Wednesday, December 22, 2010

What's on Your Christmas Workdesk Wednesday?

Well, it seems like my whole house is my work-desk at the moment as Christmas descends...along with more of the wintry, white offerings from above.
My favourite collection of baubles has come out of hibernation and the tree is all dolled up, awaiting a nice stack of presents that are yet to be wrapped. Piles of plastic bags, Amazon boxes and unruly wrapping paper have taken over the spare room...Still ticking off the shopping list - agreed to cook The Big Dinner for my sister (as new babe is ruling the roost) but...doing it together with my mum, so all is well. Famous last words...

Yesterday was spent entirely in the kitchen being a right Mrs. Beaton, in an attempt to avoid a Christmas Eve marathon. After thirty-six mince pies, twenty-eight sausage rolls (all home-made pastry!), a supermarket spree in a blizzard, a swim in a deserted pool, a Christmas cake for the out-laws and a fab hubby on the washing was time to call it quits! Yes - it's a madness and chaotic frenzy that I thrive upon. It's true - we do all suddenly seem to be more bothered and make more of an effort, but that is a good thing. Family, friends and time are not a given.

 Today I was off to do battle with the crowds of die-hard shoppers seeing as half my stuff is stranded in some forlorn shipping depot. The main enemy turned out to be the icy blasts of hail and the ghastly sludge on the streets. Yuk...snow can sure turn nasty. I know the random weather is causing big problems for many of you out there. Above all else I hope you are all safe, and secondly you will all be able to partake of the Christmas Spirit - however you choose to celebrate and wherever you may be. Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy...!

Dare to hang up that stocking, sneak all the big purple ones out of the Quality Street tin, be thankful for those "Oooh, that's um...uh different" gifts and hope that Santa brings you a few goodies to show us all next time. Two more days at work for me  - but sandwiched with a trip to the hairdresser and the nail salon for a bit of pampering - it's Holiday Time Darlings!

May the Festive Season be very, very good to you all.

With love,

Sarah x

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

WOYWW, Challenges, Workshops and Festive Faffing Around...

Hello to all,

As the title suggests...rather a lot been done, going on and still to do. Firstly, thanks so much for all the lovely words regarding my Christmas card. All done and on their way to doors afar! Yes, indeed, I did the lot. Meant to take a photo of the whole lot but forgot. Darn, you will just have to believe me. I must confess to stopping with the home-spun darlings at number 45 and using 20 bought ones to complete the job. But I don't mind admitting that. I'm pretty darn chuffed to have got as far as I did!

Onto another Seasonal Sweetie... I really wanted to create a Christmas hanging for myself and here it is. There are just so many wonderful colours, techniques, textures, images  and materials out there so I decided to put some of my most beloved ones together in one piece. I played around with some pencil sketches to help me think up the layout and colours. It was quite a project but a joy all the way.
I have decided to enter it into a few challenges, including the Show us a Tim Technique over at Simon Says Stamp and Show. Seeing as I have used my Snow Cap dabber and Distress Inks on the canvas background, Distress powders on the tree tag, Distress Inks to stamp and colour edges, Gold embossing, made a Cranberry-Dabber painted Grunge rose, water-coloured my angel with Distress inks, sanded and distressed all the edges galore... I think it counts. At The Artistic Stamper the monthly theme is also Christmas-so how can I resist?

I am of course the forever-vintage fan but I like the addition of the metal (Kabuka mould) to give it a bit more of an edge. The red tile was done with a sticky back canvas transfer which is just such a great textural way to use up all those paper scraps and turn them into something new.
Again...loving Viva Gold and all the lustre it can add.

So this Saturday another workshop...making a version of this canvas. Turned my humble kitchen into a serious Crafting Boot Camp. I had a fab group of ladies, but I was rather optimistic with my timing...the steam was coming off the scissors instead of the mince-pies.

Before - oooh, so clean and lovely. All kitted up and ready to go.

During...go ladies...go ladies..go ladies...

And After...

Just in time for them all to get home for Strictly Come Dancing whilst I scrape the glue from my kitchen table...aaah, such is life. Time for me to sign off again and get over to all your creative corners, desks, floors and minds.

Wishing you all lots of Festive Spirit, Inspiration, Peace and Joy.


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

What's on your Workesk Wednesday?????

Hello to everyone looking in - wherever you may be. If you are on the wintery side of the planet I hope you are keeping yourself well-toasted. Next week it could be real snow on my work-desk.
Cor blimey, me loves, is it cold ?! I am waddling around like a Sumo wrestler with all these clothes on... and I still feel cold ! Looking forward to it being zero again! I admitted last week to being a right old Christmas lover and now I have the true weather for the season too. Also very glad to say I made the top three again at Simon Says Stamp and Show with last weeks tag!!! (see my previous post...)

I also confessed to the urge to become a crafty-couch-potato and buy some Christmas cards. Well, after lots of lovely encouragements and a wrist slap from Doone I have decided to be a good girl and do my loyal duty to the realms of paper...

I felt a bit over-whelmed as I will have to make at least sixty and I also want them to be something special and not just churn them out like old  tin cans...also a bit tired after all the shenanigans in Paris!
The colours, trends and Tim Tagmania are all great stuff, don't get me wrong, but I really felt the need for something simple and pure and something that is me. Tones of white and brown have been tapping at my window for a while and after a spontaneous half hour of dabbling and musing, my little star of joy came to be...and I just adore her.

I have used some cardboard from cup-holder strips collected from various cafes! I added some gesso, distress ink, made a mini-tag from old Bible-scraps and layered it up with some old string, added joy with my stamps and some vintage lace. Can't stamp much there - so the choice was simple! The card base is made using a plain old manilla office envelope which I decided to liven up with a bit of stitching on my machine...and a little gold bling with my ever-faithful thread. Just playing with slight variations now.

So there you go sweet, simple and snowy-white... just how I would like my Christmas to be. I hope you all have a good week and enjoy the holiday season - whichever way you are preparing or celebrating. Make it yours...and enjoy!
My motto is ..."Plenty of what you long for, and lots and lots of what you need!"
Thank you all so much for the visits, kind words, new followers and the pleasure found in kindred folk.

The winner of the goodies is Elizabeth! All the way up in snowy Ayr...hopefully it will get there for Christmas!

Farewell for now,


Leaving you with a winter scene of Cruckton, near Shrewsbury, taken by new camera buff hubby...

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

WOYWW, December, Simon Says Challenge....and a give-away!

Festive, chilly, December greetings to everyone! So the big freeze, the month beginning with "D" and the snow flurries have arrived - how seasonal can you get?
To start things off, I have made a tag with a kind of seasonal and wintery feel. I stamped the leaves with my Snow-cap dabber before applying the distress inks - always love how that comes out. Then I carried on building up the layers with more stamping and embellishments, finishing off with a vintage lace edge. I am entering it into the tag challenge over at Simon Says Stamp and Show. I actually started this tag in Paris in a great workshop with Linda Elbourne and finished it off today.
Although I sincerely hope that no one is stranded on the motorway, or stuck at home with off-school kiddies or a bikini-wear model - I  for one am up for the Festive beginnings. I just love all the great things about Christmas time and I plan to savour the whole season (ask me again on Christmas morning when I'm stuffing the mince pies and icing the turkey...)

Sunday I returned from Paris from the Paper and Co show. It was a rather chaotic up and down experience indeed. Didn't expect The Ritz but wasn't quite prepared for Brownie Camp bunk-beds, being right out in the sticks and lots of snoring. But enough drivel...there were some fabulous teachers, I enjoyed doing both old and new things and it was great to meet new folk from all over the world.

Here is a mini journal I made in Caroline Rondels class. I love how the freestyle stitching, paint splashes and simplicity of the whole book just all work together. I like the combination of wildness and femininity. Also finished the last details off today - being strict with myself and making sure I clear the "works in progress" corner.

Here is a view of the back where I added some extra details and shapes of my own. I still have lots of other things to show, but I need to tweak them and save them for another blog-day.

And the give-away. I received a whole ton of goodies in Paris. I gave lots away there as I was already up to my 20 kilo luggage allowance and I still came back with a haul!


 Today I finally mustered up the energy to unpack my case and all my craft supplies. I thought it would be nice to share some with you. So if you fancy a big pack of Festive stamps, some chipboard shapes and a nifty Multi-tool from Fiskars, just become a follower of my blog, leave a comment and I will pick a winner next week. Anyone can join in - I will post abroad.

I have to decide on whether or not I do a marathon Christmas Card session this week - or dare I say it -  buy. Mmmm. This fair damsel must thinketh it over. Looking forward to some free time tomorrow and a good old nosey around your desks - will do as many as I can!

Stay warm, loved and sane,

Sarah xxx