Relocating my workdesk Wednesday

Relocating – its a packing-zone

so just got time for a brief catchup before relocating my workdesk and home. I  still have no official work-desk – its still a packing area!

Relocating my workdesk

the packing zone

For those of you in the dark – after eight long years on a social housing waiting list –  we finally got an offer for a larger property. We were supposed to be taking up the new tenancy on the  23rd of September. That  seems so long ago now! There were delays with rehousing the other tenants, and then they didn’t return the keys for weeks.

We finally got to view the property on the 2nd of November. We decided that this property was the one – finally we are relocating, packing up, moving on!. Its still not quite what i would want in an ideal world. But it has potential for future developement, if permissions and monies are available.  Still more delays as the previous tenant left a hotch-potch of ramshackle sheds and some very suspect wiring which has to be tieded up before we move in. Oh and they are also removing the houses two best features – the greenhouse and the double gated front garden/ driveway. Because apparently these are ‘unsafe’ and wrapped in ‘bureaucratic- crappy tape”! ?

Needless to say these are the first two improvements we are going to have to put back in, costing   us even more.

Just give me the keys already!

We are looking to sign tenancy agreements and more importantly – get hold of the keys at the end of the week. We then hope to lay carpet upstairs and laminate downstairs (very quickly) before we move everything else in at the beginning of December. Our current tenancy ends on the 5th of December – so its a tight squeeze. Ive spent the last ten weeks trying to pack everything – and boy did I need them. But i’m almost ready.

Loft is almost empty.  Shed is emptied and demolished.  Most of the house is filled with boxes all packed up and ready to go. My kids have actually got on and packed up all their gear as well! Just the everyday stuff left to go. Which needless to say can’t get packed till were about to walk out the door.  Im not entirely sure how or where to fit it all in at the other end?

I still have my sketchbook!

As you can see I’m still no closer to producing any  proper art or even finding a desk to work on. My desk is still very much the packing zone! I have however managed  to do a few little sketches – they need a lot more work but just wanted to capture something of the old place before i move.

autumn leave

autumn leave



hops from my garden

hops from my garden










The leave is from a tree outside the front of my house, which always fills my driveway with leaves at this time of year.  The shell is one i found  in the garden whilst uprooting all my plants to come with us. Not sure how that got there? And the third sketch is of  the hops in my garden.   Which i lovingly pampered for several years to finally have it produce hops – and then rip its roots from the ground to pack it for the move.  I am currently using a seawhites square sketchbook, which i love. A 0.5 mechanical pencil and 2mm mechanical pencil . I’m  keeping it simple as most of my art supplies are packed and waiting to go.

well thats it for now, as i still have to do all the official stuff, like changing utilities, tv and redirecting mail. And i must  pay the first months rent – they won’t give me the keys without that one crossed off the list!

Ta Ta for now,

I hope to be in a new home next time we meet!

Don’t forget to visit some more workdesk Wednesday pages

Love and cyber hugs


woyww – 382

the title to this post should actually be – wimww? (where is your workdesk wednesday?)

so not much has changed from last time my desk is still this……

20160912_120300…..only ever so slightly worse … its still the house packing area. If you were here a couple of weeks ago you know that i had anticipated moving house by now – but as fate would have it everything has been delayed. I believe we are waiting for social services to rehouse some lovely OAP’s into a care home, so that i can then move into there current house. Who knows how long that mission will take – well we’ve already waited around 8 years to be rehoused – so whats a few more weeks or months – i really hope its sorted  soon so i can move before christmas!!

Still the delay  has given me a slight reprieve from the mad  ‘packing rush’ of the last couple of weeks. I’ve done so much clearing out – and yet still have so far to go. My bins and recycling are constantly packed to the brim, we have managed three runs to the tip – husband under protest – cause apparently it ‘ruins his car’? I’ve done multiple trips to the charity shops swell as advertising load’s of stuff for sale. Rummaging through all the boxes that have been hoarded in my loft for the last eighteen years – you wouldn’t believe how much stuff you can fit in the loft  of a two bed house. I found a lot of magazine cutting and the like, that i had been saving as art reference to work from at some point.  I’m finding many  of them no longer ‘speak to me ‘so i have gifted a lot to the recycling man – i bet his beginning to hate  working down my street!!  I’ve reduced whats left to a couple of small files – I’m keeping these close by me so i can work from them in the next few months. I figured they’d spent enough time being dormant. Thanks to the time reprieve I even managed to squeeze in a little sketch time to make sure i get started on these – before they get overwritten in my brain!!

Here’s the current sketch I’m working on

dsc_0001i’m not  sure if its quite right yet – i’m still working on human proportions and figure-work in general.  Another find whilst clearing out was hundreds of old books ( and i quite literally mean hundreds). I had these sent to me from someone else moving a number of years ago – there are aged and yellow and once i’ve got through reading them?!… they will make  a perfect substrates for some painting work – i love old text pages to work on!

don’t forget to check the other WOYWW pages!

Ta ta for now

have to go

house clearance is calling me…

love, shaz

WOYWW no.380 -what workspace?

Only got five minutes but didn’t want you thinking I had abandoned you again!

I was definitely  tempting fate when I tried to resolve my discontent with my inadequate workspace all at once. In the beginning i managed to resolve lighting issues ( so I could actually see what i was doing) . Next i sorted desk height issues.  My current desk being  made for a twelve year olden therefore  giving me constant back ache. I even managed  to acquire a reasonable comfortable chair that I could sit on for more than half an hour at a time – Thanks Mum!

So I finally  had a reasonable workspace –

ok I still had to remove half a ton of junk  to get to my desk (but I mastered clearing that in under five minutes) . And it was still so hot in that room it was like  working  in  a ‘devils pit’ – needed to keep a constant fan on just to breath .  But it was my space to use whenever i could free up a little bit of time ….It didn’t last long!!!

Here is my current desk…..

workspace woes

In answer to the above question of – whats on my work desk ?

– well its soon to be the entire contents of my house, including eighteen years of hoarding’s from loft. My desk alas  has  become the house packing area.

Let me explain.  We have very patiently waited for  eight years now, on a council waiting list for a larger property as our children boy and girl have had to share a bedroom. We  had  just about given up all hope of being offered  anything, so had resolved to making the best of what space we had – hence the desk sorting. When suddenly at the end of July things began to look a bit more hopeful.  We were nearing the top of the list ( coming in the top ten instead of top ‘twenty’, or ‘not prioritised’, and then in august being in the top five) .

Suddenly we are getting offers for more suitable accommodation,- although nothing is finalised yet – we are  waiting on key returns and  viewings – but  now with the prospect of moving in only a few short weeks- everything that was planned is ‘up in the air’ once more and  I’m wondering how we get everything moved,  an sorted in such a short space of time.

So my current occupation –

in addition to already managing a household with kids and trying to start an art business  and being everybody’s PA (lol). I am now  ‘manager  of house clearance’.  Cos live obviously wasn’t  busy enough. I’ve pulled a lot of unwanted things from the loft to sell or donate. The amount of rubbish and recycling hidden up there  is unbelievable.  We’ve already filled the car twice over to take it to the tip . And what once was my desk is now a packing area. As jobs go , its defiantly  full-time and intense. And will probable prevent me from getting anywhere with my art for a time.  Most of my art gear is already packed up so i could make some space available for packing boxes . I don’t envisage it being unpacked again for quite some  time!

I have managed to sort a small supply of art things which i will try to keep available. Otherwise i will go mad! – but don’t know realistically how much time i will get to use them, especially in the packing period!  I hope to have enough space in any new accomodations  for a proper  workspace – but only time will  tell, and  it definitely  needs thorough planning. I certainly don’t want  to be making any changes  once its set up,  so I don’t know  when this will be accomplished.

– so watch this space.

don’t forget to check in at WOYWW

Ta Ta  for now

Love and  cyber hugs,


WOYWW 375 :dealing with overwhelm

Apologies once again for the impromptu MIA, as my title suggests i am currently overwhelmed by life!

It seems no matter how hard i try to straighten things out ‘destiny’ has other ideas for me. Just as I resolve the issues of one aspect of life and think I’m finally achieving some sort of balance, something else falls out of place and all – mind, body and spirit – are disrupted again.

The most recent incident involved my teenage son, his motor bike, and a tree and  consequently a sixteen hour stint in A&E. He’s ok (incase your wondering), apart from the post concusion symptoms (which  i believe could go on for some time), he had a very lucky escape – and hopefully learnt some lessons. But due to this my living room has been  turned into the local motor shop stockroom  and my garden the local garage- so much for the de-cluttering!!

I think i’ve finally worked out all my food allergies – so my brain at least feels as though it might begin to operate again – after its five year dysfunctional phase. So i’ve been thinking about some bigger goals  i want to achieve and  trying to establish some kind of routine and  planned learning so i can take charge of everything in a more productive way. This involves a lot of planning and is something I’m still working on, but my head won’t function without a definite plan and some deadlines.

So if that wasn’t enough here comes the  overwhelm – One of my big objectives is to ‘finish things i’ve started’. So Ive been adding up all the things i’ve signed up to in the last few years and never got to doing, -and  consequently added a few more selective classes (to achieve my current goals for business and creativity).  My current count of things to catch up on is-  43 short (2 to 8 weeks) academic courses at future learn,  28 artistic courses (some one-off videos, some much longer), and over 2300 u-tube videos on my watch later list (a lot of these are artistic and technical process videos.  So this all sounds manageable right – ok now we have to add the 6.3k pinterest pins, and I have not yet listed all the books i have lying around my house waiting to be read – there are many – and since books are my current decluttering target I’m sure an update will be following shortly for those of you interested) I have also to list all the U.F.O’s hanging around. = overwhelm, right???

In-between trying to deal with all that there is the day-to-day of family life, housework and trying to establish a business of my own (which seems to constantly get placed on the back burners – really must do something about that!) and trying to find time for this blog. But to my surprise i  have managed to squeeze in a little art work, which i hope to update you all on very soon , but heres just a sneak peek at things that have passed over my desk in the past few weeks and of whats to come in future posts.

collagethingstocome2collagething to come 1

Hope all you WOYWWers are having more fun than me!!

Ta ta for now.

woyww 357

howdy all, heres my desk for this week,


still trying to rearrange and de-clutter everywhere.Probably going to take the entire year to get through it all, since its 18 years of hoarding, but I’m just taking it a bit at a time. and if all i do is clean it won’t get any of those crafting materials used up. but it does help me establish whats there to use so that i might avoid buying more – yeh – we all know what that thought results in don’t we?

Have some thoughts roaming around my head to take up textiles again since i cleared out the airing cupboard and found a stash of vintage material, so on the desk you can see my laptop and sketch book as i’m researching possible projects and subjects. there were a lot of blues, greens and oranges in the vintage stash, so I’m thinking koi fish in a pond. below are my two initial studies – still lots of work to do, including remembering how to do textiles!





ta ta for now,

c u all soon


woyww 355 – sketchbooks

so, despite the overhaul to my desk being a great success and my desk being  alot more suitable to work at, the space around it is still very much blockaded, and since my time got usurped this morning by teenage hair disasters (THD) i just couldn’t be bothered to move all the boxes with the small amount of ‘studio time i had left in my schedule.  So yes once more it has been abandoned for this :-

batch_20160322_163521…the ‘bedtop-desk’.

so what can you see…in view order from left to right… my planning pen’s, coz due to THD in now have to reschedule everything in my bullet journal (go job its a flexible system), some drawing implements- pencils sharpener eat. My three current work books (from the top) my sketchbook- I’m trying to get to this more regally since its abandonment pre-christmas, this particular one is for dry media only as its made with what the paper industry call ‘soft paper’. I don’t personally like, but for some reason i seem to have a large collection of them (thats what decluttering does – makes you aware of all the ufo’s and gives you todo overload). My aim is to improve my fast sketching skills – of which i have ‘none’, and to finish an entire sketchbook before moving on to the next!!! (well we’ll see – not holding my breath!).

The larger book underneath (again arrived due to decluttering). It appears that over the eighteen years we’ve been in this house, i’ve acquired a rather large collection of books, for a lot of them i only seem to be keeping them because they have a few good pictures i want to sketch from, so i figured why not ‘kill two birds with one stone’ as the saying goes. so i am working from a really old and outdated encyclopaedia on china. The other book underneath is my handwriting and calligraphy practise book (a reclaimed hobonichi, which didn’t meet its full potential). and on the far right my laptop, coz I’ve been watching some free sketchbook workshops by strathmore papers  while i sketch.

heres my final sketch, i even broke out some metallic pencils my kids seem to of abandoned, (another decluttering find ):

20160322_163533 this particular reference was of a javanese sculpted head on the gates of Bangkok Grand Palace, i hope i’ve done it justice?

don’t forget to check the other desks at the stamping ground

ta ta for now

love and cyber hugs , c u soon

WOYWW 354 – anniversary card creations

 Rearanging to make anniversary card

needed to make an anniversary card or two,  but desk was a mess- again. So  to make it more functional, I did this:-

desk rearrange  I removed a lot of the junk off of it, and brought down my work station from the loft.  I now have a three in one desk.

The view your currently looking at is it’s mixed media set up. The top of the workstation has (very kindly) been covered in glue, paint and i don’t know what else – by my very kind kids!!!. Its rather lumpy and bumpy and hence got covered up by an under-sheet. This can easily be changed and recycled later- so hence the mixed media section.

The other side of the board hasn’t been touched by children. So  fortunately  i can simply flip it over when i want a super smooth surface for writing, and cleaner processes, like making those anniversary card’s.

And the whole thing can be lifted off  the desk and kept on the bed – during the day. So i then have a third work surface for ‘dirtier’ metal work.

This work surface really helps bring the height of the desk up to a more adult level -till i can afford a new desk ( or a studio). This current one was built for a ten year old – I’m sure, and  it causes a lot of back pain to sit hunched at it. Hopefully this height lift will aid me at least some of the time. I have also managed to even out the lighting a little too.

Yes- i know what your thinking –

and you’d be right it defiantly didn’t stay that clean for long . I just had to test it out, so here it is  again a bit later on –

card creating

so i  had some family anniversaries coming up and  thought i’d get started on some card creations, as you can see that nice clean desk got cluttered again very quickly. But raising the surface and the change in lighting defiantly made it a nicer place to work. Heres the end result –

anniversary cardTwo same, but different anniversary cards. I’ve used some of tim holtz’s embossing dies, and some scraps from my box. I added a  few stamps (sorry don’t know at this time who there by), and simple some ancient confetti  and rub-ons.

thats it for now except to remind you to check out the other desks at the stamping ground.

ta ta,

love and cyber hugs

c u soon.

woyww 353 – temporary space and bullet journals

howdy all

so i’ve been MIA for a few weeks and thought i’d better pop in with an updated desk. As you can see from the  photo it has currently been abandoned whilst i re-think its organisation.

So here is my current ‘temporary’ work space

work desk Wednesday and  bullet journals

work desk Wednesday- organising and bullet journals

Yes, I’ve stollen the  dining table! It  seems julie from the stamping ground, and i have some things in common – aka- paperwork!  Over the past few years due to physical fatigue caused by health issues, a lot of household tasks  have been mostly ignored or beyond my physical capabilities. Since i’m now mostly feeling better, and getting really fed up with living in a ‘hoarders paradise’ – i figured it was time to do something about it. The only issue being – where to start- there so much to catch up on.  So its time to break them down into more manageable tasks i can handle more easily.

so to the actual stuff on my desk,

firstly my laptop so  I can write this post. It is surrounded by  my current (and ever-changing) organising system . I have tried many diary, and binder systems in the past – none of which have really worked. So i’m changing it up again. At the side of my laptop are two books, the red spiral bound is just a cheep note book. Its been hanging around the house for ages ‘unloved’.  I’ve  finally given it purpose as my main ‘brain dump’ book. It contains  my main todo list for big projects one-off tasks.  Then  a ‘big buys’ section (for house and future business purchases) . The third section i am using as  a check list for monthly, weekly and daily chores – as i have lost track of whats on my ticktick app. The fourth section at this point is unused but i’m sure i will find something to fill it  with eventually.

On top of that is one of my previous organising systems that lay redundant, hardly used and unloved. Its my hobonichi from last year. It was an expensive error on my part, so i have re-commisioned it for lettering and calligraphy practise. Coz theres gotta be some fun stuff todo- right?  I covered it in some material i rescued from my mothers, it was originally her bathroom blind. No lettering in it yet but its ready for future practise.

Re-trying bullet journals

In the front of my laptop is my main planner. I am using that expensive cover – that came with the hobonichi- to house two sigma note books. One of these is solely for business and blog planning, and note taking. The other is my main day planner. I have reverted to Ryder’s analog system of bullet journalling.  I didn’t give this enough effort last time i tried it. But out of all the systems i have tried, its adaptability makes the most sense in my head. So its  time to give it another try.  Its early days with this  system, but finally some stuff is  getting done.  I can see this system hanging around for a while to come yet.

On the left hand side of my laptop is a new packet of staedtler fibre tip pens for colour coding my  bullet journal. You can thank Kara at bohoberry for that one! Staedtler claim that there pens can last for weeks without a cap on. Well – since tesco’s delivered my set minus one lid – i guess we will be putting that theory to the test. Ill let you know how long my yellow pen minus its lid lasts on some  future post!

At the very front of the photo you will notice the top of my green coat. This is hung to dry – because  like julie, I have a very wet day whether wise.  And top of my daily todo’s in my bullet journals was a trip to the bank and post office. Normally given the weather i would probably have left it to another day.  But the daily rewriting of todo’s really motivates me to get things  off the list.

ta ta for now, love & cyber hugs

c u soon


so here we are again , and heres my desk for this week


so i’m at the ‘hot desk’ this week, which is actually a tiny corner of my kitchen i stole for doing  anything to do with high temperatures and flames. My ‘cold desk’ is really unsuitable for this type of work as it is in a corner of my bed room, which is constantly overheated due to the fact that its on the south side of the house, and no matter how wide you open the windows – there is still no air in there- it doesn’t really help that its a really dark corner,  so lots of lamps result in lots of extra heat, and  i’m usually suffocating in there – even in the depths of winter – roll on the days when i can afford an actual  studio  – with proper air conditioning. Anyway do you remember these? –


so, thanks to all your kind words of encouragement, i’ve got brave enough to dig out my kiln. My plan was to fire off the metal clay pieces and have them on some  finished jewellery pieces by now – should of known not to plan!!!

The clays are bronze and white bronze, they need two stages to fire  properly, according to the instructions i had the first stage is open shelve firing at 500°c for 10mins. this is supposed to burn off the binding materials in the clay, i was expecting some smoke and a red glow, but they didn’t appear – this should of been my first clue that things were not going to go my way!!!

The second stage  apparently needs an oxygen free environment to ‘sinter’ properly, but because my kiln is a ‘baby’ i was unable to get hold of  any firing pan small enough to fit in it, i thought i’d try to improvise with some tins- so i cleaned them up and removed labels, but in  my haste forgot to remove glues -which of corse set on fire when they went in the kiln – i quest i got all the smoke i could handle and more – just not when i wanted it!!!

O.K., – ‘no biggy’  – don’t let that put you off  coz i put the fire out really quickly, no damages done,  – only to my artistic ego – who’s apparently having a bad day!!.

so i did some research on you-tube to find someone firing bronze clay on the open shelve – so i followed along with what they were doing – seems these clays are going to be some what of an experiment anyway! so didn’t see any harm in trying, – still not getting the results i’m looking for. the pieces tried to polish up an look a little like metal, there brittle and the smaller pieces flake of – not what i’m looking for.

My thoughts are that this kiln isn’t getting to the  temperature it says it is, it barely produces any heat below 500°c , and only just starts a faint red glow at 630°c – its not what i was expecting from a kiln – i would love to here from  anyone using the same model to know if this was normal behaviour.

I’ve now managed to find a suitable container for oxygen-free environments at cooksongold (I’ve provided the link incase anyone else is having similar issues), this is now on order and i’m  awaiting its delivery. I’ve been doing  some experiments on open self firing the white bronze at some higher temperatures, whilst I’m waiting, and did manage to get one piece that slightly resembled metal  – so i think i need to find some way of establishing my kilns temperature- i know that you can get testing cones for larger kilns – but not sure where to get these in the uk, or if they would come in a size that would fit inside this kiln – if anybody knows anything that could clue me up id appreciate hearing from you.

Hope everybody else is having a better week than i am, don’t forget to check the other desks via the stamping ground,

ta ta for now,

love and cyber hugs

c u soon

wow 347

so you want to see whats on the  desk this week,  well here it is


a box of dominoes i found in the ‘everything- but what you want’ draw which i am targeting for emptying, as i need it for another purpose. Ok one day i might finally have all my crafty gear organised exactly where i need it – i’m not holding my breath, coz that involves a ‘dream studio’ instead of the corner of the bedroom where my ‘studio – come cramped corner’ currently resides. Back to the dominoes, they are the first of many mixed media projects I’m going to have to plough through to get that studio and all the posh gear that i want in it!  Ive probably had them sitting in that draw for several years now, so its time they went – so i thought id use up some other mixed media supplies, and alter them into some pendents.

heres the progress so far


sanded and coated in gesso along with some other canvasses i had lying around – coz i tipped too much gesso out of the tub (waste-not-want-not!)


covered in scrapbook papers and page texts, and a little stamping added in for good measure.

i’ve left them up to dry overnight, as they were textural on the back, so i used self-levelling gel to adhere the papers on in the hope that it will straighten it out!

I still had half an hour of ‘studio time’ (and i hate to waste it!),  so since i hadn’t had a chance before now i popped the metal clay pieces from last week  out of there moulds to see how they were. I spent some time cleaning them up, with a emery board so there all ready to go into the kiln – as soon as i get brave enough to fire it up – this is them so far –


hopefully ill be able to turn them into some fancy jewellery pieces soon.

thats it for now, but don’t forget to visit the stamping ground so you can find all the other desks.

love and cyber hugs, see you all real soon!