Saturday, 15 June 2019

Free art update

 Only just realised that whilst I posted these on my social media sites I had forgotten to update my blog-so here is a catch up.

I love taking part in Free Art Friday and Art Abandonment as well as Bristol Rocks and Sidmouth Smilestones.  Basically make art and leave it for someone to find, easy.

This was a small watercolour I sketched whilst at a hospital appointment recently.  You sit there, often for a couple hours so I tend to sketch as it keeps me off my phone and my mind occupied.  I then usually leave the sketches (unless they are my urban sketches which tend to be in a proper sketchbook) for someone to find, pass on or leave for someone else.

I also tend to have some posca pens and a small clear nail varnish with me in my small travel kit.  These come in really handy if I spot any pebbles/rocks that I can draw on and  leave for others to find.  The nail varnish providing a clear protective lacquer. 


I never really know what I am going to draw, it depends on the shape of the stone but I tend to have half a dozen "go to" designs that tend to work on various shapes.

I usually leave contact details of the groups mentioned above (usually via Facebook/groups) and people can register a find online and also post a picture if they then move the stones to a new location and abandon them for another to find.

I think it is a lovely idea and a great way to spread a smile.

Do you do anything like this, I would love to hear what you do


Wednesday, 5 June 2019


Happy hump day so that means another "What's on your workdesk Wednesday" no desk from me again BUT I can show you some more fabulous ATC's I got for the 10th Anniversary (SO looking forward to seeing more photos of the crop from the weekend).

The top row is a fabulous lavender bag (smells lovely and the fabric is SO gorgeous) and ATC from Elizabeth (aka Silver Scrapper) and on the bottom left is one from the fabulous Helen (aka Stamping by H) and on the right from the 'enabler' herself, the lovely Shaz (aka Shazsilverwolf)

Thanks ladies it is so lovely to receive post that are not bills, junk mail or voting papers!


Wednesday, 29 May 2019


Greetings deskers!  Wednesday again, no desk from me as I have been in the middle of a field with little or no signal/access for a few days BUT when I returned home I had a fabulous gift from Lunch Lady Jan (LLJ)

I was SO lucky to be the recipient of LLJ pass it forward ATC for the 10th Anniversary of What's on Your Workdesk Wednesday.

Not only an beautiful ATC and gift card but a fabulous handmade mini poppered pocket (try saying that after a glass or two!) perfect for storing plasters and meds in my handbag (lets be honest the bottom of my bag is a dumping ground so this is SO perfect for me).  

I was lucky a few years back to go round to Jan's and spend time with her teaching me how to make a fabric handbag, she is such a great teacher that I still have that bag and have made MANY more since then for presents.

Thanks Jan, I love it.

Happy crafting

Saturday, 25 May 2019

Japanese inspired card

I am trying to use up my stash as I have amassed far too much over the years.  

This card is made using a page from a book (love the script) as the background and I matted and layered a Japanese image adding a dimensional topper (I cut the back post off so it sits a bit more flush against the page.

A clean card which for me is unusual (I nearly added some ink around the edges but resisted!)

Happy crafting

Wednesday, 22 May 2019

WOYWW 10th Anniversary

Happy 10th Anniversary of us baring our desks as part of "What's on Your Workdesk Wednesday" started by the queen of desks the lovely Julia.

Not sure how many years I have been taking part (i think I joined in 2010 after lurking for a few weeks) but I have made some great friends on here both virtually but also in the flesh!

I managed to make 7 ATC's  so hopefully I will be able to swap them with a few people 

Only a quick up date as once again I am running behind and I am sure there will be MANY desks to visit this week so short is probably better (well that's my excuse)

Happy WOYWW 

Saturday, 18 May 2019

Allotment update

Thought I would catch up with what has been going on at the plot.

The past few weeks we have been busy weeding and digging.

We decided to keep the black plastic on the top left of the plot as there are some thick deep rooted weeds under there so in an effort to break this into smaller tasks to help manage my Rheumatoid Arthritis we have decided to leave this until later in the year/winter to think about dealing with it.  I plan on planting some courgettes/squash in the tyres and through the plastic so the space won't go to waste.

The top part was very stony and heavy so we planted potatoes to help break up the soil.  Yes, it is old school with the long trenches (remember I was taught to garden in the 70's so I am old school I suppose) and they do resemble buried bodies-but it is main crop spuds!  Honest!

We planted some onion sets in the front of the plot and put down some weed control fabric pinned down with some metal wire and piled with bark chippings that the council kindly donate to the site.  This will help me with my stability on the site and make it easier for me to walk on a slightly firmer ground.  Later in the year I am thinking of edging it with some wood to help keep the chippings in place.

I also bought 4 pallet collars.  A bit dearer than I hoped BUT I think this will make life a lot easier for me, easier to reach the middle without stretching and as they fill up I won't have to bend down as much, and if my mobility gets worse then I am thinking I can add another pallet collar on top easily to increase the height even more.

So far so good, I am also toying with the idea of growing some plants for dying fabric too, but that will probably be next year as I need to do a bit of research and see how much space I have when I have my fruit and veggies all growing.


Wednesday, 15 May 2019


Hump day again and I finally found a bit of time to do some crafting.  This photo was taken the other day as I knew that I would be too hectic with work to take a photo etc during the week.  I have been playing with my inks, cling wrap and salt.  I have played a couple of times over the past week and on both occasions I forget and my hands end up totally stained!  I have NO excuse as I have some thin gloves I could wear but I always forget!

I am playing with making smaller master-boards for the 10th Anniversary ATC's but I still have NO idea what to do with them, I am sure inspiration will strike at some point!

It is amazing that this has been going on for 10 years, all down to the amazing Julia at  Sadly I doubt I can make the crop, which is a great shame as it is always lovely meeting people in the real world, and over the past few years I have made some great friends via the weekly virtual meet up and the crops.  I look forward to seeing the photos from those that attend.

My "Man Bites Dog" cards this week are 'Mob Boss Burns Crooked Suspect'!

I am always amazed at the newspaper headlines you can make from these cards.  In case you haven't seen them before they are a card game, but I bought them from a charity shop for £1 in Cardiff many years ago and they keep me entertained!

So, are you joining us to bare your desk this week?

Saturday, 11 May 2019

Allotment sucess

So, a few month's ago I put my name down for an allotment and then earlier this year I found out my name had gotten to the top!  Hurrah!

So I am now the proud renter of this plot (not quite a full plot, thank goodness that would be too much for us).  It is about 15 foot x 37 foot (approx) and doesn't have a shed or beds but it does have a compost bin and some tyres!

Not too many weeds, though quite a stony plot so will plant potatoes to try and break up some of the soil this year

The end of the plot has loads of old strawberry plants!  I know these only tend to have a lifespan of 3-5 years before they stop being really productive so I plan on seeing how these fruit this year and then potting up some of the runners if they are strong this autumn ready for next year.

the plots to side of me have sheds but I am lucky that we live close by so I plan on taking the tools that I need on each visit as there seems to be quite a few thefts etc in the area so I am thinking no shed may reduce the risk of plants etc getting trashed by people.

Even though I used to have 2 allotments throughout my 20's I haven't had one since I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis so hubby has kindly agreed to help out with this one and it will be interesting to see how I get on.  I know that some days I struggle to do basic tasks so I am thinking low maintenance so it can be left for a few days when I am not very well.  I was thinking of chipped bark paths and some raised beds as that will help with my mobility and allow me to work from each side of the beds without having to stretch too far.  
I have already started clearing and planting so will update with some photos really soon.


Wednesday, 8 May 2019


Hump day again so that means baring our desks for What's on Your Workdesk Wednesday

No idea what was happening last week but for some reason my account wouldn't let me comment on all the blogs, I did visit and comment on each one that went to the trouble of commenting on mine but when I checked it looks like some didn't seem to work!  No idea why, but if your blog didn't get a return visit from me, I did but once again the foibles of IT seemed to be against me!

On my desk is my finish journal from last week and its all a bit of a mess!  I need to do a ton of paperwork and sort all this out too!

My "Man Bites Dog" cards this week are 'Lawyer Defends Suspect Teen Tourist'!

Happy cafting

Sunday, 5 May 2019

Sewn produce bags

In an attempt to reduce my plastic footprint I have been 'trying' to reuse the plastic tubs before recycling and where possible buy fruit and veg loose, not easy, but I am trying.

I noticed that several shops still use plastic bags for their produce rather than the brown paper ones we used to use many years ago, so I decided to have a go and make my own reusable produce bags.

I bought a reduced voile net for £2 (tried several charity shops but they don't appear to get many in) and reused some spare laces we had hanging around. I already had the spring loaded clasps in my sewing stash so I was ready to go!

Now, I am not great at sewing, but I do enjoy it and I have to focus ALL my attention on it so it is a great way to clear the mind of other things on a day off!

I used Crafty Pattie on YouTube video 
as the basis then adapted it as the voile curtain already had some pieces with the seam already (since it was a ready made curtain).

I made 3 just to see how they last, wash etc.  I have plenty of fabric left over to make a few more if they last ok.

I was really pleased with how they turned out, I am not a natural sewer so pleased I made something that was functional and actually worked!!

If you have any tips on making these please let me know


Wednesday, 1 May 2019


Finally I have had a chance to get back into some crafting which means I can show something for this weeks What's on Your Workdesk Wednesday-hurrah!  

On my desk this week is my 365 Challenge journal, albeit a little late as I haven't quite finished my May page but the pages are gesso'd so it won't take me long.

My "Man Bites Dog" cards this week are 'Heiress Bites Teen Model'-well that just sends so many visions through my head with lots of slapping on a catwalk!!

I am hoping to catch up with blogging (last thing I wanted to do over the past couple of months is sit in front of a screen after 10 hrs a day on one in the pay the bills job!) with some of the stuff I have been making in the past few weeks, so apologies if you have already seen it on my Instagram account but I am a bit behind on the blog.

So, what is on your desk this Wednesday?


Tuesday, 30 April 2019

Seedlings are taking over

When I was a kid I used to help my parents grow their own fruit and veg.  I was SO lucky as our council house had a big garden so we used to grow most of our own and from a very young age my mum and dad taught me how to plant, tend and cook them (I have fond memories of picking the spuds, placing them in an old biscuit tin and burying it in the bonfire, when the embers died down we had hot baked potatoes-and my mum's face as we walked in the house stinking once again of bonfires (sorry mum, I am no better these days)!

Then in my 20's I moved in with my now hubby and rented flats, missing the garden I spent my 20's renting allotments and growing my own fruit and veg, an experience I loved.

Then we finally were lucky enough to buy a house and I have been tending the garden since.  The past 8 years have been hard as being diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis has meant I have had to learn how to pace myself and remember that I can only do short bursts and accept on bad days I am not able to!  Seriously, I have a REAL issue with trying to accept I am NO superwoman!!  Anyway following a year or so of struggling with my pay the bills job (too much work, not enough time...yadda, yadda....many of us know this but SO grateful I have a job and am still able to work with my disease) I decided I would expand my growing and convert a bit more of our small garden/patio to more veggies, I also put my name back down on the allotment waiting list, knowing it can take a long time to get near the top, but it costs nothing to put your name on the list so why not?

So a couple month ago my window ledges look like this, nice clean and organised. 
 A mixture of propagators and upcycled plastic containers from the kitchen and even the labels were cut from my yogurt pots.

However, in what seemed like quite a short time my window ledges looked like a mini jungle and the plants started to take over!

 I have a sneaking suspicion I may have sown the seeds a few weeks too early so they are still too tender to plant outside as the night temperatures are still a bit too low

They have gotten a bit leggy now and I have started hardening them off, not sure if they will be any good (so I have sown a couple more as a back up for a bit later and if push comes to shove I can always look to buy a couple plants, we often see them being sold from people's front gardens etc).

What have I learnt from this?  Well two things really, I need to remember to wait a couple weeks before I sow them next year (I have made notes this time of the date I planted them etc, whereas previously I just guessed!) and secondly my hubby has the patience of a saint!

I will be pleased when these can be planted out and fingers crossed they take, if not, well I can try again next year!


Saturday, 13 April 2019

Page Park Tag

 I decided to explore a different area of Bristol recently, Staple Hill is an area I drive through but don't often stop so decided to hop on the bus and explore.  
Lots of local independent shops and charity shops and a great library too.

There is also a great park with a cafe in the middle, which to my surprise did a good selection of vegan food, as it was lunch time I thought it was a perfect time to stop and sample their wares, and very nice too.

Whilst I was sat there I decided to sketch a tag.  I often have a couple tags and pens in my pocket so it seemed like a perfect opportunity.

I only had a white posca and a grey pen so thought I would doodle some leaves and the word "Respect"

I left it on the table for someone else to find it.

Happy crafting


Wednesday, 10 April 2019


Sorry but the pay the bills job has been so crazy for so many months there has been very little crafting and even less blogging (last thing I want to do is go online when I get home!)

However, a day off last week meant I could do my April 365 Challenge Journal, BUT, as I was not totally switched off work it meant that I started cutting out the 30 pieces which I journal on and quickly realised I could only fit 20 on the page!!!  Doh! So, in an effort to claw it back I decided to cut some small random pieces and add them to the mix  and just about managed to fit 30 on the page, but no room for any decoration!

 That was Friday, it still looks like this now!  Not had time to clear it up so just added my "Man Bites Dog" cards on top!

This week the headline is "Feds wanted 1st Lady"!!!!! oooh!

So, if you are joining us via the lovely Queen of Desks Julia via here and bare your desk, be it clean, messy or mid make, welcome to the mayhem!


Sunday, 7 April 2019

Abandoned Tag

For a couple of years now I have been taking part in Art Abandonment and Free Art Friday. 

 The idea is you make some art and abandon it somewhere, leaving your details on the back so they can contact to register a find (if they wish), usually via the Art Abandonment or Free Art Friday facebook groups

Some people leave sculptures, painting, pebbles, canvass, jewelry all different things. 
I like to travel light so have a few tags and a couple pens in my bag or coat pocket so tend to sketch on the fly.  This is my tag I left in my favourite cafe in Cardiff the other week, Atma, a Buddhist Cafe that makes lovely food and a great atmosphere.

No idea if anyone has found it, hopefully if they did they will contact the group on FB as it is always nice to hear from someone who found them.

I like the idea of this as it forces me to take 10 mins out of the daily grind to sketch, which tends to be totally self absorbing whilst you are doing it and if it brings a smile to someone else then even better.

Happy crafting 

Saturday, 30 March 2019

Birthday cow card

I made this card recently for my mates birthday.
I love the saying "call when its time for cake"!
The background is once again my paint sprays this time with some watercolour splashed over the top.

I fussy cut the cow out and mat and layered the sentiment onto green foiled card and edged the card with the chisel tip end of a promarker, which if you draw it along at an angle is really easy to get a nice even line all around your card.

Happy crafting

Saturday, 23 March 2019

Quick card make

Just a quick update to show the card I made (well more a case of assembled to be honest as its just backing paper and a topper I found), but still, it is another card make in readiness so I am counting it as crafting!

Quick and easy and uses up my stash so happy with that, but I must admit I am getting itchy fingers for getting my paints out again soon.  


Wednesday, 20 March 2019


Happy hump day again where we share our desks.
Get me, I am crafting!!  Well, only an easy Christmas card using up a topper I came across in the clean up of the drawer recently, but still, crafting albeit simple crafting.

My "Man Bites Dog" cards this week are 'Blonde Suspect Strikes Lover'.....ooh

So, if you are joining us, full details can be found here, we are a friendly bunch and there is always something useful to spot on someones desk, a new technique, new stash or just inspiration for makes or organising skills!

Happy crafting

Saturday, 16 March 2019

This is a really late post as I just realised that I forgot to blog about the cards I made in February for valentines day (or any other reason as they are always blank inside so can be multi use).  I die cut some painted card and used my craft sewing machine (a small mini cheap one I bought a few years ago for paper crafting only rather than using my decent sewing machine as paper and card created a lot of fluff and blunts the needles SO quickly if you want to use them on fabric after-so I keep the 2 separate) to add a zig zag stitch all around the edge and left the threads dangling.

Then I added a strip of patterned card down the edge to bring it all together.  
Quite plain and simple but I quite like the added dimension of the thread.


Wednesday, 13 March 2019


Hello peeps and welcome to hump day, so that means joining us across the globe daring to bare all and show our desks, clean, tidy or just as mine is, a dumping ground!

On my desk this week is a drawer from my unit that has been used as a dumping ground (my cleaning is often, pull open drawer, sweep arm across desk, shut drawer) so I have decided to have a sort out, only one drawer though, so no panic!

My goggly eyes (I love adding these as I walk around town to things that remind me of faces) were all spilt across the drawer so I have started sorting them into similar sizes of plastic bags so they are easier to grab.  

Next are my sentiment embellishments, I have some that I have had for years and not used so going to make some packs up for the charity shop.  

My "Man Bites Dog" cards this week are 'Secret Romantic Naked Hero'......ooh, I will be watching the news bulletin with interest this week.

So if you'd like to join this desk sharing, all the details can be found on our lovely Queen of Desks, Julia's blog here

Happy crafting

Saturday, 9 March 2019

365 Journal Challenge

 Ooh get me, I have been at the craft desk again!

On my previous post I started my 365 Challenge page for March.  I decided to add some additional depth and colour to it, adding green, dark blue and red.  I spritzed water over and this enabled me to move the colour round the page, mix it up to darken and lift some off to lighten the effect.  I then sprinkled a bit more water flicker from my fingers to lift a few more areas of paint off the page and waited for it to dry.

Once it was dry I added my journal squares, stamped the date and then decorated the page

Nothing particularly detailed just some doodling with my posca pens (easily my favourite pen to doodle with as it can be applied to SO many different surfaces from shoes, glass to paper and more).  The main thing is I have finished the page so can quickly update the entries to date and I am all caught up with my monthly journals!

Happy crafting

Wednesday, 6 March 2019


So in an attempt to keep my crafting up I am trying to do a Whats on your Workdesk Wednesday and one other crafting session a week, who knows how long this will last?!

So, I am trying to play catch up.  I haven't got my March 365 Journal pages ready yet and already we are almost at the end of week 1 so I need to sort this out quickly.

I have gesso'd the page and added some pale blue spray which I smooshed around with a cloth and sprinkled water over to lift some of the colour off.

Not sure what else to do with the page, but I plan on coming back to this later to finish the page so i can start capturing each day before I forget what I have done in March already!

My "Man Bites Dog" cards this week is 'Star Sues Heiress Convict'!!  Ooh intrigue!

So, there we have it, are you joining us showing your desk be it clean, dirty, empty or full of some amazing stuff?  If you'd like to all the details of how you can join this happy band across the globe can be found on the lovely Queen of the desks Julia's blog here


Sunday, 3 March 2019

Bullet Journal

The past few months pay the bills job has been hectic.  I know that crafting is a great stress reliever for me and a good way to get grounded...BUT....I have not had time to think, let alone take care of myself, my rheumatoid arthritis or my mental health.  I know, this is the one time that I need to take time but hey as I say not do as I do (as my mum used to tell me when I was little!).

SO, in an attempt to try and rectify this I decided to take an hour in the craft room today, yes I am sorting out my diary for this month, BUT its sat in the room, listening to a podcast and doing something that is NOT work, thinking about work or housework!

After a couple years of trying various different templates for my Bullet Journal I find this is the one that works best so for the past year I have stuck with this design, simple but an easy way for me to capture appointments, To Do lists, healthy habit checklists etc.

Now I just need to ensure I get back in the habit of crafting and doing something just for me each week!


Saturday, 9 February 2019

A few more cards

 Just a quick update for a few more Christmas cards I have made

Quite basic ones using tags/upcycled cards and some pretty patterned papers

But I personally think they are quite effective

and to be honest it makes me feel like I have actually achieved something (which is rare at the moment!) so happy with that.

Happy crafting

Saturday, 2 February 2019

Shh.....the C word!

 So, some of you may know that each January I "try" to make about 20 Christmas cards (sorry, I said the C word!) whilst I still have the stamps and papers out from decorating my tags and presents.  This usually spills into the beginning of February before I loose the will to live and cannot cope with Christmas thoughts for at least another 5 months ( in the summer when I usually start making the presents).

So I was well chuffed that I was able to make a few, about 15 in total but here are a few of the ones I have made so far

 Several of them are made from using cards we received (upcycled) or tags but my husband came up with the best idea when we were shopping in early December.

We don't usually purchase special seasonal items but he spotted a box of tissues (which we needed) and the ones in the pretty box were the same price as the plain ones and he even remarked "that box would make some nice cards!"...well, I was seriously impressed, he was spot on, after we finished with the box I managed to get about 4 cards out of it!

 Who would have known these were tissue boxes?

Just a few of the cards I have made so far

It just feels like I have made some progress, however small, towards the madness that starts in earnest around September time with the jam/chutney making etc for the hampers!

Happy crafting