Wednesday, 12 June 2019

WOYWW #523: Friends Journal Spread

Hello again everyone! Have you had enough of the rain yet? I'm still enjoying the fresh feel, though I'm getting a bit tired of getting soaked every time I go somewhere. Oreo's not a fan either, being cooped up at home when he could be outside looking for mice. Perfect opportunity to get my fingers inky though. Here's a look at my desk earlier this week:

I hadn't done a journal page in ages and it always feels great to go back to one of  my altered books. This particular one only has a couple of pages finished, so plenty of room to go forward. Here's the background I created after adding some colour over the collage and gesso layers - I stayed with my trusted Prussian Blue and Sepia acrylic inks:

Using some Tim Holtz imagery and other die-cuts and bits and bobs on my desk, I ended up with this Friends spread, inspired by our WOYWW meet-up last week. And as if by magic - the word "Julia's" appeared on one of the random book page scraps I used. I swear I did not look for it (what would be the chances of finding it in a book, anyway?) It's just a lucky coincidence - serendipity at its best! I didn't even notice it until after I'd stuck it down! 

Short and sweet this week (though photo-heavy). Just one one more photo to share of Oreo watching a video game with my son - these two are as thick as thieves! 

Happy #523! I'll be over visiting later today! I may have to skip next week as we have somewhere to go but I'll be back soon enough I promise! xx

Wednesday, 5 June 2019

WOYWW #522: ATC Galore (plus 10th Anniversary Meet-up)

So I made it to my first WOYWW crop on Saturday - if only for a flash visit. It was so lovely to meet my fellow deskers, many of whom I have known for years but had never met in person before. Thank you for all the big hugs - I felt so very welcome!

And now I can show you all the ATCs sent/given and received for the 10th anniversary swap, but not before I show you my messy desk, which is a requisite of being a desker. This was taken while I was working on my second round of ATCs. It helped that I was off work last week - a lucky coincidence!

Here are the ATCs I sent for the postal swap (at the time I wasn't sure if I could make it to the crop).

ATCs I sent in the post
Here are the ones that I received, along with some extras. It was so exciting opening the post and I admired the uniqueness of all of these creations!  

ATCs received in the post

I took lots of photos at the crop, but I had to put them on a separate page as I couldn't work out how to place an image slider in this post. After two hours of trying, I've concluded that it's not possible. Here's the main group photo that you'll probably see on lots of blogs this week, but for the rest of the crop photos and the photos I took afterwards around the beautiful town of Shrewsbury with my family, please visit THIS PAGE.

And now I can show you the ATCs I made the day before the crop when it became an actual possibility that I'd be able to attend. They're a bit different from my first lot. I never know how they will turn out!
Here are the ATCs and other bits I received at the crop (click on the photo to make it larger). Thank you so much, ladies! I was blown away by your generosity and ultimately, I think I received more than I gave, so please let me know if you didn't get one from me and I'll be happy to send one in the post!  

It was lovely meeting everyone - I'm sorry if I didn't recognise all of you - I'm sure I will next time! 
Looking forward to another 10 years of desking xx

Wednesday, 29 May 2019

WOYWW #521: Daily Emotions Tag Book

Traditionally, the week after our WOYWW anniversary ATC swap, I  would share the ATCs I made and received, but I've been asked to keep some of them under wraps until after the crop this year, so I'm going to share all of them together next week. Instead, I'll show you what I made on Sunday! Here's the obligatory desk shot during the process:

I took part in Kasia Avery's Daily Emotions three-day challenge in the Everything Art Playground FB group. I adapted the prompts a little and worked on tags instead of pages and bound them in a tag book (thanks Lynette for sharing the link!). It was supposed to be a 3-day project, but I did it in one sitting. Here are all my tags laid out and I also made a quick video flip-through once they were bound together. First, an in-between look, followed by the completed tags:

I plan to be back next week sharing all my ATCs. Thank you all so much who swapped with me - it was lovely getting them in the post! Those of you who are going, have fun at the crop. There's a very remote chance I might be able to pop in and just say hello if I can get my family to do a day trip on Saturday, otherwise I'll see you again next Wednesday! xx 

Wednesday, 22 May 2019

WOYWW #520: The Big One Oh

Here we go, the big one oh - the 10th anniversary of WOYWW.  I've been part of this wonderful blog hop since 2014 and I wish I had discovered it earlier! Many happy returns to Julia, our tireless hostess - I bet she didn't in her wildest dreams imagine that a sudden, brilliant idea would grow into an international phenomenon that is known as WOYWW, possibly the longest running link party on earth!

Traditionally, we swap ATCs on the anniversary date. I showed you the beginnings of mine last week and I won't unveil them until I have sent them out, but I can show you the gelli printed envelopes that they will arrive in. I made way too many, but I'll just pick the best ones. This is what my frenzied desk looked like while I was gelli printing one night, totally exhausting myself in the process.

I had to find a place to dry the envelopes and the window sill looked like the best bet. Unfortunately, Oreo decided at the same time that he wanted to look out the window (even though it was pitch dark outside!) and he got told off for jumping on my wet prints. He went away sulking. I had to apologize to him later for being so rude. I'm so sorry, Oreo, I didn't mean to shout at you! I think he forgave me by now.

Here are the results in daylight conditions and I also made some note cards to go with the envelopes - nothing fancy just happy and colourful:

I made 10 identical ATCs - I'm swapping with Shaz (Silverwolf), Heather and Caro already, plus my official swap partner, so I have six more left. If anyone else would like to swap, just let me know in the comments! 

And if there's not enough colour in this blog post yet, how about this sunset that I shot a couple of nights ago. My son alerted me to the intense colours in the sky - I could have easily missed it otherwise being glued to the computer screen. I grabbed my camera and literally ran outside so I wouldn't miss it. It was truly magnificent and I'm so glad I caught it! You don't get a sunset like this every day! 

Thanks for all your visits over the years! Happy 10th anniversary! 

Wednesday, 15 May 2019

WOYWW #519: Catching up

The weeks whiz by so incredibly fast - I've missed three weeks of WOYWW again. I'm joining in today at #519, the week before the biggie 10th anniversary and our annual ATC swap.

I jumped in and decided to get a head start on my ATCs on Saturday. This is what my desk looked like with the beginnings of my ATCs:

Later, they evolved to something like this:

In the end, they ended up looking nothing like these. I'll share them next week. 

In order to show you a finished project as well, here's a quickie I did altering a small flower pot. My husband got it from one of his colleagues and when I first saw it, my immediate thought was it needs some colour! It's too small to grow any plants in it, but I might get a small cactus for it. (I just came up with this idea as I was typing!) 

Talking of plants, I haven't shared any avocado photos for months - and that's because it was "hibernating"  for the winter and didn't grow at all. Then about 3-4 weeks ago, after I re-potted it, it started to grow like crazy, at least 7 inches since then. Yesterday, when I got home from work I got a real shock when I saw that it was wilting in direct sun in the hot conservatory. It must have been 40 C degrees in there or even hotter! I thought I'd killed it but it came back to life - I reckon I saved it in the nick of time, so I'm not going to leave it in the conservatory on hot days any more. Some of its new leaves got a bit singed, but I think they will repair themselves. I felt awful when I saw it.  Here's a shot of the new shoot - that's about a third of the whole plant with lots of side shoots coming through. 

Oreo's fur on his bald spot started to grow back, thankfully. At least the £63.59 treatment seems to have worked, though I still feel bitter about being ripped off at the vets - I'm almost certain it would have resolved on its own, but you just don't want to worry. At least I can keep the cream for next time if it happens again. Here he is curled up on my chair in the craft room this morning with not a care in the world.

That's it folks! I'll have to go run some errands today but will be back later to snoop around! 
Happy #519! 

Wednesday, 24 April 2019

WOYWW #516: Grungy Village Dwelling and Garden Furniture Makeover

Oh my, didn't we have a glorious double bank holiday weekend? I was back at work yesterday and will be again tomorrow but I'm off today to join in the weekly desk hop on Julia's Stamping Ground. So, here's a photo of my desk as it was over the Easter weekend.

I'd been wanting that Tim Holtz Village Dwelling die for so long - it had been on my price alerts for ages, so when the price dropped, I snapped it up. Still, way too expensive to justify buying it, but hey, some things you just gotta have! And when I'm tired of it, I'm sure I can sell it for a good price. 

I decided to decorate the dwelling with crackle paste and simply paint it with acrylics. I also bought the fixer-upper thinlits set for the window frames, which I heat embossed with Seth Apter's Chunky Rust Baked Textures. Here's the end result - my little grungy village dwelling:

Another crafty project accomplished over the weekend was the make-over of our old garden furniture, four wooden chairs and a table. We almost threw them away when we moved but I'm glad we didn't. It was a tricky job painting them with a small brush to get into all the nooks and crannies, but it was manageable and quite enjoyable sitting outside in the lovely weather. Some of the chairs still need a top coat - I'll unveil the whole set when it's finished. For now, here's a photo for comparison: 

We've also had our newly acquired rhododendron come into bloom just in time for Easter... 

... and of course the Easter bunny visited as well.

We had a lovely Easter, apart from Oreo requiring a visit to the vets. He's been scratching himself on the back of his neck and lost quite a lot of fur. He's now sporting a very unsightly bald patch (I'll spare you the visuals). I was hoping to pick up something over the counter from Vets4Pets, but they wanted to  see him. I only took him because I was concerned that he might have ringworm, but apparently he doesn't, which is a relief as it would be very difficult to get rid of. Guess how much they charged for a 5-minute consultation and a small tube of ointment that's available over the internet for under ten pounds? £63.59! I didn't have a choice but grit my teeth and pay up. Daylight robbery, bordering on unethical. Well, what can I say, they now have yet another 1-star review on Trustpilot, ha! I'm just hoping the treatment will work and Oreo's fur will grow back soon. 

One more thing to shout about: Marit (of Marit's Paperworld) has kindly asked me to take part in her Quirky Dutch Summer initiative as a guest blogger, which I'm very excited about. Thank you for thinking of me, Marit! I'm looking forward to being part of this creative event this Summer! 

Happy #516 everyone! If I can't get to everyone today, I'll do so over the course of the week!