Wednesday, 27 October 2010

What's on your workdesk? Wednesday

There is quite a mess on my workdesk today, as you can see! Apart from a box of home made chutneys and pickles made from produce grown on my allotment, there is still a lot of kitchen clutter. I am struggling to find space for this after the recent work in the kitchen (previous blogs show work in action). More interesting are my mini albums that I am leaving to hand as I want to work on these as and when time allows. I have only one page of the Alice in Wonderland album to do. It seems to be taking forever, but that's only because I keep starting new projects rather than finish what I began! Do you do this too?

This morning I went to a craft shop with my daughter and 2 granddaughters. My own workdesk is out of action just now due to the building work so it was back to Emma's to work. We had a bit of a production line going. Emma is expecting her third baby any day and wanted to make 'washable wipes'. These are small squares of terry towelling backed with microfibre. Emma likes to use environmentally friendly options so these are for nappy changes instead of disposable wipes. While Emma cut the fabric, I sewed them together on my overlocker, and my granddaughter removed the pins. We ended up with over 30 and we have about another 30 to make.

It was a good day and I finally feel I have christened my overlocker. At last!! Some time ago I took a one day course but despite all good intentions to practice and use it regularly it has remained in the box until today. Now my confidence has finally increased and I hope we will find lots of other reasons to use it.

As for my mini albums and and True Stories notebook - these remain untouched today. However, I liked Shimelle's prompt from yesterday. She suggested you can use numbers in your writing, so briefly I'll add a small glimpse of my day:

ONE messy workdesk, currently out of use
ONE car packed with overlocker and materials: ready to go
THREE generations drive to the craft shop
Bought FOUR new cones of thread for the overlocker and
SIX metres of tape - I want to experiment with printing onto it
TWO pieces of 'The Hungry Catapillar' fabric bought - with new baby in mind
FOUR hungry people have delicious meal on way home
TWO children revived
TWO cups of tea enjoyed and
FOUR slices of scrummy gingerbread cut, before we set to work
TWO pairs of scissors snipping away
HUNDREDS of shiney pins carefully placed
THREE busy people making washable wipes
ONE little person busy playing on the floor
THIRTY neatly stacked fabric pieces
FOUR of us tired and satisfied
ONE enjoyable day

I wonder what sort of day you had?

To find out more about What's on your workdesk? Wednesday - follow this link:

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

I have questions AND answers.....

My notebook and pen, all ready to go....

The first prompt for my new course was questions and answers. In my last post I said I would be handwriting rather than using the keyboard. However, this prompt seemed a great idea for a blog, so I thought I would try it out.
The idea is that I pose myself questions that other people sometimes put to me. Here goes:

Q. “I understand your children never went to school. Why did you chose to home educate?”
A. I was basically dissatisfied with my own education. I remember looking out of the classroom window thinking “that’s where it happens”. I was also frustrated learning what other people thought was important when I had my own ideas. So, my own children had a very different education and this period of my life is one of my happiest and most satisfying. They have grown into amazing adults who I am very proud of. I am so glad that I followed my intuition.

Q. “You work a long way from home and this involves using a motorway notorious for its congestion and problems. Why do you do it?”
A. I sometimes wonder myself, especially when it took me 4.5hrs to get to work! But basically, I work in a specialist area and I choose to travel rather than do something I am not passionate about.

Q. “You are always busy, and yet still find time to do lots. How do you manage to fit it all in?”
A. I’m one of those people that thrive on stimulation and new challenges. In a nutshell, I work hard and play hard. My creative work is a healthy balance even if it does mean I have lots of balls up in the air most the time!!

Q. My husband and my hairdresser have both asked “What did you do today?”
A. Perhaps not what I should have done! That would have meant sorting out problems left from knocking down a wall in the kitchen. I still have contents of the cupboards to put away but lacked energy and enthusiasm. And so I went to visit my Mum, bought a new pen to go with my notebook, and went to the hairdressers. I also spent time on the computer, visiting blogs and downloading photos. Oh yes, and I confirmed a dinner date with friends. We plan an evening to catch up after our recent stay at the Gypsy Camp. We’ll be sharing photos, happy memories and hopefully discussing plans for another camp next year!

I’d love to see some of your own questions and answers. Do leave me a link if you use this idea.

If you want to know more about ‘True Stories’ here is the website:

Monday, 25 October 2010


Today is the start of a new e-course, 'True Stories'. I am rather addicted to Shimelle's courses and am learning so much from them. This one is different from others I've enrolled on. This one focus's on writing, something I love to do. But most of my writing these days is work related and as much as I like the idea of adding journalling to my scrapbook pages and mini albums I'm not really sure how to go about it in a way that is meaningful. I've even got a couple of projects half finished so I hope this course will liberate , challenge and inspire me. Shimelle encourages you to take a pen and paper for this course. She's quite right, while I love my computer it can not replace the feel and look of a beautiful pen, and the tactile cover and pages of a book. Like many others I love stationary, am often tempted into buying notebooks that I do not need, and so it is really good to put one of them to use. I love the pink one with the embroidered satin cover, but for this course I think I will choose the floral one. I have piles of pens, but for this course I think I will treat myself to one that is a bit more special. Tomorrow I will go to the shop and as I have to use black ink at work, I will choose one that is NOT black.
Shimelle reminds me that typing and writing by hand are completely different processes to the brain. I have missed writing in a notebook. I am looking forward to doing this again.
If you want to know more about the course go to

I'll let you know how it goes!

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

$1 Wednesday

Scrummy downloads for just $1 today at
Specially liked Calico Dream, Life is Good, & Crystal's December Sparkle Papers. Can't wait to use them!!!

Monday, 18 October 2010


I have had a great day. I set off first thing for Cambridgeshire and spent the day with Moira. This was the first time we have met after getting to know each other in May when enrolled on the same e-course (Kelly Rae Roberts - Taking Flight). At the time we learned we had things in common and have kept in touch when the course finished. We learned:

* We are around the same age and share the same birthday
* We both have a daughter and a son
* and two granddaughters of similar age
* We are both registered nurses
* We are both passionate about creating and plan to sell our work

It was SO good to finally meet up. I had a lovely drive, no hold ups, no getting lost. Infact the journey was much quicker than we both anticipated so I do hope we can get together from time to time.
So what did we get up to?
Well, a part from chatting non stop we lost no time in looking at each others creative work. Moira has posted photos on her blog, but they do not do justice to her actual work. I was both amazed and buzzing with inspiration. In November I am going to Belstead House for a residential weekend. Moira is teaching so I am looking forward to it more than ever now! Moira is VERY talented and I loved the background papers she makes, they are STUNNING!
Moira was kind enough to show me how to screen print on to fabric. I had great fun and came home with lots of prints that I will work on. Here are a few pictures :

We discovered the stem of the ivy was too thick and left a very broad stem on the printed area. You learn by experience. We played around with different ideas and I love the prints I made. Thank you so much, Moira! I had a GREAT day and look forward to meeting up again soon.

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Do we, don't we, do we???

All thoughts of posting a blog this week have been put off due to big decisions being made, followed by the chaos that followed. Anyone who knows us will tell you our home is constantly being changed. To the point where my sister, who visits once a year or so, will step in the front door and ask "where do I go?"
I had intended to post some of my recent creative work, but instead I will show some photos of the current work in progress and once the dust has settled I'll get back on track. So, what have we been up to?

I'd like to say this is the finished result. But instead it was part of my kitchen before the work began. After a major rebuild 6 years ago we have never felt happy with the layout and have rearranged the furniture time and time again. So we finally decided to stop being indecisive and to do something about it. It may work, it may not, but we know from the past that we can change it if in the end we don't like what we do! And so the units were removed and down came the wall:

Since the cupboards are not yet reinstalled their contents are all over the floor, in boxes, on the table, and where ever else they can fit. There is a constant "have you seen the flour, vingegar, spices?" It's not been made any easier by a glut of vegetables that I picked from the allotment yesterday, and needed to pickle and prepare for storage. But we've had lots of experience over the years and take all this in our stride. I just hope when it is finished that we will be more comfortable with the new layout of the area that we mainly live in. I'll post more photos as work progresses. Meanwhile, I need to climb over the ladder and tools and prepare the potatoes I dug up yesterday. I've managed to pickle some of the 15 cucumbers, and chopped a red cabbage. That is now being salted, ready for pickling tomorrow. It's a nice thought that when we open the jars at Christmas, the building work might be finished and we'll be cosy around the log burner. But then again, those who know us might just laugh at my optomism!

Tuesday, 5 October 2010


I have just returned home from a 3 day creative camp which I arranged with friends. We slept in Gypsy Caravans and relaxed and ate in a bowtop tent, which we soon made very homely and comfortable. It was all pretty basic, with candles as our only means of light. We had looked forward to cooking on an open fire in the orchard, but due to rain and mud we had to resort to calor gas. But our spirits were not dampened in the least. As only women can together, we rallied round, set the table with flowers, opened a bottle of wine, and kept ourselves warm with a small log burner.

We ate wonderful home grown-cooked meals, sang, told bedtime stories and created for hours and hours. It was so good to be with friends, sharing what we know and do, and learning new things each day.
I will post more photos and some of the things we made next time.

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