Wednesday, 13 November 2019


Happy hump day so that means we bare our desks thanks to the lovely Queen of desks Julia (here)  On my desk this week are a few cards I have just finished.  Not particularly intricate more of a case of trying to use up my stash!  In the background is my ATG tape refill, its NOT in my ATG gun as for some reason neither of my refills will go in there properly!! Very frustrating as been using them for years but for some reason both of these wont have sticky side showing but just the brown bit!  Tried turning it round etc, watching videos-all to no avail so decided to just use them as double sided tape and wind it off the spool when needed!  Life is too short.

Forgot to do my "man bites dog" cards this week as its dark and my camera and computer are playing up so just grabbed a shot Tuesday evening before loosing my temper with them both!  Talking of loosing my temper must be time to get my sewing machine out as not made any small bits for Christmas yet!

Happy crafting

Saturday, 9 November 2019

Inktober update

 For those of you who follow my Instagram account you would have seen my progress for this years Inktober as I posted them at the time.

However, for those who haven't here is the next installment of my tags (the first 12 were posted on my blog here)

I am pleased I stuck to tags over the past 3 years as they don't take up much room, are quick to do (so I actually get to finish the month challenge) and are easy to flick back through to see how my style has developed.

It is not always easy to think of a picture for the prompt but there is SO much inspiration out there as inktober is now so big there are thousands following and painting each day!

It feels a shame when the month comes to an end but I have to admit one month is enough, I have looked at annual challenges before and I know I would not stick to it!

So there you are, another Inktober completed!  Did you take part?  I would love to see yours if you did, please let me know in the comments.


Wednesday, 6 November 2019


Hump day so that means sharing our desks via for What's on Your Workdesk Wednesday

On my desk this week is my November 365 challenge Journal.  I just finished it in time so I am starting to fill in the first few days before I forget what I did!!

My "Man Bites Dog" cards headline this week are 'Dead Movie Lover Tricks Feds' - well I suppose it is just after halloween after all!!!

Happy crafting

Monday, 4 November 2019

Allotment update

Just a quick allotment update. As we have had our first frosts I thought I should harvest my winter squash.  I have urchi kuri, butternut and I think the yellow/green one may be acorn (not sure to be honest)!

I am really pleased as so far I have 11 winter squash that I am curing to store so am hoping that this will last me about 7 weeks (with any luck).  We do get through a lot of squash so I plan on growing more next year.  I have 4 of the orange urchi kuri (there are a couple really small ones still on the plant that I am hedging my bets with!)

3 of these and 

I managed to harvest 4 butternut squash (and a couple really small ones I have already roasted) 

Boy the plot does look bare now though!


Wednesday, 30 October 2019


Hump day again so that means we visit run by the lovely Julia and we share our workdesks, be them tidy, creative, empty or in a state of panic Christmas card making!!

On my desk this week, don't faint but I am actually making a card!  I know!  Go me!!

My "Man Bites Dog" cards this week are 'Lover stabs nude lady'!  Not a pleasant headline but who knows what is possible with the news the way it seems these days!

So, are you sharing your desk this week?  We are a friendly bunch and there is always something inspiring or a great storage idea (and also some 'enabling' of new products we didn't know we needed!!).

Happy crafting

Wednesday, 23 October 2019


 Hump day again, where thanks to the Queen of Desks Julia we bare our workdesks on a Wednesday.  This week on my desk is this!!!!!

This is a certificate (not had one of those for MANY years) I came RUNNER UP in our parish in bloom contest for our allotment site!  This is the first year I have had this plot and it had NOTHING but weeds growing when I took it over in April.  It has lots that needs doing and some things need rethinking (and it is only a small plot so I need to be careful what I plant and where).  The hilarious things is that I had NO idea it was for the parish in bloom.  The parish council said they were inspecting the plots so I presumed it was like the plot inspections I used to have when I had a plot in Bath 20 odd years ago (they used to check % of land weed free, edges etc) to ensure I didn't get a fine or notice to quit.  It was more chilled than this and was for the parish in bloom!

So we went to the council meeting where I got a certificate AND totally unexpected a £15 garden centre voucher!  Plus there was a buffet and wine, I was well chuffed!!

So there you are, bit of a different desk this week as I am making a bit of space on the wall of my craft room to display my certificate since I am really stupidly proud of it!


Saturday, 19 October 2019


 I thought I would share a few snaps from Malta, only a few as I took SO many from Malta and Gozo but here are some

there are various statues across the island both ancient and new, like this cat which is towards Sliema

There are more than 365 churches (think that's what it said in the inflight magazine!) on the islands so SO many to look at

 this one on Gozo had the MOST amazing mosaics outside

stunning craftmenship and I love Malta


Wednesday, 16 October 2019


Hello peeps, I have been absent for a while and was not easily able to do many return visits as I was sunning myself on a well earned summer (well Autumn) holiday in Malta....ah Malta, lots of free art exhibitions, festivals, swimming in the sea off the cliffs and maybe one or two aperol spritz! 

Whilst I was away I decided to once again take part in Inktober (I think i have done it for about 5 years).  Created 10 years ago by artists Jake Parker you produce a piece each day for the month (see for more details). 

There are various prompts etc you can use and I tend to use the official ones forcing myself to spend no more than 10 mins to draw on a tag - that way I am more than likely to be able to keep up!

So my desk this week is a bit of a cheat as I placed the tags on my dining room table to photograph the ones I have done so far so thought that could be my workdesk (well it sometimes is so why not)

This is the first 6 days worth of tags, most are drawn with Posca pens as I love them as they take on SO many surfaces and I tend to carry a few primary colours with me so I have something to sketch with if I have the time (or stuck waiting for trains etc!)

These are the next 6 I have completed, I am a couple days behind but have an evening free soon so plan on spending some time catching up (as its dark now in the evenings so not able to work on the allotment).

So, What's on Your Workdesk Wednesday?


Saturday, 5 October 2019

Upcycled cards

A few weeks back I showed some cards I made from an old calendar.  
These are from another calendar we bought as I love the artist style.

They hint back to a style from my younger days and I thought they would make great toppers for cards covering a variety of occasions.

Simple cards but I do like them.


Wednesday, 2 October 2019


Hello peeps, things have gotta a bit behind (again!) but I have at least made a start on my October 365 Journal challenge page so it won't take long to finish off and then I can catch up with filling it in.

My "Man Bites Dog" cards are "Model Singer Snubs Prez" comment ;-)

So, what's on your workdesk this week?  

Monday, 30 September 2019

Tag cards

Just a quick update on some cards I made recently.
I used some tags to mop up some inks I was using and left them to the side until inspiration hit me!  Well, a few weeks later I suddenly remembered I had some purple flowers so decided to add them with a sentiment to the tags.  They then sat there for a few more days until inspiration struck again and managed to get 3 cards out of one sheet of backing paper so happy with that.

Slowly but surely I am getting through some of my older stash, seriously, it always amazes me how much I have!


Wednesday, 25 September 2019


Happy "What's on your Workdesk Wednesday"

On my desk this week...actual crafting!

Well, a card I have just finished off and a couple of journal pages I am hoping to prep (I like to apply a layer of gesso as it helps the inks flow over the page rather than sink straight in)

My "Man Bites Dog" cards this week are "Nude Cop Wanted"........well I bet that would be interesting news coverage!!

Happy crafting

Saturday, 21 September 2019

Free Art

The other day I found this!
Full details can be found on my Instagram account (search KylaCotterell)
It was part of Art Drop day started by Jake Parker (someone I already follow and am a fan of for his Inktober challenge that I take part in each October) and is by a local artist known as Planet Photon.  

I love that I take part in Free Art Friday and Art Abandonment and every now and again find art myself!  How cool is that?

This will be added to my wall in my craft room where art I have received or found is displayed.


Wednesday, 18 September 2019


Happy hump day and  "What's on Your Workdesk Wednesday" where we bare our desks.

On mine this week it has looked the same most of the past week....mainly because it is preserving season so my crafting has been in the kitchen (or on the computer so sorry if I missed revisiting some blogs in the past week).  I have printed out some labels BUT the wretched inks do NOT last as long as they used to so once again I am going to have to buy some more as this batch have printed quite light.

My "Man Bites Dog" cards this week are "Mayor Tricks General"....ooh!

Scroll on down the page if you'd like to see some of the preserving I have been doing recently, not posted them all as there is rather a LOT this year since I have the allotment.

Have a nasty feeling is this my ONLY batch of elder brandy and elder vinegar this year as sadly the berries have all been shrivelled and not great where I go for my walks (same with the sloes and bullaces-very few on my walks)

For the first time I thought I would try drying my calendula to use in tinctures etc.  My friend has passed me some recipes (thanks Bex) so I have a few ideas.

Made lots of pickled nasturtium seeds this year.  I didn't make any last year and had to buy capers!  Shocked I know, I have made about 6 jars so hoping they will see me through.

Made these the other week, Strawberry Jam.  A fabulous local fruit seller gave me a load of fruit past its sell by rather than binning it so I picked through and had enough to make a few jars of jam.

 Been making LOTS of this.  Marrow and Ginger jam.  Those who follow me on instagram would have seen the HUGE courgettes I have, especially the yellow zephyr ones.  Well these make a delicious ginger jam and I have made about 4 batches so far!  It does take abut 3 hours from start to finish per batch so hard work but worth it as tastes delicious (even added some warmed up to a glass of spiced rum the other day!

Couple batches of spiced courgette chutney to ring the changes (rhubarb wasnt great this year so was low on chutney for winter/spring) its having to wait a few months before I can taste it to find out how it turned out which really frustrates me!

Last but not least, Strawberry Vinegar.  LOVE this, last year I made tons of elderberry vinegar but this year its strawberry as I had a lot on the allotment as well as local producers.  It is like an old fashioned shrub and nice in a cocktail, cooking or my favourite, neat over salad or cous cous. 

 Phew, just need somewhere to store it all now!!


Saturday, 7 September 2019

365 Challenge and Bullet Journal

If you saw my post on Wednesday you would have seen this page in its earlier stages.
I used the luggage label punch for the days and added some stamped images of apples - a crop I usually forage in September, which I cut out and coloured.
Now to try and remember what I did for the first week so I can catch up with the entries!

I had however already finished my bullet journal ready for 1st I just forgot to blog it!
Over the past few years I tried various versions including weekly but I have found that monthly with a To Do list, longer term list, next month at a glance and habit tracker are what work for me so I have stuck with this since June 2017.

Have you found a way organise time etc that works for you?  I am always up for learning new ideas so please share.


Wednesday, 4 September 2019


After a couple weeks off I am back (albeit in catch up mode).On my desk this week is my 365 Journal for September, a few days behind but once the ink and glue is dry it won't take me long to catch up.  The cup to the right is one I made at a pottery painting session for a mates birthday a couple years ago and has ginger tea (my go to brew).

My "Man Bites Dog" cards this week  'Blind Convict Strikes Star' out famous people!

So, have you dared to bare your desk via the lovely Queen of Desks Julia here

We are a friendly bunch and based all over the globe, go on, you know you want to.

Happy crafting

Sunday, 18 August 2019

Quick card update

I made a couple more cards, this time upcycling pictures from the back of a calendar I had the other year.  I also added some glass fishes as embellishments.

Nice and clean cards which is unusual for me!


Wednesday, 14 August 2019


Happy hump day and What's on Your Workdesk Wednesday.

Well, this is something I have not done in a LONG time!  Embossing! 
Not really sure what I the plan is, probably some tags for Art Abandonment or Free Art Friday or maybe even as toppers for cards, either way I am sure they will get used for something eventually.

My "Man Bits Dog" cards this week are 'Actor Runs off with Model' - ooh!

Happy crafting

Saturday, 10 August 2019

Allotment Update

So, my Instagram (kylacotterell) page has my allotment haul but I thought I would put a picture on the blog as a general update too.

The photo is from a couple weeks back as now all my broadbeans have been picked, blanched and frozen for the winter and I am now officially fed up with both green and yellow courgettes!!! We have made fritters, ratatouille, griddled and also in salads

Now I have also made some spiced courgette chutney.  Never made this before (usually make rhubarb chutney) but it used up several of our onions and courgettes (especially the marrow like ones) so it has to be worth it.

Any other ideas for courgettes always welcome!


Wednesday, 7 August 2019


Happy hump day and time for What's on Your Workdesk Wednesday.  
Bit behind on stuff (again) so just finished my Aug 365 Journal challenge page for the month.  Just need to wait for the paint and glue to dry and I can quickly back fill the last week that I have missed.

My 'Man Bites Dog' cards this week are "Last Judge Shoots Tourist" not great considering the recent days events but the cards are always randomly drawn and my thoughts go out to all those who are affected, such tragic news.


Monday, 5 August 2019

Oriental cards

 Finally made some cards recently, I know the recipient of one of these has opened it so I can publish it now.

I used pages from a book I bought as background papers, love oriental books as the papers are often really thin but smooth so take inks etc really well.

I also added images I matted and layered and some embellishments in the bottom right.

Now off to make more cards, I may be on a roll!!


Wednesday, 24 July 2019


 Hump day so that means What's on Your Workdesk Wednesday where we bare all to the queen of desks the lovely Julia

On my desk this week is a card in the making!  Yes go me I finally got to do some crafting!  Not particularly intricate but still, it is a card!

I also spotted that I STILL haven't put the toppers I cut up last week away!
 I will sort that out later today (they have given out some showers so a good chance to get some sorting out done) whilst it is raining.

My "Man Bites Dog" cards are 'Mob Boss Burns Secret Psychic' - ooh, not nice!

So, what is on your desk this week?


Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Plot 12 update

 Hello peeps, thought I would do an update on the allotment.

As you may have seen a couple of weeks ago I made a plot sign from an old wooden stamping block and it is now in situ (having had a couple of coats of varnish).

Now all my strawberries I inherited with the plot have finished for the year I will take some runners with a view to starting a new bed as they are quite old so need replacing.

With the strawberries I made Strawberry Vinegar for the first time.  It is a recipe from Pam Corbin, known as Pam the Jam and is the lady behind the River Cottage preserves.  
It is similar to the Elderberry vinegar I make but is lighter and more fragrant, perfect for salad dressings throughout the summer and cost me pennies to make!

I have also started to harvest my potatoes.  No main crop for me but lots of 2nd earlies which I love as new potatoes, boiled or in salads.  I have 15 plants to dig up which I plan on digging up one plant a week so hopefully they will see us through the summer.

I have already harvested my garlic so I started to harvest our red onions
I am drying them out, though to be honest I am also eating them rather than buying any onions straight away. I have another couple rows still in the ground so I am hoping they will last us through the summer too

I was shocked as to how big they had gotten too!!

I am loving the allotment, it is very much a learning curve as I am growing different produce than I used to grow 20 years ago and having to understand what I can do with my Rheumatoid Arthritis and work arounds-like they say every day is a school day!  Luckily in this day and age there are some amazing instagram pages, youtube videos etc that have so much advice and suggestions so I am slowly working out what will work.