at the moment are silly low prices! If your a Sotonian, take a visit to Bitterne and find the bookshop next to Icelands... I have no idea what it's called!
I mustn't forget to add on here that, for some strange reason, rubber stamps are really cheap in New Zealand - so have a nosey around the world wide web, and find a lovely New Zealand online store that delivers to Europe quite cheaply.
Of course, the same applies to many crafting items via the Good Ol' U.S of A. I paid £17 for my Martha Stewart score board (including postage and packaging) from America... and just £20 for a set of five Martha Stewart punches (I really wanted the peppermint candy punch *lol*)
Last, but by no means least, is Pickwells. A little corner of crafty bliss! How's about this for a bargain... The vagabond for £125! Crafting at Pickwells can be incredibly inexpensive - with 10p sales and always a bargain to be found! Sadly, Carolyn doesn't have an online shop - but if you're ever in the area... you really should pop in and say hi :)

So, there's a short list of some of my favourite and most inexpensive places for craft shopping.
I know I prattle on a bit so I apologise for sore eyes having to read through this - but if it saves you a few pennies, then it might even be worth it *lol*

Wednesday, 20 July 2011


Not much work going on today on my “work”-desk today for “What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday?” Just a table full of goodies that I've bought and that need sorting out.
I got some amazing bargains (again) including:
  • Studio G paper packs (12, I think) with brads, chipboard diecuts and matching bits and bobs
  • Basic Grey and Papermania Silkscreen papers  
  • Alcohol inks 
  • Cosmic shimmers 
  • Ranger daubers 
  • Ranger colour wash 
  • Henbury Lane Poinsettia paper packs
  • Mini holly berries for layouts 
  • Mistletoe Kisses paper packs (6x6, 8x8, and 12x12 packs) 
  • Sparkly fibres 
  • 'A Christmas Carol' embossed transfer lettering packs
  • 3 “new” wooden (Ebay) stamps
  • Papermania Christmas stamp set 
  • Extra long stick pins
and finally...
  • a TON of lace *lol*
Gorgeous, beautiful lace. :)
 So... you'd think I'd not much time left for actual crafting considering the amount of shopping I've been doing... and you'd kinda be right about that. However... I have managed to finish the Christmas House – not the mini to go inside though. I'll post photographs tomorrow.
So... off you go now back to Julia's, sign your name (if you haven't already done that) and have a nosey around everyone's desk. Oh, and let's not forget...
Have A Happy WOYWW!!!

Monday, 18 July 2011

Twenty Minute Layout

I did something I have never done before... I took apart a layout I had done. When I say "took apart" I actually mean that I demolished it... wrecked... completely... annihilated. I was going to use the embellishments and photograph again... but then I didn't because I figured that if I didn't like them first time round, chances are I wouldn't like them if I used them again. I did re-do the layout... but still don't really like it. However, the whole thing took me twenty minutes - and that was including sticking down photographs and then ripping them off again, wondering how the heck I was going to repair the rip in my background paper, and then deciding to paint over the tear and hope for the best, and waiting for the paint to dry.

So... best I show you what I did, and to what I did it to...
Remember this hideous monstrosity (the layout, not the subject!):
It is gone. It is no more. I have to say that it actually looks better in the photograph than it ever did in real life. So much work went into it - from the little feet for centres of flowers, all the ornate sewing, cutting out the photograph, to tracking down and ordering little shoe embellishments. And I cut it up. And then I didn't even use the photograph again!
I re-did the layout so quickly... layering up some photographs and then glittering the edges (yes... I did say 'glitter'... me... using glitter!). All I did after that was to use Papermania flowers that my son's girlfriend Steph had bought for me as well as sticking on some Papermania clear stickers. I took some green thread out of Papermania heart shapes and changed it to pink ribbon instead, and stuck them on using the foam pads already attached. Next I stamped out some letters using a 99p set of foam stamps I bought and cut around the letters. A bit of journalling with white pen, and I was done! After the paint had dried, the layout took just over five minutes to complete. Now that's what I call quick! *lol*
And here it is...
It's not brilliant... but it's better than it was :)

Sunday, 17 July 2011

She's So Perfect!

I finally completed a layout...
Of course it's my Bethie's Prom Night, and her looking so perfect in her dress. I am a bit frustrated though... the ink in my printer has decided it wants to ruin everything, and it's not drying on the photographic paper. Already the photo in the layout has some colour rubbed off - but I'm hoping it won't show too much. Beth's sister Naomi bought her the corsage (she was robbed, by the way! *lol*) and the pearl-top pin stuck into the photograph was in the centre of one of the white roses.
There is a fair bit of stitching - two ovals around the photo... you just can't see it too well. I used MME papers and also a couple of pieces I cut from sheets from the Mariposa range. The larger flowers are some I made ages ago, the lace was a bargain from Hobbycraft, the pearl brads from Papermania, and the brad centres of the smaller flowers are Basic Grey. The lettering is American Crafts - I've had these stickers for years! I also used Perfect Pearls here and there.
The photograph does her no justice at all... the dress was made especially for her (and then she went and lost weight after the fitting and before Prom!), and is a soft sage green shot through with golds and pale blue. It really is stunning. There are so many photographs I'd like to make layouts with from this night... so I think I may have to make a mini-album instead *lol*

I changed the layout slightly - added more pearl brads, and layered another (not ruined) photograph on top of the original... I'm much happier about it now.

The updated layout

Details... you can see where the new photo has been placed on top of the older one.

The pearl pin (with added bits) that was in her corsage.
P.S... Thank you so much for all your comments! My baby (16, but truly still my baby!) thinks she's horrible looking - and I'm sure that all your lovely comments about her will help bolster her confidence.

Saturday, 16 July 2011

What A Fantastic Haul!

I've just been shopping. And, boy! do I mean SHOPPING! The rain was pelting down outside, and I didn't notice at all as I filled my basket to the brim.  Now, some things may not, at first, seem to be an obvious 'crafty' item... but I do have plans :)
Despite having taken some amazing photographs over the past couple of months, my 12x12 scrapbook page mojo has (once again) taken an extended vacation... I needed some much-needed inspiration, and a kick up the backside, to start the juices flowing again. Maybe, just maybe, this little shopping extravaganza will help :)
Here's what I managed to get:
  • A lace fringed shawl
  • two bottles of glitter glue in blue and green
  • 3 pairs of jewelled tiebacks with useful clasps
  • 4 large packs snowman rub-ons
  • 3 packs 3-D stickers (match the rubons, above)
  • 2 packs giant playing cards
  • a wonderful hardback book about Van Gogh
  • 2 large books about scrapbook layouts
  • 6 packs of metal charms in 3 dfferent designs
  • a ringbinder
  • index cards (large, A4)
  • A4 lined paper pack
  • pack 20 glossy photo paper (A4)
  • pack 20 ultra-glossy photo paper (A4)
  • Pack 60 white card (A4)
  • large pack printer paper
  • Clear parcel tape - 2 large rolls
  • 3 extra-large packs alpha's and numbers lettering, wood effect
  • 8 extra-large packs of alpha's and numbers, vintage
AND... the best bit... this whole table-full of goodies cost just under £23.
A friend took me shopping so there were no travel costs, and parking was free too.
The large playing cards will probably end up as mini-albums, and the jewelled tie backs will definitely be taken apart...
I'm quite excited about my budget goodies, and am hoping to get started on something... as soon as I've had a nap to recover from the shopping trip :)

5 Things I've Never Done

Okay, so it's yet another non-crafty posting again... but couldn't resist this little idea that I read on Dawns blog here.
  1. I've never participated in the Race For Life... and I so want to. However, unless I can succeed in my second "Never Done" I don't think I'll ever manage it.
  2. I've never maintained a healthy weight for more than two years before chocolate, bread, cake and laziness have ruined me ... again! *lol* Two years ago I was a svelte UK size 6. Just don't ask now what size I am!
  3. I have never borne a grudge and have always forgiven anyone I've ever known for hurting me. I just think life is way too short for hating and remembering bad things instead of holding onto the better times (and my mum is exactly the same... think I must take after her).
  4. I have never liked a photograph of myself. Simple as... I just can't stand photographs of me, cannot bear to have my photograph taken, and avoid a camera as much as I can. I especially hate and avoid candid pictures... ugh! *lol*
  5. I've never believed that I have deserved such a wonderful life. How I have had such a perfect childhood, loving parents, brilliant children... and the most amazing husband any woman could ever wish or hope for, is a mystery to me. And never for a moment have I taken any of it for granted... I know how lucky I have been and how lucky I am.
Well... I could have added a ton of things to this list like: bungee jumping, extreme ironing, skiing, been to Vienna or Red Square or a lighthouse in Maine. I've also never been on an aeroplane before (and don't plan to either) or had a 'normal' sleeping pattern... but these are all things that a thousand other people could also include. I wanted to list some things that show people what kind of person I am... and I hope I've done just that.

I promise that the next post will be a crafty one :) I have almost finished the Christmas House outer box... except for one teeny-weeny detail I'm waiting for - and as soon as I get my little 'extra' in the post, I'll finish the box and post a piccie of it here:)

Thursday, 14 July 2011

My Baby Girl

... not so much a baby any longer, my baby girl is all grown up. Yes, I'm all emotional and teary-eyed as I write with my youngest child away at her prom. She looked so beautiful... and different to a lot of other girls (my baby has a fantastic sense of style!) in her sage-green gown and her hair all done up with curls and pearls...
She said that there was no way she could ever be one of the prettiest girls at her prom... I agree - not one of the prettiest, but THE prettiest!
Okay, so I am a bit biased being her mum... but I think you'll all agree what a gorgeous young woman my baby has become.
Of course, to hear her and all her friends screaming and giggling whilst driving away in a bright pink stretch limo, you'd not believe a single one was over 5 years old! *lol*
Bless them all...
here's hoping tonight is a brilliant success for them all... pretty and gorgeous every one!

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

WOYWW #110

Wednesday has crept up on us once more... *drum roll, please!*... time for another "What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday?"  with the wonderful Julia at The Stamping Ground.
The same project - I'm working so slowly on this Christmas house... but I have been a busy bunny this week! I managed to get a new craft mat - a very large green one this time - because the purple one (which is in centimetres and pink on the reverse) has almost doubled in price since I last bought one!  This new green one is twice the size, with centimetres and inches both on the same side - so no having to turn over mid-flow on a project if I need to measure the 'new' way (I'm so much an imperial measurements kind of gal *lol*). Of course, the old craft mat is still on the table... can't get rid of her just yet.  I've bought out my Christmassy craft box to see how I'll decorate the house and the mini album I make to go inside... so much choice! The papers are being kept nice and safe by CallieCat who has an amazing ability to sit on whatever it is that I want to use... whether that is a paper I'm reading, or papers I want to craft with.
I also stocked up on some really lovely lace yesterday - cream, white and back designs that will end up one way or another in a mini-album or scrapbook layout. The ever-cold cup of coffee is also sat on my desk... and maybe at some point I'll manage to finish drinking it!
Regulars to my blog (thank you to the few! *lol*) will notice a slight change... the desk has moved, the room is different... My curtains are no longer rolled up (well, if we want to be posh, they are actually voiles *lol*), picture frames are back on the window sill, crafting items are strewn about...
This can mean only one thing...
the kittens are gone!
All rehomed with wonderful people who are loving their new pets - and one crazy lady who takes her new kitten everywhere she goes. This lady would be my eldest daughter :) I swear that girl spends more time here since she moved out than when she actually lived here. Since Sox has become her 'baby', she has come to visit twice (in two days!) No box is safe from Sox... not even my Christmas House project...
Give that kitten a box, and she'll take a nap!
Callie is doing okay since the kittens have gone ... not that she's missed Sox much with all these visits!
Misty was taken by Amiee Rose and homed with her lovely family... and Max and his brother BooBear (now called Simba) are homed with Mark and his partner and are being spoilt rotten (the lucky little kits!).
Do I miss them...?
A little ickle bit... maybe. I'm not so much a kitten-person as a cat-person. Oh, yes! they're cute when they're little babies... but a full-grown cat is so much more fun! (and less messy, more independant, doesn't chew electrical wires, and doesn't need a litter tray to pee and poop).

Once again, have a wonderfully brilliant "What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday?" and may the rest of the week be amazing for you all too!

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Cordless Hot Glue Gun

The new toy on my desk this week was the cordless hot glue gun (Docrafts 'stick it!' Excel).  I thought it would be fantastic to take with me to crops and crafting sessions - it's incredibly lightweight and measures just 7"x5".  The plug-in hot glue gun I also have (I believe it's made by Bostik) is lighter and smaller (not including the cord) at just 4.5"x4"... but to be quite honest, the bigger glue gun (cordless) is much more comfortable to use with it's wider handle (I have rheumatoid arthritis).
They both take the same size glue sticks, and both heat up about as quick as each other - though maybe the battery-run one is slightly quicker. HOWEVER... you are guaranteed a continuous, constant heat with the traditional plug-in glue gun. The cordless glue gun uses batteries pretty quickly - though this may be partly due to my cheap batteries. Using re-chargeable batteries will save a LOT of money in the long run - but buy enough so that you can have one set in the gun and one set charging for continuous usage (my glue gun takes 4 batteries, AA size). When the battery power gets low, the glue gun just doesn't melt the glue sticks as well - though there is a red light above the on/off switch that fades as the batteries lose power.
More pro's and cons for each type of glue gun:
The cordless glue gun has a smaller, more precise nozzle - it appears (so far) to drip less and doesn't clog at all. When stood upright when not in use temporarily, the nozzle points upwards so no dripping hot glue everywhere. Unfortunately, this also means that the end where you load the glue stick is pointing downwards, and until it's in the front barrel the glue stick will fall out. Okay, so that's not really much of a hardship I guess.
The plug-in hot glue gun has a resting position that means the nozzle is pointing downwards. This means the hot glue drips out and I find that the nozzle becomes surrounded in hot glue which causes more 'glue strings'. Of course, this resting position also means that any glue stick loaded into the barrel won't fall out. One huge disadvantage to the plug-in hot glue gun is that the cord tends to get in the way - not just when you're using it, but also when the gluegun is at rest - it can twist the gun round so that it constantly falls over.
The cordless glue gun is very stable when in it's resting position - though lightweight, the batteries help keep it from toppling over.

As you can see from the photographs, the plug-in glue gun is pretty messy - with hot glue over the nozzle and the front barrel of the gun itself... and this happened quite quickly. Maybe it's just me... but this has happened to both my traditional plug-in glue guns. I've used the cordless one for a few days straight... it hasn't got glue mess anywhere yet - either on the glue gun itself or anywhere round my workspace.

So, I guess overall I'd pick the cordless gun every time... unless I need something less precise and don't mind a bit of mess, well then the old gun will come out to play again :)

Wednesday, 6 July 2011


I only seem to post twice weekly lately - and one of those posts is always on a Wednesday to show my workdesk to the world! *lol* So... happy "WHAT'S ON YOUR WORKDESK WEDNESDAY?" to all.
By the way... if you ever want to join in just pop over to the Stamping Ground and add your name... it's really a lot of fun to have a nose around other people's work spaces :)
I've started work on yet another mini-book project... a Christmas House, and this is taking over my desk this week (and possibly a few weeks to come too!).
The house (which will have a 6"x8" mini album inside when complete) has had the edges painted, and the roofing 'tiled' (Martha Stewart edge punch) and I'm using Papermania silk papers to decorate it (eventually!). My carousel is full again... including glue sticks that fit into my new glue gun that Hubby bought for me (YAY!!!). It's got a lovely small nozzle, and runs on batteries... so no cords getting in the way (for kittens to chew). Quite a tidy desk today (I'm quite proud of myself for being less messy *lol*) and even my work mat is clean. Though that mat will have to be replaced soon - I'm wearing away the numbers and cutting grooves into it!

More news (you just know this will be about kittens again! *lol*)...
I sold a kitten!
A lovely lady called June bought Boo-Bear, renamed him Thomas and took him home to meet her 8 year old cat Charlie.
The next morning June phoned me... Charlie had no intentions whatsoever of making friends with 'Thomas'... so he's back with me and being called 'Boo' again...  ah, well.
And it didn't take him long to snuggle up next to Sox and get right back to being part of the household again.
All kittens doing well... being very cute... and still biting my ankles. It's a wonder I get any crafting done at all! *lol*
But they are so adorably cute, aren't they...?