Wednesday 30 April 2014


I do keep meaning to post more than my desk for What's on Your Workdesk Wednesday but I still haven't properly recovered from the last few months and got back into a routine yet.  I did spend Saturday crafting in a good cause though at a 12 hour charity crop for Naomi House children's hospice and you can see one of the layouts I made after my desk shot.

And here it is...
 Points to note: I was finishing up some DT work (partially hidden under the letter stickers) because I didn't like it, it didn't seem finished.  I added some twine with some tacky glue and I like it more now.  I had actually put it away as finished, hence my AC album being out but every time I went to post up the photo to the DT blog I found I was holding back because it didn't seem quite right!

Anyhoo, its done now and will be up on the blog soon but it needs to dry and be photographed - which in itself is a conundrum with this incessant weather.  I usually take my pictures outside in the day time but I just haven't been home when it hasn't been raining!

There is an empty pint glass there but it wasn't full of beer - I take a soluble vitamin thingy every day mixed with another medicine that I have to take and together they taste quite nice and get me to drink more water so its a win win - except that it makes my wee fluorescent yellow which can be quite alarming the first time you notice ;-)

At the back of the table are two boxes of embellishments that I have recently been travelling with.  The Jo Malone candle box hasn't been unpacked since the retreat a fortnight ago and the clear box is everything I've been using on my Devon album.  If I don't have time or energy to gather together stuff for other layouts, I grab that box, my bag of papers and my album and I'm good to go.  It already has all the page protectors in with the photos appropriately spaced so I can pick it up and put it down and return to it as and when.

This was one of the 5 or so layouts that I completed on Saturday.
All the supplies are October Afternoon, some very old, some not quite so.  The divided page protectors are American Crafts and come in various sizes so much easier to play with in short bursts than a regular 12x12.

Gosh it feels like a long time since we first visited Featherdown Farm's Aller Farm and therefore a long time since I started this album.  I think I've broken the back of it now though... if I could just resist trying to use EVERY SINGLE picture of a cow then I would have finished by now...

Right, I'm off for another session at the gym and then I can come back and relax and peruse the other desks knowing I have done a good thing for myself - it really really helps my depression (more on that in another post).  If I can still use my arms afterwards I might even leave a comment or two so please do stick the kettle on ;-)

Bye for now

Wednesday 23 April 2014


Well it may not be the messiest desk on the block this week but neither is it the tidiest or the most productive.  The selection of letter stickers was out to finish the little book you can see near the parcels there.  It is not supposed to be visible yet so you'll have to check back of you want to see more :-)  
The packages might seem interesting and you'd be forgiven for thinking that they contain new crafting goodies, however, you'd be wrong.  I'm being exceptionally good about new stash, even in the face of huge sales on my favourite brands.  I simply cannot fit any more into what we hope will be our new house.  No, the packages contain a chocolate protein shake sample and a bag of powdered superfoods.  Both things to be taken together in a shake with oats and peanut butter as a breakfast before training.  I'm really hoping that the green powder (which contains things like spirulina) will boost my system and general health and help me get back into some sort of fit shape.  I'm back at the gum today after over 2 weeks off while the children were on Easter holidays and I know I will hurt tomorrow but I've really missed it.

The magazine cuttings are also going to help towards my goals but they are crafty too.  Its part of Ali Edwards class for One Little Word which I have done nothing about recently.  I'm really hoping to tackle it on Saturday at the Artful Angels 12 hour charity crop.  I'm also hoping to finish the couple of layouts you see on the left there before then so I can start some new ones but one of those is for my OLW album too.

You might be wondering about the white blobs with safety pins on the back.  So am I.  They are fairy badges, created from plaster and painted by Miss Bella but the pins provided won't stick as they are supposed to.  Luckily Mummy has a supply of a variety of glues to try so that I can wear whichever one she chooses for me.  All day.  In public.  With pride. :-)

This post is brought to you by the powers of What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday at Julia's Stamping Ground. 

Bye for now

Sunday 20 April 2014

Divided loyalties

Good grief the Spring is marching on isn't it?! One minute we were drowning in rain filled fields and overflowing rivers and the next minute the garden centres are sunny and crowded and we are awash with hayfever and the smell of cut grass.  It is nearly time for the children to go back to school after the Easter break and we've been away to Wales and I've been on a craft retreat too.  Of course now the house looks like a bombsite and there is a pile of laundry bigger than my mother so the house looks a far cry from the tidy pictures on the estate agent's website!  

The good news is that we have found a house but the bad news is that they can't find anything yet. So in the meantime I will cherish the space in my current craft room and try not to buy anything else to go in it!  It is very hard though when you come across wonderful collections like Homespun by Simple Stories.  I was immediately drawn to the variety of primary colours and sweet designs however, like many companies and collections these days, Homespun is designed with pocket pages in mind.  Now, I love using pocket pages for big events like holidays and Christmas but I don't want to use them for the every day stuff really.  Does that mean that we have to miss out on such collections or can we be a bit creative and use them for our standard pages too?  Let's see shall we?  

The Simple Stories divided pages come in a variety of styles so the collections are not just 3x4 and 4x6 journalling style cards.  I wanted to see exactly what I had to work with so I trimmed all the cut apart sheets in to their various pieces.  I went through and selected the ones I wanted to use as they were and kept these in a separate pile.  Any others were fair game for being used in other ways and this meant that I could fussy cut them, use them for layering, punch shapes from them, etc.  


One of the first pieces that really grabbed my attention was this 6x12 woodgrain section.  The wording and design on the bottom make a great title and so another option would have been to use just that portion.  I love the whole piece though and I think it makes a natural home for the striking photograph.  I did a little photo shoot of my niece and her little boy so most of the layouts from that day probably won't have much in the way of journalling other than perhaps the first few.  
I really liked the eclectic bunting near the title so I used the matching design from the sticker sheet on pop dots for texture and interest.
My next use of one of the pieces was to make a photo mat.  I cut down the photo slightly to make it fit onto the standard 4x6 card but I wanted a second mat too.  Here's where you need to get a bit creative! I really liked the pattern on the card but I knew I wouldn't use the sentiment so I could cut an L shape to expand the parameters a bit.
I'm no good at sewing so this is the nearest I get to patchwork!  I added a punched shape, a sticker from the sheet and a heart from the chipboard sheet on one corner
To cover the other corner I used the same punched shape, some banners cut from the branding strips and one of the beautiful brads from the same range.

There are going to be quite a few layouts from this little photo shoot so I like to mix things up a bit by using some A4 pages too - they fit just as well as any other page protector in my American Crafts D Ring albums.  For this layout I decided to use the 3x4 cards to make a grid of the photo, a journalling block and then 2 for decoration.
 I used a piece of red A4 card and cut out the middle to use as a mat for the whole grid to lift it from the beautiful floral paper.  The designs on some of the cards are so pretty that you really don't need to add much to them.  Here I've just extended the design a bit with a chipboard heart and a button tied with baker's twine.
I drew the design together by using another button diagonally opposite and used the stickers from the alpha sheet for the little title and mini tag.  Branding strips and thin off-cuts ground the design and then I finished off with some fun bobble trim.
So far then we've used a 6x12 piece as it is, used branding strips and off cuts and punched shapes from a "spare" card for embellishments, made a grid from 3x4 cards, used one as a journalling card, used one piece for a title, used another "spare" card as a photo mat.

But if you are still undecided about using divided collections on standard page then I still have 2 more posts to show you lots of other ideas too!

Bye for now

Wednesday 9 April 2014


Rushing in briefly to join in with WOYWW.  As you may have read last week we were putting our house on the market that day.  It sold in the first viewing!  We've since been rushing around to find a house for us and I can tell you that there is a real shortage!  People are fighting over viewing appointments - its a crazy time.  Add to that the school holidays, Miss Bella's 5th birthday and associated party, a trip to Wales, a craft retreat in the Cotswolds and now a poorly husband and you can see why my desk is not in use again this week.  I even rushed to take the picture and didn't check it hence the dodgy angle.

Because I haven't had much chance to prepare for the retreat and I can't spread loads of stuff out because our buyers are coming several times in the next couple of days, I am just grabbing large collections and a big bundle of photos and hoping for the best!  I can't train with the children off school either but I did reward myself with my previous hard work by purchasing the Project Life Jade kit to use with some of the camping photos from last year.  It doesn't go exactly with the Echo Park Happy Camper collection you can see just above it but it goes well enough that I think I can make it work.  Check back next week to see if it worked!  I've also got loads of DT stuff outstanding too but luckily the team is a bit bigger now so our projects can be spread out a bit and Sarah is wonderful at appreciating that life sometimes doesn't allow for crafting, no matter how much we would like it too!

Right, another play date beckons but at least the weather is dry enough for them to get out in the garden (at the moment!!)

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

Bye for now

Tuesday 1 April 2014


It's time for another WOYWW and I have missed the last couple of weeks thanks to my madness.  That doesn't mean that things have been quiet here at Crazy Towers, oh no no.  

Our house goes on the market today so I have had to clean up my craft space ready for the photos.  I have no idea where anything is because I just boxed it all up and hid it away!  Doesn't look too bad though does it?
I haven't actually done any crafting since our Artful Angels retreat a few weeks ago because of how bad I've been feeling - normally it would help.  I even missed our regular crop last Saturday because of a stupid vertigo type attack.  I finally went in my room to craft at 7pm last night!

Because of my recent "blip" and the lack of any medical treatment that works, I have had to try something different, a different sort of crafting if you will...  I'm planning a post on this in more detail but you get the idea from the photo...
This is my amazing niece - she has literally saved my life in the last couple of weeks.  She is my Personal Trainer and people find it hard to believe that she lifts all these weights because she is even shorter than me and I barely scrap 5'2"!
She has really really helped me and as such, I felt I was able to finally go back in my craft room and mess it up again!  I had to do a very speedy card for Miss Bella because she is 5 today!
Hopefully once this very busy week of birthday celebrations and house marketing is out of the way I can get back to regular blogging and regular visiting again.  Put the kettle on, I'll be around soon ;-)

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

Bye for now