Wednesday, 31 July 2013


I try and take my Wednesday desk shot around midday on the Tuesday and this was what greeted me.  It was rather apt because after a very busy and interesting weekend, my head was as empty as my desk looks.

Sarah and I had a crafty sleepover on the Friday night and we had such a laugh when we found ourselves stroking papers with glazed eyes!  We followed this up with a crop with Artful Angels on the Saturday.  I went straight from there to a hotel for a night out with some old school friends and I was reminded that I am nearly 40 and not 18 any more.  I love to get dressed up and and go dancing but I can do without sticky dance floors overcrowded with lecherous drunks and all the other problems associated with drinking, such as a nasty fog for about 2 days afterwards!  The fog was such that I had forgotten about all my goodies from the shop at the crop!

Once I had had a cup of tea I decided to unpack my bag and coo over my new papers... stash diet?  What stash diet?  I received my current DT assignment which is the lovely Perfect Summer by Echo Park that you can see along the front there along with a pile of suitable ribbons and washi tapes.  The beautiful floral at the back is a full...ahem... pile... of Crate Paper's The Pier and just to the left of that is a few of the Hipster papers and stickers from Basic Grey.

I also treated myself to a new stamp set by Hero Arts.  Its a bit of an investment but you get loads of stamps in the one set and it will be great for divided pages and also some art journalling, which I am supposed to do regularly anyway!  I've now put them in my pile of things to take down to Wales and see if I can get some rhythm going there for journalling.  I get more inspired there to write and create than anywhere else.  I feel such peace and clarity there.  Heck, maybe I might even get some work done on my book!  (For those who remember my Open University Creative Writing course, I passed with a Grade 2!!!)

Not much peace and clarity here at the moment as we have a four legged house guest who is causing much excitement but is doing a great job of getting us out walking every day.  We are less than a week into the summer holidays and we are pooped already!

So I've shown you mine, now you can show us yours - whether it is a room, a desk, a chair, the floor, a trolley or your lap or whatever, we've seen it all, messy or not, well equipped or not, but its good to share.  Link up with Julia over at Stamping Ground for the regular desk hop around the world.

I think I might need another cuppa...

Bye for now

Tuesday, 23 July 2013


Is it Wednesday yet?  Can I take a breath?  My desk has been a hive of activity with teachers' presents and planning for the holidays.  Trying to coordinate playdates and holidays and visits with lots of other family friends is making the loooong summer holidays seem oh so short!  Remind me I said that when the children are asking me to do more stuff ;-)

So Louis finished Infant school yesterday and Bella finished preschool so it has been a real watershed week.  I managed to get all the presents and cards made that I wanted and they all seemed to go down well.  This was the state of my desk after I had finished...

And this is one of the sets I made.  A desk calender and matching card for his male teacher (thanks for the ideas about charms last week but I just couldn't bring myself to make him something blingy!

(Edited to say that the owls are a Stamping Up punch that I think I got from Fiona and the paper is from Crate Paper School Spirit.)

This post is brought to you by the wonders of What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday.

Bye for now

Sunday, 21 July 2013

The biggest roar!

I've been looking through my computer photo files recently and realising that I've still got a pile of layouts to share...  This one was completed over a year ago at a retreat!

The bright and funky papers are My Minds Eye Alphabet Soup with a sprinkling of brads, buttons and twine.

We used to have passes to the local zoo but often the tigers would be fast asleep or hiding away so we were really pleased to see one of them out and about.  I snapped a few pictures as he did an almighty yawn and then shortly afterwards Louis attempted his own version of a tiger roar.  He has since lost all three of the top teeth you can see there to the tooth fairy - my boy is growing up.

It is only 2 days until the end of term and then Louis will be off to Junior school and Miss Bella starts in Reception.  Big changes ahead.  Which makes me even keener to capture some of the memories we have already made.

Bye for now

Wednesday, 17 July 2013


Something a little bit different from me on this gloriously hot Wednesday.  My workspace has been outside in my garden making bag charms to give to Miss Bella's preschool teachers when she leaves next week (sob!)

I sit with the cushion under my knees and my legs in the sun (this picture wasn't taken at the right time) to try and get some colour on them.  I have my earphones in and a cup of tea and I am more than happy for as long as I can get away with.

I am a very inexperienced beader but I like being able to do something outside that will be a suitable gift in place of another box of chocolates or bottle of wine.  Of course I have no idea what to do for Louis's male teacher!

The children only have a few more days at school and we have great plans for the summer holidays.  I keep refusing to do housework on the basis that it is too hot and the clouds will be back soon enough but it looks set to continue and I don't think I can put it off any longer.  It would be great to be able to sleep during the day (our downstairs is fairly cool but our upstairs is hideously hot because of the bungalow roof) and then get some housework done at night but there is the slight problem of childcare then.  Not much chance of me sleeping with all the plans the children have for us in the next few weeks but I hope at least we will get lots of crafting done together.  I hope your plans include some crafting too!

This post is brought to you by the wonders of What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday!

Bye for now

Wednesday, 10 July 2013


I know us Brits like to talk about the weather but boy oh boy what glorious sunshine we are having right now!  I've barely been in my craft room this week due to the sun and other general franticness but I did manage another card (which I forgot to photograph) and to begin another page in my Devon album.  I tend to leave the opposite page in sight (the one that you can see on the desk there) so that I can choose coordinating colours even though its not a double page spread, if that makes sense.

I realise this looks fairly tidy to some people and a total mess to others so I thought I would share some other images of the mess in my craft room.

Spot the difference?

There is a new cup of tea in the second shot!  Management made it for me in between shots but then I promptly forgot about it and it went cold :-(

A close up of the mess on the desk.  You can see the scrap of paper that I put in each completed page after I have blogged it.

Various piles to my left and in the floor.  The bright pink file under the wonderful Amy Tangerine album is actually for Parent Governor business which I was supposed to be doing this week.... ooops...

Things that desperately need putting away on the surfaces near the printer and die-cutting area.

The basket that is normally on my desk that needs a good sort out.

The side view of my desk that gives you a sense of scale and mess building up on the sides.

More piles on the floor.  The yellow box is full of stuff that needs sorting and putting in its rightful place.  I shall get around to it one day.  I could do with a week of finishing things off and putting things away really!

But alas the house does not clean itself nor does the food cook itself or the clothes wash themselves or stories write themselves whatever whatever.  But no doubt I will find time to be creative at some point this week, even if its just with excuses of what I haven't hoovered ;-)

This post is brought to you in conjunction with What's on Your Workdesk Wednesday.  Clear here for more details.

Bye for now

Sunday, 7 July 2013

STS - Pick Your Precious - Miss Sparks

Welcome to another Story Telling Sunday hosted by Sian at High In The Sky.  I've not been able to join in as much as I would have liked for this year's story idea of Pick Your Precious, but something on Sian's blog earlier in the week reminded me of this little lady and I felt compelled to post.

Allow me to introduce Miss Sparks (geddit?) who represents teachers in a little dragon world invented by an old colleague of mine.  Kay was a SENCO (Special Needs Coordinator) in the primary school that I worked at as a Teaching Assistant but she also wrote books about dragons for children and made models of her characters and created other crafts to sell alongside them.  I lost touch with her many years ago so I have no idea if she is still teaching or writing but I happen to know that she is still creating these lovely dragons.

I came by Miss Sparks when I left the school to return to full time parenting.  I had gone back to work after having Louis but I hadn't really settled.  After a few months my child minder decided to have her own family and we had the potential hassle of finding someone else to cover me for a job I no longer felt comfortable in.  It was never a financial decision; the way TAs are paid mean't that I was actually paying more for childcare than I was earning, so it was a bit of a no brainer really and I decided to leave.  Kay had been really supportive since I went back and was disappointed to lose me from the team as I had been excited about training to become a Higher Level TA and one day get my PGCE and become a teacher.  When she gave me Miss Sparks, she said it was to remind me of my promise to her to return to teaching in some form in the future.

Nearly 6 years on and with my second child, my baby girl, about to start school in September, I have thought a lot about my future and what I want to do.  Everyone expects people to go back to work once their children are in school full time.  Education has changed so much since I last worked though and there are rumblings of phasing out TAs.  The economic situation means the market for primary teachers has been flooded even more than before and competition for training places is intense.  I still want to be around for my children if they are ill or on holidays or inset days and I want to be involved in their school lives.  I've recently become a Parent Governor and I like to attend any events at the school such as sports days and concerts etc.  I'm hoping to help out come October too.  As for what I do at home, well there is still my writing which I hope to devote more time to and perhaps start to put feelers out to get published and of course there is my crafting which keeps me busy but obviously doesn't make me much money!

I am of course teaching my own children every day and Louis is now on the Gifted and Talented register for Science and Literacy and received straight 3s in his Key Stage 1 SATS, so I'm rather proud of that!  So we shall see how things go, but in the meantime I can look at Miss Sparks and I am reminded of my desire to encourage learning in children, perhaps to teach, and hope that Kay understands.  It is a reminder of a really challenging and changing time in my life and I love her even though one of the children broke her tail years ago...

Have you got something precious that has a story attached?  Share it with others across the world in Story Telling Sunday.

Bye for now

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

WOYWW 213 (really!)

Good morning, good yawning!  I know we always go on about how it can't be Wednesday again so soon but seriously?!  Both Smalls went up to their new schools yesterday because it is nearly the end of the school year.  THAT makes me nervous because it means we are over half way through the year already and I have only just put away my Winter coat!

Not much time spent at my desk this week, which won't help my mental state, but the sun certainly will so that's okay.  Although it ran away and hid again yesterday so I did some colouring with my girl and then almost finished another page for my Devon album.

Last Wednesday I mentioned that I was taking some photos of my niece and her baby boy.  I was rather pleased with several of the pictures, despite not being anything of a photographer really, and I will share some of the better ones in another post but I can't resist showing you this one.  Beaulieu makes such a wonderful backdrop.

Right oh, cuppa and a Slimming World cereal bar and then I will be around.  Don't forget to link up with Julia to see the rest of the desks around the world and find out more about What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday.

Bye for now