Wednesday, 21 June 2017

WOYWW 420 the hot one

Welcome deskers to a very hot WOYWW .  Julia is away on her holibobs but hopefully leaving a linky to our weekly desk gathering here

England is in the grips of a heatwave (I don't like heat but am determined not to moan too much....!)  but it is as much as I can do to drag myself to work and back (no air conditioning in my office, I am not in the posh new one!) so no crafting has been done again..
I have managed to shop though!

Paperartsy are releasing some new stamps by some of their designers this week and so far I've ordered 3 lots (the two that have arrived here and a third in progress!)

hopefully you can make out the images in the two sets at the top, which are by Sara Naumann and will be great for journalling but all kinds of other things too. The bottom two are by Tracy Scott and are fab!
The big star on the set on the right, made me think of comics and the "wham" "pow" explosion type speech bubbles that they use in comics - although it could be that I saw them at the time that Batman (Adam West) died... or is it just the heat doing weird things to me?!

The cable is from my fan which is attempting to keep me cool (but really is just wafting warm air about)

I went to Kew again last Saturday, and took a gazillion photos of poppies (amongst other things) - I know several of you saw the link on Facebook but if you missed it, they can be seen here 
Neet, in answer to your suggestion, yes I do intend to make them into calendars one year!
Not sure when I'll be able to visit, depends on the heat - Wednesday today  is meant to be unbearable again! (I am writing this in advance on Tuesday night) I may have to wait till later in the week when it cools down.

Wednesday, 14 June 2017


Another week has flown by with nothing done craft-wise in between desk posts. But once again it is time to share my desk today with the lovely Julia

On Saturday I got home from the hairdresser's to find a box on the doorstep.. well tucked by the step and the wheelie bin..
it was a very little box (I know you can't get the sense of scale from the photo) - I was expecting something, but was a bit surprised at the small-ness of the box!
 some Jane Davenport washi tape.. the flat packet is described as "sheets" of tape and although they didn't break the bank, I was kind of expecting them to be bigger...
the rolls of tape, 7 different ones, all with faces, and different widths, had also appealed to me!

This brand is only newly available in the UK and I know that it is quite a pricey one anyway..
Time will tell if I get anything else from the range..
 I really really missed going to Kew last weekend (not that I'd have been able to go anyway had I not had the hair appointment, due to weekend engineering works on the train) ... I think the lack of a long walk in the fresh air contributed to me being bored on Sunday and couldn't settle to anything crafty.

I did get round to putting together the top 2 boxes in this tower of boxes...
they have big poppers (that you can possibly see on the front), so fit together quite easily... They come from The Works... two for £10

These 4 boxes hold my Paperartsy stamps - there were previously in just the bottom 2, but I have spread them out a bit as they were getting a bit crushed and some of the stamps were getting damaged... so now they have room to breathe (and I have ready made space for new ones... which are being released this week.... guess who's already been shopping!)

no progress has been made on the journal page from last time; even though I still don't think it's finished.

I did put some washi tape (no idea where this one came from!) on the last page in the book... and there it has sat, again...

So that's me for this week... will be hopping along to your desks soon.

Happy WOYWW!

I will be going to Kew this weekend (weather permitting) so stand by for more photos!

Wednesday, 7 June 2017


Happy Wednesday deskers - you know the ritual.. Link here click, drool at desks  and comment...

I am going to be really short and sweet today, as I don't have a lot to share.. my WOYWW anniversary atc arrived safely last Thursday from Elizabeth and Bleubeard, in double quick time from the States..  I knew immediately what the envelope was as it was covered in her trademark rocking horse stamp!
 It came wrapped in some gorgeous purple handmade paper

here's a close up

I was going to stop there, but decided to add a couple of journal pages -
I have added a little to the page from last week...  intensified the colours in the circles, added some stamping and some texture paste stencilled splatters.  re-purposed some washi tape that had come wrapped round an order a few weeks ago

It's still not finished!

and finally...  no words needed
I love London and the dreadful attack won't stop me visiting, exploring and photographing.. 

Have a good week.   
Last week's Kew trip here (yes, again!) 

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

WOYWW 417 - the atcs are landing..

.. which is somewhat embarrassing as I only had two (as you saw) to send out myself.
But first, let me welcome you back to WOYWW as we start the 9th year.. I was able to visit every desk last week but couldn't comment on the google + desks, sorry Sarah!

Despite having a long Bank Holiday weekend, I don't have any finished "stuff" to share as I just lazed about after going to Kew on Saturday morning (pics here if you are interested, some of you have seen already)

But first the atcs - I knew that Jo and Annie had kindly put me on their list of recipients but I was delighted to also receive one from Jan and yesterday from our lovely Julia too...
My swappee was Elizabeth (and Bleubeard) and hers is on it's way so I will share that another time.

top left is a dumfing beauty from Jo, top right is Annie; together with a card and poem inside.

bottom left ( or middle, really) is Julia's and bottom right is Jan's a gorgeous copy of her new blog header.

I think you will agree, that they are all gorgeous.

there is a bit of faffing going on again in the journal though, although it's not done yet and I haven't taken the picture in close up just to tease you a bit!

short and sweet for me today, happy desking.

Sunday, 28 May 2017

For Manchester...

The tragic events of Monday night's bomb attack in Manchester have affected everyone. There are no words...

This journal page is to show solidarity.... the background started with loads of leftover paint and Lindy's sprays smooshed about,  and I can't remember what else!  I don't have any pictures of it in progress

the wall is Tim's mini layering stencil, with crackle paste (Deco Art) which makes lovely aged brickwork.

The bees are the symbol of Manchester that were already seen around to represent Manchester's worker history, but are now everywhere apparently (not living anywhere near I cannot say I have seen them, but the radio has been talking of it)....

The bees are by JoFY and stamped on the original (discontinued)  Paperartsy tissue paper (hoarding it!) and coloured with Fresco paints in Yellow Submarine and Brown Shed (over the black stamping)

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

WOYWW 416 - we've been doing this 8 years!

Eight years of desking (I didn't join in right at the beginning, and back when I started blogging and began joining in, in those days only had a film camera, not digital - so had to rush to get pictures developed to share) - eight years through which we have seen friendships (real and virtual) forged and strengthened - thank you SO much Julia, for starting this, and keeping it going through thick and thin all this time.  To all the deskers who have visited and shared their own desks and stories and lives - it's been great fun!

If you really need more whys and wherefores (how? I just told you, it's been 8 years....!) then the link to the desks and all the info are available at Stamping-Ground

so this week, do I have new stash to share?  is my name Helen?  of course I do...  balls I say!

 polystyrene ones!

and some new stamps

and some paper dolls

I actually bought them a few weeks ago, in a local shop that has a fairly basic craft department upstairs with some art goods too... they're intended for use (the big ones certainly) for some Powertex experiment when I get time...
I was somewhat bemused by the idea of Tim Holtz bringing out paper dolls (memories of childhood with badly fitting paper clothes with little paper tabs that always tore so the clothes fell off...) but when the eventually came back in stock I grabbed a pack.

So once again we are doing an ATC swap/PIF for the anniversary..  I haven't been able to make loads, but have one for my swap partner and one for Julia for her friendship... I probably should keep them secret till they've been delivered, but there isn't anything else to share on here today, so have included them.

coloured with distress oxides and the flowers are coloured with that fateful gold spray

Now, I am off to clean up the backs and get them ready for posting....

Happy happy WOYWW and, once again, thanks to Julia (and Jan who steps in when needed) for sterling work in the desking department!
Here's to the next 8 years!

The world can be a scary place sometimes but remember - there are happy places too, and WOYWW and it's participants is one of them.  I am proud to be a part of it.

Wednesday, 17 May 2017


No sooner have I cleared gold powder off my trousers than we are back again.. no more disasters luckily!

Time for another desk share then... have been shopping again (and only some of the orders have arrived, to tease you all..)

a nice large picture for you to see easily... some fabulous new stencils by Stencil Girl (courtesy of Artist Trading Post) and my replacement Lindy's sprays... not mixed them up yet.
the stamps are a gift from a friend who was having a bit of a de-stash and these were the ones I opted for... and a pack of Yupo paper which (once she found it!) she's been offering to send for me to try for ages.
as you can see I've used one of the stamps already, on a pre-played with journal page...

Oxides again, for colour.
Hiding in the background, some tissue wrap (Tim Holtz) that I had used for a birthday card..

  Some mark making with white and black paint and stencilled flowers (a Donny Downey stencil) with black gesso.

Another one of the stamps from Miriam, always love a dream stamp !

this journal is now nearly full, just a couple of pages left - can't wait to start a new one!
 The gold trees are progressing... lots of texture paste round the edges - there was a layer there last week, but I have added to it, to highlight the white edges where the gold didn't spread.
added some birds flying round the trees
and some tone on tone yellowy-orange stamping in the background. you can't see it very well in this picture

We'll see how this comes on for next time!
Depending on whether the new stash has arrived  that may also make an appearance..

till then, happy desking - see you at Julia's 
sorry to keep you longer than I should... hope I don't get told off!

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

WOYWW 414 - an oops moment

Hi deskers welcome to another Wednesday WOYWW  As always our lovely host is Julia

Regular visitors will be not at all surprised to learn I have done nothing with either the book or the box yet.
On to the desk... a tale of oops indeed..  Artist Trading Post recently got in some Lindy's sprays.  Everyone I know raves about these sprays.. I took advantage of a special offer and ordered 4 to give them a go... They came on Thursday.  I opened the parcel at work and thought... oh.  bubble wrap looks kind of orange.  Didn't think much more of it...

I didn't unwrap the bubble wrap till the following morning, sitting on the sofa, ready for work, in black trousers...
You can see from the picture the mess... no wonder the bubble wrap looked orangey (gold actually) - one of the bottles had smashed in the post and the powder (you mix it yourself with warm water) was everywhere.. including my trousers..  This is how I left it and went to work..
sparkling gently....

On Saturday I salvaged what I could and tipped the remaining powder into a bottle (not a lot!) . What I thought was a bottle lid just not being screwed up tight, was a completely smashed bottle.   I tipped the powder contained in the bubble wrap onto a couple of journal pages and spritzed with water..
two very gold pages - one in my smaller (A5) journal and one double page spread in the big A4 one...

very very gold!
later on in the weekend I added to the big pages - the tree is a huge foam stamp by Donna Downey - you may have seen some of her stamps, they come glued to an acrylic mount.

I used cut and dry foam to apply black paint (Little Black Dress by Fresco) - the lumpy pages beneath made the stamping a bit wobbly, so I filled in some bits with a paintbrush.

it's not all bad news though, as ATP are sending a replacement (and a second, as compensation) which should be here soon.. So a big thumbs up for service - thanks Sue!
And, thank goodness it comes as dry powder, not ready mixed spray!!

Have a good week, and happy WOYWW!

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

WOYWW 413 - May already!

Welcome to the first WOYWW of May... anyone else feel this year is simply flying?!  It's time for another desk-fest... Julia as always, hosts at The Stamping-Ground

you'll never guess what has finally arrived! yep, the last 4 distress oxides!
 I've had a bit of a foraging week... and work know me well!  We had some new business cards arrive, and the old ones were shredded... someone was going to throw the boxes away... WHAT!!!!  These boxes are perfect for little trinkets and embellishments. (I have lots already)

the next day I got to my desk and found a box on it with a note... saying Monica (my boss) thought I could do something with it.... she meant it as a joke... but it's fabulous!
You can see it has a sliding lid... it's lined with foam which I'll take out.. but how could you NOT like it!

Then, on Saturday, I was heading down the High Street on my way to my hairdressers.
The Library were selling off some sold stock, and I had time to rummage... I was looking for a foreign language book, but there were only dictionaries, which I didn't want.

I did see a book of lettering and illuminating
techniques... a snip at 90p (considering £1 is currently about $1.29)
Not decided yet if I'll just use loose pages for projects, or keep the book whole and do an altered book... either way, I have plans for it!  Although, of course, if I do an altered book, I will have spare pages anyway... win win!

finally, another journal page in progress.

the music comes from a book of tuba music.

hmm.... wonder who could have donated that!!

so far, only infusions, dry brushed Fresco paint, crackle paste and gesso... now in the thinking stage!!

Hope you've enjoyed your snoop, see you at yours soon!
Oh, and I went to Kew on Monday.. pics here 

Wednesday, 26 April 2017


Wow, Wednesday again already!  Time to assemble at Julia's once again for our weekly desk share...

Still can't show you my remaining Oxides - but I have had the email saying they're on the way.. which will mean I have the full set.   It also means they will probably turn up today at work..
 I mentioned in my post on Saturday (below this one) that I'd bought some bits - just a few - at the Stitching and Hobbycrafts show at Excel (which I wrongly named Stitching and Papercrafts in my blog post)
here they are.  a metre of calico, some lengths of rikrak and some flowers.  nothing exciting at all!
On Sunday I was playing with the Oxides I do already have and getting some backgrounds started for (hopefully) some birthday cards..
you may recognise the Carabelle stamps from last week on the A4 sheet of card sitting on my journal.

Still to decide if these will make the grade for the cards I need for early May.. if I remember, I will share the results! I have been really bad at remembering to photograph finished cards lately before getting them in the post!

I did find it hard to blend the Oxides on my journal - I think it would have helped if I'd prepped the page with gesso or white paint. I definitely need more play time with these - but I do love the soft colours and the way you can layer colour on top of colour without it muddying.   The images stamped on the journal page are some of Elenazinski for Paperartsy

Hope to catch up with your desks soon.

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Stitching Sewing and Papercraft show, Excel

I had a free ticket to this show, didn't decide to go until the last minute.... wasn't really worth it, in truth, but I did see some amazing embroidery

 it was nice to see the Cardigan for Cardigan though, knitted by people from (you guessed it) Cardigan...

 it's touring the shows... I've seen it on (I think) Jozart's blog..
 fabulous quilting on a Sea theme
and the Embroidery Guild (hope you can read this) had some stunning work on show.

 just stunning... enlarge them, do!

 this one in particular was amazing...

so was this
 it was fairly crowded.. (people getting in my way, lol!)
 these fabric dolls were fabulous..
should have noted the lady's name!

she was painting the faces on the stand, but didn't see any kits for sale (not that I'd have bought one)

nothing else very interesting...

did I come away empty handed?  well. no.
I bought a metre of calico (for powertexing or some other mixed media purpose) and some lengths of rikrak.. I haven't photographed them!
 outside the show but still inside the Excel I met some aliens!!

and a load of people signing in for tomorrow's London Marathon!  (I'll be watching from my normal viewpoint of the sofa!)

Having only stayed an hour, and seen everything, I decided to head for - surprise surprise - Kew!
see here for the pics! 

Wednesday, 19 April 2017


so after a lovely long weekend for Easter, it is back to work and the normal daily ... I'd say grind - I do enjoy my job, but 4 days is just long enough to start to get used to being home!  I had a couple of days out (the Tall Ships festival and Kew) and a couple of days doing not much...

 the Carabelle Studio stamps I mentioned last week arrived in speedy time (unlike my last Distress Oxides which are still being processed by Oyster who say they got a bit behind with orders... yes didn't they just!)

I have already used the windows stamp on a card but forgot to take a photograph of it before rushing it in the post..

The London skyline is to go with my Paris one that I already have... and the tulips - well I just liked them! (saw them in a you-tube video or blog post somewhere...)

but they've been put away (kind of)

and I had a bit of a play in my nearly full journal
but don't worry, I've got lots of new ones ready lined up to start when this is full!
Hopefully next week I really will have had my final Oxides - certainly the ones I have had and used, I love.  Happy desk hopping... time to get on here!  the link as always is here at Julia's Stamping Ground 

Monday, 17 April 2017

It's all about the birds..

So I've been playing in my soft cover journal and thought I had some pictures from the starting point... only it seems not!

Straight to the chase then..
this is the only one I have of the background... it was blue leftover paint and stencilled texture paste through the "art is" stencil and some scraps of tissue wrap...... (this was going to be another entry for the blue and ochre Paperartsy challenge)


I added some torn scraps of book pages

 I dripped some white Amsterdam ink down the pages and then across the pages to create some random shapes...

I doodled round the white drip marks with a black micron pen

it struck me (because I never plan these things)
that some of the Elenazinski birds would fit perfectly..

 it would have been best if I had applied a light layer of gesso before stamping the birds but I didn't think of that until too late...
 but it helped for the leaves and petals!

I just stamped parts of the flowers that would fit in my holes

I used big Pitt pens and Stabilo felt pens to colour the images
 I did some white pen mark making and highlighting

and that was that!