Thursday 21 January 2016


It is day eleventy twelve of de-cluttering the corner of the spare room, laughably known as my scrap space. Removing the 's' from scrap would more accurately describe it.

I can spend forever tinkering with silly little bags of a dozen or so sequins , organising them into their respective colours but cannot seem to tackle the big stuff like ten years worth of patterned paper which catalogue the scrapbooking industry's evolving trends hilariously.

My obsession with woodgrain paper has spawned a whole box full of the stuff, another for Valentine's paper although I'm not the lovey dovey type and in the past twelve months I have clearly developed an addiction for metallic paints which is bordering on obsessive.

I own every adhesive known to man but can never find the perfect one for any given project. Name me a colour of watercolour pencil and I probably have it. What is it with pencil cases ? Nineteen at the last count.

I'm indulging in what the pop psychologists call diversion activity. You can spot this if you find yourself cleaning every toilet in the house rather than complete a report with a looming deadline. It has to stop. I must take this bull by the horns and wrestle it to the ground.

I have moved every item from one shelf to another in the desperate search for perfect order, boxed up stickers by shape, size and colour and even sorted my spray paints in accordance with the colour spectrum but still the fiddling continues.

I am going in for another bout of organisational therapy and I am not coming out until I can see  my desk again.

Incidentally the spark that prompted this post was hearing that James Wallman who wrote Stuffocation is on Woman's Hour this morning. Off to listen to  that now.

Saturday 16 January 2016

Ready ... Steady ... Sew

Last year I used my sewing machine twice. Once to make some curtains and a second time to sew on one of my scrapbook layouts. It's always such a faff to lug it out of its cupboard , locate the power cable , plug it all in and thread it up. Bobbins, threads and accessories are scattered in a variety of places. Is it any wonder it never gets much love.

So this year, I decided to give it its very own place , all wired up , plugged in and threaded , ready to sew with all the accessories to hand.

I found the perfect table in TX Maxx. It doesn't take up too much space, is the perfect height and rather nicely painted in a  charcoal grey- a snip at £99 compared to prices I'd seen elsewhere. It has the perfect sized drawer for all the bits and bobs too. I had toyed with the idea of renovating a junk shop find but after hunting high and low, I could only find some overpriced ugly dining room drop leaf tables which wouldn't allow me any leg room or spindly legged side tables, neither of which were suitable.

I found the lamp in Sainsburys for £14 which included the bulb. I've paired it with a sweet little rosewood library chair which used to sit in the corner of the bedroom covered with clothes. It was my mum's favourite. The shaped legs compliment  those of the table - a match made in heaven. I was also going to make my first project a quilted sewing machine cover but in fact its original vinyl cover is practical and blends seamlessly in with the wall colour. In fact , looking at the photo I realise the wall behind is crying out for a rather lovely picture - yay - another shopping opportunity. I'm rather pleased with how it all looks. Can't wait to get stuck into a project now.

Thursday 14 January 2016

Hey Little Magpie - January Blog Post

Head on over to the Hey Little Magpie Blog today to see my new layouts for January using Fancy Pants Designs Happy Place collection.

Here's a sneak peek ...

Thursday 7 January 2016

So here's my new stuff

I could have bought a whole heap more ( coral velvet cushion cover , mini iPad, copper salad servers, geometric ring, guitar shaped pizza cutter ) but I was very restrained.

As I walked into Paperchase , I repeated my mantra - do not buy any more pens or notebooks. So guess what I bought ... yep.... a pen and a couple of notebooks. But not just any old pen and notebook - luscious geometric patterned matt black and copper notebooks.

And a sweet trio of copper clips and pins.


I'm usually very negative about 'stuff' but I have come to realise that I actually quite like 'stuff' which may explain why I've bothered to put it between inverted commas, which requires patience because I never get the spacing right and then have to fiddle about on the keyboard tying to correct it.

Today I am going to look at 'stuff' ( got the hang of the spacing now ) in my nearest shopping centre. I may not buy any. I may just look. Looking at 'stuff' is as much fun as buying it. The reason I like 'stuff' is because I like to touch it , appreciate its beauty, if it has any, and to understand how it has been designed and made. I don't like all 'stuff' just beautiful 'stuff'.

I also like the sound of the word. It begins with the st sound which reminds me of words like stuffing ( which I enjoy in sandwiches ) and stew and stamp and strong and stink which is not nice to smell but is funny to say. Best of all it ends in ff which reminds me of words like fluff and faff and sniff which also sound funny and are fun to say.

So, how can I extoll the virtues of 'stuff' straight after posting about how to get rid of 'stuff' ?
Simple. Not all 'stuff' ( sorry, bored now of inverted commas - you get the gist ) is created equal. There is naff stuff ( another nice word ending in ff ) and there is lovely stuff. I am repelled by the former and addicted to the latter.

You mustn't let stuff take over your life apparently  ( like inverted commas and over gratuitous use of parentheses) according to de-cluttering gurus. You know you have too much stuff if you can't find the stuff you really need or want at a particular time. I probably have too much stuff ( oops .... misspelt it , but have now corrected , which lent a whole new meaning and probably belongs on a completely different blog ) already but I'm working on weeding out the bad and appreciating the good. Actually can you have too much stuff ? How can you tell if you have and by whose standards ?

Anyway, when I get back from my stuff sortie I may show you what I bought ...  or possibly didn't.

Thought for the day

From ' Reasons to Stay Alive '

A cheery read for January .. No really.

How to stop time: kiss.
How to travel in time: read.
How to escape time: music.
How to feel time: write.
How to release time: breathe.

Wednesday 6 January 2016

The Minimalists

If you're like me and start the year by throwing things out then this is the podcast (ooh ... funny - predictive text didn't recognise the word podcast - keep up Eblogger - this is the 21st century ) for you . I love these guys. I only wish I could be more like them . I'm typing this as I listen to the above podcast and hoping that its message will subliminally infiltrate my sub-conscious and manifest its message in my actions this month .

The Minimalists - Podcast

I'm not a great fashionista but ...

... I read this quote by Coco Chanel and had to pass it on ...

'' a girl should be 2 things : who and what she wants . "

Friday 1 January 2016

One Little Word

Chosen one yet ? One little word which sums up how you want to approach the New Year .

Mine is LIBERATE . It came to me in a flash - they usually do which must mean it was lurking in my subconscious.

I chose it because it has positive connotations and can apply to many different themes. First and foremost , I want to liberate myself from pain. Having been diagnosed with Osteo Arthritis nearly 3 years ago most of my joints have gone downhill ... apart from my 2 new stainless steel knees ! This year , I may have to have a shoulder replacement and then I have to deal with my hips. I can't even begin to think about it . I'm therefore going to attend a pain management clinic to see if I can hang on in there a bit longer rather than resorting to surgery.

I'm also planning on liberating my 'stuff' - all that junk that's cluttering up my life. I started this morning my unsubscribing from useless emails that only encourage me to buy something I don't need. I'm a sucker for a gadget as anyone will tell you ( still got to unbox my Spiraliser ... but then haven't we all ... oh.. you mean you're actually using yours ??? ) . Having just read one of my favourite blogs - The Minimalists - I'm going to join in their 30 Day Minimalism Game which involves chucking out one thing you don't really need on the 1st of January , 2 on the 2nd and so on. I'm hoping email subscriptions count in which case I'm ahead of the game ... literally.

Sounds tough doesn't it but then do I really need to hang on to every freebie bar of mini soap from every hotel I've ever stayed in , especially when I don't even use soap ?

My third act of liberation is going to involve time - the time that disappears into the sink-hole of my life - when I get sucked into reading, or rather looking at,  the pictures in lifestyle magazines that make my own kitchen look like a formica throwback to the sixties and fundamentally encourage me to believe that what I have is somehow inferior and that the rest of the world is living in a show-home. I rather like the lived-in look of our slightly shabby kitchen that was fitted over 20 ( yes 20 ! ) years ago and has the dents and knocks to prove it. I can see where eldest son placed a red hot cast iron wok on our kitchen table when he cooked his first meal with his first girlfriend and the chunk of veneer that chipped off our lovely glossy black piano when youngest son slammed the lid down after an unsuccessful attempt at a difficult piano piece.

So, my kind of liberation comes in many forms which will no doubt evolve over the year.

What's your One Little Word for 2016 ?